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posted by Apollymi @ 7:17 PM
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Belladonna - Chapter Four
Series: GundamW, Sailormoon
Genre: Crossover, Romance, Supernatural
Main Pairing: Duo/Usagi/Heero
Word Count: 2,553
It was happening again.
He was dreaming.
He knew he was dreaming, but there was nothing he could do to stop it. No matter what he told himself or what he tried, he couldn't make himself wake up.
The blonde angel -- Usagi, as he now knew -- stood before the version of himself in the dream. Stubborn determination was written all over her face and reflected in her wet eyes what was probably showing in his own. "We have to do something, Heero. We have to get him back."
Get him back? Get who back?
No, wait, he
knew this. He recognized the background, remembered the feeling of sweat pouring off him. For crying out loud, she was even wearing the same dress as the previous dream. Weird... All of the other dreams had been disjointed and out of sequence. This was the first one to come with a sense of order. But if it was in order, then...
"We'll get Duo back," he heard himself saying.
He wasn't going to try to make sense of the complex and varied emotions running rampant through the dream version of himself, but foremost, there was worry and a sense of affectionate regard for both his partner and this girl. He could understand that: he had long harbored feelings for his friend that no amount of friendly -- but no doubt teasing only -- flirting would jar loose. He had also felt an immediate... something to the blonde girl the moment he laid eyes on her, both in these dreams and in real life. He had no hope, however, that either of them would ever feel anything for him.
But the other him was still speaking, though, so he made himself listen. "If they've so much as harmed him, I'll..."
"You're not the only one."
The version of him that was watching all of this couldn't help but be shocked at hearing that from Usagi. The girl he had just met didn't seem capable of such fierce emotions. If anyone could inspire them in a person, though, it would be Duo. Just look at what the other man had done to him, after all.
Why were they so concerned about Duo anyway? It wasn't like the American couldn't take care of himself. It sounded like someone somehow had him. If they could hold him was something else altogether. Whatever this was, it sounded bad, really bad.
"We'll get him back," he heard himself repeating. Listening to himself speak, he had to wonder if he was trying to convince himself or Usagi.
"I know." She sounded so damn sure of it that he was tempted to revise his previous thought: it certainly didn't sound like she needed reassuring. "We have one major advantage here, as I see it."
"What's that?" His voice sounded oddly flat to his own ears. It went rather nicely along with the empty, hollow feeling in his chest; he wasn't sure which version of himself it belonged to, but it might have been both.
"You dreamed about this, remember?"
He awoke with a start, leaping forward to sit stark upright in bed. Somehow, he was utterly unsurprised to find his fist shoved in his mouth to silence himself, as well as his body wrapped in sweat-soaked sheets. It wasn't the first time that that had happened, after all. After the third or fourth time, it had ceased to be any source of shock to him.
He uncovered his mouth and took a deep breath to try to cleanse his mind. Sadly, it didn't seem to be working this time. That same feeling of doom still pulled at the back of his mind ominously. More than that, the feeling that something was coming for them specifically bothered him much more than he wanted to admit. If someone was gunning for him alone, that would have been one thing, but going after Duo, his only friend, was something else altogether.
Maybe that was why he had the disconcerting urge to go check and make sure the other man was all right, if only to reassure himself. It was worth a shot anyway. What was the worst that could happen?'Duo wakes up, catches you sneaking into his room like some sort of pervert, and blows you away -- or worse, abandons you,'
his mind quickly supplied.
Well, there was no way he was getting back to sleep, not after a dream like that, until he knew for sure. Decision made, he threw off the damp sheets, drew back on the jeans and shirt he had been wearing earlier in the day, and stepped out into the hallway on silent bare feet. Relena had been thoughtful enough to put his room next to his partner's, so it wouldn't be too hard to do this.
Outside, the same storm was still raging. The cracking thunder covered the quiet sound of him opening the other's door. Duo was sprawled across the bed; between his hair and long limbs, he nearly covered every centimeter of it. He had known that the America was exhausted, between his newfound abilities, the long drive, and the meet-and-greet, so he wasn't too surprised when there was little movement from his friend aside from the rise and fall of his breathing. That was enough, though.
Reassured, he turned and pulled the door closed again as soon as it thundered again. Damn, how pathetic was he now? It disturbed him that he had stooped to this: sneaking around to make sure that his partner was there and breathing. What was next, he thought snidely, shaking his head in a vain attempt to clear it.
With a disgusted sigh, he turned to head back to his room -- and froze when he spotted the open door across the hall and the bright blue eyes staring back at him from it. Words seemed to completely abandon him in a rush, so it was just as well she spoke first, a tremulous smile on her face. "Is everything okay? Are you all right, Heero-san?"
He was none too sure he would have ever been able to ask that had he been in her position. From what little Relena had told him, the girl didn't remember a thing from her past (presumably even how she got here), she managed to make a single friend in Relena, and now that friend was dumping her off on two people she didn't even know. Yet here she was, asking one of said strangers if he was okay.
"I'm fine. I--" He didn't want to admit to being terrified by a stupid dream. He wasn't even sure if he should tell her about
the dreams yet. It might have been a bit wiser to keep that information strictly between him and Duo for now. So instead, he just went with the first thing that came out. "I couldn't sleep, I suppose."
She nodded sagely. "Me neither." Lightning popped, thunder crashed again, sounding closer than ever this time -- and Usagi jumped, color abruptly leaving her face. "I hate storms."
What was there he could say to that? Ordinarily, he would have just walked back into his bedroom without bothering, self-assigned mission accomplished. This time, he felt compelled to make at least some sort of comment. The best he could come up with was a rather lame "It'll be okay." He paused, a voice in his head very much like Duo's prompting him to say something else. "It should blow over by tomorrow." Not a lot better, but it beat saying nothing at all.
"I hope so." She smiled briefly and self-deprecatingly. "You're probably tired, Heero-san. I'll let you go back to sleep -- or try to anyway. How early are we leaving tomorrow, out of curiosity?"
If it were just Duo and him, there was a good possibility they would have been gone before dawn. As tired as Duo seemed to be, though, that probably wouldn't be the best way to go. Plus there was every chance Relena would want to say goodbye to all of them. "After breakfast, probably," he decided.
She nodded again slowly. "All right. It gives me time to pack, I guess." A small frown crossed her face. "Are you sure you're okay, Heero-san?"
She wasn't looking him in the eye, he noticed. Instead, her gaze was fixed on his right shoulder. He glanced down to see that he was unconsciously rubbing it. This kind of weather really did play havoc on his body. "Just sore. The weather."
Great, someone else to confuse the hell out of him. Apparently, it wasn't enough for Duo to do that on a regular basis. "Why?"
She shrugged slightly. "Because it hurt. Good night, Heero-san." The door closed quietly behind her, and he could only stare at the wood in confusion. "What just happened here?"
* * *
The storm had yet to die off by 0600, Heero noted with a frown. Peeking between the curtains in his room, all he could surmise was that it had instead gotten worse. This would probably delay their plans for leaving a bit. Relena was none too likely to want them to leave in weather like this -- and frankly, he was none too sure he wanted to be driving in it or having Duo drive in it. In short...
"It looks pretty damn miserable out there."
He started slightly at the sound of Duo's voice behind him, in the doorway to his room. Glancing over his shoulder, he noted the other was already dressed as well, even if he had obviously not gotten around to buttoning up the overshirt he was wearing over a tight white t-shirt. Even better than that, he held two steaming mugs. He could smell the American's coffee from here, not as amazing as it sounded when he remembered that Quatre had once debated the merits of trying to use Duo's coffee to replace fuel in some of his shuttles. "Coffee?" he asked quietly.
Duo grinned. "Only for me. I know you don't like the stuff. It looks like the Princess was hoping for a visit sometime soon. She had your favorite green tea in stock." The other joined him at the window, passing over his drink, and frowned at the scene outside. "We're definitely not getting out of here anytime soon in this mess. I wouldn't even trust Shinigami in this crap, let alone a car. It'd be like asking to end up dead in a ditch."
He nodded his agreement, taking a careful sip of his tea. There was really no point in burning himself with it, after all. He let a moment pass in a sort of comfortable silence before he asked one of the questions foremost in his mind. "What do you think of her?"
"Hmm? Usagi, you mean?" He nodded, pretending he was too busy with his tea to answer aloud. Duo probably knew better, but he still answered anyway. "Well, I definitely see where you got the whole angel thing. All she lacks are the wings and halo. I've never heard of an ability like what Relena told you she has, at least not outside Arabic mythology. A djinn, to be exact," he paused then clarified at the look of confusion he was obviously displaying, "or a genie. Granting wishes and all that. Although..."
As the American trailed off, he found himself prompting him to continue. "Although what?"
"Do you know if someone tried to make a wish while I was talking with Usagi alone yesterday afternoon?"
He nodded slowly. "Yeah, Relena almost did, but she caught herself before she could. Why?"
"I can't guess too much on the timing or anything, but for a few seconds there, her eyes started glowing this weird shade of silver. It only lasted no more than five seconds, but I know I saw it. It was pretty startling to see. So, Heero," he changed the subject deftly, "any idea of what we're going to do once we're out of here?"
A couple of ideas rushed through his mind, and he found himself struggling to hold back a flush. He did not need to be entertaining such notions. There was no way either of would ever be interested in someone like him, especially not like that. The very idea was just preposterous. "We need to find out what the limits are to what it is we can do. We need to figure out how Usagi-san got here and why. And we need to figure out what this 'doom' is that keeps showing up in my dreams."
"I think I like whatever it was you were thinking of first a lot better," Duo commented with a sly smile. "It looked a lot more fun."
"What looked like a lot of fun?"
Of course, Usagi would have chosen right then to show up. Now, granted from the circles under her eyes, there was every possibility that she'd been up all night. If she hated storms as badly as she said -- and as badly as she had acted like she did in the dead of the night last night -- then that was probably the truth. After all, she didn't seem like the kind to want to get up early on a regular basis, though what gave him that impression, he didn't know; it could have been the yawning, however.
There was no way Duo was going to pass up a golden chance like this for teasing him. He knew that, but really, there was no way of bracing for it. "It had to have been something good, for as red as he went." The other man grinned and chuckled almost to himself. "I doubt he'll ever kiss and tell, though."
Duo definitely had that one right: there was no way, even upon threat of torture or death, that he was going to give up the images that had gone through his mind. It was just too embarrassing. Instead, it was probably a much better idea to deflect some of the attention off himself, so he turned to Usagi and commented, "I wasn't expecting to see you up so early this morning."
Okay, that was a bit of a lame attempt, based on the way Duo smirked and rolled his eyes, but at least she ran with it. "I don't think I ever got to sleep. I really, really hate storms."
The other man glanced at the sheets of rain pouring down on the other side of the glass then back to her. "I must have been more exhausted than I realized. I didn't even notice this keeping up all night. If it does let up, though, we'll still need to get on the road pretty quick." He paused, taking a sip of his coffee. It was only because he knew Duo so well that he was able to realize he was weighting the possibilities of what to say next for maximum effect. "I mean, if that's all right by you and you're ready to leave, Miss Tsukino."
She shrugged. "I packed last night. There was nothing else... to do... Tsukino?" she trailed off to ask, utter confusion written all over her face. Even more telling, it shone from her eyes as well. "Is that my name?"
posted by Apollymi @ 2:12 PM
Friday, June 15, 2007
Automatic Paranoia - Chapter Three
Expanded Series: Endless Loop
Word Count: 3,061
And that's how I ended up here. We just had to be curious, had to find out what was going on. And no, I'm not whining. See how happy you are when you just a few moments - at best - from death, more rotting zombies than even Treeboy can count (makes me glad for mortal vision, because if there are more beyond the thirty or so I spotted earlier, I don't want to see them) all trying to get in here for a snack, and oh yeah, stuck in here with Treeboy, of all people! My night just keeps getting better and better.
I think the sight is going to be burned into my eyes for the rest of my life... however short that might be at this point. Another ten, twenty minutes? Half an hour, if I'm really lucky? I'm not sure if that implies good luck or bad. If it's good, then given how my life tends to go the exact opposite, we're screwed and they'll tear their way in here any minute; but if it's bad, then we may have a few minutes' breathing room to formulate something like an escape plan. Well, a few minutes' breathing room for the one of us who breathes.//You will call me.//
It sounds so damn certain that I can almost resist it. It makes resisting it a little easier, anyway. //Call my name. Summon my power, and I will destroy all that stands against you.//
I thump the back of my head against the door I'm pressed against, trying my best to block it out while I'm still breathing and can. I can't hit it as hard as I'd like, hard enough to knock me out: for one, I stand a pretty good chance of being eaten alive if I'm unconscious; for a second point, there's no guarantee that would help; thirdly, Treeboy might eat me if I'm not helping with this door; and finally, the wood would probably splinter if I hit my head any harder. It wasn't exactly sturdy even before the legions of the undead... dead... how does one describe zombies anyway? Or would they be ghouls? Not that I'm going to stop and ask, of course.
For that matter, what were the odds that Treeboy would get called out to the one cemetery in Domino with enough people in the ground for someone to attempt a half-decent -- okay, very decent and completely effective -- zombie raising. I may not be able to raise a zombie myself, but I've read up on it, mostly so I could answer any and all the questions Treeboy and the other Kaibas kept pestering me with, and I've been working on a theory on what we're doing stuck with this many (and I'm not asking how
If anyone ever gets a chance to investigate this, if there's anyone left in Domino after this (and I'm not being frantic or anything -- it's just that there are so many of them!), they're going to find someone made a heavy-duty sacrifice to make this cemetery sit up. Someone planned this out to the exact detail: they knew how to get Treeboy here, they knew what to say to get me here as well, and they knew what to do to raise an entire cemetery.//Call me, and I will change it.//
"Doesn't work like that." Holy fuck, now I'm talking back to it out loud. Now there's a sign of insanity. I've stepped over the deep end. With the look Treeboy's giving me, though, either he thinks it wasn't a far jump to begin with or he knows what's happening. Why the hell did I tell him anyway? Not my brightest move.
"It's talking to you?" And how the hell does he sound so cool and collected? I mean, Halloween was bad enough, but this is about a million times worse, and he sounds like this is no more troubling than a misfiled paper. Hell, maybe less so. I've seen some major Treeboy wigging from things being out of place. Hence is why I have a little fun rearranging during the day sometimes. Keeps him on his toes.
"Nah, they're singing the latest pop hits out there. Yes, it's talking to me!" Never said I'm graceful under pressure... or nice when I'm in pain. In fact, I think I've made a point of telling it like it is: that I'm a little bastard when I'm stressed or hurting, and I'm both right now. //NOW!//
Wood from the wall near me splinters in time to the demand. Tiny slivers hit me like miniature daggers of pain. On their own, they probably wouldn't even really sting, but with the headache I'm rapidly developing, the wrenched muscles from running to get the hell away from those things outside, the bruises from diving in what I'm guessing is a gardener's shed, the black eye and swollen cheek Yami gave me, and the cuts I'm still finding where sharp, dead fingernails managed to score on me, it's all adding up to be a world of hurt.
Heads are going to roll.
I swear to God, I'm going to find responsible parties -- or even people who look vaguely responsible -- and rip them limb from limb. Whoops, bad analogy, given my current situation.
You know, it wasn't too many nights ago that Yami, the brat, Mini-Me, and I were on a couch, laughing uncontrollably at a bootleg horror movie with characters caught in a situation very much like what I find myself in. And, somehow, the only thing that keeps circling through my mind is, oddly enough, I didn't think it would smell like this. Weird. I'm probably not too far from being torn limb from limb myself, and I'm more concerned about how the things about to kill me smell.
"Somehow this is all your fault."
I hold back a growl but only barely -- and badly. "I hate you. This is not my fault. You were the one who got the invitation. I just tagged along to be nice."
"You don't know what that word means, Bakura."
"Like you do?"
Is this really how I'm going to die? Snarking it out with Treeboy? I guess I'd been hoping for maybe something a little less... typical for how my life tends to be. Maybe even with Yami...
I'm not thinking of Yami. I'm pissed at Yami. Being pissed might get me through this. It's a little hard to concentrate, but just out of habit, I reach again for a ghost, any ghost, anything close enough to be of some help. Because of course, the cell phones don't work. Not a single bit of reception out here, and even if there was, this doesn't strike me as something we can get the wolves to come save our asses from. Magnum can come rolling in and kick all the ass he wants, but I don't see where it would be a huge help.
And damn it, I can't think how to kill ghouls. Or zombies. Well, zombies, if we could get a pretty powerful animator, we might be able to put them back in their graves, even with the sacrifice that woke them up, but these things, they seem to be people-hungry. And we don't have an animator anyway, not on staff, not on call, and the only wizard I can think of who might know how to help...
Again, my best glare rolls right off him. For now I'm going to attribute that to the fact a lot of his concentration is going into keeping the door closed to our uninvited guests outside, because I know I'm
not the one with preternatural strength working wonders on it. I am doing my part, though, sitting on the dirt-packed floor and bracing my entire weight against it.
With a growl that's a little hard to hear over all the other, more impressive ones from outside, I answer, "Not on how to stop them, but I know how they're awake."
He turns so that his back is to the door as well (Surely, there's a 'Kaibas are better than and above everyone else' metaphor here that I'm just missing) and calmly continues, "It couldn't hurt to know."
I will not rabbit punch him in the leg. I will not. I have much better restraint than that. Flip him off, on the other hand... "You saw what happened just before we got here."
He nods. "Mahaado." One word saying a million things, perfect description of a Kaiba.
"They sacrificed him -- and I guess all those other people we picked up on -- to raise them. Using a wizard's blood... I guess they either got ghouls or flesh-eating zombies."
"Not a lot, unless you're an animator." Or unless you're going outside to check. I'm not. In fact, at the moment, I'm very fond of this little shed, for as long as it holds up. Another five to fifteen, at best -- and when I say 'at best', I do mean at the very best, the most generous amount of time that I possibly can give these walls. The Ice Prince here probably isn't even giving them that long. "Fact is," I pause to rebrace myself, since the door's starting to give, "I know raising an animator as a zombie makes ghouls. I have no idea what using a wizard as the 'white goat' would do. This, I guess."
"'White goat'?" Haha, Kaiba Frown Number Three: confused and not happy to be. Check another point in the Bakura column. One more small victory for me, again. "Tell me there's something lost in the translation, or you're not pronouncing it right, or it's a euphemism, or something."
"It's a euphemism," I answer with an eyeroll. Really, just sometimes he gets on my nerves bad enough to consider breaking in a new Master of the City. But only sometimes, because who knows who we might get next. Maybe Noa, and that'd be terrifying. "It means human sacrifice. Someone used his death, and all those other deaths, to raise these guys."
"What kills zombies?" And wow, he doesn't know. He really doesn't know. There is something Treeboy doesn't know. Amazing.
"Not a lot. Fire. They don't like being out in the sunlight. Sounds like someone else we know, doesn't it? It doesn't kill them though, unlike someone we know."
"Now is not the best time for sarcasm, Bakura--"
"It's always the best time for sarcasm, Treeboy."
"--not when we're running quickly out of options, and my gods, don't you come with an off switch?!"
So... do I get double points for making him lose his cool in the face of imminent death? "What were you just saying about sarcasm?"//Say it, now.//
"Fuck!" I'm not crying. My eyes may be watering from the pain (one head isn't supposed to have to contain a voice like that) and I may be almost ready to beg Treeboy for a whammy so I can at least semi-block it out, but I am most certainly not crying. I don't cry, never have. And it's only this... thing in my head that ever makes me feel like it.//Say it and this will end.//
"Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
!" Great, I'm repeating myself. And I didn't notice it till now, but apparently, my head is keeping a beat with my mouth, because I'm banging it on the door in time to the words. Come on, unconsciousness. I don't even care if I get eaten, though I will be hoping for Treeboy to eat me and not those things outside; he'll probably make it hurt less. I'm not seriously considering this, am I? "Get out of my head!"
A hand clamps down on my shoulder. For half a second, I think they've managed to get through the door at last, before it sinks in that, while it's cooler than a human's would be, even through my shirt, it's not grave cold. In fact, it's vampire cold. Have they ever figured out the relative temperature difference between vampires and humans? Why am I wondering about this now?!
I let my eyes follow it up an arm, and wow, it's attached to Treeboy. I'll be damned. Go figure. Now isn't that just a tad on the odd side? Okay, forget 'a tad'; this is extremely strange. What? Does imminent dismemberment make him actually sentimental or something? Doesn't do a thing for me, except piss me off. I rather like all my limbs exactly where they are, with no new holes or additional injuries on them.
Okay, weirdly, I can concentrate a little better now. Just a little. The voice has retreated somewhat, and all I can figure is that's thanks to the first mark. So that adds another choice for making the voice retreat, in addition to, one, Yami and two, me knocking myself unconscious. If we live through this, it means I have options. Not that hanging out with Treeboy is always an appealing one, but sometimes, like now, when Yami and I are fighting... It starts looking a bit better. I wonder what that says about Yami's and my relationship, such that it is.
Still, he's not going to be able to hold this for long, not with those things trying so hard to get in. Not to say I don't appreciate the effort, but I'd rather live another two minutes, even if I'm being driven out of my head. And frankly, I'm not used to altruism, if that's what one could call this, and I never would have pictured it coming from the Ice Prince of all people. Furthermore, it makes me nervous; what exactly is he up to? If this is more of that 'I have a mark on you so I get a say in your life' bullshit, I'm staking him, plain and simple. One mark isn't enough to take me down with him, is it? I can still kill him without suiciding myself, right? Might still have to do it either way.
Either way, it deserves something. "Thanks," I say shortly. Because the brat has succeeded a bit on driving some manners into me. Why am I always practicing them on the Ice Prince, I wonder?
He nods once in return, and that's that on the subject. "We're running short on time." I half-glance at his arm and try to read his watch upside-down, with little luck. "It'll be dawn in an hour, and it doesn't appear as though they've left the structure enough intact for me to stay here during the day."
Not a word about how they're going to get in here any minute. That's refreshing. Not that I'm
going to quit worrying about--
A voice outside screams something very much like "Get them", and the door lurches forward. Despite every bit of my body weight, such that it is, being pressed hard against the door, I feel myself slide a few inches. The Ice Prince lets go of me to offer up a bit more of his own strength, and it slams back into place. Not that it matters too much: they'll be through the walls soon enough. They're making a new door on the wall a few feet to my right on the opposite wall. They get through that last bit of wood, and the fat lady will be striking up an aria, prima donna that she is.
Right beside me, the wood completely shatters in a fist-sized hole, and the smell quadruples. And if that's not bad enough, the hand that comes through grabs a chunk of my hair, and it apparently decides to pull me through its tiny hole by the hair, rather than wait to get in the regular way. Fuck! And I cut it after Halloween, from the small of my back up to above my shoulders. I guess that wasn't enough. I reach behind me and grab the fingers holding me in place -- and do my best to keep my stomach from rolling as they snap beneath mine. Human fingers shouldn't break that easily. Ugh, I hate zombies. I really, really do.
I jump back up to my feet the second I'm free and put my weight back on the door. Blue eyes glance at me. It's only through living with various Kaibas for two years that I recognize that faint expression of worry hiding well behind them. Great, the Ice Prince is worried; we're doomed. We are so fucking doomed. Focus on something else, Bakura. "Sounds like a woman out there bossing them around," I note absentmindedly. "Did we forget to leave someone a tip sometime?"
Even with both of us putting our full weight on it, the door tries to move again. "Bit of an extreme reaction for that, don't you think?" Was that...? I think that was a bad attempt at humor from the Ice Prince. Amazing. Will the wonders never cease?
"I don't know. There was this one time, back in Tokyo, when some guy stiffed me for something I stole for him, and I--"
My head explodes. That's how it feels at least. I'm actually a little surprised not to see brain bits on Kaiba. I might have even screamed, but I'm not sure. A cold hand latches on to my forearm, right over where I got bitten last year. Vampire cold again, not dead cold. Doesn't make any difference. This time I know I scream, and even though it's Kaiba and I know he's trying to work the mark between us, nothing happens, and that thing's screaming in what remains of my head. I'm screaming back, and Kaiba -- Treeboy -- the Ice Prince is yelling at me as well. None of it's making any sense through the pain, but I think I know one word coming from somewhere -- nowhere -- everywhere: "Zork".
It's only when I feel what can only be spirits start to pass through me, familiar ones -- there goes Kaiba, and Mokuba, and the other vampires, Ryou, the leopards, Jyonouchi, Yuugi... Yami -- belonging to people who aren't dead, not in the strictest sense of the word, and the world begins to spin into blackness, that I realize one very important thing.
I'm the one who said it.
posted by Apollymi @ 4:32 PM
Friday, May 18, 2007
Pairing: Gwen + Jack
Word Count: 334
Note: Title comes from the song that was playing when I finished: "Wander" by Kamelot, from the album, Epica. I suck at titles.
Falling for someone like Jack Harkness was doomed to failure from the beginning. She'd known that going into this though, of course. There were a thousand and more barriers separating him from her -- and Torchwood and his apparent immortality were just two of the most obvious ones. Rhys, Owen, Ianto, and "The Right Kind of DOCTOR" (That's how it sounded to her every time he said, caps and everything) made up four more very good reasons for her to her eyes glued on her work and not let them follow the Captain around the Hub.
It wasn't like there was anyone else down here to shift the blame of her distraction to either: Ianto was minding the front upstairs, Owen was still home recuperating from being a damn idiot and locking himself in a cage with a Weevil, and Tosh... was probably fussing over Owen.
The Weevil had been fed, a fun enough experience on its own; thankfully, it was still licking its wounds as well and had stayed on the far end of its cell; and Jack was feeding Myfanwy. Feeding said pterodactyl tended to consume all of one's attention, lest you lose a limb or, at the very least, a hand, and she wasn't too sure even Jack could regrow one. Maybe that was why he was so possessive of the one in the jar? It was his spare? Nope, that didn't make any more sense than any other possibility she'd come up with so far. Scratch that idea then.
(It had to belong to whoever it was that had Jack's heart. That was the running bet. A hundred quid from each of them went to Tosh if that was right, and it would be awful if a half-drunken suggestion was the correct guess.)
No, falling for someone like Jack Harkness would never end well for someone like her. But Jack-watching... That was a hobby she could indulge in, from time to time.
And lie to herself in the meantime.
posted by Apollymi @ 8:35 PM
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Character: Jack (others implied)
Pairings: None (or Jack/Gwen if you squint)
Word Count: 200 (double drabble)
Disclaimer: Doctor Who and Torchwood belong to the BBC. I'm just borrowing.
Who is Captain Jack Harkness?
Who is Jack? A leader, a fighter, a lover? A man with more secrets than is healthy? What do we really know about Jack?
Who is the Captain? A man who knows more about the alien tech we deal with every day than anyone else at Torchwood -- with no explanation as to why he knows any of this, at least as far as gets to us. 'Captain Jack Harkness' isn't even his real name, as far as we know, from what Tosh found out in 1941, when she met the 'real' Captain Jack Harkness. There, Jack introduced himself as 'Captain James Harper'; is that his real name or another alias?
we know about Jack? From the sex alien incident, we know that hand is more important to him than anything else. Thinking back, there are things he's said that made it seem he wasn't from this world, time, something. We know he can't die: that we can account for, he's been shot on two separate occasions... and then there was Abaddon.Why do you keep doing this, Gwen?
Because, if we can find out who
he is, maybe we can find him
posted by Apollymi @ 10:11 AM
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Belladonna - Chapter Three
Series: GundamW, Sailormoon
Genre: Crossover, Romance, Supernatural
Main Pairing: Duo/Usagi/Hiiro
Word Count: 2,066
'I'm not going crazy -- she
The mere thought was a relief. Despite Duo's reassurances, he'd had his doubts that his nebulous claim on sanity was still valid. After all, sanity and Duo Maxwell were barely acquainted, much less close friends, for the other man to tell if Hiiro himself was sane. The past few days had seemed like a hallucination -- or maybe a really weird, somewhat bad dream -- but at least he hadn't lost his mind. That
was also a relief.
And he was staring. Apparently only Duo had noticed it so far, if the concerned expression on his friend's face was any indication, but he might want to knock it off before it got him in more trouble than it already had.
Duo's hand brushed his, and it was both a question ("Are you all right?") and a prompt ("Say something."), neither of which he could really ignore. Like he could ignore the American for very long anyway... "Pleased to meet you," he finally choked out, half-remembered manners lessons asserting themselves.
He felt more than heard Duo heave out a heavy sigh. When he half-glanced over out of the corner of his eye, though, a huge smile -- almost definitely fake, as much as Duo ever lied about anything -- was plastered across his face. The sigh probably came from his proving yet again that he had the social skills of a Mobile Doll, and the smile most likely meant Duo was about to take matters into his own hands. A gregarious "And so am I," complete with a half-step forward and friendly extended hand, confirmed his theory. Sometimes predicting Duo wasn't as hard as it may at first seem, if one knew the man as long as he had. "Duo Maxwell."
That smile was designed, he'd long decided, to put people on their ease. It seemed to be doing its job in spades on Ririna's new friend. A faint flush stained her cheeks, and a nervous grin covered her lips -- and somehow the thought occurred that this might be how he looked when Duo flirted with him. "M-my name's Usagi." Her expression grew into a thousand kilowatt smile that threatened to bowl him over.
Somehow, in some deep, hidden part of himself, maybe even perhaps the part responsible for these dreams, something told him he was in trouble if -- no, when
, it provided -- they ever ganged up on him.
* * *
"I've missed you, Hiiro."
He was only half-listening to whatever Ririna was talking about. It was late, it had been a strange day, he was tired -- and he was accepting that as why he felt like his mind was straying into unfamiliar territory. It was stupid to worry about his partner now, with the wars over, but he was far from comfortable with this strange new situation they'd found themselves caught in. And Duo was alone in the next room with the so-called angel he'd been seeing his dreams as of late. At least Duo could defend himself if the situation ended up calling for it -- and at least he lacked Quatre's odd qualms about hitting a female. If something happened, Duo was much better equipped to handle it than Ririna and her bodyguards, Preventers though they might be. There was really no reason at all to worry. None whatsoever. So why was he still... concerned?
At the faint distress he could pick up in Ririna's voice, he redirected his attentions back from his tired thoughts to the Vice-Foreign Minister. "What?"
"Have you heard a word I said?" Time spent around Duo allowed him to hear the teasing in her voice when only a year ago he would have taken her words literally, and so he waited till she decided to continue speaking. "It just seems strange, all these odd things happening lately."
This time alarms went off in his mind, and for a long second, all he could think was 'Nothing more weird. Please, no more weird. The last thing either Duo or I need is more weird.'
"What kind of odd things?"
"See? I knew you weren't listening." But she was smiling and continuing to speak without any further joking. "It's strange -- I know I keep saying that, but it's the best word for the situation. In the last few weeks, things have been happening. Really, really odd things, and they've all been since I brought Usagi home."
In the last few weeks? So, perhaps, right around the same time he'd started dreaming and Duo had started moving things with his mind? "Ririna, what exactly has been happening?" To his own ears, his voice sounded nervous, maybe even stressed; something gave him the distinct feeling that he sounded absolutely normal to anyone listening.
She glanced to the side, staring out the window at the storm still raging beyond the glass. "It's hard to put into words. Things... happen
around Usagi, things that I can't explain. Like earlier, I was worried about the two of you out there in this mess, and I accidentally said that I wished you were here already, and then you were here. People keep making these idle wishes around her -- and they keep coming true!" She'd begun her words calmly and rationally enough, but by the end, she was nearly shrieking, like it was all catching up with her. Finally she took a deep breath and began again. "Usagi is a dear friend, but Hiiro, this is just unnerving."
Suddenly he had the very distinct wish that he was with Duo and the so-called angel, Usagi. He had no idea what to say to his friend right now. What did one normally say in situations like this? Not 'situations like this' with the odd occurrences of course, but 'situations like this' with an upset friend. Surely there had to be something. "Duo and I will figure out what's going on. That's why we came here." Maybe that would be good enough for now.
"You heard about all this?" Well, at least it was good enough to distract her from the previous topic.
He shrugged and hedged out a "We knew something was going on here." It was close enough to the truth that even Duo might have said it..
"It couldn't have just been a social visit, could it?" There was uncharacteristic bitterness in her voice, not a lot, but enough to snag his attention, enough to make him notice it. "You can't come to see me unless there's trouble. I wish--"
He wasn't too sure on the range of this Usagi's abilities -- if that was indeed what they were, since they matched the description of nothing he'd ever heard of before, even with all the research he'd been doing the last few weeks -- but it was better to be safe than sorry, especially in a case like this. He leaned forward quickly and put a silencing hand over her mouth. Less than a second later, her hand covered his, apparently reaching the same conclusion, if the wide-eyed panic on her face was any indication. "You probably shouldn't do that, Ririna, if wishes do
tend to come true around this girl."
She nodded enthusiastically and drew their hands away from her mouth before speaking. "I know, Hiiro. Believe me, I know." She sighed. "But it's like that story, with the monkey's paw. You just have to keep making wishes, and so few of them turn out right. I might have just as easily accidentally wished you and Duo to Siberia as to here." She was still a bit hysterical then, but maybe she'd wind down soon. He didn't think shaking her till she snapped out of it would go over well. "I'm afraid I won't be able to stop myself from wishing one of these days. Do you--"
Abruptly she cut herself off, and he frowned. "Do I what?"
She was hesitantly silent for several long minutes. "Is there any way you and Duo can take her with you when you leave again?" At least she accepted that they were leaving this time. There wouldn't be a scene as there might have been years ago. But what was she thinking with this? "It's not fair of me to use Usagi like this. It's not fair of me to ask you to do what I can't either, but there's not way around it that I can see. If anyone can resist this, it's you, Hiiro."
The faith she had in him was touching and it worked into their plans ideally, maybe better than he'd dared hope, but...
* * *
So maybe the Hiiro in the dreams his
Hiiro kept having had the right idea, thinking of this girl as an angel. She certainly fit the classical definition of one, as well as having the temperament generally assigned to celestial beings. She was all smiles and honest joy, though something told him it was at least in part due to having someone other than just Ririna pay attention to her.
If there was an evil bone in her body, he'd give up flirting with Hiiro for a month. Okay, no, not a month. Maybe a week. Two days might be a more believable span, but still... Okay, maybe she wasn't bad, just going on a gut feeling, but that didn't mean her talent -- or whatever about her had grabbed the attention of Hiiro's abilities -- wasn't dangerous. It also didn't mean that people couldn't use her for their own purposes, if she had a talent or not; even he could see just how potent a figurehead she could be, maybe even more so than Ririna. She was beautiful, radiated purity -- and best of all, she had no idea who she was. The possibilities were, well, in a word, sickening.
And on a completely different note, he didn't think he knew anyone, male or female, who blushed as prettily. Hiiro might flush more often and more easily, and he adored that about the man, but he'd yet to make it look nearly this adorable. Even better, no matter what he may say that might turn her face whatever shade of red, she had ready either a quick rejoinder or a smiling laugh.
He had no way of know what -- if anything -- Ririna might have told her about the war, since it was easy to tell she didn't remember it ('Was she even in this century for it?'
, his mind questioned, and right now, he had no answer). Therefore, he made sure not to mention it directly, but instead work his stories around it, maybe embellishing things here and there to make for a better story, but let it not be said that he'd lied to make a pretty girl laugh, because he hadn't. Enough time spent trying to coax a smile out of his taciturn partner had made spinning war stories more humorously easier, and getting Usagi to laugh at the discovery of a decapitated and stripped-bare Shinigami was definitely an amusing prospect for him as well.
How were they going to breach the subject of her coming with them -- or at least sticking with them long enough to figure out what about her was so important to these dreams Hiiro kept having -- was going to be an interesting thing to figure out. History wasn't exactly his strongest subject, but he was pretty sure even people in the late twentieth century weren't trusting enough to go off with a couple of strangers, even if they were friends of a friend of hers. And kidnapping wasn't a good idea: for one, it had been years since he'd had to kidnap someone, so he might be a bit rusty; and for a second, there was always the possibility that her abilities -- if she indeed had
any, and this wasn't just some fluke... not that Hiiro had flukes -- might be hazardous to his continued lifespan.
It was somewhat telling that, as the door opened to readmit a somber-looking Hiiro and Ririna, Usagi's laughter took a moment to peter out: she was self-conscious, at least a bit, then. And the smile faded from her face as the silence stretched. Of course, then again, he could feel his own doing the same.
Ririna finally broke the tableau with a heavy sigh. "Usagi, we need to talk."
posted by Apollymi @ 9:39 PM
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Fortis - Chapter One
Word Count: 883
Working an eight-hour a night, five nights a week job to pay the bills never really leaves enough time to do the real job, I muse to myself as I nurse my third double-expresso caramel coffee of the day; I'm trying to cut back, but in all honesty, I'm a caffeine addict. Since I stumbled downstairs around noon from my loft above the store and grabbed a muffin and my first drink of the day from Barton's across the street in time to open by one, it's been nonstop: take a sip, read a page, take a sip, read a page, take a sip, turn the page, repeat. Hell, today's been duller than usual as my days go. I mean, no knife fights in the streets, no one using 'the weird guy's store' (that would be mine, mind you) to hide out from the cops/the person trying to kill them, and of course, no customers.
If I ever get that Christmas bonus from the bagging, I'm so
going to have to pay off my tab. Hey, maybe if there's a little left over, I can even send Howie the loudest Hawaiian shirt I can turn up; that's always a hoot. Planning what to do with that bonus is never fun, but at least this way I don't end up overextending myself... again. So, first off, pay my Barton's tab; second, buy Howie a new shirt; and third, if anything is left over after all that, see about springing for myself a meal bigger than the Value Menu at McDonalds.
I fucking hate being broke. Not that I think anyone sits around and says, "Gee, I can't wait to have no money whatsoever and have to rely on my neighbors' good will and long tab sheets.' Or in Chang's case, those elusive discounts and sales that somehow manage to get my supplies down into the range of what I have in my pockets. You know, I might object to being the neighborhood charity case if I weren't trying to figure out a way to get someone to pay to have my heat cut back on. Even my resident gargoyle as fled in search of warmer climes and they can barely feel the cold!
So let's review the situation: two days till Christmas; no clients; no heat; no clients; Shinigami the gargoyle gone to stay with his sister Nataku because Chang can afford heat; no clients; no Christmas bonus yet; and, oh yeah, no clients. No prospects of any anytime soon either; Yule is always my slowest season, which is really saying something because business is always slow. One of these Yules, I'm going to admit defeat. Not this year, though, not even if I get another of those 'Close the shop and go to the clinic before you get pneumonia' calls from the Oracle of New York again. Though, believe me, it's not fun being told just how many things he missed because I came down with an overblown case of the sniffles.
I lift my cup for another sip, only to realize it's empty. Damn, who'd have thought mystic rebellions in Han Dynasty China would have been stirring enough to finish the drink this quickly. Chang drops me off the weirdest reading material, you know. Last week it was the role of magic in Asian martial arts. It almost makes up for the fact that my only burglary system - Shinigami - is at his place.
Of course, once I realize my source of liquid warmth is gone, the cold just comes rushing in twice as strong as before. "The mystic hub of North American just had
to be New York, didn't it? It couldn't be some place sunny and warm, like Miami or, hey, maybe even L.A.," I have to complain to myself with a smirk as I go grab another jacket from the backroom.
"Do you always talk to yourself?"
I'd like to say I'd heard him come in, but I'd be lying and I would always rather avoid that. The front door is the only thing quiet in this place, especially since Shinigami ate the bell I'd installed over it. That little incident would be why I learned the hard way not to let gargoyles run out of their food of choice, which in Shinigami's case would be upholstery and carpet.
Still, even without a door bell, I should have heard him come in. It's not like Shinigami left a stitch of carpet to block out the sound of footsteps, and I was only gone a few minutes. He's... not exactly dressed like someone who tends to be stealthy, but appearances can be deceiving. There has to be plenty of suits who have good reason to be quiet. Take this guy, Zechs, who hangs out over at Barton's for example: he's an utter suit, but he's got a psycho sister who makes harpies seem sane, so he sneaks around like a damn ninja.
Okay, maybe I'm babbling a bit (It happens when I get nervous), but damn, it's hard not to when you're faced with the most gorgeous thing on two legs. Lean, not too tall, vaguely Oriental (I'm guessing Japanese) features, all in one neat package and tied off with a bow of bright blue eyes. Wow. Just... wow.
posted by Apollymi @ 7:57 AM