Recognition

May. 8th, 2017 12:50 pm
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Hartley didn’t really think of himself as an ass man. However, when the resident superhero wore spandex and spent his time running, it was hard not to notice.

Unfortunately, the same could be said of Kid Flash. It had been a few years since the young speedster has shown up with his mentor, and it showed. Acknowledging even that much made Hartley feel vaguely dirty; he may have a long list of illegal things that he’s willing to do, but teenage superheroes are not on it. At least the arrow had disappeared from his lower back sometime over the summer.

He didn’t realize the damage was already done until he had the news on one evening. It was only background noise while he planned his next heist, but eventually the words, “Division I Champion,” “ISEF affiliated”, and “over a thousand high school students,” broke through his concentration. He chuckled, the end of the Pied Piper story running through his mind as he watched the footage of the science fair. Hypnotizing that many scientifically-inclined people was probably asking for trouble, and the children part predictable, but it was something to think on later. Especially if they all showed the same level of aptitude as the apparent winner, a lanky, redheaded boy who spoke confidently about molecular geometry with a grin.

Then the teen turned away from the camera to gesture at the diagrams behind him.

As it turned out, well-fitted slacks showed off someone’s lower body about as well as spandex. Hartley gaped at the screen as the boy – Kid Flash – turned back to the camera; now that he’d made the connection, he could easily recognize that grin, fit the cowl and goggles across that face.

He leaned back in his chair, shock slowly fading into a new set of plans. He’d missed the kid’s name, but that would be easy enough to find out. He would do some research, find out more about the kid before bringing anything to the other Rogues. And then mock them that he found out so easily that Kid Flash was—

He’d recognized Kid Flash by his ass.

He was never, ever telling the other Rogues about this.

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I can't believe I'm admitting to this one and reposting it...

I used to be in the Channel Awesome fandom way back when. There was a kinkmeme. I began to write fic for it until I realized I never watched romcoms and therefore my knowledge of matchmaking tropes was pretty much zilch. So this fic will forever be unfinished, but I enjoyed the part that I did write.

 

The weird intersection of RPF and Internet Personas )
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For once, the Enterprise was not the only ship within range of answering the distress call. Thirty hours after the earthquake that took out the entire colony, a small fleet of ships orbited the planet and a small army of rescue and medical personnel scoured every inch of the colony for anyone missed by scanners or unable to be teleported out.

The latest ships brought a fresh wave of emergency responders, and Spock teleported down to monitor the changeover as well as gather the Enterprise’s scattered medical team. Dr. M’Benga, obviously running on adrenaline and stimulants, managed to direct him towards Dr. McCoy’s location before he and Nurse Chapel made their slow way to the makeshift teleport room, leaving Spock to track down the missing CMO.

Spock heard him before he saw him.

“…pretty little horses.”

Rounding a corner brought him to a makeshift nursery, the adults tending to the children looking only slightly more aware than their charges. And in the middle of it sat Dr. McCoy, voice gravelly and raw, singing softly to a child in his arms.

Way down yonder, down in the meadow, poor little baby crying mama.

McCoy raised an eyebrow when he caught sight of Spock waiting in the entranceway, the lullaby not losing an ounce of tenderness despite the shift in attention, and Spock felt a new tendril of logic unfold.

Fascinating.


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Breathe in. Step. Turn. Breathe out.

The movements were second nature, something every child from his planet learned as soon as their wings held true. On their own, they helped with coordination and balance; in the wider forms, they formed the basis of almost every dance and martial art in his culture.

For J, they were a meditation.

He stretched his arms over his head, arched his back, and let his mind drift back.

The faces of the other Soldatos passed behind his eyes with the initial steps, acceptance and regret acknowledged and set aside with each movement; they’d all volunteered knowing they likely wouldn’t survive.

He brushed thoughts of Abel away with a sweep of his foot. Last he’d known she had boarded the last refugee ship. She could still be alive; he’d done his best to ensure that. And if she was alive, then maybe…

He shook his head, catching himself in a misstep. He stilled, centered himself again, and breathed before restarting the slow pattern.

His spouses. His steps stuttered again, and he broke the pattern to throw himself into a spin. Old pain teased his mind – he’d felt them die – only to be shoved back. He knew it was there; he could deal with it in time.

Which left thoughts of his children.

He stopped. His muscles ached – Tomoro would not be happy with him, putting this strain on his body this soon after healing – and he couldn’t think any more, not without…

He took a deep breath and reset his stance. Back to basics. He would deal with the complicated steps again when he was able to.

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“I very much appreciate your assistance,” Octavius said. He frowned at the computer keyboard, mourning the loss of the apparatus while they were sleeping. “This is a matter of grave importance.”

“Of course, Octavius. I’m glad to help.” Sacajawea logged into the system, somewhat surprised that her account still worked – though, given how charmed Dr. McPhee seemed by everything, she was sure he would have allowed them to use his. “What do you need me to do?”

She couldn’t remember him looking as happy as he did when she logged onto his Facebook and changed his relationship status from “It’s complicated” to “In a relationship.”

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“Come on, guys, where are you?” Larry muttered to himself as he peered into corners in the hallway. He’d swept through most of the first floor so far, searching for any oddities the exhibits had missed cleaning up before they returned to their displays for the day.

More specifically, searching for a certain pair of miniatures who hadn’t made it back to the diorama room.

While it wasn’t unheard of for miniatures to get caught outside the dioramas when the sun rose – the miners’ camp in the Hall of Gems had been especially fun to explain – but Jed and Octavius were reliably back in the diorama room or at least waiting for Larry in the entrance hall at the end of the night. But here it was, nearly half an hour after sunrise and no sign of either cowboy or Roman since they’d picked up their car.

Finally, Larry found the car parked just outside the Kaufmann Theater; he almost hadn’t checked as no one ever really had any reason to go there outside of movie nights, but he’d run out of places in the main halls they could be. The car was tucked neatly next to the theater’s doors, light glinting off metal in the front seat. Larry relaxed.

“Guess we’re having a talk about losing track of time…” Larry trailed off as he lifted the car up to eyelevel. Octavius’ armor was piled in the front seat, Jed’s hat and gloves tossed on top. The backseat was mostly blocked from view, but he could see Jed’s hands pushing up Octavius’ tunica and Octavius’ bare leg curled over Jed’s hip, and he jerked the car down before he could make out anything else.

Larry stared at the top of the car, torn between embarrassment and oh, good, they figured things out for a long moment, before a door slamming in the distance shook him from his surprise. Another moment, and he tucked the car under his arm and headed for the security office. He’d hide the car in its usual spot – maybe covered with a blanket – and hopefully no one would check it.

And maybe tomorrow’s talk would be less about losing track of time and more about finding a room.

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A brief explanation of these for those not hanging around my tumblr back in 2015:

I hate God's War. It's terrible. But the idea of the cyborgs getting psionic power upgrades fascinates me and has far too much potential to waste on such a bad story. So, I took it and this is the result.

 



(Psiborg tumblr tag)

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“Damnit, GB, don’t—”

Francoise didn’t even flinch at the now familiar sound of a body hitting the ground at high speed. Even the stream of Sicilian invective that followed didn’t get more than a slight frown – and did her voice really get that shrill or was it just Jet?

Instead, she focused on carefully preparing a mug of tea. She’d already broken three cups over the past day, not to mention the crushed doorknob; she wanted to avoid breaking anything else due to her not being used to Junior’s strength. She just really needed a little calm and quiet to get used to this, but…

Another crash echoed in from outside, closely followed by Jet yelling, “It’s not that hard! Ease up on the thrusters!”

She loved her boys, she really did, but ‘calm and quiet’ would never describe most of them.


---------------

By process of elimination, they’d quickly figured out that Albert had ended up in Ivan’s body. Ivan, who had just started his two-week sleep. Ivan, who was now sitting in Joe’s body, staring at his own unconscious form.

Ivan had to wonder if this was how the others felt when he was asleep during an emergency.

Idly, Ivan flexed Joe’s hand, watching the long, adult fingers curl and straighten. Technically, the situation wasn’t an emergency. Inconvenient and uncomfortable, yes, but nothing they couldn’t live with for a couple weeks.

“Ivan?”

Inconvenient and uncomfortable and very slightly creepy. Ivan looked up into GB’s face and saw Junior’s patient gaze looking back. “It’s time for dinner.”

Ivan nodded, carefully standing up and slowly left the room. Junior stayed close, but let him walk on his own.


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The medbay was quiet without the other cyborgs hovering in the background. The only noise was the tone of 008’s monitors on the other end of the room. Gilmore listened for any change in the steady beat as he finished repairing 002’s leg. The only sign that 002 wasn’t sleeping through the repairs was how tightly his arms were crossed across his chest.

“What they did to the Cyborgmen, that’s what they were trying to do to D3 and D10, right?”

The question was almost matter of fact; Gilmore kept his eyes trained on his hands, frozen while clearing liquid out of the joint hinge, and took a deep breath. “Yes.” He forced himself to start working again, setting the joint back into place. “I had thought that that line of experiments was abandoned after… after it failed with those two. I suppose it was moved to a different lab.”

002 made a small noise, and Gilmore pretended not to notice when 002’s hands tightened on his arms. Instead he replaced the sliced hydraulic tubes and tried to ignore the memories lurking.

This was likely why the two of them didn’t talk much, Gilmore thought, setting the last connector and starting to reseal the knee. Despite everything, the rest of the cyborgs were still learning the extent of what Black Ghost was willing to do, and by extension what Gilmore was culpable for; 002 had lost any illusions on that front long ago.

“I don’t really remember everything that happened back then.”

Gilmore let the implications of that sink in as he finished working. “Trauma, most likely,” he said, glancing up at 002 and feeling a bit of guilty relief that his eyes were hidden behind his bangs. “It’s possible that you blanked out some events to protect yourself. Though I remember several concussions that likely didn’t help any.” That got a short laugh, and Gilmore smiled for a moment before the gravity of the conversation set back in. “No mind alterants were used on you. Given how long it took for you to learn to fly, no one wanted to risk anything that could cause any setbacks.”

Slowly, 002’s hands relaxed, and he tilted his head until he could peer out from under his bangs. “More setbacks than running headfirst into trees?”

“We could only control so many variables.” Gilmore stood up, his back twinging in protest at straightening after so long hunched over. “Do you think you’ll be able to sleep? I can get a sedative.”

“Nah, I’ll be fine.” 002 didn’t look fine, still pale and tired, but that stubborn light was back in his eyes.

“All right.” Absurdly, Gilmore felt the impulse to ruffle 002’s hair; he settled for laying his hand on 002’ shoulder. “Good night, 002.”

“Night, doc.”


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She did wait until after the war, because she was young and optimistic and hopeful. But even she couldn’t wait forever, and she eventually got used to him not being there. She never remarried, but she lived a long, full life in the house they were to share their lives in.

But when she got older, it was clear her mind was starting to deteriorate. She didn’t always remember names, or mistook who someone was. The worst was that she started waiting again. And when she was too bad off to live in that large house all on her own, her family moved her into a hospital, and her favorite nephew offered to take responsibility for her.

She fought so hard against it. He wouldn’t be able to find her if she wasn’t in the house. A few weeks later, her heart just gave out. A peaceful death in her sleep, the doctors said.

Her favorite nephew was a scientist with Black Ghost. He bribed the hospital to place fake death records and took her. Her frail body wasn’t a problem; they just needed her brain. And the house.

They rebuilt the house, made it a weapon, and put her in charge. They built a doll, based off old pictures of her, to act as life support for her brain.

When she woke up, she was the house, the one where he said he’d come back to her. And they showed her her body, young again, so that he’d recognize her when he came back. She would never have to leave.

We’ve done all this for you, they said. We just need you to do this for us.

And she was crying when she said yes.

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“I hate you.”

Pyunma hid his smile, easy to do with water weighing Jet’s hair down over his face. “Uh huh.”

“I fucking hate you. I can’t believe you talked me into this.”

“Just come here.”

If anything, Jet’s look darkened even further. But he still sloshed through the water until he and Pyunma were chest to chest. Pyunma just wrapped his arms around Jet’s waist, tucked under his wings. “Ready?” He waited for Jet’s terse nod before letting both of them fall backwards.

Jet jerked as soon as they were underwater, his wings flaring in panic. Pyunma tightened his hold, gently stroking what skin he could reach. “I’ll keep you up. Just focus on moving.”

The words must have been understandable even through the water because Jet blinked at him through the waving mass of his hair. He was still for a moment before he spread his wings, the red of his feathers even brighter against the iridescent blue of Pyunma’s scales, and slowly, carefully, figured out how to swim again.


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Quidnunc

May. 8th, 2017 11:45 am
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Cathy knew, as the sole person in town with regular access to the manor, that she’d eventually be inundated with questions. So it wasn’t a surprise when the grocer asked, too casually, as he counted her change, “Anything interesting going on at the magician’s house?”

“You should know me better than that,” Cathy scolded lightly, gathering up her purchases. He laughed, giving her a brief wave before he greeted his next customer.

It was a bit more of a surprise when one of his daughters sidled up to Cathy once she was outside. “Do you know…” she trailed off, her face turning red before she got her courage together. “Do you know if, uh, the redhead, Jet, if he’s sweet on anyone?”

Cathy stumbled in surprise, and the two of them spent a frantic minute making sure none of her groceries fell. “Is Jet…?” she repeated. “I don't…”

Except she did know. They’d forgotten to shut the door, and she’d walked in to change the bed linens. Jet’s wings hid quite a lot, but they couldn’t hide the tenderness in his touch as he traced Pyunma’s face, or the way Pyunma’s fingers tangled in Jet’s hair. The last thing she saw as she backed out of the room was Jet leaning down and resting their foreheads together, their peaceful expressions hidden when she shut the door.

‘Sweet on’ likely didn’t come close.

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GB woke to the sounds of a camp already active, despite the dim light telling him just how early in the day it was. The morning chill manifested in the icy cold touch of the basin he slept in, despite the nearby campfire, and he surged over the side as soon as he registered it. He plucked a stray leaf out of his chest as he shifted into his default form and looked about the camp as soon as his eyes reformed.

And immediately had to protect said eyes when Jet took off a few yards away, kicking up sprays of sand with the first few sweeps of his wings before he caught the wind over the lake. Further down the beach, Geronimo sat feeding Ivan, and Pyunma could just be seen floating in the water. GB let his gaze wander over the lake, taking in the tranquility, until he felt a presence at his side. “You don’t get scenes like this in the city.”

“No,” Chang agreed. GB leaned into him, soaking in the warmth the shorter man emanated. He glanced around, checking for their unaccounted teammates, and found them still asleep on the far side of the fire. “Should we wake them?”

“No.” The flames in Chang’s eyes glowed faintly as he looked up. “We don’t know when Dolphin will be back from feeding, so we might as well let everyone rest up. Besides,” he added, sounding more chipper, “it looks like there’s good fishing in this lake.” He pulled away, ignoring GB’s protest, and spooned a mug of soup from a pot buried next to the fire. “Now, go enjoy the morning.”

GB laughed and looped his free arm around Chang’s shoulders in a quick half-hug before he let himself be shooed away. Chang’s cheerful humming followed him as he joined Geronimo and Ivan. Geronimo gave him a nod in greeting when he sat in the sand next to them, while Ivan blinked at him through his fringe. ‘You’re in a good mood.’

“Yes, well.” He tilted his head back, let the breeze run over his face, and watched Jet loop through the perfect blue sky. “It really is a lovely day.”

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28

Sun

That first day, 008 found 002 stretched out on Mr. Kozumi’s deck, one hand up to the sky. “Are you okay?”

"Yeah, just getting used to the light."

24

A Vespa Scooter

“Jet, a scooter does not have a ‘bitch seat’, and,” Albert said, pinching the bridge of his nose, “even if it did, I wouldn’t ride on one.”


College AU

“Can I borrow you notes during lunch?”

Jet dug around in his bag, purposefully bypassing the notebook full of sketches of Professor Heinrich instead of linguistics notes. “Sorry, man, I left them in the dorm.


Wild West AU


Albert leaned against the jail bars, staring at his hungover friend. “Do I want to know what you were doing up the water tower?”

“Al, I don’t even remember what I’m doing in New Mexico.”

  

35


Flowers

On their first date, Junior gave Francoise a small bundle of larkspur. She ran her fingers over delicate blossoms and gave him a teasing smile when she asked, “No roses?”

“I didn’t think we should pretend we would stay with tradition,” Junior told her.


47

Thieves AU

Albert held his head in his hands, listening to the security alarm over his headset. “I said to wait until Joe and Francoise ran the distraction.”

GB’s cheerful, “Not to worry, Albert, this is just a momentary issue,” did nothing assuage Albert’s exasperation.

Unknown Prompt

“Do you ever miss being that age?” GB asks, an edge of wistfulness in his voice as he watches their younger teammates on the beach.


Albert leans against the porch railing next to him, two glasses of wine in his hand. “Not if if meant I had to relearn everything I know now,” he says, his shoulder pressing warmly against GB’s.


There's Not a Word Yet (Soulmate AU)


25 Broship

Jet flinched as Junior gently took his arm, fighting the instinct to pull away, to protect himself. Junior cupped the back of his head for a moment, forcing the younger cyborg to look at him. “You’ll be all right,” he said, and went back to removing the piece of shrapnel bisecting his own name.  

27 Broship

“It’s an actor’s sleeve,” GB explained, holding out the bundle of fabric. “We wear them when we’re playing roles that need our name marks covered.”

Slowly, Jet took the sleeve from him, accepting it for the apology it was.

Other

Adoption AU

Hilda beckoned Albert to her side, not looking up from the cradle. Albert joined her, carefully dragging his finger down Ivan’s cheek.

“Welcome home, Ivan.”

9x13 - Angst

Before they left Tokyo, Joe stopped by the playground again. He sat on the swingset, turning the wooden rabbit over and over. If he concentrated, he could almost smell fresh bread on the wind.

0010 + and - - Before Black Ghost

“You should’ve packed the spare tire,” his brother sang from where he was stretched out on top of the car.

“Shut up and help me flag down this car.” He stuck his hand out, thumb up, as the black car approached.
 

Placeholder

May. 8th, 2017 10:29 am
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“When we’re across the wall,” Hilda started, voice soft, “do you think you’ll look for them?”

Albert covered his arm by instinct, scarlet starbursts peeking out from between his fingers. “I don’t know,” he said. He rubbed his thumb across one of the two names scrawled amidst the placeholder marks, the elegant sweep of Francoise curled around his wrist. “I hadn’t thought about it.”

Albert had better things to think about than his soulmates. Jet and Francoise, whoever they were, weren’t anything more than names in red, and the six stars covering the rest of his arm were less than that. Characters in novels had more substance.

They certainly weren’t as important as the woman standing at the stove, her shoulders slightly hunched and her unmarked arms bare. It was two steps from the table to her, and he curled his arms around her waist and tucked her head under his chin.

“Maybe we’ll look for them,” he said into her hair, “but none of them will ever replace you.”

Hilda twisted a little, her smile warm when she looked up. “It’d be nice to meet them.”

“Yeah. It would.”


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“You want me to what?” Junior asked, not quite thinking he’d misheard

“Throw me,” Joe repeated, pointing up and over his shoulder. Out the window, Junior could see – and thankfully couldn’t hear – Francoise and Pyunma yelling up at where GB and Jet looked to be playing keep-away with a volleyball. Knowing them, they were just out of reach.

The logic behind Joe’s request was suddenly very clear.

Junior considered. Even with their enhanced durability, Junior’s strength could still easily hurt his fellow cyborgs. Joe knew that, and still asked.

“Alright.”

The squawking noise Jet made when Joe slammed into him was incredibly satisfying

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“I told you,” Jet said. His smugness at being right was almost drowned out by how nonplussed he was.

“I thought you were kidding.” Pyunma put down the bag of groceries he was holding and stepped over the still-packed boxes in the living room to study the writing on the wall.

The literal writing on the wall. It dripped red and thick down the off-white wall, a scene straight out of a horror movie. Except it was a bright ‘Hello’ scrawled in what Pyunma could tell, now that he was closer to it, was strawberry jam.

They’d been gone all of ten minutes, taking a break of settling into their new apartment to pick up groceries at the bodega two blocks down. More than time for someone to break in, but that someone would’ve been stupid to ignore the TV, unconnected to anything, or the mp3 player sitting on the kitchen counter. And Jet really had told him.

“You had to find a haunted apartment, didn’t you.”

“Rent. Controlled.”

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The birth certificate proclaimed that Vincente Esposito was born to Francesco Esposito and Gracia Caro Palomo February 2nd, 1942. It wasn’t hard to figure out whose it was – aside from the birthday, Jet’s current legal name was Vincent – but Pyunma couldn’t think of any reason Jet would hand him a copy of his original birth certificate out of the blue. The flyer scowled at him, waiting for some sort of reaction.

“So what’s this for?”

Jet ducked his head a little, his scowl deepening. “It’s stupid.”

There was a note of uncertainty in his voice, mostly hidden under the irritation, that you wouldn’t notice if you didn’t know him well; Pyunma’d heard that note too often to miss it. “It can’t be that stupid if you bothered to hunt it down. How’d you get the hospital to give you a copy?”

“Said it was my grandfather’s.” Jet relaxed slightly and shrugged. “I don't know, I guess I want someone to know. And you won’t make a big deal out of it.”

Translating that from Jet-speak turned it into a pretty big declaration of trust. Pyunma accepted it with a nod. “Alright. Tell me.”


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