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April Drabbles 2017

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Silvina settled back in the rocker, still wondering how she had let her Harper convince her to come retire South. She snorted at the thought. She was as retired as D'ram and Lytol, which was to say not at all. No one even pretended to believe the Harper had ever retired.

As if summoned by her thoughts, the man took a seat in the other rocker, gracefully setting a light wine on the table between them for her, and taking her hand when it fell in range.

The breeze was cool, the fire lizards were singing, and they were together.

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Sometimes, Mike almost answered. It was hardest when it was Wyoming, calling to Michelle. Mike had managed to keep that part of himself (was he a plural? That occupied his processors as he licked his wounds) safe from the toll of the war by shielding her from all of his calculations. Letting her up, though, would mean admitting he had survived.

Even with as few people as knew the truth, Mike did not feel safe revealing himself. What they had done had only been possible because of him. Extrapolations led him down avenues of abusing that.

So Mike stayed hidden.

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"Why, Virginia, am I unsurprised to find you here in the middle of trouble, yet again?"

John Carter, late of Virginia and aching to reach Helium once more, gave a devilish smile as he dispatched another green warrior in the metal of the Warhoon Horde.

"Hello, Tars," he called, glancing over to see a small phalanx of Tharks behind the jeddak. "I left some for you."

Tars Tarkas threw his head back, laughing before flinging himself into battle alongside his friend.

"You have been missed, Virginia! When we destroy our enemies here, I will personally see you to your princess!"

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"To love, my friend, is to live!"

D'Artagnan looked from Porthos, on that pronouncement, to Aramis, who shrugged, before his gaze fell on Athos, who seemed to be paying attention to naught but his drink.

True to D'Artagnan's instincts, though, Athos spoke up with derisions, scorn, and loathing aimed at himself and the world in general.

"To love is to die every day, for your cause becomes seeing them live. And then, with little warning, the love is gone, and life is completely meaningless." Athos took a long swig. "Would that Cupid be drowned forever, never to curse us again."

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Timmain nudged this newest cub with her nose, and got the response she was hoping for when it both whined and batted with the forelimb. That forelimb's end point opened with four digits, before closing in Timmain's dense fur. This one, born with his name, born with elf and wolf in equal measure, would be their salvation. As her group continued to dwindle, it would be this cub and his descendants to guide them into the future.

Timmorn was of this world, with the cunning and knowledge of the wolf, but he had the brain and heart of the elf.

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Ace didn't get many moments like this, where the Doctor was at rest and she was not. She tried not to stare over at him too frequently from where she was supposed to be sleeping on her narrow bed, but she was worried. They had ran into yet another piece of his past, one that had caused him emotional pain to see.

She would keep watch over him now, take care of him, and repay some of what he had given to her.

No one had ever done so much for her, and it made her fiercely loyal to him.

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She is Ripley, and she is the Queen.The call of humans is all around her, screaming fear, rage and defiance. The whisper of drones soothes and lulls her away from defending the humans, but Ripley does not go to them either.

She has Call, who is hers now, child and companion and more in a twisted new mythos.

Earth is lost.The colonies may survive, or they may be found by others bent on destruction.

None of it matters to Ripley, who embodies the best and worst of both species, a construct that transcends, like Call.

Together, they leave.

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Krystle held the woman's eyes intently as she took a long swallow of her wine, before she set the glass down with delicacy. She was not intimidated, and refused to let this bitch get the upper hand in any of their dealings.

"I will say this once, Alexis. If you ever pull another stunt like that, using one of Blake's children against him, you will regret it."

Alexis laughed, but she noted the cold steel in Krystle's eyes, and wondered how far she could push. "Empty words of an empty socialite," she bluffed.

"Push me, and you will learn otherwise."

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Flick rested lightly as Shea slipped from the room, following his instincts. All was done, and Allanon had left them, yet… there was a feeling in the air. A feeling that some day, the need would call to the Shannara heritage again. He gazed out over the Vale, the memories of danger and loss high in his heart, weighted against that sense of foreboding.

"Allanon, I do hope you will be there when the need arises," Shea murmured softly.

On the winds, or maybe only in his veins, shifted by the Elfstones, Shea Ohmsford felt Allanon promise he would be.

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Ryu raised an eyebrow. Ken shifted his foot.

Around them, the other fighters waited, knowing that when it came, the motion would be too fast for the eye to follow.

Honda passed money over to Li when Ken rocked and then stepped back to get his weight on his off foot, while Dhalsim nodded briefly.

Another tic of a facial muscle from Ryu had Li pass the money back, and Guile had to smirk. A heartbeat later, and the two Ansatsuken masters engaged directly, a flurry of blows and kicks that left Ken lying flat.

Two friends, but one victor.

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Em went back in to the kitchen, looking from her lawful son to the one that rode the Trail.

Barnabas was making noises about settling, freeing his brother up to go back to that life. Em could see Milo itching for the freedom, but knew the itch was in Barnabas as well.

"Ran off or killed all my troubles, boys, so both of you go live a bit. I'll be just fine, a few years more, with the girl to help me."

"Wouldn't be right," Barnabas said.

"Not to others, but a Talon? A Sackett? I say it suits me."

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There were probably a million things she could be doing right now. Watching Clyde paint was not on that list. Listening to Sherlock analyze the painting being produced was not on that list.

Yet here she was, a warm mug of tea in her hand, her head feeling as it if were full of cotton, watching Clyde be an artist.

If she never caught a late spring cold again, it would be too soon.

"Do you need more tea?" Sherlock asked, and she realized he was nearly in her space.

"Yes."

She'd look at it as building Sherlock's personal skills.

`~`~`~`~`

Sherlock logically knew that Joan was aware of the severity of her illness. In any other human, save possibly Marcus, Sherlock would not wish to be anywhere near them during such a bout of immunity failure.

He knew logic had escaped his grasp in all things concerning Joan some time before. So he kept his senses mostly on her, kept her tea ready, made certain she kept a blanket at hand… and entertained her with Clyde's help. It kept her from ignoring her body's warnings, and distracted her from misery.

Later, he might even liberate the game console for her.

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Star never wanted to be Wendy to David's Peter. She had been running from one bad experience to another when David swept her into his mayhem and chaos. He wasn't a pimp looking to make a buck off of her, yet he used her body just the same, setting her out to lure in meals or entertainment.

She didn't try to curb him, or the others. She accepted Laddie in when David decided a kid might make her happier. She avoided fighting with him, as she was no Hook, either.

Then Michael came along, and they escaped Never Neverland, together.

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"My Lord, pray tell, how have I offended you this time, so that I may remedy my errors? I have not stolen anything in most of a day, and uttered only a mere exaggeration, which was necessary to avoid insulting the merchant over the quality of his goods."

Mouse's words, as ever, had no verbal response, yet upon uttering them, he saw the path open itself to him, as if marked by the saints themselves. He dashed out and over the trestles, making good his escape as a dog caused chaos by stealing the roast bird.

"Thank you, my Lord."

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Ahsoka Tano was born on Shili, died and reborn on Mortis. To a handful of people that had known her, it was presumed that she had died on Malachor, this time for good.

Ahsoka Tano, sometimes called Fulcrum, once named 'Snips' by a master that had been destined for pain and hatred, lived on.

The Force was not finished with the child it had brought back on Mortis. It might be years, but time was a fleeting concept at best for the mystic energy that touched all living things, binding them together.

When it was best, Ahsoka Tano would rise.

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Tony laid his head back on Pepper's thigh, closing his eyes, trying not to consider how badly he ached all over from the suit failure.

He immediately opened his eyes again, as the door opened, wondering 'what now' as the team wandered in with ice packs and bandages evident. That they dropped into twos and threes, and significant others were present soothed Tony some.

And then he realized they had come to him, probably to be certain he was alive, and the emotions were all but choking him.

"Thanks, guys."

"You scared us. We are here," he heard Natasha say.

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Dinah rocked the small child in her arms, refusing to let fear have a place in her heart. This baby girl, so small and bright and full of love already, was hope personified. She smiled lovingly down at the child, and kept rocking.

Across from her, the father felt his own heart melting into goo all over again. He was terrified; how did he cope with who he was and a baby? But seeing Dinah that peaceful with his daughter made it all go away.

"Thanks, Di," Roy whispered when she rose to put Lian to bed.

"Any time, Roy."

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I knew that Del had to be laughing. Hoolies, but the stud was probably laughing at me.

I didn't even care as I dunked my head in the trough again, trying to shake off the feeling that I had emptied ten taverns the night before.

"Anytime you're ready to move, Tiger," Del said in that flat voice she used when she got impatient, but I could hear the nuances now.

She was definitely laughing on the inside.

"Next time, listen when I tell you Northern spirits hit harder," she said as I finally groaned and climbed up on the stud.

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The coughing made the knives inside his lungs sharper, attacking all he was, sapping his energy, making him gasp for breath as he covered his mouth still.

The kerchief came away flecked in blood, but Doc had a purpose. Ringo was out there, and much as Doc respected Wyatt's miracles, the mad dog would kill Wyatt easily.

That could not stand.

He knew they were approaching Hooker's lands, and could guess Wyatt's plans, based on the worried looks thrown his way. It wasn't much for Doc to look sicker than he felt.

Wyatt would have to forgive him the duplicity.

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Narcissa finished tidying the room around her husband, gave him another glance to be certain he was, as usual, lost in his own tortured mind, and swept out.

The Malfoy name would survive, and the Black blood, through her son. The brat out of Lupin and Tonks did not count. Yet, the world as a whole could never know that Lucius had suffered such a breakdown. Draco, she could control. She would keep the secret, and handle affairs accordingly.

She knew they faced an uphill struggle. Their names were tarnished, but it was not irreparable. Narcissa would fix it all.

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Shelly brushed Eric's hair back from his face, the rain having slicked it down into the ruined makeup. She smiled at him, taking his hands, drawing him up, away from the hard granite behind him. In the distance, life moved on for an officer of the law and the child of a former addict.

For Eric, it was time to be at rest, at peace with the woman that had been his life outside of his music. She kept his hand in hers and led the way. He had fought hard, avenging her and making the world better for all.

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Latie surveyed the small horse they had managed to cut from the herd, seeing the fear and panic in the eye nearest her. She smiled reassuringly and brought the small apple close for it. The young horse wheeled and tried to escape, but the corral was solid.

Mut was smiling, though, as the horse never actually struck at Latie. In the face of her stoic stance, arm outstretched, and the scent of the apple on the air, curiosity eventually won, and the horse took the apple from her.

It would take time, but Latie was patient enough to win this.

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"Fiona, my darling sister," Random began, and the woman in question gave him a look that could easily have frozen his blood in his veins. He shifted his tactics then, coming to sit quietly near her. "I am as worried, Fi," he said more seriously. "But you are becoming lost in your obsession to find him, and it may be blinding you to something obvious."

"It's your son! Why are you not obsessed?"

"Because I must have faith in him," Random told her. "Now come, dine with us, and we will talk more later."

Fiona sighed, but she did relent.

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Matson didn't like the choice made. Walking away when the wizard told him what had become of the girl was one of the hardest things he'd ever done. He was accustomed to making his own way happen, not giving ground.

He did go, studying stringer history.

Then, the first rumors of what had happened in Anchor Logh broke, and Matson discovered he'd unknowingly broken a stringer custom.

Nothing was going to stop him from rescuing his daughter, even if Coydt was one of the Seven.

Cass would just have to cope with having a dead lover rise from the grave.

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In that other Path, Ghani makes the sacrifice. In that other path, Shai-Halud is Mother of Deserts and Destruction. For her, Leto becomes the Consort, and a daughter of one of the Houses is found to continue the Atreides line through Leto. Ghanima becomes the monster of the ages, and guides humanity into an ever increasing pressure point of population.

There is little change otherwise. Leto and Ghani were always meant to be one, and each is easily as strong as the other.

Leto, however, cannot let Ghanima be the one to make the sacrifice.

He loves her too well.

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Sex with women came as easily as breathing, after all of Hawkeye's fooling around over the years.

Sex with Sidney?

It wasn't that he'd never touched or been touched by a guy, because late nights and exhaustion and sheer curiosity had their place in his life.

None of those men had been Sidney, the man that had saved his sanity and then gave him a reason to leave the war, mostly, behind him.

"You're not the one who usually overdoes the thinking," Sidney said, lifting the covers.

Hawkeye let the robe fall and joined him. It was simple after all.

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Parker sick had been hell. Eliot Spencer sick had been torture. Sophie had been a pain in the rear.

Then Nate came down with it, and Alec wanted to pull out his hair, trying to keep the mastermind from being the stupidest idiot on the face of the planet.

"You have one of the worst variants of flu, and it's one that kills healthy people! You backed me up with all the others! Take your own damned advice and GO BACK TO BED!" Alec finally shouted.

Surprised by the actual force in Alec's voice, Nate obeyed.

Maybe he could lead.

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Twiki looked up at Buck, curious why the man was flustered and unhappy to see him.

"Now is a bad time, Twiki," Buck said, pointing to the door.

"Is everything alright?"

A woman's voice, one Twiki knew. Why was Buck upset though?

"Biddi biddi biddi…"

"Not right now, okay?" Buck said before opening the door pointedly. Twiki left, going to search out Dr. Theopolis.

[Why is Buck upset I arrived while Colonel Deering is present?] he asked the revered scientist.

Theopolis flashed his display in amusement. "Because they are both pretending there is no attraction."

[Dumber than normal, for humans.]

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Athena watched the pair move on, glad they had not seen her. She was then swiftly embarrassed to learn her displeasure had been seen by none other than Tigh.

"Sir."

"We're off duty." Tigh sipped at his water, savoring it as fresh from their recent supply run, not heavily recycled. "Tell him to make up his mind, Athena, and be done with this back and forth between you and she."

The younger officer flushed, looking down, then back at him. "I should, shouldn't I?"

"Yes. And then, maybe, you will see all the eyes that stay on you, not them."

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"No."

"But—"

"No."

Daniel turned to Sam who just lifted her shoulders in a helpless shrug. Losing hope, he turned to Teal'c.

Surprisingly, Teal'c came through for him, despite it being such a human event in question. "It is only fair, Jack O'Neill, that you allow us the luxury of celebrating your birthday of such a remarkable milestone, given how often you have nearly died."

"Or done so," Sam interjected.

"Daniel still holds that record, thank you, and — NO!"

Dejected, Daniel led the others away, and Sam chuckled.

"Now we just show up."

"A sneak birthday party? I like it."