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Title: The world shall burn
Fandom: Avengers movieverse/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Milton
Warnings: future!fic for Highlander; post-Avengers; primordial!Methos; very Loki friendly as he's my favorite
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 415
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, "Life is pain, [Highness]. Anyone who says differently is selling something." (Westley in The Princess Bride)

 

 

He finds the boy in a cage, bound by iron and magic, bound by masks and years of self-hatred. [Why is Methos looking? Curiosity. He was on Earth during the invasion attempt and had grown bored with his current ID (not Adam Pierson), and bored with Immortals in general.]

There is fire left, yet, though, deep inside. Embers, barely sparking—but fire. The potential to scorch worlds, to raze realms to salt and ashes.

The start of Ragnarök, shackled like a common criminal and left to rot. [Death knows about the end of days for every pantheon.]

So very interesting. [Loki seems, to me anyway, to be the kind of person that will still be lashing out, even when there is nothing left. And I am unapologetically a Loki fangirl. *shrugs* The way he’s treated canonically is only going to leave him even deeper in the hole of villainy, even if he wanted to get better.]

.

He takes the boy, of course.

No one notices for months. [Throw him in a hole and leave him to rot. Going by the Thor 2 trailer I saw, that might actually be canon.]

.

Healing is not instantaneous. Physically, the boy is a wreck, skin and bone held together by sheer hatred and innate magic. The boy has so much potential. He must have been breathtaking before. With care and time, he can be breathtaking again. [Loki looked like shit at the beginning of the Avengers. That’s why I’m pretty sure he wasn’t working with/for Thanos willingly. Then he got the shit beat out of him by everyone else, dragged back to Asgard in what had to be magic-dampening handcuffs, and thrown in a hole to rot. Physically, he’s barely alive.]

Mentally, the boy is curled inside himself, hiding somewhere deep inside, where the fire pulses. If he is sane, he's clinging to it by his fingernails, through pure determination. [Seriously, the only way to survive is to hide where no one can reach.] But he has not peeked outside to see that his circumstances have changed, but that's fine. Time is plentiful.

Emotionally… well, the boy was fucked up before being shucked into that cage and forgotten. He has been broken for centuries. No problem. [Methos does his research, and subtext is where he thrives.]

.

The boy blinks and raises his head. He waits to see what the boy will say.

"You are not Asgardian," the boy rasps. He startles when his magic responds to his call, twining around him, prepared to defend and strike. [A starving man who can’t believe he’s stumbled into a feast.]

He lets the boy keep it for peace of mind and comfort. [Of course Methos could lock it out of Loki’s reach. But that would be the opposite of everything he wants.] "No, I'm not," he replies. "Do you know who you are?"

The boy nods. "I'm traitor," he answers. "Monster. Evil."

And, oh, but that burns. Burns like the heart of a mountain, deep and dark and hungry, for worlds, for lives, for the very fabric of being.

"No," he tells the boy. "You are not those things unless you wish to be." [Once upon a time, Methos had a body count that would populate planets. He knows about the long road to redemption, and deciding whether or not there is anything to repent.]

"I…" The boy hesitates, glancing down at his hands, where the magic writhes, then to the sky. There are no walls or ceilings or doors here, unless willed into existence. No cages. "I am free," he whispers, and laughs, throwing his magic up and out, reaching for the horizon.

"Yes." He smiles, laughing as well, and holds out a hand. "I am Pietro," [a version of Pierce] he says. "And you are?"

The boy smiles, wide and enchanting, and he clasps Pietro's hand tightly. "I'm Free," he says.

.

There a thousand worlds to see. Asgard is but a stone in a river, forgotten – except for hate, deep in the fire.

Ragnarök still burns fiercely, but there is time.

There is always time.

[Aren’t self-fulfilling prophecies annoying?]

Chapter Text

Title: Not in Kansas
Fandom: “Supernatural”/Shrek movies crossover

For tigris_lilsis

Originally posted to livejournal, crossposted to fanfiction.net, still posted at both places.

[Comments in brackets, like so.]

 

“Sammy,” Dean says, deadpan. “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”

“Dude,” Sam replies. “That quite bein’ funny when I was ten.”

Dean snickers. [Oh, my boys. *glee*]
.

They walk down the street side-by-side, naming every fairy tale they see. Dean’s ahead by twenty points—one for damsels in distress, two for villains, three for heroes—when he sees her.

“Dude, it’s Mulan!” he hisses at Sam, staring in shock.

Sam glances over. “I didn’t think she was a fairy tale,” he muses. “Weird.” [This is a reference to my Dean canon, where I decided that Dean’s favorite Disney princess is Mulan because she kicks ass and saves her country. That seems like the kind of girl he’d like, you know? As far as I know, she actually existed, though.]

.

The sign proclaims Far Far Away; Dean snorts. “Didn’t think we traveled through universes just to see the fantasy version of Hollywood.”

Sam openly laughs. “You were really expecting something else?”

Dean’s answering smile is sunrise. “Nope.”

.

“Dude.” Dean freezes in the street, staring.

Sam swings around instantly, follows his gaze. His mouth drops open in shock. “Is that…”

“The Gingerbread Man.” Dean’s voice is full of wonder. “The fucking Gingerbread Man.” He steps forward. “Awesome.” [*shrugs* I don’t know why Dean likes a talking cookie.]

.

They end up at the palace, of course, where King Arthur is holding a tournament. Sam enters the Rhyming match, whereas Dean signs up for the Hand-to-Hand combat.

Dean wins against all comers, even an ogre [(Shrek)], but Sam loses to Pinocchio, who then loses to Rumpelstiltskin. [*hee*] The Winchesters are invited, along with all the contestants, to a feast; Sam says they shouldn’t go, that they need to go back, but Dean overrules him, pulling the big brother card.

Sam ends up next to a Spanish cat wearing boots, but Dean has to sit beside a talking donkey that doesn’t know when or how to shut up. By the time the appetizers are taken away, Dean’s barely restraining himself from shooting.

“You wanted to come, Dean,” Sam tells him, glee coloring his voice.

Dean bites out, “Don’t remind me,” and snarls when the donkey finds a new topic. [The Donkey/Dean interaction was inspired by ignipes. ]

.

Dean flirts with Fiona, the princess of Far Far Away. He also flirts with King Arthur, which doesn’t shock Sam as much as he’d thought it would.

The king invites them—them, Dean and Sam Winchester—to spend the night in his palace. Sam doesn’t let Dean out of his sight.

Sam finally drags Dean away in the morning, after King Arthur blatantly makes eyes at his brother. Dean preens beneath the attention, like a giant cat. [It’s also my personal canon that Dean is bisexual.]

Puss walks with them back to the portal, talking to Sam. Dean takes in the sights, making random comments the whole way.

At the Gate, Puss removes his hat and bows. “It was an honor to meet you, Sam Winchester,” he says.

Sam nods his head. “You, too.”

Puss turns to Dean. “You are a strong warrior,” he states. “I wish you luck with all your battles.” He bows again.

Dean stares then, to Sam’s shock, bows back.

Puss walks away and Dean turns to Sam. “Let’s go home, Sammy,” he says.

Sam doesn’t even correct him on the nicknames, just nods. [And a happy ending for my boys!]

Chapter Text

Two chapters of 'sweet dark playthings'

 

[So, I wrote this one when I realized I hadn’t actually explained anything about their politics.]

 

“You’re all gonna die,” Mercedes tells him, holding his hand as they look out into the yard.

They’ve been McKinley graduates for a month. Finn finally received the email he’s been waiting for. Blaine, Sam, and a dozen others have already left.

“I love you,” Finn says. “Come with me.” With us, he doesn’t say. Mercedes likes Kurt well enough, he knows that. Most people like Kurt. It’s Puck they shy away from, and where there’s one, there’s the other.

Puck is scary, Finn willingly admits that. His power is… terrifying in a way most of the others Finn’s encountered aren’t.

But Kurt’s right, is the thing. Finn had never thought about it, but even with all their powers pooled, Normals still had the better end of the deal. The world was skewed in their favor, and Kurt wanted to even things out. Kurt had explained everything, even made Finn a list and illustrated it, and Finn’s dad died because Normals freaked out when he tried to save them. Mom had told him a nice lie for a long time, but Kurt helped him find out the truth. [To be honest, Kurt&Puck kinda think like Magneto. And I have no idea who’s right or not, or even if anyone can be right, in this situation.]

“I… a part of me wants to,” Mercedes says, turning to look at him. “But, baby, it’s not…” She sighs, reaching up with her free hand to flip her bangs out of her eyes. “The world isn’t fair. It never has been. But I like it the way it is.”

Finn runs the tips of his fingers along her palm. “I don’t want to leave you behind,” he tells her, “but I’m going, Sadie.” [I can’t remember why I paired them together. I think everyone else had already paired up. *shrugs*]

She looks away, back out the window. “Even if y’all don’t think of yourself as villains,” she says, voice sharp to hide her tears, “that’s how the government will paint you. You think Kurt and Puck can stand up to that? With a dozen barely-outta-school kids? It’ll be a massacre, Finn.” [The government really can’t call them anything else.]

It won’t be. Mercedes never got close enough to see, but Finn—he’s not sure what all Puck can do (and what he knows about is scary enough), but Kurt? There’s more to Kurt than foresight. And he promised Finn that none of them would die for a long time.

Kurt keeps his promises. [I said it in one of the other chapters, I think – but no one really understands Kurt’s power. He doesn’t see the future, or change it; he just sees possibilities, since the future is never concrete, and then subtly arranges things. He doesn’t change the future: he changes the present. It’s a pretty major power.]

Mercedes raises his hand to kiss his knuckles. “I guess I can check it out,” she mutters. “Not like I trust any of them boys to watch your back.”

Finn smiles, scooping her up to spin them both around. “It’ll be awesome, Sadie, I swear!” She laughs, but pulls his head down for a kiss.

Finn leaves a note for his mom, promising to be careful. Mercedes tells her parents she and her boy are going on a road-trip and will be back in three weeks. (They aren’t, and they won’t.)

Kurt greets them both with a smile; Puck ignores them. Blaine gives them a tour, and Sam introduces them to the couple of people they don’t know.

The first night, Mercedes sleeps in Finn’s arms; when they wake from a shared nightmare, she whispers, “Don’t die before me, ‘kay?”

“Only if you don’t die before me, either,” he whispers back. [Finn dies first. ETA 2016: Oh, wow, this hurts a little now.]

(Kurt has a plan. It’s a good plan.

When the World Council realizes what they’re doing, it’s almost a bloodbath.

Kurt saves Finn’s life, then Mercedes’, and neither of them will ever leave after that.) [As long as Kurt is in control of their group, the bloodshed is kept to a minimum. He understands about publicity, and public opinion, and just how far people can be pushed. He’s subtle. Puck… is not.]

In later years, when he’s asked about Kurt Hummel and Noah Puckerman, Arthur Abrams won’t know what to say. Every time, he’ll search for the words, and he’ll look to his wife, Tina, but she’ll be at a loss, too.

Arthur wrote a dozen technical manuals, all added to McKinley’s curriculum, and then to Hero schools around the world. He spent twenty years as the Hero representative to America’s government, while his wife was the ambassador for the World Council. [Artie and Tina didn’t join the cause because their dreams didn’t involve violence. They wanted to change the world in a cleaner way.]

Everyone is fascinated with Shadow and Sol, Inferno’s son and his pet psychic. Rachel Berry’s memoirs sold out every copy within a week because she dedicated a chapter to each of them; their school days, the beginning of their rhetoric, how they swayed so many powerful Supers to their cause. [No matter what world she’s in, Rachel will always be in spotlight.]

It was such a perfect tragedy, she wrote. Romeo and Juliet of our day, right there in the lunchroom, sharing a Coke and ovenbaked chicken. Kurt knew even then, of course. I doubt there’s much he didn’t know. [She understands him, in some ways. In others, he’s a total mystery. She respects him, though. And she’ll use him to boost herself up.]

For so long, after all, everyone believed Shadow was the mastermind, the true power behind the throne. He was where the authorities focused, where the assassins went—each and every one lost to the shadows forever, screaming for his pleasure alone. (Or maybe Sol listened, too, and that was the music in their bedroom. So much speculation, since so much went unknown.) [A lot of people speculated about the boys. Some were right. Most weren’t.]

They called Sol the pet psychic, were derisive in the planning room, laughed about bedroom games. Even with the input of their schoolmates, no one really understood Sol, his power or his plot. [Kurt really flourishes when he’s being underestimated. Also, about their names: Shadow is obvious. I think I was using Sol as some sort of pun – either the opposite of Puck, or symbolism for bringing light to the supers? I didn’t write the reason down, whatever it was.]

When we learned his mother had been Shade, Senator Rivers wrote in his tell-all, we realized that we had completely underestimated the Super known as Sol, once called Kurt Hummel. How could we have known? Shadow released every communiqué, gave every speech. There is so much I, we, would have done differently, if we’d any idea at all. [Part of Kurt’s plan involved no one knowing how much power he really had. Puck is loud, obvious, attractive, and strong. And scary. He presented a determined face to the world, and refused to back down. Everyone, watching, could easily believe he’d get shit done. But Kurt? Kurt isn’t intimidating. Not until you really pay attention. And by then? It’s too late.]

Quinn Fabray would say only that she disagreed with their methods. She’d worked her way up the Super Special Forces to Assistant Director and she sent dozens of agents after Shadow and Sol, and the only statement she ever gave was that she disagreed. A few brave newshounds noted that she said nothing about their endgame. [Quinn full-heartedly supports Kurt&Puck’s endgame. But like Tina&Artie, she had entirely different means of how to get there.]

And what each of them—the Abrams, Berry, and Fabray—what they each thought but never said—I wish I’d chosen differently. I wish I’d joined when I had the chance. I wish I was brave enough now to find Shadow and beg forgiveness and change things. [They remember the kids, heads bent close in the lunchroom, laughing, hands clasped, fingers tangled together. They remember the faces of every one of their peers who joined Shadow and Sol, the names and the fates. Each of them wonders what might have been different. None of them know all the ways it could’ve gone worse. Kurt sure won’t tell.]

And what Noah says, face buried in a pillow that still smells like Kurt, listening to the screams of those responsible for Kurt going away, is, “Fuck you, why didn’t you take me, too?” [Puck can always find those he gives to the shadows. When he’s feeling particularly vindictive, he tracks them down and plays a bit.]

(And what Kurt thinks, in a place of quiet and peace, is, wait for me, Noah, I’m waiting for you.) [I’m not sure I ever explained this anywhere, but Kurt took himself out of reality, like his mother before him. Unlike her, he didn’t lose his place. He fully intends to return, when the time is right. And he does.]

Chapter Text

Title: Set Free
Fandom: “Supernatural”

Originally posted to fanfiction.net, never posted to livejournal, deleted during one of my many fic purges.

Again, for tru_faith_lost. She claims this is the fic that introduced her to wincest, which is… well, weird. *hee* Out of all the awesome stories, mine? Really? Cool.

 

They were either brothers or lovers, she couldn’t be sure. [I do remember how this one started. That first sentence popped into my head, sat on its own for a few weeks, and then—I’m pretty sure—the rest flowed out.] They way they fought together, perfectly in sync, spoke of long familiarity, spoke of love and trust. The way they talked with their eyes, with their bodies—they were beautiful, exactly what she’d been looking for since her childhood.

She watched them hunt for weeks before the older realized she was there, that they themselves were being hunted. She never got close enough to hear them, just observed from afar. She guessed he was the older from his protective tendencies and emotions. She still didn’t know what they were to each other, but quite clearly there was love—a deep, all-consuming love—between them. [Whether you like wincest or not, that should be a fairly true assessment, no?]

She didn’t mind being called a thing—what he referred to her as, since this once she got close enough to hear—or being labeled a monster, though she wasn’t. She didn’t know what she was or where she came from, or even if there were others like her in the world.

She followed the older—she had zoned out for a minute, trying to remember if she’d once had a family and missed his name—as he left the room, wanting to speak with him. As he sedately walked down the alley, she manifested before him. She didn’t know what he saw when he looked at her; each human perceived her differently. [No, I never quite figure out what she is, either.]

He stared at her appraisingly, beginning at her eyes and working his way down.

“Like what you see?” she asked, raising an eyebrow and stepping forward. He wouldn’t attack first and she wouldn’t attack at all, so she figured it was safe. [I like that sentence.]

“Of course,” he replied, finally smirking. “But I’ll bet you knew that.”

She moved up to him, smiled at him. “May I speak to you?” She reached out and trailed her hand down his arm, not for the first time wondering what they saw when they looked at her.

“Are you a threat?” Something dark peered from behind his eyes, something primal that sent a shiver down her back.

“Not to you,” she answered, taking his hand and threading her fingers through his. “And not to the one you travel with.”

He relaxed imperceptibly and his eyes lightened. “Call me Chess,” he said. [I don’t know how clear I made this, but “Chess” is short for “Winchester.”]

“Call me Kaela,” she told him, leading the way to a bar.

.

“So,” Chess asked her, “what are you?”

She shrugged, taking a sip of her water as he ate a hot wing. “Don’t know.”

He frowned. “How can you not know what you are?”

She laughed and rejoined with, “How can you not know who you truly are, Chess, or what your companion means to you?” [*hee*]

He paused, holding his beer away from his mouth before replying quietly, “He’s everything.” He took a sip and then finished, “Everything. Isn’t that why you wear his face?” [Wincest!]

.

Kaela laughed as Chess completely missed the dartboard. She knew he rarely, if ever, got this drunk.

It’d be easy, so easy, to take advantage of him, this perfect hunter, this beautiful man—one more killer gone, one less worry for her.

But she wore the body of the one he loved, and she couldn’t kill him in this face. [Aww, isn’t she awesome?]

He threw the rest of the darts and they imbedded deep into the wall. Chess spun around and smiled at her, lost in an alcohol haze. “C’mon, Sammy,” he slurred, “Play darts with me.”

Kaela shook her head. “Let’s get back to the room,” she said, standing and walking over, placing a hand on his shoulder.

At the touch, he stiffened, looked into her eyes. The glazed look left him and Kaela realized just how dangerous this man could be. “You’re not Sammy,” he murmured, coming completely out of the haze. [Ooh, hunter!Dean. I love him.]

“No, I’m not,” she said, backing up just to be safe. “I’m Kaela, remember?”

“And not a threat,” he continued, memory coming back. “To me or Sammy.” He walked to the table, collapsed into a chair. “Who am I?”

She wondered if he really wanted an answer or if he even knew that he’d spoken aloud. He stared at his beer, contemplating something. “Do you know that you look like Sam?”

“Yes.” She nodded. “You told me so.”

He smiled and knocked the glass over, let the liquid dribble out and wiped it up. “Can you change?” he asked quietly, almost desperately. “Can you please stop wearing his face?”

“Only if you honestly want me to,” she replied. “I wear the form you love more than anything.” She cocked her head. “What is he to you?”

“My little brother.” He laughed. “My baby brother.” He closed his eyes, ran a hand through his hair. “God, I’m fucked up.”

Kaela realized, quite suddenly, why she felt drawn to them. She walked around the table and knelt before him. “C’mon,” she said. “Let’s get back to the room.”

All she could do was open the door. This beautiful, almost-broken man would have to walk through on his own. [There really isn’t much to say about the previous few paragraphs—Dean realizing, Kaela realizing, the reader realizing—except that I really really like it. Why did I delete this story?]

.

She stopped in front of their door. Chess—she didn’t want to know his real name—turned to her.

Before he figured out what she was about to do, Kaela leaned forward and pressed her lips to his. For a moment he froze, beyond shocked, but then he began responding.

It was the best kiss Kaela had ever experienced and regretfully she ended it. “He would be a fool,” she murmured in his ear, “if he did not feel the same.” She kissed his neck and pulled away. “And from what I’ve seen, he’s not that stupid.” [For some reason, I like having characters in my stories kiss each other’s necks. *shrugs*]

She smiled, turned, and walked back the way she’d come, feeling his eyes on her. She melted into the night, knowing she’d be back. [Who could leave Dean for long? Beyond his family, of course.]

.

She had been called cruel, unfeeling, the Seductress and player of hearts. She had been hated and feared and hunted herself.

She was, as far as she could tell, cousin to the succubus, except she did not need sex. She could feed off emotions well enough, could feast just by being near someone.

She did not know her age, had no memory of a family. She felt a longing, deep in what she assumed to be her soul, for someone, for something—someone as beautiful as she’d been called, something as fluid and powerful.

Centuries passed. She never grew bored; humanity always shifted, changed—found new ways to feel the same old emotions. [I like the phrasing here, and in the above.]

And still the longing filled her, the longing for something she could not name.

But then she saw them, the two gorgeous men, the brothers or lovers, the two with a fire burning between them, a yearning as great as her own. The older, the true killer, the darker of the pair—he called to her in a way nothing ever had before or would ever again. [It’s my personal belief that Dean is the darker of the two. Sam may have some fucked up destiny—though, this was written back in early 2006, if I recall correctly—but Dean’s the one who’d kill the world if it kept Sam safe.]

So she followed them, studied them, and finally chose to help them as only she could, chose to open the door and give the older a taste.

After a few years had passed, she found them again. They were brothers or lovers, she couldn’t be sure, but the fire between them still burned bright and they seemed happy.

She still didn’t know his name, but that kiss had eased her longing, set her free. He looked her way, as he and Sam walked down the street, and smiled.

She grinned in response and melted into the shadows.

She had never been called kind before, but his eyes whispered Thank you and he touched Sam’s shoulder with a smile. [And a happy ending, with both brothers alive. I wrote this back before I became so dark.]

]

Chapter Text

Title: Summer sun was on their wings, winter in their cry
Fandom: White Collar/Inception
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Rachel Field
Warnings: AU for both fandoms; dark; mentions of child abuse and non-con
Pairings: Arthur/Eames
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 560
Point of view: third
Prompt: White Collar, Neal, they really shouldn't underestimate him

 

[So, I saw the prompt. First thing that popped into my mind: Neal Caffrey works for the mob. Second thing that popped into my mind: Arthur is the only person in the world Neal obeys. Third thing: they’re twins.]

[Also, recently (for a given value of recently) I’ve been in the mood for non-chronological storytelling. It’s a great deal of fun.]

 

Neal Caffrey is a pretty-boy. Neal Caffrey is a thief who wouldn't know what to do with a gun if his life depended on it. Neal Caffrey is the FBI’s bitch, and tricked his way out of prison on his knees. [C’mon. Think about it. What can anyone in canon think about Neal before they meet him, and, most of the time, after?

Neal Caffrey is a gorgeous mask, and the pay-off will be glorious.

.

"How much longer? You know the Boss hates waitin'."

Neal smiles at his contact, holding out the tiniest of disk drives. "Your Boss'll wait for me, Porter."

Porter glares and his fingers close into a fist, but he takes the drive.

Neal's off limits to everyone.

[You would not believe how much I argued with myself about whether Boss should be capitalized or not.]

.

Mozzie asks him, "What's the angle here?"

Elizabeth invites him to dinner.

Peter trusts him with confidential information, his house, his dog, his wife, and his life. [Mozzie does not know who Neal truly is. But he knows that Neal is so much more than a mere forger/con-artist. He has no idea that he should be afraid, or that Neal will do his best to keep him safe, but if he has to choose – Moz or Peter&El – Neal will not choose Moz.]

.

"If I granted you one request," the Boss muses, watching Neal strip and clean their favorite gun, "you'd ask for the Burkes to be left alive."

"And unhurt," Neal clarifies. "June too, if I could get that." [Originally, I just had Neal answer with an affirmative, and then clarify he wanted June, too. Then I realized that being alive didn’t signify being healthy or happy, so. And it’s not mentioned in the story anywhere, but Neal&Arthur are both a bit possessive, and willing to do a great deal to keep each other happy. They clarify things to make sure neither crosses the line.]

The Boss nods. "Granted." [Of course Arthur agrees. His brother’s coming home.]

.

Neal Caffrey dies in a shootout, shielding one of his team members. He gets a hero's funeral.

Peter and Elizabeth Burke cry in each other's arms for days. [He wouldn’t hurt them by letting them think they weren’t enough for them to stay. And if he dies, no one will be looking for him.]

.

"You ready?" the Boss asks. "You've been out of the game for awhile."

"C'mon, Arthur," one of the best undercover men in the world says. "You need better people at your side."

"Hey, now," the Boss's lover and right-hand exclaims. "I'll have you know, I take wonderful care of 'im."

"Eames," the Boss says.

He subsides, glaring, and the Boss asks, "What name would you like now?"

Smirking at Eames, he says, "Nathaniel, I think."

The Boss nods. [Names mean nothing to them; they’ve had too many, over the course of the years. However, their names always begin with an N or an A, as a nod to the little boys they used to be, all those lifetimes ago.]

.

Nathaniel Calton is one of the greatest assassins in the world. It doesn't matter what the job calls for; he excels. The Boss trusts him, and everyone is too afraid to ask why. [Arthur established his criminal empire by working his way through all of the prior ones and executing the leaders. He is… not the nicest man in the world.]

.

"What should we be when we grow up?" Noah asks Aidan, as they're curled up together beneath the covers, all of seven and shivering. Daddy is still throwing things downstairs. Mama's gone again.

"I'm gonna rule the world and make sure no one hurts us ever again," Aidan says, listening to his brother breathe. "And you're gonna be my secret weapon."

"That sounds nice," Noah whispers, hissing in pain when Aidan accidentally shifts his arm.

“It’ll happen,” Aidan promises. “I swear.”

His twin nods. “It will.” [They were neglected far more often than they were physically abused. And when they were hurt, Noah often tried to draw the attention, so then Aidan would do something decisive to protect him. That stayed the same as they grew.]

.

The Boss says, “Well done, lil’brother.”

He nods, grins, and offers the Boss his knife, so the Boss can take out his own pound of flesh.

Eames mutters, “Darling, this should not be as hot as it is,” and he gets identical, blood-soaked smiles in response.

The traitor screams louder and louder, until the Boss finally shuts him up with a cleverly-turned slice. [The twins are more like one soul in two bodies, and while Eames does prefer Arthur, doesn’t everyone have a little fantasy?]

.

No one knows where the Boss came from. His lover, a forger and con-man called Eames, was small-time until the Boss took a liking to him. (He’s actually ex-military, and just as dangerous as the Boss, but only a handful of people in the world know that, so keep it to yourself.) [Eames is ex-SAS and had been a juvenile delinquent before that. Arthur recruited him, and kept him. He’s loyal only to Arthur (and Arthur’s brother.)] And the Boss’s favorite assassin, well.

A few of the more trusted lieutenants notice that the Boss and his pet killer have the same grace, the same turn of phrase, the same grin when they kill. But they never mention it, so the Boss and Nathaniel let them live. [No one but Eames knows that Arthur has a twin. They went their separate ways after high-school, for awhile, until Arthur got into a spot of trouble and his brother bailed him out. Neal Caffrey’s entire existence was a job for Arthur. Peter&El weren’t supposed to happen.]

(For now.) [Arthur is a very good boss, unless you cross him. He provides for those who are loyal, and destroys those who aren’t.]

[So, yeah. I don’t think I’m the first to decide Neal and Arthur must be twins. I have no idea who was. But I really REALLY like it, so. I’ve written a bit of it. And, well, I like dark boys. *shrugs*]

Chapter Text

Title: There Was A Story, Once
Fandom: “Supernatural”

Originally posted to fanfiction.net, never posted to livejournal, deleted during one of my frequent fic purges.

Jeeze, it’d been a long time since I’d thought of this fic, when the lovely tru_faith_lostbrought it up. I can’t even remember where I got the idea.

 

“Tell me again,” he whispered in the darkness of the room.

“But, Sammy,” Dean said, “I’ve already told you three times.”

“Please.” Dean could hear the puppy-dog eyes and pouting lips.

“Okay,” he sighed, and pulled up the covers. “C’mere.” [Jeeze, this dialogue feels stilted. Can you tell this was one of my early attempts? I figure, mid-2006, maybe.]

Sammy slipped out of bed and shot across the room, sliding in bedside Dean.

“Which do you want?” Dean asked, wrapping his arms around Sammy.

“Tell me about Daddy’s last fight, Uncle Dean,” the five-year-old begged, burrowing into Dean’s powerful arms.

“Alright,” Dean said softly. [*glee* Bet you thought it was a lilWin fic, huh? And Jensen with a little kid? *happy sigh*]

 

It was a hunt like any other.

Sam researched in the library and on the ‘net; Dean spoke to friends, learning about the victims as people, as Mark and Natalie and Greg, rather than numbers.

The one-year-old he held in his arms kept Sam’s attention, and he didn’t dig as deep as he should have. [I just love the thought of Jared Padalecki holding a baby! ETA 2016: way before he had kids.]

 

“Is it my fault?” Sammy asked as Dean paused. “Did I kill Daddy?” [*sniff* eh?]

“No,” Dean replied, kissing Sammy’s forehead. “It wasn’t your fault at all.” [And, aww.]

 

Dean slipped back into their room and smiled when he saw Sam asleep on his bed, the baby—John Samuel Dean Winchester, tentatively called Johnny—sleeping on his chest. He padded over, quieter than a ghost, and gently picked up his nephew. [Everyone, say it with me: “Aww.”]

Sam moved the second he no longer felt his son. His hand grabbed Dean’s arm, but Dean was ready and didn’t lose his balance.

“It’s alright, Sammy” Dean told his brother, voice calm and sure. “It’s me.”

Sam’s hand loosened and fell back to his side, and he reentered sleep. [If either of them ever has a baby on the show, I’ll pay good money for their interaction to be like that. ETA 2016: I stopped watching at the beginning of season 6, due to RL scheduling issues, but eventually did watch season 6 on DVD. And while I own season 7 on DVD, I’ve never watched it.]

Dean shifted Johnny and walked over to Sam’s laptop, pulling up all the information and reading over it. [Again, stilted.] Everything seemed in order—as soon as Sam’d rested, they could head out and get the poltergeist.

 

“Like the one Grandma killed?” Sammy asked sleepily.

“Yeah,” Dean answered, yawning. “Like the one Mom got, saving me and your daddy.” [I don’t remember why I added this—it seems fairly pointless. I guess, to show, again, that the italics are Dean telling a story?]

 

A few hours passed and then Sam stretched, sat up. He immediately searched for his son and relaxed when he saw Dean pacing around, Johnny laughing in his arms.

Dean didn’t pause in his quiet singing but glanced over and raised an eyebrow.

Ready to go?

Sam nodded and stood. Let me take a shower, then we’ll head out. [No, they’re not telepathic, just very in-tune with each other.] As he walked towards the bathroom, he listened to Dean’s song.

And the hunters fought,
Fully together and in control,
And one by one the demons fell
Before their slashing blades.

Sam laughed and shut the door.

 

“I like that song,” Sammy whispered, finally falling asleep.

“I know you do,” Dean said, closing his eyes, trying to halt the flow of memories.

And like every time Sammy asked for this story, Dean failed. [I do like that sentence.]

 

They dropped Johnny off with a kind woman who’d taken a liking to Dean during the investigation. [Well, really, who wouldn’t? ETA 2016: WTF, younger!self, why the hell would they leave that baby with anybody else?] She’d been friends with Greg, the final victim, and had researched herself, learning about things she’d never truly disbelieved.

All three of them, the brothers and Kylie, knew Dean would pay for the hours she spent on Johnny with sex, and none of them even acknowledged it. [*hee* One of my first hustler!Dean stories! I really should have found a better way to work that into the story.]

“We’ll be back by dawn,” Sam told her, Johnny asleep in his arms. “And if we’re not, the phone’ll ring. Listen to the woman on the line.” [Missouri.]

Kylie nodded, gently taking Johnny, and glanced over at Dean. He strode to her, a giant panther, coiled muscle and liquid grace; he leaned down and softly caressed her lips, careful of the baby, and whispered, “Take care of my nephew,” into her mouth. Dean pulled back, smiled, and walked out the door. [*sigh* I also like that paragraph. ETA 2016: younger!self, that is not as good as you thought it was.]

Sam grinned at her thunderstruck expression, kissed his son on the forehead, and followed his brother. [I figure Sam did that a lot, growing up.]

 

Dean slid from the bed, tucked Sammy in, and imagined it was his brother for a moment.

The shaggy dark hair added to the illusion, and the questions—except Uncle Dean was never the same as Dean—and the small build that would someday tower over him, it all made him think his Sammy was there, instead of his Sammy’s son.

But the eyes—Sammy’s large, dark brown eyes weren’t Sam’s sharp green.

Dean missed his Sammy so much, and it always intensified around his brother’s son. [Oh, my Dean—*hugs him*]

 

The poltergeist wasn’t even that strong. But Sam worried about Johnny and Dean worried about Sam and the spirit threw them through a wall. Sam went through first and Dean landed on him and the sound of bone snapping had never been so loud. [Clearly, I didn’t much care for commas back then. *sigh*]

Dean lay there, on his little brother, for the longest moment of his life.

And then he rolled off, a few ribs in the wrong places, bright spots dancing behind his eyes, and Sammy gazed at nothing and never would again. [Ooh, I do like those descriptions.]

And rage welled up in Dean, a deep all-consuming fury, and despair, such despair—and a scream tore from his throat, answered by the ghost howling, and it was exorcised back to Hell. [ETA 2016: oh, younger!self. *facepalm*]

Sam was gifted but Dean was cursed, and now Sam had gone. [Yeah, those two paragraphs don’t make sense to me, either. But they sound good, don’t they?]

 

Dean walked to the kitchenette and poured a glass of milk, drained it in one sip and poured another. His hand clenched around it and he remembered Sam telling him he’d die for him.

And he had sworn to himself that Sam would never have a chance of dying for him, would never be given the choice.

But the choice was stolen from them both when they went flying and Sam landed first. [Poor Dean, eh? Such a sudden, impossible-to-stop end… and after everything…]

The glass shattered in his grip and he felt the shards pierce his skin. He welcomed the pain, welcomed that bitter, sharp pain shooting from his palm, and imagined Sammy—his Sammy, his brother, the only thing he had lived for—standing there, staring at him, then he stepped forward and gently grabbed Dean’s hand. Led Dean to the sink, turned on the water, pulled Dean’s hand under. Said, “How’s my son, Dean?” [Ooh, interesting!]

Dean answered, “He’s good. He’s like you all over again.” Tears poured down his face as his brother fished glass out of his palm.

“Were you going to kill yourself? Take one of the pieces and cut?” Sam’s voice, quiet and calm, slashed Dean to his soul. [I do like that dialogue.]

“I hurt,” he whispered. “I hurt so much.”

Sam released his arm and turned, grabbed Dean’s shoulders and looked into his eyes. “I know, Dean. I know. But—I don’t need you to take care of me anymore. I’m happy—content. Except I saw you getting ready to kill yourself when my son still needs you.”

Shame curled through Dean, staring into Sam’s gentle green eyes. Eyes he hadn’t seen except in memories or pictures for four years. “I’m sorry,” he said. “So sorry. I let you die. I failed.” [Ever taking guilt he shouldn’t have to shoulder… oh, Dean. ETA 2016: yeah, I see why I deleted this one.]

Sam reached from Dean’s shoulder to his face. “It was not your fault, Dean. Just like it’s not my son’s.”

 

Dean, in a daze, burned down the house with Sam’s body still in it. He walked back to the Impala, climbed in, drove slowly to Kylie’s. He snuck in, grabbed Johnny gently, and hurried back to his car. He left town that night and didn’t look back till days later.

He started calling Johnny ‘Sammy’ and told him everything. Whispered of Sam as a child, murmured of the hunt, spoke of the plans that would now never come to pass. Spoke for hours and days and weeks, never shut up, and Sammy II didn’t cry once.

At age four Dean swore to always take care of Sammy. At age twenty-nine he swore to always take care of Sammy again. [Dean’s slightly lost it, you know? But he has his family to watch out for.]

 

“Do you remember when we learned about Sammy?” Dean asked, trembling in Sam’s grip.

“Yeah. You were so pissed,” Sam laughed.

“I couldn’t believe you gave that chick your number—and she calls us up to tell you she was pregnant.” Dean scoffed. “Damn, I was mad.”

Sam smiled and gently wiped away Dean’s tears, caressed his face. “You didn’t fail, Dean,” he whispered, pulling his brother into his arms. “You didn’t fail me. You’ve never failed me. If anything, I failed you.”

“No!” Dean denied, pulling back. “Sammy, you’ve never failed me.”

“I left you. Twice, I walked away from you. You kept offering your heart, your trust, and I kept shattering it.” He looked away from Dean’s glimmering hazel eyes. “How many times did I break you, Dean?”

Dean smiled and said, “About as many as I broke you.” [Not wincest, kiddies!]

 

It was hard going, taking care of a baby and hunting. But his father had managed it, with two kids, and Dean would not give away his brother’s son.

He thought about protecting Sammy, then training Sammy—he didn’t want Sammy to hunt, but he didn’t want him to be an easy target, either. [Remember, the kid’s name was Johnny. But Dean’s still calling him Sammy…]

Dean also thought about calling his father, tell him about his grandson—they’d tried reaching him, but never actually got past his voicemail, and it wasn’t the type of thing you leave in a message—and about Sam, but he never worked up the courage. Too terrified that Dad would blame him, hate him—and the guilt already overwhelmed him. He honestly couldn’t take any more. [I’m pretty sure I wrote this before I decided that I like John.]

 

Sam rested his chin on Dean’s head as he held his brother. “It’s okay,” he whispered. “I forgive you, Dean. It wasn’t your fault, and you couldn’t have done anything, but I forgive you.”

Dean laughed and muttered, “I forgive you, too, Sammy. For leaving me so many times.”

Sam released Dean and back away. “My time’s almost up, Dean. I have to go again.”

Dean nodded, wiped his eyes. “Do you want to see Sammy?”

Sam smiled, the brightest grin Dean had seen in a long time. “I’m always watching him, Dean. And you. He feels me, but you’ve been blocking me out.”

Dean shook his head. “I’ve never blocked you out, Sam.” He looked up at Sam, who stood waiting. The realization slammed into him—“I’m so sorry, Sammy,” he breathed, and Sam nodded.

“I never really left you. My body died, yeah, but my spirit lingered, trying to keep you company, watching out for you and my son.” Dean looked away and Sam kept talking. “I tried getting your attention for months, but you never saw me, never heard me. I’d expected you would feel me, but you never did. It was like you didn’t want me back, no longer wanted me around, and that hurt, Dean, hurt more than anything, even more than dying. And Sammy, he felt me. Why do you think he never cried? And I listened to you, to everything you told him, and I started crying. I didn’t stop for months.” [*hee* Wrote this way before “Playthings,” yo.]

Dean reached up and brushed tears off his little brother’s face. “I’m so sorry, Sammy. I swear I won’t shut you out any more. Are you sure you have to go back?”

Sam grinned. “If you stay open this time, I won’t be gone at all.” He glanced towards the bedroom. “Sammy’s the second chance. For normality. I understand you’re a hunter, won’t ever really be anything else. But him…”

“I never had the choice, Sammy,” Dean said softly. “Neither did you, not really. But it’s in his blood, like it’s in ours. And I’ll raise him to be strong, strong enough to leave. And I’ll be strong enough to let go. That’s all I can promise.”

Sam looked back into his eyes and nodded one final time. “That’s all I ask.” He glanced up, then at Dean and said, “I love you.”

Dean laughed, almost brokenly, and replied, “God, we’re chick-flicky tonight.” He reached out, clasped Sam’s shoulder, and said, “I love you, too, Sammy.”

Sam faded out, like every ghost they’d ever killed, and Dean’s hand fell through empty air.

Dean stood in the kitchenette for the second longest moment of his life and then went back to the bedroom and slid into the bed with Sammy, imagined he was a child again.

When he felt his brother, he relaxed and slipped into the realm of gentle, bloodless dreams. [*sigh* Damn, that’s a chick-flicky section. To me, it doesn’t really ring true to the characters. I guess that’s why I deleted it…]

Chapter Text

Title: you’re listening for a song that I don’t know, that no one has yet sung
Fandom: Highlander/Glee
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Denise Levertov
Warnings: AUish after “Born This Way” for Glee; post-series for Highlander; the timelines may not exactly match up—I *handwave* this away, as is my right as author
Pairings: one-sided Karofsky/Kurt; pre-Kurt/Puck; implied Methos/Kronos
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1065
Point of view: third
Notes: for maldeluxx, because she got me to thinking about a continuation [full circle nearly a year later, huh? *hee*]

 

Methos had planned for the kids to be well into their twenties before their first deaths. He’s been teaching Katie’s son and the mohawked punk for a month: basic self defense and some forms no one else in the world remembers, so no one will be able to counter. [For awhile, after I first got into Glee, Puck/Kurt was mainly wrote I wrote. Then I wrote both Puck/Kurt and Kurt/Blaine. Then I wrote only Klaine. *shrugs* The unfortunate downside of that is now I can longer complete the various ‘verses I had going, this one included.]

He’s calling himself Matt, a common enough name, and playing at Katie’s nephew, searching for family. A black belt in four martial arts. Being paid in room and board to teach his cousin Kurt how to protect himself. The mohawked punk—Puck, of all the silly names—dropped in, curious, one day (and that may have been Matt’s doing). He stayed because he’d never seen anyone fight like Hummel’s cousin. (There’s a good reason for that, of course, and one day, they might even learn it.) [Methos is a meddler. And protective of those who are his. And I really like giving him names that vary off of Matthew, Adam, Benjamin, and Pierce.]

A month in, Matt’s running late. He’d gotten caught up in some drama, nothing that will bother the kids, and he’s heading to the garage when he feels Puck to the south. Puck has no business being in the bad part of town fifteen minutes into their training time—and then Puck is gone. [Look, in canon Methis is somewhere on the upperside of 5000. In every single Highlander fic I write, he is older than that. With age comes a few tricks. Also, Puck had to die, somehow. I don’t remember why I had him skip school that day. I do know he didn’t instigate the fight.]

The Matt-mask is dropped and Death stalks down the street, tearing into the half dozen men who just killed his student.

When he’s done, he’s the only thing living on that particular corner.

Matt carries Puck to his car and then returns for the bodies. He stuffs them all into his trunk, breaking bones to make them all fit. They seem like the rough sort, hopefully that no one will miss. They clearly only got Puck because of superior numbers; with time, Puck could even rival MacLeod, but he is still just a boy. Now, he’ll forever be a boy. Damnit. [Methos knows that the best age to look forever is around thirty. Neither Puck nor Kurt are finished growing.]

0o0

Seven hours after he dies on the street in the middle of an unfair brawl, Noah Puckerman wakes up and groans. “What?” he asks, looking around. He recognizes the room: Matt’s been staying here, in the small apartment attached to the garage.

There’s an incessant pounding in his head; it grows louder and louder, then Matt steps into sight and it fades.

“Welcome back,” Matt says. “It’d have been nice of you to wait a little longer, you know.”

Puck stares at him, memories rushing though his mind. “I don’t hurt at all,” he says. “I should hurt a whole hell of a fucking lot. Coulda sworn I died.” [Puck is not stupid, not when it matters.]

Matt’s smile is gentle. Puck’s seen him give that look to Hummel a couple times, but nothing close to it has ever been directed at Puck.

“You did die, kid,” he says.

Puck closes his eyes and lets himself fall back onto the bed. He feels Matt come close, feels his hand strong on Puck’s shoulder. “It’ll be alright,” he says softly. He sounds so sure. “I’ve done this before—I’ll take care of you.”

“I died,” Puck whispers. “Fucking hell.”

Matt sits down next to him and pulls Puck into a hug. Puck hasn’t been held in… forever. Not since he got bigger than Ma. And when he starts crying, Matt just holds him tighter. [Methos knows how to comfort. He’s just choosy about who benefits. But he’s very good to his students, up until such a time as they turn on/challenge him.]

0o0

In the morning, Puck doesn’t go to school. Matt explains everything to him, including how Hummel is like them. Puck had already felt protective of the gleek, because of his utter failure last time, so he says, “I’ll watch out for him, Teach.” [Puck knows something happened, something more than just standard bullying, because Kurt never ever reacted to Puck like he did Karofsky. Kurt may have flinched from him, but he never turned tail and fled.]

Matt smiles at him, the warm one Hummel gets when he does a move correctly.

Hummel’s actually surprisingly good at martial arts. He muttered about dancing and cheering when Puck mentioned it.

“I want Kurt to grow as much as possible,” Matt says. “You look like a man, even if you are only seventeen. But Kurt?”

Puck winces. “Yeah,” he says. “I see what you mean.”

0o0

That afternoon, they meet in the backroom of the garage. Puck barely even notices Matt’s buzz anymore, but Hummel’s pre-immi one is… enticing. Fluttery like a hummingbird. Puck can scarcely concentrate and Hummel actually manages to dump him on his ass. [Yeah, I don’t know.]

Matt smirks and Hummel grins up at him. “Good job, kid,” he says. “Now, do it again while Puck pays attention.”

So Puck flips up to his feet and ignores Hummel’s baby buzz till it goes away.

He swears to himself and Matt and Hum-Kurt that Kurt won’t die at seventeen. He’ll get taller still and stop looking like a little kid and he’ll have the life he’s been dreaming about, if Puck has to kill every immortal in the world. Kurt could be something great, and Puck wants that for him.

When Kurt decides to take a break, Matt meets Puck’s eyes and nods to the middle of the room. “I have a trick to show you,” he says. “Only my students know it, and those are rare indeed.”

Puck grins and hurries to him.

A new component is added to the regimen that day: swordplay. [I don’t know why I didn’t have Methos just come clean to Kurt after Puck died. Rereading this now, it seems like maybe he should have.]

0o0

Puck isn’t there the day Azimio learns about Karofsky being a homo. Puck doesn’t see Azimio slam Kurt into a locker so hard his head breaks. [After I decided I liked Karofsky too much to have him actually kill Kurt, Azimio became my go-to villain. Except, he’s not actually villainous. Every time I have him kill Kurt, it’s an accident – just a head injury, usually. Too hard a shove. And usually, it’s because Azimio figures out Karofsky has a crush on Kurt.]

Kurt dies alone in a locker room and wakes up to Karofsky’s tearstained face.

Puck’s too young to feel a pre-immortal die and become immortal. But Methos feels it. He meets Kurt in the parking lot, where Karofsky is helping him to his car. Kurt stumbles when he feels Methos’ buzz for the first time.

“I’ve got him,” Methos says, taking Kurt from Karofsky.

“He was outta it,” Karofsky says. “He needs the hospital.”

Methos looks at him. “I’ve got Kurt now,” he says, letting Death peek out.

Karofsky nods, leaving with a lingering look at Kurt.

Kurt, who’s staring at Methos with wide eyes. “I died,” he says. “I know I died.”

Methos pulls him in close, presses a kiss to the crown of his head. He was there at Kurt’s birth. He’d sworn to keep Kurt safe, for Katie and himself.

“Let’s get you home,” he murmurs. “I’ll tell you everything there.”

And he’ll kick Puck’s ass, then let Puck kick his, for this utter clusterfuck of failure. [He blames Puck because Puck wasn’t there. He blames himself because he wasn’t there. But the good news is that Kurt’s immortal, because if he’d been a normal boy, he’d be dead forever.]

0o0

Methos doesn’t sleep that night. He watches Kurt and Puck, curled around each other like he and Kronos had, the first night they trusted each other, almost four thousand years ago. He hopes these two, his boys, have a happier ending. He calls Burt as the sun rises. [I have a thing for Kronos/Methos, okay? It ended badly, but when it was good, it was wonderful.]

He owes the man a better explanation than training ran late.

He’ll let Burt kick his ass, too. [Burt does.]

Chapter Text

Title: Epitaph
Fandom: “Supernatural”

Originally posted to fanfiction.net, crossposted to livejournal, deleted from both when I realized it was Mary-Sueish.

For tru_faith_lost

 

Extra notes: the very first story, ever, of my Dean canon. And it’s not posted anywhere but here. *hee* [ETA 2016: my Dean canon was a series of connected drabbles about my various headcanons for Supernatural. I had one set in the same ‘verse for Jessice Moore, too. And I eventually realized that I was making Dean too awesome in a bad way, so I deleted most of them from the internet.]

“For a hundred points, due Friday, you each have to come up with your own epitaph. Any questions?”

James Friedman waited a few minutes, studying each of his students, before smiling. “The rest of class is yours, as long as you’re quiet.” He walked to his desk and started grading long-overdue papers—the end of the quarter was next week, and every grade needed to be in, for the sake of the students.

The low roar of teenagers didn’t distract him from his purpose and, kind as he was, he wondered where on earth Grammar had hidden itself and what could used as a bribe to bring it back. [I’ve had this thought frequently. ETA 2016: and this was years before I started working as an editor]

In everything but papers, James was an easy grader, but grammar was his passion. He’d explained at the beginning of the year—they were seniors, after all—that a certain number of errors automatically dropped a letter grade. [If I were to ever become a teacher, this would, in fact, be my policy. I don’t think I’d be well-liked.]

“Mr. Friedman?”

He looked up from Riley Marcom’s paper—the poor boy had just dropped into C range—to the best student of his class, Dean Winchester. [Yes, I personally believe that Dean would excel in English.]

A classic ‘rebel’ persona alienated and called to everyone he came into contact with, and half the school loved him. He attended school perhaps three-fourths of the time, and had enough imagination to spare. He maintained his A in English by being one of the greatest writers James had ever had the pleasure of meeting, and his passion was obvious if one knew what to look for. [This paragraph seems so stilted to me now.]

“Yes, Mr. Winchester?”

Dean was shifting nervously; he rarely questioned assignments, and this deviation from the norm intrigued James. While Dean didn’t complete every assignment, what he did finish was extraordinary. James didn’t often gossip with the other teachers, but for Dean he’d made an exception.

Rachel Davids, the Calculus teacher, apparently often lamented the talent going to waste in Dean. “That boy could do anything!” she’d told James fervently, backing it up with his midterm and other tests. “If he’d just apply himself, care more!”

And the art instructor, Georgiana Dubois, had shown every teacher in the school a painting Dean’d done, of his mother. Fully from memory, it was a haunting piece of work. “Dean could become more famous than Picasso,” George had enthused. “His talent could take him anywhere. I asked why he doesn’t paint more, and he said he had other things to do.”

Every coach in the school had been after Dean to join their team, from golf to swimming to football. He’d declined every offer with a smile and shrug. “Sorry,” he said kindly to each. “I have other things to do.”

The boy had raw talent in spades, and James had heard from the younger-grade teachers that his brother was the same.

Sometimes, over the course of the year, James had wondered if Dean and his brother were abused. Dean’d occasionally have bruises or limp, and there were shadows in his eyes, a deep pain that only added to his writing. James considered asking, more than once, and knew others had tried to speak to the boy. But Dean was a master at conversing, and he skillfully deflected all questions. He turned every conversation about him around, learned something of the questioner, and it wasn’t until later they’d realize what he’d done.

The drama instructor, Heather Salinas, had ranted for weeks in the teachers-lounge about Dean and how he’d gotten around her. “He could be the next big star!” she’d quietly shouted, pushed to the breaking point by this one student. “And that brother of his! Together—oh, I just want to strangle them!” Heather’d always had a penchant for the dramatic. [Heather shows up again in a later story, that is actually still posted. Also, see what I mean about Mary-Sue? And I didn’t even realize it, till a reviewer pointed it out to me. *facepalm*]

James quickly pulled his mind back to Dean, still standing in front of him, and the question softly asked. “Could I do something besides an epitaph? Maybe a paper on their history, instead?”

James studied Dean, cocking his head to the side. “Why?”

Dean licked his lips, looked away. “I just—I don’t...” He sighed, ran a hand through his close-cropped hair. “Never mind, Mr. Friedman.” [Poor Dean. Can’t explain that he thinks too much about dying as it is.]

He turned to return to his seat and James held out a hand. “Dean.” The boy paused and glanced back. “I understand you don’t want to do this assignment, but I still expect it to shine.”

A small smile flitted across Dean’s face before fading quickly. “Of course, Mr. Friedman.”

 

James truly loved teaching, but sometimes it just sucked. No if’s, and’s, or but’s it just completely sucked, to the n’th degree. After grading over two hundred papers—which, perhaps a fourth were even worth it—he wondered if anything he’d said all year even sunk into their tiny little skulls.

And then he finally reached Dean Winchester’s paper, and it made everything worthwhile.

Dean had chosen—one of the handful given a choice—to write his paper on the history of the vampire in literature. It was ten pages long, without a single grammatical mistake—quite a feat. The content itself was amazing; Dean clearly knew his topic. [I’m pretty sure I wrote this before “Dead Man’s Blood” aired.]

It was truly a tragedy that Dean had other goals in mind for his life; he could go anywhere in the world that he wanted.

 

Friday rolled around. Dean had been absent both Wednesday and Thursday, and finally appeared on Friday with bruises, a limp, and a horrible scratch across his forehead. He gave a jaunty smile and sank into his seat, pulling out a drawing pad and pencil, ignoring all questions.

James wanted to shake him, to demand answers, to help him out of whatever situation he was in. Later, James resolved he’d ask the brother’s teachers if he was the same condition, or anywhere close to it.

Instead he stood at his podium and said, “Now, volunteers to present your epitaphs.” Only because he was watching Dean did he see the stiffening of his shoulders. Dean hated being the center of attention—which was odd, given his natural attributes. He had a marvelous speaking voice, though, and when he presented anything, the entire room focused on him, almost unconsciously.

Carrie Reynolds asked to go first; she was second in this hour, and in the top ten grade-wise. She cleared her throat nervously and kept her eyes on her paper as she read, “Here lies Carrie, daughter and friend, honest and true.” She handed James her paper and slunk back to her seat; she, too, hated being in the front of the class.

Slowly, like teeth being pulled, the rest of the students presented their epitaphs. It was exactly what James had expected; some had obviously put thought into it, agonized over it—it was hard, choosing a few words to summarize your life, your soul, your passions. Others just as obviously penned theirs a few hours before.

And finally only Dean remained. He put down his pencil, shut his notebook, reached into his backpack for his epitaph, slid from his desk, and strode to the front. The class quieted as he stood before them, silent and still but for breathing. They all knew he was the best, and shockingly, none of them hated him. Unless he actively disliked you, the whole school had learned in the course of the one year he’d been there, you just couldn’t hate Dean Winchester. [Aww, my boy. *hugs him*]

He took a deep breath and said softly, gazing at a spot on the wall, seeing something no one else could, “I lived for you and have now died for you. I pray you rest gently and wait long to join me.”

He handed his paper to James, who said, “Well done.” It certainly wasn’t what James had expected—but honestly, what had he expected? “Who’s it about?” [Sammy. Duh.]

Dean just smiled. Needless to say, he got an A.

 

Four weeks later, with half a month to graduation, Dean and his little brother were pulled from the school.

James saved all of Dean’s papers, and even requested some of his drawings from George. He kept them all in a folder in his office, just knowing he’d meet that boy again. [My Senior Comp teacher kept one of my papers; she still reads it to her classes as an example of what to do.] [ETA 2016: no longer true; she lost it somewhere between 2008ish and 2011.]

Ten years later, he and his wife moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for some inane reason. Victoria was an engineer, and a job opportunity reared its head; a two thousand dollar pay raise wasn’t anything to scoff at, especially with his teacher’s salary. [A pay raise isn’t inane; why did I pick that word?]

He and Victoria were shopping in the Mall of Louisiana, for Christmas presents to send back to their children—twenty year old Emily and twenty-two year old Greg—when James saw him. Victoria kept walking, but James froze, watching Dean Winchester swat the back of his brother’s head, laughing.

Age had been kind to Dean, had made him more beautiful, if that were possible. [Yeah. You seen pictures of late-teens Jensen and compared them with now? It should be impossible.] Age had gifted him with more wisdom, and also—James saw it clearly now—made him more of a predator. Some of the kids way back then had spoken of the fear they sometimes felt in his presence; one of the more poetic ones had said it might be described as the fear an antelope feels before it sees the lion, the fear that can’t be explained but must be heeded. [I like that description.] James had always wondered about that; now, however, seeing these two men side by side, he understood. [Can you imagine being at the top of the food chain at school and then messing with Dean? *hee*] [ETA 2016: written way pre-the high school flashback eps.]

There had always been a darkness to Dean, a darkness that made itself known only through his writings. He held onto his temper at school, never got in fights; some of the alphas had tried to anger him, to suss him out; he took and took and never made any move back. Dean was a loner, quiet, and could talk himself out of anything. He could talk himself into anything, too, and James wondered what he’d been at other schools, what other roles he’d tried out before settling on the one he had senior year.

Dean would have made a great actor; Of course, James thought, watching Dean and his brother, what was he then but an actor? [Dean’s an actor, y’all. Always has been.]

Victoria walked back to where he’d stopped. “What is it?” she asked, handing him the bag she’d been carrying and fixing her ponytail. She followed his eyes and said, “Who’re they, Jim?”

“An old student,” he answered, finally looking at her and smiling. “C’mon, Tor. Don’t we still have a lot of shopping to do?”

She smiled in response and took back her bag, placing her hand in his. “I know where that jacket Em wants can be found.”

“Good,” he said, kissing the side of her head. “Let’s go get it before someone else claims it.” [I always like giving my OCs their own lives, you know?]

 

Later that night, long after Victoria had gone to bed, James pulled out his folder of Dean’s papers. [Um, yeah… that’s actually kind of creepy.] He wondered what Dean had done with his life, what he was that required so much danger. As he gently removed everything, one piece fluttered to the floor. He reached and picked it up, scanning it as he laid it on top of the pile.

I lived for you and have now died for you. I pray you rest gently and wait long to join me. [I don’t remember how I came up with that; I wish I did.]

He smiled; Dean Winchester had been an enigma wrapped in a mystery [(my mom calls me that)], and would probably remain so until he died. [True, yo. Even the person he’s closest to in the world can’t quite figure him out.] James pondered for a moment, before heading up to bed, if Sam would make sure Dean’s epitaph was what he’d written. And if Dean even remembered writing it.

James recalled a paper Dean had written on John Keats, the glee when he’d discovered what the poet’s epitaph had been: Here lies one whose name was writ in water. [Awesome epitaph, if a bit depressing.]

James had asked, serious and joking, “Do you think your name is writ in water, Dean?”

Dean had thought for a minute, gaze turning inward, and then responded, “Isn’t everyone written in water? Just some people are written in puddles that quickly evaporate, and others in the ocean, so that even after their name has washed away, it was still there, you know?” Dean ran through that statement and then laughed. “That made no sense, did it?” [No, it really doesn’t.]

James smiled in response. “It was a good thought.”

Dean incorporated his little tangent into the paper and not for this first time in this particular student’s case, James wished he gave bonus.

All the way until they moved to Baton Rouge, James would read excerpts from Dean’s papers as motivation for his students to equal or surpass; not surprisingly, none could. Victoria finally told him to stop complaining at the dinner table, that he was too hard on the poor kids, and that, surely, Dean couldn’t have been as good as all that.

He gave her just the Keats’ paper to read, and she swore she fell in love. After, she even had one of his paintings framed and hung over the mantle. It was the last one he’d painted for George, of a sunset over mountains—like a thousand others and yet completely unique. He’d incorporated layers, somehow; George said it took him three class-periods to paint it, and he’d almost cried while doing so.

“There was so much pain in him, Jim,” she told him, almost crying herself, weeks after Dean had left. “Why didn’t any of us do anything?”

James placed a hand on her shoulder, wishing he had a good answer.

 

Sometimes, over the years, James thought about Dean at random moments. He retired, traveled the world with Victoria, finally wrote the novel he’d always wanted to write that never got published, became a grandpa.

He lived the life he’d never dreamed about but completely loved. [Love that sentence!]
Out of all his students, Dean had been that one people talk about, the one that changes your life forever.

He read Dean’s papers every now and then, studied his paintings, tried to figure the boy out. Victoria went with the obsession, tried her best to help him, and finally got out of the way, contenting herself with gardening in the unbelievable Louisiana weather.

At last, more than thirty years after Dean’s senior year, James burned himself out, put away the folder, and resolved to only look at the paintings whenever they crossed his line of sight. [‘bout time!]

But the boy’s epitaph wouldn’t leave his mind. He sometimes wondered what he’d do if he came across a stone that had those words inscribed on it.

 

I lived for you and have now died for you. I pray you rest gently and wait long to join me.

Chapter Text

Title: Hierarchy
Fandom: Shrek movies

Originally posted to livejournal, crossposted to fanfiction.net, still posted to both places.

For tigris_lilsis

 

He thinks she doesn’t know where he goes when he doesn’t share their bed. He thinks she hasn’t the faintest of clues. But she knows full well he’s going to the prison tower.

And she knows what he does while he’s there. [The first two paragraphs popped fully formed from my head, like Athena out of Zeus’ skull. I’d seen the movie twice at the time. I finished the fic after I saw it for the third time.]

 

Fordam, the head guard, did his best to hide the truth. He forbade his underlings, on orders from Charming, to speak with her.

But Rapunzel has learned to piece things together, and all the hints added up quite well.

If it were another woman, Rapunzel doubts she’d care. [First hint!] [ETA 2016: WTF, Rapunzel, get your priorities right, OMG.]

 

He does not go to the tower every night, often not even once a week. He does not stay long, usually not more than three hours.

Charming had sworn to her that the other princesses, the queen, and Fiona wouldn’t be hurt. Instead, he killed them all. The dragon, too. She did manage to save the young half-breeds, Donkey, the Gingerbread Man, and Puss in Boots, got them all out of the realm. [I really didn’t want to kill the dragon. She’s so cool. And I killed unborn triplets! *is sad*]

What Charming’s turned the kingdom into is a nightmare, and Rapunzel has only herself to blame.

 

He wooed her with pretty words, jewelry, and flowers. He promised her a crown and a court, happiness and happily ever after.

Charming lied to her, and lies to her still. [I LOVE the flow of these three sentences.]

 

Shrek died slowly. Hundreds of people watched, sobbing and begging Charming to stop. Shrek died shrieking his rage, after watching Fiona executed.

If Rapunzel had known this is what would happen, she would have chosen another way. [You know that scene in Shrek the Third where Shrek faces down Charming and pretends to have gotten stabbed? AU from there.]

 

Charming is hated by most everyone, even his followers. Rebellions are planned weekly, attempted monthly, and put down swiftly. [I adore that sentence.] The ringleaders are always killed.

The only heir left to the throne lives in the prison tower, a young man named Arthur. If Charming would kill him, the spirit of the people would be shattered.

But Charming will not kill him. He has other things planned for the boy.

Rapunzel hates him for those things. [Another hint! Figured it out, yet?]

 

Three years after stealing the throne from its rightful owners, Rapunzel visits the prison tower. She glares the guards into submission and they leave.

She remembers this boy as defiant, as strong. Now he huddles in the corner, flinching from light and noise. [I like the rhythm in this little paragraph.]

“Hello, Arthur,” she says softly, dropping to her knees outside the bars. Her dark blue dress settles around her, stirring dust; she doesn’t care. No sunlight penetrates the gloom from the far-off window; she relies on the torches at the end of the hall. He doesn’t move, doesn’t react, and she shifts on the floor, trying to think of what to say.

Why has she come here? To apologize, to demand why? Too little, too late, and she knows it. No words can make up for what her husband has done, for what Charming has taken away from this child.

“I would ask forgiveness,” she whispers. “But I do not deserve it.”

She kneels in silence until sunset and then rises, knowing her penance is not done. Can never be done.

Rapunzel leaves without looking back. [She’s known what her actions caused, but finally, the realization is just too much.]

 

That night, Charming does not share their bed. Rapunzel imagines Arthur writhing beneath him, begging for mercy—if he speaks anymore. She imagines those large, dark eyes brimming with tears, with fear and desperation, with despair… but she is trapped, helpless, caught in Charming’s web. [Yes, I wrote a non-con Shrek fic. What of it?] [ETA 2016: oh my god, younger!self. Wow, I’ve matured.]

She cannot save herself—and so, cannot save him. She managed to save Donkey and his babies, Puss and the Gingerbread Man. But everyone else…

There is no way out for her, so the only thing left to do is wait. Charming will slip up one day, and then…

Well, if her intelligence is correct, Donkey and Puss are creating an army. They’ll need an inside girl.

And Charming is keeping the heir alive. [Hint!]

 

She visits every now and then, not even twice a month. The boy never speaks to her, but she talks about life before the tower and the witch, before Far Far Away, before Charming. Sometimes, she’d almost swear he nods or focuses on her. [He’s not entirely broken, poor boy.]

Rapunzel does not ask him questions, nearly terrified that one day he’ll actually answer. She knows what Charming does with this boy—to this boy—but to hear it from his own lips, in that voice she barely recalls… she could not bear it. [I never come right out and say it… but you get it, right?]

 

Captain James Hook plays the piano as Charming announces to the people of the realm that his wife is now carrying his heir.

Rapunzel knows that she cannot bear this man a child—but she refuses to kill her baby. So she makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin: if he takes the babe far away, he can keep the son or daughter forever. But he mustn’t ever let Charming get his hands on the child.

The little man agrees. [I hate killing children.]

 

Rapunzel names her daughter Danalyn. [Love that name. I think I made it up, but I’m not sure.] Rumpelstilskin steals the babe in the night and the queen of Far Far Away breathes a sigh of relief when she wakes to her child gone.

Then she screams for Charming and guards and her daughter. [A twist!]

 

Arthur is the only one she tells of her plan. She is tired of Charming, tired of looking over her shoulder, tired of remembering the world as it used to be, before she foolishly made a play for queen. And the boy—man—locked away in the tower is the closest thing she has to a friend since her husband killed the princesses. [Poor Rapunzel, huh?]

“I would ask your forgiveness,” she says again, that final day. “But I do not deserve absolution, not yet.” She opens the door and walks in, crouches beside him. Her dark gray trousers blend into the cold stone, and her black shirt absorbs what little light there is. She leans forward and softly kisses his forehead, his nose, his lips. “Forgive me one day, Highness.”

And she leaves Far Far Away, heads east. Donkey and Puss have an army in the making—they’ll need a queen. [She has a plan, you see.]

 

She travels for months before finding them. They have no reason to trust her, but she wins their allegiance. The Gingerbread Man knows how to contact Rumpelstiltskin, and Rapunzel is able to hold her daughter.

Danalyn is nearly two years old, now. [See? She’s not dead!]

Charming marries again, of course. Rapunzel wonders what the new girl thinks of his visits to the tower.

 

It isn’t until nearly ten years after Charming takes over that Donkey and Puss are ready. Donkey’s children have grown nearly to their mother’s size and are excellent assets; Puss located some family, all as good at fighting as him. [I LOVE the baby donkeydragons—except, they’re not babies anymore.] [ETA 2016: still my favorite characters from the Shrek movies.]

Refugees from Charming flock to their army, and others who don’t want him gaining control of anywhere else. It swells and grows, gaining momentum and fervor as they march for Charming’s stolen realm.

The citizens will join them once they cross the borders. [Isn’t that how it often is with tyrants?]

And then Yolanda, Charming’s second bride, gives birth to a son. [Eep! Another heir.]

 

The boy is named Nicholas and he cannot be allowed to live. Rapunzel argues with the generals for weeks as they draw ever closer to the capitol, but they will not budge. [That’s how it often is, too.]

Neither Puss nor Donkey chooses a side, though Rapunzel hears Donkey talking to one of his sons—Bananas, she thinks—telling him to take the boy and fly. [I really hate killing kids.]

 

George, the supreme commander of the army, is killed within sight of the castle. Rapunzel takes over. [*hee*]

She sees Bananas soaring away, a child held in his mouth, and is relieved. [Yay!]

Charming’s reign began with bloodletting. She doesn’t want Arthur’s to begin the same. [A good policy, methinks.]

 

Rapunzel, Queen of Far Far Away, stands outside the cell that holds the eldest of three heirs—the only true heir—to the throne. On her left stands a large cat wearing boots and on her right a small donkey.

In the streets, some fighting still continues, but Charming is dead and his court crumbling. All that remains is to release the rightful king.

“Artie?” Donkey says hesitantly, pushing his nose through the bars. “Artie, do you remember me?”

Arthur doesn’t respond. Rapunzel wonders how long it’s been since he was the boy Donkey remembers. [About ten years.]

“Artie?” Puss tries.

Rapunzel opens the door and slips in, her leather boots silent on the stones. “Arthur Pendragon,” she murmurs, kneeling beside him. “I’ve brought something for you.”

From the sheathe belted around her waist, she pulls a long, thin sword.

Puss gasps. “Is that…?” He can’t even finish the question. [Of course Puss would recognize the sword.]

“Excalibur,” Rapunzel says. “For the rightful king.” Arthur raises his head. “For you, Majesty.”

Slowly, he reaches out and closes his fist around the hilt. [Woohoo! Excalibur and Arthur, together again.]

 

When Arthur is crowned king and the people cheer, absolution tastes like strawberries on her tongue. [I like strawberries. What can I say?]

Chapter Text

Title: There was no one near or far to keep the world from being mine [Ever since I read the poem this line comes from, I’ve wanted to use it for something. What better than Methos adopting Loki?]
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Sara Teasdale
Warnings: future!fic for Avengers and Highlander
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 690
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, white horses in the night [C’mon – for me, white horses always equals Death with a sword.]

 

"Come, little god," the stranger says, from atop the back of a tall horse.

"Who are you, that I should let you take me?" Loki demands, trying to stifle his gasps. The All-Father had made it truly difficult to escape his cage, but escaped it Loki had. For the moment.

And now he is back on Midgard, the last place anyone would expect him to run. [“The closer we are to danger, the safer we are from harm” *hee*]

"I know what hunts you," the stranger says, one hand holding the reins, the other petting the horse's neck. She dances in place, ears flicking between listening to the stranger and out at what might be coming. [I don’t remember when or why I decided that Methos’ horse is always a mare. For some reason, though, she is.] "And I know how to kill it."

Loki's mouth falls open. "That… what?" he asks, getting his feet under him and staggering up, trying to disguise how hard it is to stay there. [Loki has nothing left. He’s exhausted, he’s wounded, and he’s alone. His magic is almost entirely gone; he spent it escaping. He has nothing and no one. And he is totally terrified.]

The stranger tilts his head, giving Loki an unimpressed look. "Pride goeth, little god," he quotes from somewhere. It makes no sense to Loki, but he will only be on Midgard until his strength is fully returned, and then he's going to find a hole somewhere else, somewhere far away, and wait until – after.

Another horse steps out of the darkness. "Come, little god," the stranger repeats. "You're a masterful manipulator, I'll grant you that, but you need better allies, and actual friends, before you can get anywhere worth your talent." [Methos is the ultimate trickster, and the most powerful being in all the realms. He knows talent when he sees it, and when he’s not exhausted and wounded, Loki is brimming with potential.]

"I…" Loki is at a loss. He'd expected that anyone who recognized him would attempt capture or execution. But offering aid? No. Surely a trap.

Loki will never be trapped again. [Loki doesn’t trust easily, and everyone he did trust has betrayed him.]

"I thank you for your kindness," he grits out, pain stealing his renowned silver tongue, "but, please, take your leave."

"Yeah, no," the stranger says. "I know you for what you are, and I know what hunts you." His smile seems kind, and his eyes as all-seeing as Heimdallr's, but Loki will not be tricked, Loki will not be caught, he will survive and endure, and he will not -

"Oh, child," the stranger whispers, dismounting and catching Loki as he collapses. [Methos cares about very few things. This little trickster has sparked his compassion, which is bad for everyone else but wonderful for Loki.]

I know what you are, Loki hears, distantly, echoing around him, in him, through him. You are mine.

Who are you? Loki asks, all the fight gone out of him. In the stranger's embrace, he is warm. Sheltered. Maybe Frigga had held him like this, once, but it is long enough ago to be a faded dream.

The stranger laughs. "Your kind once called me Hel, ages and ages hence. I go by Ben now."

Hel. Goddess of those who died away from battle – goddess of the old and the young, of the cowards or accidents. Hel, a legend even to the aesir. And, apparently, not a goddess at all. [My headcanon for these ‘verses where Methos is the oldest being in existence – if a pantheon has a god/dess of death, it was Methos. *shrugs*]

What will you do with me? he mutters, sleep coming the easiest it has in decades.

I need a student, Ben says, standing, cradling Loki in his arms. Loki feels small, and young, and so much relief it floods him. You need a teacher, little chaos-maker.

And they are on the horse, though Loki knows not how. The horse, a magnificent creature, pale as Jötunheimr. They are on the mare, Loki with his back to Ben's chest, still bracketed by his arms. [Loki really needs someone to hold him. *sigh*]

"Rest," Ben murmurs into Loki's ear. "You've lived, Loki. Now you must grow stronger. And when what hunts you arrives… I will show you how to kill." [I really took that advice Methos gave Duncan and ran with it. Like, really.]

Loki surrenders to sleep. Either this is a perfectly woven trap – or Loki has been found by someone even more powerful than Odin, someone who (so far, at least) is on his side. And that…

Oh, that is something he so dearly wants.

You are safe with me, Ben promises, as Loki's nightmare changes to nonsense about Thor and a dress and the days when things were good. I take such good care of that which is mine. [Yes, Methos changed the dream.]

And the little god of trickery and lies, he is such a find. [I’m not sure this transition works, and I don’t fully like it. But I wanted Methos’ thoughts on Thanos, so.]

That which hunts the child seeks Death.

Ben clucks to his horse, and Loki's unused mount follows, and Ben's laugh echoes through the night, because it is Death the child's once-master will find.

He, however, will not be glad of it. [What I know about Thanos isn’t much, but there’s something about him courting Death… but Marvel’s Death is not Methos, at all.]

Chapter Text

Title: Alleys of Sorrow
Fandom: “Supernatural”

For feline_fury1

Originally posted to livejournal, crossposted to fanfiction.net, still posted at both places.

 

The morning after Katrina, Sam turned on the news and wondered if the world had gone mad. [A valid concern, upon remembering those days, huh?] Jessica came out of the bathroom toweling her hair and asked, “Sam, what’s wrong?” But then she noticed the screen and sank down beside him. “Sam?”

“It’s unbelievable,” Sam murmured. “Why weren’t they prepared? Why didn’t they get out?”

Jessica started crying and Sam pulled her close. “It’ll be alright,” he said, unsure if he believed it himself.

Suddenly, Jessica jerked away. “I have to call Mom,” she gasped. “I don’t know where Brandon is.” She grabbed the phone and Sam watched her frantically dial. She collapsed back next to him and he wrapped his arms around her. “Momma,” she sobbed into the phone. “Is Brandon okay?” A moment of tense silence and then she said, “Oh, thank god.” Sam rubbed her back, kneaded her shoulder. “Thank god,” Jessica repeated. “I love you, Momma.”

 

They spent the day watching the news, counting their blessings. While Jessica was in the bathroom, Sam called Dean but Dean didn’t answer. Sam called every ten minutes for seven hours, left increasingly frantic messages. Finally, he tried Dad. [Of course he’d call Dean first, and only later think about John.]

“Yeah?” Dad answered on the first ring and relief washed through Sam. [*snort* Why couldn’t he have answered during the season?]

“Dad, you’re alright,” he said.

“Sammy?” Dad asked. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

Sam laughed mirthlessly. “You haven’t seen the news? The Gulf Coast is decimated.”

“What?” Dad’s voice was a horrified whisper. “I’ve been asleep for two days. Have you heard from Dean?”

“He’s… he’s not with you?” Sam closed his eyes, ran his fingers through his hair. [Uh oh…]

“I sent him to Biloxi, Sam. I’m in Phoenix and I sent him to Biloxi on a hunt.”

“No,” Sam denied, shaking his head. “He’s with you in Phoenix; he has to be, Dad.”

“He’s not,” John whispered. Sam heard him exhale. “Keep calling him, Sam. I’m going to Biloxi. I’ll be in touch when I get there.”

 

Sam and Jessica curled up together that night. “I’m glad your cousin’s safe,” he said and Jessica nodded.

“He evacuated two days before landfall,” she explained. “He’s staying with my aunt in Tulsa until it’s safe for him to see what’s left of his home.”

“Where’d he live?” Sam asked.

She answered, “New Orleans.” [Oh, New Orleans… God, the days after Katrina sucked.]

 

Dad called early Thursday morning. Without saying hello, Dad murmured, “He was in New Orleans.”

Sam sank down onto the bed, hand clenched around the phone. “What?”

“When I didn’t answer his calls, he left word with Bobby. He was headed towards Phoenix to see if I was alright, but I’d already told Bobby the hunt was over. So Dean heard about a hunt in New Orleans and was angling for there Saturday. The last message on my phone is late Saturday night and says he’d just hit the city limits.”

“Dad,” Sam said in a horrified whisper, “New Orleans is a war-zone.”

Dad’s voice was broken as he replied, “I know.”

“Why the hell would he go to New Orleans?” Sam demanded, jerking upright in the bed. He should’a seen the news, the people leaving—who in their right mind would go in?”

Dad’s laughter was helpless, painful. “Because your brother is a goddamned idiot with heroic tendencies. You know that, Sammy.”

Sam listened in horrified silence as Dad cracked up over the phone. [Can you imagine how scary that would be for Sam? Eep.]

 

By noon, Dad called again. Jessica had gone to class, after staring at Sam for awhile. He hadn’t mentioned his brother and she didn’t ask.

Sam answered on the first ring.

“I can’t get in, Sammy,” Dad said, sounding broken and defeated. “My god…”

In all his years, Sam had never heard his father so shattered and worn. “Dad,” he began, then paused.

“How’s it look from the outside world, son?” Dad asked and Sam glanced back at the news, the same pictures and footage over and over.

“Like Hell,” Sam murmured. [So true.]

 

After the refugees were shipped all over the country and New Orleans combed through, Dad continued his search. Sam took a break from school; his grades and attendance guaranteed him an open spot when he came back.

Jessica kissed him goodbye, a gentle caress of his lips. “Find him, Sam,” she said, meeting his eyes. “Find him and tell him he’ll be the Best Man at our wedding.”

Sam nodded, blinking back tears.

 

Dad waited in Houston for Sam to catch up. “I’ve called everyone Dean might possibly contact. No one’s heard anything.” Dad’s voice was all business; emotions were shoved to the back.

For the first time, Sam thought he might understand. Dean, wherever he was, didn’t need John the Father. He needed John the Hunter.

“We’ll find him, Sammy,” Dad declared, looking at the Astrodome, at all the people waiting for their families, waiting for word.

“Yeah,” Sam replied, determination choking the sorrow. “We have to.”

Side by side, they crossed the street. [This was originally where I ended it—leaving hope. But then, the rest came to me.]

 

Jessica called every day, sometimes for a minute, but more often for an hour. She chattered on inanely and Sam lost himself in the words, in her voice, in the world he was beginning to suspect he’d never return to.

Dad tracked down every destination for the evacuees. He himself stayed in New Orleans for a week, checking every nook and cranny. Sam started in Houston and worked his way east. They met in Baton Rouge for a day, Dad doling out Sam’s next assignment before he headed back to New Orleans.

Months passed. Dad aged years and Sam quit smiling. All over the country they looked, every single place people were sent.

Determination waned and Sorrow returned, Sorrow with hazel eyes and a devil-may-care smile.

“No one’s seen him,” Dad said, slumped in a booth at Denny’s. “No one’s heard from him. He’da contacted somebody, Sam, if he could.”

Sam gulped some of his water and countered, “If he remembered.”

Dad met his eyes for a moment before looking away. “You’re right,” he said. “Of course you’re right. There’s a reason—he’s got amnesia.” Dad nodded, hand clenched around his glass of water.

And Sam realized Dad was cracking. He’d barely held himself together after Mom, and if they never found Dean…

“He’s fine, Dad,” Sam told him, reaching out to grip Dad’s shoulder. “Dean’s fine. We’ll find him because we can’t do anything else.”

Dad nodded again. “I know.” [Poor boys… laboring under denial only leads to deeper despair…]

 

By February of ’07, there wasn’t a single stone left unturned in the continental US. Hunters had come out of the woodwork to help search, people Sam had never even heard of.

Sam had told Jessica he wouldn’t be going back to Stanford. She said she’d always love him, but—and he said he understood. He wished her well.

After twenty-two years Mom’s killer appeared, but Dad didn’t waver from the search. [Traded one obsession for the other, neither of which can have a happy ending.]

 

By February of ’07, Sam was running on will and stubbornness, and Dad was on his last leg. Neither of them had ever expected to live in a world without Dean. Every day Sam didn’t hear his voice, his soul withered just a little more. Those years he had at Stanford, that freedom—it all tasted bitter on his tongue and he hated himself for cutting Dean off so completely.

Since August and Katrina, Sam and Dad hadn’t had a single fight. Not a one. The irony almost strangled him, the first time he noticed. Dean spent most of his life trying to make them get along, and finally they did—but Dean wasn’t there to see it. [Irony at its most beautiful, no?]

Dean wasn’t there. He wasn’t anywhere. No one could find him.

No one could find him.

 

By February of ’07, Sam knew Dean was gone.

So he left Dad at the Roadhouse, drinking himself into a stupor, and went to New Orleans. He went to the levies that failed and looked out over the water, remembering the newscast, the terror and confusion, the dread when Dean never picked up and said his name.

Sam slowly sank to his knees, watching where the water met the sky. The tears pooled and spilled over, hitting the concrete, and he couldn’t stop them, couldn’t slow them.

More than anything else in the history of the world, Sam wanted Dean beside him. He sank back on his haunches, then stretched his legs out in front of him, staring at the horizon that slowly darkened. It had been slightly chilly before but after the sun set, he shivered, harshly wiped his hand across his eyes.

He just wanted to hear Dean’s voice, feel Dean’s hand rest on his shoulder. Just wanted to see Dean and tell him everything he never took the time to say while he had the chance.

Sam pulled up his knees, folded his arms across them, rested his chin on his crossed wrists, and stared out over the still water, the water that probably stole his brother, with no intent to ever return him.

The wind picked up, swirling about his head, and he’d almost swear he heard Dean laughing. Just the memory of his brother laughing called up an answering chuckle, but it came out as more of a sob. [Just a smidge of hope.]

“Rest, Dean,” he whispered. “You earned it.”

His phone rang and he pulled it out: Ellen. “Yeah?” he answered.

Dad was asking for him. So Sam assured her he’d be back soon and stood, with one more glance out over the Pontchartrain. “I miss you,” he said softly and walked along the levy to where he’d parked.

He’d almost swear he felt someone watching him, but was too frightened to glance around and be wrong. [Is Dean actually there? I dunno.]

 

I bought a cheap watch from the crazy man
Floating down Canal
It doesn’t use numbers or moving hands
It always just says "now"

Now you may be thinking that I was had
But this watch is never wrong
And if I had trouble the warranty said:
Breathe in, breathe out, move on

And it rained
It was nothing really new
And it blew
Seen all that before
And it poured
The earth began to strain
Pontchartrain leaking through the door, tides at war

If a hurricane doesn’t leave you dead
It will make you strong
Don’t try to explain it just nod your head
Breathe in, breathe out, move on

And it rained
It was nothing really new
And it blew
Seen all that before
And it poured
The earth began to strain
Pontchartrain buried the 9th ward to the 2nd floor

According to my watch, the time is now
The past is dead and gone
Don't try to shake it, just nod your head
Breathe in, breathe out, move on

Don’t try to explain it, just bow your head
Breathe in, breathe out, move on....
“Breath In, Breathe Out, Move On” – Jimmy Buffet [I love this song. So much. You should track it down…]

Chapter Text

Title: a taste of lightning [I do not remember where I got this title, but I really like it]
Fandom: Thor movieverse/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: takes place post-movie and post-series; implied failure on the part of parents in raising of offspring (seriously, consider the canon); primordial!Methos; possibly confusing use of pronouns
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 500
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author's choice, any, he's born a liar and he'll die a liar.
Note: I chose the names for a reason, but I trusted internet sources since I have no knowledge of Old Norse at all. [In a lot of my fics, names are important. If they play a part in the plot, usually I did some sort of research. It’s fun.]

[I wanted this fic to be exactly 500 words. I do not remember why. There are sentences/words I cut to make it fit, paring it down to only the necessary.]

"Get up, child," he tells the boy lying spread on the ground.

The boy groans, then gasps. "I live," he murmurs, voice full of wonder.

"Yes," he says, leaning down to offer a hand. "It took a lot out of you, surviving that fall." He waits, unmoving, until the boy takes his hand, and then he carefully pulls the kid up. "But survive you did." [If Loki hadn’t landed (relatively) close to Methos’ location, there is every chance in the world that Methos wouldn’t have gone looking for or found him.]

The power will return in time, that much he knows. The kid isn't one of his; he's something else. Not older, though. Nothing is older. [As is revealed later, Methos isn’t quite correct about Loki not being one of his.]

Odin's stench is on him, nonetheless. That meddling fool. [Methos doesn’t usually feel strongly about people. They exist, they die. He can ignore them until they’re gone, and they can’t touch him, anyway. But Odin is different, for a variety of reasons that I didn’t figure out until a ways into the ‘verse.]

"Have you a name?" he asks the boy, steadying him on his feet. The kid's trembling, blinking far too much, and his eyes staying closed for longer each time.

"Of course," he slurs, slumping down. "Haven't you?" [Names are important to Loki; he is Odinson. Or was.]

He laughs. He has a thousand names, ten thousand, a million and more. [Names mean nothing to Methos. For the longest time, he had no name.] He presses a finger to the boy's temple, and another to his chest, right over his heart.

Lightning strikes, and catches, and the boy jolts in his grip, eyes flying open. [Loki had always been one of Methos’ kind, but it has been so long since Methos felt one that he didn’t recognize it for a while. But now, with Methos’ lightning in his veins, everyone who can will know.]

"Lesson the first, child," he says softly. "Survive." [That is the scene that popped into my head and spawned one of my favorite ‘verses.]

He sees the magic flowing through Odin's son, Laufey's son. Raised in shadow, cast aside for his bright brother – oh, yes. The potential here is staggering.

Odin has always been blind, misguided, with tendencies towards favoritism. [I don’t like Odin. I am perfectly fine with turning him into a one-note villain (well, except that I can’t really stand villains who are only villains without rhyme or reason). But in this ‘verse, Odin really thought he was doing the right thing. Over and over he made the worst choice possible – but he always thought it was right.]

"And lesson the second?" the boy asks, staring at him warily.

He smiles. "Grow stronger." He lets a moment pass in silence, as stormclouds gather on the horizon. "Call me Ash," he says. [*hee* In my fics, Methos always chooses some version of one of three names: Adam, Matthew, and Pierce. I’m sure I had a reason; now I just do it because I’ve been doing it. But here, there’s a reason - Ash is a version of the name of the first man in Norse myth.]

"My name is worthless," the child finally says, gazing at the dirt.

"Would you like a new one?" He gently lets go, stepping back. The boy sways in place for a heartbeat before finding his bearings again. [Methos has already decided to keep Loki. He doesn’t love him yet, but he will keep and protect him.]

The child's hands clench and his jaw tightens. "Will you take me home like a starving stray?" he demands, his returned magic giving him courage, and his pain turning into fury. He needs to lash out. "Will you use me until you grow tired, and then cast me aside, toss me off the bridge and watch me fall?" [For some reason, I always wish I had changed starving into starveling. I read it as starveling every time.]

"I'll take you home, yes," he says, standing still. "I'll guide you and guard you until you're ready, and then – well. There'll be many options, then. And I'll name you Van, if you like." [Van is a version of hope in Old Norse. I chose it because Methos is giving Loki more than a lifeline. He’s giving Loki an entirely new future.]

The boy pauses, clearly without a clue of what to do next. He's tired. His spirit is aching. He needs to rest, and heal. [What I wish, so very much, is that anyone would just pause and give canon!Loki time. There were so many chances to save him and nobody bothered.]

"Ash," he murmurs. "I like Van."

"Van you are," Ash says, reaching out again. The kid doesn't pull away. [Van is now Methos’ completely. They don’t love each other yet; hell, they barely know each other. But Methos will give Van time, space, and acceptance. He’ll give the boy every world in existence, and every moment in eternity.)

So Ash pulls him in, supports him, and leads him home.

Odin, you utter fool, he thinks, weaving the shield even tighter, so the All-Seeing cannot See. You never did understand self-fulfilling prophecies. [This is what I don’t understand about Norse mythology. You’ve got a prophecy that says a wolf and a snake will bring about the end of the world. So you… banish one and chain the other in a cave somewhere with a sword in his mouth. That is definitely the best way to avoid bringing about armageddon.]

Ah, well. He hasn't had a student since Byron; the Highlander never qualified. And Van may not be one of his by birth, but his lightning now sings in the boy's blood and that is more than enough. [And that was it. Until I got the next prompt that shouted, I’m the further adventures of Ash and Van!]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Thor movieverse/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU after Thor; primordial!Methos
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 200
Point of view: third
Prompt: Highlander/Thor, Methos + Loki, What About Everything? (by Carbon Leaf) [I’m pretty sure this was prompted so I would continue the ‘verse. *shrugs*]

Van is a scholar. He always has been. Once he gets past the shock of being alive, of becoming Van, of the very ancient thing Ash is... he has more questions than anyone has ever thought or dared to ask. [I’m pretty sure canon!Loki, at the beginning of Thor, is like the big jock on campus’s little nerdy brother. Then shit happens.]

Ash has never answered questions truthfully. He believes that if someone wants answers, they should live long enough to discover the truth themselves. [Methos doesn’t believe in easy answers. If you want to know something, go figure it out for yourself.]

But Van... well. Van is his, in a way no one - even Kronos - has managed before. Ash's own people are thousands of megannums [millions of years]gone. And this boy, this broken and beautiful boy, is the closest to himself he's ever found, in all his eons of travel. [I sorta flipflop about Methos being the oldest of his siblings; at one point, I straight up say his older sister did something; later, he is the first of them all. *handwaves*]

Van asks questions, purely because he wants to know. All he wants from Ash is acceptance, and a scrap of attention. [Van just wants to know everything ever. And Ash feels inclined to spoil the boy, at the moment.]

MacLeod, and the Watchers, and the godlings of four dozen pantheons - all would be shocked, to see Ash smile at the boy and answer. There is shared lightning in their blood, his and Van’s, and they have longer than anyone else fathoms to learn all there is to know. [Methos is starting to fall in love, but he’s not quite yet there. But he cares about Van the way he cared about Kronos, and he’s going to take better care of this boy.]

But first, the child asks a very simple question, and so Ash says, “In the beginning… I was.” [The question: What was in the beginning? The first draft of this drabble didn’t have the I was but I like it.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Thor movieverse/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU after Thor
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 355
Point of view: third
Prompt: Highlander/Thor, Loki + Methos, it's tricky to officially adopt someone who doesn't officially exist [Another I saw and went Mine! and I’m pretty sure it was meant for me.]

If anyone can magic a complete history out of the clear blue sky, Methos can. [True fact, yo.] The boy – Van, Odin’s cast-off, Laufey’s stolen son – could, too, if he knew what was required by the modern government of anywhere. As it stands, the boy needs a lesson in the political and geographical history of a world he hasn’t even glanced at in over a thousand years. If then. There were so many other worlds to explore, after all. Methos has been to each, and while Earth can be exciting… well. The only magic there is what Others bring into it. [I figure, we must be a pretty boring world compared to the Norse nine.]

Van learns quickly. And he’s so eager to please. To the untrained eyes of humans, he appears somewhere around twenty-five (just like Methos). [Peter Wingfield is too old now, I think, but Methos in his first episode could pass as Tom Hiddleston-as-Loki’s brother.]

In Methos’ eyes, he is a child still. Of course, in Methos’ eyes, anything younger than the sky is a child. (And even the sky is unbearably young sometimes.) [I’ve gotta admit, I really like this paragraph. It’s one of my favorites of my own work.]

Watching with awe, Van can barely string together a coherent sentence as Methos weaves his magic. His madness has fully passed; his grief is on the way. But Methos gives him a complete history (familial, schooling, medical, credit, employment) for every country in the world and tells him to choose. [Even if Loki hadn’t fallen into Thanos’ tender care, he would’ve needed major therapy.]

Van devours history books and any film he can get his hands on. It all seems medieval to him, of course, but also new. Nothing in Asgard was a surprise anymore. But Midgard, for all its faults… well, there’s a reason Methos returns to it so often. [Methos comes back to Earth because it changes constantly. Human society is ever-evolving, unlike Asgard, I think, much less the rest. That’s why Loki played so many pranks, and got on everyone’s bad side (he didn’t always intend to) – he was bored. It’s bad when geniuses get bored.]

(Often. Hah. He uses a different timescale from every other creature in existence.) [Often to Methos does not mean what often means to the rest of us.]

“To the world,” he tells the boy, “I am too young to be your father. We’ll know the truth, of course. But in these identities, I’m your older brother.” He smiles at Van’s joy. “What would you like to do?”

Van spreads the papers on the table. “Can we do them all?” he asks.

Methos nods. “We have eternity, child. Son. Brother. We can do anything. We can do everything.”

Van grins. He closes his eyes and picks an identity at random.

It’s been a long time since Methos was so excited to begin a new life. [Aww. I enjoyed writing this ‘verse so much because, compared to other things I’ve written, it’s just so fluffy.]

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Thor movieverse/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU after Thor
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 210
Point of view: third
Prompt: Highlander/Thor, Methos /+ Loki, they both prefer trickery but that doesn't mean they can't fight (viciously and well)

 

Before he was Van, he had been a princeling who played pranks and relied on his tricks to escape. Not that he couldn't fight; he just rarely did. That was why they called him Silvertongue. [He may be Asgard’s version of a nerd, but he’s still badass.]

But now he is Van, and his father trains him in ways of fighting that Odin and Thor never knew. [Odin knows magic and battle; Thor knows battle. Methos invented both.]

"What is the first lesson?" Da asks before they ever cross blades, or spar in one of a thousand disciplines, or take aim with whatever projectile Da chose today.

"Survive," Van says.

"And the second?" Da asks, never striking the same way twice, quicker than the lightning in their blood.

Van grins, feeling alive and powerful and loved. "Grow stronger," he answers, dodging.

Da smiles, falling silent, and Van listens to the lightning. [As I’ve said elsewhere – I took Methos’ advice for Duncan and never stopped.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Avengers movieverse/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU after Thor
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 210
Point of view: third
Prompt: Highlander/Thor, Methos + Loki, reactions

[There was a word restriction on this prompt, but I can’t remember what it was.]

 

“Brother,” Thor says, ignoring his team to stare at the man with Loki. “Who is this?”

“My father, Ash,” Loki says calmly. “This villain of yours – Doom, was it? – interrupted us, so.”

“You dealt with him quite viciously.” Thor looks to Ash, unsure what to say about the title Loki gave him. “Well done.” [Thor is not an idiot. He also had no idea Loki was alive.]

Ash nods, eyes as cold and unfathomable as the cosmos. “We shall be on our way, then, Thunderer.” [Methos doesn’t dislike Thor as a person; he dislikes Thor for what he represents.]

Thor cannot help but feel a thread of unease running down his spine. [As I said, Thor is not an idiot. He knows danger when he’s looking at it.] “Wait, Brother,” he calls, reaching for Loki’s arm. “Please, come home. We thought you dead.”

A sword flashes before Thor’s fingers touch Loki’s sleeve. “Beware, Son of Odin,” Ash says softly, as he stands between Thor and his brother. “Ask your father about the Oldest.” [Methos really doesn’t like Thor’s father, and he really despised Thor’s grandfather. Also, Van isn’t ready to confront his past head-on quite yet. When he finally is, Ash wants it to be on Van’s terms.]

“Thor,” Stark whispers, loud enough for both Loki and Ash to hear. “What’s going on?”

Captain America steps up to stand next to Thor; the rest of his team carefully arrange themselves around him. [None of them have any idea what’s going on, but they’ll back their friend.]

Ash does not look away from Thor’s eyes. “We shall take our leave, Odinson and friends,” he says, an order as sure as any Father ever gave.

Loki doesn’t meet Thor’s gaze. Ash doesn’t sheath the sword as he gently touches Loki’s shoulder and they vanish. [Everything will be on Van’s terms, and Thor is totally clueless.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Avengers movieverse/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU after Thor
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 740
Point of view: third
Prompt: Highlander / Avengers, Methos + Nick Fury, Fury warns the Avengers against messing with this one seemingly innocuous person

[So, this was written before I saw Avengers, I’m pretty sure. *shrugs*]

 

"But Boss," Barton argues, swinging around to step right in Nick's way, "if he's Thor's brother, then he's that guy who sent the robot!" [All they knew about Loki before Avengers, and I doubt Thor would’ve wanted to talk about the brother he thought dead.]

"Yes," Nick says, striding forward. Barton jumps out of the way, and then keeps beside him.

Widow waits at the door. "Ash is here," she says. "He would like to speak to you." [Natasha doesn’t know what Ash is, but she has her suspicions. She also knows more about Fury than most do.]

Nick nods, glaring at Barton until he quiets. "Stay," he orders.

Barton glares but subsides.

.

"Ash?" Clint asks Natasha. "Thor's brother's dad?"

Natasha ignores him, so Clint calls Bruce.

"We really shouldn't go snooping," Bruce says, following him down the hall, keeping watching as Clint peers into doors. “Ash seemed… well.”

Clint ducks back when he sees Fury and Thor’s brother’s dad in the middle of a very heated argument.

Ash is smirking. Not even goddamned Doom smirks at Fury. His eyes flick at Clint and his smirk widens, getting toothier. Clint shudders. [I kept forgetting that I killed Doom.]

.

“What’s happenin’?” Tony bellows, sauntering down the hall. Clint shushes him and Bruce winces. “Okay, sorry,” Tony says quieter. “What’s happening?”

“You remember Thor’s brother’s dad?” Clint whispers, peeking back around the door. Tony leans in, too, balancing himself on Clint’s shoulder. Clint tries to shrug him off, but Tony perseveres and Clint finally just lets him lean.

“Thor’s brother’s dad?” Tony repeats. “The scary guy with the sword?”

“He just barged in earlier, so Fury’s meeting with him,” Clint tells him.

“He just barged in?” Tony repeats again, flabbergasted. “And Fury’s not arresting him?”

Tony studies the guy, what little he can see.

He’s smirking.

[I still enjoy this chapter, but it just seems kinda OOC. *pouts*]

.

 

“You got some balls, brother, coming here,” Nikolas laughs.

Methos shrugs. “I’m sure the Thunderer spun a fine tale,” he says, “so I decided to let you know the truth.” [Methos keeps track of his old students.]

Nikolas nods. “Thor told me that his brother had been kidnapped and brainwashed by some bloodthirsty villain. Not in so many words, of course.” [Thor ranted a lot, once he got past the shock of Loki being alive. Why else would Loki have stayed away instead of going home?]

Methos barks a sharp laugh. “I found him, Niko, and I’m keeping him. He’s mine. I’ll not give him up ‘til he wants to leave, and honestly – I don’t see that ever happening.”

“So, Old Man, what do you want?” Nikolas asks, getting down to business. “You’re not a villain this lifetime, and if you’ve got that boy in hand, neither is he. Why are you here?” [I just *hee* this bit of dialogue.]

Methos smiles. He knows what the smile looks like – he wore it as Death, and he wore it long before then, before humanity’s ancestor crawled out of the sludge. [It’s a smile that reaches down into the primal part of the brain and shrieks, Get the fuck out!]

Nikolas shudders. “I’m here to warn you, boy,” Methos says. “Whatever Van and I get up to, it’s our business. At the moment, he’s happy to explore this world, and I shall indulge him. And if any your children take offense to that -” He shrugs. [Van is in no danger at all while in Methos’ care, but Methos doesn’t want anyone to ruin his fun.]

“I understand,” Nikolas says after a moment. “And if the Asgardians take offense to you and Loki palling around on Earth?” [Not that he really cares. But as Director of SHIELD, he needs to appear responsible.]

Methos’ smile sharpens as he bares his teeth. “Then they’ll be my problem, won’t they, Niko?”

Nikolas shudders again. Methos smirks at the children peering around the door – they stood with Odin’s trueborn son, and they think Van to be some sort of supervillain in the making. [If Van wanted to be, Methos could show him things that would give Thanos pause.]

He wonders if Thor dared ask his father about the Oldest. Odin would’ve lied if he did, and the lie was probably wonderful. Odin the Fool. Methos chuckles, focusing back on dear Nikolas. “You’re a good lad, you know,” he murmurs in the first tongue Niko ever spoke. [No, I have no idea what it is. But Fury is relatively old; older than a thousand, for sure.]

“I was once yours,” Nikolas responds. “Wasn’t I?”

Methos studies him for a moment, running his eyes up and down Niko’s body. He hasn’t aged, of course. His eye is still gone, and he continuously refuses to let Methos return it. “Yes,” Methos says softly. “You were mine once. But not like this, Nikolas. Leave my boy alone. I’m teaching him things you never knew, things you could never do. And it is because of our past that you get this warning. Others won’t.”

Nikolas nods. “Understood, Old Man. Now get your ass outta here.”

With one last smirk towards Niko’s little gang, Methos leans in to give Nikolas a quick kiss and then he leaves in a blaze of lightning, Niko’s shouts in his ears.

.

“What’d he say?” Van asks.

Da smiles at him. “Nothing unexpected. Come, let’s watch a movie. Have you seen Surf’s Up yet? You’d like it.”

Van gives him a look, similar to the one he used to give Thor, but he lets Da distract him. [

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Avengers movieverse/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: weepy!Loki; primordial!Methos; AU after Thor
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1050
Point of view: third
Prompt: Highlander/Thor, Methos + Loki, Death gave him a new life

[I thought it was time to add in more Highlander. Plus, I like Joe.]

 

"Hey, Old Man!" the bartender calls with a laugh as Van and Da step out of the rain, Da setting the umbrella by the door. "Long time no see!"

"Hello, Joe," Da says, inclining his head. Van follows him to the bar, glancing around the room: half-full, live music, no one else like Da present. “I’m Ashton Piers this life,” Da tells the man, settling on a stool. Van sits beside him, watching the musician as he starts a new song. “This is my brother, Evan.” [Their identities are very boring on paper.]

“Evan, good to meet you,” Joe says, holding his hand across the bar. “’Bout time this guy got another student.” [I’m not sure how much Joe knows about Adam Pierson as Methos, but he knows that the whole Byron situation was hard on him.]

Van shakes his hand, smiling. “Best time of my life so far,” he replies.
.

Three songs later, Joe hobbles to a backroom, gesturing for Da and Van to follow him. “Have a seat,” he says, falling into a chair. Da is more graceful as he slouches into another, and Van takes his elegantly. [Human vs Oldest Being In Existence vs Courtly Trained Prince. *hee*] “Where’ve you been?” Joe asks Da. “Mac comes in a couple times a year asking about you. Fifteen years… I was startin’ to think I’d die without ever seein’ you again.” [It’s so weird to think about how long it’s actually been since Highlander aired. I didn’t start watching it until very recently (2011-2012) but it’s always been on my periphery because my mom used to watch it when I was kid. She really liked Adrian Paul.]

Da shrugs. “I had business to attend to,” he says. “And then I had my hands full with the kid.”

Joe looks at him, assessing. “Ad-Ashton doesn’t take many students. You must be somethin’ special.” [That’s the only time Joe will mess up Methos’ identity.]

Van ducks his head. Before Da, it had been centuries since someone complimented him without wanting something in return. [Loki was not the favored prince, but he was still a prince.]

Hours pass, Joe and Da talking about the last decade and a half. Someone named ‘Mac’ is mentioned frequently; Van commits all the information to memory. When it’s time to go, Joe asks, “I gotta know. Ashton and Evan?” [I was really proud of the names I chose, and I wanted it explained. *shrugs* Plus, it seems like it’s something Joe would want to know.]

Da smiles. “Ash and Van, actually. Ash is the Norse equivalent of Adam.” Joe chuckles and Da shrugs eloquently, smirking. “And Van…” Da meets his eyes, smirk gentling into the smile Van can hardly bear, because the last – and only – person to give it to him was Mother, who knew the truth and lied for a thousand years. “Van is an approximation of hope.” [Look, even before the Avengers movie happened, Loki had so many problems.]

Van flushes. Of course, he’d known that, but he and Da never talked about it.

Joe nodded. “How soon till you drop in again, Old Man?”

Standing, Da says, “Not a clue. I was thinking the kid and I could go on a walkabout, see all the sights. Make sure that note I left on Stonehenge is still there.”

Joe gapes at him. “You messed with Stonehenge?” he demands, caught somewhere between amusement and indignation.

Da smirks again. “Well, it wasn’t a big deal yet, when I left the note. Nothing important, I’m just curious.”

Van shakes his head. His research into Midgard had revealed how today’s mortals revered the past and all the monuments still standing. Of course, Da had also told him about the little messages he’d left on them all, his joke to the future. [Methos seems like the kind of guy who would leave little pranks for the archeologists/historians of the world, yeah?]

Joe just sighs. “Couldn’t help yourself, could you?”

“Of course not,” Da laughs. “You know me, Dawson.” He grins his trickster-grin, the one Van’s begun to emulate. It’s better than the knife-sharp, ice-cold smile he wore as Loki Silvertongue, Odin’s shadowed spawn.

“It was nice to meet you,” Van tells Joe as he escorts them to the door.

“You, too, kid,” Joe says, clapping Da on the back. “Don’t be fifteen years again, Old Man.” He looks conflicted for a moment. “Mac’ll be disappointed he missed you.”

“Joe,” Da says gently, turning to meet his gaze. “MacLeod and I have eternity to catch up.” Joe nods, but he still seems bothered. Da lightly bops him on the chin. “Don’t worry, my friend. Take care of yourself.”

“Yeah,” Joe promises. “I will.”

Van grabs the umbrella and they walk back into the rain.

.

Once back at their home, Van curls up in a comfortable chair with a volume of Native American myths. Da sits at his desk, writing in a language Van doesn’t recognize. [Atlantian.] Seven myths into the book, Van decides to ask the question he’s been wondering about since Da found him.

“Da?” he begins softly, glancing at Da before dropping his gaze. “How old are you?” [There is no one left who can truly fathom how old Methos is. And the curiosity has been eating Van alive, especially now that he’s moved past fearing Methos would cast him away.]

Da’s quiet for almost five minutes; he turns to look at Van, setting his pen down, and Van can’t meet his eyes. Finally, Da says, “I am old, child. Does it matter?”

“No,” Van says, shaking his head. But he’s still worried – what if Odin or the aesir or the jötnar learn he lives? He’d been mad, yes, and despairing, and so enraged. And Da had taught him other, better ways to do things, should he ever again feel the need to commit genocide. But surely not even Da could stand against two worlds. [Loki has many enemies, and they all believe him dead. And Van doesn’t yet realize there is no one who could possibly be a threat to him.]

“I am older than Odin,” Da says. “I am older than Asgard and Jötunheimr and any other realm you could name. I am old, Van, and I am powerful. Do not fear.” He stands and walks over, carefully taking the book from Van, marking the page, and setting it aside. He places one hand on Van’s face, cupping his jaw, and the other over Van’s heart. “You are mine,” he says, “and I am yours, for however long you want me to be.” [By this point, Methos completely loves Van. It’s been a few months, our time, but they’ve jumped around and spent a little while in a pocket dimension where time travels much slower. Methos is devoted to his new son and Van adores his da.]

The lightning in Van’s blood surges, confirming the oath. Da nods, face solemn. “I will stand before you and by you. I will defend and protect. I will avenge, if you like, and bring the aesir to their knees, choking on their own blood and bile.” [I’m really fond of that bit of dialogue.]

Van closes his eyes and bites his lip, so that he doesn’t burst into tears. Not even his brother ever… “Oh, my child,” Da whispers, and pulls Van into his arms. [Odin was not demonstrative as a father. Frigga tried to be, but she had so many things to do. Loki didn’t demand attention like Thor, or make showy spectacles whenever he felt enough attention hadn’t been paid. He never really believed they loved him, and the way Thor played out, he’s sure they didn’t.]

“You are mine,” he repeats again. “I will say it every day unto forever, if I must. Never doubt it.”

“Da,” Van gasps out, fingers clutching his shirt, letting the tears he never wept during the jötnar debacle come. “Da, thank you, thank you so much.” [I warned for weepy!Loki just because, but really, can you blame him? He’s never grieved for anything, for all the ‘imagined slights,’ for everything that went wrong. This is the first time since he fell that he’s really letting himself feel it, and Methos understands in a way no one from Loki’s childhood would.]

“Shh,” Da murmurs, shifting them around so that his back is to Van’s chair and Van is spread across his lap, cradled in his arms. “There is no shame in grief, or love. Let it out, Van. You are safe and free to do whatever you wish.”

So Van cries in his da’s arms, and he’s never been happier.

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers/Thor
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU for Avengers movieverse; primordial!Methos; a great deal of bullshittery
Pairings: none stated
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 485
Point of view: third
Prompt: Highlander/Thor, Methos and Loki, the existence of gods

Loki used to research the mythology about the aesir. Humans were creative and clever, and they got a great deal right, while getting so much more wrong.

Honestly, a wolf and a snake as his children? And those poor twin boys - he shuddered, reading that one, and made sure to hide it from Thor. And the thought of his father riding his son around? Terrible.

At least in the myths, Loki wasn't blood related to his family.

(In hindsight, that hurts.) [The research I conducted to start writing Avengers/Norse myth fic has put me firmly in Loki’s camp, forever and always.]

.

Van knows that he is no god. He's far more advanced than the humans who used to worship him, but he is no god. Odin and Mo-Frigga and Thor are not gods, either. [I figure it was harder to excise Frigga from his heart than Thor and Odin because his anger towards her doesn’t burn hot.] The aesir are aliens (or maybe humans are aliens? maybe it just depends on where he is, at the time).

But Da... Da must be a god. A God. Nothing else makes sense, if he's as old as he says he is. [I figure it’s like the pagans from Supernatural. In their pantheons, they are gods, but still weaker than archangels because the Judeo-Christian God made them all. Or something. Methos is not the Judeo-Christian God, but he has been (and is, and will be again) a god. (And if there is a Judeo-Christian God, in this ‘verse, then he probably is Methos, not that Methos cares about any of the laws in the Bible.)]

Van wants to ask, sometimes. Whenever Da gets that distant look in his eyes, that weary expression on his face. Whenever Da threatens the aesir, or someone else who's earned his rage.

And Da's power... surely, only a God could marshal such strength? Not even Odin All-Father could manage such a comprehensive healing as Da gave Van, when they first met. Odin’s magic was focused in objects, like Thor’s Mjölnir. But Da doesn’t need anything like that.

He must be a God, if not Creator of All, like the Christians and their ilk believe. Van isn’t sure, really. [As I said.]

.

Da teaches in a way unlike Loki’s tutors. Better, actually. Van learns far more quickly than Loki ever did. He picks up magicks that Odin wouldn’t recognize, that the aesir would flinch from, and he adores it. Asgard stifled his creativity, shunned him for daring to imagine. But Da… Da dares him to think of way no one has before. [In my fics, magic and magick are different. Magick is the deep kind, that changes the thread of being. Magic is parlor tricks. Odin does magic. Methos does magick, and he’s teaching Van the same.]

(And Odin, Ash doesn’t tell him, would recognize the magick. Recognize and fear. Recognize and know.) [Odin knows Methos. They hate each other, though Odin doesn’t know what he did to earn Methos’ enmity.]

Da’s use of magick is fluid, different from anything Asgard had. He’s clever and innovative, which makes sense, Van thinks, watching him charm a herd of rampaging frost beasts. If Da’s as old as he says, he’s from the time before magic, back when life was woven together from the base elements. Back when magic was magick, the wild force no one else in any of the nine realms would recognize or understand. (Except Odin. And though he could see it for its truth, he’d have no idea how to defend against it.) [A lot of this ‘verse is me bullshitting magical explanations for things. It was fun.]

Loki used magic for trickery and defense. Van wields something older and far more dangerous, and he’ll never be at anyone’s mercy, anyone’s control, anyone’s use again. [He’s still got lots of damage in his heart and on his soul.]

Van is the Son of Ash, a soon-to-be Master of Magick, and all the realms are his to explore, his to investigate, his to have fun with, and Da dares him to weave something new.

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Thor movieverse/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: primordial!Methos; future!fic(ish)
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount:
Point of view: 410
Prompt: Highlander/Thor&Avengers, Loki&Methos, time has no meaning to them, they can go anywhere, anywhen they want

 

"Where to today?" Da asks, spinning the globe on their coffee table.

"Not where," Van says, grinning. "When."

.

They’ve been to the historical world-changing moments in all the realms. Da’s told him they can’t change things; Van’s fine with that. [I’m not sure it’s that Methos can’t, but that there are some things even he finds sacred and won’t touch.]

Da asked him, once, as they feasted (disguised) in Vanaheimr, what he would change, if Da twisted time and took them back to the life-changing moments of his life.

Van considered the points of his life where everything could’ve gone differently – Odin stealing him, letting the jötnar into Asgard, lying to Thor, letting go of Gungnir.

“Nothing,” Van answered. [If those things were changed, Loki would never have met Methos, would never have become Van. And that is something he wouldn’t change.]

Da smiled.

.

“When to today?” Da asks, letting the globe go.

Van says, “Can you show me the beginning, Da?”

Da raises an eyebrow. “The very beginning? Back before magick and before time?”

Nodding, Van holds his breath. It’s farther back than Da has ever taken him. Farther back than Da himself has gone in… forever. [Van is curious about everything. Usually, Methos indulges that curisoty because he, too, is curious and there so little he doesn’t know.]

It is a long moment before Da speaks. “To the very beginning of all,” he murmurs, “no, my son.” He meets Van’s eyes. “But to the moment magick came to be? Yes.” He smiles, standing up and holding out a hand to Van. “I’ll take you to the first spell there ever was.” [But, no, he will take no one back to the beginning. Not Van, not Kronos, not Ymir his first brother, the being he loves most in all existence. There are some things nobody should know, and Methos is the only one left who does.]

.

Odin once told Loki that while magic was powerful and useful, it would never be better than Thor’s raw strength. [Odin meant well, but that is not something you should tell your sorcery-inclined son.]

Loki thought, but didn’t say, that if Thor ever lost his magic hammer, he’d be in trouble.

Well. Thor sure proved him wrong, didn’t his oaf of a brother?

But. Loki might never win a physical battle with Thor, but Van has witnessed the creation of magick, and Da has shown him secrets Odin couldn’t fathom, and while hand-to-hand is good for some things, Van can call down the very stars.

“Oh,” he whispers, as Da’s older sister twists her fingers, changing everything. [See, this is something I forgot about later, and sorta retconned, I guess. Because later, Methos had no older sister; he was Fyrstr, the oldest of all. *shrugs* The trouble of working with no plan.]

“It was beautiful,” Da says quietly. “None of us knew, then.”

“So beautiful,” Van agrees, breathless.

.

One of Thor’s enemies makes the mistake of attacking Miami while Van and Da are visiting the beach. Thor goes down hard, hitting the water and sinking. Stark and the archer are thrown back, the Widow tries to get in close, and Banner manages a blow that forces the giant-robot-mutant-thing to flinch.

But Thor is still down, and none of the rest of his team make so much as a dent.

“Van?” Da asks.

“Yes,” Van decides, and he twists his fingers. [This is the moment Van realizes how much he still loves Thor, despite everything between them. And the moment he decides to use his abilities for ‘good’ instead of ‘evil,’ even though, as Da has explained, those things are constructs created by mortals, something neither Da nor Van is.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Thor movieverse/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: primordial!Methos; remembered child abandonment; unintended child favoritism
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 865
Point of view: third
Prompt: Highlander/Thor, Methos + Odin, when he didn't go searching for his lost son because he never expected someone else to find him

[See, the thing is, I don’t like one-note villains. And while it would’ve been so easy to completely demonize Odin, I didn’t want to. He did his best, thought he was doing the right thing, and there has been no one to call him on his bullshit except his wife for thousands of years.]

Odin has admitted (to himself and Frigga) that many mistakes were made with Loki. From the beginning, in fact.

He picked the child up out of mercy. It was a cold night, after all, and the giant’s child was far too small to survive. And, yes, he knew from the moment their skin touched who the child was, and why he had been left there. [Before Loki, Frigga was the most powerful mage in all nine realms. Odin was second. (Methos belongs on an entirely differently list.) Odin and Frigga have different strengths, but Loki was astonishingly gifted in all of them, for reasons Odin never took the time to wonder about until it was too late.]

Loki was quite different from Thor. Thor was simple, easy-going. Even as a toddler, he was loud and happy. But Loki – Loki was quiet, Loki was secretive, Loki’s pranks were… strange. He clearly adored Thor (like everyone), but the rest of the aesir were studied and found wanting. [No one started out not liking Loki. But he was the only nerd in a world of jocks, and while they had some things in common, it was easier to focus on Thor and leave Loki alone. For awhile.]

[Also, this chapter is from before I decided Baldr should be a part of the story. *shrugs*]

Looking back, holding Frigga’s hand, Odin can admit that all Loki ever sought was his approval. His love.

And Odin told him no. Odin told him no, and Loki let go. [I really like that sentence.]

.

“Father,” Thor said quietly, stepping into their chamber. “Mother.”

“Yes, Thor?” Frigga asked, holding out a hand.

Thor took her hand and sat beside her on the bed. He avoided Odin’s gaze. [Thor has no idea what to think about his father, so he goes to his mother.] “I found…” Thor paused, taking a deep breath. “Mother, I found Loki. He’s alive.”

Frigga whipped her head around to glare at Odin. “You told me he was dead,” she accused.

[Frigga hasn’t looked into the future since Loki’s fall. Otherwise, she would’ve known before now. But she didn’t want to see a future without her youngest child.]

“I thought he was,” Odin whispered.

“He looks wonderful,” Thor said, focusing on Frigga. “He’s with a man he calls father, and he’s so much more powerful, Mother. He doesn’t…” Thor paused again, breath hitching. “I don’t think he misses us.” [Thor, to the best of his knowledge, has never not been his brother’s whole world. (This was also before Fenrir.) He has no idea what to do. Because surely that man with Loki has twisted him somehow – but, in his heart, Thor knows that’s not true.]

“Oh, love,” Frigga murmured, reaching out to wrap her arms around Thor. “My son.”

Odin walked out as they began to cry together. He couldn’t decide if the nausea was rage or pain. But he knew – he feared, and he hated, but he knew.

Only one being could hide Loki from them, even when they weren’t looking, so sure of Loki’s death.

 

.

“Find me Methos,” Odin commanded Heimdall.

He wasn’t surprised when Heimdall failed.

[Most people think Methos is a legend. If the basis of the legend ever did live, he’d be long dead. Odin knows better. I’m not sure where Odin learned that name, the same name in Midgard’s Watcher chronicles, but at some point in the past millennia, he did.]

.

“A little birdie told me you wanted to talk,” a voice whispered on the air, as Odin stared out over his realm. [Of course Methos has been watching Van’s one-time family.]

Methos,” Odin hissed.

“Hello, little king,” Methos said, materializing from nothing, chuckling. [I really enjoy having Methos call Odin little king; I’m not sure why.] “I found something you stole.” He crossed his arms, raising a brow at Odin. “I kept him, and taught him, and perfected him.”

“He isn’t yours,” Odin thundered, shaking the room around them. “I found him long before you, and I raised him!”

Methos laughed. “A thousand years is an eyeblink, Allfather. And you didn’t raise him. You lied to him. You conditioned him to hate and fear his own kind, and then you fell into a coma when he learned the truth.” Shaking his head, Methos continued in a patronizing tone, “You can’t be shocked at what happened, Odin. What other outcome was there?” [Canon. So much canon. Ye gods, Thor is so frickin’ annoying because of that.]

Odin threw a spell at Methos, out of sheer rage and frustration. Methos caught it, absorbed it, and sighed. “You utter fool, Odin. If there is war between us, you cannot but fail. You know who I am. You know what I am. Let the boy go.”

“No!” Odin screamed, and the foundations shuddered. “He is mine, you monster!” [Odin is unreasonable right here because he knows he doesn’t have a chance or a choice, and because he has no idea why Methos hates his guts. He knows why he hates Methos, though.]

Methos looked at him, as Odin shuddered with the force of his rage, his pain, his despair. He’d failed so spectacularly with his younger [youngest, but again, before Baldr] son. And now that he knew - knew - Loki lived… he had to get the boy back. Had to show him the truth: Odin truly loved him. And Odin regretted, so much, those centuries of misunderstanding. [Odin really, truly does love Loki. But he has never understood him. Never really tried, either.]

“Oh, Odin.” Methos sighed again. “You still don’t understand.” He shook his head, spine straight, hands at his side. He looked young, as he always did, and weary, but there was strength in his frame. “I named the boy Van,” he said, walking to the window, staring out over Asgard’s shining towers. “He has hope again in his life now, because I found him, child.” [Methos knows it’s pointless; he’s trying simply for Van’s sake.]

“Hope,” Odin scoffed. “You’re not a hope-maker, Oldest.” He sneered the first name he ever knew for Methos. Methos, whose name was older than planets. Methos, who burnt realms to ash and slaughtered entire continents. Methos the world-killer, Methos the ancient, Methos the last. [I also really like the flow of those last three sentences.]

Methos, who stole a broken boy and remade him in Methos’ image.

No. Methos could not keep Loki. Odin would not allow the abomination to keep his son. [Odin is just being blindingly obstinate right now. He’s just found out Loki is alive after thinking he failed so spectacularly as a father that Loki chose death over living with him, and that Loki is in Methos’ care, Methos who killed his father. *shrugs* I don’t like Odin, but I do feel a smidge of sympathy for him because of this situation I gleefully tossed him in.]

“He is not yours,” Methos said quietly. “He never was.” [Truth, as I decided later.]

“I will save my son from you,” Odin swore, glaring at the nightmare from his own childhood, in those far-away days before he was the Allfather.

Methos shook his head. “You fool,” he muttered. “You complete, utter fool.” And he was gone. [At the moment, if Odin tried forcing his way to Van, Methos would smash him to pieces and scatter him amongst the stars.]

Odin took deep, even breaths. He knew better than to go to Frigga’s bed tonight, so he stayed at the window, in the Methos-tainted room, and when his beloved Thor hesitantly walked to his side and asked softly, “Father, who is the Oldest? Loki called him Ash when he introduced the man as his father.”

“There are things older than I am, Thor,” he said after a moment. Thor would need to know their enemy, when they challenged Methos for their lost son, their lost brother.

“Tell me, Father,” Thor requested, and so Odin did.

[Thor still hasn’t made up his mind, since he’s begun to realize there had to be something wrong for Loki to do what he did. But he needs to know what his father thinks.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Thor movieverse/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: primordial!Methos; mentions of violence/death; intentionally wrong Norse mythology
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1115
Point of view: third
Prompt: Highlander/Thor, Methos + Odin, there's more than one way to be a god

 

Before he was the Allfather, Odin had been Wódin, Borr's son, grandson of Buri. He had been a giant child, a godling, potential given flesh. His mother Bestla taught him incredible magics, [the lack of K is important] and together he and his brothers Wili and Wé threw down tyrant overlords, creating a great time of peace. [I did a lot of research for this fic, yo. All of it left me firmly on Loki’s side.]

In legend, that is how it goes. The truth is somewhat different. [History is written by the victors – or, rather, by those who were allowed by the victor to survive.]

.

“Come, brother!” Wili shouted, leading the way. Wé laughed, dodging the spell Wódin threw at his back. “Catch us if you can, littlest!” [Odin is the youngest of three; you’d think he’d have learned something from it.]

Wódin was merely a season younger than Wé, but he had been a weak infant, and Mother still coddled him. Wili and Wé thought themselves so much better, and to prove them wrong, Wódin needed to play such a trick Father’s court would speak of it for centuries. [Yes, this was intended to be similar to Loki.]

And to do that, he needed to trap his brothers.

.
Mother’s brother Mímir was the first to ever mention the Oldest of All. He never used the Oldest’s name when he told the legends. Wili and Wé had no patience for the stories, feeling themselves far too mature for nursery tales, but Wódin listened avidly.

The Oldest was his inspiration for the prank that finally earned his brothers’ respect.

When he is much, much older (though nowhere near as old as the Oldest), Odin will repeat those myths to his sons, and he will only realize later still, that Loki listened while Thor relived childish battles in his mind. [The Oldest is a major part of Odin’s history – but very few know it.]

.

Mímir and Borr died during a misguided war. Bestla burnt herself out avenging her husband. Wili, Wé, and Wódin fought side-by-side, and after the war, took the throne together.

In time, Wili vanished while on a quest. Wé was assassinated by an enemy Wódin then destroyed, renaming himself Odin when he sat alone on his father’s throne. [Wódin had a family. Odin had a throne all his own.]

Odin married Frigga, had Thor, and found Loki. [I keep thinking I should go back to here and add in Baldr – but then I’d have to rewrite the whole thing, and I haven’t found the drive yet to do it.]

Before Borr’s death, before earning his brothers’ respect, Wódin met the Oldest, but for a very long time, no one knew. [Methos does not go around announcing who is without very good reason.]

.

The Oldest of All, Mímir had said. Time beyond measure. Creator, possibly. Beyond ancient. A race of beings predating the first war, predating the aesir and Asgard and even Yggdrasill. [Of course there are legends. *shrugs*]

The Oldest of All. Wódin met him in Múspellsheimr and much later, realized all his great hopes had burnt into ash. [Until you get on his radar, Methos does not care about you, for good or ill. Had Methos known what would come next – well, everything might be different. But just as Methos doesn’t tamper with the past, he does not shuffle the future. No matter what.]

.

"He was… he was just a man," Odin will tell Thor, staring out over Asgard. "He looked at me and dismissed me, and later, he fought against us, your uncles and I." [That, I think, is what galls Odin the most – he completely dismissed Methos, after Methos completely dismissed him. He looked upon the greatest threat in all the worlds and didn’t know it.]

Odin will pause. He will glance at his child, his heir, Asgard’s shining son. His eyes will dart to Thor’s shoulder, where his brother should be, and he’ll look back at the horizon.

Thor must know, he will decide.

"He fought against us, though he didn’t need to. He wasn’t one of us, one of the aesir or vanir; he was… he never said why he fought." Odin will sigh. "Legend says," he admits softly, "that we won, and that the vanir joined us." [This war is actually in Norse mythology. To the best of my knowledge, though, Methos had no part in it.]

"Father," Thor will say, when Odin hesitates. "Tell me. He has my brother; I must know everything."

Don’t lie to me, he means, Odin will know. Don’t lie to me like you did Loki. [This is the moment where Odin could totally lose Thor. He actually makes the right choice for once, though.]

It will hurt, and Odin will close his eyes, and he will admit, softer than a breeze, "We didn’t win that war. He had us, your uncles and your grandfather and I, he had us on our knees, and then he killed Borr and he killed Mímir, and Bestla attacked and he slew her, and we were given a choice, my brothers and I." [I actually kept forgetting if Mímir was related to Odin, Frigga, or Bestla. *shrugs* To be honest, I’m still not sure.]

"Father," Thor will whisper.

"Methos, the world-killer," Odin will say, lost in memories of blood-soaked ground and bodies of the beloved, and Wili’s gasp, Wé’s scream. "Methos, Oldest of All. He gave us a choice, and we chose, and I have waited so long to avenge what was lost. He destroyed our world."

Thor will ask, "What was the choice, Father?" in a voice Odin has never heard from him before. Gentle. Hesitant. Almost like Odin is a skittish horse. [Thor has never seen his father like this, and he wishes fervently he still had Loki, or that Mother was there.]

"The Oldest of All told us to submit and earn a throne – or defy and die. He had grown tired of Borr. Time for a change, he said." Odin will laugh, raising a hand to his mouth. "We were younger than you are now, Thor, and Methos threw down Gungnir. It landed at my feet, stained with my father’s blood, and Methos – he smiled at me, that horrible death’s grin, and he called me little king, and he was gone." [I’m fond of this paragraph. There is so much that Odin doesn’t know, that he’ll never know. That Methos has told no one.]

Odin will be silent for a long time, while Thor watches the sky, unable to look at his father. Odin will know it is his fault, Loki in the Oldest’s grasp, and then, finally, Thor will say, "I feel pain for your grave loss, Father." [Thor has no fucking clue what to do, so he falls back onto his etiquette training.]

"How is your mother?" Odin will ask, weary of gazing into the past.

Thor will wait a moment, and then he will allow his father to move on.

.

There is a fire giant of no importance bathing himself in a hot spring. [This might be in my top five favorite sentences of my own writing. I just really love it, and I’m not sure why.] Wili and Wé hunt in the hills; Wódin is curious. He and his brothers are on a quest to find new things, and Wódin has never before spoken to a common fire giant. [Royal ones, yes. But not the normal folk. In a few thousand years, he will look back on this meeting with horror and hate. But he can’t change the past, despite being willing to sacrifice a great many things to do it.]

Wódin examines the fire giant’s clothes, and when the giant catches him and calls him little thief, Wódin denies it, angrily naming himself Wodanaz and a lord’s son. A lord’s son, he will say, defiantly raising his head, has no need for a peasant’s rags.

[iI I use a name, then according to the internet, it’s a factual name for that character/mythological figure. I like researching names.]

Wódin will realize later how truly young he was, barely into adolescence. But he thought himself so mature, with his brothers on an adventure.

The fire giant will laugh. If you’ve no need of my clothes, be on your way, little king. [Methos is a major piece of work, yo.]

Wili and Wé explode out of the forest, then, yelling about dragons. They herd Wódin before them, and he does not think of the fire giant for a long time. [They were good brothers, for the most part. Even if they did enjoy poking dragons with sticks.]

Not until the war with the Vanir, and Father dies on Gungnir, and Mímir bows his head, his last words a murmured apology.

For the rest of his life, Odin will always feel out of place on his father’s throne.

.
(“Why do you hate Odin so much?” Van asks. [Because Methos really, truly does despise Odin. And it is not, actually, Odin’s fault. But he’s the only one left to blame.]

Ash says, “I once had a brother.” It was long, long ago.

And when Ymir was weakened, having used too much magick too quickly, a king and his own brother took advantage. [See? I’m never sure who Mímir is related to. Oops.]

Because they were little more than children, he had allowed the king’s sons to live - Wili, Wé, and Wódin. [Very very easily, Methos could have wiped the bloodline from the annals of history. He chose not to.]

Van nods. A moment passes, and then he asks, “Will Odin do something – foolhardy?”

Laughing, Ash shrugs. “More than likely,” he says.)

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Thor/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 365
Point of view: third
Prompt: Thor/Highlander, Methos + Thor, mutual respect

When he sees Ash sitting in the coffee shop, Thor makes a snap decision: instead of attacking, he approaches respectfully, warrior to warrior, and asks for a discussion.

Ash nods to the seat across from him and buys Thor a coffee. [Thor’s growing up, yo. And he’s figured out that he won’t be getting Loki back without talking to him.]

.

“Father told me about you,” Thor says quietly.

“I’m sure he did,” Ash replies, smirking.

Thor thinks about long-ago battles, and blood on the ground, and a lonely throne.

And he thinks about Loki’s smile, and how he looked at Ash, those few times they’ve met since Loki’s fall, and he asks, “Can you tell me?” When Ash tilts his head, Thor clarifies, “The man my brother is now. With you.”

Ash smiles and begins, “He’s brilliant, Van is. A quicker hand with magic I’ve never seen.” [Ash is the kind of dad who will pull out pictures of his kids and ramble for hours. Thor is the kind of brother who will listen.]

.

When Thor leaves, he’s not sure what to do. Father spoke of a world-killer, of a monster who destroyed entire peoples (like Loki tried, a little voice whispers, but Thor ignores that). But the man who bought Thor a coffee and bragged about his son (in a way Father never did about Loki, another little voice whispers) – he’s not the same man. [Thor is not a moron. He’s not as smart as Loki, but very few are. And Thor has thought a lot since his brother’s fall. He’s realized some things.]

Many of the humans Thor has met on Misgard, the ones who know about Loki, don’t understand why Thor can so easily ignore their last meeting, what Loki tried to do. But a thousand years outweighs a few days, and Loki had been so hurt, so angry. Thor just wishes Loki had gone to him for help, but he understands why Loki didn’t. Why Loki felt he couldn’t. [Like I said.]

Loki, who has become Van, and loves Ash in a way Thor isn’t sure he ever loved Father. [Loki tried, but eventually the disappointment outweighed the hope. Then came the humgonous reveal and the fall – and Loki was done.]

He looks up at the sky, then back at the coffee shop, and he nods, having decided.

Whatever is between Father and Ash, it has no bearing on Thor and Van. So he hurries back into the coffee shop, back to Ash’s table, and he asks hopefully, “Will you give Van a message from me?”

Ash nods. “Of course, Thor.”

Thor says, “Tell him he is my brother still. And I… I’d really like to talk to him again.”

Patting his hand, Ash says, “I’ll give him the message, Thor.” [And that’s the turning point between Van as an antihero and Van as a villain.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Thor/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: inaccurate Norse mythology; remembered kidnapping; weepy!Loki [Warning for weepy!Loki again, this time because his mama finally decides, fuck it, I’ll have to fix things myself.]
Pairings: Odin/Frigga
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 800
Point of view: third
Prompt: Frigga's view on this whole mess.

 

There are ways of travel that do not involve the newly-reconstructed Bifrost, and magics that block Heimdall’s gaze. Frigga taught them to her youngest son when he was first discovering magic. [Yes, the lack of K is intentional.] Loki had been a gifted child, quick to pick up everything she showed him.

She knew that they should tell Loki the truth, and Frigga never let her handmaidens or any courtier in her hearing speak ill of the jötnar. [It never made sense to me – Odin and Frigga knowing what Loki is and still letting everyone trashtalk the frost giants. What else could they expect his reaction to be, if that had been part of his childhood? Honestly.]

Loki, she knows, does not blame her the way he does Odin. While she is glad of it, she wishes he did – she could have told him at any point in the last thousand years. She should have told him. But Odin forbade any talk of Laufey and the lost heir, and Frigga – to her shame and rage – obeyed. [She really did believe Odin knew what he was doing. And now it’s one of her greatest regrets.] And now the Oldest has her beloved Loki… [Frigga has never disliked the Oldest the way Odin does. She’s also never told him that she met the Oldest, a long time ago.]

For a week, she bars Odin from their bed, and then she leaves Asgard in disguise.

.

There once was a young girl who went wandering. She learned magic from the mountains and the ocean and slept on the highest branch of the World-Tree. She found many friends on her journey, and a few enemies, and when she returned, she was a woman. [Frigga is a nobleman’s daughter and a noblewoman herself. She is also the most powerful mage born of Asgardr in millennia. That, however, is not well-known at all.]

One of her teachers had no name except Oldest, and when she recited the legends her mother had taught her, he laughed. [Methos makes his own legends, sometimes, and then sits among the stars to laugh.]

He had a lovely laugh, she thought, and she demanded he teach her something no one else knew. [Odin met him on accident, and then across a battlefield. Frigga tracked him down to be her teacher. *shrugs*]

‘And what would you learn, little queen?’ he asked. ‘What secrets of the ages would you learn, forgotten by all but an old, lonely man?’ [Methos likes calling people ‘little something’ – because, to him, they are.]

The woman-to-be looked at him for a moment, at his ancient eyes, and murmured, ‘Will you teach me to see the future?’

‘Oh, child,’ he whispered, ‘that is a lesson you will regret you learned.’ But he taught her.

As she returned home, she foresaw a great battle, and the Oldest throwing down the broken king. She foresaw her marriage, and her sons, and she closed her eyes.

Little queen, he had called her. Oh, yes, she regretted the lesson, but she never wished it away. [Another of my favorite lines.]

[Methos sees the future and could change it. Frigga sees the future and prepares to survive it, but she can never speak of what she sees. And she could get rid of the ability… but the not knowing would be worse than knowing.]

.

 

Baldr, Thor, and Loki. Two shining sons and one dark. Odin clearly favored the elder boys, so Frigga spent more time with Loki. And when a prank gone wrong gravely wounded Baldr, Frigga sent him to her sister Freja for a time. [You know that time in mythology Loki brought about Baldr’s death? Yeah, that.]

Baldr, the daring boy, took himself out of the succession when he wed Nanna, one of Freja’s handmaidens, without permission from Odin – or even word that they had been courting. Baldr never returned from Vanaheimr, no matter how Frigga entreated him. [Odin really has no luck at all with his sons.]

When she learned that Odin had banished Thor, she bit her tongue to keep from cursing him. When he fell into the Odin-Sleep a mere moment after Loki learned the truth, she clenched her fingers to keep from maiming him in his helplessness. [Frigga was on her last nerve after the boys’ visit to Jötunheimr. Then Odin completely fucks things up? Yeah. He’s lucky he wasn’t cursed to itch in uncomfortable places for a century or two.]

.

Odin led their victorious army home, and gave to Frigga a third son. Baldr had recently begun training as a warrior and Thor had just started toddling around, and Frigga already missed holding an infant. [My mother has told me more than once that she wanted another child when I began crawling away from her.]

“Whose child is this?” she asked, looking into bright green eyes. [I know from the comics that Marvel!Loki’s eyes are a brilliant green. Tom Hiddleston’s eyes are blue, I think. Myth!Loki probably has whatever color eyes he wants to. *shrugs* In my fics, Loki can change his eye color as he pleases.]

“Ours,” Odin said. [Sometimes, the best intentions in the world can’t change the outcome.]

.

“Little queen,” the Oldest says as he opens the door.

“Hello,” she replies, standing tall and strong, like a goddess. [She knows exactly who and what he is, and she is rightly terrified out of her mind – but her son is somewhere in that house, and she will see him again.]

He smiles at her and asks, “Here to talk to the boy?”

Frigga nods. He steps back to let her in, and then asks, “What have you foreseen?”

I saw my boys happy, she thinks, and you are the reason why. [Yes, Frigga has never looked at Methos the same way Odin does.]

“Mother,” Loki gasps, and she turns her head to look at him, the son of her heart.

“Hello, dearest,” she says, and holds her arms wide. [THIS SCENE IS WHAT I WANTED TO HAPPEN IN EITHER OF LOKI’S MOVIES AND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN, SO I WROTE IT.

So there.]

.

There was once a boy who fell from a bridge. [I really adore that sentence, for some reason.] He was the son of two kings and a goddess, a young sorcerer who had lost his way.

He was found by a legend and a monster, and the goddess wept to know he was gone – wept in sorrow that he had fallen, and wept in joy as she watched his healing from afar.

.

“Oh, my dear, my love, my sweet,” Frigga murmurs in his ear, holding her boy as tight as she can.

“Mother, Mama,” he sobs, fingers clutching her coat.

“I’ll leave you to it,” the Oldest says, nodding to her. “Van, when you’re able, bring her to the kitchen.”

Loki – Van, Van, he was Van now, the Oldest’s pupil.

No, she realizes, many things suddenly making sense. Van is not the Oldest’s pupil. He is not simply a student, not like she had been, all those millennia ago.

Van is the Oldest’s son. Son of his heart, just as Loki had been the son of hers.

Van does not respond to the Oldest, except to clutch Frigga tighter, and she weeps. My boy, she thinks, you are gone from me now.

“Mother,” he whispers, “Mother, I fell for so long.”

“Yes,” she whispers back, “and he found you.” [That’s it, really. Frigga thought him dead and he wasn’t. She lost him and Methos found him, and that’s all there is to it.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: future!fic; AU
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 540
Point of view: third
Prompt: Thor, Thor + Loki, mending bridges both literal and figurative

After Da gives Van the message from Thor, Van takes a burning-hot shower. He stands with the water hitting his back, keeping the temperature scalding for - a long time. Long enough to contemplate his earliest memories all the way to his fall.

His fall. When he let go. When Thor's eyes followed him down, and he heard his brother's cry.

His brother. Thor is still his brother. Thor still claims him. He called you Van, Da said, one hand on Van's shoulder. He'd like to talk to you.

Van has saved Thor's life five times since Loki's fall. Thor has sat and talked with Da like an adult, with no anger or self-entitlement anywhere near.

Thor called him brother and wants to talk.

Van turns off the water. [This scene… I can’t think of anything to say about it except that I really like it. It’s quiet. It’s healing. It’s Van letting go of Loki.]

.

Thor lives with the Avengers in Stark's building. And while Van could get in and out no problem, he'd rather not have their conversation derailed by well-meaning 'heroes.' So he leaves a note on Mjölnir and waits in a park a mile from Stark's building. [There is no technology that can keep him out. Spells, yes, maybe – but nothing on Earth.]

.

"Brother!" Thor booms, hurrying towards him, wearing a wrinkled shirt and half-buttoned pants, hair still dripping. [He saw the note while exiting the shower. I’m not sure how clear that was.] Thor pauses as Van rises to his feet, and then he lunges forward, scoops Van up, and gives him the best hug he's ever received from Thor. [Thor, I’m guessing, can give a good hug.]

"Brother!" Thor says again, quietly, hands clutching Van’s shirt.

.

They sit on a bench and watch passers-by, and Thor listens as Van tells him their life as he knew it.

Thor saw everything differently. Thor lived a different life, the beloved, the bright. [They speak different languages, really. Thor had no idea that the ‘imagined slights’ Loki dealt with were anything major. Everything looks different in the shadows. (And, yes, I’ve taken that line from the Avengers movie and flat-out run with it.]

“You’re happy,” Thor says, smiling at him. “Brother, I’m glad.”

Brother, he says. Not Loki. Not Van. Brother. [Thor’s been reading some Midgardian books about identity and self-confidence and acceptance.]

“I am,” Van replies. “Tell me – are you enjoying your life as a Midgardian superhero?”

Thor grins and begins telling Van more than he ever wanted to know about the travails of humanity’s struggle.

They stay at the park until the sun sets. Until Van rises, and Thor catches his sleeve. Until Thor looks up at him, [Van] for once the taller, and Thor asks, “Van – brother – will I see you again? I have enjoyed these past few hours.”

Van smiles at him, and leans down to kiss his forehead, and murmurs, “Brother, of course I’ll see you again.” Another kiss and he vanishes from right between Thor’s fingers.

He lingers, invisible and insubstantial, to watch Thor’s reaction. Thor stares, and then he laughs, and then he calls out, “I know you’re there, my brother. Give your father my thanks!”

Van feels so much relief he can’t help but sigh. [They really could be such good friends, and they have been before, and they will be again. *sigh*]

.

“How’d it go?” Da asks as Van slumps down on the couch.

“Marvelously,” Van answers. “I can’t believe it… he’s so grown-up now. We actually talked.” [I’m pretty sure that’s all Loki wanted for years. Van finally gets it.]

Talked for hours, about everything and nothing, and if only this Thor had been the one about to be crowned…

Van looks over at Da, sprawled out over the loveseat, one of his own journals in his hand.

The Thor from the park only happened because Loki let go and became Van. Da smiles at him and turns a page.

Next time, Van decides, he’ll pop up for a brotherly talk during one of Thor’s battles. Just because he can.

Little brothers are meant to cause trouble, right? [So cute, right? *hee*]

 

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU for Avengers movieverse; inaccurate Norse mythology
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 865
Point of view: third
Prompt: The Jotun once told stories of the Oldest, too.

[This was the first chapter I really researched a lot for. It’s also when I finally decided what exactly went down between Odin and Methos.]

When Odin first approached the new king of the jötnar, Býleistr, for peace between their realms, in the wake of Laufey’s death, Býleistr demanded the lives of those who attacked Jötunheimr with the Bifrost.

Thankfully, no one knew who had committed that atrocity. Everything had happened so quickly – Thor’s banishment, Odin’s healing sleep, Loki’s madness.

Few of the aesir had known, so fewer still outside knew.

So Odin told Býleistr, “I cannot give him to you.” When Býleistr growled, Odin said, “Peace. The Oldest has taken him.”

Býleistr accepted that and the negotiations continued.

The jötnar had legends of the Oldest, too.

.

Once, the story goes, Jötunheimr was a paradise. Ice was only in the highest mountains. Thrym ruled in those days, and Jötunheimr stood among the realms, powerful and respected.

The troubles began, so the tale continues, when Ymir rested by the shore of a jötunn lake and was slain by aesir.

Jötunheimr was cursed forever after. The Oldest, known among the jötnar as Thiazi, flew over Paradise and called down spells of pain and rage, of cold and ice, of eternal frost. Because Ymir’s blood was spilt and Thrym protected his slayers instead of delivering them for justice, Thiazi demanded vengeance and his magic made it so.

Never again, the legends end, will Jötunheimr be allied with Asgard. [This is also where the troubles between Jötunheimr and Asgardr came from.]

.

“Did you get the name of those responsible for Utgard’s destruction?” Helblindi asked when Býleistr returned from meeting with Odin. They’d agreed to meet in Ālfheimr, under the watchful eyes of the impartial álfar. [They have no idea Loki is their brother. Even if they did know, there’s too much bad blood between them now.]

“No,” Býleistr told his brother. “Only one was responsible, and his name is lost.” Býleistr looked out at the mess, at his people rebuilding their stronghold. “The Oldest took him.”

Helblindi grinned. “That is good, brother. I hope he suffered.”

.

The Oldest is a terrifying monster. Even the monsters fear him, huddled in the dark as the wind howls. He is nemesis to all.

If he turns his gaze to you, do not even attempt to run.

The Oldest is the most powerful sorcerer in all nine realms and the most magnificent warrior of all the races. The Oldest planted Yggdrasil. The Oldest created each realm and each race, and could crush them all in his palm, should he so wish.

The Oldest takes those who betray, and their names are lost forever after.

The Oldest is a legend, originally told to explain the unexplainable, and though the aesir forgot, the jötnar never did.

[The Oldest is a legend; like all legends, it is based in reality. Unlike most legends, though, everything said about the Oldest is true. Not that anybody believes it.]

.

The Oldest took the one who tried to kill all of the jötnar. Odin would not dare to lie about that. And so the King of Jötunheimr, Laufey’s heir, was satisfied, as was his younger brother.

Býleistr announced their attacker’s fate to a resounding roar of approval.

Peace was again in Jötunheimr as the Casket of Ancient Winters came home, gifted by Thiazi before his curse fell, the source of Jötunheimr’s power. Its return was the final demand of the jötnar.

.

Ymir died in Jötunheimr. Thiazi waited centuries to avenge his brother on the murderers, but he punished the jötnar for letting him die.

When Methos finishes the tale, Van says, “It’s been an eternity, Da. All of the jötnar alive then are dead. Do you not think the winter has lasted long enough?” [This is to show that Van is healing; the raving creature that tried to wipe out the jötnar is almost completely gone – he wants to save them now.]

Methos thinks about that for a little while, and then he offers, “Would you like to accompany me to Jötunheimr?”

“Will they know who I was?” Van asks.

“No,” Methos replies. “They won’t know who I am, either.” Grinning, he stands and holds out a hand. “C’mon, kiddo. Let’s go end winter.”

.

Loki grew up hating the jötnar, and it drove him mad to learn he actually was one. Odin’s fault, Methos knew, though a few others held blame, and the whole thing could be traced back to Ymir’s death. And Methos hadn’t known or cared what his vengeance wrought until he nearly tripped over a boy who had just fallen to Earth.

Methos takes them to the deepest cavern in Jötunheimr, where he and his brothers had played in the time before memory.

“Sing the song of spring,” Methos tells Van. “Hear the lightning in your blood and dance to the music.”

Van closes his eyes and when he starts to hum, starts to move, Methos echoes him, mirrors him, and the heart of Jötunheimr begins to thaw.

.

Helblindi, disbelieving, delivers the news. “Brother,” he says, eyes wide, “the snow… it’s melting.”

“What?” Býleistr demands, hurrying outside.

The snow is melting. Býleistr gapes, and all the jötnar feel warmth seeping from the ground.

Lightning flashes, high in the sky.

[Someone asked, when I first posted this chapter, if thawing Jötunheimr is actually a death sentence. After all, jötnar are frost giants. And, no, it’s not. It’s magic. Jötunheimr was never meant to be an ice world, and everything will change slowly enough that they can evolve back.

Plus, *handwaves* magick.]

.

When Odin hears about the change in Jötunheimr, he sends a message to Methos, written in air and thunder.

What are you doing? he asks. You cursed Jötunheimr, just like you killed my father, in some game nobody else is privy to.

Oh, poor little king, is the reply, sent in a bolt of lightning. Fear not, Son of Borr. You might realize someday. [No matter what, even after Odin finally realizes he hasn’t a chance at all and should stop before he loses all of his children and his wife forever, he will still think only the worst of Methos. Methos, for his part, could not care less if he were inclined to try.]

Methos’ laugh booms across the sky as a storm breaks over Asgard, the first in living memory. [Asgardr has only perfect weather; this means only gentle spring rains. They haven’t had hurricanes since before any record.]

Or not, little thief, the Oldest croons, and Odin flinches, turning to look at Frigga, who watches the storm with a smile. [Frigga’s still pissed as all hell, y’all.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU for Avengers movieverse; inaccurate Norse mythology; mentions of violence/death
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1885
Point of view: third
Prompt: what the heck happened to Loki’s kids?

[So, I took the approach of wondering what Loki could have done that resulted in the legends of his children as a giant sea serpent, a giant wolf, an eight-legged horse, the goddess of the dead, and a boy who was gutted to bind his father and a cursed wolf who tore his brother apart. I did not expect Fenrir to become such a large part.]

[Also, tons more research. I am always and forever on Loki’s side.]

 

When Loki was a child, barely into adolescence, [Like, 200, maybe? I’ve decided that 1000 (when Methos finds him, when he falls, when he sits on the throne because his older brother is banished, his oldest brother has been disinherited, his father is in a coma, and his mother – I don’t know why Frigga didn’t just take over, but WTF ever, canon) is barely mature. So, 1000 in aesir is 20ish on Earth. 1000 in jötnar is… a little bit younger. So Loki is about 18 when he falls from the bridge. So says the author; so shall it be.] he found an Ālfar wolf while he, Thor, and Thor’s friends went adventuring in Ālfheimr. (Even then, they were Thor’s friends. Loki’s friends were scholars and magicians and sages, men and women of learning Thor had no time for. And Loki barely knew Baldr, the brother who ran to Vanaheimr and never returned.) [Loki has no friends his own age because they kept playing at war while he was in the archives, pestering the scholars with ever more intricate questions.]

Loki found a wolf pup when he meandered after Thor and his friends. Loki studied the landscape, seeing how it differed from Asgard and all the other places they’d been. Thor, Sif, and Hogun hunted whatever they could; Fandral and Volstagg swapped battle stories of their training sessions. None of them seemed to remember Loki was there, so he took his time. [The older they get, the more he lags behind, until that ill-fated jaunt to Jötunheimr.]

He heard whimpering and tracked it back to a den. His companions moved on ahead, so none of them saw him blanch at the carnage he found: a litter of wolf pups, their mama, and their father, all stabbed to death. But one of the pups was still breathing, still trying to move to its mama. [No, Thor and his friends didn’t do this. It was pest control by álfar hunters. Had Thor found the carnage, though, he would have mercifully killed the remaining pup and not even thought of trying to heal him.]

Loki knelt down, put his hands on the pup, and whispered a healing spell he learned from Mother. The pup jerked in his grip as its’ wounds healed. It was young, only days old. Loki studied it intently and asked, “Are you male or female?” He reached out spirit-to-spirit, a forbidden art he knew only because he secretly read the oldest books available, and felt the pup’s mind – it was male.

“You’re too young to survive if I let you go,” he mused, cradling the pup close. “And my brother wouldn’t understand why I want to keep you.” He stared down at the pup as he burrowed in as close as possible.

“Very well,” he said, standing and taking a step, appearing back in his room. Mother had taught him that, as well, how to travel without using the Bifrost. [Loki doesn’t realize how truly remarkable his power is, especially at his age. But Odin and Frigga are starting to worry.]

“I name you Fenrir,” Loki said, setting him on the bed, “for the fen in which I found you.” Fenrir the Great Wolf, he thought, but no one would call him that for a long time. [Really, I had no idea how Fenrir would shove himself into the story and demand a part. *shrugs*]

.

Loki was able to hide Fenrir for almost a month. Whether that was due to his skill or that he was mostly an afterthought to all but Mother, he wasn’t sure – and tried not to think about. [Both, actually. And if Fenrir hadn’t surged through the spell, it would’ve been a while before anyone caught on.]

Father yelled a great deal about dangerous beasts in his palace, but Mother cut across him to ask, “And has the wolf done anything destructive?”

“He attacked Tyr,” Father declared, [Tyr being the one who sticks his hand in Fenrir’s mouth when the aesir bind Fenrir away.] glaring at Fenrir, who was bound in a magical chain meant to sap his strength, since he was already the size of the hogs slaughtered for aesir feasts. Loki had negated the magic immediately, but Father didn’t notice. [If Odin had realized… well. Lots of things would be different.]

Fenrir’s eyes were on Loki. He was completely still, trusting in Loki to keep him safe. Fenrir’s mind had reached out once, when Father first bound him, and he stopped struggling when he realized Loki had broken the spell.

“He thought Tyr was attacking Loki,” Mother said. “I am glad Loki has such a staunch protector.”

Loki kept his gaze on the floor by Father’s feet. In the month he’d had Fenrir, the wolf had come to mean everything to him. Fenrir adored Loki simply for being Loki, for taking care of him, for exploring the shadows with him. Loki only loved his family more, and what Father decided to do now could change everything.

[If Odin had ordered Fenrir destroyed, Loki would have grabbed him and run, and probably ended up as an actual ‘villain’ (I wouldn’t consider him such, but if Thor remained the ‘hero’ then Loki would be). But Odin, for all his temper here, wouldn’t do that to his son. Thankfully for everyone.]

“My husband,” Mother said, “you only learned of the wolf when he protected our son. Had anyone complained about him before?”

Father scoffed. “I suppose you knew of the beast?” he demanded, glaring down at Fenrir again. Loki glanced up for a moment, caught Father’s expression, and reinforced his spell on the chains, keeping Fenrir from harm.

“Of course I knew,” Mother said. “I determined the wolf to be harmless unless provoked, like many of our warriors I know.” She placed a hand on Father’s arm. “Let the boy keep his pet.”

[There’s a lot going on in Odin’s mind here. First, he’s a king whose subject was threatened by a dangerous beast in the middle of what should have been protected ground. Second, the subject was threatened because the beast was protecting the prince, his son. Third, no one had any idea the beast was there. Fourth, Odin has to be seen to react because it is impossible to hide the wolf any longer since it happened in the middle of the training ground. Fifth, if he reacts too lightly, people will wonder; if he reacts too strongly, Loki will never forgive him. Sixth, I didn’t want him to become an out-and-out villain, but I had to have a reason that Fenrir wasn’t in Thor. So. This scene.]

Silence filled the hall while Father considered Fenrir’s fate. Finally, he proclaimed, “You may keep the wolf until it is grown, Loki. And then it will be returned to Ālfheimr, and that will be the end of things.”

“Thank you, Father,” Loki murmured, and Father muttered the spell that allowed the chain to fall off.

“One condition, my son,” Father added, as Loki moved forward to touch Fenrir’s shoulder. “If it attacks anyone else, it will be put down.” [Keeping Loki happy, and showing everyone he has the situation in hand. Except that Loki isn’t happy. Loki is gritting his teeth to keep his temper.]
Father’s voice was firm, and his eyes still angry. Loki didn’t know why, or what he’d done; as Mother said, Fenrir was only defending him. Yes, Tyr had attacked him in training, but it had been so ferocious, Loki actually did fear for a moment. It was only then that Fenrir leapt to his defense, shedding the invisibility spell Loki had placed on him. [Tyr was often the victim of Loki’s pranks, and he was trying to get him back. It was mostly harmless. Mostly.]

Fenrir was still a pup, little more than a month old. But he was an Ālfar wolf and they grew to the size of Asgardian horses. Tyr had rightfully feared for his life, and Loki had never been gladder for his quick reflexes. Had Tyr died, Fenrir would already be dead. [Tyr never messes with Loki again, though.]

But, Loki couldn’t help wondering, watching Father stride away, if Fenrir would be safe, had it been Thor who brought him home. [… yes. With everything that implies.]

.

Over the next year, as Fenrir doubled, then tripled in size, fed by Idun’s magical cooking, Loki spent longer and longer stretches away from Asgard. He and Fenrir traveled further afield and Loki taught Fenrir how to hunt, how to be a wolf, and how to be a sorcerer, since his magic leaked all over his wolf. Loki shifted into various kinds of wolves, though his favorite was the Helwolf, native to Niflheimr, the ice realm of the dead. He and Fenrir spent the longest time there, and only Vidar, one of Father’s most trusted men, got them back to Asgard. Loki had also taught Fenrir how to take ás form, though Fenrir had yet to master it. [Loki didn’t mean to turn his wolf into a magician; it just sorta happened. He has too much magic and it spills everywhere.]

When Loki and Fenrir stood before Father again, Fenrir now larger than any horse in Father’s stable, Father said, “Take the wolf back to Ālfheimr.”

Loki bowed his head, his hand trembling on Fenrir’s shoulder. “Yes, Father,” he whispered. [He knows that sending Fenrir away is for the best, because people keep side-eying him, waiting for him to attack. Fenrir’s temper is finite, and if he responds, he will be punished with death because the king decreed so. Because he is a wolf and not aesir. (And Loki will remember that, when he turns blue in the vault.)]

.

Loki returned from Ālfheimr alone. He threw himself into his studies, ignoring Father as politely as possible while still craving Father’s approval. Thor was wrapped up with his training, and had barely noticed Loki’s absence. [This is when Frigga should’ve stepped in and done something – but she was busy elsewhere, and by the time she noticed, Loki had mastered faking it.]

Fenrir knew how to hide better than any wolf Ālfheimr had ever seen. Loki checked on him astrally, but when a hunting party (since the Great Wolf ate tremendous amounts) chased him to Svartálfaheimr, he left Loki’s range.

Loki stepped out of his room and into a svartálfar war party, also after the Great Wolf, a predator unlike any known before. [Fenrir isn’t a monster; Loki is the only one to believe that, though.] But Fenrir was in Loki’s range again and he screamed to his greatest friend, To Hel! Fenrir, to Hel!

Fenrir’s howl answered him and the dark elves all flinched, but Loki raised his head and howled back.

As the warriors turned, weapons ready, Loki lunged into Hel’s embrace, where his wolf waited.

Fenrir rushed to Loki and bumped against him, almost knocking him over, seeking mind-to-mind contact, and Loki buried his hands in Fenrir’s fur, meeting him and opening wide. [At the moment, Fenrir is more of a brother to Loki than Thor has ever been. Loki is the only thing in Fenrir’s world that matters.]

“I will give your wolf sanctuary, young prince,” Hel said, voice reverberating off the ice, “if he swears allegiance to me.”

I am loyal to none but Loki, Fenrir growled, ruff rising, turning to glare at the Lady of the Dead, and placing his gigantic body between them. [Fenrir would die trying to defend Loki, and he would count it the best of deaths.]

Hel’s laughter was shards of ice along Loki’s spine, for all that he adored her. “You will obey my orders, Wolf,” she said. “But nothing I command shall ever harm Loki.” [I can’t remember if I already had Hel’s story in mind when I wrote this, but Hel isn’t, of course, Loki’s daughter. She’s far older.]

You’ll be safe here, under Hel’s protection, Loki told him. None will hunt you in Niflheimr.

For how long will I be here? Fenrir asked, sitting down, still watching Hel warily. [Loki wants him to stay, he stays. He’ll sulk for awhile, though.]

“You will know when,” Hel promised. [Also, Methos has had numerous students over the years. That’s important later.]

.

Loki left Fenrir in Niflheimr as one of Hel’s vassals, and soon enough the Great Wolf was feared as a herald of death. [That’s how he gets into Norse myth.]

No one noticed Loki’s frequent absences; not even Mother seemed to realize all the time he spent away, running as a Helwolf with Fenrir. [She did; she just didn’t try very hard to talk to him about it because he seemed happy.]

As the years passed, Fenrir entreated Loki to leave Asgard and stay in Niflheimr, or they could travel again. Fenrir had a slightly better grasp on shifting magic, and Loki could always disguise him, anyway.

Fenrir stayed healthy and young because of Idun’s cooking in his youth, and as one of Hel’s vassals, he’d been granted immortality.

“So long as he is yours,” she swore to Loki, “he will live, strong and powerful, as the Great Wolf.”

Nine hundred years passed. He was almost as old as Loki when Thor’s coronation was interrupted, Thor got banished, Father fell into his ill-timed healing sleep, and Loki was swallowed by madness.

Fenrir was in Múspellsheimr on an errand or Hel when Loki fell from the Bifrost. And then Ash cloaked Van in the strongest shielding spell in all the worlds.

Hel kept Fenrir so busy he didn’t notice how much time had passed until Van and Ash stepped foot in Niflheimr a year after Loki’s fall. [If Fenrir’d had any idea… well, the movie would’ve gone very differently.]

Loki! Fenrir howled, bounding over, the Great Wolf of Hel.

“Well, now, you are a big boy,” Ash said. “The kid must’ve fed you quite well.”

Fenrir studied him, and Loki’s body language in relation to him, and then nudged Loki’s mind.

Van let him all the way in, fingers tangled in Fenrir’s fur, and whispered, I missed you.

“It’s time, my dear,” Ash told Hel quietly.

“Yes, my liege,” she replied. [Told you.]

.

Fenrir strode beside Van when they left, sleek and powerful, looking enough like Van to be his brother.

Ash told him, “Be careful when you hunt – I’d rather not fight a war this week, and Van just started talkin’ with that oaf of a big brother again.”

Fenrir snorted. “Like I’d cause trouble for him.” Baring his teeth at Ash, he said, “He was mine long before he was yours.” [Fenrir’s whole world is still Loki, almost a thousand years later, no matter the name Loki is using.]

He is right here,” Van interjected.

Laughing, Ash clapped him on the shoulder and brought them home. “Take him on a tour,” Ash said. “I’ll cook dinner. Tomorrow, we’ll show him the rest of our territory.”

Fenrir walked too close to Van, constantly bumping him, [my dog does that, and wolves live in close quarters in the wild, so I figured it worked] but Van just grabbed his wrist and held on, showing him their apartment, and then standing next to him at the window, showing him a new world.

“Should I have a new name?” Fenrir asked.

“Yes,” Van answered. “A new name for a new life. What would you like?”

Fenrir kept staring out the window as he shrugged. “Doesn’t matter to me, Lo – Van.”

Van smiled. “Well, Da and I have a theme going, so how about Gunnar?”

“Warrior?” he chuckled. “I like it.”

Van watched him, as he continued to stare out the window. Gunnar had golden eyes and black hair, and he looked so much like Van it was uncanny.

“I think I’ll like this world,” Gunnar mused, finally looking away from the window to meet Van’s gaze for a moment before dropping his eyes.

“C’mon, you pups!” Ash yelled from the kitchen. “Chow time!”

Gunnar licked his lips and Van led the way. [See? Gunnar wasn’t supposed to become such a huge part, but now I can’t imagine what it would’ve been without him.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU for Avengers movieverse; inaccurate Norse mythology; mentions of violence/death
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 925
Point of view: third
Prompt: what the heck happened to Loki’s kids?

 

In the time before memory, when all was young and good and bright, there lived children of stardust and light. The firstborn had no name and thought of itself as I; it named its siblings as they came to be: Ymir, Aurgelmir, Audumla, Mundilfäri, Dellingr, Nór, Vindsval, Svosud, and Élivágar. [Those are all real characters from Norse myth. I can’t remember who they were, though.]

As time passed and the others realized the eldest of them had no name of its own, they called it Fyrstr. As the rest of the creation came to be, the siblings broke off into their own worlds until only Fyrstr and Ymir remained.

“We should travel,” Fyrstr suggested. “I’m getting bored.”

[Yeah, Methos is that old.]

.

Fyrstr and Ymir went where they liked and did what they wanted. Ymir kept his name and shape, but Fyrstr experimented with both. Together they worked amazing magicks, and were worshiped as gods for a very long time.

In Vindsval’s realm, Niflheimr, Fyrstr found a marvel: a giant’s daughter, born half dead. Because even he (for the moment Fyrstr was both male and a giant) had never seen her like, he decided to stay and tutor her in magic. [Methos’ students, right? Told you it’d be important.]

Their time was cut short when Ymir died, murdered by Borr and Mímir, a young king and his brother by marriage. [I’m pretty sure I went back and ret-conned this when I remembered whose brother Mímir actually was.] Fyrstr took the shape of a jötunn and cursed Jötunheimr, where Ymir had died. And then, instead of going to war with Asgard, Fyrstr returned to the giant’s child, called Hel.

“Would you like a realm of your own?” he asked, heart as cold as the curse he placed on Jötunheimr, playing the long game. [Methos’ vengeance is cold as ice; when he strikes, you’ve long forgotten why.] “It would be a world of ice, a world of the dead. You would be their goddess, their queen, feared by all beings in all worlds.”

Hel simply stared at him and said, “Yes.”

.

Hel was feared. Her realm was Niflheimr, land of the dead, and she was their lady. She had a court of monsters, outcast from the other realms, sent on errands. Usually, they fetched people who forgot to die.

Megaannums passed. Hel had nearly grown bored when a little jötunn who looked like an ás wandered into Niflheimr. He was barely more than a toddler, this child, and he gazed around in wonder.

“And who are you?” Hel asked, appearing before him as a beautiful ás woman.

“I am Loki, son of Odin and Frigga,” the child replied, smiling up at her.

Hel was flummoxed. The son of Asgard’s king was actually a jötunn, and he found his way to Niflheimr? [It might almost be destiny, if such a thing were real.]

“I am Hel,” she told him. He did not seem to recognize the name, and she chose not to enlighten him. “This is my realm.”

“I like it,” Loki said. “It’s pretty. And quiet.”

“You can return, if you wish it,” she said, holding out a hand. “Let me show you to the palace.”

He took her hand and chattered the whole way, about his studies and his brother and his father the king and his mother the smartest, nicest, prettiest lady in all the worlds. Hel found herself unable to help being charmed by the boy. [Loki collects powerful allies, and Odin will wish, far in the future, that he’d noticed.]

.

In the coming years, Loki visited relatively often, even after he realized who she was. She taught him magics his mother didn’t know, the court’s magicians didn’t know. Magics Fyrstr had taught her, and that no one still living knew. Loki practiced changing shape and transfiguring other things, and he mastered them all, sheltered in Hel’s home. [Those should have Ks. I’m not sure why they don’t.]

When Loki was an adolescent, no longer a child but not quite a man, he brought a companion to visit with him: an álfar wolf he called Fenrir. The wolf had been unknowingly changed by Loki, until he was more of a sorcerer than a beast. He had magic of his own, taken from Loki, both of them unaware until Hel pointed it out. She knew that Fenrir could no longer be happy as a simple wolf. And she also knew that no ás – no one in all the realms, actually – would let him live. He was simply too dangerous. But Loki loved him, and he loved Loki, so Hel marked him as her own. And when the elves chased him from their land, Hel welcomed him as one of her court, on loan from Loki, until the time came.

The time, yes. When her teacher returned, as he would – the loom showed her the truth, and Loki, a frost giant disguised as an Asgardian child, would soon enough interest the Oldest, that living legend.

She could babysit until then; it was no hardship to guard Loki or have a new vassal of unparalleled strength. [Hel is pragmatic.]

.

“You play a dangerous game, my lady,” Gullveig told her while Loki ran with Fenrir through her realm. The boy was older now, practically a man, nearing a thousand years. He sought escape in Niflheimr, somewhere he fit. Somewhere people cared. [Thor happens soon.]

Hel never interfered in Asgard. She had no interest in Odin or his realm, or his forays into others, save when ás refused to yield to her supremacy. She never intervened with aesir policy, or the policy of any realm.

Still, she did think about going to Odin’s palace and thumping his skull, demanding to know how he’d gotten so stupid, so blind, even for a one-eyed fool. [That’s the author peeking through.]

“I play no game,” she replied to Gullveig; Heid, Gullveig’s twin, cackled. Hel ignored her. [I found them in Norse myth; can’t remember who they are or why I picked them. *shrugs*]

The time swiftly approached. Fyrstr, the Oldest, was turning his gaze from Midgard for the first time in an age.

Hel smiled, watching the two boys play. Soon the realms would tremble when the Oldest walked among them again.

[I have no idea how Hel became Loki’s daughter in the myths (in this ‘verse).]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU for Avengers movieverse; inaccurate Norse mythology
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 990
Point of view: third
Prompt: what the heck happened to Loki’s kids?

 

When Loki was in adolescence and all of Thor’s time taken by training, Mother decided to visit Baldr in Vanaheimr. Baldr’s wife Nanna had just birthed yet another child and Mother decided it was past time to meet her grandchildren. Loki was missing Fenrir (not that he ever mentioned his wolf in Father’s halls) and thought the distraction worth it, so he accompanied Mother on her travels. [Loki never talked about Fenrir after Fenrir’s banishment. Never. His family thought he got over it. He didn’t. (Imagined slights and all that.)]

Mother spent the whole trip in the women’s quarters with Nanna, Freja, Skadi, and all their attendants and children. Loki wandered as he usually did, and one day, halfway through their time in Vanaheimr, he found himself by the sea.

He had been to the shore, of course, but not this one. He looked around, saw no one, and then stepped into the surf. The water was warm and so he kept going, until he couldn’t touch the bottom anymore; he shifted into a long, sleek serpent, like the one his tutors said encircled the worlds in its coils. A legend, of course, he’d informed his tutors. No creature could be so huge. [Loki’s a curious boy. And bored.]

Hello, little thing, a voice rumbled, sounding like deep caverns and dark water. [I really find this part funny; the previous few sentences plus this one. *hee*] Loki flinched, spinning around, and there – the World Serpent. He couldn’t be anything else. His eye was larger than Fenrir. You have swum far, he continued, staring at Loki. [Also, Jörmungandr is either one Methos’ earliest students or the youngest of his siblings, I never quite decided.]

I, I’m sorry, Loki said, starting to sink, since he was too scared to move. [Imagine how you’d feel if you came face-to-face with a T rex – except, prior to the meeting, you were quite convinced T rexes had never existed. Yeah.]

Oh, it’s no matter, the World Serpent told him, and if he was trying for reassuring, he distinctly missed the mark. [*hee* I like that little bit of snark.] I am in all waters, he explained.

That’s nice, Loki said, gathering all his courage to swim back for the surface. I’ll just get out of your way, sir.

No, the World Serpent said, and Loki found himself unable to move. Speak to me, little thing. I’ve been long with only gods as my companions. I’ve grown bored with them all. Entertain me. What is your name? [Jörmungandr is supremely bored, especially since Methos is off playing with mortals on Midgardr.]

I’m Loki, he said, and suddenly his serpent’s skin shed and he was in his normal form, able to breathe and see as usual, but completely nude. And, oh, but the World Serpent was so enormous Loki could only see his head. [Loki is the most powerful sorcerer on Asgardr or Jötunheimr, despite being only about 13, in human years – but Jörmungandr is far more powerful still, especially considering how much Loki has yet to learn. Jörmungandr will always be more powerful, probably.]

Tell me about yourself, Loki, the World Serpent ordered, and so Loki told him. Everything he could think of, from how he’d long since outstripped his tutors, to Thor’s boorish friends, to how he strained for Father’s approval and never earned it, to Fenrir and the goddess who’d stolen him from Loki. [He’s only ever been so honest with Fenrir, and Fenrir is even younger than he is, and Fenrir’s only advice is to either kill/maim everyone Loki complains about or run away together. Neither is very feasible, at the moment.]

You are interesting, young prince, the Serpent mused. He twined around Loki, seemingly normal-sized for a moment. His skin burned Loki where it touched him, leaving imprints of scales. Loki hissed, but the Serpent pulled away. [Jörmungandr marks his favorites, for easy access whenever he wants to see them again. The next time Hel sees Loki, she lets out a deep sigh because of course her uncle would go poaching her favorite. And Methos could easily remove the mark, except that Van actually likes Jörmungandr.]

Be returned to Vanaheimr’s shore, Loki of Asgard, the World Serpent commanded. And when I call, come. You’d not like me to fetch you from your father’s realm, surely. [That… would be awesome. Oh, yeah.]

Thank you, sir, Loki replied, trembling, but then his feet touched the bottom, so he rushed out of the waves to collapse on the beach.

A head larger than Loki’s bedchamber rose out of the water. Loki waited, holding his breath, but the Serpent left without another word.

Loki lay on the sand for a long time before stumbling back to the guest quarters and hiding under his bed. [I pretty much think *awww* every time I read that.] He was quiet for the rest of the visit, and did not return to the beach.

.

As time passed, Loki almost convinced himself he’d imagined the whole thing. But while Father was fussing at Thor for another unprovoked attack on the trolls, Loki’s side burned, the shape of scales on his skin. [Their little jaunt to Jötunheimr was not new. Thor has gotten away with a lot of shit because his little brother is a goddamned genius and Daddy always smoothed things over. It was only Loki’s presumed death that woke Thor up, not his two days on Earth and his ‘sacrifice.’]

He snuck away to the ocean in Múspellsheimr and went for a swim. This time, the World Serpent was smaller, the size of a large dragon, and he ordered, Swim with me, little thing.

Loki took sea serpent form again, and never tired, caught in the Serpent’s wake. They discussed pranks and tricks and magick so old it had no name. [The magick Methos will later teach him, of course.] Days passed; it seemed they swam in all the worlds’ oceans, but the Serpent had a wicked sense of humor, and he taught Loki to hunt whales and sharks, and he never mocked or criticized Loki. In fact, he reminded Loki of both Mother and Hel, and when the time came, Loki didn’t really want to leave the water.

But then Fenrir howled on the shore, and the World Serpent said, Go, Loki. Be among your kind again. [‘Your kind’ being Fenrir. Jörmungandr knows Loki for what he is.]

Thank you, Loki told him.

The World Serpent smiled. You are welcome. I will summon you again. [Jörmungandr lives on the same timescale Methos does; centuries are no more than days to him.]

Loki surged up through the waves, changing to a helwolf as he hit the shallows. Fenrir bounded to him and they chased each other away from the shore.

.

It would be years before the Serpent called Loki again. Loki had fallen and become Van, and Ash raised an eyebrow as Van’s side burned.

“You do have interesting friends,” Da said. “What a shame nobody in Asgard had the smarts to realize that.” [Yup. Methos is not impressed by the Realm Eternal.]

Van shrugged, wincing. Da rolled his eyes. “C’mon, kiddo,” he said, herding Van down the stairs. “You don’t really want him to come snatch you, right?”

Shaking his head, Van opened the door and wasn’t surprised to see the Pacific Ocean, or the Serpent’s head rising out of it. [Methos’ house is wherever he wants it to be. Kinda like Howl’s castle, I think? If I’m remembering that correctly.]

Brother, the World Serpent said. Loki.

“Van, now,” Da said. “Hullo, Jörmungandr. I’ve been waiting for you to resurface.”

We’ll speak after I’ve visited with the child, the Serpent said, almost brusquely. [I don’t remember why I had Jörmungandr in such a snit.]

“Of course, Brother,” Da replied. “Van, have fun.” But his gaze sharpened as he looked back at the Serpent, and Van knew they were having a conversation he couldn’t hear.

The Serpent leaned in, until his enormous nose was as close as possible to Da. Whatever he said, Van had no idea, but Da responded with a firm, “Yes.” [I also don’t remember what all they said, but Jörmungandr ordered Methos to always take care of Van.]

The Serpent pulled back. Come, little thing, he said, so Van grinned at Da and rushed into the waves.

[Now, how did Jörmungandr become Loki’s kid when they only met twice and he’s actually older than Asgardr? No idea.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU for Avengers movieverse; inaccurate Norse mythology; completely BS magical explanations
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1015
Point of view: third
Prompt: what the heck happened to Loki’s kids?

[I love horses. Of all my favorite animals (wolves, penguins, sharks, snakes, owls, tigers, panthers) they are the only ones I’ve spent much time around. I took riding lessons twice a month for about seven years, and I gotta tell you, there is nothing like cantering on a smooth horse. Dudes. Nothing.]

 

When Loki was still toddling around and exploring everything, watched curiously by Thor and ignored by Baldr, Odin’s favorite place to take him was the stable. Loki adored the horses and they were quite careful with him, far smarter than any other horses in Asgard, since Odin’s magic sometimes leaked onto them (quite accidently, but he corrected it anytime he noticed. The horses were slightly altered, though). [The horses aren’t sentient, but they are very smart.]

No matter what Loki imagined or babbled about, however, Odin was quite sure all of his horses were simply horses, no matter how smart they might be.

Odin’s favorite steed was a stallion named Svadilfari, who only allowed Odin to ride him. Svadilfari was mean, bad-tempered, and fierce – the perfect horse for the King of Asgard. [Svadilfari, on the other hand, is sentient. He’s a magic horse. But Odin doesn’t realize it.]

Loki found Svadilfari fascinating. Anytime he was left unattended, anytime his minder turned their back for a single moment, Loki vanished and always ended up in Svadilfari’s stall, where the stallion would be examining him thoroughly when the searchers caught up. [Loki is Svadilfari’s favorite not-horse.]

Odin constantly worried that Svadilfari would remember his previous behavior and savage Loki, and then Loki’s true nature would emerge out of Odin’s control, but after Frigga spent one afternoon with boy and horse in the free air and an empty training ring, she assured Odin that Svadilfari would never hurt their son. [Svadilfari would rather die than cause Loki pain, and Frigga knows that he’s not ‘just’ a horse.]

Odin wished he could have her surety.

.

Nearly a century after Loki came to Asgard, a strange mare wandered onto the palace grounds. [He’s like two or three in human years.] She was a gorgeous beast and seemed quite wild, so Odin ordered the stablehands to capture her. They failed and she vanished, seemingly into thin air.

A week later, Svadilfari disappeared from his stall.

Odin commanded the nearest towns and the surrounding countryside scoured, but Svadilfari wasn’t found for nearly a month, until he strode down the shining road to Odin’s palace, the mare daintily following.

When Svadilfari’s chief groom informed Odin that the mare was with foal, Odin couldn’t decide if he was excited or annoyed.

Loki spent as much time as he could in the stable. He seemed to be the only being the mare liked and Svadilfari was again acting oddly: he doted on the mare, like a husband might a heavily pregnant wife. (Indeed, like Odin had Frigga, for Baldr and Thor both.) [See, this is when Odin really should figure out his horse is more than a horse, but he doesn’t see the things he doesn’t want to see. For example: the thousand years he kept pushing Loki away and not realizing it.]

“She needs an actual name,” Frigga said one evening at dinner.

Baldr was deep in discussion with Beli, an emissary from Vanaheimr [foreshadowing!] and Thor laughing with his friend Fandral, but Loki nodded. Neither Baldr nor Thor had ever shown any interest in the horses beyond caring if mounts were ready whenever they wanted.

“What do you suggest, dearest?” Frigga asked Loki.

Odin, too, turned his attention to his youngest son. Loki was thinking furiously as he cut his roast into bite-sized chunks. He was no longer a toddler, but he still had decades before approaching adolescence. Despite his youth, he was the most knowledgeable person in Asgard when it came to Odin’s horses. He was still the only person the mare and Svadilfari tolerated. [Svadilfari isn’t even letting Odin near the mare right now.]

“Gullfaxi,” Loki announced. [I… do not remember why I chose that name, but she’s somebody from Norse myth.]

“Who is that, brother?” Baldr asked, turning from his discussion of eligible maidens.

“Gullfaxi is Svadilfari’s wife,” Loki told him. “And their baby is going to be the best horse in all nine realms.” [Gullfaxi is not ‘just’ a horse, either.]

Baldr grinned at his little brother before smoothing out his expression and saying, “Of course.” [See, he was a good brother – when he had the time. But he didn’t make time for Loki, or even for Thor, really. And then he was gone.]

Thor just kept talking to Fandral, and pulled Volstagg into the discussion, too.

.

But a year and three months after Svadilfari and Gullfaxi returned, Gullfaxi gave birth to a marvelous colt. The pregnancy was longer than usual, which led Odin to believe the mare was magical. And Svadilfari was not all acting the way studs usually did. And then when the foal had eight legs, he knew for sure. [*facepalm* Odin, you idiot.]

“What should we name him, son?” Odin asked Loki, who was watching the colt’s first steps with wide, awed eyes.

Gullfaxi and Svadilfari kept all grooms and onlookers away, but they let Loki get close, and when the colt bumped into him, he put a steadying hand on the quivering flank.

“Sleipnir,” he said. [Oh, Loki. He really frickin’ loves this horse.]

.

Gullfaxi vanished the day after Sleipnir was weaned. The only sign she’d ever been there was Loki’s tears and how Sleipnir sought for her. Odin ordered Sleipnir broken to halter; he’d be an impressive horse when fully grown, likely larger than his sire, and more magical, to boot. [Sleipnir is even less of ‘just’ a horse than his dad, but Odin doesn’t want to see it.]

Loki threw a fit when the training began. He got in the way and made such a nuisance of himself that Odin banished him from the horses entirely. [That is the first crack in their relationship. And Odin doesn’t even realize it.]

Of course, Loki snuck in after hours. He was found in Sleipnir’s or Svadilfari’s stalls regularly, talking to the horses like they understood him.

Maybe they did, but it didn’t matter. [They TOTALLY did.] Svadilfari was the best in the stable, but eventually it would be Sleipnir, and however much fuss Loki caused, that wouldn’t change.

“Couldn’t you give the horse to him, my husband?” Frigga asked one night, after Loki had turned the head trainer into a slug. [*sporfle*] Odin found it almost difficult to undo Loki’s magic, and Loki was yet a child. He would be a powerful sorcerer when grown, possibly equal to Odin’s uncle Mímir, who even Odin hadn’t matched.

Where, exactly, Loki’s magical proficiency had come from, Odin didn’t know. He seemed stronger than both the average jötunn and ás magician, and he knew magics he shouldn’t. Odin knew that would be a concern later, but for now, Loki was merely a willful child who had to learn that things changed and nobody always had wishes fulfilled. [… yeah. I tried to give Odin reasons that make sense, since he does always think he’s doing the right thing, and this is pretty much when I decided that Loki was –roughly- the same thing Methos is.]

“No, wife,” Odin replied. “Svadilfari should be granted rest after all the long years he’s served me. Sleipnir is a magnificent piece of horseflesh without parallel in all of the realms. He is a horse fit for the King of the Gods.” [Pride goeth, you know. And Odin will one day regret this.]

Frigga gave him a long look; Odin kept his head high, determined to wait her out.

Finally, Frigga said, “You may regret this decision, Odin Allfather.” She then ignored him for the rest of the night. [Frigga sees the future, remember? But she can’t talk about it. Odin really should learn to listen to her.]

.

When Loki’s pet wolf was discovered, Odin wished he’d just given his son the damned horse. [So, it kinda ends on a humorous note. Yet not. Because if Odin had let Loki keep Sleipnir, would he have ever found Fenrir? His relationship with Odin might not have broken down. He would have stayed on Asgardr instead of wandering the realms; he might have been more secure, more confident. I have no idea.

But he couldn’t keep Sleipnir. And he found Fenrir. And then he fell off a bridge.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU for Avengers movieverse; inaccurate Norse mythology; completely BS magical explanations; mentions of violence and attempted fratricide
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1335
Point of view: third
Prompt: what the heck happened to Loki’s kids?

[This was the only chapter about Loki’s kids that gave me trouble. I know a lot more about the others than I do Váli and Nari. And while those came easily, I struggled to find a way he might meet these two.]

On one of their many adventures, Thor, the Warriors 3, and Sif found a gambling hall in Svartálfaheimr. There were warriors engaged in various battles and the patrons placed bets; Thor thought it great fun, entering himself as a fighter. He won, of course, and took home a purse full of gold. [Notice: Loki did not accompany them. It’s a good thing they didn’t run into trouble.]

Loki, of course, found the gold and was curious about its origins: Thor shouldn’t have dwarven gold. He followed his brother the next time he went to Svartálfaheimr, without Sif or the Warriors 3 to guard his back.

That time, Thor lost the fight. His opponent was an old fire giant from Múspellsheimr and Loki had to drag Thor home, weaving from his numerous injuries. Loki could’ve healed him, albeit roughly, but Thor refused: he had lost the battle honorably, and would bear the wounds with pride until they healed naturally. [Chicks dig scars, don’tcha know.]

Loki could’ve hidden it all from their parents, as well, but he refused. Thor was being an idiot, as usual.

Thor bore the injuries with pride until Mother learned of them, and then she had the court healer take care of them. She also forbade Thor from leaving the palace until he found a measure of common sense. Thor stomped around for a few days, but Loki found himself drawn back to that gambling hall and the pitfighters. He spelled himself invisible and lurked above the pit, watching four bouts in a row. The skill of the fighters was impressive, as was the ferocity, but Loki couldn’t figure out why he felt compelled to stay. He didn’t like battle, not like his brother. [His trouble sense is tingling.]

But then a giant wolf slunk into the pit, growling, just as a vanr was forcefully pushed in at the other side.

Loki straightened, cocking his head – the wolf was under a curse. Loki could see his true form beneath the wolf: identical to the vanr. They were brothers, twins. The wolf, half as large as Fenrir, snarling and snapping his jaws at the vanr warrior, was not only spelled as wolf, but as a rabid wolf. And the crowd bayed for blood, the noise adding to the wolf’s madness. [I really don’t like the myth about Váli and Nari.]

The wolf sought to kill; the vanr merely tried to avoid his teeth. [Normally, this fight club doesn’t let bouts go to the death. But there’s a conspiracy at work here.]

Finally, the wolf had his brother down, and as his fangs went for the jugular, Loki acted, grabbing both of them and pulling them into an ice cavern in Niflheimr he knew well. The wolf rounded on him, of course, while the vanr rolled over, lunging to his feet. [He normally wouldn’t get involved, but he has a soft spot for wolves.]

Loki glared at the wolf and hissed, “Stop.” The wolf stopped, muscles quivering but unable to take a step. The vanr was gasping for breath, back up against the cave’s wall. “What are you?” he asked, eyes going from Loki to his brother. [Since the curse, he has seen nothing capable of controlling the wolf his brother used to be.]

“Who cursed your brother?” Loki asked instead of answering, studying the spellwork laced over the wolf. The transformation was the first layer. Above it was the bloodlust and madness, woven into every particle. Loki had the strength to remove it, but it would take a great deal of time.

“An enemy of our father’s,” the vanr said. [More research!] “As… punishment. And then we were sold to the dwarves, as fighters for their game.” He sank down, eyes only on his brother, still subvocally growling and straining against Loki’s spell.

“What are your names?” Loki asked, reaching out to trace one thread of the second layer. He tweaked it, causing the wolf to whimper. Removing the curse would also cause the wolf a truly terrible amount of torment, but probably not as much as ripping his brother apart would. [Loki is quite logical.]

“I’m Narvi,” the vanr said. “He is – was Váli.”

Fenrir howled outside the cave; Hel stepped out of the frigid air. “What have you here?” she asked, looking from the wolf to Narvi and then to Loki.

“Can I leave them in your care, while I return home for a book?” Loki asked her. “I’ll only be gone a moment. I’m just not sure Váli will stay frozen if I leave.”

“You are always so interesting, young prince,” she laughed. Fenrir padded into the cave silently, greeting Loki before going to sniff Narvi and then Váli, whose snarl echoed off the ice. [Even if Váli broke through Loki’s spell, Fenrir would kick his ass.]

Loki quickly traveled to his bedchamber, grabbing the book he needed before immediately returning. Fenrir was sitting beside Hel and mocking Váli; Narvi seemed to be trying to avoid Hel’s gaze by keeping his eyes steadily on his brother. [I’m pretty sure Narvi has figured out who she is; he’s a bit of a bookworm.]

“How long has he been cursed?” Loki asked, kneeling down in front of Váli and focusing on the second layer of the curse. Removing the first would be simpler if Váli had control of his faculties.

“Forever, it seems like,” Narvi said quietly, a long-held grief in his voice. “We were held somewhere dark, somewhere cold, for a long time. We were in separate cages, and all he ever did was throw himself at the bars, trying to kill me. I’m not even sure –” Narvi laughed, bitter and sad. “I’m not even sure if our father knew were still alive, at that point. No one ever came for us.”

“Who is your father?” Hel asked, one hand gently stroking Fenrir’s ears.

“Ullr,” Narvi breathed. “Ullr of the Vanir.” [He’s the king’s right hand.]

“Interesting,” Loki noted, quite certain that Ullr had both the resources and the strength to rescue his sons from nearly any enemy, should he wish it. That he hadn’t did not at all bode well. [Ullr is a good guy, but there was evidence that showed, beyond all doubt, his sons were dead. He’s been mourning for years.]

“And your father’s enemy?” Hel continued, murmuring something to Fenrir as she turned to glance at Narvi.

Fenrir stood and strode out, telling Loki, Be careful as he went. Loki assured him that he would, turning from Váli to flip through his book. Loki was sure he knew the spell necessary, but he wanted to double check before actually attempting anything.

“Kvasir,” Narvi said. [He wants Ullr’s position in the court.]

“Also of the Vanir,” Hel said. “Now, that, too, interesting, is it not, Loki?”

“Very,” Loki said, closing the book and looking back at the wolf. He reached for the weakest thread of the spell and began.

.

After Váli again wore his vanr form and had control of himself again, Loki returned home. Hel promised to find a place for the brothers in her court, since they couldn’t go to Vanaheimr. She had asked if he would get involved in whatever feud was happening between Ullr and Kvasir, but he saw no reason to.

He’d given Váli back his body and mind, and given Narvi back his brother. That was more than enough, he thought, and Hel regally inclined her head, wishing him well.

The next morning, Loki asked his mother, “What do you know about Ullr’s sons?”

Mother said sadly, “They were taken a few centuries ago. Freja is quite sure they were killed, but though Ullr and Njord tore the realm apart, ocean to mountains, they were never found.”

Loki pushed his bread around his plate, debating with himself before suggesting offhandedly, “You should tell Freja to mention Kvasir to Njord.”

Mother paused in lifting her goblet. “And why is that, Loki?” she asked.

He shrugged. “Just an idea.” [He didn’t get involved. He made an offhand remark to his mother.]

After a few moments of silence, Mother asked about his studies. Loki quite enthusiastically explained about a curse he’d found, and the deftness required to break it. [Frigga knows exactly which spell Loki is talking about; when a search of Kvasir’s house turns up evidence of a massive curse, she knows exactly what happened.]

.

Three weeks later, Vanaheimr was shocked when Njord had Kvasir dragged through the streets in chains. The two missing sons of Ullr were returned safely, and Mother gave Loki a proud smile.

Loki never went back to the gambling hall in Svartálfaheimr, though Thor eventually did. And if Loki sometimes went to Vanaheimr just to see a pair of twin brothers, it was simply to talk spells. Curses, in particular, and the removing thereof. [He likes them well enough, but they are not friends – at least, not in his mind.]

.

(Narvi dreamed of bloody fangs and bloodied fur. Váli dreamed of his brother dead and in pieces. And they both dreamed of dark hair and strong hands and ice, and swore loyalty to the youngest prince of Asgard, should he ever need aid.

Loki made no note of that. The Lady of the Dead did.) [Narvi has the greatest potential of all of Vanaheimr’s mages. Váli is a powerful warrior. And they told their father who released them from Kvasir’s curse, so one of the most powerful of Vanaheimr’s nobles owes Loki a debt.

Loki doesn’t care about any of that, but it might good if Odin knew. He doesn’t.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU for Avengers movieverse; mentions of violence
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 680
Point of view: third
Note: the first story in the ‘verse written with no prompting!

[The first sentence popped into my head. The rest just flowed.]

What are the only rules that matter, Van, my son?

A deep breath. Eyes close, exhale, eyes open –

What are the only rules that matter?

Thor is fatally wounded, down, prone on the ground. Gunnar is across the field of battle, keeping enemy reinforcements from coming. The Avengers, Thor’s little band of heroes, are all fighting for their lives. Da is – Da is far far away, and Hel, and there is but a moment –

Van, my son

Thor cannot be moved. Midgardian medicine will not suffice, nor anything in Asgard. It will take magick to heal him, and if he has already passed into Niflheimr with a mortal wound… Hel would not return him. [There are laws the Goddess of the Dead cannot break. Methos could, and would… maybe.]

Van’s magick flares, and he binds Thor’s lifeforce tight, not letting any of him leave. The spell is beyond forbidden, and Van will be drained in moments, but by the time that happens, all of the enemy will be dead where they stand.

Gunnar realizes what he’s doing immediately, and he bounds across the space between them, in his natural shape, larger than any natural Midgardian land animal. Forgive me, Van whispers to him, kneeling by Thor, one hand pressed to his chest, and a protection charm keeping the Avengers and Gunnar away. [Van loves Gunnar – but Thor is his brother, too.]

Don’t, Gunnar pleads, throwing himself against the spell.

“What are you doing?!” Stark demands, the rest joining in when they realize they can’t get through.

The only rules that matter

Da is far away, caught up in a war no one else will ever know about. Thor is already too wounded for Hel to heal, and if she says it is his time –

If she says it is time, not even Da will stop it.

Brother, Van says, resting his forehead on Thor’s. My brother, live.

Thor gasps a breath.

Gunnar howls and howls, frenzied, and Van collapses, his protection spell with him. [The only way to heal Thor was to take his wound. *shrugs* I don’t even have a clue who the Avengers were fighting, but Van only got involved because it was too much for them to handle.]

.

Everything stops.

No, Odin murmurs. Please, not like this.

Is this not what you wanted? Fyrstr asks quietly. You refuse us peace. All nine realms feel it. Yggdrasil shudders and the oceans roil. Is this not what you want?

No! Odin shouts, turning to face him. Fix this, please.

You will stop your paltry attempts at reclaiming what was never yours, little king, Fyrstr orders. You will give my son peace. We live forever – he could yet decide to visit you, allow you to make amends.

Yes! Odin says desperately. Yes, to anything you want. If both Thor and Loki live, I shall stand down in everything.

Fyrstr studies him, long and hard, and nods.

Everything restarts.

[Odin needed to see, viscerally and unmistakably, the cost of his vendetta. And now that he has… well, at heart, he is a good man. And he does love his sons – all three of them.]

.

Van collapses onto his brother. He can feel himself fading away, healing his brother, and Thor’s heart is beating again.

Gunnar shifts as he falls forward, giving himself hands; the Avengers move almost as quickly, pulling Van and Thor apart.

“Van!” he screams as the same time the Avengers all shout, “Thor!”

Thor’s eyes open. Van is limp in Gunnar’s grip.

What are the only rules that matter, Van, my son?

Gunnar throws back his head and howls for Methos.

And Methos is there. With a thought he quiets everything, eyes focused only on Van. He kneels next to Gunnar, who has Van spread across his lap, and he puts a hand to Van’s chest, over his heart, and to his temple. “You will live,” he murmurs. “You will grow stronger yet. And, my son, you will fight another day.” [Those are the only rules.]

“Brother,” Thor gasps, pushing his way out of the tangle of Earth’s mightiest heroes. “Loki, Van – brother!”

“Peace, Thunderer,” Methos says, lightning flowing from him to the truest son he’s ever had. “Van will be fine.”

Van had never been in danger, the foolish child. And while sacrificing himself was noble – Methos did not care at all about Thor. [Methos is a god in a way the aesir never have been and never will be.]

My liege, until you allow it, Thor will not die again, Hel reported, in the far back of his mind, as he stared down at his son, ignoring all else.

Good girl, he replied, watching Van breathe.

Sound exploded, with Stark’s demand of, “What the flying fucking hell is going on?”

Van’s eyes opened.

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters; a line gleefully stolen from A Nightmare Before Christmas [I had just discovered “This Is Halloween.”]
Warnings: AU for Avengers movieverse; mentions of violence/death
Pairings: mostly gen, but a smidge of implied Steve/Tony snuck in [This was written before I really cared about Bucky Barnes.]
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1525
Point of view: third
Prompt: the Avengers suit up, but Van and Methos save the day
Note: remember – not in chronological order. This comes before the previous part. [Non-chronological is confusing! But I’m not gonna rearrange the story.]

 

Over a dozen of the Avengers’ greatest foes joined together late in the year and began attempting to take over Europe. All of the European countries’ security forces teamed up in defense, but while any singular villain could’ve been defeated, the group of supervillains overpowered them.

The Avengers were dispatched with the Fantastic Four and X-Men. Thankfully, Captain American noted, most of the battling happened away from heavily populated places, and where it did happen had already been mostly evacuated – at least, in the beginning. But the battle dragged on…

Hawkeye found high ground, Hulk smashed abandoned buildings, Iron Man took to the sky, and Thor, Captain America, and Black Widow performed a ground search. The X-Men were a country away, and the Fantastic Four half a dozen towns over.

No one was discovered alive; Captain America grew steadily angrier with each body, and the final straw was coming across Red Skull, casting aside the broken corpse of a little boy who looked like Bucky, the day he and Steve met, all those lifetimes ago. [My headcanon for the movieverse has Bucky and Steve meeting when they’re, like, somewhere between six and ten. Steve has his mom, but Bucky is an orphan.]

Captain America attacked, recklessly and out of control, but he’d left Thor and Black Widow behind, Iron Man was beset by drones, Hawkeye kept shooting Red Skull’s minions, and Hulk was busy with a monster created from an impure form of the serum responsible for Captain America.

So there was no one to help when Red Skull injected Captain America and crowed to the heavens, “Burn from the inside out, hero.” [It’s a poison that attacks the serum in Steve’s veins/genes/what have you. *handwaves* It’s bad news.]

Captain America collapsed when Red Skull let go. The last thing he heard was Hawkeye shouting, “Captain! Rogers! Steve!”

[Okay, so, I’m not entirely happy with the set-up here. But it had to be something massive before Methos would step in. A group of villains attacking the whole of Europe? That’s pretty fucking massive.]

.

Van and Da had been in Niflheimr visiting Hel, letting Gunnar get his fill of running. He liked his ás form well enough (especially thumbs) but he still preferred his wolf shape. So they made a trip to see Hel every few months, and Van and Gunnar played tag and stalk-and-pounce until they fell together onto the snow, panting and exhausted. [Aww, boys.]

When they returned home, the news was full of the crisis in Europe, all the villains who’d teamed up, and how the Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four seemed to actually be failing.

“It’s a good idea,” Da said before flipping the channel. “A solo villain almost never wins.” [Methos, honestly, doesn’t really care. Not yet.]

“Yeah,” Van said. At the moment, he wasn’t really concerned. [Ditto.]

.

But the situation stretched on. Human armies were deployed. Rebuilding after the conflict would be supremely difficult.

“Enough,” Da hissed, almost a month later. “This is my world to do with what I will.” [Methos doesn’t particularly care about anyone but those who are his, but territory? It’s a pride thing.]

Van hurried to his feet and Gunnar popped his head in. “Battle?” he asked hopefully. [His name is accurate (according to the internet, ‘Gunnar’ means warrior) – he’s always looking for a fight.]

Da smirked, showing all his teeth. “Come, children. Time to show the bad guys how it’s really done.” [That line is where the whole chapter came from. Methos is the ultimate villain, from a certain point of view; he’s also the greatest of heroes from another. *shrugs*]

.

Captain America collapsed in a heap at Red Skull’s feet. Iron Man zoomed in as quickly as possible, ignoring the drones except for dodging them. Hulk roared, and thunder boomed, and Red Skull laughed as Black Widow edged her way around the debris to stare at Steve.

Red Skull only laughed again when she shot him with a full clip. When Iron Man hit him with his strongest blast. When Hulk tried to swat him and when Thor called down the lightning.

“Why isn’t anything working?” Iron Man demanded. “Fury, do you – ”

“It’s called teamwork, Mr. Stark,” Doc Ock announced, appearing next to Red Skull. “We pooled our gifts. Each of us can do what every one of us can do.” [See, if the bad guys would just team up, it’d become much harder to defeat them.]

“Shit,” Hawkeye said. [Well said, Clint.]

“I’m tired of hearing about this,” a cold, deep voice drawled, and both heroes and villains turned to see three new faces: Loki, his dad, and a total stranger. [None of them have met Gunnar before, because this comes before the previous part.]

“Who are you?” Mister Sinister demanded, turning his weapon towards the newcomers. [Yes, I researched Marvel villains.]

“I’m the who when you call who’s there?” Loki’s new dad said, smirking.

Stark choked on a laugh, but he was the only one to react. [He’s the only one who’s seen Nightmare Before Christmas.]

“Gunnar, would you like to take them?” Loki’s new dad asked, smirking even wider.

“Yes,” the stranger growled, and then he was suddenly an enormous wolf, as large as a goddamned city bus, and rushing at the villains. [Gunnar can change into human form if he likes, but he mainly just changes sizes.]

It was obvious when they tried to teleport out and couldn’t, and everyone but Black Widow – even the Hulk – turned away when the wolf reached them. [Gunnar is a messy eater.]

“Steve?” Iron Man said, kneeling down next to Captain America’s body. “Steve, buddy?” [When I wrote this, they were lovers. I’ve since decided they’re just BFFs.]

He ignored the wolf chowing down, and the screaming abruptly cut off, and when Loki and his new dad strode over.

“Oldest,” Thor said quietly. “Can you do anything about the destruction?”

“I could,” Loki’s new dad replied. “But why should I do for you what you can do for yourselves?” [See, if he cleaned up all their messes, they’d never learn. And he has no stake in this.]

The wolf nuzzled his bloody face against Loki, licking his chops. Loki scratched at the wolf’s chin. [So cute.]

“Please,” Tony begged, looking up, faceplate gone. “We can’t – there’s something wrong, and he’s dying, please – ”

“Why?” Loki’s dad asked, glancing from Tony to the rest of the Avengers, to the X-Men and Fantastic Four hurrying over. “What would you choose?” He paused, looking back at Tony. “I could undo the past few months, return Europe to its former glory – or I could return the spark of life to Steve Rogers.” He knelt down, placing a finger under Tony’s chin and lifting his head. Tony grit his teeth, meeting the bastard’s eyes. “I put the choice to you, Man of Iron. Choose wisely.” [This is a test.]

Tony’s mouth dropped open. “I – what?” he gasped out, jerking away from the fucker’s touch, leaning over to rest his forehead on Steve’s. “I can’t – ”

He wanted to say Steve’s name so badly it burned in his throat. “You’d bring back the soldiers and civilians?” he whispered, smoothing Steve’s hair down. “You’d restore the buildings and – and fix everything?”

“Yes,” he said quietly, reaching out to place a hand on Steve’s heart. “This man or everyone else, Mr. Stark.”

Hulk roared. Hawkeye bit off a comment about superpowered motherfuckers. [I do like that sentence.]

It was Thor who said, “Brother, please.” [Thor is Van’s weakness.]

The wolf growled. [Gunnar does not like Thor being Van’s weakness.] Loki fell to his knees beside Tony and murmured, “What would you give to have him back, Man of Iron?”

“Van,” his dad rumbled. [Methos doesn’t like it, either.]

“Da,” he returned without looking away from Tony.

“Take me instead,” Tony blurted out desperately, and the world went white. [Tony passed with flying colors.]

.

Ash did not fix everything, of course. Humans wouldn’t learn if all of the lesson was wiped away. The soldiers stayed dead, but some of the civilians found themselves alive again: the ones who would have survived if not directly killed by some action of the villains.

The child who looked like Bucky Barnes woke up crying. His mother scooped him up and fled.

Tony was astonished to be alive. Then he was furious, because if he lived it must mean that Steve didn’t–

But beneath him, where he had fallen across Steve’s chest, Steve breathed, gasped, and coughed. “Tony?” he muttered.

“Steve,” Tony said blankly. “Steve!” He wrapped his arms around Steve, laughing in panicked relief. [I’m glad I didn’t make their relationship more blatant; this passes as close friendship, right?]

Ash glanced at Van and Gunnar with a raised eyebrow. The Avengers and the Fantastic Four and the X-Men stared, children all, confronted by something so different it ripped at the fabric of understanding. [I like that sentence, too.]

Buildings were still gutted, roads torn up, towns burned. But the fields were restored, and the livestock lived again, and with superpowered beings helping, rebuilding wouldn’t take long at all, and where there is life, there is hope (or so say those who fear dying. Fyrstr knows better). [Dude, is Methos cynical or what?]

“Old Man,” Fury said, stepping to the front of SHIELD’s contingent. “Thank you for the help today.”

“No problem,” he replied, nodding to Van and Gunnar. Van glanced at Thor, then touched Gunnar’s jaw and transported them both away.

Under Ash’s gaze, no one made a sound. Most of the ‘hero’ community had long since realized Van was, if not a ‘good guy,’ not a villain either. And there were still splashes of blood where the villains had been. [You know that scene in The Town where the cop pretends he didn’t see the bank robbers because they had way bigger guns? Kinda like that.]

“Why did you help?” Hawkeye asked, bow held loosely in his grip. Black Widow stood next to him and Dr. Banner at his back, having regained enough control. (Ash might help with that. He hadn’t decided yet.) [If Bruce Banner ever does something so awesome it impresses Methos, Methos will give Bruce control over his shifting. Until then, Bruce will keep on as he has.] Iron Man and Thor helped Captain America to his feet, and everyone looked at Ash, caught between terror and awe.

“If anyone will rule this world,” he said, smirking, “it will be me. And if anyone were to destroy it – it will also be me.” He inclined his head to Fury. “Remember, Niko,” he added, in the boy’s first tongue. “And call next time you can’t clean up your own mess.” [Methos can be possessive, sometimes.]

Smirking wider at the shocked, horrified looks, Ash left the children reeling.

.

The news reports all said the same thing: the villains wiped each other out. No mention was made of a giant wolf or Thor’s brother or the man who returned life to seven hundred people without blinking. Even those who had been dead didn’t know it.

None of those who knew talked about it.

And if Thor stood in the midst of a summer storm, holding a one-sided conversation about hopes and dreams and wishes, well. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled, and who’s to say it was one-sided, after all? [Aww, I like this ending. I really like ending on a strong note.]

 

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU for Avengers movieverse; mentions of violence/death
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1380
Point of view: third
Prompt: Amanda and Mac meet up with Methos and his new student- and its odd to see the legend acting so parental- especially when they find out that the 'kid' is older than Amanda.
Note: I didn’t work in Amanda because all I saw of her character were the Methos episodes and I don’t want to get her wrong.

[I really like outside povs.]

Ever since Methos vanished, Duncan has worried. Joe said he seemed well, and even had a student, a nice kid who Methos clearly loved. But considering that Methos’ last student had been Byron – well, Duncan knows he’s right to worry. Add Byron to the Horsemen… [I think I need to rewatch the Byron episode.]

Methos is in trouble. But to help him, Duncan needs to find him, and that’s proving to be frustratingly hard. Not to mention that Joe keeps refusing to use his Watcher contacts to aid in the search.

So when Methos and two tag-alongs wander into his current dojo, Duncan is honestly surprised. Especially since he only feels their buzzes after seeing them, almost like an afterthought. [Methos isn’t actually an immortal, remember? And neither are Van and Gunnar. Methos only has a buzz when he wants to.]

“Hullo, MacLeod,” Methos drawls, smirking that irritating smirk. [You know the one.]

“Adam?” he asks, eyes going to the kids.

Methos shakes his head. “I’m Ashton Piers these days,” he says. “These boys are my little brothers Evan and Gunther.”

“Hi,” one says, lifting his hand in a half-hearted wave. [Van.] The other simply nods his head. [Gunnar.]

The two look enough alike to be twins – and enough like Methos to be his biological brothers. They all appear approximately the same age, about twenty-five. [Shapeshifting, the way Methos does it, and Van does it, and Van taught Gunnar to do it, is about will and want. Gunnar, subconsciously, a bit, wanted to look like Van – and so he does.]

Ach, but immortality confuses even Duncan, sometimes. [Trufax.]

“Welcome,” Duncan says. It’s been over a decade and a half since he last saw Methos. Since, near as he can tell, anyone saw Methos. The world has changed since then – there are people with powers being hailed as heroes, who would have been executed for witchcraft in his day. There are villains who cause as much as destruction as a full-scale war, except in hours and days instead of years. There is a god walking around and saving people. [Duncan was born in the 1600s, right? Dude. Today must be so confusing. And then you throw in Marvel…]

The world is changed. But Methos is, thankfully, the same. He asks about their mutual friends, and a few others he knows Duncan is close to. He listens while the boys explore the dojo, and offers his usual sarcasm and dry comments.

And, finally, when the boys are out of hearing, all the way across the room, Duncan asks quietly, “Two students, Methos? That’s dangerous.”

“Don’t worry, my friend,” Methos says, just as quietly.

“Are you in trouble?” Duncan steps in close, looking firmly into Methos’ eyes. “I can help, if you are.”

Methos smiles. It almost seems sincere. [Methos is still mostly impossible to read, but he truly does like Duncan MacLeod.] “Still trying to save me, MacLeod? Adam Pierson was a mask. He was weak and foolish. He was an academic, and he would’ve died very young.” The smile drops away. Duncan notices, on the periphery, that the boys have gone still, staring at them from across the room. “I am not Adam Pierson. I dropped the mask when you killed Byron.” [Yeah, I really need to rewatch that episode.]

“What?” Duncan asks, turning so that his sword is in easy grip. [Duncan thinks of Methos as a friend – but he never forgets what Methos once was.]

Methos explains in a patient, old tone, “Adam Pierson was a mask, MacLeod. I wear masks – that’s why I’m the oldest.” [There’s more to it, of course, in this ‘verse; but in canon, that’s the truth.]

“We all change identities,” Duncan says, not sure what Methos’ point is. There’s always some lesson the ancient tries to impart.

“You’ve barely changed your identity in four hundred years, Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod.” [I freely admit I haven’t watched most of Highlander; only the Methos episodes. So I have no idea if Duncan actually changes identities or just keeps playing himself, down though the years.] Methos laughs, but the darkness is gone from his eyes, and one of his boys pounces on the other, knocking him to the mat. [Gunnar pounced on Van.]

“I haven’t needed to,” Duncan protests, smiling.

“Oh, MacLeod,” Methos sighs long-sufferingly, clapping him on the shoulder. “So young, yet. You’ll learn one day.”

Or you’ll die, he doesn’t say, but Duncan hears it loud and clear, and he shudders.

“Da!” one of the boys shouts. They look practically identical, tumbling on the mat. The only difference MacLeod notices is that the one with gold eyes has slightly darker skin and is a bit bulkier. The other, the one who calls “Da!” again, has bright green eyes.

They’re both grinning when Methos turns to look at them. “Van,” he says. “You can’t defeat the ruffian yourself?”

“Of course he can’t,” the other, Gunther, says with a laugh.

“Tsk, tsk,” Methos scolds, shaking his head. “I’m so disappointed.”

Evan shoves his brother off and performs a series of moves so fast even Duncan – known to both Watchers and immortals as one of the best, if not the best, warriors in the world – cannot follow. [Remember – Van is a thousand years old, and grew up in a warrior culture. That’s, what, 600 years older than Duncan? Older than most immortals, too.]

But Gunther goes down and lays there for a moment before bouncing up.

“Well done,” Methos says. “There’s a kitchen that way.” He tilts his head to the back entrance of the dojo. “Find something to eat; try not to make a mess.” He looks at Duncan. “Still mi casa es su casa si?” he asks rhetorically. [*hee* Callback!]

Duncan nods anyway, watching the boys go.

Something is wrong here. Even an infant who had trained for thirty years as a mortal before his first death should not execute perfect moves too quickly for Duncan to follow. Not even Methos fought that well.

Adam Pierson was a mask. Duncan looks at Methos, who is smiling a shark smile. “Understand yet?” Methos asks. Adam Pierson as Methos, Duncan thinks, was a mask. [That’s the secret: when you look at Methos, you only see what he wants you to see. Nothing more. Nothing less. Duncan is beginning to understand that.]

“Who are you with no mask?” Duncan whispers.

Methos shrugs. He’s still smiling when he walks toward the kitchen. Duncan, slightly nervous now, follows.

Gunther is sitting on the counter eating potato chips while Evan rifles through the fridge. They both look over when Methos enters and Gunther tosses him another bag of chips.

“Are you still worried about me, my friend?” Methos asks, catching the bottle of juice Evan throws his way.

“Yes,” Duncan answers, keeping his peace while Evan pulls his pre-made sandwich out.

“Su casa es mi casa,” Methos murmurs, amused.

“Si,” Duncan agrees. Richie’d had worse manners than ‘borrowing’ food, and to see Methos acting so parental is worth the minor annoyance. [For Duncan, that must be so weird.]

Evan hops up next to Gunther and splits the sandwich. Beyond their looks, suggesting they came from the same region, this is what convinces Duncan they at least grew up together. Of course, they cannot biologically be brothers, but neither were Methos and the Horsemen, and they all called each other brother. [And they did – mostly – grow up together.]

“Where did you find them, Ashton?” Duncan asks, deciding that this time he’ll keep the true identity of his friend secret. He failed previously, too excited to contain himself, and too many people learned. But only Joe, Amanda, Cassandra, and Duncan know Methos’ face now. [Dude, Methos stayed hidden for thousands of years – and then, Duncan finds out, and suddenly everyone knows. Not cool, dude.]

“I found Evan after a disagreement with his family,” Ashton says. “We fetched Gunther a bit later.” He grins, sharp and bright. “We resolved the family thing.” [Quite the nice summary of the plot, yeah?]

“He calls you Da,” Duncan notes, trying to fish as subtly as possible.

He fails, judging by the look Ashton gives him. “I adopted him,” Ashton explains. “Our identities at the moment are brothers, I and the young twins – but I am Van’s father.”

“Not Gunther’s?” Duncan can’t help but ask.

“No,” Ashton replies, while the boys slip down from the counter. “I’m not Gunther’s da.” [Gunnar and Methos live in peace, and they like each other, certainly. But they both care far more for Van than they ever will each other.]

Duncan is pretty sure that makes no sense, but the boys wander over and Gunther demands a spar.

“With me or MacLeod?” Ashton demands in reply.

“MacLeod,” he clarifies. “I’ve seen you fight, old dog.” [You wouldn’t believe how much I struggled with Gunnar using ‘old dog’ here. I wanted him to call Methos something, and I wanted it to be callback to his wolfiness. *shrugs*]

“You up for it?” Ashton grins at him.

“Of course,” Duncan answers. [Has Duncan ever lost a fight in canon? I know he’s supposed to be some awesome fighter.]

Gunther leads the way back to the mat and excitedly bounces on his toes, eyes on Duncan. “Those clothes will be fine?” Duncan asks. Gunther’s wearing jeans; Duncan’s just glad he kicked off his boots earlier, when he tussled with his brother.

“Yeah,” Gunther grunts. “Stop stalling.”

Duncan sighs at the impatience of youth [*snorts* Gunnar is at least 500 years older than Duncan, even if he did spend most of it as a wolf.] and steps onto the mat.

Gunther’s style has no training Duncan can discern. The boy is inhumanly fast and strong, but it’s raw power without precision and Duncan finally gets him down. Gunther snarls at him, sounding more like an animal than a man, and Evan’s voice whips out, a sharp command in his brother’s name – except he pronounces it Gunnar. [Gunnar is a berserker. He doesn’t quite yet know how to fight as a man, and he knows he mustn’t kill Duncan. So Duncan ‘wins’ their spar.]

“Well?” Ashton asks with a raised eyebrow.

Duncan heaves himself up and offers Gunther an ignored hand. “He has potential,” Duncan says, watching Gunther stalk over to his brother. “But he’ll be difficult to train.” Duncan focuses on Ashton. “How old are they?”

Evan has the technical skill; Duncan saw that earlier. And Gunther is a fierce warrior. Few could withstand the barrage long enough to beat him.

“Oh,” Ashton says, and there’s laughter in his voice. “They’re quite young, my boys.” He smirks, looking back at them. “Quite young indeed.” [And, to Methos, they are.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU for Avengers movieverse; mentions of a suicide attempt
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 545
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, How does one built a bridge over thousands of years anguish and pride?

 

"Will you help me, Frigga?" he asks softly, eyes deferentially at her feet. He wants to call her my love, my queen, my wife, my life - but her gaze has been cold these long months since Loki’s fall. For centuries she cautioned him in his treatment of their youngest son, their little prankster, the greatest magician in Asgard. For centuries she warned him.

For centuries, he refused her counsel, and now Loki is gone. [Hindsight’s 20/20 and Odin is at last seeing clear.]

“Will you listen now, OdinKing?” she asks in reply, [Ever since I heard Gandalf say “Théoden King” I just love the sound of name + king for some reason. *shrugs*] and all the ice of Niflheimr is on the words. “Will you heed me advice in all things?”

“Yes,” he says simply, and only meets her eyes when she gently touches his chin with the tip of one finger.

“Husband,” she tells him, “you have a thousand years of mistakes to rectify. Rejoice that you have the chance at all.” [Considering how things could’ve gone – yeah, Odin is lucky in this ‘verse.]

“I do,” he murmurs, and when she turns to stride from the balcony, he follows.

.

“You don’t have to do this,” Gunnar snarls, watching Van pace from one side of the room to the other. “You don’t owe him anything. I could – I should tear out his throat.” [Gunnar does not remember Odin fondly. And seeing how Van nervous Van is, he really wants to go on a rampage.]

“No, wolf,” Ash commands. “Should anyone deal with the little king, it will be me.” Gunnar glares at him, but Ash simply raises an eyebrow. Gunnar looks away. [Methos is an alpha, full-stop, all the way. Even if he sometimes pretends otherwise while in character.]

“He just wants to listen,” Van says, turning to face Ash. “Right? Just… listen. To what I have to say.”

“Yes, my boy,” Ash assures him. “He will listen. He will explain. And then he will leave.” [Fyrstr has spoken; so shall it be.]

Van pauses, just staring into Ash’s eyes. It’s all the boy wants. All he’s ever wanted, really. The AllFather to hear him, and then to explain himself. [What should have happened in canon. What I hope would’ve happened, if not for the most convenient timed medical coma in history.] “Da,” Van whispers. “What if – ”

Ash pulls him in for a tight hug and the lightning flares along Van’s veins. “Do you feel that?” he asks, murmuring the words into Van’s ear. “You are mine, from now unto forever. No little king can change that. Whatever he says, whatever he doesn’t say, however much he fails – I will not cast you away. I will not abandon you. You are mine, from your magic to your laughter to your bones. And if you tell me, now, to send him away, I will obliterate him from existence.”

Van’s breath catches and his hands clutch Ash’s shirt. Gunnar is carefully motionless, crouched in the chair, eyes on Ash. [Methos’ dangerousness is at the forefront, and he’s one word away from destroying worlds again.]

“I will speak to him,” Van says, gently pulling away Ash’s arms. “He will listen. And he will tell me what he was thinking.”

“As you wish,” Ash murmurs, leaning forward and pressing a kiss to his forehead. [Luckily, Van has learned how to maneuver around the dangerousness.]

.

Odin does not for a moment believe he and the child are left alone. [Methos and Gunnar are one room and one hint of distress away.]

But Loki is on one side of the table, fingers laced together, and eyes locked on Odin.

“Will you listen?” he asks softly.

“Yes,” Odin replies, just as softly.

Loki nods resolutely. “Say my name,” he orders, and he sounds so strong – so powerful.

Odin lowers his gaze to the table. “Van,” he whispers. Loki fell. Loki is gone. Odin’s prankster, Sleipnir’s first rider, Thor’s shadow… Loki is gone. [Finally, Odin is figuring it out.]

Only Van remains. And Odin will listen as Van details every last grief Loki had when he was Odin’s son.

It’s the least he owes Loki. [Let the healing, at last, commence.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Avengers movieverse/Highlander/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: child favoritism
Pairings: mentions of het
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 495
Point of view: third
Prompt: Thor, Odin + Loki, We love you both equally. [The theme day for this prompt was lie. Ouch.]

 

"Do you know the difference between a da and a father?" Odin asks Frigga. He's sitting on the edge of the bed, shoulders slumped down, and she stands in the middle of the room, having just walked in, seen his position, and paused.

"A da," she says softly, after a minute, "will do whatever it takes. A father will take the easy road and hope for the best."

Odin flinches. He doesn't disagree.

[You know those ads that say “Any man can be a father. It takes a real man to be a dad”? Yeah, it’s like that.]

.

Odin had many plans for Loki. He discarded them all and finally decided to simply raise the boy as though he'd always been theirs, been born from Frigga. [Van will never quite believe that, but it’s the truth.] Frigga doted on him, because she knew he was the last child she'd ever have (unless she began taking in strays, which was always possible).

Baldr ran away to Vanaheimr and wed a serving-girl. Thor made lifelong friends of fellow warriors and threw himself into training.

Loki took to magic so easily it was frightening. Odin had been the master (second only to Frigga, though very few still living knew that) for so long that he didn’t take proper notice of Loki’s skills until the boy was grown.

Thor was so much easier than Loki. Baldr, for all his stubbornness and pride, was easier than Loki. Thor brawled in Svartálfaheimr, but Loki brought home an alfwolf and tried to hide it under his bed. The most nerve-wracking part was how close he came. Thor was easygoing and trustworthy, for all his childish temper. Odin could trust him to obey orders.

Loki… oh, Loki. He was cunning. He was clever. He could be cruel – but if Odin were being honest, and he must be, now, after everything… Loki did not become cruel until after the wolf was taken. [The cracks in their relationship started with Sleipnir. After Fenrir… Odin would have been hard pressed to mend things, had he noticed, but he could have. After Loki turning blue in the vault, though, the cracks became a chasm and it was entirely too late.] Until Odin began teaching Thor in earnest how to be king, letting time with Loki slip away. Until Loki far outstripped his tutors and murmurs filled the air about the silver-tongued prince who lied. [See, I figure Loki’s ostracization started small. Tiny little things you don’t see until years later, when too much time and too much pain are between you and whoever is gone. It was little things nobody noticed because nobody was looking.]

Odin loves his sons. All three of them: those of his blood, and the one he stole from an icy battlefield. He had his chance, he knows that now. Resting his head in his hands, listening to Frigga walk away, he knows he had his chance. Odin loves his sons, but Thor has always been golden. Baldr was too gentle for Odin’s taste, and Loki… Loki was far too much like him. Loki, who fell and Odin never searched.

Loki, who will never call Odin Father again. [Frigga can become Mother again. Baldr and Thor will become brother again. But Odin? Any reconciliation will be too little, too late. They can be friendly, and part of Van will always care… but that’s it.]

.

“Can you see him?” Odin asks Heimdallr.

“Never,” Heimdallr answers. [He is old, yes, and powerful – but nowhere near as powerful as Fyrstr. He can’t even see the empty spot where Fyrstr and his boys should be.]

Odin nods, looking out onto the Bifrost. No, the Oldest would not let Odin see Lo - Van without Van first giving permission.

“What about Baldr?” Odin murmurs. He has not visited his firstborn in centuries. But he has lost one son. Baldr is still in reach.

“Baldr walks along the shore with Nanna and their youngest children,” Heimdallr says.

Yes. Loki is gone forever, and it’s time Odin made amends with Baldr.

He commands, “Open the Bifrost.” [One son was almost lost forever – so Odin decides to go see the first one he lost and try to, finally, fix things.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: future!fic for Highlander; mentions of violence/death
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 575
Point of view: third

[I wanted this chapter to be longer, but it would have just been rehashing what happened when Ash, Van, and Gunnar visited Duncan.]

“There’s something odd about Ashton’s boys,” Mac says after the evening rush settles down.

“Boys?” Joe parrots after he catches up and realizes who Mac must mean. “He only had one, last I saw.”

“He has two now,” Mac tells him. “His little brothers, Evan and Gunther. Except, Evan is also Van and his son, and Gunther is Gunnar, and Van’s brother, but not Ashton’s son.” Mac sips his scotch, studying the patrons of the bar, while Joe tries to untangle that. [*hee* I really like that piece of dialogue.] He serves a few regulars and when he turns back to Mac, Mac continues, “Evan is a gifted warrior. He’s been exceedingly well trained. And Gunther – I saw the beginning of some kind of style, I think, but he prefers overwhelming by sheer strength, which he has in abundance.”

“Evan seemed like a good kid,” Joe says. “The Old Man really cares about him, too.”

Mac nods, staring down into his glass. “He told me that Adam Pierson was a mask he dropped when I killed Byron,” Mac says quietly.

“Well, yeah,” Joe replies. “Adam was always an act.” He laughs. “Even after I knew it, though, he still fooled me most of the time.” [If Joe were immortal, he would last a long time.]

“But how – ” Mac cuts himself off as another patron comes up. He continues when the man leaves, with, “But how is his act different from the rest of us?” He stares across the bar at Joe with those big brown eyes, and Joe truly wonders, just for a moment, how in the hell Mac made this long in the game.

“Mac,” he explains, slowly and carefully, “you haven’t changed anything but your profession in four hundred years. The Old Man changes his whole persona. The names are usually variations of each other, as far as I’ve been able to tell, but they’re all also really common.” He shrugs. “Ashton is a completely different man than Adam Pierson, or Adam Pierson as the Old Man.”

Ashton is a father. And a good one, from what Joe saw. Adam Pierson had been an academic, and so young. He would’ve blown away in a strong wind. And then, Adam Pierson as Methos had been a smart ass, but still not all that frightening. Not as frightening as five thousand years should’ve been, anyway.

Joe knows for a fact that he has never met the real Methos. He also knows that he’ll never hear Methos’ real name.

He’s okay with that. There are some things humans just aren’t ready for. [See, the thing is – the Methos we meet in canon? Is just a mask. If he’s lasted that long, there has to be more to him. And Joe knows that. He’s known it from the beginning.]

But Mac – Mac is a good man. Maybe the best Joe’s ever met. And as long as Mac remains one of Methos’ favorites, he’ll last a long time.

“Tell me more about this other kid,” Joe says. Van was good, quiet and shy. [Every time I reread that, I think I should add another comma. But ‘quite and shy’ are explanations of ‘good;’ it’s not a list. *shrugs*] If Methos had trained him (which, of course, Methos had) he’d be a damned fine warrior. You don’t live to be the oldest only by running away all the time. Eventually, you had to fight it out.

“Gunther wanted to spar with me,” Mac says after draining his glass. “He’s good, Joe. With the skill level he and Evan are already at… they can’t be new.”

Joe pauses, tapping his fingers on the bar. “Can’t be new?” he repeats.

Mac shakes his head. “That’s why there’s somethin’ odd about them,” he says.

Joe refills his glass. “Start at the beginning, Mac,” he orders. Then, “Wait. Let’s take this to the back.”

Nodding, Mac stands and follows him.

[Really, quit having your private conversations where anyone can hear! It’s ridiculous.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: no one mentioned here is mine
Warnings: mentions of child favoritism and a suicide attempt; intentionally wrong Norse mythology; possibly a too-fluffy reconciliation
Pairings: Baldr/Nanna, Odin/Frigga
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1930
Point of view: third
Note: according to Wikipedia, Baldr and Nanna only had one kid. I pulled a few other Norse deities and declared them to be Baldr and Nanna’s, too. [I did a lot of research for this part.]

 

Baldr has always loved his brothers. He has never thought of Loki as anything but a little brother, an annoyance, a pest. That is the way of older brothers. He noticed Loki’s attempts to gain attention, but he had other things on his mind – and then he met Nanna and had no reason to return to Asgard and an eventual throne he had never wanted.

That the All-Father disinherited him for it… well, Baldr had expected nothing less. That Mother refused to let it stand, he was glad.

Nanna gives him many fine children, and Baldr lets them know they are loved, and that, whatever they choose to do with their abilities and their lives, he will love them still.

.

Loki had been a strange child. Baldr remembers Odin bringing him home – Baldr had been four hundred and starting his training in earnest. He had no time to coddle the infant Odin announced as his youngest child. [Of course he knew. Everyone knew Frigga hadn’t carried or bore Loki; they just didn’t know he was a frost giant.]

But Thor was fascinated with their younger brother. Thor adored him. Thor followed around whoever was carrying the child and babbled at them. [Aww, Thor. So cute.]

And if Baldr was sometimes jealous of the bond that grew between them, the younger sons of Asgard… it was unimportant. He had his duties, and then he had Nanna, and then he had children.

And then Thor was banished and Loki fell.

.

Thor had the Warriors 3 and Sif, and a court full of people who played to his pride. Loki had Sleipnir, and then Fenrir. [Is it any wonder how things went? Really. In canon, it seems that Loki was set up to fail. And that pisses me off.] After Fenrir was returned to Ālfheimr, Baldr often found Loki playing with his hounds (the swiftest and cleverest in all of Asgard). Loki spoke to them like they understood, like they were friends. Like he had treated his wolf. Baldr let him, though it set back the training of the pups. [Baldr is a good brother, when he remembers to be. And this entire remembrance is just heartrending. Oh, Loki.]

Baldr never spoke to Loki of it. After Loki’s fall, holding his youngest child Forseti close and listening to his son’s heartbeat, he thinks maybe he should have. [If he could do everything over, with all his knowledge intact – Baldr would do many things differently.]

.

Baldr argues with himself for days before deciding not to return to Asgard, not to bring his children to his once-home for the celebration of Loki’s life.

Odin sends no word either way, [If Odin, Frigga, or Thor had sent word, Baldr would have gone.] and Baldr keeps his children close. He does not mention Loki to anyone, and ignores everyone who asks – except his children.

When Fosite, the firstborn, so very proud and exacting, asks Baldr about the mischievous uncle he had never met – Baldr tells them all to gather ‘round, four sons and three daughters, with their mother’s eyes and their mother’s smile: Fosite, Fulla, the twins Hermódr and Hodr, Ēostre, Hrede, and young Forseti. [I remember coming up with personalities for all of them, but I wrote none of it down so I don’t remember. Oops.]

Loki had been so daring, so clever, and Baldr tells them everything he remembers.

.

And then, of course, comes the slow trickle of knowledge across the realms: Loki, son of Odin, lives. Loki, son of Odin, has played a brilliant trick, and Baldr exhales a sigh of relief.

He has never understood Loki, but he is so very glad that Loki still lives. [Of course Loki’s death made the news, but nobody knew what exactly happened. Most people assume that whoever attacked Jötunheimr killed him. And of course everyone eventually realizes he’s not dead, but no one is sure why he isn’t in Asgardr anymore.]

.

Odin does not send warning before the Bifrost opens and deposits him in the midst of Vanaheimr’s capitol. He tells Njord that he is not here as king or All-Father, and then he goes to Baldr’s house.

“Hello, Baldr,” Odin says, head raised high, voice soft. “I have come because it is past time.”

The children are with tutors or masters. Nanna is with Freja.

Baldr steps back and lets Odin in, wishing he had gone to the training yard with Hermódr and Hodr. He’s wished for a lot of things in his life.

“All-Father,” Baldr says quietly.

Odin closes his eye, looking old and tired. [Being called anything besides ‘father’ by any of his children hurts because Odin knows he’s earned it.] Older than Baldr remembers him being – which, of course, makes sense. He has not been home in – not been to Asgard in nearly five hundred years. Not seen his brothers since… oh, it must have been just after Ēostre’s birth when Mother and Loki visited, and Thor – after that nasty business with Sif’s hair, when he wanted to know how to deal with Loki.

Baldr had laughed at him. If Thor was too blind to see Loki’s jealousy at being cast aside, it was not up to Baldr to open his eyes.

He would give very different advice, now, having dealt with children for four hundred and a half years. Very different advice. [Every single time he screwed up haunts him, now.]

“Baldr,” Odin whispers, sounding even older than he looks. So tired. “I must apologize. I acted in anger, and I acted in pain.”

“I acted of love,” Baldr says, because though he knows he, too, has much to apologize for, he will never apologize for Nanna. [I really like this pair of sentences.]

“Yes,” Odin agrees. “Your mother has spoken well of Nanna. She has praised your children, their strength and cleverness. Seven, I hear.”

Baldr stares at him, because this is not the eloquent All-Father, King of Asgard, (third) most powerful sorcerer or greatest warrior in Nine Realms.

Odin meets his gaze before looking away.

“I am not here as a king,” Odin tells him, head bowed low. “I am here as a man who made hasty and foolhardy choices. I am here as a father who wishes to finally know what I have done that is so wrong. I am here as a grandfather who has grandchildren he has never met.” He hesitates; Baldr waits, hands clasped so they won’t fidget, and Odin finishes, “I am here because I have learned how it feels to think a child dead. To believe that I failed so greatly it resulted in a child choosing to die.” Odin wipes at his face, and Baldr chokes back a cry. “I am here to see you, Baldr, to mend things between us because I love you. You were the first son I ever held. You were the first son I ever saw.” He smiles, glancing at Baldr again, meeting his gaze. “You were the first child that was mine. I have missed you.” [Now, this paragraph – I wish we’d get something like it in canon. We probably won’t.]

“Father,” Baldr says. “I… I have missed you.”

The scorned, cast away, proud youth he had once been wants to make Odin grovel. The father in him wants only to embrace Odin and wholeheartedly welcome him back into Baldr’s life. The onetime heir of Asgard wants to bow and promise to never again disappoint his king. And the son… the son wants to throw a temper-tantrum, to demand to know what he could have done that was so horrible, to shout and scream, to fall into his father’s arms and finally feel safe again.

He settles for something in the middle and leads Odin to his table, where he bids Odin to sit and pours him a mug of mead.

“I have seven children,” he tells his father, settling across from him with his own mead. “And I will introduce them to you when they come home. But first – please, I must know. How are my brothers?”

Odin’s smile is sad and weary. “They both live,” he says. “And they – I had thought Loki might decide to become Thor’s nemesis, but that fear has been proven incorrect.” He laughs, sharp and bitter. “Violently proven incorrect.” He sips his mead. “What do you remember of the Oldest?” he asks.

Baldr shrugs. “A legend Mother told me so that I’d sleep.”

Odin shakes his head. “The Oldest is very real,” he says. “And he has taken custody of Loki from me, renamed him Van, and been a much better father than ever I was.”

Baldr has no response to that. Instead, he tells his father of his life up to now, of how he met Nanna, how he courted her, how Freja welcomed him to Vanaheimr.

Fulla is the first home, and she blows in like a storm, complaining about her arms’ tutor’s unreasonableness. But when she notices the All-Father sitting at her dinner table… oh, her look of shock is wonderful to behold. [Of course they know the All-Father of Asgardr, King of the aesir, is their grandfather; but they’ve never met him. It’s like knowing you’re related to someone famous and then coming home one day to that person sitting in your kitchen drinking a coke with your dad. Except times ten.]

“Daughter,” Baldr says gently, “this is my father, Odin. Father, this is my eldest daughter, Fulla.”

“Hello… hello, Grandfather,” she says hesitantly, before standing up straight and lifting her head, pulling on a cloak of surety and strength. “Be welcome and well-met.”

Odin smiles at her. “Granddaughter,” he says.

“Fulla,” Baldr asks, standing and touching her arm. “Please, go fetch your siblings and mother. I think… it is past time for the family to meet my father.”

“Of course,” she says, smiling brilliantly and standing on her toes to kiss his forehead. “I’ll be back soon.” She ducks her head towards Odin. “Grandfather.” She’s gone in a swish of her skirts, quick as lightning.

“Fulla has decided to become a warrior,” Baldr tells Odin. “She dresses like the most ridiculous courtier imaginable whenever she’s not training. It frustrates both her teacher and her mother.”

To be honest, Fulla reminds him of Loki, sometimes. She has his taste for mischief. The difference, he’s found, is that the vanir take to her sense of humor more than the aesir ever did Loki’s. [If Loki hadn’t been a computer geek in a school full of nothing but jocks, things would’ve been differently. Fulla has other computer geeks to hang out with.]

“She’s lovely,” Odin says, hands wrapped around his mug. “I am… it gladdens my heart to see you so happy, my son.”

Baldr smiles, something inside him settling after half a millennium. “It gladdens my heart,” he says softly, “to see you again.”

Baldr knows he will never be a king. He has never wanted to be. He is a scholar at heart, a historian. He is counselor to Njord, King of Vanaheimr. He is a father and a husband – a son and a brother. He doesn’t want to rule anyone or anything.

He could have stood down without running away, but the father he ran from would never have accepted a prince wedding a handmaiden. [Loki’s suicide (attempt) set in motion a great deal of character development we should’ve gotten in canon and won’t.]

“How is Mother?” he asks after a moment.

“She will be content again,” Odin says, “because I have come here to see you.”

Baldr nods. “We may – I’m sure Nanna would love to see where I grew up.” He grins. “And your halls have long been silent, I’m sure, in want of boys running through them.” Hermódr and Hodr had not been as drawn to pranks as Thor and Loki, but only because both of them lacked the patience. When Hrede planned things, though…

“I will welcome your children, Baldr.” There is nothing of the king in Odin at that moment. He is only a very old man, and a grieving father whose heart has finally begun to heal.

“I shall start planning with Nanna tonight,” Baldr promises.

.

Baldr remembers well the night he met Loki. Father ended the war, casting Laufey King low, and he brought home both a weapon and a son.

Father and Mother named the infant Loki and called him Baldr’s youngest brother.

Thor had still been too young to realize that Mother had never carried Loki, nor bore him.

And Baldr never cared. What was one more brother? He was busy training with Tyr, learning to be both a king and a warrior, and what did it matter if he wanted neither? If he preferred time in the library, reading of ancient history and of magicks he had not the inborn skill to cast? Baldr could do small things, but he was much better with words than magic, and he could command men, though he had no taste for it. [Baldr is the middle ground between Thor and Loki, even though he was the firstborn.]

Loki was his brother. And maybe he’d never known Loki as well as he might have liked, looking back. But he had the chance, now.

Father is sitting at his table, waiting for Nanna and the children to come home, and Baldr makes an oath: he will visit his brothers, will come to know the men they are, and he will not let five hundred years pass with no word again.

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU
Pairings: Baldr/Nanna
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 850
Point of view: third any, any/any, Wrap me in a bolt of lightning / Send me on my way still smiling

 

[So, I think Nanna has a pretty epic backstory in this ‘verse. She’s Skadi’s (Vanaheimr’s queen) best friend, though she started as a handmaiden, and she’s actually Njord’s (Vanaheimr’s king) spymaster. She has minions find out all sorts of information, and then Baldr advises Njord and Skadi on what to do with it.]

 

"Go on, then," Nanna tells him, giving him a gentle shove. "Njord will be fine without you; Skadi and Freja have it all in hand."

"And the children?" he asks, hesitating at the door.

His beloved wife rolls her eyes. “They will probably not even notice your absence, Baldr. Go. You’ll not be happy until you see your brothers.”

He nods resolutely and goes.

.

“I wish you luck,” his king tells him as they walk to the transportation chamber. Asgard has the Bifrost; Vanaheimr’s is different, and perhaps not as strong, but it has always served well.

“Thank you,” Baldr replies. “I’m sure all will be well in my absence.”

Njord laughs, slapping him on the shoulder. “As if the women would let things go poorly. They’re determined to bring your brother back here, you know.”

Baldr shakes his head, smiling. “My youngest brother has been adopted, or so Odin told me. But I look forward to seeing him again. He was but a child when I left, and not much older when Mother visited last.”

“Well, at least bring him back for a quick look,” Njord says. “Skadi remembers him fondly.” He waves his hand, activating the spells on the transporter and Baldr steps into the ring. [Skadi was quite the prankster in her youth. Also, I’m not sure I realized this at the time, but Thiazi is Skadi’s father in the myths, and in this fic, Thiazi was one of Methos’ identities. So, Skadi, therefore, was one of Methos’ students. *hee*]

“I shall return soon,” Baldr promises, and Njord nods, murmuring the final piece of the spell.

.

Baldr will never tell Heimdallr, but he greatly prefers Vanaheimr’s method of interstellar travel. [Instead of Asgardr’s showy rainbow thing, Vanaheimr’s is more like blinking from ‘Charmed.’]

.

Thor is easy to find; all of Midgard knows his location. Baldr dresses like a Midgardian and goes to Stark Tower, where he inquires at the front desk how to get in touch with the Avengers.

A bubbly young Midgardian leads him to an audience chamber, where she bids him sit with a bottled water and asks what his trouble is. [I had totally forgotten about Darcy and then prompted a fic to do with her. I think that’s why she got this cameo.]

She has a way with words reminiscent of Ēostre’s and Baldr wastes fifteen minutes just playing, leading her in circles before she catches on.

“Whoa, buddy,” she finally bursts out. “Look, you wanna talk to the Avengers? Then I need to know why. Capice?”

Baldr smiles at her. “Of course, Ms. Lewis,” he replies. “Let the God of Thunder knows his older brother requests an audience.” [SHIELD knows about Thor’s younger brother. They have no clue, beyond the myths, about his older brother.]

The young Midgardian blinks at him. “Yeah, sure,” she says and backs out, one of her hands in her pocket, where he presumes she keeps a weapon. [She once tased Thor, you know.]

Another ten minutes pass. Baldr meditates, but keeps all his senses tuned, ready for if the Midgardian ‘peacekeeping’ force decides to intercede in his family visit.

Instead, a woman walks in. “Who are you, and what do you want with Thor?” she asks, standing at ease, a lovely smile on her face. Her red hair catches the light, reminding him of Nanna’s, and he does not underestimate her. [Trust me, after being married to Nanna for half a millennium, not even the Black Widow is all that intimidating. If they ever met, Natasha would idolize her.]

Baldr tilts his head to the side, listening well – Thor is somewhere above his head, arguing. Baldr sighs because some things never change. “If you wanted to keep him from meeting me,” Baldr tells her, “you should not have let him hear the message. Ever has he acted before he thought.” [I wrote the aesir and vanir like they belong in Lord of the Rings, and I am not sorry. It’s fun.]

The woman frowns. “We’d just like to know if you’re friendly or not, sir,” she says pleasantly, wiping her annoyance away.

Masterfully done, really, except Baldr knew Loki when he was young. [I still refuse to think Natasha got anything from Loki he didn’t want her to have. *shrugs* He’s the god of lies. Also, that movie didn’t happen here.]

Baldr is not as good a warrior as Thor because his heart has never been in it. He’s not as good a magician as Loki because he has not the skill or strength. But his brother is a few floors up, and it’s been nearly half a millennium since he saw the brat, and he believed Loki dead for a few months.

“I’ll be seeing my brother now,” Baldr says, giving her the same blandly pleasant smile, and then he walks between worlds for a moment, stepping out just in time to hear Thor yell, “It is none of your concern!” at a screen where a one-eyed man glares at him. [I forgot that Fury was immortal when I wrote this. Oopsie.]

“Thor!” Baldr reprimands with a smile. “Is that becoming of a Prince of Asgard?” [All three of the brothers heard that a lot growing up.]

“Baldr!” Thor shouts, spinning in place, beaming at him. “Oh, brother, I’ve missed you!” He hurries across the room and grabs Baldr in a strong hug.

“Do you know where Loki is?” Baldr asks as they separate. “It has been much too long since I saw either of you.”

Thor nods enthusiastically. “We must catch up, the three of us,” Thor agrees. “You have missed much, Baldr, off telling Njord what to do.”

“I don’t tell him what to do,” Baldr laughs. “I merely offer my opinion.”

Thor scoffs. “Come, let me introduce you to my friends, the mighty Avengers. Then, I will take you to Van.” He pauses, leaning in, one hand on Baldr’s shoulder. “Our brother is not Loki anymore, Baldr,” he says firmly, quietly, sadly. “He is Van now. Much… much has changed since he fell.”

Baldr nods. “I understand, Brother,” he says.

Thor looks long into his eyes before nodding as well and stepping away, only to swing an arm around Baldr’s shoulders and boom, “My friends! My brother has come to visit!”

Baldr smiles. Some things never change.

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Norse mythology/Avengers movieverse/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU for all fandoms; mentions of violence, character death
Pairings: none (mentions of Kronos/Methos)
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 840
Point of view: third

Fyrstr has had many brothers over the megannums. And sisters, and children, and nieces and nephews. He’s had lovers, wives, husbands, bondmates. Perhaps even a soulmate or two, though he could spend years arguing that he came to be before souls. [I can’t imagine living for that long and still connecting with people. Everyone dies. You outlive everyone you’ve ever known. Why the fuck would you keep caring about them?]

Kronos had been the first being in a long time that Fyrstr cared about. For Kronos, he became Methos, father and brother and teacher and lover. And when the child outgrew him, Methos let him go, but he found being lightning-bound fascinating, so he stayed and played on Midgard, again called the Oldest, as his legend trickled down. [My headcanon, for canon!Methos and Kronos, has Methos as much older (at least one or two thousand years) and being Kronos’ teacher before the Horsemen thing happened. And they became lovers somewhere along the way. And Methos really did love Kronos, but Kronos never learned how to adapt.]

Being Methos was like a vacation. He concerned himself with a tiny population on a small rock, and it was good. For three thousand years, it was good.

And then a boy fell from a bridge. [I like that pair of paragraphs.]

.

For a very long time, Fyrstr had been the caretaker of his family. Of the old gods, the first gods, the great gods – the worldmakers, galaxyshakers, destroyers and creators, Those Who Were. Myths and legends to the myths and legends.

Fyrstr had been the first. The Oldest. Not even he, though, could tell of what came before. But he blinked awake, resting in the cosmos, and he was lonely. So he created. Wove and sang into being a pantheon of those who were great. And it is not that he made them less than him – it is simply that they did not endure. Could not, perhaps. Maybe there is an upper age limit that should not be passed, and he is wrong for going past it.

It matters little. Fyrstr had been the first. He has seen the end, and knows he will be the last. [Here’s the backstory for Fyrstr! Part of it, at least. He’s only older than every planet in existence.]

.

(World-killer, Odin All-Father hissed, once upon a time. [He wasn’t All-Father yet.]

Blood soaked into the dirt. Lightning flashed, high in the sky. An army fell to its knees in terror, and a legend laughed, head thrown back, eyes squeezed shut with a brother’s grief.

Odin still does not know why he and his warriors were spared that day.) [Odin will never know, because Methos doesn’t care enough about his pain and grief to tell him. And it’s not Van’s story to tell.]

.

Loki, son of Laufey and Fárbauti, son of Frigga and Odin, brother of Býleistr and Helblindi, brother of Baldr and Thor.

Van, son of Ash, brother of Gunnar, brother of Baldr and Thor.

Ex-prince of two realms, heir of the cosmos.

Loki Laufeyson. Loki Odinson.

Evan Piers. [The evolution of Van.]

Jötnar are gifted mages, when not stuck on a frozen rock. Few were ever as gifted as Frigga, but she had been trained by Fyrstr in one of his guises. Few were Odin’s equal – but he sacrificed a part of him to learn the craft. Aesir, too, have their power, though most don’t try to learn.

Books languished, unread for millennia, before Odin came home with a jötunn infant.

No jötunn or ás had ever been so gifted as Loki. A few of Odin’s court wondered why, though none ever asked.

Fyrstr knew. Like recognizes like, even separated by a billion lifetimes. [And here is where I decided that Van was, in fact, the newest version of what Methos is.]

.

The child was crumpled on the ground, having fallen from one realm to another. He should not have survived.

Would not have, if he were but a simple jötunn or ás.

The ease with which Van picks up the twists of magick is breathtaking. The surety. He knows that he can do it, and so he does. [Belief is the most important thing.] He soaks up Ash’s praise, and grows ever stronger, ever surer, brilliant in a way no one has been since the Those Who Were.

He is more than a jötunn raised as an ás prince. It is not surprising, though, that Odin didn’t realize what he had, in the shadows of his golden prince. Even Hel, after all, hadn’t truly recognized what lay within Loki Odinson. [She suspected he was more than a jötunn mage; she had no idea he was Fyrstr’s true heir.

Dude, how did I come up with such an intricate story and keep it all straight in my head? Rereading this, it’s like, holy shit!]

.

Amongst the nine realms, he is known as the Oldest, and by a thousand other names only speculation connects to him. On Midgard, he is immortalized as Death of the Horsemen.

Kronos, Silas, Caspian, Methos. Brothers. Pestilence, War, Famine, Death. Monsters and murderers.

World-killer. Realm-shaker. Star-unmaker.

Kronos had led them, Methos made the plans, Silas enforced their commands, and Caspian terrorized everything in their path.

Kronos had been his son, his student, his brother, his lover, his – king is not the right word. Master, maybe. Oh, he had loved that boy.

But Kronos could not change. And that cost him his life. [If Kronos had evolved with the times the way Methos does, I’m pretty sure canon!Methos would have gone back with him.]

Watching Van with Gunnar, with Thor… Ash does worry, a bit. And wonder. [Methos has his own moral guidelines, and he does not care whether they line up with anyone else’s. If Van wants to be a villain by the ‘heroes’’ standards, well, yay. It’ll be fun. He doesn’t keep with society’s standards except for what he needs to fit in, and even that, he can be lax in.]

He does not peek into the future. Instead, he hopes.

Because, of everyone in his long life, he has loved Ymir the most, and Van is such a very close second. He may inch past, one of these days. [Yes, Van is Ymir reincarnated hundreds of thousands of years later. No, Methos hasn’t figured that out yet.]

And right now, Van and Gunnar both wear wolf-skins and race around the backyard, and Van’s aesir brothers are on their way, and Death has never been further from him.

.

(Frigga peers into the future and weaves a shroud.

Ragnarök would always be. But after every ending, there is a beginning, and Ragnarök has come before.

Her old teacher smiles at her, and from a distant star, Death’s would-be lover turns his head toward Earth.)

[This would be the beginning of some sort of plot, maybe, if I continued this story. I started with no plan at al.]

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: angsty introspection? regret?
Pairings: Baldr/Nanna, Frigga/Odin
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1165
Point of view: third

 

After Thor has introduced all of his companions and guided Baldr around Stark Tower, showing off all the Midgardian might, they go for a walk. Natasha Romanova, the Black Widow, wants to protest; Baldr can see it in the twist of her lips, the set of her shoulders. But she glances at Thor and holds her tongue, and Baldr smiles at her as they leave. [Natasha doesn’t trust what she doesn’t understand, and she still doesn’t understand ‘magic.’ But Thor is so happy that she lets it go.]

Baldr looks like every other man on the street; Thor looks like Thor. Baldr weaves a small magic to make them less noticeable and Thor chuckles. Baldr shrugs. [*hee* So cute.]

“Tell me about Nanna,” Thor says. “And your children! I am an uncle twice more, yes? Oh, but I should have visited you more, brother.”

“I could have visited you,” Baldr protests.

Thor shakes his head. “You were disinherited, Baldr. Father would not have permitted your return.” [Thor is not a dumbass, and he is the heir of the throne. He picks things up.]

Baldr cannot deny that. Instead, he says, “Father came to see me a few days ago. We have not mended everything – seven hundred years is a long time for quarrel. But we are on the right path.” [You know, I really should sit down and write out a timeline.]

“That is good,” Thor says, pulling him in for a backslap. “I am so glad all our family quarrels are on the mend!”

Seven hundred years is a long time, Baldr thinks. It is long enough for an arrogant brat always looking for insult to grow into a strong warrior and a good man. It is long enough for a clever child always looking for attention to grow into a man on the path to madness – to choose death over living with lies for a moment longer. [Canon is so sad. Why wasn’t Methos there to save him?]

Baldr interrupts Thor’s ramble about his Midgardian companions to ask, almost desperately, “Where is our younger brother?”

Loki, Van – whoever he is. Baldr cannot go a moment longer without seeing him. Loki had been a quiet child. Loki had been such a clever child. How easily he could have been lost for good, in rage and madness. And Baldr, wrapped up in his life on Vanaheimr, might not have known until it was too late. [Baldr really is a good brother. He just – got wrapped up in things for awhile, and didn’t realize how fast things were moving. He looked up and Loki had fallen.]

Something twists in the air behind them, but Thor does not react to it, except to smile. “He is here, Baldr,” Thor says, placing a hand on Baldr’s shoulder and again guiding him around. Baldr lets himself be turned and studies the small house that had not previously been there, and the man on the porch.

“Hail, Baldr,” the man says. “I’m Ash.”

Baldr nods respectfully. “Odin All-Father told me we owe you a debt.”

Ash smirks toothily. “Odin All-Father owes me many debts. You owe me none.” Yet hangs on the air, sharp and cold, and Baldr believes every single story his mother told him about the Oldest. [The stories she told were true, too.]

“Van!” Ash calls. “You have visitors.” He keeps his gaze on Baldr, and Baldr does not shudder at the weight of it.

Loki had been an inquisitive clever child who delighted in being the center of attention. Baldr never paid him much mind, wrapped up in learning everything he could from his father, determined to be the best in all things. Even when Loki’s magic flared up, first when Father took Sleipnir and banned Loki from the barn, and then whenever Thor spent more time with his friends instead of his younger brother, and then, oh, the worst of all when Father took Loki’s wolf away. [None of those, I think, are major by themselves. All of them, in fact, happen to a great many children. But together? Well, things could have been mended before they got too bad, but no one noticed and so no one tried.]

Baldr should have done something. Said something. Spent time with the brilliant child who was his youngest brother. Explained to Thor about jealousy, and how there was plenty of time to go around, and that he should include Loki. But Baldr did nothing. [Hindsight’s 20/20, and thankfully, it never reached the point of too little, too late.]

And then he left, first shuttled off by Mother, after a prank went terribly wrong. Baldr is still unsure what actually happened – he, Thor, and Loki all had different parts of the prank, and it exploded in all their faces, but Baldr had been the only one injured. And with the palace in an uproar, Mother decided Baldr should rest somewhere else for a time. [This is the myth of the mistletoe. And, no, I have no idea what the prank was or why it went wrong.]

But Njord’s court was complete different, and Freja had a lovely handmaiden who didn’t treat Baldr the way a prince should be treated – she spoke her mind, and walked away when he disrespected her, and met his eyes. None of Father’s servants ever dared do anything like it. [And Skadi wouldn’t punish her handmaiden for speaking her mind, not that Baldr asked for Nanna to be punished. He was too enthralled.]

She fascinated him. He forgot about Asgard and fell in love and eventually, a year after his arrival, he married her, without Father’s permission. Without Father’s knowledge.

For the first time in his life, Baldr was not the heir of Asgard. He was simply a man. And when Father disinherited and banished him, Baldr did not care. He had never wanted to be king, anyway.

He didn’t think about his brothers even once, for years. [He didn’t realize how many years passed.]

And now his youngest brother is in the doorway, staring at him, a wolf at his side, pressed against his legs. “I assume Odin All-Father or Thor told you the truth about me, yes?” he asks, voice brittle and body held tight, one of his hands clinging to the wolf’s ruff.

“I was nearly a man grown when Odin All-Father came home with Loki,” [Writing for aesir is such fun!] Baldr tells him gently, meeting his gaze and not looking away. “I always knew.”

“And you – is that why you always stayed away?” the boy demands, fragility hidden by rage, and the wolf’s lips peel back from his fangs.

Baldr shakes his head. “I was nearly a man,” he says. “And then I ran away to Vanaheimr and vowed to never set foot in Asgard again.” He exhales sharply, eyes closing in a quick grief before opening them to meet his little brother’s gaze again. “You grew while I was gone. Forgive me, if you can.” [I really that piece of dialogue.]

A long, terrifying moment passes in silence before the boy smiles and holds out the hand not on the wolf. “I am Evan Piers,” he says. “Call me Van.”

“It is wonderful to meet you, Van,” Baldr says, stepping forward to grab his hand. [See, this is what needs to happen in canon. Someone needs to tell Loki that it doesn’t matter, it never has. That they’ve always known and loved him. Grr!]

“Come in,” Van invites, and with one glance at Thor’s blinding grin, Baldr follows him into the house.

Ash goes into the library, dragging the wolf with him [Gunnar is not happy y’all]; the brothers all settle in the den. Van fidgets with the hem of his shirt, while Thor keeps opening and closing his mouth, clearly discarding various conversation starters. [All told, they’ve never spent much time together. They all love each other, and mostly like each other, but the age difference between Baldr and Thor is pretty big.]

Finally, Baldr says, “Van, you would like my eldest daughter, I think.”

Van looks up. “Mother and I visited just after – Ēostre’s birth, I believe. I vaguely recall the others. You have two more young ones, I think?”

Baldr nods. “I gave Father and Thor both a very brief overview. But you would appreciate their pranks, I think. Especially Fulla.”

A quick glance at Thor reveals his still-bright smile. “I spoke too much, earlier, about my companions. Baldr, please – tell me of my nieces and nephews.”

“If you both are sure?” Baldr asks, giving them one last out. He can speak for hours about his children. “Very well,” he says, when neither takes it. “Then I shall begin at the beginning, with Fosite.”

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: violence, brainwashing, AU for every fandom involved
Pairings: pre- & past-Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1985
Point of view: third

 

There is a weapon with no name, but Death knows him. Death helped create him, in the life before Adam Pierson, and Death showed his masters how to aim and fire the weapon in their hands.

But weapons with no names are always weapons that turn, and Death could have told them that, too. [You know that quote about letting them hate so long as they fear, and that other quote about it being better to be feared than loved? Yeah, Methos knows that’s bullshit. He’s been everything that can be; he knows.]

.

There is a soldier who slept in ice for seventy years. Death has seen his face in the nightmares the weapon never remembered having.

The boy who was before the soldier was a good boy. The soldier is a good man. And when he takes a bullet for Death’s son, a debt is made. (He did not need to take the bullet. Everyone knows that. But he took it anyway because he is a good man, and his first instinct is to take every hit.)

Death repays his debts, both good and bad, and the weapon is in the soldier’s nightmares, too. [Methos has his own moral guidelines, remember?]

.

Methos is a legend, and Death an older legend still, and above them all is Fyrstr, the legend legends themselves whisper about.

Ash is not a legend. Ash is a simple man, taking care of two boys, and that is that.

The Oldest asks the Lady of the Dead, What do you think? Leave the weapon where he is, or bring him home?

Hel refrains from rolling her eyes. Do you gain anything either way?

Fyrstr weighs the price of every possibility. No, not really, he answers. But Steve Rogers attempted to sacrifice himself to save Van, and I – I owe him for that.

Hel also does not shrug. She wants to, though. Then give him back his – whatever the weapon was to him.

Fyrstr nods firmly, kisses Hel’s forehead, and returns to Van because his brothers are about to arrive.

[I knew what I wanted to do, but I needed to give Methos a plausible reason to do it.]

.

Three weeks ago, Van and Gunnar were at Central Park, stretched out on a blanket and creating shapes in the clouds. It was early in the morning, a chill in the air, and Van was ahead by twenty points. [They weren’t watching clouds. They were changing the shapes of clouds. I think that sounds like so much fun.]

Steve Rogers was halfway through his daily jog when he saw the man with the gun. He didn’t think; he simply charged forward, tackling the man and getting a bullet in the shoulder before even seeing who the man’s targets were: two men shoulder to shoulder on a blue blanket, staring at the sky. [The men look enough alike to be twins, too, and of course he recognizes them.]

The bullet barely hurt, and neither of the men could have been truly wounded, but Steve still didn’t regret it. [Steve’s a really good guy.]

Gunnar ripped their would-be killer apart, of course. The man had been strung out on half a dozen different drugs, but Van didn’t try to stop his brother. Steve didn’t protest either, one hand held to his shoulder. Van extracted the bullet and healed him without a scar a few hours sooner than he would have healed on his own.

Steve didn’t report it, when he got back to Stark Tower. He wondered, for a moment, if anyone would miss that man – but he hadn’t seen the man’s face, from where he landed on the ground, and then Gunnar had him. He didn’t know the man’s name. [I still feel like maybe Steve is slightly OOC here, but there really is nothing he could’ve done.]

Van told Ash. And as Ash considered how to erase the debt, he remembered his life as Aleksei Lebedev, one of the Red Room’s more gentle operatives. He had been firm and patient, as they buried the American soldier deep in his own mind, leaving only a blank to fill as they wished. For thirty years, Dr. Lebedev handled the nameless weapon, the man they never spoke of outside the Red Room.

When it came Dr. Lebedev’s turn to die, he left in the night and though the nameless weapon never asked after him, he did wonder.

The nameless weapon had dreamt of his life as an American soldier, and of the man who meant everything to him. And Dr. Lebedev never mentioned those dreams in any report, in any note, in any discussion of their weapon. [How, exactly, would he explain knowing what the weapon dreamed about?]

But the man who meant everything to Aleksei Lebedev’s greatest creation… he would die for Ash’s son and never regret it.

And that is a debt that Ash feels inclined to repay.

.

Wasn’t he just returning a debt? [Good point.] Gunnar asks, flicking an ear Ash’s way while glaring at the door separating him from Van and Van’s aesir brothers. Van gave him back his life, so he tried saving Van’s. [Gunnar is really unhappy.]

It could be seen that way, Ash admits, dropping marshmallows into his cocoa. But the weapon and good captain are both mine. The weapon – well, given more time, he’d be as good a fighter as you, little wolf. And the captain, he’s the sort who’s so good you just want to help him, you know?

Gunnar actually turns his head to give him a look that’s clear even on a wolf’s face.

Ash snorts. Of course Gunnar doesn’t know. He’s loyal to Van above anyone else, and he’d rip out Hel herself’s throat if he thought she was a threat to Van. No one else matters.

But in his long life, Fyrstr has screwed many people over. And he rarely feels guilt for it. But Dr. Lebedev had wanted to take the weapon with him, to shelter the boy asleep deep inside. He’d shaken off the impulse, of course. He was still in deep cover mode at the time. [Yeah, I wrote this part after realizing just how awesome Winter Soldier is. I think it shows.]

Only finding Van had negated the inclination of hiding what he is. Who he is.

You want to bring others into the pack, Gunnar growls, turning back to glare at the door. We don’t need anyone else.

I have a debt to repay, Ash says firmly, carrying his mug to the table. We won’t be keeping either of them. I’ll probably send the boy to Amanda, anyway. [That was the plan.]

Gunnar ignores him. Ash rolls his eyes and focuses on his cocoa.

.

Aleksei Lebedev was neither a good man nor a nice one. He was methodical, clinical, and he had steady hands. He created the weapon. He unmade the boy and remade him as a perfect weapon.

Aleksei Lebedev was not an immortal who slipped through the cracks. He had no buzz at all, those thirty years he aged like a mortal and worked for Red Room. [What, you thought all his lives on Earth were as an immortal. That’d get boring.] He was the primary handler for the weapon no one ever spoke of; he conducted most of the tests, wrote most of the reports, wiped the mind and put the weapon to sleep for years at a time.

Aleksei Lebedev died on a winter’s day and no one from Red Room attended his funeral. He had no spouse, no children. He left no mark on the world at all that anyone outside of Red Room knew about.

When the weapon woke up to a stranger’s face, he did not ask after Dr. Lebedev. But he wondered, once or twice, when he’d be seeing that doctor again, the one with the gentlest hands, the one who looked at and saw him.

.

What makes a monster? Anything that is different. Anything that is not understood. Anything that could be dangerous.

Death laughs. Everything can be dangerous. And nothing is a monster that does not want to be.

.

Ash looks down at Gunnar. “Would you prefer to come with me or stay here sulking?” he asks.

Gunnar stands and shifts to his ás form. “You’re just going to leave him with them?” Gunnar snarls, rounding on Ash. “What if they take him?”

Ash laughs softly. “Thor hasn’t seen his younger brother this happy in a long time, and he couldn’t, anyway. Baldr doesn’t have the skill or strength. He’ll be fine.” Gunnar scoffs, glancing back at the door. “If you come with me,” Ash says, “there might be someone for you to rip apart.”

“Fine,” Gunnar mutters.

The wolf and I are running an errand, Ash calls to Van, before lightly touching Gunnar’s shoulder and stepping across the world.

.

The weapon sleeps in the hands of a warlord about to wake him and attempt to control him. It will go… very poorly.

Gunnar stands at Ash’s side, in wolf form, patiently waiting for the word. “Go on,” Ash murmurs. “Everyone in there is prey except for the one in cryo.”

Gunnar howls with joy and lunges through the door. Ash’s laughter fills the air as he follows. [Sometimes, they just need to kill something. Van doesn’t really understand that, yet.]

.

The first thing he hears is a language he knows he shouldn’t know, but the words are clearly “Welcome back.” He blinks, grogginess fading as he exhales.

A man stands across the room, a giant wolf next to him. Bodies litter the floor, in pieces. Going by the blood on the wolf’s muzzle, he knows how the bodies got there.

“Sir,” he says. Russian, he thinks.

The man smiles. “Things have changed. Your programming is out of date.” Not Russian. Not the first language, either.

“Sir,” he says again. He doesn’t recognize this man or the chamber, but he’s alive when he could have either been executed while asleep or still disorientated. He knows his memory isn’t complete, and he knows what he is: a weapon. He’s always been a weapon.

“I’m here to take you home,” the man tells him. The wolf turns and walks out – through the wall. Instead of reacting, he looks at the man. “Your mission is to reclaim who you used to be.”

Definitely English, now.

“Who I used to be, sir?” he asks, baffled.

The man smiles again. “Do you remember Dr. Lebedev?”

“Yes,” he says. He does. Dr. Lebedev had been his favorite handler, though he never admitted to anyone that he had a favorite. Dr. Lebedev treated him like more than an asset – like he was human. More than a weapon.

“Dr. Lebedev wanted to take you with him, when he left,” the man tells him gently. “He wished for you to become who you used to be.”

He… doesn’t really believe that. But the man seems sure, and he’s not yet dead, and a mission is a mission.

“Yes, sir,” he says, and the man nods, gesturing him over.

“We can take the long way home, or the very short way. Up to you, kid,” the man says. The wolf stalks back into the room, stopping next to the man.

“Short, sir,” he says after a long pause, when he realizes the man is waiting for his choice.

His choice. He is a weapon – he doesn’t choose anything. He receives and obeys orders. He carries out missions.

Bodies litter the floor and he hasn’t yet been taken for examination.

“Deep breath,” the man says, and touches his shoulder, and –

They’re somewhere else. They’re somewhere else, and sunlight peeks through the window, and there are shelves full of books.

The man steps back. “If you could pick any name,” he says softly, “what would it be?”

The first name that comes to mind, that he whispers without thought, is “Steve.” [Dude, gutpunch.]

“That’s good,” the man says. “That’s very good.”

“Is that my name?” he asks, almost hopeful. He’d forgotten what hope felt like.

“No,” the man replies. “Go ahead and eat something. Rest. We have all the time in the world.”

.

There is man who used to be a weapon. He’s still a weapon, but now he is also a man.

His name is just out of reach. He’s in a kitchen, sitting at a table, eating a sandwich he made himself. A wolf is stretched out on the floor. A stranger is preparing tea, a young man who introduced himself as Van, and called the wolf Gunnar. The man who brought him here is Ash.

“Da’ll be back soon,” Van says.

Ash is Van’s da. They look the same age, but that’s not the weirdest thing he’s seen since he woke up this time. [*sporfle*]

His mission is to eat. To rest. To reclaim himself.

He has choices now.

His name is just out of reach, but it’ll come to him.

(Steve, he thinks, staring down at his sandwich. That feels right. He has no idea why.

He will soon.)

 

Title: a taste of lightning
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: schoompy, I think
Pairings: pre- & past-Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1070
Point of view: third

[Bucky and Steve were never meant to become a major part of this story. I think that might be why I haven’t really added to it, like, at all, since this chapter. I’m not sure what’s left to add to the ‘verse, though I do still dearly love it.]

Ash walks in the front entrance of Stark Tower and smiles at the man behind the desk. “I’d like an appointment with Steve Rogers, please,” he says.

“Of course, sir,” the man replies. [Ash does things right, yo. *hee*]

.

Two days pass before Rogers can meet. Ash knows that if he’d used his real name, there’d have been no wait. He could also just pop in whenever he feels like.

But he wants to do this right. [As I said.] Captain America believes his childhood friend is dead. And Black Widow will only confuse things, though Ash is sure she also believes the weapon she knew to have been used for parts years ago.

He’s sitting at the table in the meeting room when Rogers walks in. “Ash,” Rogers says, surprised, pausing in the doorway. He glances over his shoulder before sitting at the table. “How can I help you, sir?” he asks.

Such a polite boy. Ash grins. “You took a bullet for my son. I owe you a debt.” He studies Rogers for a moment, and Rogers stoically looks back.

“I would’ve taken that bullet for anyone, sir,” he says. “I didn’t know it was Van, but that makes no difference.”

Ash nods. “I understand that, Captain. It is… unusual.” Ash has existed for a very long time, and knows exactly how unusual that is. [Steve Rogers is such a good man he even makes Fyrstr pause, and he has no idea.] He steeples his fingers and rests them against his lips, considering Rogers again. “Do you remember a man named James Barnes?” he asks.

Rogers’ eyes widen and he flinches – and then he gets angry. Ash calmly looks at him, as Rogers leans across the table, fists clenched. “What are you after?” he demands. [Very few things would cause Captain America to fly off the handle. Bucky is one of them. (Bucky might actually be the only thing.)]

“I owe you a debt, Captain,” Ash says. “To clear it, I’ll return James Barnes to you.”

Rogers’ fingers dig into the table. “What in the hell are you talking about?”

Rogers knows that Ash can raise the dead; he’s experienced it firsthand. [Sometimes, having a character with more powers than God is difficult to right because *handwaves* can become tiresome. When I was writing this chapter, I actually forgot that Ash had already resurrected Steve once. *shrugs*] But Ash takes pity on the man and gently explains, “Your friend did not die, Captain. He was taken by the Russians, shattered, and pieced back together as the perfect weapon. I have custody of him, at the moment; I took him from his most recent would-be masters.”

Rogers doesn’t seem to be breathing, staring at Ash. So Ash says, “He’s happy, at the moment. He doesn’t remember anything before Red Room.” He pauses, meeting Rogers’ gaze. “Except your name.” [During the course of this story, I became a Steve/Bucky shipper. Before that I’d sorta off-handedly shipped Tony/Steve because they were de facto, I guess? But Steve/Bucky ate me up for awhile, which is why Bucky snuck into this ‘verse, I think. There is a smidge of implied Steve/Tony, earlier in the ‘verse, just because. And then, if I continue, it’ll be completely die hard Bucky/Steve. *shrugs*]

The table splinters. [Steve kinda wants to beat the shit out of Ash right now.]

.

In his dreams, he’s falling. Every time. He’s falling, fingers grasping for something he can never reach. There’s an icy wind blowing, and he’s falling, and he wakes up before hitting the ground.

Ash has yet to tell him his name. Van happily shows him how the library is organized. Gunnar stalks him in wolf form, but eats breakfast as a man and politely asks him to pass the salt. [They all like him, as much as they can before he becomes himself again. But since Bucky Barnes is, at heart, a good guy, he’s pleasant to be around when not being controlled by various bad guys.]

He feels safe in Ash’s house. He never felt safe in Red Room. He had orders and he followed them; he had missions and he completed them. He had targets and he killed them.

His orders now are to loaf around and rest. His mission is to reclaim what Red Room stole, what he never missed before opening his eyes to a room full of corpses. His target is himself. Whoever he was.

In his dreams, he’s falling and screaming, “Steve!” [When all else is lost, the man who was Bucky remembers Steve Rogers. I’ve started a few different fics with that basic premise, but they fizzled out, too.]

.

You like him, Van laughs, poking at Gunnar’s shoulder. Gunnar growls, flicking an ear his way before huffing.

I do not, he grumbles. [Gunnar cared about Ash, after a fashion, and Hel, too. He doesn’t want to like anyone but Van, but they’ve snuck into his heart. He’d still kill them, though, or die trying, if they ever became a danger to Van. Despite himself, he’s also growing to like Bucky.]

Van laughs again. We’re not keeping him, he says. It has been fun, feeling like an older brother these past few days, but they cannot keep him. He has someone waiting for him, someone who loves him. Someone he loves. Van’s fingers tighten in Gunnar’s ruff, because there have been so many months he couldn’t touch his wolf. When Gunnar was on missions for Hel, when he was hiding and fleeing realms. [There are a lot of scars on Van’s soul, still. A thousand years can’t be wiped away by a couple.]

I’m here, Gunnar whispers, pressing back so that Van could wrap his arms around him. I’m here and I’m yours.

Yes, Van murmurs, resting his head on Gunnar’s flank. Yes. Gunnar is his, and Ash is his, and he is theirs, and nothing can ever be taken from him again. [Fact.]

.

He’s sitting in the den, curled up with a novel about magic and teenaged heroes [Harry Potter, I think. I can’t remember for sure.], when Ash knocks on the doorframe. “Kiddo,” he says. “I have someone here who wants to see you.”

He looks up, past Ash, but whoever’s behind him is hidden by the wall, so he focuses back on Ash and closes the book. “Who?” he asks, his heart chanting Steve, Steve, Steve.

Ash smiles, stepping into the room. A tall blond man slips in behind him, eyes wide, mouth open, hands fluttering at his sides.

“Bucky,” he whispers, then louder he says, “Bucky!”

“Steve,” Bucky says, eyes closing as he sags down.

As he remembers. [I really hope the Winter Soldier movie has an epic reunion scene, where Steve brings Bucky back to himself.]

.

Bucky is alive. Bucky was never dead.

Bucky is falling - so Steve lunges for him, and catches him, and clutches him close like he couldn’t seventy years ago. [Steve is going to be so overprotective for awhile, holy shit.] He rests his cheek on the top of Bucky’s head, and he apologizes, he begs for forgiveness, he promises and swears to never let Bucky go again, he squeezes so tight –

And Bucky’s arms wrap around him, Bucky’s fingers grip his shirt, and Bucky whispers into his chest, apologies and explanations, seventy years he did horrible things and Steve wasn’t there, Steve wasn’t even a ghost in his mind –

“You knew my name,” Steve says, and Bucky quiets. “Ash said – you knew my name when you didn’t know anything else.”

“Steve,” Bucky murmurs, leaning back just far enough to raise his head and meets Steve’s eyes.

“Bucky,” he replies. [Bucky might realize he loves Steve differently than he’d love a brother; Steve doesn’t, yet. They’re just both so overwhelmed by each other being alive.]

Bucky’s alive. Bucky’s here and safe, and Steve pulls him back in, holding on as tight as he can.

He’s never letting go again.

.

Ash backs out silently, smiling, and turns towards the kitchen. He feels like jambalaya tonight, and he’s pretty sure none of his boys have had it yet. [Jambalaya is awesome, when done right. When done wrong, bleh.]

He thinks about calling Amanda, telling her he’s sending two kids her way for babysitting – but maybe he’ll keep them for himself. [So, I’ve only seen the Amanda scenes in the Methos episodes. I’d mentioned in an earlier part that Methos might send Bucky to Amanda, and someone had requested Amanda meeting Van&Gunnar, but I have no idea how to write her, so she will not be appearing. And if I do continue, Methos just adopted two more kids, so I have no idea what to do. *hands*]

So… we are keeping them? Van asks sleepily, and Gunnar echoes the question in a rumble, mostly asleep.

… maybe, he answers, pulling a pot out of the cabinet.

Brothers are good, I’ve learned, Van says. [Thor grew a lot over the course of this fic, and Van has realized that Baldr always loved him, even though he was mostly Sir Not Appearing in Loki’s life. And Gunnar has been a constant presence, even when he went by Fenrir and worked for Hel.]

Ash chuckles. His son has come a long way, since that bitter, terrified child he found. Yes, he says. Brothers can be a very good thing.

[Part of the problem might be that this actually sounds like a pretty good stopping point. What’s left to say? I have a couple beginnings for further parts but the drive for this fic died and I’m not sure why.

It was so much fun, though.]

Chapter Text

Title: don’t ever play with guns
Fandom: “Supernatural”

For smilla02

Originally posted to livejournal, crossposted to fanfiction.net, still posted at both places.

Note: I really don’t understand the reaction to this fic. I think that I have much better stories up, but this one seems to have garnered such attention… *is not comprehending* [ETA 2016: For a long time, this fic had the most comments of all my stories.]

He answers the phone expecting Mike, so when he hears that voice say, “You know, if you really looked, you’d see that—”

Holy fucking hell.

“—the killings happen before we show up and stop after we leave.” [This scene popped into my head, fully formed.]

“Why you callin’ me, Dean?” he asks, trying to hook up the tracking system. He’s the only one in the office, as it’s Christmas Day. [Totally, shamelessly stolen from Catch Me If You Can.]

“Just to say hi,” Winchester answers with a laugh. “Merry Christmas, Vic.”

Dial tone. Shit.

 

He rages the next day, demands to know how Winchester got his number, how the hell he’d have the balls to actually call. [Of course he does—he’s Dean Winchester. *hee*]

Victor rewatches all the footage they have on the Winchesters, listens to every tape again. There must be some clue he’s missed. [Aww, poor Victor, so totally out of his depth.]

A month after Christmas and his cellphone rings. He’s at supper with his wife, an apology dinner for all the time he spends at work.

With a quick smile and kiss, he takes the call outside.

“She’s pretty, your Nicole,” Winchester’s voice purrs in his ear. “Think she knows ‘bout that whore you fucked last week? Tight little ass on that boy. Wonder how old he was.” [No, he’s not a pedophile. The kid was at least eighteen.]

Victor freezes. “How’d you get this number?”

“I can go anywhere, Vic. Do anything. You’ll never catch us unless we want to be caught.” His laughter is soft and mocking. “Good luck, Vic.” [Now, that’s slightly creepy, huh?]

Silence. He clenches his fist around the cell and fantasizes about breaking Winchester’s face with his hand, shattering Winchester’s spirit brutally—then he returns to dinner and his wife, convincing her she’s the most important person in the world. [Nicole isn’t the most important world in the world anymore, poor thing. She’s been replaced by Dean Winchester. Isn’t that annoying?] [ETA 2016: oh, younger!self. *facepalm*]

 

The Winchesters fall off the map. Vanish completely, and no one will admit to knowing where they are.

Victor knows someone out there is hiding them but he can’t begin to fathom why. They’re killers and thieves, possibly the most dangerous men in the country—and wherever they go, they leave behind people who love them. [That should be a pretty major clue.]

Two months after the second call, Winchester calls again. Victor answers, “What?”

“Now, is that any way to greet a friend, Vic?” Dean coos in his ear. Victor grinds his teeth. *hee*

“When I finally catch you, I will delight in snapping your ribs, beating that cocky smirk right off your face,” he snarls. [Dean seems to garner that reaction from authority figures a lot, doesn’t he?]

“Even if you caught me, Hendrickson,” Winchester says, suddenly serious, “you’d never be able to hold me. And I won’t let anyone beat me.”

Victor scoffs. “You let your dad beat you, Dean. We have records of the scars.” [How else to view the multitude of scars someone with his life would have?]

Silence. Victor smirks. “No argument? No smart-ass remark? Color me stunned.”

“You know nothing about my father,” Winchester growls and hangs up. [Best way to get to Dean—his parents, or Sam.]

Victor laughs and closes his cell.

 

It’s a whole year before he talks to Winchester again. Nicole has divorced him and moved out; Victor only goes home for hours at a time.

It’s been a year of fruitless searching. No sign or hint of either Winchester anywhere.

His phone rings. He’s alone and watching TV, having been demoted because of his obsessive search for that fucking pair of brothers. [First clue!] He knows it’s not healthy, how they’ve taken over his life.

He answers with, “Fuck off.”
Victor doesn’t recognize the voice at first. “I need your help, sir.” Sounds desperate and young and familiar.

“Sam?” he asks when it hits him. “Sam Winchester?”

“Please, Agent Hendrickson. Dean’s hurt and there’s—” He sounds like he’s been crying, maybe still is. “There’s nowhere else to go.” [Honestly—if there were someone else—anyone else—would Sam call up Hendrickson for help?]

Victor’s laughter is loud and mocking. “You and that bastard brother of yours ruined my life. And now you come to me for help?”

“Please. I’m sorry, but I need—”

Victor cuts him off. “I hope the both’a you burn in hell.” He hangs up. [*hee* Not the nicest man in the world, but they did help ruin his life.]

 

Next day, phone rings again. He answers with, “Fuck off.” [Déjà vu!]

Dean’s chuckle is barely there. “A friendly warning, Vic. If I’d’a died ‘cause you refused Sam help, my brother’d gone on a rampage. I bet you’d be his first stop.” Dean sighs, sounding resigned. “He’s a good guy, Sammy. The best I’ve ever known. And I’m the only thing he has in the world.” This time, when Dean chuckles, there’s no humor to be found. “Remember that, Victor. If Sammy has nothing, there’s no hope at all.” [Dark!Sam is a fun guy, isn’t he? Honestly, the only thing keeping either of the Winchesters sane is the other. I think there should be an episode in season three where they each think the other is dead at the hand of hunters.]

Victor shudders and holds the phone to his ear long after Dean’s gone.

 

Few months after, he comes home to both Winchesters in his house. [Wouldn’t that be awesome? *wistful sigh*] [ETA 2016: oh, wow, younger!self. definitely some realizations you haven’t had yet.]

Sam’s in the kitchen preparing a meal and Dean’s flipping through a magazine in the den.

Dread forms a pit in his stomach. His gun is across the room, closer to Dean than him.

Dean smirks.

“You look healthy for a guy who nearly died,” Victor observes.

Now, Dean chuckles. “He always does,” Sam says, entering the room. He stands in the doorway, looking larger than Victor remembers. [Now, that’s a feat.] “No thanks to you.”

Victor stares at Sam. He doesn’t just seem larger or older, but—more powerful, almost. His eyes sear through Victor and Victor shivers. “You come to kill me?” He directs the question to Dean and turns to face him.

“No.” Dean shakes his head. “Me and Sammy were just passin’ through. Wanted to tell you bye.” He stands and winces, bringing a hand to his ribs.

Sam hurries to him, murmurs, “You alright?”

“Fine, Sammy,” Dean mutters. “Stop hoverin’.” [Aww, my boys.]

Victor watches in shock. “That left over?”

Sam glares and something dark peers out his eyes. “Count yourself lucky, Victor. Be glad he’s fine.” [This could be after the crossroad’s demon comes calling. Hmm… cool.]

He shudders. Watches as they leave his house and take off into the night, that car of Dean’s growling. He could call the FBI, the police—they’re wanted in a dozen states. He should. But he doesn’t.

He tastes the meal Sam cooked—Chicken Marsala. He had it once before, and craved it ever since. [Pretty much my favorite meal.] [ETA 2016: still is.]

Victor wonders if this is a pay-off or poisoned and doesn’t care. He’s worn out, tired of chasing them.

He eats a helping and crawls into bed, dreams of beating Dean Winchester into submission and fucking him till he passes out. [Um, yeah… *hee*] [ETA 2016: *facepalm*]

It’s a good dream.

 

He hears from Dean once more. It’s a good ten years later and he’s long since quit the Bureau, moved out to the desert. He’s published a couple of thrillers and watches the sunrise every day. [Nice life, huh?]

“Why did you hate me so much?” Dean asks from behind him and Victor jumps, lunges to his feet. He’d nearly forgotten Dean, in the quiet life he lives now. [How is it possible to forget Dean Winchester?]

Victor turns, takes in Dean. Still inhumanly beautiful, though he has a scar up at his hairline. Still those eyes, those lips, that cocky smirk. [He does have good lips. And an awesome smirk.]

“Lose Sam?” Victor asks, since he can’t think of anything else to say. [*hee*]

“Nope.” Dean shakes his head. “But he didn’t want to see you.” Dean looks across Victor’s yard. “You’re hard to find, when you wanna be.”

“But you found me,” Victor counters. “I never could find you.”

Dean laughs. “What about that one time in Arkansas?”

Victor scoffs. “You wanted to get caught. Never could figure out why.”

Dean looks back at him, trails his eyes along Victor’s body. “You wouldn’t believe me.” He steps forward, offers a hand. “I’m Dean Winchester.”

Victor cocks his head, but takes the hand. “Victor Hendrickson.” Dean shakes with a firm grip. [Yay! for leaving the past in the past.]

“Nice to meet you,” Dean chuckles then pulls Victor forward and kisses him.

It’s the most violent kiss Victor has ever experienced, but he’s not complaining. Instead he takes control and backs Dean into the wall.

Dean snickers into the kiss and Victor pauses, asks, “Somethin’ funny?”

“No.” Dean leans down and trails his tongue along Victor’s neck, lightly nips at the skin. “Just rememberin’ our first conversation.”

“Back in Milwaukee?” Victor gasps, bringing a hand to the back of Dean’s head.

“You were a bastard, Vic.” Dean bites hard and Victor arches up. “Wanted to smash your face against a wall.”

“Sam know why you’re here?” Victor grabs Dean’s hands, raises them above his head.

Dean laughs in disbelief. “You really wanna talk about my brother now?”

Victor considers that for a second, gaze sliding from Dean’s eyes to his lips and then further south.

Time has made this cocky sum’bitch even more attractive, and knowing what he looked like before?

“No,” Victor decides and gets back to what’s more important. [This was pretty much the most descriptive I’d ever gotten with a scene like this.]

He wakes alone, thoroughly satisfied, still without any clue what either Winchester is about. But he doesn’t care anymore.

He walks to the kitchen naked to find a jump-drive on his counter, and a note—Been called crazy before. Have fun.

Victor picks up the drive, studies it. Then he loads it in the computer. He’ll probably be more confused after seeing what’s on the stick, but he’s been wondering for near-on twenty years now, and curiosity’s eating him alive.

There’s a file that says READ so he clicks on it. A Word document opens and the very first line says This is Sam. Everything on this drive is the truth. If you want to remain oblivious, stop now.

Victor does consider it, for one brief moment. But then he continues reading and almost imagines that he hears Dean purr, “Good boy.” [And yay! for happy endings.]

Chapter Text

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; dark; character death; violence/bullying; sexual assault; threat of rape
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, unwanted and unrequited Karofsky/Kurt; Kurt/Blaine/OMCs
Rating: R
Wordcount: 925
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, "I would butcher {the} whole world, if only you would love me!" (Quote from Gladiator.)

[So, yeah. I don’t start out planning ‘verses, usually. They just sorta pop up and shout, “Write me!”]

 

It didn't start out like this. It started out with holding hands, singing, flirting, smiling - it started out so adorable. [It started out canon; it doesn’t end up that way.]

Blaine is very good at being adorable. At wooing anyone who needs to be wooed.

And at first, he thought that's all Kurt would ever be. Another mark. Another game.

He was wrong.

It's the only time he's ever been glad he was wrong.

.

Kurt had a core of steel, hiding beneath all the pale skin and tired eyes. Beneath the ice he tried piling on, to hide everything. He latched onto Blaine, and Blaine played a good game (Blaine always plays a good game, smiling and helping and lying in wait), and Kurt's soul was even more bruised, when he called Blaine in tears and sobbed out a disgusted, horrified confession. [The Kiss.]

Oh, it was so beautiful.

It was everything Blaine could’ve wanted.

.

And Kurt’s bully kept getting worse. Stalking. Harassing. Terrifying. And it was all well and good, totally helping Blaine sell his game –

But Karofsky took it one step too far. Words are fine; Blaine thrives on words. But he put his hands on Kurt one more time, he left his fingerprints on Kurt’s wrist, on Kurt’s throat, and he dared -

He dared whisper into Kurt’s mouth that he’d be Kurt’s first, Kurt’s only, the very first chance he got.

And instead of calling his dad, or his ‘friends,’ or that cheerleading coach he thought hung the moon, Kurt called Blaine.

And Blaine cut school, drove an hour and half, and gathered Kurt into his arms.

It started out so adorable. But Kurt wasn’t even crying anymore, head tucked under Blaine’s chin, hands clenching Blaine’s blazer. Kurt wasn’t crying. He was barely breathing. [This is the problem of writing with no plan; this is changed, later, just a little bit. Not enough to really notice, I think, but I find it annoying. Just not annoying enough to ret-con it here, because I really like this first chapter. *shrugs*]

It had been a game, like all the others.

It wasn’t anymore.

.

Dave Karofsky was twice Blaine’s size. A football player. Used to being feared. That fear usually did half the work for him.

Blaine wasn’t afraid of him.

Dave Karofsky ran away from home his junior year of high-school. That’s what everyone said. His grades had suddenly started tanking at the end of tenth grade, he became belligerent, he cut class.

He had notebooks in his room, that he left behind, full of confessions and fears and crushes.

Or, well. One crush.

His dad tried to find him. His mother didn’t even go in his room, disgusted at the thought of her son liking another boy.

(Dave Karofsky didn’t run away.) [I really like the flow of this section. Especially the punch of that second paragraph.]

.

Kurt Hummel left McKinley for Christmas break like everyone else, but he started at Dalton in the new year. He couldn’t handle McKinley after everything. He felt like a failure, but his dad just wanted him to survive.

He stuck close to Blaine, and Blaine was so good, so kind. Blaine took care of him. Blaine listened to him, and held him, and promised that no one would hurt him ever again.

Of course Kurt fell in love. [That’s mostly canon, if Kurt had stuck out at McKinley until the end of
2011. I really like my AUs to stay as close to canon as possible.]
.

A lot of people ran away from Lima in 2011. Enough that the police started looking closer. But they didn’t find the burial ground until years later, and even then, there were no hints or clues. Just a lot of bones. [Honestly, I have no idea how forensically accurate this fic is. Probably not a lot. All I know about forensics I learned from TV.]

.

Kurt waited until they were in New York, him and Blaine, Blaine at NYU and Kurt at Julliard. He waited until they had their own apartment (tiny though it was) and their very own bed, and then he said, “I know, Blaine.”

Blaine held his breath before exhaling slowly and sitting up, turning to look down at Kurt (oh, Kurt had grown up so gorgeous, and his core of steel, and the ice he no longer used to cover everything), and he asked, “Know what, Kurt?”

And Kurt smiled at him, reaching up to caress his cheek, his jaw, his lips. “Thank you,” he said quietly. “But I think – I think we should find a new game.”

A few minutes passed in silence, Blaine staring down and Kurt smiling up, and then Blaine nodded, settling back onto Kurt’s chest, listening to his heartbeat. “What do you suggest?” he asked.

[I’m pretty sure I had decided that Kurt would be a serial killer, too, somewhere between the first and second sections of this chapter.]

.

It didn’t start out like this, Blaine knows. He used to be so directionless, just picking at random, never as often as he liked.

But he found Kurt (Kurt found him?), and Kurt had all these bullies who needed to go. Kurt needed to be taken care of, and protected, and avenged.

Blaine had thought he’d been playing Kurt, but Kurt was playing him right back the whole time, and that knowledge is glorious. [*hee* I really had so much fun writing this fic.]

.

There’s an urban legend making its way around Manhattan’s bar-scene. The cops haven’t picked up on it yet, and by the time they do, it’ll be too late.

Anyway, there’s these two guys, right? Both gorgeous. One dark and one light, one shortish and one tall, one sun-warm and the other ice-cold. And they pick out a man, and they dance with him, and they seduce him, they give him the time of his life –

And then they kill him. [Any of you ever watched Gossip Girl? I watched the Sebastian Stan scenes, and somewhere in season 3, I think (or 2? I honestly don’t know), Blair and Chuck have this game where Chuck picks up a girl and then Blair comes home to scream at them both for cheating, and then after the girl leaves in a huff, Chuck&Blair have fun. Yeah, Kurt&Blaine’s game is kinda like that, except it’s how I wish Chuck&Blair’s had gone.

*shrugs* I have dark tendencies, yo. My family’s glad I keep them in the fictional world.]

There haven’t been any bodies yet, just men going missing. And who ever looks for men who vanish? Everyone knows they probably just up and walked away.

.

It’s just a game. And it didn’t start out like this. Blaine thought Kurt was so young, so innocent. And if it’ll keep Kurt with him, he’ll play with whoever Kurt wants, however Kurt wants.

“I love you,” Kurt murmurs into his mouth, ignoring the body writhing beneath them. “I love you so much, Blaine.”

Blaine wants to hear it every day until he dies. [Aww. They’re so romantic and in love.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Fandom: Glee
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: bullying/violence; attempted non-con; canon sexual assault; AU
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; unrequited and unwanted Karofsky/Kurt
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 775
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, “I don't get mad, I get even.”

[See, I really didn’t intend to continue this. And I then I saw the prompt and Kurt just shouted at me.]

 

Kurt holds his head high and keeps a list. He started it in middle school, as a way of making himself feel better - everyone he would kill, if given the chance. He never wrote it down, and while his father taught him to shoot, he never planned on bringing the gun to school.

Kurt's smarter than that. [That’s the thing in this ‘verse – it is highly probable that Kurt would never have killed if he didn’t meet Blaine. Oops.]

.

Kurt knows that bullies are a part of life. Something he has to learn to deal with. [Fact. Bullies are not left behind when you leave school. Sucks.]

Kurt's a survivor, and he's getting out of Lima the first chance that presents itself. Living well might be the only vengeance he can ever have, because if he started killing everyone on his list, there’d be a handful of people left in Lima and too many bodies to ever get away with.

So. Kurt daydreams about it instead. [Kurt is very pragmatic.]

.

And then he meets Blaine. And Blaine’s charming, and gorgeous, and Kurt looks into his eyes and wonders… [Kurt knows from almost the beginning. Blaine might never have figured it out if Kurt didn’t tell him.]

He tells Blaine about the bullying, and Karofsky, and how no one cares. How he tries so hard to stay strong.

None of it is a lie.

.

Karofsky kisses him, and Kurt runs straight to Blaine.

Karofsky tries to do worse, and no one notices, and Kurt cries in Blaine’s arms.

Not all of it is a lie… but most of it is. [This section would be highly rewritten if I were ever to ret-con this fic.]

.

Karofsky runs away.

Kurt starts the New Year at Dalton, and he stays close to Blaine, and he’s quiet and shy because of how scarred McKinley and its horrors left him.

(Lie.) [He is a little mentally scarred from what happened, but not as badly as he acts.]

Blaine takes care of him. Blaine guides and guards him. Of course Kurt falls in love.

(Truth.) [Kurt really does love Blaine. Blaine really does love Kurt. Their devotion to each other is never faked.]

And Kurt tells Blaine everything – names of those who hurt him. Times, places. Slushies, lockers, dumpsters, words, bruises, bloodied clothes.

A lot of people run away.

Through it all, Kurt sings and laughs and heals. [Oh, yes, he knows.]

.

Oh, Dad, Dalton is safe. Blaine’s so wonderful. I’m happy. I’d forgotten what happiness felt like.

No, Dad, none of it was your fault. I didn’t want you to know! Your heart, and Mom… I had to be strong for you. I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough.

Oh, Dad, Blaine sang to me again today!

No, Dad, the classes are harder, but it’s all so amazing.

Oh, Dad, Blaine held my hand in the hall and no one so much as glared!

No, Dad, I miss you all so much, I do – but I can’t – McKinley, Dad. I don’t think – I’m sorry I’m so weak, but I don’t think I can handle it.

Oh, Dad, Blaine got into NYU! We’re both going to New York!

No, Dad, I never told you everything. About Karofsky. What happened.

Oh, Dad, I hadn’t thought life could ever be so good.

[Only one of those sentences is a lie. I’m not sure why I wrote this section this way, but I really like it.]

.

In Lima, Kurt had to stay his hand. Names were crossed off his list one-by-one, but he hadn’t done anything except murmur what they had done to deserve it. And so many people remained…

But in New York, there is no one who has done anything to deserve it.

In New York, there is a world of possibility. It’s such a big city. So many people go missing every day.

… and Kurt really wants to get blood on his hands.

[If Kurt had killed in Lima, it would be mostly understandable. Definitely defendable in a court of law. But what he does in New York… he’s a psychopath, and possibly a sociopath (except, he does love people, and he does connect with them (at least, his parents, and his husband, and eventually his son)), and he is not the person you should root for…

That’s where this comes from, partially. I wanted to write from the pov of both the villains and everyone they destroy without remorse, and I wanted it to all be relatable. Because so many of the Glee serial killer AUs I’ve read either gloss over the victims or go completely over the top for the killers, and what I wrote in ‘a storm whereon they ride’ is the fic I wanted to read.]

.

Blaine and Kurt share a tiny apartment in New York. Kurt’s at Julliard and it’s amazing. Rachel is at her dream school and she never really bothered with Kurt after he left McKinley. The only person Kurt’s in contact with is Finn. He doesn’t miss any of them, especially the ones who had made their way onto his list. [Of course some of the gleeks, glocks, and gleerios are on the list. Kurt doesn’t have friends; he has potential victims and people who don’t matter at all.]

Blaine’s in Kurt’s arms, and they have class tomorrow, and he can’t wait any longer, so he says, "I know, Blaine."

Kurt feels how Blaine holds his breath in shock before exhaling slowly and pulling out of Kurt’s arms, sitting up so he can stare down at Kurt, and he asks, "Know what, Kurt?"

And Kurt smiles at him, reaching up to caress his cheek, his jaw, his lips. "Thank you," he says quietly. "But I think – I think we should find a new game."

A few minutes pass in silence, Blaine staring down and Kurt smiling up, and then Blaine nods, settling back onto Kurt's chest, ear over Kurt’s heart. "What do you suggest?" he asks.

Kurt threads his fingers in Blaine’s hair and says, “Let’s do it together.” [Kurt plans everything. He never makes a move without knowing at least five ways it could go.]

.

Kurt still chooses. He mainly likes to watch, though he gets his hands bloody, though.

On their first trip back to Lima to see Dad, Blaine shows Kurt where all the bodies are. [He already knew. But he lets Blaine have this.]

.

Kurt starts a new list. He never writes it down, but he whispers it into Blaine’s skin, and it’s so red, and everything is perfect.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Fandom: Glee
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: character death; AU
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; unrequited Sebastian/Blaine
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 460
Point of view: third
Note: I realized that, in my little AU here, Kurt&Blaine would’ve been at Dalton when Sebastian showed up. I couldn’t let that go. [This realization is, essentially, why this fic continued on to become a ‘verse. *hee* I took entirely too much pleasure in killing Sebastian.]

 

A few weeks into their senior year, a newly-transferred junior tries to come between Kurt and Blaine.

Tries being the key word.

Sebastian Smythe thinks he’s so worldly, so mysterious, so appealing – he flirts with Blaine, insults Kurt, mocks the Warblers’ traditions even while auditioning, because he knows they’re the most popular group at Dalton, and Sebastian Smythe must always be at the top.

Blaine thanks him kindly for the compliment of hitting on him. Kurt looks at him icily and turns away.

It’s cute, Kurt muses later, hands and lips on Blaine, that Sebastian thinks he has a chance.

[Sebastian is his canon self. Kurt and Blaine… are not.]

.

Sebastian barely makes it onto the Warblers. He tries to ingratiate himself to the Council (Thad, Blaine, and a junior named Marius) but all Blaine ever does is smile at him (the hollow, showman smile everyone but Kurt falls for) and thank him for his suggestions. [I kinda refuse to believe Blaine is younger than Kurt; in the fics where I keep the school-year differences, they’re still the same age. And this is Sebastian coming into a Dalton where Blaine rules with iron fist – even though only Kurt realizes it.]

Sebastian takes out his impotent fury on Kurt, with comments that are almost nice after McKinley. Kurt listens to every insult, to each jab about his imperfections, and only ever stares at Sebastian in response. [Kurt actually finds some of Sebastian’s jabs amusing.]

The months pass, and finally, just before Christmas break, Blaine asks, “How badly has Sebastian been bothering you?”

Kurt shrugs. “It’s nothing,” he says quietly, staring at his hands, folded demurely in his lap.

When Blaine kisses his forehead and then rests against him, Kurt smiles victoriously into his shoulder, and almost wishes he could handle it himself.

It’s too soon for that, though. This is Blaine’s turf. [Kurt’s mask is flawless. Blaine has no idea.]

.

Blaine has been letting Kurt deal with Sebastian because he thought Kurt found it amusing. [Kurt did.] Sebastian was harmless. Annoying, yes, but ultimately just a little boy who was attempting to bite off more than he could chew. And Sebastian apparently kept the nastier comments away from Blaine’s hearing, so it’s worse than he’d been thinking for the past three months.

Unacceptable, he thinks, watching the way Sebastian glares at Kurt during practice.

Sebastian Smythe has overstayed his welcome, and it’s been weeks since Blaine last played.

.

There is an investigation, of course, but all signs point to Sebastian taking off in the night. No evidence of foul play, at all. He has more than enough money in his own name to vanish.

If Kurt is a little more passionate in the days after Sebastian’s hasty and unlamented departure, well.

Blaine’s pleasantly surprised. Sometimes, he absently wonders if Kurt suspects, because he seems almost smug about something, but surely not. Kurt’s too innocent for that. [*cackles*]

.

(In a little over a year, Kurt will lead Blaine to a bar, and pull him into his arms, back to chest, and whisper in his ear, “That one,” nodding at a beautiful man dancing in the middle of the crowd.

Blaine will lick his lips and nod.) [I really want Chris Colfer to play the villain in a movie. Or even one of the bad guys in a law/cop show.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Fandom: Glee
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: original character death; AU; a few things from season 4 incorporated
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; Kurt/Blaine/OMC
Rating: R
Wordcount: 1545
Point of view: third
Prompt: one chapter in New York with the new game? Or maybe one where Blaine kills someone he thought was bugging Kurt but in reality it was a misunderstanding?
Note: if anyone feels inclined to leave requests/prompts/ideas for this ‘verse, that’d be lovely. I want to write more for it, but I’m not sure what. [As I said – no plot and no gameplan. If I hadn’t been given prompts, it would’ve never continued.]
Another note: I googled a little bit about New York colleges. If it’s wrong, *handwave* it, since I doubt it’s any worse than canon. [I try to research where I can. I sometimes still just make shit up.]

 

Kurt graduates from Julliard with a BFA in the spring and goes to work at Vogue.com in the summer while auditioning for plays and dabbling in a few scripts of his own. He starts out as an intern but rises swiftly, and even manages to not alienate too many people on the way up. The whole time, he also writes about a serial killer who falls in love with another serial killer; he gets a trilogy out of it, and laughingly shares it with Blaine. [*hee* Write what you know, yeah?]

Blaine graduates from NYU Steinhardt with a BS in Communicative Sciences and Disorders in the spring and goes straight to grad school for the fall. [I just grabbed a major at random from the school’s website and researched jobs that went with it. *shrugs*]

They go back to Lima for half the summer. They check out the old stomping grounds, touch base with Kurt’s dad, stop in to see Blaine’s parents in Columbus for a few minutes.

They don’t add any new trophies to the old boneyard; they’re both far too smart for that, no matter how appealing the thought is. [Yeah. Kurt knows how people get caught doing what he’s done. And Blaine is just as smart – he’s just way more impulsive.]

.

Kurt gets a callback in March; it’s not his first, but it’s the first where he really wants the part. It’s a minor role, of course, but his character would be responsible for most of the climax even happening (because he’s a jealous douchebag, but he gets this amazing solo about transitory glory and how the protagonist is a moron, and it’s awesome), and he spends about a month raving about both the play and Darien (the character) to Blaine. [I have no idea what the plot of this musical actually is. Probably Lion King meets Romeo and Juliet or something.]

And then Jesalyn, one of his coworkers, accidently fucks up a major project at work and Kurt has to choose: making the callback or letting three months of effort go to waste.

Kurt could just kill her, he really could. But instead he smiles and talks gently and lets her cry into his jacket for a good five minutes before he takes a deep breath, straightens his spine, and saves the day. [Kurt is one of the most popular people at Vogue.com. Everyone loves him. He doesn’t give a shit about any of them, of course.]

He gets a promotion out of it, because Isabelle praises him to Anna – but he loses the part to one of NYADA’s new graduates, and when he and Blaine go see the play, he sits with his lips pressed firmly together because he can hear everywhere he would’ve done a better job.

That night, he curls up in Blaine’s arms and lets himself cry because he really wanted that part. It’s silly, because there will be others, and Jesalyn’s fuck up actually helped him, but… it feels like the Defying Gravity debacle all over again. [He would’ve won an award for that part. Poor guy.]

Blaine holds him, humming Teenage Dream, his arms strong and his chest sturdy, and Kurt slips into dreams of mayhem and murder.

.

Three days later, Zachary Yavin goes missing. He doesn’t show up for the evening performance of the play that should’ve been Kurt’s. His apartment is empty of anything of value, but he didn’t let on to anyone he was leaving town. His understudy takes over for the rest of the play’s run.

The next morning, Jesalyn Horst doesn’t show up for work. [No, Kurt didn’t know for sure Blaine would do this, but he knew it was a very good possibility.]

.

Mostly, Kurt is annoyed that Blaine took Zachary’s death from him. And Jesalyn was a good minion, who had innovative ideas and was always extra careful on any projects she did for Kurt.

He doesn’t regret either of their deaths, of course. Because Blaine shows him everything, and keeps looking up at him, back at him, over his shoulder, silently asking, Didn’t I do such a good job?

So Kurt smiles, because it really is romantic. Every time, it’s so romantic. Kurt pulls Blaine to him, ignoring the blood, and murmurs into his mouth, “You take my breath away.” [They’re adorable psychopaths in love. That’s one of the things I tried to do on purpose.]

.

Jesalyn is found in an alley in a bad part of town. Zachary never turns up.

Kurt goes to Jesalyn’s funeral, of course. He hugs her parents, tells them what a wonderful girl she was. He holds Blaine’s hand through all the hymns. [Psychopaths in love. They’re neither of them good guys. At all. They’re about as evil as people can be – just not on a large scale, because that’s how you get caught.]

.

For a few months, Blaine focuses on his course-load and his part-time job at a suicide prevention hotline. [That… really came out of nowhere. His mask is pretty flawless, too.] He and Kurt have a standing date-night, and they see each other in the mornings and go to bed together, but they’re both very busy.

It isn’t until the beginning of summer, two years after graduation, almost a year since Blaine’s last game, a year and a half since Kurt’s, that they go to a bar and cruise for a new playmate.

.

His name is Joshua. He’s twenty, goes to the School of Education at Hunter, is staying in the city for the summer instead of going home to Indiana, has blond hair and blue eyes. He’s gorgeous and funny and smart.

He’s also very sexually adventurous, which will turn out quite poorly for him. [I think, sometimes, that it’s always the killer who makes the news, not the victims. It’s easy to get caught up in the mystique and the horror, and forget about the dead and their families. This fic… yes, it’s all about Blaine&Kurt and how they will never pay for anything they’ve done. But each of their victims is real (fictional) live person, who had an entire life that is now gone, and no one will ever pay for it. That’s horrific. And that is entirely the point.]

.

Kurt and Blaine’s eighth anniversary is a Saturday. Kurt plans everything out perfectly. [Plans upon plans, that boy.]

.

Blaine gets along wonderfully with most of his classmates. But there’s this one girl in his Italian class who goes out of her way to make everything harder. It started out as a project where they were assigned as partners and she found fault with everything he did, then threw him under the bus when the professor questioned her choices about PowerPoint slides. It all snowballed from there.

Italian was supposed to be Blaine’s fun class, in the midst of all the difficult and dry courses. He was mostly fluent before taking it, and it was meant to be easy. But then Marisa happened. [I kept forgetting how I’d spelled her name.]

He could’ve dealt with her three semesters ago, instead of letting her follow him up the ladder. She’s there, every class, glaring at him, harassing him – he’s killed people for less.

But she’s not worth it. He can’t kill everyone who bothers him. [Kurt taught him self-control, and it’s annoying.]

(“And what was Sebastian?” Kurt asks, when he says that. “Or that Yavin idiot, or Jesalyn?”

Blaine shrugs. “They were bothering you,” he explains.

Kurt smiles at him and pounces, and Blaine has to rush to finish his paper the next morning.) [Aren’t they just the cutest? Everyone thinks so.]

.

Blaine is always extremely careful, but Kurt takes meticulous to the next level.

Marisa Stevens calls her sister, her brother, and her parents, but all the calls are late at night and she doesn’t let the phone ring long enough to leave a voicemail. She texts her sister and her mom a goodbye.

She kills herself with a sleeping pill overdose, and there’s no evidence anyone else was involved. [No sign of struggle… not much of an investigation, really. Most of their murders aren’t known as murders, because they’re not in it for the fame. Kurt would rather no one else ever know. Because Kurt would rather that, so does Blaine.]

.

Kurt and Blaine’s anniversary date is going to Marisa Stevens’ apartment.

For all that they’ve been playing for eight (seven) years, Kurt has never actually done it alone. Since he doesn’t want to vanish Marisa (he always feels slightly bad for the families, but usually not enough to do anything about it), he can’t take her anywhere else. So instead he brings Blaine to her, tells Blaine to watch, and proceeds to methodically kill the woman who’s been bothering Blaine for over a year. [Ret-con, ret-con, ret-con. A rewrite would get rid of this section, for sure. *sigh*]

Blaine really loves his anniversary present that year.

.

Kurt’s dad gets worried, sometimes, about Kurt alone in New York. Even though Kurt’s nearing twenty-six, and lives with his boyfriend, and has a steady job and a small stream of roles, and is happier than Dad ever saw him in Lima… Dad watches the news. And he calls Kurt, sometimes, when a story strikes too close to home. [Some of those stories are Kurt or Blaine’s fault. Oops.]

Kurt always assures him that they’re safe, him and Blaine. They don’t walk down dark streets at night. They lock their door, and call when they’re headed home, and check in whenever one of them has to stay late, either at work or the library. [It would be a bad mistake to mess with either of them. Any of you seen Predators?]

Blaine’s approaching his graduation with a Master’s. His parents are glad he went for an actual field and not something ‘frivolous’ like Kurt, though of course they’ve never said that to Blaine. He has a position lined up and he’s pretty sure he helped save a life over the phone the other night, when a crying boy called in instead of doing something stupid and final. [I found out after deciding and setting my heart on Blaine’s career that it wouldn’t actually work out in real life the way I set it up. *shrugs* I figure that is not the least acceptable thing in this ‘verse.]

Kurt meets his eyes from across the table and raises an eyebrow, smirking ever so slightly.

Tonight? the tilt of his head, the shine in his eyes means.

Blaine nods, smiling.

.

His name is Antonio. He and Blaine flirt back and forth in Italian for hours, while Kurt sips his drink and dances with strangers.

Kurt and Blaine take him home.

This time, while Blaine watches breathlessly, Kurt makes the final move, using his favorite sai and staring down as the light in Antonio’s eyes fades.

Blaine lunges for him, knocking Antonio off the bed, kissing Kurt so fervently it aches. Kurt carefully drops his knife on Antonio, so that Blaine doesn’t accidently stab either one of them, and flips them over. [Kurt’s rules came later in the fic, but neither of them have ever had sex with anyone else. Despite everything else they’ve done.]

.

The first person Kurt ever thought about killing was Johnny Larks. Johnny was in eighth grade when Kurt was in sixth, and he is the first bully Kurt can remember. Shoves, slurs, destroyed homework and books – kid stuff, really.

Kurt was tiny, then, and young. So young. [Chris Colfer is so itty in season one! Imagine him four years younger.]

Sometimes, he thinks Johnny killed his innocence, turned him into a ravening monster.

But Kurt knows, wrapped up in and around Blaine, music thrumming through his bones and his blood, basking in the yearning stares, that it wasn’t Johnny who made him like this. [Johnny didn’t really do anything more than boys do during school. He was just the first that Kurt noticed. Also, I really like that image of Kurt&Blaine.]

Lady Gaga’s old hit comes on and Kurt throws back his head, laughing, as his one-time goddess screams, “Baby, you were born this way.” [And I really like this sentence.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Fandom: Glee
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: implied animal deaths
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 375
Point of view: third

[I wanted to show how Kurt&Blaine grew up, how they were raised. Neither of them is nurture-killers, and I’m pretty sure there is nothing anyone could’ve done to keep them from turning out this way.

… except if they’d never met.]

Maria and Ethan Anderson know what their younger son is. They’ve known since he was a child and a few other children looked at him with haunted eyes, since pets on their street went missing or turned up dead, since Cooper quit spending any time at all with him and just shook his head when Maria would ask him to babysit. There’s a reason the Anderson’s never had a pet, no matter how their sons begged.

Maria tried talking to Blaine about right and wrong, about good little boys and bad little boys. Blaine had smiled at her, a bright, charming grin and promised to always be a good little boy. The very next day, a beagle from two streets over went missing.

Ethan used to lecture Blaine about right and wrong. Blaine listened avidly; Ethan is pretty sure that’s where Blaine’s gentleman persona originated.

Blaine’s family knows what he is. They never talk about it. They never report him. Whether it’s love or fear, not even they know. [Partially love. Partially fear – of him, and how the media would hound them all.]

When Blaine introduces his new friend Kurt, Maria recognizes him for what he is. When Blaine brings Kurt home a few months later and announces they’re dating, Ethan realizes where he’s seen that smile before. When Cooper comes home for Blaine’s eighteenth birthday and shakes Kurt’s hand, he knows that look in his eyes. [I like the rhythm of this paragraph so much.]

None of them say a thing. [None of them will ever say a thing.]

.

Burt has no idea his son isn’t that little boy who used to play tea party. Kurt has never liked animals or other children all that much. Kurt much preferred keeping to himself or spending time with Burt.

Burt has no idea at all why so many kids ran away, but he’s glad that Kurt was safe up at Dalton. And when Kurt started smiling again, when Kurt started laughing, and talking about Blaine this and Blaine that, Burt was so happy he could’ve grabbed Blaine and spun him around the room in thanks.

Far as Burt is concerned, Blaine’s welcome in his house any day of the week. Blaine saved his son’s life, Burt knows that for a fact.

Every time Burt looks at the man his son has become, he sees that little boy who taught him how to take tea. He’ll never see anything else. [Kurt’s mother would’ve seen it. Burt isn’t willfully blind; he honestly doesn’t see any of the signs.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Fandom: Glee
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: implied animal deaths
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; unrequited Sebastian/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 1015
Point of view: third

 

“We can’t send him to Bishop,” Maria tells Ethan as the end of eighth grade approaches. “He’ll eat them alive.”

Ethan nods, glancing towards the den, where Blaine’s playing the piano. Blaine’s popular in middle school; he’s funny and charming and able to fit into any group he wants.

But high school is different. Blaine’s been faking his way for years, and high schoolers are stupid. Someone will do something to set him off. [He hasn’t killed anyone yet, just animals. But they all know it’s coming.]

Maria starts listing off other schools, private schools, they could send Blaine to, and Ethan says, “What about Dalton Academy?” Maria tilts her head in askance, so Ethan adds, “It’s where Dale sent Cody, after the incident. They have a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of harassment. It’s strenuously enforced.”

“We should check it out,” Maria says, nodding.

Blaine doesn’t have a temper, really. But he doesn’t do well with fools. And if they can do anything to keep something… unfortunate from happening – they’ll do anything. [Except get him help. Not that it would’ve made a difference, except to maybe get him off the streets and locked away somewhere.]

.

Dalton is in Westerville, barely half an hour away. But it’s cheaper to board instead of dealing with traffic, and Blaine wants to. [And they want him to.]

He assures his parents he’ll do well. “Be good,” Dad says as they leave.

Blaine smiles and promises to do his best. [His best at what, he doesn’t say, and Dad heard that omission loud and clear.]

.

Blaine thrives at Dalton. He quickly finds his role to play and it works like a charm; he tries out for the Warblers and acts nervous, unsure. Two of the upperclassmen, one of them part of the Council, take him under their wings. He joins the fencing club and takes Italian, boxes and takes martial arts.

He doesn’t talk about his family, but everything else is an open book. Blaine is popular, first with the freshmen but then with everyone. He paves the way in ninth grade, cements it in tenth, and then when junior year rolls around, Blaine is the most popular boy in school. Everyone loves him.

And then Kurt Hummel comes to spy on the Warblers, and stops Blaine on the stairs, and it’s a whole new world. [If Kurt had stopped anyone else on the stairs that day… well, a whole lot of people would still be alive.]

.

Dave Karofsky is not the first. He’s the fourth, actually.

Of those first few, though, he is the most satisfying.

Because Kurt is Blaine’s. From that moment Blaine turned at the foot of the stairs and looked up at Kurt… Kurt is his.

And Blaine will kill anyone in the world to keep him. [Kurt is the only person Blaine will ever love.]

.

Kurt settles into Dalton with ease. He’s nervous at first, of course; how couldn’t he be, coming from a hellhole where no one ever said a thing every time he was shoved into lockers, or tossed into dumpsters, or had icebergs thrown into his face?

… Blaine really wants to visit McKinley and burn it down. He doesn’t, because that would be a bit hard to hide. But Kurt sits too close to him and leans against him and tells him about McKinley, and he uses their names, and once Blaine has their names…

Well.

Kurt is his, and Kurt is scarred, and even if Kurt never knows –

Five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, and twelve happen before Blaine graduates from high school.

Twelve is the only Dalton boy Blaine ever plays with. [Sebastian was always going to die.]

.

“What the fuck?” Sebastian demands. Blaine had invited him to Scandals, and offered to drive, but they’re not at Scandals. Not anywhere close.

They’re nowhere Sebastian knows, and Blaine pickpocketed his phone before they’d even left Dalton’s parking lot.

“I’ve been with Kurt for almost a year,” Blaine tells him conversationally, gesturing for Sebastian to get out of the car. He’s still smiling his I’m such a nice boy smile, the one Cooper told him was frightening, and Sebastian stares at him for a moment before swallowing and complying.

“What’s going on, Blaine?” Sebastian asks, and he’s starting to look nervous.

“If you’d just flirted with me and left him alone, things might be different,” Blaine says. “You should have left him alone.”

“Blaine, seriously,” Sebastian says, and now he’s close to panicking. Blaine hasn’t even brought out the knife yet.

“There was never any chance I’d leave Kurt for you, even for a moment,” Blaine tells him, letting the smile drop. “There are hundreds of boys at Dalton. This is your fault for being both stupid and blind.” He shrugs.

Sebastian just blinks dumbly for a second before lunging at Blaine.

Blaine laughs, dodging and using Sebastian’s own momentum to get him on the ground. Sebastian is winded and freezes when he feels the blade at his neck.

“Like I said,” Blaine whispers, tapping him gently on the face, “stupid.”

It was funny, at first, how desperate Sebastian was. And he had a decent voice, so Blaine, Thad, and Marius let him join the Warblers. And if he hadn’t been saying all those things to Kurt –

“This is the boneyard,” Blaine says, pulling Sebastian up and keeping the knife close. “You’ll be here for awhile, Sebastian. You should feel honored, too – no one else has ever seen it.” He smiles at Sebastian, and Sebastian shudders.

“Please, Blaine, whatever’s going on – ” His eyes are on the knife.

Blaine says, “Walk” and shoves Sebastian forwards. [… I like this scene. I like how creepy Blaine is, how he’s almost detached and not all there.]

.

The next day, Blaine kisses Kurt breathless, and Kurt clings to him, muffling his laughter in Blaine’s neck, and Blaine wishes he could tell Kurt everything. Show him.

Sebastian isn’t much missed at Dalton. Everyone knows he just took his grandfather’s money and went back to Europe. He’d turn up one day, all smirks and boasts. [Most of their murders are never known as murders, not until much later.]

He never does, but Dalton forgets him.

Dalton is Blaine’s, just like Kurt. [Horrific, like I said.]

.

Dad asks Blaine what he plans to do after Dalton. Blaine shows him the acceptance letter to NYU Steinhardt.

Mom asks Blaine where he plans to live in New York, if he’ll stay in the dorms or find his own place. He tells her that Kurt already has everything planned: their own apartment, tiny though it’ll be. Their own space. A home, just him and Kurt.

Cooper asks Blaine if he’s happy. Blaine smiles so wide his face hurts.

Blaine has no idea how he existed before Kurt.

He knows that he’ll never be without Kurt again. [Psychotically co-dependent, like Zachariah said.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, with Kurt/OMC and Blaine/OMC
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 265
Point of view: third
Prompt: Glee, author's choice, with their eyes

[I wanted to show how they actually reel in their victims. Some are planned out for months; some are considered with nothing concrete until the timing is right. And some are just grabbed at their bar of the night.]

Kurt sits at the bar, slumped down over his drink, letting one hand dangle beside him and the other rest on his neck. He's been there for hours, nursing the same drink, glancing over his shoulder every now and then.

"Boy trouble?" a pretty man asks, settling next to him, body turned to face Kurt, a pretty smile on his pretty face, his pretty blond hair swooped back from his pretty forehead, pretty dark lashes framing his pretty green eyes.

"He's not my boy anymore," Kurt answers, eyes flicking up to look at the man, before focusing back on his drink. "He's with Kyle now, and they're happy, and I'm alone again." [When I chose Kurt&Blaine’s kid’s name, I’d forgotten about this scene.]

Kurt is not a weepy drunk, and he's not drunk at all, but tears spill over, and he brings both hands to his eyes to hide them. [Remember, he’s an actor.]

"Hey, now," the pretty man says. "Is he here tonight?"

Kurt lowers his hands, nodding, still keeping his face tucked down.

The pretty man says, "I'm Alex. Dance with me; show him you don't need him anymore."

Wiping at his eyes, Kurt whispers, "You're very pretty, Alex."

Alex laughs and stands up, holding out a hand. Kurt smiles and slips off the stool, letting himself sway into Alex's grip.

The song changes to Kurt's old favorite "Bad Romance," and he looks over Alex's shoulder at Blaine, dancing with a blond who could be Alex's brother.

Blaine meets his eyes, grinning wide enough to show all his teeth, and Kurt tilts his head so he can kiss Alex's neck.

It's going to be a good night. [Two men die and are never found.]

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; sexual assault
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, unwanted Karofsky/Kurt, Burt/Carole, Finn/Rachel, Finn/OFC
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 470
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author's Choice, Author's Choice, Seasons change and so do I

winter

Karofsky slams Kurt into the wall, breath hot on Kurt's face, hands bruising Kurt's skin. "Why do you keep - how can you - " Karofsky gasps into his neck.

This isn't going how Kurt expected, and he closes his eyes. [See, I normally feel bad about the characters I kill. And if Karofsky had only gone as far as he did in canon, I’d feel bad for his fate. But he went further. *shrugs*]

spring

"When will you come back?" Rachel asks him, smiling earnestly at him from the arm of the couch, where she's perched waiting for Finn. "Karofsky ran away; the bullies are backing off. Finn has really stepped up, Kurt."

"I won't be coming back," Kurt tells her quietly. He's quite done with McKinley, in fact. Two and a half years are already far too much.

The rest of his life is on the way over, and everything is coming along very nicely.

"But - " Rachel starts to protest, and Finn clunks his way down the stairs, so Rachel turns to him and says, "Tell Kurt to come back!"

Finn looks at him, almost nervously. "It's up to Kurt," he says. "C'mon, Rachel - we'll be late if we don't leave now."

Kurt smiles at his stepbrother. Oh, yes. Everything's finally on the way to wonderful. [Finn has no idea, really; but you know how sometimes you get a bad feeling you can’t explain? Yeah, it’s like that.]

summer

Isabelle is adorable, so excitable, a kind boss. She can't promise Kurt a permanent position, but having something to fall back on when his auditions aren't everything he wants is lovely.

Kurt is the lowest on the totem pole, of course. He fetches coffee, runs errands, nods along when anyone else wants someone to listen.

He auditions multiple times a week for months, writes his own works until his fingers ache, and curls up with Blaine. His favorite thing of all is curling up with Blaine. [He’s living the dream with the man of his dreams, and he’s never been happier.]

fall

At Thanksgiving, Dad asks, “When is that boy gonna put a ring on your finger?”

Kurt chokes on a laugh, whisper-shouting, “Dad!”

Dad shrugs. “It’s been, what, five years? You’re both grown up now, Kurt. Just sayin’.” He’s grinning, though, across the room, watching whatever silly game is on. Blaine’s upstairs unpacking, on the phone with his boss from the hotline.

“You never know, Dad,” Kurt tells him. “I might propose to him.”

Dad smiles. “I expect to be the first person you call, Kurt, whichever way it happens.”

Kurt nods, grinning down at his hands.

He’s got it all planned out, but not until after Blaine graduates from grad school. He doesn’t need any distractions.

It’s going to be perfect, though. Absolutely perfect. [So many plans, for every facet of his life.]

Blaine barrels down the stairs and throws himself next to Kurt on the love-seat, whatever crisis at work past, and Carole’s on the way home from the hospital, and Finn’s driving in with his girlfriend of eight months (he’s serious this time, apparently), and Dad’s smiling at them again.

Kurt slides his hand into Blaine’s, and leans into him, and imagines the rest of their lives.

It’s bright red. [… and everything goes according to plan. Because I always knew that this ‘verse wouldn’t have them getting caught or going to prison. Possibly with them dying – but never them getting caught.]

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; mentions of sexual assault
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, unwanted Karofsky/Kurt
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 425
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, you're wrong about me

Dad thinks Kurt is the four year old who danced with Mama around the kitchen, the seven year old who made Dad sit at a tiny table and drink invisible tea, the nine year old who swore he'd marry Prince William one day, the twelve year old who dressed impeccably for the first day of middle school, the fifteen year old who won the only football game of McKinley's 2009 season, the sixteen year old who couldn't talk for three days after a boy twice his size tried to rape him, and the eighteen year old who moved to New York with the man he'd one day marry.

Kurt is all those boys. He’s always been those boys.

But he’s also someone else, someone only Blaine knows and survives. He’s someone sharp, someone strong, someone quick and brutal, someone clever, someone cruel.

Kurt doesn’t really think of himself as the mastermind, but where Blaine is impulsive, Kurt considers, plans, thinks fifteen steps ahead.

Kurt’s pretty sure he’d have gone his whole life without ever killing anyone, if he’d never met Blaine. And he knows – they both know – that Blaine would probably have been caught, eventually, if he’d never met Kurt. [That is actualfax truth.]

Kurt doesn’t need the killing, not like Blaine does. Kurt could never do it again and be just fine.

But Blaine… he never looks so beautiful, so alive, as he does when he’s taking someone’s life.

And Kurt loves him, so much – each time is a gift, really.

And this man he is, now, in New York with Blaine…

If Dad saw him, Dad wouldn’t know him at all.

Kurt is the boy who used to dance around with Mama, the boy who served Dad invisible tea, the boy who won that football game – but he’s also the man with a dozen lives bleeding all over his hands.

“What are you thinkin’ about so hard?” Blaine mumbles into his chest, wrapped tight around him.

“Dad,” Kurt says, running one hand along Blaine’s back. “He doesn’t know who I am.”

Blaine’s quiet for a moment, and then he asks, “Do you want him to?”

“No,” Kurt whispers. That’s one of his worst nightmares, and it hurts his heart to even think about it.

But not enough to stop, not while Blaine still needs it. [At this point in time, Kurt loves two people equally – his dad and Blaine. And if he were forced to choose between them, he has no idea who he’d choose. Neither does Blaine. But Blaine knows that forcing Kurt’s hand by going after Burt would end very badly.]

Blaine presses a kiss to the skin above his heart, and Kurt pulls him in closer, and he starts planning their next game.

Kurt doesn’t need it, no, not like Blaine.

But he doesn’t want to live without it, either. [This is when I began deciding on their dynamic, and the kind of killers they are. It’s all really fascinating – and creepy. This ‘verse is so much fun.]

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; fluff
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 100
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, “Love was a feeling completely bound up with color, like thousands of rainbows superimposed one on top of the other.” (Paulo Coelho)

 

Blaine had never, in all his life, imagined Kurt Hummel. He hadn't imagined Kurt's eyes, or Kurt's hands, or Kurt's voice. Fuck, but Kurt's voice.

When Blaine had dreamed about his future husband, he always pictured Jared Leto, or Jensen Ackles, or Westley from The Princess Bride.

And then Kurt stopped him on the stairs, and looked at him, and held on so tightly to his hand, and smiled at him.

Kurt needed him, it was obvious.

At first, Blaine thought Kurt might be his fourth playmate.

Instead... instead, Kurt is everything.

Kurt is the best choice Blaine ever made. [There are so many ways things could’ve gone differently, and that’s usually what Blaine’s nightmares are about.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov; AU
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 325
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, I've been to a place so dark it breaks your heart/ the devil's teeth stay sharp and they leave their mark...

Cooper thinks, sometimes, that he should call the police and say, "I need to report a murder." [That sentence popped into my head, if I remember correctly, when I saw the prompt.]

He's daydreamed about it. He's thought about asking Mom or Dad, about writing down everything he knows, everything he suspects, and mailing it anonymously. He’s thought about going to confession, even though he’s not Christian, much less Catholic. [Confession’s good for the soul… and Cooper feels like he has a lot to confess.]

But he doesn’t know anything for sure. He’s been frightened of his little brother for eighteen years, since Blaine was five and he saw Blaine with that squirrel… but Blaine is so smart. Cooper read the newspaper, watched the news, visited news’ sites every day, and he couldn’t be sure which of the stories was Blaine – but he knew some of them had to be. [That’s the thing: they all know, without ever talking about it and no hard proof.]

Cooper left as soon as he could, ran far and fast, and the desire to do the right thing and let the world know about his psychopathic little brother faded. Out of sight, out of mind. Cooper focused on school, then on auditions, and he visited as infrequently as he could get away with. He dated, he worked, he completely forgot about Blaine. [I think I decided they’re a decade apart in age.]

Then Blaine brought Kurt home. Mom begged Cooper to come home for Blaine’s eighteenth birthday; he hadn’t been back in three years. [She wanted to remember she had a son who wasn’t a psychopath.]

So Cooper went, breaking up with Molly on the way, and Blaine said, “Coop, this is my boyfriend, Kurt.”

Kurt, with soft hands and ice eyes. Kurt, whose gaze was just as dark as Blaine’s, whose smile was just as sharp. [Oh, yes, Cooper knew the moment they met.]

Cooper hates his brother’s boyfriend.

To be honest, Cooper hates his brother, too.

He checks the news every day, and he thinks about calling the Lima or Columbus PD. [Part of him wants to. He knows he never will.]

… but there’s no concrete evidence. Just his feelings, and remembered terror, and the way Blaine looks at knives, the way Kurt looks at Blaine. [I like the flow of this sentence. ]

And… Blaine’s his brother.

So Cooper makes small talk with Kurt, and goes home as infrequently as possible, and quits checking the news.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov; murder; non-con
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; Kurt/OMC; Kurt/OMC/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 690
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, "Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before."

[So, this part has kept me from commentating for a few days. I’m not sure why. I remember that I had parts of this written for awhile before finding the prompt that let me finish it.

Maybe it’s because this is where Kurt&Blaine finally cross the line into irredeemable? I don’t know. I guess I’ll just reread it and see if I have anything to say.]

Fred Thomas has lived in New York all his life. He’s nineteen, and been everywhere, and done everything. He waits tables during the day and performs at bars at night, and he’s applying to the spring semester at NYU even though he has no idea what he wants to major in or do with his life.

But there’s this guy who comes in once a week, at lunch on Wednesdays. He’s a little older than Fred, and he’s got these cheekbones as sharp as razorblades, and eyes that can’t decide if they’re blue or grey, and this voice Fred just wants to wrap around himself and snuggle into.

And then there’s the guy’s body. He wears tight clothes that Fred doesn’t understand at all, but he works it, and Fred imagines, every Wednesday, peeling him out of them and kissing every inch of his flawless skin.

It’s been three months since the guy wandered in, and Fred hasn’t been his waiter yet. But Dev and Yolanda, who have served him, say he always tips well, and he’s polite and funny, and Fred really wants to ask him out.

But. But on the last Wednesday in November, the guy meets Fred’s eyes and tilts his head, so Fred swallows heavily and walks over. “Yes, sir?” he asks, trying to keep his voice level.

“Are you busy Friday night?” the guy asks, smiling up at him.

Fred shakes his head, eyes widening.

“You are now,” the guy says. “I’m Kurt.” [It’s such a perfectly woven trap, and been planned for so long… I love outside pov, because it means the reader knows things the character doesn’t, but in this instance, I really just want to shudder.]

.

Fred dances with Kurt all night long. It is the most thrilling night of his life, and Kurt is the best kisser, leaving bruises up and down his neck, and when he invites Fred home, Fred screams, “Yes!” [When I decided on the boys’ rules, I came back to this chapter and changed a few things.]

.

Kurt’s apartment is as amazing as Kurt is, and Kurt pulls him onto the bed, and it’s all so amazing -

And then Kurt’s boyfriend comes home. [Yeah. From the moment he saw Kurt, there was only one way things could end for Fred.]

.

Fred has never sobered up so quickly. Kurt stays stretched out on the bed, pale skin on display, and Fred stands poised to run, but the boyfriend is between him and the door, and the boyfriend says, “Kurt, what’s this?”

“I didn’t know he had a boyfriend!” Fred says, and he shouldn’t be so frightened, because he’s taller than the guy, and broader than the guy, but the guy is terrifying. [You know the part of you that tells you to get off the elevator when that guy gets on? But it’s too late for Fred, and there’s nowhere to go.]

“He’s a present, sweetie,” Kurt says, sounding so sweet Fred has to look back at him in disbelief, because, really, what the fuck? “You’ve been working so hard. I know you’re starting to get antsy.”

“Kurt,” the guy says, voice a bit thick. “You’re the best ever.” [Blaine’s just so overwhelmed at his boyfriend’s thoughtfulness, he’s trying not to blubber.]

Fred feels his heart stop, because something about that is wrong. “What – ” he starts, and then, “I want to leave now.”

Kurt laughs, cold and sharp, and then he’s plastered to Fred’s back and pulling him back onto the bed.

.

The worst of it is, Fred does enjoy it, eventually. [This fic is so horrifying in hindsight.]

Up until the boyfriend (Blaine, Kurt had moaned, Blaine, Blaine, all for you, all of it) wraps his hands around Fred’s neck.

“Please,” Fred begs, “Please, please, no, please – ”

Kurt strokes his lips, tracing his last words, and – [Another scene I changed slightly after deciding on Kurt’s rules.]

.

(“Babe,” Blaine says, “Kurt, that was – I love you so much.”

Kurt chuckles against his lips, carelessly shoving the body to the side so he can crawl up Blaine and push him down. “I could tell you needed it, love. You shouldn’t put it off for so long next time. You’ll get sloppy again.”

“I know,” Blaine groans, kicking the body completely off the bed so he can flip Kurt over. “I just – I’ve been so busy.”

“Don’t worry,” Kurt orders, pausing so he can look Blaine in the eyes and make sure he understands. “Focus on your studies. I’ll take care of everything else.”

“You shouldn’t have to,” Blaine says.

“But I will,” Kurt says simply. “It’s one of the rules. So stop worrying.”

“I’ll try,” Blaine promises, and then he kisses Kurt gently, slowly, like Kurt is that boy he first met, what feels like forever ago.

Kurt always gives him whatever he needs, so Blaine swears to himself to make the next one absolutely extraordinary for Kurt.)

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron; lyrics from Florence and the Machine
Warnings: talk about murdering
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 735
Point of view: third

 

“There need to be some rules,” Kurt said, “if we’re really going to do this.”

Blaine settled across from him, linked their fingers on the table, and nodded.

“First,” Kurt said, “no touching anyone else except for a game.”

“Of course,” Blaine agreed. He didn’t ever want to touch anyone but Kurt, ever.

Kurt squeezed his fingers and added, “No kissing anyone else on the mouth, even for a game.”

“I promise,” Blaine said. He never wanted to kiss anybody but Kurt, ever again. He hadn’t, since that day on the stairs. [After I made this rule, I went back and reworded a couple sentences in previous parts.]

Smiling, Kurt stroked his thumb along Blaine’s. “Unless it’s a gift, we tell each other, every time. Nothing impulsive.” [Later, Kurt breaks this rule. So does Blaine.]

Blaine chuckled. Kurt got off on the planning part, and Blaine was fine with not getting bogged down in the details. “You want that part?” he asked.

Kurt nodded, smile softening. “Can I choose?” He lowered his gaze, looking up at Blaine through his lashes.

“Of course,” Blaine said again. “You’ve been choosing, ever since Karofsky.”

“Really?” Kurt perked up, lifting his head. “I had thought – but I wasn’t sure.”

Blaine smiled at him. “All of them were for you.”

“Oh,” Kurt gasped. “Blaine, you say you’re terrible at romance, but you’re not.” He laughed in delight, leaning down to kiss Blaine’s knuckles, one after the other. [They are sickeningly sweet towards each other. They actually don’t fight all that much, and any fights they get in are usually about killing.]

Blaine decided that the rest of the rules could wait for awhile, so he stood and walked around the table without letting go of Kurt’s hand.

.

It was a few days before Blaine asked, “Are there more rules?”

“Hmm?” Kurt looked up from the spaghetti sauce, turning the oregano upright so none slipped in while he focused on Blaine. “What was that, sweetie?”

“The first four rules are no touching, no kissing, telling each other, and you choose. Anything else?” Blaine slipped in behind Kurt, setting the butter on the counter next to the spices, and hooked his chin on Kurt’s shoulder.

“Oh, no, that’s it,” Kurt said, rubbing his cheek against Blaine’s and tilting the oregano back down. [I’m pretty sure I had just made spaghetti when I wrote this. Maybe the night before.]

“So…” Blaine whispered, wrapping his arms around Kurt’s waist. “Can we play again soon? I haven’t since Sebastian.” He plucked at Kurt’s shirt, sliding his fingers beneath the fabric and Kurt’s skin, and Kurt barely got the oregano away from the pot before it spilled. [I have a detailed timeline for this fic, but I sometimes feel I should mark it explicitly in the fic because even I get confused about when something is happening in relation to everything else.]

Kurt heaved a great sigh, turning in Blaine’s grip to frown down at him. “I’m trying to cook,” he said imperiously.

“And?” Blaine grinned widely, reaching around Kurt to fumble with the stove controls.

“Blaine,” Kurt said, in his I’m really not kidding tone.

Blaine quickly stepped back, hands at his sides. “Sorry,” he apologized. [There is no one else in the world Blaine will be considerate for. No one.]

“It’s alright,” Kurt assured him, turning back to the spaghetti sauce. “Today was – well, it was a day, which is all that can be said about it. I just need to unwind.”

Blaine pressed a swift kiss to the back of his neck and said, “I’ll set up your bath supplies for after dinner.”

“Thank you,” Kurt told him. “We can discuss our first time later tonight.”

Blaine paused in the doorway of the kitchen, glancing back at him. Kurt was smiling down at the sauce, and then he sang softly, “I took a knife and cut out her eye; I took it home and watched it wither and die.”

Blaine laughed, countering with, “And we won't eat and we won't sleep; we'll drag bodies from a ground,” as he walked to their tiny bathroom. It had a tub, which was why Kurt agreed to pay an exorbitant amount for the space.

Their first time… their second first time. Blaine could show Kurt everything, could watch him, see what he liked and what he didn’t, what made him gasp that gasp, and, oh.

Their first kill together. It might even be better than sex. [For them… it is.]

It would have to be absolutely perfect. It would have to show Kurt how amazing it was, that waiting was so worth it, because Blaine had already made all the stupid mistakes, had already figured out what worked and what didn’t.

From the kitchen, Blaine heard Kurt’s voice rise on, “Say my name as every color illuminates. We are shining and we will never be afraid again.” Blaine joined in, repeating it all the way back to the kitchen, where Kurt smiled at him. [I had just discovered Florence + the Machine when I was writing this fic. It’s fairly obvious, I think.]

Not totally unwound yet. But the bathroom was all set up, and dinner was almost done, and then – then, they would plan.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: fluff
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 325
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, burned dinner--again

 

Sometimes, when Blaine gets home before Kurt, he tries to cook dinner. Nothing elaborate because he somehow manages to burn water most of the time, but simple things. Like spaghetti. How hard it is to throw tomato sauce into a pot with some spices? [Yeah, I had just made spaghetti. *shrugs* And it’s a good meal, so.]

Apparently, harder than he’d ever thought, because it burns. Badly.

Kurt’s been having a hard time at work (none of his minions are up to par, and Anna vetoed something that had been Kurt’s idea, and now Kurt is sure he’ll be fired soon, and the last casting director he auditioned for called him a caricature, so that bastard is going to be Blaine’s next birthday present for Kurt) so Blaine just wants to do something nice for him.

But he’s pretty sure Kurt won’t be happy if he comes home to find the kitchen on fire, so Blaine turns the stove off and drops the pot, scorched tomato and all, into the sink, then orders Chinese. It should get there right before Kurt. [*hee* He was just trying to do something nice for his boy! They can be so cute.]

Blaine cleans up the kitchen and glares at the pot before dumping the mess down the sink and soaking the pot. He sets the Chinese food on the table with Kurt’s second-favorite dishes and two caffeine-free Diet Cokes.

Kurt walks in the door and laughs. “You tried to cook, didn’t you?”

Blaine pouts at him but Kurt just saunters over and pulls Blaine into his arms, burying his face in the Blaine’s collarbone. “Today was a day,” Kurt mumbles into his skin. “I want to massacre them, Blaine. Just… painfully. Bloodily.” [When most people say that… they don’t actually mean it, and they probably couldn’t actually do it. But when either of these two says it?]

“My first class is cancelled next Monday,” Blaine tells him. He can feel Kurt’s smile, and then Kurt nuzzles Blaine’s shirt down and kisses his skin. “Go change into something comfortable,” Blaine says, rubbing his hand along Kurt’s spine. “Dinner’s waiting. We’ll discuss things over that.” [Yeah… someone’s going to die on Monday.]

Kurt straightens up and smiles at him, dropping a sweet kiss on the tip of his nose before heading towards their room.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; Finn/Rachel; Finn/OFC;
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 870
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any/any, come dine with me ;-)

 

On their first double date with Kurt and Blaine, Rachel and Finn talked about how awesome McKinley was, and how Kurt should transfer back ASAP because Nationals was in New York that year, and they all missed him, and it wasn’t like Karofsky was still there douching the place up. [Karofsky ran away… remember?]

Kurt kept his head down and stayed quiet. Blaine interrupted Rachel’s spiel about all the solos Kurt would be given if he came back. “Thank you for the lovely time,” Blaine said politely. “We’ll be leaving now.” He stood up and Kurt followed him, still avoiding Finn’s eyes, and Blaine took his hand and led him out. [Kurt’s still acting traumatized, because he knows ‘normal’ people would be. Blaine still has no idea Kurt’s at all like him.]

Rachel said, “What? Finn, what just happened?”

Finn didn’t know.

.

On their second double date with Kurt and Blaine, Finn tried to steer the conversation away from glee club, Nationals, or McKinley. Rachel made it hard, though. [Finn’s figured out that those topics are off-limits.]

But Kurt actually got involved in the conversation this time, and he told Rachel, “You really should let me give you a makeover. You have so much potential.”

Rachel said, “If you come back, you can make me over as many times as you want!” [One step forward, two steps back.]

Kurt’s lips tightened. Finn said, too loudly, “So, Blaine – how ‘bout them Buckeyes, huh?”

Blaine gave him the tiniest of smiles, but the conversation turned, and Rachel pouted for a few minutes before jumping in to ask if they thought she should write a sports-themed musical for her inevitable debut.

.

On their third double date with Kurt and Blaine, it was quite obvious Kurt would never be returning to McKinley. Junior year was almost up and he was top of the class at Dalton, where he and his boyfriend were two of the most popular boys in school. Why would he go back to McKinley?

But Rachel (and Mercedes, to a lesser degree), kept hounding Finn about it. About Kurt. Talking about how Blaine was controlling, and Kurt wouldn’t ignore them if it wasn’t for him, and Kurt was too quiet, too wrapped up in Blaine. [They see that something’s wrong; they’re just wrong about what it is.]

To an unhealthy degree, Rachel said, looking up at Finn with earnest eyes.

But on their date, Kurt was sparkling. Finn hadn’t seen him so happy since before Dalton. Or… ever, actually. He stared at Kurt and almost didn’t recognize him.

Kurt had grown up, somewhere between the duet competition and now.

Dalton was good for him. Blaine was good for him. Finn had no idea what Rachel was talking about. [Kurt’s coming out of his shell, his family thinks. He’s healing.]

.

Blaine and Kurt took turns at each other’s houses over the summer. They’d head out early in the morning and spend a day or two together, then switch. Burt wasn’t happy about it, but he’d watched them together, too, and realized that Kurt lit up when Blaine was around. [Like I said: healing.]

Rachel didn’t really acknowledge Kurt anymore. Kurt didn’t seem too broken up about it, but Finn saw Blaine glare at her, once. It was the only mean expression he could remember Blaine ever making. [Rachel comes very close to running away or suffering a fatal traffic accident. No one will ever know.]

.

During senior year, Finn finally realized what Rachel had been saying, about being too close and unhealthy relationships. He watched Kurt and Blaine, whenever they were at the house, or whenever Burt took them all out, Mom and Finn and Kurt&Blaine and Rachel.

That was the thing - Kurt&Blaine. They were always together. Except when Kurt worked at the garage… except those times Blaine showed up, just to be near. Kurt worked Saturday s, eight to three, and usually Blaine showed up.

Rachel never visited Finn at work just to see him.

And Kurt and Blaine never argued. Never got in fights. Never even disagreed, far as Finn could tell. How did that even work?

He asked Burt about it, but Burt was just so happy Kurt was happy. He had no idea what Finn as talking about. And Mom just said that it’d pass; first loves always did. Besides, she liked Blaine far more than she ever did Quinn or Rachel, Finn could tell.

He talked to Rachel about it, and it caused a fight that resulted in them breaking up for good.

[Finn knows something isn’t right. He just has no idea what to do with the info, or what’s even wrong.]

.

Only once did Finn raise his concerns to Kurt. Kurt just looked at him, long and hard and cold, and he said, “Blaine is mine, Finn. Don’t get in the way.”

Finn nodded, heart racing, and he had no idea why. [The reason you get off the elevator, or never let yourself be alone with that certain person you could never explain why you didn’t like.]

.

Blaine was good for Kurt. He made Kurt smile and laugh and dance ridiculously around the house, singing. Burt and Mom both adored him.

One night, while Blaine and Kurt were up in Kurt’s room discussing something (either music or a history project or both or maybe something else entirely), Burt told Finn, “That boy saved Kurt’s life, you know.”

Finn looked at the stairs. He didn’t really believe that, and he didn’t really like Blaine anymore. But he loved Kurt. Kurt was his brother. And Kurt loved Blaine.

.

On their first double date with Kurt and Blaine, Finn held Emily’s hand the whole time, and shared conspiratory eye rolls with Blaine while Kurt and Emily argued about costuming for some play Finn has never heard of.

Kurt&Blaine were the real deal. And Blaine wasn’t such a bad guy. Finn didn’t remember what he didn’t like about Blaine, back in high-school.

Maybe Finn was just finally growing up. [Blaine perfected his mask, and Finn has unconsciously decided to be willfully blind. Also, he’s safe in a way people not in either of their families will ever be.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: pre-series; murder; creepy as all get-out
Pairings: none
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 100
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, the mistake they don't regret [Blaine is either a psycho- or sociopath, or both. Probably both. This prompt screamed his name.]

 

The first was not an accident. The second was.

She'd been the younger sister of one of Blaine's ‘Dalton friends,’ an adorable little cherub of twelve, and Blaine hadn’t meant to lead her into the woods. She followed him.

She followed him and found where he’d buried the first body, and she stared in horror, and Blaine had asked, “Does Martin know where you are?”

Because Martin was at home, and he thought Blaine had gone home, and Caroline – well, she’d found the boneyard.

“N-no,” she’d stuttered, eyes wide, curls blonde and bright. He smiled at her.

Blaine was fourteen. [… completely beyond redemption. I’m not sure he could’ve ever been saved.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; mentions of murders and bullying
Pairings: none
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 215
Point of view: third
Prompt: author's choice, author's choice, Tell me now if you came sneaking up behind / Would you know me and see behind the smile / I can change like colors on a wall / Hoping no one else will find what lies beneath it all / I think I hide it all so well (Dixie Chicks, "Everybody Knows")

Blaine didn't know, that first time he met Kurt. Blaine had no idea at all. Kurt was beaten down, almost broken, fragile and quiet and still. Hesitant, wary, trying to hide. He didn't assert himself, he didn't stand in the light. He followed in Blaine's wake, head tucked down, arms wrapped around himself, agreeing to anything anyone said.

Kurt stared at Blaine like Blaine was the sun and he was starved of warmth. Like Blaine could save him, heal him, return him to life. Kurt stayed as close to Blaine as he could, whispered to Blaine all of his fears, his concerns, his secrets.

Kurt hand-delivered Blaine eight playmates, and Blaine thought Kurt was completely unaware.

Instead… instead, Kurt was already taking care of Blaine. Giving him what he needed. Showing Blaine his soft underbelly and knowing that Blaine would nuzzle in close and shield him, not strike.

Blaine had no idea at all that Kurt was exactly what he needed. What he’d been waiting for.

And when Kurt tells him, “I know, Blaine,” Blaine stares down at him, and he thinks, Oh, there you are. I’ve been looking for you forever. And when Kurt tells him what he’s imagined of their future, Blaine thinks, You’re mine… I’ll never let you go. [Psychotically co-dependent, and Kurt’s such a better actor than Blaine.]

 

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov; bullying; mentions of sexual assault
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; unrequited Puck/Kurt and Karofsky/Kurt; Zizes/Puck
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 635
Point of view: third
Prompt: Glee, Puck/Kurt, leave me breathless

 

Puck didn't realize what he'd had till it was gone. He'd looked forward to seeing Hummel every day and didn't even know it till Kurt was gone, away with the Garglers in fuckin' Westerville. And the worst of it was that it was his own damned fault.

He told Kurt to go spy, Kurt did, and then Kurt left. Because Puck fell down on his job and let fuckin' Karofsky hassle Kurt.

Worse than hassle. But Kurt didn't tell anyone except that lead Gargler.

And, really, why should Puck have expected otherwise? What indication did he ever give that he might, well, have -

Okay, Puck had a fucking crush on Hummel. And he should have kicked Karofsky's teeth in or something, to let Hummel know he was wanted.

But he didn't. He didn't even notice that things were getting weird between Karofsky and Hummel, until Coach Bieste found them in the showers.

Karofsky was suspended, pending expulsion, and then ran away. And Kurt stuck it out for a couple weeks, but he didn't come back after Christmas break. [So, this is mostly canon. After seeing the prompt and deciding it would be in this ‘verse, I realized Puck must have an enormous crush on Kurt, and that’s why he spends so long as a douchebag.]

.

Puck hangs out at Finn's house, as often as he can, but Kurt's rarely there. And even when he is, so is that pretty boy Gargler, all smarmy and rich. Puck wants to kick his ass, he really does, but Kurt actually likes the fucker. Finn even told Puck once, that he'd forgotten how much Kurt used to smile. He hadn't noticed (no one had) when Kurt stopped, but for the Garlger... Kurt smiles. Kurt laughs.

Maybe Puck's growing as a person, but he's glad Kurt's happy. He misses Kurt, misses touching him (fucked up, Zizes says, bullying a kid just to be able to put your hands on him, Puckerman [Dudes, Zizes was awesome.]), misses being the center of his world for those brief moments -

But it's been over a year since he tossed Kurt into the dumpster. Or locker-checked him, or threw a slushy in his face. Seeing him at glee was better than all of those.

He's gone now, locked safely away at Dalton. Happier than he ever was at McKinley.

Puck had his chance. Two and a half years with Kurt and he wasted all that time, stealing brief touches that Kurt only ever saw as abuse.

What Karofsky did.

For all Puck knows, he's shoved into the same category as Karofsky, and that -

It's too late. If he ever had a shot, it's gone now, with Kurt at Dalton, staring into that pretty boy, rich kid's eyes. [Puck/Kurt was my OTP for the show before Blaine came along. Now, I can barely ship them anymore.]

.

When Kurt comes home for the summer, he brings his boyfriend with him.

Finn had told Puck about his worries, their senior year, but Puck told him he was freaking out over nothing, because the Gargler was good for Kurt.

They're still wildly in love, Puck can see, and he's glad for that.

He knows he was never good enough for Kurt. Never enough in any capacity. And he's been lucky enough for Mr. H to take a chance on, giving him an opportunity at the shop, and one day he'll make manager.

Puck's never getting out of Lima. He's fine with that now, all grown up and seeing the world for what it is. His dad left and remained a loser. Mr. H stayed and he's the best man Puck's ever met. [I don’t like that whole Lima loser thing. Burt’s in Lima (well, until season 3, I guess, but most of that never happens here, so *hands*) and he’s so not a loser.]

.

Kurt smiles at Puck, when he drops his Mr. H's lunch. The Gargler is with him, holding Kurt's hand in the safety of the shop.

Puck smiles back. Yeah, he used to have a crush, and yeah, he'll probably always regret not making a move. He will definitely regret not kicking the shit out of Karofsky before things got so bad.

But the way things have turned out... life's good, for Puck. He's happy, and Kurt's happy. Doesn't get much better than that. [He will never know how close he came to death, or how glad he should be nothing ever happened with Kurt.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov; mentions of sexual assault and bullying
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; Burt/Carole
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 650
Point of view: third
Prompt: Glee, Burt & Kurt, Coping With Loss

 

Burt loves Finn, he really does, but not like he loves his own son. He looks at Finn and sees the boy he himself used to be, back when he was young and dumb and thought he ruled the world. But he looks at Kurt and he sees the best thing in his life, bright and brilliant and beautiful.

He always knew Kurt would be leaving one day. Kurt had dreams from one ocean to the other, and he hated Lima – Burt had thought, more than once, about packing up and moving, taking Kurt somewhere that was better for him. But he never got around to it, and then the whole thing with Karofsky –

Burt held Kurt’s hand at the hospital and called himself every name under the sun for not moving when he could have, and the only person Kurt asked for by name was some kid from Dalton Academy out in Westerville.

Burt wasn’t surprised at all when Kurt asked, quietly one night, head ducked down and ashamed, if he could please leave McKinley. The way Burt saw it, Kurt was the only person in the whole situation who shouldn’t be ashamed. [The adults on Glee piss me off so bad.]

Of course Burt sent Kurt to Dalton. Even when the budget got tight, and he stared at the chair where Kurt would normally be sitting at dinner, and he didn’t hear Kurt serenading the house every morning – Kurt was safe. Kurt was happy.

And now Kurt’s in New York. Burt only sees him a few times a year because Kurt’s off having a life full of fashion and theater and a doctor for a fiancé. Burt’s been to the three plays Kurt actually had a part in, and to the first runway show he had some input in, and Blaine’s graduation from NYU Steinhardt that will let him call himself Doctor Anderson in a few years. [I changed that sentence so many times before *handwaving* away the actualfax career path of Blaine Anderson. I’m pretty sure it’s not an accurate portrayal… but what the fuck ever.]

Kurt is deliriously happy. That’s all Burt has ever wanted for his son. [Burt’s so awesome.]

The last time he came home, for a week during June, Burt had asked, “Did you ever wish we had moved? Maybe to California, or Cincinnati, or something. Away from Lima.”

Kurt had glanced towards the kitchen, where Blaine was busy throwing together sandwiches for lunch, chatting with Carole about the clinic. “No,” Kurt said, smiling. “I met Blaine because we lived here.” He shrugged, still smiling softly, that so wonderfully happy smile that Burt didn’t see for years at a time – not from the beginning of high-school until Dalton. “Blaine makes up for everything that came before him, Dad.”

“I’m so glad, Kurt, that you – that you’re happy, you know? That’s all I ever wanted.” Burt had subtly swiped at his eyes, and Kurt had nodded, and Blaine came in with two plates of sandwiches and Carole.

Burt still worries about his boy in New York, about muggers or crazy drivers or even the terrorist plots that seem to happen in every TV show set in the city. But Kurt’s a good kid, and tougher than Burt ever really thinks, still seeing the sixteen year old in tears at the ER, bruises on his throat and despair in his eyes.

But Kurt’s taller than him now, with two careers in the works and a partner of ten years, and he’s happy. He’s so damned happy.

“Hey, Boss,” Finn calls, poking his head into the office. “Max just called; the delivery’s runnin’ late – there was an accident on I-75 so the parts’ll get here in the morning instead.”

“Alright, thanks,” Burt tells him. “Don’t forget to go see your mom tonight, she’s been missin’ you.”

Finn nods and heads back towards the break room. As he stands, Burt looks at the pictures on his desk: Kurt and Katie, Kurt and Blaine, Kurt and Burt himself, Finn and Carole, Finn and Burt, Finn and Kurt, Carole and Burt, Katie and Burt. A lifetime. Burt smiles and closes his office door behind him. [It would’ve been better for dozens of people if Burt had moved them away from Ohio.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: sexual assault; murder; a bit of gore; homophobia/bullying/violence
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; unrequited and unwanted Karofsky/Kurt
Rating: R
Wordcount: 1040
Point of view: third
Prompt: Glee, Karofsky/Kurt, Kurt didn't push him away when he went in for that second kiss

 

What everyone knows is this: Karofsky stepped up the bullying in junior year. Before that, he was pretty equal opportunity, though his favorite was Finn (some sort of trauma or rivalry or something from when they were kids). But junior year, Karofsky focused solely on Kurt, and he was brutal about it. Daily locker-slams (but the dumpster dives tapered off when Puck joined glee and never really caught back on) for the most part, and they intensified as the school year went on.

By November, Kurt had constant bruises that never had the time to heal. By November, he was thoroughly sick of holding his head high and waiting the situation out.

In November, Kurt met Blaine. [I like that those first two paragraphs are leading up this sentence, and then it’s sort of a punch. *hee*]

.

Blaine’s advice is horrible, and Kurt’s thankful he wasn’t actually a naïve little boy in need because that gently-given advice would’ve gotten the shit beat out of him. [It really is terrible advice.]

But he is pissed off, and tired, and he follows Karofsky into the locker-room, his rage and frustration causing him to lose control.

And Karofsky grabs his face and kisses him.

Kurt honestly did not see that coming.

Karofsky moves back in, eyes on Kurt’s lips, and Kurt shoves him away, mind completely blank. He has no idea what to do, or what to say, and Karofsky punches a locker before leaving.

Kurt follows in a daze, stops to pick up his phone, and calls Blaine. [By the way, this whole chapter is weaving together the fact that I didn’t keep track of what I had said Karofsky did. Trying to ret-con the first&second chapters with everything that came after.]

.

The next day, Blaine helps Kurt ambush Karofsky on the stairs for an ‘intervention’ that Kurt can tell will only make things worse. But Blaine rubs his back, and the bruises throb in an almost pleasant way beneath his touch, and Kurt lets himself lean in a little too close, because he wants -

There is something about Blaine. Finn was fun to mess with, would’ve been easy to lead, to control, and if Dad hadn’t gotten so serious about Carole, Kurt might’ve gone that way. But Blaine… Kurt thinks Blaine might be like him.

So he lets Blaine comfort him, take him out to a cozy diner for lunch, and goes back to school only for glee.

.

Two weeks later, Karofsky corners Kurt in the locker-room. Karofsky’s already promised to kill him if he tells anyone (which, Kurt has already done, and Karofsky knows that, he met Blaine) [Really, threatening to kill Kurt if he told anyone - after he knows for a fact Kurt told someone? Is that sloppy writing or Karofsky panicking? I honestly can’t tell] and no one has noticed that Karofsky’s persecution of Kurt has gone up another level, and Kurt has no idea why he hasn’t brought Dad’s gun to school and made himself feel better.

… because he’d go to jail. Right. That’d be too many bodies to hide. No way to not get caught.

But Karofsky grabs Kurt’s wrist, and then reels him in, puts his other hand over Kurt’s mouth. Karofsky slams Kurt into the wall, breath hot on Kurt's face, hands bruising Kurt's skin. "Why do you keep - how can you - " Karofsky gasps into his neck.

Kurt’s head hurts, ears ringing, and he shoves with his free hand, but Karofsky doesn’t budge.

Karofsky drags him to the showers and the hand on Kurt’s mouth moves down to his neck and squeezes, his hand on Kurt’s wrist drops to his pants, and this –

“What the hell?!” Coach Beiste shouts, and Karofsky flinches back, letting go and moving out of reach. Kurt sways on his feet, blinking at Karofsky and then Beiste, and when she moves toward him, he darts around her (almost falling) and runs to the parking lot.

He calls Blaine on the way home, but Blaine’s in Warbler practice for another forty-five minutes, so he doesn’t answer. [Kurt has a concussion, by the way. I’m not sure how clear that is.]

.

Kurt doesn’t actually make it down the stairs to his room. Once he’s by the couch, he just sort of – falls onto it.

He wants to shower. He wants to scream.

He wants to shove a knife into Karofsky’s gut and pull it all the way up to his ribcage, then peel back the skin and watch Karofsky die in agony.

“Kurt!” Dad yells, slamming the door open. “Kurt, answer – Kurt!” He hurries over to the couch and Kurt blinks at him. “Kurt, Finn’s football coach just called me – she said one of the players – Kurt?”

When Kurt doesn’t move or speak or react in any way, Dad pulls him to his feet, leads him to the car, and drives to the ER.

.

Kurt asks his dad to call Blaine, waiting for the doctor to show up, and then doesn’t say anything else for three days.

Later, Kurt will tell Blaine, tearfully, face tucked into Blaine’s neck, that if Coach Beiste hadn’t walked in, Kurt probably wouldn’t have ever told anyone. [Truth. That isn’t him acting.]

Later still, Kurt will tell Blaine every single daydream he had in the subsequent days, and Blaine will promise that they can act some of them out. Not all, of course, because a few were quite physically impossible. But a fair number, just for Kurt.

In-between, Blaine will murmur in perfect detail exactly how Karofsky died.

In a strange coincidence, Blaine shoved a knife in his gut and pulled it all the way up. [Because they are so very similar, with such similar tastes.]

.

What everyone knows is this: Dave Karofsky attacked Kurt Hummel in the locker-room. Coach Beiste saw everything, and Dave was suspended. He would’ve been expelled, but he ran away in early December before the school board could get everything in order. [They do not know it was attempted rape; they just figure it was a beat-down.]

Kurt took a few days off and then went back to school till Christmas break. Instead of returning in January, he fled to a private academy a couple hours away.

He wasn’t all that missed. Karofsky was, though; each team he was on suffered in his absence.

Besides, you ever see what Hummel wore? He was clearly asking for it.

What only two people know is this: where Dave Karofsky is buried.

When his body is found, so are ten others. Eight of the eleven are missing McKinley students, two are boys who vanished from Columbus, and the last is the State’s Attorney son, who everyone had thought ran off to Europe with his grandfather’s money. None of them were older than nineteen at their time of death.

“Fuck,” Officer Quentin will mutter to his partner, while the coroner talks to the chief. “I think it’s a serial killer.”

“Yeah,” Officer Reilly will mutter back, eyes on the youngest body, Rafe Carleton, all of thirteen when some bastard suffocated him. “Fuck.”

[If I thought I could be successful, this might’ve become a Criminal Minds crossover.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: Blaine&Kurt aren’t mine; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; OCs/OCs
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 600
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, fuck-marry-kill

 

[I wanted to show how they get away with it, beyond making almost none of their kills look like murders. The fact is, my cousin lived in the same town as the BTK killer for years, and that’s what really drove it home for me. When their families say, “We had no idea,” that’s the actualfax truth. Because people like this are actors of the highest caliber, and something is missing in their heads – but you have to be looking to see it, and even then you might not.

So. This chapter is Blaine with his college friends playing a stupid game.

(Also, I did some research at work yesterday – 10 years ago there were dueling serial killers in my city. One had a live-in girlfriend and one had a wife. Fucking hell.)]

"Okay," Sarah says, "fuck, marry, kill."

Bobby rolls his eyes, sharing a look with Blaine. "Really, Sarah?"

"Well, yeah." She pouts at him and turns to Ana. "You wanna play, don't you?"

Ana laughs. "If Blaine, Marty, and Yasmin agree, I'm in."

Yasmin nods, so Sarah looks at Marty. "Please?" she asks, widening her eyes as much as possible.

"Sure, sure, stop looking at me like that!" he shouts, theatrically covering his eyes. "I can't take it!"

"C'mon, Bobby, it might be fun," Blaine says.

"Fine." Bobby heaves a great sigh and rolls his eyes again. He knows Blaine from his Language Disorders class, but Sarah’s been dating his brother since high-school, and Marty’s his roommate, and apparently Ana is Sarah’s best friend’s little sister she promised to look out for, and Ana’s almost-dating Yasmin.

So, a long, incesty history between most of them, and poor Blaine just got dragged into it because Bobby wanted someone else sane. [… I really love outside pov, because this is just so funny. Poor Blaine? *shakes head*]

The party’s still going strong downstairs, music booming through the floor, and Ana’s dancing in place. It’s a shame she’s got that thing going on with Yasmin; Ana’s hot. But Bobby doesn’t go after taken chicks, not since that thing with Caitlin. Fuck, but that was a mess.

“Let’s limit it just to people playing,” Sarah says. “It’ll be more fun that way. Marty, go first, then we just follow the circle.”

Marty frowns at her, but then looks around the circle, apprising everyone. “Fuck Yasmin,” he decides, “’cause she’s absolutely gorgeous. Marry Blaine, ‘cause from what I’ve seen he’s the most responsible, trustworthy guy here. Kill Bobby so I can inherit his stuff.”

“Dude!” Bobby exclaims. “That’s completely uncool.”

Marty shrugs, but Blaine’s laughing, “If I weren’t completely happy with Kurt, I’d be delighted to marry you.”

Ana’s next to Marty, so she says, “Fuck Blaine because he’s gorgeous, marry Yasmin, and kill Marty. Just ‘cause.”

Marty pouts at her, but Yasmin says, “Fuck Sarah, marry Ana, and kill Marty, also ‘cause.” She shares a grin with Yasmin and Marty throws himself backward, groaning.

Sarah’s cackling as she starts. “Fuck Bobby, to see if that thing with the tongue is genetic.” Bobby chokes, covering his mouth to keep from throwing up all the beer he drank. That’s more than he ever needed to know about his brother’s sex life with Sarah, God. “Marry Marty,” Sarah continues, “and kill… Ana.” She peers at Ana for a moment and then nods. “Yes, kill Ana.”

“What?” Ana says. “Why?”

Sarah shrugs. “’cause.”

Blaine says, “This game is ridiculous, just so you all know. And I’d have to fuck Bobby, marry Marty, and kill Sarah.” [Actually… I’m sure this goes without saying, but he wouldn’t fuck or marry any of them and he’d kill them all.]

Now Sarah demands, “Why?”

“Well, I'm gay. And Bobby looks like he’d be fun in bed, but Marty has kind eyes.” Blaine shrugs. “And I just chose you because you’re the one who suggested the game.”

Blaine nudges Bobby. “You’re last. Then we can get out of here.”

Bobby sighs. “Fine. Fuck Blaine, marry Yasmin, and kill Sarah.”

“This wasn’t as much fun as I thought,” Sarah grumbles.

Blaine laughs and climbs to his feet. “It’s been a blast,” he says, “But Kurt’s waiting up for me, so I’m going to call it a night.”

“Bye, Blaine!” they all chorus, and he heads for the stairs.

“Nice guy,” Sarah tells Bobby. “I wish you made more friends like him.” [See? Outside pov is a blast.]

Bobby smirks. “I’m gonna tell Ted that you wanna fuck me.”

“No!” she shouts, tackling him. “Don’t you dare, Robert Joseph!”

“What the fuck?” Marty demands, rolling out of the way.

Bobby ignores him, laughing so hard his stomach starts to hurt.

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: boys talking about murder; bad weather
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 285
Point of view: third
Prompt: author's choice, author's choice, ushering in the new year with a night of severe thunderstorms and possibly a blackout

It’s their first New Year’s Eve in New York, and it’s storming. The power keeps blinking, and the wind is roaring, and Kurt spins Blaine around to the sound of thunder booming and a lightning flash so close it reflects in Kurt’s eyes.

“Not quite what you were expecting, right?” Blaine asks, kissing Kurt as the lights blink and don’t come back on.

“Damnit,” Kurt mutters. “This is ridiculous! Is Mother Nature against us or something?”

Blaine laughs. “Or something, I’m pretty sure.” He takes Kurt’s hand and carefully leads the way to their bed. “C’mon,” he says. “We have plans to make, right? The first was amazing… but I wanna try something new.”

“New?” Kurt murmurs, pushing Blaine onto the bed and arranging him to some exact specification Blaine has never really understood, though he enjoys it. “Do tell.”

Blaine laughs softly, staying still as Kurt presses down on him. There are lights in the distance, he can see them through the window, but everywhere near is dark. Kurt is lit up by more lightning, pale and beautiful and all Blaine’s, every inch of him.

“Blaine,” Kurt whispers, “tell me your idea,” and he nips gently at Blaine’s skin.

“Well, get up here and I will,” Blaine says. Kurt huffs gently but does, straddling Blaine so that they’re face to face. Blaine kisses his way from Kurt’s lips to his ear, and then he says, “Two at a time, babe.”

Thunder shakes the building around them, and Kurt’s eyes shine in the lightning, and he says, “Yes.”

Kurt’s phone beeps, and in the morning when he checks it, it’ll be a text from his dad and Carole, wishing him a New Year. [I really like showing how normal they are amidst all the abnormality.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; murder; mentions of violence; info from season 3 incorporated
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 730
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any fandom, any character or characters, Saturday night's alright for fighting

[So, according to Blaine in canon, there’s a fight club at Dalton. Of course, he can’t talk about it.]

In his second semester at Dalton, Blaine asked an upperclassman, “Hey, is there anywhere to go to let off steam?”

Henry blinked down at him. “Don’t you box? I’m pretty sure I saw you at the gym.”

Blaine had shrugged and said, “Yeah. But I meant – somewhere, you know. Away from well-meaning adults who don’t want us to push ourselves too hard. I need something; I’m going crazy, man.”

Henry just stared for a moment. Blaine waited patiently. Finally, Henry nodded and told him, “Let me talk to some people.”

Three weeks later, on a Saturday night, Dalton had the first meeting of its very first fight club. [And no one would ever say that Blaine started it – even though he’s the catalyst for it. And he wanted an outlet that wouldn’t get him in too much trouble.]

.

Blaine had always been good a multitasking. He was a straight A student, studied martial arts and kickboxing, one of the up-and-comers of the fencing team, and the darling of the Warblers.

“Are you sure you’re not doing too much?” Mom fretted, but Blaine saw the well-hidden relief on her face. She wanted him busy, focused on a hundred-and-one [I feel like, now, that it should 101 instead of the words. Hmm] things so he wouldn’t focus on what really frightened her.

“I’ll be fine, Mom,” he promised, kissing her cheek and heading for the car. It was time to go back; he had a major Italian test the next morning, and it was almost curfew.

“Get us the Warbler schedule,” Dad told him when he dropped Blaine off. “We look forward to seeing you perform.”

For his mother’s sake, Blaine thought, staring in the mirror and pressing at a bruise on his abdomen, it was best she never found out he wasn’t quite busy enough. [Yeah. Fight club isn’t enough. Oops.]

.

Blaine learned a lot from his coaches and trainers. He learned more from fight club.

But he’d had none of those lessons when he met Rafe Carleton at the movies. Blaine was with a few of the Warblers – Wes, David, Jon, Nick, their ‘chaperone’ Xavier, the only senior present – and Rafe was a Westerville townie trying to escape his uncool parents. He’d been dragged to see Four Christmases and was hanging out in the hall by the bathroom instead of going back into the theater.

It wasn’t planned. Blaine just saw him, this gangly boy with a miserable expression, and he wanted. He caught the boy’s eye and smiled at him, and the boy perked up, so Blaine told Wes he’d be right back and sauntered over.

It was easy. So easy. Blaine was too smart to disappear with him right then, but they made plans for later that night, and Rafe promised to keep it a secret because Blaine was on a tight leash because of the uptight boys in charge, and it was so easy. Like it was fated or something. [It wasn’t planned. One of the few that weren’t decided beforehand.]

Blaine left him with a smile and returned to the Warblers, sat through The Day the Earth Stood Still, and plotted out the best way to do it. [Yes, I researched which movies would’ve been playing then.]

It never once occurred to him to just not do it. [Psychopath.]

.

Rafe met Blaine at a park midway between Dalton and his house. “I’ve never done anything like this before!” Rafe told him breathlessly, gazing around at the playground equipment that looked so creepy in the dark. [I’m still not sure what exactly Blaine told him they were meeting for.]

Blaine was too excited to wait. He pounced the minute Rafe turned his back.

He hadn’t actually decided which method to use; the knife in a sheath on his back, or strangling, or bashing Rafe’s head in with a rock.

He ended up using all three. [The early kills have a lot of experimentation. By the time he’s killing with Kurt, Blaine’s pretty set in his ways, but then Kurt has all these ideas…]

.

Blaine made it back to Dalton in time to wash his hands and face, change his clothes, and get to his first class.

He looked around at the laughing, smiling boys, and wondered how each of them would fare, staring death in the eyes.

Realizing that he needed an outlet or else he’d do something stupid like killing on Dalton property, he spent Christmas break thinking up possibilities.

The first week back, he planted the seeds of fight club into Henry Tyles’ mind. [See? An outlet that won’t get him in too much trouble – but it’s an outlet that’s not enough.]

.

Until he met Kurt, Blaine was completely in control. He’d only killed three times, and of those three, only two were planned.

Kurt drove him wild. Kurt gave him so many playmates, and Blaine had to - it was fate. Out of all the boys to stop on the stairs, out of everyone to confide in, out of everyone to look at with such wide, trusting eyes…

It was fate. Blaine’s count quadrupled because of Kurt, and he never looked back. [Blaine sees no problem with that. Kurt sees that there should be a problem… so he’s extra careful, in a way Blaine’s not.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: talk of homicide/suicide
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 585
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any; Any; Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead

[This is pretty much, I think, when I decided that Kurt&Blaine wouldn’t end with jail. Death, possibly. But they’d never be arrested or tried for, well, anything.]

 

“What happens,” Kurt whispers in the dark, “if we get caught?”

Blaine’s arms tighten around him. “We won’t,” he promises.

That’s an easy promise to make in the middle of the night, but he knows Kurt’s mind is whirling with every possibility, and in light of day, it’s not as easy to keep as make. [I’m actually really proud of this sentence.]

.

Kurt knows where all the bodies are. Blaine knows every name on the list.

Kurt planned out most of the games in New York. Blaine played most of them.

If Kurt ever grows bored or tries to leave, Blaine will kill him. If Blaine ever tries to court someone else, Kurt will kill both of them (or, more likely, all three of them).

Blaine can’t imagine wanting anyone else the way he wants Kurt. He knows that no one else could ever give Kurt what he needs. [Psychotically co-dependent, remember?]

.

“Blaine,” Kurt says when Blaine steps out of the bathroom in the morning, hair dripping from the shower, towel wrapped around his waist. “We need to talk about this.”

It was easier in Ohio. When he was taking care of things for Kurt, and thought Kurt didn’t know.

It was easier – but it wasn’t as much fun.

“I decided a long time ago,” Blaine says, “when Rafe’s blood was still sticky on my hands, that if it ever seemed like the cops were getting close, I’d kill myself.” He shrugs. “I’m never goin’ to prison, Kurt.”

“What did you decide about me?” Kurt asks after a moment, eyes bright. Blaine chuckles because Kurt’s excited. Blaine almost thinks he wants to get caught, but he knows Kurt better than that. [No, Kurt never wants to be caught, ever, because his dad would find out and that is his greatest fear – even more than either of them dying.]

“You, before me,” he admits, letting the towel drop and kneeling on the edge of the bed. “Quick, and clean. It wouldn’t hurt. Together forever, remember?”

Kurt nods, rising to his knees and meeting Blaine in the middle of the bed.

Neither of them makes it to class that morning.

.

“And if they catch us before we know they’re after us?” Kurt asks, weeks later, but Blaine knows exactly what he means.

“Do you want me to take the blame?” Blaine says, staring up at him. Kurt’s still dressed for class, clothes comfortable and stylish instead of just stylish. His hair looks so soft, his lips so kissable.

Blaine thinks he would let everything fall onto him if it kept Kurt out of a cage.

“… no,” Kurt says quietly after a moment. “Because it’s not just you. I’m an equal part in this.”

Blaine knows that he’s impulsive. Doesn’t plan things out as carefully as he could.

Everything went a little too well back in Ohio, and knowing that Kurt knew all the while – Kurt must’ve cleaned up after him a couple times.

“I won’t let you go to prison,” Blaine swears, reaching for Kurt.

One way or another, Kurt will never be locked away.

.

Kurt knows where all the bodies are buried, and who was found. Blaine knows every name on the list, everything Kurt has tried and wants to in the future.

If it looks likes everything is about to go up in flames, Blaine will kill them both.

If they’re taken by surprise, Kurt will keep Blaine safe.

.

But they’re only twenty. They have their whole lives ahead of them, and so much planned, and they’re in New York, the city of their dreams.

They’re only twenty, and together they’re responsible for eighteen deaths.

They’re only twenty, and they know they’ll live forever, and they know they’ll always be free. [I also really like this sentence.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov; bad things happening to animals
Pairings: Blaine’s mom/Blaine’s Dad; Cooper/OFC; Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 750
Point of view: third

 

[I really don’t like to kill children or animals in my fics. Sometimes, if that’s what the story needs, I do it, but I always feel guilty.]

When Blaine was three, he caught a butterfly. He was at pre-K and it was a Tuesday and Maria will never forget the phone call his horrified teacher gave her.

Blaine had no idea what the big deal was. A month later he caught a spider. [Everyone always starts small, you know?]

.

When Blaine was five, Cooper was watching him while Maria and Ethan went on a date. Cooper was on the phone with Emma, his girlfriend-of-the-week, and Blaine wandered into the backyard.

Maria and Ethan walked in the door laughing, only to freeze when they saw Cooper huddled on the couch, looking pale and sick. “Cooper?” Maria called, hurrying over. “Are you okay, baby? What’s wrong?”

“I can’t – Mama, there’s something wrong with him, and I can’t – ” Cooper said, pressing into her arms.

Somehow, Blaine had caught a baby squirrel. Ethan dealt with the remains. Maria sat Blaine down for a long talk about good and bad little boys, and he listened with wide eyes, and a week later, the next-door neighbor’s cat went missing.

He was five. He couldn’t have. Maria shook her head and refused to believe. [See, I still hadn’t decided what kind of killer he was. And for Blaine, it really is nature over nurture, although I think if his family hadn’t chosen denial as their coping method, he could have been helped, somehow. Or he just would have exploded into a mass murderer instead of a serial killer. I’m not really sure.]

.

When Blaine was eight, Maria sat him down for another long talk. Ethan had spent hours telling him about right and wrong. Blaine was so charming, so adorable. His teachers loved him; he was popular with the students.

Cooper told Maria, “Mom, all he’s done is learn how to not get caught.” He still refused to babysit, and he was about to leave for college, and Maria had no idea what to do. What she’d done wrong.

Her little boy was a monster and she didn’t know why. [She didn’t do anything wrong. Neither did her husband or her other son. Because sometimes people are born missing something, and there’s nothing to be done about it.]

.

The Walkers’ beagle vanished in August. She found the dog’s collar in Blaine’s dresser, and when she confronted him, her eight-year-old darling, her baby, swore he’d be good. [After this, he never kept trophies.]

She never found trophies again, but pets kept disappearing. Soon enough, even though he was popular, a few kids pulled away. Always kept their eyes on Blaine during school trips and parties. Amy Fairton’s mother tried to subtly ask if Blaine would be sent away somewhere, and Maria wanted to lash out at her, wanted to make her hurt - and that frightened her. [See, some people knew he wasn’t right. He didn’t fool everyone. But no one did anything, because no one knew what to do.]

Maybe there was something wrong with her, and that’s why Blaine was the way he was. Ethan assured her it wasn’t, but she wondered. [Apparently, some things are genetic – but in Blaine’s case, it didn’t come from his mother.]

Elementary turned into middle school and Blaine became ever better at hiding in plain sight, and Maria knew she needed to get him help, but she didn’t know what was wrong. Middle school became Dalton, and Dalton brought Kurt. [Maria will always blame herself for not doing anything, but she also couldn’t have born the thought of Blaine being locked away somewhere like the monster he is.]

.

Maria had thought Blaine was doing better. She read the paper every morning and nothing jumped out. Blaine was busy with fencing and singing and boxing and classes; he didn’t have time to search out animals to hurt. (Didn’t have time to upgrade to people.) [Yeah, they all knew. But none of them ever talked about it.]

And then a whole bunch of boys ran away from Lima, and Maria had no idea how Blaine could be involved, or why he would be, but Kurt was from Lima, and Kurt’s father gushed to Maria and Ethan about how Blaine had saved his son’s life, and Maria wanted to like Kurt, she really did, but she looked at him and saw Blaine looking back.

Blaine, all of three years old, with butterfly wings crushed in his hands. [I really like those two sentences.]

Maria wanted to cry, smiling at her son and his best friend. At her son and his boyfriend. At her son and his fiancé. At her son and his husband. [She hates Kurt just as much as Cooper does.]

All she will ever know for sure is that Blaine used to torture animals to death. [There is no other evidence, nothing concrete. Not for a long time.]

And she loves him. He’s her baby boy.

Her baby boy is a monster, and she greets him with a hug and a kiss every time he visits, and Kurt is so charming, so kind, so wonderful for Blaine.

The night Kurt and Blaine leave to return to New York, Maria buries her face in Ethan’s shoulder and sobs, and she can feel him crying, too.

She has no idea what she did wrong, and she has no proof, and she loves her son.

So she pulls back from Ethan, wipes her eyes, and tells him, “Our younger son is a good man.”

Ethan doesn’t argue. Maria goes up the stairs, and then into the attic, and to the corner where there’s an old wooden box and a faded dog collar. She holds it for a long time and then lets it fall back into the box.

What’s done is done, and she loves her son. [Yeah. Denial. And fear.

… and love.]

 

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov; implied murder
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; mentions of Kurt/OMC and Blaine/OMC
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 480
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author's choice; author's choice; "If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees." (Khalil Gibran) [I saw this prompt and knew I wanted it to be outsider pov of someone figuring it out. Of course, since I also knew Klaine would never be caught, there was only one way for the discovery to go…]

 

Ilina sees them for the first time at the park. They’re wrapped up in each other and discussing some game, and they’re gorgeous, so she takes a picture.

She sees them at the bar closest to her apartment next, and they’re dancing with different men, and they leave at separate times (not that she was watching them, of course not, that’d be creepy. They are so gorgeous, though). [She witnesses the game from chapter 7.]

On Tuesday, a young woman knocks on Ilina’s door and she’s holding a picture of the boy the taller gorgeous guy was dancing with. Ilina tells her that she saw him leave with someone, but that’s all she remembers. [See chapter 35 for more details about the woman.]

After she closes the door, she picks up her camera and cycles through the photo album until she sees the two men, wrapped up in each other and smiling. [Totally wrong place, wrong place. She just happens to live in their orbit – and that kills her.]

.

She goes back to the park and there they are, sitting together on a bench. She takes another picture.

Later that night, someone knocks on the door. She looks through the peephole and it’s the taller one, the one who left with Alex Graham, whose sister came looking for him yesterday.

She grabs her phone and holds her finger just above the speed-dial for 911, and then she answers the door. “Can I help you?” she asks. [She should’ve dialed before opening the door.]

“Hello, ma’am,” he says. “Forgive me for intruding, but I saw you at the park this afternoon. You took a picture of me and my boyfriend, and I’d like to know why.”

Ilina shrugs. “I’m working on a project, The Faces of New York, and the two of you are very attractive. You looked so happy.” She licks her lips and then asks, “How did you find me?”

He smiles. “Blaine ran to a cart for a hot dog and I followed you.” [Kurt finds hot dogs to be disgusting. Also, Blaine didn’t notice anyone taking pictures of them.]

And that’s… creepy as hell. Her finger hovers over 3 and she watches him for a long moment, his grey-blue eyes, his angular face, and she forces out, “I’m sorry about the picture, but please leave.”

“I’ve seen you a couple different places recently, miss,” he says. “I have to assume you saw me.” [He saw her at the bar, and the park earlier today. He didn’t see her the first time.]

Alex Graham left with him and his sister hasn’t seen him since. He followed Ilina home.

She presses the 3 and he pushes his way in; before the call connects, her phone is out of her hand.

.

Kurt doesn’t tell Blaine about the occupant of 5A and her fatal photo habit. He deletes the last memory card on her camera and tosses it into the drawer where she keeps them all.

Ilina’s neighbor Greg knocks on the door to borrow advil and she doesn’t answer, but the door is unlocked and he knows she should be home.

Something struck her head and she bled out in her brain. Nothing is missing, so it’s declared accidental: she fell and hit her head on the table on the way down.

Just a tragic accident.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov; takes place during season 2 – 3; AU
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, Santana/Brittany
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 660
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, “We dance round in a ring and suppose, While the secret sits in the middle and knows." ~Robert Frost [For a few months, most of the prompts at comment_fic that appealed to me shouted to be a part of this ‘verse. This one said, Hey, I’m McKinley, dude.]
Note: The only thing I know about hockey is that it’s played on ice. I Wikipediad some things. If it’s wrong, I apologize.

 

The first few weeks after Christmas are weird. No one really knows what to do or say; the whole Kurt and Karofsky incident had shocked them all, had frightened them – Kurt had nearly shattered right in front of their eyes and none of them noticed. And that is unacceptable.

Rachel leads New Directions in a pledge to stamp out bullying. Within a month, things are back to normal. [Of course. Out of sight, out of mind.]

.

After Karofsky runs away, rumors spiral out of control. The fact that he actually had a crush on Kurt is common knowledge, and people say that he did everything from just shoving Kurt too hard to raping him in the shower. Nobody is sure what actually happened, but Tina’s glad that Kurt’s not there to hear it all. [Karofsky vanishing, plus getting suspended, plus Kurt going to the hospital and then leaving? They have most of the pieces. Of course they put the pieces together wrong.]

In February, Rick the Stick runs away, taking all the cash in his house, his laptop, and his car. [How Blaine actually accomplishes all of that? *handwaves*]The car is left at the bus station, tank completely empty. Everyone knew he’d wanted to see the Stanley Cup Finals in person, but it seemed sort of sudden. He hadn’t talked to anyone about it at all.

The only thing the glee club notices is that slushie facials slow down for a few days. [It’s not a major thing yet. Is it a murder if there’s no body?]

.

If asked, Finn provides updates about Kurt. Mercedes and Rachel complain about his boyfriend for awhile, but eventually it’s out of sight, out of mind.

It’s not until Daniel Saunders runs away right before he would have graduated that Santana realizes what all three of the ‘missing’ boys had in common: they were the loudest, cruelest bullies. And their favorite target, across the board, was Kurt. [If anyone in New Directions would notice, it’s either Artie or Santana, I think.]

.

During the summer, the police talk to every (current) student at McKinley because four boys run away before school starts up again. The situation is actually starting to worry some people, but there’s never any evidence of a struggle or violence, and plenty of evidence that they walked away. [Yeah. It’s a rash of boys leaving, but there’s no evidence any of it was against their will.]

Santana has no idea how Hummel could possibly be doing it, but she’s not surprised that he is.

“Sharks are vicious,” Brittany tells her one night, “especially the gay ones.” [*hee* How much does Brittany know? *shrugs*]

“Yeah,” Santana agrees, pulling her back down onto the bed.

.

Senior year starts quietly; the worst bullies all left during the summer. The football and hockey teams suffer a little, but the glee club membership swells. Finn and Sam are the most popular boys in school because the rest all disappeared.

Rachel ignores that Kurt had ever been in New Directions, and Finn asks Tina if she thinks Blaine is a bad influence on Kurt. Tina laughs and says that Blaine’s a delight. [With everything that happened in season 4 between Tina and Blaine… hmm. Well.]

.

One more boy runs away before graduation. Santana flips through McKinley’s sophomore yearbook to be sure, but she was right: each and every one of them had made Hummel’s life a living hell. She’s not sorry to see any of them vanish; Isley tried to rape Britt once, [Santana intervened and Isley never went near any cheerleader again]and Frankston was an absolute bastard.

She thinks about bringing it up with Coach Sylvester, but instead closes the yearbook and files it back with the rest. [It’s not like, after all, any of the kids who ran away were nice guys. It’d be different if she cared about them, but she doesn’t.]

.

Kurt attends graduation; it’s the day after Dalton’s. He brings Blaine with him. Santana watches them, and when Blaine meets her eyes and smirks, she realizes she’d had it wrong.

Yeah, Kurt had probably told Blaine who, but he definitely wasn’t doing it alone.

Brittany drags Santana over to them, and she says, “There’s oceans of blood in the water.”

Kurt smiles at her and asks, “What’s that, Britt?” but he’s not fooling Santana, even if the rest of the world is blind. [Oh, yeah, she’s completely sure.]

.

It’s years before Santana hears about the dumping ground some poor hiker found. As the identities are revealed, one by agonizing one, and Ohio reels in the knowledge that some horrific serial killer had targeted kids, Santana thinks about Kurt Hummel and his boy-toy – what was his name? Brian, Blair, Blaine – and wonders what ever happened to them.

Santana knows one thing for certain: she’s glad she never let on she knew. [And, no, she doesn’t come forward to the authorities, because it’s not her problem.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov; takes place during season 2 – 3; AU
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 260
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any/any,

Red - the blood of angry men!
Black - the dark of ages past!
Red - a world about to dawn!
Black - the night that ends at last!
(Les Miserables)

[This chapter happened because someone pointed out that Jacob ben Israel would’ve been all over the Karofsky/Kurt situation, and the fact that kids were disappearing – whether or not they ran away.]

blood

"Holy shit," Jacob mutters, flipping through the yearbook. Eight boys, all who 'ran away' and had been the worst of the bullies. Eight boys no one, except their families and teams, are mourning.

Eight boys, starting with Karofsky, who did something horrible to Hummel.

Hummel, who conveniently enough, left McKinley right around the same time as Karofsky.

Hummel, who no one would ever expect.

“How the fuck is he doing it?” Jacob murmurs, looking from Hummel’s picture to Karofsky’s, and Adams’, and all the rest. Hummel’s a tiny little thing.

Of course. He can’t be doing it alone.

dark

Jacob compiles all the evidence he can, all his suspicions, all the coincidences, everything that is too odd or neat to be accidental.

Once he has it all together, he has to decide what to do. Go to the police? He should. That’s what everybody would tell him to do.

(Every body, too. He chuckles at the pun, then winces ‘cause it’s not funny. Except that it is.)

But the police would keep the credit. No one would ever know Jacob ben Israel is the actual finder of a horrific serial killer in the making.

Eight victims in under two years. And that’s only if Karofsky is the first. Jacob has no way of knowing who else Hummel might have killed.

Graduation is in three days. Jacob hides everything and resolves to think about it. [Jacob is totally wrong here, but he’s not really thinking about the victims. They bullied him, too, after all. His dreams are just as big as Kurt’s, which means the credit has to be his or nothing matters.]

dawn

Hummel is at graduation, holding hands with that pretty boy of his, and Jacob watches them nervously.

If he’s right… Hummel’s killed more than a lot of the worst men in prison, and Jacob can’t figure out how. Even if he’s not alone, it’s obvious he’s picking the victims. [Kurt hasn’t actually killed anyone yet, but the body count is impressive.]

The boyfriend leans in to whisper something, and Hummel laughs.

The boyfriend. But he’s even smaller than Hummel.

Jacob darts another glance at them, and Hummel is looking right at him.

Oh, shit. Jacob quickly turns away, heart hammering, and he has to go to the police.

… but why would they believe him? They talked to everyone last summer, and too many coincidences, and –

So what if all the victims so far are douchebags? It’s not gonna stop there. That’s what all of Jacob’s research said: serial killers only stop if they’re caught or killed. Nothing else works.

“Jacob ben Israel, right?” a pleasant and jovial voice comes from behind him, and Jacob knows.

He inhales, turns, and nods to the boyfriend. “That’s right,” he says, trying to smile.

“I’m Blaine,” the boyfriend says, offering his hand.

As Jacob barely shakes his hand, Blaine adds, “I visited your website, not long after Kurt came to Dalton. All that evidence… you could’ve taken it to the schoolboard, done something about the bullying. Why didn’t you?”

Jacob shrugs. Honestly, it had never occurred him. [Because adults don’t help. It’s not like any of the abuse at McKinley is hidden.]

“Blaine!” Hummel calls from the New Directions’ huddle.

Blaine nods to Jacob and leaves him without another word.

Exhaling sharply, Jacob flees the other way.

night

Theories, speculation, coincidences, and a gut-feeling… that’s all Jacob has.

And he’s going places. He’s got his future set, St. Bonaventure waiting [I researched], and it’s not his problem.

It’s Hummel, anyway. Like he could actually be a serial killer? Please. And his preppy hobbit boyfriend, double please.

The whole thing is ridiculous. Jacob probably got thrown into one too many lockers or something.

Whatever. He’s done at McKinley and his flight leaves tomorrow, and he’s never looking back. [No, he doesn’t believe that. But it sounds nice, and it is not his problem.]

.

(Jacob leaves all his notes buried at the bottom of his closet. Years and years later, he pulls them out, flips through them, and laughs bitterly, long and hard and heartbroken.

Because maybe he could’ve stopped it.

But maybe he couldn’t.

He’ll never know either way.) [He doesn’t go to the authorities either, because how can he explain all the evidence he’s been sitting on for thirty-odd years?]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; disturbing imagery; zombies
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 350
Point of view: third
Prompt: author's choice, author's choice, Inhuman Human [a trope at TV Tropes. It means someone comes back from the dead with a fucked up body.]

 

Sometimes, Blaine dreams about graves. He's walking through the boneyard, and there are a dozen markers, and one by one, they rise. [Everyone he’s ever killed, in case it’s not clear enough.]

It isn't him they hunt down, though. He runs as fast he can, and he always gets there too late, and Kurt has been torn apart.

And slowly, so slowly, Kurt's dead eyes blink open, and he smiles at Blaine, with blood dripping down his chin onto his moon-white shirt, and he murmurs, Oh, my love, death is so good.

Blaine's been having that nightmare for three months before he wakes up screaming, and reaches for Kurt, and holds him until they're both late for class.

"Sweetie," Kurt says softly, the first time. "What's wrong?"

But by the fourth, Kurt says, "Maybe you should talk to someone."

Blaine scoffs, tired and worried and angry. "That's a marvelous idea, Kurt," Blaine bites out. "Should I tell them the rest, too?"

Kurt just looks at him, unphased.

It's not guilt, or regret, or remorse. [Those aren’t things Blaine has ever felt.]

Watching Kurt dance around the kitchen, eggs on the stove and toast on a plate, the morning after the sixth nightmare, Blaine thinks it might be fear.

Back in Ohio, Blaine knew that Kurt would be safe. Kurt had been blameless. Blaine would've committed suicide or taken the fall, whichever, and Kurt could've gone on his merry way. Heartbroken, yes, and most likely disgusted at how close Blaine had been - but safe.

Except now Blaine knows that Kurt's just like him and always has been. Kurt won't be safe if they get caught.

Kurt's the only reason Blaine hasn't been caught yet.

The next time he has the nightmare, Blaine walks toward Kurt, bloody and pale and swaying in the midst of all the people Blaine killed in Ohio. Kurt murmurs, Oh, my love, death is so sweet, and Blaine reaches for him, and lets Kurt grab him, and while all the dead scream, Blaine kisses Kurt on his bloody lips, and let’s Kurt drink him down.

Blaine wakes up with Kurt in his arms. He has different nightmares, but that one never haunts him again.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU
Pairings: Burt/Kurt’s mom, Burt/Carole
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 865
Point of view: third
Prompt: Glee, Kurt Hummel (+any), His mother taught him French

 

Kathryn [In all but one of my fics, I named Kurt’s mom Kathryn. In that one fic, she was Kaitlyn. *shrugs*] Ocher was a lovely girl who grew into a beautiful woman. Her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, when she was thirteen and she attended Crawford Country Day until graduation.

She met Burt Hummel in her senior year, while she was on a date with Mick Connors and he was getting a car ready for tow, working at his dad’s garage.

She didn’t go on another date with Mick. But she saw Burt again, on her third day at OSU, and the rest is, as they say, history.

.

Kathryn’s parents never liked Burt Hummel all that much. They didn’t think he was good enough for their daughter, and her mother always talked about French royalty and their supposed ancestor Marie Antoinette. Mom had forced Kathryn to learn French, even though she preferred Spanish and so taught herself both.

But for all that her parents wished she’d never married Burt, they absolutely adore Kurt.

Kathryn takes a year off work for Kurt’s first twelve months; after she goes back, Mom insists on watching him instead of enrolling him in daycare. Kathryn doesn’t see any harm in it, and it might even fix her parents’ relationship with Burt.

Mom starts teaching Kurt to speak and read French. For his first couple years (all English at home, all French at Gamma’s) Kurt doesn’t even seem to notice there’s a difference, switching back and forth. Kathryn rolls her eyes and complains to Burt a little (who finds it funny), but doesn’t stop Mom.

So Kathryn begins teaching him the finer points of French, the stuff Mom lets slip by because she’s just so happy Kurt seems to really love the language.

By the time he’s seven, Kurt’s as fluent as a child can be in both.

By the time he’s seven, Kathryn has noticed a couple things off in her son. [Someone commented that while Burt was completely blind, would Kurt’s mother have been? And so this chapter was sparked.]

.

Kurt wants sensible heels when he’s three. That’s fine. Kathryn sits Burt down for a talk, but Burt loves their son more than anything else so he mostly polices himself.

Kurt doesn’t like playing with other kids. He doesn’t like animals of any kind. He distances himself from the children in Mom’s neighborhood and at home. He’s not shy, Kathryn’s pretty sure. He’s just… standoffish.

Cold, almost. [Kurt never really connects without one outside his blood kin – and Blaine.]

But he loves Kathryn, and he lights up whenever Burt pays him any attention (which is a lot, because Burt adores their son, and Kathryn muffles her laughter with her hand when Kurt shows Burt the correct way to hold a teacup). Kurt also loves Mom, but Mom dies when Kurt is six, and he screams during the funeral, so Burt carries him out.

.

When Kurt is seven, he asks Kathryn, “Is it okay to kill some people?”

Kathryn blinks at him for a moment, lowering her book. “No, baby,” she finally says. “It’s never okay.”

He nods solemnly and goes back to his Power Rangers.

She tells Burt about it that night, and Burt shrugs. “It’s okay, under certain circumstances,” he says. “When do you think I oughta start teachin’ him to shoot?” [He means self-defense. And he wants, more than anything, to keep Kurt safe.]

.

In the following months, Kurt asks a lot of questions about right and wrong. Kathryn tries to leave out the shades of gray for when he’s older and can understand.

But hurting people is wrong. Killing people is wrong. Hurting and killing animals is wrong.

Defending yourself is right. Defending others is right.

Telling policemen and women the truth is right. Always telling the truth is right.

Lying is wrong. Bending the truth for your own gain is wrong. Lying to people who are trying to help is always wrong.

What worries Kathryn the most, though she runs out of time to tell Burt, is that Kurt’s questions about wrong all boil down to the same thing, no matter how many ways he tries to dress it up as something different. [The wee!version of the act he perfects later.]

Is it always wrong to kill people, Mama? he asks for months, tiny and adorable and gonna be so gorgeous one day.

He doesn’t interact with animals, and he gives children icy glares, and he imagines such amazing things, he has these intricate ideas, and up until he’s eight, Kurt Hummel is taking advances classes and about to test out.

But then he and his mother are in an accident.

Kathryn dies on impact. Kurt spends three days in the hospital and is a different boy when he goes home.

[If the accident never happened, if Kathryn hadn’t died, if Kurt hadn’t had a head injury (relatively minor, yes, but with all the other trauma, enough) – things would’ve been different. The accident wasn’t the trigger, because he’d still be feeling things out. But he might’ve learned that, yes, killing is wrong. And his mother would’ve definitely sought help.]

.

It’s over a year before the Kurt who Burt had known before the accident peeks out of his son’s eyes. It’s six months before he starts speaking in English again. [He spoke very rarely, but it was French when he did.]

Kurt’s ten when Burt teaches him gun safety and how to shoot. Kurt’s an excellent shot, but he only masters it because Burt wants him to. [As always, when he actually tries, he excels. But he finds guns inelegant. Not that he ever tells his dad.]

Those ninja-knives of his, though… Burt’s not quite sure what to think about that, but he’s glad Kurt’s got some sort of skill to protect himself. Lima’s not the best place for a kid like Kurt, but it’s their home. [Kurt finds knives very elegant.]

It’s where Katie is buried.

Up until he meets Carole, Burt visits Katie every week and tells her what their son is up to. He’s so proud of Kurt. He knows she would be, too. [Kathryn would still love Kurt, but no… she would not be proud.

His maternal grandmother, though… oh, yes, she would be.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; talk of violence, death, and bad things happening to animals
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 515
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author's choice, any/any, crime of passion.

[So, I did research for this fic. As I said in my reply to someone’s comment: Blaine's a thrill/lust killer and Kurt's a control killer. Kurt does it because he can, and he knows Blaine needs it; Blaine does it because - well, because he needs to, to function. Which is frightening.
Anyway, Blaine needs Kurt to not get caught; Kurt could stop tomorrow and never do it again.

So, that’s where this chapter came from: my attempt to show that, instead of just telling.]

 

For Blaine, it's all about the thrill. The power. He only feels truly alive when touching Kurt or killing. It's been that way for as long as he can remember.

In fact, his first memory is his teacher yelling at him and a butterfly in pieces all over his clothes.

.

After Blaine realizes why his family seems so nervous about him, he conducts a little research. Of the fourteen commonalties between serial killers, he only has three. [He’s a boy, he’s very smart, he tortures animals.]

That's either ironic or sad; Blaine's not sure which.

.

Bugs to spiders to squirrels to cats to dogs… basically, anything he can catch.

After his family’s reaction to the squirrel, Blaine made sure to never get caught.

.

There is no connection between Blaine and any of his playmates. (Playmates, not victims. That’s important. It’s a game. Blaine doesn’t care enough about any of them to like or dislike them.

… not entirely accurate.

There was an emotional response to Dave Karofsky. [Out of everyone he’s ever killed, he took the most satisfaction from Karofsky.)

Serial killers get caught, Blaine’s research showed, because they got sloppy. Because they were found out.

So Blaine makes sure it looks like all his playmates ran away. Or they’re found and the cause of death is clearly something innocent.

.

A twelve-year-old is hit by a car that quickly flees. She dies instantly.

Of the dozen who died in Ohio, she’s the only one nobody will ever realize was murdered.

.

Blaine doesn’t usually plan out who he’s going to kill. He’s not even entirely sure how he’ll do it until he’s got his next playmate.

Kurt named over two dozen people who hurt him, and Blaine only went after the worst – eight boys, including Karofsky.

Karofsky was planned. Karofsky was punished, and he knew why, as he died.

.

Blaine doesn’t plan. He’s good at the clean-up, and the hiding, but if given the choice, he’d rather kill every day and twice on Sundays, but he knows that’s dangerous. That’ll get him caught.

He needs Kurt. Kurt and his rules and his cold, precise logic.

.

For Blaine, it’s the thrill, the rush, the power. And taking care of Kurt. As time passes, that becomes more important

For Kurt, it’s about both power and control, and giving Blaine what he needs.

.

Blaine doesn’t consider himself a serial killer. It’s a game, and a gift. Kurt’s definitely not a serial killer; he’s perfect and beautiful and all Blaine’s.

Kurt knows exactly what he and Blaine are, and he ensures that nobody knows what’s living in their apartment in New York. [Kurt knows, in a way Blaine never does, and he is so much more careful.]

No one cares when grown men up and walk away from their lives. [I’m pretty sure I learned that from Without a Trace.]

No one looks to carefully when there’s a cause of death and a simple explanation in plain sight.

Kurt is careful, methodical, and cold. Blaine is impulsive and passionate, and he would’ve been caught ages ago, if not for Kurt.

.

In New York, thousands of people go missing every day.

Kurt keeps track of those who are part of Blaine’s game.

Some of them are found fairly quickly. Some won’t be found for a long time, if ever.

Kurt keeps track of that, too.

[After he kills them, the playmates cease to matter to Blaine. He never really thinks about them again.

For Kurt, though, remembering what he’s gotten away with is part of why he does it.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; talk of violence, death, and bad things happening to animals
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 200
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any/any, "Sometimes in my darkest thoughts, I wish I'd never learned / What it is to be in love and have that love returned" ~Aida

[Because the two of them meeting is so bad for everyone else, I just wanted to see what might have been.]

 

If Kurt had never met Blaine...

He might've stayed at McKinley. Might've even still confronted Karofsky, when pushed too far.

Might've brought a gun to school and either killed himself or gone to jail.

Might've kept his head down and survived, gotten out, gone to New York (probably still Julliard, maybe NYADA with Rachel, NYU, or one of the other hundred schools in the city), had a career on stage or in fashion.

Kurt can't say for sure he'd have never killed, in world without Blaine. But it's far less likely.

In a world without Blaine, he probably would've killed Karofsky and then himself. [I think this is the most probably outcome for this Kurt. Because Karofsky was different from everyone else on Kurt’s list. Karofsky hurt Kurt in a way no one else had, and he took away Kurt’s control.]

If Blaine had never met Kurt...

Blaine knows where he'd be without Kurt.

Instead of Karofsky, he would've gone after a Dalton boy, still unsure and sloppy, and he would've been found out, tried as an adult (three bodies doesn't get you juvenile court), and locked away for a very long time, probably the rest of his life.

Blaine's not built for prison. He'd be dead within a year.

.

Kurt makes Blaine better. Blaine makes Kurt happy.

If they'd never met... they'd both be dead by twenty, and a whole lot of other people might still be alive.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; violence
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, OCs/OCs
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 780
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author's Choice, any/any, "Love in the middle of a firefight" - from the song "Search and Destroy"

 

[I just love the thought of some secret badass being caught in a run-of-the-mill hostage situation and either handling it or having to pretend throughout the entire thing that they couldn’t kick ass. And if the secret badass is actually a pair of serial killers who really cannot attract attention? *hee* The entire fic was fun, but this chapter was right at the top.]

 

There's a mom-and-pop store three blocks from their apartment, so Kurt insists they stop in before heading home. They're very low on milk, too low to make through the next morning.

Kurt's still high on his first speaking role in a play that's barely off Broadway, and Blaine's still so proud, and any other night, one of them might've noticed.

There are six people in the store, not counting the mom, and Kurt notices the gun peeking out of the man's coat too late.

"Are you serious?" he demands as the other man guides them over to the other hostages: two women, one man, and a teenager. So two guys with guns, now six hostages, and a mom without a pop.

Fuck.

Kurt's high is gone and now he's just pissed.

Blaine’s even angrier, though, and clearly thinking about doing something downright stupid, so Kurt grabs his hand, meets his eyes, and barely shakes his head. Blaine tilts his head, eyes widening, gaze going towards the gunmen and back, and Kurt shakes his head again. [Yeah, Blaine wants to wrestle for the gun and put bullets into each of the gunmen’s heads. Kurt knows that will most likely end with Blaine’s death.]

Impulsiveness will get them killed, and this is not the way either of them will die. They will be calm, and they will be cold, and they will survive.

If Blaine is particularly good, Kurt will even move the timetable up for their next game.

.

Goon 1 and Goon 2 get in an argument fifteen minutes into the situation, and the police have finally arrived. It’s not as exciting as the movies make it seem – more like boring. Blaine’s getting restless, the teenager is fidgeting, and the man is about to do something fatally impulsive.

Instead, Goon 1 shoots Goon 2 in the face. Goon 2 goes down in a mess of blood and brains, and it’s glorious. Blaine watches with wide eyes as the other hostages scream; Kurt nudges Blaine and they both react like the others.

Nothing about them can stand out. Nothing can be different.

Kurt’s rethinking his distaste towards guns, though. The way Goon 2 looks now is beautiful.

Goon 1 looks over and barks, “Old lady, get over here.”

This is where a hero would redirect Goon 1’s attention, get shot, and save the rest of the hostages just as the police barge in.

The man stands up, gets shot, and collapses across Kurt. Kurt shoves him off and shouts something inane at Goon 1 (because he has to, because he can’t draw attention from anyone not about to die), and tries to staunch the flow of blood because a normal person would.

While Goon 1 is yelling at Kurt and the mom, the teenager lunges for him and gets pistol-whipped.

This hostage situation, Kurt thinks, glaring Blaine into submission so he doesn’t get killed, is not at all like the movies.

“No more heroes!” Goon 1 hollers, and then he gets shot through the window.

Finally, Kurt internally scoffs, hands covered in the would-be hero’s blood. [This chapter was a lot of fun because of Kurt’s pov. *hee*]

.

Kurt and Blaine don’t get home until after sunrise. Kurt calls his dad while Blaine calls the clinic; thankfully, Blaine’s only class for the day had already been cancelled.

Dad freaks out, rants about New York, and tells Kurt how much he loves him.

Blaine doesn’t bother calling his family.

.

There’s no trial; Goon 1 takes a plea deal because a jury would’ve given him life.

The police have no interest in Kurt and Blaine other than their statement. Melanie and Veronica, the women, and Eddie, the teenager, all praised Kurt’s calmness; it’s what kept them calm. Tom, the man who got shot, was pretty sure Kurt saved his life. Ms. Alquin, the mom of the mom-and-pop store, promised all the hostages that they’d have a discount for the rest of their lives.

They don’t even get the front page of any paper, the tiny little store and its tiny little incident. It’s New York.

A week later, Blaine’s dancing at a club with a pretty little brunette named Rochelle while Kurt preps her room.

.

Tom will tell anyone who listens that he owes his life to that boy at the store, Kevin or Clint or something, Tom can never remember his name, but he remembers his eyes and his hands and his voice, ordering him to breathe, to stay alive, to not die on the floor with some bastard’s bullet in his shoulder.

Melanie will cry in her husband’s arms, and Veronica will hold her wife close, and Eddie will let his mother sob all over his shirt. Eve Alquin will assure her husband Oliver that the incident is no reason to sell the store and move to Tampa to live with their daughter and her family.

Life moves on.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; violence
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 590
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, "I didn't kill you. God killed you. I just made sure it took." [So, I found this prompt a long time before I actually saw the Leverage episode it’s from.]

 

After Nate Ford tells the villain-of-the-week, I didn't kill you. God killed you. I just made sure it took. Blaine says, "Babe, I gotta use that some time."

Kurt rolls his eyes. "Of course, sweetie," he mutters, patting Blaine's shoulder without looking up from his sketchbook.

.

Kurt bought Blaine Leverage: The Complete Series for his birthday and Blaine made him sit down and watch the whole thing, all five seasons, over Thanksgiving [I wrote this before I learned Leverage was over after its fight season; I felt psychic for a couple weeks]. Carole and Dad were on a cruise (a very belated honeymoon) and Finn was off backpacking around Australia, and Blaine’s parents were on a business trip in Los Angeles, and Cooper didn’t like Kurt all that much, so they’d stayed home for Thanksgiving, begged off all of their coworkers’ attempts to invite them to get-togethers, and curled up on the loveseat to watch criminals save the day from even worse bad guys.

Blaine’s favorite is Parker. Kurt likes Hardison for his smart mouth and cheekbones, though he also avidly watches anytime Eliot gets to fight. He really likes Eliot’s competency.

“Love,” he murmurs as Eliot takes down another goon-squad, “I know what we’re doing next time.”

.

Blaine practiced various types of fighting during high-school, but the one he stuck with at college was kickboxing. He knows exactly why Kurt likes Eliot kicking ass so much.

So Kurt haunts gyms for a few weeks, paying for lessons here and there, pretending to be far less knowledgeable than he is, and finally, on the second Tuesday in January, Kurt finds him.

George Ackers, 55, three months into a training program for boxing at a little hole-in-the-wall gym. Real tough guy.

He’s got four inches and thirty pounds on Blaine.

.

Now that Kurt has their playmate chosen, he lets Blaine in on the rest of the plan. Blaine’s as excited as he is, and it takes a lot of clever maneuvering to get George where they need him, but they do, and he’s stuck in a bare room half a mile from anything else, and Kurt tells him, “If you can beat Blaine, you get to live.”

George blinks at him dumbly for a moment before he realizes what that means, and then George shoots to his feet and gapes at the room, and he demands, “What the fuck is going on here!”

Blaine stays quiet, because this is Kurt’s game. Kurt sighs long-sufferingly and says, “It’s quite simple, George. You and Blaine are going to fight to the death. Last one breathing wins.”

“That’s completely fucked up!” George yells, and the panic is starting to set in. Kurt glances at Blaine; Blaine nods and starts forward.

Kurt leans against the wall, knife in hand and ready to throw if George makes a run for it.

But George chooses fight instead of flight, and he makes a valiant effort, he really does. Kurt watches eyes wide and he doesn’t blink the entire time.

Blaine slowly and methodically beats George to death. George dies gasping and crying, and Blaine leans down to tell him, “I didn’t kill you.” Kurt smiles, walking over as Blaine continues, “God killed you. I just made sure it took.”

Kurt stops next to Blaine and Blaine leans into him, tilting his head up so Kurt can caress his cheek. Kurt says, “That might’ve been the hottest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Chuckling, Blaine looks down at the body. “We should do it again some time,” he says.

Kurt tugs gently at his hair so Blaine rises to his feet, and Kurt pulls him in and promises, “We will.”

[So, with the hindsight of a couple months, that is supremely disturbing. Wow. But I really want to see Chris Colfer play a villain.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov
Pairings: OMC/OMC, Kurt/OMC
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 945
Point of view: third
Prompt: Florence + the Machine’s “Only If for a Night”

[So, for a few months I listened to Ceremonials on repeat. Every single song on the CD seems perfect for a variety of fandoms. And since I was neck-deep in this ‘verse…]

[As I’ve said, this fic is about showing the victims, not glorifying in their deaths, like a lot of serial killer AUs do. Every single person they kill has a family that misses them.]

[See parts 7 & 26.]

The last time Tonya talked to her brother, it was Thursday night and he said he’d be going to his favorite club on Friday. She told him she’d call him on Saturday to discuss his adventures and that she was proud of him for getting back in the game; his break-up with Charlie had been bitter and full of horribleness on both sides, though of course she was totally in Alex’s court. Charlie was a douchebag who didn’t deserve her baby brother.

When she calls on Saturday morning, Alex doesn’t answer.

He doesn’t on Sunday, either.

.

When Alex was eighteen, four years ago, he disappeared. Tonya and Mom went to the police; three days later, after ignoring over a hundred calls, Alex stumbled home, high on his ex-best friend’s cocktail of drugs.

Tonya knows what the police would say if she went to them now.

.

Tonya knocks on every door in every apartment building within three miles of Alex’s favorite club. It takes her two days.

Only one person, a woman about her age, remembers Alex; she says that Alex left with somebody, a man whose face she never saw, but he was about Alex’s height, with dark hair.

Alex has been gone for four days. She calls Mom, and even though Dad says it’s just Alex and he’ll come stumbling back high on something new, Mom and Tonya both know that Alex has been clean and sober for four years now. He’s about to graduate and go out and help people, just like Ms. Georgiana helped him. [Either social worker or shrink, I can’t remember.]

He left with that man, and that man did something to him, and no one at the club can tell her anything, and going there every night doesn’t help her find a tall guy with dark hair because they’re all tall with dark hair. [She actually does see Kurt.]

.

When Alex has been gone for a week, Tonya goes to the police, and she tells them that the woman in 5A saw Alex leave with someone, and though she calls Officer Ryers five days in a row, nothing ever comes of it.

She goes back to 5A to plead with the woman for any scrap of information she can dig out of her head, but 5B tells her that 5A fell down, hit her head, and died.

That’s too much of a coincidence, and her big sister’s intuition is screaming at her, but the apartment complex wipes its security footage every night. Right there in the building manager’s office, Tonya breaks down and sobs.

.

Tonya goes home because she needs to hug her mother.

Mom goes back with her to see Officer Ryers, and she doesn’t believe his promise to look for Alex.

5A is dead, there’s no security footage at her apartment, and the club has nothing of note, either.

It’s hopeless.

Alex is gone and there’s no way to find him and the last thing Tonya ever told him was to have fun. She pushed him to get back out there, find someone new.

It’s her fault he’s gone.

.

Five years later, Detective Ryers calls Tonya and tells her they found her baby brother.

Tonya calls Mom and Dad, and they all go to the police station, and Detective Ryers explains that a company was developing an empty lot and found Alex while digging. Detective Ryers says that they’ll do what they can, and he’s sorry, and it’s all Tonya can do not to scream at him because if he’d just believed her and done his job five years ago - [It wouldn’t have made a difference.]

Dad squeezes Tonya’s hand. Mom pulls her in tight and thanks Detective Ryers through the tears. They all go home, back to the house Tonya grew up, and she stumbles up the stairs to the room that used to be Alex’s, that Mom turned into a library when Alex moved out. Tonya stands in the doorway and tries to remember what it used to look like.

She’s already started forgetting Alex’s voice.

.

Tonya moves away from New York because she can’t stand the city anymore. It killed her brother. Her company has an opening to Tulsa and she goes.

During her first tornado, she huddles in the cellar and when the roaring gets close to enough to hear, she thinks, That’s how I feel.

But Alex… he wouldn’t want to be the reason she gives up. So she drives to the river, stares down into it, and lets everything go: her grief, her rage, her guilt. Because Alex is dead. He’s been buried. She has no way to find who did it, or punish them, and Detective Ryers won’t tell her any more than he already has. She can do nothing…

Except move on. Let Alex go. Live her life to the fullest to honor her brother.

So she says, “Alex, I love you. Goodbye.” She goes home, calls her mother, and talks about all the ways Tulsa is different from where she grew up and New York City, and it’s a good conversation.

Alex has been dead for eight years. Tonya has been, too.

But she’s still alive and it’s time to start acting like it.

She has no idea if she’ll ever have kids, but she does know, staring at Alex’s picture, that if she has a son… she won’t be naming him Alexander. Alex had told her that was the creepiest thing in Harry Potter, naming all the children with dead people’s names. He’d laughingly told her that none of his kids would have any family names.

“Bye, Lex,” she whispers, setting the picture back down and heading to the kitchen. Breakfast, then work, then dinner with Danielle from the office.

She’s alive. She needs to start living.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov
Pairings: OFC/OMC, Burt/Mama Hummel
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 470
Point of view: third
Prompt: Florence + the Machine’s “Shake It Out”

[And here’s more backstory for Kurt’s bloodline. Because its partly genetic, so surely it came from somewhere…]

Greta Connors married Henry Ocher, had a son and a daughter, and grew old. She has the blood of kings and queens in her veins and all anyone will ever be able to say about her is that she taught French at two middling public schools for twenty years, that she raised two babies into productive members of society (her son joined the army and died for his country [the Gulf War]; her daughter works in the DA’s office, trying to make the world better).

Greta’s baby girl has a beautiful baby boy and the first time Greta holds tiny little Kurt, she whispers in the language of their ancestors, “You’re going to be something extraordinary, little one.”

.

Greta’s first boyfriend (who tried to take more than she was ready to give) ran away two months into their relationship.

Greta’s only rival for Henry ran away eighteen months before Greta’s marriage to the love of her life.

The first girl to break Freddy’s heart suffered a fatal head wound when she tripped on the stairs at school. Greta was given a week’s vacation because she was the one to find her.

The first boy to make Kathryn cry survived a fall over the railing and Greta told Henry it was time to move; there was a job in Cincinnati that she wanted, and better schools for their children.

.

Greta retired when Kathryn had Kurt. She was tired of dealing with other people’s brats, and Kurt needed her.

She taught him French and told him stories of their ancestors and explained to him all the rules society would try to impose on him. [Kurt, when he was very young, was partially-raised by a borderline psychopath; now that I’m thinking about it, that might be why he’s better at blending in than Blaine. He had someone actively teaching him. Blaine learned it all on his own.]

When she had him overnight, her bedtime stories were about a sixteen year old boy who ran away, and an eighteen year old girl who wanted a man too good for her, and a fifteen year old girl who played with an innocent boy’s affections, and a fourteen year old boy who somehow managed to survive a two-story fall.

“You must do better, bébé,” she told her only grandchild, in English to make sure he understood. “Leave nothing to chance and no room for error. All details must be exact.”

“Yes, Gamma,” he said seriously, arms around his favorite toy, a plush Great White. [I want a plush Great White.]

.

When Greta is fifty-seven, she falls down the stairs while Henry is preparing steaks for dinner. [Completely accidental. She broke her arm and hit her head.]

She lingers in a coma for two days and dies without ever waking up.

Kathryn spends a week in tears and then goes back to work.

All Kurt asks for a month is when he can see Gamma again.

Six months after the funeral, Kurt asks Kathryn for the story about the boy who ran away.

She has no idea what he’s talking about, but she does wonder, for just a few moments, what exactly her mother had been telling her son. [A lot of little things she noticed all her life start coalescing when Kurt’s questions strike her as odd. But then the accident happens.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; mentions of violence, death, and blood
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 180
Point of view: third
Prompt: Florence + the Machine’s “What the Water Gave Me”

 

“Tell me,” Kurt whispers, spread on the blanket with Blaine, away from the world, “tell me about them all.”

.

They’re both college graduates. They’ve been in the city of their dreams for four years. They’ve killed two dozen people, together and apart.

Blaine takes Kurt by the hand and leads him to the place where it all began, that park in Westerville. He kisses his way down Kurt’s body, whispering into his skin all the secrets Kurt already knows, after six years together.

Rafe Carleton, who taught Blaine so many things.

Caroline Evans, who shouldn’t have been so curious.

Willis Nichols, who fought every step of the way.

Dave Karofsky, still the most pleasurable of all Blaine’s games.

“Tell me about Karofsky again,” Kurt gasps, within sight of the boneyard.

Blaine obliges. They don’t get back to Kurt’s old house until just before dawn.

.

“Tell me,” Blaine whispers, wrapped up in Kurt in their own bed, “tell me we’ll never be apart.”

“I swear,” Kurt promises, and he bites down until Blaine bleeds and he drinks Blaine all the way down.

[… yeah. There is no remorse here, for them.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov; assumed domestic violence
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; unrequited OFC/Kurt
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 1230
Point of view: third
Prompts: Florence + the Machine’s “Never Let Me Go” ; Perhaps Kurt's (or Blaine's) school/work friends think their relationship is unhealthy and plan a well meaning intervention. It does not go well for them. I just like the idea of someone trying to separate them, not realizing they're two of a kind.

[Like I’ve said before, I enjoy outside povs. There are all sorts of hints at what’s really going on that the narrator doesn’t understand, but the reader does.]

 

There’s a boy in Ariella’s Shakespeare class [I did some research for this fic. Every class mentioned while they’re at school is on the school’s website]. Well, there’s a lot of boys. But this one boy – she can’t take her eyes off him. Long and lean, eyes that go from icy to bright blue-gray, cheekbones she wants to lick, dark brown hair she wants to tangle her fingers in…

His name’s Kurt, and they just got assigned as partners to perform a scene from Romeo and Juliet. [She’s been nursing a crush all semester.]

Kurt looks at her, trails his eyes up and down her body, and gives her a charming smile. “Hello,” he says softly, settling next to her at the table. “Please tell me you’d be willing to pick a lesser-known scene instead of anything trite or cliché.”

“Of course,” she says, trying to give him a sexy smile, or at least something impressive, that’ll keep him looking.

“Oh, good,” he sighs in relief. “My last partner insisted on doing all the famous scenes from Othello and Dr. Tims wasn’t wowed at all. Everyone does those scenes, so we should do something completely different.”

“Sure!” Ariella says. “I’ve never done much Shakespeare, so you should take the lead.”

He smiles again, flipping open his book. “Lovely. Let’s get to work.”

.

Kurt agrees to meet Ariella after school and they go to Starbucks. They’ve decided to do Act III Scene III, between Friar Laurence and Romeo. Shakespeare has never been Ariella’s thing but she hangs off Kurt’s every word.

She’s looking down at the play, trying to figure out how they can trade off Nurse’s lines without being too confusing, when Kurt says, “Blaine! What are you doing here?”

Ariella glances up in time to see a handsome boy lean down to kiss Kurt; she can’t pull her eyes away until the boy pulls back.

“I got your text and it’s on the way to work,” he says, shrugging. “Thought I’d stop in to see you.”

“I’m glad you did,” Kurt says. “Blaine, this is Ariella from my Shakespeare class.” He smiles at Ariella. “Ariella, this is my boyfriend.”

“Hi,” Blaine says, holding out a hand. “It’s wonderful to meet you.”

“You, too,” Ariella manages, shaking his hand.

Kurt has a boyfriend. Fuck.

.

The more time she spends with Kurt, the more Ariella adores him. He’s hilarious, he’s bitchy, he’s smart. They get the highest grade in the class for their performance and Kurt invites Ariella out for celebratory drinks.

Blaine comes, too, and for all that he seems like the perfect boyfriend, something about him strikes Ariella as off. She has no idea what about him she doesn’t like, but The Gift of Fear tells her she shouldn’t ignore that feeling. [I was skimming The Gift of Fear while working on this fic; I read the People section of the paper whenever I can, and one of the advice columnists mentioned the book, so I looked it up. I’ve decided to always trust my gut.]

She thinks that maybe it’s how possessive Blaine is, or the way Kurt always talks about him like he’s pure gold (because no one is that good, and no relationship is that seamless), or the way Blaine is always perfectly polite and charming.

Too polite and too charming. Like he’s acting all the time. The way he makes out with Kurt any and everywhere proves he’s not shy, so what other reason does he have for the mask? [She’s figured out Blaine’s acting; she still has no idea Kurt is.]

Ariella starts keeping notes and rereading The Gift of Fear. Kurt’s quickly becoming her best friend and she’s given up convincing him he’s bi or pan, and now all she cares about is his safety. [Ariella really is a good friend; far better than Kurt deserves.]

.

In the spring, Ariella has no classes with Kurt and suddenly he has no time to hang out. Ariella knows it’s Blaine, finally deciding to exert his control and keep Kurt isolated. She goes to their apartment one evening in February, when Blaine should be at work (a suicide prevention hotline, which is insane. It has to be a hunting ground or something because there’s no way Blaine wants to actually help people) [He doesn’t actually use it as a hunting ground. It’s part of his mask, but he does also enjoy it – he has people’s lives in his hands… and chooses to save them instead of end them. He’s just playing God.].

Kurt answers the door and stares at her for a few moments; he looks awful, with a bruise on his collarbone peeking out of his shirt and scratches down his neck. [See part 40.]

“Kurt!” she exclaims. “What the hell happened? Did Blaine do this to you?”

“Ariella,” Kurt sighs. “Please, come in.”

He offers her a beverage but she refuses, still watching him. “What happened?” she asks again, horrified and angry. She wants to find Blaine and slap him across the face. She will definitely be calling the police when she leaves here, because no one can abuse Kurt, not while she’s around. “Let me help, Kurt! You don’t – he’s hurting you.”

“Blaine is not abusing me,” Kurt says. “And our relationship isn’t any of your concern. Thank you for your worry, but please keep out of my business.”

“Kurt,” she tries again. “Please, listen to me. I’ve noticed – your boyfriend isn’t a good guy, Kurt.”

His gaze shoots from his glass of water to Ariella’s eyes. “What have you noticed?” he asks after a moment. [This is the moment when Kurt realizes Ariella has to die.]

Ariella calmly lists everything. Kurt listens silently, hands demurely folded in his lap. When she’s done, he says quietly, “You’ve given me a lot of think about. Please… I need time, Ariella. Thank you for being such a good friend.”

She knows a dismissal when she hears it. At the door, she gently takes his hand and pleads, “Come with me, Kurt. Don’t stay here.”

Kurt shakes his head. “I’ll be fine, I promise.”

She doesn’t want to leave him there, but she can’t make him choose to go. So she carefully kisses his cheek and heads home. [He lets her go because he has no idea who all she might have told where she was going. But he’s planning.]

.

The next day, she visits the closest police station with all her notes and reports what she’d seen the night before. [This is what saves her life.]

Two days after that, she gets an angry call from Kurt because an officer had just left after speaking to both Kurt and Blaine about domestic abuse, which, of course, doesn’t happen in their home. When Ariella calls the officer, he tells her that nothing seemed amiss and Kurt’s injuries had an innocent explanation. [I can’t remember what I decided they had told the cop.]

Ariella hangs up disgusted and resolves to save Kurt herself.

.

Two weeks after going to the police, Ariella’s academic advisor calls her into a meeting and informs her that another student has lodged a complaint about harassment. [Because they have to get rid of her, and they can’t kill her.]

“What?” Ariella gasps. “Who? Why?”

“Until the investigation is complete, I’m afraid I can’t tell you that,” Dr. Sloan says. “But you need to keep your head down. In a few days, I, along with the Dean, will question you about the situation. Of course, you’ll learn who has accused you then.” She locks gazes with Ariella and says seriously, “Go to class and go home, Ariella. Don’t talk to anyone unless you need to.”

“Of course, Dr. Sloan,” she murmurs.

This has to be Blaine. But maybe the investigation will reveal that she’s right, so she does exactly what Dr. Sloan advises.

.

She answers every question honestly. Officer Helton is even called in.

But when all is said and done, Ariella is told to leave Kurt alone or be placed on probation, which would cut off her scholarship.

She’s done everything she can, done everything right. Nothing’s worked.

So she looks at Dr. Williams, the man holding her future in his hand, and says she understands.

Ariella can’t help Kurt anymore. He doesn’t want her help. So she leaves him alone for the rest of her time at Julliard. [She has done everything right, but sometimes being right doesn’t mean you win. Of course, if Blaine had been an abusive boyfriend and Kurt was the boy he pretended he was, she might have won. Or maybe not. RL sucks sometimes.]

.

Over the years, Ariella will think back to Kurt, and his creepy boyfriend Blaine, and she’ll wonder whatever happened to them.

She’ll never know how right she was, and how utterly wrong at the same time. [She’ll never realize how close she came to dying at Kurt’s hands.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: coldblooded murder
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 285
Point of view: third
Prompt: Florence + the Machine’s “Breaking Down”

 

Learning Dave Karofsky’s address is easy. Waiting until he’s home alone takes a few hours, but it’s Saturday morning, Karofsky has plans for later, and Karofsky’s parents have tickets for a show in Columbus.

Kurt still has bruises.

Blaine doesn’t knock on the door. He waits until Karofsky climbs into his truck, follows him, and leaves his car parked three streets over from the house Karofsky just entered. He sneaks into the truck four hours later when Karofsky climbs back into it, and while Karofsky’s driving home, he puts the barrel of a gun to Karofsky’s head and orders, “Do exactly what I say. You might live.” [That’s a lie.]

Karofsky tries bluffing his way out, but Blaine can tell he’s completely terrified.

Good.

.

Blaine makes sure to explain every step of the way, so that Karofsky knows exactly why.

Karofsky begs. Karofsky screams. Karofsky sobs.

By the end, Karofsky isn’t capable of any noise at all.

.

Blaine ditches Karofsky’s truck five towns over and takes a cab to where he left his car.

He wishes he could tell Kurt about how Karofsky bled all over the dirt. But Kurt – he’d be horrified, disgusted, maybe even scared of Blaine. Kurt’s such a good guy, such a bright soul. He’d hate that Blaine did violence in his name.

So Blaine doesn’t tell him about Karofsky, or about the ones that follow. Seven, all in a row, spread out over a year.

Sometimes, in the middle of class, or walking to Kurt’s dorm, or during Warblers’ practice, or while waiting for his turn at fight club, Blaine daydreams about standing behind Kurt, arms wrapped him around him, murmuring to him about the perfect way to slice.

It’s just a daydream, though. [No, it’s prophetic.]

[So, yeah. Everyone already knew what happened to Karofsky. But for some reason, even before this, when I hear All alone/Even when I was a child/I've always known/There was something to be frightened of I think of Dave Karofsky and how he treated Kurt. So when it was this song’s turn, I knew it had to be about Karofsky. *shrugs*

I usually have a lot of sympathy for Dave, and some of my fics have him growing up and coming to terms with everything he did. But in this one – he’s not the trigger, not really. But because Kurt already had the tendencies, and then met Blaine…

It is not Dave’s fault he was murdered. It’s not even Kurt’s. That’s solely on Blaine. But for Kurt, Dave is the turning point, because he realizes that he can use Blaine to get his vengeance. And, well, he has a list.

Dave isn’t the trigger. He’s just one of a thousand bullets that adds up.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: coldblooded murder
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; OFC/OMC
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 470
Point of view: third
Prompt: Florence + the Machine’s “Lover to Lover”

 

[My favorite part of writing, I think, is the world-building. As I’m writing original characters, I figure out who they are, what they want, where they’ve been. Most of the original characters in this fic only end up in one place. But they’re all real people. (For a fictional value of ‘real.’)]

Mike has big plans for Valentine’s Day; he and Kat have been dating for two years now, her art is finally taking off, and he’s about to graduate with a job waiting at Uncle Tyron’s company. The future is bright, so he’s going to take her to a fancy place, and do the cliché down-on-one-knee proposal, and everything is going to be wonderful.

The night is perfect. Kat says yes and cries, and it’s not too cold, so instead of splurging for a cab, they walk home arm-in-arm.

Mike doesn’t know what happens, but one minute he’s on the sidewalk with Kat, and then there’s pain at his back, and he wakes up in a room he’s never been in before, and Kat is still out cold next to him, and he has no idea what’s going on.

“Hi!” a warm voice says from the side, and Mike rolls over to look: a guy a little shorter than him, dark hair, handsome. [Blaine.]

Holding a knife.

Fuck.

.

When Kat wakes up, it’s to Mike begging.

“Hello,” a soft voice says from right beside her. “We’ve been waiting for you to join us.”

Kat’s eyes fly open and she sits up, lunging for the stranger entirely too close; one hand slams into his chest, and the other claws at his neck. [See part 38.] He shouts, bringing his own hand up to slap her across the face. Kat falls back down onto the counter and hears Mike screaming, “No, please, leave her alone!”

“Mike!” Kat whispers, eyes on the stranger. “Mike!”

The man glares down at her, a few drops of blood rolling down his neck. “Let’s try that again.”

.

The man succumbs to his injuries five hours after Blaine starts playing with him. Because Kurt is compassionate, he executes the woman mere minutes after the man’s death.

“Remember,” Kurt says, crouching down next to the body. “Mugging gone terribly wrong.” He’d been stalking them for weeks; if they’d waited any longer, there would have been too many eyes watching a young couple prepare for their wedding. Because they are so sociable, they can’t just vanish: they have to be found with a simple explanation.

Blaine sighs. “This part is so monotonous,” he mutters, but he obeys. [Once they’re dead, Blaine doesn’t care about the playmates anymore. He doesn’t like the clean-up.]

Kurt checks his work before nodding and saying brightly, “Time to dump them.” [Remember, Kurt’s into the planning. Getting away with it is half the thrill.]

.

Mid-morning, a stock boy for a mystic shop finds two bodies hidden in the alley behind the store. The bodies are quickly identified by the police: Michael Cloud and Katarina Ettles, 24 and 25, a long-time couple. Everything of value had been stripped by whoever killed them.

There are never any suspects so no arrests are made. Eventually, it becomes a cold case.

They’d just become engaged that very night, too. Such a shame.

Kurt remembers. Blaine didn’t even bother to learn their names.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: mentions of violence/murder
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 500
Point of view: third
Prompt: Florence + the Machine’s “No Light, No Light”

[This is my favorite Florence + the Machine song.]

 

“My name’s Blaine,” he says.

“Kurt,” is the reply, and they shake hands, and Blaine never really lets go.

End of story…

… except not.

.

Outside looking in, everything revealed, and people would gasp, horrified, and cover their mouths, and mutter, “Such a monster. How could I have ever been fooled?”

They’d wrap Kurt up in blankets and cluck in distress, try to comfort him and assure him it wasn’t his fault, he could never have known.

Blaine would get the book thrown at him, locked away on death row or for life, depending on where he was tried. He started in Ohio, but he mastered in New York –

And what he will never mention, throughout the trial that will not be, is what changed between those two states.

.

“Excuse me,” he says. “I’m new here.”

Fragile and breaking, timid and shy, beaten down and wary, bruised and bloodied.

So fucking well done that Blaine never had a clue the boy he so gently wooed was just as blood-thirsty and just as cruel.

Maybe even more. [To be honest… I can never decide which of them is worse.]

.

Blaine took him by the hand and thought he might be the next playmate, the pale boy failing to spy.

Blaine listened to his story and wanted blood – but not his. Never his.

Because that day in Dalton, he looked into eyes that equaled his own, and he held a hand that fit in his perfectly, and his soul knew what the rest of him didn’t yet: here was his forever. Here was his always.

And when Kurt called in a disgusted, horrified panic a couple days later, Blaine didn’t think of Kurt as a potential game. Blaine thought of Kurt as mine.

.

Blaine’s hands are stained with blood. He finds the red beautiful.

Kurt’s hands are clear only because he washes them daily. But sometimes he sketches himself and Blaine all in red, and no one would take that as a confession only because they are blind and don’t want to see.

.

Blaine is not the planner. He executes, but he’s not really the executioner, either. He reads true crime novels because he wants to learn about common mistakes and what, exactly, the authorities look for.

Kurt’s pleasure is not in the kill itself, unless he has some sort of emotional connection to the victim. (For Kurt, they’re all victims. For Blaine, they’re playmates. Because Kurt knows and Blaine’s in denial, and that’s fine. Kurt keeps them safe. Blaine keeps them happy.)

Kurt’s pleasure is in getting away with it. In giving Blaine what he needs. In hunting and planning and seducing all these people who ignore what their subconscious is screaming, because Kurt’s read psychology books and they all know before that final moment.

Blaine will be reviled, if they’re ever found out.

Blaine would’ve been caught before he was twenty if not for Kurt.

.

“My name’s Blaine,” he said, holding out a hand.

Kurt looked into his eyes and wondered, took his hand, and said, “Kurt.”

End of story…

… except not.

[*shrugs* Possible endings intertwined with what happened.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: mentions of cold-blooded murder and non-con
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; Kurt/OMC/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 250
Point of view: third
Prompt: Florence + the Machine’s “Seven Devils”

[I heard this song in Revenge’s season 1 finale. I’d never really paid attention to Florence + the Machine before, but this song captured me.]

Sometimes they plead or try to bargain [1]. Sometimes they threaten [2].

Sometimes Kurt has every single thing planned out; Blaine follows each step, adding embellishments or tiny twists, and Kurt watches, occasionally offering direction [3].

Sometimes, all Kurt does is provide the playmate and leave everything else up to Blaine. Those are usually the messiest to clean up [4].

Sometimes, Kurt clinically deals with the playmates himself, glancing up periodically to meet Blaine’s eyes. Kurt takes great care to sterilize everything those times because Blaine really enjoys watching Kurt get his hands dirty [5].

Kurt’s favorite times, though, are the ones they do together, he and Blaine wrapped around their playmate, feeling each other throughout it all [6], or the ones where they each have a playmate of their own at the same time [7]. [Seven devils, you know.]

… no, his favorites are when they have a single playmate and do it together. [6]

“What are you thinkin’ about?” Blaine murmurs, pressing a kiss to Kurt’s hair as they cuddle on the couch and watch American Psycho in honor of Halloween. It’s one of Blaine’s favorites; Kurt only tolerates it for Christian Bale and Jared Leto. [I’ve never actually seen the movie. *shrugs* I rented it during my most recent Jared Leto phase but couldn’t bring myself to watch it because he dies.]

“Us,” Kurt replies, tilting his head back to kiss the junction of Blaine’s jaw and throat. It’s been months. He knows Blaine must be getting antsy, because Kurt is. He doesn’t need it, and could live without it…

But he’s craving the sight of Blaine watching in fascination as someone gasps out their last breath.

Tomorrow, he’ll start researching their next playmate.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: planning of cold-blooded murder
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 210
Point of view: third
Prompt: Florence + the Machine’s “Heartlines”

 

“Man, woman, or other?” Kurt asks as Blaine serves their breakfast: toast, eggs, and grapefruit.

“Man,” Blaine says, setting a plate in front of Kurt.

Blaine’s toast has strawberry jelly; Kurt’s has blackberry. Blaine’s eggs are fried and barely runny; Kurt’s are scrambled almost to dust. They both like the grapefruit, though it’s not Kurt’s favorite.

“Age?” Kurt asks, placing a mental checkmark next to man in the list he never writes down, even in code.

“Doesn’t matter,” Blaine tells him, heading back to the fridge for his milk and Kurt’s orange juice.

Kurt checks over forty because their playmates have been running young lately and that might become noticeable.

“Race?” Kurt asks. They might need to vary that up soon; a large portion have been white.

Blaine shrugs, setting their cups on the table.

Kurt puts a dash next to that on the list; he’ll need to think about it.

“What kind of mood are you in?” Kurt asks, biting into his toast.

Blaine looks at Kurt through his lashes. “I’d like to watch you,” he murmurs.

Kurt smiles at him. “I’ll let you know,” he says.

Within two weeks, definitely. But he won’t tell Blaine his picks until they’re in the room and the man is begging for his life.

[… yeah. Kurt likes the planning.]

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: so much fluff
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 220
Point of view: third
Prompt: Florence + the Machine’s “Spectrum”

 

Kurt proposes on the Valentine’s after Blaine graduates from grad school. They wed on their ninth anniversary, before a justice of the peace, with both their immediate families present.

It’s not the wedding most people would believe Kurt wanted, but it’s perfect.

Blaine vows, “Kurt, I will always love you, always protect you, surprise you, pick up your call no matter what I’m doing or where I am, bake you those cookies wherever you like [this is the reference to their game], and kiss you whenever and wherever you want.”

Kurt vows, “Blaine, I will always love you, always protect you, always care for you in any way you need, text you inane little comment throughout the day just to make you smile, coordinate our outfits so everyone knows we are each other’s [reference to their game], and to kiss you whenever and wherever you want.”

Half of each vow was straightforward and meant exactly what was said. The other half…

They keep their eyes open and staring into each other as they share their first kiss as legal husbands.

Kurt’s dad and Blaine’s mom are sobbing, Cooper and Finn clapping each other on the back, and Blaine’s dad and Carole spinning each other around the room.

“I love you,” Blaine whispers into his mouth just before they separate.

“I love you, too,” Kurt murmurs as they turn to face their families.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron;
Warnings: fluff; a psychopath trying to understand love
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 315
Point of view: third
Prompt: Florence + the Machine’s “All This and Heaven Too”

[Figuring Blaine out was hard, in this ‘verse. *shrugs*]

 

When Blaine tells Kurt I love you, he means it every time.

When he tells anyone else I love you, he’s never meant it.

.

“Mama,” Blaine asks when he’s three, “what’s love?”

She talks about warm cookies and chocolate milk, about love, about family.

He doesn’t get it, but she smiles when he tells her he loves her most of all.

.

“Daddy,” Blaine asks when he’s seven, “what’s love?”

He talks about defending family, playing catch, about watching games, summer days at the pool.

Blaine doesn’t get it, but Daddy ruffles his hair when he says he loves him.

.

“Cooper,” Blaine asks when he’s eleven, “what’s love?”

He talks about girls, their skin and their curves, their lips and their voices.

Blaine doesn’t get it, and he doesn’t tell his brother he loves him.

.

When Blaine is seventeen, he says I love you and he means it. He understands it. He wants to be near Kurt all the time, if not touching him, then at least able to see him. He wants to tell Kurt everything, to listen to anything Kurt wants to say, to sing duets and dance dorkishly around the room with him, to show him the boneyard and detail exactly how he did each one. He’s unexplainably happy in Kurt’s presence. Hearing Kurt’s name makes him smile.

Everything his parents and brother said makes sense because of Kurt.

At seventeen, he swears to keep Kurt for as long as he can, to whatever end.

At nineteen, he learns that he can keep Kurt until death do them part because Kurt is just like him.

.

“I love you,” Blaine says every morning.

“I love you, too,” Kurt replies, leaning down for a quick kiss.

They’re bound by bodies and blood, by secrets and games, by love. Blaine looks at Kurt and sees forever.

Kurt looks at Blaine and sees the same.

 

[About the various descriptions of love… how do you describe it? I mean, for someone who feels love, it just seems like trying to describe color to someone who’s blind, or the kind of music that makes you cry with wonder to someone who’s deaf, or the taste of Reese’s to someone whose tastebuds have never worked. It may not be impossible - but it’s fucking hard.

And Blaine doesn’t feel love, not until Kurt, and then only for Kurt. So is it love? He has nothing to compare it to, except those personalized descriptions his family gave him, before they realized he never understood.

*hands*]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron;
Warnings: outside pov
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; Rachel/Finn
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 1135
Point of view: third
Prompt: Florence + the Machine’s “Leave My Body”

 

Rachel Barbra Berry had liked Blaine Anderson at first. Of course she did; most people do. She saw how he watched Kurt with hearts in his eyes, even before they got together; she saw how he treated Kurt carefully, how he listened, how he went out of his way to make sure Kurt was comfortable.

To be honest, watching Kurt and Blaine together made Rachel feel like a terrible friend. She had seen the Karofsky situation spiraling out of control and hadn't done anything. None of them did.

In the wake of Kurt leaving, Rachel leads New Directions (as is right) in a pledge to stamp out bullying, to drive violence out of McKinley for good.

They all swear and make good for a couple weeks, but then Rachel butts heads with Santana over solos, and their pledges slip their minds.

Rachel does feel bad about that, for a little while. But she must focus on her career, and Kurt would understand, if he were still at McKinley.

In fact, she makes it her mission to convince him to return. His place is at her side. [… I’m not a fan of Hummelberry.]

.

“I don’t understand!” Rachel tells Finn, after Kurt brushes her off to spend time with Blaine. “What reasons could he possibly have to stay at Dalton? McKinley is his home!”

Finn just gapes at her, but before he can come up with a response, she continues, “Karofsky is gone and bullying is at an all-time low, thanks to my efforts. He’s always with Blaine, and I bet that’s why! Blaine’s turned him against us, Finn! Don’t you see?”

“Rachel!” Finn finally shouts, and she slams her mouth shut to stare at him in shock. “Rachel, look,” he says. “Kurt was miserable at McKinley. He’s happy now. Okay? He’s popular and well-liked at Dalton.” Finn takes her hand and squeezes it. “Rachel, Kurt is smiling again.”

She thinks for a moment and then asks softly, “But can’t he smile at McKinley? With us? I miss him, and he’s always busy…”

Finn leans down to kiss her forehead. “I really don’t think he could,” he says gently. “Now, c’mon – don’t you have some movie to show me?”

.

During the spring, Kurt and Blaine go on a few double dates with Finn and Rachel. Rachel dominates the conversation, as is right, and details how wonderful McKinley is. She doesn’t realize how uncomfortable Kurt must be until he and Blaine leave before they’ve even finished their meals.

She does notice, though, that it’s Blaine who decides to leave and Kurt who follows docilely behind him.

Kurt, who isn’t docile at all. [He’s still playing the beaten-down, almost-rape victim. Also, no one in New Directions is sure why Kurt left. They think he was escaping the bullying.]

.

Their next two double dates further cement Rachel’s conclusions: Blaine isn’t good for Kurt at all. Oh, he is a wonderful actor, and he probably does truly love Kurt – the way an abusive husband loves a battered wife.

“Don’t you see?” she demands of Finn as Kurt and Blaine leave to go see a movie. Blaine had paid for all four of them, clearly trying to seem like a good guy, and he has everyone fooled except Rachel.

“See what?” Finn sighs, opening his leftover’s box to take another bite.

“Finn!” Rachel says, closing the box and pulling it towards her. “Blaine is controlling Kurt. Kurt only aped his opinions all evening!”

“What are you talkin’ about?” Finn asks, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms. “Kurt’s happy, and Blaine’s a good guy. I’ve never seen Kurt like this. He dances around the kitchen, Rachel. Blaine is the reason Kurt’s dancing around the kitchen, and I don’t understand why you can’t just be glad like I am!”

.

Kurt never answers the phone when Rachel calls. He’s pulled away from most of New Directions; Finn is the only one he maintains contact with, and Rachel’s sure that’s only because their parents are married. [Yes. If Burt and Carol had never married, Kurt would’ve cut all ties with everyone from McKinley.]

Over the summer break, Rachel spends time at Kurt’s house, and he’s cordial enough. They discuss their shared interests, the schools they’ll be applying to in the fall, the uselessness of football.

Kurt only seems alive whenever Blaine is present, too, and something about that is wrong. Unhealthy. But Rachel’s concerns and opinions are ignored, so she quits trying.

Her last statement of the matter to Finn is simply, “I hope everyone realizes before it’s too late,” and she refuses to talk about it again.

.

In the spring of their senior year, a few days before her audition for NYADA (such an amazing school! her future will be made when she gets in!), Finn sits Rachel down in the choir room and says, “You were right about Blaine.”

“Was I?” she asks, head held high. Of course she was. But she washed her hand of the entire matter months ago. She’s seen Kurt in passing at Finn’s house, and Blaine, too. There’s something off about them, but she doesn’t care anymore.

She did her best and no one listened. She has New York now.

“Rachel, please,” Finn says. “I don’t know what to do. My brother – his boyfriend is – I don’t think it’s abuse, but something’s not right. They’re too perfect, and Burt and Mom don’t see it.”

“Neither did you,” Rachel says primly, staring up at her boyfriend who is staying in Ohio after graduation.

Finn is her high-school sweetheart, but he was never cut out for a lifelong lead.

“I told you a year ago that something was wrong with Blaine Anderson, and you didn’t listen. I have no time for this now,” she tells him, standing up. “I have the final preparations for my audition; Carmen Thibodaux is coming to Lima for me, and I must wow her. Excuse me, Finn.” She daintily maneuvers past him.

“You know, everyone told me you were selfish,” Finn bites out at her back. “But this – my brother’s in danger! Don’t you care?”

Rachel pauses. This is a turning point in her life story, she knows, and one day, it will be rendered dramatically on the big screen.

Finn Hudson is too small for Rachel Barbra Berry. She has four more months in Lima and then she is Broadway-bound.

“Your brother was in danger last year, when I warned you,” she says without turning to look. “I have to go, Finn.”

“If you walk out that door,” he shouts, “we’re done!”

In the movie they make of her life, Rachel decides, she will be the one to break up with her high-school sweetheart.

“Goodbye, Finn,” she says. “I’ll always love you.”

.

The next day, Rachel sings a heartrending song in glee and everyone cries at the beauty of it.

Finn doesn’t speak to her for the rest of the year, but he does hug her at graduation.

Rachel smiles at Kurt and Blaine every time she sees them, and then she goes to New York and NYADA and never looks back.

[One of the comments mentioned that Rachel is a different kind of sociopath. Upon reflection, I realize that’s right.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron; “The Boy Who Ran Away” is mine.
Warnings: implied murder and attempted non-con
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 345
Point of view: third

[I could’ve sworn there was a prompt that went with this part.]

 

Kurt inherited his voice from his mother, who inherited it from hers. Gamma took care of him while Mama worked from thirteen months to kindergarten, and then she picked him up from school most days until her death in March.

There isn’t much he remembers about her. His mother died two years after her and he’s pretty sure that his memories of them have faded into each other [Yes, they have]. He knows that he used to ask his mother for the fairy tale about the boy who ran away and his mother had no idea what he meant. [See part 36.]

He’s remembered bits and pieces over the years, writing them down in the same notepad, and he eventually sings what he’s pretty sure is the whole thing to Blaine, wrapped up in each other in their bed in their apartment in New York.

[I started singing this while thinking about the fic, and it all just flowed.]

Once upon a time, my little bébé,
A very bad boy ran away.
He got what he deserved
When he tried to steal the girl.
.
Once upon a time
In a far away town
There lived the prettiest little girl around.
She thought she loved a very bad boy
But she didn’t know what was in his heart.
.
Once upon a time, my little bébé,
With the twist of a sharp knife
And a quick, deep slice,
Bad little boys can be punished for their sins
And the little girls who never had a chance.
.
Always be looking, always be ready
For that perfect chance to strike.
Always be careful, always be wary;
Take what’s yours when you want.
.
Once upon a time is yours, bébé,
If you’re sharp as knife and twice as bright.
Once upon a time, reach for your dreams,
Precise and smart and prepared.
Be ready, be wary, above all be smart –
Make the bad boy run away.

“Your grandmother sang that to you?” Blaine asks when he’s done.

“Uh huh,” Kurt answers, humming a little bit of the tune.

“She sounds amazing,” Blaine murmurs, falling backwards and pulling Kurt with him.

Laughing, Kurt says, “She was.”

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: mentions of murder
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 605
Point of view: third
Prompt: Prompt: Any, any/any, Music makes you lose control

[I have an entire list of prompts I snagged from comment_fic for this ‘verse.]

[I knew I wanted one of them to mess up; if either of them, it’d obviously be Blaine because, honestly, he doesn’t really care about cleaning up or planning.]

Kurt understands that Blaine is impulsive. Really, he gets it. And Blaine devours true crime books, so he should know how to avoid the stupid mistakes that get people caught.

One of those stupid mistakes is killing in your own neighborhood.

It's simple: don't kill in your own neighborhood and don't go so far it's obvious you're avoiding your own neighborhood. There's a giant radius to pick from, and Blaine should know better.

Hell, Kurt knows that Blaine knows better because they are old hat at this. They've been partners in every way for coming up on five years now, and Blaine had been doing it for four before that.

So such a stupid mistake...

"She lived one floor above us!" Kurt hisses while the police investigate Marigold Thompson’s apartment. She’d been found in the basement by a custodian, bludgeoned to death. “What the fuck were you thinking?!”

Blaine shrugs. “I just… you weren’t here, and I was listening to ‘My Boy Builds Coffins,’ and her TV was blasting.”

Kurt stares at him in disbelief. “That’s your excuse?” he demands. “Really, Blaine? Fuck.” He grabs at his hair, quickly looking around the apartment to see if anything needs to be straightened before the police knock on the door to interview them. [Really, Kurt has planned for this eventuality, but, still. It’s pretty terrifying.]

Everything looks clean. Nothing is written down. Kurt doesn’t keep anything incriminating in the apartment.

… well, except for his idiot boyfriend. How could Blaine be so stupid? [Really, Kurt’s pov is so much fun in this ‘verse.]

“New rule,” Kurt orders, turning to face Blaine and grabbing his chin. “Don’t kill anyone who lives within a mile of us. Clear?”

Blaine nods, unable to meet his gaze. “I’m sorry, Kurt. I just… couldn’t help myself. She was blasting infomercials.”

Kurt closes his eyes and massages his temples. “Go take a shower,” he says. “Where are your clothes?”

“I dumped ‘em yesterday morning on the way to work,” Blaine replies, heading for the bathroom.

“There are cameras in this building,” Kurt says. “I can’t even…” He wants to scream, but he can’t draw any attention while police are upstairs trying to figure out who killed a harmless old lady. [Of course Kurt lives in a safe neighborhood.]

Something will have to be done. Maybe make sure to always play at least once a month? No, too frequent. Kurt absently chews on his left thumbnail while arranging the decorative pillows on the couch. Every four months? That’d be three a year, maybe more if two at a time. Surely that’d be enough to keep Blaine sated. And maybe special treats for birthdays and their anniversary…

Yes, that sounds goods. He’ll amend the rules after this whole FUBAR is taken care of.

Kurt doesn’t realize he’s humming ‘My Boy Builds Coffins’ until someone knocks on the door. Two detectives stand there and the older one says, “I’m Detective Donaldson; this is my partner, Detective Carrow. May we come in, sir? We have some questions about what’s happened.”

“Yes, of course,” he says, stepping back. “I heard – it’s awful.” He closes the door behind them and asks, “Would you like anything to drink? My boyfriend’s showering, if you need to ask him something, too.”

Detective Carrow says, “I’ll take some water. Also, we will need to speak to your boyfriend, too.”

Kurt nods and hurries to the kitchen. His mind is racing; he was working late two nights ago, when Blaine killed the old lady. His alibi is airtight. But Blaine…

Such a stupid mistake, honestly.

“Here you are, sir,” he says, handing the detective the cup of water. “I’ll go get Blaine.”

Blaine doesn’t need an alibi, if nothing connects him to the murder, if he never becomes a suspect.

Besides, there have been some hooligans lurking around lately.

[Of course, there’s someone to blame for any mistakes. Like I said – Kurt’s always got something planned.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: implied murder and attempted non-con
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 370
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any/any, love does exactly what it wants to do

[I spent a lot of time thinking about might-have-beens for this ‘verse.]

Blaine makes Kurt happy. Kurt makes Blaine better. They are perfect for each other.

Unfortunately for everyone else, they make each other worse. [Yup. That’s what it boils down to, really.]

.

Blaine would've long since been caught. Kurt would never have killed.

Kurt taught Blaine to love. Blaine taught Kurt how to kill. Kurt gives Blaine playmates; Blaine does silly things just to make Kurt laugh.

Blaine needs to kill; Kurt enables him, cleans up after him, makes sure everything is absolutely perfect.

Kurt needs to get away with it and Blaine does his best to follow every rule so he does.

.

Kurt knows that Blaine is the best possible partner he could ever have. Companion. Boyfriend. Significant other. Lover. Lover, he thinks, is his favorite, though he likes significant other, too. [There are a lot of others in Kurt’s life; there’s only a few significant ones. *shrugs*]

Kurt only loves two people in the whole world, and he's pretty sure it would break Dad's heart to know what Kurt is - but Dad would still love him and try to protect him. [Burt wouldn’t turn Kurt in, if he ever learned the truth. But he’d never look at Kurt the same again, and their relationship would suffer heavily.]

And Blaine... Blaine fits into all of Kurt's sharp edges and hidden chasms, and fills him up, and makes him warm where he'd always been cold.

Kurt knew how to love before Blaine. He loved Mama and Daddy, and Gamma, from what he remembers of her. Grampa, too, though far more distantly.

But Blaine - Blaine is the first and only person to be his.

Blaine needs him. Blaine wants him.

Blaine has him, and always will.

.

While Kurt and Blaine are good for each other, they're bad for everyone else.

Kurt finds that ironic, when he thinks about it.

Back at McKinley, back in Lima, most of those sheep thought he'd be alone forever, that something was wrong with him.

Well, he did find his other half. But... something really is wrong with him, and it's not what they used to toss him into dumpsters for.

He laughs, spinning Blaine around, music thrumming in his bones, and he sings along as Florence wails, "The entrails of the animals / The blood running through / But in order to get to the heart /I think sometimes you'll have to cut through."

Blaine smiles at him, so very beautiful, the best thing Kurt's ever touched, and Kurt reels him back in.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron; the play is totally fictional and any similarities to an actual play somewhere is entirely accidental [Really, I have no idea what the play is about. But it sounds cool.]
Warnings: I know nothing about how a play actually works; implied murder; references to past non-con
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; unrequited OMC/Kurt; OFC/OMC and OMC/OMC
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 1030
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author's Choice, Any slash pairing, Getting up the urge to kiss him and then finally going through with it

[Outside povs… I really do love them.]

 

Zeke's been watching Kurt since rehearsals started. Kurt's the understudy for Titan (the lead) and cast as Gregoir (the sidekick's little brother, half a page of dialogue and a marvelous death scene), and Zeke is part of the chorus and backup dancers.

Kurt's amazing. All Zeke wants in the entire world is enough courage to go up to him and say, "You're extraordinary." Kurt would smile at him, and thank him, and press up on his tiptoes to kiss Zeke on the mouth [Zeke is maybe 6’2” but he’s got fantasies, yo.], and they'd go to dinner, and everything would be wonderful.

Zeke stumbles, daydream shattering, as the director, Colin, yells, "Harrison!"

"Sorry!" Zeke calls, giving his neighbor an embarrassed smile. Evan nods back sympathetically.

“From the top!” Colin roars. Zeke focuses and manages to make it all the way through this time.

.

Kurt always has a kind word for the chorus and backup dancers. He talks to everyone about their characters and motivations, and about their real lives, too. He lets Molly cry all over him when her boyfriend breaks up with her a week before Opening Night, and he holds Silas’ hair back when food poisoning tries to kill him and he spends ten minutes vomiting into a trash can.

Kurt doesn’t yell at people when they mess up, the way Isaac (the lead) and Colin (the director) do, or even Abigail (the love interest) does, all passively-aggressively.

Kurt actually defended Mariah to Abigail, even when the argument went all the way to the top, and he convinced Colin not to fire her.

Zeke’s pretty sure that’s when his crush started. [Kurt’s a really really good actor. Only Blaine knows how good.]

.

Two days before Opening Night, Isaac falls down crossing the street and gets tagged by a car. [Total accident; neither Blaine nor Kurt had anything to do with it.] Kurt’s understudy takes over Gregoir and Kurt becomes Titan. It’s extraordinary to watch Kurt’s transformation, and he’s a thousand times better than Isaac could ever be. [Accurate.]

The play runs for three months; Kurt can’t make every show (he works at Vogue!), so his new understudy Harry performs sometimes, and for the final week, Isaac’s healed up enough to come back. (Every review says that Isaac Taylor was no Kurt Hummel, and Zeke clips out each one.)

After the curtain’s close for the final time, Zeke finally summons his courage and taps Kurt on the shoulder backstage, and says, “You’re extraordinary, Kurt.”

“Thank you, Zeke!” Kurt replies, still glowing from the exhilaration (even though he only played Gregoir in the last show), and Zeke leans in and kisses him.

Kurt pushes him back. “I’ve got a fiancé,” he says sharply. “Zeke, you know I’ve got a fiancé – I talk about him all the time!” [After I worked up the timeline, I went back and edited this paragraph.] He wipes at his mouth, and his eyes are wide.

Zeke says, “I’m sorry! I just thought – ” It’s not going at all how Zeke had imagined. Kurt should be swooning, and declaring love, and –

“Don’t,” Kurt says, bringing a hand up to his mouth and backing away. “Zeke, I don’t want you near me anymore, okay?” [This is partially Kurt’s un-worked-through trauma of the near-rape, and partially an act. I’m not sure which part is bigger.]

Zeke nods frantically even though he doesn’t understand: it was just a kiss, right? And Kurt has a boyfriend, Blaine, who’s a doctor or something. Doesn’t that mean he’s working all the time? How could he possibly be giving Kurt all the attention he deserves?

Kurt vanishes back into the catacombs of the theater and Molly slaps Zeke on the shoulder, saying, “He’s got a boyfriend!”

Zeke ducks out of her reach and goes the opposite way. He doesn’t see Kurt again.

.

Zeke is walking his brother’s corgi, Maximilian, when a man appears next to him. “Hey,” the man says, “can we talk for a minute?”

“Uh, sure,” Zeke responds, pausing his iPod and tugging at Maximilian when he tries to keep going. “Who are you?”

The man smiles. He’s almost half a foot shorter than Zeke, with curly dark hair and gorgeous golden-brown eyes, and he crouches down to rub Maximilian’s back. “I’m Blaine,” he says, glancing back up at Zeke.

It’s almost dusk. The sun hits Blaine’s face and Zeke realizes, for a reason he isn’t quite sure of, that the park is pretty damn deserted. [Instinct. Always trust your gut.]

“Blaine?” Zeke repeats.

Blaine nods. “My fiancé Kurt told me what you did,” he says, smiling a little. Zeke doesn’t get the joke, and he’s creeped out, [callback to the first time Blaine ever met Karofsky, in case that’s not clear] and he tugs on the leash again, but Maximilian is wriggling under Blaine’s hands, and of course Zach’s dog also prefers Blaine.

“It was a mistake,” Zeke says. “I didn’t realize just how happily taken Kurt was, okay? You won.”

Blaine laughs. “It was never a competition, Mr. Harrison,” he says, standing again. “A competition implies there might be some question about the outcome.” Maximilian whines, rubbing against his leg, but Blaine keeps all his attention on Zeke.

“Look,” Zeke says sharply, yanking on the leash to get Maximilian back to his side, “just tell me what you want, okay?”

Maximilian hurries over, tail and head drooping, and Blaine’s gaze flicks to the dog before meeting Zeke’s eyes again. “Okay,” he says.

.

Kory and Tate jog every morning, then get breakfast together before returning to the madness of their families (Kory’s boyfriend and three-year-old daughter, Tate’s boyfriend and the boyfriend’s five-year-old son). Tate’s in the middle of telling Kory about the promotion he’s in line for but doesn’t actually want (except for the pay increase) when he cuts himself off to say, “Is that a dog?”

Kory follows his gaze to a dog, bloody and dirty, whimpering in the bushes, and freezes mid-stride. “Yes,” she says. She carefully walks over, ignoring Tate’s commands to leave the dog alone; she’s a vet tech and he’s an IT guy. She deals with dogs all the time. “Hey, little fella,” she croons, kneeling down just in reach. He’s terrified and hurt, so he might bite, but by the way he’s moving –

“Tate,” she says calmly, “call 911. It’s not his blood.”

Her twin freaks out but obeys. [More outside pov! So much fun. I really love worldbuilding.]

.

Kory follows up with the detective who interviewed her, but she never does learn who the dead man was, who killed him, or why. The dog, though, was returned to his owner and perfectly fine.

Tate demands they start jogging somewhere else, and Kory doesn’t argue, especially when her boyfriend Maksim agrees.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: references to murder and hospitalization for mental illness
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; OFC/OMC
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 520
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author's Choice, Author's Choice, don't make a mountain out of a molehill.

[I really wanted someone who was totally right for all the wrong reasons. There are so many people who notice things and disregard it, or notice things and draw the wrong conclusions. And finally, there’s someone who is both right and tells someone – but is ignored.

Plus, more outside pov. Gotta love it.]

 

"Look," Carla finally says, exasperated beyond belief, "our neighbors are not murderers, Felicia, okay? They're nice guys. Blaine helped me carry my groceries up that day the elevator broke down, and Kurt's a sweetheart. Remember when Roger was a bastard, what was it, a month ago? Kurt talked with me for hours about it, and he's the one who convinced me that Roger was just scared of commitment. I'm engaged to a wonderful man because of him!"

"Listen to me!" Felicia whisper-shouts, gaze flicking to the shared wall between their apartment and the Anderson-Hummel's. "Something is weird about them, okay? And Marigold Thompson - "

"Are you kidding me?" Carla demands, shaking her head firmly. "No, Cia. They caught the guy who did that. Kurt wasn't even here, and Blaine had the music blasting all night."

"Carla, I’ve been reading this book, and the author, he says to listen to your instincts, okay? [The Gift of Fear, again.] You’re not home often enough to notice, but I – there are some weird things about them, and Ted Bundy was a nice guy, too!” Felicia’s eyes get comically wide when she realizes she shouted that last part, and shoot straight to the wall.

“Felicia, listen to yourself,” Carla says gently. “This is just like Xavier Martez, you remember him?”

Felicia closes her eyes, nodding slightly.

“You thought he’d stolen our dog and ritualistically slaughtered her to place a curse on our family,” Carla continues, still so gently, because she loves her sister, she really does, but Felicia is so tiring sometimes. “Do you remember what actually happened to Lav? She wandered home two days later and had puppies that looked just like the Rivera’s dog. Now, I’ve spoken to both our neighbors and they are good guys, okay? Do I need to call Dr. Ellers?”

Felicia shakes her head. “I guess I’ve just been watching too much Law & Order,” she says quietly. [Yes, she has. But she is not wrong.]

“Yeah,” Carla agrees, scooting down the couch to wrap her arms around her big sister. “Look, can you promise you’ll leave them alone? You know what Mom will do if this gets back to her.”

Felicia nods again. “I don’t wanna go back there, Carla,” she whispers, burying her face in Carla’s shoulder.

“You won’t,” Carla promises. “Now, c’mon, let’s see who got kicked off Top Shot this week.” She keeps her arm around Felicia as she flips through the DVR, and eventually Felicia calms down.

Carla keeps a close eye on her sister for awhile, but Felicia never mentions anything about the neighbors again. She thinks about telling Kurt about it, because he really is the sweetest guy, but she doesn’t want him to think her sister’s crazy – Felicia is not crazy, no matter what their mother says – so she keeps Felicia’s imaginative theories to herself. [This is how she saves her sister’s life.]

Three weeks later, the elevator is having trouble again, and Blaine helps her carry her groceries up the stairs again. Carla can’t imagine why Felicia would think either of them could be monsters; maybe she should ban Law & Order from their apartment. [She doesn’t, because she really likes Goren.]

“Thanks,” she tells Blaine as she shuts the door behind him.

“Anytime,” he says, smiling. [Both of the sisters are probably safe, if only because of their proximity.

But so should Marigold Thompson have been.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov; mentions of murder/bad things happening to animals/violence/arson
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; Cooper/OFC; OFCs/OMCs
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1740
Point of view: third
Prompt: If something bad ever happened to Cooper’s family, either or both to his wife and children - if he would ever, if he *could* ever be pushed so far that he would go to Kurt&Blaine and outright ask or carefully Not-Ask for their help. Or since these things run in families, Cooper winds up seeing these traits in one of his own children or grandchildren, and what he would do.

 

Cooper marries Natalia on a warm summer day, in a lavish wedding beneath an open sky.

Blaine is his Best Man.

.

Blaine likes Natalia, insomuch as he likes anyone who isn't Kurt. [Tolerates, mostly.] She and Cooper dated for a little over two years, though Cooper kept making excuses for why she couldn’t meet his little brother. Blaine worked a lot, apparently. And then his boyfriend was sick.

Blaine might think Cooper was embarrassed by him (or maybe Natalia?), except he knows better. [Cooper never ever wants his little brother to meet his girlfriends. Anytime he had to go home before Blaine moved out, he broke up with anyone he was seeing.]

It doesn't matter. He attends the wedding, gives a marvelous speech, and dances with his lover.
Natalia looks beautiful, Cooper looks happy, and Blaine does not give a rat's ass.

.

Natalia is an editor; she's actually part of the publishing house responsible for Blaine's favorite series. [True crime.] Cooper's settled into being host for the latest reality show craze. They live in Los Angeles and Blaine only sees them on the few holidays he goes home for. [That’s what I see canon!Cooper doing one day. He’s as beloved as Cat Deely.]

Three years after the wedding, Natalia has their only daughter; four years after that, she has their only son.

If Cooper could find a reasonable explanation, he'd never let Blaine meet his children. [But he can’t. After all, he has no concrete proof of anything his brother has ever done.]

.

Natalia adores Blaine and doesn't understand why Cooper never calls him, or emails him, or sees him at all. Bianca and Marcos love their Uncle Blaine; he might even be their favorite relative, even over Granny, Grampa, Nana, and Pa. Natalia has two sisters who live in Florida, in the same neighborhood all three of them grew up in, with husbands and kids of their own. She loves Tash and Natia (though she hates Tash's husband, and thinks Natia could've done better) and the way Cooper can barely stand Blaine... if he could give a reason, she might understand. But Cooper has no reason, and Bianca thinks the sun rises and sets on Uncle B'ain, and Marcos hero-worships him, though they've met maybe three times in five years. [I find this particularly ironic because she writes about people like her brother-in-law.]

And Uncle Kurt... Bianca loves him because he always brings pretty clothes, and sits down with her for her games, and Marcos follows him around shyly, asking little questions about cars (because Uncle Kurt can fix cars, baby, even if he does focus on clothes right now), and Marcos knows that Daddy is mostly helpless with engines.

Granny and Grampa [Cooper’s parents] have all the cool toys, and cookies, and a big yard to run around in. Nana and Pa have a beach twenty feet from their front porch [Natalia’s parents]. Aunty Tash and Aunty Tia have kids for Bianca and Marcos to play with. But Uncle Blaine and Uncle Kurt.... if given a choice, Bianca and Marcos will choose them, and every time, Cooper winces, and he refuses explain why. [She might believe him, if he told her his suspicions. But she’d also contact the cops and lawyers and others who are her contacts for her books, and that wouldn’t end well at all.]

By the time Marcos is four, Natalia has given up understanding her husband's (non)relationship with his brother and brother-in-law. Natalia adores both of them, her children adore them - if Cooper can't even try to explain, she doesn't care. She'd know if something was wrong, and her children love them. What does she need to know but that? [… yeah.]

.

Natalia's latest manuscript is about women who killed their families. She tries to leave it at the office, all the darkness and filth, but she can't quite manage it. Cooper is at work (there was an emergency with two of the contestants) and the kids are at the sitter's, thankfully, and Natalia tries calling both her sisters, but neither picks up, and she tries calling her mother, and her best friend is on a round-the-world cruise, and finally, sobbing, she calls Blaine.

"Talia," he says soothingly, "breathe in with me, c'mon, in and out, that's it, keep up with me, in and out, in and out, that's it, sweetheart, it's alright." Slowly, painfully slowly, she feels herself calming down, and she's embarrassed about the whole thing.

"Now," Blaine says, still in that soothing tone he must've learned at the clinic, "tell me what's wrong."

Cooper hates hearing about the books Natalia edits. He says they're creepy and horrifying, but Natalia knows that Blaine devours true-crime books. He says they're fascinating. So she tells him about Adam Lachek's newest book, about wives and mothers and sisters killing everyone they're meant to care for, and how it's been messing with her mind.

Blaine calmly and gently asks her, "Do you think you're anything like those women?"

"No!" she replies, horrified at the mere thought.

"There you go, then," he says. "But take a break from that manuscript for a few days. Visit with your kids - it's summertime, Talia, and you live in LA."

"You're right," she murmurs, taking a deep breath. "Thank you, Blaine. I just..."

"I understand," he assures her. "Don't worry about it. Do you feel better now?"

"I do," she says. "I... good evening, have a good night. Give Kurt a hug from me and the kids."

"I’ll do that," he chuckles. "Good night, Natalia."

She keeps holding the phone after he hangs up, eyes closed, breathing in and breathing out. Then she calls her boss and takes the next three days off.

[Isn’t outside pov amazing? This entire section just amuses me so much.]

.

When Bianca is eight, she pushes a boy down the stairs. She cries and says she didn't mean to, it was an accident, they were playing too close and she didn't know. [… maybe.]

When Bianca is nine, she sets a girl's hair on fire and explains tearfully that Hettie had been mean. [On purpose.]

When Bianca is ten, Cooper calls Blaine and doesn't tell Natalia why.

.

It should be Bianca's first day of sixth grade, but the Headmistress of Renaissance Academy asked that she not return, and Cooper's been keeping her close since the neighbor's dog went missing. [She had nothing to do with it.] He took a leave of absence from Dance Off [*sporfle] and stayed home with the kids, and Natalia isn't sure what's going on, because the stairs incident was an accident, and Hettie, while terrified, wasn't hurt.

Natalia is at work, Marcos at kindergarten, and Cooper home with Bianca.

When Natalia gets home with Marcos, Kurt is upstairs with Bianca, apparently having a long talk. [It’s the kind of talk he once had with his grandmother.] Blaine and Cooper are sitting in the den, on opposite ends of the couch. [They don’t do small talk if their parents aren’t around.]

"Uncle B'ain!" Marcos shouts, running over and throwing himself into Blaine's lap.

"Hey, buddy," Blaine says, swinging him up. "What've you been up to?"

Cooper is tense, glaring at Blaine; Natalia says, "Blaine, what are you doing here? Did we have something planned?"

"Oh, no," Blaine says, smiling at her. "But Kurt and I had time off, so I thought, why not come see my darling niece and nephew?" He tickles Marcos until Marcos shrieks with laughter, and Cooper's hands are clenched into fists, so hard that his knuckles are white. [Cooper sees through the act, but he has no idea what to do because so few others ever have.]

"Where is Kurt?" Natalia asks, setting her purse down and sitting next to Cooper.

"Upstairs with Bianca," Blaine says, dropping Marcos (carefully) over the side of the couch. "He called it a girl talk." Blaine shrugs and then catches Marcos when he lunges back over the side, landing again in Blaine's lap.

.

Blaine and Kurt spend the night. After his talk with Bianca (which Cooper has promised to explain later), Kurt plays with Marcos, to make sure he doesn't feel left out. Bianca is swinging back and forth between sullen and excited, and Blaine talks with Natalia about her latest manuscript (the second in a true crime series about mass murderers), and Cooper listens as Kurt complains about his co-star in his soon-to-premiere musical.

All in all, it's a nice visit. Marcos cries when Blaine and Kurt walk out the door, and Bianca runs up to her room to hide her own tears.

"They should visit more," Natalia tells Cooper. "Now, what is going on?"

"After dinner," Cooper says. "Please."

"Fine," she says. "Marcos, baby, come on - you'll be late for school."

.

After Bianca and Marcos are in bed, Natalia sits next to Cooper on the couch and says, "Tell me what's going on with our daughter, Cooper."

He hesitates, fingers catching the hem of her shirt. "Bianca," he says. "She... you have to have noticed what she's been doing, Talia." [He’s been seeing his little brother, lately, when he looks at his daughter, and he doesn’t want to believe it – but he can’t ignore it, not this time. Not with his baby girl.]

"She didn't mean to push that boy down the stairs," Natalia says. "And the girl's hair - that was just self-defense." [Natalia sounds just like Cooper’s mother.]

Cooper shakes his head. "I called Blaine because..." He hesitates again, looking down at his hands, pulling them back into his lap. "She'll be good," he says quietly. "Kurt explained the necessity of - " He cuts himself off, then says, "Don't worry, Talia. Nothing's going on."

She nods, lifting his chin so that he meets her gaze. "Our daughter is a happy, lovely girl, Cooper Anderson," she says.

"I know," he murmurs. [He knows that she will never see it, not in their daughter. And if he can keep his daughter under control, then the whole family won’t fall apart.]

.

Bianca calms down after Kurt and Blaine’s visit. She’s accepted back at Renaissance Academy on a probationary basis, and focuses on her studies, and she emails back and forth with her Uncle Kurt.

Natalia reads a few, just to be safe, and it’s all talk about some game. Harmless.

.

After Bianca, Marcos is a breeze. He likes science and machines, and knows from a young age that he wants to be a mechanical engineer. He’s such a happy child.

Cooper maintains constant contact with his brother; Natalia is glad to see that their relationship is improving, even if it did take Bianca acting out to make it happen. [Blaine will help his brother because they’re family, and because Kurt says the situation needs to be contained.]

Cooper’s moved up to producer and casting director for FOX, and Natalia has finally started researching for her own novel.

Bianca applies for and is accepted to NYU; she asks if she can live with her uncles and cousin in New York. [Foreshadowing!] When Natalia passes that message on to her brother-in-law, Kurt says, “Of course she can come live here, sweetie. Blaine and I have plenty of room; Kyle is doing well, and I think he’d like having a sister for a little while.”

“Oh, that’s a relief,” Natalia says. “I’m going to worry no matter what, but that’s a load off.”

“I’ll start cleaning up the guest room for our favorite niece,” Kurt says.

.

After dropping Bianca off with Blaine and Kurt, Natalia sobs all the way to the airport. Cooper holds her hand tightly, arms wrapped around her, and she doesn’t think she’s meant to hear him murmur, “I hope we’ve done the right thing.”

“Of course we have,” Natalia whispers, resting her head on Cooper’s shoulder. “Our baby is happy, and her uncles will help her, and she’s growing up.” She closes her eyes, trying to stop the tears. [Cooper and Natalia are having an entirely different conversation.]

At least she has Marcos for a few more years.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 500
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author’s choice, any, I look a little bit older, I look a little bit colder.

 

Kurt and Blaine receive their invitations to Dalton's Class of 2012 ten year reunion on the same day.

Blaine asks, "You wanna?" while Kurt examines his invitation with an adorable frown on his face.

"I always said I'd ignore McKinley after graduating," Kurt says, looking up. "But I enjoyed my time at Dalton, and we're both successful and happily married." He smiles. "Let's attend and dazzle them, love."

.

Kurt’s understudy takes his role for a few days and Blaine uses three of his vacation days. They fly to Columbus, visit with Blaine’s parents for a few hours, spend a night in Lima with Kurt’s family, and then go to Westerville for the reunion.

Blaine takes Kurt’s hand and leads him to the staircase where they met, and Kurt laughs, pulling him in for a kiss. “I don’t understand why you always say you’re bad at romance,” Kurt murmurs as they separate. [They really can be adorable sometimes.]

“Kurt, Blaine!” a voice calls. “I know that Thad said you’d RVSPd, but I can’t believe you’re here.”
They turn to see Jeff, and the rest of the Warblers following him, from the ballroom where the reunion is set.

“Hey, guys!” Blaine exclaims, hurrying over. “Can you believe it’s been ten years? Just yesterday we were singin’ ‘Teenage Dream’ to the worst spy in the world!” He laughs and they do, too: Thad, Trent, Zach, Anthony, Corey, Nick, and Jeff.

“I’m sure there was, at some point, someone worse than me,” Kurt says primly, stepping up next to Blaine and suffering numerous slaps on the back and enthusiastic hugs. He smiles warmly at them all, Blaine’s friends who welcomed him to Dalton and helped make him one of the most popular boys at school, a truly unexpected turn of events at the time. [He owes so much to the Warblers. He settles the debt by not killing any of them.]

“C’mon, everyone’s waiting to see you,” Corey urges. “You have to sing!”

Blaine grins, wide and bright. “Of course we’re gonna sing!” [As if that was ever in doubt.]

.

The reunion is a success, of course; Blaine drags Kurt up for a few duets, and the Warblers perform, too, and it’s like high-school again: the Warblers were the most popular students, and Blaine the most popular of all.

Everyone wants to talk to Blaine, see what he’s been up to. Kurt knows that being Blaine’s boyfriend granted him a great deal of popularity towards the end of junior year, and that he earned it himself in senior year.

He glances around the ballroom, at the men who used to be the boys who welcomed him, at the men who used to be the boys who never saw what lurked right in the middle of them. Blaine is laughing amidst the crowd, holding court, and he meets Kurt’s eyes with a bright grin.

For a moment, Kurt is back on those stairs, looking at the most beautiful boy in the world.

Dalton is where his life began.

Blaine turns back to the men who used to be the boys who worshipped him, and Kurt laughs, sauntering over to take his place beside Blaine. [Things would’ve been quite different if Kurt had never gone to Dalton. He knows that.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; kid!fic; coldblooded, fairly graphic murder
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; Cooper/OFC
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 865
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, "Having fun yet?"

 

Blaine likes his niece and nephew more than he likes Finn’s sons. He doesn’t love them. Cooper calls and visits as infrequently as possible and Blaine’s fine with that.

When Blaine’s niece is seven, Kurt murmurs, “Have you noticed anything interesting about Bianca?”

Blaine shrugs. His niece is a little girl and he barely knows her.

Kurt ‘hmms’ and returns to his sketchbook.

.

Kyle is twelve when Kurt tells Blaine that Bianca is coming to live with them while attending NYU. Blaine doesn’t really care, unless it interrupts their game.

“It’ll be fine, sweetie,” Kurt assures him. Kyle’s out with friends and Kurt finally got the guestroom – Bianca’s room – perfect, and Bianca will be arriving tomorrow. They’ve already talked about all this: if having and raising a son didn’t interfere, having someone else live with them won’t either.

Blaine says, “Cooper thinks she’s like us.”

Kurt laughs. “She isn’t.”

.

Bianca is a beautiful girl growing into a beautiful woman. She’s going into law at NYU, and she’s absolutely sure about what she wants, and Kurt is still her favorite person in the world.

Kyle follows Bianca around like a puppy, but she treats him exactly how she treats her little brother: like a pest that she occasionally does nice things for.

Kurt knows that Bianca would die to keep her little brother safe. Would leap in the way of a bullet aimed at her mother, or shove her father out of the path of a car.

Kurt also knows that Bianca felt true remorse for the things she did as a child. She grew out of those destructive, violent tendencies with puberty. Cooper’s worried about nothing. His daughter is nothing like Blaine, or Kurt himself. [Every single child and teenager is a sociopath. Most grow out of it. Bianca is one of those.]

Kyle, too, for all that he has Kurt’s blood in his veins, is nothing like his fathers. He reminds Kurt of his mother, what he remembers of her. Kyle is gentle and kind and funny, and thinks the best of everyone. He’d be horrified if he knew what his fathers do three times a year, and have for almost thirty years. He has dozens of friends and adores all his cousins – he has his grandmother’s spirit and Grampa’s heart.

Bianca will be no more of a hindrance than Kyle when it comes to the game

.

“Uncle Blaine and I have a date tomorrow night,” Kurt tells Bianca three weeks after she moves in. “We usually send Kyle off to one his friends.”

Bianca would clearly prefer to say something else, but instead she says, “I can watch him, Uncle Kurt, it’s fine.”

“Are you sure?” he asks.

She nods. “It’ll be fun.”

Kurt smiles. “Thanks, Bianca.”

.

Blaine slams Nick Southerly into the ground and stabs him until his arm gets tired.

“Feel better?” Kurt asks, carefully leaning over to take the knife.

“Yeah,” Blaine says, sliding off the body. “Work has been so frustrating, babe. And I can’t – Mick is too involved in the neighborhood for me to get rid of him. It’s… frustrating.” He leans down to shove the knife into Nick’s glazed eye instead of handing it to Kurt.

[Someone asked about Blaine’s career. Here’s my reply:

Blaine's an audiologist - I don't think I actually put that in the fic anywhere. He didn't go for an MD, and he's happy with a tiny little practice at a clinic. If he was bigger in the field, it definitely would've impacted their hobby… to psychiatry, Blaine couldn’t fake caring enough for that to last. But he does find hearing problems interesting. *shrugs*]

“I’m sorry, love,” Kurt murmurs, stepping in close to wrap his arms around Blaine. “I have a backup, if you wanna do it again tonight.”

“No,” Blaine says. “We have a date tonight. We should go out and eat fancy and bring back something nice for the kids, right?”

Kurt gives him a frank, disbelieving look. “Really?” he asks

Blaine laughs. “No,” he says again. “I wanna see you get your hands red.” [Not every date is for the game; someone might catch on.]

.

Kyle and Bianca are asleep on the couch, leaning against each other, when Kurt and Blaine get back. Kyle hasn’t had his growth spurt yet, so Blaine picks him up to carry to his room while Kurt wakes up Bianca enough that he can steer her to hers.

“They’re good kids,” Blaine tells Kurt as they climb into their bed.

“They are,” Kurt agrees.

He likes Bianca just as much as he likes Finn’s boys (well, a little better, because she’s not quite as loud), but he loves Kyle like he loves Dad.

He’s never had to choose between Dad and Blaine, thankfully. A lot of his nightmares over the years were about making that choice. Since Kyle, that exact same nightmare has been a recurring theme.

Kurt knows that Blaine doesn’t love Kyle the way he does – but, thank that dwarf on the dark side of the moon, Kyle has no idea. He loves his dad just as much as he loves his papa, and has no clue that his dad doesn’t feel the same. [Kurt truly loves Kyle, just like he truly loves Burt and Blaine. He honestly has no idea who he would choose, if ever forced to make the choice.]

.

Bianca brings all her class troubles to Kurt, and Blaine doesn’t care. He prefers it that way. She’s a good girl and he likes her well enough, but he doesn’t really feel any emotional connection to her at all.

Kyle, on the other hand, runs to Blaine with everything. He looks like Kurt. He kinda acts like the mask Kurt used to wear, back in the beginning, before Blaine realized the mask existed.

Blaine doesn’t love his son. He does his best, though, to make sure Kyle never realizes that, because Kyle is the first person he’s ever wanted to love. [I knew that having Blaine suddenly be all sunshine and daisies would be unbelievable. He’s obsessed and in love with Kurt; psychotically and erotically co-dependent and all that. He’s been faking love for his family his whole life, even if his blood relatives have caught on. But his and Kurt’s son? That’s one and only time he’s ever wanted the act to be true.

And, actually, he does love Kyle. He just doesn’t realize it because there’s no sexual component, like there is for Kurt. (Kurt might.)]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; discussions of murder; a disgusting amount of fluff
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine; Burt/Carole
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 335
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, "It tastes like marshmallows." / "Yay!" / "I hate marshmallows." / "You're no fun."

[*sporfle* I just saw this prompt and thought I had to have it. For some reason, I heard Blaine saying the ‘yay’ part.]

It's Kurt's thirtieth birthday next week and Blaine’s determined to make him the best cake in the history of the world. [That’s gotta be love, right?] Kurt’s dad is up from Lima but Finn stayed with the garage and Carole couldn’t get off work; they’re taking Burt out to a fancy place and then back to their apartment for dessert and presents.

Of course, the best present has to wait until Burt’s gone, but the cake can be shared. [Yeah, that’s a grisly murder.]

So far, Kurt hasn’t liked any of Blaine’s efforts. Blaine’s compiled thirteen years of watching Kurt eat different kinds of cakes, but he’s still not sure what Kurt would really love.

.

“You kids are doin’ good for yourselves,” Burt says after dinner, eating the perfectly portioned piece of cake Kurt let him have. “I’m proud of you boys.”

“Thank you, Dad,” Kurt says, looking up from his piece.

Blaine’s waiting for him to try it before eating his. He watches in anticipation as Kurt carefully slices into it with his fork and lifts the fork to his mouth and daintily bites into it.

"It tastes," Kurt pronounces with a solemn dread, "like marshmallows."

"Yay!" Blaine cheers, raising his arms in the touchdown sign.

"Blaine," Kurt says, "I hate marshmallows."

"You're no fun," Blaine pouts at him. Burt laughs. [I can actually see this happening in canon. *hee*]

.

“What do you want tonight?” Blaine asks. He’s made half a dozen plans depending on Kurt’s answer.

“Tonight,” Kurt replies, “is all up to you, love.” He smiles, peppering kisses all over Blaine’s face, and then he murmurs, “You arrange everything and once it’s all done, I get to play.”

Kurt usually craves control. But if he wants his present this year to be surrendering it to Blaine – well, Blaine has a plan for that, too.

“Alright, babe,” he says, pulling Kurt in for a long, deep kiss. When they separate to breathe, Blaine tells him, “Put on clothes you don’t mind losing.”

Nodding, Kurt grins his excited little grin and dances to their room. Blaine follows, matching him step for step.

 

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU; contemplations of murder; implied sexual assault
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 465
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author’s choice; any; go home, girl

[I saw this prompt and knew immediately that I wanted it to be a time one of them could have killed but chose not to. Not the usual ‘oh, I could so easily kill that person’ but actually ached for it yet refused, for whatever reason.]

Kurt's walking home from a rehearsal that went way over. He knows that Blaine's already in bed, exhausted from classes, the clinic, and the hotline he's not quite ready to let go of.

Kurt has honestly been unable to figure out what, exactly, Blaine gets out of the hotline. He talks people down from the edge, but he never goes after any of them. It might just be part of Blaine's camouflage, but Kurt's not sure.

Whatever it is, Blaine's been working too hard lately, and Kurt's managing hours at vogue.com in-between costume fittings and rehearsals, and Isabelle's already said his attention seems to be elsewhere. He really does enjoy fashion, and he doesn’t want to let it go entirely - but he also really loves the stage. And if he has to choose... well, he spent four years preparing for musical theater. For Broadway. But designing has also been such a large part of his life. [I’m really not sure what Kurt’s actual career is. Neither is he.]

Either way, he's too exhausted to make a decision tonight. He should've called a cab, but he thought the walk might help clear his head so he doesn’t messily murder Thom, the ego-tripping, delusional lead. He really could just claw that man’s eyes out. Or rip his balls off, whichever.

That’s when Kurt sees her. She’s darting along, head down, coat closed tight, tears on her face. She stumbles, catches herself, and continues on, freezing for just a moment when she sees Kurt.

It’s like a bolt of lightning along Kurt’s spine. She’s a tiny little lamb and he’s the big bad wolf, and he could take her right now. See how loud she’d scream. See how red her blood would look on her pale skin, already bruised. [Yes, she was just raped. That’s all I know.]

This must be how Blaine felt, when he saw that boy, his first. Knowing with a look. Wanting, so sharply, so breathlessly.

He follows her for a block, going completely the wrong direction, before he regains his senses.

No. This is not how Kurt does things. He’s fussed at Blaine more than once for doing something like this. Kurt plans it all ahead of time. Seeing someone like this – no matter how much he wants, this would be a stupid mistake. He knows nothing about this girl. Who would miss her, who would look for her. How to make it so no one questioned –

But she’s already hurt, the predator in him whispers. Look at her… someone else is already primed for the blame.

No, Kurt decides, turning back. He’s too tired. He isn’t at full capacity, and nothing is set up, and he’s not wearing clothes he’s willing to lose.

“Go home, little girl,” he says softly, hurrying home himself.

(In two years, Kurt sees that girl again, lit up by a bright sun.

He has time.)

[He’s a monster. That’s all there is to it. He’s a monster, and he gets away clean.]

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Byron
Warnings: AU
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 610
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, The dog was created especially for children. He is the god of frolic. [I’m pretty sure this fill is not at all what the prompter had in mind.]

When Kyle is four, he asks for a dog. A Great Dane, specifically, so that he can ride it around like a horse. [*hee*]

They live in a fairly good-sized apartment, but there is no room for a dog of that size – or a dog of any size, actually, Kurt carefully and gently explains to his son. [I’ve had a dog for most of my life, and always had a yard to let the dog run around in. Now that I’m in apartment, I can’t imagine having a dog because there’s no yard. *shrugs*]

.

Finn's sons have a dog.

Kyle's best friend Dana has a dog.

Kurt starts taking his son to the dog park once a week, to try and get his dog fix.

It doesn't work; Kyle's desire for a dog grows ever stronger.

.

"We don't have the time or attention for a dog," Kurt tells Blaine.

"I know," Blaine says, rubbing at Kurt's shoulder.

"It would get in the way, and require so much training. You know that Kyle sure wouldn't be taking care of it," Kurt continues, pulling the comforter up over them both. "And you - you'd probably learn how to ignore the barking. It'd all fall onto me, and I don't have that kind of time right now."

"I know, babe," Blaine says.

.

Kyle wants a dog.

He gets a cat. He's hesitant, at first, but she's a calm tabby, and she doesn't mind being carted around like a sack of flour, and she drapes herself over Kurt's lap to purr, and she avoids Blaine. [Pretty good instincts, there, but Kurt already told Blaine to leave the cat alone.]

Kyle names her Alayos [pronounced exactly as its spelled], which he informs his fathers means beautiful in the language he and Dana made up. Kurt tells him it fits perfectly.

.

Alayos dies of old age, gently in her sleep, when Kyle is sixteen.

Kurt holds his son while he cries.

.

When Kyle is twenty-three, in a tiny apartment a few blocks from his parents, he gets a dog. She's yappy little thing but he takes the time to train her, and he walks her every day, and her name is Daria. He loves her.

Whenever his fathers visit, Papa pats Daria on the head and ignores her. She avoids Dad, though, unless he specifically invites her over, and then she bounces all around him.

"She's no Ayalos," Dad says one day while Daria is barking her fool head off at the window. "Ayalos was much quieter."

Kyle laughs. "You don't get dogs if you want quiet, Dad."

"Clearly," Dad says. Then he raises his voice to add sharply, "Daria, here."

Daria hurries to him and lays down on his feet. She's never so obedient for Kyle, but he also doesn't mind a few minutes of barking.

"Good girl," Dad murmurs, stroking her ears.

Papa walks out of the bathroom and says, "We can go now."

Kyle tells Daria, "Get in your kennel," and grabs a piece of lunchmeat from the fridge. She rushes into it and spins in place, tail wagging up a storm as Kyle gives her the turkey.

"I'm glad she's not too spoiled," Papa says.

Laughing, Kyle locks the door. "She's my kid, but I'm not going to let her be the alpha, Papa."

"Good," Dad says. "Now, where are you taking us to dinner?"

.

Kurt never wanted a dog because of the noise and the mess. It was best that Blaine never had a dog, at least as a child. As an adult, he didn't want the bother.

Dad used to ask Kurt if he wanted something to liven the house up a bit and Kurt always said no. Blaine used to ask his parents for a dog (but not for companionship or play) and they refused, even when Cooper begged, too.

Kyle seems very happy with a dog, Kurt thinks, but he's glad the boy has space of his own for the noise and the mess.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: Kurt, Blaine, and Cooper aren’t mine; title from Byron.
Warnings: character death; death of a child; discussion of coldblooded murder; grief
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, Cooper/OFC
Wordcount: 830
Point of view: third
Prompt: If something bad ever happened to Cooper’s family, either or both to his wife and children - if he would ever, if he *could* ever be pushed so far that he would go to Kurt&Blaine and outright ask or carefully Not-Ask for their help. Or since these things run in families, Cooper winds up seeing these traits in one of his own children or grandchildren, and what he would do.

 

Marcos dies when he’s fifteen. [From the moment I got the prompt and decided who Cooper’s kids were, I knew the one nobody thought was a serial-killer-to-be would die.] Drunk driver. Dead on impact. Julian Evers stumbles away with bruised ribs and a mild concussion.

Julian Evers then walks away with a slap on the wrist because of a technicality.

Cooper calls his brother. [Punch, right in the gut.]

.

Everyone flies in for the funeral; Bianca takes a semester off from NYU. Natalia can’t stop crying, and Cooper’s not any better.

Tash [Natalia’s sister] and Kurt take over everything.

.

Four months after, when it’s clear that Julian Evers won’t be punished by anything worse than the guilt he already drowned in booze, Cooper sits in Marcos’ room, in the chair by Marcos’ desk, and he calls his little brother, the little brother he’s never liked and hates just as much as he loves, and he wonders if asking what he’s about to ask is enough to damn him.

Marcos is gone, isn’t coming back – and Cooper could kill his little boy’s killer, he really could, but he doesn’t know how.

He wants it to hurt. He wants it to last. Not quick, not clean. Not merciful. [Anyone can become a killer. It takes a special sort to plan it out. If Cooper ever came across the guy at the mall, yeah, he’d attack him. But what are the chances he’ll ever come across him anywhere?]

“Please,” he says, eyes closed, holding onto the plush shark Kurt once gave to Marcos, one of the few toys to survive. Marcos loved the damn thing.

“Of course, Coop,” Blaine replies, from all the way across the country.

Like it’s easy.

Cooper ends the call and thinks, Maybe it is. [It definitely is.]

.

Kyle is at Tommy’s, and Bianca is at home with her mother, and Blaine turns to look at Kurt, curled up on the loveseat with The Once and Future King, and Blaine says, “My brother wants us to kill a man.”

Kurt doesn’t look up. “The one who ran over his son?”

Blaine nods.

“And he wants it to hurt?” Kurt asks, turning a page.

Blaine nods again.

Kurt places a bookmark and closes the book. [Yeah, it’s really that simple.]

.

Because Marcos was his nephew, because he knew the boy when he was young, because Marcos used to follow him around and ask hesitant questions about engines, because Marcos was his - Kurt makes it intricate and yet elegantly simply.

The man didn’t mean to kill Marcos. That doesn’t matter.

Because Marcos was a chubby little boy who toddled after Kurt and mumbled silly little questions, and he used to laugh for Blaine to toss him into the air like a plane, and he had his whole future charted out.

Kurt didn’t love him, but Kurt liked him a lot. Blaine liked him a lot.

Accidents happen every day. Horrible things happen to good people.

“Tell me,” Blaine says, sitting on the bed in his brother’s guestroom, down the hall from where Marcos used to sleep.

Kurt tells him.

Cooper doesn’t ask. [I like this section.]

.

It’s barely a blip on anyone’s radar when Julian Evers goes missing half a year after he kills that poor kid.

Blaine and Kurt spend a week with Cooper, Natalia, and Bianca; Kyle is with Tommy’s family so he can attend school like normal, though he begged to come along.

Cooper doesn’t ask, but on their last day there, Blaine tells him, “It’s done,” sipping his coffee, leaning against the counter.

Cooper really had thought it’d make him feel better, to know that drunk fucker was dead. He’s imagined - dreamt - so many ways to make that bastard hurt, to feel as broken and destroyed as Cooper does. But he doesn’t feel better. He still feels hollow.

“Thank you,” he says anyway, because at least now no more parents will suffer.

.

When Cooper is dying of old age, wasting away, he thinks about asking Blaine. What’d you ever do to Julian Evers? he’d say, Did it hurt?

He’s imagined a thousand different answers Blaine might give, but he never quite works up the nerve.

A man killed his son, and he called in a monster to kill the man.

It didn’t make him feel any better – he knows now, staring Death in the face, that nothing could have ever made him feel better, not with his son crushed on the concrete – but he also never, not once in almost fifty years, has regretted saying, Blaine, please, he took my son from me. I can’t… I don’t want him alive anymore.

Blaine said, Of course, Coop, and Cooper could grieve in peace. He never mentioned it to anyone; he never spoke of his son at all. Natalia had tried talking it out, the despair and rage and grief, but Cooper couldn’t bear it. Pretty soon, everyone knew not to mention Marcos.

Bianca accused him of trying to pretend like Marcos had never been, but Cooper wasn’t doing that. He had no idea how to explain, so he said nothing.

He said nothing about the man whose death he caused, the man who killed his son, the man whose body no one ever found.

On his deathbed, he doesn’t call his brother. Instead, he thinks about seeing his son again.

[Cooper is never able to think about his son without remembering that he’s responsible for murder. He simply can’t untangle the thoughts. And since he can’t talk about that, he can’t talk about his son. And he can’t explain any of that to his wife or his daughter.]

.

Kurt told Blaine, waiting for Julian Evers to wake up, “Think about him killing our son.”

Blaine did. [Remember, Blaine’s son is the one person he ever wants to love but isn’t sure he does. And what he’d do to the person who killed his child is horrifically worse than what he ever does to anyone.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: Kurt, Blaine, and Cooper aren’t mine; title from Byron.
Warnings: creepy
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Wordcount: 85
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any(/any), any, someday the mountain might get 'em but the law never will [Every time I hear this line, I think about the Winchesters. But then I realized that Kurt&Blaine will never be caught, so it applies to them, too. Hence this drabble.]

There have been so many close calls over the years, brushes with the law that should've ended in widening eyes and drawn guns, in handcuffs and being shoved into backseats, in cages and interviews and yelling, in the book being thrown at them, in headlines across the country -

But Blaine is so charming, and Kurt so soothing, and they're such nice boys, such wonderful men, of course there's nothing wrong here.

Nothing at all.

.

No. The law will never catch them.

Time will. [I like the flow of these sentences.]

 

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: Kurt, Blaine, & Cooper aren’t mine; title from Byron.
Warnings: mentions of violence/tragedy; outside pov
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, OMC/OFC
Wordcount: 885
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, Any, "And they say I'm the weird one."

 

Kyle's best friend Tommy's dad is in jail for getting in a bar fight and shoving someone too hard. The man landed wrong, hit his head, and died.

Tommy's dad had been an Army Ranger, and he should've known better than to get in a fight with a drunk civilian, no matter what the man said about Tommy's mom.

Tommy visits his dad every week, and he'll be getting out soon. Kyle's not sure what to think - it was an accident. But Tommy's dad killed someone.

How's he supposed to feel about that?

[This chapter happened because my ex-cousin-in-law has been convicted of vehicular homicide. All sorts of feelings happened.]

.

"You feel sad," Papa says when he asks. "It's very sad that Tommy's father accidently ended the life of someone he never meant to. You feel compassion because the guilt must terrible for the man." [Notice Kurt’s terminology there.]

That, Kyle can do.

.

Kyle's girlfriend Dana has an older sister she hasn't seen in almost twenty years. The older sister is much older; she was in high-school when Dana was born. Dana always explains that they have different dads, and their mom was very young, whenever anyone asks about her sister and the very wide age gap.

Kyle doesn't think it's that weird; Uncle Cooper is a decade older than Dad. He was almost in high-school when Dad was born.

Dana doesn't talk about her sister that much, and very few people ever ask.

Dana's sister was babysitting this kid, once, she tells Kyle one night, three weeks after graduation. They've been friends since pre-K and dating for two years.

Willa was babysitting a neighbor's kid, Dana says, head tucked into Kyle's chest. He doesn't interrupt, just listens. There was... she was on the phone with her boyfriend and the kid was upstairs, and there was this noise. She - her boyfriend had just confessed to sleeping with her friend, so she didn't check. Dana hesitates, fingers clenching on Kyle's shirt. He keeps quiet, so she continues, The kid, he couldn't have been more than five, Kyle, and he'd fallen in the bathroom. Hit his head on tub. Even if she'd checked right away, even if she'd been there - she couldn't have done anything. But she... I don't remember Willa any other way except broken. [Yeah, that would fuck anyone up.]

Dana sobs for the rest of the night, and Kyle just holds her.

.
"Why is it everyone I care about has some sort of tragedy in their lives?" Kyle asks Dad. Tommy and Dana, the two most important people – his best friend and the girl he’s pretty sure he’s gonna marry someday. Tommy’s father is quiet, now that he’s free. Tommy’s told Kyle that he’s different from the boisterous man from his childhood. And Dana’s poor sister…

Dad shrugs. “Everyone’s got tragedy in their lives,” he says, glancing up from The Gift of Fear, Papa’s birthday gift. [That book, again! Because Blaine needs to know how ‘the other half’ live.]

“I don’t,” Kyle argues.

Dad raises an eyebrow. “Do you want tragedy in your life?” he asks. “And what would you call Marcos? And Alayos, too – you were ripped up by her death.”

Marcos. Kyle sucks in a deep breath, because he’d forgotten. How could he forget? That’s… “I’m a terrible person,” he says. And Alayos, it still hurts, that she’s not there purring beside him anymore.

“No, you’re not,” Dad says, shaking his head. “You barely knew Marcos. Tommy and Dana’s tragedies seem more immediate to you because you deal with them almost every day, you see how they’re affected. Bianca doesn’t live here anymore, and she kept her grief quiet, anyway.”

“But – ” Kyle tries, because does a cat really compare to a cousin? Dad shakes his head again.

Everyone has tragedy,” Dad says. “Just because it’s not readily apparent doesn’t mean it’s not there. Maybe someone has suffered more than someone else – but you never know what a person has been through just by looking at them.” He pauses, so Kyle nods.

“I,” he says. “Thanks, Dad.”

He wonders what tragedy is in his dad’s past. Papa, too. He knows there was some severe bullying – Papa had come down hard on Kyle during middle school, when he made fun of a couple kids. Kyle got past it pretty quick, and teachers started enforcing the no-bullying policy they’d just been preaching about before. [Kurt marched into that school and tore those teachers apart.]

All Kyle’s grandparents are still alive, and his aunts and uncles, and cousins (except Marcos, and it still aches that he’d forgotten that, even for a minute).

“Aren’t you late?” Dad asks, turning a page in his book and smiling down at it.

“Shit!” Kyle yelps and hurries upstairs to change.

Dana does not like it when he’s tardy, and he has to get all the way across town.

Dad calls after him, “You might as well stop for flowers – there’s no way you’ll be on time, anyway.”

“Thanks, Dad!” he shouts back down the stairs. He knows Dad heard the sarcasm when he laughs.

[Blaine secretly finds it hilarious that his son thinks their family is mostly untouched by tragedy. Kurt just shakes his head when Blaine tells him later that night.]

.

A cousin he barely knew and a cat he adored, weighed next to a father who accidently killed a man and an older sister who was responsible when a little kid died.

Kyle is lucky, he thinks, flipping through a photo album with Dana. He plans to call Tommy tomorrow, see if he’s up for a movie.

Whatever tragedy is in his parents’ lives, it hasn’t touched him, and he’s not sure if it’s unfair for him to be grateful – but he is.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron.
Warnings: No Glee characters appear. Lots of grief/mourning/bad things implied; outside pov
Pairings: OMC/OFC
Wordcount: 605
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, I don't care if your world is ending today // cause I wasn't invited to it anyway

[See chapter 34.]

[I know I keep harping on this, but it was so important when I was writing this: each person they kill was a PERSON. With a whole life, and a family, and so much left undone.

Kurt and Blaine are monsters, pure and simple. They’re the protagonists. They are not heroes.

The entire reason I continued this ‘verse past the first few parts were because of all the fics that forget the dead were people, too.]

When George doesn't come back from the gym in time for dinner, Madeline isn't worried, at first. He'd told her he might be going out with the boys tonight, anyway - Rob, Ollie, and Tad, friends from HR, the only ones who stuck by him through the witch-hunt.

It's when he doesn't make it home before Ryan's nightly call that Madeline worries.

.

Rob tells her that George never made it to the restaurant. George hasn’t answered or returned any of her calls.

She reports him missing, terrified and heartsick, because it’s like when Adelaide vanished their senior year – they were supposed to meet at the mall to shop for matching Halloween costumes (the only time in five years they’d actually wanted their outfits to match, the best day of their lives was when Mom quit insisting they dress identical), but Adelaide never arrived.

The entire town searched for her, but Madeline never saw her twin again.

And now her husband is missing, thirty years later.

Madeline wonders, waiting to see the officer who will interview her, if she’s cursed.

[I swear, world-building and character creation are my favorite parts. And possibly why I never actually finish anything original.]
.

Ryan is away on a story. When he calls for his nightly check-in, she doesn’t tell him his father is missing. This is his chance to make it big. This is his chance to become somebody.

If George is found… she’ll tell Ryan then.

.

Ollie stops by three days after George’s disappearance, so they can try and figure out if something was weird the past few weeks. Some sort of foreshadowing. Something different that didn’t seem important at the time.

Officer Andrews already went over everything with Madeline, and she thinks he took it seriously – but no signs of foulplay, and a middle-aged stockbroker who retired before he could get fired for fraud charges… Madeline knows how it looks. But she also knows her husband. He’d only stay away if something was holding him there.

She and Ollie can’t think of anything.

.

When Ryan calls three weeks later, Madeline can’t hide it anymore. She’s cried every night George has been gone, she has no inspiration for her sculptures, and George’s dog refuses to leave the house for a walk.

Ryan catches the first plane home and doesn’t yell at her for lying.

.

George took up boxing to get in better shape. Also, he wanted something to do that might help with all his pent-up rage.

The last place anyone saw him was the gym, but none of the patrons or workers can think of anything odd that might be connected with his disappearance.

.

When Madeline checks in with Officer Andrews, she’s not surprised to be informed that George’s case has been shelved as cold.

Heartbroken and furious, yes, but not surprised.

Oreo, the mutt George had rescued as a puppy and raised himself, still refuses to leave the house. Ryan was demoted for cutting his trip short. Madeline hasn’t made a thing in months.

Her world has ended and she feels like no one really notices, much less cares.

.

Madeline is ninety-three when Ryan visits her at the home, her oldest grandbaby with him, and kneels next to her chair with a groan, and says, “Mama, they found Dad.”

“Where?” she asks, heart in her throat.

Amelia, Ryan’s eldest daughter, sobs, hands covering her mouth. Tears are pouring down Ryan’s face, and he takes Madeline’s hands in his.

Madeline has always known only death could make George stay away. Having it confirmed doesn’t make anything better.

.

They bury Madeline next to the coffin that’s finally holding her husband.

They never do figure out who killed George, or why.

Ryan wishes he’d never learned how his father died.

[‘Real’ people, for a given value of real. *shrugs*]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron.
Warnings: sexual assault and attempted non-con; violence & torture; implied kink
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, OMC/Kurt
Wordcount: 1035
Point of view: third
Prompt: Kurt kills someone in self-defence. Where he's assaulted (sexually) and he has to defend himself and ends with a kill. Where he can't control the situation, where it's different to every other time. I'd like to see how he reacts then [Every time Kurt has killed, he planned it ahead of time, even the woman who took the pictures. He tracked her and went to her apartment knowing she would die.]

Two days after his thirty-third birthday, Kurt was nearly raped for the second time in his life. [I read the prompt and that sentence popped into my head.] Blaine was working late and Kurt had gone out with a group of friends from his current play (and he’d very nearly convinced Ty to produce the first part of his Serial Killers in Love trilogy [he was working on the name, okay, Blaine]). Kurt wasn’t even hunting for a new playmate; their surrogate, Lynn, was four months pregnant and Kurt had informed Blaine that they could do nothing to draw attention until after their son was born. Blaine had grumbled, but Kurt had waited until he was sated to let him know.

Kurt was at a bar with his castmates, two producers, and the director. He was dancing with pretty boys and handsome men and giggling girls and laughing women. He was having a good time, happy with life (a beautiful husband and a son on the way, a successful play he’s the second lead in, and his own play about to be produced [he’s fairly sure]) – what he wasn’t was watchful.

He stumbled out of the crowd on the dancefloor, running on three hours of sleep in a forty-eight hour period, needing to use the restroom very badly. He also really needed to go home, crawl into bed, and wait for Blaine. He decided to let Jon and Edie know once he finished his business.

The first Kurt knew of The Man, The Man had pressed him into the hallway wall and was muttering, “Hey, baby,” breath hot on his ear.

It wasn’t fear shooting through him – he’d swear to that. (Lie, lie, lie, chanted his mind, hands on his hips that weren’t Blaine’s.) [Kurt never dealt with the trauma from Karofsky. All the ‘healing’ was part of his mask; he’s buried it deep.] “Baby, baby,” The Man muttered, hands roaming, and it took a moment for Kurt’s self-defense lessons to kick in, and The Man’s grip tightened, Kurt slamming back into the wall.

“No, baby, don’t fight yet,” The Man slurred, biting down on Kurt’s neck, fingers fumbling at the same belt he’d wrapped around Blaine’s wrists for his birthday present two days ago.

Biting down on Kurt’s neck.

Kurt panicked in a way he hadn’t in – ever. Even with Karofsky. He felt like he couldn’t breathe, and The Man laughed into his throat, leaning back far enough to spin Kurt around.

Which was his mistake. Kurt’s panic spiraled down into his cold, calculating rage, and now he had room to move, his mind calming enough to strike.

The Man was drunk, and coasting on some sort of high, and Kurt wasn’t a scared little boy just trying to survive. He hadn’t been that boy in a very long time.

Kurt doesn’t have any of his weapons on him, and The Man was still laughing, still fumbling at Kurt, and Kurt lashed out at him.

“Kurt!” Edie shouted, turning down the hallway. “Oh, shit!”

He barely heard her, blood rushing in his ears, music thrumming through his bones.

.

The Man was named Rodney Gallagher. He died on the way to the hospital.

It was a clear case of self defense (and, it turned out, Rodney Gallagher’s DNA solved three open sexual assault cases), so Kurt wasn’t charged for anything. [This will be the one person ever known as killed by Kurt Hummel.]

Blaine took him home and didn’t say anything when Kurt spent over an hour in the shower. He lay silently next to Kurt in their bed, waiting for Kurt to make the first move.

Kurt did, when he rolled over into Blaine, so Blaine wrapped himself around his husband.

.

All of Kurt’s friends tried to comfort him, to be there for him, to assure him it wasn’t his fault and he shouldn’t feel bad for defending himself.

Kurt thanked them, and let them hug him, and kicked ass on stage. Dad freaked out and would’ve traveled, if his health or Kurt permitted it; instead, Kurt and Blaine went to Lima for a few days, and Kurt sat on the couch with Dad, watching Deadliest Catch and Kitchen Nightmares reruns, while Blaine planned a dozen games he wouldn’t actually be able to play – not with Rodney Gallagher just barely in the ground.

Rodney Gallagher died too easily.

.

For the first time in years, Kurt had nightmares. He’d wake up shuddering and cuddle in as close to Blaine as he could, and he fumbled one of his lines, and Ty said maybe next year, and Lynn stumbled on the stairs, and everything that had seemed so bright just a week ago was going wrong.

It wasn’t until the soufflé collapsed and Kurt burst into sobs that he understood.

Rodney Gallagher wasn’t planned. Kurt didn’t even see him coming. Rodney Gallagher took all of Kurt’s choices away. All of Kurt’s control.

Bashing someone’s head against the wall isn’t the way Kurt would kill, given the choice. In the hallway to the bathroom is not the location he would pick. Rodney Gallagher might’ve been chosen, had Kurt been looking, but everything was wrong.

(lips on his neck, hands on his belt, breath hot on his ear)

Everything was wrong and none of it was his choice.

“Kurt,” Blaine whispered. “Tell me what you need.”

.

It was a terrible idea. Kurt’s friends were still hyperaware of him, the police might come sniffing around, Kurt wasn’t in the right place to plan and execute anything -

But he needed it, and that was all Blaine had to hear.

.

Blaine stayed in the background after finding and catching Brendan Darlis. Brendan Darlis had the unfortunate luck of looking very similar to Rodney Gallagher, but their likenesses ended there. [The worst thing Brendan ever did in his whole life was run a red light.]

Kurt chose to use knives. Kurt chose to completely immobilize Brendan. Kurt chose to start at the bottom and work his way up while Brendan was awake and aware for everything – and to explain why every step of the way. [Complete and utter control, you see.]

“But I’m not Rodney!” he screamed, ignored by both of them.

Besides, Kurt knew that. Of course it wasn’t Rodney he bled and gutted, or Rodney who sobbed the whole time, begging until he choked on his own blood.

Kurt kept calling him that anyway – he chose to.

.

“Do you feel better?” Blaine asked as they walked home after cleaning up.

“Yes,” Kurt replied, smiling up at New York. The world was bright again.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron.
Warnings: mentions of violence/death
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Wordcount: 320
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, the popular kids

At McKinley, Kurt Hummel was the lowest of the low. He had a few friends, all unpopular, and each was higher on the social ladder than Kurt.

At McKinley, playing sports equaled popularity – even when the team never won except for the single game Kurt played in, and the Monday after winning it, he was right back in the dumpster.

At McKinley, even before confirming his orientation, Kurt was the obvious target – short, small, attitude bigger than he was. It would never have mattered what he did; McKinley wasn’t his place.

Besides, he didn’t want their version of popularity: fragile, wavering, always on the edge. Like Project Runway - one day, you’re in. the next, you’re out.

But Dalton…

Dalton was Blaine’s. He was everyone’s favorite, charming and gifted and funny (and so very handsome). He was just as athletic as any of McKinley’s favored jocks but he wore it better, and he led the Warblers, to boot. The Warblers ruled the school.

Kurt started at Dalton as a shadow of himself, delicate and bruised, and Blaine guided him, Blaine guarded him, and no one gave him trouble. No one wanted to. He was Blaine’s, just like Dalton.

His senior year, though… he still wasn’t as loud as he’d been at McKinley, still wasn’t as bright, but he was more Kurt than Dalton had seen yet, and all those boys loved him for it. He was royalty at Dalton, standing beside Blaine and surveying his realm, beautiful and remote.

McKinley’s unwashed masses wouldn’t recognize the Kurt who ruled Dalton.

McKinley’s unwashed masses wouldn’t recognize the Kurt at Julliard or vogue.com – or the Kurt who got away with murder.

It was funny, though, he thought, smiling at Blaine, who was staring into Ted Ramirez’s eyes as he died, that the Kurt who spent most of freshman year in the dumpster is the same Kurt with gallons of blood on his hands.

[I’m not saying McKinley turned Kurt into a killer – but it sure didn’t deter him in any way.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron
Warnings: domestic violence – spousal abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, rape; murder
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, OMCs/OFCs
Rating: R
Wordcount: 660
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author's Choice, Any/Any(/Any) “I love you, but you are not mine”

[Finally, here’s the backstory for Blaine’s family.]

Ethan sees the way Burt and Kurt interact and sometimes he thinks, I wish that had been mine. [I find this really sad, actually.]

.

In a tiny, postage-stamp sized town in the middle of Ohio, there are legends of a man so evil no one speaks his name. All the old-timers who actually remembered his reign of terror have passed on and only myths remain.

His name was Anthony York. He had a wife he beat to death and three daughters he raped for years. Everyone in that tiny little town knew but it wasn’t their business. They were all terrified to draw his attention, even the sheriff. It wasn’t until Anthony’s eye wandered to his closest neighbor’s daughter that anyone worked up the courage to put him down.

The youngest of Anthony’s daughters survived by running away to Cleveland, where she found work as a prostitute.

At least this time, she thought, she got paid for it.

Three years into her new life, she met and fell in love with Bobby Johnson, a man who wasn’t all that different from the daddy she still had night terrors about. Bobby was a nasty piece of work who couldn’t keep a job, and he took out all his frustrations on Marianna. In spite of the abuse (which she was far too used to), Marianna bore Bobby two children in two years: a daughter she called Hope and a son Bobby called Junior.

Bobby got arrested, tried, and convicted for murder when Junior was eighteen months old. No one claimed Marianna’s body so the state buried her. The state also took in her children.

Hope was a beautiful little girl with honey-brown eyes and dark blonde hair; she got adopted swiftly and grew up happy. But Junior…

Junior was fostered with a family that liked to go camping. When he was three, his new father and mother got lost in the backwoods and were never found. Junior, however, was found wandering on a hiking trail, covered in blood and bruises because the woods aren’t kind to toddlers.

His story made the front page in half a dozen towns (including the one his mother fled). A housewife who wanted children but couldn’t conceive read Junior’s story and told her husband it was a sign.

So Junior became Ethan Anderson, the only child of Victor and Gloria Anderson.

Ethan’s parents never told him he was adopted. So when he looks at his younger son, he has no idea where the darkness in Blaine’s soul could’ve come from. Ethan also has no idea he has a sister and nieces and grandnieces somewhere in the world –

And Blaine has no idea that he and his husband kill his youngest cousin on a gorgeous spring day. Even if he did know, he wouldn’t care.

[Genetic, you know? Sometimes.]
.

Ethan loves both his sons, he really does. Cooper was always happy, always optimistic, always determined to make it big and have the whole world learn his name. Once Cooper hit the double-digits, he ran out of time for his father – and that’s when Blaine came along. Ethan used everything he had learned from raising Cooper and was determined that his relationship with Blaine would be stronger.

That didn’t work out at all. Ethan tried his best, he knows he did, but he has essentially no relationship with his younger son at all, and he wants to feel worse about that, but…

There is something not right about Blaine. Ethan doesn’t know where it came from, what he and Maria did so wrong…

But he loves Blaine. Blaine is his son. Whatever happens, Blaine is his.

But not like Kurt Hummel is Burt’s. What Kurt and his father have, Ethan has never had with his sons, and that aches. He wants to ask Burt what the secret is, what he did that Ethan didn’t –

But. But there is darkness in Kurt’s soul, just like in Blaine’s.

Maybe the difference is that Ethan has always seen it, and Burt never has. [That’s a big part of it, actually.]

[But there’s also the fact that Ethan is a bit more reserved than Burt, and that he doesn’t know how to relate to children, even when they’re his and he loves them with everything in him. *sigh* It’s a bit heartbreaking, to be honest.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron; I stole a line from Clueless
Warnings: canon character death; grief; mentions of sexual assault; trauma
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, Burt/Kurt’s mother
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 810
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, I've learned never to put a ? where God has put a period.

Once, a couple days before Kurt's eighth birthday, Katie asked Burt, "Have you noticed anything... odd about Kurt?" [Because, really, how do you start a conversation like that?]

Burt shrugs. "He's a little fussy." Kurt's more than a little fussy. He likes things to be a certain way, doesn't like other kids or animals, and prefers playing with dolls to catch.

Burt doesn't care. Kurt is his son, the most important person in the world. If Kurt would rather have tea parties than toss around a football, then Burt will sit down for a tea party and wear the silly hat Kurt gives him.

If anyone has a problem with that, Burt's got a shotgun and a shovel, and he knows an empty stretch of ground that’d make an excellent resting place. [Aww, Burt. He’s so awesome. He doesn’t understand his son, at all, but he loves just as fiercely, anyway. He’s just more demonstrative than Ethan Anderson. Also, Kurt’s a little less sociopathic than Blaine.]

"Burt," Katie says quietly, glancing towards the dining room, where Kurt's got magazines spread over the table. His stuffed shark is in the chair next to him, and Kurt's explaining about the various princess dresses they're searching the magazines for. [Yes, that shark is the reason that Blaine’s nephew is given a shark plushie. I wish I had a shark plushie as a kid.] “Burt,” Katie says again, grabbing his hand and tugging him away from the dining room. “Kurt’s been asking me – he wants to know if killing is always wrong, and it’s starting to worry me.”

“He’s a kid, Katie,” Burt tells her. “He’s curious.” Besides… killing’s not always wrong. [He means self-defense. Even if it’s preventive self-defense.]

The very next week, Katie and Kurt are in an accident, and Burt has to bury the love of his life.

Katie’s worries about Kurt are forgotten in the face of Burt’s absolute terror that he’d lose his son, too. Kurt doesn’t speak English for half a year, and Burt barely understands a handful of French. Thankfully, though, he knows his son and they muddle through. After, Kurt’s never as carefree or careless as he was before, and his fussiness becomes meticulousness and a need to control everything around him. [Of course Kurt is never quite the same. Head injuries are fickle things.]

Burt talks to a kid shrink about it, but never makes Kurt see her.

When Kurt’s ten, Burt shows him how to work his shotgun. The kid’s a natural but he doesn’t really like it, so Burt lets him be.

When Kurt’s thirteen, Burt seriously considers moving the hell away from Lima, but he never really works up the nerve to even mention it to Kurt.

Then there’s Carole, and Finn (the son Burt thinks he maybe always should’ve wanted, but… Finn’s a good kid, but he’s not Burt’s son) [Yeah, Burt cares about Finn. He even eventually loves him. But Finn is never Burt’s son the way Kurt is], and Karofsky.

Burt really could’ve killed Karofsky, but the bastard ran away. (Paul Karofsky is the same age as Burt, and his son was the same age as Kurt – but Kurt is Burt’s baby boy, and Karofsky was twice his size, and he left his fingerprints on Kurt’s neck… Burt can’t forgive that. Not ever.)

Then there’s Blaine. Blaine, who saved Kurt’s life, and took him under his wing. Blaine, the only person Kurt smiled for in half a year. Blaine, who Burt will always be thankful for.

The one time Burt asks, after Kurt’s gotten out, moved to New York with the man he’ll one day marry, hesitant and worried that maybe he’d fucked up, Kurt tells him that no, he’s glad they never moved. Because he was in Ohio, he met Blaine.

Sometimes, though, Burt still wishes he’d moved them away. Out of Lima, at least. Because Kurt wouldn’t have needed Blaine if there hadn’t been Karofsky. [It would’ve been better for so many people if Burt had moved them away. He’ll never know it.]
“C’mon, Burt,” Carole calls from the door. “I know you don’t want to be late.”

Burt grabs his present off the dresser and hurries downstairs. “I’m ready,” he says. “Let’s go.”

Carole couldn’t get off work for a visit to New York, but she’s dropping him off at the airport on her way in. It’ll be the first time he sees his son in months, and he can’t wait. It’s a little early for Kurt’s birthday (not till next week) but it’s the only time he can swing it.

Kurt seems taller every time Burt sees him, but he knows Kurt still can’t be growing.

“Burt?” Carole asks while Burt wipes at his eyes, at the few tears he couldn’t sniff back.

“It’s nothin’,” he mumbles. “Somethin’ in my eye.”

How the fuck is Burt’s kid almost thirty years old? Just yesterday, he was a tiny little thing, fit in Burt’s hands. Yesterday, he was a fussy little boy who always made Burt wear ridiculous hats and danced with Katie around the kitchen.

Yesterday…

“Yeah,” Carole says, “I get that thing in my eye all the time.”

Burt chuckles. “He’s just so big now,” Burt murmurs.

Carole reaches for his hand and squeezes gently. “Give him a hug and kiss from me,” she says, and Burt promises.

Just yesterday, Kurt was a baby that quit crying every time Burt recited the parts of an engine. And now he’s all grown up with a husband and a life in the city of his dreams.

Katie would be proud of their boy, Burt knows. [… no, she wouldn’t be.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron
Warnings: murder; implied gore; outside pov
Pairings: none stated
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 160
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, the cases you never forget

 

By the fifth boy, Dev knows they're not running away. He talks to Wilcox about it, and goes to the chief - but there's no signs of foul play. They all just disappear, taking all their stuff with them, one after the other...

Dev knows but can't prove it.

One after another, Dev knows but can't prove it, and it bothers him for years.

.

Thirty years later, Dev is Police Chief Devon Markham and hasn’t thought about those missing boys in a decade. But he gets the call from Quentin while Reilly is trying to calm a pair of hikers down – “Chief,” Quentin says, voice shaking, “we found – we found a dumping ground.”

“Shit,” Dev mutters, and starts making calls.

.

One after another – all eight boys who ‘ran away’ from Lima, two missing from Columbus, one who vanished from Dalton Academy in Westerville… eleven children brutally murdered and left to rot.

It makes headlines across the country. Dev wishes he’d been wrong.

[If I could do casefic, this would’ve been crossed over with Criminal Minds, Law&Order, or CSI, so hard. But I can’t do casefic, and I’m not familiar enough with those fandoms, alas. But it would’ve been epic.]

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron
Warnings: outside pov
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, OFC/OMC
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 350
Point of view: third
Prompt: author's choice, author's choice, I thank you from my heart

[See part 33]

“Are you having a good evening?” Evie asks when Kurt Hummel walks in. It’s Thanksgiving eve and she’s about to close; Oliver is in the back straightening up so everything is ready for Friday. Neither of them is ever alone in the store anymore.

“I am, thank you,” Kurt says warmly. “What about you?”

She nods. “Monica and her family are in town for Thanksgiving.” She chuckles. “Oliver wanted to move down to Tampa after the – well, the incident.” She waves a hand around the store. “But this is my life’s dream, you know?”

“I do,” he says, nodding. “I don’t think I could give up my dream for anything.”

Evie smiles. “What do you need?” she asks.

“This is the first Thanksgiving Blaine and I are hosting,” he says, looking young and excited. “My family is in town and I ran out of fruit juice. I don’t suppose you have any left?”

“Of course I do,” Evie tells him. “For you, I have anything.”

He ducks his head; he really is such a good boy. She just wants to bring him home and take care of him, but knows he wouldn’t allow it.

“Let me show you,” Evie says gently, leading him over to the cooler. “We have cranberry, pineapple, orange, and apple.”

“Oh, good,” Kurt sighs with relief. “My brother’s in town and he inhales everything in sight. I’ll take one of each.”

Evie grabs a container of cranberry and pineapple; Kurt takes the other two and they walk over to the counter. “On the house,” Evie tells him, bagging all four.

“Ms. Alquin, you can’t keep giving me stuff for free!” Kurt says.

“Kurt Hummel,” she says sternly, “you kept a terrible situation from being any worse. The least I can do is give you some juice, comprende?”

“Yes, ma’am,” he mutters, but then he smiles that beautiful smile at her. “Have a good Thanksgiving, Ms. Alquin. Thank you for the juice!” He carefully takes both bags and hurries out.

She watches him go, smiling, and locks the door after him, turning the sign to say CLOSED.

[*shrugs*]

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron
Warnings: cold-blooded murder, terror, and implied gore
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 240
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any his/her secret life

[I saw the prompt and knew I wanted to write something showing the disparity of Blaine’s life.]

 

"Cissa," Blaine says gently, scooting his stool a little closer to the chair where she's folded in on herself, tearful eyes still on her mother. "Please, I know this is scary. You keep falling down, don't you? Sometimes you can hear perfectly and sometimes only barely. Right?"

She nods the smallest nod he’s ever seen, glancing at him with frightened eyes before looking back at her mother.

"We're just going to run a few tests, okay, Cissa?" he consoles her, patting her knee as he stands up. "None of it will hurt, I promise."

He smiles at Mrs. Stetson. "Don't worry, ma'am," he tells her quietly, going back to Cissa's chart.

.

Blaine's popular at the clinic. He's popular at the hotline he still volunteers at a few times a month. He's popular at the gym and the clubs he visits, with and without his boyfriend/fiancé/husband.

Everyone likes Blaine Anderson.

.

“Don’t worry,” Blaine says gently, trailing the knife along the girl’s cheek, down to the base of her throat. She’s sobbing, hands cuffed behind her back, begging through the gag. “It’ll only hurt for a second,” he tells her. “I promise.” [He’s using the exact same tone from the earlier part. Exactly.]

Her scream is muffled, and Kurt steps up next to him, his favorite knife in hand. “You want to?” Blaine offers, and Kurt shakes his head.

Blaine smiles, reaching out to caress the girl’s jaw. “Look at me,” he orders.

When she meets his gaze, he flicks the knife across her throat.

[This chapter was meant to be horrifying. *shrugs* I’m not entirely sure I nailed it, but I do like how creepy the first section is, since we know what Blaine is.]

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron
Warnings: psycho/sociopathy, murder, torture, gore, unhealthy codependency, and casual discussion of years of successful serial killing [Some of the warnings for this fic are just so much fun. *cackles*]
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: R
Wordcount: 630
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author's choice, author's choice, stunned

In his entire life, Blaine has felt one moment of pure, undiluted terror. He thinks, sometimes, every now and then, staring down at his playmates as they writhe and whimper and whine, that that one instant must be how they feel, watching him with such agony and anguish.

I know, Blaine, Kurt had said, just dropping into the air. Such a simple sentence. Such an innocent sentence. It could have meant anything.

I know, Blaine, and it could have been the end. Maybe it should’ve been.

“Please, please, oh god, please, anything,” Danny Tavros screams, but all Blaine can hear is I know. I know. I know.

One moment of heart-stopping fear in thirty years. He had frozen, there in his bed with Kurt. Kurt had had him completely fooled, a feat no one else has ever managed. From the moment they met on those stairs, a battered beautiful boy and the perfect predator [gotta love alliteration]– not at all the roles Blaine had assigned them.

“Please, what do you want, I’m sorry, I won’t tell,” Danny Tavros shrieks, but all Blaine can hear is, I know.

All Blaine wants is Kurt’s happiness. All Blaine desires is Kurt’s kiss, Kurt’s touch, Kurt’s undivided attention and adoration.

Kurt is at work, a last-minute emergency. They both should be playing with Danny Tavros, and Blaine glares down at him, bored. He turns away from the table and stalks over to his bag of toys (lovingly compiled, organized, and maintained by Kurt) to grab one of his guns. He checks the safety and the clip, making sure it’s empty, before going back to Tavros (still crying, but it’s such an annoying sound, and Kurt’s voice is echoing I know. I know. I know.).

Blaine holds the barrel and slams the grip down onto Tavros’ face over and over and over again, until what’s left is barely recognizable as a human.

Clean-up is Blaine’s least favorite part of the whole thing. Sometimes it can be thrilling, but usually it’s just so boring. Kurt loves it, though – all the planning and plotting.

In Kurt’s plan for the night, Tavros was meant to be found. He was supposed to a victim of random gang violence, one of thousands to never find justice. Just one of thousands whose case goes cold, forgotten and unimportant, who probably deserved whatever happened to him.

Blaine’s fucked that up, though. Torture and then a single shot to the back of his head is different from torture and then having his face smashed in.

Kurt’s going to be annoyed.

(I know. I know. I know.)

Blaine carefully cleans his gun, trying to decide what to do. He only has a few hours before Kurt gets home, and Kurt will want a play-by-play description. Blaine has to come up with something amazing, something that will stun Kurt into breathlessness. Something new, that neither of them has used for disposal yet.

He glances back at the body, tapping his finger against the hammer.

Sometimes, he wants to feel it again, that pure, undiluted terror. The sheer mind-numbing horror (he knows, he knows, he knows) of being sure the best thing in his life would turn on him, would pull back in disgust, would force Blaine to kill him. [If Kurt had figured it out and not been a killer, too? Blaine would have killed him. And then himself.]

Every day with Kurt is a gift. Every night with Kurt is perfection.

“Maybe something with fire,” he murmurs, walking back to the body. “What do you think, Danny?”

Tavros doesn’t answer, of course. Blaine would worry about his sanity if Tavros did. [I just really love that pair of sentences. *snickers*]

He’s still not sure he’s ever shown Kurt how much he loves him. How much he needs him.

Getting rid of Tavros in the right way, and then whispering the tale into Kurt’s skin might be the first step.

Yeah.

Fire’s the way to go.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron
Warnings: cold-blooded murder
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 865
Point of view: third

[I wanted to show why Blaine has allowed Burt to live, and why he ever let Kyle happen at all.]

 

In the multitude of Kurt’s mental lists, the shortest only has two names. It’s also the only one that Blaine can recite by heart. [Kurt has a mental list for everything. Blaine barely keeps track of the bills.]

.

Blaine likes Burt well enough. Burt is a wonderful father, he supposes, and Burt is probably the reason why Kurt turned out so awesome, and so long as Burt never becomes a threat –

“Blaine,” Kurt had said quietly one night while they were still at Dalton, and Blaine didn’t recognize the significance until New York, until the same moment he realized Kurt had always looked at and seen him. “Blaine, if anything ever happened to my father,” he’d confessed, half a year into their relationship, “it would break my heart. I think… I think I would die.”

“Don’t worry,” Blaine had assured him, pressing a kiss to the side of his head. “He’s as healthy as horse now, isn’t he?”

But in New York, watching Kurt sleep, still reeling at the knowledge that Kurt has always known, has been guiding Blaine’s hand –

That conversation about Burt’s health… it had been a warning.

[A warning that Blaine heeded – a warning that he will always heed.]
.

When Kurt was thirty-one, he told his husband, “I want a child.” He presented Blaine with three lists: the first had fourteen reasons for his request, the second pros and cons of having a child, and the third detailed out ways to keep playing the game despite having a newborn, toddler, preteen, and eventually a teenager in their home.

It was the last list plus Kurt’s evident desire that swayed Blaine. (The last list was also the only one destroyed.)

.

Kurt took care of everything: he budgeted for a surrogate and child, found five possible women, arranged things at both his jobs, planned out dates for the game, and prepared.

Of the five women, it was Blaine’s choice. He chose Lynn Dallas; she was a little shorter than Blaine with bright blue eyes, pale skin, and dark blonde hair.

Kurt didn’t care which of them was the father, so Blaine told him to go for it. Kurt wanted a child – he would have a child.

Lynn didn’t move in but she did provide Kurt with weekly updates after she finally conceived, almost two years after Kurt presented Blaine with his three lists.

On October 17, 2027, Lynn gave birth to Kurt and Blaine’s son. Her only request had been that they name him Kyle, so he became Kyle Burton Hummel-Anderson.

As detailed in the third list, Blaine and Kurt didn’t play a game until Kyle’s sixth month. Then, Kurt asked a close friend if she’d mind babysitting for a night so he and Blaine could go on a mental health date.

Kurt took Blaine somewhere new and gave him free rein with the old man crying in handcuffs. Kurt himself spent time on the pretty little upstart who’d been trying to steal his roles.

Blaine went to sleep sated that night and didn’t dream about getting rid of the infant who kept screaming for Kurt’s attention. [That was the first time in months he didn’t dream about killing Kurt’s child.]

.

“Blaine,” Kurt said while feeding Kyle, “I have a new list. You have to memorize it, okay?”

Blaine nodded, so Kurt said, “Burt Hummel. Kyle Hummel-Anderson.”

After a moment passed with no explanation, Blaine said, “… okay?”

Kurt took a breath and let it out. “They’re off-limits, Blaine. Whatever happens, you cannot ever play with either of them.”

Blaine stared at him for a moment, then at the baby. “Okay,” he said.

Kurt didn’t look away from him for a few minutes, but he also didn’t demand any other promises or guarantees.

Kurt’s father and Kurt’s son were the only two names ever put on that list.

[Honestly, I don’t know what would happen if Blaine ever did hurt one of them. Probably a murder-suicide. *hands*]

.

When Kyle was six, he came home from kindergarten and asked his daddy what the word fag meant. Papa was working late and it was Daddy’s day off.

Daddy picked Kyle up and went to the couch, where he sat down, placed Kyle next to him, and said, “Where did you learn that word?”

“Adam Shyton called you and Papa that,” Kyle explained. “Ms. Appley heard him and took him to see Ms. Wilcox in the office.” He shrugged. “But no one will tell me what it means.”

Blaine would realize later that this was the moment he wished he loved his son. Staring down at Kurt’s eyes in a tiny, helpless little face, Blaine thought, I’d kill anyone who ever hurts you, son.

Blaine thought, My son.

[More *hands* Blaine is a good father. Kurt’s a better one, but Kurt can actually love. And Kyle never has the first idea that his dad doesn’t love him.]
.

Kurt took great care to conceal what he and Blaine’s ‘dates’ actually were. Kyle was too much like his grampa to ever condone or understand.

Kyle was like his grampa in another way, too: he had all the pieces and never put them together. He had no idea.

He would never have any idea, even when going through his fathers’ things, after burying his papa next to his dad. Kurt left no trace and Blaine quit keeping trophies when he started killing with Kurt.

[Kurt never ever kept a trophy or recorded anything. Blaine stopped when he left the boneyard in Ohio.]

.

“I’m surprised you had a kid,” Cooper told Blaine once. He kept picturing Blaine and the baby squirrel, years and years ago. [Learning that his little brother now had a child in his care was the first time in a long time that Cooper considered calling the authorities on Blaine. He actually held the phone in his hand for hours before putting it away, number still undialed.]

Blaine shrugged. “Kurt wanted one,” he said.

Blaine’s relationship with Kurt is one of many things Cooper has never understood about his brother.

“Besides,” Blaine added with a boyish grin, “Kyle’s grown on me.”

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron
Warnings: cold-blooded murder
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 435
Point of view: third
Prompt: I'd like to see an instance where Kurt cleaned up for Blaine before Blaine knew Kurt knew.

 

When Blaine killed and disposed of Daniel Saunders, he left a mess in the boy’s room. Saunders was the first he killed at home instead of luring him away somewhere else and Blaine got excited: he wasn’t thinking clearly.

What he didn’t know was that after seven months of knowing Blaine and three months of dating him, Kurt could see the signs as clear as day.

He followed Blaine to Saunders’ house and waited until Blaine left with the body. After Blaine was gone, Kurt inspected each room until he found the murder scene. He then proceeded to erase any evidence Blaine had left in his hurry and created a small mess – as though Saunders had thrown stuff around looking for something and then stormed out. The entire thing was simplified by the fact that Saunders had no car; he’d crashed it six months before and his parents refused to get him a new one until he brought his grades up.

They wouldn’t have to worry about that now. [Kurt is very practical.]

.

When Blaine killed and disposed of Corey Frankston, he misplaced his phone. If Kurt hadn’t peeked into the crime scene, Blaine’s burgeoning career as a serial killer would’ve been over at the eleventh body.

Kurt carefully picked up the phone without touching anything else and brought it back to his dorm.

That night, Blaine began panicking when he couldn’t find his cell. Half an hour before curfew, Kurt went to his room and said, “Sweetie, you left this on the floor by my bed.”

“Oh,” Blaine sighed in relief. He took his phone and dropped it on his desk, then pulled Kurt onto the bed with him.

.

Kurt really wanted to tell him before they traded in Ohio for New York. But Ohio was Blaine’s – New York would be theirs. Equal partners. Complementary styles, as soon as Kurt figured out what his style was.

Blaine would help with that, he knew.

.

On their first anniversary in New York, their second altogether, Blaine told Kurt everything. He promised to show Kurt the boneyard when they went back to Ohio.

Kurt didn’t tell him about covering his tracks. Blaine was smart enough to have already figured that out.

“I love you, I love you, I love you,” Kurt gasped into his neck.

“I love you so much,” Blaine gasped back.

.

Out of everyone in the world, they found each other. Like it was fate.

They belong to each other, written in blood, down into their bones.

“Tell me what you want,” Kurt orders.

“You,” Blaine replies, eyes bright, smiling the smile no one else will ever see.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron
Warnings: thoughts of murder
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 275
Point of view: third
Prompt: Either Kurt or Blaine gets physically hurt by someone and it's all the other can do NOT to seek revenge because it could be the thing that brings them down.

 

During his second semester at grad school, Blaine was attacked on campus. There were witnesses who pulled the man off him before Blaine could kill the stupid bastard [Blaine would’ve, too], and the campus police escorted them both to the security building. Blaine gave his statement and went home. His attacker was Ty Bradwell, an undergrad, high as kite, and expelled.

When Kurt learned of the incident, he was furious. And because of the connection between Ty Bradwell and Blaine, Kurt was helpless to act on his rage. Ty Bradwell couldn’t be touched for a long time. Anything that happened to him might lead back to Blaine.

Kurt channeled his fury into his acting, which gave him a new fire that earned him a great deal of praise.

Blaine put the situation behind him but it simmered in the back of Kurt’s mind. He planned and discarded a dozen ideas to deal with Ty Bradwell. Weeks, months, and finally years passed.

Even Kurt had mostly forgotten about the drugged-up undergrad who attacked Blaine in front of the library.

And there he was in the obituaries. A drug-deal gone bad, survived by his parents, a death that Kurt had nothing to do with. A much quicker, painless death than Kurt would’ve given the fool.

He turned the page and kept reading. Blaine called it a throwback and told him repeatedly he should go digital like everyone else, but Kurt liked the feel of the paper, liked being able to unfold it – even liked the crisp smell.

Before tossing the paper in the recycling bin, he reread Ty Bradwell’s obituary. Not as satisfying as killing the man himself, but satisfying nonetheless.

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron
Warnings: implied murder; mentions of domestic abuse
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, OMC/OFC
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 690
Point of view: third
Prompt: considering that moment when Kurt and Blaine's mothers tried to teach them about right and wrong, I'd love to see something similar for Kyle.

 

Blaine and Kurt had very few rules for Kyle when he was young. There was nowhere in the apartment he couldn’t go because anything sensitive was kept in their offices or out of reach, and the truly sensitive was never written down or brought home.

As Kyle got older, social media and school taught him right from wrong. He lied to his parents a couple times, just stupid little kid things, but Dad gave him a look and he knew Dad knew. The only time Kyle got in actual trouble was when he bullied some kids for a couple days in middle school. Papa was furious. He sat Kyle down for a long talk and then went after the school.

Dad was the one Kyle went to, though, whenever he had questions – about lying, about violence, about right and wrong. Maybe it was because Dad was a lot like a doctor but Dad had more clear-cut explanations than Papa. Papa talked about emotions, about how if something feels wrong, it probably is. Like a sixth sense or his gut or something.

But Dad had actual data. He had books and long discussions with Kyle, and Kyle learned a lot.

It would be a long time before he realized everything he learned, and even then, he didn’t fully connect the dots.

.

When Kyle is seventeen, he gets in a fight with a guy who’s been talking shit about Tommy’s dad. Neither Dad nor Papa punish him for the fight itself and neither of them ask if he won (which he did).

Dad just asks, “Feel better?” and Papa tells him to keep the fight away from school next time.

Kyle is suspended for three days. He spends most of it lounging on the couch and reading Aunt Talia’s new book.

He goes back to school on Friday and everything is fine.

.

Kyle and Dana break up their junior year of college at opposite ends of the country (Kyle’s at NYU majoring in sociology and Dana’s at New Mexico State University learning about tourism management), but they stay friends. Kyle soon starts hanging out with Tori from his study group. They’re mostly friends (… yes, Dad, with benefits. Shut up.) because he’s lonely. Dana and Tommy have always been his closet companions, and Dana’s in New Mexico and busy with her own life while Tommy’s in the marines.

But Kyle is charming and friendly and he’s always been popular in whatever group he’s currently in. Papa says he gets that part of his personality from his dad. [*sporfle* How I love outside pov.]

Two months into their arrangement, Kyle introduces Tori to his parents. For some reason, Papa doesn’t like her, but he does his icy polite thing, and while it’s obvious he’s tolerating her, Tori really seems to think he adores her.

Dad is gracious and delightful, and he goes out of his way to make up for Papa’s attitude.

Kyle has no idea what the problem is but he never brings Tori back to his parents’.

.

Cassidy somehow offends Dad while Kyle and Papa are getting snacks.

After dinner out with his parents, Willa (a psychology major) tells Kyle that Dad and Papa are psychopaths and refuses to see him again. (Seriously, what the fuck?) [They can’t fool everyone. And she knows to get out while she still can.]

Samantha turns out to be possessive and borderline-abusive. She even throws a pan at him when he asks her to leave. She disappears not too long after, and Papa tells him, smiling, that it’s good riddance to bad rubbish. Kyle just shrugs, relieved he won’t have to deal with her anymore. [Yes, they killed her.]

Dana graduates a week before Kyle does. He asks his parents to help with the airfare, and he promises to pay them back.

Instead, Dad buys him a first class seat and tells him, “Give Dana a hug from us.”

.

Dana moves back to New York and somehow swings an internship at The Plaza Hotel. She and Kyle stay friends for a while before she asks him out. Kyle goes straight into grad school like Dad did and he says yes.

He knows they’re going to get married one day, but they have all the time in the world.

 

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron
Warnings: pre-series
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 260
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, s/he had been such a strange child

 

Astrid Tintegal was the librarian at Columbus Academy for over forty years; she was nearing retirement when Blaine Anderson first caught her attention. She was reading Mick Harte Was Here to his fourth grade class [That book was read to my class in fourth grade and I still think it’s one of the best books ever] and at the end of the chapter, Blaine raised his hand. Astrid called on him, of course. She never forgot what he asked.

“Ms. Tintegal,” he said politely, “why didn’t Phoebe find the driver and kill him?” [Because Blaine would’ve.]

Astrid blinked at him. “Beg pardon?” she asked after a moment.

Blaine smiled and chuckled. “I’m joking, I’m sorry,” he said.

The kids close to him edged away. Astrid decided to believe he was joking and continued reading. [Humans tend to ignore the unexplainable by finding reasons for it.]

.

She noticed him after that, though. Noticed that for all he was well-liked, some kids wouldn’t go near him. Noticed that the books he’d read while in the library were far more violent than the ones he stood in line to take home. Noticed that he doodled interesting things on his busywork and his contributions to storytime were even more interesting.

Astrid mentioned it to Donna Pruitt, Blaine’s homeroom teacher, once. Donna just laughed it off because Blaine was such a charming boy.

He was quite the little charmer.

By all accounts, so was Hitler. [Well… yeah.]

.

Astrid retired at the end of the year. She focused on her garden and her grandkids.

She couldn’t read Mick Harte Was Here to Ellie and Pete without remembering that little boy, the one who asked about Phoebe getting vengeance. There was something off about him.

Despite that, she never could remember his name.

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron
Warnings: takes place in season 2; mentions of bullying and sexual assault
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 265
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any/any, choosing the perfect first-date attire

[If I knew the first thing about fashion, this part would’ve been longer.]

During his first month at Dalton, Kurt keeps his head down. He follows along behind Blaine, sways in the background with the Warblers, and only answers when teachers ask him direct questions.

No one knows for sure what happened at his old school, but considering how he flinches from boys bigger than him, it's pretty easy to guess. [Most of them figure, rightly, it was bullying. A few of them realize there was bit more than that. All of them leave him in Blaine’s capable care.]

.

Blaine, all along, is the only exception. Where everyone else is nervous about frightening Kurt or getting in his space, Blaine holds his hand, puts an arm across his shoulders, sits too close. And Kurt never shies away from him.

Kurt blushes and ducks his head, or mumbles, or asks an inane question to turn the conversation - but he doesn't pull away, doesn't move back.

.

Towards the end of February, Blaine's touches begin lasting longer, lingering; Kurt can feel the heat through his clothes (such a boring uniform, honestly, but such good camouflage). So when Blaine knocks on his door one evening, close to curfew, and he holds out a bouquet of red tulips [declaration of love, in the language of flowers], smiling bashfully at Kurt -

"Yes," Kurt says before Blaine even asks a question.

.

Blaine and Kurt's first date is sitting on Kurt's bed on a Monday night, disagreeing with almost everything Joan Rivers says on the re-run of Fashion Police they watch on Kurt's laptop. A vase of tulips is on Kurt's bedside table.

The next morning, Kurt kisses Blaine on the lips before they separate for their first class. By lunch, everyone knows they’re dating.

.

In nine years, Kurt and Blaine marry on their anniversary and present each other with yellow tulips. [I do not remember why I chose this color, and google is now giving me conflicting reports on the meaning. *pouts*]

Title: a storm whereon they ride
Disclaimer: title from Byron
Warnings: mentions of sexual assault/rape; implied murder
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 395
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, everybody knows

Nobody is surprised when Kurt and Blaine get together because it's been obvious from that performance of Teenage Dream that they would.

Jeff gives Nick ten dollars because they start dating before March, even though Jeff tries to argue that it shouldn't count because February 28 is practically March, anyway. Nick just looks at him and Jeff hands the money over. [*hee* I love February, and not just because I was born during it.]

.

The Warblers adopt Kurt, even before he auditions. He trails behind Blaine like a kicked puppy and Jon, the Council’s representative to the administration, takes Blaine aside to ask how bad Kurt’s former school was.

(Blaine knows that Jon’s little sister was raped at a party because he makes it his business to know everything about everyone. Knowledge is power.)

He tells Jon it was pretty bad, but Kurt’s body language speaks for itself.

Until he graduates in May, Jon keeps an extra eye on Kurt. He’s glad the most popular boy in school adores Kurt, because that means that the rest of the student body (gentlemen, yes, but teenage boys) adores him, too.

.

Everybody knows Blaine Anderson is a stand-up guy. He’s going places, and he’ll do things, and they’ll all say, yeah, he’s always been that good a person.

Blaine Anderson is the Dalton ideal.

Kurt Hummel is smart, attractive, talented, witty, and charming. He’s the perfect match for Blaine.

That’s why Sebastian Smythe’s reputation plummets when he tries to slip in-between them and grab Blaine for himself.

It’s also why no one misses him when he’s gone.

.

Kurt’s ‘Dalton friends’ are Blaine’s ‘Dalton friends,’ though Blaine doesn’t realize that until they’re in New York. Then, Kurt starts making ‘Julliard friends’ while Blaine accessorizes himself with ‘NYU friends,’ and their nights are filled with studying and working and socializing because one never knows when ‘friends’ might come in handy. [They are each other’s only true friends. Ever.]

Also, being in such large crowds makes the hunting so much easier.

.

Blaine doesn’t talk to his family much. Kurt regales his father with what his ‘study group’ did at the last meeting.

Kurt and Blaine are both popular amongst their peers, regarded well by the faculty and administration, and everyone knows they’ll be successful in whatever they eventually decide to do.

.

(No one knows they’re already extremely successful at what they do.

No one knows what they did last night.

But everyone knows they’re perfect for each other, and about that, everyone is right.)

 

[So, there it is. Another ‘verse that wasn’t intended to go past the first part and then just wouldn’t shut up for a few months. I really did enjoy writing it, and I have so many prompts for it that I haven’t even looked at since early this year [2013? 2014?]. I can pretty much guarantee, though, that I won’t be coming back to it.

I really wish that I could write casefic, because piecing together what the various authorities have on the deaths would be fascinating.

Also, someone once asked if Kyle ever realizes what his parents are; here’s my reply:

No, he doesn't. But one of his grandkids does get caught five bodies in.]

Chapter Text

Title: close to my heart, never to part chp 2
Fandom: “Supernatural”

posted to fanfiction, crossposted to livejournal, still posted to both places.

For iamstealthyone

[ETA 2016: part of that Dean canon series, mentioned earlier]

 

“Dad!” Dean bounded over, shoving a large book under John’s nose. “Lookit!”

John pushed the book away. “I’m busy, Dean. Go back to Sammy.” [*sigh* That seems harsh, doesn’t it? Of course, what you don’t know—unless you read the drabble that is chapter one—is John’s been researching for a few hours now.]

“Yes’r,” his eleven-year-old son said, slinking back to the corner where he’d stashed Sammy. John watched him go, took in the slump of his boy’s shoulders, the defeated way he moved.

It’d been a little over a year since the shtriga and John hated himself for how he’d handled that. Dean blamed himself and would for the rest of his life. It wasn’t his fault, but John knew he’d never tell his son that. Because, to his lasting shame and horror, what happened in Fort Douglas would ensure Dean protected Sammy forever. [John pulled quite the trick in Fort Douglas, didn’t he? Dean’ll never disobey him again.]

Dean settled next to Sammy and spread the large volume over both their laps. Sammy snuggled into him and looked his brother with wide, worshipful eyes. Dean smiled at him and then began reading aloud, gesturing to the book. [Aww, my boys. *snuggles them*]

John returned to his research. He had to figure out who the ghost was before it struck again.

 

“Dean.”

Sammy was asleep on the couch but Dean had school-books littered around the table. Dean raised his head. “Yes’r?” he asked, exhausted.

“Go to bed, son. It’s after eleven.”

Dean yawned and his jaw cracked. John wondered if mouths were supposed to open that wide. “I have to finish this report on the sun first, sir,” Dean told him, barely able to keep his eyes open.

“When’s it due?” John asked, putting dishes in the sink.

“Friday.” Dean yawned again.

“Dean, go to bed.” John made it an order. “You still have three days to complete the assignment.”

Dean slid out of the chair. “Yes, Dad.”

John watched him go, placing Dean’s books on a chair. Then he strode over to the couch and picked Sammy up, carrying him to the boys’ bed. He settled Sammy in the middle and waited till Dean curled around him before tucking the comforter about them.

Dean was barely awake when he asked, “Daddy, do you still hate me?” [Meep, yeah? This is where the whole fic came from.]

John caught his breath, something hurting in his chest. He turned in the doorway and stared at his son. “I could never hate you, Dean. Never.” [Don’t you just feel for John here? He’s doing his best, and his son thinks he hates him… *sniff*]

“I almost killed Sammy. I left him alone.” Dean sounded heartbroken, shattered, achingly young.

John had never loathed himself more. “I love you, Dean. No matter what. You’re my son.” He wished he was as good with words as Mary had been. “Now, go to sleep, son.”

John shut the door behind him and sat at the kitchen table for a long time.

 

Next afternoon, they were back at the library. John was close to cracking the case, he just knew it. He’d put Dean to work helping him research and given Sammy some paper to scribble on.

They’d been at it for nearly an hour when Sammy plopped a giant book next to Dean. “Read to me,” he pled, pulling out a look John recognized as Mary’s pout. He’d caved the instant she turned those eyes on him, and Dean was the same. [*hee*]

“Dad,” he said, turning to John. “Can I take a break and go read with Sammy for awhile?”

John nodded. “Go ahead, son. You’ve done good work.”

Dean hopped out of his chair, grabbing the text—some sort of encyclopedia, John noticed, the same Dean had showed him yesterday—and led Sammy over to a large chair. They scrunched in together and Dean held the book in their laps. John returned his attention to death certificates.

 

That night at supper, John asked, “Why don’t you just check that book out?”

Dean answered, “I tried. It’s reference material, so I can’t.” [Isn’t that just annoying? So many good books are off limits! *pouts*]

Sammy butted in, “It’s about sea monsters!” He bounced in his seat. “Can we buy a megdon, Dad?” [*hee* Such a cutie.]

John a raised a brow and turned to Dean for clarification. “A megdon?”

Dean’s eyes lit up like they hadn’t since that field of horses in Arkansas. [Dean loves horses. End of story.] “He means ‘megalodon.’ A giant Great White shark, sixty feet long. They’re awesome, Dad.” He spent the next ten minutes telling John all about the sharks, Sammy adding information whenever he felt the need. [This is also where the story came from: I have a thing for megalodons, and so does Dean.]

John listened in wonder. Dean so rarely showed excitement for anything anymore, and now he was animated. It was like watching Dean as a toddler again, exploring the house, constantly in awe of all the new things. [*sigh* My poor sweetling. He had to grow up entirely too swiftly.]

 

After the hunt was over and the ghost dealt with, John visited a book store. He picked out four volumes, though he didn’t really have the money to afford it: a horse encyclopedia, a sea creature encyclopedia, and two children’s books for Sammy. [Aww, my John. He can be a dear, too.]

He flirted with the cashier and she knocked five dollars off the price, though it still cost a small fortune. He swung by the school just before Dean’s grade let out and he met his son by the door.

Dean’s eyes widened. “Dad! Is everythin’ okay?”

It bothered John that Dean’s first thought was everything that could have gone wrong. “I finished work earlier than I’d expected,” he explained, reaching down to ruffle Dean’s hair fondly.

Dean shyly smiled up at him. “You want me to show you where I wait for Sammy?” [Aww. Aren’t they adorable?]

John nodded and followed Dean, asked him about school. He couldn’t remember the last time they really talked about anything but the hunt, and that shamed him. Mary wouldn’t want her boys to have just a drill sergeant. She’d want him to be a father, a daddy. But he didn’t know how to be that man anymore. [Poor John. Poor boys…]

Sammy bounded out of the building in a rush of students. He didn’t notice John at first, making straight for Dean and chattering on. Dean listened seriously then turned him around and nodded to John. [*hee*]

“Dad!” Sammy exclaimed, bouncing up. John caught him and hugged him hard, tangled his fingers in Sammy’s too-long hair. He walked toward the car, still holding his baby boy, Dean beside him.

“Let’s get some ice-cream, huh?” he asked and Sammy said, “Yeah!”

“Mr. Winchester!” a female voice called from behind them. “Please, I need to talk to you!”

He paused and, as he turned, noticed that Dean blanched. “Dean?” he questioned softly. Dean didn’t meet his eyes. [Uh oh.]

John lowered Sammy and faced some woman a little younger than him—barely thirty, maybe. Petite, red hair, green eyes—and glaring at him.

Interesting. He gave her a smile that he knew worked on women. She didn’t soften. [*gasp* A woman John Winchester can’t charm!] [ETA 2016: more *facepalm* Who realized there could be so much character growth in ten years?]

“I need to speak with you, Mr. Winchester,” she said again. “I’m Rachel Morris, Dean’s homeroom teacher.”

John glanced at Dean. He had Sammy by the hand and stared at the ground. “Dean,” he said, tossing the keys when his boy looked up. Dean caught them easily and John ordered, “Take Sammy to the car.”

Ms. Morris’ glare intensified. “You’ll let them in the car unsupervised?”

John looked at Dean, who hunched further down. “I trust Dean with Sammy,” he said, and smiled at Dean as he glanced up. It was as close to an apology for Fort Douglas as he’d ever let himself get. “Run on, son. I’ll be there soon.” [‘bout time.]

Dean nodded. “Yes, sir.” He looked at the teacher. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Ms. Morris.” He pulled Sammy behind him as he took off.

“What can I do for you, ma’am?” John asked, hardly able to keep the challenge out of his tone.

She pursed her lips. “I saw bruises on Dean last week. This week, he walked like it hurt.” Crossing her arms, she continued, “I asked him about it—he said he was clumsy.”

“He’s a boy, Ms. Morris,” John told her. “Boys get hurt.”

If anything, that added fuel to her fire. “I’ve asked the nurse. Dean has numerous scars that childish accidents can’t explain.” She raised her head. “So, tell me, Mr. Winchester—why shouldn’t I call the police, get those two boys out of your care?”

John couldn’t help the thrill of terror that shot through him. The thought of life without his boys, Mary’s sons away where he couldn’t protect them—it not only terrified him, it pissed him off.

He knew this woman thought she was helping, doing the right thing—the only thing a good person could. But he still came close to hating her.

It was the first time anyone ever accused him of hurting his son. He knew it wouldn’t be the last, not with their life. [I really want flashbacks on the show.]

“Ms. Morris,” he said, softly and dangerously, “I do not abuse my son. I never have; I never will. He was running out into the street and I caught him. Then he tripped out in the yard and wrenched his leg.” He stared her down and she wilted beneath his gaze. “Dean is a good boy, the best of boys—I wouldn’t hurt him for the world.” He didn’t even try smiling. “Good day, ma’am.” He turned on his heel and stalked off, checking his stride. He didn’t want her to know how she’d gotten to him.

Dean was huddled with Sammy in the back, telling some story. John knocked on the driver’s window and Dean reached forward to unlock the door. He refused to meet John’s eyes.

“Dean,” John said firmly, “look at me.” Slowly, Dean did. “That wasn’t your fault. She was trying to help. You aren’t in trouble.”

“Are you sure?” Dean asked. “If I was better—”

“Dean,” John cut in. “You can’t be better. You’re awesome as you are. I couldn’t ask for a better son.” [Yay for John finally letting Dean know, huh?]

John was astonished Sammy had kept quiet for so long. “What about me?” He leaned over Dean, eyes bright. “Am I bestest, too?”

“Yeah, Sammy,” John answered, sparing him a smile. “Dean, you hear me?”

“Yes’r,” he whispered, turning to Sammy. “Wanna know what happens next?”

John sighed as he started the Impala. Ice-cream was a must, now.

 

Dean picked chocolate, Sammy wanted a sundae, and John went with plain vanilla, requesting strawberry sauce on the side. Mary had loved strawberries, insisting on them with every meal when they were in-season. [You might have noticed, but I mention strawberries a lot. I like them. *shrugs*]

As they ate, John fetched the books. “Here ya go,” he said, dividing them up.

Dean flipped through the horse encyclopedia with wide eyes, then lightly touched the ocean one.

“Yay!” Sammy cheered. “Mrs. Morgan was readin’ us this’n earlier, Dad!” He shoved the book about dogs at John. “Now I’ll know how it ends ‘fore anybody else!”

John smiled at his enthusiasm but focused on Dean. “Hope you like ‘em, son.”

Dean’s full smile blossomed, the smile that used to catch his breath when Mary wore it. “Thank you, Dad.” He reverently turned the pages, taking in the diagrams and illustrations. He kept the melting chocolate goo away from the books and refused to let Sammy touch either until he cleaned and dried his hands.

The books, John decided, were totally worth the money. [And yay for happy endings!]

Chapter Text

Title: just one part of some big plan
Fandom: Highlander/Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: very epic backstory I don't go into – but Methos is primordial. Like, older than every planet in existence primordial. Also, future!fic for both fandoms.
Pairings: Methos/Clint, Thor/Jane
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 785
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author's choice, Author's choice, "this dude just showed up to the party with a falcon"

[So, I wrote this story in my head where Clint Barton was actually a primordial construct Methos made during his creating things phase, and Methos had called him Falcon. Then I saw this prompt. *hands* What was I supposed to do, ignore it?]

It's not funny, not really, but Ben can't keep from smirking because he's the only one in the room (maybe even the world) to get the joke. [I figure Methos has a very dark sense of humor, you know? How else could you stay sane while living forever?]

Tony Stark's parties are always wild. That's just a rule, now. Gravity works, Doom's plans fail, and Stark throws the best parties.

(Gravity doesn't always work, actually, but Ben knows humanity is still too young to learn that lesson. Doom's plans do fail because for all his genius, he's a moron. And Stark? He wants the world to hate him just as much as it loves him, and he succeeds at that every day.) [Methos knows a great many things.]

"Dr. Piers!" Jane Foster says. "I wasn't sure you'd make it." She's grinning, arms wrapped around her boyfriend's gigantic arm, hanging off him. She has no alcohol tolerance at all, clearly. It's quite endearing.

"I've asked you to call me Ben," he laughs, with a quick glance at the boyfriend. [Of course Methos works at SHIELD. He keeps up with everything.]

Thor Odinson. Alien god-prince. Wielder of Mjölnir.

That hammer is still one of his greatest triumphs. He can hear its siren call from Thor's bedroom, where he assumes Jane made him leave it. Instead of answering, he raises his hand to his shoulder, stroking the bird there. [The thought of Methos making Mjölnir just tickles me. He also made Excalibur and Buffy’s scythe.]

Jane doesn't notice; Thor does. He eyes the bird warily. "I've yet to see one so well-trained on Midgard," he says. [Thor is not an idiot. He wields a magical weapon and he grew up with Loki. He may not be able to use magic, but he can recognize it when he sees it.]

Ben smirks, for just a moment, but Thor has eyes only for the bird. "I've had him since he was a fledgling," Ben tells him, and it's not a lie. "Don't worry, Mr. Odinson," Ben assures him, linking his hands behind his back. "He'll only attack if I order him, and this is a party, right? I'm just here for fun. I didn't want to go all the way home just to drop him off." [Thor doesn’t know what the bird is, just that it is very powerful, and a Midgardian scientist should not have it.]

Thor is still frowning, but Jane shouts, "I see Darcy! C'mon, Thor, I have to tell her about our breakthrough!" To Ben she says, "I didn't think you'd leave the office. I'm so glad you did!" She lets go of Thor to throw her arms around Ben and give him a sloppy kiss on the cheek. Then she drags Thor off to speak with the delightful Ms. Lewis, and Ben watches them go, gaze on the Son of Odin and smile full of teeth. [Thor is a good boyfriend. He’s very willing to learn.]

Oh, poor little prince. He really has no idea. [Thor is not an idiot. He’s also quite young, and Odin didn’t teach him everything he should have known because both of them were so sure Loki would be ruling by his side.] [ETA 2016: I think this predated Thor 2 and me realizing that Odin is never going to be redeemed for anything ever.]

Ben slouches his way further into the party. A few of his colleagues greet him and chat for a little while, but they don't acknowledge the bird on his shoulder. Ben stays for almost an hour, never getting closer to any of the Avengers than he'd been to Thor. [No person without magic can see the bird.]

He leaves without saying goodbye and waits until he's ten blocks from Stark Tower before touching the bird and saying, "Alright, my raptor."

The bird lunges from his shoulder, snapping his wings and landing in a crouch, the Avengers' pet marksman again. He rises with a smirk and a raised eyebrow, asking, "Well?" [This is one of those times I wish I could draw.]

Ben laughs and grabs him, pulling him in for a kiss full of teeth and blood, and when he finally lets go, Clint licks his lips, still smirking. "It's not time yet," Ben says, swinging one arm across Clint's shoulders. "Soon, though. You'll know when." [In the story in my head, Clint is older than the earth, and there is a very long game in the works.]

Clint nods, tucking one of his hands into Ben's pocket as they continue walking. "Let me guess," he says. "When the kid comes back, even more broken and pissed off?" [Clint could have stopped Loki before the cube opened the door. Clint could, actually, kill Odin, if he felt so inclined, or if Methos ordered him.] [ETA 2016: in my head, I made up a story that followed that idea. Never wrote it down.]

Ben just laughs again. This has been the longest game he's played since – oh, since Heimdallr took over the gate. He doubts Odin even remembers him anymore. [Odin does.]

(Mjölnir is singing. Excalibur hums beneath the water. The cube cries for him.

And a mad god is plotting in a cell, every last grief and slight only leading him further into Methos' web.) [Yeah, Loki has a part to play, but he doesn’t know it yet. This isn’t one of the ‘verses where Methos adopts and loves Loki.]

"Come, Raptor," Methos whispers into his first creation's ear. "Let's go home. You've gotta get back to work tomorrow."

Raptor presses a brief kiss to the side of his head and settles into his grip, completely pliant as Methos leads the way to his current apartment.

As far as SHIELD and the Avengers know, Hawkeye is on assignment. [No one knows Clint Barton isn’t human.]

As far as SHIELD knows, Dr. Ben Piers is an astrophysicist, just another member of their army of lab coats.

It's not funny, really, the role Raptor has been playing for thirty-five years, ever since two little boys ran away to the circus. (Barney Barton is a ghost. He died on a job gone wrong, was buried in an unmarked grave. Barney Barton was an only child. Two people know that.)

It's not funny, really, that Raptor's called Hawkeye.

Okay, it's pretty funny, and Ben can't help grinning.

(Death isn't above vengeance, you know. And Odin may not remember… but Death does.)

[I have no idea what Odin did in this ‘verse, but it was very bad.]

Chapter Text

Title: Tattered Butterfly of Incandescent Glow
Fandom: “Supernatural”

For smilla02

Originally posted to fanfiction.net, crossposted to livejournal, still posted to both places.

[ETA 2016: this is the very first fic I ever posted to LJ.]

 

“Do you know how to really hurt someone?” It whispered in his ear, breath hot on his neck. “Take away the one thing they have left.” [The first paragraph(all three sentences of it) popped into my head. I’m pretty sure the rest of it all flowed from there, fairly quickly. This was one of my first ‘long’ fics.] [ETA 2016: most of my works are still less than 3000 words but I’ve gotten much better at longer things. I was so proud of this word length, though!)

It backed away and began pacing around him; he stood silent, eyes shut against reality as It continued. “I killed your mother. I killed your father. I killed your fiancée. What’s left, little boy?” It laughed, dark and malicious. “What’s left that I can take away?”

That got the reaction It wanted: his eyes flew open, wide and wild—“Hurt him,” he snarled, “and I’ll hound you till the end of time.”

It laughed again, loud and full. “I don’t plan to hurt him, child,” It murmured into his skin, the feel of It’s hands on his body. “I plan to make him beg for mercy while you watch.”

He closed his eyes, tried to take himself away, tried to forget where he was and the circumstances that led him here. “If you do anything to him,” he said, “I will make you pay. I swear, on anything and everything, I will make you pay.”

“Big words from a little boy,” It chuckled, and left. [I wrote this in May of 2006, presumably after “Devil’s Trap” aired.]

 

When it all came down to it, there was really only one way it could end. John knew it, had known it since Dean was seven and killed his first evil with a small smirk on his face. “Did I do good, Dad?” he asked—John hadn’t been ‘Daddy’ since that November night—and John nodded, sorrow and pride mingling in him.

Dean would eventually go down, fall and not get back up, but it’d be with a curse on his lips and fire in his eyes, swinging the whole way. [My Dean! I love him.]

John did his best to prepare Dean for that eventuality; he never mentioned old age to his boys. Never talked about life after the hunt, because he knew there wouldn’t be one.

Dean understood first and John figured Sam never would, because Dean was there with band-aids and hugs and macaroni and assurances that that no, the monsters couldn’t get in. Sometimes he thought the coddling was dangerous, making Sam too soft for their business, but the boys were his last link to Mary and he thought one, at least, should stay innocent. [Oh, John. He really did try his best.]

 

He could hear Its’ acolytes moving around in the next room, setting things up for the sacrifice.

It’s almost over, he thought. I never thought it’d end like this.

He focused on escaping, on getting to his brother before It could; all of his attention, his drive, went to the chains holding him to the wall. He could feel despair and fear settling in for a long stay and he forced himself past the paralyzing emotions to the rage just beneath. And over it all soared the love that had saved both their lives before.

Finally, after minutes or eons, he felt the chain shatter. One of the acolytes hurried in, a young girl—possessed? he wondered, but decided it didn’t matter. The knowledge sang in his veins, the knowledge he’d longed for over a year now, ever since he saw his brother die and shoved that dresser out of the way.

The acolyte opened her mouth to scream for aid before her neck snapped, twisted to the side by hands no one could see.

If she’d glanced at his face before her vision faded to black, she’d have run and never stopped. [That Sam Winchester can be a scary fellow, you know.]

You wanted an opponent, he thought, moving towards the door. You’ve got one. [Sam mastered his powers. *sigh* Silly demon.]

 

Dean knew with a deep, absolute certainty he would never see old age. Never have kids or grandkids or a life outside of the hunt.

It wasn’t for him. Never could be. Sometimes, he wondered if it would have been, had Mom not died, had Dad not decided to strike back. He always shut down on those little tangents the second he realized they were heading towards regret and disappointment. By the time he was ten, he knew normality wasn’t for him; by the time he was eleven, he’d convinced himself he didn’t want it. That he never had.

So he focused on the hunt and Sam(my). [I figure, even when Dean calls Sam “Sam,” he still thinks of him as “Sammy.”] Dad wasn’t around as much as anyone wanted and Dean took over easily. Sam(my) longed for normality in a way Dean no longer let himself and he often assured Sam(my) that nothing was beyond his grasp.

“If you want it bad enough, Sam,” he said, “then one day it’ll be yours.”

If he’d known Sam would leave, he sometimes thought he’d have squashed Sam(my)’s dreams as easily as a skull beneath his foot, but he knows he never could.

He wouldn’t see old age, but maybe Sammy would. [And, I’m fairly certain that’s totally canon.] [ETA 2016: younger!self, you give the show writers entirely too much credit.]

 

None of the acolytes had a chance.

For over a thousand years It had searched every corner of the world for Its’ equal, Its’ heir, never finding anyone powerful enough, anyone worthy. At last it came to the Revilen line, descendents of the man called Merlin—a boy who’d almost made the cut, but in the end failed.

It followed the bloodline for centuries, watching as each generation grew stronger. At last, a daughter entered the world, named after the mother of the one called Christ, a girl with more power than any being before her. It considered her, but found her wanting—too much light in her, too much of those hopeful things. [I have a slight obsession with Mary.] [ETA 2016: I had so many ideas.]

But It continued watching, because her children might do. It watched her meet and wed John Winchester, watched her age and shine so brightly all the world should burn. It watched her grow with child and glow with love, with hope. It watched the child, a son, enter the world, a beacon even more incandescent.

It visited their home on the child’s six-month anniversary of living, studied the boy with a finer eye than any before him, even his mother. The child had power, so much it nearly hurt to be so close to him, but he would not do. He, like his mother, was far too pure. Perhaps one day he would darken, if given the right incentive, but for now… [I believe that the demon visited Dean, too, but found him wanting. Now, if they’d show us that in the show? *glee*]

It faded as his mother entered the room and left for other parts of the world. It would be back, though. Yes… the boy bore watching. It smirked; more promise in that boy than in entire generations combined.

 

Sam never planned on leaving as a child. [I should have found a better way to phrase that.] He lived the life of a hero, always on the lookout for a new battle, new evil to fight and defeat. He had Dad, some of the time, and Dean—even better—all the time. He had hope in tomorrow because Dean was there. He believed he and Dean would live forever, would save puppies and kids and families and the world—

It all came crashing down when he was ten. When Dean nearly died. When Dean flew through the air and slammed into the tree and didn’t move when he hit the ground.

Sam picked up the gun that landed beside him and shot the whole clip into the werewolf, full of rage and pain and fear. Dad came running and Sam collapsed beside Dean, gingerly touched his face, and looked up at Dad, naked hope in his eyes.

Dad can make it better, his face said. Dad’ll make it better.

Dean didn’t wake up for a week and Sam lost all faith in Dad. [Sam had to have hero-worshipped John, once upon a time. Something, though, shook his faith and their relationship never recovered.]

 

The mother, Mary, became pregnant again. It watched to see how the child would handle a sibling; not surprisingly, the boy looked forward to a little brother or sister, looked forward to having someone to take care of. [It’s Dean’s nature—he needs someone to care for.]

The mother and boy began to brighten, a supernova that caused Its eyes to burn. It needed to look away and yet It couldn’t—the incentive to turn the boy Its way was plain, now.

The child growing in her womb—he would be the key to everything. [What if that’s Sam’s destiny and the demon’s been playing them, y’all? Even though the demon’s dead now, it could happen.] [ETA 2016: SO MANY IDEAS.]

 

John knew it was never about Sam. He’d always known it. Missouri couldn’t tell him any more than that, though, and John needed to move on, get his boys out of Lawrence.

There wasn’t any way it could end happily, his quest for Mary’s killer, not any chance at all.

A part of him mourned for the life his boys could never have, but the rest of him wanted vengeance.

 

Until It studied the baby on his six-month anniversary, It thought the elder, Dean, was the one It wanted. Even after, It desired the firstborn, but the baby—such potential. Not as much as Dean, but more than the mother.

He reached out to touch Samuel and Mary ran into the room. “Get away from my son,” the descendent of Merlin snarled, the daughter of Revilen, a beacon of light—but It was stronger, after eons of feeding on her kind, and It consumed her.

It laughed, binging on her power, and thought about taking the father, as well—but refrained. It was not yet ready for either child, so the father still had use.

It watched the father and boys as they sat on the car outside the house and mourned. The elder glanced Its way and It shivered, then laughed to Itself. The boy was not a threat—not yet.

Soon, though—soon. [I like the flow of this section.]

 

Dean did the best he could, those years Sam(my) was gone. Just him and Dad got lonely, lonelier than he’d ever admit to anyone. He missed Sam(my) with a fierceness that surprised him.

So, to escape the pain of abandonment, he threw himself into the hunt. Whenever he wasn’t researching, he trained or took care of the weapons. Dad watched with a steady smile and never told Dean it wasn’t healthy, even though they both knew it was.

Scars doubled and tripled, and bruises never left. Six broken bones became twenty and ten concussions became twenty-seven.

And he never slowed, never stopped. [Poor Dean—I really hope we get a flashback in the show, about John and Dean hunting while Sam was gone.]

 

Over the years It checked in on them, gauging their progress towards the direction It wanted. The elder, the child of light that could easily taint, loved only two people: his father and brother.

Push come to shove, It thought with a smirk, he’d pick the brother. And therein lay the catalyst of the greatest fall since Lucifer turned to Satan. [I adore this sentence.] [ETA 2016: OMG, hindsight.]

 

Sam left with tears in his eyes, left behind Dad and the hunt and vengeance for someone he couldn’t remember and Dean. Left behind stories of Mom he knew couldn’t be true and future scars he couldn’t explain to anyone and lies that streamed forth like a waterfall and Dean. Left behind things he should say and things he couldn’t say and things he needed to hear but knew he never would and Dean.

The only thing he regretted leaving behind was Dean. [Poor Sammy. I adore this section, too.]

 

It noticed the younger, Samuel, craved normality like It craved his brother. It fanned the flame in his soul, whispered to his dreams that Life beckoned with everything he wanted.

After years of steady murmurs, the boy finally left. Slammed the door on that life and then his father nailed it shut with words screamed in anger and pain.

It smiled and laughed and told the acolytes soon Its heirs would come, would descend to Its level.

It watched with popcorn and parties as Dean flew headlong down the road of destruction and Samuel lost himself in the life of paper facades he’d always coveted. They both pretended to not notice the gaping wound in their souls, fueled by Its falsehoods of comfort.

And the plan, Its masterpiece that ended with the culmination of the Dark, continued to unfold.

 

John never meant to hurt his sons. Never meant to curse them with his quest or demand more than they could give. Never meant to place such a burden on Dean so young(or ever), never meant to drive Sam away. Never meant to burn so many bridges with his allies or lose friends because his better half died with Mary.

There are many things John never meant to do. To say. Even to think, but thinking’s hard to stop and sometimes his mouth ran away and shouted the things he never, ever would have said.

Like, “If you walk out that door, don’t come back.”

And sometimes his mouth wouldn’t listen to him when he tells it, say “Stop, Dean. This isn’t safe, isn’t healthy. You need to slow down.”

So many regrets rest on John’s shoulders and he doubted he’d ever get the chance to apologize for all the things he needs to say “Sorry” for.

 

Finally, the father was lured away by the promise of a lead that didn’t have a dead-end. Without a word—as was the command of the whisper in his dreams—he left his son.

And Dean went for his brother. As It had known he would.

And everything happened as It had declared would come to pass. The boys, Its’ heirs, Its’ equals, Its’ glorious triumph—on the road to damnation for love of each other.
And It laughed. The world shook and It kept on laughing. [*glee* for this section.]

 

Dean knew that it can’t end happy, that for him it never could. Dean knew salvation was beyond him, because of the darkness he constantly pretended wasn’t in his soul. He never told Dad or Sam(my) of the thoughts or the dreams or the fantasies.

Sometimes instead of saving a victim, he pictured destroying them. With smiles and laughter and words that cut their souls to pieces as he shredded their bodies with weapons honed on the hunt. [Love that sentence.]

He’d always felt like something was missing, something was wrong, and only after Sam(my) left did he realize his brother had balanced him out. With Sam(my) around, the desires and daydreams weren’t nearly as strong, didn’t hold such sway, didn’t call so seductively.

But Sam(my) left, taking with him a part of Dean.

 

Together again they both grew stronger and weaker. It led them down the path; as they thought they followed a road to Heaven It instead led them to the gates of Hell.

It let Samuel’s powers out of their cage, but only when connected to It or Dean.

Dean was never in danger from that twisted little plaything, Maxwell, or from that misguided harlot, Sue Ann. The Reaper merely touched Dean, gave him a taste of what could be his, if he’d but open his eyes to see.

At the time, and for—by his count—long after, he did not understand. Could not. But when the time came, at the end of his little stint playing a Soldier of the Light, everything would be made clear for him.

Samuel was Dean’s one true weakness. And It planned on using that advantage to its full potential.

 

On the road again with Dean, Sam fell quickly back into patterns set in childhood. The raw pain of Jessica’s death faded and Dean again became his whole world. Again resumed a role he’d never really relinquished because Sam hadn’t let him, even if neither of them knew it.

He sometimes felt something on the periphery of his mind, gently conning him into giving it entry, but he always shoved it back. Pretended it wasn’t there. Never mentioned the whispers to Dean, terrified that telling his brother would make it true.

He refused to believe he was evil. Refused to believe everything was his fault. And refused to ask Dean.

 

The entire thing was easier than It had ever entertained the idea of it being. It separated the boys and then swiftly knocked Dean unconscious. No harm was given to Dean’s body; he was moved gently to a secure location.

Samuel was then taken and taunted; once he fell, Dean would quickly follow. [And that’s the truth. You get one of the boys, the other will follow, soon enough.]

It had contemplated the other way, but the light still in Dean was too strong. He wouldn’t fall first. But he would take the plunge after Samuel and lose himself forever.

 

If John had known what would come from him, he would have blown out his brains at age twenty.

If Mary had known what would come from her, she would have killed herself at age fifteen.

If Merlin had known what would come from him, he would have laughed. He was sick that way. [*hee*]

 

You wanted an opponent, he thought, moving towards the door. You’ve got one.

None of the acolytes had a chance.

He breezed through them, leaving no one alive. He threw them around as though they were rag-dolls, breaking them and moving on. Whatever It was, he knew, It had made a major miscalculation.

He felt the instant Dean woke, angry and fighting. He felt the instant Dean knew what had always been on the edges of their minds.

What are we? Dean asked, teetering on the precipice Sam had already leapt from.

I don’t know, he responded.

 

If Dean had known what he would become, he would have continued on anyway.

 

It fought tooth and nail against the monsters It had created and died all the same.

 

If Sam had known what he would cause Dean to become, he’d have killed himself the day he turned ten.

 

Dean threw himself over the cliff to keep Sam from being alone and he never once looked back. [I like the phrasing here.]

 

Some things are meant to be. Others happen because of things that never should have been. Missouri never told anyone that she knew what those boys would become the moment Dean was conceived. [Just thought I’d throw Missouri in there, for fun.]

Chapter Text

Title: You drive an angel from your door
Fandom: Avengers/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from William Blake
Warnings: post-Avengers; primordial!Methos; mentions of violence/gore
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 820
Point of view: third
Prompt: Avengers/Highlander, Odin + Methos, villains are those who oppose you
Note: Valföðr means father of the slain

[Dude, read the prompt. How could I not snatch that right up?]

 

"Hullo, Valföðr," the stranger says, slouched in Odin's throne. [I researched Odin’s other names for a different fic. When I saw Valföðr, I knew I had to use it for something. Also, picture Methos in Odin’s throne, smirking at him. Isn’t that epic?]

Nothing has been disturbed. No alarm has been raised. And yet there is a stranger in Odin's throne, and his fingers are splayed across Gungnir.

"Well met, stranger," Odin says, readying himself for whatever move he makes. "Who are you and how came you to be here?" [I really like writing dialogue for Odin. *shrugs*]

The stranger laughs. "You'd think language and culture would move with the times, Valföðr," the stranger sneers. "But you and yours are still stuck a thousand years ago. Explains the boy, at least." [Methos is older than any civilization living, and you will never know unless he wants you to. Methos adapts and evolves. It frustrates him that others don’t.]

Odin does not react, cannot. If this man is here for Loki... "Who are you?" Odin demands, every inch the king he has been since time immemorial. He is the All-Father, the most powerful warrior and sorcerer in nine realms.

(Lie, whispers a voice in the back of his mind. It sounds like Loki.) [Odin knows that given time, Loki will be more powerful than him. Odin also knows about Methos.]

"Who I am is of no consequence," the stranger snarls, lunging to his feet, fingers clenched around Gungnir. "What I can do is far more important, little king of petty children."

Odin's eyes widen. [And this is when he realizes that Methos is Methos.] "How dare you come here!" he thunders, flinging his most powerful, dangerous spell at the man's face.

It hits the man dead-center and he doesn't react at all. "You should know better," the man says, calm and cold. Odin shudders; he remembers this man, remembers blood soaking into the ground, remembers a command that reverberated in his bones.

"You stole a child and raised him to hate himself," the man says, stalking down the stairs towards Odin. "You denied him when he needed you most, lied to him in every memory he has of you, and did not search when he fell into the void." Gungnir flashes, power building, and Odin tries to prepare a shield, but he cannot do anything except listen. "You let your All-Seeing Gatekeeper withhold information, told your firstborn half-truths to stoke his betrayed and despairing rage, and threw the child you stole into a cage without even asking why he'd done anything." [Canon, every single part of that.]

Gungnir rests against Odin's heart and he looks into the stranger's eyes. "So tell me, little king," the stranger croons gently, a blood-curdling lullaby, "what should I do with you?"

[At this point, Methos is here because he had a vision a very long time ago. He knew that Loki would exist, and he knew exactly how powerful Loki could one day be, and he knew that if left to himself after everything, Loki would burn down the realms.

And Methos could kill Loki to erase the threat, but he collects strays.]

"I have done my best," Odin says, as strongly as he can. [The saddest part is that he believes it.]

The stranger laughs. Gungnir pulses and brilliant light flashes, and Odin screams –

He comes to on the floor of his throne room, Thor and his guards asking what has happened, if he's alright.

"Loki," Odin gasps, holding his chest. His heart aches. "Check on Loki, he came for Loki –"

Of course, Loki is gone. So is Gungnir, and Sleipnir, and so is Mjölnir, whenever Thor thinks to call it next. [I can’t remember if Sleipnir is Loki’s son in this ‘verse.]

"Father, what happened?" Thor asks, standing in Loki's empty cage.

Odin closes his eye, feeling so very old, and replies, "I made a grave error, Thor. And an enemy."

(Two enemies, little king, a voice whispers, as cold and dark as the void. Well done, Valföðr.) [Methos gave him the chance. Odin fucked up in every possible way of fucking up.]

"Will Loki… is Loki safe?" Thor asks hesitantly. "Is Midgardr?"

Odin flinches. Every accusation the stranger made… if Odin can rectify those that can be rectified… "We must speak to Heimdallr," Odin says. "Come, Thor." [Heimdallr held a grudge from Loki freezing him. Heimdallr saw Loki with Thanos, and didn’t tell Odin everything.]

.

When Odin was young, having just ascended his father's throne, he fought a foolish war. It is not in any song, or history, or story told in Asgardr. It exists only in Odin's memory; he is the oldest in Asgardr. No one else still living was there to witness how he fell to his knees before his enemy. How he pled for his life. How he swore anything in his power, if only he survived.

His enemy laughed, and sliced Odin's cheek with the sharpest blade in nine realms. His enemy let him live, with a single command: raise the child well, little king.

Odin did not know which child, or why, or when.

By the time he found an infant in a temple on Jotunheimr, he had long since forgotten.

.

"What is your greatest desire?" Adam asks Loki.

"Thanos," Loki answers. "Thanos with his guts spilling on the dirt. His heart in my hand. His eyes, staring unseeing at the stars."

Adam laughs. "He seeks Death, doesn't he?"

Loki nods. "Thanos hopes to woo Death with the charred remnants of a thousand worlds."

When Adam finally controls his laughter, he says, "Then let him meet Death, boyo. I assure you – he won't regret the meeting for long."

Loki smiles at him, madder than a hatter, and Adam wishes he'd acted sooner. [Adam’s favorite is the Cheshire Cat.]

But wishes are horses, and Death does ride, and their first stop is Thanos. [Loki holds grudges, too.]

Their last stop will be Asgardr, and Odin will be king of all those slain. [*hee*]

.

There was one command given, on a bloodied field.

There was one command ignored, in golden halls.

The greatest villain is the one created by the hero's hand.

On a thousand worlds, the greatest villain of all is Death.

Death's fine with that. [Death saw it all coming.]

Chapter Text

Title: “Shining Silver, Gleaming Gold” chp1
Fandom: “Supernatural”/“Dark Angel” crossover

For: claraine

Notes: This was never intended to be more than an oneshot. Or a crossover.

 

Alec never hated Max more than that night she burned down Manticore with her stupid, thoughtless actions. It was a visceral reaction, bone-deep, inescapable as dawn. [Love that paragraph.]

Not that he ever admitted it.

They became allies, though never friends. They play-acted the friendliness, but she couldn’t stand him and he loathed her. Something in her just rubbed him the wrong way, had from the moment he first walked in her cell.

He’d only ever wanted a family, friends—a life beyond the rules and pain and fear. [Dean, anyone? *hee*] What Max had.

And all she ever did was bemoan her life, her troubles, like she had nothing but problems. She had people who would die for her, who accepted her just as she was—and it wasn’t enough. She just couldn’t be happy. And that pissed him off.

But she—and her friends—were all he had. So instead of leaving like he wanted, he stayed. He helped her, watched her back. Sometimes he wanted to claw her, to hurt her, to punish her—but instead he did his best to keep her safe.

She thought him hobbled, he knew. A broken toy, a disabled soldier. Not equal to her. He allowed her to keep her delusions because her blindness aided him.

The greatest threat is the one that goes unseen even after it has been revealed. [*glee* I love Alec. Not as much as Ben or Dean, but still. So much. ]

 

Another Seattle night, sneaking outta Terminal City, trailing Max as she tries escaping the life she’s chosen. He clings to the shadows, less than a ghost; Max never did learn everything Manticore taught, but Alec was first in his class.

Not that Max has bothered to notice. [One of my greatest problems with “Dark Angel”? That Max continually beats Alec’s ass. Sorry, but it just wouldn’t happen.]

She doesn’t go to Crash—hasn’t in months, ever since she was outed as leader of the mutant-freaks—but some new place. Alec’s been there before, back when he was first scoping out Seattle as his territory. [Cat DNA, remember?] Quiet little bar, on the fringe of town, doesn’t care who gets served long as they pay. And Alec always pays. Max thinks he doesn’t know how to keep a low profile, but then—she’s never bothered to really get to know him. [Trained as an assassin… they kinda have to be able to blend in unless they want to be noticed, you know?]

He slinks to the back, watches her settle alone at a sad little table and down generic beer like it’s water. He orders a scotch, sips it slowly. Looks like Max is tryin’ to drown her sorrows tonight.

Sorrows.

Spoiled girl.

A large man—bigger’n Logan though not Joshua—walks by her table, accidentally brushes it; a depressed, listing thing, the table tilts, spilling Max’s beer. [ I like that description of the table. Also, just because: stupid Max. Hate her.]

Alec knows it was an accident, but Max is lookin’ for a fight, has been all night. She springs up, grabs his jacket and pulls him down, growls in his face. The guy—older than Logan, mid-thirties, maybe—tries placating her, holds out his hands, says something. [Hmm… I wonder who that guy can be?]

Max is not keepin’ a low profile and Alec rolls his eyes. She drags the guy behind her as she leaves the bar; Alec stands to follow, throws down money on her table, and hurries after ‘em. Not the guy’s fault Max is in a pissy mood and Alec’s spoilin’ for a fight.

 

Max has the guy against the wall and is ranting at him about personal space. This is Alec’s first clear look at him: shaggy dark hair, glinting green eyes, handsome like a sleek cat—Alec has a thing for felines, what can he say?

He takes in the guy at a glance and something sears in his blood, rushes from his toes to his hair, and he knows this guy. Knows him, even though he’s never seen him before tonight. And then something—freezing cold—pours into him, takes him over, and he’s lookin’ at the world through eyes that aren’t his anymore. [And this image is where the whole story came from: Dean possessing Alec because Sam’s in danger.]

Damn, a voice echoes in his head, and it sounds freakishly like him. What the hell are you, boy? I never felt this good. [*hee* Dean’s now in Alec’s body. With Alec.]

His body isn’t responding to him and his eyes never leave Max and the guy; she’s just taken a swing at him and Alec feels rage curling in his belly, flowing out to every part of him.

Sam, the interloper keens. Fucking bitch, she dares—

And Alec’s body is moving, slamming into Max and knocking her down. She’s up in half a moment, hissing, and Alec meets her head-on. Or rather, the thing controlling him meets her head on, knocks her back, grabs for her neck and squeezes, and it feels good. So good, to finally be fighting her for real, showing her just what he is.

A predator. A hunter. A killer. [Little flash of Ben there. God, I love Ben.]

Bitch, the interloper snarls, breaking her face with his hands. No one touches him. And then he’s using Alec’s voice, snarling for real. “No one hurts Sammy, no one at all.”

Max hisses and bucks, trying to fight back, but whatever’s inside knows how to fight and uses everything Alec’s got. Max is twisting and snarling, clawing at his face, kicking at his balls, but he’s better, he’s stronger, he’s faster—and now he realizes he’s wanted to do this for so long, he’s not fighting the whatever anymore, he’s going with it, and it’s perfect, it’s just like all the times he’s pretended he didn’t imagine it. [The way Max treats Alec in the show? He should have killed her a dozen times.]

Her eyes are wide and terrified, and Alec can’t look away. He watches the light leech from her gaze and hears You really think I could do it? You think I could kill someone in cold blood?

Turns out she was right after all.

Yes, Alec, I think you could. [*hee* I love that exchange.]

It’s done and he lets her fall, glances over at the guy. [AND I KILLED MAX!! This is one of my favorite fics, just ‘cause’a that. I HATE that bitch, SO MUCH.] [ETA 2016: so… I get much better at writing characters I hate without bashing them. See: any of my Marvel fics that have Odin in them.] He’s slumped against the wall, blood dripping down his face, and Alec agrees with the interloper that lapping it up is a great idea.

Apparently, the guy agrees, too, if the hand clutching at his shoulder and the moans are anything to go by.

Mine, the interloper murmurs, using Alec’s mouth to trail kisses along the guy’s—Sam’s—neck.

You know, Alec says, I should really get your name.

Dean, his possessor answers. M’name’s Dean. [Yeah, big surprise, huh?]

The guy gets his hand between them, pushes against Alec’s chest. “Wait,” he mutters, and Dean raises Alec’s head to meet his eyes.

“Hey, Sammy,” Dean says with Alec’s voice, but it’s not Alec’s inflection.

Sam’s eyes widen. “Dean,” he whispers. “Holy fuck, Dean.”

And Dean grins a strange grin with Alec’s lips, some expression Alec’s never worn before. He stretches up, sinuously controlling Alec’s body like the cat he’s always been, and nips at Sam’s lips. “I’m back, little brother.” He rubs against Sam and chuckles darkly, “Miss me?”

Sam’s answer is lost in his groan, and Alec’s never heard a better sound. “Mine,” Dean whispers with Alec’s voice, and bites hard on Sam’s shoulder, breaking skin and drawing blood. [This fic was pretty much my first attempt at any sort of graphic anything (beyond death).]

“I missed you so much,” Sam mutters, gripping Alec’s neck with his hand. “Killed everything I could find for you.”

Alec has no idea what either of them is talking about, but doesn’t care. Doesn’t even care he can’t control his body anymore, because—damn. Yeah. This’s a hell of a lot more fun than anything in Manticore or Terminal City. [That’d be the truth, huh?]

“We need to leave ‘fore her friends come lookin’,” Dean says and Alec snorts, Good idea.

Sam whimpers as Dean pulls away. “Now?”

Dean laughs, and Alec is startled with how pleasant a sound that is. Has it been so long since he really laughed that he’s forgotten? “We’ve waited near-on fifteen years, Sammy. We can wait a little longer. Plus, I got this young new body now…” He lets Alec’s voice trail off and raises a brow.

Sam smirks and nods, straightening and stretching, before leaning down to kiss Alec’s lips. “I can taste you, Dean. This body—he looks so much like you.”

“We can wonder about that later,” Dean says, then promises, “After I’ve made up for lost time.”

Sam’s laughter echoes off the alley’s walls and Dean says, Help me find a safe place for tonight and tomorrow, and I’ll let you have a little control when he’s beneath us.

Alec gives him directions and anticipates. [*hee*]

Chapter Text

Title: The hot July moon saw everythin’
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Deanna Carter
Warnings: character death
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1780
Point of view: third

[So, I rewatched Cap1 the summer after Cap2 came out and found the relationship between pre-serum!Steve and Bucky fascinating. And I’ve had a thing for serial killer AUs since my Supernatural days. And I’d just given up on a major Glee serial killer AU. And I wondered what would happen if Bucky killed people for Steve without that whole war thing happening. This was the result.]

 

The first time was an accident. Mikey Dyers was big at thirteen, from two streets over, and he hated how Steve always showed him up in class. (It wasn’t intentional, Bucky knew, but Mikey was angry about a lot of things, and Steve was an easy target.) Mikey stomped after Steve every day for a week, shouting about fairies and fags, and he knocked Steve’s sketchpad out his hands, broke his pencils, tore up his notes.

The first time was an accident. Bucky’d been holding his temper for a week, letting Steve handle it his way. “We’re growing up, Buck,” Stevie said, all solemn-eyed. “You can’t just knock ‘em down for me anymore.” Mikey Dyers was thirteen and three times Steve size, already growing into himself; Steve’d be twelve in the summer and looked more like nine. Bucky’d be thirteen in three weeks, but his dad taught him to throw and take a punch.

“You can’t just knock ‘em down for me anymore,” Steve said, and the first time was an accident. It really was.

[I really don’t like killing kids. I also didn’t want to write too much for this fic because I was worried it’d be too much like my Glee serial killer AU, with the partnership between Blaine and Kurt. So I can’t remember if I did this intentionally or not, but where Blaine had always wanted to hurt things, Bucky hasn’t. I did research for the Glee fic: Blaine's a thrill/lust killer and Kurt's a control killer. In this fic, Steve’s a control killer and Bucky does it because Steve wants him to. This section with Mikey Dyers is to show that, unlike with Blaine and Kurt, Bucky hadn’t always wanted to hurt people. He accidentally kills a bully and it stays with Steve for years. If this one incident hadn’t happened, none of the rest would’ve, either.]

.

Mikey Dyers stopped struggling after Bucky slammed his head into the sidewalk. He didn’t move again at all, and Bucky waited, to see if he was faking.

Steve staggered to his feet and stumbled over, and by then, Bucky’d realized that Mikey wasn’t breathing.

He flat out panicked and demanded, “Steve, what do I do?” throwing himself off Mikey. [This is actually a different characterization then in most of my Bucky fics. Another reason I enjoy this story so much.]

.

The first time was the only time for years.

.

Steve and Bucky went to the same college after graduating; them separating was never a question. Bucky’s mom mentioned, a few times, that he should branch out, maybe find more friends. He was friendly with plenty of people, and popular, but Steve was all he needed (all he wanted, to be honest, but he couldn’t see telling Mom that).

Steve said that his mom said the same, a couple of times, but he smiled at Bucky and said, “’til the end of the line, right?” and Bucky nodded, smiling, too. [They are dangerously codependent, okay? Like, their parents like their son’s friend (boyfriend? It’s never been clear) but they also want them to branch out. Because Bucky was hella popular and literally could’ve ruled the school, and Steve was fairly well-liked, but they only ever spent time together.)

.

“We have to,” Steve said, starting to wheeze just a little, “we have to make it so we were never here.”

It shouldn’t have worked, but there was a triple homicide five blocks over later that afternoon.

.

The second time was a little less accidental.

Steve hadn’t grown much, but Bucky was just under six feet, and he was still popular and well-liked, and people kept telling him to drop that stick-in-the-mud Steve Rogers, that he was such a downer, and always getting into fights.

Bucky got all sorts of dings on his academic record because of Steve Rogers, and Steve was slumped against the wall of the bar, blood on his face, glaring up at the frat boy, and Bucky grabbed the guy’s arm, throwing him away.

The guy was drunk, barely staying on his feet, slurring out all sorts of things that Bucky might have been able to brush off if Steve could stand up straight.

Dad taught him to take and throw a punch, and a lot more besides; he’d been a SEAL, once, but he never talked about it, except when he coached Bucky through moves that were more than enough for a drunk kid.

Bucky blinked and the guy wasn’t moving anymore, on the ground with Bucky kneeling over him. “Oh, shit,” he said because the guy had been with friends, and they’d probably be looking for him any second now, and he wasn’t breathing –

“Bucky,” Steve said.

He scrambled off the guy and went to help Steve.

[Bucky doesn’t drink to excess, really. Especially not after they start killing people. But his inhibitions are lowered enough that he beats a guy to death because the guy hurt Steve.]

.

The second time, their saving grace was that nobody remembered Steve’s argument with the frat boy.

They weren’t even questioned during the course of the investigation. [So, how realistic is this? I have no idea. Everything I know about CSI shit, I learned from TV.]

.

Bucky was quiet for a few weeks, and Steve was pensive. Bucky focused on his coursework, didn’t raise his hand in class, didn’t go out when invited, skipped his weekly coffee with the pretty TA.

Steve finally sat him down and said, “I have an idea.”

After Steve had laid everything out, Points A through J, with a few Sub-points and an alternate Point E, Bucky asked, “Why?”

It took Steve a couple minutes, tapping his thin fingers on his thighs, licking his bottom lip, before he said, “Watching you with that guy, it was… it felt amazing.” He peered up at Bucky through his insanely long eyelashes, and he said, “If you don’t want to, Buck, I’ll never bring it up again.”

Bucky took a deep breath and slowly let it out. And then, “Stevie,” he said, “tell me the whole thing again.”

[Bucky doesn’t do it because he needs it, or even likes it very much. (Though he learns to.) He does it because Steve wants him to. Because for some reason, it makes Steve happy. And Steve… I never really got into his head much for this fic. Hmm. I’ll see what comes to me when I get to his pov.]

.

The third time was planned out, start to finish, and by the end, Steve was gasping for breath, hands clutching at Bucky, pressing messy kisses to his face and neck, and Bucky felt alive.

The third time, they cleaned everything up and Steve had somewhere to dump the body.

The third time was the beginning.

.

Steve and Bucky officially started dating their junior year of college. [They’ve been unofficially dating since, like, the sixth grade.] Steve was a business major, with a minor in art history, and Bucky was in mechanical engineering. Neither of their mothers talked about them finding other partners, and there weren’t any fights after the first semester of their sophomore year.

They got an apartment off-campus together and Steve found a job in a computer lab in the main library while Bucky picked up work at a coffee shop down the street from their place. Bucky moved his study group to the shop for the free pastries (they’d have been thrown away, anyway) and he bought Steve breakfast there every morning, and he was getting As in all his classes, and Steve had a 4.0, too, and life seemed to finally be taking off.

After he finished a major project, just after Easter their junior year, Steve smiled at Bucky and crawled into his lap and whispered Points A through H into the skin at the base of his throat. [They’re both popular. Charming. Going places. Just the nicest guys.]

.

During the summer between junior and senior year, Bucky took a kick-boxing class while Steve studied up on poisons. [Because it’s not like pre-serum Steve will be able to wrestle their victims down.] Steve planned on getting a master’s; he eventually talked Bucky around to it, too.

At the gym, Bucky met and befriended Tim Dugan and Jim Morita – it was Dugan’s gym and Morita was on leave from the Marines. They both gave him fighting tips and Morita even took him to a local gun range, just for the hell of it. He started going weekly after that because shooting was fun. [Because I wanted Bucky to have friends outside of Steve. He actually really likes them.]

Two weeks before the semester started up, they took Bucky’s dad’s old Buick (the only thing he left to Bucky) and hit the road. Out in the middle of nowhere, as they passed the sixth hitchhiker, Steve nodded, so Bucky pulled over.

.

As his elective his senior year, Bucky took French. He’d already had Russian to fill his foreign language credits, but French looked like it might be fun. Professor Dernier said there would be a major project toward the end and to pick their partners by the end of Friday’s class, so Bucky turned to the guy next to him, held out a hand, and said, “Partners?”

The guy shrugged and shook his hand. “Fine with me. Gabe Jones.”

.

Gabe was a good guy, and he already spoke German fluently, so while Steve was tied up in his assignments Bucky traded Russian for German. Part of him wished he’d focused on languages instead of engineering, but he figured the engineering would let him go further.

Gabe’s good friend Monty Falsworth invited Bucky to his end of the semester rager and of course Bucky brought Steve, who decided to involve himself when one of the dude-bros started harassing a girl, but this time, when Bucky pulled the guy off, he had Gabe and Falsworth backing him up, so the guy melted away without fighting. [Gabe is Bucky’s best friend who isn’t Steve. And all of Gabe’s friends think they’re Bucky’s friends, too.]

Falsworth laughed, and he and Gabe went back to their conversation, but Bucky still felt tension thrumming through him. He looked at Steve, and Steve looked at him, and they left, holding hands, fingers squeezing each other so hard it hurt.

The sixth time was pure opportunity, not planned out anywhere near as thoroughly as Steve would’ve liked. It was also the first one where he got involved in more than just watching, and Bucky was pretty sure it was the hottest thing he’d ever seen in his life. [This is the largest fuck-up they ever have.]

.

The seventh time happened the summer after graduation, the eighth over Christmas break their first year in their respective Master’s programs, the ninth the first week in June, and the tenth as Steve’s 24th birthday present. It was the first where Bucky planned everything out, so it was a bit messier than any of Steve’s.

After the clean up, back in the safety of their apartment, with Bucky curled around Steve, Steve said, “We need to take a break. I’ve been studying up on everyone who’s gotten caught, and we need to stop for awhile.” His fingers were warm, tangled up with Bucky’s, his body so frail against Bucky’s, and Bucky nodded, head resting on Steve’s.

“Whatever you think is best, Stevie,” he murmured. “This is your game.”

[Bucky’s learned to like it, though it’s mainly the thrill of getting away with it, not the killing. And Steve’s gotten it down to perfection (mostly). I did research serial killers, a bit, but a lot of this is just me making shit up. Obviously.]
.

The tenth time was the last time for years.

.

 

Steve and Bucky got married when they were 28, two weeks after attending their high school reunion. Bucky was working at a well-respected company and Steve was managing a non-profit that helped veterans. Bucky still kept in touch with Gabe, and he still went to Dugan’s gym, and most days, he thought he was pretty lucky.

Other days, he wanted to kill someone. [Because he knows how easy it is.]

For their honeymoon, Steve and Bucky took a week for a road trip, and on the way out of town, Steve told Bucky Points A through K.

.

 

(“Hey, Banner,” Romanoff said to her partner, “take a look at this. Might be a serial.”

.

“Carter,” Director Fury said, “you and Coulson’ll be liaising with the locals for this. Take Banner and Romanoff, too, since they’re the lucky ones who spotted this bastard.”

.

Chief Phillips told Barton and Wilson, “The feds are coming down for this shitshow. Play nice and get this wrapped up as quickly as you can.”

As they left his office, Phillips shouted, “Odinson! Get your brother talking to his contacts! There’s gotta be someone out there who knows something.”

Odinson popped in to say, “Yes, sir,” before popping back out to call up his criminal brother. (Ex-criminal, Odinson always stressed, but Phillips would believe that after pigs were filling the skies.)

[I don’t remember how I chose who was FBI and who was local police, or why they were partnered up the way they were. I think it might just have been the order the names came to me.]

.

They were talking about it on every channel – Bucky flipped through them all before calling, “Steve, get in here!”

“What’s up?” Steve asked, hurrying in, before he froze, watching the screen.

“They found Stark’s body,” Bucky said.

Steve said, “Fuck.”)

[This happened because I realized I hadn’t used Tony Stark yet. *snickers*]

 

Title: The hot July moon saw everythin’
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Deanna Carter
Warnings: character death
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1345
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, Odd start to the day - the FBI just showed up at my apartment.

 

[It was meant to be a oneshot! Because I didn’t think I could make it different enough from the Glee serial killer fic. Then I found this prompt.]

 

“Buck,” Steve says as he looks down at his phone. “The FBI just interviewed Ma at her house.”

“Well, shit,” Bucky says. “What do we do?”

“They can’t have much of anything,” Steve assures him. “And any way we react is gonna be scrutinized. So let’s just take Ma to dinner this week and see what the FBI asked her.”

“Okay.” Bucky breathes out slowly, resting his forehead on Steve’s chest when Steve comes over to stand between his legs. “I gotta get to work, babe,” he mutters into Steve’s shoulder.

“Act like nothing’s changed,” Steve tells him.

“Right.” They just breathe together for a little while before Bucky stands up. “See you tonight,” he says, giving Steve a quick kiss on the lips and heading to work.

Steve doesn’t need to be at work for a couple hours yet. And he has no idea – are they being surveilled? Or was the interview with Ma on something completely different? It’s gonna drive him crazy wondering.

Which… innocent people would react nervously, wouldn’t they? Everyone knows the justice system is flawed. So he can act frazzled, but he can’t go check the disposal sites. And he can’t hide the sketches somewhere better without revealing where they are now. Shit.

He’s just glad he never wrote any of the plans down.

[Steve’s a worrier. He’s a control killer, and with the FBI sniffing around, he loses all sense of control. Whereas Bucky knows how to act like a ‘normal’ person because he is, for the most part.]

.

On Thursday, he and Bucky take Ma out to dinner. Steve isn’t sure how to start the conversation he wants to have, but Bucky just grins that charming grin of his and says, “So Stevie told me the FBI talked to you, Mrs. R? What on earth about?” There’s bewildered laughter in the tone, that perfect blend of you can tell me anything and how odd is that? that on Steve comes off incredulous and annoying.

“Oh, it was just so weird, boys,” Ma says. “I mean, they knocked on the door, that pretty little agent and her – well, her partner was off-putting, I can tell you that. He just seemed to be angry the whole time! But Agent… hmm, Agent Romanoff, she’s such a nice girl.” She sips at her tea. “Anyway, they wanted to know if the two’a ever got into fights in school, and who with, and just all these questions…” She shrugs a little.

“What did you say?” Bucky asks, wide-eyed in interest, face open and empathetic. Steve’s steaming mad but Bucky just holds his hand under the table.

Steve’s the planner. Bucky’s the one with the follow-through. But he didn’t – he never planned on anyone noticing and he doesn’t know what to do.

“Well, I told them about all those fights, of course,” Ma says, shrugging. “They finally ended… must’ve been a year or two into college, right? Well, they’re the FBI so I had to tell them. But I explained it was only you boys protectin’ people, standing up to bullies.” She huffs a little, that annoyed noise Steve remembers from every parent-teacher conference and meeting with the principal. “They didn’t put that in the files, can you believe that! All those fights ‘cause you boys were doin’ the right thing and it just looks like boys’ tussles! But I set those agents right.”

“Did they say why they were looking into schoolyard scrapes?” Bucky asks, looking befuddled. Steve just watches, trying to keep his temper. Going to his ma. His fingers are itching and Bucky squeezes his hand. [Steve really wants to kill someone, mostly the FBI agents. He’d settle for anyone, though.]

“No,” Ma answers, “and you can be sure I asked! But Agent Romanoff said they can’t talk about an ongoing investigation. Ongoing investigation, I said, into what? But she just shook her head and called me ma’am and said they’d be in touch if they needed to.”

Shit shit shit, Steve thinks, squeezing Bucky’s hand so hard his own hurts, but he doesn’t – he just says, “That’s so weird, Ma.”

Bucky asks, “And they didn’t – just school? That was so long ago… god, we had our ten year reunion just last month, can you believe that, Mrs. R? Ten years. Me and Stevie are gettin’ old.” [Here’s where I messed the timeline up, but no on ever called me on it.]

Ma laughs. “Oh, I know. It seems like yesterday that Steve brought you home, knees scraped up and eye bruised ‘cause you just had to pull those boys off him.” Ma reaches across the table. “Did I ever thank you for that, Bucky? I know, a few times, I tried to get Steve to branch out, make more friends, but that was never because I didn’t like you. I just wanted the whole world to see how amazing he was.”

Taking her hand, Bucky says, “I know that, Mrs. R. I think it, too. The whole world – but he’s got me. And he’ll always have me.” [Every time, I want to call her Mrs. S for some reason.]

Ma nods, pulling her hand back so that the server can give them their dinner.

.

In their car, on the way home, Bucky says, “Fucking hell, what can they actually have, Stevie?”

Steve gnaws on his lip, thinking. Bucky asks, “Should we call up our friends? See if anyone else has been talked to?”

Would innocent people do that?

Yes, actually. Because people tell their friends when weird things happen. “I stayed close to Ma,” he says. “But you… you don’t really talk to your parents anymore. So you wouldn’t call them about this, and if the FBI talks to them, your mom will probably call about it. But Gabe, he’s your best friend right?” Bucky looks at him. “Well, I’m your husband, Buck, I don’t count. But call him about this. Complain about it. Try to work through what on earth they’re lookin’ for.” [I never really came up with a reason for Bucky to lose touch with his parents. I think it’s because they never liked Steve as much as Sarah liked Bucky.]

“Okay, babe,” Bucky says, leaning over to kiss his jaw.

“Bucky!” Steve shoves at him. “You’re driving, idiot!”

“We’re at a stoplight,” Bucky pouts.

“And it just turned green,” Steve points out. “Get us home and then ravish me.”

[I did this in the Glee fic, too – contrasting their cold-blooded killing with utter adorableness.]

.

So, that night, after Bucky and Steve mutually ravish each other, Bucky calls up Gabe Jones and they talk about the FBI; Gabe’s offended on his behalf and has no idea what the FBI could possibly be looking for. Steve just curls up beside Bucky and sketches.

Steve knows exactly what the FBI is looking for because it’s been blaring all over the news for weeks: heir of Stark Industries Tony Stark found dead at a construction site, after being missing for around six years. (If Steve had recognized him that night – but he didn’t recognize him, not till it was too late. And Bucky flirted with him, got him into their car. And it was the best night…) [It was the ONLY ONE they didn’t plan to the smallest detail. Oops.]

They can’t have an alibi on hand [because why would you remember one specific day? Ask me what I was doing on April 15, 2015 and I won’t have a clue] and he needs to prepare without looking like he’s preparing, and he’s got so many cases at work, and if Bucky panics –

“Stevie,” Bucky whispers in his ear. “Breathe, sweetheart. It’s all gonna be okay, I promise.” He kisses Steve’s chin, his lips, his nose, his forehead. “I promise,” he says again.

Steve takes a deep breath, exhales, inhales. “Good, Stevie, that’s good,” Bucky says. “Breathe with me.”

“I just… I don’t know what to do,” he admits, leaning forward to rest his head underneath Bucky’s chin.

“You’ve brought us this far,” Bucky says. “Let me take care of this, okay? Don’t worry about it.”

“I’ll try.” Steve closes his eyes, focusing on Bucky’s heartbeat, his chest rising and falling.

“Let’s go to bed,” Bucky says, and then he scoops Steve up before Steve can pull away. [Because Bucky, at heart, is a caretaker. He does everything for Steve.]

.

All they can do is wait. So that’s what they do.

.

(The FBI interviews Gabe Jones. Tim Dugan. Bucky’s old study group and Steve’s coworkers. They even track down Bucky’s sister on her backpacking trip around Australia. Steve didn’t have many friends in school, including college, so they got fewer calls about the FBI asking about him. [Steve didn’t have ANY friends, actually. Just people he was friendly with.]

Bucky’s history with fighting seemed to be the main focus. And the way he dominated the various groups he was in. How charming he was. But the FBI never explained what they were actually looking for, so his friends were all angry – “You’re a good guy, Barnes,” Dugan tells him at Starbucks, Steve seething next to him. “I don’t know what they’re playin’ at.”

“I have no idea,” Bucky says.)

[The FBI is really pretty sure Bucky’s the dominant partner and that Steve has no idea what his husband does. This is where I wish I could write case!fic.]

 

Title: The hot July moon saw everythin’
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Deanna Carter
Warnings: character death; police procedures based on Law&Order and Castle and Bones and Criminal Minds
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1270
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, an early morning phone call changes everything

 

(“Okay,” Banner says, watching Wilson and Barton pace by the board, “Do we actually have anything at all?”

Romanoff sighs. “No.”

“Actually,” Carter says, setting down the phone and smirking at Coulson, “Odinson’s brother might have just found something.”

.

Odinson’s brother refuses to come into the station so Carter and Wilson go to him. He only agrees to meet them at a public library and Phillips says to bring Wilson because he and Odinson’s brother almost get along. Carter goes because it is far easier to underestimate her than Coulson or Banner, and Romanoff had a follow-up interview with Rogers’ mother.

Odinson’s brother is tall, pale, and thin. He smirks at Wilson and then gives Carter a dazzling smile that shows his teeth. “Please,” he says, gesturing across the table. “Have a seat.”

.

Odinson’s brother has a witness that might place Barnes within three miles of Stark’s last known location. He’s a small-time thug with a rap sheet that has everything from assault to murder – he didn’t get charged for the last because the only witness went missing. He’s a lowlife scumbag and will only talk if it’ll wipe his record clean.

“And we can trust this guy?” Banner demands, incredulous.

Carter shrugs. “We can at least meet with him. Coulson, take Romanoff.”

“What about you?” Romanoff asks.

Carter smiles. “Well, isn’t it time to have a chat with our suspects? I know that Barnes is taking a late lunch at his favorite sandwich shop as he does every Wednesday.” She stands and so does Banner. “No, I’ll be going alone,” she tells them.

“This man may have killed a dozen people,” Coulson tells her severely.

“Yes, I am aware,” she shoots back, raising an eyebrow. “Which is why we won’t leave the shop.”)

[Because I wanted some outside pov, and to include Loki. And everything I know about police procedures, I learned from TV.]

.

The FBI agent slides in across the booth with a, “Hello, Mr. Barnes-Rogers. How’s your day so far?”

Bucky grins at her. “Pretty good. My last project just got snapped up by the consultant I wanted and should start sometime next week.” He takes a bite of his sandwich and makes her wait while he chews, swallows, and sips his sweet tea before adding, “Might be better, though, if I knew who I was talkin’ to, sweetheart.”

He knows who she is, of course; she matches Gabe’s description perfectly.

“Agent Carter,” she says, showing him her badge. “I won’t take up too much of your time.”

Bucky scoffs. “You’ve been talkin’ to my friends, people I went to school with, even Steve’s ma – for weeks, Agent. You know what that tells me?”

Her smile is chilly. It reminds him of Steve’s I have to be polite but I’m gonna let you know how pissed I am about it smile. Teachers used to get it a lot. “Please, do share, Mr. Barnes-Rogers.”

He chuckles. “Just Bucky, ma’am. I’m at lunch.” She nods, so he continues, “Well, you asked about the fights. How I’m normally in charge wherever I go. How I make friends so easily.” He chuckles again. “Also, you should tell that Banner guy that he freaked Mrs. R out and that’s not cool.”

“I’ll let him know,” Carter says.

“Anyway.” Bucky shrugs, taking another bite, making her wait some more. Then he says, “I only fought people who were bullying, and I haven’t been in a fistfight in – god, gotta be at least eight years. I only take over if there needs to be a leader. And I make friends because I like people, Agent Carter. So why don’t you tell me what you’re really lookin’ for?” He meets her gaze and settles back into the booth, body language open.

She asks, “Where were you on December 12, 2008, Bucky?”

He laughs loudly, shaking his head. “2008?” he repeats. “Well, December 12, that woulda been at the end of the semester, so I was either partying or studying. I’d have to know the exact day for sure.” He gestures to his side, where his phone is hooked to his belt. “You mind if I check?”

“It was a Friday,” Carter says. [I actually looked this up.]

“Well, then I was partyin’,” he answers. “Probably at – shit, I don’t know. Gabe had this friend – Monty? His last name started with an F, I think. Anyway, that was – I know I didn’t have any tests that Friday, I’d finished on Thursday.” He shrugs again. “Stevie had a final for this class he hated that morning, so I slept in and then I met him when he was leavin’ campus and we went to Monty’s party, it started at, like, two?” He laughs. “And then I got drunk. Any more questions? I’ve got about five minutes before I need to get back to work.” He finishes off his sandwich.

Carter gives him that smile again. “Thank you for your time,” she says. “We’ll be in touch.” She slides out of the booth and walks away.

He watches her go, of course, because she’s gorgeous. Then he calls Steve and says, “You’ll never guess who I just talked to.”

[I think this scene between Peggy and Bucky might be my favorite in the entire fic.]

.

(Odinson’s witness is Brock Rumlow. He hates Coulson on sight and hits on Romanoff incessantly, in turns offensive and insulting.

According to his story, he was at Montgomery Falsworth’s end-of-the-semester party for the Fall 2008 semester. Anthony Stark went missing from that neighborhood; he had been visiting his friend James Rhodes.

Brock Rumlow’s testimony is at best circumstantial and certainly not enough to grant him a clean record. He stops being cordial the moment Coulson informs him and then storms out.

Romanoff sums up the entire ordeal with a succinct, “Fuck.”)

.

Steve’s still at work when Bucky gets home. Bucky feeds the dog and cat and starts throwing together leftovers for when Stevie shuffles in. He sings along to his getting shit done playlist and goes through them in his head, all eleven of them. It’s only been a few weeks since the last, and he knows that body hasn’t been disturbed. [I wish I’d realized I’d be giving them pets earlier, so that I could’ve mentioned it in part 2.]

He wishes he knew what the cops know. He’s working blind. It’s driving Steve up the wall, not having all the facts, but Bucky – well, it’s kinda fun. He’s just glad they’re focusing on him because if it comes down to it, he’ll confess to everything and swear that Steve never had any idea at all. [Which is what they believe, anyway. Not that Steve’ll let that happen.]

“Buck?” he hears Steve call, and then, “Get down, you monster! Bucky, your dog is drooling all over my work suit!”

Bucky laughs. “Yeah, well, your cat hacked up a hairball in my favorite shoes, so I think we’re even.”

Winter follows Steve into the kitchen, and then comes over to sit on Bucky’s feet and beg for more dinner. “I already fed you, mutt,” Bucky tells him, pressing a quick kiss to Steve’s forehead. “I made an appointment for Captain at the vet, babe,” he says. “That’s the third time he’s hacked something up in two weeks.”

“Alright, let me know when, I’ll put it in my calendar. Dinner smells good.” Steve leans in again, pressing a kiss to Bucky’s jaw.

Bucky tilts his head to give Steve more access, turning the stove off, and then he spins around to grab Steve and kiss him senseless.

.

(“What’s your take on him, Carter?” Coulson asks. The whole team is gathered around the conference table because Carter had first contact with their main suspect. There are others, of course, but only Barnes has been at or near the last known location of over half the victims.

“Charming, of course,” she says. She taps her fingers against the table and then looks up to meet Coulson’s eyes. “My gut instinct is that he did it.”)

[I think I haven’t added any more to this because I’m honestly not sure where to go with it. Are Steve and Bucky going to frame someone? Will the case stall for lack of evidence? Will they somehow be able to convince the cops they didn’t do it? I don’t know. But I really enjoy this ‘verse.]

Chapter Text

Title: You owe your lives to sly Loki
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: post-film
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 365
Point of view: third
Prompt:
But when that storm god you all praise
Walks the earth and shatters trees
You huddle close beside my gift
And whisper prayers beside the spit
And as the woodsmoke turns and twists
You owe your lives to sly Loki.

(Mikael Hrafspa, "Loki's Song")

Anything with this, because it's a lovely song and I hadn't heard it in years and having it come up on the music shuffle makes me want fic with it. Dear anon, please make it happen. ♥ Bitterness and angst are a definite plus.

 

[I found this prompt on the kinkmeme mid-2012. I had so many headcanons and ideas for why Loki had thrown his fight the Avengers. Which he obviously did.]

 

Thor is open war and honor, armies meeting face to face across the battlefield and marching into each other’s spears, each other’s swords, dying by the thousands. Thor is Asgard, a thousand years of golden peace because no one else is powerful enough. [This kind of warfare has never made sense to me. It just seems so stupid.]

But Loki… Loki is shadows and twists, Loki is guerilla warfare, Loki is patience and cunning and the perfect strike. [Loki is a pragmatic warrior.]

Thor is a good friend, brave and true. He is honorable and righteous and will do battle until he falls. Thor does not surrender, not since he lost Loki’s silver tongue. [The only reason Thor has lived as long as he has is because Loki was there to smooth the way. He tried it on Jötunheimr. Considering the fact that Thor, the Traitors 3, and Sif are so warmongering… yeah, they wouldn’t last long without Loki.]

But Loki… Loki surrenders. Loki falls to his knees and lets himself be thought beaten, and is locked away until the time is right.

Thor can lie by omission, but would much rather be forthright. Thor will not back down. He will shake worlds with the force of his anger, because he is Asgard and he will be king. [Sounds kinda like his dad, doesn’t it?]

But Loki, sly Loki, he knows the power in bending the truth, in prevaricating, in a smiling lie.

And Thor, dear Thor, he enjoys the company of his new companions, the Avengers, the warriors who valiantly fought his brother’s army. But, with the exception of Banner’s beast and Captain America, they are not his kind of warriors. Even Iron Man prefers sly warfare – the warfare of Loki Liesmith. [This pre-dates Cap2 and the better understanding I developed of Steve Rogers. But based on what we saw in Avengers, this makes sense.]

Thor is unsure of how to explain without insult, so he holds his tongue, hating the feel of the lie.

(And Loki, sly Loki of the silver tongue, he is waiting. He is not beaten. And thunder rumbles, and worlds shake, and an archer dreams of shadows, and a spider analyzes weaknesses, and a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist researches. [I’ve always found this sentence kinda awkward but let it stand because I’m not sure how to fix it without losing what I was trying to convey.]

Because Loki is not open warfare. Loki is not honorable. Loki survives, no matter the cost, and like calls to like, and when the time comes…

Oh, when the time comes. Those who are Loki’s do not die by the thousands. They strike only where needed, and regimes fall, and no one ever knows.

Imprisoned for the moment, Loki plans.)

Thor meets his enemies head-on, and it will kill him one day.

Loki stabs his enemies in the back, and he will be victorious.

[I really enjoy those last two lines. They’re among my favorites of what I’ve written. This remains one of my favorite stories, too.]

Chapter Text

Title: The man with grey hands smiles
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Sylvia Plath
Warnings: torture; trauma; control issues; improperly punctuated dialogue due to stylistic choices
Pairings: Loki/Clint
Rating: PG13
Wordcount: 2390
Point of view: third
Note: thanks to pprfaith for discussing a few things with me.
Prompt:

Clint is sent on a solo mission and is captured. He spends a long time in captivity, enduring terrible things. As the time goes by and no one comes for him, Clint starts to believe that the rest of the team and SHIELD have forgotten about him/doesn't care. (Would like the rest of the team to actually be searching, or Fury being a bastard and doesn't tell them what happened to Clint.)

So, seeing no way out, Clint gives up and resigns himself to his fate.

Enter Loki.

When Clint wakes up, he is clean, warm, not hurting and feels safe. And Loki can't be a bad guy when he just rescued Clint from hell, can he? And Clint has no idea how to repay his former enemy for that, but he sure is going to try.

 

[I got the prompt from the kinkmeme back in 2012. I majorly shipped Loki/Clint, though mainly without the mind control. I had less issues with dub-con back then.]

He doesn’t know what day it is. He knows he’s felt worse pain in his life, but he can’t remember when or why, and it’s dark and cold, and he hasn’t seen anyone in forever, and he knows he’s going crazy, he has to be, alone in the colddark, whimpering every time he shivers because he just hurts so much.

He doesn’t know what day it is, but nobody has come for him. Someone should have – he had a family, an actual family, a team, the greatest in the world, geniuses and gods and soldiers who never left anyone behind and – and – Tasha? He had a Tasha, red hair and dangerous hands, Tasha who wouldn’t forget him, who would never leave him. But Tasha isn’t here.

He can’t even recall his name, but he knows, deep in his aching bones, that Tasha would never leave him. But she isn’t here. She hasn’t come for him.

She must be dead, Tasha with the red hair and dangerous hands. She’s dead, so the rest aren’t coming for him.

He’s alone in the dark, every bone in his hands broken, blinded by the people he hasn’t heard in – what day is it? He doesn’t know doesn’t know doesn’t know – and he’s never getting out of here. No one is coming. No one cares. [So, basically, he was tortured for information he didn’t have and then left in isolation. I’m not sure how long it was, but he clearly didn’t die from dehydration.]

He doesn’t know the day or his name, and he’s alone, and Tasha Tasha Tasha – she’s dead dead dead.

Up above his head, something explodes. Screams. Heat soaks through the ceiling.

Has Tasha finally showed up? He cranes his neck, trying to see anything, but his eyes are still useless, if they’re even in his head anymore. He can’t tell. His bones creak, the ones that aren’t shattered, and he lets his head hang, shoulders slumping down. He’s tired, but he can’t sleep in the dark. He can’t remember why not.

He can’t remember why not, but the heat feels good, and the screams are the only music he’s had in however long, and the explosions, oh, they’re lovely, and then there’s a hand on his brow, lips against his skin, and nothing else but bone-deep relief as all his aches fade away. Sleep, he hears, unsure if it’s real or not, but he’s cradled in something warm, something strong, something gentle, and he’s so tired, and this dark isn’t cold. So he lets himself sink into it. [Clint thinks he’s dreaming, by the way. That’s why all his dialogue with Loki isn’t marked. I argued with myself about that, I think, and it’s probably what I discussed with pprfaith, as mentioned in the author’s notes. Not that I remember for sure.]

Tasha must have come for him. They’re both dead now, but he’s not cold and he’s not alone.

It must be Tuesday. Good things always happen on Tuesdays. [This was originally Thursday; I changed it, because Thursday is Thor’s day and Loki has problems with Thor.]

He sleeps.

.

When he wakes up, he’s on something soft and he can see again. Hello, a gentle voice says from the side, so he turns his head and it doesn’t hurt, and there’s someone there, dark hair and bright eyes, hands clasped on his knees, pale skin – he looks nothing like the people who put him in the hole and left, who stole his eyes.

This man gave his eyes back, and he made them scream, and he blew them up.

Hello, he says back.

Do you know who you are? the man asks, placing one hand next to him. [Loki knows that Clint was trapped in the dark, and horribly maimed. And Clint doesn’t react negatively to him when he awakens, so…]

He shakes his head. The man says, You’re Clint. You’re my warrior hawk, but I – I must ask your forgiveness.

Why? he asks, wondering if he can touch the pale, strong hand, and then he does. He does and the man smiles, turning his hand so that his fingers wrap around Clint’s – and yes, that sounds right, he’s Clint. He’s Clint and he’s not cold, and there’s so much light he can see everything.

I allowed someone else to utilize your skills, Clint, the man explains, and they lost you. They allowed the enemy to take you.

Yes, he remembers. He shudders, shaking his head. But you got me back, he reassures his master.

Of course I did, his master says, smiling. Sleep some more, Clint. We’ll talk again after you’re caught up on your rest.

Clint tightens his grip on his master’s hand as he stands. I can’t – please, sir, he says. I can’t remember your name.

His master smiles again, leaning down to kiss his forehead. I am Loki, he murmurs into Clint’s skin. You are my warrior hawk, the greatest of all my men. Sleep now.

Thank you, Clint whispers, letting the dark have him again, because it’s warm and soft and Loki has said it’s alright.

For just a moment, he wonders if Tasha belongs to Loki, too. But no – Tasha is dead. She never came for him, and she would’ve, if she were Loki’s.

Tasha is dead and Clint is Loki’s, and he’s safe and warm and has his eyes again. [There is no mind control here. Just psychology.]

.

It’s a Tuesday. Loki gives Clint a bow and a quiver and stands at his back as Clint studies them. Show me what you can do, Loki says. Show me what they couldn’t take from you.

Clint hits everything he aims at. Loki touches his shoulder and says, Well done.

.

Clint does not need to know Loki’s endgame or his plans, beyond what is required of him for Loki to succeed. He’s safe and he’s warm and he shares Loki’s bed, offering everything he is to his lord and savior. Loki could take – it is his right, as Clint’s master, to take whatever he wants.

But Clint wants to give it all to Loki. As thanks. All he has is his eyes and his heart, and he offers them both to Loki.

And Loki caresses his skin, kisses him, whispers how wonderful he is, Loki’s wondrous warrior hawk. The best of all his men.

Loki tells him to lead the next team, when they break into a SHIELD storage facility. You’ll know what to take, Loki says. It’ll call to you.

Clint has not left Loki’s immediate vicinity since Loki wrapped around him in the colddark and carried him away. But he will see to it that this is the most successful mission of any Loki himself didn’t lead. [Um. Clearly, Clint can’t actually consent to anything. I just, yeah. *hands*]

.

Clint orders his men to strip anything of value, as well as make sure to get everything on Loki’s list. He looks around with his careful eyes, trying to gauge what Loki might want him to see.

And there. On the far wall, away from anything else. A gorgeous, high-tech bow. It does call to him. His hands ache to hold it.

He takes it, of course. And when he presents it to Loki, Loki smiles and drops a deep, warm kiss on his lips. [No one at SHIELD has been allowed to use that bow since Hawkeye was KIA. It really pisses Natasha off that someone stole it.]

.

What do you remember from before? Loki asks, watching Clint eat a pb&j. Loki had tried some, when Clint offered, and declared it not displeasing, but he didn’t want any more of his own.

I remember no one came for me, Clint replies, licking his lips for stray peanut butter. He remembers a team, people he would’ve died for – geniuses and gods and soldiers. Tasha. He remembers days alone in the dark, shivering in the cold, shattered bones and eyes that burned. He remembers killing people for money, being small and always hitting his target, shouts and bruises. I remember, he says, meeting Loki’s gaze, I remember you.

Loki smiles, stretching his arm across the table, palm up for Clint.

Clint puts his hand in Loki’s and knows that he’ll do anything Loki asks. Anything Loki orders.

He is Loki’s warrior hawk, the best of all Loki’s men, and all he wants is to obey Loki’s command. [He remembers – but there are no emotions connected to the memories. He was lost in the dark and no one came for him except Loki.]

.

The first time he sees the Avengers, he knows who they are. Geniuses and gods and soldiers, and a red-haired woman with dangerous hands.

Tasha is not dead. She still didn’t come for him.

.

[I use quotation marks for everyone except Clint + Loki to show Clint’s mental state, basically. When he’s talking to people who aren’t Loki, he has quotation marks to show the emotional distance.]

“Oh, fuck,” Iron Man says, staring at him. Thor and Captain America are both speechless, and Hulk roars.

Tasha lowers her gun, eyes wide. None of them have ever seen so much emotion on her face.

Clint’s hands are empty, his bow with Loki. [I’m not sure how clear this is, but he doesn’t use the bow because he has way to explain how he stole it.]

I will come retrieve you in three days, Loki promised. Gather all the information you can and be ready.

These people left him alone in the dark, eyes burnt out and bones broken.

“You’re… you’re alive,” Tasha whispers.

Clint knows how to act, how to pretend, how to fake. He used to be so good at it. He pulls on a dozen masks now, because he has to do this for Loki.

“I,” he says, letting himself sway in place. “I. Tasha?” He goes down hard, like a man who just can’t stand anymore.

Thor and Captain America catch him before he hits the ground. Natasha puts her gun away.

They left him alone in the dark, but they welcome him home.

Loki had warned him they would. [He remembers that he loved them. That they loved him. But he was broken and Loki pieced him back together. I shipped them so hard.]

.

The first day is spent sequestered in med-bay. He lies to the doctors, medical and head-shrinking, and then to Fury, before his old team is allowed in to see him. He lies to them, too.

He tells them about the dark, and the cold. There are scars on his body – but there have always been scars on his body. Loki is a benevolent god and healed Clint of everything, so he explains, in a tired, hesitant voice, about being alone. Alone for days.

“You’ve been gone for two years,” Natasha tells him, as close as she can be without touching. He reaches for her and she clings tightly. [I’m not sure I ever came up with a timeline for what happened before Loki rescued him. And I have no idea how long he’s been with Loki at this point. I figure it works, because Clint doesn’t have the first clue either.]

Tasha had been the one person he never shied from.

But Tasha never came for him.

.

The second day is spent curled up with Natasha wherever she drags him to. He hasn’t been cleared yet, by the doctors or Fury, but all of the Avengers follow them around, determined to spend as much time with Clint as possible. He’s been missing for two years, after all. And he was either let go or escaped (that’s still unknown), and found his way home.

Two years in the dark, he tells them. Two years alone, and then he saw his chance, took it, and came home to them.

Natasha believes him. Because she does, so do the others, the geniuses and god and soldier. They don’t know not to.

Loki had said they’d be so relieved to find him alive and healthy and sane. They’d welcome him, arms spread wide, take him into the bosom of their organization. He’s watched so he can’t go anywhere sensitive, but he remembers everything he sees. He’ll be able to tell Loki.

Whatever information he’s supposed to gather, he has no idea. So far, all he’s learned is what happens when an agent appears after two years of being thought dead.

They didn’t look for him. They thought he was dead.

Maybe he should forgive them.

He doesn’t. They should’ve known. They should’ve known and come for him, but Loki saved him from the colddark, and he is Loki’s now.

He wasn’t always. He knows that.

Head resting on Natasha’s shoulder, listening to Tony and Thor discuss nothing, Steve and Bruce throwing in an occasional comment, he knows he used to be one of them. Loki’s enemy. All the memories are in his head – the first time Loki had him, the battle for Manhattan, laughing with Natasha while Loki was dragged away shackled and gagged.

But he was alone in the colddark and Loki wrapped him in warmth and returned his eyes, and these people, they left him there. They lost him.

Loki found him.

So he stores everything he sees and hears, and he’ll tell it all to Loki, because he’s not one of them anymore.

He’s Loki’s warrior hawk, and he’ll do whatever he can to make sure all of Loki’s plans succeed.

[This is what it all boils down to: Clint believed that his team died trying to save him, or before he was taken. That’s why they never came for him: because they couldn’t. And then Loki rescued him, and he still believed they were dead until he was told otherwise. So here they are, perfectly alright and not having saved him. So since they discarded him and Loki picked him up, he’s Loki’s now.

In this mental state, Clint does not understand shades of gray, or even that they exist.]

.

The third day is spent debriefing – in detail – with Fury himself. Clint looks around for Coulson twice – Coulson didn’t leave him in the colddark. Coulson was dead before that, for a year. Killed by Loki, the first time Loki had Clint.

Fury’s eye tracks Clint, and he waits for Clint’s full attention.

“Start at the beginning,” Fury orders. “Anything you remember.”

Clint tells the truth. He just doesn’t tell all of it.

[Up until Agents of SHIELD, I sorta shipped Clint/Coulson, pretty much because everyone else did and it was in all the fics. I actually really liked Coulson through the Iron Man movies and Avengers. And then I began hearing stuff about AoS, and then came the reveal that SHIELD was actually Hydra – so I don’t really like Coulson anymore. And I don’t ship him with Clint.]

.

Natasha takes him to the cafeteria for supper. Thor fills a tray for him, Bruce and Steve bracket him, and Tony rambles on about everything he’s missed. Apparently, Tony designed a dozen new bows that no one is as handy with as he would be. [Tony HATES losing people. And he is majorly pissed at himself for not realizing Clint wasn’t dead.]

Clint promises to try them out. He knows that Loki should be here for him any minute; he keeps glancing away from his ex-team, wondering what face Loki is wearing.

The alarm shrieks. He flinches and then Hulk is scooping him up, Captain America shouting for Hulk to keep him safe.

He struggles in Hulk’s grip, of course, and shouts to be let go, but Hulk hurries deeper into the complex as everyone scrambles to find the intruders.

Hulk turns a corner and collapses. Clint tumbles forward, landing in a crouch at Loki’s feet. Loki, he breathes out, relieved. [And we’re back to no quotation marks. *grins*]

Come, my warrior hawk, Loki says with a warm smile. Time for us to be on our way. He holds out a hand.

Clint grips him hard, straightening up, and sighs with relief when, within an instant, they’re back in Loki’s bedroom, safe from the world.

Lay with me, Loki commands, efficiently stripping Clint’s SHIELD-wear away and letting it drop on the floor.

He falls into Loki, molding himself to Loki’s body, and sleeps. [Clint does not understand ambiguity anymore. Or even that the concept exists.

.

A dozen missions happen before he sees the Avengers again.

I care not if they live or die, except for Thor. He must live, Loki had said. The rest - their fates are in your hands. [Loki still hates Thor. And hate is not the opposite of love.]

Clint looks at them all through his scope, weighing how he used to feel about them up against the colddark and being alone.

Geniuses and gods and soldiers. Red hair and dangerous hands.

Thor yells at his brother. Iron Man snarks, Hulk swats at Loki, Captain America tells him to surrender peacefully.

Black Widow looks up at Hawkeye’s nest. [She figured it out after he disappeared. She hasn’t told anyone. Because she owes him a debt she never repaid.]

He remembers when he had this shot before, and didn’t take it. When he brought her home to SHIELD, when Coulson went to bat for them both, when Fury threw up his hands and shook his head in disgust.

He owes her his life.

But she left him alone in the colddark.

Black Widow opens her mouth to warn her team about Loki’s warrior hawk – and he decides.

[Originally, there was an ending where I made it obvious that Clint chose Loki. But I didn’t like it, so I left it this: the reader chooses.

Obviously, I chose Clint remaining with Loki and everyone dying except Thor.

I really liked this one; I remember it flowing very easily, except for a few nitpicky things. For a few months, I was majorly into Clint staying with Loki or returning to him because of all the plotholes in Avengers. And the fact that we were told SHIELD was the good guys (until WS) but never actually shown it. I hate sloppy writing.

ANYWAY. I wrote this fic within weeks of seeing Avengers for the first time. Loki was done a heavy disservice in canon. On to the next fic!]

Chapter Text

Title: as the gods sleep who have no need to dream
Fandom: Avengers movieverse/X-Men movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from C. Day-Lewis
Warnings: AU; mentions of violence; Mama!Loki
Pairings: none
Rating: PGish
Wordcount: 1980
Prompt: As much as I love the Darcy!Hela Fury!Jörmungandr and Coulson!Fenrir fanon, something tells me that Loki's brood would try to stick together as much as possible, because they all went through rather harrowing experiences and would naturally seek out something/someone familiar. So, can we get some Pepper!Hela Happy!Jörmungandr Tony!Fenrir being one happy family? Because they're all BAMFs and totally rule the world through Stark Industries.
Note: I asked if Tony!Jörmungandr was alright; the prompter said yes.
Another note: It could be tens of thousands words long, because I could detail out the entirety of the Marvel movie 'verse and how it was all changed because of who six of the characters actually are - but I have neither of the discipline or the drive to do that. I'd read the hell out of it, though.

 

[So, I’m not sure if anyone remembers, but in 2012, there was this major craze about Loki’s ‘big 3’ kids (Hel, Fenrir, and Jörmungandr) being part of SHIELD somehow, and either being on Loki’s side secretly or secretly cleaning up his mess. They were (as shown in the prompt) usually Darcy Lewis, Phil Coulson, and Nick Fury, which was cool and all. But then I found this prompt that called for something different and it really spoke to me. Except, that I pictured Tony as Jörmungandr because of Jarvis.

So then, of course, it required a shuffle of various backstories but worldbuilding is my favorite.]

Sometimes, Fenrir dreams about caverns and chains and swords and blood. He dreams about his family being out of reach, of being unable to protect them. He dreams about Nari's screams and Váli's sobs, about Jörmungandr swearing vengeance on all the gods, and Sleipnir's oath to herald the end if his family didn't go free. He dreams of their mother, strong hands and gentle voice, a heartbeat as sure as the sun. [I wanted Nari and Váli so I could do a fix-it because I HATE the myth about them.]

And he dreams of Hela. Hela, who touched the chains and shattered them. Hela, who carefully pulled the sword from his mouth. Hela, who whispered her will and sent him away from Asgard until Ragnarök and he had his strength again, until it was time for vengeance and blood on his teeth.

Hela, whose heartbeat sounded like the pulse of magick itself.

But until that end comes, until their mother sounds the call, Fenrir will wear the skin of a bumbling bodyguard and curl up with his only sister and favorite brother and dream in safety of the revenge that will be exacted on all the foolish gods.

Hey, Jörmungandr says drowsily, loosening his coils just a little. You're dreaming so loud I can hear it. Hush.

Hela laughs, one hand on Fenrir's shoulder, the other under Jörmungandr’s jaw. Both of you be quiet, she commands sleepily. I need my beauty rest.

You're the most gorgeous woman in nine realms, Jörmungandr tells her. Fenrir chimes in his agreement because she really is.

You're both sweet, she murmurs. Now, sleep. I have to wrangle with the board tomorrow since Tony'll be on the way to Afghanistan.

Fenrir tucks in closer while Jörmungandr tightens his grip again. Hela's hand is cold on Fenrir's shoulder, cold as Niflheimr. Her hand on Jörmungandr is warm as blood, as the sun Fenrir will swallow someday, when Ma tires of being Asgard's whipping boy.

Fenrir resumes his constraining human form with a sigh. Jörmungandr follows and then arches his back, spine popping. "Thumbs don't make up for how small this form is," he grumbles.

Hela looks at them, one eye green as their mother's, the other a cloudy, murky blue, and then she changes, too - her black-and-white hair into strawberry blonde and her eyes a soft, bright blue.

Nothing about her is at all dangerous except her smile.

Of course, to look at Fenrir and Jörmungandr's human forms, as well... Fenrir snorts, muffling his laughter in Jörmungandr’s chest.

"Sleep!" Hela commands again, wrapping her arms around Fenrir, back pressed against Jörmungandr.

"Aye, aye, ma'am," Jörmungandr mumbles, eyes on Fenrir. Both their eyes are brown in these forms, just like their hair. Fenrir is taller and broader - he's the protector now, like he wasn't before. Like he failed before, so trusting, so weak.

The aesir have never been kind to the Liesmith's children. Hypocrites, the lot of them.

Jörmungandr's eyes slip closed. He has a full day tomorrow, traveling across the world without Fenrir, without Hela. They have only a fraction of their power while human. He won't be safe.

Sleep, Hela whispers. Fenrir sighs, one hand around Hela's wrist, the other in Jörmungandr’s hair, and does.

[So, I’m really not sure how clear this is. But their true forms are not really there? Like, outside the dimension or whatever, and then they can step back into the human forms fashioned for them (probably by Hel), and while they’re still gods whatever their form, the majority of their magic can’t be housed in the human body. It’s kinda like angels on Supernatural needing a vessel, I guess? And it’s also how they hide. Because if they do magic in their true forms, it’ll be a beacon that Odin or Heimdallr could follow, except that at the moment, no one knows they’re not where they were left.]

.

James Rhodes didn’t exist before he met Tony Stark. Yeah, he was a good kid and a lot of people remember him fondly, and everyone always knew he was going places – smoke and mirrors and sawdust.

James Rhodes has always dreamed of going faster. It led him to the Air Force. Before that, it led him to Tony Stark, whose mind was quicker than any hooves. Before that, he chafed beneath the All-Father and dreamed of freedom.

He has freedom now. He has all the freedom eight realms can give him and watches the sky diligently for any hint that the All-Father has located them. [Sleipnir is the only one that Odin knows is gone. Pretend that horse he was riding in Thor wasn’t there. Also, I don’t remember how I chose Rhodey. Maybe I discussed it with the prompter? Or 5012allinarow. ETA: just found the original prompt, and the prompter suggested Rhodey.]

.

Harold Hogan was a good kid, an alright student, and a terrible boxer. His parents died when he was twenty-three, he’s completely unremarkable, and no one questions it when Tony Stark hires him as a chauffeur-bodyguard.

Well, a lot of people question it. But no one makes a fuss. If Stark wants to make it easy for assassins, that's his problem.

Happy Hogan is a horrible fighter. He's worse with guns. He's strong and he's fast, but is Stark's life safe in his hands?

Well, Stark hasn't died yet. [*sporfle* I’m pretty sure that after years of being hated and considered dangerous for simply existing, Happy gets a kick out of being constantly underestimated.]

.

Howard Stark never had a son. He had a brother, though, who stayed out of the spotlight, and that brother had a kid, and wasn't it so nice of Howard to adopt the boy and raise him and give him everything in the world?

Sure is lucky that the kid had brains, though. Smart enough to follow Howard's thoughts. Smart as Howard.

Smarter, even. [Because Tony Stark could not be Howard’s son, not if he’s secretly Jörmungandr. Did Howard actually have a brother in this ‘verse? Or did Loki’s kids shuffle some things around and mess with some memories? Pick whichever you like.]

.

Virginia Potts is an only child and an orphan. She was at the top of her class all the way through school and the twenty-eighth assistant assigned to Tony Stark.

She is the only one he never chased off, the only one who can meet the eyes of every board member, the only one who will kill or die for Stark.

No one asks Pepper why. They just get out of her way and let her do her job, and are silently grateful that someone is taking responsibility for Stark. [Because Pepper is badass.]

.

James Howlett and Victor Creed are usually brothers. They've fought in every human war since the fourteenth century and never cared about the rightness of the cause. They fight because it's in their blood and their bones. They switch sides whenever they get bored, and they get bored easily.

They’re mutants, this life. Mutants on opposite sides of a barely-hidden war until it grows boring. No one, even their masters, questions their history – sloppy, especially for a telepath.

Whatever. Sabertooth and Wolverine have gotten terribly bored. [Now this, I remember struggling with. At the time, I was majorly into Neal Caffrey from White Collar being twins with Bryce Larkin from Chuck, or with Arthur from Inception though I apparently considered Eames being Váli for a time. (Which happened in a different fic. I did a lot with Loki’s kids.) Then I settled on keeping it all in-verse, so I wanted Váli and Nari to be either Erik&Charles from X-Men or Sabertooth and Wolverine, which is what I eventually settled on, possibly because it required less shuffling of canon.]

.

Tony Stark goes missing in Afghanistan. A goddess and a wolf step across the world, but when Jörmungandr says, No, I have to do this, they let him be. [Because how, exactly, could Jörmungandr be kidnapped by mortals unless he let it happen?]

Tony Stark is missing for three months. Assumed dead.

James Rhodes spends more time with Pepper Potts than he probably should, but no one notices how often he’s with Harold Hogan. Everyone knows he’s Stark’s best friend, and Potts is Stark’s keeper, and Hogan was supposed to keep him safe.

For three months, the world believes Tony Stark is dead, and Happy never lets Pepper out of his sight.

.

And then Tony comes back and makes a suit of armor that rivals his natural scales.

Sleipnir keeps the United States military off his back and plots with Fenrir to keep him from ever going off on his own again. Váli and Nari pop in for a quick visit. None of Jörmungandr’s siblings are pleased that he felt the need to let himself be kidnapped and tortured, but he finally shifts and coils around them all and says, I had to. Please forgive me and let it go.

Fenrir can't bring himself to ask, but Nari says gently, What did you learn, brother?

Nari, the youngest of them. Nari, whose memory is the sharpest of them all and still holds his twin close, unafraid.

In my human form, Jörmungandr says, I control Midgard now. No one on this planet can stop me. He rattles his coils in a shrug and nine realms tremble. I have suffered, now, he says, avoiding everyone's gaze. I was the only of us who yet hadn't.

Oh, Jörmungandr, Sleipnir says. You didn't have to do that. None of us have ever thought less of you for being free.

Jörmungandr shrugs again. It had mattered to him. [I also needed a reason for Jörmungandr to let the kidnapping happen. And an excuse for Tony Stark to make the armor.]

.

Yinsen is given everything his heart desires; he did his best to keep Tony Stark safe, though Tony didn’t need the help.

Obadiah Stane goes missing and is never found. Tony offers a million dollar reward for anyone with information.

Fenrir licks his chops and says, The fucker’s all yours. Váli grins; Nari smiles.

.

Hela feels it first when Mjölnir falls to Midgard. Pepper tells Jarvis to hack into SHIELD and keep Tony apprised of the situation. So they know about Thor and the Destroyer (which makes Fenrir snarl, hackles rising), and then, while Happy and SHIELD's best undercover operative are fighting their way to Vanko, all of Loki's children feel his fall. [Because apparently all this happened at the same time. *hands*]

But Hela, Hela reacts first, ever the strongest. The void is wide and deep, but Hela steals Sleipnir’s speed and Jörmungandr's size, Váli’s viciousness and Nari's determination, and then she pulls Fenrir's heart right out of his chest to power her spell.

And she catches Loki. She cradles him close, soothing him with the lullaby he sang to her, and she returns everything to her brothers without apology or regret.

Had any of them the skill, they would have done the same. [I really like these paragraphs. This is one of my favorite lines: The void is wide and deep, but Hela steals Sleipnir’s speed and Jörmungandr's size, Váli’s viciousness and Nari's determination, and then she pulls Fenrir's heart right out of his chest to power her spell. *bounces* Love it.]

.

Black Widow reports back to SHIELD, Iron Man, yes; Tony Stark, no. Rhodey and Pepper smooth everything over and Justin Hammer suffers a fatal accident on the way to his holding cell. Happy patrols the Malibu house and the North American continent while Jarvis monitors the world. Victor hunts down anyone who even wears the appearance of a threat and Logan watches his back. [They are in major protective mode.]

And Tony plans everything. Mom is curled up beneath covers, looking younger than Tony's ever imagined, and he's heartbroken, and he's tired, and they all know he'd intended to die.

Unacceptable.

Midgard is completely cutoff from Asgard for the first time in eons and this is the time to act. [Because Loki totally tried to commit suicide at the end of Thor. Except here, instead of falling at Thanos’ feet, Loki was rescued. But he still needs major help.]

Fenrir stalks into the room, Hela just behind him. Sleipnir, Váli, and Nari are out solidifying allegiances and dealing with potential threats. And Jörmungandr holds it all, ready to claim what the gods will never give him. What the gods will refuse them all, cursed spawn of Loki Silvertongue. [Because while those three love the rest, they’ve never been as close. And they’re less obvious.]

Tony slides onto the bed next to his mother, wraps around him as gently as he can, and whispers, What do you want, Mama?

Happy slips in on Tony's other side, Pepper on Mom's, and they all drop their human skins. [They sort of exist in a pocket realm, I think. Probably made by Hel.]

Loki doesn't weep for all that has been lost. He doesn’t mourn for the lie he lived for a thousand years, or the torment he lost his children to until his clever daughter saved and freed them all. [Because Hel is the most powerful, and the most underestimated.] Loki doesn't weep. Instead, he echoes, What do I want? with his eyes closed and body warm in Jörmungandr’s grasp. His powerful, lovely children - he feels them all, now. So bright. So strong.

He is no son of Asgard. He had always denied that Ragnarök could come from him, even as Odin took, banished, and imprisoned his children. Loki had been Odin's son, and Loki valued family, and he was sure that eventually Odin would realize his folly and bring Loki's children home. [I hate self-fulfilling prophecies, and Odin is totally gonna get what he deserves.]

But Loki is a monster and the Mother of Monsters, and Agard will burn and fall from the sky.

Loki has been a fool and willfully blind, and Odin will pay. Oh, how they all will pay.

Hela's hand holds Loki's. Fenrir is a solid warmth along his side. Jörmungandr is wrapped around him, waiting for his word.

I want to rest, Loki finally murmurs. I want to learn who my beloveds have grown to be. And then I want to exact retribution on everyone who has ever hurt us.

Then that's what we'll do, Jörmungandr says, and all the rest echo agreement.

Loki sighs and lets all his worries go. He's safe. He's warm. He's with his children for the first time in over five hundred years. He is no son of Asgard and everything makes sense - the silences, the slights, the sneers, the scowls. The very existence of his children, in fact. [Because no ás man could conceive a child, much less carry it to term. But he did.]

He is no son of Asgard, but nor is he of Jötunheimr. He belongs nowhere, but his children have carved a piece out of Midgard and so this is the ground they will hold.

Sleep, Hela whispers. We have all the time in nine worlds.

 

[So, this fic could’ve been tens of thousands words long. Because I kinda wanted to see how the MCU would happen, with these characters. Like, I still saw the Avengers getting together, but not because of Loki. But then Thor would be interacting with his nephews and niece without knowing it, and Loki would probably assume a new identity while hanging out at Stark Tower. And Victor Creed and James Howlett would totally ignore the Brother and X-Men. And Hydra… oh, wow, the moment Jarvis finds the Hydra files, the game’s basically up.

But I wrote this before I felt confident with long, plotted-out stories, and then I found other prompts, and then other fandoms, so. It never happened. Probably never will now.]

Chapter Text

Title: Glory comes streaming
Fandom: Avengers movieverse/Norse mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Macrina Wiederkehr
Warnings: takes place almost immediately post movie; the only knowledge I have about Thanos I learned from Wikipedia; I gleefully pull things from Norse mythology; implied non-con
Pairings: a smidge of implied Loki/Clint, implied Thanos/Loki
Rating: PGish
Wordcount: 1570
Point of view: third
Note: thanks to faithunbreakable [pprfaith] for helping finalize this.

[Written in May 2012. Still one of my favorites.]

Beneath the bindings, curled under the chains, a tiny tendril remains. [Alliteration! *glee* Love it.] Odin and Frigga’s craft is well-done, and it might have been enough, but for what Loki saw deep in the void.

They should know better, really. A thousand years of mutual study – he of Asgard, Asgard of him – and none of them think to wonder why his plan failed so utterly? His ‘family,’ father, mother, brother – are they truly all so blind? [Such slopping writing in Avengers! It still bothers me.]

Loki is bound, Loki is gagged. Loki is locked away, to think about his crimes. To seek enlightenment, in the barest of cells.

Loki bows to no one. Loki is no one’s ally. Loki has never been anyone’s friend, but no one has ever been Loki’s.

A mother’s love went into the chains. A father’s disappointment. A brother’s furious and betrayed hands twined them around him.

He is not immortal, not truly. But he requires no sustenance, the chains keeping him healthy. They suppress both his jötunn nature and his ás magic. He is helpless, shackled to the wall deep in the bowels of the palace where he grew and learned and wondered why nothing he ever did was enough.

It is quiet, here. No guards watch him, though surely Heimdallr rarely looks away. It is quiet and Loki rests his head against the cool stone.

He keeps his mind from ‘his’ army, from Thanos and the tesseract, the weaknesses lovingly offered him by clouded blue eyes. He doesn’t need to ponder his failures, when failures they weren’t.

Loki’s plan was never meant to succeed. It is generous to even call it a ‘plan.’ He merely sought to pit the Chitauri against someone with the might to defeat them, and allow him a moment of peace to reclaim everything that was his before he fell from the bridge.

No. Loki sighs, eyes closed, head against the wall. What he will deny to everyone else, he must admit to himself: he had meant to die, when he let go. Even now, he wishes he had.

He wonders if Heimdallr saw him in the Chitauri’s grasp. Wonders if he told the Allfather. Thor knew they were ‘allies,’ he and Thanos. [Seriously, if Loki’s “allies” treated him the way he looked at the beginning of the film…]

If he had no other reason to want Asgard burnt and broken, that would be enough. [I really enjoy the rhythm in this story.]

This is to be his punishment: eternal solitary confinement. Until he shows remorse for all his great evil. He’s still unclear what his supposed crimes are. Maybe they are like his ‘imagined slights,’ ever the lying silver-tongued Loki. He was king when he turned the Bifröst onto Jötunheimr. He was king when he sent a weapon against traitors, in a world no ás could yet call equal or ally. And he led that Chitauri army, yes, but to their resounding defeat, in a world of petty, squabbling children. [Again: seriously. I hate designated villains. And I wrote this before we learned that he actually was sentenced to eternal solitary confinement for the exact same actions his father and brother had committed.]

Well. Until Thanos arrives. Maybe Heimdallr’s watchful eye has seen him. Maybe it hasn’t.

Maybe that team of mortals will be able to pound Thanos into the ground. They defeated Loki handily enough.

He smiles, eyes still closed, wondering if his favored servant has found the tiny seed left in him. It won’t sprout, of course, until Loki is free again. Until he gazes upon Loki. Until Loki holds out a hand and calls his name, his beloved little archer.

The plan was never meant to succeed, as such. He did, of course.

Here he is, safe and sound, given time and rest.

The chains are meant to bind his magic. To keep him from touching any of it, inborn or learned. He cannot use brute strength to break the chains; even that green beast would fail. He cannot freeze and shatter them with his hated jötunn biology. He cannot force them with magic.

He could pick them, a trick he learned centuries ago, but he’s enjoying the silence. [*sporfle* Pretty sure I got him picking his way out of the cage from somebody but I can’t remember who.]

Loki Odinson died as he fell. Loki Laufeyson died on a battlefield, a discarded infant. Only Loki is left.

Loki in the stillness. Loki in the quiet. Loki, bound and gagged, forgotten in the bowels of a lie. [I really enjoy the rhythm of this story. The way I read it in my mind is kind of like a poem.]

Oh, they should all know better, those fools who ignored or jeered for a thousand years.

He sinks into himself, to the place the Chitauri never touched. The place Thanos sought but did not find.

Thanos knew what he had. Odin never did.

A jötunn prince, raised æsir… only Odin and Frigga are yet his superiors, with regards to seidr. Or, well, they were.

Before the void.

Odin should have killed him. Left him to die on Jötunheimr, or executed him when Thor returned with the war criminal Loki, disinherited son, the vile betrayer, insidious and triumphant. So very triumphant, even forced to kneel, head shoved down.

Redemption is possible, Odin intoned before all the court. All of Loki’s crimes were laid bare, while Thor held him down on his knees, one hand curled around his neck.

Thor had done worse while still a boy. [I don’t remember if this was meant to be a reference to Loki’s “crimes” or to Thor holding him down for aesir hypocrisy.] Loki was gagged, so he could not defend himself. Not that he would have. No, he learned that lesson well long ago.

Loki the liar. Loki the truth-twister. No, he would not have defended himself to the court or the king.

There is nothing to defend.

He has quiet. He has peace.

He has time.

He has time, and a tendril of magic, deep inside. [Because Loki can be beaten and broken, but as long as he’s alive… well.]

Thanos is coming. Thanos, who taught Loki far more than he learned in turn. Thanos, who will raze and destroy in his mad quest. Thanos, who Loki is certain could stand before the Allfather – and survive.

Thanos, who will win because the æsir have forgotten they have equals. Have forgotten there might be a superior force, out in the wilds of Yggdrasil’s branches.

But Loki fell through the void. Loki fell and came out the other side as a distinguished guest of Thanos, and he looked deep into the tesseract, and he knows. He knows.

The tesseract is a stepping-stone, smaller even than the Casket. All relics of a greater time. Ancient – and weakening.

Thanos is coming, and Odin growing older all the time. Thor will be no better a king now than he was during Loki’s last harmless prank, the other realms are spineless, and Loki could warn them.

Should he warn them?

No. He is gagged, after all. He is gagged and his mind at ease. He’ll not waste words on those who refuse to hear. [SERIOUSLY. What we are giving in canon makes SO SENSE AT ALL. Do the writers/producers at Marvel really think Loki is the bad guy? Because they have the good guys doing exactly what he did.]

A thousand years of never being enough, eternities with Thanos (bent and broken, spread wide and plundered, and still Thanos never found his core, the little smoldering pile of ice and fire that is Loki, Loki, Loki the discarded, Loki the abandoned, Loki the endless and Loki the wrathful, Loki who read every book and learned every twist of seidr and fell into the void.

There is nothing, between the worlds. Nothing. But Loki fell through it and landed alive on the other side.

Can any ás before him claim that?

No. Not a single being in any world.

Loki the triumphant, for when all else is taken, he still has himself.) [Yes, that’s a references to BtVS.]

Eternities with Thanos. There is no one in Asgard who would have withstood him. Especially not Thor.

And Heimdallr saw it all, of course. The All-Seeing. Eyes of Asgard. Heimdallr saw, but no one came for Loki. Heimdallr must have seen it, since Loki had not the strength to shield after his fall. [… did Heimdallr really see him with Thanos? I don’t remember what I decided.]

Loki the forgotten. Loki the lost.

Thanos is coming, and Asgard will burn.

Loki smiles, beneath the gag. His face is sore, his mind quiet.

A thousand years. He can find redemption. The Allfather promised. Think upon his crimes and admit his wrongdoing. Make amends. Repent.

As his greatest servant on Midgard would eloquently say, Fuck that. [I argued with myself about italicizing that or not.]

If Loki’s intention had been to conquer Midgard with an army gifted from Thanos, he would have failed utterly.

If Loki’s intention was to unbind himself from Thanos, to find somewhere silent and dark to rest, to find someone who could be made loyal only to him…

Well. He smiles, wondering if Heimdallr watches. Of course Heimdallr does.

Deep inside, his magic coils.

They should know better, these people who watched him grow. Watched him learn. Taught him so many things.

They should know that Loki never fails. Intricate are his weavings. Many are his plots. Layers upon layers, oh Loki of the silver tongue. [*bounces* It’s like poetry. I love this one.]

Thanos will focus on Midgard, at first. And then Asgard will get involved, for Thor’s beloved realm of pets must be protected. [Did you see the way Odin treated Jane Foster? And we’re meant to think he’s a good guy? God, I hope Loki killed him.]

But that is tomorrow. Today, Loki is safe enough. He will let his magic replenish itself and then he will retrieve his servant from Midgard and then they will go to ground and wait. [I was still majorly shipping Loki with Clint at this point.]

There are many who find themselves displeased with Asgard’s dominance. All of them will answer Loki’s summons, sent through the air of Yggdrasil’s branches. They will come from Álfheimr, and Svartálfaheimr, and Niflheimr, and Muspellsheimr, and Vanaheimr.

A few might even come from Asgard.

A single loyal servant will be a nice start, since only Thor has ever claimed to be on Loki’s side. And considering Thor was the one who brought him ‘home’ bound and gagged…

Loki truly wishes for Thor to challenge Thanos. He’s quite certain that will end the way Loki’s encounter with the green beast did.

Tomorrow, though. All of that will come tomorrow.

Today, Loki closes his eyes, rests his head on the stone, lets himself find solace in the silence.

[I hate sloppy writing. And Marvel is full of it, regarding Loki.]

Chapter Text

Title: I knew you before you were strong
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: post-Cap2; talk of violence; stream of consciousness
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 450
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, a superhero is just a monster aimed in a different direction

 

[Look, I really love the parallels between Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, Johann Schmidt, and Bucky Barnes. It’s something I didn’t see a lot of when I was in the fandom, which was always a disappointment.]

Deep down, in the quiet place that screams at night when he can't sleep, Steve knows. He knew when he was little, before the serum gave him power; he knew in Europe, when Hydra was all he thought about, making them stop and then burning them down. He knew when he woke up and Fury's people gave him history lessons and trusted that he wouldn't be able to figure out enough to find information on his own. He knew after Loki and the invasion; he knew when he signed up with SHIELD in place of the SSR.

He knows when the mask falls off of Fury's killer. He knows when he wakes up in the hospital.

Steve knows he can't trust anyone but himself -- and Bucky. [Steve Rogers is Captain America; Captain America is not Steve Rogers. Steve Rogers is an angry, fallible man; Captain America is an ideal and a stereotype, a living legend that Steve Rogers—that angry kid from Brooklyn—will never fully be able to live up to. And I had so much fun with that.]

Bucky, who might or might not be a lost cause, depending on who you ask.

Steve's not asking anybody. The world gave up on Bucky once before; Steve gave up when he delivered Zola instead of going back. That is a mistake he will never make again and it doesn't matter who gets in the way.

Nothing matters but finding Bucky, making sure he's okay, protecting him, helping him... [For awhile, Steve/Bucky was the first and only One True Pairing I had. They’re still one of them, actually. And considering what Steve has actually done in canon (and I haven’t seen Civil War, and I won’t), any story that doesn’t have him tearing the world apart to keep Bucky safe is, in my mind, out of character.]

Steve knows what he’s capable of, both physically and mentally. He was a clever little shit before the serum and the serum improved everything. [Steve Rogers has been angry for year. He just never had the physical capability to let it out until the serum. And he’s smart, and he’s clever, and he is a stubborn, determined man who suddenly has people listening to him. He knows how to play the game. He just doesn’t like to.] No, he’s not as smart as Tony Stark, or as savvy as Natasha – but he doesn’t need to be. And Bucky…

Bucky. [Bucky was just as smart, just as clever, and way better with words. He was charming and bright. Most people loved him. And most people wondered why he hung around with that trouble named Steve Rogers.]

God, he just wants to tear things apart, burn everything down, make someone pay and pay and pay until there’s some relief in his bones.

Steve wasn’t the idea guy, not always; neither was Bucky. They were partners, not the brains and the brawn or whatever stupid shit the history books say. Yeah, Steve started the fights and Bucky finished them, and yeah, Bucky was popular and charming and could’ve been friends with anybody. [Like I said. The history books gloss over a lot of things. It pisses Steve off when he wakes up and starts reading them.]

The Winter Soldier and the Hulk show Steve how things might have gone. No wonder Dr. Banner doesn’t like being around him. And Bucky – is he even aware enough right now to get it?

Doesn’t matter.

Steve can only trust himself to know what’s right. And whether anybody else agrees… he doesn’t give a shit.

The history books have him down as a clean-cut, all-American hero. He slept for 70 years – if he’d been around for all the shit that came after the war’s end, would they still say that? [No. No, they would not.]

“Are you prepared for what you might find?” Natasha and Fury and Stark and even Sam ask.

He wants to laugh. He’s prepared to do whatever it takes to keep Bucky safe and free.

The thing is – the world isn’t ready for what that might mean. [I love this ending, by the by. Steve’s been depressed pretty much since he woke up, and Bucky needing him in a way that’s never happened before gives him focus. And he knows that he failed Bucky in the mountains, and he knows that the government is looking for a scapegoat, and he has so much rage—at himself, and at the world.

The clean-cut, all-American hero would turn the Winter Soldier over for justice, so that’s what everyone expects.

That little shit from Brooklyn… well.

Like I said, I’m not seeing Civil War. I know I’d enjoy parts of it, but on the whole… I’m just so disappointed with canon.]

Chapter Text

Title: Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Milton
Warnings: post-film; stream-of-consciousness rambling
Pairings: Loki/Tony, possibly implied Loki/Clint, past Pepper/Tony
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 605
Point of view: third
Prompt: Avengers, Tony/Loki, how can being attracted to the God of Mischief be a bad thing?

 

[SO. I have a lot of Loki feels, yeah? This started out as prompt I was going to leave on the kinkmeme (did leave? I can’t remember for sure) but then I found the above prompt and wrote it myself. That happens sometimes.]

 

See, the thing is, the thing Tony will never admit to anyone (until he does), is that if he made himself a god, just for him, perfect and broken, to fit in all his shattered places - it would be Loki. [They are so alike, for fuck’s sake. So alike.] Loki, the cleverest person in nine realms (self-declared, but no one's arguing); Loki, angry and bitter and so damned powerful Tony can't help but believe him when he says that plan didn't fail, it went perfectly, because it got the invaders killed and him back in Asgard.

Yeah. Tony's not an idiot. The opposite, actually. Not the cleverest person in nine realms [pretty damn close, actually], but Loki smirks at him, sometimes, whenever they foil him again (what, like you thought Asgard could hold him? Pfft. He had at least a thousand years of studying their methods). Loki smirks at him, and sometimes a sheet of paper explaining his latest trick shows up in Tony's workshop, and he should tell someone about that, he really should, Fury or Thor, or at least Bruce, the only person on Earth capable of actually slowing Loki down.

… he should tell someone. Pepper, maybe, wonderful Pepper, the only person to ever stick things out with him, until he fucked things up again and he doesn't blame her for backing off, being friend and CEO but not lover, never again. [I do ship Pepper/Tony. Pepper’s awesome.]

(I know what you’re doing, Clint tells him one afternoon, when he drops in to talk about arrows and explosions.

I’m doing a lot of things, Tony says, and Clint huffs a small laugh.

But Clint doesn’t tell anyone else, and sometimes, he looks so wistful.

Tony wonders what Clint’s perfect god would look like.) [Because I shipped Clint/Loki so damn hard.]

It’s not going to end well, because Tony won’t betray the only family he’s ever had, and he won’t kill –

Tony doesn’t believe in gods. He believes in what he can test, and apparently, faith doesn’t really take well to being tested. And more primitive humans might’ve worshipped Asgard, but Tony’s seen them bleed and weep, and he knows he could kill them.

Gods don’t bleed, and gods don’t weep.

Gods don’t die.

Everything dies. [I really like the rhythm in these four lines.]

So, see, the thing is… the thing is, Loki is not Tony’s god. He’s always had a soft spot for Hephaestus, actually, but Loki had scoffed when he asked about that (what, of course they’re talking, you think Tony can hang out with anyone for a while without talking? Please. Even if their mouths did other things for a bit, well. Loki’s got this voice, right? Of course Tony talks to him.). [Considering that the Norse gods are actually aliens, what about the rest of the gods? Don’t know. And is it magic or technology? Yes.]

Anyway. The point. Tony’s run the numbers, assessed the variables, plotted out a thousand ways this whole thing can go. None of them end well.

(Iron Man is a hero. Somehow. Tony knows what a slippery slope those first few weeks were, when he looked out over the world and thought about it.

No one could have stopped him, then. But he saw Obie, felt Obie, and he saw what not to do, what not to become.

And Loki, Thor’s little brother, lashing out and so damned bitter – he never had that.

He could be Loki, and Loki could’ve been him, and Natasha studies him sometimes, and he raises an eyebrow at her, and she doesn’t say a thing.) [EXACTLY. Loki had absolutely no one helping him. I hate canon.]

“If I asked,” Loki muses, one finger tracing Tony’s jaw, his other hand spread out over the arc reactor.

Loki doesn’t finish the thought, but Tony’s not a moron. Loki’s attacks lately have been – almost easy-going. Simple. Child’s play.

Courting gifts.

“I’d refuse,” he says, but he isn’t sure anymore, and Loki’s small smile and biting kiss says he knows it.

 

Title: Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Milton
Warnings: violence, implications of torture, a protective god
Pairings: Loki/Tony
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 405
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any/+any, trusting in their God

 

Tony’s caught without his suit, without his team, without anything but his brains and his hands. (Last time he was in this situation? He turned a cave into a tomb and showed the whole world it should fear him, but apparently the lesson didn’t stick.) [It would’ve been so easy for Tony Stark to become a villain. He never forgets that, even though nearly everyone else does.]

“You will do what we want,” Would-Be Big Bad pronounces, glaring down at Tony. “You will do what we want or you will die.”

Tony raises an eyebrow and smirks, because, yeah, no, that’s not how this works. This guy doesn’t have anyone he can threaten for Tony’s cooperation because he’s not that smart, and Tony’s not inclined to do anything this stupid bastard wants.

The Big Bad slaps him across the face. Tony turns with it and looks back, still smirking. The Big Bad’s glare intensifies (and Tony gives it ten minutes, maybe, before his team shows up, such a stupid idiot) and he snaps something in whatever language he normally speaks, and three minions march over, grabbing Tony’s shoulders and tearing off his shirt.

Which – no.

“Do what we want, Mr. Stark,” Would-Be Big Bad says, “or we remove the machine from your heart.”

“No,” Tony says.

“Very well,” Big Bad says, and the minions' grips tighten, and Big Bad reaches –

Tony can handle it, really he can, except now he’s back in Malibu, and the man he used to love, the man he looked up to, the man he trusted is killing him, and talking so softly, so cruelly, and he’s helpless and he’s alone and he’s betrayed – [I was so glad that canon touched on his PTSD.]

“Oh, you shouldn’t do that,” a cold, arrogant voice says, and Big Bad stops as Tony blinks, back in the warehouse (and always warehouses, he should just buy the lot of them so bad guys quit having access), and everyone looks over en masse, and there is Loki.

Of course there’s Loki. They've been dancing for months now. [Loki is very possessive. Also, hella protective over what’s his. And even though he’s a “villain” now, he still looks after Thor (secretly, from a distance), and Tony’s a mortal. Loki is a Hufflepuff, by the way. Such a goddamned Hufflepuff.]

“How did you get in?” Big Bad demands as the goons not holding Tony rush Loki.

Loki rolls his eyes and the goons collapse. The Big Bad growls and turns back to Tony, reaching for his chest.

And his neck snaps and the rest of his goons hit the floor.

“Next time this happens,” Loki murmurs, leaning in to kiss his way along Tony’s jaw, “call my name.”

Tony doesn’t reply, but he tilts his head to give Loki access to his neck, and he knows that yes is getting closer all the time.

[Considering my feelings towards canon and the Avengers at the moment, I give it a couple months in this ‘verse, maybe a year, before they (or SHIELDRA) do something that pushes Tony directly into Loki’s arms.]

Chapter Text

Title: from the ashes, a fire
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Tolkien
Warnings: AU after The Dark World; implied violence/death
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1320
Point of view: third
Prompt: MCU, Loki, "Mischief is a small thing, a toy i have used and discarded. This isn't mischief. This is mayhem."
Note: this started out a completely different fic and then got away from me. [I don’t really remember where this was going when I started it, but I have a fairly good guess.]

 

There once was a boy who played tricks because it was the only time anyone acknowledged him. He could have lost himself in the library, in the ancient histories and forgotten magicks – but he wanted companionship. Father was busy with ruling, Mother with the smaller details, and Thor with his friends. And so Loki went unnoticed except by librarians and historians who shushed him when he asked questions because for all his untapped genius, he was but a boy.

What everyone forgot until it was too late is that boys grow up into men.

[So, I tried to explain to a few people in RL why I like Loki so much, and why so much of what happens is not on him. I think I used the metaphor that he’s the only computer geek in a world of football fanatics? Anyway, considering none of them are writers in the way I am, it didn’t bother them, the way canon treats Loki.

But basically, his family had a shit-ton of opportunities, and after his psychotic break, he landed at Thanos’ feet. And then his ‘family’ decided to blame him for everything without asking about reasons and tossed him away.

I’m on Loki’s side, always.]

.

There once was a boy who watched his older brother approach the throne with an arrogant tilt to his head, a smug grin twisting his lips, shoulders revealing his belief that he’d waited too long for his due. Everyone cheered, as they always did, no matter what Thor did.

There was sadness in Mother’s smile, apprehension in Father’s eye, but Thor never noticed. Those small details, easily missed, proved Loki right in not calling off his trick. [I’m actually not sure he’s responsible for the jotnar getting into the vault. It’s pointed out (I don’t remember where) that he never actually claims responsibility for that.]

.

There once was a boy who fell from a bridge. No one sought for him. No one found him. Very few mourned him.

He landed in nothing and nothing happened there.

(The boy has always been a skilled liar.)

.

There once was a boy who tore open a hole in the sky. His older brother fought him, without once asking why he did such a thing, and then dragged him before the throne in chains. Not even Mother asked him why he’d done any of it, or what happened after he fell, or expressed relief that he lived.

Those large details, not easily overlooked, only proved to him that he – as always – was on his own. [And we’re supposed to believe they’re the good guys? Show me, please. Don’t tell me.]

.

There once was a boy who mourned his mother. Thor pretended that Loki didn’t, but Thor is a skilled liar, in his own way. Thor’s friends betrayed their king for a second time, as did the gatekeeper, but who kept count? Certainly not Loki. [God, the Traitors 3 + Sif + Heimdallr really oughta be executed. They’ve betrayed how many kings, now?]

The greatest trick of all is convincing an entire sky of stars that you’re dead. Loki managed it twice.

.

There once was a boy who sat on a throne he’d never wanted, wearing a face that he abhorred. He’d always practiced small magicks, minor tricks, illusions. But as King of Asgardr, he wielded the ancient magicks. Thor’s oathbreaker friends kept policing the realms; the traitorous gatekeeper watched the cosmos. The people of Asgardr never questioned their king, no matter what he did.

So he fell into the Sleep and there he died. [I’m sure we’ll be given some terrible reason for Loki taking the throne; honestly, I’m pretty sure he makes a better king than Odin or Thor. Or maybe we’ll be given a ‘redemption’ arc for him, and he’ll die heroically (for real, this time) and Thor will mourn again without any character development.]

.

There once was a boy who walked along a road, smiling as he hadn’t in centuries. What is the true face of Loki, son of no one? Not even he knows.

What face shall he wear? He decides when he wakes, and never the same twice. War rages as the nobles of Asgardr battle for a throne, as the other realms try for their own piece, as Midgardr makes itself felt for the first time.

Loki, son of no one, is dead. But Loki is a common enough name, if he wants to keep it. Does he?

What if some nobody from some backwater town on some small planet begins to make a name for himself, rallying his kin and clan to battle? As they win, honorably, sparing their enemies and fighting in the name of peace?

No tricks. No traps. And if the nobody is gifted with small magicks, well… everything starts small, after all.

Better still, what if the nobody is the only survivor of the small backwater town? And he fights with honor still, oh such a good man, that nobody. Yes. His tiny wellspring of magick saved him, and now he uses it to defend others, and if he happens to turn the tide of the war?

What might the reward for such a man be? [Because Loki will never take by force what he can earn through guile. He’s a grifter, through and through. Another reason they should have asked about his performance on Midgardr.]

.

There once was a boy who ruled honorably and well. The people loved him. He came from some little village on Múspellsheimr, the only survivor, and by the end, Múspellsheimr was his for all the people clamored for him to rule. From Múspellsheimr, he ventured to Vanaheimr and Niflheimr, taking by force only to give it back once peace fell. His armies marched from one side; Asgardr’s and Midgardr’s from the other. In the middle they met and wrote a treaty that all the realms signed.

“And who are you?” the King of Asgardr asked, Midgardr’s representative nodding.

“I am Fenrir of Múspellsheimr,” the champion of three realms said. [His kids don’t exist here, by the way. Or if they do, they’re not actually his children.]

The King of Asgardr held out a hand. “I am Thor, son of Odin. This is my shield-brother, Iron Man of Midgardr.” [This is decades later, by the way. Either Tony had some of Idunn apples, or Iron Man has become a title. I don’t remember what I’d chosen.]

“Let this peace be long-lasting and prosperous,” Fenrir said, and they set to work making it so.

.

There once was a boy overlooked by all unless he did mischief. He grew to be a man overlooked by none, a man adored and worshipped, a man beloved by nine realms.

“We have much to thank you for,” Thor, King of Asgardr told him one night, well into his cups, centuries into the cosmic peace. “I shudder to ponder what might have been, had another led your army.”

“Another could not have,” Fenrir assured him, smiling just a little.

Thor peered at him curiously. “Sometimes,” he said, “sometimes I almost think – but no. No, he died long ago.” He turned his stare to his mead, shaking his head. “Long ago,” he repeated softly.

“Who?” Fenrir asked softly, gesturing away the guards. Kings should not be heard when they spoke of secrets, of fears, of regrets. And here, in the heart of Múspellsheimr, there was no danger.

“I had a brother, once,” Thor said, slamming down the mug. “We were just boys, and I don’t – I think of it often, and I don’t know what I could’ve changed.”

“I had a brother, too,” Fenrir murmured. “He was golden and I stood in his shadow, always.”

Thor glanced back up at him and Fenrir shook his head, chuckling. “It doesn’t matter now, my friend. But you, I think, have enough drink for this night.”

The Lord of Múspellsheimr escorted the King of Asgardr to one of the guest beds, tucked him in, and then, when Thor was mostly asleep, pressed a gentle kiss to his brow. “Sleep well, brother,” Loki whispered, wearing that face of centuries ago for one heartbeat. [Yeah, that was foreshadowing. And Loki making one tiny mistake.]

The following afternoon, the representatives of all nine realms met to discuss the great threat coming: Thanos the Eternal.

.

There once was a boy who stood at the head of the greatest army ever gathered. Beside him stood the King of Asgardr.

“If we are to die now,” Thor told him without turning his head, “I want to die knowing that you know this: you are Loki of Asgardr, as you have always been. As you will always be.” [I honestly don’t remember why I chose for Thor to recognize him. Possibly because I do think Thor loved him, and didn’t understand why things went so wrong. But here, he’s had centuries to mature, to think back, to learn and to grow in a way I’m fairly sure we won’t see in canon. Which is a disservice to his character, but that’s a rant for another time.]

For the first time, Thor had surprised him. He turned to face his ally, his friend, mouth open in shock, and Thor simply met his gaze calmly. “I mourned you once, brother. I refused to do it again. And then I saw you, cloaked in another face, with the fire of Múspellsheimr behind you – you lived, and you prospered, and I knew that I could not… I could not ruin it for you, as I had ruined everything else.”

Fenrir’s face fell away to be that boy Thor alone remembered. “If we are to die now,” he said, “know this: I never hated you. I only ever wanted to stand beside you as your equal. To counsel you, to guard you.”

“I know, brother,” Thor said, pulling Loki into his arms for the hug he’d been craving since Loki fell on Svartálfaheimr. “We are equals,” he murmured. “And if we die here – it shall be side by side.”

Loki laughed, pulling back Fenrir’s face as he took his place again. “Come, brother,” he said, eyes on Thanos. “We’ve a war to win.”

[They win. I’m not sure how, but it’s a glorious battle, for those who think battles glorious. Does Fenrir resume being Loki? Probably not, because Loki is long dead.

I don’t remember why I chose the structure I did – the whole There once was a boy. But the story was originally going to be shorter, and have Loki destroy Asgardr, I think. But would that actually be satisfying vengeance? Well, yes, because I’ve written that before, multiple times. But I’d moved on into living well is the best revenge mode, so that’s what I wrote instead.]

Chapter Text

Title: I read of that glad year which once had been
Fandom: White Collar/Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU for Neal’s back-story; post-series for Highlander (and ignores all sequel films, as in I totally forgot about the one I’ve seen)
Pairings: Methos/Neal, Neal/Kate, mentions of Peter/Neal(/Elizabeth)
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1840
Point of view: third
Prompt: portrait
Notes: originally meant to be a short drabble. It got away from me.

 

[If I remember correctly, I was originally going to have either Methos or Neal paint a portrait of the other that was going to be found in a gallery somewhere. Something like that.]

When Neal was twenty, just before Kate and long after Moz, he met a fascinating individual at the Louvre. They were both admiring the Mona Lisa and Neal said to the man next to him, “da Vinci is magnificent.” [I found out after this that calling him da Vinci just means ‘from Vinci’ which is hilarious to me, for some reason.]

“He truly was a master,” the man replied. “A genius yet to be equaled.” And then, when Neal turned to face him, the man continued, expounding on da Vinci—everything Neal could think to wonder and many things he’d have never considered. [Yes, Methos knew him.]

When the man wound down, flushing and lifting a hand to the back of his neck in embarrassment, Neal smiled at him. “I’m Neal Holden,” he said. “Do you know as much about Michelangelo?”

“Adam Mateo,” his newest friend replied. “And yes.”

They spent the rest of the day together, discussing the greatest artists of all time. Neal learned that Adam had recently graduated Stanford with a PhD in philosophy and he’d inherited his great-uncle’s fortune. “The old man had chased away everybody else,” Adam explained with a wave of his hand. “I was the only one who visited anymore, so he left me everything. And now I’m wandering the world, seeing all the wonders.” [Methos’ great-uncle was also Methos.]

Adam’s accent was a mixture of several American regions, much like Neal’s own. And based on their discussions, Neal felt like they were old friends. [He copied Neal’s accent. If Neal wasn’t still a baby-con, he’d have realized that.]

After supper, which Adam insisted on paying for, claiming he had too much money, he invited Neal back to his room. “Just to talk,” he said. “It’s been a while since I found anyone as interesting as you.”

Neal studied him. Even before Mozzie’s warnings, Neal knew the dangers. He couldn’t remember a time he didn’t know them, hadn’t experienced firsthand how dangerous the world was. [I basically have one backstory for Neal that shows up in most of my White Collar fics. Since I stopped watching White Collar at the beginning of season 4, I’m not sure how close it is to canon.]

But Adam didn’t feel like a threat. He was just a guy after a good time, same as Neal. A guy who appreciated beauty and was able to keep up with Neal.

“Sure,” Neal replied.

o0o

They spent a week together, traveling around France. Adam knew places that weren’t mobbed by tourists and helped Neal with his French. He sketched Adam in a variety of poses and told him about his plans for the future. Adam offered him advice, taught him a few tricks of the con that Neal was sure even Mozzie didn’t know. (Neal would’ve guaranteed that Adam wasn’t just a Doctor of Philosophy. No way in Hell.) [*hee*]

And finally, it was time for Neal to go home, to Moz and their newest partner, Kathryn Moreau.

“I wish you luck, Neal,” Adam said, and, “I expect great things of you.”

o0o

About a decade later, Neal was caged by the FBI, Kate was dead, and Moz had pieces of sage advice interspersed with ideas for future jobs.

The only good things about staying in New York—besides June’s loft, which was to die for—were Peter and Elizabeth. No one except Kate, Moz, and a man in France for a week over ten years ago had ever kept up with Neal. Neal still liked Peter, even after he put Neal in jail—yes, he was keeping Peter for awhile. And Elizabeth was simply amazing.

And then came the op with Peter that led to Neal being kidnapped (at gunpoint!) and driven somewhere while blindfolded and a punch to the head that had him on the ground and— [Because it really is that easy to die. I fell off a horse once and hit my head. The helmet I was wearing cracked into two piece. I sometimes think about what would’ve happened if I wasn’t wearing a helmet that day.]

Neal woke up moments before the FBI swooped in and he’d never felt better. The bad guys were arrested or shot resisting arrest and he went home and the second he set foot on the stairs, he had a headache. It was weird, too: a low-grade buzzing he couldn’t ignore, unlike anything else he’d experienced.

When he made it to his door, Mozzie met him and said, “Damnit, Neal, this was supposed to happen while I was there.” [In pretty much all of my Highlander/White Collar crossovers, I have Mozzie be immortal.]

o0o

So, yeah. Moz cut open both their hands to prove it, but Neal had apparently died and come back to life.

“I’ve known since I met you, Neal,” Moz said. “I could feel it. That buzz in the back of your head—it’s how our kind recognize each other.”

Neal looked at him, studied his face. “How old are you?” he asked quietly, unsure if he was more hurt or angry that Moz had stayed around so long only because Neal was immortal.

“Six hundred, more or less,” Moz said. “And Neal, I didn’t seek you out just because you were like me. I would’ve taken you under my wing no matter what.” His eyes were sincere and Neal relaxed. “You were so full of potential, Neal, that I had to stay. [This is true. He talked with Neal first because he felt that Neal was pre-immortal, but he stayed for Neal as a person—and as a thief.] And you’ve become a master. In six centuries, I’ve met hundreds of thieves, of con-men, and only one has ever been as good as you. Better, even. He helped me in my first decade. Antony was my teacher; I’ll call him in the morning, see if he’ll swing by.”

Moz kept talking about Antony and the Game and how Neal needed to take up the sword, but Neal checked out of the conversation and fell asleep on the couch.

He woke in the morning to a headache and Moz cooking breakfast.

Apparently, it wasn’t a dream. Damn.

o0o

For the next week, Neal went to work like nothing had changed. Mozzie moved in and provided a sword, as well as the most basic of lessons. [I’m not sure how they explain this to Peter.]

“I’m good enough,” he said, “but I’ve survived by knowing when to run. Antony will either teach you himself or call in a favor and get you taught by the best, a boy scout named MacLeod.” [Because Antony owes him a favor for a thing that happened.]

o0o

Late Monday night, Neal jerked awake when a new buzz hit him. For a few moments it felt like a superbuzz, hammering him down. Then it lessened, becoming only a slight hum.

Neal went to the main room, where Mozzie already was, practically bouncing on his feet. “He’s here,” Moz announced unnecessarily.

Neal shook his head, wondering if he’d imagined the superbuzz. “Moz…” he began.

Mozzie correctly interpreted his confusion and said, “Antony was just letting me know it’s him.” [Mozzie doesn’t know that he’s Methos. Just that he’s old.]

When a knock came at the door, Moz opened it and Neal stood to the side as his teacher’s teacher walked in.

Neal blinked and Adam smiled.

“Am I—” he asked. “Adam, what?”

Moz looked from Adam to Neal. “Antony, you already met Neal?”

“Yes, Marcus,” he replied. “About a decade ago, Adam Mateo spent a lovely week with Neal Holden.”

o0o

Ten years and Adam hadn’t aged a day. Six centuries and Neal guessed Mozzie could say the same.

Looking at Adam, Neal finally believed it. Neal’d forever look thirty-two. He had forever.

“Holy shit,” he muttered, sinking back onto the couch.

Moz fluttered beside the armrest, asking, “Neal, are you okay?”

Adam knelt at his feet, pulling Neal forward so that their foreheads touched. “Breathe, Neal,” he murmured. “It is overwhelming, I know. But I am here, and your friend Mozzie. We’ll take care of you.”

o0o

Neal finally fell asleep in Adam’s arms, listening to a lullaby crooned in a language dead before words were ever written down. [And yet, still not Methos’ first language. Just the first where he had children.]

“Wha’s your name?” he slurred into the junction of Adam’s shoulder and neck.

“I don’t remember,” Adam answered. [Truth.] “What’s yours?”

“Noah,” Neal said. “He died twenty years ago. Just a dumbass kid.” [I have a very sad backstory for Neal. I don’t remember what canon gave us.]

Adam pressed a kiss to the crown of his head and Moz hissed something from across the room, but Adam resumed his lullaby and Neal quit fighting to stay awake. [Mozzie thinks of Neal as a student and as a son. He also knows that he can’t teach a child what is necessary for survival.]

o0o

Neal woke just before noon. Moz and Adam were seated on the couch, speaking an old form of Italian that Neal only recognized because of some research he did after Adam’s lectures on da Vinci.

“Did you know da Vinci?” he asked, slumping against the doorway.

Adam laughed. “I didn’t know every famous person in history.”

“Just most of them,” Moz cut in.

Neal stretched, letting himself get lost in their bickering. His whole world had changed (he had forever, if he kept his head), but here, in the kitchen of June’s beautiful loft, in his favorite city in the world, it all seemed like such a great adventure. [I figure, the horrors of immortality don’t kick in at first. Because it is horrible.]

o0o

“You’re lucky,” Adam said as they strolled down the street later that afternoon.

Adam had called him in with a stomach bug and he had to be in early next the morning (if possible), but he had a free day.

“How so?” Neal asked, neatly ducking a pickpocket and snagging her loot in the process.

Adam grinned, planting a twenty in the girl’s pocket. “No one knows you died, so you can live here for a couple more decades, if you like.” [Which is lucky, considering that most immortals die violently and frequently in public.]

They were silent for a few blocks. Adam had done something to the tracker, so it would appear like Neal spent the day in the loft—in bed or wrapped around the toilet, and he’d be appropriately miserable tomorrow—and there was apparently a quaint little deli Adam remembered from forty years ago. He wanted to see if it was still there. [*hee* Methos is nowhere near Penelope Garcia or Alec Hardison when it comes to computers, but he’s kept up with them and he is very good.]

“I’d like to finish out my sentence,” Neal said. “Just a couple years left. Then we’ll go from there, see what I want then.”

Adam smiled at him, pulled him in for a quick kiss, and said, “Right up here.” [Methos falls in love very easily. His favorite part of immortality is watching humanity grow and still finding brilliant people who are unique. He doesn’t fall in love with immortals; I wrote a drabble about his philosophy once. He finds Neal charming and fun but he isn’t in love.]

o0o

Adam stayed for almost two weeks, dodging Peter the whole while. He taught Neal more than a few dirty tricks with a sword and said, “Practice till it’s instinct. Time is the greatest teacher.”

Neal still didn’t know how old he truly was. Moz said he was at least two thousand, but probably a great deal older.

“You’re fun,” Adam murmured in his ear as he prepared to leave. “I’d like you to stay around for awhile.” A deep kiss and Adam pulled away, a scrap of paper with a phone number only for emergencies tucked into Neal’s pocket.

“Good to see you again, Marcus,” he told Mozzie. “And look out for this kid, y’hear?”

Moz nodded. “I’ll see you at Thursday as scheduled.”

Adam caressed Neal’s cheek and was gone.

o0o

Things continued on at work like nothing had changed. Neal solved puzzles, went undercover, ate lunch with Peter and dinner with Peter and Elizabeth. He practiced with a sword and hacked into the Watchers’ database with the codes and ID Adam gave him, to catch up on the history of his people. [And make sure he wasn’t in it. Mozzie isn’t.]

He’d finish out his deal with Peter. After that… he wanted to stay, to keep Peter and Elizabeth. Besides Moz, they were the closest thing to family he’d ever had. Even Kate had mostly been a fantasy. Peter and El were the real deal.

He didn’t want to lose them. And he’d never believed he’d outlive them. Neal always knew he’d die young.

He did die young, and his bitter, heartbroken chuckle had Jones looking over to ask, “Caffrey, you okay?”

Neal nodded. “Just fine,” he lied.

He’d keep Peter and El till the four years were up. Then he’d find Adam and travel the world until there was nothing left to see.

o0o

(He went back for the funerals, Adam and Moz at his side.) [I’m not sure how Peter and Elizabeth died. Also, technically, Mozzie is his teacher, in the immortal sense. But if Neal gets challenged in his first couple decades, Adam will fight for him.

For awhile, I really liked Neal being (pre)immortal and somehow knowing Methos. I think that was the early days of my having-Methos-adopt-everyone thing. This is the least-dark take, and that’s because Neal is a newbie.]

Chapter Text

Title: cats and canaries
Fandom: "Dark Angel" / Origins: Wolverine crossover
Disclaimer: not my characters; just for fun.
Warnings: AU
Pairings: none
Rating: PGish
Wordcount: 340
Point of view: third
Prompt: Would love a fic about Ben and Sabretooth, then. Your choice if its gen or slash. Just would love to see how these two interact.

[Written in 2009. This is the Sabertooth from the Origins: Wolverine movie, who was my second favorite character after Wade Wilson. I found his relationship with Logan fascinating.]

The day of the Pulse, Victor woke up fighting mad. Something felt off in the air and it made him shudder in apprehension. He hated that feeling, so he went hunting for someone to kill. [I’m not sure what he’s actually feeling. I also don’t remember what exactly the Pulse was.]

Instead, he found a trembling boy, the cub exhausted and emaciated and delectable enough to eat. Victor just stared at him, curled up at the base of a tree, hazel eyes wide.

“And who might you be?” he asked, crouching down. He didn’t want to kill the kid, to his own shock. Kinda wanted to adopt him, take him home, feed him good and proper. He hadn’t felt this way since he followed Jimmy into the woods that night of awakenings.

The cub just bared his teeth, eyes narrowing. Maybe if he were bigger it’d be intimidating, but Victor just bared his teeth right back, adding a hint of a growl to the words when he demanded, “What’s your name?”

“Ben,” the kid muttered. “Sir.”

“Well, Ben-Sir,” Victor said [I can totally hear the way the actor would say this and I find it so funny], standing back up and stepping over his side. “You’re comin’ with me, cub. Clearly, you’re as useless at takin’ care of yourself as Jimmy.”

The boy fought like a wildcat, like Victor when he’d been young. But he was wounded and tired and clearly starving, so it was barely a struggle. When he was full-grown, though, and at full strength? Victor could imagine the battle and his mouth watered. [Um. Victor never actually feels anything sexual towards Ben. Just wanted to clear that up.]

Benny-boy didn’t smell like a mutant, Victor noticed, when he had him in his arms. He smelled like the cougars Victor sometimes hunted against, seeing who could bring down the prey first. Mixed in with the cat, though, was normal human, blood and sweat. It was an interesting combination, one he’d study further later.

Once he’d accepted that he couldn’t get free, the cub settled right on down. “Be good now, cub,” Victor purred. “I’ll take care of you, don’t fret.”

“Yes, sir,” he said softly. Victor smirked. Yes, this boy would be fun. One day, he might even be as good of a hunting partner as Jimmy. [How does this change things for X-Men canon? I do not know. Are all the movies even in the same ‘verse?]

 

[So, because Ben was my favorite character for awhile, and I took every chance I could to kill Max, I decided to write ‘Pollo Loco’ in this ‘verse.]

 

Victor follows his cub to Seattle, a quiet presence in the background hum of noise he knows Benny-boy can never truly silence. Ben has to roam sometimes, marking territory up and down the country. Victor understands; he used to have the whole world as his playground. He sometimes feels stifled now, that he’s spent years on the same speck of dirt.

But cubs need stability. In the ten years since he found Ben, Victor has done his best by the boy. Trained him up good and proper, and Ben was even better than Jimmy at hunting. Not quite as strong as Victor, but faster and more agile. He could scent out prey just as good, with better eyesight and equal hearing. [I was never actually sure what the X5 capabilties were, probably because I couldn’t bring myself to watch any of season 1 except “Pollo Loco” and then basically fast-forwarded any scene Alec wasn’t in. I really and truly despised Max.]

When Ben goes hunting, it’s a sight to behold. He does Victor proud.

They leave corpses up and down the country, stupid humans that get in the way. Ben has a more methodical way of killing, most of the time, while Victor just rips them apart.

Ben follows his instincts to Seattle, muttering something about family before taking off. Victor follows him, close enough that the cub knows he’s there, far enough back for the kid to have space. [Victor actually was a pretty good caregiver, not that Ben needed much. But he is still… slightly psychopathic? So there’s that.]

He watches while Ben grabs humans to hunt. Smirks in the shadows as Ben finally lets loose the wildcat within to tear out their throats with his teeth, spreading them across the clearing. [One of my favorite parts of writing Ben&Alec was their feline tendencies.]

While his cub is lost in bloodlust, Victor hears someone coming. He breathes deep—whoever it is, she smells like Ben. She’s almost as quiet.

He circles around her, ghosting up to her back, and snaps her neck before she ever realizes he’s there. He leaves her body on the ground and lopes to his cub. [I was really fucking happy about this abrupt, anti-climactic end for Max. Because I hated her. I remember the basics of why but don’t have the energy to still feel it.]

Chapter Text

Title: what comes after
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: changed future
Pairings: Chris/Bianca
Rating: G
Wordcount: 390
Point of view: third
Prompt: Charmed, Chris/Bianca, their first meeting in the changed future.

[Because I think they could’ve done so much more with Bianca. And Chris in general, actually, and the horrible future he tried to save.]

 

When Bianca is six years old, her life changes: Mama no longer takes bounties. When Bianca asks her why, Mama just smiles at her and says, “I’m tired of killing, sweetie.” [If your daughter comes from the future, looking so weary and broken, you’d better listen to what she says.]

They find a permanent home. Mama sends her to Knox Academy [this is a canon school, I think; I did some research] instead of hiding and teaching everything herself. Bianca makes friends quickly because she doesn’t have to lie anymore.

“Are you happy?” Mama asks her every few weeks.

Bianca always says, “Yes, Mama,” because she is. [They settle down somewhere and stay there. And her mom isn’t always away on bounties anymore. Not that little!Bianca understood that.]

She grows up and decides to become a social worker because she wants to help people and magic is good for lots of things, but sometimes it doesn’t work the way it should. [I do not remember why I chose this.] She goes to a non-magical university and makes more friends and every day, Mom scries her to ask, “Are you happy?”

She always is, even on bad days. [Because she’s working towards her own goal.]

When Bianca is 26, on the way to her first trial, she sees a Charmed One’s son coming out of a bookstore. The Charmed Ones and their families had been well covered in History of Magic.

He sees her, too, and he smiles.

Three days later, she returns to that bookstore just because. He’s sitting at the café, drinking coffee and reading the Harry Potter sequel, and she can’t help herself.

“Really?” she asks. “How’s Hogwarts compare to your school?”

He looks up at her, laughing, and stands. “Chris,” he says. “Chris Halliwell.”

“Bianca Reynolds,” she replies. [I really wish we knew how they’d met in the original future.]

Chris is currently attending a non-magical college because he wants a life outside of magic. His older brother, he complains, constantly gives him a hard time about it, and Bianca gives him some advice on how to cope. He doesn’t know what, exactly, he’ll do—

He eventually settles on social work and Bianca can’t stop smiling for days. [Their age difference is what, five or six years? In the original future, I’m fairly sure Chris was the most powerful person besides Wyatt and he’d probably matured very quickly after Piper died.]

When she meets the Charmed Ones for the first time, still as Chris’ friend, they all look at her oddly for a little while. [They’d pretty much forgotten her and then she shows up and Chris is smitten.] She ignores them, instead following Chris as he gives her a tour of the famous Manor.

Wyatt doesn’t trust her because she’s a phoenix; Melinda thinks she’s cool for the same reason. The various and sundry cousins fall somewhere on the scale, but the only person who matters is Chris.

She kisses him at his graduation.

“It feels like I’ve known you forever,” he murmurs, holding her close.

She smiles. “Maybe you have.” [Because magic.]

Title: what comes after
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: changed future
Pairings: Chris/Bianca
Rating: G
Wordcount: 390
Point of view: third
Prompt: Charmed, Bianca, Lynn follows future!Bianca's advice and allows her daughter to choose her own path.

 

Bianca calls her on a vidphone and says, "Mom, we're having dinner with Piper Halliwell's family in a week."

Lynn stares at her daughter and says, "We're doing what?"

.

Bianca is a social worker. She still uses her magic for small things, and once to rescue a child from her abusive parents.

She has been dating Chris Halliwell for three months before Lynn has to meet the boy's family. She's already met the boy.

He's a good boy. Articulate and sarcastic and so powerful Lynn can hear the air sing around him. He's kind in the unconscious way so few manage. [I’m really curious if the writers had planned on Piper having more children after Wyatt, because Wyatt is the Twice Blessed Heir of Magic and his parents were a Charmed One and a whitelighter. But Chris’ parents are a Charmed One and an Elder, so shouldn’t he be more powerful? And Melinda, I’m not sure – was Leo back to being a whitelighter? A mortal?]

Lynn doesn’t know why this boy is who Bianca brings home, but that is not her concern. She only cares that the Charmed One’s son is good to her daughter, and he is.

.

So she goes to dinner with Piper Halliwell, the ex-whitelighter/elder, the Twice Blessed, Bianca’s boyfriend, and the daughter.

Piper meets her eyes and she knows the Charmed One remembers their meeting all those years ago. [This is a very awkward dinner.]

They’ve both gotten old, she thinks, though the air still sings around Piper. Her children, too. [I’m not sure what powers a phoenix has, but being able to sense magic would be useful. I did research for this, so I probably knew when I wrote it.]

.

They talk about Bianca’s work, Chris’ job search, Wyatt’s latest spell, Melinda’s classes. After dinner, Piper asks Lynn to join her in the sunroom while Chris serves the dessert he’d made. “We’ll be right back,” Piper assures her boy, and Lynn smiles at Bianca.

No one in this house means any harm to Lynn or her daughter, so she follows the Charmed One out of the room.

“He doesn’t know,” Piper says after Lynn throws up a privacy ward. “None of them know about the timetravel. We’d like to keep it that way.”

“She doesn’t know, either,” Lynn says. “I got out of that life.”

“Okay.” Piper sighs. “We can do this, then.” She nods firmly. “We owe your daughter a debt, even if she never knows. She’s welcome here.”

“Thank you,” Lynn says. “Your son… he’s a good man. I’m glad Bianca picked him.”

Piper laughs. “It was a shock, the first time he brought her home. But she’s different.” Piper glances towards the door, saying, “She’s happy. She wasn’t, before.” She meets Lynn’s eyes with a sad smile. “Neither of them was.” [They will never be friends but they are friendly.]

.

The cheesecake is delicious.

Lynn hugs her daughter and shimmers home and knows that she did the right thing, leaving the bounties and killing behind. [Because, again, I wanted more about the way Chris changed things. About the future and how it got so bad. It couldn’t just have been Gideon’s madness.]

Chapter Text

Title: I cross so many brooks in the world
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Denise Levertov
Warnings: none
Rating: PG
Pairings: none
Rating:
Point of view: third
Wordcount: 120
Prompt: Highlander, Duncan and Methos and Joe, old is a comparative term

[So, Methos is one of my all-time favorite characters. I’m not sure if it’s his dark past, his snarky nature, or the fact that everything in canon we see is a mask and that we never actually met Methos as he really is so therefore writers can do anything with him—but it’s probably all of the above.]

Humans would consider MacLeod old. Most of them would consider Joe old, too.

MacLeod thinks Methos is old. Amanda thinks Methos is old. Rebecca and Cassandra and Darius all thought Methos old.

Kronos and Silas and Caspian, ancient themselves, all knew Methos was old.

Old, Methos tells Joe, is all relative.

He stares down into the Grand Canyon. He daydreams about the ocean and all the life she swallowed, including what had been his before he went to the desert. [I have various headcanons for Methos, considering how little we actually know about him.]

Joe will wither and die. MacLeod will try to finish a fight and lose his head. [Even if the show-creators/writers themselves tell me MacLeod survives to 1000, I will not believe it. Not with the character we were presented in canon. Not a chance.]

Methos will walk into the desert and out of the sea.

Old, he whispers, watching the sun. Tell me what you think that means.

 

[So, this was meant to be a little introspective piece; I forgot about it for a long time. And then comment_fic had a remix pov theme day and I came across this drabble again.

Now, one of my favorite things is outside pov. Especially of Methos.]

 

"I've gotten old," Joe groans as he slowly stands. He's felt old since he first began wearing the prostheses, since he lost his legs.

Mac’s on a crusade somewhere; Joe can’t follow him anymore. He’s retired from the field altogether, but he’s been given half a dozen young Watcher recruits to train up proper, and he doesn’t feel useless all that often.

“Old,” Methos chuckles, glancing up from his beer, atop his usual stool at the bar, “is all relative.”
Adam Pierson, according to his Chronicle, is barely 40 years old. He died while working on the Methos Chronicle, and Duncan MacLeod took him on as a student. He died at 25, falling off a ladder as he searched through hardcopy files that date back nearly a thousand years. He spent his first decade as Mac’s student, neither the best nor worst. Most Watchers who know about him don’t think he’ll last that long. [Outside pov on Methos is SO MUCH FUN.]

“What do you know about it, Pierson?” Tom laughs, and he doesn’t notice the glance Methos gives him. Joe does, though, and when Methos meets his eyes, he shrugs. [I intentionally (obviously) did the interplay of Adam Pierson and Methos, here. Adam Pierson is a mask Methos pulls on.]

Joe is honestly shocked that he’s made it to 65. [I had to look this up; I didn’t realize how relatively young the actor playing Joe/Joe was during the show.] He is old, as humans go, and he can get maybe twenty or thirty more years. Duncan’s almost 500, now. Amanda’s a thousand.

“You’ve got plenty of time left, Joe,” Adam Pierson tells him, before being dragged into an argument about the Marvel movie craze with Joe’s students, and Joe listens, trying to follow the tangents as best he can. Before long, he’s hopelessly lost, puttering behind the bar as he straightens everything up.

He goes to lift a barrel but it’s pulled out of his grasp. “I’ve got this,” Methos says softly. “Go sit down and rest.”

Joe’s whole body is aching, the gift from Vietnam that never stops giving. “I’ve got it,” he says stubbornly, wanting nothing more than to sit and maybe work on some of his songs.

“Joe,” Methos says. It’s an inflection that Adam Pierson hasn’t had enough time to earn, that Mac still stumbles over sometimes. It could give him away, if any of the more intuitive Watchers hear it. [Because Adam Pierson is a soft researcher who never expected to live the archives, and he had a fairly sheltered life before joining the Watchers. He’s no leader, no one who can give commands and expect to be obeyed.]

With a grumble, Joe trudges to one of the more comfortable chairs, grabbing his current notebook on the way. The kids are still arguing while Adam Pierson takes over the bartending duties, and Joe loses himself in music.

Joe’s old, yeah, but he’s got time left. [I like Joe. And I think he understands Methos far more than Duncan ever will.

I’ve written a lot of Methos fic because he really is the kind of character you can put anywhere at any time and it works. You can also give him any backstory you want, really, because there is so much we don’t know.]

Chapter Text

[Written in 2014. I’ve yet to see Age of Ultron or Civil War. I will most likely never see either of them, or the rest of the MCU.

Also, I don’t have the concentration to write, read, or watch anything because life is currently so fucked I can’t see how it’ll get better anytime soon. If you don’t know, google “Louisiana Flood.” My family is insanely lucky because only three houses and possibly one apartment is a total loss and no one is missing.

So because I can’t write, read, or watch anything, I’m going to be commentating on stuff again.

Here’s my tumblr where I’ve actually started reblogging things because I need to distract myself. More info about what’s going on here. ]

 

Title: safety is no substitute for freedom and honor leaves you longing for love
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Grace Bauer
Warnings: violence/death/roaring rampage of revenge
Pairings: implied Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1310
Point of view: third
Prompt: [Any] Steve Rogers is a scary bastard

Usually, Steve is the sweetest, gentlest guy around. He's respectful, humble, and still a little bit shy.

But Steve has a temper, and a few nuclear berserk buttons.

I want to see what happens when some idiotic bad guy manages to press one.

(Bonus!points if it has to do with Bucky.)

[So, for a couple years, I had this thing for Steve Rogers protecting the ex-Winter Soldier, damn the world if need be. This is one of those.]

The thing about Steve Rogers' anger is that it's quiet. His true rage is a cold, vicious thing that leaves everyone unaware until it erupts.

He's really good at playing the game, at holding onto his control -- when he was the little guy, it was easy to explode because a lot of things pissed him off, yeah, but none of it actually touched him where it truly hurt. [I think that Steve tries to hold on to his temper more since the serum, because he can actually do a considerable amount of damage now. He can scare people now. He had to relearn how to move, how to hold himself, his body language, because what was fine when he was the little guy is absolutely threatening now.]

 

In Brooklyn, no one really went after Bucky. No one attacked Ma or Bucky's sisters. Everyone Steve loved was safe. With that being the case, everything else was gravy.

.

But that's not the case anymore.

.

Captain America can't have the little guy's triggers. The little guy's rages. Captain America is too strong to lose it. Too dangerous.

And then Bucky gets lost behind enemy lines.

.

They spin it, of course. The way history remembers it is wrong but by the time Steve wakes up, it doesn't matter.

What Steve did after Bucky fell isn't even a whisper.

Captain America is the idealized hero, all about Truth, Justice, and the American Dream. Steve doesn't even recognize the revered man he's been turned into. [The exhibit at the museum in Cap2 makes it seem like that mission to Azzano was sanctioned. I very much doubt the public knows everything Caption America and his team did in the war, and that without him there, it was easy to make him into the public face for so many things Steve Rogers from Brooklyn would not have liked, much less endorsed. Once he stops being depressed in modern day, and breaks away from his handlers (because that’s what SHIELD is, you know that, right?), where would he even start in fixing what history has wrong?]

.

He wants to ask Peggy, How could you let them tell it that way? but he knows it doesn’t actually matter. What’s done is done.

.

There are aliens and missions and drowning slowly while no one in the world notices. There’s Natasha trying to set him up with women and Stark sending him bizarre texts in references he doesn’t understand and catching up on pop culture that keeps having him turn to the left and begin, “Hey, Buck,” and then he goes to the gym and destroys machinery that Stark (thankfully) keeps replacing. [Steve Rogers has PTSD and depression. For me, that’s canon. Avengers happens 12 days after he wakes up, and Cap2 a couple years later. I very much doubt he sought or was offered help for either one of those, and all those missions for “SHIELD” could not have helped matters.]

.

And then there’s Fury getting shot through the wall.

There’s a mask falling off of Fury’s killer’s face.

And the world restarts.

.

“Bucky?”

“Who the hell is Bucky?” [I don’t think that Bucky is Steve’s end-all, be-all reason for existing. But what’s happened to him is something Steve can actually DO something about. Peggy is dying, everyone else is dead. But here’s Bucky who NEEDS him, and who he has the power to help. Bucky, who taught him to box, and snuck money to Ma when they needed it, and listened to Steve’s rants and backed him up in fights, and was the best guy in the whole world. Steve needs a cause he can believe in, and protecting Bucky, saving him from first HYDRA and then the world that wants to scapegoat him—that is what he’s going to do. And damn anybody that tries to get in the way.]

.

The thing about Steve Rogers’ rage is that it’s quiet. Cold. Focused.

After Project Insight, he reads the folder Natasha gives him, memorizing the whole thing. He trawls his way through the data she released and has Stark look through what wasn’t released.

This is all his fault. He let Bucky fall. He trusted Hydra’s extermination to other people. That’s a mistake he will not be making again.

He hasn’t destroyed gym equipment since the week before the Triskelion fell.

.

“So, what’s the plan?” Sam asks as they fly over the Atlantic in Stark’s jet.

“I’m tearing Hydra out by the roots and lighting it all on fire, then I’m salting the earth,” Steve says.

“Okay.” Sam shrugs.

.

Fifteen targets in, Bucky appears at Steve’s side mid-battle. When they’re the last two standing (Sam up in the air, keeping watch), Bucky turns to face him. “You’re a fuckin’ idiot,” he says.

Steve grins, bright and wide, like he hasn’t since Bucky fell.

.

With Stark and Natasha’s guidance, Hydra is torn out by the roots, lit on fire, and then salted so that nothing else can grow. [THIS IS WHAT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED, OKAY.]

.

Someone must be held accountable. That’s what the world’s governments decree. Someone must be held accountable and all of those culpable are dead, throats slit and bullets in their eyes.

Someone must be held accountable – and that madman with the metal arm is still alive, sitting pretty in Stark’s tower, free as a bird.

.

The thing about Steve Rogers’ rage is that it’s quiet. Cold. Implacable. [He doesn’t rage. Not when it’s important. He just does what needs to be done, burning ice cold within, and then when he’s done, there is nothing left.]

“Listen to me,” he tells the new World Security Council, the leaders of nations, the public all watching in shock. “Listen carefully.” He smiles at the camera. “Bucky Barnes isn’t going to be blamed for anything. If you wanna string someone up, it’ll be me. But I’m livin’ in Stark’s tower and my downstairs neighbor is the Hulk. Three floors up there’s the world’s greatest marksman and the Black Widow. And there’s Stark himself, of course.” [WHAT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED.]

The smile drops. “But if anyone comes for Bucky…” He shakes his head. “Hydra’s gone. If it comes back, I’ll kill it again. I’d prefer to stop fightin’ now.” He sighs. “But I’ll always fight for Bucky.”

The video ends.

.

“Why did that terrify me more than facing off against an alien god-prince?” Stark asks into the silence.

Bucky says, “You should just let ‘em have me.”

Steve turns to him. Bucky’s hair is still long, hanging into his face. He’s hunched in on himself. Sometimes, he’s that boy Steve remembers, or that weary man from the war. Sometimes he’s the world’s most dangerous assassin. Sometimes he’s a scared child.

Always, he’s Bucky.

So Steve says, “You need to understand what I will do if I lose you again.” [No, this is not healthy. It’s a codependency that is dangerous for both of them.] He reaches out carefully and takes Bucky’s hand. “I’ve done my part to save the world three times now, Bucky, and that whole while, the world was busy hurtin’ you. So if anyone hurts you ever again, then I’ll rip ‘em to shreds.” [He’s going to blame himself for the Winter Soldier until the day he dies.]

Bucky just looks at their joined hands and then up at Steve. “Thought that was my line, punk.”

Steve laughs and pretends not to notice everyone shuddering, just a little. [They all know how dangerous this is. But they’re all dangerous.]

.

When he was the little guy, Steve got in a lot of fights. He did what he could and then Bucky swooped in, all avenging angel-like.

Captain America can’t afford to get in fights like that. He saves his fisticuffs for the big bads, for the criminal masterminds, the supervillains, wanna-be overlords and world-enders.

The little guy’s temper burned hot because he never had anything to really get angry about.

It’s been a year since he and Bucky moved into Stark’s tower, three months since Bucky started going out with him when the Avengers need back-up, and the first time –

Bucky’s writhing on the ground, both hands pressed against his head, unable to even scream, and Steve has no idea which of the five shitheads is causing it.

So he kills them all. [Steve Rogers was a soldier in a war. He’s not that PR image history tries to sell.] And when Bucky is still whimpering on the ground, he goes after their equipment. Natasha and Sam are crouched beside Bucky, trying to help him, and it’s not doing anything. Steve can barely think –

He stops moving. Holds his breath. Listens as hard as he can, and there

There’s one more shithead. Hiding. Trying to be still and quiet.

Bucky’s breath is coming out in whimpers, tiny little grunts of pain, and Steve’s rage is incandescent.

“Cap!” Stark calls on the com as Steve stalks over to the shithead’s hiding place.

.

After it’s done, none of them ever mention it again.

.

Bucky doesn’t get any real sleep for almost three weeks.

“What do you need? Steve asks as Bucky shudders himself awake again.

“I just… is it ever gonna end?” Bucky’s voice is smaller than it ever was, in the before. He’s trying to melt into Steve, and Steve – there’s no one left to kill for him. No one left to hurt for this. All the guilty ones are long dead, and hopefully suffering eternal torment.

“We can stop,” Steve says. “We can get out. Go live somewhere.” He rests his chin on the top of Bucky’s head. “We can live quiet, Buck,” he offers, tears of helpless welling in his eyes. “We can live free.”

“You really think they’d let us go?” Bucky asks, scoffing.

The judging eyes, the ones calling for my blood, the people who want me drawn and quartered for being a gun, he means.

“I think if they don’t,” Steve says quietly, “they’ll regret it for a very short time.” [Because what Bucky wants, he is going to get for Bucky. And anyone who tries to stop him is going to die.]

.

Steve Rogers has fought his entire life. He fought for women being hounded, for underdogs in unfair situations, for those who suffered under prejudice and injustice.

He vanishes from the public eye one warm spring day. History remembers him as Captain America, the hero who saved the world multiple times. He is idealized. He is the shining idol that real men strive to emulate.

There is a lot history doesn’t remember. [*hands* I’m so picky about the Steve I’ll read in fics. I’m barely in the fandom anymore, reading or writing, but while I used to read a whole gamut of things, I’ve gotten so picky.]

Chapter Text

[One of my least-favorite plots on Charmed was Phoebe and Cole’s baby. Of course, I don’t agree with their stance on demons being born evil, either, or the way the Halliwell family decided that no matter how Cole tried to change his course, it didn’t matter because he was the Designated Villain.]

[I wrote this over the summer in 2011. For awhile, right after I got into Glee, I pretty much shipped Kurt with everyone. At some point towards the end of 2011, though, I really began shipping Kurt/Blaine and couldn’t write Kurt with anyone else. So a few ‘verses will languish unfinished because of that.]

The notes I made for this verse:

Kurt: fulltime student, part-time waiter, submits designs to fashion magazines
Noah: part-time student, fulltime bouncer

Peter Halliwell – 2002 (18 in 2020; 11 in 2013) brown hair, hazel eyes
Noah Puckerman – 1993 (20 in 2013)
Kurt Hummel – 1993 (20 in 2013) (married 2014)
Fred – purple hair, brown eyes

Cole Turner – brown hair, blue eyes (married 2002)

Penny ‘Grams’ Halliwell – brown hair, brown eyes (1930)
Patty Halliwell – brown hair, brown eyes (1950 – 1978)

Prue Halliwell – brown hair, green eyes (1970 – 2001)

Beth Corcoran – 2010 (3 in 2013) blonde hair, green eyes

Piper Halliwell – brown hair, brown eyes (1973)
Leo Wyatt – blond hair, green eyes (married 2001)
Wyatt Halliwell – 2003 (17 in 2020; 10 in 2013) blond hair, blue eyes
Chris Halliwell – 2004 (15 in 2020; 9 in 2013) brown hair, green eyes
Mel Halliwell – 2007 (13 in 2020; 6 in 2013) brown hair, brown eyes
Witch powers, whitelighter powers

Phoebe Halliwell – brown hair, brown eyes (1975)
Coop – brown hair, brown eyes (married 2007)
PJ Halliwell – 2007 (13 in 2020; 6 in 2013) brown hair, brown eyes
Paula Halliwell – 2009 (11 in 2020; 4 in 2013) brown hair, brown eyes
Penny Halliwell – 2013 (infant) brown hair, brown eyes
Witch powers, cupid powers

Paige Matthews – brown hair, brown eyes (1977)
Henry Mitchell – brown hair, brown eyes (married 2006)
Tamara Mitchell – 2007 (13 in 2020; 6 in 2013) brown hair, brown eyes
Katrina Mitchell – 2007 (13 in 2020; 6 in 2013) brown hair, brown eyes
(mortal) Henry Jr. Mitchell – 2008 (12 in 2020; 5 in 2013) brown hair brown eyes
Witch powers, whitelighter powers

 

Title: there is a way to keep yourself from becoming your father
Fandom: Charmed/Glee
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from James Humphrey
Warnings: spoilers for Glee’s season 2 finale; AU
Pairings: mentions of Cole Turner/Phoebe Halliwell
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 640
Point of view: third
Prompt:

Puck wanted to put something else on his shirt, but he couldn't. He knew he was adopted and he knew what he was, but something in his gut was keeping him from putting "HALLIWELL" on that shirt.

Gen, slash, or het are fine. For ships, I'm fine with Puck getting paired with (in no particular order) Finn, Kurt, Quinn, or Rachel.

 

---

 

Puck had always known what he was. He dreamt about the life he could've had, the life that was stolen when a demon tore him from his mother's womb and cast him adrift in time. [I don’t remember exactly what the Seer actually did but this is a fix-it. For so many things.]

He only survived because of magic. Ruth Puckerman found him; her own newborn had died suddenly and her husband was barely around, and no one noticed the difference.

Had he stayed with his mother and her sisters, he would've been named Peter. Ruth gave him the name her son had had: Noah. Thankfully, the demon that stole him also bound his powers or things could have gone very badly. As it was, for a long time he thought he was crazy. The things he dreamt were insane, and his mother told him magic didn’t exist, and there were no other witches or demons in Lima, Ohio.

By his junior year, though, the binding wore off. He remembered everything, and he knew more. He knew that magic didn’t just exist, but that he had more than anyone rightfully should. So he faked a visit to juvie and left town, going somewhere where no one was so that he could practice. Learn control, learn his limits. He even thought about contacting his blood family, but… well. He remembered everything. They didn’t want him. Nobody wanted him because he was a monster. A jackass and a bully and pure evil incarnate.

He could levitate. He’d always been able to tell what people felt; he’d just shut it off and ignored it so that he could shove people around. He could do some kind of teleportation thing now. He could create fire, which was fairly awesome, and see hazy visions of the future, which wasn’t. Because his future, at the moment, ended in demons showing up and claiming their prince, and putting him on a throne as their figure-head bitch-boy. [So Wyatt, the Twice Blessed Heir of Magic, is the child of a regular whitelighter and a Charmed One. Phoebe and Cole’s son was the child of the Source of all Evil and a Charmed One. Which one should actually have more power? So I gave Puck quite a few.]

Puck returned to school. He shoved all his powers down tight and tried not to lose his temper, and pretended that he was a badass, when he was actually terrified all the time. He let himself get caught up in teenage drama, hoping that would help, but his premonitions kept getting darker and bloodier, and he wished so much that he was just Noah Puckerman. A normal kid. A bully and a jackass and a Lima loser.

But he wasn’t. He would’ve been Peter Halliwell, son of the Source of All Evil and a Charmed One. And now that his powers were all back online, demons knew he was alive.

When Kurt came back and they were all about to perform that Gaga chick’s new song, Puck tried to think of something to put on his shirt. He thought about Halliwell or demon or, his favorite, Source’s Son, but instead chose with stupid and an arrow to his crotch. It was expected, it was easy, and no one would think twice.

He decided to leave town after Nationals. Maybe he’d get lost in New York, where there were so many witches and demons nobody would notice him. Ruth could focus on Sarah and no one would miss him.

So while everyone else clung to each other in the girls’ hotel room, Puck grabbed a knapsack and walked down the stairs. Once he was alone on the landing three floors down, he leaned against the wall, closed his eyes, and slowly, link by link, undid the chain he’d wrapped around his powers. They’d grown in the months since he practiced. He was at least twice as strong now. It was good that he was leaving. Demons wouldn’t be able to ignore him now, and if he wasn’t around people he cared for, he could fight back to his full extent.

Maybe he’d go back someday. Maybe he wouldn’t. He glanced back up the stairs, shouldered his bag, and continued on down. [As I’d written this for a specific scenario, I wasn’t expecting a whole ‘verse to spring up. I don’t remember exactly what idea I got to continue, except that Kurt’s my favorite.]

 

Title: as if the water were a transmutation of fire
Fandom: Charmed/Glee
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Elizabeth Bishop
Warnings: pre-series for Glee ; basic knowledge of Charmed should suffice
Pairings: Burt/Mrs. Hummel
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 150
Point of view: third

 

Before she married Burt Hummel, Kathryn’s surname had been Mortana. Her family wasn’t as well-known as the Warren-Halliwells, but the Mortanas were just as old. Kathryn could craft exceedingly lifelike illusions and summon small objects; when her son was five, she bound his burgeoning powers. By that time, Kathryn already knew she didn’t have long.

Burt was a lovely man, strong and kind. She didn’t tell him she was a witch, but he knew something was different about her. She wove protection spells around their house and their son, and promised Burt that things would be fine after she was gone.

Kathryn died in the spring. Her son was seven and had already forgotten he could make rain dance or move his toys without touching them. The binding would wear off when he turned eighteen. She hoped her sister would help him then.

She left a letter, just in case. [A little boring, I think, but worldbuilding, yeah? And I haven’t seen anything since the start of season 4, so I’ve no idea what (if anything) we’ve learned about Kurt’s mom.]

Title: as if the water were a transmutation of fire
Fandom: Charmed/Glee
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Elizabeth Bishop
Warnings: spoilers for Glee’s season 2 finale; AU
Pairings: pre-Puck/Kurt, Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1030
Point of view: third

Kurt had dreams, sometimes, where he made a storm. He and his mom spun around in the wind, laughing. They had tea parties in the eye of a hurricane and Kurt served the tea without touching the pot or the cups.

Childish fancy, of course. Magic wasn’t real. Psychics were all charlatans. If Mama or Kurt had magic, Mama wouldn’t have died. Kurt could’ve protected himself from bullies. Dad wouldn’t have had a heart-attack.

Puck wouldn’t have vanished in New York. Kurt was still angry about that—on the heels of their loss, Puck left with no explanation. Puck, who he’d begun to realize wasn't quite such a jerkass, who could be funny and kind. And he’d just walked out.

Kurt tried to forget him during the summer before senior year. He focused on Blaine and training himself for the career on stage he’d always planned. [I think I wrote this before I started season 2? So I didn’t ship Kurt/Blaine yet. Once I began shipping them, I couldn’t write Kurt with anyone else.]

Rachel kept them up-to-date on her calls to the NYPD about Puck. All evidence suggested Puck had left of his own volition, and he was eighteen. The police didn’t expend much effort to find him. Even his mom didn’t seem to care.

Senior year started. Kurt expected the bullying to pick back up, but it didn’t. Glee was fun, school was easy, Blaine loved him—life was good, finally.

Then Kurt found a letter from his mom and turned eighteen.

Those dreams of making a storm and serving tea without touching anything? Weren’t dreams. They were memories. He was a witch, like his mother before him. She’d bound his powers when she learned she was dying so that he wouldn’t lash out with a child’s grief.

Holy shit. Kurt skipped school the day after his birthday and went to his mother’s grave. He accidently made a storm and figured out how to dissipate it. He yelled and cussed and cried, and he went home when the sun set.

His dad and Blaine and the entirety of New Directions waited for him, all angry and annoyed. Dad shouted at him, then Finn did, and Blaine just pulled him close. “Tell me when you’re taking a personal day,” Dad said. “Don’t just vanish without a word.”

“Sorry,” Kurt said. He hadn’t even thought about Puck or what people might think when he skipped school and then ignored all calls and text throughout the day.

His friends stayed the night, and Finn didn’t let Kurt out of his sight. [I never liked Finn as a character in the show; in fanfiction, it was different. I think it was the canon’s shitty writing.]

0o0

One day, Puck showed up in the choir room in time for glee. He sprawled over two chairs, smirking, as all Hell broke loose. He didn’t say anything as everyone yelled, demanding to know where he’d been and what he’d been doing.

Practice was cancelled. They all went to Breadstix.

Puck ended up next to Kurt, arm across the back of his chair, and he said, “Life’s an interesting thing, Hummel.” When Kurt glanced over, Puck wiggled his fingers and a fork flew to his hand.

Kurt blinked. As he watched, Puck called a spoon and knife, then Finn’s coke. He looked at Puck, at the smirk twisting his lips, and muttered, “You’re a goddamned jackass, Puckerman.”

Puck shrugged, leaned in close, and murmured, “Meet me in your backyard tonight. Got somethin’ to show you.”

After the meal, Rachel dragged Puck to his mother’s house. Kurt was almost late for a date with Blaine, so he rushed off without prettying up.

He only half-focused on Blaine. Finally, Blaine said, “I think we’d be better as friends, Kurt.” It really was a long time coming, so Kurt nodded. Blaine kissed his forehead, promised to call tomorrow, left enough money to cover the check, and walked away.

Kurt sat there, wondering why didn’t feel worse. [I feel like I could’ve done more with this, but it’s all set-up for the story I really wanted to write, which was their life after Lima.]

He went home early, changed into sweatpants and one of Dad’s old shirts, and grabbed a towel. He lay down in the backyard and designed the clouds into shapes while he waited for Puck.

“You’re good at that,” Puck observed an hour later, just before sunset.

“My mom used to play this game with me,” Kurt said. “I didn’t even remember ‘til the binding went away.”

Puck collapsed next to him. His hair was long, messy and falling into his eyes. He didn’t look so badass anymore, but he’d never seemed more dangerous. “Where’s the folks?” he asked.

“Dad’s working late tonight. Carole’s having a girls’ night out with some friends and Finn’s on a not-date with Rachel.” Kurt frowned for a moment. “Or Jesse. Maybe both.” He shrugged.

Puck laughed. “Well, then,” he said. “We can take our time.” He sat up and held out a hand. “Come with me, Kurt.”

Kurt looked at him. “You left,” he said. “I’m not ready to.”

Puck didn’t lower his hand. “I left because I was alone.” He leaned over, squarely meeting Kurt’s gaze. “I’m not alone anymore.” [I really do think, whether it was intentional on the writers’ part or not, that Puck had a crush on Kurt in canon at least through the second season.]

Kurt took his hand. Puck smiled, squeezed him tight, and said, “Hang on.”

Kurt barely had time to breathe before they were somewhere else. “I used to practice here,” Puck said, helping Kurt stand. “I’ll be sticking close for now, so you can, too.”

After a few deep breaths, Kurt slugged his arm. “Warn me next time!”

Puck snickered at him. Kurt rolled his eyes and said, “Show me yours, I’ll show you mine.”

Instead of replying sarcastically or disgustingly, Puck held up a fist and it burst into flame.

They spent the next few hours showing off; Puck made more than enough light to see by. He was better, of course, because he’d had his whole life to get used to his powers. He still hadn’t explained why he’d left or come back, but he promised to stay for awhile.

Finally, when Kurt flung himself back to sprawl on the dirt, Puck said, “We should head home. I’ll show for glee tomorrow.”

“Okay,” Kurt muttered, nearly asleep. He barely noticed Puck teleport them to his room, or when Puck teleported out again.

Kurt didn’t realize until he saw Puck again at glee that he was in the process of developing a crush. “Shit,” he mumbled, sitting besides Brittany. Puck sauntered over and sprawled on the chair next to him.

“’s’up,” he said, smirking. For a moment, it almost looked like a smile. [Again, this is all rushed set-up. I’m not sure I realized it at the time but it’s obvious now.]

 

Title: trifles look so trivial as soon as you have come
Fandom: Glee/Charmed
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Dickinson
Warnings: future!fic for Glee; AU
Pairings: post-Kurt/Blaine, pre-Kurt/Puck
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1505
Point of view: third
Notes: for the prompt I kind of want Kurt's crush on Puck to turn into love that saves Puck from being "a monster. A jackass and a bully and pure evil incarnate." And them vanquishing evil together. This is not exactly that.

 

Kurt's whitelighter is named Fredricka. Kurt calls her Fred. Noah calls her that angel bitch; she calls Noah that demon bastard.

Needless to say, they don't get along so well. [I really enjoyed writing Fred.]

0o0

Fred first showed up a week after Kurt's eighteenth birthday. She pretended to be a student at McKinley and tried to covertly follow Kurt around. Unfortunately for her, Kurt had become an expert at knowing when he was being stalked, thanks to years of bullying and then Karofsky.

So he confronted Fred after lunch the second day and politely asked her what she thought she was doing.

Fred lied. Kurt knew she lied. Said she was just fascinated by his clothing choices and wondered how he made it work. Kurt quietly informed her that while he was flattered at her interest, he was gay. Fred replied that she knew.

She kept following him. She was tiny, no taller than Rach