As always, here is the link to the current ficathon
. Come and play! :)
---------------( 17. )
: Star Trek: AOS, Gaila/Uhura, code
, written 12/6/16 [AO3 version
The code Gaila writes is designed to help complicated chunks of metal and ceramic machinery (i.e., starships) meet their design specs in the most efficient ways (i.e., not explode by accident), and the code Nyota writes is designed to help complicated chunks of biological machinery (i.e., people) talk to each other so they
don't explode their own starships by accident either (and only explode other people's starships as an absolute last resort); which is to say, there's a certain amount of overlap despite most people's apparent confusion at hearing an engineer and a linguist swap technical advice along with innuendo and bilingual puns over lunch.
But this isn't what Gaila says when classmates ask her, in vaguely pitying tones, whether it's hard living with someone whose specialty is such a soft and fuzzy branch of science it might as well be in the humanities (which isn't even true, but engineers can be awfully blinkered, Gaila's learned). Instead, she just smiles and says, "Every person is like a new code problem, and I like hacking -- I'll try hacking you if you have a few hours to spare, and I bet even a brute-force attack on your firewalls will be pretty fun for both of us! -- but Nyota tells me her own variables and commands without forcing me to guess, and that's worth a lot."
---------------( 18. )
: Any, any, for the glory
, written 12/6/16the ethics of duty
"For the glory of Calormen, the glory of Tash!" Rabadash cries as he wheels around to face the unexpected reinforcements now pouring over the ridge and down into the meadow at Anvard's feet. Ilgamuth opens his mouth to echo the exhortation, but finds his voice caught stillborn in his chest by conscience: however glory may be defined, by the analyses of philosophers or the aphorisms of poets, he is sure this grubby piece of selfishness and revenge meets none of the criteria.
Nonetheless, an oath is an oath unto death, and although the shame of doing naught to stop this folly will weigh on him forever, to stand aside and leave his sworn brothers' backs unguarded would only compound his errors; in order to tally the cost of this day, they must first survive; and so he draws his sword and follows his prince into battle once again.
-----Note: This snippet may or may not end up in "A Change of Season" whenever I finally get around to writing that story; until then, it can stand alone as a minor gap-filler for HHB, but it has more layers if you read it in conjunction with the rest of my Out of Season series.
---------------( 19. )
: Homestuck, Rose Lalonde or Rose/Kanaya, Rose being a huge nerd.
, written 12/6/16 [AO3 version
]truly an eloquent turn of phrase
"I had a dozen sets of these when I was twelve," Rose says as she busily arranges magnetic words on the refrigerator door, "which I mostly used to write and annotate dreadfully pretentious drivel -- the annotations being a passive-aggressive response to the messages of praise and encouragement my mother used to leave beside my creations -- but I dare say I have a better muse these days; perhaps you'd do me the honor of judging whether my literary endeavors have likewise improved."
"Violets are purple, roses are gay, leaves embrace flowers, let's be a bouquet
?" Kanaya reads, her tone hovering somewhere between sarcasm and utter bemusement; "I have an intense suspicion that I'm missing a potentially-mocking cultural reference, though as matespritship proposals go, I admit this is oddly charming, in much the same way that a concussed purrbeast wiggler incites tender pity; how could I possibly refuse?"
Rose presses a hand to her forehead and fakes a swoon into Kanaya's arms; "My goodness, darling, don't say such romantic things or I might be quite overcome with passion -- flowers are delicate
, you know," she gets out in her most overwrought fake British accent before she can't keep a lid on her giggles any longer and tugs her girlfriend (or fiancée? Kanaya might have been joking, but Rose finds herself surprisingly taken with that idea) down to cuddle on their kitchen floor.
---------------( 20. )
: Inception, Mal & or / any, all that we see or seem
, written 12/7/16 [AO3 version
]and, in parting from you now
(200 words exactly)
"Hello, Mal," a voice says as she dies, and suddenly the pain is... not gone, precisely, but held aside for a moment, long enough for a conversation and a choice: to move on to wherever souls go when their mortal bodies shatter, or to step sideways and serve as consultant and artist for a world she's seen flickering at the edges of her own, magic curled warily around newfangled science, irrationality woven for its own sake according to its own rules.
Dom still lives; she sees him screaming silently down from the hotel window, eyes wild and hand outstretched as if he could reel back time with only his fingers and his fear; he will eat his own heart with guilt and grief.
"You will play the role that is given to you," the Dream King warns, "and it may not be as his protector," but the choice is no choice at all, and he pays her the respect of assuming she knows her own mind and hushes the raven at his shoulder when it opens its beak to attempt dissuasion; and so Mal takes her new lord's colorless hand and gives the whole of herself over to dreams forever.
---------------( 21. )
: Inception/Sandman crossover, Ariadne & Morpheus or Daniel, forgive us our trespasses
, written 12/7/16 [AO3 version
]for thine is the kingdom
(300 words exactly)
"Do you mind that we grab pieces of your realm and twist them around for mercenary purposes?" Ariadne asks as she and the pale stranger sit on the tattered, rose-gold edge of a cloud and watch a flock of bats with paint rollers slap a Van Gogh sunset across the scaffolded sky; "I mean, we love your world -- I've never met anyone in dreamwork who wasn't at least halfway addicted to creating a dozen new impossible things on each new job, no matter how down-to-earth they try to present themselves -- but even so, it seems rude and I'm sorry that I can't honestly promise I'd stop if you asked."
"You tell stories, which are always and ever their own justification," the pale stranger says; "I will make the same bargain with you that I have made with all those in your trade: so long as you bring no dreams physically into the waking world--" ("I don't think the PASIV works that way," Ariadne says) "--or humans physically into my realm--" ("I really
don't think the PASIV works that way," Ariadne says, before adding, sotto voce
, "more's the pity") "--then I have no immediate quarrel with you, and will inform you before taking hostile action should you ever infringe on the natural operation of my realm and the minds temporarily under my care; do you accept those terms?"
"I do, and thank you, your majesty," Ariadne says, and as the dream world fades around her, washed away by the warmth of morning light across her pillow, the scent of Yusuf frying eggs in the kitchen, and the sound of Arthur and Eames arguing cheerfully over their next job options, she hopes her training will let her remember more than a melancholy smile and a fading sense of absolution when she wakes.
---------------( 22. )
: Naruto, Naruto/Sasuke/Sakura, I think we deserve a soft epilogue, my love. We are good people and we've suffered enough
, written 12/8/16 [AO3 version
]a soft epilogue
(200 words exactly)
Naruto and Sasuke grab Sakura before she completely exhausts her chakra, and whisk her away to... she's not sure where, really, just that it's warm and clean and has the most comfortable bed she's ever encountered in her life (though that may be mostly the exhaustion talking -- or the two bodies wrapped around her like living blankets).
"We should set an alarm for--" she starts to say through a jaw-cracking yawn, but can't make herself finish the thought; there are a thousand and one things still to do now that the world hasn't ended after all, and on any other day she'd ration out the minimum amount of sleep before diving right back in to work, but right now all she wants is to stay here forever with the people she loves and trusts most in the entire universe -- and who love and trust her in return.
"Never mind, go back to sleep," Sakura manages in response to Naruto's questioning noise and Sasuke's vague grope toward whatever weapon he has hidden under his pillow, and lets herself sink into the whirlpool of dreams, safe in the certainty that finally, finally
, they've reached a chance to build a kinder life, together.
More in a few days, probably. :)