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Title: tempered in blood
Fandom: DCU cartoon/Under the Red Hood film
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Beowulf
Warnings: references to violence; AU
Pairings: possibly unrequited Jason/Bruce
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 345
Point of view: third
Prompt: Batman comics, Bruce Wayne/Jason Todd or /Dick Grayson,

in the interest of poetry
and the cowboy movie
that's you and me
i'm back on the horse now
and i'm riding
i am striding so effortlessly
what i mean is
it's late
much too late for us

"You'll always think of me as your failure," Jason snarls, twisting away, "and you'll always think of me as that little boy so desperate for your approval." He glances from Batman to the mob goons still cowering, one of them bleeding out. "Would you have gotten tired of me?" he demands, ducking back, and Batman is better than this.

"Jason," Batman says gruffly, "the only one clinging to the past is you."

And that's the biggest crock of shit Bruce has ever tried to feed him.

Jason is still desperate for his approval, and he's come to accept that he always will be. So he says, calmly as he can, "Fuck you, old man." And then he shoots each mob goon before Batman can react and takes one of his shortcut routes to a hideout Batman has yet to find, where he calmly and rationally argues with himself about the best thing to do.

By the end of his calm and rational argument, his place is trashed but he has a decision he can live with.

.

On a rainy day, Jason Todd leaves Gotham. He'll always want Bruce's approval, always want Bruce to love him. Always want back into the family.

But wanting that killed him once. He's still going to deal with criminals the way he thinks is best, but there are millions of cities he can do it in, and he still wants to clean up Gotham—

But he's young. And he's alive. And he's got time.

He wants a lot of things. But he learned when he was young that wanting and getting aren't the same, and he's been given a second chance.

Once he's across the bridge, he looks back. This isn't him running, and he won't be hiding, and he's not a kid anymore. He's not a soldier in someone else's war.

He's not living in the past when he's got a whole future spread out before him, so he turns back to the bike he traded his old, surely-tracked-by-Batman ride in for, and he doesn't look over his shoulder again.



Title: through the ages
Fandom: mythology
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 310
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any/any, time in a bottle



For all that the gods fade away when their worshipers do, across all pantheons certain gods remain.

"Do you yet regret entering my realm to be my bride?" Hades asks as another century turns.

"Of course not," Persephone answers. Hades chuckles, as ever disbelieving, but that matters not. She kisses his cheek, nods for the newest of Cerberus' pups to accompany her, and goes for her daily walk.

She chooses a different route each time, so that she travels through a different pantheon's death realm.

War remains eternal, and death, and the seasons; as religions fade and their followers, the war gods and the death gods and the seasonal gods remain, too. Changing, of course, but some things never do.

Persephone's walk ends where it always does.

"Is it time yet?" Pandora asks, lowering her sunglasses to smirk at Persephone. The jar is beside her, glowing.

"No," Persephone sighs, settling into the pool chair next to her and stretching. The puppy rushes to the pool, toppling over into the water. Pandora laughs, turning to look at Persephone.

"When they created me," she asks, "do you think any of them knew?"

"Of course they didn't," Persephone says.

Ares and Athena, and Mother, they are all that remains from the old days. They have changed so much they barely remember; Mother doesn't even recognize Persephone anymore. It hurt the first few centuries, but Persephone has changed, too.

The jar glows. Persephone ignores it.

"Hope remains, my darling," Pandora murmurs, sounding only a little cruel. It has been such a long time since she was that curious, bright woman. The jar has been with her since she was woven together and unleashed on the world.

"Yes," Persephone agrees, watching the puppy play in the pool. Hope remains, and time—and when it must be done, Pandora will open the jar once more.



Title: family
Fandom: Harry Potter/Sherlock (BBC)
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: pre- and post-canon
Pairings: canon
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 575
Prompt: Harry Potter/Sherlock, Hermione Granger + Jim Moriarty, cousins

Jim's never had much use for his family, but he does remember one of his cousins fondly—Hermione, his father's sister's daughter, a bright little thing who devoured books faster than even Jim, and always wanted to share what she'd learned. His aunt Jean was the only member of his father's family to ever make something of themself, so Jim likes her well enough, even though his father used to complain that she thought herself so much better than everyone else.

She was better, Jim used to want to say. He kept it to himself because contradicting his father only ever ended poorly.

At some point, though, Hermione disappeared. Jim had popped in on Aunt Jean once at work, to ask where Hermione had gotten to; he'd found a new book he thought she'd like, so he took the time to leave his newly-found job as an errand boy for London's best criminals. Perhaps he was fonder of the girl than he'd admitted, even to himself.

"Oh, Jim," Aunt Jean said, taking her morning tea break from patients. "Hermione's gone off to boarding school. She's quite gifted."

Something was wrong with the delivery of the words, and Aunt Jean avoided his eyes. But it didn't seem like Hermione was in any sort of trouble, so Jim left the book with his aunt and returned to his rounds.

He didn't hear much about Hermione, or see her, not until well after the 'troubles' were over. That's what Aunt Jean called it, after she'd gotten back from Australia. By then, Jim was well on his way to establishing his empire, and if only Hermione hadn't been so busy doing whatever it was, she'd have made a wonderful addition to his staff.

But she, and Aunt Jean, and Aunt Jean's husband, they were all keeping something a secret. Jim dearly loved secrets but he hadn't the time, and for all that he remembered the girl she'd been fondly, he didn't know the woman his favorite cousin had grown into. He hadn't the time to figure out whatever they were hiding, so he always kept it on the To Do list.

And then there is no time left. Hermione has her life, and Jim isn't a part of it at all, and then he finds Sherlock Holmes.

.

"Oh, no," Hermione murmurs, tears welling as she listens to Mum on the phone.

"What's wrong, Mione?" Ron asks, glancing up from helping Rose with her breakfast.

She shakes her head, just listening in shock as Mum continues.

Jim had been her favorite, the only one beside Dad who'd listened to her when she was little, as she'd been so excited to share everything she'd learned. She hasn't thought about him in such a long time...

"Oh, Mum, what happened?" she asks.

"No one's quite sure yet," Mum says.

Hugo wanders into the kitchen, rubbing at his eyes, and says, "Mummy, I had a bad dream."

"I've got to go, Mum," Hermione says. "Keep me posted, yeah?"

"Of course, sweetie," Mum says. "My love to the children."

As she lowers the phone, Hermione wipes at her own eyes and then scoops Hugo up into her arms.

She wonders what could've possibly happened to Jim—but then Hugo is telling her all about his nightmare, and Rose throws a tantrum, and there's a setback at work, and life is just too busy for a cousin she hasn't seen since she was a girl.



Title: the lie that has always been my name
Fandom: fairy tale
Disclaimer: not my characters; Christine Heppermann
Warnings: somewhat darkish
Pairings: Cinderella/prince
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 305
Prompt: Any, Any, A Hard Knock Life (Annie)

Jocelyn listens to her stepsisters' music lessons, humming along as she mops the entryway. She practices the steps she's seen them performing in their dance lessons as she prepares breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner. She sneaks books from Madam's library and reads by ember-light after her 'family' have all retired to their magnificent rooms.

She is caught but once with a book, becoming a far better thief after that whipping.

Never has Jocelyn understood why her 'family' hate her so, but she understands that Madam is trying to break her and she refuses. She could leave but this is her father's house, her mother's house, and if she goes, who will care for it?

And so she stays, slaving away for petulant heiresses and a woman who will never be satisfied, teaching herself with the barest knowledge, and she will not let herself be beaten.

(When she dances with the prince, she sees them in the crowd, gaping. When her foot fits the glass slipper, she hears them shouting, but she does not look away from the prince's eyes. When she marries the prince; when she is crowned queen—her 'family' is not there.

Her mother's house is a wedding gift to her favorite attendant, a sweet girl who will treat the house as it should be treated.

There is much her husband does not understand, but he is kind. Easily led with caresses, with kisses, with demure gazes from under her eyelashes.

Jocelyn's stepmother tried to break her for reasons Jocelyn does not understand until an entire realm loves her. Instead, Madam made her far stronger than she otherwise would have been.

On the fifth anniversary of her marriage, Jocelyn has flowers sent to the hovel Madam had been graciously given when turned out of Jocelyn's mother's house, with a note conveying her gratitude.)





Title: pretense
Fandom: Highlander
Disclaimer: only Methos isn’t mine
Warnings: violence
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 565
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, goddamn right, you should be scared of me


So far, Methos muses, hands in plain sight with the rest of the hostages, his life after Adam Pierson has not been that much fun. He'd just popped in to pick up a book order and two minutes later, while he was still waiting for the clerk to locate his book, two armed gunmen stormed in, shouting.

As best he could determine, they were looking for somewhere to hide after a bank robbery down the street went bad. Which is just lovely, truly it is.

The clerk disappeared out the back door, and when Methos went to follow, one of the gunmen had fired at him, and there were already crowds gathering, police and media, and Methos has not been this annoyed since MacLeod's last rant about nobility and forgiveness.

So now he's cowering with the three other patrons of this shop he shall not be returning to: an elderly woman, a teenager, and a child. The teenager and the child are related, and the child has not stopped crying since the first shot was fired. So far, there are no injuries, but the gunmen are steadily losing it.

Wonderful.

Methos' identity this life is as the only heir of a millionaire, who stays out of the limelight while researching whatever catches his fancy. He occasionally publishes anonymously. It's a placeholder, while he restocks everything that was depleted while playing Adam Pierson-as-Methos for MacLeod and Joe (and everyone else who learned his true name [for a given value of true]).

“What do we do?!” the older gunman demands of the younger. The child is still sobbing, wrapped in his sister’s arms. The woman is praying. The teenager is doing her damnedest not to panic and succeeding surprisingly well. But instead of panicking, she’s planning. Methos watches her watch the gunmen and thinks, Oh, fuck no. She’s going to try being a hero. It’s entirely possible she’s been doing martial arts since she was young, or has some relative who trained her in hand-to-hand, but it’s also likely that she has no idea what to do and will simply wing it, which could result in everyone getting shot.

Methos cannot afford to get shot, not with all the media circling out there.

So instead of waiting it out, like he’d been planning to do, he rolls to his feet the moment the younger gunman comes into reach, punches him in the temple, grabs the gun, breaks the idiot’s kneecap, and spins to face the older gunman while everyone stares at him.

“I am not having the best day,” Methos says pleasantly while the younger gunman collapses.

The woman, the teenager, and the child all scoot slightly to the side, so they’re no longer between Methos and the gunman. Methos approves.

The gunman, who is clearly not the best at this job, is about to completely panic, his hands shaking on the gun. His eyes dart to the man on the ground, who seems to mostly be unconscious, and back to Methos.

“You haven’t a chance,” Methos tells him with a smile. “Best surrender.”

The phone next to the cash register rings. Methos drops to his knees as the gunman pulls the trigger on reflex and exasperatedly shoots the fool’s kneecap before lunging back to his feet to grab his weapon, as well.

Methos’ fellow hostages stare at him, somewhere between awe and fear, and he sighs.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
maldeluxx
Mar. 28th, 2016 01:47 pm (UTC)
Persephone's current life seems interesting, at one point of the story like in old surroundings, then it's like in modern times. Like that :)

Yes, I could see Moriarty and Hermione being related - the cleverness, so Hermione could've *almost* been a Ravenclaw also, in my opinion - and it really is a shame they couldn't connect when there was still time :-/

Poor Methos, having to play a hero again :P XD
tigriswolf
Mar. 29th, 2016 01:46 am (UTC)

Thank you!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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tigriswolf
questioning in order to create

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