vanillafluffy: (Justified -- Raylan smile)
"Mind telling me about that fella in your bathtub?" Raylan says, quickly closing the door behind him.

Dittany Crowe beams at him. "That's just Albert. Don't worry, Marshal, he's harmless."

"Really? He didn't look too happy to see me."

"Well sure, on account of, that there is his bathroom and he isn't used to strangers just barging in on him."

"Give him my apologies. Tell him I was looking for your cousin, Cletus," Raylan pushes his hat back and gazes at the door. "Have you two been together long?"

"About a year. Last time I was down in Florida visiting my folks, I went out for a walk, and I saw Albert and it was love at first sight."

Raylan nods. The more he sees of the Crowe family, the more inclined he is to believe most anything. It seems like not so long ago that he had Dewey Crowe pegged as the nuttiest pile of squirrel poop he'd ever seen, but Dittany just might take the prize.

"I couldn't help myself," she's saying. "He was just so little and awkward and cute, flopping back and forth. So I brought him home and gave him a good dinner and we've been together ever since."

"Does your landlord know about him?"

Luray waves her hand airily. "Landlord wouldn't care. Albert's a gentleman," she says. "You act like he's gonna poop on the carpet or tear up the vertical blinds. He's perfectly happy just the way he is."

"If you say so. If Cletus drops by, ask him to give me a call. He's not in trouble, I just I need to ask him about his old cellmate, Danny Rugg."

"I'll do that."

"Take care, Dittany," he says as he heads out the door--because a gal keeping a two-foot long alligator in her bathtub needs to be very, very careful indeed.

...
vanillafluffy: (Florida oranges)
I've been writing for prompts all day. Filled two, fairly long, considering I'm writing and posting from my phone. The first one is dark AF. It's an AU--basically, Everybody Dies. The second one is dark comedy


#1. any, any, waking up to find everyone he/she loved was dead and with no memory of what happened
The Martian:
http://archiveofourown.org/works/7421275


#2.
Preachauthor's choice, any, beware the persuasive (especially when they are bored)er http://archiveofourown.org/works/7422808

God, I wish I had wifi. This is really cramping my style.

..
vanillafluffy: (Florida oranges)
All I knew about the house I bought for the cost of its delinquent taxes was what I could see on Google maps. It was a couple miles outside a small Florida town--rural, on a couple quiet acres. The county property assessor’s listing said my new house (built in 1936) was 1168 square feet with two bedrooms and one bath, and it was in my price range.

Perfect, right? After chalking up twenty years in the Air Force, I’d gone as far up the promotion ladder as I could. I was tired of seeing suck-ups getting ahead of me, tired of knowing nothing was going to change, in short, I was ready to retire. I’d dropped a chunk of savings on the house, and budgeted another whack for repairs and living expenses while I got the place fixed. Then I’d see what kind of job I could scare up to pay the bills, because I’m another twenty away from collecting my pension.

Driving toward the house from the road, I halfway expected dinosaurs to come charging through the overgrowth. The wild foliage scraped the sides of my vintage Dodge Coronet, and I winced at the insult to the glossy black paint. No one had been out there in years, by the looks of it.

The house itself was a stucco cube surrounded by giant hibiscus bushes. The windows were shuttered, what the locals call hurricane shutters, probably rusted in place...getting them open was going to be the first thing on my to-do list, or I’d be stuck in a hot, humid cave. I was prepared to do some roughing it, but there were limits. I was thinking along the lines of an air-mattress in one of the bedrooms, not pitching my tent in the freaking jungle because the house was so bad.

Of course, I didn’t have a key. I could have probably forced the door open, but I might end up needing a new one if I did that. First, I strolled around the house looking to see if anyone left a spare under a convenient rock. After all, this was the kind of small town where people could get away with trusting crap like that.

Well, what do you know--it wasn’t under a rock, just tucked inside a big conch shell beside the back porch. There’s a stroke of luck.

There was a can of WD-40 in the trunk of the Dodge along with the rest of my tools, including a ginormous flashlight with the camping gear. I sprayed the lubricant on the lock of the front door, gave it a minute to work, then coaxed the key to turn the protesting tumblers.

The door swung open.

Sweeping the beam of my torch around the living room to the left of the front door revealed furniture--I didn’t expect that, although the upholstery looked like mice had been at it, and the rest looked old-fashioned. Probably not even antique--just old. Hideous flowered curtains framed the shuttered windows.

A doorway at the far end of the room led to a dining room, and that was where things got interesting. More old wooden furniture filled the space: a full china cabinet, a buffet, and of course, a table surrounded by chairs. The whole thing was suitable for big family dinners to be immortalized by Norman Rockwell.

One of the chairs was pulled away from the table, another had toppled onto its side. On the floor beside it...I moved closer, playing the light over the object to make sure it was what I thought it was: a skeleton, sprawled face-down on the stained carpet, finger-bones still wrapped around a gun.

The bones were picked clean, there was no lingering smell--the whole house was musty from being closed up, but I know what dead bodies smell like. So whoever the guy was, he’d been there for a long time. Even knowing that, my pulse was thumping faster than usual as I straightened up and moved in the direction the dead man was pointing.

There was another doorway in line with the first, this one leading into the kitchen. From my earlier recon, I knew there was a backdoor, and on this side of it was another skeleton. This skull had a silver dollar-sized hole in the back of it.

Studying the two bodies relative to each other, I reconstructed how it went down.

They had been sitting around the dining table, when First Skeleton was popped by Second Skeleton. Closer examination revealed Second had an automatic tucked into the back of his trousers, and I’d bet if I could run tests on the fabric, it would show that the gun had been fired shortly before being put there. No doubt after shooting his confederate, Second had been making tracks out of there.

Looking closely at the dried blood stains on the dining room carpet, I could tell that First had dragged himself from where he’d fallen to the doorway of the kitchen, where he’d gotten off a shot at Second and taken him down.

I shook my head. After all, isn’t the first lesson in Crime Dramas 101, “Make sure the guy you shot is actually dead.”? This illustrated why that was so important.

What had the dispute been about? My guess was it had something to do with the locked briefcase Second was slumped over.

I could have called the cops. I probably should have called the cops. The thing is, if I did that, my peaceful retirement would go to hell before it even started. The officials would come in and turn my new house into a crime scene. I’d probably end up having to camp out on my own property for days, or even worse, shell out money I had budgeted elsewhere on a hotel. When news of the bodies got out, everybody in town would connect me with a double murder that probably happened when I was in diapers, and I wasn’t ready to deal with that kind of shit.

Instead, I double-bagged the bones and their guns in a couple heavy-duty trash bags--I’d brought cleaning supplies with me, knowing the house would need some work--wearing rubber gloves for the whole process, naturally. They could go out with the trash, and once they made it to the landfill, no one would be the wiser. If anyone missed either of these low-lifes, I imagine they’ve long since given up on hearing from them.

The house is coming along nicely. I’ve got the shutters opened, bringing light into rooms long dark. A rented dumpster holds the chewed-up sofa, over-stuffed chairs, mattresses. Every scrap of carpet is in there, along with the ugly floral curtains. I’ve scrubbed the messed-up linoleum in the kitchen, but plan to replace it with basic vinyl tiles.

I only get a couple channels on TV, because I haven’t gotten around to getting cable yet, but that’s okay. I work on the house during the day, and at night I’ve been systematically trying to unlock the briefcase. With literally a million possible combinations, I figure it’ll keep me busy for a while. So far, I’m up to 102,030. Yes, I suppose I could break it open, but where’s the fun in that? Besides, you never know--it might be booby-trapped.

I’ll get it open one of these days, and then we’ll see what was worth killing for. If it’s drugs, I figure I’ll flush them. That’s not my thing. On the other hand, if it’s cash?

My retirement will be a lot more comfortable, since my home will have paid for itself.


...
vanillafluffy: (Retro rocketship)
Minor spoilers for a book/movie subplot.

A Dream of Autumn


Chris Beck is not superstitious. He doesn't believe in luck; thorough prep and hard work, that's been his philosophy throughout med school, the Air Force and astronaut training. So when they get the news that Mark Watney is alive, he's impressed, aware of how much easier it would have been to die than go on. Later, when the Ares 3 crew gets personal messages from him, he looks at the words "Tell Johanssen how you feel about her.", and reckons that if there's anyone in the history of the world who knows about regrets and if-onlys, it's the lone man on the red planet.

The thing is, there are rules against fraternization. Fool around? Commander Lewis would shove him out of the airlock. There's monitoring everywhere, he can't just walk up to her and say, "Hey Beth, I can't take you out for dinner and a movie, but maybe we could hold hands during a briefing or something." Jesus, he might as well just space himself.

He has to be circumspect. That means being hyper-aware of camera angles and locations of all the audio pickups. Chris gets his hands on one of the whiteboards and a dry erase marker. He'll write it down; as long as he doesn't brandish it at the camera, he can wipe his words and there's no incriminating evidence.

Johanssen makes it easy for him. He's heading for his bunk to contemplate the wording of his declaration as she's drifting the same way. She smiles and says, "I'm so glad they decided to let Mark contact us. It was good to hear from him."

"Yeah, he's a great guy," Chris says lamely. He gives her a little nod and they drift to where there's a semi-dead zone of surveillance. "I'll bet he's got a list a mile long of things he wants to do when he gets back."

They both know it's a huge 'if', but it gives Beck a chance to write: I WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW I REALLY LIKE YOU.

"I've got a list like that," she says as he turns it her way. She stares at it and finishes, "I guess we all do."

Under that: I'M SERIOUS, JO.

In fifth grade, he gave Lisa Kincaid a really nice Valentine's card when everyone else was swapping cheap Power Ranger and Hot Wheels shit. And then he'd forgotten to sign it. Crappy planning, Beck, he says to himself.

Johanssen makes an imperious gesture. Tamely, he hands over the whiteboard and marker, and imagines what she's writing. Probably warning him to keep his distance or she'll report him.

"I'm looking forward to a real bed," she says as she writes. "Something that's wide enough to roll over in."

DID YOU KNOW THAT 'JO' IS A SCOTTISH TERM OF ENDEARMENT? IT MEANS SWEETHEART.

Chris blinks. He knows without a doubt that he's blushing. "Really?" he manages.

She pulls out a scrap of microfiber cloth from one of her pockets and wiped the words away. "I'm also looking forward to a bubble bath," She's writing again, "and an evening on the couch with a pizza and all the episodes of 'Mysteries at the Museum' I've missed.

I LIKE YOU, TOO.

He can feel the big, stupid grin on his face as he reads her message.

"What do you want you do?" She asks, as if it's part of the casual conversation they've been carrying on for NASA's benefit. He reclaims the whiteboard.

"I miss weather. I'd like to go for a walk in the rain."

DINNER AND A MOVIE?

Johanssen nods, smiling. "What about an autumn afternoon, when the sky is big and blue and the leaves are all colors and the breezes swirl them around in little whirlwinds." That's possibly the longest non-work related thing she's ever said to him.

It's such a clear image, he pictures them strolling hand-in-hand through the vivid landscape, laughing and kicking at piles of leaves.

"Ducks honking overhead as they head south for the winter," Chris surprises himself by adding.

"Of course, on Earth right now, it's currently July." Johanssen yawns. "I'll see you later, I need to crash.

"Sweet dreams," he says, wiping the board clean and continuing to his own bunk. It won't be this autumn, he thinks, but next year? Maybe. They've admitted their feelings, that's the first step.

More than anything, he hopes Watney makes it. He wants to shake the guy's hand, buy him drinks and thank him. Chris Beck knows he wouldn't have taken the risk without his prompting. Sometimes a guy can get lucky by being spontaneous.
vanillafluffy: (Rose keyboard)
Title: Matched Set
Authored by: [livejournal.com profile] vanillafluffy
Pairing/spoilers: Gen
Rating/Work-safeness: Gen. PG-ish
Summary: Will would never have let his brother join Outcome – but he wasn’t there. Backstory happens.

Matched Set )


From a prompt: http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/580533.html?thread=81132469#t81132469
http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/426468.html?thread=68313316

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vanillafluffy: (Macrame)
Title: Surprise Party
Authored by: [livejournal.com profile] vanillafluffy
Pairing/spoilers: William Brandt/Victor VonDoom, William Brandt/Ethan Hunt
Work-safeness?Warnings: NSFW, slash, non-con, orgasm denial
Summary: When Ethan insists it's his turn to seduce the rich guy, that's not how Brandt expected to spend his birthday. Especially when it all goes south. They can keep the card and presents, he'll settle for them coming to get him. Right. Now.
Notes: Victor VonDoom showed up because he was the first one who came to mind when I thought of "evil international rich guy"--and because the idea of Julian McMahon snarking and smirking his way through this scene was too delicious not to write. Hope you enjoyed it!

Surprise Party )

From a prompt: http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/450366.html?thread=70808382#t70808382
http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/581330.html?thread=81214674#t81214674

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vanillafluffy: (Stan smile)
This is a classic case of "One thing leads to another". The original prompt was The Covenant, Caleb/Chase, Chase didn’t use at the pool . Which I filled. And did a follow up for. And got a request for more...so here it is:

Brunch )

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vanillafluffy: (TJ Hammond leather)
Bucky's side of 'Fun and (War) Games' (Chase Collins and the Winter Soldier bodyswap)

The B Side )


From a prompt: http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/564726.html?thread=79400438#t79400438
Possibly more to come, depending on how many OTHER projects demand to be written.
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vanillafluffy: (CATWS_WS1)
It is not his normal uniform; it’s a good deal more theatrical than that. Whoever has planned this mission for the Winter Soldier has a twisted sense of humor. The timing takes advantage of Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, which falls at the beginning of November. It is a remembrance of lost loved ones, a colorful celebration of painted skulls and flowers, a festival throughout Mexico.

In the midst of the revelry, one more masked face excites no one. Instead of his usual goggles and air filter, today the Winter Soldier wears the face of a skull. True, the hollow eye sockets reflect non-glare lenses, and a close observer might notice that the grinning teeth are punctuated with vents. Body armor is concealed under a ruffled white shirt and a plain black suit with a sunflower in the lapel.

He has four targets throughout the city, and he carries a cheap guitar case with his weapons. Each assassination occurs with his trademark precision.

One of the marked men he is able to target from a distance; an easy shot for him of fewer than a hundred yards.

The next is simple enough, from a balcony overlooking a parade route, he shoots the candidate and is out of the building through a back door while screams still echo from the street out front.

The third man is shaking hands with the crowd. The Soldier slips a knife into his ribs as he’s laughing at one of his own jokes. He slumps forward onto one of his well-wishers, and shouts of alarm follow his killer as he departs.

He stalks the final goal through chaotic streets, finally able to shoot him in a lull. From arm’s length, three quick bullets just left of center in his chest take him down. Somewhere close by, a woman screams, but the Soldier continues walking unhurriedly, checking casually for pursuit and finding none as he melts into the throngs.

Although he has been seen, locating one particular skull-face on Dia de los Muertos is a foolish and futile notion. There are whispers, rumors, and a legend that will live for years of the Festival of the Dead when the Spirit of Death walked among them.



From a prompt: http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/565964.html?thread=79530444#t79530444

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vanillafluffy: (CATWS_WS2)
Title: Two-Day Interval
Authored by: [livejournal.com profile] vanillafluffy
Pairing/spoilers: Mention of prior Winter Soldier/Alexander Pierce
Rating/Work-safeness: PG-13 for language, consent issues
Approximate word count: 4,000
Disclaimer: All rights belong to Marvel
Betaed by: [livejournal.com profile] hermit
Summary: Like the title says, what happened to the Winter Soldier between the time he left Steve on the riverbank and the Easter egg at the end.
Special guest appearance by Sabretooth (aka Victor Creed), probably familiar to most from the "Wolverine" movie. My interpretation of him owes more to the comics version than the film; in graphic canon, he's had a long career as a soldier/mercenary-type.

Two-Day Interval )

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vanillafluffy: (Justified -- Boyd/Raylan)
The Harlan County Fairgrounds has sprung from the fields overnight. Whirling rides, flashing lights and colorful booths compete in a cacophany of over-amplified music and hucksters urging fair-goers to "Step right up!"

Amid the crowds, Boyd broods. This year, he is alone; last year, he'd come with Ava. Barring his deployment, he can't recall the last time he missed the county fair, and simple solitude isn't going to dissuade him. There are ample ghosts to keep him company.

Some memories bring an unconscious smile to his lips. Johnny and him playing matador in a pen of Four-H calves, going to the hoochie-cooch show with Raylan back before either of them was old enough to shave. Less auspicious are recollections of his father, always drunk at the fair, fighting or furious about losing all his money on the midway, playing games of chance that even a ten-year old knew were for suckers.

The air is perfumed with diesel fumes and cotton candy, hot dogs, cheap aftershave and a whiff of manure from the Agriculture pavilion. "Tell your fortue, mister?" a woman lounging in front of a gaudy tent suggests. "Only twenty dollars."

Well, why not? Not that he actually believes in such foolishness, but it might be amusing. Right now, Boyd is a man in dire need of amusement.

He peels a twenty from a roll of greenbacks as he steps into the tent. The interior is festooned with a few strings of white Christmas lights. Two folding chairs face each other across a card table. The woman, about his age, with a hairstyle that's straight from the '80's, tucks the bill into her clevage and indicates one of the chairs.

"What would you like to know about?" the fortuneteller asks him once they're seated.

If he had any faith at all in this hocus-pocus, he might ask about Ava's fate, or for advice about how to handle Johnny, or any of a number of nuisances that threaten his interests. But he's not that gullible, and certainly isn't going to confide his business to this Breakfast Club dropout.

He thinks of Raylan--not the boyhood friend who'd been up for any mischief, but the law-and-order version who's forgotten how to have fun, who seems to exist now only to thwart him. "Tell me about my friend," he says to the woman. "Is there any hope of things going back to the way they used to be?"

She has Boyd cut a deck of cards and begins dealing them face-down onto the table in a pattern he can't discern. When she has them arranged to her satisfaction, she begins turning them over, seemingly at random.

"A very old friend indeed," she says, studying the picture. "Since you were boys, yes? You were as one, like brothers. But Cain and Abel were also brothers, and yet one slew the other."

Indeed, Raylan had slain him, shot him in the chest in cold blood, and whatever entity, benevolent or malign that had spared him had brought him back from deep darkness to do so.

"Your friend...he is quarrelsome, it is his nature. He is like a knight who leads the charge into battle, whatever battle that may be...". The fortune-teller's voice is soft, as if she's reading a bed-time story. "He is a warrior...he is War"

Raylan is War? That would explain a lot, not that he puts any stock in such mumbo-jumbo, but it certainly is the distraction he'd come in here seeking.

"Death has touched you," she continues dreamily. "It's all around you. Friends, loved ones...all corrupted by this darkness. You are Death ..."

"Excuse me?" Boyd says sharply, and the fortune-teller blinks as if she's forgotten he was there. "That's a hell of a thing to tell a man!"

She seems bewildered. "I'm sorry, what?"

He doesn't think of himself as a superstitious person, but the shiver that ran down his back...his mama would've said someone just walked over his grave.

"Your friend," the would-be psychic says, as if he'd just asked the question. She peers at the cards in front of her, a little notch appearing between her brows. "You were close long ago...you're still close. You're two sides of the same coin. You can't have one without the other, but sometimes, you're too much alike and so there's conflict."

"Any suggestions?" he asks, an edge to his voice. True, he has killed people here and there, but he isn't exactly the Grim Reaper.

"Light is the answer to darkness," she says simply.

Whatever the hell that means. He stands up to leave, and she says, "That will be twenty dollars, please."

Boyd absently fishes a twenty out of his pocket for her, and gets out of there before she can say anything else. He's well away down the raucous midway before he realizes he's been suckered.


(From a prompt: http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/545923.html?thread=77325187#t77356419)

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vanillafluffy: (Justified -- Raylan smile)
Justified, Raylan/Rachel, he kinda likes being put in his place
http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/501873.html?thread=73899633#t73899633


Justified -- Suppertime Blues

Raylan hates the hospital. He's been stuck here for 24 hours, being observed for a possible concussion and having his fractured leg set, but he's getting antsy. So far, Art's been in to give him Hell for screwing up in pursuit of the suspect. Boyd has visited and written rude things on his cast while he was doped up. Loretta has called looking for a ride to some concert or other.

Of course, that's in between having his temperature and blood pressure taken every time he gets comfortable and being fed questionable-looking things that don't taste like anything in particular. Supper is brown and green. Theoretically, the brown part is some kind of meat with gravy, but he honestly has no idea what kind of vegetable the other stuff is supposed to be. Hell, maybe it's soylent green.

There's also a little side dish of apple sauce. It does taste vaguely like apples, but awfully puny ones. Just thinking about what it ought to taste like puts him in mind of his Aunt Helen's apple crisp, tart and spiced with cinnamon, the apples cooked until they're soft, and how the crunchy topping was sweet and buttery. He regards the ersatz goo on his tray with disfavor.

There's no knock on his door, just a blur of pin-striped charcoal and Rachel enters carrying a plain brown shopping bag.

"You know I caught your suspect, right?" is her greeting.

"Art said. "

"Honestly, Raylan, what were you thinking, charging after her down those icy steps?"

"That she was wanted on fifteen counts of cashing Social Security checks that weren't hers," he says, sniffing. "Rachel, what's in that bag?"

"Nothing you'd be interested in." She looks at the tray in front of him. "Seeing as you already have a perfectly good dinner...."

"I wouldn't feed this slop to pigs," he grumbles, "and if I did, I'd probably get in trouble with the Humane Society."

There's a glint of mischief in her eyes. "You know, Raylan, there are starving orphans--"

"Technically, I *am* an orphan, and if I don't get some real food soon, I *will* be starving."

Rachel laughs and opens the bag. "You'd better eat it all," she says, mock-threatening.

The aroma makes his stomach growl audibly. He nods, licks his lips.

"We have fried chicken." Two golden-tan drumsticks emerge from a packet of foil. He sinks his teeth into the first one as a plastic container joins the feast. Rachel cracks the lid One whiff and he knows it's collards with bacon. "And I hope you like greens. If you're good and finish it all, there's dessert."

"You're an angel," he says fervently, grabbing the hospital's plastic fork and digging into the tender greens. They're moist and delicately salted from the bacon in them.

"Biscuit," she offers, unwrapping one from a napkin, and he uses it to soak up the juice from the collards.

"Pot-licker", they'd called it at home. His mama and Aunt Helen had both made it the same way, not surprising--thery'd both learned how from Granny--but Winona had never been much of a cook. Her biscuits came out of a can, and she didn't even like collards--said they smelled like burning rubber cooking.

Raylan doesn't have to be urged to eat. He applies himself to Rachel's gift and lets her scold him about his reckless ways, and it could be his mother or Aunt Helen chiding him for tearing his Sunday shirt or giving him what-for for any of his many boyish misdeeds. He chews and nods, and when the aide comes in to take his dinner tray, he just holds on to the foil and tupperware and makes sure that's all she takes.

There's nothing left when he's done. The drumsticks are gnawed down to the nub, the collards are gone, the container wiped clean with the biscuit, every crumb of which he's devoured.

Rachel looks at the scant remains and smiles. As she reaches into the bag, Raylan says, "If that's apple crisp, I'll marry you."

"Lucky me," she says. "It's chocolate cake. Coca-cola cake, to be exact."

"That's good too," Raylan says with alacrity. Aunt Helen made that every year for his birthday, and he flashes on her big pottery mixing bowl and being allowed to lick the spoon.

This has a layer of fudgey frosting atop dark, rich cake and the first divine chocolate mouthful makes him moan with contentment.

"Marry you?" Rachel chuckles, stashing the foil-wrapped bones and the empty tupperware into the bag. "Why in the world would I want to do that? I get enough of you at work. "

"You could stay home and cook."

"Not me. You'd be back in here with food poisoning on a regular basis."

"Introduce me to the cook," he suggests, words slurred by a forkful of chocolate.

"It would serve you right if I did," Rachel says, and starts talking about her aunt, and how jealous her uncle is, and Raylan just smiles and eats his cake.


These version is somewhat longer than the one posted due to their comment size limit. See http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/503879.html?thread=74030151#t74030151
Follow-up of sorts to http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/486469.html?thread=72788293#t72788293

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vanillafluffy: (Tailfin stamp)
As they cruise into Albuquerque past a sign announcing "Historic Route 66", Stitch is still sulking. He's riding shotgun, ears sticking up on either side of his cowboy hat, mouth curved into a wide frown. He's been that way for nearly an hour, after Lilo vetoed a side-trip.

Lilo sighs. This trip isn't quite turning out the way she expected. Cobra Bubbles's gift of a VW Bug convertible when she graduated from high school had begged for a road trip. Stitch's passion for an old TV show about two guys traveling America in their sporty convertible had suggested an itinerary. Of course, she should have taken into account the whims and quirks of her erstwhile copilot.

Las Vegas had been a blast. They made friends with every Elvis impersonator on the Strip, and Lilo has a picture of herself next to Chumlee from 'Pawn Stars'. Roswell was amazing--they'd bumped into a cousin of Pleakley's, almost gone home with some tourists from Zeta Gamma 4, and made friends with a coyote who'd needed help catching a road runner. (They'd bought him a bucket of the Colonel's Extra-Crispy. He pronounced it superior, and less expensive than all the gadgets he'd been buying from Acme.)

They're banned from the Grand Canyon for life, though. It was just a little landslide, she thinks with a sigh. There's still plenty of canyon left. But the 80-foot tall carving of Lilo as an Indian princess is going to be baffling archaeologists for years.

Not all of the original Route 66 is still intact, but there's a strip of it running through Albuquerque. What the locals call Central Ave is lively, boasting carefully preserved vintage neon signs unrelated to the current businesses. There are motels that probably saw the glory days of the Mother Road, souvenir shops, cafes. There's something called the Tractor Brewery across from the Guild Cinema. It looks like the kind of town they could happily spend a couple days exploring--if she can just get Stitch out of his funk.

"Hey, Stitch, I'm hungry," she says casually. "I hear Rebel Donuts has the best donuts in town." His ears twitch, and Lilo knows he's listening. "The guidebook says they have maple-glazed donuts with bacon."

There's a happy croon from the passenger seat, and he bounces up and down.

Okay, that's better. The last thing Lilo wants is to be a buzzkill, but she really doesn't think it would've been a good idea to take Stitch to the Albuquerque volcanic fields--even if they are supposed to be inactive.

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vanillafluffy: (Chrysler bldg)
From a prompt at [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic: Any cop series, any + any, "What do you mean, dinosaurs?!?". This was *supposed* to be a 50-word fic, but I got carried away---it's 150.

Dinosaurs on the Ninth Floor )

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vanillafluffy: (horsecloud)
From a prompt at [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic. Set about a week after the conclusion of Ladyhawke.

The Squire's Horse )
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vanillafluffy: (Retro rocketship)
CJ Cherryh is a fairly prolific writer who is well known for her fantasy and science fiction. I'm not so much into fantasy, but I am in awe of her world-building abilities, and I *love* a good space opera, which she excels at. When I saw a request for something based on Cyteen/Regenesis wherein the poster said they'd be thrilled with ANY story in that 'Verse, well, I was all over that. I've had a few Cherryh-inspired ideas in mind---there are so many intriguing characters and subplots floaring around this fantastic universe!

These two novels collectively run about 1600 pages, and that's just one corner of her Union-Alliance universe which combines science, space opera and a web of politics. "The Cuckoo's Agenda" is set in the 25th century, when most of humanity has spread from Earth to various space stations. (Habitable planets are at a premium.) Goods are carried from station to station by an alliance of merchant ships, most of which are crewed by large family groups. Even in the distant future, people still care about family, worry about who they are in the greater scheme of things, and above all, they have their own complicated motives for their actions. I've tried to write it so it'll be self-explanitory to readers who aren't familiar with the books (without overmuch exposition for the folks who are).

This is one of those stories that went in unexpected directions while I was writing it. I had a very thorough beta from [livejournal.com profile] karaokegal after the second draft. She made some helpful suggestions; I did a couple more drafts and analyzed my characters' motivations. It's a much better story thanks to her. The recipient was quite enthusiastic about it, and I'm gratified that "The Cuckoo's Agenda" has had the most responses of anything I've written for Yuletide (going back to 2004!).


Here's hoping you enjoy
The Cuckoo's Agenda

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vanillafluffy: (Film fest)
From a prompt at [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic:

It's almost midnight; Heaven only knows where Peter is tonight. The house is so empty now, with just her, and so quiet late at night. May turns on the television to try to push away some of the loneliness.

She pauses on a station showing a movie with that handsome young man---what *is* his name?---he always makes headlines in the supermarket tabloids, he was in that wonderful movie with Robert Redford.... He's what her mother would've called "easy on the eyes", so she lets the movie play and clips coupons from the paper and waits and worries about her nephew.

Gradually, she becomes more absorbed by the movie. The handsome young man is a bit of a troublemaker, but *so* charming! It's a bit violent in spots, and she winces, but doesn't change the channel.

Midnight comes and goes, and she hears a key in the lock and the front door opens and closes. She turns off the TV hastily before Peter can see what she's been diverting herself with.

He's limping as he walks in, but she doesn't mention that. "I hope you had a nice evening, dear," she says as cheerfully as she can. By now, she knows better than to expect an answer from him, and now she understands *why* she won't get an answer from him.

Everyone knows the first rule of Fight Club is, you never talk about Fight Club.

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vanillafluffy: (Jools)
As we know, Fluffy hasn't been writing a lot of fic lately. This tale, however, has been patiently waiting for me to scribe it for a few years now, so I finally obliged.

Here for your birthday pleasure, dear [livejournal.com profile] karaokegal, is a bit of backstory: The Man in the Boat, or, How Jools Siviter Came to Be Recruited by MI-6 )
vanillafluffy: (Jools)
As we know, Fluffy hasn't been writing a lot of fic lately. This tale, however, has been patiently waiting for me to scribe it for a few years now, so I finally obliged.

Here for your birthday pleasure, dear [livejournal.com profile] karaokegal, is a bit of backstory: The Man in the Boat, or How Jools Siviter Came to Be Recruited by MI-6 )

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