1. for [livejournal.com profile] daria234, Chuck: Ellie doing something she thought she would never do (maybe to protect Chuck?).

“You’re never going to stop hunting him, are you?” she asked the man. God, she didn’t even know his name. Maybe Chuck didn’t even know it either. After all, he’d said that the Intersect didn’t have any information about the assassin who’d been trying to kill him for two months.

But ‘assassin’ was an easy word to use. What Ellie had now in her kitchen was a person, slowly bleeding to death, right pneumothorax.

He blinked at her, eyes unfocused. He didn’t answer her question.

This wasn’t just about Chuck. It was about Clara, and Devon, and anyone else this man would put in danger just for his chance at Chuck.

“You came into my home,” she said. “And I swore an oath, but you came into my home.” His blood was staining the floor, seeping into the cracks in the linoleum. She cooked here. She watched Devon make his shakes every morning, right where this man was dying.

She was sitting propped up against a cabinet. The stupid gun John Casey had shoved into her hand when he’d gone after the guy’s partner was dangling limply from her hand, and she was crying. Her knees were drawn up but she could still see the man perfectly well past them. His breath sounds were irregular. If she was going to do anything for him, it had to be now.

There was an empty jar of baby food on the counter opposite. She had no idea why it caught her eye just then. She was shaking; shock.

“I’m sorry,” she said, crying harder. “I’m so sorry.”

She wasn’t apologizing to the man on her floor.

2. for [personal profile] ceares, The Vampire Diaries--"It's okay to love them both, I did." Damon/Katherine/Stefan--what if things had played out like Katherine planned and she'd gotten to keep both boys with her. PG-13.

Damon clicked the TV off as she entered the hotel suite. He tilted his head back on the couch so that he was looking at her upside-down. “Klaus’s little hybrid army made the news. Not in any factual way, but they’ve killed enough hikers that the feds are interested. They’re saying something about a terrorist cult.”

“Klaus always was crude, now he can be crude on a larger scale.” She approached, scanning the room to make sure that everything was as it appeared to be.

Damon made a small disgruntled sound. “If he gets any cruder, we may have to flee the country just to find someone to eat.”

“That,” Katherine said, trailing her fingers along the sharp line of Damon’s jaw, “is not a bad idea. I’ve always had a fondness for Paris.”

From the bedroom, Stefan chimed in, “I hear the Musee Rodin is worth seeing.”

Damon shook his head, but he didn’t dislodge Katherine’s fingers. “Any place where they get their alcohol primarily through wine is too wimpy for my tastes.”

Katherine smiled and leaned down to kiss him. If she and Stefan were agreed, he’d go along, pouting to pretend that he was just humoring them. But Damon’s snarking was part of the fun.

“Where’ve you been, anyway?” Damon asked. “We were bored.”

“Errands,” Katherine said airily. Damon didn’t pry further.

Of course, he wouldn’t, not under the circumstances. Stefan could be more inquisitive, but even he had learned not to ask too many questions; he was rarely happy with the ultimate answers, and there was nothing he could do about Katherine’s outside activities, so he did better avoiding any dangerous topics.

She could have pushed them both, but she didn’t really want them fighting the compulsion. When she wanted drama, she could always just prod Damon into jealous rampages. Which was a thought, actually—arriving in a new city was always more exciting when her boys were at each others’ throats.

Never at hers, not any more.

Klaus had been so grateful, he hadn’t even poisoned the payoff of his bargain. Love and honor, she’d asked for (obedience was a tricky thing, and sometimes a little disagreement was healthy for a relationship, but love alone risked some sort of impassioned Othello moment and Katherine was uninterested in that kind of drama), and it was love and honor she’d received.

“Katherine,” Stefan’s voice floated out from the bedroom, seductively. Stefan didn’t like to go outside any more. Didn’t even read the papers, which was probably why he’d hidden away from Damon’s news program. It was easier for everyone that way, and she hadn’t even had to ask; he’d come up with that coping mechanism all on his own.

Sometimes she wondered whether there was some part of them hidden away from her, locked inside (screaming).

“Katherine,” Stefan called out again, and she put the thought aside. It wasn’t important, anyway.

3. for [personal profile] runpunkrun, something with Lois and Lex. Clark/Lois and much UST. Rating: R for dirty talk.

“So, read any good books lately?”

Lex raised his eyebrows, unimpressed with Lois’s gambit. “Just because we’ve been kidnapped doesn’t mean the no-interview policy has been lifted, Miss Lane.”

“Oh, please. I’m just trying to make conversation!” Lois looked as if she were trying very hard to maintain her pout, but even she found it difficult to maintain that she was the injured party.

A lifetime of exposure to evil plotters, and a few dozen depositions, had taught Lex that keeping his mouth shut was always preferable to the alternatives. Even small bits of apparently innocuous information could be collated and extrapolated and used against him. Still, the Riddler’s Lady-or-the-Tiger plot against Superman looked as if it would have them penned up in close proximity for a while. He was going to need some sort of strategy to deal with Lois.

He still hadn’t settled on one when she said, “You know, you’re his gay exception. We each made a list, somebody we could fuck, no questions asked, and it wouldn’t count. Mine are Gillian Anderson and Robert Downey Jr., by the way. Used to be David Duchovny, but that started seeming too plausible, so I changed it.”

Lex was busy not choking on his own spit to notice her coming closer until she was right there, crouching down next to him, not six inches from his face. “Wanna know who the woman is?”

“It’s not Lana?” Lex asked bitterly, then wished he could roll back time (he mourned the loss of the lab with that experimental apparatus as much as any project he’d lost to heroes and villains over the years) as Lois’s face transformed with triumph.

“Nope,” she said with vicious satisfaction.

Lex set his jaw. And was appalled to find himself speaking again: “I presume he’s on top in this sordid little fantasy.”

“Luthor,” Lois leaned in further, until she was speaking into his ear, “if you were on top, not only would I not count it, I’d want to watch.” Her breath was warm and cigarette-harsh.

Objectively, Lex applauded her strategy, but objectivity was as departed as his bodyguards when the Riddler’s minions had set on them. His vision was hazy and his heart was pounding as if he’d just injected straight adrenaline.

Lois had to be lying—not about her own list, Clark was exactly the right kind of dumb to go along with that conversation, and Lex could well believe that thinking about her theoretical options got Lois hot and bothered even as she’d never truly go through with it. But Clark wouldn’t, not unless you got him hopped up on red Kryptonite (and then there wouldn’t be a list, there’d be an actuality, so even that was nonsensical).

He considered closing his eyes and putting his hands over his ears. Unlikely, but demonstrative.

He couldn’t just ask her what her price was for shutting up. He was defeated, but he still had some pride.

“In that case,” he said, mind cycling too fast, “shall I ask him when he shows up?”

Lois edged back, just a fraction of an inch. “That might be a bit too much distraction, even if we both know the Riddler’s got about as much chance against him as an icicle in a microwave.”

“Then perhaps I should just invite him over for cocktails after the rescue,” Lex suggested, warming to his topic. “I’m sure he’ll be delighted that you shared this special list with me—half of it, in any event—and it will certainly save me a lot of time on the preliminaries. Or perhaps that’s what he’s expecting? After all, I do have a reputation as a careful lover. I hate to have anyone walk away unsatisfied.”

This was good: Lois was beginning to look uncomfortable with what she’d unleashed.

“Of course I’ve thought about it; who wouldn’t, with that body? I’d have him all the way naked, because anything else is a waste. We’d have to do it in my panic room, the only place that I’m sure is insulated from surveillance by our battier friends. That’s fine; the lighting is excellent. I’d strip him down, lay him out on the bed. Let him suck me first.”

“That’s enough!” Lois snapped, which would have been excellent if Lex hadn’t also been suddenly and completely aroused. This was the problem with being so accomplished a liar: at his best, Lex really did believe his own press, and if Lois looked down she’d have seen a lot more than Lex desired to give away.

He covered by sneering at her and leaning forward, getting in her face. “You started this.”

She laughed, and he was surprised at how sad the sound was. “No, I really didn’t. But, fine, you don’t want to talk, we can just glare at each other.”

Lex waited, wary, as she crawled back to her corner. The box they were in was completely bare except for the light bulb ten inches over their heads, and aside from the lack of any way to escape or improvise weaponry Lex was deeply concerned that they would turn out to be trapped in some kind of giant Christmas present, a wrapped surprise. The thought irked him more than the average kidnapping did; the Riddler lacked dignity.

Irritation gave him the strength he needed to keep silent until the walls crumpled in on themselves. (Of course it was in fact a fucking Christmas present.) And if Lois had managed to poison his mind, force his daydreams away from world domination and towards something far more intimate—well, at least she’d never know about her victory.

4. for [livejournal.com profile] roque_clasique, SPN, curtainfic in which Dean was injured badly enough that they had to stop hunting. Note: schmoooop. PG-13 only for pottymouth.

Dean asks a young woman behind the counter to help him with the menu—“Even with these,” he says, gesturing to his glasses, “I can’t read those squiggles. And could you come around, please,” he adds, crinkling his eyes further with that Harrison Ford charm Sam half despises and half adores, “because my ears aren’t so good either.”

“And yet the half-blind guy unerringly found the prettiest girl in the place,” Sam grouses. Dean just smiles wider, and the girl heard him, too, so now Sam’s embarrassed.

But she repeats herself when Dean loses a couple of her words, without treating him like an idiot just because he’s wearing hearing aids, and she makes Sam an off-the-menu special after Dean informs her that what Sam really likes best is hot chocolate and coffee mixed together, none of this mocha nonsense. “Says he can taste the difference,” Dean confides to her with another what-can-you-do-with-little-brothers smirk, and she’s practically ready to take him home by the time she rings up their meals.

“You know,” Sam says, voice pitched loud enough for Dean to hear (table chosen as far away from the other patrons to make that less disruptive), “some would say you’re overcompensating for the coke-bottle glasses.”

Dean waves a dismissive hand. “What’s that, Sam? I’m a fine-looking bastard? Why yes, I am.”

Sam can’t help smiling anyway. Dean’s far enough out of his shell now that he can even deal with strangers’ glances—sensed even when not seen—and take this road trip with Sam, and that’s amazing enough to allow Sam to deal with Dean’s reflexive horndoggery.

When the doctor had said ‘never be 100%,’ Dean had heard ‘99%, sure,’ and that had gone about as well as anyone would have expected. Dean was used to being able to work through the pain with some PT and, latterly, some angelic healing. That wasn’t going to happen with his eyes or his ears, and there had been some pretty spectacular missteps before Dean accepted the new reality.

Because every mile he charted behind the wheel made Sam feel guilty, he’d kept the driving to a minimum for a long time, finding a place for them close enough to the grocery store that he didn’t have to take the car out just to pick up a gallon of milk. Dean had gone half out of his mind—that is, relative to Dean-standard—with inactivity before Sam had, in desperate frustration, slapped the woodworking tools down in front of him and demanded he carve a protective ward for one of the baby hunters who’d been in contact with Sam and needed some symbols incised into holy oak.

Sam still isn’t sure why Dean had gone along—might’ve been plain old boredom. But after that he’d begun to carve other things, mostly not for the supernatural (though his stakes, fire-hardened and cut in sharp-edged spirals to go more easily through clothes, were things of true beauty). He’d made puzzle toys, so intricate and clever that Sam occasionally struggled with them, and random miniatures—a bench, a guitar, a soccer trophy. Sam had taken a couple of pictures and put them on Etsy on a lark, and then without really planning to do so Sam had ended up running a business and just using his bookstore job to avoid becoming a hermit.

Which had left Dean in splendid near-isolation, letting Sam pick the wood and send off the orders and otherwise deal with the world. Sam had spent months allowing Dean his self-pity, and months more yelling at him about it (yeah, like that had ever worked; Dean doesn’t need eyes or ears when he has stubborn). Dean maintains that he doesn’t give a shit about other people anyway, now that he can’t kill supernatural bastards, and Sam occasionally pretends to believe him when he’s exceptionally tired of arguing.

Recent months have seen some improvement: Dean willing to walk to the ice cream store ten blocks away from their place, and even to go to the park with Sam on sunny days (Dean uses the treadmill in the basement now to stay in shape, listening to audiobooks through the dorkiest pair of full-ear headphones Sam has ever seen; Sam suspects Dean has no idea how he looks like that), but Sam’s nonetheless a little shocked that Dean agreed to a full-on journey out of town.

Dean’s motives, honestly, probably reduce to the money. Dean’s never been able to pass up an easy score. Dean had gotten a write-up in a collectors’ magazine—thank goodness that in these days of tight journalistic budgets, the interview had been done entirely via email, Sam reading out the questions (Dean heard him better than anyone else, or really just knew him better) and Dean making up bullshit answers that Sam translated into something sensitive and artistic. Anyway, this rich couple had seen pictures of Dean’s OK Corral, and nothing would do except that Dean make a dollhouse in the shape of their custom-built house.

When Sam had quoted the price, he’d added a zero just for shits and giggles, thinking that Dean would never lower himself to make a full-on dollhouse, but now he kind of wants to kiss both of them, because they’d said yes and yes again when Sam explained that they needed to walk around the place and get a sense of it.

Sam and Dean finish their meal and leave a nice tip for the girl. Sam guides Dean out with a hand on his back, the only help that’s been easy for Dean to accept. It sure doesn’t hurt that the contact helps calm Sam down; Sam’s bad days are rarer now, which he will never admit he attributes not just to quitting but to quitting with Dean.

While they drive to the expensive neighborhood in which the ludicrously expensive house sits, Dean turns his face towards the window, blinking at the sun on his face. Sam had asked, once, what it was like, and Dean had said it was like looking and hearing through three feet of water. Dean had been fairly drunk, which was why he’d given an answer Sam had been willing to believe, but soon after that Dean had mostly quit drinking. Sam hates his reason—can’t be a lush and not be able to find my own ass with both hands, Sammy, can’t do that to you—but likes the outcome more. And anyway they don’t have to talk about Dean’s abstinence, which is the key.

Sam and Dean are buzzed through the gate and stand shoulder to shoulder at the door, which opens wide enough to admit them both. Sam takes Dean around first, then starts taking reference pictures and getting paint chips and wallpaper samples from the interior designer, whom the couple have invited to oversee the proceedings and congratulate himself on his good works. The wife clearly thinks that Dean is some sort of idiot savant, sense of touch enhanced to compensate for what he lost, and Sam would tell her just how dumb she’s being if she hadn’t already written them a retainer check that pays for half a year’s rent in one go.

“Such an unusual design,” the husband says, holding up one of the pieces already in their collection: a player piano with working pedals. “How did you come up with it?”

Sam smiles. Tucked underneath or inside somewhere on all Dean’s pieces longer than two inches is the anti-possession symbol they share on their chests. Sam’s looking into trademark registration, since several people in the business have warned him that copycats will try to use Dean’s growing reputation otherwise. (Dean doesn’t know just how much time Sam spends on miniaturist forums. Sam’s silence on this point is a self-protective measure, plus it helps keep Dean convinced that Sam is a business genius.) “It’s a traditional protective symbol,” Sam tells the husband. “We like to think it brings a little bit of safety into each house.” Only enough to keep out a very tiny demon, he thinks, but stranger things have happened.

Dean has completed his careful circuit of the house, the charmed-but-nervous interior designer at his side. From the lack of breaking glass, Sam surmises that Dean didn’t knock over any Ming vases. Not that Sam expected him to—Dean’s got his grace, even if he doesn’t think so any more. Anything he can touch, he’ll remember, and Sam can help him on the details once he’s got the sense of the space. At least that’s the theory.

Dean’s even worse at keeping his emotions off his face now, either because he’s spending so much time with Sam or because something in his hindbrain thinks that if he can’t see other people’s faces then they can’t read his. Sam’s grateful, because now he can tell that Dean’s about to lose it, the subtle condescension from all three of the strangers here gnawing at his last nerve.

“Thank you so much,” Sam says, and takes over the glad-handing, getting them out the door in under five minutes with a promise to contact the architect if any follow-up is necessary.

He doesn’t say, that wasn’t so bad, was it? He knows Dean mostly thinks it was. But, damn, they can use the money. And if Sam knows his brother, which he most definitely does, Dean will carve some subtle insult into the dollhouse as payback.

Dollhouse, he thinks, and keeps himself from smirking, because Dean will know.

“Ribs?” he asks, because Dean didn’t piss off the rich assholes who want to give them money, and that deserves a reward.

Dean perks up. They don’t have a good rib joint anywhere near them, and Sam’s not above using food to reward Dean for coming out of his shell. “Jesus,” he says, rubbing the back of his neck, “I’m going to be working on this fucking thing ‘til practically Christmas.”

“It’s official,” Sam says as he watches Dean move himself to the passenger side, fingers trailing along the car (this means Dean is tired; he relies on his excellent spatial sense otherwise), “you can whine about anything, even folding money.”

Dean grimaces. “Not that I heard that, but I know the right answer is, whatever, bitch. Now get me my ribs.”

Because Dean can’t see it, Sam takes a moment to grin at his brother.

Then he gets in the car and heads rib-ward. Sentiment is fine, but good ribs are a meal.
jadelennox: Senora Sabasa Garcia, by Goya (Default)

From: [personal profile] jadelennox

That is all the darkness of Vampire Diaries distilled, whoa.
arliss: (Default)

From: [personal profile] arliss

Ohhh, eesh, TVD one is dark, dark.

And how could I not love the SPN schmoop? Is good schmoop.
ceares: cookie all grown up (Default)

From: [personal profile] ceares

Whoa! I love the twist of the permanent compulsion because of course Katherine would want a sure thing, and I especially love that she asked for just the right thing to make it work.

and the SPN had me going aww! I'm a sucker for 'they give up hunting and settle down' fics.
lastscorpion: (Default)

From: [personal profile] lastscorpion

These are all wonderful! My favorite line was “Not that I heard that, but I know the right answer is, whatever, bitch. Now get me my ribs.” Still so Dean!
sothcweden: birds flying high at sunset/dawn (Default)

From: [personal profile] sothcweden

I adore the SPN shmoop. And Dean snarking back even when he couldn't hear the original comment.
tehomet: (Default)

From: [personal profile] tehomet

All of these are wonderful.

I have never seen Chuck but I read the first one by accident and enjoyed it anyway. :)

The Vampire Diaries one is creepy as hell. It's the series with all the sugar coating stripped off. Good stuff.

The Lex-POV one is highly enjoyable. I love how bitter he is in this. Or at least my inner sadist does.

The post-SPN one is my favourite. It's entirely plausible that Dean would be still so Dean, even after life-changing injuries. And of course they'd still be together.

Thank you for posting.



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