Friday, June 24, 2016

Fic: A Wrench to the Heart 24/?

A Wrench to the Heart 24/?

By Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing.

Warning: EXTREME violence. Shini is having a run and venting some pent up anger

Note: These events happened before the events of Chapter 23.


There had been some moments in their lives where Duo had just screamed out something along the lines of ‘OH my god!’  It was usually something kind of shocking and probably not very pleasant. Heero had always found that phrase slightly irritating. Neither of them actually believed in any gods, even though Duo sometimes spoke of believing in Father Maxwell’s god with some nostalgia. Racing up the stairs to some room... Heero expected to find someone coloring on the walls or something. Children - after all.

It wasn’t the right preparation.

He was still going forward slightly when Duo backed into him, radiating some kind of primal terror. At moments of real stress, Duo did occasionally believe in ghosts. There had been this one time - in the war - when Duo had the flu and Heero swore he advised him at least twenty times that there was no such thing as ghosts. Duo still wouldn’t leave his side. Which had been okay, because Heero wanted to be near him anyway.

So there was this woman turning and coming towards them. She looked so much like Duo, same braid, eyes, chin.  

Heero could feel Duo’s heart racing though, feel him pushing back against Heero, still trying to back up. The fear was so thick that Heero could almost share whatever stored emotion or memory Duo had.  Then her arms were around him and she was speaking, but Heero was thinking that the scary ghosts aren’t the dark raggedy specters, but visions of what we want and love and know we can’t protect because we’ve already lost it.

Dayton.

There is something about being someone’s partner, best friend, lover - for so long - for longer than humans used to live, longer than some storms on Jupiter - some of the person is written into your mind, a part of you and you know them. The change in Duo was so very subtle, so micro - but Heero’s hyperaware enhanced cognition picked it up. That was his own OH my GOD moment... when Shinigami added up all the variables and jumped.

Heero felt the separation as if part of his own being were being torn away.  Duo was dropping, sliding down him and he was catching him, lifting him protectively, but Shinigami was zooming farther away.

He still didn’t believe there had been real ghosts in that old house. But he also understood that he might not be able to really just tell anyone, not even Quatre would believe or understand, that Duo had just torn himself in half.

While he was working on figuring out how to explain that to Quatre and ask for permission to use the time travel again... all hell broke loose.

Sung Chang attacked.

The battle destroyed Duo’s house.

They picked up a new team mate... blue with an odd accent... who was deeply offended that there wasn’t a single church anywhere on Camelot. It’s not like there were any hospitals or trash facilities either, but pointing that had not won Heero any points.

Energy was low, too low, even after Duo woke up and turned on his hidden spare power.

And whatever Mercy thought she was doing, and Heero was sure that she meant well and acted out of love, but the results were disastrous.

Shinigami hadn’t showed back up either.

So.

Heero had plenty of covert experience. The lingering echo of Alexander was duly shocked when Heero pressured poor Pikachu into making a second travel nexus, hacked into the power and took a dangerous amount of energy to make travel supplies and make the jump. He was going to be successful and show up with more than enough energy, a moment after he left. Heero Yuy made shit happen.

He hit the past about six hours after Shinigami did. It was like walking into a kitchen after an unlidded blender went off.  He threw up a shield over the whole area and then encountered his real challenge.... A feverish and delirious Shinigami with murderous intent, a broken leg, who was half bled out. Whatever was going on in Shinigami’s mind, holding still while Heero patched him up wasn’t really on the list.

So there was his dark ragged specter... crouched in a corner, dark violet eyes crazed and hyper, dark hair pasted to a gray face, slender fingers pawing the stained concrete, bone showing in a limp leg.   The beautiful Mercy was fear and the horrifying and battered God of Death was the light of life.

Heero squatted down a few meters from him, moving slow, nonthreatening. “Let me help you.”

<><>
Shinigami’s Dream


L2 was what it was. Operation Meteor was a decade and a half away, give or take.  Shin sat on a window ledge outside a grimy convenience store, a cigarette slowly trailing grey in one hand, bouncing small white objects in his other hand. The neighborhood was nicer than he remembered it. It was like coming home while the paint was still on the building.

“Are you lonely,” a sweet voice asked.

He stared.  She had blue eyes, suicide blonde hair, and almost enough makeup to cover the bruise on her cheek. He closed his fist around his small treasures and shoved them into his pocket. “What’s yer name?”

“Angelfood,” she said, leaning over to to show off her tits. “You like what you see?”

Shin licked his lips, thinking over his words, dark violet eyes adding her up like he was figuring out where to set the explosives. “How’d you get that bruise?”

“Is that what you like, honey? You like hittin’?” She smiled nervously. “Ican dothat.”

He took another long slow draw of his cigarette, enjoying the feeling, enjoying the tantalizing seduction of longing. “Oh I do like hitting,” he admitted as if he were sharing a delicious secret.

Her smile jerked, then she found her way back to inviting. “I... I like that too.” She gave him a price per hour. “I got.. a room, if you ya wanna.”

“Okay,” he said, his hunger rising, his mouth wetting. There was a rage in him like the fiery pillar of God and it burned bright on the memories of mom, of Father Maxwell and Sister Helen, of all the people who died in the war. Rotting flesh and screams. Oh there were so many things to do... and if he had only thought to bring more tech with him, to understand tech himself more than he had. He had to be temperate. He told himself to be reasonable... not fuck the timeline sideways.

He held his cigarette between lips, letting the red creep up towards his pale lips for a moment. Heero was just a little kid. President Heero Yuy hadn’t been assassinated yet. Maybe, if he were clever, he could avoid all the wars. Save so many lives.

“So you gonna come to my room or not?”

Shinigami eyed her a moment more, gave a curt nod. He stubbed out his cigarette carefully and tucked the remainder into his shirt pocket. “Though, I gotta get some money first. You gonna be around this area for the rest of the night?”

“You shit,” she said, hand on her hip. “You ain’t got no money. You so fuckin’ broke you saving cigarette butts. What are you wastin’ mah fuckin time for?”

“There’s somethin about about you that I like. Call it luck. I don’t know if it’s good luck or bad. Chance, nonetheless.” Shini grinned, his mouth watering at his coming plans.

“You’re creepy as fuck,” Angel said, backing away.

“You have inhibited cognitive processes, but we’re gonna fix that.  Who do you work for, little girl?”

He thought she was a little like a flower in the wind, trembling under the rough wind of a violent world. “I’m gonna be a hot house for you.”

“Yer a crazy fucker,” Angel snapped, backing away seriously now.

“Run little flower, but remember, flowers don’t choose their fate.” He shoved his hands into his pockets, turning over ideas for the coming days. He needed an income. He needed it to be out of sight of authorities, away from people who kept records, and he really wanted to kill whoever bruised that girl’s face. After all, he had two hundred and fifty years to fuck off until he got home... and suddenly, he had a greater plan. A lovely... lovely plan!

<><>

Twelve hours later....

The cage was rough, made of repurposed bullshit, electrified for the hell of it. Shinigami stepped into the cage, slender and slight in comparison to the reigning champion. He wore only his pants and some decent black boots. He’d drawn a couple lines of black grease over his cheeks and all the rage in him burned like an oil rig on fire.

The bigger man had a foot in height on him, out massed him probably by triple. He was clearly genetically modified to be a fucking jack hammer.  “What the fuck is this? I’m ready to fight, not fuck!”

Laughter echoed around the rude cage. “Don’t be like that Trumpet!” The pretty announcer girl said. “He’s not here to dance. He killed three guards to get into the cage and he’s bet all his money that he’ll beat you.”

“Oh, then I get a bonus when I break his pretty little face? Heh.. he’s got pretty eyes. I think I’ll fuck him. Gotta be flexible with these things. You like dick, pretty boy?”

“OH yeah,” Shini said, slowly licking his upper lip, “I’m in love with someone else. Sorry.”

“Well, bring him here. I’ll fuck him too,” Trumpet boasted, pumping his hips. “Is he gonna scream like you?”

“Are we gonna fight or what? You have made peace with yer god, right?”

“I am a god,” Trumpet roared. “Come here Cupcake!”

“As you will,” Shini nearly sung, charging him, fist pulled back like he was going to punch.

The two charged at each other. The crowd roared. Shini leapt, completing the arc as his fingers sank into Trumpet’s eye sockets. The crowd reacted in a choked gag.  Now Shini pulled back his fist and hit the bald side of his opponent’s head, again, and again as the giant fell. Rage vomited forth. “Who is penetrating who now,” Shini screamed as he hooked his fingers behind the dying man’s eye sockets and pulled. Shattering bone gave way, but skin just pulled, and eventually, Shini gave up, stamped his booted foot on the man’s chest and jerked his fingers free.  The crowd roared now, overcoming the shock.  The pretty announcer girl’s face went close up on the screen and she smiled, “Hello Champion! What do we call you?”

“I’m the God of Death,” Shini said, licking a finger. “Who else wants to play? Double or nothing, come play with me kitties.”

<><><>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
“Do you understand how your account works,” the neatly prim woman asked.

“Yeah,” Shini said, pocketing the bank account information.  “I appreciate your help.”

“We live to help,” she said with sweet sarcasm. “You listed that you are trained medical doctor on your skillset?”

“I did,” Shini said. “I think I made it clear though that I am not currently licensed in any region.”

“As a contractor to the Rox, if things do not go well, your consequences will not include a law suit, if you know what I mean,” she said, no emotion, dark eyes watching him.

“I understand. Why do you ask?”
“Work requests come in through the Central Offices as well as financial accounting. As soon as I listed you as a new physician, a request came through from Regio Santano. He would like a consultation. You have a request in for information about a prostitute named Angelfood. Regio Santano is an information specialist.”

“Splendid,” Shini said.

“I have transferred the meeting location to your inbox. Welcome to The Rox, Dr. Gami.”

“Thanks,” Shini said, touching his fingers to his forehead.

“Dr. Gami,” the woman said seriously, standing behind her desk. “Please don’t ever take your obligations to the security of The Rox lightly. You seem like a unique individual. It would be a shame to have you fed into the mulch.”

Those violet eyes glittered, a seething hatred for violent authority. “Oh I promise to take The Rox very seriously.”

Eyes narrowing, she stared at him.  “You had better. The organization is not some idiot thug in a cage fight.”

“Of course not,” Shini purred. “Thank you so much for the referral. I’d better get off to see my patient, hadn’t I?”

“You do that.”

<><>

Knowing how much poverty and misery was on L2 was deeply disconcerting as he sat in a very nice automated taxi with seats so much like leather that he only knew they weren’t leather because he was nearly three hundred years old and had been around a few things. The house that he arrived at was a lovely house in a very respectable and elegant neighborhood. This was a whole different world than his much younger self was trying to survive in.  

His recently purchased medical kit in one hand, as he knocked on the door, all the rage seemed spent. He’d planned for centuries of murder, but... now he wanted something else entirely. He wanted Heero and home and medicine. There was a sadness that was also a release.  

Forgiveness.

The door opened finally and a mousy little person stared at him.

“I’m the doctor,” he said softly. “I’m here to help.”

<><><>

“This one’s mine. You gonna have a problem with that,” Shini asked sweetly.

Jake pulled his sunglasses off and leaned back in his chair. “I don’t give a shit if you’re The Rox’s new pet doctor. You’re not takin one of my whores. I bought her off her mama proper. She’s special to me. Aren’t you, Little Cake?”

The girl nodded, her eyes on the floor. “Yes, sir.”

“Do you have things you want to take with you,” Shinigami asked her.

She nodded as slight as she could, so she could deny it if she needed to.   

“Go get your things. Anyone who touches her is going to hurt.”

“Don’t move. Damn it. Don’t you fuckin get it? She’s mine. I BOUGHT her.  I paid in cash. She’s mine. I’m gonna sell that ass until it’s too used up to sell, then I’m gonna part her out. People will fuckin pay for parts these days. If she thinks she’s too good to work for me, I’ll just start getting my money back early.”

“Really,” Shinigami said, sitting himself down at the table with the pimp. It was early in the day, too early for the night club to be up and running. The man clearly didn’t face much opposition as there was no real security around. “I misunderstood. How many of these girls did you own? Did you tattoo’em with numbers or something?”

Jake accepted a bottle of beer from a girl in a pink maid outfit, motioned her over to Shinigami. “Look, this isn’t The Rox territory, but I think we just got off to a bad start. If you want to fuck her, I can deal with that. See if you can find where I put the number on her.”

“Look, I’m a kinky bastard. As I make my way home, there’s a lot of shit I’m just going to have to overlook. That’s a damn shame. There’s a lot I’d really like to get done. I ain’t even got a problem with prostitution, but in this particular case, we gonna be respectin human rights.” Shinigami sighed. Life had been so much easier where weren’t such loud echos of Duo playing in his soul. “The real question is are you going to distribute your funds between all these people equally or am I gonna cut you up into little pieces and do it myself?”

“What do you think that’s gonna do? Ain’t none o’em got IDs. They’re gonna what? Go get waitress jobs? All they know how to do is suck dick.”

“You know, I suddenly feel sympathy for you. I’m not real sure what to do about that,” Shini said thoughtfully. “As for the rest of you - you’ve been slaves. You’ve been prostitutes. Wanna be pirates?”

A tall, slender woman with dark skin and a halo of hair rolled her eyes. “Are you insane? Like Har har har! Gimme yer gold matey?”

“Kind of... I mean space pirates in a beautiful black ship with a cloaking device... we’ll prey on targets that deserve to be had, share the spoils between us and to people who need.”

“Like Robin Hood,” a younger girl asked.

Shinigami winked at her.

She stared at him, head tilting.  “Do you got a spaceship?”

“No.. but I can steal one and I know how to build a better one. So do you want to be free pirates?”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fic: A Wrench to the Heart 23/?




A Wrench to the Heart 23/?  


By Max


Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing.


Notes: This is the second time I’ve done this chapter. Usually I write it and bam, it’s done. Because this one connected so very deeply into my own experience, I needed to write it again... clean it up a lot. So let’s see if I can do it right this time.


Warning: This is a violet chapter, likely to be pretty gritty.


It might have been a poor choice, coming back in time to the moment when his mind broke. It might not have been the best choice to leave Duo behind either. See - how this works is we get angry, I come out, I kick someone’s ass or die trying, and then he takes over again and we wander along our merry path. He’s cheery and emotional and caring and he’s got so many things to do. He’s respectable, ish, depending on the environment. He’s the mayor. I’m the serial killer. I’m the darkness that eats the cancer, the never ending rage.


Except.


He’s not here right now.


I just wanted to, so fucking badly.


I remember my mom and being safe in her arms. Her tugging at my hair and her voice, even though I don’t know I really knew what the hell she was saying. I remember strawberries and pictures with kittens that moved and purred and her promising me I could have one.


We’re getting a fucking cat when I get home.


I remember the world being a good and wonderful place. It’s like it’s there in my mind and I can pick up the gem of that feeling and hold it and look at it and it’ll never fade.


Some part of me never grew past that moment.


The details of what happened aren’t really relevant. It could have been a lot of things, I guess. A train wreck or a bomb or even some disease we didn’t know how to cure yet. My mom died. I learned to be very afraid. I learned hunger and pain and cold.


It wasn’t a wreck or a bomb though.
I used to sit in Duo’s head and laugh when he’d get into these existential crises. How could he life if he couldn’t tell Heero he liked him, how to cope with having less ‘honor’ after Wufei caught him jacking off,  how to not be a shitbag after novo took over his life - what was the meaning of life? That had seemed so fucking funny at the time.


Sitting in the same courtyard in the same abandoned building, the blood dried on his hands, under his fingernails, on the teeth he was playing with in his left hand - that whole existential shit finally made sense. This had been purpose - this was what I’d been striving for.


Every unfortunate bastard who got in my crossfire had been practice for this.


They raped my mother and burned her alive. There aren’t words for what I did to them because humans aren’t supposed to do things like that.


Regret is something only he feels... I don’t feel regret. I don’t feel loss. I don’t feel shame.


Those are his job.


Except here I am.


I took so much energy out of the colony for this escapade that I have put them in serious danger.


The teeth fell from his fingers as his hands pressed to his face.  Home was two hundred and fifty years away.  Plague, famine, and wars were between that moment and home.


Sometime after finishing vengeance and getting lucid there had been a daydream of cage fighting and gangsters, of pimps and prostitutes, and building a ship he wanted to call the Black Pearl... being a pirate and sailing up to Camelot with enough energy to save the day.  He’d been so cocky in the daydream, gallant in black leather and powerful in all the things he did with his crew of rescued prostitutes.


But empty of rage, there was no more cocky, no more energy, no more fire. The teeth he’d pulled from his mother’s murders lay on the broken concrete and even those seemed too far away.


“I see you’re a little more awake.”


“Heero?” Shinigami looked up from where he sat, feeling smaller now, his hair matted to his face, lips parted.


Heero smiled, his hair still cut short like Alexander’s had been. He wore an urban camo tee-shirt and gray pants. He was relaxed, his blue eyes full of amusement. “I hope you weren’t expecting Santa Claus because you’ve been a very bad boy.”  Heero squatted down in front of him and pulled a wet wipe out of the pack he’d been carrying. “It’s okay if I clean you up now, yeah?”
“Why’re you here?” Shinigami said, letting Heero take his hand and start scrubbing the dried blood away.


“It was a couple of days after Duo woke up that I figured out what you’d done. Our distress call had been out for hours and you hadn’t showed back up, so I figured you were in trouble. I love you. I’d follow you into the heart of the sun, if I thought I had a 1% chance of saving you.” Heero moved one finger to the next, efficient and caring.


“Why,” Duo asked, voice very small.


“Well, I’m an astronautics professor and a soldier, not a poet, Shini. Think of it like this... you and Duo are the same person, but not. You and me and him, we’re the same person, but not - in  different way. I told you I’m not a poet. You never gave up on looking for me. You risked your life. You risked everything to find me, to save me, more times than I can ever count.”


“But... I left Camelot in trouble. All I was thinking about was... killing them for what they did. Am I a murderer?”


“Technically, yes,” Heero said, moving to Shinigami’s other hand. “There have been a hundred thousand human cultures through the centuries. Many of them had different laws and rules about how consequences were meted out. The world we grew up in was not fair nor kind. I believe that all those you have killed were killed because you thought it was the best thing to do. You’re more of an avenging angel than a killer. You are a good man. I’d like to think this is the last act of vengeance for you though. I’d like us to move forward into new experiences.”


“We should find out what happened on The Rage,” Shini said shifting so he was facing Heero. “I .. I don’t know that I’ll just go back in Duo when we get back. I don’t want to break my heart or his.”


“So?” Heero said, grinning. “I can’t say that I haven’t thought about having two tongues on my cock.”


Shini giggled, which turned into a laugh. “You are so bad.”


“Yeah? Look who’s talking. Do you still want to make a ship called the Black Pearl?”


“It was a fun fantasy,” Shini said, his clean hand brushing over Heero’s hair. “I don’t really feel like being a deadly pirate right now though.”


Heero came up to kiss him, gentle and loving. “That’s okay with me. I’m sure we’ll figure out ways to keep busy.”


“I love you. I’m sorry I’m insane,” Duo said, between kissing back.


“I love you too,” Heero said, “I don’t think you’re insane. I think you’re coping with trauma. You saw them murder your mom. I think you are the strongest and most wonderful person I can imagine.”


“If anyone else said that, I’d think they were full of shit,” Shinigami said, his thumb brushing over Heero’s lips, “But when you say it, I can believe it.”


“Good. We should move. When you stand up, it’s going to hurt.” Heero pointed to the remains of the second bounty hunter. “You won, but it wasn’t exactly cut and dried.  He busted your leg and stabbed you twice. It’s difficult to give you medical care when you’re delirious.”


Shinii let Heero slide an arm around his back, hold most of his weight as they stood. “I’m lucky you came for me. I did hallucinate something awful and the comedown was pretty bad.”


A couple of steps away, Shinigami hesitated. “Wait... I want those teeth.”


“I’ll get them, but you need to sit down,” Heero said.


“Okay,” Shini agreed, watching Heero go and pick up the most gruesome souvenirs ever.


Shortest existential crisis ever. This was his meaning of life. “I love you. Did I mention that?”



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

fic: A Wrench to the Heart 21/?

A Wrench to the Heart 21/?

By Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing. I also don’t own Xmen.



Note: Oh goodness.. I am not sure I’m about to do this.



The word was crayon red against his ear, a brush of fears that never let go.  Julia’s voice whispered deep in his mind, impossible to ignore or disobey. “Hide.  There is a monster.”

Roy’s room was right next to the meditation room, because frankly, he spent a lot of time there.  All of the children scattered, running, when Julia’s warning rippled through the house.  

The hardwood floor was smooth against his bare feet. His heart beat so loud that there wasn’t enough room for air.  He shut his door, back against the door as shaking fingers locked the door. His daddy was too sick to fight the monsters. There was screaming.  Burning.  The monsters were going to eat Juju and Daddy and Jacob. Roy wiped the back of his hand over his face and ran, slipping under his bed so hard that he hit the far wall.  In the dark, he reached, little hands reaching out in the darkness until he found his secret.

It was a small zip top plastic bag. It glowed very slightly when he picked it up, reacting to his touch. As he held it, it glowed brighter, casting green over his face.

The house was so quiet... but he knew Juju was right. There had been fear and anger in her voice. As hard as it was, he crept out from under his bed, from the seeming safety, and ran to the closet. He closed the door as quietly as he could.  He gathered as much spit as he could and held it curled at the tip of his tongue. Carefully as he could, he got the bag open and spit into, making the glow much brighter. He licked his two front fingers, sucking them for a moment, then stuck his fingers into the little back fo spit. Electric danced over his shoulders, made his hair stand on end. “Help me!”

Green mist settled into a small square plane and a golden eye started back at him. Set in a blue face, with stiff dark hair. “Brother?”

“Please! I need you! The monster is in the house!”

The face in the missed pulled back a little. “Little brother, I can come help you, but I need to know where you are and then we’ll come and help you. I promise. What is your address?”
“I... I live in Daddy’s house.”

“Where is your Daddy’s house,” Kurt pressed kindly, leaning a little closer, golden eyes caring. “My friends and I will come very fast.”

“I ... I ... I live on Camelot.” Roy smiled proudly, eyes still glittering with tears. “It’s at the L2 Point!”

A hand pushed Kurt aside and then there was  much bigger man, not blue skinned like Roy’s friend, but brown eyes and spiky brown hair, a brown thing hanging from his mouth for a moment. “Where the hell are ya kid?”

“Logan!” Kurt pleaded, “Don’t scare him. He’s just a little boy!”

“Well, I’m down for kicking monster ass,” Logan said, grinning, “But I gotta know where ya are kid?”

“I’m in Daddy’s house!”

“We can’t help ya if we can’t find ya,” Logan said. “Are there any adults there?”

“They’re fighting the monster! My daddy is sick. He can’t fight right now and Mr. Heero don’t know how. It’s killing my sister Juju. Please help me!”

A woman in the background yelled, “Is he talking about the second Lagrange point? Like IN SPACE?”

“Well, are you,” Logan snapped. “Kid can’t be in space. He’s just a little mutant boy. What country are you in, kid?”

Roy frowned at them, leaned closer to the mist until he could almost smell where they were... it smelled like cinnamon and something weird that made him sneeze.  “Of course I’m in space. Aren’t you? Kurt, are you gonna come?”

Blue hands pushed hard on the bigger man until Kurt was back in front of the mist. “I’m on Earth. I want to come... but how did you get in space?”  

They were so close their noses almost touched. “I’ve always been in space.”

The whole house shook then, timber creaking and breaking. Julia screamed with Duo’s voice, but there was no more connection through the computer... it was like her voice was only one dimensional now. Several more shots fired. Uncle Quatre screamed things in a language that Roy had never heard.

A woman with white hair pushed up to the mist. “Is someone screaming in Arabic?”

Roy looked at her like she was speaking in Arabic. A long gundanium spider leg punched a hole in Roy’s ceiling, once, twice, leaving light and dust falling on him. He sobbed, one hand reaching through the very mist. Kurt grabbed his hand. Both pulled in either direction, but then the angry leg was punching down again and Kurt jumped flowing through the mist into Roy’s closet. The little bag of spit dropped, spraying into the dust filled air, as Kurt wrapped strong arms around him and teleported them a meter to the left, into Roy’s room.

He picked Roy up and ran out into the hallway.  Holes dotted the ceiling. The machine had eight legs, some of which bent and curled. There was a translucent body in the center that did look a lot like a spider body. An unconscious man with a long braid floated in a blue fluid that sloshed as another of those slender legs jabbed at a Japanese man on the stairs.

“Woah,” Kurt said as another man with a long braid jumped from the landing on the second floor, landing on the spider body. He had a blade of some kind and stabbed repeatedly at the enclosure around his twin. A blond man stood at the railing, firing accurate shots at the legs as they tried to hit the other combatants.

“It’s a monster,” Roy said, “And it ate my dad!”

Another fighter was at the legs, moving fast, some kind of glowing skate on her feet, as she moved around the legs, dodging them and wrapping some slender thread around them, weaving her net around the machine’s legs.

Roy looked around, spotted a window that he could see through, then teleported out into the yard, where he set the boy down.  Saphron and Jacob ran over to Roy.

“Where’s Juju,” Saphron asked, grabbing Roy into her arms. “Who the fuck are you?”

“He’s my friend! He helped me after the monsters before,” Roy said, squeaking a little as Saphron held him.

“I am Kurt Wagner,” he said bowing politely. “Can you take care of Little Brother while I help with the monster?”

“What the fuck are you,” Saphron snapped, eyes suspicious.

Jacob held up his communication device which said, “She means, ‘Thank you!’”

“I did not,” Saphron snarled. “He’s got three fingers? He’s not from Camelot!”

Several other kids were running up to them now, clinging to the older kids.

Kurt teleported back in, clinging to the shadows where he couldn’t be seen. It took him a moment of watching before he concluded that the blond was leading the battle. The air popped and he was up by the railing next to Quatre.

Quatre spun, his pistol up under Kurt’s chin as soon as he materialized.

Kurt jumped behind Quatre. “I want to help! I am a friend of Roy’s.”

“Are you... an alien?” Quatre snapped, taking the stranger at his word and going back to putting ballistic balls of energy into Sung’s machine.  “Are you Roy’s relative?”

“No, I’m a mutant, but I’m from Earth. Is the machine taking the long haired man? Do you want me to get him back for you?”

“If you could do that, I’d be extremely grateful.  I will reward you greatly.”

“I just want to help,” Kurt said.

Julia fell then, one of the long flexible legs knocking her off as Quatre had been distracted for a moment.

Kurt, having spent his childhood as an acrobat, teleported into mid air, caught her, then landed, letting her go, before immediately teleporting into the belly of the beast and grabbing the unconscious man.

The Japanese man grabbed one of the legs, held it firmly for as long as he could, which was just long enough for the woman on the fire skates to get her thread around it.  Kurt lifted the man, held him close, and teleported back to where the blond was giving the signal to bring the beast down.  The woman in the center pulled her magic twine and it fell. Tipping like a drunk giant.

The Japanese man fast enough that Kurt thought he might be a mutant too. He wasn’t as fast as Quicksilver, but he was fast. He was on his knees and pulling the unconscious man into his arms. He brushed long wet bangs from the man’s face and leaned to kiss his forehead.  
Kurt backed off, nodding, and then another person with a long brown braid stepped out of a room. Maybe it was a fashion or a religious thing. She ran to the unconscious man as well, checking his pulse, acting like a doctor.

Everything was very different here and he suddenly wondered how far from home he was.  

The spider cracked as it fell and golden firefly like dots rose up out of the broken machine. They swirled together into the form of a man made of light. He touched his palm to his lips and held it out like he was blowing a kiss.

The front wall of the house was down though and  Roy launched a spit covered pebble at the light figure using his slingshot. The figure spun and darkened, flowing towards the children in the yard. Charlotte ran towards them, but had to navigate debris and downed machine.

Kurt teleported again, just in time to be in front of the children and snarl back at the firefly man, using his demonic appearance for all it was worth. The snarling stream of light pulled up at the last minute and seemed to dissipate.

About that moment, a man in an American WWII uniform showed up in a jeep.  He jumped out and pulled his hat from his head. “Christly hell!”  He spun to look at Saphron.  “What happened? The house...”

Saphron stood up straight, lifted her chin, her hands in her back pockets, “Well, see, Mr. Anderson, Dad’s gettin’ married so he had to break up with’is boyfriend and all hell broke loose.”

“You don’t say,” Mr. Anderson said, “I’m here because.. I’m the militia.. But I guess I’m late.”

Mercy followed Heero out of the ruined house. “We have to take him to the hospital!”

Duo was slight in Heero’s arms, his head resting on Heero’s shoulder. The wet braid hung heavy down Heero’s back. “There are no hospitals here. It’s all done through the AI.”

“That’s crazy,” Mercy yelled, turning back to look at the ruined house. “This is all insane!”

“I understand this might all be a little bit of a shock,” Quatre said, having his polite face on again. “I think we’ll be relocating back to my ship.”

“You can all come to our house,” Mr. Anderson said. “We’d be happy to have you.”

Kurt, looking dazed as he stepped out over some debris to get free of the house.  “Is the battle over now?”

“For now,” Quatre said. “I thank you for your assistance. I’m Quatre Raberba Winner.”

“Kurt Wagner,” Kurt said. “Are you all mutants?”

“Not that I know of,” Quatre said. “Where is your ship? How did you get here?”

“Little brother brought me,” Kurt said, pointing at Roy, smiling, “Maybe he would be kind enough to send me home.”

“I don’t know how, but you saved Daddy. You can live here with us! We’ll make you a room when we fix the house!”

As the computer systems came back, Galen manifested. “I require help extracting Pikachu from the lower floor. He requires medical care that I do not have the energy to provide yet.”

“He wasn’t supposed to be alive anyway,” Quatre said resentfully.

“Can you make me a medical kit,” Mercy asked.

“I can, but I can not clear a safe path for you to get to him.” Galen said, looking distressed.

“Can you show me where he is,” Kurt asked. “Then I can take her to him.”

“I can,” Galen said, projecting an image of an unconscious Pikachu who was pinned under a fallen wall.

Kurt held out a hand to Mercy and they disappeared with a pop.

Roy jumped up and down, ran around in circles. “We win! We win!”

Saphron smiled, head tilted. “He’s sexy.”

Jacob crossed his arms, scowling. “I think he’s gay.”