Santa Clarita: Gundanium Shark 1/?
Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing or any of the bad shark movies that inspired this story. Also, any similarities to the Lake Placid movies, Sharktopus, Ice Spiders, or any other SyFy channel movie is completely coincidental...
Duo Maxwell leaned his head against the school bus window. Sitting on the uncharitable green seat, next to an angry little kid with no front teeth, which didn’t prevent the brat from threatening to bite him if he didn’t say well on his half of the seat, he thought he was the most miserable being in all of the Earthsphere. The tracking anklet on his ankle irritated him, not in any physical way. Martha was very good about making sure it didn’t cause any bruising or abrasions and was always more fucking difficult to get off after every time he successfully got it off.
He sighed, head against the warm glass window. He blew on the window, as if that would make it fog up. The environmental controls were so clearly broken on Earth and no one believed him, not even a little. It was summer, they said, and that’s why it was too hot to sleep. It was winter, they said, and that’s why frozen water fell from the sky... like that wasn’t some kind of horrible disaster just begging to happen. But bring one dead cow, and okay, a crazy South American woman, and you were some kind of dangerous evil plague, at least according to Sandy.
That had all been worth it though. The look on that fussy English teacher’s face was a prize worth keeping for years. It was like she’d never seen a whole in somebody’s hand before. He snickered to himself, fingers brushing over the warm glass that wouldn’t steam up no matter how hard he tried, and wondered how many fucking trees there could be along this road. Who would plant so many fucking trees and why? Maybe some king did it once, like the king who put out all those hedges in Versailles.
“What are you laughing about, you freak,” the kid next to him sneered.
Duo looked over at him, just his eyes moving, like violet sentinels that should put the fear of God into all manner of vermin. “Who you callin’ a freak, kid?”
“You,” the boy said before sticking out his tongue. “Over there kissin’ the window. Try ta touch me in mah sleep an’I’ll kill ya.”
“Shadup, brat,” Duo snapped back, “Ain’t nobody gonna touch you, you know. If they even try, you tell me and I’ll make sure they get what’s comin to’em.”
The boy tightened the arms across his chest, chin down. “What’s yer name?”
“I’m Duo Maxwell,” Duo said, smiling brighter. “Sandy thinks goin on this trip’ll make me ‘appreciate the Earth and the forces of nature’, but he don’t know nuthing.”
“Yeah,” the kid said. “It was time for me to move to a new foster family and they didn’t have one so, they sent me up here for two weeks. I’m Jose.”
“Nice ta meet ya,” Duo said, holding out his hand.
Jose stared at the hand, eyes lifting to look at Duo’s grin like he wasn’t exactly sure what kind of crazy Duo was. “You a homo? I’m from ELLL AAAA, man. We don’t be touching each other’s hands like that.”
“Yeah? Well, I’m from L2. Where’s Ellll Aaa?” Duo said, turning, one knee bent and then he had was sitting lotus style. “Do you like it there? What’s it like?”
“OH man,” Jose said, tilting his head suspiciously. “You ain’t never heard’ Los Angeles? Where’s L2?”
“About a million and half miles out. The Webb 9 telescope is at that point. It’s gonna be a great place now that the war’s over. Someday Ima go back and I’ll be a doctor. Ima gonna be a doctor.”
“You talk a lot,” Jose said, relaxing a bit. “And you’re crazy, but I guess that’s okay. You got any food?”
Duo wrinkled his nose and slipped a package of red licorice out of his jacket. He gave a couple vines to the kid, who shoved them into his pocket, just in time for Coach Yander to be glaring at them. “No outside food,” he said sternly, holding out his hand.
Duo shoved the last two vines into his mouth, grinned with them in his cheek, a bit of red smeared across his teeth. “Got no food.”
“Boy, you like food so much, you’re on kitchen duty tonight.” The man growled, his fat face a bit red in the nose.
As soon as he turned to walk back to the front of the bus, Duo flipped him off behind the seat.
“Sorry,” Jose whispered.
“Don’t worry. Ain’t no thing. Don’t worry. This ain’t gonna be so bad,” Duo said, pulling another hard candy from his back pocket and offering the little wrapped butterscotch to the boy.
“So you say,” Jose grumbled, the little candy disappearing. “You like guns?”
Duo tilted his head, violet eyes narrowing a little. “Yeah, and?”
“Just saying,” Jose said. “You bring any?”
“God no, Martha’d kill me so dead. We aren’t gonna need any. Look, as punishments go, this ain’t gonna be that bad. After I got Joel stabbed in the heart, I thought I was gonna go to prison. Fish camp is a prize.”
Jose turned away, arms tight across his chest and refused to say anything else.
“Fine. Whatever,” Duo said, turning back to the window. Maybe that was the punishment of fish camp... not having anyone to talk to. That might actually be genuinely painful. He crossed his arms over his chest too, hands under his arms and thought about Heero. Heero understood him, or at least was okay with having him around. Jazz and he had cheer choreography to get done. Him being suck out here was a hardship for her too, unless she just founds someone else to work with. For a moment he had a vivid daymare of getting home and being told he’d been kicked of cheer squad. Well, breaking and entering had kinda been a violation of his probation. Worse could happen that getting kicked off cheer squad and sent to fish camp.
His shoulder slumped and he felt like an idiot. Always so eager to prove he was right. Stupid.
And while the window wouldn’t fog up, there was plenty of fog having over his head. Fuck. Everyone.
The camp didn’t look any more exciting than the endless tree garden had to Duo and he sighed dramatically as he oozed down the exit stairs like some teenage sludge spill. The world was ending. Wufei would seduce Heero and Heero would realize that the Imperial Chinese Emperor was a way better match than an obnoxious brat who used to eat out of garbage cans.
“I’m Dr. Jewls Le Chance. I’m a professor of mythology at the University of Oxford. I’ll be your lead assistant on your educational journey! I know you’re all tired from the trip,” a perky red headed man said, “So I’d like to give you all your cabin assignments. That way you can put your things away, get cleaned up, and meet us in the main hall for dinner! We have several tracks for you to consider joining during your time here. There’s archeology, marine biology, and forestry. All of them have excellent leaders! Please give all of them your consideration. Now, let’s get you to your cabins!”
Duo wrinkled his nose. It sounded... fun... that just didn’t feel right. It was a trap somehow.
But the dinner was fine. The other kids seemed... normal enough.
“Before we all go to our cabins though, I need to let you know some rules,” Professor Jewls said, “Not a whole lot - as we trust you to have common sense and be decent to each other. This is a multi-use facility. We share with the United States Army. The areas that are not safe for us to use are clearly defined. Do not go beyond the signs. Do not leave the main camp without one of our two way phones. We want you to explore and have a fantastic time, but safely. Okay! Go put your things up and down to the main hall for dinner.”
So... Joel hadn’t actually died and the Mary was finding the Cornflake Princess really interesting. As he ate dinner, he thought about how Heero and Wufei would be as a couple and really, that wasn’t gonna last really long, even if they did try it. Wufei would be all... you don’t speak properly. You don’t dress right. Why do you sleep like that? And Heero would want to get all cuddly in the middle of the night and Wufei would get all bristly and then they’d be back to being friends. Heero really did like to cuddle and he really didn’t like to be told what to do or how to speak.
“You all glassy eyed. You on drugs,” a girl across from him asked insultingly.
Duo wrinkled his nose and made a face at her, eyes crossed, tongue out the side of his mouth, food on his tongue.
“Oh grosss,” she groaned and got up and moved.
Duo held Heero’s chopsticks up as if he were offering her back an obscene gesture. Heero was gonna miss his chopsticks, Duo thought, grinning crookedly.
The next person to sit down opposite of him was a pretty black man, soft curvy lips, beautiful brown eyes, dreadlocks to his shoulders, capped with golden beads. Maybe if Heero and Wufei were going to fuck while he was away, maybe he’d do this pretty incarnation of chocolate. “Hey,” he said sweetly. The man was clearly an adult, but Duo lead with, “Which path did you pick while you’re here?”
All the things that had clearly been building to come out the man’s mouth dropped to a blank face for a moment as his mouth dropped... but then his eyes narrowed. “I’m Shelly. I’m the head of anthropological studies. I was interested in seeing if you’d like to join my track.”
“OH yeah, totally thinking about it,” Duo said, winking. He hadn’t seen a lot of people with that kind of dark onyx skin. That woulda been real cool to have when he was piloting. He and Deathscythe couldna been the same color. That woulda been hella cool. “I am totally thinking about joining you.”
That lead to several moments of words that didn’t make it past the pretty man’s tongue. “You can’t flirt with me. I’m staff.”
“Sure I can,” Duo pointed out. “I already am. See how easy that was?”
“How old are you anyway? 14?”
Duo stabbed Heero’s chopsticks into a potato. “I’m seventeen. Fuck you.”
“Not this year,” Shelly said. “I think you might like marine biology.” And with that the pretty black man was gone.
Duo actually growled at the next kid that tried to sit with him. Fuck. He’d been exiled! He wanted to be at home! It was the only real home he’d ever known and he didn’t need new fucking teachers. He wanted Martha to tell him what to do, to make everything normal. He wanted to sit on their bed and read stupid stories with Heero. This was so wrong! It was inhumane! It was unfair!
“Hey,” a woman said as she sat down, kicked his feet out of her spot and took a bit of her burrito.
After a moment where his glaring did nothing at all to her, he replied. “Hey.”
“So I hear you signed up for marine biology.”
“Whatever. It’s fine. I guess.”
“Great! I was hoping we’d get you. You have piloting experience, yes?”
“Yeah...,” he said, while looking at her suspiciously. Did she not know who he was?
“Great! We have a two person submarine and you’re our only pilot. “I’m Captain Ripley. I hear you’re the best pilot in the war.”
Duo perked up, smiling. “I’m kinda good.”
“Well, great,” she said after swallowing and on her way to another bit, “I’m jazzed to have Heero Yuy on my team.”
Duo’s face fell, violet eyes wide and puppy like.
“See? Not fun, right? Don’t be an asshole to the other teachers. They ain’t military and they don’t get paid enough to put up with your shit, Maxwell. They’re just nice folk.”
“Whatever,” Duo said, blushing, feeling a little like an asshole himself. “Can I go now,” he asked already getting up to go no matter what Ripley said.
“Sure. You know you have unfiltered, uncensored, unlimited high speed internet acces in your private cabin, right?”
He perked completely up, glowing just about. “Okay. Whatever.”
“Also, there’s a very nice camera in your room. Everyone gets one. You can take it home with you. The photos you take with it while you’re here belong to the camp. You can use them too, but we they’re important to our work.”
Duo’s jaw shifted to the side, eyes narrowed, like she was trying to sell him a bridge. “An I just getta keep it?”
“Yup. What you do for science and community is important, Duo. You’re important.”
“Uh,” he said, spinning on his heel, braid flaring. He’d believe that when ... well. He wished he could believe that.
He found his little cabin to be ... nice. The bed was comfortable, even more cushy than their bed at home. The computer powered right on and spoke to him, playing music on voice command. He really wanted to be suspicious. It didn’t seem even remotely reasonable that folk would make this kind of place for kids that couldn’t pay, or for kids at all, but he just couldn’t really find anything to be legitimately suspicious about.
He sent Heero an email telling him all about it. He wrote Wufei and told him in a way to make Wu jealous. He wrote Jazz and told her all about his fears and how stupid he felt. He wrote Martha and begged to come home. He wrote Joel and told him it was all his fault and he would never see him again because he was going to be worked to death... to deaaatttttthhhhh.
Joel replied with a selfie.. A beer in one hand, a cigarette between his lips, and his middle finger up. Martha told him to focus on his work, not to be lazy. Jazz wanted to know if he had access to social media and if he was going to be home in time to help with getting everyone ready for cheer tournament and god, why did he have to get himself in trouble so much. Wufei said he didn’t care. Heero sent him a selfie that made Duo blush and neeeeed to take a nap. Which he did... and then he fell asleep, sprawled half dressed across his very comfy bed.
The knock on his door brought him slowly awake. It was dark outside his windows. “Yeah?”
“Hey,” a strange voice called. “We’re gonna watch a movie. There’s ice cream and popcorn and lemonade. Come watch with us?”
His first reaction was to say no, but then his stomach growled and he was kinda lonely and ice cream and .. “Yeah, I’ll be right there.”
“Great,” the voice said, sounding genuinely pleased. “I’m Darren, by the way. I’m doing marine biology too.”
“Cool,” Duo said, screwing up his face as he yawned. “What movie?”
“It’s Jaws. Old classic. Have you seen it?”
“Naw, I’ll be there in a few minutes,” he said.
So what was a classic movie called Jaws about? Maybe it was like Saw, but with teeth... maybe. He wished they were going to watch the newer Alien movie. Whatever.
True to his word, a few minutes later he end up in the main hall in clean jeans and a tee-shirt, his damp hair in a ponytail, his cross on top of his shirt. The red headed dude offered him a bowl of popcorn or a bowl of ice cream. He took both and went to sit on the floor. The screen was nice with 3d projection. The lights were down and the movie started.
Okay. It was a romance. Meh. Maybe it would be okay.
The water looked really good. He wanted to see light from under the water like that. That was cool. It looked kind of like being weightless. That was cool.