Posts tagged red vs blue.
RvB: Graduation (Happy Birthday, Nem!)
He held her hand softly, fingers interlaced. “What’s your favourite graduation?” he whispered, keeping this tradition of small, harmless, personal questions in the dark. She was always herself when no one could see her.
“What do you mean?” she said, genuine.
“Mine was fifth grade.” He turned and gestured out into the room, even if it was so dark he knew she couldn’t see. “We all got tiny caps and gowns like we were graduating high school, but it only took ten minutes because you can’t make nine year olds sit still for much longer. We got a giant piece of paper and then threw our hats at each other. My parents bought me ice cream.” He squeezed her hand a little before adding, explaining, “my mother had passed away by my high school graduation. It was so much longer, too. More stuffy.”
She raised their hands and kissed the back of his. Compassion. Another thing she was so good at, in the dark. “Last time my parents were together was in Kindergarten.” She gave it more thought, and Wash heard her lick her lips. “I think my favourite is college. It was long. Neither of my parents came. I didn’t get ice cream,” she added, with a smile. “But I did it. Without any help, I did it.”
They lay there in silence for a while, her thumb making circles over his. “Did you join right after?” he said.
“Yep,” Connie nodded, like it was the most natural thing in the world. “I’d just graduated college. I thought I could do anything.”
“You can,” he said, without thought. Without hesitation. She squeezed his hand.
“Sometimes, I think so too.” She rolled over, closer to him, and he smiled as she fell asleep, slowly, into his arms.
“You seem like you’d be the type to fall in love often,” she said, and he wasn’t sure why he took offense to it.
“Is that wrong?” Wash stammered, half defensive, half apologetic. “How many times have you been in love, then?”
“Twice.” The number hung in the air, filling the space between them with intimidation. “Once in high school. It was probably more puppy love than anything. And then again, just after college.”
“We grew up,” she said with a shrug. “We didn’t grow up together, so when I left for training, there wasn’t anything to sustain.” Connie said all of this looking at the ceiling. His sheets covered her bare hips, just a corner. She had declared it too hot and lacked the modesty to care that the rest of her lay exposed in the dark. The number two floating between them. Or maybe just over him. “I bet you tell girls you love them after a month.”
He crossed his arms, laying down on his back next to her and pouting slightly. “What of it?”
“Doesn’t it, I don’t know, cheapen it? If you say it so often.”
“How can it cheapen what you feel? I say it because it’s true.” She turned to him, looking at him with that intense curiosity that always made him want to share secrets.
“How do you have so much? I mean. You’d run out eventually. You’d get hurt and you’d stop saying it so often because it lets people hurt you.”
“It lets people love you,” he corrected, holding to his point. All defense now.
“Love hurts,” she concluded, rolling back again.
“People hurt,” he corrected again. “Love-“
“I’m tired,” she said, with a certain finality. I’m tired of this conversation. I’m tired of love.
It took him three months longer to say it to her. And three weeks shorter to feel it.
He was worried that it’d look like he was stalking her. Maine had grown used to the way women looked at him. As a threat.
He couldn’t blame them, knowing that he stood three times as tall and as wide as most of the ones he’d met. Knowing he didn’t smile because there usually wasn’t a reason to, so getting into an elevator next to him he could almost feel a young woman’s heart rate double. Going back to his car at night, he could see how quickly they took their steps. It never bothered him, because they were just doing what they needed to so they could feel safe. He could relate. It’s why he had these muscles, this frown, these hands that eclipsed a man’s face in a fist. Some people walk fast. Maine punches, and thinks after. Maine is confidence.
But for a while, after they’d all been introduced and the ship had lifted off towards their first as-a-team mission, he really thought he was in trouble. He was working so hard to be trustworthy and, well, not appealing, but not off-putting, either. He took the time to articulate. He smiled twice a day, on average. He was playing by the army team-building handbook.
Except fucking Carolina and her flawless ability to always, always be in the gym at the exact moment he decided to work out. A creature of habit, he spent the first week working out right after he got up, seven in the morning until ten. It was his routine planet-side. It could be his routine here.
RvB Prompt: Whispers
Prompt from Nem: You’re one of my secrets, too. Wash/CT
She always thought he spoke in little private bursts, moments he makes his own as he leans into her ear. She used to accuse him of stealing them, but the more she got to know him, the more she realized that stealing anything was far too dishonest for him. She still wasn’t sure how she felt about that. But she knew how she felt when he would lean over during lunch and mutter something only for her ears, and stolen or not, it was private. It was intimate. It was just like him.
He always thought she was telling him a secret. The way she smiled when he starined to hear, and the small laugh she always had when he asked her to repeat something. Sometimes she slipped him notes, and he thought he was in some kind of spy movie, and the paper would self-destruct after he read it. The more he got to know her, the more she seemed like a secret herself, from her words to her laugh to her smile to the way she held his hand. No one had ever trusted him with a secret before.
poolwatcher asked: Prompt: "I believe we lied, even though we said it was the truth. We were never in love with each other, it only felt just the same." Pairing/character of your choice.
“Love doesn’t come easy,” he said one night, and she frowned in the darkness.
“Shouldn’t it, though?” she said, rustling herself free from his embrace to turn and face him. “Shouldn’t it just be easy and natural? Shouldn’t it come when we feel it, and without having to fight for it?”
“No one writes about the ones that come easy,” he offered, after a moment.
“That’s because everyone writes with a broken heart,” she said back, turning around again so his face was buried between her shoulder blades.
He was quiet for a while, breathing her in to gather courage. She felt him tense up and ask, “does this come easy to you? I mean, natural?”
“Yes,” Connie answered, eyes open in the darkness. As he relaxed into her, she smiled and pressed against him, all second thoughts gone. This feeling, this smell, his arms around her. This was love. Surely, this was love.
Later, she would think, loving and lying are only a few letters apart.
completelysane asked: For Wash/CT: "But I will not chase your shadow as you go from room to room/dropping handkerchiefs and daggers, smoking guns and other clues"
CT never thought herself hard to find, not for someone who had all of the Freelancer network at their disposal. Sure, the Insurrectionists had done their best hiding her behind a new voice and a new signal and, for good measure, in the middle of a desert, but she knew better than to think the Director didn’t know about it. She still spent those first few months waiting for someone, someone very specific, to do just a little digging and follow the smoking trail of self destruction that she left in her wake.
queen-of-france asked: "If you’re leaving close the door/ I’m not expecting people anymore/ Hear me grieving, I’m lying on the floor/ Whether I’m drunk or dead I really ain’t too sure/ I’m a blind man, I’m a blind man/ and my world is pale/ When a blind man cries, lord, you know/ there ain’t no sadder tale" - Deep Purple, "When A Blind Man Cries"
Donut could never quite explain how terrifying of a thing armor stasis lock was. Recovery mode did not include pain killers, or sleep medication, or muscle relaxants. It include an acute and accurate awareness of how a bullet through the chest would feel. It included a return to consciousness to see a headless Lopez and an empty base, and an inability to move his head. For days he thought that the others were just behind him, and he couldn’t hear them over the pain.
He couldn’t help but think that if Doc was still here, he’d be able to fix him up faster. The armor seemed to be pulling the bullet out, slowly, through the hole it had made. Then it got very hot for some time, and he could feel his lungs fight for space and air, losing both battles. Donut was convinced that Doc would help the situation - if it was to fix him or put him down, he didn’t care. Not anymore.
It was even worse when the wound had healed, and he just lay there. There was some form of nutrient that was being injected into his arm. He wondered how much of it they’d thought to put in the suit.
Then one day, his finger twitched. His muscles flexed and he jumped before the armor could change its mind, standing. Breathing. Whole.
He looked around.
A Bit of a SNAFU
Zuzanna prompted me with: “I’m waking up to ash and dust /I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust /I’m breathing in the chemicals /I’m breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison buzz/ This is it, the apocalypse” - Imagine Dragon, “Radioactive”
“Situation Normal: All Fucked Up,” Simmons explained.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me, that’s what it stands for?” Grif said with a wide eyed sigh. “I have been criminally under-using this term, and saying some shit like “good morning” in its place. Remind me of that tomorrow, Simmons. If I greet you with “good morning” while the goddamn universe is falling to bits around us at the hand of some fucking freelancer, you-“
“Punch you? I’ll take punch.”
“Fuck you, man. HOw about we just always greet each other with SNAFU from now on, because situation normal in this army will never not be fucked up?”
Simmons gave this some thought, and then corrected, “I think SUSFU would work better in these conditions.”
“I don’t even fucking care,” Grif said. After a minute, and with a very theatrical sigh, he asked, “what does that one stand for?”
completelysane asked: "There’s no one to talk to/All I can think/Is your eyes are full of train smoke/And your mouth tastes like rain/And I know when I know nothing/I will always know your name" Wash/CT, maybe AU where she stays during the time he's implanted.
For the longest time since meeting him, she refused to call him anything other than Wash. Washington was never even an option. She remembered when he introduced himself and said “David”, our of habit. His cheeks turned red and he immediately tried to correct it, saying he wasn’t used to code names. She cut him off and said her name was Connie, and he thought she’d also confessed her real name for an entire month. York had come up to her later and said his name was Wash, when she asked what it was short for, York laughed. She looked it up in on a map later.
“David,” she would say as she sat next to his hospital bed, her hand tentatively next to his but never touching. It always calmed him down. It took her a few days to realize she should try it. She’d been saying “Wash” with no effect.
She only had another few days left. He hadn’t opened his eyes yet.
She kept going back and forth on her goodbye. If he was still unconscious, it might be easier. She thought about taking his hand. Maybe kissing him. Would she kiss David? Would she even kiss Wash at this point?
He moved again, and whimpered. She leaned close and whispered that everything was going to be alright.
That she was here for him.
Here for you,
From Nem: And Sarge/Tex, with him trying to convince her to join Red Team. Yes.
“You want to be on the winning team,” Sarge said. It had always convinced him. He wanted to be a winner, and be on the winning team, so obvious that was Red Team. Because he was a winner, and he was a Red.
Tex laughed at him. “Any team I’m on is the winning team.”
“Exactly! Glad we’re in agreement!” He looked her over as she stood there, confused. “Your armor isn’t really red, but we let Grif stay here and he’s orange, so we can make an exception.”
“I thought he was more yellow,” Tex corrected. “Anyway, I’m a freelancer. I’m not on anyone’s team but my own.”
“Exactly!” he said triumphantly, and Tex was starting to consider leaving the conversation. “And your own team should be the best team around! Which is my team. Red Team. You should join us.”
“We win more than 70% of our battles, unless you ask Lopez, but I think his wiring is a little funny. He keeps saying 33%, and we all know that can’t be right.”
“I’m going to go back to Blue Base now.”
“Well, think about it,” he yelled after her. “It’s a limited time offer!” It always seemed like deadlines were what motivated people. They always motivated him. He nodded in self-satisfaction. She’d be back this afternoon to take him up on it, for sure.
The Kind You Want to Tell
From Nem: I also request Wash telling Internals that someone besides CT was the traitor.
It would be a really simple lie. He knew how to be dishonest. Like when his mother made meatloaf and he told her it was his favourite food. It was basically the same thing, wasn’t it? When he met with a bunch of high school girls from a different district and he awkwardly told them he was two years older, eighteen, almost graduated. Or when he fed his peas to the dog for half a year straight and got congratulated by his mom, then yelled at by his dad when he got caught. Or how he tells North that he likes Captain America better even though Superman is clearly the superior superhero.
It was just like a white lie. Well, maybe slightly grayish.
“I think you should take a closer look at Wyoming,” he said in one controlled breath. There. It wasn’t that bad.
It was just like telling Connie that he didn’t mean it when he said “I love you.”
Force of Habit
From Poolwatcher: Prompt: “I believe we lied, even though we said it was the truth. We were never in love with each other, it only felt just the same.” Pairing/character of your choice.
“It’d be just like you,” she said, quietly, and it scared him because she never said anything quietly. “God, Church, I’m leaving in the morning. Can’t you just give me a proper sendoff without making me question this?”
“I never made you question it,” he said, “You’ve always done that by yourself.”
Allison laughed a low, sarcastic chuckle, and Church frowned. “Don’t make this out like I’m imagining things. You’ve always liked ideas.”
“What does that have to do with anything?” he said, confused.
“You love the idea of me.” She sighed in an I-don’t-want-to-fight-anymore way. Church knew it well.
“Where’s the harm in that?” he said as he leaned over and kissed her forehead. She didn’t respond. “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” she echoed.