Torchwood, Team, Star Wars
Star Rift Wars! - Torchwood, team, PG-13, CRACK!!!
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
SCENE 1 - Above Tattooine. Or the Welsh countryside. Same difference.
Princess Tosh's vessel is under attack. She quickly records a message in her R2 unit.
"Help me Ianto-won Kenobi! You're my only hope!"
Darth Harkness boards the ship, stylish in his black cloak, and glares sexily at all the rebel soldiers until they die or surrender.
R2-D2 and C-3P0 flee the ship before they too can come under Darth Harkness spell.
("Wait, Jack, you're playing the bad guy?" "Just go with it for a second, would you?")
SCENE 2 - Outside a Tattooine Moisture Farm
Owen Skywalker is chasing after his uncle Rhys' used droid purchases, which fled in the night.
("Rhys is playing Owen's uncle?" "If the tunic fits..." "Jack!")
"There you are. Where do you think you're going?"
A noise sounds off in the distance, and a robed figure appears.
"Ianto-won Kenobi! This droid has a message for you!"
Sigh "I go all the way out here in the desert to avoid getting calls and cleaning up messes and they still manage to find me. Come on Owen, let's get you to your destiny. And here's a laser sword to play around with. Don't lop anything off or I'll have to mop up the blood."
("I never complain about cleaning!" "Out loud.")
SCENE 3 - Mos Eisly space port. Or Cardiff. Really, same difference.
"I didn't know you made fake IDs, Ianto-won."
"The Force of persuasion, and a good suit, can have a powerful influence on the shallow minded."
Inside the cantina, at a table with some questionable characters.
"I'm Captain Jack Solo. My first mate Coopie says you need transport-."
("Stop right there! I'm a Wookie?" "Gwen, you have the longest hair. Of course you're the Wookie." "Why do you get to play two roles, Jack?" "Because this story has a lot of parts and no one else was suited for them." "But if you're also Darth Vader-." "Quiet, more story now!")
A ruckus ensues. Ianto-won slices someone's arm off, Captain Jack gets shot, but is fine anyway, and Owen Skywalker doesn't do anything useful.
("Hey!" "I call them how I see them.")
They escape dramatically in the Torchwood Falcon. It's awesome.
SCENE 4 - The Rift Star
"Think we can pull the old uniform switch on these guys?"
"Don't see why not! They can't be smarter than Weevils."
Later, on the cell block.
"Princess Tosh, we're here to rescue you!"
"Oh, I'd already hacked my way out of my cell, but thanks for the weapons. Now where's Ianto-won?"
("Why am I getting ignored by everyone?" "Owen, who's telling this story?" Sigh. "Right.")
Owen Skywalker and Princess Tosh escape to the Torchwood Falcon with Jack Solo and Coopie as Ianto-won and Darth Harkness battle and grapple for supremacy...
("Uh guys, this is a family film." *cough* "Right, sorry, got carried away in the roleplaying.")
Ianto-won falls beneath Darth Harkness-.
("Cut it out, you two!")
And the rest of our heroes make another dramatic escape. It's rather spectacular.
SCENE 5 - Rebel base, probably somewhere in the North Country
"A small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. Fire there, and the Rift Star is finished..."
"Sorry Owen Skywalker, I got paid, so I can't stick around."
"I thought you were a good guy."
"Looks aren't everything."
("Someone record this moment for posterity!" "Let me finish!")
SCENE 6 - The Rift Star, again
"Stay on target! Use the Force, Owen!"
"Damn it, Ianto, I'm a doctor not a-."
("Wrong story! Get it right!")
"Ah, the Force of personality is 'strong' with this one." Darth Harkness looms behind Owen Skywalker's X-Wing.
("Jack, why the hell are you making Luke out to be such a wanker?")
Suddenly Jack Solo dives out of the sun and blows Darth Harkness' escort to smithereens, pitching him out into the blackness of space.
"Make this shot, kid, you can do it!"
("This is why, you realize. He's always said Han Solo was the real hero of Star Wars." "Damnit.")
Owen Skywalker makes the easy shot and the Rift Star explodes.
Everyone flies off into the sunset. It's fabulous.
("Jack, that was the worst retelling of Star Wars I've ever heard." "Would you prefer flying off into the sunset or coming back here to the Rift every day?" Sigh "Tell it again, Jack, tell it again." "Don't encourage him, it only gets worse from here on out!")
Dollhouse, author's choice, commemorating the end of the world
The Givers - Dollhouse, Priya/Tony, Echo/Paul, PG
If they were to light a candle for every life lost, they'd have to burn the world. Visiting a graveyard to mourn those who'd died was as simple as stepping outside; the land was a memorial cemetery to itself.
They didn't cry for the end of life as they had known it. They celebrated the lives left, every memory they'd retained, and every new life that had come since.
Fresh food made the tables groan with their weight, and the guests of honor, from ages seven years to seven days, ran or crawled or cried throughout the crowd.
Priya watched T play with the other kids as Tony held a small audience in thrall with tales from the resistance a few years back. Some of the stories were painful, and some of them frightened her to the bone, but every memory was more precious than diamonds, and could not be forgotten. Priya felt Tony squeezing her hand hard as he spoke about changing the contents of his mind over and over again to survive.
Behind her were her new pictures, painted on scraps of metal or siding rather than stretched canvas. The colors were brighter, now that she had the time to search for new pigments, and were as cheerful as Tony's stories were grim. Most of them held T in their abstract shapes, and they brought smiles to the faces of everyone who looked at them.
She saw Echo and Paul looking at her pictures together, Echo's hands hovering above the surface of one with suggestions of five-lobed flowers, Paul's spirit in her gaze smiling sadly at Priya's impressions of the Dollhouse sleeping pods. There were unexpectedly good memories in some of those misty, mostly-forgotten times, and Echo and Paul would know most of them.
Tony's story drew to a close, and he bowed his head as the audience murmured their thanks for sharing. Priya squeezed his hand and nodded slightly in Echo's direction.
"Echo? Do you want to celebrate a memory?" Tony asked, voice a little hoarse from more than just talking.
Echo paused, the conflict within her holding her still for a moment, and finally came towards them. She sat down next to Priya, who stretched out her free hand to warm Echo's chilled fingers.
"Paul and I both have something to celebrate," Echo said, looking out at the survivors at her feet.
"Celebrate the memory with us," they chorused back to her.
"And never let it die," the storytellers responded.
Then she began to speak, bringing their history to life.
Dollhouse, any (active), An active's birthday
Happy - Dollhouse, Sierra/Victor, PG
"I have a face on my pancakes," Sierra announced.
Victor looked over, and yes, slices of strawberry and banana had been arranged on Sierra's breakfast to make a smiley face.
"Yes, you do," he agreed affably.
Sierra looked at the pancakes, smiled, and ate some of the fruit. "It tastes very good."
"Sierra, what's your favorite thing to do?"
Topher waited far more patiently than normal as Sierra considered the question in a Doll's typical dreamy way. He could afford to be a little patient today; it was her day after all.
"I like to paint," she said finally, waving at the watercolor desks set up in one corner of the House.
"Right. Of course. Same thing every year," Topher sighed. "Come on up."
Yasmine laughed as she flung broad stripes of color across the canvas, smearing them with hands and brush to form happy, broad shapes; the suggestion of a leaf, a smile, a tree, the sun. By the time she was done, the whole picture was a blaze of pleasure, a celebration of everything good in the world.
"It's wonderful, it's perfect!" she laughed, throwing her paint-smeared hands wide.
"I'm glad to hear that Yasmine. Would you like a treatment?" her observer asked her.
"Oh yes, thank you."
"Did I fall asleep?"
"For a little while," Topher said, trying to wipe the extra paint off his shirt where "Yasmine" had hugged him in a fit of exuberance.
"Shall I go now?"
"Yeah, how about you spend some time swimming?"
"I like to swim," Sierra said. "I like that picture too," she added, pointing to the newest painting on Topher's wall.
"Glad that you do. Go swim. Now," Topher said, pointing, and Sierra left his lab with a faint smile on her face.
"You have a cupcake today," Victor said, pointing to the brightly frosted, brilliantly sprinkled chocolate cake one of the handlers had given to Sierra.
"I like cupcakes," Sierra said. She furrowed her brow a moment as she looked at Victor, and decisively pulled the cupcake in two.
"Now you have a cupcake too," she said, beaming.
Victor took the sweet from her hand, smearing frosting on both of them, and gently took a bite, his eyes never leaving her hand.
"You look happy," Echo said, as Sierra and Victor came to sleep for the night.
"It was a happy day today. I liked it," Sierra said, her fingers still showing faint traces of paint and frosting.
"I'm glad. You're best when you're happy."
Sierra just smiled at everyone as she laid back her bed, and idly painted invisible pictures on the wall with her hands.
Criminal Minds, Reid/Morgan, measuring tapes don’t lie
Everybody Wins - Criminal Minds, Reid-Morgan, PG
"It's true." Morgan sounded vaguely impressed as he pulled the measuring tape away, threading the free end through the fingers of one hand as the other kept a firm grip at the place he'd marked.
"It's not possible," Reid insisted, trying to get a glimpse of the measurement.
"Believe me, I'd rather not lose the bet, but measuring tapes don't lie," Morgan said, sounding resigned.
"Let me take my own measurements, then. I have my own experimental protocols to follow-."
"Reid, face it, you've won. Accept it with good grace."
Reid just stared at him for a minute, silent as he usually never was. With a very small exasperated sigh, Morgan exposed himself enough for Reid to use his own tape. Careful not to pinch, Reid encircled the measuring tape and made his own reading. Three different times, of course, to get the mean average.
"I'd say it looks pretty conclusive. You're going to win," Reid said positively. "The hard work paid off. No one can argue that."
Morgan finally cracked a smile and flexed his bicep once more before rolling his sleeve back down.
"Fifteen and a half inches around your upper arm. You're definitely going to cream the ATF team at the inter-agency games this year," Reid said, grinning.
"Yeah, and you, Mr. 28-inch waist, are going to be my living dummy for the fireman's carry race. So glad you decided to volunteer this time around." Morgan's grin grew to shit-eating proportions.
Reid sighed, and put the traitorous tapes back in his desk drawer. "I'm sure J.J. will appreciate the break."
Heroes, Sylar, he hungers
Consume - Heroes, Sylar, PG-13
Nothing so normal should become an obscenity. Pie should not turn into betrayal. Tea should not become torture. Yogurt should not signify your immanent death. Desire should not turn into murder.
No one should want something so much that it consumes them entirely. It was as if every sin of his childhood rose up like the sorrows from Pandroa's box, to spread out over his world and taint it forever more. He had been told to want more than he was given, to be forever ambitious, to grasp for something greater than himself.
He wanted, now. He hungered, more and more with every kill. Brian Davis had almost been out of curiosity. Trevor Zeitlan had been from jealousy. Chandra Suresh had been purely out of frustration. But after that... It drove him, waking and sleeping, and he did little of the latter. He wanted, he needed to take more. The more he had, the more he wanted, more power, more knowledge, more truth. If he went too long without another power or new secret, he found himself buying something from every food cart and store, consuming and taking what he could get, instead of what he wanted.
If he hadn't been so restless in his hunting, he suspects he would become terribly fat.
He watches his most elusive catch go through her morning routine, a terribly hunger gnawing in his belly and distracting his mind. Almost absently he pulls an apple from his pocket and begins to consume it, as Claire Bennet's mother leaves her alone in the house.
Very soon he would get to feast. Sylar smiled as he took another bite of the firm red fruit, the hunger inside him rising up to consume the protests and cries of his starved and skeletal conscience.
Author’s Choice, author’s choice, wedding dress shopping
Winner – Heroes, Matt/Daphne, PG
"I've never done this..." Matt said uncertainly, as Daphne tugged him into the dress store.
Daphne rolled her eyes as she began to sort through the bewildering array of lace, ribbon, silk, taffeta, and netting. "Please, of the two of us here, only one of us has actual, hands on wedding experience."
"Janice picked out the dress with her mother! I was banned from going in the shop! I didn't see it until the wedding day!" Matt protested.
Daphne paused, her hands on something lacy and elegant, and finally giggled. "Yeah, I don't suppose you're the type to pour over wedding catalogues." She looked down at the price tag, raised her eyebrows, looked at Matt wistfully, and then let the dress go.
"Not so much..." Matt said.
First thing I pick is the most expensive dress in the store. Good to know I haven't lost my touch. Daphne's thought came in loud and clear, and she looked up at Matt expectantly, a mischievous grin on her face.
"I'm going to go sit by the dressing rooms like all the other men," Matt said faintly. Giggling, Daphne disappeared into the sea of white froth, tossing him a wave over her shoulder.
Ten minutes later, Daphne was back, her arms full to the brim with an explosion of expensive fabrics. Another minute later, she was back from the dressing room, turning and pirouetting in their own private fashion show.
The first dress was something that a fairy princess might wear, with a huge skirt, more fluff than should be allowed, and beading glittering with every breath Daphne took.
Matt's mouth dropped open at the very un-Daphne-like picture this presented, and abruptly shut it when her thought came through: I feel like Fairy Godmother Barbie.
"Fairy Godmother Barbie?!" Matt snorted.
Daphne struggled not to laugh as she flounced back for a dress change. There was one with a huge, elaborate train (I'd have my own personal wedding Slip and Slide! Just add water...), one with glittering crystals in the skirt and bodice (If I sit down with this on, it'll look like I have chicken pox on my butt), a sleeveless one with white-on-white brocaded embroidery (You'd have to have tits like Dolly Parton to pull this one off), and one with a simple halter strap around the neck (Yeah, let's have a noose on the wedding day, so symbolic...).
Matt and Daphne could barely look at each other by the time they were on the last dress, because the clerks were already wondering why they were laughing at seemingly nothing. But as Daphne stalked out in the final gown, Matt was speechless.
It was short, shockingly so, and body-hugging, showing off Daphne's legs... and where her legs met her back, and... most everything else. White, of course, with just a hint of fancy embroidery to make it feel extra special.
Matt stood up almost involuntarily, and Daphne smiled. "I think we have a winner." Yes, we definitely do, she added mentally, looking him up at down. "So, think we can find a matching tux for you?" she asked innocently, and tried to stifle her giggles as Matt tried to keep from blushing at the thought that accompanied it.
Leverage/any, Parker/any, pyromaniacs
Distraction – Leverage/Heroes, Parker/Elle, PG-13
"Ooo, they're like ants running from bleach!" Parker said in fascination.
"I know, right?" Elle whispered back, as sparks cascaded down from the ceiling. The mall patrons were covering their hair with their hands and running in every direction as long as it held a door. "Check it." Elle slapped her hand on an outlet and let loose another torrent of blue lightning.
The neon signs above the storefronts exploded into more sparks and then promptly caught on fire, and the scattered patrons all but sprinted for the open doors.
"That's so cool!" Parker said. "Hang on..." She paused, as if listening to something.
"Parker? Parker, is everyone out? We need a bigger distraction-," Nate said over the earbud.
"What?" Elle asked, neatly stepping out of the way of another spark cascade.
"Yup, everyone's out. Just give me a bit more time..." Parker said, looking around with a smile on her face.
She leapt onto the ornamental stonework of an outdoor supply store and quickly climbed up to the fabric hanging in swathes across the ceiling. It just took a few minutes' work to get them to fall onto the burning signs. Elle grinned as the fabric fluttered to its fiery doom, and Parker quickly scrambled down.
"That ought to be a good distraction!" Parker said with satisfaction. Elle reached up to grab her hand and pull her out of the way of falling fire. They stood in the service exit hallway, watching the should-have-been-condemned-a-while-ago-i
Hand-in-hand, laughing, the two blondes dashed for the exit before they could get too wet, bursting out into the spark-filled fiery night.
Leverage/any, Parker/any, Bad Things (Jace Everet)
Really Bad Things - Leverage/Heroes, Parker/Elle, NC-17
Parker wasn't nearly as innocent as she played. No, she didn't know any social rituals. She was terrible at flirting, small talk, innuendo, and body language, at least what Sophie hadn't managed to teach her yet. But Parker wasn't some untouched, repressed school girl. She'd barely even gone to school.
She knew how it worked, if she could find someone else who just wanted the physical. The fun part, as she called it. The blonde in electric blue hadn't been interested in conversation. She'd had the same recklessness in her face that Parker recognized from the mirror.
Elle whimpered as Parker kept up her slow exploration, strong fingers stretching and tormenting her.
"Nngh," she managed, raising a scarlet-nailed hand to skim down Parker's side. Sparks seemed to skitter from her fingers, and Parker shuddered, driving her hand deeper. "Fuck..." Elle arched her back and put her hands up to tug on Parker's hair, bringing it down to mingle with her own blonde locks spread messily on the pillow.
"You're pretty," she whispered, taking up a combined hank of their hair. "Pretty Parker." Elle giggled and gasped as Parker moved faster. "Naughty Parker."
Elle's hands let go of their hair and slid up Parker's sides, tickling slightly, and cupped her small breasts.
"Gotta be bad tonight. Did some bad things, gotta make it worth it, right?" Elle whispered. Parker's eyes widened as almost painful shocks make her nipples peak under Elle's fingertips, then be soothed away, only to return again and again. Tingles seemed to sweep down from Elle's body into her hand, making Parker's skin sing.
"It's not worth it yet," Parker said, fluttering her fingers inside Elle's body in a reminder and challenge. Elle gasped, tightened and broke around Parker's hand, drenching her. She brought her head up and pushed back against Parker, getting nowhere fast. Pouting, Elle turned up the voltage until Parker felt her whole body twitching, writhing, unable to stop Elle swapping their positions.
Parker sucked in a surprised breath when Elle leaned down over her, kissing the shock out of her mouth and soothing her twitching muscles.
"We're just getting started, pretty," Elle admonished, fingers sliding between Parker's thighs. "I want to do bad things to you. Really bad things."
Parker let Elle in, briefly, and then trapped her hand with legs far stronger than they looked. She shot her a challenging look, and giggled when shocks and tingles began to pulse from Elle's hand in time with Parker's heartbeat.
"I dare you," Parker said, and was rewarded when Elle tossed her hair back in challenge, and lowered her lips to hers again.
Leverage/Castle, Eliot + Castle/Beckett, (Eliot is added) meeting Beckett's brother is one of the singularly most terrifying events of his life
The Toast - Leverage/Castle, Eliot + Castle/Beckett, PG-13
"I didn't know you had a brother."
"Half-brother, strictly speaking. Before Dad met Mom. We met when we were kids and kept in touch ever since," Beckett explained, searching for the right streets in the unfamiliar Boston landscape.
"But you never mentioned him before," Castle persisted. He was fidgeting again, more used to scribbling things down than sitting in enforced idleness during the journey, waiting for a hitherto-unknown relative of Beckett's to pass judgment on him.
"Well, he's been out of the country a lot, and he moves often."
"What, is he a diplomat?"
Beckett laughed long and loud at that, and refused to indulge his curiosity until they got to their destination.
"He lives in a bar? I like him already," Castle announced as they pulled up to an Irish pub.
"He works out of a bar. Not the same thing," Beckett corrected, parking and getting out. Castle followed suit, reaching tentatively for her hand, almost ended up grabbing her elbow by mistake and pitching her down the stairs. The awkward brand-new-dating dance was never easy. And it was probably best to not inadvertently cause an accident in front of someone else's family.
Drawing comfortingly close to Kate, Castle turned on his smile full-blast as they entered the bar.
Generally, Richard Castle considered himself a good judge of character. He was decent at picking up nuances in people's personalities from a casual interview, and usually could get a good sense of when someone was lying. He had talked to several very unsavory and even dangerous people in the course of doing research for his books. Shadowing Beckett had upped his danger quotient exponentially. He'd faced down some of the scariest sons of bitches he'd ever had the misfortune to meet since he'd met Kate.
Eliot Spencer topped them all. Easily.
"You're Castle." That was his greeting, in a low raspy tone that Castle could easily see describing a psychotic hitman in his next novel.
"That's me, Rick Castle." At least he had managed his own name without stammering.
Eliot looked him up and down as if assessing him for weaknesses. His long hair was tied back in a bandana, and he was wearing a leather jacket that had faint patches. Like maybe where bullet holes used to be. Eliot's eyes were hard, metallic, and uncompromising, with the kind of gaze that could be used to kill on its own...
Ooo, that's not bad. Remember that! his brain said, tucking the phrase away for his next story. The rest of Castle was busy not trying to show weakness. Or move too fast. Because Eliot might have him on his back with a knife in his throat before he could blink if he twitched too hard, he was certain of it.
"He might do, Kate," Eliot said finally, nodding at Beckett.
She relaxed marginally and smiled a bit at Castle. It was distinctly her "I told you so" smile. "Glad to hear. I'll grab us some beers, ok?"
Castle tried to get out a, "Don't leave me alone with him!" but it was too late. When Beckett turned her back, Eliot struck. He leaned over the table with shocking speed, grabbed Castle's lapel and dragged him towards him with implacable strength. Castle didn't even try to resist, and quickly found himself nose to nose with Beckett's brother.
"You will never make her unhappy," Eliot stated. Castle nodded frantically. "If you do, you have enough imagination to figure out what could happen. Got it?" Castle nodded again, faster and harder this time, and Eliot released him to sit back in the booth.
Beckett returned with three open bottles of beer, saw Castle's rumpled shirt, and shot a withering glance at Eliot. He took the proffered beer and smiled at both of them broadly.
"To one big happy family," he said, raising up his bottle for them to clink.
"May nothing unfortunate ever happen to any of us," Castle added, smiling nervously.
Eliot solemnly clicked the bottles with Beckett and Castle, waiting until Beckett took a drink before shoot Rick another soul-freezing glance.
Later, back in New York, Castle began to work up the notes for a new horror novel with a truly frightening, yet seemingly normal-looking psycho stalking the luxury condos of New York City looking for revenge for some imagined slight to his family...
Supernatural/Criminal Minds; Team Free Will + Hotch (Hotch replaces Nick); None of them could fault Lucifer's vessel for consenting.
Our Fault - Supernatural/Criminal Minds, Team Free Will + Hotchner, PG-13
Hotchner had always fought against evil. He'd struggled to contain the damaged and deranged minds of the world from harming anyone, usually succeeding, though at a heavy cost. He lost his advancement to protecting his team, his marriage to duty, nearly his hearing to overconfidence, his security and nearly his life to pride, and Haley to complacency. To reassure himself he was doing the right thing, sometimes he would go into J.J.'s office and look at their completed case files.
But there were always new ones piling up. More and more and more, a new horror and terror in each stack. Feeling futile in the face of it all was something he'd dealt with nearly every day on the job for over twelve years. If fifteen more cases waited for their aid, at least they had prevented one person's death. You had to take comfort in that, or you burned out of the BAU. Hotchner had always been able to take that comfort.
Until the hallucinations started. Haley's death. Her critical words speaking the fears he kept under wraps. Visions of Jack dying in every way he'd ever seen. Foyet over him, driving in the blade again and again, taunting him...
And a single soothing voice saying that the pain could end. That by saying yes he could gain the power to stop the endless waves of murderous brutes that frightened and terrorized and harmed their unending parade of victims. He could stop all that horror, if he just said yes...
Dean had thought that Demon Agent Hendrickson was bad. He was nothing, compared to Lucifer Agent Hotchner. Outsmarting one FBI agent, or even two, that wasn't impossible. But a profiler? That was a bitch to escape. It wasn't bad enough that Lucifer had his claws into Sam's psyche via the demon blood, but he had his vessel's trained mind (and all his team too, which really sucked for them) to figure out where the Winchesters were going next. But he couldn't fault the guy, not when he'd been surrounded by horrible death for years and years with only a limited way of stopping it. Hell, Dean felt the exact same way some days.
Sam could figure out what Lucifer was trying to do to get him to capitulate. He wanted to offer Sam something he couldn't refuse; he wanted to become Sam's friend. And Lucifer was poisonously persuasive. Sam had caught himself almost nodding along with some of Lucifer's arguments, and Sam was intimately aware of the consequences. And who knew what fresh hell Lucifer had unleashed on Hotchner to soften him up for the eventual conquest? Sam had been battered and bruised by everything that had happened in his life, and he had at least had an idea of where he'd been intended to end up. For someone who'd gone through as much pain or more as Sam had for no apparent reason? Sam might have taken Lucifer's offer as a way to make some kind of difference in an indifferent world.
Castiel could see the doubts and determination that Lucifer had used to prepare his vessel. He'd made certain there were sorrows enough to create a space for him to inhabit, but had given Hotchner enough tempering that he had strength enough to hold the Devil without burning up. He'd worn away at the man's faith, and must have dropped the precise words to knock away the supports already weakened by doubt. Such conversations must have been much like the ones Castiel had had with Dean over the past year. Finding empathy with one bound to you created a connection that could be exploited both ways. It was up to the strength of the individual to avoid contaminating their thinking. Castiel considered his own diminished powers, his own questions, and could not fault Hotchner in the slightest way.
They could not fault him. But they couldn't let that stop them. The Devil still had to be returned to hell, no matter the reasoning of the man who let him in.
Wall-E/Toy Story, Wall-E/the toys (Toys replace Hal [the roach]), They always tell him stories of how the world used to be, but they can't tell if he understands
Understanding, Wall-E/Toy Story, (toys replace Hal the roach), G
"Then we'd all pile in the car, and Joey would hold us up to the window, so we could see everything as we drove to the store." Woody pointed to the faded blue van as they trundled past it, clinging to Wall-E's back for dear life. Wall-E gave a vague chirp of interest as he motored up the ramp and past the motion-activated adds for the Axiom.
The toys turned to watch them automatically. They knew them all by heart, but they watched them each and every time. It was the only glimpse they'd had of children in... well, a long time. Time got a little fuzzy when you'd spent a lot of time in a trash heap (thank goodness one of their kids had them skillfully preserved against the ravages of time before she'd grown up), and when every day was the same, it was difficult to be sure how long it had been since they'd seen a real child.
"It used to be that Eric would put Jesse and Bullseye into a wagon and we'd go out to the park. The grass would be green all over the ground, and he’d run with us around the trees and the pond. Sometimes it would rain-.”
Wall-E interrupted Woody’s story with a chirp of alarm, his head swiveling to scan the skies.
“No, not a dust storm. Rain rain.” Wall-E cocked his head again, and Slinky finally shimmied his coils so they sounded like thunder.
“Oooooh,” Wall-E said in understanding. Rain was so rare, the toys wondered if he remembered it from one time to the next.
The little trash robot finally reached his current trash heap and began his daily compacting. The toys hopped off, occasionally finding something to add to Wall-E’s collection. Or their own.
“Hey! A laser pointer,” Buzz said excitedly, lifting the dusty but still functional black tube from the debris. He pressed the button, and Rex leapt a mile when he saw the red dot on his hindquaters.
“Help!” he yelped, diving behind a tire.
“Come on Rex, you know Buzz wouldn’t hurt ya,” Slinky said coaxingly.
“Hamm, I found some coins!” Jesse said, waving.
“Now that’s what I’m talking about. Come on and load me up.” Hamm trotted over, rattling just slightly as Jesse heaved the blue and green BnL coins up onto Hamm’s back.
The toys laughed as they dug through the trash, and Woody could see Wall-E keep turning to look at them even as he rarely ceased his labors. The cheerful music blaring from his speakers turned what could have been unbearably lonely into something almost fun.
“Potato? Any luck?” Woody called up to Potato Head, who was using a spare arm to rummage through a loose pile of whatnot.
“Not yet.” He shrugged and kept looking. Woody clambered up the stacks of trash to join him, pushing aside drink cans and wrappers to look for a glimpse of a brown plastic shell. Or white and blue paint with carved yellow hair. They’d lost track of both Mrs. Potato Head and Bo-Peep some time back, and spent time every day looking for them. They’d show up eventually; it was just a matter of time.
The sun slanted lower and lower, and Wall-E finally came back to them, his lunch pail loaded with things he’d found.
“It’s a Christmas ornament. They used to hang them on trees,” Jesse said, pointing to a glittering red ball he pulled out. “Then they’d put presents under them and share them with each other and open them up.”
“That one’s a drain cover. For a bathtub. I nearly drowned in one one time!” Rex said, perching on Wall-E’s shoulder and looking at the colorful rubber starfish with trepidation.
Buzz rolled his eyes and pointed to the fuzzy blue hat that was on the bottom of the pail. “The kids used to wear them on their heads what it got cold. It’d snow and we’d go out and have snowball fights.”
Wall-E chirped in puzzlement, but took all their things in stride. Climbing onto his back, the toys went back to their home.
They never knew if Wall-E understood any of what they were talking about. Not until Eve came. They played dumb, of course, because she was scary, but Wall-E seemed to need and understand her as much as the toys had their kids.
Then he left. For a while, they thought they were going to be alone again until forever and a day. Then the ship came back. Buzz recognized it first, space toy that he was, but didn’t even get a chance to go investigate before Wall-E and Eve returned.
And the first thing Wall-E did, after Eve saved him, was to show the toys he understood everything. He took them outside and showed them he’d been listening to every story.
He’d brought children back to Earth.