tallulahgs: (Rothko red)
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[Title] In Pursuit of Justice
[Fandom] Repo! The Genetic Opera / Homestuck
[Rating] R for violence
[Notes/Summary] Terezi knows what Vriska's up to, and repossession should only be about justice.



Terezi sprints down the tunnel, the bleep of her tracker pinging off sickly-orange-lit concrete walls, but she’s already too late, because the blood scent is drowning out every other colour until the world is nothing but red.

She turns the corner and the smell thickens ahead of her, the body opened up, and then Vriska crouched next to it, her smell of leather and oil and dice in your palm.

“Well, look who it isn’t,” Vriska is saying, cutting deftly through veins and sinew. “Can I help you?”

“You know perfectly well what you can do. Step away from the body and keep your hands where I can see them.” Terezi lets her voice roughen like she’s a cop in a movie. Vriska, after all, likes it when you play a part.

A shriek of laughter. “And you’ll do what exactly? Hit me with your cane? And why exactly are you obstructing my perfectly legal repossession? Trying to boost your targets by stealing my hauls?”

Terezi grins back at her. “I’m not the one who needs to boost my targets.” She hears Vriska hiss with irritation, and feels her smile widen. A good repo man – or repo woman, though no one ever says that – isn’t doing it for the prestige, they’re doing it for justice, but she can’t deny the satisfaction of her name topping GeneCo’s collection rankings month after month. She’s nothing if not persistent, after all. It would just be wrong if she wasn’t streets ahead of the game.

Her persistence is why she’s here now.

Sticky noises as Vriska wrenches out the heart. Clatter as she snaps open the cooler. “Go on, Terezi. Tell me why you’re here. I can feel you’re just dying to monologue about justice to me.” The cooler snaps shut again.

Terezi takes a deep breath, resists the urge to start pacing. You do not turn your back on Vriska. “You know as well as I do that our quarry on the floor there had three days to go before he became eligible for repossession. And he isn’t the first one. I’d noticed how many of my targets were disappearing from the system. And when I spotted you on the CCTV leaving the scene of the crime –” She hears Vriska yawn mockingly – “I made an educated guess as to what you were up to. You’re pilfering the organs before the due date, aren’t you? Then selling them off on the black market. At a steep mark-up, I imagine… then paying off the quarry’s debt with some of the proceeds. It’s a neat trick, but it’s unlicensed repossession and theft of GeneCo property.”

She tightens her grip on her cane. Time to stop playing. “The sentence is death.”

“Oh, you enjoyed that, didn’t you?” Vriska is shifting position, readying her stance – her coat rustles. Long blue-black leather, Terezi remembers it. “Well, I’m sorry to screw up your little drawing-room fantasy, but you have absolutely no proof. This –” A tap as one of her boots brushes the cooler – “is going right back to GeneCo where it belongs. Okay, so I might have been a little… over-punctual with him. But so what? I doubt the Largos will give a shit. People never pay up if they’ve left it this long.”

“That’s funny, because according to the records, quite a few of them have. Except that that also seems to involve them disappearing without trace and leaving all their possessions behind. I’ve been checking. The Largos may not care about you being over-punctual, but they will care about you stealing from them.”

“Oh, please. They won’t care about the ramblings of a crazy blind lady,” Vriska sneers.

“They might care about the word of their most skilled repossessor –”

“You know they only assign you the easiest targets?” Vriska says. “Because they feel sorry for you? That’s the reason for your scores. Whereas I work for my successes, so, I doubt they’ll be happy if you strike me down here –”

That last point is not entirely unreasonable. Not that the Largos give a shit about Vriska, but they’re a massive pile of crazy, other people’s faces, knives, and unnecessary surgery. And they’ve been giving Terezi the side-eye lately, telling her to shut up when she queries the details of an assignment. I want to get the right quarry, she said, and Rotti slammed the file into her hands and snapped, You get who I tell you to get. No, probably best not to take Vriska down right away. This conversation has proved her hunch, which was what she needed. Vriska’s a terrible liar.

She shrugs off the thought that maybe she was looking for an excuse to let her very-much-former friend live. If you work in repo, you don’t look for excuses.

“Perhaps you’re right,” she says. “And you could have set this up so it plays out this way.” Vriska gives a smug sigh at this evidence of her supposed Machiavellian brilliance as Terezi continues, “I know how good you are at falsifying records –”

“Ugh, Terezi, please don’t start this again. God. You were behind with your payments. I repossessed your eyes fair and square. It’s not my fault you lost track of time or whatever –”

“All right, consider this a warning. Even if I don’t take you down now… sooner or later you’re going to have to cover the payments you owe. Those bionics don’t come cheap, after all. And they might get a little too steep if GeneCo thinks you owe it something.”

Vriska laughs again.

“Are you threatening me?” she crows.

“I’m giving you a friendly warning for old time’s sake. Maybe be a little less… over-eager. You’re being too obvious.”

She can imagine the glare on Vriska’s face, but it didn’t faze her even when she could see it. She stands, smiling, hand loose on her cane, ready to pull the blade loose if – but Vriska only snarls, at last, “God, you piss me off,” and storms away down the tunnel, taking the heart in its cooler with her.



[Title]
[Fandom] Death Note
[Rating] PG-13 for (hate)sex
[Notes/Summary] Mello/Raito. Mello has got this entirely under control. More or less.
[Link] Here.


[Title] For Science
[Fandom] Fringe / Buffy the Vampire Slayer
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] To combat the latest threat to Sunnydale, Giles takes Buffy to visit an old acquaintance.



Giles hadn’t said why they were going on a trip to UCLA, and given that Sunnydale was being terrorized by killer robots Buffy was guessing it wasn’t a campus visit to help them think about their options after graduation. It wasn’t until he led her, Xander and Willow down to the basement of a kind of grimy-looking Experimental Particle Physics Building that he said, “I think this man may know something about the robots. Or, if he doesn’t, he can probably help us come up with a method of slowing them down.”

The door was opened by a guy who – well, he wasn’t entirely what Buffy would’ve pictured if you’d said mad scientist, ‘cause he didn’t have a beard and he wasn’t holding a test tube of bright green goo, but he wasn’t far off the mark. Crazy grey hair, lab coat, unnecessarily big grin considering they were descending on him uninvited and three of them were clearly high schoolers. But then he cried, “Rupert!” and started shaking Giles by the hand like they were old friends.

“This is Doctor Walter Bishop,” Giles said, looking awkward and glasses-askew. “We met when he was on a research secondment in London –”

“Lovely city,” Walter said, happily. “I particularly enjoyed the scones. Rupert used to take acid in my office, do you remember, Rupert?”

Giles turned red and stared sternly at the middle distance. Xander kind of blurted out “He used to who with the what now?” and Buffy tried to fight down her giggles but Willow was going, “Ohmygod, the Walter Bishop? As in the guy pushing the frontiers of quantum physics? I read all your articles, you’re doing all the amazing things with parallel universes, I – if I’d known we were gonna see you’d I’d have – I had questions - I didn’t know you were still in research – I, wow, I think I’m having palpitations –”

“Breathe, Will,” Xander said, patting her shoulder.

Walter was looking enchanted like it was a new thing for him being addressed as a brilliant scientist: “That’s quite all right, my dear. I wasn’t until research until this year, I was still in the mental hospital before that.”

So he literally was a mad scientist. Huh. Who apparently liked dropping LSD. Buffy made a mental note to find out more about her Watcher’s past sometime, because it sounded a heck of a lot more interesting than she’d been led to believe.

“Yes, well…” Giles was saying now, “We’ve actually come to see you because – do you remember, that summer, the AI and robotics program you were working on? You said something about AIs capable of learning and adjusting to different attacks, and…”

“We have a little robot problem,” Xander said. “They’re kinda like store mannequins, but they can move. And kill people. That’s the important part, really.”

“Oh, yes,” Walter said, happily, like he often had people showing up at his door to talk about murders, “the prototypes. I was meaning to look up what had happened to those. The last I heard the program had lost its funding, but I certainly would have brought home some of the originals and carried on tinkering with them, if it were me. It isn’t me,” he said to Giles. “Not this time. Would you like to come in? I think I have some cotton candy…”

Willow was practically hopping up and down on the spot at the chance of getting to go into the lab. Xander pulled a face at Buffy – the usual why do we end up in these wacky situations? face. She grinned back at him – hey, at least this guy didn’t seem like he was gonna try to kill her – and stepped through the doorway.



[Title] Honest Night's Work
[Fandom] Doctor Who (classic series) / Five Night’s at Freddy’s
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Jamie's not sure he likes this foray into gainful employment.



By the time Jamie made it back to the injured man’s two-room home, the sun was up properly, and it was only that which was keeping him awake. He fought back a yawn as the Doctor opened the door to him.

“Jamie! How was the job?”

“I had to wrestle an armoured bear,” Jamie explained.

“Good, good, glad to see you’re getting to apply your skills –”

“You had to what?” Zoe ducked round the Doctor to frown at him. “You look awfully tired. And – are those claw marks on your face?”

“No, they’re the scratches from when it tried to put me into a spare skin. Armoured skin. Full of… sharp things.” His head felt like wool. “How’s the lad?”

“Much better,” the Doctor said, happily. “The dematerialisation burns were only superficial, as I said. And I explained you were covering for him at his workplace –”

“He didn’t seem very happy about it,” Zoe said. “He kept saying how sorry he was and asking if you were a very good friend of ours. I tried to explain that you’re no stranger to peril, but he kept talking about animatronics and how you wouldn’t understand about the cameras…”

Jamie went to sit down on the beaten-down chair in front of the television. Another yawn escaped. “Anima-what? Oh, like… animal electronic beasts, that’d be? That’s right. And there were… there were, now, video cameras, isn’t it. Kind of thing you’d know about. And the animals roaming about. I kept them out for a while but then all the lights went out and the doors stopped closing. Funny place it was. He said it was for bairns to go to?”

“Yes,” Zoe said, “but it doesn’t sound like a place for children, from what you’re saying.”

“Armoured animals,” the Doctor said. “I don’t remember any such life forms being present on Earth in the late twentieth century. Hostile, I take it?”

Jamie remembered the way the things had roared at him, the frightening speed one had run down the corridor, the way his knife had caught in what felt like gears and locks. He shivered. “Aye. And strong. I almost didn’t make it, but when the clock struck six, they… just froze in place. But I wouldn’t fancy the chances of someone who…” He yawned again, and the end of the sentence faded, but Zoe filled in, “Someone who hadn’t had practice fighting off strange things? Yes, perhaps it’s fortunate Mr Schmidt couldn’t go to work. You know, if they’re animatronic, that suggests there’s a computer behind them – do you know, I think I should come with you tomorrow and investigate. The Doctor can look after Mr Schmidt and wait for the TARDIS to come back.”

Jamie wasn’t at all sure either about going back himself or about taking Zoe, and said so, but the other two wouldn’t be dissuaded. “After all,” Zoe said, “the TARDIS should be back soon – within about five days, wasn’t it? So we won’t have to worry about this for long. It seems like a favour to Mr Schmidt to make his workplace safer, particularly when he’s letting us stay in his flat.”

Jamie sighed. He should get some sleep. It looked like tomorrow night was only going to be worse.



[Title] What We'd Rather Forget
[Fandom] Endeavour
[Rating] PG, reference to drug use
[Notes/Summary] Small spoilers for S4 episode Canticle. Morse isn't particularly keen on facing his colleagues in the aftermath.



Morse wasn’t especially looking forward to going in to work. It wasn’t that he felt unwell or anything, simply that you don’t exactly relish facing your colleagues after you had a drug-induced mental breakdown in front of them, probably babbling about god knows what. (He’s trying not to think too much about the what, because it starts his heart racing and he goes hot and cold all over, and then he starts to see parts of it out of the corner of his eye. Not see, not hallucinate, just… remember vividly when it’s all things he would much rather forget.)

But when he is actually there, amid phone calls and brown-paper files and chatter, it is all right. He’d expected some joking, as you might mock someone who you’d last seen blind drunk, but people just nod or greet him with “All right?” as usual and if a few of them give him a look, it’s a look of rueful sympathy. Morse doesn’t particularly want sympathy either but if that’s what’s on offer, then fine. (What he wants is a drink, but give it time.)

Bright stops by mid-morning to wish him well, say that he is glad Morse is back on his feet, sounding as if he was genuinely concerned before (god, what did Morse say when he was in the midst of it all?) And Truelove smiles at him whenever their eyes meet and doesn’t ask him anything about how he’s feeling, for which he is extremely grateful. Thursday doesn’t say anything about it, either, which you would expect, not until the end of the day, when they’re driving back and he just says, All right? Morse says, Never better, and Thursday snorts like he knows it’s not entirely true. Wretched stuff, he says. Don’t know why anyone would want to poison themselves like that for fun.

I’m sure it’s more fun if you’re expecting it, Morse says, not too bitterly.

Well, catch me doing it, Thursday says. My mind’s seen too many grim sights for me to give it free rein to put on a slideshow.

Which makes Morse feel a little less of a coward. Perhaps other people would have been scared by what they saw, as well.



[Title] Guardian Angel
[Fandom] Ashes to Ashes
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Gene doesn't worry about his team.



Gene would never admit it, of course. He’s not a bloody nanny. His team can take care of themselves. The fact they always need the Gene Genie to come in and pick up the pieces is an endless source of misery and frustration to him and, when Chris is being even more of an idiot than usual and Shaz is throwing a strop and Ray is picking a fight with the wrong man and Drake is being her usual snippy self, Gene would quite happily be shot of the lot of them.

Except that’s not true, and he knows it when he looks himself in the eye. They’re a decent team when they’re not bickering over trivialities, and they’re good coppers, some of the best he’s got right now, and he’s their guv’nor and, like it or not, he’s responsible for them.

He wouldn’t admit it, but he’s scared shitless Chris will listen to the wrong person, or Shaz will do something stupid to prove herself, or Ray will make a mistake and hurt the people he shouldn’t, and Alex… well, god knows what Alex will do. Something bizarre and psychological that makes no sense to anyone who isn’t her, probably.

Sometimes at three in the morning or at the bottom of a glass of whisky he thinks he catches a glimpse of the thing he’s protecting them from. And sometimes he sees another face reflected there, one he doesn’t remember, someone he – what? – someone who couldn’t be saved, maybe –

That’s only in the small hours, but even during daylight he makes sure to have their backs, when it comes down to it. After all, they’re his team.

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