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Friday Free For All

And here we are again, another Friday and another Free For All - Any fandom, any characters, any theme and any prompts... the only limitation is your imagination!

I'm sure you all know the guidelines by now but just as a reminder:
No more than 5 prompts in a row and no more than 3 prompts per fandom. (Of course, if one of your prompts is answered, you can prompt again)
No spoiler prompts for a week after its aired - and, if your ficlet contains spoilers, put a warning in bold and leave three spaces.

Please remember our code monkeys and use the correct formatting of prompts, i.e.
RPS, Christian Kane/Steve Carlson, Rest In Peace
Bones/NCIS, Brennan & DiNozzo, I don't know what that means

If nothing today is taking your fancy, don't forget our Lonely Prompts

That's all from me - have fun!


Jun. 27th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
Leverage (steampunk!AU), team!fic, Sterling doesn't realize just how badly his airship pirates are losing
Jun. 27th, 2009 02:12 am (UTC)
For a smart - nay, a brilliant - man, it takes Sterling a long time to realize that he is utterly losing this battle. His forces seem formidable enough. He's hired the best pirates in the Old World and seen their skill, their ruthlessness first hand. His Captain is wily and weathered, not easily tricked by the small-minded criminals that Nathan Ford keeps like pets, and he has his own airship, which allows Sterling to confront Ford on his own level.

Of course, it is becoming clear to him that that level is far above what he had surmised going into this fight.

Nathan's berserker, for example - Sterling refuses to believe he's their chef, despite being introduced to him as such the only time they've spoken face-to-face - is currently fighting his way single-handedly across the deck, an unarmed, leonine figure amidst a swarm of pirates bristling with blades. He's fascinating, and Sterling can somehow understand Nathan's rather unhealthy relationship with the man. He demands attention, and indeed holds it - until the engine of the pirate ship begins to sputter and cough noxious black smoke, and Sterling curses himself for not watching out for the rest of Nathan's brood.

He barely catches a glimpse of dark skin and blonde hair disappearing over his bow and rushes to stare after Master Hardison and Miss Parker as they sail away from him, borne up by harnesses attached by some witchcraft to the underside of Ford's airship.

Sterling growls. This has gone on long enough. He bursts into the Captain's quarters, casting about for the pirate's prized gun. He stops short to find the Captain there, rather than out on the deck where he should be.

"Captain!" He said sharply. "What are you doing?"

The Captain looks up from the pneumatic message device, sending off a last tube to the rest of the ship. "Sorry, Mister Sterling." He says, his Savage accent devious and full. "I got a better offer."

"What are you talking - "

Sterling stops as the Captain draws the gun from his belt and aims it. It's beautiful - a rosewood pistol inlaid with ivory. If he were the one holding it, Sterling would have told his target to be honored to die by its bullets.

He isn't, though, and so he doesn't wait for the Captain to say anything at all but throws himself forward, wresting the gun away and shoving the Captain back. By sheer, dumb luck - looking back, the only luck Sterling had that day - the Captain fell and struck his head open the corner of the map table. His eyes rolled back and Sterling finds himself holding the gun - and a delicate golden locket, which had been looped several times around the pirate's wrist.

Curious, he opens it, and nearly crushes it in his sudden rage. The picture inside is a detailed thumbnail portrait of a beautiful woman, dark hair and darker, conniving eyes. Miss Sophie Deveraux. The last of Nathan Fords rats, and the most elusive.

He slips it into his pocket - even now, it may be useful - and stumbles back out onto deck. The ship is falling, now, rather fast, and thunder growls. Sterling clutches the gun with shaking hands, casting around for Eliot. He finds him - sailing away in another of Miss Parker's harnesses, the unmistable shape of a pneumatic tube in his teeth.

His deck is strewn with unconscious and dead pirates. It starts to rain, hard and violently, and Sterling feels a sort of kinship with the sky's wild crying.

Nathan Ford stands on his bow, his face untroubled by the pounding rain or the ground rushing up to meet them. There's a harness knotted around his torso, and another hangs beside him. He wordlessly gestures to it.

"I could shoot you where you stand." Sterling spits, his mouth filled with rage and rain. His arms are shaking, but his grip on the gun is steady.

"You could." Nathan allows. "Or you could live."

For a moment Sterling is caught. The world has frozen around him, here at the sight of his greatest defeat. A captain goes down with his ship, a voice says in the back of his mind. A king with his castle.

But he is neither captain nor king. Those roles are filled already. He's a knight at best, and at worst a rogue, and he drops the gun like it burns his hand and grasps the harness tight. The ship drops from underneath him, and Sterling feels what it is to fly.
Jun. 27th, 2009 02:24 am (UTC)
Oooooooh, you can't just stop there! This is perfect! Fun and tense in all the right places, the team moving like clockwork... But now what will they do with Sterling?
Jun. 27th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
Well, isn't that a good question! ::wide, innocent eyes::

::grins:: SO glad you liked it, love.
Jun. 27th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
:buffs halo: There might be a new prompt on page 7... :beams:
Jun. 27th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)

I really like the sense of suspense in this one - and the cool lines like: " If he were the one holding it, Sterling would have told his target to be honored to die by its bullets."
Yeah, that sums up Sterling all right!

And the ending where Nate makes him choose between winning and self-interest? And knows exactly what Sterling will choose? So damn perfect.
Jun. 27th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
Thank you SO MUCH. I'm a little proud of how I managed this without writing any actual fightscenes, ahaha. I'm much better at focusing on character - so I'm glad you thought that bit worked.
Oct. 12th, 2011 04:06 am (UTC)
Amaaaaaazing, I looooove this!


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