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04 August 2006 @ 11:58 pm
Once more with feeling!  
Continued from last post!

For moshi:


Momo hated English. Not just the class -- even though it was tedious -- or the country, because he'd never been there. He hated the language, with its stupid tiny alphabet and its stupid backwards reading and its stupid nonsensical verbs.

It didn't help that his father was fluent in English, although it should have been a bonus. The problem was that his father didn't remember what it felt like not to know the difference between 'I am here' and 'I is here.' He thought Momo was being stupid on purpose, so it was only fair that Momo thought English was stupid in turn.

The classroom overlooked the tennis courts, so Momo always made sure to get a window seat. Most of his teachers thought Momo had very little imagination because all his compositions and assignments revolved around tennis. He'd even changed the currency in his maths problems to tennis balls, much to the sensei's chagrin.

In fact, Momo had far too much imagination. When things got a little dull in class -- and because it was class and not tennis, that was pretty often -- he imagined that he was out on the courts. Inui would have applauded his visualisations, had he access to them and wasn't dead from the shock of Momo daydreaming in class. Inui took school very seriously. Momo had seen Inui's idea of class notes, and his schoolbag was barely up to the task of toting them around. He really needed to invest in a small elephant.

As Kiriyu-sensei made a stalwart attempt to demonstrate the difference between their, there and they're to a class of bored teenagers, Momo let himself sink into another brilliant fantasy.

Successive unstoppable Dunk Smashes and flashy parries of his opponent's weak returns, and Momo celebrated another mental victory. His mind switched to thoughts of the afternoon's practice so that he could formulate plans to bring shame and sorrow to Kaidoh's miserable existence. He spent quite a lot of time doing that. It was only fair. Given the relentless sabotage from Kaidoh's side of the camp, he did too.

In his mind, Momo had sealed Kaidoh's play quite conclusively. Kaidoh was practically dead from exhaustion, and his uniform was so sweaty that it looked grey and navy. Momo grinned to himself as he imagined shouting all the things that enraged Kaidoh most -- like that it had been a cakewalk and Momo was king of the world and Kaidoh should go take up badminton.

The sound of Momo's name snapped him out of the happy place. Kiriyu-sensei was stabbing her pointer in his direction.

"Momoshiro-kun, please read out a homework sentence in which you've used the word 'there,' t-h-e-r-e."

"Shit," muttered Momo under his breath.

He had done his homework, which was a good thing. But he'd done it at midnight, after a gruelling practice followed by a stint on the street courts with Echizen, which was not such a good thing. He'd tried to bribe Echizen into doing it for him, but as he didn't have cash to pay for the three burgers Echizen demanded in return he'd refused.

Momo flipped through the grubby pages of his notebook. Then he spent a few seconds trying to read his handwriting. After he'd done that he took a moment to figure out which word Kiriyu-sensei was talking about. All the while, the teacher's mouth got smaller and smaller until it looked set to disappear altogether. Momo sensed another lunchtime detention coming along.

"Um … their cat could fetch tennis balls," read Momo in relief.

"No!" barked the teacher. "That is 'their,' t-h-e-i-r, indicating possession, not 'there,' t-h-e-r-e, indicating a position. Kaidoh-kun, perhaps you could enlighten your classmate as to the difference between the two?"

Momo sat up straighter and glared across the room to where Kaidoh was sitting, right up at the very front. His hair looked daft without the ubiquitous bandana -- all flat and stuck to his head like seaweed. As usual, his cheeks were stained dark red. Momo couldn't see any logical reason why Kaidoh blushed every time he was called on in class. It wasn't like the snake didn't know the answer.

Kaidoh's voice was very soft when he spoke, quite unlike the rough drawl he used when he was about to pull a Boomerang Snake on the person who least expected it -- which was everyone. "T-h-e-r-e: I went over there to collect my bag. T-h-e-i-r: their bags were stolen by thieves."

"Excellent, Kaidoh-kun. Take note, Momoshiro-kun. You will write those two sentences out fifty times each tonight. Perhaps that will jog your memory a little."

Momo cursed under his breath as he scrabbled to remember what Kaidoh had said. The teacher moved on to another grammar point, but Momo still wasn't sure whether the sentences he'd written -- 'I went over they're to collect my bag' and 'There bag was stolen by thieves' -- were right or not. He sighed darkly, and imagined bouncing up and down on Kaidoh's chest to squash all the air out of his lungs to cheer himself up.

It was ridiculously easy to provoke a fight with Kaidoh during practice. It wasn't as if he and Kaidoh got along even at the best of times. If Eiji and Oishi's doubles work was based on mutual friendship, then his and Kaidoh's was based on mutual and aggravated repulsion.

As Momo's ball whistled past Kaidoh's ear, Momo shouted something. He wasn't even sure what he said, only that his blood sang in his ears at the enraged expression on his rival's face.

"Say that again!" Kaidoh dared him, so Momo did.

That was when Kaidoh flung his racquet aside to leap the net. Momo dropped his racquet as well and lashed out with his fists as Kaidoh tackled him to the ground. Kaidoh shoved his knee between Momo's legs, bringing abrupt pain to off-limits places, so Momo sank his teeth into Kaidoh's shoulder. Kaidoh howled and raked his sharp fingernails across Momo's belly, which was exposed and unprotected because his shirt was somewhere up around his neck. Momo got his hands under Kaidoh's bandana and yanked his hair as hard as he could in two directions.

Unfortunately, that was when Fuji intervened. Rather, he opened his eyes a fraction and suggested to Taka-san that he deal with the situation. Just as things were getting interesting, Momo found himself dangling by the neck from one of Taka-san's huge paws. Taka-san's reach was such that Momo was fruitlessly clawing the air two inches from Kaidoh's face, and Kaidoh's wildly kicking feet hit nothing but atmosphere.

"I think you both need to run laps to cool down." Fuji smiled, looking as amused as he did when he watched old tsunami documentaries. "Kaidoh, Court A. Momo, Court B. Work off that excess energy."

"Hmph." Kaidoh shook off Taka-san's hands and stalked towards the gate. Momo halted at his bag and took a drink of water.

Echizen tapped Momo with his racquet. "Why do you let him get to you?"

"Don't be stupid," snapped Momo. "I get to him."

From a window high above the tennis courts, Oishi and Tezuka watched the events unfolding below them -- both with intense interest, Oishi with an added smile.

"Do you think they've figured it out yet?" Oishi inquired of his buchou.

"I sincerely hope not." Tezuka pushed up his glasses with one finger. At Oishi's surprised expression, he added, "I think it would bring a whole new meaning to the term 'a world of hurts.'"

"I suppose so." Oishi put his head on one side as he watched Momo passing Kaidoh on his way to Court B. One invisible flurry of words and Kaidoh was energetically attempting to strangle Momo, while Momo tried to push his head through the fence. A sharp cry from Fuji separated them once more. Within minutes, they were both tearing around their respective courts.

"I'll have to have a word with them." Tezuka didn't sound as if the prospect appealed to him greatly.

Oishi switched his gaze to the rest of the regulars. Inui was lying on his back with his legs hooked over a bench, writing upside down. Taka-san was lifting two dumbbells with one hand. Echizen was entertaining his freshman friends by effortlessly playing two of them at once. Fuji was locked in a match with Eiji. Fuji darted here and there like a firefly, while Eiji seemed more interested in turning somersaults than hitting the ball -- although he managed to do that far more often than his antics seemed to allow.

"No, let me do it," suggested Oishi. "I have some pamphlets."

"Oh, well, good. Pamphlets? That's … good."

"I picked them up at the health centre," explained Oishi. "I called over to restock the first aid kit, remember? And they looked useful."

"I hope you're right," sighed Tezuka.

"So do I," said Oishi under his breath.

After all, he was planning to use them himself.


For kabeyk:


If Sirius had any singing talent at all, James reflected, then his campfire crooning might be endurable. Unfortunately, he seemed determined to put the world's vultures out of business. Peter was valiantly struggling to keep awake, but every so often he'd rouse from his stupor and thump the log in encouragement.

James and Remus, who were sharing the other log, stared hard into the flames to quell their smiles. At least, James presumed that was what Remus was doing. The inside of James' cheek was torn to ribbons as he bit it to keep from laughing out loud.

At last Sirius' broken chords faded away. James breathed a sigh of relief -- only to exhale the next breath as a gasp when Sirius started up again.

Remus leaned in to whisper, "What, exactly, is it that he's singing?"

"Mm. Not too sure, actually." James wriggled uncomfortably. His body liked having Remus a bit closer. His mind insisted on reminding him of Remus' maleness and James' never-ending crush on Lily Evans. Sad to say, his body was winning hands down -- in more ways than one.

Midway through the next song Peter succumbed to sleep. Sirius was off in a musical world of his own, one in which he could actually carry a tune. James and Remus hunched in closer to the fire and exchanged rueful glances.

At some point Remus started toasting marshmallows. James didn't really notice at first because of the vast array of foodstuffs available for his consumption. It was the last night of what had proved to be a rather rocky fifth year. Sirius had suggested that they celebrate in style, as befitted the final reunification of the Marauders after Sirius' most stupendous piece of idiocy to date.

What was so stylish about a midnight campfire deep in the grounds of Hogwarts James couldn't quite fathom, but there was no denying that it was good fun. They had selections from every product manufactured by Honeydukes, pastries and cakes filched from the kitchens, three packets of cigarettes Sirius had bartered off Boot in seventh year and even a bottle of Firewhiskey. Sirius had imbibed the most deeply of that, which explained his painfully bad singing.

James ate his way steadily through one handful of crisps and another of fudge as Remus slotted two marshmallows on a stick and held it into the flames. The pleasant smell alerted James to Remus' ingenuity. He was about to nab one of the marshmallows when Remus slid the first off the stick and put it in his mouth, and time stopped.

James watched, mesmerised, as Remus' mouth opened wide to let his tongue curl around the melting sweet. His lips closed around it and he made a little noise of satisfaction. Then he stuck his fingers into his mouth and washed them clean. With each flicker of his tongue James felt his eyes grow wider, until he was sure they were going to fall out of their sockets.

"Fine," said Remus thickly, "I'll give you one. But stop staring at me."


Remus brandished the stick in his face. "I can tell by the way your eyes went all beady. You want to eat my marshmallow, don't you?"

"Yeah. I do." James shrugged. It was the truth. Just not the whole truth. "So can I?"

Remus sighed. "When have I ever been able to turn you down, James Potter?"

James smiled. He knew it was particularly endearing because of the way his front teeth overlapped, but he rarely did it on purpose because of that very reason. He didn't want to look endearing to Remus. He didn't know what he wanted to look.

The idea came in a hot flash, as most of them did. It left James' skin tight and tingling in its wake, which reassured him that it was a good one.

He prised the marshmallow off Remus' proffered stick. It slid down his fingers, no matter how hard he tried to hold it tight. So when he pulled down Remus' lower lip with his other hand and pressed the marshmallow inside his mouth, at least a few of his knuckles went with it. But Remus' mouth felt warm and wet, like seawater, and James didn't mind.

Remus just sat there, staring at him. James slid his fingers out and considered them briefly. They were laced with stringy bits of marshmallow and damp with Remus' spit. He couldn't touch Remus with his hand like that, so he sucked them clean himself. The second-hand marshmallow tasted pretty disgusting, but James had eaten worse.

"Whum?" said Remus, attempting to swallow.

James shook his head and told him "Don't," but he wasn't sure how long Remus' state of shock would last. It was vital to move fast. So he put one hand on Remus' knee and tangled the other in his hair and softly pressed his lips against Remus'.

Fortunately Remus' mouth was still slightly open. It was awkward getting the right angle to drag some of the marshmallow into his own mouth with his tongue, but James persevered. There was no telling when Remus would suddenly jump away and kill him.

Then things got whole a lot stickier, because Remus pushed his marshmallow-coated tongue against James' lip. James let it slowly slide along and claimed Remus' upper lip as his own sucking territory. They ended up with a lot more saliva than James had bargained on, and there was still the marshmallow to consider. Some of it was in James' mouth, a lot of it was in Remus' mouth, at least a quarter was sticking their lips together and James' chin definitely felt tacky.

Remus made a choked sound and backed away. There was a slight squelching as their lips disengaged. Remus swallowed loudly and James remembered that he needed to do the same. His heart thumped as he met Remus' dark gaze.

To his surprise, Remus moved back the two inches and lightly rubbed his mouth along the line of James' lips. One, twice, three times. The slick sugar made his mouth cling after every quick kiss, until James got tired of chasing him and forced his tongue back through Remus' teeth.

At long last, James could no longer taste marshmallow from Remus' tongue. But Remus didn't object when James continued kissing him. He let James tug his head back so that his tongue could swirl deeper into Remus' mouth. His cold hands found the skin at the back of James' neck.

James had never felt anything like this when there were other conscious people present. Remus began making whimpering noises through his nose. James couldn't help but try to force him down against the log so that more of their bodies were touching. Remus resisted, but only barely.

James was squeezing Remus' hip through his robes when Sirius suddenly trumpeted 'A sailor's life is the life for me!' In shock, James pinched too hard. Remus threw him off with a growl and James tumbled on to the ground.

Sirius stumbled around the fire to see what was going on. "What're you doing?"

James looked at Remus. Remus looked at James. James wondered if he looked as debauched as Remus -- chin rubbed raw, lips bruised and glistening, hair mussed and robes strangely wrinkled. Remus was probably wondering the same thing.

"Marshmallows." James found his voice, only it would be more accurately described as a croak. "We were toasting marshmallows."


For roastchicken:


"What would you like to order, sir?"

Harry did a comedy double-take at the sound of that unmistakeable drawl. "Draco Malfoy?"

A familiar scowl appeared between a pink peaked cap and a white-and-pink striped shirt. "Potter. I should have known you'd show up on my first day. My luck is unbelievable like that."

"You're working in Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour?" Harry adjusted his glasses, sure that the mirage of Malfoy standing before him -- pen poised to take his order -- would disappear when he did.

"No, I'm wearing a sneaky disguise to hide the fact that I'm a rampaging murderer ready to run amok and kill poor defenceless kittens. Honestly, what do you think, Potter -- that I wear pink for fun?"

"Well, there were some rumours …" Harry coughed and blushed simultaneously, thinking there but for the grace of God go I. Ron's loyalty and Hermione's quick thinking had seen to that, but it did tend to put a crimp in his dating schedule.

"Look, I'll say this nicely because I really want to keep this job." Draco scratched at his head under the tightly-fitted cap. "Order something or piss off."

"Okay." Harry sucked in his lower lip as he considered his options. "I'll have a double chocolate milkshake with extra syrup." Aunt Petunia's automatic manners forced him to add, "Please."

"A double chocolate milkshake with extra syrup diabetes bomb coming right up." Draco finished writing with a flourish. "Please take a seat, sir. We'll have your order ready directly."

"Thanks," said Harry, wondering when Aunt Petunia had hijacked his brain.

Harry chose a seat outside, enjoying the weak spring sunshine. It also gave him an excuse to slip on a pair of prescription sunglasses. Oddly enough, they did lend quite the air of anonymity -- despite the many children who needed to tell Mummy about the man with black eyes.

He'd brought along a Quibbler to make sure polite people didn't disturb him. Luna sent him one every month, even though he didn't want it. Out of guilt, he Owled her back payment. He wouldn't be surprised if that was how Luna roped in the majority of the Quibbler's readership.

In a reasonably short time, Malfoy stomped outside with a tray bearing an enormous milkshake, a plate of chocolate buttons and a pile of napkins.

"Here you go, sir," he said in his best slimy-worm voice. "Enjoy."

"Thank you, I will," replied Harry -- this time because he knew it would drive Malfoy out of his mind.

As he was slurping the dregs from the bottom of the glass, he happened to glance down at the pile of napkins. There were black marks all over the one on top; on inspection, these turned out to be ink. Malfoy had drawn quite a complex picture on the napkin, involving swords, Harry's decapitated head and a lot of spraying black blood. It even had a caption: Come again and die, Potter.

Who was Harry to turn down an invitation like that? He returned the very next day, more interested than he would admit in seeing if Malfoy would pen another missive.

He wasn't disappointed. The top napkin arrived festooned with an image of Harry in the stocks. This time, Malfoy had written: Only disgusting, common people suck up the ends of milkshakes with straws.

It became a daily habit. Malfoy would be bitchy, Harry unfailingly polite. As the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months, Harry became a little less polite. Malfoy became a little less bitchy. And he always wrote Harry notes on his napkins.

One week Malfoy disappeared. Harry wasn't sure whether to ask Florean about him or not, but he made up his mind on Friday. On Monday Malfoy was back at work. Harry didn't inquire as to his absence and Malfoy didn't volunteer any information. But the napkin read: Florean tells me you have a soppy side. Thanks for asking. And it's none of your business.

All the same, Malfoy was distinctly unbitchy after that. Harry thought it was safe to smile every so often. The weather turned, so that it was warm enough to sit outside again without contracting frostbite.

A year to the day, Harry waited for the arrival of his order. He wondered if Malfoy would remember. He wondered if Malfoy cared. A year ago he would have felt no doubt -- a year ago he knew Malfoy was incapable of feeling anything.

The napkin was folded over. Harry's hands were almost shaking as he opened it out and saw the words: After a whole year of courtship, isn't it time you asked me out?

Grinning, Harry pulled out a quill from his pocket and wrote back for the first time.



For evalangui:


Once upon a time there was a boy called George, who was very confused indeed. He looked exactly like his twin brother Fred, except for three freckles to the side of Fred's nose that on George's face was bare. That was the difference you could see. The difference you couldn't see was the one that troubled George.

Fred had a girlfriend called Angelina. On Christmas Eve Fred proposed. George personally thought that this was a little unoriginal, but Fred wasn't the twin with the originality. He was the twin with the showman's flair. Certainly, going down on one knee after Apparating his girlfriend to a fancy restaurant on a Tahitian beach while surrounded by clapping waiters and mutant bougainvillea was flashy. But it wasn't like it hadn't been done before.

That was neither here nor there, because Angelina had accepted. (Probably the thought of refusing in front of all those waiters was more embarrassing than the prospect of a lifetime with Fred.)

And now Fred was getting married and George still hadn't got a girlfriend. This confused people because George was just as outgoing and friendly and good-looking as any of his brothers, who were all comfortably shacked up. They didn't know why he couldn't find himself a nice girl. Unfortunately, George did.

George had spent years pretending that he liked girls who looked a bit like boys. Short hair, flat chests, sharp features -- his preference was a quirk of personality, like Fred's penchant for air-flotation devices in the place of breasts. Then he'd left school and started frequenting alleys where he could pick up boys that looked like girls, and excused himself because he was confused.

Only he wasn't confused. He liked boys and he didn't like girls, and the longer he left it the more suspicious people were going to get. But he couldn't bring himself to tell anyone. It was difficult, being a Weasley. The only expectation people had of you was that you'd breed, and breed hard and breed long. And George hadn't been designed to breed at all.

He thought he was handling it okay until the day Harry Potter returned home after two years tripping around South America, lean and brown and with a cocky charm he'd picked up free with the tan. At that point George realised that the only thing he'd been handling was himself and that this was going to happen a good deal more often now. Harry Potter was a lazy gay man's wet dream. He was a wet dream even if you weren't a lazy gay man. He was also pretty good in the waking fantasies arena.

It was one thing being gay in theory, and quite another being gay in practice. Harry was the first man George had truly fancied, and it was agony. Particularly if he wore tight jeans in Harry's company.

Things came to a head at Fred's wedding. After four hours of watching Harry, with his white shirt unbuttoned and setting off his dark skin like the fireworks in the garden, George was painfully hard, bored out of his skull and all-around miserable.

Harry seemed to consider it his bounden duty to dance with every female in the room, up to and including the tiny flower girls. They stood on his feet. George would quite like to have stood on Harry's feet. Of course, he'd like to have him naked and in his bed a good deal better.

George stared moodily into the depths of his empty beer glass, wondering if it was worth the effort of fetching another from the bar or if he should just cut out his liver and offer it as blood sacrifice to the god of fuck-ups. He didn't realise Harry was wending his way in his direction, his hips tracing arcs in a way that was far from heterosexual, until he was standing right in front of him.

"Would you like to dance?"

Harry's eyes were dancing, his grin was cheeky and his shirt almost completely unbuttoned. George was so blinded by a fog of lust that he didn't stop to consider propriety until he was on the dance floor with Harry's arms wrapped around his waist. It was a slow dance. The singer was crooning something about fools in love. Harry's head was pressed against George's chest and he was sighing like this was the best thing that had ever happened to him.

Which was wrong, because that was George's job.

Harry radiated heat like a furnace. George could feel where they were touching without even looking -- although he was looking, every chance he got. His superior height meant that he could look over Harry's shoulder and straight down at his round little bottom. If asked, he'd say he was checking that Harry didn't step on his feet.

When the song ended Harry stepped away. George felt a dart of disappointment, but then Harry smiled again and whispered something about fresh air and gardens. If he'd said smoking sulphur pits and the fourth ring of Hell George would still have followed him.

There was a huge oak tree in the centre of the garden. Harry was running now, George stumbling along beside him. In five seconds they were behind it. In five point two seconds Harry had pinned George against the bark, his hands and mouth both very busy. In five point seven seconds George came into Harry's palms, and when Harry reached up and licked them George knew he was hopelessly lost.

"I hope you don't think I'm being too forward," murmured Harry. He dropped his dress trousers with lightening speed and shook his hair back. His legs were three different shades of brown: berry, coffee and milky tea.

"No-o," George remembered to say, as Harry divested himself of his shirt and kissed George like he'd done it before.

"Good." Harry imprisoned George's arms above his head and slid his thigh up until George felt the grating of skin all over his body. "Because I already told your mother."


For jonem:


The day Neville saw Charlie Weasley's naked torso changed his life.

Not because he suddenly realised he was gay, because he'd known that all along. Not even because he felt attracted to Charlie, because that was a given with gorgeous men. But because Charlie had muscles that would knock Michelangelo's David into a cocked hat.

When Neville went home after his visit to the Burrow, he looked at his own stomach in the mirror. He categorically failed to find rock-hard abs. What he saw was a wobbling pile of lard disguised as skin.

And that was how Neville's tortuous training regime began.

Neville had always been a comfort eater. He'd had a lot to seek comfort about: knowing from an early age both that his parents were crazy and that he wanted to kiss boys. Living with Augusta Longbottom was no piece of cake either, which was why Neville consumed so many of them.

It all stopped on the day he saw Charlie Weasley with his shirt off. Neville was going to define his muscles like Charlie's or die in the attempt.

While the endless rounds of callisthenics and exercises were wearying, they eventually became part of Neville's routine -- much like having five doughnuts before lunch had once been. It was turning his back on all that lovely food that broke his heart.

Sumptuous cakes and mouth-watering chocolates called out to him as he trudged past sweet shops, but he closed his ears to their siren call. He doubted he'd ever grow to like salad, but all the books on the subject promised that he could treat himself every now and then once his weight had stabilised. Neville felt like a victim of some horrendous disease at those words, but he refused to be deterred.

By the following summer, when Charlie was once more visiting from Romania, Neville had his reward. As usual, he went to the swimming pond with all the Weasleys. But instead of sitting on a rock with a book, Neville stripped down to some stylish swimming trunks and jumped right in there with them. There were whoops of approval and delight that warmed Neville all over, even as the cold water nearly sent him into circulatory shock.

"You look great, Neville!" called Ginny. She swam over to him, her green bikini barely modest. Neville politely averted his eyes.

"Thanks, Gin. I've been on a diet."

"It obviously suits you." Ginny dropped her voice. "You'd better watch out -- Charlie'll be all over you when he sees that fit bod of yours!"

"Why?" Neville paddled water to hide his very deep interest in the question.

Ginny rolled her eyes. "Oh, Neville, even you can't be that thick. Charlie's as gay as a box of chocolates!"

Neville's mouth began to water at the thought of chocolate. Ginny eyed him in amusement.

"You really didn't know, did you?"

Neville shook his head, hoping the coldness of the water would neutralise his blush.

"Don't tell me you're one of those homophobes." Ginny's voice was suddenly sharp.

"No! No, of course not," said Neville, too forcefully. "Actually I think he's -- um, never mind."

"Okay." Ginny's eyes were still sharp, but her gaze was now probing rather than cutting. "Could you do me a favour and fetch me some lemonade? Please? I'm dying of thirst."

"Sure." Neville climbed out of the pond. He felt a moment of unease at the way his trunks clung to his body, but no one paid him any mind.

The kitchen was cool and dark after the heat of the garden. Neville tried his best not to tread dry grass into Mrs Weasley's immaculate floor, without much success. He heard footsteps and turned to meet the person gratefully -- Ginny had never told him where to find the lemonade. "Hey!" he greeted the emerging redhead cheerfully. "Do you know --"

His voice trailed away as his eyes registered the fact that a tousled, sleepy Charlie was standing in the doorway, clad only in creased pyjama bottoms. His eyes widened; oddly, Charlie's did too.

"Neville?" said Charlie. His voice sounded congested. Neville wondered if he were coming down with a cold. "You look -- different."

"Good different or bad different?" joked Neville nervously.

"Definitely good different." Charlie prowled forward, looking wide awake. He paused inches in front of Neville, tapping his lip with his finger. "Christ, Neville, if you were gay I'd fear for your male virtue. Especially in those shorts."

"Huh," managed Neville. Lemonade, his brain reminded him, but what he said was, "Gay. I am. Gay."

"I know, Neville." Charlie smiled and hooked one finger under Neville's wet waistband. "I've been waiting to hear you say that."

Outside, Ginny swam to the edge of the pond and retrieved a pitcher from behind a rock. "Anyone for lemonade?" she called.


Bonus ♥ for coralia13, who deserves it and more. It's only a pity that I'm really stupendously crap at het.


Kaylee knew a good thing when she saw one.

Granted, she hadn't thought Simon was a good thing the first time she saw him. It was the little round spectacles. Even Simon eventually admitted that they were pretty awful. River had long since taken them apart to find out what they were made of.

But it hadn't taken Kaylee very long to see that Simon Tam wasn't just a good thing. He was quite possibly the best thing to walk into her life since the blonde mechanic, whose name she'd long since forgotten. The blonde mechanic had inadvertently given her Serenity. Simon gave her something even better.

Unfortunately, between fleeing the Reaper's home planet and having the generator break down and stopping for repairs and Jayne getting himself cut up in a bar fight, they'd only had one chance to be alone together. It was strange, but Kaylee found herself missing Simon even when he was in the same room as her.

Mal seemed to sense her growing impatience, or maybe he'd just been shocked into awareness when she actually kicked Serenity's hull in frustration.

"You all right there, Kaylee?" he asked, his eyebrows crawling around his head like they were independent of his face. "Do you have that PMV thing?"

"No! Yes! Goddamnit, I'm horny, and you've been keeping my doctor penned up with Jayne." Kaylee blew her hair out of her face. "Please, Mal, can't we have a bit of land-time?"

"As long as you don't tell me what you just told me ever again, you can have whatever you want," replied Mal, and escaped into the mess.

So it was that Kaylee found herself walking hand in hand with Simon on Persephone. His hand was a little sweaty and she had to navigate differently to avoid catching passers-by in their linked arms, but overall she liked it.

She was wearing one of her favourite dresses; there was a lot of pink. The day before she'd found a stubby lipstick rolling around the companionway and she figured Inara had dropped it one time. Inara sure wouldn't mind Kaylee appropriating it. If she were here, she'd probably be cheering Kaylee on and giving her all sorts of exotic sexual tips.

Kaylee wondered when Mal was going to figure out that he missed Inara more than he resented her for leaving.

"This is nice, don't you think?" Kaylee looked around, relishing the smell of something other than Jayne. Jayne tended to take over places with his smell, even right after his monthly bath. "Look, over there -- they're selling magic bubbles! I used to love those when I was a kid, didn't you?"

"Kaylee," said Simon. Something in his voice made her stop and look at him. "I want to say something before I say something else and completely ruin this. Like saying that you were the only single girl on board when what I really meant was that … that you're beautiful."

Simon's free fingers tugged down the hem of his sweater. It was a nervous tic. Simon seemed to be nervous around her a lot. "So whatever stupid thing I say during the next two hours, I want you to remember that I love you. I love you, Kaylee."

Kaylee smiled, glad that she'd worn lipstick. "Simon, I know that. I also know you are going to stick your foot in your mouth fairly soon, so can we just … you know … find somewhere private?"

"You mean …" Simon blushed. Kaylee was pretty sure she was meant to be doing that, not him, but she didn't mind.

"Yup." She leaned forward and kissed him on the mouth, but it was Simon who took her hand and lead the way.

Back on board ship, Mal sat before a computer screen. Every so often he'd attack the keyboard, once getting as far as the first A before backspacing violently.

But he was thinking about it. It was a step forward. Probably in a very bad direction.

In the end he gave it up, because Simon and Kaylee made enough star-crossed lovers for one ship and Zoe was crying again.

To his surprise, he found himself thinking Next time.
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
Current Music: Crash (Gwen Stefani)
Trinity Day: Supernaturaltrinityday on August 4th, 2006 11:24 pm (UTC)
Since I have to be in the mood to read most slash pairings, I only read the Firefly ficlet. But wow. I couldn't believe how in character everyone you even alluded to was (like the River had long since taken them apart to find out what they were made of line), let alone those characters you actually wrote. I could actually hear Mal and Kaylee have this exchange:

"No! Yes! Goddamnit, I'm horny, and you've been keeping my doctor penned up with Jayne." Kaylee blew her hair out of her face. "Please, Mal, can't we have a bit of land-time?"

"As long as you don't tell me what you just told me ever again, you can have whatever you want," replied Mal, and escaped into the mess.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: 4 Weddingsscoradh on August 4th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC)
Wow! [blinks] That was the last one I wrote, and it should have been the first, because slash = easy peasy. Het = OMGWTF. I'm extra specially delighted to hear it actually worked! I seriously thought it was l'enfant terrible of the group.

The closest I come to a het icon.
Cait: simon/kayleecoralia13 on August 4th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC)
AAAHHHH, SQUEEEE!!!!! I haven't even read it yet, but I am giggling like a child! I was like, ah, Rachel fic! I guess I'll read the HP and squint really hard and pretend that Remus and James are just good friends... And now I'll still do that, but I get delicious female pronouns at the end!!

Oh, how I love you.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Tangled Golden Pairscoradh on August 4th, 2006 11:34 pm (UTC)
Delicious female pronouns! Hee! Oh, I hope you don't think it's too bad ... I'm not lying when I say my proficiency for het is about zero and falling. [frets]

Actually, you're safe: there's nothing hot 'n' heavy in there. Just a lot of allusions and some serious making out. (Though you might want to skip that, I dno.)

Love you too, ma petite.
Cait: MWPP's songcoralia13 on August 5th, 2006 12:09 am (UTC)
You know, it didn't bother me and I didn't even have to squint at all! I think I was too mind-boggled by your killer descriptions and amazingly smooth narration to care about the slash.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 5th, 2006 12:11 am (UTC)
Gosh, you're making me all blushy! And trust me, I do not need to be any hotter right now. [winces] I'm one with the White Witch on this one -- bring back the winter, pronto!

(♥, of course)
Cait: Idahocoralia13 on August 5th, 2006 12:21 am (UTC)
Ooh, bad luck! Our heat wave finally ended the other day, although I hear we're supposed to get back into the 90s this week. Ugh. At least the cool snap has stemmed the tide of box elder bugs a tiny bit. One just crawled out of my keyboard. I think I might freak.
(no subject) - scoradh on August 5th, 2006 12:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - coralia13 on August 5th, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Cait: flying highcoralia13 on August 5th, 2006 12:06 am (UTC)

I actually ended up reading all of them and, DAMN, girl, I hope you know how well you can write. I mean, I don't go in for the slash, as you know, so I didn't get the happy 'shipper butterflies from the R/J that I got from the S/K, but your descriptions and sentences are all so tight and just gorgous. Your pacing deserves a shrine of its very own and again I must mention the descriptions. Harry's different colored legs in the H/G story, the joke about cake and Mrs. Longbottom in the N/C story... You blow my mind, my dear.

And THANK YOU for the sweet, wonderful little Firefly fic! I love it. I like that you didn't make Mal/Inara easy (because I don't think it is), and the little aside about Zoe broke my heart. I love the little awkward details that you put in to make everything feel so real, like Simon's hand being sweaty, and it not being easy to walk side by side in a crowd. It makes your stories feel like they take place in the real world, rather than just in their author's (brainy and lovely) head.

*applauds you*
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Golden Pair Matter of factscoradh on August 5th, 2006 12:10 am (UTC)
Your approval means so much to me, honey. Especially because you don't get happy shipper butterflies! Ah, I'm not sure what to think about these -- when I wrote them it was really fun to just let it all hang loose, but now I can't even look at them. (Standard practice, mind you.)

I'm glad I made the effort with S/K if it makes you that happy! Like I said, I'm only sorry it's not better. I wanted to write about them kissing and all, but when it came down to it the 'story' was literally a stitch in time. Eh. Rambling.

Poor Zoe. I like to think maybe she was pregnant when he died, or something. Random!
Cait: studyingcoralia13 on August 5th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)
There are actually an incredible number of fics in which Zoe is pregnant at the time of "Serenity." Some are good, some are bad, one had the line, "I knew my man wouldn't leave me for good," which made me weepy in the extreme.

Maybe give it some time and you'll be able to look at them? I hope so, anyway, because I love them - all of them.

Hey, I think I might be getting up the nerve to post some fic to a comm! We'll see... It would be pre-Firefly about the Tams, because that's the only thing I've been able to write (ever) that isn't too long for me to ever finish.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 5th, 2006 12:23 am (UTC)
I'm a firm believer in gaining immortality through your kids. I mean, nothing will bring back Wash, but at least she'd have something to force her to live, mmyeah?

Ah sure, I'll have to check them for typos (again) at some point ...

Good luck! Comms can be tricksome; hit the right time and place and you'll get tonnes of reviews. Never post on a Sunday. :)
(no subject) - coralia13 on August 5th, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Nicole: ciaoterkey on August 5th, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
I already told you how much I loved teh Remus/james, so I won't again.

So, the Harry/George: you wouldn't believe the vaguely hyena-like noises of glee I was making as I read that. Cause Harry/Weasley hotness oh yes oh yes oh yes!

Found one little thing in the Neville/Charlie

Not because he suddenly realised he was gay, because he'd know that all along. Did you mean known?

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every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Snakey thangscoradh on August 5th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
Seriously! What is it with that? It's quite a relief, mind you, because even kisses I think are awful seem to go down okay. ♥

You can spam me any time. Now, where did I put your pompoms ...? :P
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Juliescoradh on August 5th, 2006 09:48 pm (UTC)
Yes -- I don't think I could write a line like that where the mark was conscious of what he was thinking. But it's all subliminal. Yay for denial!

You want to swap weathers? I can't stand this heat. And I was born in Australia. I need a poolboy with a fan like yesterday.

(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Star qualityscoradh on August 5th, 2006 09:39 pm (UTC)
Eee! I love you right now. ♥ I suppose they were baby stories; but I have no idea how to condense any further than this. I've been longing to write this sort of thing for ages now, but never felt I had license to do so. It's unlikely that I would ever have got around to writing a full-length Neville/Charlie despite the interesting pairing -- so I'm glad I got this chance.

I actually wish it were an effort after such praise -- but it's far too much fun for that! Unless you mean the coding, which is a pain.

(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 5th, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
From now on, I think I might stick to shorter stories. Like my idol, Zahra. :P I read all of her OC stories, and I loved not having to invest in them yet getting such an awesome return all the same. It's time for a paradigm shift; I can't learn anything if I don't try new stuff.

Ahh, it's comments like that that make me mad you have to go through the depression stuff. Bad depression happens to good people. Still, I don't think people who just float along can either appreciate or write real happiness; they get it too easy. ♥
jehnt: - incoherencejehnt on August 5th, 2006 07:40 pm (UTC)

*is incoherent*

I just. After reading that, I didn't want to read anything else ALL DAY because I was sure I wouldn't enjoy it as much.

Then I read the one with the napkins.

Which was also just perfect.

I haven't read the others because I'm saving them for a rainy day, but let me go out on a limb here and pre-emptively say that, based on past experience, it is highly probable that I will love them. XD
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Kaidou's jacketscoradh on August 5th, 2006 09:29 pm (UTC)
I'd better not mention that I thought it was the worst kiss I ever wrote, then, because people don't seem to be noticing that part.

Ahaha, I was all 'NAPKINS? WOT?' which is not the reaction you want to be having about something you wrote two days ago.

♥ You make me feel special.
Halrloprillalar: tezuka/oishiprillalar on August 5th, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, the MK was so fun! I'm glad you jumped in. :) I love clueless Momo.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Rabbit shoesscoradh on August 6th, 2006 12:01 am (UTC)
[nods solemnly] He's pretty much like a divine force of nature. ♥
some Great Lexicographer descending from the skies: h/d flowerroastchicken on August 9th, 2006 06:55 am (UTC)
*squees all over this post, too*

Eventually I'll calm down enough to read the other ones, but for now I am happily dreaming of server boy Draco watching Harry slurp his milkshake. Have I mentioned lately that I love you? ♥
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Doctor?scoradh on August 9th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
No, but I'm always open to declarations comme ca. ♥ Hope you enjoy the rest, too!
secretsolitairesecretsolitaire on August 14th, 2006 02:21 am (UTC)
Finally got a chance to read the rest of your gift ficlets (well, the HP ones -- not familiar with the other fandoms). These were *wonderful*. I can only say "nngh" to the Remus/James kiss and to Harry and George getting it on. (Yay for George peeking at Harry's backside.) The Harry/Draco was absolutely adorable (Draco in pink!), and I loved Neville's need to make himself worthy of Charlie -- seems very IC to me. Applause to you for managing all these prompts!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Doctor?scoradh on August 14th, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed all of them! I had a lot of fun writing them, so as usual it's me applauding those brave enough to read them -- rather than the other way around. ♥
Jaeenchanted_jae on August 19th, 2006 11:14 pm (UTC)
Here by way of roastchicken. I only read the H/D (sorry! busy!), but I loved it. I liked how their relationship progessed from antagonistic to "ask me out already".
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 19th, 2006 11:18 pm (UTC)
No worries! I'm glad you liked them. ♥