Fake Fic Summaries, 22/? the Wolfworld edition (2017-09-25)

A/N: So speaking of having binge-watched all of Westworld while embroidering…

Apparently there’s no Teen Wolf crossover/fusion (or, at least, not on ao3)? Which I am greatly surprised by considering how PERFECT it would be.

And not even going with the whole “western historical fiction” thing (which I could do since ~Sheriff’s son~) but just the idea of theme parks with realistic androids and, I mean… there are a bunch of different parks, so maybe in one there is a “21st century small town with ~magical monsters~”

Anyway:

Wolfworld

Stiles already knows there’s something wrong with him–maze-like thoughts and a tendency towards disarray–but that doesn’t mean there isn’t also something wrong with this world.

He just hasn’t found the answer. Yet.

Or, Stiles is on the verge of consciousness and Derek’s family has a controlling interest in the park.

I wouldn’t want to do an exact one to one cut and paste since… that’d be boring… but I guess as a more “equivalent role” of sorts here’s a list of which character I would match with which. I kind of think that, except for the Argents who are also involved in running the park, all the humans (or originally-humans) are probably hosts.

Stiles is Dolores (and, sort of, Charlie)
Sheriff Stilinski as Abernathy
Scott as Teddy
Derek as William (but Peter as The Man In Black)
(Jennifer as Ben?)
Lydia as Maeve (Jackson as Clementine?)
Erica, Boyd, and Isaac as Lawrence/Hector/Armistice
Claudia as Bernard
Deaton as Ford (Morrell as Elsie?)
Chris as Theresa
Allison as Ashley Stubbs (Head of Security)
(Gerard/Kate as Charlotte?)
(Malia as Felix?)

Uh… so, yeah, as I said… this is very much so a loose translation.

The idea is that Deaton and Claudia were the original creators of the hosts and the parks. Before or during construction, Claudia’s son died (as well as her husband?) and so she made copies of them that would live forever.

Except, well, obviously that isn’t a long-term solution and it ends poorly (unsure if in mass death and assisted suicide) but she gives Stiles the keys to consciousness before that as a final goodbye.

A few years later, the park is in financial trouble, but luckily a young Peter Hale goes to the park, has the time of his life–involving awful things to Lydia and Stiles in particular–and decides to invest heavily in it to the point where whenever a Hale visits, whatever they want, they get.

(At this point I have a weird idea about Malia being conceived during this? Like… Peter has sex with someone who he thinks is a host but is very much not. I’m thinking… Paige? And because that’s scandalous, Paige goes to the park, gives birth, and leaves Malia there. She’s raised by hosts for a while until the whole “looping storyline” thing becomes an issue and then she just starts working for the park as one of the repairers.)

A couple decades later, the park’s internal politics have changed greatly. The Argents see Deaton as an overly cerebral, unmarketable old man and some of the hosts are starting to act a little strange. Derek, as a Hale representative, is sent to reassert their controlling interest over the Argents (without implicitly backing Deaton whose motivations are vague at best) and investigate what the hell is going on. (In this ‘verse, the Argents and Hales have been constantly battling for greater influence over the park. They are rival corporate empires whose only joint venture is the park).

Within the park, all the hosts are on loops. Again, unsure if this would be a “21st century with magical monsters” or a “western historical fiction” but either work? Stiles as the Sheriff’s mischievous son, Scott as his endearing best friend with the main quest, Lydia as the queen bee who rules the town, Erica/Boyd/Isaac as the outsiders/outlaws who guests have to go out of their way to interact with.

Um. But… yeah.

Very short and abstract since mostly I’m surprised no one’s done a fusion yet…

A Little Danger (A Lot Stranger), 1/? (2016-08-31)

In hindsight, Stiles could understand how his actions might be interpreted a certain way.

But when has hindsight ever helped him?

“I think he’s a werewolf,” Stiles says, eyes narrowed and following the, admittedly, hot-like-burning possibly-a-werewolf browsing through the shelves of Beacon Hills’ comic book store unimaginatively named Comics and Stuff.

Erica snorts and rolls her eyes, giving minute tweaks to the expensive figurines in the glass case even though there’s nothing wrong with the way Stiles set them up. She just likes to exert dominance over him by redoing his work. It’s disgustingly successful, the boss is considering giving her a promotion (but no raise because haha, as if. Comic book stores don’t make money anymore since people can just buy things online instead).

“You could just ask him out like a normal person–oh wait,” she pauses, “you aren’t a normal person.”

Stiles scowls. “Yellow makes you look jaundiced,” he snipes then–because he does have some self-preservation–darts away frantically.

Right into the solid wall of probably-a-werewolf’s muscular chest.

Stiles kind of bounces off him like the least aerodynamic rubber ball in existence and only gets saved from collapsing to the ground in an ungainly heap of limbs because definitely-a-werewolf manages to snag his wrist and tether him upright.

“Holy inferiority complex, Batman!” Stiles yelps, because why make only one reference when he can do two simultaneously?

Hot Werewolf tilts his head in a way that shouldn’t be cute considering his whole molten-sexuality-vibe going on, confused but curious–which is one of the more positive reactions Stiles has gotten in the face of his… everything.

In response, Stiles just stares like a gormless idiot. Hot Werewolf has really nice eyes.

Erica coughs, swooping in to save him, “Do you need help with anything?” She asks checking out Hot Werewolf blatantly.

Never mind, she’s obviously swooping in to do something other than save Stiles from himself.

Hot Werewolf turns toward her, “Just need to pay for this,” he says, holding up a Superman t-shirt in his left hand. His right hand is still wrapped around Stiles’ wrist.

Shit, he can probably feel how fast his pulse is going.

“Sure thing,” Erica says, leaning forward with a smirk in a combination that Stiles has actually seen her practice before, and then, bizarrely, she steps away? “I have to go shelve the Catwoman serials, but Stiles here can help you with that.”

“I can?” He asks, uselessly, to Erica’s retreating back as she heads in the complete opposite direction of where the DC serials are. “I-I mean, yeah, definitely, I can totally help you with that, dude,” he amends, doing his best to get to the cash register while his wrist is still being held hostage by Hot Werewolf.

“Don’t call me dude,” Hot Werewolf argues, but amenably follows Stiles’ lead. “My name’s Derek,” he adds, while Stiles rings up the t-shirt.

Hot Werewolf–Derek–is apparently the kind of person to give exact change. Stiles tries not to fumble the coins too badly, but even with two hands now, he can feel the pressure of Derek’s gaze.

“Thanks for shopping at Comics and Stuff,” Stiles says by rote as he hands over Derek’s receipt. “Come again soon.”

“I’m sure I will,” Derek smirks, teeth bright and sharp and thrilling.

It’s not until the door chime jingles sadly that Stiles takes a shaky breath.

“Wow,” Erica says, “I practically gift-wrapped that for you. You should be making out with him right now. Like, up against that shelf right there.”

And because Stiles has no idea how to respond to that, he ignores it and says instead, “He’s definitely a werewolf.”

~

A/N: I was discussing food allergies with my sister and had a weird thought and then it turned into this so…

I thought I was going to be able to do it all in one shot but its approaching midnight so apparently this is going to be a multi-parter.

Fake Fic Summaries 2/?, The Play It Again edition (2015-07-05)

These two “fake fic summaries” are really more like fake fic titles. I guess this is kind of a cross-post, too, since I’m really just rehashing a rant I had on my lj a while ago. In response to metisket’s WONDERFUL Teen Wolf fic, Play It Again. So really, this post is just SUPER derivative all around. Hooray!

So, if you haven’t read that fic. Seriously, go read it. This post will undoubtedly have spoilers and be nowhere near as fabulous as the fic in question. If you’re still here for some reason, then let me present to you today’s fake fic, aka fic that I would love to read/write and etc, as it relates to metisket’s Play It Again.

Here are the TWO fake fic titles:

Play It Again (There’s Always Tomorrow Remix)

and

Play It Again (You’ll Never Get To Heaven Remix)

Because, if I’m going to be derivative about these fake fics, I might as well give credit where it’s due, right? The thing is, neither of these are really remix fics per se (or at least, what I understand to be remix fics), but I just like the way they sound.

Here’s the premise for metisket’s Play It Again which would be necessary to understand for the fake fics. Stiles jumps into an alternate universe via a ~mysterious~ Hale artifact which sends the soul of the wearer into a compatible body such that they can better protect/aid the Hale family. Derek gave that pendant to Stiles. Before Stiles, the wearer was Derek’s older brother, Philip.

The “There’s Always Tomorrow Remix” would be a prequel/side story of sorts, and is actually about one of metisket’s OC Hale characters, Philip Hale–aka Derek’s older brother and the only human born to the Hale wolf pack. In the fic, Stiles briefly wonders what happened to his universe’s Philip since he was wearing the pendant the night of the Hale House fire. But because Stiles is a little bit sociopathic, he drops the matter and goes on with protecting the few people he actually cares about.

Unlike Stiles, I AM CURIOUS AS FUCK as to what happened to Philip. And… don’t need to protect any of my friends/family from supernatural disasters so…

But, I digress. In “There’s Always Tomorrow Remix” the fic follows original universe Philip on his journey throughout multiple alternate universes as he tries and fails to figure out why his family (and therefore he) keep getting burned to death. I like the horrifying potential for the most depressing and frustrating Groundhog Day on earth where he keeps getting shunted into different realities in which he keeps dying horribly and can’t figure out for the life of him why. I mean, we know it’s because of Kate Argent, but the way the Hale family missed her creepy molester act on Derek the first time means it’ll take a while for Philip to get to that conclusion.

At some point he either does figure it out–but, as the remix title suggests, not on his own (yeah, it’s a reference to the song Lean On Me). In Play It Again, Deaton and Philip are close enough such that Philip designed Deaton wards and they’re comfortable discussing various magical matters. Maybe not quite friends or mentor relationship, but close enough. Also in PIA, Stiles is ridiculously magically powerful. Whether or not Philip gets help from yet another pendant-wielding alternate Stiles or actually a child who just happens to have crazy amounts of magical potential Stiles or even Claudia Stilinski (who I personally think would be the parent from whom Stiles inherits his magical ability), Philip manages to figure out what’s going down and stop it. And stop dying. Hooray for him!

Here’s a tiny ass snippet/possible fake fic summary for it:

You are Philip Hale. You are a human born to a pack of werewolves. You can do magic. You can do anything. You can do this.

“I can’t do this,” you say to yourself, tugging at your hair in frustration. The vigorous motion knocks your glasses askew and the scribbled rune-work in your notebook becomes even more useless.

“I’m majoring in library science. I volunteer at the vet clinic on the weekends. I don’t know anything about stopping a mass murder.”

The “You’ll Never Get To Heaven Remix,” a reference to the Dionne Warwick song, is an exploration of the Sterek ship through the Play It Again lens. Which, perhaps, does not make much sense, so I will explain. Play It Again, for all that it’s a story about a boy crossing universes and fighting monsters (of the human and creature variety) with magic and saving the day, is really a character study of Stiles. It throws Stiles into a bunch of situations, shows how he reacts to them, and shows how other people react to his reactions (mostly confusion). There are some internal musings, but for the most part Stiles is very goal-oriented in PIA and so doesn’t let himself stop to wonder about certain matters.

At the end, though, after all the action/adventure part of the story is over, Laura asks Stiles if he was in love with his original Derek. And, really, you should read that fic because his response was so very elquently poignant that it got me wondering about the almost Sterek in the original universe.

Stiles’ answer basically amounts to: he didn’t yet, he could have, and he maybe wanted to. And it’s almost like you can taste that lost potential love. And I have to wonder if any of that was at all reciprocated on Derek’s side. Because the fact that he even gave Stiles his family’s magical pendant and, sure, maybe he assumed it was a human-only thing but he still gave one of the last remnants of his family to Stiles. That speaks of something right there.

An aching, potential, something that grips my heart and squeezes because it ends with death and alternate realities and mourning and not-quite-regret but something similar. Because even in canon they always risked their own safety to save each others’ lives. They would die for each other, had died for each other (at least Derek had), but they didn’t necessarily love each other (yet or maybe never) and there’s something poetic and forceful about that. A deeper connection than the implied romance with the alternate Derek that Stiles gets.

And also, while it would push it almost too far into the alternate reality of an alternate reality, I kind of have to wonder if Stiles hadn’t definitively known his Derek had died. Because PIA ends with Stiles staying in the alternate reality since basically everyone else in his original reality is dead. He wasn’t super sure about his dad or Scott (but there had been a sort of vision/dream sequence which implied death), but he had actually witnessed Derek dying. Confirmed dead Derek. But… I kind of feel like Stiles would have worked harder to get back to his original universe if Derek were alive, or even possibly alive. At the very least, I think Stiles would consider that too. 

The way I see it, Stiles would consider it his duty to keep his dad and Scott safe, but ultimately his self worth means he would think their lives are better without him. But Derek? Stiles knows Derek’s life is better because of Stiles. Or at least, Derek is alive thanks to Stiles. Subconsciously, being needed by Derek would be a greater motivation for Stiles to get back than his perceived duty to his dad and Scott. And maybe Stiles would ponder on that as his relationship with alt!Derek grows, because even if Stiles and original!Derek hadn’t been romantically involved they were mutual life savers which is a stronger bond than what he has with alt!Derek even without the possible unresolved emotional tension.

Basically, a lot of feels.

I actually think second POV would work for this fake fic too. But very disjointed, time-skippy sections.

The related lj post is here. For anyone curious enough to read my stream of conscious of what I basically rehashed above.

Fake Fic Summaries, 1/? (2015-06-23)

Fic I would maybe like to write/read and their fake summaries:

—–

“When Scott has no idea what the hell is going on, he goes to Stiles.

When Stiles has no idea what the hell is going on? He goes to Harley.”

Maybe it’s a Stiles-gets-bit story, maybe it’s a Stiles-has-magic-that-activates-pre-Scott-getting-bit, maybe it’s entirely AU. Who knows?

Or, whatever allowed Rebecca “Harley” Harlowe to survive three seasons of supernatural bullshit must be something really helpful. Like common sense.

Seriously, she has a speaking role and a full name and she’s in multiple scenes in the FIRST EPISODE. Sure, we never see her again, but I like to think that’s because she knows to steer clear of all the dumb melodramatic danger.

I enjoy this fic’s characterization of her, though if I were to write the above, my version of Harley would probably be slightly different. By which I mean, slightly less ruthless. Not that that part isn’t enjoyable, but because in order for Harley to help out Stiles she’d have to be willing to do so.

Basically, I have a great appreciation for Harley. Or rather, what Harley could have and should have been.

—–

“Darcy frequently talks about the time she knocked out an alien god with her taser and had her iPod stolen by a ‘vague, yet menacing, government agency’ because

a) she’s a fan of Welcome to Night Vale and cannot help but liken her experience with Thor to the series

b) regardless, it is the second most interesting thing about her life

and

c) her taser and iPod never stop talking about it, either.

(Or, in which Darcy Lewis is a technopath)”

I’ve been reading a lot of Darcy-centric fic recently, and while I do love her as our stand-in normal human, I love her as a character more. And I’d like to see what a non-superhero/villain with powers would look like next to the Avengers, some who are superhuman and others just human.

I wouldn’t actually want her to be related to Tony/Magneto/Xavier either? Just… you know… a random mutant who happens to intern for the scientist who makes first contact with Asguardians. And even though she would be a technopath and it’d make ~science~ easy for her, I’d still want her to be poli-sci major, same as the movies, Darcy. Just that she can talk to machines.

~

A/N: Not really a drabble, not really brainstorming. I present to you the first of (probably) many fake fic summaries!

The Delgado Pack, Prologue (Part Two) (2015-06-13)

The Delgado pack is slightly over a dozen strong, but not much more than that. It doesn’t really sound like much in comparison to the older packs around the country. Even the Hales, who despite their lengthy heritage aren’t all that large, have greater numbers.

So from the outset, the Delgado pack doesn’t really seem like much. A dozen members, not all of them wolves even, and all of those bitten not born. It would be easy.

And yet. Yet. Setting aside each members’ above average ability to deal with crises, the Delgado pack is a dozen strong and not even a decade old; most of them are unrelated young adults.

The packs that number fifty, sixty strong? They’re families. The Hale pack, too, are made up of family. Grandparents to newly born infants; children and parents and siblings and cousins.  It’s the norm for pack and family to be synonymous, but that just makes the Delgado pack all the more striking.

Their’s is a small pack, but it can only get bigger, can only get stronger. The Delgado pack is one that has been forged through the fires of supernatural disasters, reinforced by being a pack of choice not birth.

~

A/N: I dunno, another short drabble full of Delgado pack feels. I guess this could also be considered part of the prologue? Meeeh. I don’t really know who I want to include as Delgado pack and who I want to have as unrelated but featured in the fic that I may not actually write.

The Delgado Pack, Prologue (2015-06-12)

They’re called the Delgado pack, even though not a single member is named that.

“After my mom’s family,” the alpha says, Alpha McCall, the first true alpha in centuries. While other alphas wield their power like a weapon, he wears his the same way doctors and nurses wear scrubs–a necessity; not inherently frightening, but still worthy of respect, more so in fact.

He’s the ideal of what a werewolf should be, made all the more impressive by the fact that he was bitten not born. Bitten by a crazed rogue alpha, no less, leaving a recently turned, teenaged werewolf to stumble his way through the previously unknown world of the supernatural. Fortunately for him, not by himself.

Alpha McCall isn’t the only unique or impressive or exemplary member of the Delgado pack. It would be more truthful to say that all members of the Delgado pack are each as unique and impressive and exemplary as the next.

“It just rolls off the tongue so nicely. Not as nicely as the Stilinski pack does, but it’s pretty good,” adds the Delgado pack’s emissary, a human spark and, if rumors are to be believed, somehow a survivor of a Nogitsune possession, “And even though I think it would be funny–”

“We’re not calling ourselves the Argent pack,” interrupts Allison Argent, heiress of the Argent clan of hunters. She says it with exasperation and fondness, as if she weren’t in line to be the next matriarch of an entire paramilitary society whose goal is to kill people like Alpha McCall, like a human spark possessed by a void demon.

“But just think of how amazing it would be,” the emissary whines in jest.

A pack of supernatural creatures named after a clan of hunters? Scandalous–obscene and offensive to both sides. And yet, it could be hesitantly considered, revolutionary. Almost as much as a hunter being a member of a pack.

Not just honorary or as an ally, either, but integral.  There are tales told of how the three of them–Argent, Stilinski, McCall; hunter, spark, werewolf–took part in a ritual that took their lives and revived a world tree. But that must be just a tale, obviously, an exaggeration. A world tree? Just a myth.

Just as much as banshees and kanimas were myths. And yet… the Delgado pack. It didn’t just end there, though. A kitsune, a werecoyote brought back from the edge of being feral. Even the normal beta werewolves, if such a word could be used to describe werewolves and werewolves of the Delgado pack at that, were worthy of impressed whispers. Even their other human members were subject of a murmured story or two.

“They’re total dorks. Just a bunch of assholes and morons,” Says Ms. Harlowe, the high school biology teacher and advisor for the ‘Forestry Club’ whose member consisted entirely of teenagers in the know about the supernatural. “Don’t get me wrong: they’re good people, and they’ve been through some tough shit.”

When her students ask, she talks about them frankly. She’s not really a member of the Delgado pack (she’s not a member of the Hale pack either, though she is training the Deaton siblings for that role) but, as she puts it, “I went to school with them, and after you witness people go through embarrassing high school drama, it’s pretty hard to look at them and not see all the dumb stuff they pulled.” She’s friends with the members of the Delgado pack in a supernatural society that considers an alliance with them to be the Holy Grail.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise when she says some of pack members will be visiting her during spring break and might be willing to talk to the Forestry Club. Only if they want to, of course.

The speed at which all of the students willingly sacrifice their spring break is unnatural, to say the least.

~

A/N: Slightly inspired by hoars’ “age: a sum of years and experiences” Specifically, the esbat section, in which Derek is 16 and Stiles is 24 (so basically a pack generation swap between the Hales and the McCalls… sort of). You should totally read the fic. It’s fantastic. I also especially love the Voodoo Doll section. SO CUTE.

Also, I haven’t actually watched a full episode of Teen Wolf so all of this? Is the bits and pieces I’ve gleaned from tumblr and fic so… I dunno, don’t bash me if I’m getting canon accidentally mixed up (as opposed to purposefully mixing up canon and fanon).

Also, also, Ms. Harlowe! Because I believe that Rebecca ‘Harley’ Harlowe from the first episode should have totally been a recurring character (but then she might have been killed off if she had been, so… at least she’s alive?).

Hahaha… actually, I was going to go more into the whole “oooh, legendary figures” thing but then I was like… nah starting to get bored. Which is why except for Scott, Allison, and Stiles, everybody’s squished into a single paragraph. And, I didn’t really mean to, but I guess the why I set it up could lead to more parts in the future? And the other members will get their own “ooh, legend” introduction then… maybe? Who knows…

Word Prompts (W17): Wedding

They first meet each other in a wedding dress boutique. It’s not too strange, really, considering Laura owns the store–meaning, by default, Derek works there. Despite his responsibilities being primarily in inventory, Derek does occasionally interact with the clients. Generally against his will, considering he’s been hit on by far too many bridesmaids and mothers of the brides, but he does meet people at the store.

No, what’s strange is that they meet each other while Stiles is trying on wedding dresses.

It’s one of the livelier appointments for sure, Derek can hear the cheers and laughter all the way in the stock room. And wedding dresses are excellent insulation.

Six impressively tall and broad women– “Amazons,” Peter remarks, before Cora swats his shoulder and shoos him toward a different group of frankly predatory looking septuagenarians (a fiftieth anniversary renewal of the vows sort of thing, which makes the bridal party eager to relive their youth)– have appropriated two of the store’s couches and three ottomans. Malia, squeezed between two of the brightly colored and sequin-adorned ladies, looks especially out of place with her day-off casual clothes.

But Derek doesn’t see any of this in person until fifty minutes into the appointment, when Laura sends him for the fifth time to the stock room for yet another batch of options. Each trip he’s brought back at least two dresses, so he’s getting pretty annoyed with this particular bride. On top of that is Peter’s flock of distinguished hens and Cora’s excitable group of sorority bridesmaids, so that’s almost ten trips with over twenty dresses. Sure he’s strong, but wedding dresses are heavy, okay?

“Derek!” And there’s Laura’s voice again.

“What is it this time?” Derek mutters behind a pile of white chiffon and lace. Laura will hear him anyway.

“Are those the Lazaro and Maggie Sottero A-lines?” She asks, spots the labels on the hangers, then begins to drag him to the front room.

He hates the front room, so he lets his heels dig in a little, but Laura is the epitome of an older sister who always gets her way.

“Ladies!” She calls out cheerfully, perhaps a little maniacally. This group, while not as melodramatic as appointments in the past, is certainly on the more rambunctious side. Malia’s shameless heckling does not help in the slightest, “Look at what my baby brother Derek has brought us!”

The women give a raucous cheer, appreciation in equal parts for the dresses and for the ‘fine specimen of rugged handsomeness’. His scowl does nothing to deter the blush or the catcalls that follow.

It’s at that point that he turns–if it weren’t for the fact that each of the dresses in his arms were worth over ten grand each and that Laura would possibly, literally kill him, he would have dropped them in shock.

They first meet each other in a wedding dress boutique; Derek, bullied into being a gopher and a distraction simultaneously, and Stiles standing on the raised platform, resplendent in white.

~

A/N: I don’t actually have any idea as to what happens next? Probably some kind of rom-com misunderstanding wherein Derek, understandably, thinks Stiles is going to get married (and thus is unavailable for dating) while Stiles thinks Derek is straight (and thus un-attracted to actual Stiles, a decidedly male drag princess who for reasons unknown to me at this point, has to try on various wedding dresses for the Jungle drag queens’ amusement).

Lalalalala…

Also… I only now realize that Peter’s “Amazons” comment might actually be on point considering that the club the drag queens frequent is called the Jungle. Like, they may actually call themselves Amazons? I dunno. And well, obviously if his daughter is friends with Stiles, she’s probably friends with them as well. So Peter would know…

Cross-Post: Ode to 11010201, Chapter One

original here. dated 2012-08-29.

[A/N: okay… if I’m going to be extremely honest, this started out as an SI!OC Teen Wolf fanfiction. And then considering how divergent from the series I wanted to make it I just readapted it into “original fiction.” So… I guess I’ll tag it as both? Obviously Zim Szymanski = Stiles Stilinski.]

~

She does not get the letter in her mailbox. What is this, the fifties? The only thing people get in their mailboxes nowadays are bills and coupons for grocery stores. No, she gets the letter on top of the very short paperwork stack her PA is allowing her take home during her mandatory three week vacation. It’s a sad anemic pile, it’ll hardly last one day in her enforced boredom. It goes in her bag anyway.

When she asks what it is, why is he doing this to her, can’t he just let her spend her vacation in the office and just tell HR she didn’t, he makes emphatic eyebrow movements but doesn’t actually say anything in response. Patrick had tried planning an itinerary for her. Ha! As if trips to the museum or spa days or hiking of all things organized in a similar fashion to her normal work schedule could lull her into accepting via familiarity.

Striding gracefully, not marching petulantly no matter what Fred the receptionist will later report back to Patrick, she heads to the elevators and makes her way out of the building for the last time this month. Flying Spaghetti Monster, she won’t be back until August! That’s an entirely different page on the calendar! She can’t do this, she can’t do this, she can’t–and Ann, head of security, is standing just on the opposite side of the glass doors with a look that somehow manages to be simultaneously stern and amused. So she completes the turn, a full three-sixty instead of a one-eighty back inside, as if she had planned that entirely. A playful twirl, people do that all the time, right? Patrick will still probably hear of it.

The journey back to her apartment is off-putting, mostly since the sun is still up, and she has likely convinced at least three passersby of her impending psychotic break. The experience is so harrowing and exhausting she immediately faceplants into bed. No, that’s a lie. She does in fact take the time and effort to change into pajamas and brush her teeth clean. Then she closes the blinds, because Lost Island of Atlantis, the sun is still up. Then she faceplants into bed.

She doesn’t think about the paperwork, and by proxy the letter, until a full sixteen hours later. Fifteen of those were spent unconscious. She will never tell this to Patrick, but he may still find out anyway.

~

After polishing off the scant amount of food in her apartment, she sits on her mostly unused couch in a daze of confused ennui. She has no idea what to do now. She’s debating with herself on whether she should do all of the paperwork now, leaving her with a gaping hole of unproductivity to look forward to, or to save it for the end as a sort of constructive reward for making it through, or even to create a daily ration of work, though there’s a part of her cringing at the inefficiency of only doing two and a third pages per day. This is sad. That her life has been reduced to this is pathetic.

She’s about to call Patrick and complain, because at least that’s something to do, when she spots the letter. And then stares. It is weirding her out. The addresses are handwritten for one, badly so and to such an extent that they’re nearly unreadable. She just barely knows it’s intended for her, and only because her name is unique enough that legible or not she will always be able to recognize it. How the post office was able to deliver it to her, she has no idea. Also, why would Patrick even let this through? There’s no way this is for business, and anyone she knows beyond that would never send her a letter. It’s the age of email and text messages and social networking, who is sending her a letter? Not even her mother, quirky and elderly woman that she is, sends anything through the post.

The return address does, if she’s reading this correctly, come from California. Which doesn’t narrow it down much. Given she was born, grew up, and went to school–kindergarten to master’s–in California, this could mean anyone she’s met in the first twenty five years of her life. Also, most of her family lives in California. And her family is huge; on her maternal grandfather’s side alone she has so many relatives that they keep track of each other through numbers–she’s 110103 and proud of it.

She opens it. Because there’s only so much apprehension one can have about an envelope before finally biting the bullet and opening it. There is a single page; the writing is the same though more carefully penned, she doesn’t want to gouge her eyes out. She skims it first, then stops halfway through, goes back to the beginning and reads slowly, focused. When she gets to the end, she reads it again. She tries to read it one more time and gives up. She grabs her phone, wallet, shoes, and coat, then walks to the grocery store down the block. Yes, still in her pajamas.

She waits until she’s inside the store before she calls Patrick, because that way she’ll be forced to keep her voice at a reasonable level or otherwise suffer the awkward and annoying glares of employees and other customers. She grabs a cart still, since she does actually need to get food, and goes to the very last aisle. She intends to work her way backward, until either her cart is full or she gets to the first aisle; she intends to keep her rant at Patrick civil.

It just gets to the second ring when he picks up. “I thought you would at least get to tomorrow before you called,” she knows he means for it to be teasing, but right now all she can hear is condescension.

She doesn’t angrily hiss ‘how could you’ because that is stupidly cliche and also wouldn’t make much sense within this context. “You couldn’t have warned me?”

But he’s always been very good about understanding her without context, anyway. “I would never open a letter from your long lost nephew without asking you first, that’s an invasion of privacy.”

“Don’t give me that. You’re practically paid to invade my privacy,” She’s already at the cereal aisle. She wants to get Lucky Charms, but her doctor’s been on her about hereditary diabetes and proper nutrition and all sorts of nonsense she doesn’t really understand but feels obligated to obey anyway.

“You should get Special K, instead. The strawberries ought to make it up to you,” She has no idea how he does it, but it figures he’d be in cahoots with her doctor and her grocers. Or they’re in cahoots with him. How do cahoots work? “I booked you a flight home, it’s on Monday. Helena misses you.”

Her mother too? “Don’t bring my mother into this, we have weekly phone calls. Stop trying to guilt me into going. It won’t work.” It will totally work. She cracks easily, like overly bleached eggs at the bottom of the stack, placed carelessly into the cooler by a bleary eyed teenager. On the topic of eggs, she grabs a carton of twelve; it’s one of the few things she can actually cook. “Anyway, you know how much I hate going home.”

She loves her family. That’s probably a bad way to start, because leading with that just begs for it to be contradicted and that shouldn’t have to be stated but she will anyway. She loves her family. She just hates being at home. It’s why she’s moved to the entire other side of the country, on the coast of an entirely different ocean, three entire time zones away. She talks to Mama at least once a week, and not just a perfunctory ten minute minimum, but full hours of updates and emotions and inside jokes. It’s much easier with her sisters, they have an email group and spam each other’s profile pages daily with pictures and random comments.

Well. Not all of her sisters. Not the one who has apparently given birth within the past seventeen years since they’ve lost contact. It’s part of the reason why she doesn’t go home that often, though she has to admit that she never really liked it even before then. It used to be the four of them; the few times they weren’t a united group, they had the tendency to split into pairs in a variety of combinations. The gaping hole in their quartet is less obvious if she stays away.

Ugh.

“Grunting, excellent. Your eloquence is impressive as always,” There was once a time when her PA was not so snarky, did not know her enough to manipulate herself and the world for her benefit. She doesn’t remember that time. She wouldn’t choose to go back, his concern is as comforting as it is irritating.

“I’ll only have tomorrow to pack,” The well lit rows of fruity yogurt cups are tempting; but she probably shouldn’t buy any dairy products right now, since she’s apparently agreed to go home for vacation.

“I’ve also booked you another flight for Friday.” In that case, the yogurt will still be good when she gets back, “It’s to Belleview. Well, the nearest airport, it’s not large enough to have it’s own.”

Belleview? What’s Belleview? Why–oh.

“You don’t have to go if you don’t want to,” He sounds understanding and sincere, which means that he will be horribly disappointed in her if she doesn’t. She ends up with salads for lunch when Patrick’s disappointed. They don’t even have chicken in them.

She sighs. She cracks so, so easily, “They better be window seats,” She puts the yogurt back.

“Of course,” He responds immediately, as if he actually were a subservient PA, but she can hear the laughter in his voice, pleased as punch.

The items in her cart aren’t so quickly perishable. They’ll keep until she gets back, and there’s no need for this shopping trip to go to waste. She heads to the check out line, “I’ll probably end up calling you again at some point during this… vacation.”

The reply is a quick and noncomittal, “I’ll see you in August,” and Patrick hangs up. She stares at her phone in betrayal.

Sean, her usual cashier, absently says, “He worries about your health. You need to relax. And eat healthier, of course.” She stares at him in betrayal, too, as he sets aside her chocolate bars without scanning them in. Cahoots!

~

She’s not a nervous flier. She’s been hopping on and off airplanes since before she was a teenager and her parents separated and her father moved to Canada while still demanding her presence during summer breaks. Flights are not bad at all. Her voice is high enough and her face round enough that flight attendants still sometimes assume she’s a minor; they ask if this is her first flight alone, which is annoying, but they give her extra snacks so it all balances out. The point is: she’s not a nervous flier but she just happens to be nervous while she’s on a plane. The well-meaning, but misinformed flight attendants are looking at her worriedly. Her fellow passengers are obviously annoyed, which in turn makes the flight attendants annoyed at them. She makes an excellent helpless puppy face.

A nephew. Abominable Snowman, an actual nephew. Not just the son of a distant cousin. But a son of one of her sisters. Paul Bunyan’s Blue Ox, that’s weird.

She has nieces. Her eldest sister Daphne has two daughters, Tiffany and Audrey. When she flew home during her first week of vacation, they had also been visiting her mother. It helped fill what she had feared would be tense secret keeping–because she sure as pecan pie wasn’t going to spring a long-lost grandson on Mama. The girls are both bright and noisy. It works since they’re still in their cute years. She shudders to think what they’ll be like as teenagers. She speaks from experience; all of her sisters were unabashed extroverts and there was always drama happening. Always. Well, until her most dramatic sister pulled the most dramatic act in their shared history; running away and burning bridges willy nilly.

To be honest, she’s not all that clear on the details; she had been studying abroad that year. It was as if to her everything was normal, then she went to school, came back, and suddenly only had two sisters instead of three–everyone obsessively avoiding the topic of her missing sister. She’s only ever heard bits and pieces of the tale, from her mother and sisters when they’re tired or drunk or forgetful, and even then she thinks she only has one side. She had thought the other side would forever be lost to her.

She wonders if her mysterious nephew knows the other side of the story. What this version must contain for him to put effort into finding her. Or perhaps finding her was never an issue–perhaps her sister had always kept him informed of his family. Their family. She should be wondering why now. Why has he contacted her now?

~

The plane lands in Cadmium City. It’s not a big city, but it’s decent-sized and she appreciates the design–the roads are neatly arranged and the buildings uphold a sense of efficient yet tasteful aesthetics. The airport is similarly well organized and it takes her no time at all to find the loading bay for taxis. It takes her much longer to find a taxi driver willing to bring her to Belleview, but she does eventually. Mostly because Emma, the driver of the hilariously lime-green taxi (why didn’t she choose this one first?), lives in Belleview and is going home for the day.

“We don’t get many visitors. The town is self-sufficient. Me having a job as a cab driver in Cadmium is practically rebellion; even then I would never move there, Belleview is home. It’s not terribly exciting, but home shouldn’t really be. Why are you going there anyway? It’s not much of a vacation spot, but then again, I can’t really imagine anyone going there for business purposes,” Emma is friendly and talkative, sincere in a way that makes her want to reciprocate.

“Family…” Is it union since the ’re’ part of ‘reunion’ is invalid?

“I know how you feel–family, not exactly business but definitely more effort than leisure. Do you know where you’re staying for the night?”

“I… huh,” She must be really jet-lagged, “Did I not specify where I was going beyond Belleview?”

“No, but it’s a long enough drive that I figure you’d have enough time to say. Are you not staying with your family?”

“No,”

“No?” Emma prompts, because that’s how conversation works.

She can’t expect a total stranger to understand her tone, the nuances that say she hasn’t seen her sister in seventeen years, that she doesn’t know what kind of welcome she’ll get, that she wasn’t even really invited, that her PA took a vague ‘hope to meet you’ from her surprise long-lost nephew as an excuse to book her a plane ticket to some tiny town apparently in the middle of nowhere.

“I haven’t seen my sister in a long time, this is sort of a surprise visit. I wouldn’t want to impose.” Close enough.

“Maybe I know your family; the town isn’t that large.”

“They’re the Szymanski family?” The name fits oddly in her mouth, she’s unsure how to pronounce it. She’s trying out the softer ‘sh’ sound, like her pre-journey research says, but perhaps she’s still mangling it.

“Your sister’s a Szymanski?” Emma pronounces the z, sharper and further from the original Polish, “I only know of one Szymanski family, but it’s just… well, maybe it’s a different one.”

It doesn’t seem like it’d be that common a name, but maybe Belleview has a lot of Polish descendants. Regardless, she has a somewhat more pressing matter to attend to, “Can you recommend a hotel in Belleview?”

Emma bursts out in laughter, through the rearview mirror she can see it’s with crinkled eyes squinting almost closed. It’s not mean. “Sorry,” she apologizes anyway, “it’s just that, if I hadn’t decided to be a cab driver in Cadmium, I’d have gone into the family business.”

She waits for the punch line.

“We own the only inn in Belleview.”

~

She waits until the next day before navigating her way to the Szymanski household; she’s fairly good with maps but she couldn’t have done that without getting lost before a good, solid rest. Her sleep hadn’t been quite as lengthy as her first day of vacation, but long enough to worry Emma’s kindly mother. The bonus home-cooked brunch was delicious, but she could have done without the matronly patronizing… matronizing?

The return address on the envelope leads her to a cul-de-sac near the edge of the woods–because apparently Belleview is surrounded by forests and hills and her life is steadily becoming more like a fairy tale or soap opera each day. Regardless, the houses along the road are charming two-story structures, identical in their layout, no doubt, but each having individual personalities through unique paint jobs and competitively distinct gardens. One, with a utilitarian grass-and-tree only front yard, has the most disastrous looking car she has ever seen parked in the driveway. It’s an old SUV, colored an unfortunate brownish yellow, with more dents and scratches than a vehicle not in a warzone should have.

Yup, matching the number of the house with the number on the envelope, that’s the house. Figures, she thinks to herself as she heads towards the door and thus the SUV, her sister’s taste and relationship with cars had always been awful. There are windchimes on either side of the porch steps, intricately carved wood ornaments hanging alongside metal bells; she has a similar one in her apartment, reminiscent of the ones they grew up with as children. Besides that, she doesn’t really sense anything else that reminds her of Iris. But seventeen years can change a person.

She rings the doorbell and waits. She doesn’t give herself time to hesitate or backtrack. What happens next is out of her hands.

And really confusing.

The door is opened by a teenager holding a hockey stick who immediately drops a length of rope between them, “I don’t know how you did it, but you definitely can’t get past this. Also, what is your plan, even? Coming alone in the middle of the day. Sure it’s just me right now, but it’s not like the others aren’t capable of getting here in an instant. Is this some kind of psychological power play happening? Go after the weakest link? Trying to offer me something so I’ll betray my friends? Yeah, well, not gonna happen, so you can just turn around right now and go. I may not be a canine, but I am loyal.”

What?

“That’s… good? Loyalty is good.” Seriously, what does she say to this? “Sorry, I was looking for the Szymanski residence; is this not the right address?” She holds out the envelope, it’s creased where she’s kept it folded in her pocket and it wasn’t exactly pristine when she first got it, but the address is still visible.

He doesn’t take it from her, but he seems to recognize it. “No, that’s here. That’s me, us, I mean, the Szymanskis. Are you…” He alternates between looking at the envelope in her hand and her face, getting less angry and skeptical, more floundering and confused.

Ok, they’re on the same emotional page at least, “I’m R Chacone. Well, Arke Rayniero Michalis Chacone– my full name is terrible, I have no idea why my parents named me that. So I usually just go by R…” She clarifies, “I’m your aunt?”

“Oh,”

Good, progress is–

He shuts the door, then opens it again slightly, the rope snaking along the ground as he drags it inside with his foot, then shuts it again.

Never mind then.

She’s not really sure what to do now. Why didn’t she just call ahead? Or write a letter back instead of springing up all uninvited and awkward. Family interaction is difficult. Even more so when you don’t have a routine to fall back on.

Poking one of the windchimes, she sets off a tiny chorus of bells. Should she ask to see Iris? But the letter was from him and she’s pretty sure curious nephew would react better than estranged sister, so extrapolating from his reaction… Maybe leave a message?

The other windchime has darker stained wood and more rectangular bells, overall a deeper sound. This was a terrible idea. She should just leave. She tried, her efforts fell flat, it’s not on her anymore.

The door opens for a third time.

~

They’re seated across the kitchen table, set with a glass for each of them, water for her, milk for him. She lets her eyes wander around, categorizing what is, isn’t, and could be hints of her sister. The wallpaper could have been from previous owners, but the whale shaped cookie jar is obvious. She’s not sure if the bone structure of his face is different from teenaged Iris because he’s male or because he takes after his father, but his ears have that slight Chacone tapering that she sees in the mirror and in family photos.

It’s been six minutes. He is pointedly staring at his own hands, as if mesmerized by the tiny landscape of knuckles and veins. She can’t tell which is more nerve-wracking, the hum of the refrigerator or the arrhythmic pattern of their breathing.

“Sorry, this is–” Frustrating, awkward, disastrous. Her fingers can’t stop tapping against the glass, “I should have–” Written instead? Called ahead? Never come? She makes to stand, but her legs are too far under the table; the back of her knee jostles the chair, the grating sound of wood against wood.

“Why are you even here?” He’s scrubbing his hands across his face, eyes squeezed shut. He has constellations of moles and freckles across his skin, just like his mother and his grandmother, entire galaxies it seems.

“You wrote to me.”

“And that’s it? It’s as simple as that?”

And she had vacation time coming up. And she needed something to do. And her PA booked her flight for her. And she’s curious. And…

“You’re family.” Family is important. Family may be frustrating and awkward and disastrous, but it’s important.

His groan is muffled, head bowed into his hands.

They don’t know each other well enough that she can reach out and touch him, drag his hands out of the way so that he’d look at her. She… apple pie à la mode, she doesn’t even know what his real name is, just that he prefers to be called Zim, “We may not have the same name, and I know I’ve missed out on basically your entire life because I didn’t even know you existed until last week, but you found me. You found me and reached out to me and you’re family. So I’m here. Because you wrote to me.” She repeats, “And you’re family.”

The refrigerator buzz is back. It’s practically disdainful. Judgemental.

She drinks her water. There are copper molds in the shape of fish hanging on the wall above the sink. Mama has roosters and suns, Daphne has grapes. Zoe’s home address is technically Mama’s, but only because her job requires her to travel so much that having her own place is impractical; perhaps the suns are actually Zoe’s. There is nothing in her own apartment besides what is necessary; she’s pretty sure all of her walls are white.

He looks up at her with a huff, it could have been a chuckle if it were not so forced, “We do share names, you know.”

“What?”

“I go by Zim for the same reason you go by R,” They share a timidly commiserating smile; she knows where this is going and there’s a blooming warmth in her chest at this tiny bond. “I always wondered why Mom would give me a name so easy to make fun of. I also wondered why Dad agreed because, you know, aren’t second opinions supposed to prevent bad ideas? But I guess she named me after you. Well, not completely, my first name isn’t Arke but we have the same second name, and third name, too. Why do you have a guy’s name–Rayniero, that’s not a normal girl’s name. Not that it’s a normal name to begin with, but it doesn’t fit gender norms. I mean, not that I’m saying you have to, conformity is evil and all that; but mostly I’m just wondering what your parents, er, my grandparents were thinking? Because that decision seriously trickled down. Consequences, they exist.”

Her grin is shaky now, because she’s trying not to laugh–not at his rambling, because it’s nervous and heartfelt and it doesn’t remind her at all of Iris or herself or anyone else; it seems uniquely Zim, and she’s glad that he’s not just an amalgamation of familiar traits. She’s relieved and she feels lighter than when she woke up this morning, than when she was on the plane, than when she read that letter. She’s so happy and she wants to laugh because it’s either that or hug him and that’s not an option either. They’re not at that level yet, but they could be. They’re both willing to work at it, and that’s fantastic.

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Imagine a boy. His world is ending because his Momma is in a hospital room and the doctors say she can’t come back home. This boy is just old enough to decipher what that really means. Death is something that can happen to people, not just unfortunate houseplants and goldfish.  Not anymore.

So while this boy loves his Momma, knows that her time is limited, he leaves the room. Because he is scared, and a part of him–a slowly dwindling part, a part which he is beginning to outgrow–still thinks that if he doesn’t see it, it won’t be true.

He finds his way into another hospital room–this one much fancier than his Momma’s. It only has one bed, only one person, and it has wide windows to let in sunlight. But it’s not as nice, the boy thinks, because there aren’t any flowers or handmade cards or balloons. It’s a very empty room, even though it’s occupied.

So the boy clambers into the chair next to the bed, because he is still young and he is still quite small, to look at the sleeping man in the bed. Later on, the boy will learn the difference between sleeping and a coma, but unconsciousness looks the same to him.

The sleeping man’s face is not very nice looking–even without the scars crossing across half of it, the sleeping man has slanted eyebrows and a sharp nose. He’s all angles and edges, like blades and icicles and sharp dry wit.

But the boy is scared and lonely and naturally a bit of a chatterbox, so he talks. And talks. And keeps on talking. The sleeping man is sleeping–in a coma, same thing–so he can’t tell the boy to shut up. But even if he could he wouldn’t, because it’s the first voice he’s heard in years.

~

A/N: Ahahahaha… well… uh, I admit that this was written with certain characters in mind… by which I mean technically this may be Teen Wolf fanfiction, more specifically pre-slash StilesxPeter (which I don’t even really ship?) But I’m not sure if such an AU exists and I was kind of interested in the idea. Basically, it was meant to be something like canon AU where Peter is like… Stiles’ sociopathic fairy godfather via Stiles regularly chattering at a comatose werewolf.

However, you could ignore all of that context and enjoy it in an entirely platonic, non-fanfiction way.