shonaningyo: (Default)

Angel wishes that she could stand in the rain.

She never did as a little girl-she recalls an early memory of her father warning her that doing so could give her a cold. And as she floats within her shielded cage, she wishes that she could have taken a handful of grass before he put her here.

Anything to remind her that the world outside was not a cleverly constructed illusion by her father, or even by herself, but something tangible, something real.

He visits her every day, if he can. Her skin crawls when she hears him utter those dreadful words he had chosen for his password. They were full of lies, the password: "I Love You". Her mother said those to her very often, when she was around...her father did so as well, but it was not with the same...manipulative nuance as it did now.

Thinking on all this..made her dizzy...she needed to lie down. Not too long, because then the systems would be left unattended and then Jack would scream at her over the ECHO..

Jack..Handsome Jack.

He was handsome. When she was young, foolish...she always thought she was lucky to have such a beautiful mommy and handsome daddy. Their smiles always made her frowns disappear, always dried her tears. They had been so warm.

But now his smiles were as cold and as fake as his face. Except on the rare chance that everything seemed to be going according to plan, nothing kinking up the works, no one trying to mess up his public image or question is ideas.

On those rare, rare, oh-so-rare days he would be frighteningly gentle...fatherly. Could such a word even apply to him anymore?

He would pass through her shield, specifically designed to register only his DNA signature after typing in another code ("LILACS IN BLOOM"), and open up his arms to take her into a hug. She would softly step into his embrace, despising the man he had become but at the same time pressing herself against him as hard as possible. To feel another person's touch.

He would notice her behavior and comment on it with the same words: "I'm sorry I can't be here more."

And like a script she would reply with: "It's okay. I know you have a job to do."

He would smile into her hair and mutter "That's my girl" before kissing the top of her head then moving to her brow, her cheek, and a quick peck on the lips.

She wished that the Eridium had fried the part of her brain that stored a conscience. She wished that she could just exist in this technologically advanced hell like a good power source, without thought or questions about her father's plans for the outside world.

She wished she could kill him. She wished he'd die. She wished he'd stay here forever, with her, so she could protect him from the scores of people he had angered over the years.

"I love you."

" you too."

His grin would flash. Despite the injuries to his face, his teeth were still intact, picture perfect.

"I know."

So of himself. She hated people like him and yet...

She loved him. Did she love the man he was now, the man before...all this? Were they one and the same?

The idea made her lose her breath. All this time she had loved a narcissistic psychopathic manchild whose one weakness and strength was her...?

"What's wrong?" Shi-darnit (she couldn't even swear in her head, his influence was that great over her). She must have been making a concerned face.

She schooled her features, now realizing that her brow had begun to ache from the intensity in which she had furrowed it as she contemplated the monster before her. He in turn stared down at her, his eyes narrowing just slightly. Blue and green. Brown hair with streaks of gray. Running a planet into the ground with an iron fist takes a toll on the body.

"Nothing..." Angel cast her eyes to his jacket and absentmindedly straightened it. "Dad?"

"Yes Angel?"

She turned her head to the left. She wouldn't look at him. Not for this. Too embarrassing. "Could you..could..."

"Spit it out Angel." She tried to hold in a wince. He was so cold sometimes. No, not sometimes, nearly all the time.

She turned her head back. His head cocked a little, analyzing her every move. As if she weren't his

daughter but a crony that was hiding something. He had never reacted well to betrayal, or possible betrayal, or even white lies.

"Next're you think you could..."


"Could you...maybe..get me some flowers? Or just one, for me to look at? It's not...the same looking at them through the monitors." She dipped her head forward, hair hiding her face. If he said no..if he said no...

"Hmmm, I'll think about it." Her lips tightened. Such a cruel way to say "no". She hated him. No, she hated herself for asking.

"Huh, wait a second..." Her chin was lifted up by his finger to meet his grin. Hair was pushed behind her ear, back to its original place. Gentle.

"Ta-da!" His hand drew back quickly and pinched between his thumb and forefinger was a...

Oh Father.

"Surprise!" His teeth flashed again, his smile wide. "You should see the look on your face, babe. Stunned to hell."

A blue rose. Beautiful, full, heavenly-scented.

She watched as he brought the flower to his nose and sniffed deeply, eyes closed, a satisfied smile on his face. Teasing her? Don't.

He opened his eyes and stepped closer to her, gripping her chin firmly. "I had the boys down in R&D whip this up. Took a few threats of completely atomizing their lungs before they finally managed to splice the genes necessary to make this beaut." She nodded once, acknowledging him.

Handsome Jack's other hand traveled to her ear, the one where he had swept her hair back, and with a little rustle and fidgeting, managed to set the rose. He gave her one last kiss on her forehead before stepping back, shoving his hands in his pockets, and proceeding to stroll out. Not even a goodbye.

At the sound of the elevator calibrating upwards (he didn't even turn around to acknowledge her one last time. His work had been done for the day. Bastard.) Angel turned to her "throne" and touched the rose lightly with her finger tips, then to her mouth to cover a sob.
shonaningyo: (Sasori)
"Zhu Li, I want a pet Platypus Bear."

Zhu Li smiled to herself and set down her cup of tea on the side table before turning to face her husband, who was staring intently at the ceiling with his arms flopped on the couch's head rest.

"May I ask what prompted this sudden desire?"

He turned to her as well in reply, leaning on his knees and waving his hand rapidly in a dismissing gesture. "No no no Miss Moon, I've always wanted a Platypus Bear, ever since I was a young circus kid, travelling with those great beasts!" His pet name for her was 'Miss Moon' which she did not object to. She had no nickname for him, though. Such creativity lay in her equal half sitting across from her with a childish gleam in his eye. No, not childish. Mischievous.

"We've seen how irritable those things could be the last time we went to the zoo in Ba Sing Se. That poor zoo keeper barely escaped with his life."

"Aaaah heck, he was fine! Just a dislocated shoulder and a torn worker's uniform! He should've realized that Mr. Bill wasn't in the mood to dance that day. I could see from the rail that he was down with the flu! Zhu Li, of all people I would expect you to be sympathetic to those poor, sick animals working day and night, slaving away at the expense of their sanity by cruel taskmasters!" He laid an arm melodramatically against his brow and fell towards her, his head landing in her lap. She was startled initially but relaxed and chewed her cheek to hold back a laugh and began to run her fingers through his slick brown hair. Always the actor, he was.

Varrick turned his head from her navel to achieve a more comfortable position and sighed pleasantly as his wife massaged his scalp oh-so-deliciously. Best part was, he didn't have to ask. He should have gotten hitched a long time ago.

"What would we name it, then?"

Varrick cracked open an eye. Zhu Li was staring into the fire, smiling a little. She had a pretty chin. Also, he noticed she had a small freckle where the column of her throat met the underside of her jaw. Cute.

"Kazooey if it's a boy, Starlight if it's a girl."

"Why such odd names?"

"To better advertise the tricks I'll be teaching them! Think of it, Zhu Li! A Platypus Bear that can play the kazoo! I can see it now!"

"And Starlight?" Odd ideas. Was he just making this up as he went along, or was he serious about this inevitably doomed-to-fail endeavor? While she prided herself on being the closest person that knew the inner workings of Varrick's mind--besides the owner himself--sometimes she wondered if she really did have him down pat.

Varrick grinned and stroked one of the ends of his mustache, a determined light shining in his eye, one that stared at a scene unfolding in her face rather than what was before him. "She would be his lovely assistant, of course! The behind-the-scenes instigator and support! Playing the kazoo is no mean feat, it takes confidence, of which I will be instilling loads of it in Kazooey, but Starlight will be there for moral support once he's gotten the hang of it. Believe it or not, Platypus Bears are actually very timid at the thought of performing in front of a live, judgmental audience of children and handsome millionaires."

Her stroking of his hair paused as she thought, never mind the fact that he was now insinuating that another Platypus Bear was now being considered by her husband. "So...the name 'Starlight' referring to her purpose of illuminating Kazooey's..kazoo-playing skills?"

Varrick reached up and cupped her face to look down at him, grinning. His other hand pointed to his temple. A gem-studded ring glinted in the fire light. "Exactly, babe. Exactly."

He settled back comfortably, hands settling to lace onto his stomach. "What would I do without *my* Starlight, after all?"

Zhu Li, finding his sudden spark of zealous enthusiasm to be kindled, resumed drinking her tea in silence as she reflected.

Now that they were together, officially, there wasn't a need for him to hold her at arm's length in public; a nice change of pace, it was. It was usually when they huddled close together as they studied diagrams for a new invention or were simply lounging on a love seat staring into a fire while sipping tea, the latter scenario which was playing out right now.

Varrick in turn liked to come up with the sneakiest ways to remove her hair pins and ruffle up her tidy hair into a big bird's nest, much to her chagrin, or else kiss the knuckles of her hand in a pattern that vaguely resembled a code exclusive to certain GPS systems in the latest hover crafts they--they, together--mapped and diagrammed.

That didn't mean they walked hand-in-hand with each other in public on official business or make goo goo eyes across the room. They had a business to run after all; professionalism was a must. At least, as professional as Varrick could be while still retaining his eccentricities.

Speaking of eccentricities..

Zhu Li finally replied, though there wasn't a need to: "It doesn't sound like a very well thought-out plan, Varrick." she began "But maybe we could settle for a Platypus Bear cub first, and see where that takes us?"

She almost dropped her tea cup when Varrick reached up and tugged her face down to kiss him hard on the mouth. It was quick but sudden and full of passion, as was everything he did.

"I always love the way you think, babe." He said when he released her, now studying his nails as if nothing had happened a few seconds prior before settling his eyes on her expectantly, almost slyly.

Zhu Li had managed to hold onto the --thankfully--empty teacup, which she set down in a much safer place on the coffee table in front of her. "I'll make some calls" was all she said after straightening herself.

Varrick only purred at her in response, much like a pleased Platypus Bear would.


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January 2015

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