A 27-post collection

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 29

Sorry, everyone. This is the last piece I have of this fic. This time, I know I wrote more, but it’s just… not there.

Continued from yesterday:

  “Mort might object.”

  Sara surfaced from the depths of her book. “Hmmm?” She looked up. Oh. Kurt. “Hi. ‘Sup?”

  “Did you think about what would happen if he heard you’re letting people sniff you?” teased the big blue elf.

  Sara grinned. “One, I have complete faith in Mortimer,” she bookmarked her place with her finger again. “Two, I thought the best way to deal with rampant curiosity is to sate it. Three… the boy is *ten*. I’d think he’d lack the *wiring* to make the situation suspicious, anyway. And four - people are going to sniff, regardless. I might as well let them borrow my hand and get it done with.”

  Kurt frowned as if he were dealing with complicated math. She’d been getting that expression a lot. “Some people… don’t always think of such things as harmless, fraulein…”

  Sara blinked. “Oh, poot. I completely forgot about the Jerry Springer angle.”

  “Uh… Was?”

  “The original salacious talk show. Every other week, there was at least one show featuring a stripper and her husband who wanted her to quit. Random lovers optional. I didn’t think sniffing was a big deal… but the strippers had the same POV on the stripping. Although… mine’s just 'I smell like lilacs, deal with it’… Mortimer might be upset.”

  “I’m sorry,” said Kurt. “I’m not following, much…”

  “I get that a lot. Could you do me a favour and get to Mortimer before the rumour mill does? Explain I thought it was harmless? Don’t - don’t wound him?”

  “But of course.” {Bamf!}

  Sara sighed and bit her lip. What if she’d just done exactly the wrong thing?



  Mort coughed and gagged. “Ugh. Could ya not fuckin’ do that upwind? …auchkthpt…”

  “Etschuldigung… but I thought it would be better to get to you before the rumour mill did.”

  He torqued the last bolt and wheeled himself out from under the car. “Eh? Who’s Sara happened to, this time?”

  “Nein, it’s about the smell of lilacs.”

  Mort glared at him. “Drop the other soddin’ boot, then.”

  Kurt dropped into a crouch. “Sara’s let one of the boys sniff her. Jamie. He’s *ten*.”

  Mort threw his head back - a bad idea when he was lying on a dolly[1] - and wailed, “It’s not fuckin’ *fair*!” He rubbed the back of his head. “Calm down, Morty… look at it all logical-like. Y’ get t’ sniff 'er day after tomorrow. An’ all the other tomorrows you can get. So fuck 'em. Fuck 'em right in their ears. Who cares, righ’?”

  “Mort?” Kurt said.

  Mort opened his eyes. Blue-boy was looking confused. “’S awrigh’. We do this, sometimes,” he soothed. “Got a long 'istory of bein’ fucked over th’ bad way.” He steadied himself and managed to sit up. “We’re not completely fractured. No’ yet. Sara’s been… *good*… at keepin’ us together. I can keep us distracted… I can keep us busy… but *Sara*…” He sighed. _God, this is dangerous…_ But he had to say it to *someone* or he’d fucking explode. “She’s got this… *way*. Every little crack just - heals.”


  Kurt blinked. _The way I’ve been attracting confessions, I may as well be a priest…[2]_ He’d heard of people 'cracking up’ and of others 'going to pieces’… but he’d never thought he’d witness someone on the verge of doing both at once.

  “You’ve been hiding this for a very long time,” he said. Nothing more than a statement of fact. A simple observation.

  “You *think*?” Mort slapped a paranoid hand over his mouth as his last, squawked word echoed a little in the otherwise empty room. He let the hand peel away from his face. “I *can’t* let this out. You think stick-in-the-arse Scooter’s gonna even let her within spit o’ me if he knew?” panic now filled his eyes. “I can’t stand thinkin’ o’ her hurtin’ 'erself 'cause of some bugger-arsed, stupid-fuck thing we let slip an’–”

  “Mort,” Kurt whispered.

  The sound of his name worked.

  “It’s all right. I’m good at keeping secrets.”

  Panic eased into vague worry. “It’s not… dangerous, is it? When you know? When you can feel it happening?”

  “Your being aware is a good thing,” said Kurt. “You should know when it gets dangerous. For you - or for anyone you love. And you know what you need to do to protect them.”

  “…so scared of hurtin’ 'er…”

  “And she sent me down here because she was scared of hurting *you*. That says something, ne?”

  “Yeh. We’re both fuckin’ nuts.” He laughed. A sound so close to sobs that it hurt to hear it. “Out of everyone else… out of all th’ people who could’ve been better for 'er… she goes an’ picks on me. *Why*?”

  Kurt smiled at the echo of his own logic in Mort’s words. “I’ve found that it’s best not to ask. Just enjoy it.”

  “Lie back an’ think of England, eh?”

  “Or of how lucky you are… and how grateful… and how you could never take such a wonderful miracle for granted.” A more devious smirk. “The ladies are completely into such things.”

  A raised eyebrow. “An’ you know everythin’ about this… why?”

  Kurt tried and failed to look innocent. “Let’s just say I never really got my official room…”

 [1] What *is* the technical name for those wheelie-boards that mechanics use?

 [2] Side-fling to the worst possible decision in comic history *EVER*.


  December 11

  Jubes was fascinated. Sara was standing in an otherwise blank spot and cooking in and with thin air. Her eyes were closed shut and her demeanor was almost that of a sleepwalker, save for the muttered instructions that were clear and precise.

  She knew that, somewhere below in the big kitchen, Betsy was learning to cook through a mental link.

  _Damn, *I* could learn just by watching,_ she mused. She could clearly picture the utensils 'held’ by Sara… and she was certainly picking up technique, if nothing else.

  It didn’t even matter that her prime seat to view it was right next to Dead Fred - a decoration that had previously squicked her out to the ultimate degree.

  Sara smiled again. That shy little smile that implied warm thoughts.

  _Yo, Bets… Is she sneaking peeks at her SO?_

  _You bet your ass she is,_ Betsy 'replied’. _Now shut up, this is a tricky bit._


  It was possibly the creepiest thing he’d witnessed in his life. There was Betsy. He *knew* Betsy. She did some modelling work when school allowed and was a very lovely lass who did exactly nothing for him… but when she made herself a puppet for Sara, moving *exactly* like her…

  It squicked him out, to use a Jubillee phrase.

  On one hand was the essence of Sara… yet held in a body that was decidedly *not* her. And on the other hand… it wasn’t Sara at all.

  Just a puppet.

  Mort satisfied his need for distracting work by contributing to the organized chaos of the kitchens. He stuck to stuff that he knew he’d be careful with. Hot things, mostly. Which meant frequent trips to the fridges to rehydrate. Frequent passes by the Betsy-puppet, glimpsing at him in Sara’s way… and the wrong-coloured eyes.

  Sara’s words - and the wrong voice.

  Sara’s moves in the wrong skin.

  And somewhere far away - her room, most likely - the real Sara, the pure Sara, was operating Betsy by remote and sneaking little peeks of him.

  So close, as they said, and yet so far.

  Even though it deeply disturbed him to be close to someone inhabited by her ghost , he couldn’t truly stay away.

  Because there was *just* enough of her for him to picture her there.

  He could see her. But only if he didn’t really look.


Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 28

Continued from yesterday:

  “Well, *fudge*,” said Sara. She knew this ceiling only too well. And the smell of the mats.

  Logan sighed. “C'mon, Tallwater… we both know you’re holding back. Ya gotta learn this stuff and be able to *use* it.”

  Sara untangled herself from the mat. “I don’t like hurting my friends… and I’m not that strong, anyway.”

  “You remember the lifting tests?” said Callisto.

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 27

Continued from yesterday:

  Mort could smell her cooking, and the cinnamon was working its magic. And nutmeg. He moaned under his breath. He could smell the sugars caramelising.

  O God…

  Sara and pastry manufacture were an *experience*. People put on pounds just watching the treats come out of the oven.

  It was more than an effort of will to hang back. It took supreme measures just to stay where he was. Those supreme measures currently involved clinging with all his might

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 26

Continued from yesterday:

  December 9.

  “…sing sing a song, sing a so-oonnng… Sing.”

  Mort sighed with relief and let go of the ceiling, falling to the bed and grinning like a maniac. She sounded in fine voice, today.

  And after getting through *this* day, there was just the tenth and the eleventh before her birthday… and their shared freedom.

  Or something close enough to it.

  Like it or not, Sara would be sharing an hour a day

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 25

Continued from yesterday:

  One of the kids held up his hand. Simon. “Sir? I could have stayed in the art room instead of going off to -uh…” a telling hesitation, “do stuff.”

  Scooter gave him the fish-eye. A remarkable feat for someone with their eyes obscured. “We’ll discuss *that* part, later,” he advised.

  Bobby raised his hand. “I could have run for the extinguisher…”

  A group of other hands raised.

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 24

Continued from yesterday:

  Mort was lingering. He knew it, and he was certain that everyone else did, too. Hank gave him an excuse with the analysis of his skin secretions, and the collecting of a sizeable sample to see if they could reproduce it for the good of Science… and a completely unnecessary detour through an indicator of exactly how much time Hank had on his hands.

  The good doctor had noticed, when Sara was bought in late last night, that

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 22

Continued from yesterday:

  Sara was lost. She knew it and acknowledged it, but failed completely to let the situation bother her in the slightest.

  It had begun small, as predicaments often do, with the palming of a love-letter into her hand by one of the volunteer couriers between herself and Mortimer. That list of couriers was now legion, and all Sara had to do was a ‘scouts honour’ salute with a letter betwixt the two fingers for it to vanish

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 23

Continued from yesterday:

  December 8.

  Mort’s eyes snapped open in fear. Something was wrong. Something was missing. Something life-threateningly important. He checked out his quarters rapidly. Nothing gone. Nothing messed with.

  But then, he had buggerall in the way of posessions, anyway. Not important ones like–

  A flurry of movement to the bottom left drawer inside his wardrobe. He felt into the back. The box was still there. And a paranoid check ensured that its contents were both intact

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 21

Continued from yesterday:

  December 7.

  It was going to be a very, *very* long day. He could tell.

  It had already been a long night, owing to the theme song karaoke stomp party one of the kids had decided to throw directly above his room. Just how many people could stand to sing _Star Blazers_ in a row anyhow? He’d had to get up ten times to tell them to keep it down to a dull roar.

  Scott lurched into

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 20

Continued from yesterday:

  “Okay,” Scott drawled, feeling an intense relief to have made it into Sara’s room. The various mind-spooks[1] were still scurrying around, but he’d achieved a goal. A safe haven. An environment which, as far as everyone knew, Sara had yet to hurt herself in. The creepyness of some of her ‘decorations’ was more than enough to creep him out without having to deal with the phantasms from her mind. Some

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 16

Continued from yesterday:

  “She packed her bookshelves.”

  “That’s what I’m telling you.”

  “She *packed* her *bookshelves*?”

  “Which particular word do you have trouble understanding?”

  “I have trouble with the whole idea that one sixteen-year-old kid can have a small *library*.”

  “Most of it was in storage,” said Sara, turning the corner to find her two newest educators, Mr Logan and Mr Summers. “All the better

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 15

Continued from yesterday:

  Sam was reminded of the old jokes. _These mutants walk into a bar…_ He could see people at the restaurant observing them. Waiting for the punchline.

  “Two weeks and the first thing I see of you is the back of your head," said Callisto. She was waiting in the foyer with a handful of others.

  "See?” said Sara to Ororo. “All the way from court to here and he didn’t even

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 14

Continued from yesterday:

  Magneto walked with ease behind the guard. As far as disguises went, having Mystique be a guard was an excellent way to get in to a facility.

  And it was personally amusing to get some use out of the late Mr Laurio.

  People never questioned a guard, never really looked at who they lead… never *thought*. He was just another man in a grey suit. At least, today he was.

  They found her meditating on a bench. The

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 13

Continued from yesterday:

  In a quiet little cafe, usually chosen by discrete people for discrete purposes, one man speaks too loudly - thus gaining momentary attention.

  “You can *not* be serious!”

  The gathered discrete stare at the man with the red sunglasses, then turn back to their own business when no further theatre occurs at the table.

  Xavier merely tented his fingers and waited until Scott sat back down. "We have to allow for the possibility that some more&

Read more »

Fanfic Time: Flotsam part 12

Continued from yesterday:

  There was a game of pok-ball in progress when the tour party emerged. The President watched with a mixture of confusion and delight.

  “I’ve seen this on the news,” he grinned. “How do you play, exactly?”

  Callisto clapped Sara on the shoulder. “Show the man, sky-high. You, too, Mort.” She waited until they were both out of earshot. “Mr President - a private word?”

  The leader of the free

Read more »