To Strip or Not to Strip
@annwoods91, @sherala007, @lilith15000, @himoverflowers, @alishlieb, @deepestfirefun
“Did you just shush me?”
“You talk too much,”
This was impossible. You truly couldn’t be imagining this could work. All the same tickets were bought and a new brownstone home was bought outright so this was what you were doing. It was hard being kicked out so young, but fresh out of a nasty divorce your mom needed any help she could get in rent and her new guy had spent a moment too long saying good morning to you so off you were sent. Art school certainly wasn’t Medical School but all the same it was expensive as hell. Debts left little to allow a social life between jobs but one spontaneous posting on your social page with a clip of your first spot in an art exhibit blew up with fans who followed you from show to show instigating you to start your own video blog that seemingly blew up overnight at your progress videos for new projects aiding in your funding your livelihood.
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So, have the final two mock trials outlined along with the end of the pregnancy and a couple things for the summer break. However I did not see the glaring task of making my character’s class lineup for her third year at university for her Bachelors degrees which she will build on for roughly five years on top of that...it took me two days last time to do the stupid class lists to mark off necessary credits...might just throw some extra ones in for summer correspondence courses to get those credits believably sooner for the probably nonexistent few actually keeping up with that realistically...
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Brother Dearest Pt 58
English bled into Calculus and Trigonometry afterwards that let out before your lunch break. And with that break from the Science Wing you strolled back towards the Law Wing where you stirred up some surprised murmurs all your way to the closest classroom with one of the Professors you knew to be part of the trials. Who looked up from the papers in his hand to echoes of your name from the students already arrived for his next class who had taken their seats. Out from behind his desk he moved to cross the room with a twitch of an anxious grin across his lips in wonder for why you had come.
“Hi, sorry to interrupt, I just had a quick question.”
He replied, “No interruption, most of this class is independent practice for their roles. What question did you have?” He asked with hands that smoothed together around his pen he’d capped again.
“I found some, pretty glaring errors in the files when I read through them. I was wondering if it was possible to contact the people who wrote them to give them time to fix them?”
“Oh, no.” His brows furrowed a moment in the shift of his hands to his suspenders a moment, “What, um, can’t be that glaring an error or they would have caught them before handing them over.”
“You’d be surprised what mistakes they let through. And they won’t be able to fix them at all?”
“No, we found a technicality a couple years back and see they compile them months in advance and have records of them for the reports afterwards. Back then just told us to play it where it landed, so to speak. Make the best of it and they would make note of the errors for the file.” He smirked and asked, “How big an error we talking?” The comment had students nearby smirk and shift to listen in curious of any hints on your first impressions of the cases so far.
“Well for one thing Buchman must not have served in the war or his statements wouldn’t have been so flawed.”
“What makes you say that?” He chuckled out in a shift of his weight.
“Because any self respecting Military Man buys a map before he plans a murder. And Strenberg would sooner find a football in a shoe shop with both hands than the proper location of a femur.” Aloud he laughed while a handful of students chortled to the turn on your feet as you made your way to the hall, “You wanted a shock, bring your cameras for their tears when I have to throw half their damn cases out because of their refusal to fact check their cases.”
“Map?” One of the students asked under his breath and made a note to check the locations involved with the murder trial Buchman had written to check what weaknesses he had placed into the statements. While others for the Insurance Contract case made sure to check their own files to dig for his use of the word femur to find what you had. Word of the question and statement was copied down and passed around between classes and common knowledge by the end of the day. Portia’s Driver still was parked and waiting for you and smiled as he let you in the car shaking his head to the thanks and apology offered.
“Bunny, there you are,” Portia said with a smile already at the diner with your usual group and scooted her bag over to let you settle down.
You smiled and said, “Sorry, had a couple errors I found in those files I was given and wanted to see if they could be fixed or not by the time the trials start. But, either they are intent on making the Columbia boys look like fools or they just don’t give two figs to fact check anything.”
She smirked and asked, “Such as? Can you share or does it have to be a secret?”
Your head turned to one of the guys a table over who grinned at your eye contact, pleased to be involved with the conversation. “You’re studying to be a Doctor right?”
“We are, yes,” the student replied with a gesture to his friend next to him.
“Hypothetically, let’s say you were hiring a Doctor for your rosters and I came in for an interview, in which I state the femur is connected to the collar bone,” from his nose his friend wiped a few droplets of his drink that came out of it in a fight to not spit the liquid out across the table. Widely an awkward grin split across the other student’s face to your asking, “Would you hire me?”
Lost to a fight not to laugh he failed to answer in a straight tone, “No, I couldn’t.”
“Well apparently someone according to a lawyer from Yale would.”
Portia shook her head, “Some people don’t use the brains the good Lord gave them.”
“Some people are lazy,” you replied and said, “And use their school name to boast clout without much effort to back it up.” The waitress approached and you smiled and gave her your order she gladly carried back to the kitchen while you said, “Then there’s the other idiot, who forgot to buy a map when plotting his murder case.”
Portia giggled and shook her head, “Those old boys are going to be in tears when you throw that back in their faces.”
You shook your head, “That’s not even the half of it, you’d think they break in half to write anything but harlots versus heroes, whole five cases of evidence just packed with slanderous trash they dreamed to be evidence somehow. I don’t know what they teach in Harvard and Yale but hearsay is hearsay no matter how they try to paint it to imagine themselves daring.”
One of the Medical students stated, “They should be glad you aren’t studying Law then. Put them all to shame.”
The one who had wiped his face said with a grin, “Glad we’ve poached you away to the Sciences just to spite them all.”
“Better I don’t study Law anyways, I hate rules when I argue.” Making the guys around you chuckle and one of the girls who was to be part of the cases send you a hopeful grin that her role might be easier to handle with you overseeing it as Judge.
Chemistry and Psychology came next, both with glances from other students to your belly that shifted. The latter with a wide eyed pause that lured a smirk from the usually stoic Professor at the realization for the young man that babies are in fact active before being born and would no doubt bring up questions and odd dreams as the Professor himself had upon the same discovery with his siblings and later his own children. Photography followed your Literature course you shared with Portia, who planned on dropping by your place over the weekend for another tea and help to study through an old novel that she was having trouble understanding the Professor had assigned.
‘And regarding the “seedy underbelly” of my Sister Bunny Pear Howlett, the only crime of which she is blatantly fond of committing on a regular basis is that of blanket thievery. Of which I myself have aided and gladly been her accomplice to the act on numerous occasions because she just looked so inescapably comfortable to turn in.’
The snippet seemed to be echoed through every other paper after having heard from the Bugle that you were slotted as Judge in a mock trial. Though where Eddie had stated there were so many with hopes to see how this would go the other papers had begun to harp on the fact that you had no known history in Law and were chosen for who knows why. And one in particular who claimed the assignment was possibly out of pity for your death sentence, again brought up with a full page on how you had let your figure go since the very public announcement of those test results. Only certain to hint that there was a severe depression underneath the surface that would lead to worse ends depending on how you chose to handle the upcoming grizzly end.
Warmly you stood in your favored peach sweater over your t shirt and black pants secured with bows at the straps. Down your back the braid James helped you to work your hair into laid while you shifted the curled strip of bangs that laid across your face ignorant of the puff of air you gave to shift one stubborn curls off your brow to finish off your makeup. Still in the throws of winter on a rather frigid day you readied yourself mentally to face what was coming on the first day of your trial. And behind you his arms looped to fold you in a hug with a stolen press of his lips to your temple. “You will be superb today.”
“Not hard to be superb in a case where they forget to buy a map to write the damn thing. I know Eddie will have fun sitting in. Usually does on courthouse jobs.”
“We all will and Dawn and Norma won’t be able to wait to hear about the hearings when we get back so the little ones won’t be clambering to get to their aunt and spoil the focus of things.”
Softly you chuckled and then sighed out, “Just hope Eddie won’t split in half with all these stories while we’ve essentially gagged him.”
James chuckled and kissed your cheek again, “You have not gagged him and he cannot wait for the day he gets the all clear to hand in your farewell to your feet you have written up. Going to explode, especially if we can time it for when we are leaving town.”
“Bound to be a warm spring though. Have to take off my sweater and coat sometime. And I will be doubling out fairly soon, certainly to build up more speculation on how large my depression and sordid ends to mask that for the papers with every inch.”
He rolled his eyes and simply kissed your temple again to your teasing tone and rumbled, “Papers are morons. Can’t imagine how badly the Bugle bullpen wants to explode with all these stories.”
“Well, Eddie has been talking about bringing a couple guys around maybe for a lunch on the weekend or possibly have me drop by for a tour or something to drop a hint for why we aren’t responding.” You paused then said, “Though one good thing about all these headlines is that letter I wrote to that Tolkien author finally got an answer.”
“Your mystery package, what was in it? I forgot to ask since the Brocks kept me out picking up our new car.”
“His thank you letter for my sharing I’d bought his book for Steve and how it was a bonding stone for us, sent along some copies of more poems and short stories he’d written to go with it. Along with prayers for the family and sharing that his next work had to do with Catholic prayers and hymns. More for the library, he seems nice. Linguistics Professor in Oxford too.”
He chuckled again and said, “Maybe you can share your love of languages through the years.” With him you stepped back and made the way to breakfast downstairs where you heard more excitement of the day ahead.
With wide smiles outside the diner the male half of your family stood beside the maroon Buick Roadmaster the Brocks had chosen for you that bordered on purple in the shade. Into the passenger seat you were helped and driven back to the Columbia Campus where they parked and helped you out to join the stream of bodies headed for the mock courtroom. Outside of that you found General Eisenhower waiting for you with a smile for you and a nod to the men around you. “Our robes are in the small office this way if you wouldn’t mind following me.”
With a nod you handed over your books and bag to James who stole a kiss on your cheek and said, “See you in there.” They turned as you did in separate directions, them off to choose their seats while you walked beside the General again catching a glimpse of the visiting phantom Prince Loki who slipped between the crowds to settle beside your family, curious of what he happened upon. Today in casual black trousers and boots under his forest green long sleeved shirt accented with overlapping panels that began at his waist and hung to his knees. Behind his ear he brushed a stray strand of hair that slipped from his usual slicked back style and brushed his shirt against his thighs in his settle down in the empty spot beside the trio on the end of the bench they had chosen no one else tried to take up. The excitement in the air had the Prince glance around the room in wonder for what would be happening here while more and more bodies filed into the ground layer of seating and those in the balcony level above.
Hushed from a few rows in front of your relatives the visiting Lawyers who were acting as graders for the trials they heard, “Still hard to believe they couldn’t find a more suitable Judge for these trials among their boys.”
Loki glanced to Eddie and asked, “Trial? Who is on trial?”
Eddie cleared his throat and said in a faked conversation to James beside him, “I know Bunny’s gonna drive that lot wild for these mock trials.”
Loki muttered, “There is mockery involved?”
James replied, “Still good she could help out the students in their trial experience runs.”
Loki said, “Ah,” and looked over the crowd again and then to the Lawyers and Professors in the front row on both sides of the aisle.
One of the former who said, “Not like adding a flash name to the trial will help them out, just fail in ranking against other schools like every other year.” Between murmurs of the guys to Loki explaining the ranking of school Law teams on their performance here that led to a competition later on between them they listened in to the comments on students years prior.
Labeled with a plaque on the door the Judge’s Chambers was clearly marked, outside which you smirked in spotting a trio of Officers you recognized from your hometown and trips to the Library as a child. Officers Graham, McTavish and Browen who all nodded their heads to you and smiled in your approach, the latter who broke the silence saying with hints of his Norwegian accent through his scratchy voice as if he’d spent years shouting at the top of his lungs, “Glad to see they’ve picked you for these trials.”
Officer Graham in a heavy Irish accent lingering from his childhood years there before moving here with his grandparents added, “No matter what the supposed crew in charge thinks you can’t find a better Judge than an impartial one who won’t take their disrespect. Last year was near unbearable.”
Officer McTavish also in an accent mixed of Brooklyn and Irish roots from his life here raised by immigrant parents added, “Can’t wait to hear how you handle the filth spewed from these cases they built. Just shameful, need to be set straight. Even if it is on a small scale.”
You smirked and said, “Well either way I’ll be glad to have you keep them on the other side of the railing when they hear a few of my choices.”
They all three responded in their turn for their tasked roles, “No one’ll dare to harm you.”
Into the office the General opened for you both he stepped and you followed after to find a set of robes, one double the size of yours he brought down off the mounted coat rack he passed to you. “Thank you.” You said and you eased the front flap apart to bring it off the hanger to pull on over your back an arm at a time. From near to your ankles the hem was lifted to be buttoned up to the dip of the neckline and your attention was shifted to the cuffs on the sleeves you adjusted around your own. A few deep breaths were taken and a knock from the door that fed into the courtroom turned your gaze to the General with a flinch of a grin on his face yours mirrored to start the walk to your assigned seats.
“All rise for the Honorable Judge Pear Howlett and Supervising Judge General Eisenhower.”
The crowd was on their feet with a very audible murmur to you from one of the guest lawyers who said, “Even larger than the papers let on.”
To the narrow of Loki’s eyes in a glare Eisenhower said in his grip on the leather chair to ensure it wouldn’t slide away when you sat down, “Good Afternoon, be seated.”
He sat next in the ripple of replied, “Good Afternoon, Your Honor.” and eyed the crowd who took their seats again to the approach of Officer McTavish who passed you a sheet of paper for the open file on the desk after he read, “Good Afternoon Judge. This is case number #. The State of New York vs Raslo, Tillinghast and Luckstrim.”
“Thank you Officer McTavish.” Your eyes shifted over the eager students in their assigned seats on Council and the trio on trial who simply were waiting for you to ask, “Are all parties and Council present?”
“Yes, Your Honor,” both sides stated and then the Prosecution stood for the taller to speak, “District Attorney Willie Abraham for the Prosecution and this is Clyde O’Neil for Assistant District Attorney.”
They sat down and while the judges took note of the progress to far or procedure being followed the Defense got their turn to stand to name their three male pretend clients from left to right, “Philip Yarbrough, Your Honor, on behalf of Jesse Rasslo and Camilla Tillinghast.”
He sat down and the other Lawyer stated, “Patrick Lockhart, Your Honor on behalf of Gilbert Luckstrim.”
You asked when he sat down to the General’s own check mark on his procedure notes at your right, “Are all parties ready to continue?”
“Yes, Your Honor,” the four Lawyers stated and from your notes you eyed the charges to be read off for each.
“Camilla Tillinghast,” you said and the student for her and for Philip Yarbrough stood for the read of charges, “You are charged with 3 counts of Murder, 9 counts of attempted Murder and 27 counts of accessory to commit fraud, how do you plead?”
To the charges Loki’s mouth opened just barely in shock for what sort of trial this was and he heard her lawyer state, “Not Guilty, Your Honor.”
You nodded and made your own note of that on your notepad and stated, “Jesse Rasslo,” he stood next with the shared Lawyer still on his feet, “You are charged with 2 counts of Murder and 27 counts of Fraud and Identity Theft. How do you plead?”
His Lawyer replied for him, “Not Guilty, Your Honor.”
He sat while you made note of that and then said, “Gilbert Luckstrim,” that student and the other Council Patrick Lockhart stood with eyes on you to hear, “You are charged with 2 counts or Murder and Possession of an unregistered weapon, how do you plead?”
“Not Guilty, Your Honor,” Patrick Lockhart replied.
“The Court is ready to hear recommendations on bail now.”
For that the DA Willie Abraham stood and with notes in hand stated, “Your Honor the State recommends bail be withheld on each of the Defendants. Mr Rasslo and Miss Tillinghast are privy to vast amounts of resources that mark them as flight risks with several properties Miss Tillinghast has access to in other countries. And as for Mr Luckstrim he has a long history of tries to evade justice and has fled bail before.”
Lawyer for Mr Luckstrim, Patrick Lockhart stood and said, “Your Honor, my client is innocent in all of this. And we have presented to the alibi which exonerates my client to the Police who refuse to release him from custody and drop all charges. I move to do just that.”
DA Willie Abraham sighed and sent a challenging glance his way showing that even in the flawed evidence given for the case those chosen for roles were playing them up as best as they could then looked your way, “Your Honor. We have reviewed said alibi and coming from a man supposedly born and raised in Brooklyn this farce of an alibi reads like something out of a fiction novel and was readily dismissed for the waste of paper you yourself surely have been able to see through.”
The open mouthed Leland Buchman in the front row who wrote the case watched as you answered, “I have reviewed the statement presented to evidence and I do agree on the lack of validity to it, motion denied.”
The Professors looking on smirked in note of Buchman’s scoff and took note of the refused motion as DA Willie Abraham smirked and continued on, “The State again requests refusal of bail for all three Defendants for their flight risk.”
“Agreed, bail is denied, Officer Browen please escort the Defendants back to their holding cells to be transferred back to New York County Jail where they will remain throughout this trial.”
Smirks spread through the audience as the trio stood and were escorted out to the nearest room in the hall outside while notes were taken of this part of the trial being covered and both sides of Council readied as one by one from a group of 24 students the Jury questioning was carried out. Just a couple questions were asked to speed up the process out of the pre-selected groups from each side with some removed and traded for more acceptable options.
The final results being a Jury of :
Rich woman – age 44
Rich man – age 53
Blue Collar woman – age 32
Blue Collar man – age 57
Blue Collar man – age 52
Blue Collar man – age 58
Blue Collar man – age 60
Blue Collar man – age 56
Blue Collar man – age 42
Blue Collar man – age 35
Blue Collar man – age 27
Blue Collar man – age 28
To the assignment of those Jurors those students were taken out of the pool for the other trials and were excused from the courtroom to be given proper instruction while you closed the case for the day and stated the date that the case would be resumed. Pleased with the first step concluded the Council all filed out to take seats and allow the Council for the second case to file in for their own turn.
Next came up the Insurance Contract Claim case for which Roger Strenberg inched up in his seat to see how you would start off his own case he’d written, and even without that much time left without a Jury needed for this trial.
Officer McTavish again after you had said your Good Afternoons and had told the Council to take their seats again announced the case. “This is case number #. Firske & Hahn vs Glubb Insurance.”
“Thank you, Officer McTavish.” You said accepting the second sheet from him with information on this case so far. “Are all parties and Council present?”
“Yes, Your Honor.”
For the Plaintiffs the pair of male students stood, to play Milton Urton – Age 48 – High Priced Lawyer known to be ruthless for his clients, and Cordelia Blakely – Age 22 – Paralegal/Assistant for him representing the injured parties, Thomas Firske – Age 36, and Mabel Hahn – Age 24.
Then the male students playing Representatives for Glubb Insurance Company stood and the one on the right said, “Herman Bressler and Sam Winters, Your Honor.”
“Are all parties ready to continue?” You asked and Herman Bressler stood again.
“Your Honor, we move to postpone this trial as we already have several other cases we are in the middle of seeing through to conclusion.”
“Mr Bressler everyone is due a speedy trial I am not going to postpone this trial simply because your company finds itself in various suits at the same time. Other than the obvious affliction of multiple open legal suits are all parties ready to continue?”
“Yes, Your Honor.” Was answered both gladly and in faked disappointment for loss on the opening motion to delay.
And to more notes being taken, especially by the focused Lawyer who wrote the case you stated, “I understand this is a personal injury dispute over the matter of payment on medical bills that your clients, Mr Urton, feel are the responsibility of Glubb Insurance. Would you mind explaining the events that have brought us here today?”
“Yes, Your Honor,” he answered and stood to state, “We are here today to hear the case that upon October 7, 1947 my clients Thomas Firske and Mabel Hahn were severely injured at their place of employment, Brisburne Shoe Store. Smack dab in the center of one of the hardest rain storms of the year compounded with hail a driver on the road just outside the shop lost control and drove into the side of the building. From the impact a supporting pillar gave out and caused a wall to collapse severely injuring my clients.”
Between him and the Lawyer who wrote the case murmuring to the man beside him Loki’s eyes traveled and then settled on you in your stoic gaze that was being captured by the Photographer for the yearbook once again and the chosen group of courthouse artists from the Columbia Art Club who were out for space credit for the year.
“For Mr Firske he received a broken femur, fractured arm along with several cuts and bruises. Already he has faced 2 surgeries for his arm and leg and is confined to a wheelchair for the time being. While Miss Hahn suffered a fractured collarbone, broken foot, a concussion and is now partially blind. For which she has endured a foot surgery, partial surgery to repair damage to her face and is meant to have another surgery to repair the damage upon her injured eye after she is off her recommended bed rest.”
“And somehow in there we ended up with near to a million dollars of unpaid medical bills?”
He nodded and stated, “Yes, Your Honor. Both were taken from the scene that day by ambulance. A trip the Glubb Insurance refuses to pay along with the initial surgeries and treatments secured at the hospital. Brisburne Shoe Store agreed to pay time off for all employees while repairs to the shop are underway as well as Doctor recommended recovery time for my clients. And when my clients were informed of the refusal of the claim by Glubb Insurance, whom they contacted about the refusal and Miss Hahn for instance was sent to their approved Doctor to follow up on the injuries and was told she can live without full mobility and vision. That same Doctor Mr Firske was sent to for his own follow up and was told he could live without full mobility. Both told to simply wait for their bodies to heal and that their Insurance would not approve any more procedures or pay for the ones that they had already endured.”
“Do you agree with those facts, Mr Bressler and Mr Winters?”
Mr Bressler stood and stated, “We have no argument with those events, Your Honor.”
You nodded and stated, “Then in light of the time we will conclude for the day and pick up again on Friday for Cross Examination of your witnesses.” Notes were taken and in a swivel on your chair you found your feet once they were eased off the wheel bars with folder and notes in hand to the rise of the audience and Lawyers. You were off to silence a growing threat of a tiny foot closing in on your bladder and the General followed behind you with a grin of his own, pleased his request for you to act as Judge had been handled to superbly so far. In the office he waited removing his robe to find you exiting the bathroom attached to it a few minutes later.
“So that wasn’t terrible,” you said now with robe in hand you brought back to its hanger he lifted to its rung out of your reach with a warm chuckle.
“Not terrible at all. Very well done.” You nodded and he asked, “Might I ask what flaw the alibi for the Hitman held?”
“He wrote it without making use of a map. Hard to believe he would miss a bridge, factory and a restricted road, not to mention the out of place stop afterwards nine blocks the wrong way if he had been using one to plot his murder.”
The General chuckled and went to join the group of teachers who beckoned him into the hall to hear their thoughts to allow you to greet your family on the way to your Psychology class. Past the excited twins off to share with Elliot in his break period while you were engulfed in a hug by Victor who chuckled and murmured to you, “Masterful opening, Pipsqueak.”
Though confused Loki stuck with you as you turned and found James with your things still and your jacket ready he eased over your back to help fight the chill of the open ended hallway and smiled in the theft of his kiss to your cheek. “Let’s get you to your next class, Darling.”
You nodded and turned to the sight of Eddie through the crowds having caught up after noting something important to add to his story you heard the bickering of the lawyer Buchman who wrote the first case and the Professors who were simply stating that he would see for himself just how his case was flawed since he didn’t bother to fact check it in the first place. They promised upon reaching the end of the hall you needed they would spill all on the case over supper while Loki lingered in amused hushed mental conversation through the rest of your day to hear more on the rest of the trials you had evidence of and those you did not yet to begin after these had concluded.
@sherala007, @mariannetora, @jesgisborne, @knitastically, @catthefearless, @theincaprincess, ggbbhehe4455, @lilith15000, @alishlieb,
Not nsfw(smut) - @otakumultimuse-hiddlewhore
X Marvel-Cast - @himoverflowers, @theincaprincess, @changlingkhat
Brother Dearest - @thorinanddwalinsdwarrowdam, @swoopswishsward
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Brother Dearest Pt 57
“Now that we’re alone I can show you the floor plans me and the guys have been coming up with,” Eddie with a wide smile began to pull out his notebook of plans for the new property next door. “Dawn’s even talked about adding a gate door for our yards so you can share the little garden that’s left over from Miss Gloria’s patch in the corner. Most of the floor plan is tolerable but this way from our floor you’ll have tons of room to spread into while we take over next door. Thought Vic might have wanted the one Gina had snapped up but he says you’re stuck with him so he can help with the girls.” He paused a moment and glad to have you alone in the library he said, “We’re not abandoning you.”
That had you shake your head and catch his eye, “I never-,”
“I just feel bad sometimes. Like I might be. But we’re going to join them up as much as possible, and still have family meals whenever we do get the remodel done. Won’t be till after summer is over most likely when we get back again and even then there’s time to paint, wallpaper, move the furniture, buy new furniture, stock up the place. We are going to try to keep us together as much as possible. Even in the manor back in Canada. Might have our own wings but we’ll grow into it together.”
“I know. Plus while you and Dawn are at the paper and the guys are off running between home and the comic studio I can try to work some more on the new place to distract myself until I can’t get up and down anymore.” A flash of concern washed over his face and you stated, “I already look like a puffer fish and I’m not halfway done growing out yet.”
“You are going to be just fine. We’ll see you through this. For now, we have your mysteries and, hey, you translated the letter, right?”
You nodded and repeated the translation of the letter while you stroked Whisker’s head in his purring lean against your belly after having missed his usual cuddling time due to your unexpected guests. “Should be fine, just have to get through this week to see what evidence I’ll have to get through for my first two trials and when those will start and then keep up with my exams and assignments that my Professors have given me to get ahead. Two of my Professors have already tried to say I can just come in less than I have to.” His grin spread and you said, “I know they mean well, just wish people would try to know how difficult it is to do what I need to do and still not act like I can’t do what I need to do just because I’m a puffer fish.” That had him chuckle and you said, “It’s one thing to be held back because its not what a lady should do but it’s a whole other feeling when it’s not what a mother should be doing…I’m gonna be a mother.”
The sighed addition had him scoot closer and give you as loose a hug as allowed to keep you comfy and Whiskers undisturbed. “Yes you are, and you are putting the hard work in now. Truly hard, three babies all at once. And most people at school don’t even know the half of it, by the time we get you back home to Canada where you just have to worry about the passing moose over all these helpful people.”
That had you chuckle and say, “The twins were at school,” his brow arched up and you said, “They seem nice and eager to learn. Told me the girls probably kick in the halls under non-symmetrical chandeliers, apparently they are sticklers for symmetry in the womb.” Tears pooled into your eyes and his lips parted at the drop of two down your cheeks to the quiver of your lower lip.
You shook your head and sniffled, “I don’t know,” you said swiping your hands across your cheeks streaking bits of your eyeliner he brought out his handkerchief to help you clean off your face to another pesky set of tears. “Just crocodile tears.”
“Been an exhausting day. My and Venom’s antics didn’t help after the twins jumped on your day. You haven’t gotten to relax yet. Been all plans and schemes and socializing. Let’s get you up to bed okay? I promise no mischief tomorrow.”
Weakly you chuckled and lifted Whiskers on top of your belly and took his help up to walk you up to the top floor and settle you in across your bed against the pillows where he started to rub your legs. Teddy however interrupted with book pressed to his chest he eased onto the bed he was helped onto by James to have his story time in your bed as Dawn had put Marigold down and was soaking in a much needed bath Eddie had drawn for her before having come to talk to you. The boy drifted off rather easily and was carried to bed by his father who ensured to give you a hug and kiss on your forehead first.
Sweetly James looked you over asking, “Tired, my Love?”
You shook your head and said, “Not really.”
He nodded and to the move of your hand to unhook the front of your overalls he helped you to wiggle them down and slide them off of your legs to start helping you strip to your underwear then grinned at your sighing self spread out across the bed. Both hands on your belly you simply stared at the ceiling a moment and caught his eye when he returned from a step away to start his own massage to coat you in your lotion. Each leg carefully rubbed and stretched and by the time he got to your arms you heard the garage being sealed announcing Victor’s return. Nice and steady with you on your side he rubbed his palms into your back and hips winning content sighs from you until a knock sounded on your door. “Just back, Pipsqueak.” To a press at a tight muscle near your shoulder your pained grumble furrowed his brows and he eased the door open and asked, “You ok?”
“Still in one piece,” you muttered in somewhat a calm tone.
James said, “Just this one muscle,” feeling his brother sit down on the bed near to your knees across from him to catch your tired gaze. “Maybe from the books being held to one side since our girls keep them off your belly.”
“It doesn’t bother me in school, just later. They aren’t even that heavy.”
Victor chuckled and stole a gentle press of his hand on your shifting belly which lured another tear down your cheek halting the duo until you shook your head. “I don’t know,” you sighed out and sniffled through another tear to the next round of kicks your girls gave.
That was when Norma came in and sighed plopping onto the bed to come and lounge through the time until bed brightening your spirits with her conversation and help to wash your face with a damp cloth and the decorative wash basin on the table along the wall. Certain to use the cleaning cream she’d picked up for you the week prior on a trip for herself then patted your face dry. Certain to build up a sort of mini spa for you and comb through your hair she braided back out of your face. As pleased as you were it came now just shy of your waist again. After which she gave you a hug from behind you leaned into and pressed your head into the side of hers in a silent shared moment of knowing the unspoken misery of the rare moments in pregnancy that drove you to slumps. “I don’t know how I got to have such a strong sister to have leaned on. Maybe when I go see that skin care specialist next week I can ask for extra so I can share the treatments with you. Though you won’t have to skimp out on chocolate like me.”
“Now that’s just a crime,” you said making her giggle and smile with you. “I would burn the city down without my cocoa and chocolate cakes and brownies.”
Victor, “Don’t forget cookies.”
“Who could ever forget cookies?” you asked then James moved to climb off the bed.
“Just bought more cocoa today,” he said on his way to your kitchen on your floor to go with the grilled cheese sandwiches he set beside you while you smoothed the waistband of the flannels that used to be James’ with buttons in place under your belly. And he smiled watching Norma help you to ease on one of his baggy t shirts on to be comfortable as you snacked and continued chatting with the group. Eventually the other couple left and James moved the dishes to nestle you in his arms to the crackle of the fire in your usual nest of pillows speaking softly until you drifted off to sleep to a few tender kisses.
Thursday and Friday brought more classes and grey days with updates from Eddie on more progress of his ever growing case that bled into a distracted Saturday for you. Word from Dawn had passed to the Brocks and Saturday you found yourself lounged out in the library working on translations between snacks that James ensured you wouldn’t miss. And naps where he would guide you upstairs to lay in his arms for some couple time to let his own hands and eyes rest from the translations he was doing on his own folder. Gradual progress was made and by mass your mood seemed improved to your family who let you finish on the final sheets inside the folder you had chosen before they pulled you to snack and relax with all of them to not risk the chance to have you overworked and stressed for school the following day.
Tuesday came and with it rose the curiosity as to when your evidence might be arriving, yet a note passed to you on your way to lunch gave you the room number to fetch your evidence boxes from after your final class in one of the Law Professor’s classrooms. Through each class on the Columbia classes murmurs were caught of the buzz from the paper put out of the outline of the first two court cases to come through this month and the next set yet to be detailed that would play out the following month.
Murder and an insurance contract dispute over a workplace injury were the topics of the first two cases with the names of those chosen as Counsel and yourself and General Eisenhower as Judges. The news of which had excitement brew as to how the cases would go since none of the top students representing the pretend afflicted and suspects with those chosen to prosecute or argue against had little to no pull on how you might rule in judgments. Already in groups the students involved had split up to keep those chosen for the Jury pool segregated along with those on either side of representation and the witnesses and suspects. Scripts of histories and testimonies have been given to the latter while those chosen for Counsel have written out their statements, questioning and plans for any possible motions.
After your Rhetoric course you found your feet and followed helpful directions from other students towards the Law Wing where you found yourself in the doorway of a courthouse that for a moment had your voice catch in your throat at the clear flash of a memory of the last time you had been in a courthouse. Blinking through echoes of Steve’s voice shouting pleas to the Judge to send you away to anyone else’s custody your free hand moved to your belly from the doorframe that had been touched to steady yourself. Through that barrier you stepped to now hear the discussion of the groups of students readying to get their hands on the evidence to begin working on their cases.
Behind the backs of a group one of the Law Professors speaking with a group of students stepped away to approach you with a grin to say, “Mrs Bunny, so glad you could find us. Here’s our quaint prep courthouse. We made certain to find the most comfortable chair for you,” across the room he led you to the stack of five file boxes in front of the raised desk you would sit behind. The wall behind which had the school crest on the round plaque in the section of marble wall surrounded by panels of cherry wood, the state and United States flags to fill that detail to make it seem close to the real thing. “Now, this stack is yours, we just need you to sign for them.”
“Sign for them?”
He nodded and took the clipboard tucked under his arm and the pen from his pocket that revealed the long list of those involved in the first two cases, “Simply just procedure. We will have paperwork to follow through each step of the way to ensure that we have proper records for everyone involved to learn from these cases for years to come. We are all so glad to have someone of your skill to sit as Judge for us.”
With a smirk you accepted the clipboard and pen to sign beside his finger to sign in the box beside your name for the file boxes, “Outside of my memory and part time living habit in the Library Law Section I can’t think of what skills I have that could be useful.”
He smiled accepting the clipboard and pen from you answering, “That and the Lawyers overseeing the cases keep growing more smug by the year and always have harsh things to say about our supposed corrupt Judges. We’ve been stuck with every Harvard and Yale alumni in battle over who could stump the Columbia boys,” his grin spread pointing at you, “But you, if we could keep you off of your feet we’d have had you play Counsel in every case and tear their supposed unbreakable cases to shreds.”
Another of the Professors stepped closer saying, “And who better to do that than our Judge who has final say over their cases.”
That had you giggle and say, “Well, I’ll do my best to be as obstinately neutral against whatever the Old Boys think will be unbreakable. Though I’ve met lawyers before, can’t shake an original idea from that naked forest, hard to reach unbreakable without originality.”
The Second Professor said with a chuckle, “See, perfect.”
The First Professor said, “My TA will help you with your boxes out to your car and you can keep the majority at home days of. You can use our spare copy if need be.” The lanky forest green jacket clad young man with dark brown hair and eyes who gladly took hold of the moving trolley loaded with the file boxes on top of it that shifted at an angle to let him pull it behind him on your way out to where James was parked.
“Were you there last year?” you asked him when you were back in the hall.
“Oh ya, though I was part of it. Won my case,”
He chuckled to himself and answered, “Still didn’t win over the firm who wrote up the case, said I scrambled in my closing arguments for a zinger of a line to snag Juror favor to my side. Then they spent the last half of my review stating if the Judge hadn’t been part of my Fraternity then I wouldn’t have been granted three of my motions.”
“How’d the Judge get ranked?”
“Don’t know, he stopped talking to me when I scored higher than him on my LSATS. He only snagged the Judge seat by two points.” He paused and asked, “If you weren’t going to study Law then why memorize the whole section on it?”
“I lost my Dad at nine and my Mom at twelve,” his lips parted in a glance your way, “My brother Steve got custody of me after that, and my brother Eddie got me after Steve took off. I wanted to figure out what it all meant from the men who talked over my head. They kept referencing terms and cases and you read one book it leads you to fifteen more.”
To himself he chuckled, “Oh yes, terrible can of worms Law books. Car accident?” You looked up at him, “Lost my Dad in a car accident.”
“Oh, sorry, no, Mom was a Nurse in a TB ward.”
“Ya, part of why I wanted to delve into sciences. Maybe someday Nursing can be safer. I’ve read they can find TB symptoms rather early on x-rays now, no telling what another decade could do.”
“That’s very admirable. We could always use help with medical advancements.”
“Doubt I could be allowed to do much, but at least I can study enough to keep up with the progress and give some hints where I can. Can I wear my pants?” That had is smile split wider in his glance your way, “Or will I have to wear dresses?”
“Wear what is comfortable, we will have a robe for you to wear. It’s everyone else who will have to dress for their roles, suits and ties.”
Atop the break in the floor for a trio of steps you took them slowly while he turned to guide the dolly down each step then continued on beside you. More students flowing around you broke the conversation the way outside with comments and thoughts on how the trials would go based on who was chosen this year around. All just names without faces to match them for you as you truly had no clue on a majority of the male populace.
Every one of them who knew of your progress and debates in your Philosophy course knew that this year’s Judge could be nothing but opinionated and firm on any decision no matter the argument of the Lawyers who wrote the case who assumed to have built them to go just how they wanted save for error upon the main arguing parties of each case. This year was going to be different and to your shock by a few comments the first year in which you would be chosen for this role that seemed to be perfect for you. Silent mainly but still isolated to a small group you socialized with you had a reputation that stirred interest and a certain amount of respect that had begun to make you a bit jealous knowing outside of these walls all that would change and you would be just another wife and mother assumed to be subordinate to your husband.
Elliot out beside James at the usual spot had you grin at the pair who grinned and eyes the dolly pulled by your company. “Got my evidence today.”
You said and James chuckled and accepted your books to lead the way to the car. Into the trunk he helped to load them and you accepted the sheet pinned between the top two the TA said, “This has the order for the boxes and an inventory of everything and what box it goes in if you need to find something specific.”
“Ah, thank you,” you said with a grin when you caught his gaze again after having given the page a sweeping glance.
“Not a problem.” His gaze turned to James to say, “Family is welcome if you’re free. Some students do have some spare bodies to help fill the seats to give the cases a more popular feel and build pressure and experience with crowds rooting one way or the other.”
James chuckled, “Oh we are coming to the trials. Her brother Eddie’s even gotten the days off to see how she does as long as he does a piece about them.”
“That’s fantastic!” He said with an excited grin, “An actual journalist at our trials to mingle in the crowds. Everyone’ll be so excited to have it play out, most of his pieces get echoed in the Times or Daily News.” His head turned to his name being called and he grinned again and shook James hand, “Can’t wait to see you there.” And to you in his turn said. “You’ll do a spotless job, just know it. Don’t let the pomp of the authors on the top covers get you down. You’ll find a crack they forgot about.” Off he trotted and you flashed a grin to the duo beside you who still had smiles on their faces.
“Apparently I have a reputation and the Harvard and Yale alumni who wrote the cases should be afraid.”
Elliot chuckled, “Oh they will be. Serves them right too. Whole school is talking about it even the Professors in Barnard. I will certainly be welcoming notes from the Twins who want to sit in for me. Who, I have to return to. Just wanted to keep you posted on that museum trip I took.”
He passed you a bundle of notes you smiled in receiving, “Oh, thank you.”
“One of the ones who turned away from you. Found your symbol burned into the side of one of the sunken trunks. Of course they don’t know what they are sitting on but until I nudge them in the right way then we can just have a chuckle that his spoils he tried to steal from you sank in his flight across the ocean.”
“They’re not going to have a whole exhibit on the Queen of the Hare are they?”
Elliot chuckled, “First we work on the translations. Could take time to get a full comprehensive collection then we can consider binding and printing them for fellow Historians. Doubt they would have an exhibit, you would need a whole museum to fit it all.” His smile spread and he said, “Maybe one day. I do know when our island is made there is good chance one may be made there to share the history of this planet for our people on top of the usual recorded prints men have made that will be taken with a grain of salt on validity against your records for a more neutral and less glorious view.”
“Well I hope today’s bundle of translations have something fun, like a stolen pirate ship or toppling a statue or something.”
That had him chuckle and say, “It will. Enjoy your reading.” On his heels he turned and made his way to his car and James claimed a warm gentle kiss then retreated to get you into the warm car to drive you home to get started on those mysterious boxes.
“Off home, My Love.”
“Story time,” Victor said with a smile in his plop across from you into the couch he chose to lounge in while you studied your cases in the library. James smirked as he set down your drink he’d fetched for you on the table to your left while atop the chair settled beside you was the box you pulled the first file of the first case you laid on the table between you.
Beside his brother to give you room James sat down in a chair of his own to hear you say with a smirk, “The State of New York vs Raslo, Tillinghast, Luckstrim.” You opened the file to read “Sept 12, 1947 Rosemary Madison - aged 22. Found deceased by her husband, Gordon Stimac - Aged 45. Cause of death ruled homicide by poisoning.” The case began to unfold while you explored the fake autopsy notes and file on the body and state the crime scene was found in. Complete with sketches to take the place of the photographs that would be included. Including a testimony of the Lead Detective on the case who stated the adopted daughter of the couple, Camilla Tillinghast - Aged 22, “Adopted daughter of the couple once she managed to calm herself shared that it had been rumored that the deceased was believed to have been having an affair with her brother in law Virgil Stimac- aged 31.”
Victor, “Ooh, the plot thickens.”
James muttered to him, “Bet you I know what case he based this one off of and how it ends.” Making his brother smirk while you sighed and closed the file after having read the final page. “Last page reads like notches on a bedpost.” Sliding that aside you grabbed the next and your brows arched up, “Ooh,”
James and Victor asked, “What?”
“Gordon and Virgil are dead too.” James chortled to the proof of what he had assumed to be the case used for inspiration for their youth he named in a whisper for his brother who smirked at the clear similarities. An execution of the imaginary brothers by a supposed expert on murder had been noted along with more useless resumes for their imaginary masculine prowess to go with descriptions of the company and properties left to the estate. On top of their deaths that came in the middle of a company event came with nine guests who had also become poisoned that added some more mystery to the case.
Suspects came next with files on each. An angry former employee, the boyfriend of the adopted daughter, adopted daughter, her birth father and lastly the Hitman himself. Witnesses came after the packets of evidence you skipped to check later to ensure you didn’t miss a detail, and the basics of the Detective, Coroner were followed by an alibi for the adopted daughter on the night her adopted mother was murdered. “Oh look three pages of her ‘moral indiscretions’ play by plays of her dating history and half a page on her usual wardrobe choices. Lovely.”
Victor, “Well hopefully the teams steer clear of all that.”
“If they put it in I can imagine they are assuming it all gets used.”
The gun expert was detailed next before you moved onto the Defense’s Witnesses were brought out beginning with the man who would be an alibi for the Hitman. “Ooh, Hitman’s alibi,”
James, “Here’s the good stuff.”
Victor, “What route did they put him down, Mafia? Lone Wolf gunslinger hired to take out a secretive evil duo bent on taking over the city? Or just a down and out former hired Secret Soldier?”
“They don’t say exactly, I think the down and out one.” Your brows furrowed in reading the statement and the duo watched you read to the end of the page then flip the page to find the file switch to more on his background that had you simply turn back to read the confusing statement again to the sound of Eddie in his creep into his own chair, freshly back from work wondering what he missed. From the page your eyes rose to fall on him in the offer of the file he accepted. “Maybe I’ve snapped from reality, third paragraph.”
His eyes dropped while you eased out of your chair to head to the bathroom and he read from the page aloud furrowing not just his brows but the brothers’ to the unbelievable statement. “Isn’t there a bridge there?” Victor muttered.
James added, “And that factory, you can’t even drive down that road they have guards and a gate.”
Eddie, “So he’s driving this guy down Maple and then somehow he’s stopping in at a corner store on the whole other side of it to get to a bar that isn’t even there, it’s a whole nine blocks East from there…Who wrote this?”
Victor said, “Some lawyer from Harvard or Yale.”
Back from the bathroom in the doorway you heard James ask, “Darling, there’s teleporting people now in this case?”
“So I’m not snapped from reality then, no, there’s nothing science fiction related with this case.”
Eddie asked, “Who wrote this?”
“Leland Buchman.” You answered and he rolled his eyes, “Take it you know him?”
“He repped that guy who trashed the mural over on the Ease Side, absolute moron outside of his territory around Central Park.” Eddie answered.
“Well apparently that incompetent moron couldn’t be bothered to buy a map when writing this. That witness was born and raised three blocks over, how the hell he missed a damn bridge and factory I have no clue.”
Victor, “Oh I have a clue.”
“And somehow this is supposed to be an unbreakable case. They have pages to try and give the women in the case harlot hints. The men are either in the gutter or the victims are these highly sought after Adonis duo, and in the middle there is a missing bridge, missing factory, there’s an entire folder of information of inflammatory hateful statements that does nothing for the case from the adopted daughter’s biological dad. Then they have the gun expert who obviously is where he took all his flair for the dramatic as pistols now hold nine bullets in this dream world. I don’t get this, how is this supposed to be unbreakable? I know he wants to make it hard for the jury to decide thanks to this alibi but I have to throw this alibi out as it’s impossible and clearly packed with lies.”
Eddie chuckled to your settle back in your chair where you smoothed your hands through your loose curls that fell partly back into your face again to frame it for another picture Victor stole on his camera he had been sneaking pictures of you earlier for the family collection. “You are going to blow him out of the water. He cuts corners and throws tantrums and tries his best to avoid hard judges for cake walks.”
“Oh he’s not getting a cake walk with me and this Scarlet Letter trash is out even if I have to bribe the General to back me on it.”
Back into the boxes you loaded the files and sighed eyeing the remaining boxes, “I don’t even want to read the next case if it’s going to be more of the same nonsense and slander.”
All the same you did bring out the first file to read on the injury case where employees were suing the company’s insurance company who refused to pay the bills for them leaving them in vast debt on a tiny imagined loophole. File upon file for the Insurance company’s investigation into the injured parties had you roll your eyes. And yet the breaking point was when you read the testimony of their chosen Doctor to discredit the claim for need of medical aid and that they didn’t require any further inspection of injuries at all and had gone through the procedures to simply stick the insurance company for all it was worth.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” You said in a groan filled rise to your feet tossing the open statement to your widely smiling brother who looked at the page in the beginnings of your pace around the room. James amusedly joined you to press a kiss to your temple hearing you say, “Insurance’s sawbones says the female injured party is lying about her injury completely as it’s apparently impossible to break a femur and if it had been broken there would have been more damage to the attached collar bone!”
Eddie snorted in a means to muffle his laugh to keep from startling Marigold in a crawling lap of the floor beside Teddy as he scooted some stuffed balls to Victor’s open palms in his new place in the floor to play with the boy as Dawn called home. Victor chuckled, “Well I can imagine if her femur is attached to her collar bone she didn’t have a chance to get out of the way of that car that plowed into the building.”
“Are they supposed to be making these people complete morons? I get they would go cheap to line their own pockets to work with companies but wouldn’t they at least pick someone in real life who knows the strongest and longest bone in your body sits a good two to four feet beneath the collarbone?!”
James chuckled, “Maybe there’s his hidden clue to a case lock up statement somewhere else in the files.”
You simply shrugged and stopped to press your head into his chest earning a hug and kiss to your hair from the smiling man pleased to feel the trio shift against his belly. “Why don’t we put a pin in it tonight and get to checking on supper. Hmm?”
You nodded and sighed in a turn with him for the kitchen that Eddie stood to join you for in another chuckle, “If these morons have been ‘stumping’ the students year to year I pity their clients in real life.”
Eddie chortled and replied, “Drowning them in procedure with no real challenge of a case to limit their chances for an actual challenge of a case more like.”
Dinner came and went and still a bit on the edge, yet for other reasons you sat on the edge of the bed post shower in your towel still and watched your husband with towel ruffling through his hair on his naked stroll to the bed where the pile of clothes was waiting for the both of you. The grin that eased across his lips twisted into a pleased smirk to your slightly defeated sigh of, “If I didn’t have this belly I’d jump on you.”
Lowly a chuckle escaped him and to the drop of his towel in the moved to plant his hands on either side of your thighs. Paused there with lips ghosted across yours he hummed back in his best gravely alluring tone he knew you loved for more amorous moments alone like this. “My Dearest Love, let me make that lack of a pounce up to you.” Firm and determined his lips met yours and for as long as you let him he made certain not a wish or desire for an inch of you to be adored and given some much required tension release to help you off to a deep sleep in his arms to be ready to face the day ahead when you had decided to let the Professors in on the flubs of the morons to possibly improve their cases before it all began. Nestled in his arms you slept and James tried to do the same while his mind reeled on how to help you in the coming months.
True before the girls you were more amorous through the week and while you adjusted he shifted his mind to cherish what he felt to be daily progress of his family along with compounded worries on how all of this weighed on you. As much as he hoped you could go up till the day of labor about your days he knew and swore he could feel otherwise. Like an incoming wall of rain there was a bed rest order on the horizon and that worried him more than the former choice. Times had changed but memories and deep rooted fears had begun to murmur of how his first wife had nearly died in her bed rest and the loss of Victor’s after having been down for so long with just their single children to carry. He had seen you do impossible things and bounce back from amputations, gunshot wounds and explosions alike, but the thought of you stuck for days on end in bed or in a chair had him beside himself in fear of possible ways this could go wrong. Ways he would lose you and another family and his final chance to be happy at last after being forced to such a long life nearly on his own.
A hard kick to his hand and his eyes opened to your slumbering grumble to begin humming to his active girls to allow his beloved one to let the three rest. Soft and slow he continued the tune, successful in more than just their slumber as he drifted off himself to dreams of how the trio would look and take to their nursery back up in Canada they would eventually grow into under your loving watch. All three to grow up just as intelligent, strong and impossible as their indescribable mother. He wasn’t other fathers who demanded a carbon copy of himself, he could go thousands of years without seeing another him and be perfectly content, but he simply couldn’t think of the world worth living in without more pieces of you in it.
@sherala007, @mariannetora, @jesgisborne, @knitastically, @catthefearless, @theincaprincess, ggbbhehe4455, @lilith15000, @alishlieb,
Not nsfw(smut) - @otakumultimuse-hiddlewhore
X Marvel-Cast - @himoverflowers, @theincaprincess, @changlingkhat
Brother Dearest - @thorinanddwalinsdwarrowdam, @swoopswishsward
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At work and the thought of being in a mall where Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Tom Holland and Andy Serkis in town where they are stealth enjoying their day after dropping into a press event the day prior and being cramped into the politest squish ride in an elevator where they all try to squish together as much as possible to give you at least space to move while still trying to not give away who they are.
Then half a floor away from the next floor they hear, “What’s in its Pocketses Precious?” And each of them just snicker and start to bust a gut and are nearly reduced to tears as you answer your phone. You slip out to let the group get back to their day uncaring of who the odd bunch are in hopes of buying what you need without being mobbed too much. Then cue the group subtly crossing paths with you and Andy hiding behind things repeating the line and the guys are just lost to grins at the adorable furrowed brow scowl you give to your lying phone you pull out each time.
And of course it ends in a trip to the theater where they sit near you after you’ve had to settle for a 3D mystery movie when the one you wanted to see was sold out. Turns out it’s a horror film and both Toms surrounding you practically end up in your lap to save you from the bad guys.
Now my brain is picturing this with the Hobbit cast and it’s even more adorable.
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Brother Dearest Pt 56
Tucked away in the corner of the warehouse down by the water thought to have been abandoned territory since its neighbor not so far down vanished into an unexplained implosion of sorts Venom sat atop a beam with pen in hand and night vision in handy to copy down word for word what was being said below. Two weeks now he had it timed to a science, three hours blips here where a team worked on these husks to something they would combine later before they would all go to the office farther in town. He supposed it had to do with the implosion.
These Russian muttering bodies far below in varied coats and states of weaponry or lack there of seemed to be more mobile to aid in avoiding being caught. Eddie had learned the language from you and made use of it through Venom to spy on these people. Above taking notes. Then below when they left to snap ample pictures with his own camera Victor had been developing for him with each full roll. And away from the useless empty metal husks that resembled hollowed out soup cans paneled with something close to glass he moved to the corner of the warehouse just packed with books he copied the titles of and noted which today they had left open on the tables.
Daily they would pour over these books and obviously had been taking messages in code, which thanks to Venom’s great vision and memory sight of the cipher was used to copy it along with today’s note he used alongside the proper open book he saw them use to translate the note for his next location. Each of which he went to for further investigation.
Tonight however excitedly while he waited for the enhanced radio connected typewriter to print out the note sirens sounded and to an irritated snarl and glare to the window now lit up by colored lights that announced the arrival of cops who sent the group into a flurry to Gran what they could to cover their tracks.
They didn’t get very far as bodies of cops flooded into the doors before the cars could even be heard stopping and now the glaring symbiote remained in his pouting mood up in his shadowy corner for the spoiled investigation he had grown so proud of unfolding its every detail with his other half. Over the bodies of cops that crept their way through the building between suit clad lower ranked SSR Agents, and higher ranked men in a group of five who headed the inspection of various ends of the warehouse to spoil any evidence Venom had hoped to check later when alone.
“I want this whole place taped off,” Chief Thompson stated and to the approach of cane wielding Chief Sousa who had arrived in town hours prior who a couple of the cops had looked to wondering which of the two was fully in charge of the investigation. “You can take the books, I’ll handle the bomb lab. Can’t have you stumbling us all into a mushroom cloud.”
Sousa rolled his eyes in the blonde’s path around him with more orders to other Agents and cops off to more important areas. Sousa passed to the other end of the warehouse to the sound of an Agent saying, “Didn’t think the Weasel Bomber had this kind of pull for a place like this.”
The one beside him said in a shift of a door for them to check another vast room of what they deemed to be useless junk in un-indistinguishable mounds to form a maze inside the room they had two cops beside them to inspect for them. “Well all the prices around here have dropped, might have been desperate for a renter and he picked up on the realtor slump.”
The first sighed in his glance inside lit up by the flashlight in his hand that scanned over the closest pile. With a nod of his head he said to the cops, “After you,” they rolled their eyes and headed inside with flashlights of their own and free hands on their holsters just in case. “Especially with this junk.”
The second followed them inside, “Keep an eye out for tripwires too. Weasel is fond of those.”
Sousa once in the corner of the book loaded corner of the floor plan muttering, “Weasel didn’t do this.” At the closest book on the edge of the table he tapped his finger to the end of the cover he eased open to read the paper wrapped cover page for the title of the book he closed and sighed to look over the walls of books, “None of this has his fingerprints on, whatever this is…” Book to book he moved and when the team of men with crates came in to load up the books he moved to the papers and notepads full of coded messages he couldn’t make heads or tails of.
Over an hour later Thompson leaned in the library and let off a whistle, “Hey, Peg leg we’ve found an address on some crates where we think they moved the bombs to, must have just been behind Weasel. It’s down by the docks, hop to it if you’re tagging along.”
Sousa sighed and looked up at him, “This isn’t Weasel.”
“Look, we’ve been on this for five months, you just dropped in today with your claim of a Barbados bound killer with some vanishing tech, we’ve got bigger fish to fry, if you’re in then grab your hat follow us to the docks.”
Sousa said in his step back, “You go ahead, this isn’t Weasel and someone has to figure out who did all this.”
Thompson rolled his eyes and put on his hat in his hand, “Have fun chasing ghosts. I’m taking the uniforms with me, Bilson is on his way with another truck for the rest of the library.” Out of the warehouse he went and a subtle tick of the corner of Venom’s mouth was triggered by the buzz that came out of the radio transmitted typewriter that readied to type the latest message. On all fours across the beams above he moved to just over the typewriter and by the coded message in the corner to know which book to use to translate the message he noted that and the page to use in his copy he had back at the house. Eagerly atop the beam crouched on the balls of his toes Venom crouched watching the paper inch higher with glances at the Agent who had just begun to turn in search of the noise.
To keep from the note being snatched away out his arm shot to fling a string of webbing that latched onto the page. A deliberate act to keep the note from notice. Though the sudden whip of the page turned the eyes of the Agent upwards to widen when Venom came into view. Slack jawed his hand shifted to fumble for his weapon only to have his arms and legs to be bound at his sides with another shot of webbing followed by one to swing down to grab the man, his abandoned hat and cane to fling off into the night.
Somewhere over the first 80 foot leap out of the window closest the body in Venom’s hold went slump and didn’t show much reaction the whole way back home again where he landed on the roof and climbed down under cover of darkness and let himself in the back door he locked again behind him and made his way back to one of the back guest bedrooms. Out of those available he chose the one with its own bathroom and across the twin sized bed he laid the man out. Curiously he peered at the unconscious man and after he set his hat and cane carefully beside the bed he removed the webbing on his legs and arms to settle him more comfortably. Out of the room he turned and readied a variety of snacks and a pitcher of water and a glass he set beside the bed then went to the door he locked and used the tie he split the cover around his neck to remove the tie Eddie had put on that morning. Around the knob neck he hung that and was off again to head off to the library to translate the message for his next stop of the night after he’d hidden the gun he’d taken off the stranger.
Deeply a breath was drawn in by Daniel Sousa to the end of an odd dream muddled of various hopeful encounters with the woman he’d moved across the country to get over to let her know he had moved back again. He thought he’d had a chance to move on, yet a single trip from her to California by her and his fiancé had left him to face the truth that she wouldn’t be his hiding place or the anchor keeping him from his cherished Peggy. The moment he opened his eyes however sight of the wallpaper he didn’t recognize had him jolt right up. Rapidly his chest rose and fell to the swivel of his head to figure out where he was when the memory of the creature who had taken him flashed back in his mind again.
Sideways on the bed he settled his feet on the floor to get a better look at the spread next to a note. Timidly he lifted the sheet to see the note, ‘Do not frighten or harm our young ones. When Sister returns home tomorrow we will bring her to speak to you.’
To himself he murmured, “What the hell?” A shrill cry of a child to a police siren raised his eyes that sank again in his silent observation of those who lived around where he was being kept to uncover a possible location. However any urge to try and break out with help of the gun that had been left with him died at his realization it had been taken off him. Not to mention the apparent parade of children he heard that traveled through the house that solidified his choice to simply wait until the creature returned to interrogate him with this mysterious sister. Ample food and water had been left to him along with access to his own bathroom for his basic needs that gave him at least a hope that this wouldn’t be a situation he couldn’t talk his way out of alive. Tries at the knob however gave moments of fear that waned to the steps away that followed only to make him wonder how long this wait would last inside this windowless room.
Eddie appeared from his rushed shower with towel still over his shoulders he had been drying his hair with that laid over his haphazardly buttoned and untucked shirt. Panting at his rush to be here and stare before you opened the door, “I can explain.” At his confused family he said in another grip of the towel to rub it over a side of his head he felt beads of water on his mostly dried hair that left it even more askew than it was moments ago.
“Friend from work?” James asked to Eddie’s plop of the towel to his shoulder again in his steps forward.
“Um, sort of,” Eddie said in a quick wet of his lips. “Well you know that story we’ve been chasing?” you nodded in his eyes that settled on yours. “Got close to a break last night then some cops showed up talking about some Weasel guy and completely broke a wedge in our case, but now since last night we found out a new location where they’re building up their new parts for those weird canister firing globe things I told you about.”
You pointed to the door, “And the guest?”
“Yes, getting there,” he said and shifted his weight on his feet, “Well Venom was waiting for the message over the typewriter and it went off and he snatched the sheet before they could take that. Only, the guy across the room saw us and reached for his gun. Venom webbed him and snatched him to keep him here.”
“You kidnapped a cop?” Dawn asked with brows risen in shock.
Eddie’s head ticked to the side, “Detective, possibly, he was in a suit not a uniform.” For a moment his eyes shifted close to a puppy dog stare in a plea for your support in this and Venom’s head from the side of his neck said, “The injured one spoiled our investigation.”
Eddie, “He’s got a cane. We took his gun.” In the smooth of a hand over your cheek to brush your bangs behind your ear he asked, “Bunny?”
“So,” you said to the lower of your hand to bounce side to side accenting the choices you were trying to understand yourself, “Is this a wipe his mind right off, or are you wanting to drill him for information then wipe his mind and send him home?”
Venom, “The other suit stated he arrived that morning, none of them seemed knowledgeable on our investigation.”
Eddie nodded, “They must have stumbled in by chance. Found an address off near the docks they left him there to chase it. I think maybe we can talk our way out of this. If he did just come in they could be assuming he’s off on a lead if we can get him home today.”
Suddenly you rolled your eyes and turned to head down the hall past him, “I have to pee again.”
The guys smirked and Dawn said to the whistle of the kettle, “I’ll get that.” Norma went to check on the babies and by the time you came back the guys were back at the door.
There you asked, “What’s his name?”
Eddie whispered, “They called him Peg leg.”
“I’m not calling him that,” you whispered back and turned to knock on the door saying in what you hoped to be a calming voice for the evidently frightened man you could sense was seated on the bed. “Hey there, um, just gonna open the door.”
You eased the door back and the wide eyed man first stared at you in your wave and flinch of a grin at him then to Eddie over your head who smiled and said, “Hey Buddy, get enough sleep?”
Sousa asked, “I slept, where is it? The thing that brought me here?”
“Venom isn’t a thing,” you replied to the tiny head that drew Sousa’s wide eyed stare in its hover over top your head. “And he didn’t manage to catch your name. I’m Bunny.”
“I’m an officer of the law and people will be looking for me. It’s best to let me go now.” He replied and you sighed softly and smoothed your hand over your belly that shifted his gaze between that and your eyes again. “That, Venom, he left me here, can’t you just let me go? What could you get out of keeping me here?”
“For now I think you could use something to eat. Dinner’s on the way and we can talk through this.” You said, not ominously but in your turn out into the hall his hand found his cane and he began to find his feet at the offer of food for your unexpected guest he couldn’t find it in himself to refuse or storm out. To the living room he went and puzzled even to himself in the ease of his path past the front door without try to escape. In front of the loveseat he was to choose across from the chair you’d stopped at to watch his notepad drop out of the pocket of his jacket pocket that Eddie bent to pick up. The edge of the paper sticking out from the cover had Eddie curiously ease it out and smirk at the familiar face in the picture clearly cur from a larger image.
“Pretty Dame,” he said in a flash of the picture of Peggy’s face your way that had you shift on your feet and accept James’ hand to step over Pepper in her nap blocking your way to the phone.
Sousa snapped back at him, “I’m not talking to you no matter what you try to use against me. That’s just a picture I use to get people to talk when they clam up, she died.”
That had you smirk and bite your cheek to keep from giggling as James let your hand go and moved to take his seat beside yours and started the wave of the men settling down while Dawn came in with drinks and Norma entered the room with Leonora in her arms parting his lips in recognizing her. “I know you, you’re, Marilyn, right?”
She nodded and sat down beside Victor and said, “Yes, that’s my stage name, Marilyn Monroe.”
Leaning forward he asked lowly, “How’d you get involved with this, that creature snatch you up too?” That had her giggle and him to sigh and lower his gaze to the coffee table after a glance at Victor who took hold of the girl that reached for him to Dawn’s offering Norma her drink from the wheeled cart. The comics on the table had him lean forward to grab one of them that had Venom across the cover that he eased back to flip through. With lips parted on the issue centered around Venom around the house in wait of the trip Bunny, Wolverine and Sabertooth took on a mission flooded with his tries to work on a story and watch of the three babies alongside Eddie.
Out of the room you went and at the phone you dialed the number that Peggy had given you for her office. A cheery voice came through the line asking how they could connect you through the bank that acted as cover for the SSR Headquarters in New York and you faked a smile to keep your tone cheery and aloof as if you didn’t know it was a farce. “Hello, Peggy Carter, please?”
After a moment of pause the woman asked, “Might I ask who is calling?”
“Bunny Pear Howlett.”
That parted her lips and she replied, “Just a moment.” The line switched and the woman connected the call that went straight to Peggy’s desk that broke her focus on a plan to sneak into the room packed with books and papers she wanted to get a look at to try and break into the codes she heard was written across all of them.
“Hello?” She said with eyes still on that room when the receiver met her ear.
“I have a Bunny Pear Howlett on the line for you? You know the Baroness Bunny Pear Howlett?” The second question came a bit softer in shock that made Peggy smirk to herself.
“Yes. Please put her through.” The line switched and she asked, “Bunny? How was your day?” She asked curious what might have happened to have you call her at work.
“Oh, it was interesting, had my photography club after my classes. Um, I know I probably caught you on the tail end of your shift but I was wondering if you might be up to a supper at our place.”
“Also um, we sort of found one of your co-workers I think.”
That had her shift in her seat, “Found how?” She asked with her pulse spiking and her eyes wandering around the near empty room as two more of the guys were on their way home for the night to get an early start tomorrow.
“Well that’s um, we should probably tell you that when you get here, Eddie found him while on lookout for a scoop, and he doesn’t seem to know his name but he knows you.”
She glanced at the clock on the wall and said, “Give me half an hour, I’ll be right there.”
“Thank you, I know this is a bit out of left field.”
“No, thank you, they brought in a boat load of evidence they won’t let me look at and it’s driving me mad sat here in watch of it. I could use a home cooked meal with friends, and maybe he could help give me a clue to what’s going on.”
That had you smirk and hang up as she did in your parting and while she collected her things and was off to the subway to get a ride to a hopeful clue to something to let her help crack this case. You however turned to head back to your chair that James helped you into where the guys focused on the children to your attention that turned to the book on Ancient Greek you began to read through to memorize while Sousa was onto his second comic from the selection laid out on the table.
By the time you had finished the book he glanced up in his taking hold of another comic to see you start to write out the translation of each word separated by brackets for those that had more than one with copies of the un-translated words left in their place in the sheet. Once you finished you lifted the book of the newer variation of Greek that his eyes narrowed watching you flip from page to page between his own glances at each sheet of the comic until you finished the book and set it aside to start a second sheet with more translation variations.
“That Greek?” Sousa asked and drew your gaze to him after his catch of the spine on the book on the table. “What do you need books on Greek for?”
Through a smirk you answered, “I was sent a letter in Greek. I’m translating it.”
That had his brows furrow, “If someone would know that you don’t speak or read Greek then why would they write you in Greek?”
“They don’t know me personally, and I am not certain if people in Greece speak English as a common language. Do you know Greek?”
“No,” he replied then looked back at the comic in his hand and you passed the notepad to James who smiled and shifted Teddy on his lap to read the first sheet.
“Another sorry you’re dying letter and a bit on well wishes and hopes that the Goddess will watch over me.” You said in French that had your confused guest glance at you, “Plus a wish one day that their country would be safe for me to visit and learn more about her and their culture.”
Victor stated, “Won’t be long now. Been hearing whispers of some big council Truman is trying to push up for the world forces to bring about peace and some accountability for war mongering leaders.”
That had you giggle to Dawn’s stating, “Oh yes, just what we need, a way to put country leaders to be put in time out for misbehaving.”
“Sorry, who’s dying?” he asked. Making you smirk at the man who let it slip he speaks French and realized he let you all in that you didn’t have a language you assumed to use to speak he didn’t understand to ruin his chance to listen in and find a way out or hints on things to use to his advantage later.
“Me, according to the press.”
“Bunny,” that had his face fall realizing the connection with your name and stories in the press he’d read, “That Baroness, Bunny Pear!” He lifted the comic in his hand to show you the cover, “What is this?! That, Venom, is all over it!”
“A comic we write and design with help of some of our troop back in Canada. Venom is my brother.”
He looked you over, “So why don’t you look like him, all big, with that, tongue, and, teeth… He doesn’t even have a nose or ears.” His voice trailed off in Venom’s ease out of Eddie’s neck with a glare to the man he took as bordering on insulting you that had him lean closer to where James had sat down.
Victor said, “Squishy won’t eat you. Don’t worry, he’s domesticated.”
Venom stated, “I am not.”
Teddy however clapped luring his attention and grin out to the boy who said, “Grr,” and faked claw marks that had the guys smirk around confused Sousa.
Venom gave him a snarl back making the boy giggle as Venom said, “In time little one you shall be formidable.” Around Eddie’s neck he looped and rested his head on top of his head only to drip inside of him then out again from his chest to nuzzle his head to Marigold’s in her reach for him. “Hello precious one, supper is nearly here and you shall feast.”
Sousa’s narrow eyed gaze at Venom shifted to you and you smiled saying, “Not everyone is born in the same package. Some of us have unique quirks to us.”
“He’s got a head coming out of his chest!” Sousa retorted.
“Not always out of his chest,” Dawn teased and then added, “He didn’t mean to take you. You saw him and you had a gun, he was protecting Eddie, and you, whether you believe it or not.”
Sousa scoffed, “Protecting me?! What could I possibly need protecting from?!”
James, “Hypothetically,” that turned the Chief’s head to him, “Let’s say you went back to Headquarters and describe Venom, how would that go for you?” Sousa’s head shifted to look him square on and he said, “Before we met Venom I would have laughed you out of the room. Which is part of the dinner. We’re not going to hurt you or keep you longer than dinner and just want to talk this out and maybe you could answer some questions for Venom and Eddie.”
Eddie stated, “I highly doubt they could be helpful, seemed your group all just stumbled across that building by chance and trampled all over our investigation.”
Sousa scoffed again, “Investigation, on what? All you did was take, where is the sheet you took? That’s part of a criminal investigation! And you are-,”
“I really wouldn’t go around arresting people just yet.” You said sensing a familiar heartbeat on your front stoop.
His brows furrowed at you in confusion until the doorbell rang and his head turned to follow Norma on her chosen task to answer the door where his expression shifted to one of momentary panic hearing her say, “Oh hello Peggy, come on in.”
The door was shut and locked for Norma’s path back to the living room where right in the doorway she paused a moment, “Daniel?”
His head turned to catch you lift your cup of tea stating, “Daniel. You know Peggy.”
He asked, “How did you-?”
He scooted forward more into her view in her step into the room closer to him asking, “When did you get back?”
After clearing his throat he answered, “Today, well, yesterday. Showed up just before the call to head out on the Weasel hunt Thompson set off. Where I was abducted.” He said with a pointed gaze to Eddie.
Eddie scoffed and said to Peggy in her glance his way. “They interrupted our investigation by chance and Venom snatched a message I could follow up on and he spotted me and was going to shoot me so Venom grabbed him so we could get him to not hunt us down later in whatever nonsense led them there into our way.”
Unable to help it she giggled and then said to him, “Daniel, I’m certain this was all a bit of a misunderstanding. And truly if Eddie and Venom are investigating there they would be great assets to ask for help.” She looked to him, “What have you found out?”
The oven timer chimed and you accepted hold of Leonora to let Victor and Norma head to get dinner on the table with Dawn’s help to Eddie’s sharing of the basic details of the group. He then said, “From the few diagrams I found it’s this globe thing that shoots out the canisters, which aren’t being used for bombs, best Jaqi can figure from the chemical makeup sheets I got photos of they’re used to trigger some sort of acid rain, so far from whatever Weasel Bomber those moron cops,” he glanced at Sousa. “No offence, you said right off didn’t look like his work,” then he continued looking to Peggy, “But they set off the chain reaction to move the actual assembly line to a different location. They said as much at the location I followed the clues to.”
Sousa and Peggy asked, “What clues?”
Eddie, “The messages, they stay at that factory for a few hours then follow the message to the next meet up spot where they work on the chemicals.”
Peggy sighed and said, “So everything they brought in is useless to hunt the bomber?”
Eddie shrugged and said, “I haven’t heard anything about this Weasel guy. But Venom and I could root around a bit.”
Sousa, “No! Just leave it to our team. And you should turn over what you have on everything you’ve found.”
Eddie and Peggy both said, “No!” and Sousa looked at her to catch her determined expression that had him shake his head knowing she wanted to butt in.
Peggy, “Clearly the case needs some more digging before it could be taken seriously. Acid rain wouldn’t be taken seriously by Thompson.” She looked him over and asked, “Why did you come back? Please tell me it wasn’t because the bomber went to California.”
Sousa inhaled sharply then answered curtly, “I would rather not answer that here.”
You giggled and said, “Everyone here can see he moved back to be near you.” That had him wide eyed staring at you as you said, “I can hear your heartbeat, Daniel. Most people are unaware of pulse rhythms that give off clues to attachments between people.”
His lips parted and he asked, “You-,”
You smirked and said, “I can also tell when people lie to me.” Your eyes shifted to Peggy to amusedly say, “You look rather healthy for an apparently dead woman with no connection to your friend Daniel mystery surname of the unknown affiliation to I am assuming the same organization you work for.” Up onto your feet you rose when James had taken hold of the girl in your arms to head for the table.
Eddie chuckled in Peggy’s asking him, “You told them I was dead?”
“Interview tactic to engage sympathy with a picture of you,” Eddie clarified. Then added in Russian to her, “Make a move, he shows promise, Bunny likes him.”
She smirked in her hold back on the scoff she wanted to give him and moved to help guide the confused Daniel to join you all for supper, “Let’s eat. We can trust them, and on the ride back on the train you can tell me about your case after we see what Eddie can help about this case of his.”
Sousa said, “He still abducted me.”
Peggy tilted her head to the side, “He’ll get used to you. Bit guarded, wants to keep Eddie and Bunny safe.” His brow arched up and she said, “If he didn’t like you he’d have eaten you.”
“Thought he only ate Nazi’s according to the comics on the table?”
Eddie smirked and moved to put Marigold in her high chair and went to fetch her a jar of food to match the ones he grabbed for Teddy and Leonora he passed out for their meals. Small bits of food to go with his jar were cooled in the freezer and given to Teddy he snacked on to servings being given out to each adult to Peggy’s asking, “Did I see that you were studying into Ancient Greek?”
With a nod to your first offer of a spoonful to Teddy you answered, “Got a letter from Greece, they sent me a pendant of Persephone and quite a lovely I’m sorry you’re dying letter with hope that one day I could visit the country and learn the culture once their civil war is over.”
Sousa, “Persephone? I’m a bit rusty, what significance does she hold?”
You caught his eye and answered, “The Dreaded Persephone, Queen of the Underworld wed to Hades. When she was first led there by Hades her mother Demeter sent the world into barren weather conditions, led the world to near ruin which drove Zeus to send out the other deities to find hints of her daughter. Eventually Zeus managed to talk a deal out with Hades, three or six months depending on the variation Demeter would live without her daughter and with her absence Fall and Winter would pass and in the return Spring would burst across the world in celebration. Goddess of Fertility and Harvest.”
He nodded and asked, “Well, why her?”
“My middle name is Persephone, James’ is Pluto, one of the named for Hades, who I would assume would not be someone you would send a pendant of him to us under the circumstances of the world being under the assumption I’m barren and dying.” His eyes shifted to your belly and you added, “They test for pregnancy on frogs and turns out my frog died of metal poisoning.”
Dinner again blended back to conversation on Venom’s case came back up and afterwards into the library Eddie led you saying, “They came up with some new diagrams last night.”
Victor from his darkroom brought the pictures from the roll he had developed earlier, an added bit of excitement to fill the nap times when his little girl was asleep. From the stack every detail was gone over by him with more notes for his files while you looked over the pictures of the notes on the new diagrams to uncover what it could be for. Over your shoulder Sousa peered at the photograph and said, “You should turn these over we have experts who could look at this.”
Eddie replied, “You’re not taking my notes I don’t care how many times you try to lock me up for questioning. Besides, your guys seem to have their hands full hunting a bomber. This is bigger than a bombing.” He nodded his head your way as you looked between a pair of photos you used to copy onto a notepad to try and work out what the makeup of the second compound was for. “Got a tail of it yet?” He asked you recognizing the furrow of your brow wondering why they would make this.
“I think they wanted this to reverse the effects of the acid rain on bodies of water.”
“But?” Peggy asked curiously glancing from the confusing diagrams of molecules and formulas to you again.
“Well it looks like it would strip the water of oxygen and turn it to a hydrogen gas.”
Eddie nodded and said, “So someone’s either trying to build a power plant or they’re going to kill people by trying to reverse the acid rain cloud.”
Peggy, “How big a cloud could this acid rain cover?”
“That would depend partly on how much humidity is in the air, this whole section is where it latches onto water molecules. If conditions were perfect it could be, fifty square miles? But that depends on so many other variables…”
Venom’s head eased out and in his own look at the diagrams stated, “Your calculation is correct. The fleshlings however are foolish to not counter the chemical reaction to the selenium inside the first compound cloud.”
Peggy, “Do you have any clue who is behind this yet?”
Eddie said, “Not yet. Few more weeks of surveillance and they should let it slip.”
Sousa asked, “Not even gonna bat an eye at the fleshlings comment?”
“You get used to it.” James said, “Everyone has an elder in their family who says odd things.”
Peggy asked, “How old are you, Venom? You cannot be very old, you seem to be rather in your prime.”
“My people do not age.” Venom answered.
Sousa, “There’s more of him…”
Venom, “Not on this planet. I was banished and considered deranged for a wish to for a bond with my host. I was considered weak, but with Eddie we are strong and our little ones are thriving.”
Sousa looked at you and said, “Don’t worry, the planet Klyntar is several galaxies away. No worries for little grey men to be invading Earth.”
Peggy, “You’re actually from another planet. What’s it like?”
Venom, “Though we are a benevolent species, there is no literature on my home planet. And though it is our goal to make the universe better, we create no art, no music, no culture. At least, not as other civilizations would understand it. All we have are our hosts, the beings we join with, to forge through the cold and unforgiving cosmos with. The bond between a Klyntar and its host is sacred. They give our lives context and our existence meaning. They give us history. All we have are our hosts to tell us who we are.”
Sousa, “And how were you deranged?”
Venom, “That is rather complex to answer. There is no chance to share the truth for you without instigating a wave of fear for your people and how infantile your knowledge of the Cosmos is compared to others.”
Sousa, “That answer doesn’t give any comfort either.”
Venom smiled, “I know. I can hear your heartbeat.”
He looked at you and you said, “Family is family. He puts his help to good use to uncover good scoops with Eddie.”
Dawn said to his next concerned glance at Venom’s tiny head, “Venom served in the war same as the four of them, he’s more than earned a chance to be free and live here with us.”
Venom stated, “We pay our taxes same as you.” His eyes furrowed in a focused glare, “Unless you do not pay your taxes, Daniel, friend of Peggy.”
Sousa said, “I pay my taxes.”
Victor said, “Well, Daniel, I can drive you both back to Manhattan or wherever you’re bunked up.”
Peggy grinned and said, “Well thank you. That would be very kind of you.” After a gentle hug for you she smiled at the rest of the your family in her turn to join Victor. On his way out Sousa caught a good look at the pictures of Pre-Serum Steve and Bucky surrounded by photos of the shows they had gone to. The sight made him clench his jaw and simply walk with the others to the garage wondering on how this unknown friend of Peggy’s had continued to keep her hold on those unbreakable feelings she held for Steve.
“You can sit up front,” Peggy said in her move to the back seat of the car, “Let you stretch out.” Her body turned however at the fur coated body of Pepper in her eager bound into the back seat, “Oh,”
Victor over the hood chuckled and said, “Pepper always loves night drives. Won’t bother you any.”
Peggy simply chuckled and moved to take up the other seat beside the excited puppy to Victor’s drop inside while Sousa watched the garage door lift up on its own then turned to see your wave goodbye he nodded to in return and lowered to ease into the car. Once the door was shut Victor backed out and started the half hour drive back to Manhattan. “Do you have your apartment set up Daniel?”
He turned his head and said, “I’m up at a hotel, my things won’t arrive until tomorrow. A friend is letting me rent their town home.”
Victor, “One of the large ones or a two story closet kind?” Sousa glanced his way and he said, “Eddie’s in the middle of finalizing on the building next door after their building company fell out of funds thanks to the code enforcers and bribes to get the permits in order.”
Peggy, “So they’re moving out?”
Victor smirked saying, “No, we’re going to knock out most of the connecting wall on the main floor and combine the two. They’ve got two munchkins and Bunny’s got the girls on the way, we’re going to need some room to grow into. Won’t be for a while yet, the old owners only got the plumbing and electric work done the place is still gutted. Jimmy and me have a bet going Dawn’ll be on her third by the time that we have the place done. Whole block fell through for the builders, let a good bit of the old families take up ownership again. Eddie’s sister Gina and her family have the one on the other side of Eddie’s new place. She’s hoping for a girl to match for their sister Ambrose and hers in the next few years.”
Sousa said, “Thought my family was the only one with numbers like that.”
Victor chuckled, “Irish Catholic families tend to be big, what with the promise to love all the babies you’re given in the wedding vows and all.” He asked, “Where are you from?”
“Twin Falls, Idaho.”
“Big jump from home.” He said then turned his head to take the next turn safely.
Sousa said, “Sister lives in Jersey, took the closest job I could find.”
Victor, “Bunny almost went to Princeton in Jersey. Columbia is closer to her hometown though, family won out. Nearly thought she’d have to go to Princeton for Graduate Courses but they have a sort of vote for female students from Barnard to attend Columbia for those and she’s won over a good deal of votes already and she’s in her second year.”
Sousa asked, “What is she studying to be?”
“Not sure yet. Mainly Math, Science, Histories, Arts. Set for a few degrees at least and we’re going to see her to her Masters Degrees no matter what it takes.”
Sousa, “Masters Degree?”
Victor nodded and Peggy said, “That must take quite some time to achieve.”
Victor shrugged, “We figure she could get it down to six or seven years total including her Bachelors degrees she’s nearly finished with after next year. Doctorates are next and Masters after.”
Sousa said, “Not to be rude, but, what would be the point in all of that if she has no goal in mind?”
Victor smirked and said, “She’s 22, besides only 3.5% of women graduates earn Masters degrees, 2% lower than men. By the time she gets there who knows how many doors could be opened to her to continue her studies and find a career path all her own. Already designing her own tv after studying up on the one we bought her for when she’s got to be on bed rest.”
Peggy, “Well I cannot wait to see it when she is through.” She then picked up the conversation asking about a new film that had come out that none of you had seen yet she had heard good things. Eventually settling in that she could join you all on the usual family film nights you shared, an offer that extended to Sousa as well in the friendly gatherings ahead if he ever wanted another home cooked meal. An offer that stunned the man who sat mostly silent except for when Peggy specifically pulled him into the conversation until they stopped outside of her building where she smiled and bid the duo a good night and climbed out to head inside.
Both men watched to ensure she was inside before Victor turned to ask, “Which hotel am I off to?” Sousa named it and they sat in silence for a few minutes until Victor said, “Squishy didn’t mean to snatch you out of work. Just a bit jumpy on being seen since the war by people with guns.”
“I suppose by what he has helped to find he could have been protecting that as well. Can’t imagine who could want it, I’ve been chasing a group who have vanishing technology. Never would have thought of acid rain weapons.”
Victor shook his head with a chuckle, “Nope, wouldn’t say it would come to my mind either when it comes to weaponry.”
Sousa nodded and asked the burning question on his mind, “Who is the fan of Captain America?”
Victor glanced his way and he replied, “None of us. We own his image and comics. Been working on revamping Peggy’s role especially.”
Sousa’s brows furrowed, “Then why do you have his pictures in your library?”
“Oh, that, he’s Bunny’s half brother.” Parting Sousa’s lips to the shocking revelation, “Not that he acted on it. He got custody of her when she was 12 and fought the Judge on that every step of the way. Left her out on the stoop hungry in the rain while he was off with his friend Bucky, and when she was inside he wouldn’t pay the gas or electric so she could cook for herself on the few scraps he left change for her to buy. Eddie took her in and three years later Steve just took off without so much as a note and willed away everything to the church when he finally found someone stupid enough to let him into the Army to be their dancing monkey.”
Sousa’s mouth closed as his mind reeled to the news. “He hurt Bunny worse than anyone could imagine, but he’s her brother and to honor her mother she keeps his trumpet and pictures in that corner of the library to not pretend he didn’t ever exist.” He drew in a breath then added, “Should have seen Peggy’s face when she found out they turned the Tin Man into America’s supposed greatest weapon and made him up to be a monkey in tap shoes.”
“Can’t imagine she took that well,” Sousa muttered to himself.
“Nope, but she’s realized someone so idyllic is never that, and she deserves a real hero to stand up with her against whatever she is facing off with.”
Sousa said, “What we do, our jobs are meant to be,”
“Classified. We get that.” He eased over in front of the hotel entrance and smirked at Sousa, “Maybe one day now you know about Venom we might let you in on what we can really do to have won his place in our family.” The returned Chief looked over his face then to Victor’s offered hand, “Victor Creed.”
After a sigh the handshake was returned, “Daniel Sousa.”
Victor nodded his head in the release of their hands, “Look forward to getting to know you better. Especially when you make your move.”
Sousa inhaled and replied quickly, “I hired a crew to help me move my furniture already.”
Victor chuckled when he moved to the door handle to open the door, “Deflect all you want. If we have to we’ll just nudge Peggy to make you swoon to get things going.”
“I doubt that would happen. Peggy is an immovable force like a tank on legs.”
Victor chuckled and said, “Bunny’s hurled panzers at planes before,” causing him to freeze with a leg and his cane out of the car, “Nothing is immovable. Keep your eyes open at the least if you insist on being stubborn. Hate for you to miss a moment of the magic of impossible coming right at you.”
Sousa simply looked him over then shifted to find his feet and closed the door to start the walk to the door hearing Pepper hop over the back of the seat to sit up front and Victor’s following chuckle at that. Happily she settled down in the sat in the turn of the car to head back home again while Victor smiled to himself imagining how you might feel pleased knowing that you now had a suitable match for your odd new friend to settle evenly into your group. It was odd to say the least to want to set up the dame your brother had lied to and died leading her on but he knew that the pair of you did make an interesting duo for a friendship. Not to mention how he knew it stung to know that Steve had burned another young woman in his death and to see her settled and cherished by someone who was honest with her to possibly have a family of her own one day instead of dwelling on the past that could never be.
@sherala007, @mariannetora, @jesgisborne, @knitastically, @catthefearless, @theincaprincess, ggbbhehe4455, @lilith15000, @alishlieb,
Not nsfw(smut) - @otakumultimuse-hiddlewhore
X Marvel-Cast - @himoverflowers, @theincaprincess, @changlingkhat
Brother Dearest - @thorinanddwalinsdwarrowdam, @swoopswishsward
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Sneak peak to next chapter of Brother Dearest on my queue for the morning 😁😱
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Brother Dearest Pt 55
Brother Dearest Masterlist
Confirmation of safety was passed on in your reply to the Monarch of Spain along with hearty thanks for both the prayers and the surplus of gifted information you assured him that over time translations could be made. And a more organized collection of all the information possibly into a book in time was hinted to be a long term goal once all of the translations were through. Surely something to be well appreciated by a fellow interested historian of your mysteries. The drafts upon completion by excitement of the brothers were promised to be printed and bound officially, perhaps not for sale but at least for your own collection in a sort of reward for all the work being done.
Simple pictures tucked between the pages found you lingering over each captured sketch and portrait that lured Norma and Dawn over to peer at each and share their thoughts. Images of castles and cottages came next along with captured sketches of what proved to be the marker left in each abandoned abode. Etched into stone and wood sat the sigil on your pendants with words in various runes around it. Each of which at least for those in Russian, Swedish and Old Norse to the newer Germanic you read the words aloud, “I See You.”
That lured Elliot’s eyes to you with brows risen that yours met to explain, “That’s what these say, over and over around the symbol of the pear tree.”
Elliot, “Ah, yes. I have read a few transcripts of the inspections of a few abandoned abodes of yours in this bunch. Not much to worry about, merely a stunning tactic, nothing left but empty homes and that mark.”
Victor asked in the return of the Professor’s eyes to his translation when he looked up from his own sketch of a familiar looking dwelling on a hill the brothers lived nearby to that the villagers in a small Japanese town claimed to be haunted and not for exploration. “What happened to her stuff? In each of the houses? Where did it all go?”
Elliot smiled stating, “Our directory mostly for safe keeping of all the knowledge collected of each lifetime.”
Victor chuckled and showed you a sketch, “We lived near this one for a time. Whole town said it was haunted and not to disturb it.”
Eddie said in his inspection of the first file in the smaller chest beginning with his simple flip between the twine bound folders until he found a letter from Greece in another envelope he squished between his fingers and said, “Something in this one.”
You looked over and accepted the letter even Elliot couldn’t translate then looked to the pendant inside to go with the well wishes sent from the Greek Historians who completed the request of the documents asked for in spite of the civil war still raging in their country. A note of hopes that you were healthy and under protection of your namesake the Dreaded Persephone could be granted health and fertility, paired with an old silver pressed pendant of her likeness. “I think this is Persephone.”
Elliot confirmed that and stated, “They must have been informed of your supposed condition. Must be for luck.”
“Feels old,” you said and he nodded and passed it around for the others to see while you folded the letter and handed it back to Eddie to add to the pile to be translated. With a pout however Teddy took charge of his father’s attention and was taken to get started on the meal Dawn and Norma moved to help with while you watched James pocket the pendant for you to decide where to put it later. Elliot smiled finishing off a good section of the first folder and when his eyes met yours he heard you ask, “I feel bad asking,”
Elliot grinned and stated, “I could call the Twins now if you’d like, have them at my place by dawn with trunks and all.”
James smirked saying, “You’re welcome to our landline if you’re up for it and we can be meeting them much sooner then I assume unless they live up to the hermit title.”
That had Elliot chuckle, “Most assuredly they would want to meet you. I’ll give them a call and I can possibly borrow this trunk and they could make easy work of it.” Up he stood and left the room to make the call.
And James looked your way with a widening smile, “We both know you would want them here sooner rather than later, especially for all this to be translated.”
You nodded and looked at the sheet on your lap saying, “My Dad taught me to speak a spread of languages, hadn’t gotten around to reading them yet.”
Victor moved closer to tap his finger on your knee luring your eyes to him, “Pipsqueak, they might have waited thousands of years but they had just that, thousands of years. Let them do the hard work while you focus on the girls and school.”
“Just wonder sometimes, not everyone could be so eager to see me back, surely there had to be those who didn’t agree with me on something.”
Victor smirked and pulled back to show you one of the letters complete with sketches, “Awfully close to a bedtime story this one. How you came to the village. Three of your followers who the scribe states fought against the laws you had issued and sought to control the country. Then out of a swarm of bees their Queen came and cut them down, buried them around the top of the hill where a house was built as a sort of watchtower. For near to a century one after another those turned by those cut down were seen to their ends. Every night songs were heard between storms, good bit of the last pages on this encounter say it was the most heartbreaking thing they’d ever known. Everyone imagined she’d lost her love and when she vanished every year since that date until the city was destroyed by war they paid respects. Hoping she had found her lost love and that together they would find peace like which she gave to the village.”
James nodded, “Two more reports show similar tales, though near to the sea. Where giant monsters came out and were brought to an end both on the shore and by ensnaring sailors to lend her their ships.”
Victor hummed through a smirk, “See, everyone has opposition. But according to what I’ve read always seen to as fairly as possible. Anyone bothers you this time round they’ll have us to go through.”
“I’d probably be like a kid to all of them this time around, bound to be more arguments this time around.”
James chuckled, “According to Elliot this planet hasn’t seen very many Beserkers. While you are out changing the world they’ll be learning it. No doubt why those Twins will be so excited to hear about these mysterious travels to learn about how we all got the world to here.”
Victor, “Even the Princesses are young and have been picking up some slack for King George. There have been young rulers before, and you’ve got friends and your parents to help guide you along.”
James nodded, “Had to be reason Darling you chose your Second to be your Dad this time round. Greatest ally and most trusted and all that jazz.” You nodded and lowered your gaze to stroke your belly in its shift that lured him to your side where he kissed your cheek sweetly. “We have a few years still. Who knows what will happen. For now, mysteries first, we meet the Twins let them compile it all and we go from there.”
Victor, “And tomorrow we’ll see about finding you a book on Greek, both Ancient and otherwise so we can figure out what that letter says at least. Hopefully nothing too ominous.”
“Didn’t seem like it. I could imagine if it were sinister it would give off a hint or two. Probably another I’m sorry you’re dying letter.”
Victor rolled his eyes and shook his head mid chuckle, “At this rate the whole world is in for a stunner when summer comes and news breaks.”
James said, “Eddie already has a bit of a plan. Apparently the fellas at the paper still are taking it hard they didn’t get to do more to destroy the guy responsible. He’s got an idea that when Spring comes around and it gets too warm for sweaters and coats they can break the story.”
“I suppose he’ll be wanting one of the candids of my belly. Still have to develop those. Steve’s file film too.”
Victor said, “Already printed the file films for you. Have them put away for when you want them, and thought to make another copy of one of your castle building pictures with Teddy,” forward he bent to scoop up his Petal in her reach for his pant leg. Kissing her sweetly on the temple to cuddle her to his chest calming her demand to be held.
Marigold’s inch of her hand forward while still on all fours had you summon your camera and call out, “Hey Eddie, Dawn.” Burners were shut off and both parents returned to smile widely in watch of Teddy’s place now on all fours guiding her in her first move to crawl that Norma used the camera to snap pictures while James used the video camera that had filmed Teddy’s firsts to capture the elated moment until she had spent her energy and Teddy had scooped up his yawning baby sister as best he could to hug her into his chest for their dad to scoop them up and cuddle them.
To let him remain with them James excitedly took over for Eddie, who was again joined by Norma, the moment from the girl so close in age to her own spurred on questions that your beaming husband answered each and every one to calm her worries on maybe missing some firsts of her own while she had to film. Elliot back at your side shared the Twins were packing and continued to share on how they might go through the folders and to your trip to answer another kick to your bladder he stole glances at the now napping girl tucked back in the playpen as Eddie pretended to help Teddy fly around the room filling the house with squealing laughter and smiles.
Sharply between the teeth a suck of air seemed to cut the noise in the kitchen and Dawn was the first to spot you in the doorway of the bathroom. Hand raised to the doorframe you faced with forehead against it while the other was fixed below it. “Bunny?” Across the hall she hurried with James right behind her to Eddie’s lower of Teddy to listen in and cuddle the giggling boy lost to worry for his sister to Victor’s wide eyed rise to his feet.
Shaking your head you felt James’ hands settle on your arm, he didn’t have a chance to speak when you said, “My back. Don’t know what I did. Just hurts…” His hand lowered while the other remained fixed on your arm to glide across your back, to the clear tighten then spasm of the muscle there that had your knees bend signaling Dawn to ease an arm under your chest. “Agh,” you grumbled and grit your teeth only for James to lift you in his arms pressed to his chest.
“Let’s get you laid out, Darling.” To the living room he carried you and spread you on your side on the couch facing the back of it to begin a backrub that calmed the muscle twinge and the relatives that pitched in to make you comfortable again. Including Victor who when he laid Petal in the playpen he managed to find a hidden tightness of your leg muscles he massaged that had helped to build the tension from there up to your back. Daily leg massages were promised to help as you were growing more front heavy by the day and would be requiring extra help to get through the back end of your pregnancy. Dinner afterwards was followed by a group load of the trunk into Elliot’s car to drive it home while James took you upstairs to soak and nestle you in bed to relax until you began to nod off for the night.
“I’m going to check in on you at lunch.” James promised and left you outside with eyes fixed on your back in the stroll you took from the car he leaned against with eyes that trailed down over your pant legs. A grin eased across his lips to the sight of the grey material you had added hand stitched accents to the front of the overalls to go with the blue knitted blouse he’d chosen for you. Another of the supply of maternity clothes to help you keep your freedom you had helped design and stitch up to be shown off in a couple months. Nearly into February and already you had a difficult time getting up and down and had him on the verge of locking you in the bedroom to rest fully until the time for birth. Yet you gave hint that you could handle school and required the distraction at least of the translation of documents from your past and Elliot supported that mothers of your race did require work for a time until bed rest set in. Things would be easier if this could remain hidden until it was time to head back to Canada, but at least he could tolerate it wouldn’t be long to wait for freedom from prying eyes.
English, Trigonometry, Calculus, Chemistry, Psychology, Literature. The full Wednesday schedule went smoothly with an actual class back in your Chemistry class that followed the smile filled drop in of your husband who smiled in his joining in on the break. Sliced pear was snuck by him that you snacked on and perked up some more until after your Photography Club that he could take you home to rub you all over and make sure you got ample rest.
The end of all of that while you toured the hall filled with posted photographs from various artists alongside prints of portraits, that you discussed while a trio of the other students off on assignments for the yearbook, snow began to fall again in this oddly white winter everyone seemed to hope didn’t mean that this summer would be brutally hot in contrast. Around a back courtyard you walked in the break to capture your usual photographs required weekly. Into the snowy path you strolled to find the colored tiled section where with slides of your feet an outline of a snowflake was made and captured on film, later to show checkered patterns from the tile beneath.
Aimlessly from there you wandered simply to the weight of snow that planted in your curls and over your jacket. Window to window you gained more curious glances. More so when you stopped to take a picture of a half snow coated tree, that half which blended into the sky surely wouldn’t show just leaving the shape of the half that did show closely resembling a man in tails and a top hat beside a rather uncomfortable bench with wrought iron cutouts across the wooden back.
When you turned back however to the window that held a pair of men your eyes shifted. Both with brushed back hair of a light brown that could deceivingly take for blonde under bright sunlight, of which you had next to none. One however had a full mustache and tuft of a beard that it connected to reminding you of a billy goat while the other was clean shaven and from it seemed to have a slightly pudgier face. Taller than you yet not quite free of the high five foot range the both had solid builds hinting of something athletic in their youths, though their thick wool jackets over trousers, dress shirts, vests and a cardigan helped little to get a good look at their figures fully. A voice muffled by the window turned their bright blue eyes from you that gave you chance to turn away with fingers that fluffed snowflakes free that fell back around your face when you’d pulled out the hair tie containing them.
Back into the building you went to collect your things, along the way you folded away the scope of Steve’s old camera that was secured back in its box and inside your purse from there. Following a pleasant good evening trade with the Professor you lifted your belongings and made the walk back to Professor Elliot’s classroom for the usual joint stroll out. Much closer up this time cheekbones, blocky eyebrows and arrow like noses matched on the same brothers who now stood outside his classroom who flashed you matching grins exposing dips in cheeks similar to clown like smiles sans paint. “Twins? Right?” You found yourself asking only luring out fuller smiles of the pair who caught your eyes shifting from one to the other.
The clean shaven one named his brother first, “This is Jeff,”
The other stated, “And my baby brother Beau.”
They both said, “Ainsley, Mrs Pear Howlett.”
“Hi,” you said then to a shift of your belly your foot stagger stepped to keep your balance that had the pair reach out to collect your books and keep you steady, “Sorry, something about this hall always lures out the wild kicks.”
The pair chuckled and Elliot was heard from his office gathering things after ending a phone call and Beau stated, “No harm done.”
Jeff nodded his head upwards, “Might have something to do with those chandeliers. They have lopsided spirals on the underside. Our babies prefer symmetry.”
That had you giggle and say, “Wow, well James will be pleased. The girls have picked up his love for architecture. Still on the fence myself but I do love exploring castles.”
Beau asked, “Did you want to sit down?”
You shook your head, “Long drive ahead, if I sit then halfway we’ll have to stop for a toilet somewhere and most likely have to buy something to use it, but if I keep on my feet I can trick the bladder kick to be postponed to when I get home.” Widening their smiles, “For now at least I have half an upper hand.”
Jeff stated excitedly, “Just came to give Eli an update on our progress so far.”
Beau, “You will be quite entertained by what we have translated.”
“How exactly do things get uploaded into the directory?”
Both brothers stated, “You scan them.” And Beau continued, “Simply wave one of the proper crystals over it and it scans everything in full copy into the directory.”
Jeff, “We scan the originals and translations, so no worries on our missing anything possibly hidden in the originals such as invisible ink.”
“But they’re copies.” You stated slightly confused, “Not the originals.”
Jeff chuckled, “On occasion even the copies are given the same hidden traits.”
“So, what is it, the directory? How does it store things? And how could crystals copy things? Is it like a crystal camera?”
They grinned wider and Beau stated, “We call it directory, however it is more of a, hive mind, of sorts with several access panels on our various home worlds.”
Jeff, “We could show you, when you aren’t carrying, the access points in person can be quite taxing on mothers best not to tire you out. Simply they look similar to fountains in shape and the hive mind is sort of a cloudy mist channeled there within the layers of pools of the mist to word it rather easily to understand to one without open memory of the process.”
Beau, “Only we can access it, it reacts to our inner beings and can share a millennia of information and can hold infinite knowledge. The crystals are similar to a camera of sorts, however it contains tiny creatures inside who aid in the process of copies. They have similar makeup to ours and we use the crystals to line the pools and it helps to translate the images and information there in our directory.”
“Creatures, such as insects, or smaller like an amoeba?”
The brothers smiled wider stating together, “Amoeba. They are safe, in fact we are amongst the few races who can dwell alongside theirs and they tend to follow us when we move planets. Most try to wipe them out.”
“Why, hurt them?”
Jeff, “They tend to be knowledge hungry like we are. Have a history of devouring other races to gain their knowledge out of lack of other forms of communications. While we have broader mental capacities and, well,”
Beau, “It’s not a full mental link, however we can sort of feel, something close to what they need. If someone has angered them they tell us and if they require repairs then the same as well.”
“They don’t hurt plant life do they? James and Victor can talk to trees and plants, wouldn’t want a battle between them.”
With a shake of their heads they answered, “Not a leaf. Nature is simple for them to commune with.”
“Well that’s good, I love our land up North. Hate to see it ruined.”
They stated together, “Would never happen.”
“So, do you just explore and research? So far I’ve met Elliot and Herc.”
Jeff, “We used to teach for a time.”
Beau, “Then we had to get old and move to start over.”
Jeff, “Now we are merely hermit academics consulted on work usually from afar to help us hide.”
Elliot exiting his classroom split the pair in half smiled in seeing you there and said, “I apologize, politics. I got trapped in locating a new wooden cutout of an Easter Bunny since the former rather ghastly one has gone missing.”
With a giggle you stated, “If you’re up for a showy one I can give you the number for one of the fellas in my town who make the decorations for our church holidays.”
That had his smile widen, “Thank you, every other place I’ve called is monstrously high priced.”
“Well Easter is a big holiday. Even outside of religions.”
Elliot, “All I know is six month waiting period is absurd.”
“Not when it comes to egg laying bunnies that grow to six feet tall.” You teased making him and the twins chuckle. “I have a feeling we should walk now or James might come hunting for me after my muscle cramp yesterday.”
Beau asked in your turn allowing them a side view of the partially visible belly your hand stroked, “Bad cramp?”
“Just a sudden one. Started in my legs apparently and worked its way to my back and waited for a time to pounce.”
Elliot said, “All the better to keep you nice and relaxed when classes are through. When do your court cases begin?”
“Get my first round of evidence next week. No telling how much that will be.”
Elliot, “Heard last year they came up with five crates per case.”
“Well, I’ve already read through the etiquette book, guess it’ll just be a waiting game to see how much I get and until then the guys said they would be picking me up books on Ancient and current Greek to translate that letter at least.”
Jeff asked with brows raised, “Letter?”
You nodded and said, “From Greece, they sent a pendant with Persephone’s face on it too. But they wrote it in Greek. I think it’s another I’m sorry you’re dying letter. Not anything sinister.”
Beau asked curiously, “Have you received many I’m sorry you’re dying letters?”
With a giggle you replied, “More apologetic in person encounters, though near to five I think as for actual letters.”
Jeff, “Have you decided when to make a public announcement to the contrary? Or do you prefer the ignorance of the public?”
“Eddie and I have it planned more towards Spring. Had me write something up for the Bugle to print before the big obvious reveal when sweater weather ends.”
“Ah,” both brothers stated then turned their focus to the doors they opened for you to let Elliot offer his arm to help you down the few steps to the path that led to James again at the bench in wait for you halfway to the car.
On his feet James shifted and looked over the pair he presumed to have been the pair who had been eager to meet you in the first place. And when you reached him your smile calmed him of any awkward hints of encounters you had possibly been forced into and you said with a point to Beau, “This is,” your hand switched to the other brother widening the pair’s grins when you continued at the correct naming after their slightly confusing introduction earlier they had given. “Jeff,” you again pointed to Beau, “And Beau, Ain-?” When you glanced up at the twin who smiled in a glance your way to answer, “Ainsley, glad to meet you,” he finished the sentence with his eyes on James after his handshake with Jeff and accepted one of his own. “Names take a bit to seep in.”
“I’m usually better with this,” you muttered.
Jeff chuckled and said, “Happens. We confused the poor dear with how we shared our first names, old habit we won’t break to brag that we’re a pair.”
James chuckled and then said, “Well we’re glad you were able to make it out. I know those papers would have taken us all a good deal of time to get organized.”
The brothers shook their heads as they handed over your books to you again you then eased to James’ arms in your steps to be together and see the trio all at once while he got to cuddle beside you after hours of wait to do so. “We live for these discoveries. And Elliot was right, they are mainly comprised of Royal Documents. Long winded at best and drone on for most translations.”
Elliot smiled and said to a chilly wind that brought more white flecks to begin another round of snow to last the night through, “For now we’ll let you get out of the cold and back home to explore that letter of yours.”
You nodded and said, “Bit odd, if it keeps snowing at this rate it will be the whitest winter in record in this century from what I’ve been able to look up. At least since the year I was born but that only lasted a month.”
Elliot chuckled, “All the best to enhance the growth of our little ones.” That had your brow arch up and he chuckled, “Mother Nature is highly reactive to those of us who carry our young.”
“So, I’m doing this?!” You asked making James laugh to himself.
Elliot answered, “Not exactly. Spring should be easier, and summer hopefully calm for you until the electro magnetic storms pick up closer to your labor.”
“Magnetic...” you muttered then your lips parted remembering your parents sharing about the huge storm the days surrounding your birth. “The whole city shut down last time when I was born.”
Jeff, “From what we’ve been heard the borders of your land should be sufficient to contain the worst of the storm that acts as cover to prevent any sort of attack during the birth.”
Beau, “Town should just get a decent bit wet for a few days till it recedes.”
You simply nodded and turned for the car making the men smirk as you muttered, “Just wait, next I’ll be vanishing whole buildings and moving continents over more things women do every day.”
James said with a grin, “See you later, fellas.” And traded nods to follow and pass you to reach the car door he opened then closed behind you once he was sure you were safe inside. Around the car he went still chuckling at your sigh to the thickening of the falling snow and climbed in with a final wave to the trio who waved and made for their own car in discussion of what secrets had been found in the letters so far. Sharply inside the car to the seal of the door behind him he let out a breath and set your books on the seat between you and gave you another smile your way asking, “Rest of your day go well?”
You nodded and said, “Got another few details on another part of my tv that popped into my head after a test, doodled it down in my next class. I can add that to the rest of the bunch.”
He nodded and said, “What else? Looks like you’re clutching something?”
Softly you sighed and said, “Just, popped into my head that when we get back to the cabin you’re forced to move out of it.”
“We have covered this, me and Vic both have agreed we need the more room and we’ve been making up nurseries for all the babies. Even Teddy is getting his first bed soon, he needs more room he’s sharing a room with Marigold, boy needs more room for his toys at least, has to keep shoving them all into that one corner. And Norma wants that big window in Vic’s favorite wing. Dawn gets the larger office on the second floor off the library’s reading loft and you get the bedroom you designed when we rebuilt it. We can’t fit three cribs on our room we have now.
Plus we made it airtight and extra insulated to help in the winter months, new windows too for those pesky drafts. Think of Whiskers and the puppies, all that new room to call their own and so many fireplaces for naps galore. We always have to climb over them when they nap there in the cabin. Norma and Vic can share the greenhouse and your garden gets more space around that courtyard I’m gonna retile and build a cover for us for some shade. That fountain too you can help with the motor so the birds can relax there with ample room for more bird feeders and houses for the feathered neighbors. We have it all planned.
It can still be a slip away paradise on weekends if you like we always rotate homes on the property anyways or they start to all fall apart on us at once. You are not kicking us out of our home, you are my home. When we get there we’ll paint and paper the place up real chic and settle it all in and pretend we have our own castle to rival the Royals.” That had you chuckle and shake your head in his turn of the engine and start of the drive home filled with your share of the answers you got on the directory and why that hall made the girls kick and flex.
“Gotta pee,” that was heard when you came in through the garage and had Victor smile and grab the books on the languages he settled on the table beside your mother’s chair where a notepad and pencil were waiting to be joined by a drink and snack to fuel the translations Dawn was fixing up. Norma hadn’t been seen yet in her place still with eyes fixed on the door with a tie on the knob she tried and was unable to open hours earlier that had been puzzling her all day on what was locked inside the never closed room.
“Hey Pipsqueak,” Victor said with a smile as you entered the living room, “Got your spot and books all ready for you.”
You nodded and after a glance over the spot near by the trio of otherwise distracted children, “Norma have a friend over?”
He shook his head while James eased off his vest after having removed his coat he laid over the back of the couch on his way to your side. “No, why’d you ask?”
“If she doesn’t then who’s in the back bedroom?”
James asked with his brother to the news you had heard a person they didn’t know inside the home they hadn’t caught sight or warning of that now had them on with hearts pounding faster, “Who?”
You nodded and in their confusion they joined you to the door of the next to very back bedroom without any windows and its own bathroom where you found Norma across from it. Across her face a grin flinched and her arms uncrossed to pretend she hadn’t been staring at the presumed hiding spot of some gift and she said, “Door’s locked. Bumped the tie earlier, drew my eye to it.”
You nodded and in a lift of your hand the lock clicked and Eddie appeared from his rushed shower with towel still over his shoulders he had been drying his hair with that laid over his haphazardly buttoned and un-tucked shirt. Panting at his rush to be here and stare before you opened the door, “I can explain.”
@sherala007, @mariannetora, @jesgisborne, @knitastically, @catthefearless, @theincaprincess, ggbbhehe4455, @lilith15000, @alishlieb,
Not nsfw(smut) - @otakumultimuse-hiddlewhore
X Marvel-Cast - @himoverflowers, @theincaprincess, @changlingkhat
Brother Dearest - @thorinanddwalinsdwarrowdam, @swoopswishsward
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Brother Dearest Masterlist
x Adopted Brother Eddie Brock, protective bond with James Howlett (Wolverine) and Victor Creed, enemies Bucky and neglectful brother Steve -
Brother Dearest - Bucky doesn’t like having to share Steve’s attentions with his baby sister. Mrs Rodgers dies and Steve gets custody and steadily starts neglecting his sister. She hires a bartender in town to be her brother, Eddie Brock. Eddie’s try to protect OC from being sent off to be a ward in a war hospital they both get pulled in as he gets drafted himself, by the Canadian forces. In a blitz attack on base a disguise must be made, a too young boy in the war.
1925 - 1944 - Pt 1 - Pt 2 - Base/Brothers - Pt 3 - Pt 4 - Pt 5 - Pt 6 -
England - Pt 7 - Oh, Canada - Pt 8 - Pt 9 - Socials/Schooling - Pt 10 - Pt 11 - First Date/Names - Pt 12 - Pt 13 -
Back to Brooklyn - Pt 14 - Pt 15 - Washington Tour/Engagement - Pt 16 - Remodeling - Pt 17 - Welcome to the Family - Pt 18 - Pt 19 - Pt 20 - Dawn & Eddie - Pt 21 - Pt 22 - Back to Brooklyn - Pt 23 -
Peggy in the Graveyard - Pt 24 - Enrollment - Pt 25 - First Day - Pt 26 - Pt 27 - Pt 28 - Pt 29 - Pt 30 - Pt 31 - Pt 32 - Hello Mother (Loki)- Pt 33 - Shopping Trip - Pt 34 - Big Dinner - Pt 35 - Pt 36 - Holiday Break - Pt 37 - Pt 38 -
Freckled Moose - Pt 39 - The Rehearsals - Pt 40 - Night Before/Morning Of - Pt 41 - The Ceremony - Pt 42 - Reception/Honeymoon - Pt 43 - Honeymoon/Bunny Book - Pt 44 - Petal/Washington - Pt 45 - Pt 46 - Pt 47 - Royal Wedding - Pt 48 - Pt 49 -
Pt 50 - Pt 51 - Pt 52 - Pt 53 - Pt 54 -
– on Ao3 here
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Put in for my vacation in august, right in the middle one day shy of three weeks, hopefully they approve it so I can stay home and do nothing for once and get into my squidward mode
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If I don’t get to writing my fell winter section of my dragon heart au series after work I think I’ll just catch Brother Dearest up on here for those following along that don’t like to read it on ao3
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Arguments are a daily task Dams are subjected to when on travels amongst their kin. Not out of anger or disbelief of their capabilities but a check of the health of their Dams. Always the task they are presumed to dislike the most will be designated to them to trigger a counter argument to said task.
-“X go fetch the wood.”
“Why shouldn’t B go fetch it I am more skilled at G.” -
When a Dwarf looses their will to so much as bicker it is a sign of a terribly debilitating illness that causes them to fade rapidly. So you as a former cook fallen to this world, while not a Dam, the Dwarves still carry on this task. Fully aware of your former job you have been assigned to everything from fetching wood to filling the canteens or even banging the blankets under the saddles against rocks to clean them up a bit after the rainwater is dried out of them. And for a week at least your reminders have won your place beside Bombur until one day you simply huff and said “Fine” to this order of gathering firewood. Wide eyed the other Dwarves eyed the surrounding trees thicker than Bomber as you accept then promptly hunch to not drop the ax Dwalin reluctantly offered you to nearly walk in a full squat to support its weight to carry it off to use it somehow to hack fallen trees to bits. Which by your luck would take till tomorrow morning for the three steps you’d barely managed to take with the weight of this ax you could lift no higher than your rib cage let alone re-lift if you did drop it.
Dwalin gladly accepted the ax when Thorin blurted out, “Second thought OC you can build the tents tonight.” Fully aware of the bloody nose and near ten minutes of tears to follow you gave yourself the first time you just tried to help unpack the spring loaded trap support bars. Another sigh came and the worrisome tiny person amongst them turned and rose up in the hand that freed you of the weight of the ax to head for the stacked bundles wide eyed Bofur stepped away from awkwardly to wait for his new task or the hopeful fight against this one.
“Actually, organize the supply packs from the ponies to ready for quick travel if need be.” Thorin said and was about ready to collapse from lack of air for not being able to tolerate a possible illness at the sight of the clenched fist at your side in another turn while Bofur eased back to his former spot while Dori and Gloin stepped from their usual task to stare at their King in fearful gazes. Though half a good sign the illness hadn’t fully set in yet was a grumble from you of, “I have two hands, two feet and can move in one direction if you would just make up your damn regal mind.” To storm over to the bags that while the others huddled to brainstorm things to do as they had traveled to far to turn back to the last group of cottages they had passed that was nearly a week all itself from Bree with nothing else for months the other way to aid in your health returning.
Every one of the seasoned battle worn warriors flinched along with those without battle training to each and every muttered end of the one sided argument and bags thrown and dropped heavily when known to not be fragile or edible until the task was done. But by then there was a sort of nest you were led to that they situated you inside of with some tea and a couple hidden biscuits to go with it. Still scowling at the fire you muttered to yourself, “Spent my whole life in the kitchen of my family cafe but no it’s fine I’ll go chop some wood or slam some smelly moldy blankets that’s been rubbing above a horse’s ass crack for the full day. Not like you didn’t all say you loved my cooking and wanted to eat it each day or anything. Thick headed Dwarves. And he’s the King of them all. Well next time we stop to bathe I’m hiding his clothes. He wants to bark foolish orders he can do it butt naked while he searches for his things. And I know just where I’ll put them too.”
Hushedly in a lean to his uncle’s side Fili said, “I think we’ve managed to turn her around. Plenty of feisty creeping back already and that’s just with spare blankets and tea. Surely Dori could manage some more of those biscuits over the fire in our pop oven before bed to keep on hand for emergencies till the next city.”
Thorin rumbled, “Kili’s check will give us a better look.”
And at that cue Kili sidestepped to your side and cleared his throat, asking with a charming grin, “Miss OC, how are you feeling?”
No pause, no politeness just a loud shout back was his response, “Just Peachy!!” Then a long sip of the tea was taken mid glare fired at the King across the fire who tried not to grin at Kili’s unseen by you thumbs up while his body fought to blush wildly at your alluring glare that had he been on his feet would have dropped him to a puddle right then and there.
Surely you didn’t mean to court him you were merely under the weather was what he reminded himself all through the night and morning until he had to have his back to you until a hot spring brought about your plan of retaliation. Butt naked and bickering with his nephews on where they hid his belongings he searched and quickstepped between things to block your view. Though while the nephews and everyone else of the Dwarf variety swore they didn’t do it Bilbo the only other logical subject smirked to himself in a means not to laugh to your obvious victorious giggles for a scheme well carried out. Two hours later he found them conveniently folded back in his pack only souring his mood for his nephews on the brilliant return to their home for the perfect hiding spot he would only check for a last resort piece of cloth to cover himself with.
Fully dressed again he came back to the campsite and decided another mini test was to be given as he tied up his vest over his armored shirt and tunic. Not looking when his offer was responded to by a sudden grip of the front of his shirt, a physical challenge, had you been a Dwarf or Elf he would have surely been slammed into the tree trunk behind him as no doubt intended to match that unmistakable glare. But he did sway, remarkable for a human of your size, even on an off guard Dwarf. And lowly you grit out in a try not to snarl like an animal, “I am a cook, from a long line of cooks, and I missed that, I’m doing what now?”
An offer of lineage to counter his with skill named. Courtship was now unmistakably the goal and deliberation to offer said courtship was now the clear distinct reason behind the illness and to show your offer was not unwarranted or unwanted he replied, “Help Bombur with the meal.”
“Thought so. Remembered the ratio of greens to fish recipe for one of my family staple dishes last night on my watch that will make that bass we caught sing.” You said and patted his chest. A gesture that when your back was turned had him snatch a firm grip of Dwalin’s arm to keep upright at its Dwarfly meaning and when you were out of earshot he muttered to his cousin in Khuzdul, “She wishes to line our bedrolls together! What do I do? I snore Dwalin and Balin says I drool on occasion! Were I to wet her hair with a slumbering puddle surely she would never offer this again! What do I do?!”
Balin, “You only drool when your nose is clogged up with illness cousin. Do not fear that. We will ready your bedroll to lay even with hers in case she rolls.”
Thorin, “I roll on occasion and thrash about! What if I crush or injure her?!”
Dwalin gripped his now wide eyed panicked cousin’s shoulders, “We will tie you down at the first sight of that while on watch and break you of that habit right away and untie you again before the little Lass wakes.”
Thorin sighed but all until time for bed the King was seen to take ample breaths in and out to in the least keep watch of any warning whistle for sniffles or incoming clogs that could warn of drool that could ruin this for the both of you. All while his nephews complimented their future aunt’s challenge of might and stance against him in the challenge of tasks with ample repeats of the arch of their uncle’s sway. Every word noted by Ori to be copied to the family records later upon arrival in Erebor to mark the courtship of their future Queen.
@sherala007, @mariannetora, @jesgisborne, @knitastically, @catthefearless, @theincaprincess, ggbbhehe4455, @lilith15000, @alishlieb,
x Thorin – @evyiione, @deepestfirefun, @queenoferebor
Not nsfw(smut) - @otakumultimuse-hiddlewhore
Hobbit/LotR – @abiwim, @jotink78, @pastelhexmaniac
x Company – @evyiione, @menewyn
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Anyone know of a good title for a series in a Dragon Heart AU for the Hobbit fandom?
I half asleep picked One Heart To Another, but that kinda seems a bit flat...any ideas?
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Sneeze Pt 1 …
@himoverflowers, @theincaprincess, @aspiringtranslator, @sweeticedtea, @ggbbhehe4455, @thegreyberet, @patanghill17, @evyiione, @sweetlytenacious25, @abiwim
Eternal Spring remained latched onto the great Kingdom of Doriath while Teleporno bade his loving Bride, Mire, goodbye on his way to join the forces leaving for the battle that would soon grow into an endless war. Two years they had been wed after a year of courtship, Mire, a half Elf Maiden, the fourth daughter to a mortal King who had wooed an Elf Maiden leaving his descendants gifted the chance at an immortal life. Meeting by chance by an overturned boat leading to the tall form of Teleporno clutching her to his chest carrying her through the rushing waters back to the shore safely, each step on his escorting her home brought him closer into her heart.
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Tiny Treasure Pt 2
Prompt Wk 8 - “Why…”
“Why…” A shake of the head of the Healer broke the question of the Prince wondering as his Father had of the reasoning for your being here. Coiling in the corner of the room Smaug narrowed his eyes watching the Healer prepping a selection of herbs while Legolas followed their order to fill the kettle and set it over the fire for the medicine. Teas, creams and even another helping of soup later your eyes cracked open and in the bright purple shade parting the Prince’s lips realizing you were from a seldom visited land East of Iron Hills inhabited by both Hobbits and the few families of Vanyar that had left Valinor. Even in your tiny stature at just barely over five feet by his guess in your hunched state you were clearly fully grown by the possession of a pendant marking you of age and supposedly well set into an arranged union.
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In other news, we bought a lawn gnome. We’re gnome people now.
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T minus 3 days and counting for me to ditch this cold so I can get my second dose and be properly miserable from that for a few weeks. Fun times. Fun times.
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This is absolutely stupid but it popped into my head. Just pretend the Company is on a road trip to the last town that has something the elder Durins want to buy for a relative that’s super sentimental and they all just decided to cram into an event to take turns driving to never stop and cut down time.
Fili and Kili are studying for entrance exams and over their books are hunched with a variety of pencils and pen stuck behind ears and through their tied back hair in earlier plots to procrastinate the studying now overseen by Bifur and Balin.
Reader has been tasked with making lunch and is eyeing the potato sacks of what they have fresh to avoid another potato chip casserole like Dori had made the night before. “Ok, I’ve got nine potatoes, three fish, half a chunk of pork, 27 beets and 15 cabbages in one bag and twelve pounds of cinnamon, oregano and flour in the other, what can I make with this?”
Kili’s head pops up, “I know this one! You have to solve for the distance between the shops to count how long it would take to purchase them.”
Reader simply shakes their head to Fili bringing out a new sheet of paper to help his brother solve the problem they both supplied the distances to the shops from their home to solve the problem. Turned from the supplies they move to the back of the rv to find their phone to search what sort of recipe they could mangle up from these absurd things. “I wanted recipes not more problems.”
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Requested by @devilishminx328
“Go my child, and be a good wife to your husband.” That was your order. Child to an old tradesman who wanted nothing but a son was given you, and so the widowed King came. You couldn’t even remember his name now your husband though you bore his rings and gifted necklace and watched him from this warped prison orb and heard the hungry pleading cries of your people that haunted your every waking moment. Then the flames came and another violent tremor came. He would do this often, lift the orb and toss it about until you cries out for him to stop or he lost amusement in your elder years when those cries never came.
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