Behold, I has teh Dreamwidth. My lj will be backed up and cross posted here as soon as I've sucessfully taught myself how to do it.

In the meantime, have an Ex Machina ficlet:

The political side of things was not Rick's job -- not something he especially cared about, either -- but even he could tell that this was going to be a media nightmare and cost Mitch God knews how much in terms of approval ratings.

Mitch, being Mitch, just turned a blank, innocent face on Wylie and whomever his long-suffering chief of staff was this week and said, "Of course I'm going to be there. They've invited me, and it's an important civic occasion. I'm also going to be at the West Indian Day Parade, the Puerto Rican Day Parade, and the Coney Island Mermaid Parade."

"That reminds me," Wylie held up one finger. "There were two petitions from concerned citizens regarding the amount of public nudity at the Mermaid Parade last year. You might want to send someone to have a word with-"

Mitch's face went from naive and innocent to mildly annoyed. "It's legal in New York State for women to be topless in public as long as it's not part of a business venture," he interrupted.

"Yeah, I know," Wylie sighed, with the air of a man who has had to face topless protestors with a straight face once too often. "People have been arguing that parade *is* a business venture, considering the amount of tourists it brings in to Coney Island, and topless women covered in blue glitter don't fit into most tourists' concepts of a family friendly event."

Rick was pretty sure at least half the tourists came *because* of the topless women, the same as with Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but he didn't comment. He didn't mention the gaping security flaws parades always entailed and the high likelyhood that someone at at least of these "important civic events" was going to try and repeat the last wannabee assassin's stunt with the bow and arrow, either. Mitch wouldn't have listened.

"I went to the Halloween Parade last fall," Mitch was saying, "and the St. Patrick's Day Parade."

"Yes," the new chief of staff piped up, emerging from behind his clipboard. He'd used a Blackberry for the first week. Then Mitch had gotten irritated over something-or-other and made it explode, and he'd switched to paper and pencil like everyone else. "And that was very good for your approval ratings. Going ahead and holding the Halloween Parade in spite of 9/11 was a good thing. This," he stabbed a ballpoint pen in Mitch's general direction, "will be very, very bad for your approval ratings. And your chances of getting the education bill pushed through the city council next week. Councilman Serrano is a devout catholic, and you need his support. We've discussed this, Mayor Hundred. Don't you remember discussing this?"

Chief of staff number three spoke to Mitch like he was a twelve year old. Rick had a bet with Journal that he would be gone by the end of the month.

"It's just the Gay Pride Parade," Mitch protested. "They have it every year. And if I go to all the other major parades and civic celebrations in the city and not to this one, people are going to start saying I'm homophobic."

"And if you go," Rick put in, "they'll all start saying you're gay again."

Every head in the room swivelled in his direction, and the chief of staff's bushy eyebrows went up in surprise, as if Rick were a piece of furniture that had suddenly gained the ability to speak.

Mitch dropped his head into his hands and made a groaning sound. "Why do people keep asking me about that?"

Probably because he'd been on one date with a woman in the past three years, and because he'd never actually given anyone who asked him about his sexuality a straight answer, including Rick. And there was his stunt with Wylie's brother, and the additions to the state domestic partnership bill he got pushed through the city council (If you were a public employee in NYC these days, the health insurance and family leave rights granted people in a domestic partnership were somewhat more... robust.. than the ones the state granted).

Display any interest in or sympathy for gay rights, and in the absence of conspicuous evidence of heterosexuality, your own sexual orientation would become suspect. Rick had learned that a long time ago. Don't make waves, don't draw attention to yourself. If anyone brings up fags or don't ask don't tell, make sure to mention your ex-wife.

He'd been good at it before he went into the army. He was damn near perfect at it, now. It helped that nobody ever suspected big, tattoed, ex-military, ex-NYPD guys with buzz cuts of being anything other than painfully straight.

Mitch was suprisingly good at keeping secrets, but painfully bad at lying, which might be why he always dodged the "Mayor Hundred, is it true that you're gay?" question. He hadn't displayed an real interest in either men or women in all the time Rick had known him, though, so Rick's working hypothesis now was that Mitch was asexual. Maybe he always had been, or maybe the explosion that had given him his powers had done something to him, or the powers themselves had.

Maybe if Rick were a robot or a computer or something, he'd have been able to get Mitch's attention.

"Because you keep pulling stuff like this," Wylie said bluntly. "I owe you for what you did for my brother, but don't you think this is pushing it? We could dig up some other vital civic event being held somewhere in the five burroughs on the same date, and you could go to that."

"I'm going," Mitch said flatly. "End of story. Now, what did the teachers' union want from me again?"

"Total dominion over the entire city budget," Rick muttered. No one was listening to him, which was probably for the best. He stored his suggestion that they stick the head of the teacher's union and the head of the transit workers union in a steel cage and have them fight barehanded for who got the largest number of ridiculous concessions from the city up to mention to Mitch in the car later. Wylie had a deap-seated loathing of the teacher's union that was equaled only by his conviction that school vouchers violated seperation of church and state and that charter schools sucked public funds away from public school and just perpetuated the problem under the guise of helping a few select children, and it was better not to give him an excuse to start venting.

"You think it's a mistake, too," Mitch said, hours later, while Rick drove him home - the cage match comment had gotten him a smile, just as he'd known it would.

"Would it make the slightest bit of difference if I said yes?"

Mitch's lips twitched. "No," he said.

"Didn't think so. Anyway, if you start picking and choosing which parades you're going to go to now, you might decide not to go to the Mermaid Parade, and watching all those girls dance around in nothing but gauze and body paint was going to be my reward to myself if I manage to keep you alive and intact until June." Guys in body paint, too, but he didn't say that, of course.

The Germans were still out there, with God knew what designs on the inside of Mitch's head, and then there were the crazies, the people Mitch's abilities seemed to attract like flies, just as many of them now as there had even been when he'd still been the Great Machine. Except now Mitch didn't have a jetpack, and he didn't have a helmet or costume that doubled as body armor, and he didn't have any weapons other than his voice. He just had Rick. And Kremlin, whether either of them wanted to admit it or not, but Kremlin was as much a hindrance as a help these days.

"Come on, you don't think anyone *else* is going to try to kill me between now and June."

That was worth looking away from the road for a moment, to give Mitch the full benefit of his best unimpressed stare. The spidery scars on the side of his face, the ones that looked like circuitry and probably were, flickered with green light; he was using his powers on something, maybe important, maybe not. They looked like they'd feel hard, like little wires laid into the side of his face, but they didn't; they felt like any other scar tissue. Rick had checked Mitch for skull fractures and other assorted head injuries often enough to know.

"I'm gonna consider us lucky if the list of people who try to kill you between now and June is only in the single digits," he said. "You just seem to inspire something in people."

"Admiration?" Mitch deadpanned.

"Homicidal rage."

"But you still love me, right?"

Rick turned back to the road, where the traffic had suddenly lessen dramatically as the stoplights blinked a bright, friendly green all along their immediate route. "Don't bet on it, boss," he shot back. This wasn't a moment for the truth. There might never be the right moment for it.

"You guys love me, though, right?" Mitch asked, very quietly but in that special tone of voice that always made Rick's filling buzz.

The car radio, which had been playing Johnny Cash at a barely audible level, emitted a bust of static. When it cleared, it was playing jazz.

"So, was that a yes, or did my car's electronics just break up with you?"

"I think they want to 'just be friends.'"

"I hate to break it to you, boss, but I suspect you make a better friend than you do a boyfriend, considering your record." Which was pretty shakey on both counts, actually, but if friendship was measured in trust, then what he and Mitch had definately counted. He made sure to remind himself of that occasionally, and to remind himself not to push for too much and screw things up.

On the worst day of their lives, when thousands of lives had been at stake and Mitch had, from what Rick could tell, truly expected that he might die, he'd used one of the tiny fragments of concentration he could spare to call Rick and say goodbye.

That meant something. Maybe it just meant that Rick had been the only person left whom he *could* call, but he didn't think so.

He wasn't sure Mitch could even do romance anymore, but he'd take what he could get.

dorky: (MARVEL / cap&tony :D)

From: [personal profile] dorky

♥ I don't think I told you just how much I love this.

Anyway, do you plan on posting to DW and then using the crossposting option to post on lj?

Otherwise there's a nice tutorial for semagic here.
dorky: (Default)

From: [personal profile] dorky

Well, I write all my lj entries in a .txt file first, because lj has been known to eat entries, so I just change the HTML when it's needed (like, with user names and such) and basically c/p in DW.


elspethdixon: (Default)

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