Tag Archives: prompted fiction

Parker and Romanov: Two Women and a Baby Shower

A/N: By popular demand, the next installment of Parker and Natasha.

"You're married!" Parker sat straight up in her chair and very nearly spilled her coffee. "I wasn't at the wedding."

Natasha smiled. "No. I didn't know you were free."

Parker frowned. "But you're married and pregnant, and we weren't supposed to be able to do that."

Natasha merely shrugged and sipped her not-coffee. In fact, it was ginger tea. "There's a baby shower if that would make you feel better."

Parker looked a little lost for a moment. "I don't know anything about babies."

That look was one Natasha had worn on her face and greeted in the mirror when she first discovered her supposed sterility was as false as any cover she'd worn. She understood that look, and she had to tamp down on a few unpleasant memories as she set down her tea and wrapped one of Parker's hands in her own.

"We don't know anything when we start," she said. "But we're designed to learn quickly."

It was true. Parker stared at her, then the faintest twinges of a smile appeared at the corners of her mouth.

Three days later, Hardison hacked the SHIELD database, cursed Stark firewalls loudly and profusely, but eventually managed to locate the phone number of one, Clint Barton, landline.

"This guy is living in yesteryear, man." Who still used a landline anymore?

"Just get him on the phone," Elliot growled.

A loud thunk echoed behind them, probably Parker tossing aside another useless baby book.

Hardison and Elliot exchanged looks. Hardison dialed.

On the third ring, a very sleepy, grumpy, confused voice picked up. "Barton?"

"Give me that." Elliot took the phone and said, "It's Spencer. What did your woman say to Parker?"

A long pause. "Huh? What?" Muffled noises. "No, it's Spencer. Give me a minute. What about Parker?"

"She's scaring Hardison," Elliot said, neatly ignoring anything about whether she was scaring him. "She's reading baby books and ordering him to make the craziest gadgets and taking me shopping at baby stores, and she's been asking about our medical histories."

A longer pause. Barton's low chuckle started almost inaudibly but just kept growing into outright laughter.

"Glad you find this amusing, Barton!" Elliot barked into the phone.

"No. Sorry, sorry." He managed to get his breathing back under control with some apparent effort. "Natasha invited her to the baby shower. Hang on a sec. Nat, what baby shower?"

"Stay with me, Barton. You're having a baby?"

Hardison dropped his head to his hands, already starting to moan and groan. Elliot waved at him to hush.

Muffled conversation on the other end. Barton groaned. "Yeah, we're having a baby, complete with shower apparently."

Great. Just great.

"I am not having a baby with Parker," Elliot stated emphatically, glaring at Hardison.

Barton sounded amused. "Congratulations?"

"Good night." Elliot hung up the phone.

Parker rejected twelve gifts before settling on a rocking chair. Three were things she'd stolen before remembering Natasha was trying to turn over a new leaf. Four were perfect—for a baby girl, and they didn't know the gender yet. The next were all suggestions from the guys and she ruled them out for various reasons, mostly, "Baby safe, Hardison."

If only she'd had Sophie to depend on.

In the meantime, she read books, went window shopping, grifted her way into a two-day daycare job, then stayed a week. At the end of it, she decided newborns were difficult to sleep with without a comfortable chair that was safe for parent and child.

Then she talked the guys into giving her a ride and dragged them in with her before they had a chance to escape.

Natasha had on her working face, which told Parker she needed backup. This was proved the minute she was engulfed in a hug by a strawberry blonde named…

"Pepper Potts. So good of you to come."

"Thank you," Parker replied automatically, then immediately went past, hand latched on tightly to Hardison's arm.

Elliot came behind, lugging the chair. "Where do I put this?"

Parker followed where Pepper pointed and Elliot followed Parker.

Natasha found them before he'd gotten the chair on the ground and gave Parker another hug. She stiffened but pasted a smile on her face.

"I'm so glad you came," Natasha said warmly. She shook hands with Elliot and Hardison. "So glad to meet you. Clint's told me a bit about you."

Elliot smiled and nodded that way he did when he wanted out of there as fast as he could.

"Of course, you're staying for the party?" Natasha shot him a pleasant, expectant smile and procured the strained, 'of course,' that was only polite.

Parker had forgotten how good the Widows could be at what they did. She settled for her less subtle you're-not-anywhere-buddy grip on Hardison's arm to convince him they were all in this together.

Natasha gently herded them toward the other guests.

Lots of people. Too many people, names, expectant smiles. It was easier to skate beneath notice and pocket wallets than meet Coulson, Hill, Carter, May, Morse, Fury, and an endless line of other agents intent on greeting this unknown friend of Natasha's. Natasha simply introduced her as Parker and moved her right along. No one really needed to know where the two met first.

But then it was mostly men on one side and women gathered around the gifts, and everything felt a little easier. They talked about babies instead of history.

"Do you know yet if it's going to be a girl or a boy?"

"Have you picked a name yet?"

"They're terrible when they're teething, but…"

They oohed and ahed over Parker's gift, they planned out dozens of ways to spoil the coming girl, and they shared all the joys and headaches that might be ahead of the new parents. Parker listened and let herself sink beneath notice as she watched Natasha be a normal woman with a real smile that lit up her entire face.

On the way back, she leaned forward and put an arm on the shoulder of each seat in front of her.

Elliot glanced back. Hardison kept his eyes on the road.

"I want a baby," Parker announced calmly.

Lucille screeched to a halt.

Parker just grinned. #

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Holiday Requests: Off-Duty Shenanigans

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Holiday Requests 2014

Leverage + MCU, Parker and Natasha wreak havoc together to pass the boredom of being off missions/jobs

They're not allowed to go on missions (cases) because, as amazing and strong and independent as both women were, they had to make some concession to masculine (over)protective hormones around pregnancy.

"And combat could cause a miscarriage," Natasha admitted with a sigh over her steaming cup of… hot chocolate. She mourned the lack of coffee not for the stimulants but for the taste, which she claimed rather emphatically that decaf could not touch.

Parker glared at her own cup of hot chocolate. "I could accomplish so much. No one suspects the pregnant woman."

Natasha stared at her. No one did. She raised an eyebrow. "What case are your boys working?"

"Wouldn't tell me." Parker scowled more furiously.

Natasha smiled. "I am a spy."

It was a different skillset, one a handful of thieves wouldn't be prepared for.

"Now you promise you'll be careful," Clint double-checked for the umpteenth time while Natasha gritted her teeth and bore it.

"I'm spying, not fighting," she reminded him. "No one suspects the pregnant woman."

"They'll recognize you." His brows furrowed in adorable concern.

She kissed his cheek and waved him off. "Give me some credit, Barton." By the time she was ready, she could have been Parker's sister and she certainly didn't look like the Black Widow in her thick glasses and messy blonde ponytail and bookish outfit.

"Have fun."

Parker sighed in contentment hanging upside down from the harness outside of a window while Natasha handed her tools while watching Spencer's and Hardison's positions on her tracking unit.

"You should exercise as close to the due date as possible," Natasha agreed. "This was an excellent decision."

They both looked around for a moment, taking in the breeze, the view over so many unsuspecting heads, the delightful feeling of momentary weightlessness instead of aching feet and back and, seriously, they could not wait to give birth and get back their usual centers of gravity.

Parker righted herself thoughtfully and handed back the glass cutter, which Natasha tucked back into her belt. "Did your Clint think we would be grifting inside the building?"

Feet flat on the ground acting normal? Natasha snorted. "If he did, he forgot who he married."

Parker nodded. "He knows."

Natasha agreed readily. "Yes. Do your boys know about the Red Room?"

"Most days, I don't." Parker shrugged it off with a slight blankness to her face that suggested disassociation and long familiarity with leaving well enough alone. "Shall we?"

"Hardison!" Eliot's voice was hard over the comm. "There's no package!"

"What do you mean there's no package? Of course there's a package. Do you think I didn't lovingly resear—"

Parker's distinctive giggle interrupted them and both men clutched their earpieces in surprise. "Got it! Meet you back at the house later. I've got a playdate first."

"We left you the cleanup," a clipped alto interjected before both women left the line.

The two reconvened at the Tower, giggling and sharing hot chocolate while they put their feet up. Clint came by and smiled, glad they had both found another friend.

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Holiday Requests: The Red Room Made the Deadliest Assassins and the Craziest Thieves

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Holiday Requests 2014

MCU + Leverage, Parker was red room for Anonymous

A little dose of crazy and a little failure of memory behind a ridiculously high skillset might indicate something else under the hood.

"Why'm I getting the feeling our thief isn't normal?" Barton asked, shoving the paperwork down the conference table toward his partner.

Romanoff shook her head with a, "Don't be sill— Oh." Recognition flickered in her eyes at the picture on top. "Parker."

Leverage Consulting & Associates was aboveboard on paper, but their activities didn't exactly line up with law-abiding citizens. Natasha brooded over this for approximately two hours until Coulson brought down word that SHIELD wasn't interested in the company, only retrieving their lost gadget.

"We don't normally hire thieves to get back our assets, but it was taken up with several other owners' materials in a mass raid on the storage facility," Coulson informed them. "This crew retrieved all of the stolen goods."

"We'll think about using them in the future," Hill offered.

Visible tension went out of Natasha's shoulders. Clint just groaned. That's all he needed, another crazy ex-Red Room operative to develop a soft spot for.

This Parker was clearly well taken care of. Clint did a double take when he saw the profile pictures of the rest of Leverage's associates.

"Eliot Spencer, you old dog."

"You know him?" Natasha cast him a baleful eye under her red bangs.

Clint didn't really like the new look, but it wasn't worth complaining about. It'd be gone in another half dozen missions guaranteed. "Retrieval expert. Did good work in armed forces before we both went freelance."

And that was as good as a welcome mat.

She took out her burner phone, dialed Leverage's phone number, and handed it to Clint.

"Thanks, partner," he snapped. "May I?"

It was worth it to see her tiny smile.

They didn't mention Parker. If either member of Strike Team Delta knew anything about the Red Room, they knew reminders of it were more than unwelcome.

They walked in with smiles on their faces as the rightful owners of an inocuous looking, expensive vase and shook hands with Alec Hardison before Parker breezed out, got one look at Natasha, and hit the roof—literally. She was up and out of Natasha's typical combat range faster than a spider could scurry.

Natasha just stared at her from across the room for a long moment. She picked up the package and said softly, slowly, "I work for SHIELD now. Perhaps we could be friends." She shrugged slightly.

Clint could see the tension back in her shoulders, see that this actually meant something to her.

Parker bit out in that same flat tone Natasha used to use when he first recruited her, "Prove it."

Natasha tilted her head, pursed her lips, and finally pulled out a USB drive. "Don't get caught with this."

Parker watched as Natasha set it in Hardison's open palm. This clearly was over the hacker's head.

Finally, Natasha tugged Clint's arm and they left. Before they reached the door, she wound her fingers through his.

Three weeks later, a text message appeared on Natasha's nobody-has-this-number-nor-can-hack-it phone at three o'clock in the morning, waking Clint and starting a blue streak. Natasha rolled over and flipped it open. She showed it to him.

Nothing blew up. Coffee at 700 across from SHIELD.

He stared at her. "Friends, huh?"

Natasha shrugged and set the phone back on the nightstand, but a tiny smile played about the edges of her mouth.

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365 Challenge: Playing Catchup...

This entry is part 44 of 52 in the series 365 Challenge

85/365: A Pairing of Convenience

Rogue has an offer that Gambit’s not so sure he ought to take.

X-Men Movieverse Fanfic
425 words

86/365: When the Coffee Does Not Work, Drink More Tea

When the coffee doesn't work, drink more tea. / If you don't drink coffee, then drink more tea.

Lyric Poem
8 lines

87–88/365: Snow Day

Ashen wondered briefly if perhaps he was no regular-type human as Pieter had professed but if he were instead a naturally gifted with the ability to charm half-asleep girlfriends who did not wish to be awake.

Science Fiction Romance Short Story
1991 words

89/365: Five Reasons I Love You

There are five reasons I love you / (And none of them are the ones you want to hear)

Science Fiction Romance Poem
86 lines

90–91/365: Acceptable Cost

Some things are worth it.

Alaine Shaever is a healer by nature, and she’s studying to become a medic by trade. It’s her first emergency call out in the field. Nobody ever told her it’d be like this.

Science Fiction Short Story
1761 words

92/365: Without a Reason

It’s one thing to not understand Rachelle’s messed up team relationships; it’s another to ask whether she loves a man she’s never even considered loving.

Science Fiction Flash Fiction Short Story
901 words

93–94/365: Its Own Absolution

Shift’s team was brutal. They had to be. Storm’s team was bloody. They were a strike team. They had to be. Storm had a conscience. Shift didn’t. The only thing they all have in common is the will to survive.

Science Fiction Short Story
2208 words

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365 Challenge: Little Things

This entry is part 43 of 52 in the series 365 Challenge

So I've been scribbling away on the Comment Fic LiveJournal Community, and while they welcome original fiction, I've mostly scribbled fanfic. This is the first original piece I wrote over there. I'll put up the other 2 (make that 3) fanfic pieces later.

Little Things

Canon: Kingdoms and Thorn
Characters: Justus "Defender" Ellison and Rachelle "The Database" Winslow
Pairings: Justus/Rachelle
Prompt: "You look good in my shirt."

This one’s for you, thecatisacritic. :grins:

Justus never expected to see Rachelle wearing his shirt. He also didn’t expect his reaction to seeing it.

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365 Challenge: Fandom CommentFic

This entry is part 42 of 52 in the series 365 Challenge

Jubilation Theme Song

Canon: The Roommate Files
Characters: Bobby "Iceman" Drake and St. John "Pyro" Allerdyce
Prompt: please stop singing, you're driving me crazy!
Rating: K

Bobby thought John alone was bad enough. Then came Jubilee…


Pick Me Up

Characters: Rogue and Remy "Gambit" LeBeau
Prompt: there is a(n) [insert noun here] walking down a road

Rogue just wants out of town. But there’s that mutant walking down the road into the hotbed of anti-mutant hostilities after Alcatraz.


Pick a Card, Any Card

Characters: Remy "Gambit" LeBeau and Ororo "Storm" Munroe
Prompt: living 'til the lies become truth

Liar. Thief. Grifter. He knew how to do this, exchange a life in ruins around him for something else he could fit over his skin.

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365 Challenge ~ Week 1

This entry is part 1 of 52 in the series 365 Challenge

So, 2013 opened on a Tuesday, which means I'll be updating each Tuesday on where I'm at in this ambitious challenge. This first week, I finished 4 out of 7 pieces and am hip-deep in number 5, a ficlet that became a monstrosity, my longest short story to date. "Dowse and Bleed" promises to weigh in around 8000 words when all's said and done, and I'd previously maxed out on 6500, which was big for me at the time.

Letting go of strictly flash fiction is a relief in a way. I can relax and take my time, let the characters be random, then sharply bring it all into focus for me and have me scrambling for my computer to hack away at it while I still know what they're telling me.

I decided to do something different with this challenge also. I'm pushing through to the end of each piece. No skipping and coming back to it. I want to force myself to finish before moving on, and I'm highly motivated to move on. There's an average to be struck, and I've never liked being behind.

That said, this week, I wrote in 3 original worlds, 1 fandom. Prompts were from Jocelyn Aitkin, Gwynne Jackson, and Percy O'Leary. All but the last (unless she's been holding out on me) are published and write amazing stuff, so check out their work.

Prompts in progress are from Jocelyn Aitkin and Rabia Gale, another published author with amazing stuff.

And here's the roundup.

4/365 entries. 1.1% done.


Canon: Vardin
Characters: Renaiven Gravois de Calai
Prompt: tenderness
Rating: K+

Technically, these prompts are freely available from in_the_blue, but since she’s my beta and one of my dearest online writer friends, the community counts for my 365 Challenge. A double-drabble of 200 words.

Renaiven was known as a harsh man, but almost no one knew why.


A Letter to Fellow Historical Intern, Whom I Named Huerél

Canon: Vardin
Characters: Shilehs Calaié and Sarah Lanning
Prompt: sending my regards and winter
Rating: K

Another for the 365 Challenge. I chose prompts from the 100 Word Stories community because it always pleases in_the_blue to have activity on the community, but the letter simply could not be 100 words. I let it grow. Eventually it will join a story called The Academy Letters. Until then, I hope you like it.

Vardin is not the same without you here to taste the rain.

A letter from one Academy Library intern to another, asking for a return to Vardin and an opinion on a proposed law by the new Queen.


Remembering Lena

Canon: Seven Days
Characters: Lena Johnson and Wesley Bryn
Pairings: Lena/Wesley
Prompt: I remember that time that you told me / You said, "Love is touching souls"...
Rating: K

Wesley thought he knew why he borrowed the books. He wanted a reason to come back.

Every week for the last three months, Wesley Bryn has showed up at Pretty Things to return a book to the proprietor and borrow another. The reason is as much a mystery to him as to her.


Girls That Go Bump in the Mind

Canon: Sweet Home
Characters: Emma Frost and Jean Grey
Prompt: Team dynamics. Points for playing with the usual suspects, but Scott, Jean, Emma migh
Rating: K

Sorry for this taking so long, but I hope you like it after all!

What you don't know can hurt you.

No one realized just how deep the animosity between telepaths went until sweet, self-sacrificing, foolish Scott Summers offered to help Emma Frost with her homework—and she brought her study partner, Jean Grey, along for the ride.

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The Scribbler Scribbles...

Snippets from the Ficlet o'Clock

At the Door - beta edits complete

She came to the door at midnight, white hair trailing over her long white skirts, mouth wide open, hand raised in supplication, Come with me.

— prompted by Rabia Gale

Breath from a Stone - drafting

She crouches before the fire on the other side and lays her spear over her bare knees. "You can breathe from the stone?" she asks.

The old man laughs. "Cannot all the breathers?"

Jaguar flashes him a smile, all sharp white teeth, then closes them as if she has bitten flesh. "Not the breather I slew."

— prompted by Rabia Gale

[ working title ] - drafting

The two young women did not get along, but no one, not even Professor Xavier, knew because let's face it, sweet and lovely Jean Grey was above all that and would never stoop to telepathic revenge, and beautiful, patronizing Emma Frost would never soil her perfection by engaging with those who were beneath her, at least not without sufficient provocation, worthy of losing her reputation for ladylike behavior. But internally, the study partners were vicious, exploiting every advancement in their race to become the most powerful telepath. Their mutual hatred and ambition served them well: it drove their performance and outward smiles until...


— prompted by lithiumlaughter

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