1647: Love & Bullets – Chapter 2

Title: Love & Bullets
Author: MissScorp
Media: Comics
Topic: Batman
Genre: Drama/Romance
URL: Love & Bullets – Chapter Two
Critiqued by BatJamags (BadJamags and GoodJamags)

Hello once again, patrons! I’m your guest host, BatJamags…

GoodJamags: You mean BadJamags.

Oh, just shut up and say your thing.

GoodJamags: But you did it wrong!

Fine. I’m your guest host, BadJamags…

GoodJamags: And I’m your guest guest host, GoodJamags.

And we’re here for more of Love & Bullets, which is shaping up to be a singularly crappy romance fic.

GoodJamags: Last time, Dick Grayson spent way too much time talking about how much he wuvs the Sue.

Somehow, I doubt this time will be much different.

Gotham City.

Sixteen years ago…

Sixteen years ago from when?

GoodJamags: Present day.

Gee, thanks.

“Rae, you don’t think Professor Keaton was being serious about makin’ me repeat the entire periodic table out loud, do ya?”

“‘Fraid he was being dead serious, Dick,” came her slightly distracted reply. “Professor Keaton has made every class he’s taught at Worthington recite the periodic table out loud. It’s been like his final exam for the last fifty years.”

That’s a moronic exam on so many levels.

GoodJamags: We’re not science guys, but there’s a lot deeper and more relevant information to test than reciting something for which you won’t need to know all of it, and can easily look up anything you don’t know.

“Ah, man,” Dick flopped over onto his back and tossed an arm across his eyes with a theatrical style groan. “Talk about totally livin’ in the dark ages.”

“As if knowin’ the periodic table is all that bad,” she commented dryly.

“It’s totally pointless,” he grumbled. “I mean, who really needs ta know the entire periodic table by heart? Besides like scientists and chemists?”

WHY DOES THIS FIC KEEP POINTING OUT ITS OWN LOGIC HOLES?!

And me, the twelve-year-old superhero mused silently.

So… he’s twelve and he has a professor. Which would mean he’s in college. That doesn’t happen!

GoodJamags: We took a college class at age twelve and you know it.

Yeah, but we’re fuckin’ freaks of nature. Our genetics are all bullshit and stuff.

GoodJamags: Eloquently put, though I’m not certain it’s actually genetic.

Shut up.

GoodJamags: And it’s not like we’re the weirdest people out there. We know nine-year-olds who took college-level material!

Alright, alright, I get the point.

Knowing the periodic table of elements was something Dick knew would help serve him in his role as Robin. It would help him in the same way his knowing the elements of chemistry, biology, literature, mathematics, language and history would help him.

GoodJamags: *Raises hand* As fond of the elements of literature as I am, I have to question what they have to do with crimefighting.

His education was something Bruce took very, very seriously. In addition to his regular schoolwork, Bruce also gave him Robin-work. Those assignments were taken from disciplines Bruce believed he needed a rudimentary knowledge of in order to deal with the criminal elite that Batman and Robin tended to interact with.

Care to get to a fuckin’ point soon?

Everything he learned, that he was taught, whether it was at Worthington or in the cave below the Manor, was meant to aide him in his role as Robin. His being Robin, though, was something he could only share with Raya. Not that he didn’t think or believe his new friends in the Titans wouldn’t keep his secret. There was nobody more likely to protect him than the rest of the Titans. Bruce, though, had made it clear from the moment he began to train him that he could never reveal to anybody who he was behind the mask (save Raya and Alfred, of course). And when he’d asked the billionaire why that was, he’d simply replied, with a hint of sorrow in his voice, “It’s to protect the people you care about.”

And just what the fuck makes Raya so special?!

GoodJamags: She’s a Mary Sue, silly.

Keeping such a massive secret was not an easy task for a twelve-year-old. That he’d managed to do so for the last year was either a testament to his dedication to being the best Robin he could be, or how developed his ability to keep his identity a secret had become. It would be nice to share the secret with someone other than Raya though, he thought on a sigh.

Wait, so he started being Robin at age eleven?! Now, that’s bullshit.

GoodJamags: Besides, except for the animated Young Justice, I can’t think of a canon that has him starting younger than twelve.

“Well,” he heard her saying. “The Worthington School requires all of its seventh graders to know the periodic table by heart or else you will fail the term.”

It requires seventh graders to know the periodic table by heart?! And it has professors?!

GoodJamags: That’s one hardcore middle school.

Dick pulled himself from his dark reverie and glanced over at her. She had her chemistry book open in her lap, a yellow notepad full of scribbled notes on the floor next to her and a pen stuck into the tight coil she’d wrapped her dark hair into. As if she really needs to study so hard, he thought with a smothered groan. Things like complex chemical compounds and algorithms tended to come naturally to Raya. He mighta been envious of her for her raw ability if it wasn’t that he knew science and mathematics were subjects her grandfather (the famed Neuropsychiatrist Matthew Berkeley Sr.) had strongly encouraged her to do well in prior to his death a few years ago.

Please stop babbling about how great the Sue is.

GoodJamags: So, the fic says that “Neuropsychiatrist” is a word. Spellcheck says it isn’t. Neither are reliable sources, but I think I’m on spellcheck’s side. Generally, “Neuro” means dealing with the brain on a physical level (e.g. a neurosurgeon), while “psych” means dealing with the mind on a mental or emotional level (e.g. a psychologist, psychiatrist, or psychoanalyst).

Uncle Google begs to differ. Fic: 1, spellcheck: 0. Apparently, neuropsychiatry involves dealing with diseases that affect the mind.

GoodJamags: Dang. Though I wouldn’t say spellcheck has zero, considering the sloppy grammar and spelling we have to sit through otherwise.

“Yeah, well, the resta Worthington is as nutty as Professor Keaton,” he stated with an emphatic nod of his dark head.

GoodJamags: Which would be more meaningful to us if we knew anything about Professor Keaton.

Raya flashed him a cheeky grin. “It’s not like ya don’t have the entire periodic table of elements already memorized here, Dick.”

Why?! What possible purpose could that serve?!

GoodJamags: BLUE!

“Kinda missin’ my point here, Rae,” he stated moodily. “It’s the part about having to repeat the table out loud in front of my entire class that I am kinda against doing.”

Again, why? You were a circus performer, it’s not like you don’t know how to deal with an audience.

Her lips twitched. “I understand the reason for your hesitancy, Dick, but ya don’t got a choice.”

GoodJamags: The audience doesn’t understand the reason for his hesitancy (who talks like that, anyway?)! Tell us!

“Man, I’m already being hailed as the teacher’s pet,” he whined. “Isn’t that bad enough?”

Sure, he knew he was playing up the sympathy card here.

This might be the obsessive academic in me talking, but…

What’s so bad about that?

That was the point.

He wanted Raya to slide over and snuggle up against him, murmuring in that soft, sweet way she had while stroking his hair. And it wasn’t like it was all a lie. Ever since Professor Keaton had gone absolutely gaga over his science project at the beginning of the term he had been hailed as a kind of scientific prodigy. And he’d been given preferential attention by the aged science teacher because of it.

GoodJamags: The professor likes you?! Horrors!

The teacher singling him out for special treatment had not gone over well with a good majority of his classmates. He’d been ostracized, ridiculed and tormented by a select group of the “popular crowd” for the past month and a half.

Oh, GJ, you’ve once again underestimated the average student’s capacity for being an asshat.

He knew Raya understood why getting up in front of his entire class and again showing off his intelligence was bugging him. But his only other option was to tank Professor Keaton’s exam and fail the seventh grade. They both knew that he couldn’t take a dive with that big a set of consequences attached. But that meant even more locker room brawls and sneak attacks by a group of silver spoon fed brats.

GoodJamags: Don’t these idiots have anything better to do with their time?

“You should tell Bruce about what’s really been going on at school, Dick,” she said softly. “He should know about what has been happening after gym class.”

Well, that went somewhere disturbing.

“No.”

“Dick…”

He sat up, and turned to look at her, his face cast in dark, angry shadows. “I said no.”

Raya set her textbook and notepad aside before scooting over and wrapping her arms around him. Only, she didn’t make those little low sounds in her throats that always managed to unravel the ball of tension bouncing in his gut.

GoodJamags: She purrs.

Oh, don’t start this again.

GoodJamags: Yeah, but she freakin’ purrs! I’m telling you, man, she’s a cat!

Just shut up.

GoodJamags: Alright, tell me what that sound being described could even be other than purring.

I didn’t say you’re wrong; I said shut up.

GoodJamags: So you admit that I’m right.

I also didn’t say that. I said shut up.

Nor did she stroke her fingers through his hair. No, she hit him much harder than that.

Please, Dick,” she begged in that sweetly melodic voice that always made him go all gooey inside. “Tell Bruce about what’s been going on after gym class.”

GoodJamags: I really, really, really don’t want to know what’s been going on after gym class.

Dick sighed and turned to rest his forehead against hers. He sorely wanted to promise her he’d tell Bruce the truth about the fights that he’d been getting into as of late.

OK, it’s just generic school-fights. You can come out from under the desk now.

But he couldn’t. It wasn’t because he was being prideful, or felt like admitting the truth made him less qualified to be Robin. Nor was he ashamed about what was going on. Just because he was Robin and being privately trained by Batman did not mean he couldn’t have problems with bullies. He could. No, his reasoning was more because he felt that it was up to him to figure out how best to handle situations like this. It was part of his job as Robin to know how to handle himself at any point in time and against any given adversary.

So Raya’s being emotionally manipulative to get him to do something that’s against his best interests?

GoodJamags: And we’re supposed to like this woman?

So he told her instead, “I’ll think about it.”

He felt her sigh upon his face; saw the concern that was etched in the depths of her eyes. He sorely wanted to reassure her, to let her know that it was going to be okay. He just didn’t know what the right words were to say here. He was only twelve, after all. He also was not going to promise her that he was going to talk with Bruce about what had been going on at school just to alleviate her fears and concerns. He was going to handle things his way, at his own leisure. He did, however, feel a slimy swirl of guilt for causing her to worry about him, and his safety.

I like having slimy swirls of guilt in my smoothies.

GoodJamags: Ew.

He made to place a gentle kiss to her forehead, just a small and completely harmless gesture, but she lifted her head at the same time as he leaned forward. His lips met hers, seriously surprising them both.

It was completely innocent.

It was a total accident, in fact.

Alright, alright, move the plot along, already.

It didn’t stay completely innocent for long.

GoodJamags: Um.

It couldn’t.

They came together slowly, shyly, mouths brushing, retreating, and brushing again. It was sweet and tangy, the bright beginning of heat, that slippery brink that was between childhood and adulthood. Tendrils of unfamiliar need rose within them, slightly terrifying and just a bit mystifying.

I AM VERY CONCERNED ABOUT WHERE THIS IS GOING RIGHT NOW.

GoodJamags: Why does your caps lock key keep getting stuck?

Dick stared into her eyes, bright with trust and affection. Then she began giggling, great gurgling peals of laughter that caused him to start sniggering in return. Soon they were both rolling on the floor, the sounds of their laughter ringing all throughout the Manor.

GoodJamags: DDDDDDDD:

WHY DOES THIS STORY KEEP INSISTING ON MAKING IT SOUND LIKE THEY HAD SEX AT AGE TWELVE?!

GoodJamags: Also, line break.

The bratty woman scoffs the moment that I am finished with telling her the story.

“Seriously?” she says. “Us watching movies while we were doing our homework and talking about the gang attacks you were receiving from Tommy and his Merry Band of Morons?” Her tone drips sarcasm. “That’s your idea of what constitutes as our first date?”

Oh my god they’re still having this conversation. Just shut up and get married.

[Editor’s message from THE FUTURE – “Just Shut Up and Get Married” is going to be a valid alternate title for this story by the time we’re through]

I sigh. She’s either completely missing the point that I am trying to make here, or she’s opting to take the stubborn route in order to avoid admitting I am right. Of the two options, I am figuring that number two is the right one.

Well, she’s certainly a piece of number two.

Why? Because her admitting that I am right also means that she has to admit she’s wrong. And the one thing that my Rae hates doing is admitting when she’s wrong. She’s totally like Bruce in that regard.

GoodJamags: I think it’s less that Dick compares everyone in his life to the Sue, and more that he compares the Sue to everyone in his life.

I can be just as stubborn as the two of them though. Especially when it comes to something that I believe in as much as I believe in this, in us. Yup, I am not only one hundred percent confident in my feelings for this mulish little she-cat,

GoodJamags: *Nudges BadJamags*

*Sigh* Please stop making me imagine a freakish mule-cat-person hybrid.

but in the fact we belong together as well. Just gotta get her to see that. Which, believe me, is easier said than done. Stubborn and Raya Kean go together as well as Bruce Wayne and pessimistic do.

“It establishes a pattern, Rae,” I explain as calmly as I can. “A pattern that we’ve been adhering to for the last sixteen years without us ever once consciously thinking about why we have been adhering to it.”

Pattern =/= romantic relationship, numbnuts.

“Friends establish patterns and routines, bird brain.”

Alright, that’s just getting scary.

I snort. “I notice that you are conveniently neglecting to mention how that was also the night of our first kiss.”

GoodJamags: Oh, so it was a First Kiss™? Well, a First Kiss™ is always an indication of True Love™. Especially if it was preceded by Love at First Sight™.

Brought to you by the PLOT CONTRIVANCE CORPORATION®!

“Lots of friends kiss at that age,” she retorts with a slight shrug of her shoulders. “Hell, I’ve kissed you hundreds of times like that over the years. It’s because we’re friends. It’s a completely innocent and harmless display of my warmth and affection for you.”

I’m bored. Are you bored?

I reach up and cup her cheek in my palm. “We’re way more than friends and you know it, Rae.”

GoodJamags: Yep. I’m bored. Wanna go get something to eat?

“Of course we are.” She rests her hand atop mine. “We’re best friends. And partners. Allies.”

Yeah. You think we could just leave the fic running while we grab something?

“Lovers,” I can’t help but grumble. “Or have you conveniently forgotten about that part of our relationship?”

GoodJamags: What if something stupid happens while we’re gone?

It surprises me when her lips curve, affectionately playful. “I haven’t forgotten that we are also lovers,” she says. “That part of our relationship…”

Of course something stupid’s going to happen while we’re gone. It’s this fic.

“…makes us way more than friends,” I state.

GoodJamags: Yeah, but I mean like, really stupid. Ground-breaking rant-inducing kind of thing.

“Well, it makes us friends with…

What, like the author forgetting to close her quote? There ain’t much new here, buddy.

“Finish that statement,” I growl at her, “and I swear to God that I will turn you over my knee, Raya.”

GoodJamags: Ooh! Nightwing’s growling. I wonder if he’s a cat, too!

I fuckin’ hate you.

I can see a flash of something… interest? flicker in the depths of her eyes. But I am not budging. Not about this. Which is why I say, while narrowing my eyes at her, “What we have is not cheap, nor is it meaningless.”

Both: Yes it is.

“I know,” she begins but I silence her by covering her mouth.

“Neither of us goes in for that sort of thing, Rae. Neither of us has ever viewed sex in that casual a fashion.”

Somehow, I find that doubtful, since they had sex without believing themselves to be in love.

She signs her desire for me to uncover her mouth. Considering her proficiency at American Sign Language (and my limited knowledge of it), I comply.

GoodJamags: Wait, why does she know ASL?

Sue.

GoodJamags: Yeah, but for what purpose? Was there a reason she learned it?

Probably so that this one line could happen and it could never be brought up again.

“You’re right. We don’t view sex in that blasé a fashion. But Dick, we are still friends when you come right down to it. We’ve not yet moved over to the point of being ready for something as permanent as marriage.”

“I like to think we moved over to that point when we made things official between us last year.”

“We moved over to being an actual, honest, out in public couple.”

“Really? I thought we moved on to being Formless Voices!”

“Formless Void Denizens For Unattributed Dialogue!”

“Wait, I thought our new acronym was UNDERWEAR.”

“Oh, yeah. What did that stand for again?”

Unattributed nerds doing evil rambling work; encroaching (upon) a riff?

GoodJamags: That sucks.

You suck.

GoodJamags: Your face sucks…

I heave a sigh. “Woman, it took me nineteen years in order to get you to agree to be my girlfriend. I don’t want to wait nineteen more in order to make you my wife.”

GoodJamags: I’m so confused about this fic’s timeline.

We all are.

She rolls her eyes and harrumphs. “I haven’t changed my mind about keeping things as they are between us,” she says quietly. “Please, Dick, I just want to allow things to happen as they will happen. I don’t want to complicate what we have by trying to move to fast. You understand that, right?”

Right, so we’re getting back to the boredom part?

Oh yeah, I know why she’s not wanting to complicate things between us anymore than they are. Her reluctance about crossing into this particular boundary goes all the way back to her childhood.

GoodJamags: How about a joke? There’s a guy walking down the street, right? But then somebody else runs up with a knife and knocks him over.

Alright…

See, in a lot of ways, Raya is just like Bruce. She comes with a wealth of emotional baggage. And just like Bruce she tends to internalize a lot of that baggage in self-doubts and an endless amount of guilt and self-blame.

GoodJamags: So then the guy with the knife cuts off the bottom of the first guy’s shoe.

Yeah?

GoodJamags: And he says…

Yes?

GoodJamags: “Your sole is mine.”

*Snerk* Goddammit. That wasn’t funny.

GoodJamags: Yes it was.

If you cannot figure out just why it is that Raya and Bruce have such a close bond?

Oh. Of course they do.

GoodJamags: The name is Bond. Close Bond.

Worst spy ever.

There ya go. That’s the answer. She’s his female counterpart with a little less darkness and surliness.

She tends to be cuddlier, too.

But I digress.

No shit.

Raya’s father and mother hurt her in ways she has never talked with anybody about, and which she’s never honestly dealt with.

GoodJamags: Oh, look, a generic trajek backstory.

Her biggest trauma’s (notice the plural here)

That’s not a plural, shitlord. That’s a possessive.

come from the night her mother was murdered.

GoodJamags: Mhm. So, maybe we could put in a movie?

That’s the first major hurdle that I have to jump over in getting her to agree to marry me.

Sure, why not?

GoodJamags: You thinking classic or something a bit more action-y?

While she’s never really spoken to me about the events of her childhood, I know her fears about marriage and motherhood are embedded within her early years.

Don’t really care, just as long as it’s not this boring.

Just how far those fears are rooted, I don’t know. She’s never told me the full story and I’ve never pressed her on it because I know how much it upsets her to speak of those years.

GoodJamags: We could watch Batman.

Either the last or second-to-last good DC movie.

That’s why I let the matter drop now. A Chicago alley is not the place to force her into reliving the most traumatic moments of her life. I know… as if asking her to marry me in same said dark alley was any better, right?

GoodJamags: What would be the last one?

Batman Returns. I’ve heard it’s good, but I haven’t seen it.

“I’m sorry,” I tell her honestly. And I am. I’m stepping all over every insecurity that this woman has right now. I’m pushing her towards the very thing she fears (as do I) the most: a commitment.

I’ve also heard that The Dark Knight is good, but I find it hard to believe a movie in the same trilogy as The Dark Knight Rises could be anything close to good.

GoodJamags: Well, maybe we should give it a chance.

Eh, I suppose you’re right…

“I’m not trying to pressure you here.” My fingers glide over that creamy skin and into the silkiness of her hair. “But I want you to be my wife.”

GoodJamags: There goes that creamy skin again. You might want to get that checked out.

“Dick…” she begins but I shush her with a kiss.

So, anyway, I feel like if DC wants to compete with Marvel, they’ve gotta learn not to make their movies so damn grimdark.

“No,” I say gently. “I know what you are going to say. So lemme say this, okay?” I wait until she nods before I continue. “I’m not Matthew Berkeley. I don’t want the façade of a marriage. I want a marriage.

GoodJamags: Yeah, I can see that. DC still dominates in terms of animated shows, though.

*Snerk* What animated shows? Pretty much all they’ve got right now is Teen Titans Go, and no one cares about that.

I don’t want a human punching bag. I want a wife. I don’t want a showpiece to sit at my dinner table. I want a partner who is going to ring a guy’s ears with trash can cymbals.

GoodJamags: So… If she didn’t do that, you wouldn’t want to marry her?

I want a family. I don’t want symbols. I don’t want promises. I want a future. With you. Marry me, Raya.”

Do you think they’re ever going to stop having this damned conversation?

GoodJamags: Somehow, I doubt it.

[Editor’s message from THE FUTURE – They don’t.]

She sighs. “You realize you’re asking me to be your wife in a dark and dirty alley, winged wonder.”

GoodJamags: I’m getting the strangest feeling of déjà vu.

Maybe it’s because they’re using the same goddamn talking points over and over again?

GoodJamags: I’m getting the strangest feeling of déjà vu.

Goddamn you.

*Headshotted in the head*

I nod. “I know I am. Now, will you marry me?”

GoodJamags: That’s the third time you’ve asked that. I think the answer’s “No,” buddy.

There’s a suspicious sheen to her eyes that tells me she’s about to cave and say yes. She wants to say yes (I know this woman like the back of my hand). But then I see her masque fall into place and realize that the demons inside her are screaming at her. Fear is going to keep her from answering me. For right now.

I’m sure this is supposed to be tense, but the fic’s given me no real reason to want to see these two get hitched.

GoodJamags: Sure, we’ve been told they’ve known each other all their lives and are SO IN LOVE, but we haven’t been shown it. These things have to be built up over time.

“Yanno,” she says lightly. “I’d totally expect this outta Bruce,”

Yeah, except Bruce wouldn’t get married.

her lips curve as she takes hold of my arm. “But I always figured you more for the whole down on one knee and ring in hand proposal type of guy.”

GoodJamags: So, does the author want us to think the character is stalling for time by being repetitive and focusing on insignificant details, or is that just the author’s messed up priorities?

Yes.

I know her slightly dismissive, playful tone is causing rips in her heart and soul. I’m telling ya, she wants to say yes. I can see it in the tremble of her lips. But her fears are inside her head and laughing at her.

Sort of like we are!

GoodJamags: Well, we’re not getting inside her head. We’re just laughing at her.

Many of them are ordering her to say no. Getting those fears to shut up won’t be easy. But I will match my will against hers any day.

Now he’s a Psychic Green Lantern Narrator Guy instead of a Psychic Orange Lantern Narrator Guy.

GoodJamags: Actually, there was a continuity where Nightwing and Green Lantern were merged into a composite character called Night Lantern.

And I care about this… why, exactly?

GoodJamags: Well, I mean, they didn’t get merged, they were just kind of the same person in that particular-

Moving on.

She loves telling me how I have become “just like him.”

One: Kind of an abrupt subject change.

GoodJamags: Two: Who is “him?” I mean, we all know it’s Batman, but you need to say that.

Three: How is this being just like Batman?

Well, if being like him is what it takes to make this woman mine for the next seventy years? Then that’s what I will do.

GoodJamags: That’s an oddly specific number of years.

Also, he’s back to being an Orange lantern.

“Yea, well…”

GoodJamags: You’re getting closer, but it’s “verily,” not “well.”

I think the author just thinks “yeah” is spelled that way.

I barely contain a stream of curses when white-hot pain shoots upwards from my knee. “I freely admit I did not mean to blurt out my proposal quite as I did.”

Wait, what hurt his knee?

GoodJamags: *Points* That.

Ohhh.

She refrains from answering by sliding her hands around mine and helping to pull me up from the ground. It’s only with an extreme effort (and a boatload of pain) that we manage to get me up onto my feet.

GoodJamags: Hey, doc, did you consider that maybe he shouldn’t be walking around on that busted knee?

“Let’s forget you’ve proposed,” she says as she slides her arm around my waist. “It’s obvious you aren’t thinking clearly at the moment.”

Damn. For as much of a Sue as she is, Raya is really taking our side in this.

I angle my head to look at her and tell her in no uncertain terms, “I’m thinking quite clearly, Raya.”

GoodJamags: Blurting out things you don’t mean to say =/= thinking clearly

Of course, it could = brain damage, so maybe the MRI is justified.

“No, Dick…”

“Raya, what I know right now is that I am in love with you. That I have been in love with you for the majority of my life. And I’ve asked you to marry me because I love you, and because I want to marry you. Because I want a family with you. A life. And I will do whatever I have to in order to prove that to you.”

STOP SAYING THINGS WE’VE ALREADY HEARD!

“Can we continue this discussion at home? Preferably after I stitch your shoulder and better examine your leg?”

GoodJamags: If Raya keeps this up, I might even start liking her!

I can hear the uncertainty in her voice, see the flicker of it shooting through those oh so expressive eyes. Good. If she’s having doubts, then it means she’s not as confident as she’d like to be. Her not being confident right now is what I need in order to get her to listen to me.

So Dick is also being an emotionally manipulative… well, dick.

GoodJamags: Yeah, we established that back in the first chapter, remember?

Two decades with this woman have taught me how to read the slightest shift in her body language, to see the faintest change of her facial expressions, and to hear the slightest of tonal alternations. Right now, she is working my every statement through that computer like mind of hers in order to find a way out of this situation.

Her mind is like a computer?

GoodJamags: Aha! The Sue is a robot infiltrator!

See, she’s thinking I’m playing a game with her. And she’s partially right. This is a game.

But what Raya Kean doesn’t know is that I’m aiming to win.

That’s generally what one does while playing a game.

Just like him.

Large Warship the Owl: Hoo?

GoodJamags: That’s a good question, Large Warship the Owl. How’d you get in here, though?

Large Warship the Owl: Hoo.

GoodJamags: I actually don’t speak owl. Can you translate?

He said he used the Door, moron. Anyway, we’ll be back next time for more of this. Hopefully they’ll actually do something next chapter.

*SLAM!*

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26 Comments on “1647: Love & Bullets – Chapter 2”

  1. AdmiralSakai says:

    there’s a lot deeper and more relevant information to test than reciting something for which you won’t need to know all of it, and can easily look up anything you don’t know.

    … is exactly the sort of mindset that got me in a lot of trouble on my Machine Learning final exam.

  2. AdmiralSakai says:

    They came together slowly, shyly, mouths brushing, retreating, and brushing again.

    This sounds like both of them were painting drywall with their lips.

  3. AdmiralSakai says:

    “Lots of friends kiss at that age,” she retorts with a slight shrug of her shoulders. “Hell, I’ve kissed you hundreds of times like that over the years. It’s because we’re friends. It’s a completely innocent and harmless display of my warmth and affection for you.”

    Ew. Yuck. No.

  4. AdmiralSakai says:

    “Lots of friends kiss at that age,” she retorts with a slight shrug of her shoulders. “Hell, I’ve kissed you hundreds of times like that over the years. It’s because we’re friends. It’s a completely innocent and harmless display of my warmth and affection for you.”

    I reach up and cup her cheek in my palm. “We’re way more than friends and you know it, Rae.”

    “Of course we are.” She rests her hand atop mine. “We’re best friends. And partners. Allies.”

    Oooh, sounds like Robin just got *suddeny manifests a fedora, beard, and raver glasses* friend-zoned.

  5. AdmiralSakai says:

    “Finish that statement,” I growl at her, “and I swear to God that I will turn you over my knee, Raya.”

    I can see a flash of something… interest? flicker in the depths of her eyes.

    *the fedora, beard, and raver glasses abruptly disappear*

    Please don’t turn into “50 Shades” please don’t turn into “50 Shades” please don’t turn into “50 Shades”…

  6. AdmiralSakai says:

    She signs her desire for me to uncover her mouth. Considering her proficiency at American Sign Language (and my limited knowledge of it), I comply.

    GoodJamags: Wait, why does she know ASL?

    Sue.

    GoodJamags: Yeah, but for what purpose? Was there a reason she learned it?

    Probably so that this one line could happen and it could never be brought up again.

    I mean, it’d make sense for them to have a rather sophisticated library of hand signals for when they were out crimefighting and needed to communicate nonverbally, but 1) American Sign Language seems especially poorly suited for that purpose given that a lot of it involves these big sweeping two-handed gestures, and 2) while the signals used by a cadre of superheroes probably does have some more esoteric phrases in it than the typical ‘hold up’, ‘over there’, ‘incoming fire’ stuff I can’t imagine why ‘uncover my mouth’ would be included.

  7. AdmiralSakai says:

    I heave a sigh. “Woman, it took me nineteen years in order to get you to agree to be my girlfriend. I don’t want to wait nineteen more in order to make you my wife.”

    Especially since, given the seemingly random emphasis, Frank Miller is writing us again…

  8. AdmiralSakai says:

    “I’m not Matthew Berkeley. I don’t want the façade of a marriage. I want a marriage.

    Uhh… what? Is there some part of canon I’m missing here that I need in order to understand this?

    • BatJamags says:

      It’s not canon, it’s the Sue’s trajek backstory. She dances around it for half the fic, and it turns out to be pretty boring in the end.

  9. AdmiralSakai says:

    Two decades with this woman have taught me how to read the slightest shift in her body language, to see the faintest change of her facial expressions, and to hear the slightest of tonal alternations. Right now, she is working my every statement through that computer like mind of hers in order to find a way out of this situation.

    Her mind is like a computer?

    GoodJamags: Aha! The Sue is a robot infiltrator!

    Yeah, but it’s an Apple product so its capabilities are inherently limited.

  10. BatJamags says:

    *Snerk* What animated shows? Pretty much all they’ve got right now is Teen Titans Go, and no one cares about that.

    For what it’s worth, this line was written before Young Justice season 3 was announced.

  11. Leider Hosen says:

    Oh, GJ, you’ve once again underestimated the average student’s capacity for being an asshat.

    There’s equal parts truth and bullshit in this. I distinctly remember that highschool-age children and downward can be quite the envious fucklords since intelligence is a gift not all of them have… however, bullies don’t roam around the school in packs ala the Gestapo for the sake of harassing people. Children don’t have quite enough courage or organization for that.

    I was pretty well hated in freshman year (though it was the beginning of my ‘fuck the world’ phase and i didn’t care) and worst and most scaring treatment I got was occasionally an asshole or two would whine at me, and one was so bold he left a meen note on my desk while I wasn’t looking and took off so I didn’t throttle him.

    I summary, bullies exist but they are significantly less dramatic than people like to think. They’re just angsty, insecure tweens and teens who weren’t properly taught their manners and think they can get away with shit because they’re speshul snoofleks.

  12. Leider Hosen says:

    [Editor’s message from THE FUTURE – “Just Shut Up and Get Married” is going to be a valid alternate title for this story by the time we’re through]

    *waves a tiny flag* Yeeeeeeey that’s exactly what I wanted to hear. At least tell me Poison Ivy will be providing the bouquet and Celebrimbor is forging the wedding ring.

    Abrelepine: I don’t think Celebrimbor is part of the-

    Hosen: LET ME DREAM DAMMIT.

    • BatJamags says:

      I won’t spoil too much, but one character does launch an active rebellion against the Suefluence. She disappears after a single chapter, though.

  13. agigabyte says:

    GoodJamags: And I’m your guest guest host, GoodJamags.

    DuFresne: You’re lucky I distracted the entirety of this universe’s DRD department with two-headed puppies that have two heads.

    • BatJamags says:

      Thanks, you have no idea how much paperwork I had to sign not to get peacefully attacked by the DCB over the “guest host” thing to begin with.

  14. TacoMagic says:

    But then I see her masque fall into place

    I love it when a party comes together!

  15. Swenia says:

    “No, Dick…”

    Worst motto ever!

    • Syl says:

      It’s a phrase that could be useful in the right circumstances. Like stenciled on the hand towels in the co-ed lavatories.


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