The Christmas Anthology

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The Christmas Anthology

Post by taerKitty on Sun 20 Oct 2013 - 19:22

I found FTL's Buon Natale (Christmas) collab, but it centers around an SWA holiday party.  Instead, I was hoping we'd just have a thread of winter-holiday-themed short stories that may or may not have anything to do with one another.  Just stories to get us into the holiday spirit.

- While the upcoming Christmas is 2013, I see no reason this thread should 'close down' come New Year's 2014.  For those who find this thread later on, feel free to post to it.

- "Christmas is in your heart," so it knows no season.  If you feel the urge to write a Yuletide story in the heat of summer, post away!

- You can post your fiction here, or post a link to whatever other site will host your story.  If you post here, you may want to consider a [ spoiler ] [ / spoiler ] tag-pair.

===

To start things off:


A Christmas Errand

Summary wrote:In the shadowy world defined by the SWA and the Lega Nord, Hilshire and Triela discover even Christmas has its own unique traditions.
===

And:


The Gifts

Summary wrote:Christmas works its magic, even for one as cold-hearted as Jean Croce.


Last edited by taerkitty on Sun 20 Oct 2013 - 20:28; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by PolosElite23 on Sun 20 Oct 2013 - 19:38

Count me in

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In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
----
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

-Stanzas 2+4 of Invictus by William Earnest Henley
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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by Alfisti on Mon 21 Oct 2013 - 0:52

I dunno... if something occurs to me I might.

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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 25 Oct 2013 - 9:39

I started work on a Christmas Story with Michele, Kara and Claes (though it will primarily be Michele and Claes) today, so hopefully I'll have something to post soon.

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If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by taerKitty on Fri 25 Oct 2013 - 9:39

Summary wrote:When you're an SWA cyborg, nothing is normal, not even Christmas. OC fratello Paolo di Tomaso and Dina. CC Priscilla.
Gunslinger Girl - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 6 - Words: 7,882 - Reviews: 4 - Updated: 10-24-13 - Published: 10-19-13

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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by Officer_Charon on Fri 25 Oct 2013 - 17:42

Ooh.... this... this might happen. I'm working on armor tonight, but I could see this being a thing.

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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by taerKitty on Fri 25 Oct 2013 - 18:10

"Hark, the Herald Armour Dings"

"Armour We Have Lazed on High"

"We Wish You An Armoured Christmas (and an Airstrike New Year)"

"'Twas the Knight Before Christmas"

And, to continue in the same theme,

"Silencer Night"

"Blam-blam Merrily on High"

"Rudolph the Red Dot Ranger"

Got any ideas from that yet?

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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by tremec6speed on Fri 25 Oct 2013 - 18:40

Excellent, I dig it!
head bang
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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by taerKitty on Sat 26 Oct 2013 - 19:32

My next one:



Work-in-progress, so no URL yet.  It'll be Henrietta in "A Gift Returned";

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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 17 Nov 2013 - 22:02

I was not really satisfied with my first pass at this story, so I went back and did some serious re-editing and re-working, including trying to place it after Chapter 10 of Meanwhile.... I think this new version works a fair bit better.

Story Link



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What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 2 Dec 2013 - 23:50

Jose Croche got ran over by a reindeer

Cyborg Central: http://gunslinger-girl.up-with.com/t3652-jose-croche-got-run-over-by-a-reindeer#114491

ff.net: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9895994/1/Jose-Croche-got-run-over-by-a-reindeer

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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by tremec6speed on Fri 6 Dec 2013 - 19:54

Lol, that was funny Elfen!
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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by Thescarredman on Mon 16 Nov 2015 - 7:18

I may or may not post this on FFnet. If I do, I'll replace this post with a simple link like everyone else's.

Triela leaned across her room’s little table and, with a forefinger, poked the nose of her newest and as-yet-unnamed bear. “I didn’t give him anything for Christmas. I never give him anything for Christmas.”

In the top bunk, Claes lay on her stomach, eyes still scanning her magazine. “Then give him something. I’m sure Priscilla would take you shopping. Even Ferro. And Jean would give you permission.”

“Every euro I touch comes to me from his hands. I’d have to ask him for the money. What kind of gift would that be?”

“Then make him something.”

She scoffed. “Some cute little craft item?” Sure. A picture frame decorated with spent casings, maybe, holding my last practice target. She rested her elbows on the table and put her chin in her hands. “There must be something.”

“The best gift is one you know the other person wants, but won’t or can’t get for himself,” her dark-haired roommate opined. “Even better if it’s something he’d never ask for. That shows how well you know him.”

“But I don’t! I don’t know what he wants or what he likes. Sometimes I think I hardly know him at all.”

Claes turned a page; since the magazine lay flat on her bed, Triela couldn’t see what she was reading. “If everything you’ve been telling me all week long is true, there are some things you know about him now.”

Triela flushed. She usually spoke freely with her roommate, but she had really been bending the dark-haired girl’s ear since her and Hilshire’s return from their ‘Christmas holiday’ in Naples. While his belly wound healed, the fratello had been assigned no new missions, and Triela had spent most of that time wandering around the compound, deep in thought, or moping in her room, using Claes for a sounding board. Triela had told her closest friend the whole story: how he had left her in the hotel room on an ‘errand’, and returned smelling of blood and gunpowder; the blood-soaked shirt she had discovered when she had pulled back his jacket, and his nonsense excuse for leaving his cyborg behind and facing danger alone, denying the very reason for her existence; her headlong flight out the door, with no thought but getting away, leaving her gun and her overdue conditioning dose behind. She had been pursued by Camorra thugs, too weak and dizzy to fight or run away, and been saved by the unlikely arrival of Roberta Guelfi.

The prosecutor had taken her to the shelter of Mario Bossi’s safehouse, and once there, Triela had begged the Camorra pentito to tell her why preserving her life meant more to her handler than it did to her.

The last of her anger at him had burned out as Mario told the story. How could he have risked so much, thrown away so much, just for her?

When Hilshire had tracked her to the safehouse, she had come with him as meekly as a lamb, but he had still been afraid she might run away again. Back in their hotel room, he had refused painkillers while she dug the bullet out of him, for fear he might wake to find her gone.

For the second time in her life, Triela had lied to her handler: she had told him that the pills she offered him were antibiotics. As he had drifted away, Hilshire had told her about Rachelle Belleut and his promise. And for the second time that night, she had gone through the door into the hall without a destination.

And paused, with her back against the closed panel and her hand unable to let go of the handle.

With her eyes swimming tears, she had turned back inside, rushed to him, and gathered his unconscious form in her arms. She had kissed his slack mouth and felt his bare skin, clammy with pain, under her hands. And she had begged to Whoever might be listening: Only let me stay with this man, living from day to day, and at the end to die with him...

“You really want a gift idea?” Claes slid to the edge of the upper bunk. “Something he wants from you but would never ask for?” She reached down. In her hand was her magazine, her thumb bookmarking her place. The cover faced Triela, and she could see that it was an English-language copy of Cosmopolitan. Surrounding the picture of a beautiful and provocatively dressed woman were the titles of the articles inside:


 
101 Ways to Drive Him Crazy in Bed

Sex Secrets Every Man Wishes His Woman Knew

Career Now, Family Later – You Can Have It All

Office Romances – Do’s and Don’ts

Dressing Sharp with a Small Wardrobe

Cute but Shy? Dealing With the Reserved Male


 
 Claes expertly turned several pages one-handed - to a different article, Triela presumed - and turned the print to face her. “Read.”


 
Triela waited until they were back on the job before making Hilshire – Victor, she now knew from Roberta – her offer. She much doubted the Agency would approve; just letting the wrong person overhear her suggesting it to her ‘brother’ might get them both in trouble. So she put it off until work took them off-compound and they were alone.

She had debated what to wear for the occasion – one of her school-uniform-like outfits simply wouldn’t do: he needed to see her as a woman, not a child. She had considered approaching Sandro and Petra for a makeover, but rejected the idea for several reasons, not the least of which being that Victor Hilshire would already know what she looked like under the clothes and makeup and would recognize any differences as artifice. She must appear genuine, she thought, or risk that he might not take her seriously.

They were on surveillance duty in Ladispoli, watching a low-level Padan operative who had been inactive for so long that Section One thought he’d abandoned the cause. Section Two thought it knew better. Hilshire had opined, once they were on their way to the stakeout, that that assessment may have had more to do with Jean Croce’s unforgiving nature than any hard evidence in the Agency’s possession. As may be, it had been decided that Section Two would watch him for a day or two. The undemanding low-priority job had fallen to the fratello whose handler had just come off the inactive list. For once, Triela was grateful for a quiet assignment.

The two of them were installed in a small third-story apartment whose window faced an almost identical building across a broad parkway. Trees in the median would have blocked the view in summer, but the branches were bare now. Installed a meter back from the bedroom window at the foot of the bed was a tripod-mounted camera with a long lens. Triela’s handler sat behind it in a wide cushioned chair, a pair of compact binoculars on the arm beside him and an open book in his lap – some Greek classic, she saw. She watched through the window, alerting him to movement on the subject’s tiny balcony or behind the three windows of his apartment, whereupon Hilshire would grab the binoculars for a closer look. They had been here for six hours, and Hilshire had lifted the glasses to his eyes twice. The camera, he hadn’t used at all.

“Stop fidgeting,” Hilshire said to her. “Why don’t you go make something in the kitchen?”

“And leave you here? What if something happens?”

Her handler said patiently, “I have eyes too. I’m sure I can see if he comes back.”

She frowned. “Comes back?”

“He has an afternoon job at his uncle’s café. He went out the front door five minutes ago.” The corners of his mouth lifted slightly.

Blushing, she went to the door leading to the rest of the rental. But at the doorway she paused and turned as she heard him get out of the chair. He sat on the edge of the bed, then fell back, lying on the mattress with his feet on the floor. He closed his eyes and let out a soft grunt and rubbed his side where his stitches had just been removed.

Triela took a deep breath, let it out, and straightened. She did a quick finger-comb of her hair, smoothed the front of her skirt with a hand, and tugged down the hem of her sweater. Now, before I lose my nerve.

Hilshire’s eyes snapped open as Triela put a knee on the edge of the bed beside his hip and a palm beside either shoulder, leaning over him. She had pulled her hair back over her shoulder blades, but some of it fell over her shoulder to rest on his chest. He said, “What are you -”

“Shh.” She leaned over a little further. “If you stop me, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do this again.” She gathered herself again and said, “I know everything now. About us. What you did, and why. How I got here.”

“I know.”

“I know about her. The woman I dream about. How she saved me.” Triela hoped he wouldn’t question that; she wasn’t sure he remembered what he had told her before he passed out.

“I know,” he said again, his face marked by pain that didn’t come from his bullet wound. She felt a moment of relief nevertheless.

“You made her a promise. But you can’t keep it,” she said. “You can’t give me a future. No matter how hard you try to protect me, I’m still a cyborg. Angie is gone. But she was only the first. There’s not much time left for any of us.”

Hilshire’s eyes roved her face, his own a study in anguish. “Triela, what are you doing?”

“Victor …” His name sounded so strange in her mouth, but she couldn’t call him ‘Mister Hilshire’ now. “I know you think I’m just a kid. But my woman parts are all mine, and they work. You know that. I need you to … could you …” She gathered herself. “My eggs. They can take some of them out and store them. Then, when I die, her dream won’t die with me. You could raise her – or him, I guess. You’d be a good father, I know you would, if you got a real chance, and …” She couldn’t go any further. Her eyes brimmed, and dark spots appeared on his shirt.

Then she was lying on the bed, cradled in his arms with her head on his shoulder. “Yes,” he said. “We’ll do it. Not at the Agency. I’ll find somewhere else. This will be just between us.” He scoffed. “I’m not sure I’m up to the task of raising one of your children, though.”

“You’ll need a strong woman to help you then,” she said, letting the warmth of him soak into her like a hot bath. “Priscilla, maybe, or Signora Guelfi. And a host mother, I guess …”

He scoffed again, and stroked her hair. “There’s an agency in France,” he said, as if to himself. “I know a man …”

“One more thing.” Triela pressed her nose into her handler’s neck. “We’re going to need a donor, for the, um …”

“Don’t even go there.”

 

   


 
 


 
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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by crazyidiot78 on Mon 16 Nov 2015 - 8:08

You sir are a genius.  I could totally see this happening in cannon as well.

Not Worthy! cheers Full of Win
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Re: The Christmas Anthology

Post by boomer_gonz on Mon 16 Nov 2015 - 9:52

Danjo3 would be reaching for the heavens with this piece.

Bravo sir and good show. Very Happy

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