A/N: I don’t own the PPC. I own Manx and Shadow. I’m also absolute crap at romance. So. Yes. xD
WARNING (if you must call it that): features (not very graphic) completely legal!agent!slash. Don’t worry, it’s not PWP. And this is Ten Years Hence. So it’s all shiny and legal.
Still Crazy After All These Years
“– and abjure thee to frequent this place NO MORE!”
With a scream, the Slash Demon dissipated. Manx lowered her copy of Fellowship of the Ring with a sigh and flopped down on a nearby log. They were in Mirkwood – well, some slash-writer’s rainbows-and-flowers version of Mirkwood, containing said slash-writer’s rainbows-and-flowers version of Legolas and Aragorn. “Agh,” she muttered, running her hand through her hair. “I’m getting too old for this shit.”
“You’re twenty-three,” Shadow replied reasonably, shoving her exorcism bell back into her backpack. “You’re in no position to be calling yourself old.”
“They say you’re only as old as you feel,” Manx answered, opening a portal back to Headquarters. “So I suppose I am getting too old for this shit. At seven hundred and eighty-four, you’re too old for any shit.”
Shadow grinned as they returned to their Response Center. “Remember ten years ago?”
“Yep. Thought we would never grow old.” Manx stretched out on their couch with a groan.
Her partner quirked an eyebrow. “Thought youth was forever?”
“No, thought we would die.” Manx grinned. “Youth is technically forever in HQ anyway, if you start forgetting your birthdays.”
“You forgot mine.”
“I had a freaking huge cut down my leg! I wasn’t exactly in the right state to remember things!” Manx playfully punched her partner in the shoulder.
“We’ve lived together for ten years. It’s about time you should start remembering.”
Manx flopped back on the couch, sighing. “Remember the first Sue we killed? Marimsomething-or-other?”
“Oh, yeah. And then that Legolustbunny who beat you up –”
“I know. Sucked a lot for me, too.”
Manx raised an eyebrow. “Excuse me? I don’t think you were the one with a freakin’ arrow in her shoulder and a broken arm.”
“No, no…I mean…I was worried. Really worried. It was awful, just…running around neuralyzing elves while you were getting beat up…” Shadow shrugged. “It sucked. A lot,” she ended lamely.
“That was actually the first time I ever saw you really psycho,” Manx said thoughtfully. “Running around screaming like that and waving a sword.”
“Nothing compared to you. Running around with a sword and screaming your lungs out is practically normal for you.” Shadow grinned. “You haven’t really changed much from ten years ago,” she said wryly.
Manx blinked. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well.” Shadow straightened up. “Let’s compare. Ten years ago, you were a psychotic little girl with severe homicidal tendencies and a love for killing things. Now, you’re a psychotic twenty-three-year-old with severe homicidal tendencies and a love for killing things.” She laid back and grinned. “I rest my case.”
Manx rolled over onto her stomach, tilting her head to one side and looking at Shadow with a quizzical expression. “Is that all you really think of me?”
Shadow shrugged. “No, not really, but…”
Manx looked thoughtful. “What do you really think? And be honest.”
Shadow sighed. “Okay. Um, you’re…you’re Manx. You’re short.”
“Five foot two is the perfect height,” Manx replied stubbornly. “You’re too tall. Besides, badfic stunts your growth.”
“Whatever. You’re twenty-three and still haven’t grown out of Redwall, you’re short, you’re stocky, you’re…some generic mucky Caucasian, and you’ve got brown hair and brown eyes. You have Bloodwrath to an insane degree, you’ve turned even more psychotic than you once were, and you love to kill things. You obsess over weaponry and you’re probably the only person I know who would cheerfully adopt a rocket launcher and a mace and chain as pets. And name them.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“Everything?” Shadow ducked the flying pillow launched at her head. “Hey!” she yelped, fending off a barrage of cushions. “You said be honest!”
Manx stopped. “Okay, fine,” she answered with a grin, and flopped back.
“You’re vaguely bipolar. You teeter between screaming rage and happy bunny funshine time. At the slightest mention of Boromir, you start screaming madly, and if said character is abused by a Sue, you kill it. You’re way too reckless and seriously need a sense of self-preservation. And you need to learn not to attack indestructible centaurs.”
Manx rolled her eyes, but said nothing.
Shadow continued. “You can get pretty annoying at times. For instance, I had to save you from those Sues of Doom –”
Her partner groaned, aggrieved. “It was ten freakin’ years ago and you’re still going on about that?”
“Yes,” Shadow sighed. “I am. Besides, it ticks you off, which is fun. Anyway. You’re a good friend, even if you’re ravingly weird at times. You’re loyal. You have the weirdest sense of humor I have ever experienced. At the very least, spending time around you is…eventful. And never, ever boring. And…” Shadow took a deep breath and looked at Manx from the corner of her eye. “And after knowing you for ten years, I’m seriously thinking you’re bisexual.”
Manx pointed her finger at her partner. “Bingo,” she said calmly. “Got it. I am.”
Manx rolled her eyes. “What? Something wrong with that?”
“No, but…” Shadow shrugged helplessly. “How do you know?”
“How do you know you’re straight?” Manx retorted.
“I…” Shadow waved her hands in the air. “Seeing Aragorn makes my heart skip a couple of beats?”
“That’s funny, because seeing you makes my heart skip a couple of beats – uh.” Manx clamped her mouth shut.
“Um. Forget I said that. Please,” Manx said quickly. “Sorry. Um.” Her face was bright red.
“No, no…sorry…it’s okay.” Shadow’s face was a similar color of beetroot. “But…gods, Manx, are you drunk?”
“I…would very much like to be, yes.” Manx glowered at the floor. “But I’m not. No. It’s true. Yeah.”
“Seriously?” Shadow asked incredulously.
Manx looked up and glared at her partner. “Yes! Yes, okay? This is how I freaking am. It’s who I am. God, Shadow, just stop, okay? I didn’t mean anything, I’m not a sex-crazed maniac like Luxury, and we are friends. Friends. That means something, right?” She stared angrily at her partner.
A few seconds passed in silence. Shadow looked back at her friend of ten years. “Manx,” she said quietly, “it’s okay. Sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m….just…”
A moment went by. Still it was quiet. Then Shadow reached over and wrapped her arms around Manx and quietly, tentatively kissed her on the cheek.
And then suddenly, Manx was returning it, and they were lying next to each other on the couch and holding each other and oh god, this is…insane…
“Aren’t you supposed to be straight?” Manx asked, breathing heavily after another passionate kiss. She smiled at Shadow, tucking some of her partner’s black hair behind her ear.
“Fuck that,” Shadow answered succinctly, then barely managed to suppress a groan; instead, she gasped, “How the hell do you know this stuff, Manx?”
Manx grinned, a soft, mischievous grin. “Bad Slash missions. Don’t you remember? Arwen and Galadriel, under a tree in Lothlórien…”
“Yeah, but that was Bad Slash,” Shadow replied, trying not to go through the whole moan-and-groan ritual that always seemed to be necessary for this type of situation. Damnit, she thought, for suddenly, there were no layers of fabric standing between their bare skins. Oh, god…
“Goddamnit,” Shadow muttered, pulling away from Manx’s kiss, and made to stand up, but her partner – and now lover – grabbed her arm.
“No,” she whispered, and Shadow could tell she meant it.
“What about the fic?” Shadow murmured as she sank back down to the couch.
Manx smiled. “It can wait,” she answered softly.
And, for once, it did.
So. Now I know I will never, ever be able to make a living as a romance novelist because I seriously turned bright red while writing just the kiss scene. *sigh* Woe is me.
*prances off* Ah well. Off to my psychotic story about sci-fi dragons! ^_^