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Bits and bobs 2: electric boogaloo

Sometimes I write things. Most of the time those things are never going to be finished.

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[FIC] Inception - Yusuf's opinion of Eames

The first word that comes to Yusuf’s mind to describe the forger is efficient, but that’s not exactly right. Practical might be better, he thinks, as there is a certain waste to the way that Mister Eames moves: the way he hangs his hands off the arms of the chairs he sits in and the way he rubs his thumbs over anything he’s holding, how he lets his legs stretch out in front of him or how he sprawls when he is dreaming. There is no economy there.

But in the dream, the line of Eames’s shoulder shift and tighten; his hands are rarely in his pockets and the elasticity with which he creates and dissolves is startling. In his hands: a semi-automatic rifle, a bowie knife, a lock pick’s kit, binoculars. He shoots when he needs to, steps forward when he doesn’t. As a chemist, Yusuf can’t help but appreciate the compound of delicacy and a certain lack of tact, of Eames’s hedonism alongside his sensibilities - which is why Yusuf can’t bring himself to mind when he works that first job and Eames shoots him in the face.

“Get us out of here, Yusuf,” Eames tells him and pulls the trigger.

Yusuf pulls the needle out of his wrist and shoulders open the doors on the back of the cargo van. He tips the mark out into the cramped alley and doesn’t wait to see how he lands before clambering back over the equipment, Eames and the two other con artists coiled around the PASIV on the floor of the van, and into the driver’s seat.

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[FIC] Thor - Women's work aka Writing Frigga can't stop won't stop

Frigga has a chair brought to the throne room and placed on the dais. Her husband’s seat is too large, too heavy, and she has more important things to worry about without having to anticipate the backache of sitting where she isn’t comfortable; the war’s end has been a long time coming and they all deserve their peace - though there is little to be found in the throne room. The end of the war is the beginning of Not War, and no man or lady in Asgard can be still, regardless of the Allfather’s sleep. So Frigga sits in the chair that has been brought to her and listens to the droning of petitions. She signs the documents she is able and she is glad there is no need for emissaries to or from Jotunheim, that all the negotiation needed came at the business end of swords and spears. It would be difficult to find the patience or the right wording to deal in such foreign trade.

"It will be done," she says. Many times.

When she finally rises from the chair, her back aches regardless of her care to avoid it. She is happy to take the helping hand of the guard who offers it as she navigates down the stairs in her full skirts and heavy ceremonial sleeves. Two girls walk quickly to her, gathering the dragging sleeves to them. “To you chamber, mother?”

“To the nearest one, I should hope.” Frigga doesn’t laugh, though she tries to keep her voice light. There is a compressed feeling in her lower back.

In the nearest chamber, she is helped out of the bulky clothes by one of the girls while the other runs to find another dress. During the interim Frigga sits in her shift, one foot curled over the other to keep the cold at bay. The girl removes the pins and ornate metal weaving from Frigga’s hair and then refashions it in a complex plait down the back of her neck. Frigga leans against the pull of her hair and closes her eyes to feel it more keenly. It is a tedious business.

She finds her husband sleeping sounds beneath the tender gold net paling. The girl accompanying her lingers, staring uncertainly - disquieted. Frigga quietly strokes the fur spilling from the side of the bed. “Are you well?” Frigga asks her.

“He sleeps very still,” the girl says. “Like the dead.”

“Do you think so?” She regards her husband, still beneath the warm glow of the Odinsleep. The redness on the left side of his face has leveled slightly and the swelling around the knot of his eye has gone down. When he wakes, there is a patch that has been made ready that will suit him far better than the one he put on before bedding down. But for now, he sleeps simply; his face is soft and untroubled and his eyelids are very heavy. “No,” she says fondly. “He sleeps like a tired boy.” She shares a conspiratorial look with the girl who is shocked and doesn’t know what to say. Frigga smiles, taps her gently on the chin with her thumb. “But I don’t expect a young girl to see the difference just yet. You may go.”

She is left with the strange arrangement of furniture and the pregnant quiet that comes with sleep. A second bed has been moved into the chamber for her to use until Odin wakes, separated from the rest of the room by a heavy half drawn curtain which she pulls all the way back to open the room fully. The cradle rests there too, in easy reach. She would have heard about it if there were any problems - either during the day, or when the wet nurse left on her arrival, but she checks to be sure that all is well with the two babies sleeping there. Through even the Odinsleep, her husband’s enchantment holds. He is small for one of them, she is told, but with the magic settled deep in his flesh, he looks no different - indeed, he is as sturdy an infant as Thor. What plans her husband has for the boy, she doesn’t know. Peace, she suspects, by one way or another - the child as an outstretched hand or a closed fist. She can’t be sure of which. Her sight is not so broad as the Allfather’s.

Though here it is hardly necessary. She aches low in her back, but it is a simple preferable ache. The room is close and warm and the light of the Odinsleep curves gently across the foreheads of both those babies. She touches their soft, downy heads. They stir, though don’t wake - Thor grapples with his small hands and uncoordinated fingers to hold more tightly to Loki’s fat elbow. She thinks she can see some of Thor’s color slide between them. It sinks low into Loki’s pale skin, the nearness hiding all trace of the frost giant’s winter blue complexion. Perhaps in time it is a secret that will keep itself regardless of whether or not they are so close.

When Odin wakes (and he does, always - she doesn’t worry anymore), there are documents to be compared and small changes to make. The spare bed is moved away, the chair taken from the dais. Frigga oversees the fitting of his eye patch and makes some small change to the design and in the evening she sits on their marriage bed with her legs turned out in a diamond, the soles of her slippers pressed together and the babies pillowed against the soft skin inside her knees. She touches them both on the nose, laughing as Thor goes cross-eyed.

Odin’s fingers brush at the nape of her neck. Frigga tips her head faintly but doesn’t turn until he kisses her ear, thick pale beard scratching pleasantly on her cheek. “You don’t hesitate, do you?”

It isn’t really a question. It has been six days since the peacemaking, three of them exclusively spent wrangling children - either by decree or by humming them to sleep in the deep hours of night. She has done plenty of mothering and three days is enough: she strokes lines down the tiny bridges of the babies’ noses. Like this, they are very similar. This small, their eyes are a uniform murky grey. In a strange way, loving one is much like loving the other. By rights, neither is really hers - she finds this acceptable. “That’s right,” she says.

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