1. llaras asked for "circus au!" (Lotrips, Elijah/Orlando, PG-13)
Rich and Strange
This is the story of Orli, youngest clown in a troupe of three, and always the one who's the butt of the joke, or having to scoop up the elephant poo. What he yearns for is to be one of the horse riders, and he stands in the wings every night watching Viggo and Liv working with the team so gracefully it makes his breath catch -- as though they have a telepathic connection to the animals.
The only one who believes he'll one day make his dream come true is Elijah, the weird kid from the psychic booth, with too-big eyes and a way of seeming to know just what you're thinking. Well, not really a kid, but his pale, too-solemn face is ageless. Orlando never would have picked him as a friend, but he hadn't had much say in it. One day Elijah was just there, talking too fast, and offering him hot, salty fries, and after that he's always there, as though they've always been friends, and after a while Orlando forgets to be wigged out anymore.
Then one night Elijah burst in to Orli's caravan, breathing hard, and comes right up to the bed. Orlando jerks awake at the bang of the door, going, "What? What's happened?" And Elijah says, "We have to go. We have to go right now," his fingers hard on Orlando's arm; something about his eyes makes a shiver run down Orlando's spine, and even though it's crazy, his mouth snaps shut, and the next minute they're out in the cold, sneaking through the dark, past the big top, past the animal enclosures, and on into the scraggle of the forest edging the fairground. Just as they slide into the shadows, Elijah pushes him down into the bushes. A moment later, headlights flash through the night, right where they'd been standing, and there are three police cars spilling officers in tac vests and guns, all moving in on Orlando's caravan.
"Come on," Elijah murmurs, pulling Orlando away. "I parked on the other side of the hill."
And that's how they run away from the circus.
2. sonadorita asked for "18th century AU" (Lotrips, Elijah/Orlando, PG-13)
Fleet of Passage
This is the story of Orlando, a young officer assigned to the Friendship on the voyage of the First Fleet to Botany Bay. He isn't one of the crew, but rather one of the soldiers in charge of the convicts.
At first he hates his job and his filthy, scurvy-ridden charges, but then one day on deck he sees a thin, pale boy standing in the sunshine, eyes raised to the sky, such a look of yearning and loss on his face... and from then on, Orlando is always looking for that boy again, watching out for him.
The whole crew and all of the convicts become wracked with scurvy, and there are days when the only thing that keeps Orlando from jumping over the side into the blissful, endless cool of the ocean is the memory of that wide-eyed look of yearning, and the way that sometimes, sometimes, when he staggers down into the hold, those eyes turn and look at him with that exact same expression.
And then they are there, finally -- the call of land-ho singing through the air, the dun grey smudge of the new land on the horizon; and when they finally touch ground and camp is made, Orlando finagles and charms and bribes with what little money he has, and finally manages to get into see Captain Arthur Phillip -- a distant relative on his mother's side -- and shortly thereafter finds himself assigned a convict as a personal servant, one Elijah Wood.
And later that morning, Elijah stands silent, eyes wide, as Orlando directs the colony's smith to strike off his leg irons.
3. aleathiel asked for "a lotrips western? Or a murder mystery (of the classic limited cast, small location kind)" (Lotrips, Elijah/Orlando, PG-15)
Blood and Arcana
Orlando takes the job as Deputy because he's been on the trail, droving cattle, since the summer he turned fifteen. He never expected to be the Law, he just wanted a steady, respectable job for a stretch, one that let him sleep in a real bed at night and eat three squares a day. But it turns out he has a knack for talking to people and settling them down, and before he quite knows how it happens, he's the Sherrif's right hand man.
And then three days after the church picnic, he finds himself in the local boarding house, looking down at the gunshot wound in the naked body of Sheriff James, who's sprawled face down in Mrs Havilland's best sheets, blood soaking into the mattress like the first rain of spring into the fields.
Downstairs in the drawing room, waiting for him, are the house's guests, including Sheriff Mortensen, visiting from Little Neck just down the river. He's the one who called in Orlando and the other Deputies, and made sure none of the guests or servants left. Orlando isn't keen to face the guests, especially Madame Blanchet, who has a way of looking at him that makes Orlando feel all of six years old and still in short pants. Ripped ones, with mud splashes and maybe a half-dead frog in the pocket. And the Right Honorable McKellen is almost as bad, with the way his eyes peel away Orlando's clothes.
Orlando tears his gaze away from the small entry wound in the Sherrif's back, and scratches another note in his journal. He can hear voices and footsteps coming up the hall, and a moment later Elijah and Deputy Boyd are standing in the doorway, shocked to stillness by the blood.
"Jesus Christ," Elijah whispers, clutching his camera to his chest.
Boyd settles the tripod down with a clatter. "Yeah, but what a way to go."
"Boyd!" Orlando snaps, and both he and Elijah turn and glare at him, but Orlando is secretly relieved: the abandoned corset and hose all tangled up with the Sheriff's boots on the floor are hard to ignore.
Boyd just rolls his eyes. This is not his first body; his previous job was digging graves in the Catholic churchyard.
Giving up on Boyd's moral degeneracy as a lost cause, Orlando says to Elijah, "Can you take a photograph of this? Will it work in here?" The sun is almost down, and the gaslight in the room is dim.
"Um," Elijah says, and fidgets with the camera, pointedly not looking at the body. "Sure. I can use a flash. Where do you want me to--"
And after that the three of them settle into the routine of helping Elijah get his contraption set up and aimed where it needs to be, and for a brief moment, while Elijah is hunched over, all his attention on lenses and other arcana, Orlando just stands and looks at the sweet curve of his neck, and can almost forget what's waiting for him outside.
4. sonadorita asked for "18th century AU" (SGA McKay/Sheppard, PG-13)
The Sky Road
Rodney McKay has just finished work on his greatest invention, the M1 marine chronometer. The only trouble is, he can't find a backer to help him test it -- it turns out the rich are all nincompoops who wouldn't know genius if it smacked them in the eye!
On his way to make a final, desperate bid to gain patronage from the Admiralty, McKay is highjacked by ruffians hired by his arch-nemesis Lord Kavanaugh, and finds himself hogtied, weighted and being rowed out into the ocean in the pitch of night.
Sadly for the ruffians, an even bigger ruffian is also lurking in the cove they've chosen for their nefarious work. And so McKay unexpectedly finds himself fast-talking his way out of a watery grave. His audience is a scruffy-haired pirate he only later realises is the disgraced ex-Viscount Sheppard -- mostly thanks to many dull mornings spent listening to Jeannie reading out snippets from the scandal sheets at the breakfast table. Sheppard (according to Jeannie's sources), had absconded from the family estate to join the Navy -- and when Navy wouldn't take him he'd joined up with the East India Company instead. And then Sheppard had refused to fight in the Anglo-Maratha war (which, actually, Rodney thought was a tick in the column of immense good sense), and turned brigand instead.
Sheppard eyes McKay after his slightly nervous outpouring about the benefits of the M1 to a seafaring man. Rodney has carefully unpacked the chronometer from its box and put on display on a handy barrel of salt pork. Sheppard pokes sceptically at the device, and Rodney bites his tongue on a reprimand.
"This thing will really allow us to calculate longitude?" Sheppard says.
"Please," Rodney huffs, losing the battle to be polite. "This is the most precise clock ever invented. It's based around the twin principles of the bimetallic strip and the caged roller bearing, and it has an inaccuracy rate of under half a second per day!"
"Really?" Sheppard drawls, "A bimetallic strip?" and Rodney despairs -- the man is clearly a nitwit after all, just like all the others.
"Well, okay then," Sheppard says, "if it's based on a bimetallic strip, I believe you," and with a few hand gestures to the crew, who have been watching the proceedings with keen interest, Rodney finds himself and his clock stowed aboard the Abergavenny, about to sail off into parts unknown.
5. watersword asked for "SGA-as-master-criminals" (SGA McKay/Sheppard, PG-13)
The Sharpest Sting
The Replicators stole the wrong woman when they kidnapped Elizabeth Weir from under Rodney McKay's nose. Now McKay won't rest until he steals her back! It might seem like a hopeless cause -- infiltrating the domain of the most advanced robot-caste the universe has ever seen... but McKay is the greatest genius in two galaxies, and nothing will stop him until he's reclaimed his team leader!
Stargate Command have sent out their most fearsome enforcers to bring McKay's Five to justice. No one has ever escaped the combined ingenuity of SG1.
Can McKay steal back Elizabeth, win back John, and escape the wily Samantha Carter of SG1?
Find out in the exciting new release from Atlantis Press, The Sharpest Sting!
6. kinetikatrue asked for "Rodney as the owner of/mastermind behind a line of specialty beauty products (like LUSH) - citrus free, naturally." (SGA McKay/Sheppard, PG-13)
John's first day on set, he's waved through to make-up by a woman who never stops talking on the phone.
"No, no! You need to get me the giant clam shells, right now!" she snarls, nails like crimson talons jabbing the air in front of John's face.
Clam shells? he mouths, wondering if this is code, and feeling a pang for the familiarity of drill sergeants yelling profanities so loudly you were in danger of their spittle hitting you in the eye. There were no hidden surprises with drill sergeants. He hadn't properly appreciated that until he'd decided to give acting a try.
"What are you? Slow?" Talon demands, and given the ways she's glaring, John thinks maybe now she's actually talking to him. He points to his chest, then off in the direction her talons had indicated, and she nods back at him with an eye-roll and goes right on talking. "Sorry, Carson, just a new face, but the clams are not fucking negotiable."
John heads off in what he thinks is the right direction, and he's about to go down a dingy corridor, when Talon yells, possibly at him: "Tell McKay to thank me!" He turns just in time to see her grinning at him like a shark and it's creepy, and then she's gone, vanishing behind a forklift carrying the world's largest pink toilet.
Shrugging, John goes down the dingy corridor and ends up in the make-up room. Centre stage he find a stocky, balding man yelling at a sullen-looking guy with a blond ponytail.
"What part of high definition do you not understand, Kavanaugh?" the stocky guy is saying, arms windmilling everywhere. "There's no leeway with high definition; there's no room for near enough is good enough. Trained monkeys could grasp this concept faster, because there's really only one goddamn thing to remember about hi-def. And what is that girls and boys?"
A short guy with Einstein hair and glasses answers, sounding like he's said it about a million times before: "High definition camera sees everything. There is no escaping the eye." He wiggles his eyebrows and his glasses glint as they slide down his nose. He pushes them back up with his thumb and goes back to stringing ribbons through a wig.
The stocky guy is nodding and continuing on like they finish each other's thoughts all the time, "Monkeys can grasp this. Everyone can grasp this, except you, Kavanaugh, and I'm tired of having this conversation. I didn't hire you for your stunning good looks, but under the mistaken impression that you'd actually be able to--"
Einstein has finally caught sight of John and jabs stocky guy in the ribs with his elbow. "Rodney. Look what Cadman has sent you."
"What? What?" Stocky guy swings around, his gaze falling on John like some kind of laser sighting. "Oh, my god. She actually did it."
There's a moment of silence as everyone in the room stares at John. It's even creepier than the look Talon gave him. John's pretty sure the guy with the blond ponytail is drooling.
"Uh," John says, rubbing at the back of his neck. "Is there someone called McKay in here?"
Stocky guy huffs loudly, breaking the tension; he looks hugely offended, although John has no idea why. "Yes, McKay is here," he says, and picks up a tin from one of the make-up trolleys and throws it at John, who catches it easily.
John turns the tin over and sees a picture of stocky guy, except thinner and with a lot more hair, and the name, "McKay's Solution -- the original and best for high definition filming."
McKay crosses his arms, and looks John over even more critically. John has never felt more aware of the freckle on his left ear, or the shaving scar just beneath his chin.
"Of course," McKay says, "it would be too much to expect that Cadman could find the perfect face, and make sure there was actually a brain somewhere behind it."
And that, right there, was the moment that John decided his life wouldn't be complete until he'd really fucked with McKay's head. "So," John drawls, as slowly as he can manage. He twirls the make-up tin on one finger, so that the logo is facing McKay, and then adds, "What does this say, anyways? I never was too good at the running writing."
In the silence that follows, Rodney's face goes so red, John wonders for a moment it he might actually stroke out.
7. velocitygrass asked for "lawyers (don't care what type)" (SGA McKay/Sheppard, NC-17)
Breaking the Law
They've been stuck in the library for seven hours, Rodney hunched over the Canadian case-law, John hunched over the American. They're down in the bowels of the building, so there shouldn't be any way of knowing that it's the middle of the night without looking at a clock. But John can tell -- there's something about the quality of the silence, the way he can hear the aircon cutting in and out, and the distant hum of some really big machine chugging away behind a couple of layers of concrete. There's no one else around.
John's eyes feel gritty, his skin like stretched paper, all the moisture sucked away by the dry air and book dust.
On the other side of the table, Rodney is blocked in by precarious towers of books, some open and face down at a potentially relevant page. He's leaning on one fisted hand, eyes slitted with tiredness, his mouth drooping even more than usual. The book in front of him is written in small, dark lettering that makes John's head ache just looking at it.
"Pssst," John says, because if he doesn't take a break he's going to start setting off fire alarms or maybe scribbling in the margins.
"What?" Rodney says, with hardly a trace of his usual bite.
"I've had an idea."
"I guess there's a first time for everything." But Rodney closes his book and perks up a bit.
John doesn't really believe he's going to say it until he does. "We should go look at the 346s."
Both Rodney's eyebrows levitate up to his hairline. "The 346s?" he echoes and shifts a little in his seat.
John licks his lips. "Yeah." God, he hasn't been back to the 346s since his intern year.
"Oh," Rodney says, flushing bright red. He looks around a little wildly, as though expecting someone to leap out and say Ahah! Caught you thinking about sex! And then he draws in a deep breath, looks John in the eye and says, "Okay."
And that's how, five minutes later, John finds himself pressed up against a shelf of musty books in the little alcove dedicated to the history of copyright, a raggedy old edition of Patterson digging into his spine, and Rodney McKay attacking his mouth as though climbing into John's skin is the only thing he's ever wanted to do.
Rodney's dick is a hard line against John's thigh, and John doesn't even hesitate, just pops Rodney's buttons and gets it out, pushes his own pants down with his other hand, and then holds their dicks together in the tunnel of his palm.
Rodney groans into his mouth, and if there were anyone else around to hear, they would -- he's loud and frantic, his hips pushing fast, fast, his dick slipping against John's.
"Oh, God," Rodney says, breathing like that time the lifts broke down and he ran fifteen flights of stairs to make it to court on time. "This is... you're so... oh, John."
And John just has time to register the want in Rodney's voice that's more than just here and now, just has time to think, Oh, shit, what have I done? and then Rodney clamps his hand down over John's, whimpers John's name in his ear, and covers John's dick in a slick of come; and that's it, that's all it takes -- bright lights flash behind John's eyelids and he comes and comes all over Rodney's hand, and his own pants, and a brand new copy of Lindberg that one of them must have knocked onto the floor.