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About Varied / Student Official Beta Tester Little Miss Maggie20/Female/United States Groups :iconshrunken-women: Shrunken-Women
 
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Elise's ship was packed back into its padded box in record time, along with a small toolkit that Neburn insisted they take with them. It was like they were all working to the chiming of the same warning bells in their heads. Kaye shouldered her bag and Jared opened up the backpack for Elise. He gave her a boost with one hand, sending her a reassuring smile as she settled down on top of his clothes. Sean stepped forward, but Jared held up his hand.


"Not you. I'm gonna need to hear those directions of yours." Jared unzipped the outer breast pocket of his scaly grey jacket and slowly reached for Sean, a healthy caution mingling with the urgency. "You mind?"

Sean gave the pocket a flat look. It couldn't be that bad, but he still felt ridiculous. Everything in him told him to get away from the hand that came his way. But Sean didn't make a move other than to look away as it reached him. His breath hitched and he expected to be carelessly squeezed, but Jared surprised him. The giant's grip lifted him far more gently than Sean would have thought possible.


It was downright bizarre.


It took him a few seconds, but Sean managed to find a semblance of balance once he was deposited in the pocket. He gripped the edge to keep himself steady, though looking at the room from his current vantage point was disorienting at first. The sooner this gets over with, the better, he thought as Jared's heart practically thundered right behind him. How in the galaxy did Elise get used to this?!


"Alright," he grumbled. "This will do." He saw Kaye looking at him almost endearingly, and he averted his gaze. If the word "cute" comes out of anyone's mouth I might just jump out, he thought.

"Are you always so casual in handling the humans?" Neburn inquired, giving Jared a slightly apprehensive look.


"I wouldn't call it casual-"


"Well, all due respect, sir... They need the assistance." Kaye interrupted.


Jared's eyes slid down to Elise inevitably, adding, "And I've been with Elise for the better part of a week now. I think we've both had time to adjust."  She nodded and smiled out from her spot in the pack.


"Hm. Intriguing." The old man pursed his lips, tucking away the scene to mull over later. "I won't keep you any longer. You best be on your way, now that you have a price on your head."


Jared zipped Elise into darkness and slid the pack on his shoulders. Neburn jogged back out of the lab, switching off the lights and submerging the room in pitch darkness as he sealed it up right behind them. The door once again camouflaged into the wall and the sensor swiveled back into hiding.


"I'll be the first place they come looking for a witness." Neburn muttered, checking every window on his way out as if Ambron's men were waiting for them right now. His agitation made each word sound like an exhalation all its own. Neither Kaye nor Jared could disagree. Ambron would certainly be interested in speaking to the man who was forced into retirement because of his fixation on flight and extra-terrestrials.


"I'm sorry to have dragged you into this mess, doctor." Jared said in a low voice.


The ends of the scientist's scraggly mustache bristled in a sigh. "I can't expect a thrill of a lifetime to be cheap now can I?" He offered a tense smile on his way ushering them out the door. "Take the left from here, follow along the blue grass until you reach the end of the suburban district." With one final look at the young pair on his front porch, he smiled at them, the encouragement lost to anxiety.


"Keep me updated when it's safe, Kaye. Good luck." With that final sentiment, he sealed the front door shut. Jared never felt more exposed as he did then, but he had no choice but to keep his head down and keep moving forward.

Elise settled in once the backpack was cast into darkness once again. She was finding it easier to get her hands on the thick fabric of Jared's shirt and nestle into it. It smelled like him. As he began their flight to safety, Elise sighed and leaned against the side of the backpack. She almost wished she didn't have to be hiding in there, but she knew that she'd be spotted for sure if she took Jared's shoulder.


That broadcast had come as something of a shock to all of them, but Elise couldn't help but wonder why now. Did Ambron already know their exact location? Was she playing with them at this point? Elise closed her eyes in the dark, and tried to ignore the fearful tingling that had returned to her gut.


She tried to cling to the memory of how elated she'd been just the night before. But every second she worried that someone would hop out of nowhere to apprehend her giant hero. If that happened, they'd both be taken away for good, and whatever happiness they had shared together would be a distant memory. And, now that Jared had officially been charged, what would happen to him? Would that stay on his record forever, even if he didn't go to jail? Would Ambron let him go eventually once she had Elise and Sean-the real targets-trapped?


Elise found herself really missing the comforting sound of Jared's heartbeat.


Sean, on the other hand, couldn't wait to get away from Jared's pounding heart. The first step Jared took while he was in the man's pocket had made Sean lose his balance all over again. The pitch and sway was unusual and it took the human a little while to get used to it. And then, as soon as they were outside, he tensed up, gripping the edge of the pocket as if he would plummet should he let go. He kept looking around vigilantly, scowling faintly as he felt each hurried step. Never would have thought I'd miss riding in a stupid backpack.


Still, he was a little impressed at how careful Jared actually managed to be. Remembering all of the other hands that had firmly grasped him, Sean could still hardly believe that these giants were even capable of being gentle enough with humans. Sean almost felt bad that he was turning the man in to literally save his own head.


Almost.


They had been going for a long time when Sean noticed something that made him perk up a little. It was an innocuous stone, next to one of the overgrown paths behind the suburban district. But Sean recognized it from the pictures Ambron had shown him of the area before allowing him to be dropped off at Neburn's. The rendezvous was in that direction. "Hey, go that way," he said. He winced and sank into the pocket when Jared stopped to look down at him. Sean threw the giant a glare before righting himself and pointing to the path. It meandered away from the homes in the area, before cutting off just before a thick stand of blue-leaved trees. "It's somewhere past there, I'm sure of it."

Jared hadn't thought much about it when he suggested it, besides the memory of transporting Elise in his pocket on a few occasions. He assumed it wouldn't be much different, but boy was he wrong. Whereas Elise had remained relatively still in one position during the trip, Sean was fidgeting around so much, Jared was starting to worry the guy was going to accidentally set off his little Taser by accident. Seriously, did that thing have a safety?


"Keep your head down." Jared replied, starting towards the point Sean had described. He fought the urge to roll his eyes when Sean lost his footing from the new rhythm and his slight weight plopped down with a quick tug on the pocket fabric. He felt bad for the guy, but what could he do?


This is so much cuter when Elise is the rider. Jared thought ruefully.


Kaye followed close by his side, falling into the same rhythm. She stiffened, picking up on whispers from across the street. She saw two older women with ivory hair staring hard at Jared's back. Kaye narrowed her eyes at them and walked faster. Jared noticed her lagging and fell back a step.


"Kaye-"


"Don't turn around." With a hand on his back, she pushed him forward, keeping her head high. "Damn busybodies."


The pod-linked train rattled smoothly on a track towering high into the overcast sky. A serene breeze sent a few blue leaves skittering down to steer their way, beckoning them forward. Orsno City was bordered by a hydro-electric power plant on one side, and the detour around took an agonizing twenty five minutes. Beyond that, the terrain flattened out, along with a steep slope of red porous, finely serrated crystals merging into more sturdy boulders around the base of a small mountain.


Don't trip, an annoying voice reminded him.


"Where now?" Jared looked all around, holding up a hand to shield his eyes from the sun. He scrutinized the rock formation, noting its hollow tendencies. "Sean, are we going underground or something?"

After falling down into the pocket the first few times, Sean huffed and remained seated at the bottom for a while. He crossed his arms, stubbornly ignoring the way every step tapped him into the giant chest on one side of him. He felt like some kind of pocket pet, settled in the bottom like that, but it gave him a chance to stay hidden until they were well out of town. And it gave him time to think about the next step. The rendezvous wouldn't be terribly far, but he doubted that Jared and Kaye would want to walk that far in one go.


Sean jolted when Jared suddenly addressed him, the voice rumbling right through him thanks to his proximity. He scowled and felt his face redden slightly with embarrassment, knowing without a doubt that his startled motion had been felt. He huffed in frustration and hoisted himself up once again. He draped one arm over the side of the pocket to better prevent himself slipping back to the bottom while he looked around.


"Not yet," he answered slowly, trying to remember which direction he'd need to steer them next. He eyed the rock formation before them. "Keep going around this hill," he finally said, craning his neck as if he'd be able to see around the considerable corner that the mountain presented. "Should be a cave big enough for you guys with a stream close to it, and there're a bunch of trees in the way. These red rocks are definitely familiar."


Elise listened the best she could as Jared continued forward. All she heard was a hissed swear as, presumably, Sean lost his balance once again. Before the backpack was closed, she'd seen the man trying to keep his balance by actually standing up in the pocket, and couldn't help a smile to herself. There was no way that was easy, considering the pocket would be in constant motion.


It suddenly struck her that she was considering herself more of an expert of riding in someone's pocket. If their situation wasn't so dire, she'd have laughed right then and there. But she sat back and waited patiently. She did idly hope that she'd have a chance to go to the stream she'd heard Sean mention. Perhaps take a quick swim in the cold water to clear her head.


And maybe, after they settled in to roughing it for another night, she could cuddle up on Jared's chest again to stay warm. The thought did give her something to look forward to when they finally decided to settle down for a while. Hopefully Jared would be able to relax, if just a little bit, once they were well-hidden again.

The air began to simmer with the humidity- a threat of a distant storm. Jared was grateful for the hints of blue still visible amongst the wispy clouds. He took Kaye's hand, helping her make the hefty climb up the steep rock face. The terrain continued at an advanced slope, with spindly, ash-colored trees leaving offerings of blue leaves at their base. He often glanced over his shoulder at the outskirts of Orsno City. He prayed Neburn wouldn't fall victim to this conspiracy.


In under ten minutes, the base of the mountain was within sight, just a curtain of trees concealing the bottom. The sound of trickling water revealed a jagged line of water cutting through the forest floor. As the water grew more plentiful, strange white flowers appeared on the bank of the stream. They grew so close and plentiful, all greedily sucking up what water they could. Kaye fell behind to pick one, bewildered by the little green dew drops towards the center, where the petals met. She hesitantly took a whiff, and was pleasantly surprised by the fragrant aroma. Deeming it non-toxic, she tucked it hastily into the back of her high-ponytail and jogged to meet Jared, who was waiting for her up ahead.


The trees thinned out. Jared cleared away a net of vines growing up the side of the cliffs, revealing a crevice easily twice as tall as either giant. Jared gave the pocket an impressed glance.


"One hell of a memory." He commented under his breath. It had been years since Sean had been here... But then again, with something as traumatic as being captured by people over ten times his size, he supposed the man wasn't apt to forget any of this.


Kaye crouched down, rummaging around for her big glow stick. She flicked it on, illuminating the cavernous interior. Grainy red stalactites decorated the ceiling, and a chilly condensation clung to the walls.


"Well, it certainly is big enough." Kaye remarked. "Good enough to call it a day, huh?"


"Yeah, real homey." Jared said sarcastically. Kaye sent him a concerned look out of the corner of her eyes, but said nothing. Finally in complete privacy again, Jared got on the floor and gingerly pulled off his backpack. He unzipped it to let Elise get some fresh air while he dug his other hand into his pocket to retrieve Sean.


"You squirm more than a Tide Worm." Jared remarked, setting the man on solid ground. He offered Elise a hand next, watching her use his fingers for support in finding her footing. "Ride wasn't too rough, was it?"

Sean stumbled away as soon as his feet were on the ground. He put himself a safe distance from the kneeling giant while his heart calmed back down. Careful or not, Jared had grabbed him without any kind of warning. It was almost like the guy had done it to startle him on purpose. Sean scowled and looked up, becoming aware of how cavernous the place was. He was glad he'd noticed it in the pictures Ambron had shown him. It helped his story seem more credible.


Elise pulled herself onto Jared's palm, bracing her hands on his thumb. She shook her head and smiled, glad to see he wasn't too worn out from the trek. She blinked in the light as he lifted her out of the backpack once more. "Not rough at all," she said. Even when he'd had to climb some steep slopes, Elise hadn't noticed many jolts thanks to the bunched up shirt.


The red rock all around drew her attention. "At least you won't have to stoop over in this cave," she remarked, remembering that even Kaye had been too tall for the last cave. She caught Sean craning his neck back to view the ceiling of the cave while the glow from Kaye's light illuminated the hanging stalactites.


"Sean, did you stay in here while you were surveying?" Elise called. It certainly seemed like an excellent place to begin a search for mineral resources.


Sean looked at her, still suspended above the ground in Jared's damn hand. Oh sure, she gets a nice platform, he thought ruefully. "While I was ... no, I didn’t. Not this far up," he answered, forgetting his cover story for a crucial instant. Elise didn't seem to notice. "I found a smaller one closer to the water. But, I could see this one from there."


Now that they were so close to the trap Ambron had set, Sean felt a constant nervous energy in his gut. He wanted the stupid collar off, but he knew anything could happen before that. And he knew he'd just go back to prison, but at least he'd be alive. He sat down wearily, glad for the momentary solid ground. He even undid the strap securing his glove and slipped the device off, stowing it in its case on his belt. He kept the grappler just for the sake of mobility, however.


Elise absently traced a pattern on Jared's palm and watched the mouth of the cave. There still looked to be quite a bit of daylight left. "This place will be okay, if just for a little while, right?" she asked, looking up at Jared with a faint smile. She tried to put her unsaid words of encouragement into her gaze; she couldn't hug him for comfort like Kaye had done.

Jared looked a bit startled for a moment. He still didn't fully appreciate the extent Elise influenced him. Some of the grim thoughts swirling around his mind were silenced the moment she spoke. Just her kind touch was soothing ice to the burning uncertainty inside.


"We'll make it work." He tilted his head at her with a smile that sprang to his lips of its own accord.
Starcrossed || Twenty-Five
Sorry for late posting! Finals today. >_<

~~

Co-Written by the amazing :iconpl1:
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Chilly air rushed past, making Charlie's long locks flutter constantly while Mia flew expertly through the vast metallic tunnels of the air vents. Now this was what she called an adventure! Seeing the world from an impossible angle, it almost felt like a forbidden secret she was let into. An entirely new world. And the company wasn't unpleasant, either.


Mia hadn't spoken since their ascent, tunnel-visioned on her mission. Charlie couldn't even get a read on what she was thinking behind those glossy goggles of hers. She sure made the flying look effortless. Now that her mechanical wings were fixed, Mia acted like flying was merely an extension of herself. A little tilt to the right, a little angle of her legs together... It was incredible, how easy she made it look. Charlie mentally made notes of her performance, wondering if maybe, after this all blew over, Mia would be generous enough to let her go for a spin herself.


At a dark junction, a fork in their path, Mia pulled back into a hover. Her wings slowed down upon her will, and she lowered to the ground.


"Why are we stopping here?" Charlie asked, dismounting from her grasp.


Mia pulled off her goggles and held up a finger to shush her. She cocked her head to the side, her blue eyes sternly fixed on a random point. "Do you hear that?" She whispered.


Charlie frowned, straining her ears. At first, all she heard was the rattle of the air conditioning. But after a moment, something in the background grew more prominent: an eerie, wretched whispering noise, and something moving through the vents.


"The witch," Mia exclaimed, already backing away. "Damnitall, she's coming this way! Come on!"


She seized Charlie's wrist and pulled her along with her. They sprinted back along the vent on foot, tiny footsteps clicking on the metal. Charlie veered right, steering Mia towards the first opening they passed. Filtered light poured in through the darkness: a grate cut off the tunnel, leading them to an entry point to a room in the bunker.


"The latches!" Mia whispered urgently. She raced to fiddle with the hinges securing the grate in place. Charlie mirrored her, grasping the metal bolt and shoving it to the left with all her might. She managed to make it click open just as she realized Mia had stopped moving. She froze up and whirled around: the green smoke traveled past in a deliberately sinister fashion. It was so close, she could smell the rancid odor of blood and fear. Or maybe the fear part was just her. Charlie didn't dare breath as the smoky green mess moved through the air vent, so afraid and feeling like a rat in a cage.


The witch traveled onward without so much as pausing by their vent opening. Even after she was out of sight, Mia and Charlie waited a few seconds until the eerie whispering noise had passed before deciding it safe to talk again.


"I hate close calls," Mia muttered, laying a hand over her heart. "Only way to take down that bitch is by ambush. Can't do that when she's in her smoker form."


Mia touched the sheath on her hip. Charlie frowned, cocking her head curiously at the weapon.


"Dorothy said she couldn't find a way to kill the witch." Charlie said skeptically. “Poppy bullets stun her, but they won’t keep her down forever… Right?”


"Plenty of ways to piss her off. Only one way to actually kill her.” Mia replied. She pulled the knife out of its sheath, tilting it to hit the light. It glinted a radiant shade of crimson as a ray of light hit its polished surface. The knife looked handmade, with a metal handle crafted onto the base of a ruby shard. “Took me half a decade to get my hands on this."


"Oh, like the ruby slippers!" Charlie connected, her face lighting up.


"Well, it's not real ruby persay." Mia said, slipping it securely back in place. "It's actually a crystallized stone formed from the blood of fallen-"


"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Charlie waved her hands dismissively with a grimace. "I've had enough of my childhood ruined today."


A shuffling sound drew her attention- Big, heavy steps. It came from the room this time. Charlie turned around, peering through the metal pattern of the grate. The vent wasn't far off the floor, positioned under a table. She could hear voices though, and knew her friends couldn't be far. A pair of denim-clad legs strode into view further into the room, which Charlie recognized as Dean's.


She smiled. "Great timing." Charlie made quick of unlatching the clasps like she'd watched Mia do.


"Charlie!" Mia whispered. "What are you doing?"


"Help me with this," Charlie implored. "We can't just sit around in a vent while she's in her creepy smoke form. We need a better spot."


For a moment, it looked like Mia might refuse. But watching Charlie strain her meager upper body strength against the grate softened her resolve.  


"Don't hurt yourself." She grumbled, bracing herself on the metal.


It took a few grunts of effort between them before they managed to pop the old vent open. Mia took Charlie's hands, helping to lower her to the floor. Charlie turned around to help her down in return, but Mia had herself taken care of. In a flash of skin and armor, she landed in a tense crouch next to her.

"Wow." Charlie couldn't help but be impressed all over again. Mia caught the utterance and smirked as she passed.


Pushing her goggles more securely on her head, Mia ambled over towards the table leg, careful to stay out of sight from the menacing human not twenty feet away. She craned her neck back, trying to see beyond into the rest of the room. The wicked witch was unpredictable at best. There was no telling where she would materialize next, considering she had the key. Any door would do make herself a portal to Oz.  


Smiling proudly, Charlie strut right towards Dean. From what she could see of him, the blonde hunter was pacing in his methodical search for the wicked witch, checking around large shelves and furniture pieces. Anywhere the mangled witch could be lurking. Charlie imagined the shock on his face when he discovered she had gotten out of the safe room. Boy, would he be impressed with her now. Five inches tall, and she couldn't be shut down!


For the longest time, she could only see his legs, then his chest... Geez, there was so much of him! Finally, his face came into view. It sent butterflies involuntarily through her entire body to see him from this angle. It was like looking up at a denim-clad god. It was a shame she left her cell phone in the kitchen before shrinking. No way to take souvenir pictures.


Fearlessly, Charlie took a step out in the open, waving her arms over her head.


"De-nnmph!" Mia pulled her away from calling out to Dean, clapping a hand over her mouth and slinging a strong, lean arm around her stomach. Charlie's muffled protests were finally eased when Mia released her under the table.


"You're entirely daft." Mia hissed. "You want that behemoth to see us?"

"You don't have to be a jerk about it." Charlie brushed off her sleeves from the tight grip, giving her a reproachful look.

"It's called being careful." Mia sneered. "I used to be human once, too, remember? But your friends can't be the same to you anymore. Not if you want to survive."

"Dean? Please, he's a big teddy bear." Charlie scoffed. Under the shadow of the colossal table, they watched Dean shift his weight from leg to leg across the room. The .45 caliber swung into view at his side. "...with a gun." Charlie admitted under her breath. "Look, It's fine. He would never hurt me."

"I don't have time for your suicide mission." Mia snapped impatiently.


Charlie held up her hands for her to wait. "Just... Watch. You'll see."


Mia crossed her arms across her chest, pale eyebrows raised severely. Charlie backed away again towards the edge of the table's protective shadow. Dean looked like he was getting ready to leave the room, so she had to act now.


"Dean!" Charlie called over to him.


Her heart sank when the seconds ticked by and Dean ignored her entirely. No... Not ignoring. Was it possible she was too small to even hear? With that humbling thought in mind, Charlie edged towards him with a heightened caution.


"Dean!" She shouted. "Hey! Over here, big guy!"


The massive boots twisted in her direction. A triumphant smirk appeared as she leaned back to meet his eyes. Charlie's face fell: Dean wasn't looking down. The sickening realization that she was too small to be heard from the floor crashed upon her like an anvil.


He couldn't hear her. And there she was, stranded in the middle of the floor. Morbidly hypnotized, Charlie watched the gigantic boots shift mere inches as Dean glanced over his head at the air vent. Finding the room clear, he started for the entryway the bridged to the study hall.


Paralyzed by shock, Charlie stood rooted in place as certain death loomed closer. As Dean's shadow consumed the floorboard she stood upon, Charlie broke out of her daze. Consumed by the burning adrenaline of a woman who wanted to live, she dove to the right of the incoming boot. But she wasn't quick enough. The toe of his shoe collided with her stomach, sending her sprawling across the floor.


She sputtered for a decent gasp of air-- it felt like the wind had been knocked out of her and a leaden elephant was sitting on her chest in the meantime. The world still shook. With white spots dotting her vision, she gazed up at her titanic friend. Dean had his gun raised, his eyes scanning the room all around. Charlie groaned weakly. He wasn't sure what he heard, but he wasn't looking down yet.


"Dean," she squeaked out breathlessly-- a useless attempt at this point.


She was still struggling to sit up when, to her horror, he took a step forward. She was thrown back onto the ground, shaken like a crumb during an asteroid impact. Words failed her entirely as she watched Dean move too quickly for her to react. His shadow enveloped her, a dark precursor as the huge wall of leather and rubber that came rushing at her. With less than seconds to act, Charlie suddenly regained control of her body. She dove out of the way with a panicked yell. Dean’s boot slammed down next to her. She scrambled to move away further, only to find the hood of her jacket was trapped between the treads of his boots.


"No!" Mia screamed.


The minuscule blonde dove in front of her, one arm outstretched to shield her while the other plunged her dagger through the wall of Dean's shoe. Victory was realized when Dean gasped in pain far overhead and shot a confused glare down at his feet.


In an instant, his expression melted into a mixture of horror and shock.


"Charlie," he rasped.


Dean stepped away in sheer horror before crashing to his knees. His gun was set aside, forgotten for the moment as he leaned down close. No blood... Yet, his hands still trembled as he reached for her. Mia stepped up again, slashing at his knuckles.


"Don't even think about it." She snarled.


Dean snapped his hand back in surprise, eyes widening when he found the tiny woman had actually knifed him, a thin line of blood running across two fingers. His eyes snapped back to her and hardened. Mia swallowed hard under his intimidating glare. She ran to grab Charlie, her wings in a light hover-- and was seized off the ground by a massive hand. Charlie was left to catch her breath on the ground as Mia's vision became consumed by an angry face.


"Who the hell are you?"


"Piss off," she grunted, struggling fiercely for leeway in his enveloping fist.


"Took the words right outta my mouth." Dean shut her up in his grip. She started squirming immediately, minuscule hands and feet searching for escape between the coiled digits. Ignoring the bizarre feeling, though careful not to crush her, Dean made sure she wasn't going anywhere.


His Adam's apple dipped in his throat as he lowered his free hand to the floor. Fingertips brushed against Charlie's side, easing underneath her to lift her off the ground. She barely moved, hands clutched over her heart while she caught her breath.


"Charlie?" Dean's deep voice rumbled over her. The concern rattled her bones.


She raised her head at last, finding a pair of massive green eyes peering at her with inescapable worry. Charlie sat up and gave his palm a pat to signal she was unhurt.


"Let's not do that again." She groaned.


Dean chuckled softly; it would never cease to amaze him how courageous Charlie could be. He looked her up and down, quietly noticing that she was still trembling. That had been so damn close. So close to Charlie becoming a tiny smear of blood on his hands- or rather, his shoes.


"I told you to stay in the safe room." He said, a stern edge to his voice.


"Bad time for a 'that's what she said' crack?" Charlie asked with a weak smirk. Dean gave her a flat look. "Yeah, not my best line..." She admitted.


Her scarlet locks tumbled gently as she looked this way and that. She leaned off to the side of Dean’s hand, trying to glimpse the floor. She got a split second view of the hardwood below before Dean’s fingers curled inwards towards her, a protective half-cage. She appreciated the gesture, but she hadn’t gotten a good look. Everything had happened so fast, she had lost track of the person who had saved her life.


“Wait… Where’s Mia?” Charlie muttered.


“DEAN!” Sam’s greeting was a bellow from the hallway.


Sam and Dorothy came rushing in, guns poised. They faltered a few steps away when they caught sight of Charlie.


"What... What happened?" Sam asked breathlessly.


"Just a close call here." Dean answered, eyes barely glancing away from Charlie as if this would make up for terrifying her into this shocked state. "Any sign of the wicked bitch?"


Sam shook his head, hair falling from behind his ears. Dean gave him an odd look, only to remember that this was the first time Sam had really gotten a good look at Charlie since she'd been downsized. The guy couldn’t take his wide eyes off her.


"I thought you said you put her in the safe room," Sam muttered, coming to stand next to his brother.


"I did." Dean said defensively. He looked at the tiny redhead in such a way that informed her an explanation was overdue.


"I-I may have had a little help," Charlie said, then froze. A tiny arm wriggled out from Dean's other fist, foreign curse words following. Horror-struck anew, Charlie snapped a shocked glare up at Dean. Suddenly, it became very obvious to her where Mia had disappeared to so quickly.


"Dude! Put her down!" Charlie couldn't get the words out fast enough.


Halfway complying to her request, Dean unfurled his other hand, revealing the second shrunken woman sprawled out upon his palm. Charlie raced to the edge of Dean's hand, bracing her tiny hands on his fingertips like one would peek over the edge of a fence.


"She's on our side, Dean. She knows how to kill the wicked witch!"


"And she’s the one who brought you back into the line of fire." Dean gave the tiny blonde an unappreciative look for unraveling his protective action. Sam leaned down closer, eager to get a better look at the impossibly small woman.


Mia took advantage of the fresh, non-skin flavored air. She adjusted the wings on her pack and threw a dirty look over her shoulder.


"More than I can say for you." She grunted at Dean. "You're the guy who locked her in there in the first place. You lock animals up, not people." Mia narrowed her eyes at him.


"I'll do whatever it takes to keep her safe." Dean countered, a growing edge to his voice. Mia flinched as the massive fingers around her twitched, and she suspected he’d be shutting her up in his unforgiving grip all over again if not for Charlie’s presence.


"Guys!" Charlie interjected. "Big picture here."  


Dean and Mia deliberately ignored her in favor of a glare-off.


"Mia?” Dorothy clamped a hand over her mouth.


“What?” Dean half-snapped, still entirely agitated. Dorothy ignored him. She pushed in front of Sam and dropped to a crouch.


"I'll be damned," Dorothy breathed, leaning forward. "Mia… I- I thought you were gone."


The minuscule blonde lit up with a new life at the sight of the preserved hunter. She smoothed back her ruffled gold bangs, looking almost shy all of a sudden.


"Can't get rid of me with just a life-long curse." Mia said, scuffing her shoe on one of Dean's callouses self-consciously. "Besides, you think I'm gonna let you take down the witch by yourself, you got another thing coming."


Her wings sprang open, lifting her off Dean's hand and up in a strong hover closer to Dorothy. They took a moment to visibly drink each other's new appearance in, the present intermingling with memories of past battles in Oz.


Charlie could feel Dean swivel his head to the side, craning his neck to exchange one of those wordless conversations with Sam. Life-long curse. She turned warm head to toe with the self-consciousness that she knew it was about her this time. Their giant, watchful eyes were impossible to ignore, especially the way their eyes kept finding their way to her.


“Friend of yours?” Dean asked.


Distractedly, Dorothy glanced at him and nodded curtly. “I ran into her in Oz, before the Emerald City massacre. She ditched her business to help kickstart the revolution.”  Looking at the tiny fluttering girl, Dorothy's hardened expression softened into a smile that seemed to take years off her face. "It's damn good to see you."


"Even like this?" Mia lowered her gaze, a bitter smile on her lips.  


"Especially like this, you idiot." Dorothy countered. She reached over to touch Mia's skinny little arm with a surprisingly steady fingertip. "I thought you were dead."


Dean cleared his throat, bringing the sentiments to a screeching halt. "This is real touching, but we've still got a witch loose with the key to Oz."


Cupping his second hand around Charlie protectively, Dean stood up. "Let's get you back downstairs, kiddo."


She was immediately dizzied by the stomach in her throat sensation from Dean standing up. Though his intentions were courageous as always, she felt entirely helpless cupped in the shadow of his protective grasp.


"Hold up, I'm staying with you." Charlie called up.


"The hell you are." Dean snorted.


Thinking quick, Charlie used both hands to squeeze the skin of his middle finger. Once again recovering a tiny blip of pain, Dean paused at the door, eyebrows raised at her rather impatiently. Charlie sighed, relieved to have his attention again, and hating that she had to fight for it at this size.


"Look, I can't help when I'm locked up." She huffed, trying not to look as flustered as she was.


“Uh, yeah, you lost your helper card when you shrank.”


Charlie opened her mouth to argue, but couldn't quite choke out the words. What if that was her fate? Too small now. Too small for anything. It was hard not to despair under such pressing circumstances. Sam put a hand on Dean's upper arm, urging his brother to ease his stubbornness with a single glance.


"Let’s hear her out, Dean.”


Giving Sam a flicker of an appreciative smile, Charlie sucked in a deep, steeling breath before continuing. "Mia has a ruby shard. It’s a-a blade of some sort. Oz magic... Fatal magic." she said, standing tall as she could under the looming attention of the giant hunters. "We actually have a shot at killing her, guys."


“She’s right.” Dorothy interjected. “The ruby magic is our only shot at putting her down for good. Small or not, Mia’s a good soldier. I’d trust her with my life.” Her brown eyes flickered down to Charlie, giving a little nod to indicate her. "I'm sure you'd say the same of Red here."


Dean blinked and followed her gaze, giving his tiny friend a flicker of a smile as he considered all she had done for them, amateur hunter or not.


"Yeah, I would." Dean admitted quietly. Charlie swelled with pride, sharing a warm look with those large green eyes overhead.


There was a brief moment as Sam and Dean weighed their options. Having more visitors from Oz was unexpected enough, but the inflicted size difference was enough to make any hunter skeptical. But time wasn’t on their side, and they couldn’t afford to look a gift horse in the mouth.


“Alright,” Dean conceded. “What’s the gameplan?”

Tiny!Charlie ficlet Part 3
One more part in the works before I call it a day on this episode re-write. :)
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Half an hour later, Neburn had cleared off a workstation in his lab just for the ship. Bright swivel spotlights in the ceiling were fixated on the various parts of Elise's shuttle, laid out like pieces to a puzzle. Kaye was assisting the doctor by handing him tools when he required it, while Jared was... hovering.


Neburn stiffened as he angled the cordless laser focus on the edge of the turbine, smoothly welding it where Elise and Sean had indicated. When he was finished, he sighed patiently and subtly glanced over his shoulder.


"Boy, you better stop breathing down my neck." He scolded. Jared straightened up immediately, giving Kaye a flat look when he saw her bury a chuckle into her arm. He paced away, coming to lean against the counter where Elise and Sean were standing a safe distance away to spectate.


"Not bad, huh?" He sent Elise a crooked smile, jabbing a thumb towards the sizzling metalwork behind them. Now that the quirky, alien-obsessed doctor was proving himself to be not only reasonable, but useful, much of the tension had left his face, revealing that little sparkle reserved for her again.

Elise beamed up at him from where she stood, her eyes lit up and her posture relaxed. "It's amazing. I would never have figured out how we were going to seal up the hull." She had watched with awe as Neburn got to work, making much more progress on the ship than she'd managed in days. Repairing the hull was going to be the toughest part of the whole endeavor, but the old man's steady hands made it look so easy. Elise knew there were several more requirements to really get the vessel spaceworthy, but this was a huge step forward.


It was strange that Sean, standing several steps away from her, watched the doctor work with an almost-scowl on his face. He had been content to brood there, standing still as a statue, ever since getting let out of the backpack.


Elise remembered Sean's few allusions to his last encounters with scientists, and almost felt guilty. She turned a sheepish gaze back up to Jared and said in a lower voice, "I'm sorry for speaking up and startling you; I didn't have another way to get your attention before things escalated."

"Nah," Jared shrugged off her apology, sending a lingering glance over where sparks were still flying around Elise's ship. "It’s hard to believe, but I think it was for the best."


Watching Neburn work made hope swell in his chest. This was more progress than they had made in days, just talking and planning. His heart sank a little as the knowledge that they were one big step closer to sending the humans away for good. Namely, Elise. What a selfish pull he felt towards her. Of course he wanted her to be free! But maybe.... Maybe waiting it out a little longer wouldn't be so bad...


Sean managed to tear his focus away from the ship coming together to watch Elise and Jared from the corner of his eye. Those two had been acting... well, something all day. Sean saw the endearing look on Jared's gigantic face and suddenly got a nagging suspicion. No spy is committed enough to put that look on a guy's face. He really should have seen it the first time he grabbed her arm and she didn't even try to throw him. Elise was no more a spy than Ambron was a circus clown.


It was too bad; his assessment didn't change his mission.


Sean sighed faintly and moved across the counter to sit against a toolbox. He didn't wince, though he did feel a short wave of pain as all of his bruises complained. They stung awfully now that their group wasn't running around in a higher-stress situation; Warren had really squeezed him hard. Sean glanced back over at Elise and saw that the girl had edged a little closer to where Jared's hand rested on the counter. He couldn't help but notice the grace of her step and the curve of her back. First real woman I see in years and she's got doe-eyes for a giant, he thought ruefully.


"Help me get a better view, Jared?" Elise asked shyly, glancing at his hand once.


Broken from his thoughts, Jared failed to hide his approving grin as he looked back down at her. "Sure thing!"


The hand next to Elise turned over, reaching behind and nudging the back of her knees so she was guided to sit side saddle in the pit of his palm. She got a closer view of his smile as he lifted her up to his shoulder. "You got it?" He asked, trying not to laugh as her skinny legs slid over his shirt, bunching up the material.

As Jared went to pull his hand away, he changed course to give her a little squeeze against his neck. He smiled as she remained snuggled close to his skin, memories of the night before resurfacing and setting him in a cheerful mood. She still smelled so nice... Like a flower that didn't quite belong to this world.


Jared leaned back against the counter and tapped out a random rhythm on the surface, watching Kaye hold the hull of the ship steady for the working hands. Unable to help it, his mind grew restless


"Tell me more about your Earth." Jared announced suddenly. Neburn raised his head, glancing over curiously as he caught the end of the conversation. "You've got elephants and flying machines. What else?"


He reached down to give Sean a gentle nudge, earning a glare. Jared quickly drew his hand away, not risking getting zapped twice in 24 hours. "What about you, Sean? You got any stories from home?"

Sean braced his hands on the countertop, making sure Jared wasn't going to poke at him again. He threw the giant a flat look, but didn't say anything right away. His mind kept filling with thoughts of home, threatening to drag him into hopeless nostalgia. He'd already given up on getting off the planet, so all of the progress Elise was making towards her own escape made him feel optimistic in spite of himself. He shook his head and waved his hand, trying to deflect the inquiry.


Elise smiled faintly. "Come on, now, Sean. Nothing wrong with reminiscing," she said encouragingly. She watched her fellow human carefully. He still acted like every little move one of the giants made was a potential attack. Poor guy probably still can't believe he might get home, Elise thought sympathetically. "What's the last thing you did at home?"


Sean wanted to throw a snarky reply at her, he really did. Why should he tell a bunch of giants about Earth? Those memories were the only things nobody could take away. He glanced up at Jared, raising an eyebrow at the man's expectant expression. This was probably the best opportunity he had to earn the guy's trust after electrocuting him.


"The last thing I did at home ..." he mused, thinking about it. Of course, his line of work required a lot of travel, on and off of Earth. But he did remember that, before heading out on his last mission, he'd secured a nice vacation. "I took my nephew to see the Grand Canyon," he finally admitted. His shoulders actually relaxed for the first time since Ambron had walked up to his prison cell as he remembered the kid's wide grin upon seeing the famous landmark.


Elise smiled, glad that they had convinced Sean to open up a little. "The Grand Canyon is beautiful," she supplied, knowing that the name meant nothing to the giants in the room. "It's one of the biggest canyons on Earth, and it's very old and very deep." Elise realized that something as mind-bendingly big as the Grand Canyon would probably not be as impressive to the non-humans in the room, and she chuckled sheepishly. "They say it shows millions of years of Earth's geological history."

"Oh, I see." Jared said. "Y'know we have something sort of like that down south called the Vogue Trench. You'd never take a kid there, though. Rikondi breeding grounds." He explained, raising his eyebrows and making a face.


Kaye's laugh carried from across the room. "Oh come on, my mom took me there once. They're not so bad when they're babies."


"Uh, yeah if you don't mind losing a hand!" Jared retorted. "I like the sound of your Grand Canyon better. " he continued, addressing the humans. "Earth must collect all sorts of tourism. Sounds inviting."

Sean smirked faintly, trying to imagine giant tourists showing up back home. For some reason it was amusing trying to imagine Jared having a chat with the interplanetary Customs board. Then again, it was also a little unsettling to imagine actually making it home only to have the damn giants follow him there. "Maybe I'll send you a postcard next time I'm there," he answered wryly.


Elise giggled at the joke, relieved to see the two of them somewhat getting along. There was still a definite hesitance on Sean's end, though. She wondered absently what made him decide to give being friendly a try. "Earth does get a few visitors, though I think most of the tourism is from humans," she remarked. In the back of her mind, Elise couldn't help but imagine what it would be like to go and see the great sights of Earth with Jared. Of course it was not a possibility anywhere but in her imagination, but she smiled softly anyway.


Sean still had his head tilted back to keep his eye on Jared. So he could see the wishful glances that Elise kept making towards the giant man. It was irksome to see her so relaxed after everything that had happened, but he supposed having a huge bodyguard did help one's sense of security. Even though they were making polite conversation, Sean had no illusions about whether Jared would protect this woman from anything, even her fellow human. Poor girl needs it, with someone like Ambron on her trail, he thought.


He pushed those thoughts aside. He still had a part to play. "And what about you, sweetheart? See anything exciting last time you were on Earth?" Which was probably only weeks ago. He feigned an interested smile. The last thing Sean actually wanted to hear was another story about home, but ... he had a job to do and no one protecting his life but himself.


Elise shook her head. "No ... I helped my mom move into her apartment, but then I had office work on Ceres before being called out to a hearing." In truth, Elise had seen very little of her own planet. She had always taken for granted that it would be there when she decided she was tired of diplomacy.

"Are you kidding? That sounds riveting." Jared teased gently.


He thought back on the fact that, until recently, he had an office job himself six days a week. He certainly didn't miss the mundane activity of watching the skies for any debris, cataloging shriveled space rocks and logging them for storage... The job made him want to knock his head against the wall some days. But it was safe. He always could count that every day would bring the same thing. Maybe that's what he missed- the routine, the security.


"Hold it steady," Neburn told Kaye. "I'm going to seal in the other turbine."


"Yes sir." Kaye said. She squinted as the bright light flared up again from the laser, binding the polished metal to the underbelly of the space shuttle. Jared tapped his fingers on the counter absent-mindedly, unaware of how the simple movement caused vibrations through Sean's seat.


A faint buzz made him flinch slightly. He thought he had touched something electrical hanging out in the lab until he caught sight of his wrist band. The projection light was blinking bright blue, indicating there was an incoming transmission. Jared slowly brought his wrist up to eye level. The message overrode the manual set up, projecting itself over his wrist before he could even touch it.


A curt, four note melody played as the national symbol was projected in the standard turquoise color- a white oval with sixteen black circles lining the inside. His heart skipped a beat.


"It's a public broadcast." He murmured, explaining to the humans but barely sparing them a glance. He could see from here that Neburn and Kaye were receiving identical broadcasts. Neburn ignored his for the sake of precision welding, but Kaye caught his eye from across the room nervously.


"Your attention please. Errio conè sercis tandi." an emotionless voice announced in both English and the old language of the outlands. "This is a security alert. There is a class 3 fugitive on the run in your area."


Jared's blood ran cold as the image of the wanted criminal was projected:


It was him.


The broadcast continued mercilessly. "Crimes: espionage, resisting arrest, multiple assaults, and treason. This man is believed to be deranged and dangerous. Please take proper safety precautions and inform the nearest peace officer if you have any information. Thank you."


With a final flicker, his face disappeared and the broadcast concluded. It had been so brief, yet it changed everything. Neburn had finished the turbines and was staring at him wide eyed. Kaye was giving him a look of similar panic.


"Okay, there were not multiple assaults..." Jared muttered, quietly trying to hide the panic. With a slightly trembling hand, he took Elise off his shoulder and set her down. "Krivnex..."

Elise's green eyes remained wide as the terse broadcast concluded. She put a hand on Jared's neck, wishing she could soothe the quickening pulse. She could feel his hand quivering when it gently wrapped around her and lowered her back to the countertop. Sean, she noticed, had stood and was staring absently at the space that Jared's wrist had occupied. He was lost in thoughts of his own.


Elise looked across the room to where Neburn watched them. She held her hands up in a placating gesture, as if physically trying to hold the stress level in the room down. "It's okay. We'll be okay." She watched the old scientist closely, trying to read his reaction. If he didn't realize just how deep in trouble she and Jared were before, he surely did now.


Sean felt his heart hammering again, his adrenaline rising to a more familiar level. That broadcast may have just been an innocuous message sent according to protocol. After all, they did something similar back home.


But the spy couldn't shake the feeling that it was a not-so-subtle way for Ambron to let him know he wasn't working quickly enough.


"We could go into the wilderness around here," he suggested, stepping up beside Elise on the counter. He watched Jared cautiously, but in general he kept his cool. After all, he'd already known all of the charges against the guy. "I remember the place where I landed was kind of remote. Might be a good place to hide," he explained, his eyes wandering over to Neburn.


"That is if this guy doesn't turn us in first," he added resentfully. He couldn't really see the guy letting him and Elise go into government custody so readily. But the man had no real reason to protect Jared or Kaye.


Elise turned sharply to Sean, her eyes alight with frustration. "Will you stop trying to pick a fight for three seconds, Sean?" Even so, she was grateful for his suggestion. They could rough it for a while, and perhaps the alert would move on to a different city. She looked at Jared, wishing she could calm the shaking in his hands. "Sean's plan does sound like our only option right now." She turned a steady, imploring gaze to Neburn. He currently held the most cards.

Neburn gaped at Sean, looking particularly insulted by his suspicion.


"If I had any intention of malice toward your species, do you think I'd be repairing your only means of escape?" Neburn challenged coolly.


Not a man to hold a grudge (especially against aliens he's suspected for the better part of a lifetime), the scientist hurriedly started to remove the clamps and supports attached the ship. He

was all for helping the refugees, but there was no logic in letting his entire collected works get confiscated to top it off.


Abandoning the tools for a moment, Kaye came over and wrapped her arms around Jared. He resisted initially, but gave into the supportive gesture. Friends were few now. He was grateful for her.


"They're right." She realized, giving his back a rub, trying to instill peace in her friend even as her own heart was racing. "Everyone has seen your face now. We have to get out of town."


"I know," Jared said, pulling out of the hug reluctantly. He turned to Sean. "Can you identify this place on sight? "

Elise turned to Sean as well, glad that he hadn't tried to pursue his silly train of thought. Why would Neburn turn on them now? It wouldn't make any sense for him to have helped at all. She watched her fellow human as he thought about Jared's question. He looked like the alert had scared him pretty badly, too; perhaps the thought of getting captured again was weighing heavily on him.


"Well, I mean, it's been a few years since I was there, but ... yeah. I can point us in the right direction." Sean answered with a nod. Already he was going through the directions in his head. He hadn't actually landed anywhere near here. But Ambron had shown him a pretty good map of where she wanted him to lead the others. He could get them there easily.


And then they'd all get captured, and he'd get the explosive collar off. Sean sighed and avoided Elise's gaze when she smiled encouragingly at him. Betraying her after finding out that she really was innocent felt so much more wrong. Before, he'd at least been able to rationalize that she'd signed up for the risk.


Elise tilted her head to try and catch the man's dark grey eyes. "Hey ... don't worry. I'm sure you'll be able to remember it just fine, Sean."


Sean chuckled very faintly, so quietly that only Elise could hear. He finally met her gaze with a faint smirk. Inside he was wondering how long it would take the scientists to train that sweet smile off her face. But outwardly, he squared his shoulders and crossed his arms, wearing a stubborn attitude again. "I guess this means I have to give you directions," he announced. Already he wondered how that would be arranged. Hope this doesn't mean I have to sit on his shoulder. He glanced at Neburn and Kaye in turn. "We should go sooner than later," he added. He had no idea what kind of deadline Ambron had him on, but the public broadcast certainly couldn't be a good landmark.


Elise nodded and turned towards Neburn, her head tilted back. She clasped her hands and gave him another quick bow. "Thank you so much for your help. I don't know how we can ever repay you."

Neburn shook his head after returning the bow himself. "No need. Seeing you two confirms my theories. And that... That is reward enough."
Starcrossed || Twenty-Four
Previous: 

Next: Monday

~~~

cowritten by :iconpl1:
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It was him. She was finally alone with Jason, and Megumi's hormone-fueled heart wouldn't settle down. The guitar-playing hearthrob had been a mutual friend of hers for some time now, but it had never really been just them. And now, under the cover of the Bergen Colored Arts festival, they finally had their chance. 

Megumi fingered her long, loose locks of ink colored hair, ever aware as the boy came right up behind her, his body heat tangible though he wasn't a giant.

"These fun show mirrors always freaked me out." He said in a huskier voice than he normally spoke. Megumi stared at their distorted reflection in the dim light. The curvy silver glass made them appear as an hourglass shaped mix of two people.

Another flesh blob in the reflection moved, and suddenly his hand was on her waist. A harmless touch, really. But the petite girl stiffened up with a gasp and stepped away. She moved so quick, she ended up knocking right into the funhouse mirror. The last group other than them filed out, perturbed by her jumpiness. Jason stared down at her, his brown eyes flashing confusion in the dark. 

"What was that for?" He stepped closer again, a cocky smile tugging at his full lips. "Come on, you know you liked that..." He slid his hands onto her hips again.

"Ha, yeah...That's the thing." Meg had always heard from her mother that a good man is one who accepts you as you are. Though she'd honestly gotten to a point where she thought she knew better than some lady over forty, she thought given this method a chance had some merit. Who knew? Maybe he'd accept her even if she had known Jason only a few months now. "I'm really particular about who touches me." She tensed once more at the touch, feebly trying to pull away.
     

He released her at once, stepping back in shock. Even in the dark, his expression crumbled as he saw she was utterly serious. 

"Of course. Fine." He shrugged,the alluring quality to his voice completely gone.
     

"...So...what? What did I do wrong here?" Meg tilted her head up towards the dark haired boy and felt some semblance of relaxation restored.
     

"Nothing, I just..." Jason chuckled unpleasantly. "I mean, it's kinda hard to get close to a girl who you have to stand like five feet away from."
     

"Well, isn't it enough to want to be around someone for their personality?" Meg asked, some hope masked by a vaguely unimpressed exterior "I mean, relationships don't have to be around solely like, physical stuff."

"You can only go so far before..." He scoffed, turning away and looking for an exit. "Who am I kidding? You have no experience to know what I'm talking about." 

He went to brush past her towards a flap of light, the tent fabric blowing In a breeze.

Even though there were a few screams and murmurs, shocked utterences and mutterings, Megumi only felt the crushing silence that accompanied the beginnings of rejection's aftermath. Meg stood still for a few moments then slowly tilted her head down. Her eyes stung. Her chest felt too tight. Breathing became shuddery. Meg tightened and slackened her hands, nails digging into flesh before she stood up stiffly and dashed out a flap in the tent, covering her eyes before she started crying. Great. her make up was going to run now.

     

"Meg, wait!" Maurine called after her. She outran Orion in dashing after their friend. A giant stopped in his tracks as two girls ran under his legs, one after the other. A boy followed, but swerved around, leaning back to shoot the giant a sheepish smile. 
     

"Meg, what on earth happened?" Maurine caught up and grabbed her arm.
     

"Don't touch me!" Meg snapped and jerked free, hugging her arms to herself. With a swipe of the butt of her hand against her eyes, coming away murky with eyeliner. "It was Jason...He...he made a move on me and...Screw him..." She sniffled and started storming off towards the sidelines, trying to keep out of the way of any giants. her back hit wood and she sank down the surface of something solid. She couldn't tell what.
     

Maurine faltered, standing beside her shattered friend. She held up a hand, stopping Orion from coming any closer. His greeting died in his throat when he saw her makeup-smeared cheeks. 

"Megumi..." He stepped forward. 

 

"Back off, she needs some space!" Maurine shoved him backward.
     

Meg shook her head and sniffed, lower lip wobbled. Her face felt disgustingly wet and she felt acutely aware of the thundering steps of the giants that milled about. She buried her face in her knees which she'd drawn forward. Meg desperately wished to disappear completely.
     

Maurine looked uncomfortable, now that both her attempts to ward off Orion and comfort Meg had failed miserably. 

"Um... Should we find your mom or something? Do you wanna talk about it?"

At this point, Megumi didn't care about saving face. Considering she was already a mess of teenage hormones, bad feelings and smeared eye make up, she figured that wasn't a whole lot she'd have to do to look lame. Meg nodded and sniffled.

~~~~~

 "I bet that's not even real fire," Adrian scoffed to Kanna under his breath. He promised his buddy, Ryker, that he would watch this exotic fire-dancing show. So far was unimpressed. 

The flames reminded Kanna of orange ribbons of spectral heat which allowed stimulus for the woman's attentive mocha eyes. She gave Adrian a gentle push on the jaw as if to tell him to pay attention properly.

"What? I'm not making fun of his profession, I'm just sayin'..." A glance out of the corner of his eye spotted a particular type of movement his brain instantly characterized by his daughter's. he looked down, and sure enough, his dad instincts were correct: Meg was being escorted towards him carefully by that blonde friend of hers. Meg was slumped, looking extremely unhappy to say the least. 

Excusing himself from the crowd, he dropped to one knee before them and cupped a hand behind them to protect them just in case. 
"What's going on?"
     

Meg sunk her front teeth into her lower lip to stay the wobbling with which she was afflicted with. She kept her eyes down, hot tears slinking down her cheeks. In her father's presences, there was little she could do now to stop herself from crying. The safety he represented extended into even her adolescence. The familiarity of his great shadow cast over her, the knowing of his hand behind her-- in a way, it helped but at the same time, it magnified her feelings at present. She sniffled and wiped her eyes.

     

Adrian scooped both teens into his hands with question. They were in the midst of a crowd that was unconcerned with the girls' anxiety. He eased himself back to his feet, the air from the movement plastering their hair to their faces. 

Maurine looked like she was trying to be polite, but was clearly uncomfortable and unusually timid being held inches away from the giant's face. "Maurine, what's wrong?"
     

Noting her friend's discomfort instantly, even in her distraught state, Meg wiped her eyes again and chanced looking up towards her father. Though Maurine had her mouth open to speak, Meg beat her to the punch.

"I was with Jason and he...he was being a jerk." She sighed shakily and looked back downwards. "...Move Maurine back away from your face, you're freaking her out, dad..."

A small fire instantly ignited within those gentle green eyes. 

"Y-you could just set me down on that beverage platform there..." Maurine prompted. Adrian did so, and after promising to visit her later, Maurine dashed off. 

 

Adrian's jaw was clenched as he started for the trolley station, cradled Meg against his chest, shielding her from sight and the world around her.

Kanna shifted her eyes from her husband to their daughter. Some foolish boy had clearly broken the girl's heart and she could see by the protective spark in Adrian's eyes that Jason would be in for a world of hurt if he ever came near her again. Meg broke down, shoulders shaking as she cried into her father's chest, releasing as much of her heartbreak as she possibly could.
     

The ride home was silent and undisputed. It seemed to be longer than the ride to the festival, and for good reason. Their thoughts were heavy. Adrian pressed her against him, murmuring words of comfort and acknowledgment until the girl became still in his hand. 

 

The air of their clean cottage and stillness of solitude was a welcome change.  The door closing and a giant's slow footsteps through the home demanded confrontation- soon.

     

"Let me get some tea on for you both." Kanna spoke in a soothing tone before dismounting her husband's lowered hand onto the counter top, leaving their daughter to Adrian's hands. She knew having too many people involved would stress the girl out so she wisely sought a more quiet, subtler form of comfort in the form of a gesture rather than speech. Meg  stared downward onto a non-fixed point on the tiled floor of the kitchen below.

     

Adrian nodded in agreement and sat down across the kitchen, resting his hand on the table. But he wasn't necessarily asking her to get off yet. She needed the comfort right now. 

 

"You had a thing for this Jason kid, didn't you?" He recalled the way her eyes had lit up at the mere mention of the guitarist. How dare he crush that light in her. "Tell me how he screwed up."

     

Meg sat down with her legs drawn in towards her chest. The edges of her hands were darkened by smudged make up but were faded, like the graphite dust she regularly saw on Devon's hand whenever he visited. Even when he washed up, they seemed stained, like a tattoo, a mark of his trade. After taking a sobering breath and adjusting to the feeling of hardwood beneath her rather than warm flesh, she finally spoke up.

"We went into the haunted house and we were just...he got close to me and started touching me...no where like...super inappropriate but like...yeah. I got uncomfortable so I..." She wiped her eyes again. They felt uncomfortable and stiff "I told him about how I feel about being touched...he stepped back and...basically said to me that a relationship can't just exist through mental stuff...Then he just...walked away. It was like...I dunno, I wasn't touchy feely enough for him or something..."

Adrian's eyes flashed dangerously, and he glanced out the window to gather some serenity.

"Allright," He sighed and leaned down to look at her carefully. "That, Meg, is what we call a 'douchebag'." He cracked a small smile- no less serious about the ordeal, but an effort to make her smile."There's so much more to a relationship than physical crap… But you already know that." He paused to let it sink in, then spoke in a lower decibel. "He touches you again, you tell me. Understand?"

Meg sniffed a bit again but managed the uplifting one corner of her lips which was progress to say the least in her current mood. At her father's words, she nodded and looked up at him.

"Just...try not to kill him, alright? Kinda don't want you getting arrested."


He sighed heavily, as if debating the matter seriously. "…Deal." He paused a moment, then scooped her into his hands again. "C'mere." He kissed her cheek and brushed the remaining dampness of tears away. 

"...Hey...um..." She leaned against a wall of protectively curled fingers. She ran her hand over a callous then looked back up at Adrian "...Sorry for being so rude and stuff...earlier, I mean."

He lowered her back to the table, still cradling her in his hands. "Eh, don't sweat it…"  Adrian lowered his gaze to his lap as another thought crossed his mind. "I realize that having a giant dad can be… awkward."

"More like a giant dork for a dad." She teased him lightly, snorting back snot and trying to laugh a bit, see if the action would seem normal "You're like...my dad, though. I don't think it matters what you are. I'd be all wierd about you even if you weren't like, a giant."

He visibly warmed at this, but kept it to himself in an eye-crinkling smile. "Gee, that makes me feel loads better." He nudged her side.

A small bit of laughter was coaxed out of the sensitive teen from the giant's touch and she gave his thumb a punch, confident it would maybe feel like a poke at best.

Adrian chuckled and let his hand fall slack beside her. The rhymic pattering of dainty footsteps up a staircase marked Kanna's arrival with two cups of herbal tea.

"Is that one for me?" Ade teased, hoping idly to make Meg laugh again.

I don't much recall you much being one for smaller portions." Kanna raised her skinny, immaculately shaped brow and spoke dryly, increasing her daughter's mirth tenfold.

Meg reached out a skinny arm to receive her drink, fingers tempted to shy away at the hot mug. Kanna glanced up towards her husband.

"Yours is sitting on the countertop. Did you expect me to lift that here, perhaps?" She chided.

"It would have been nice, yeah." He winked at her, already rising from his seat to finish preparing his with extra honey the way he liked it. China clinking, spoons stirring, sips of hot liquid- sounds that characterized the quiet afternoon of reparation found in their small family.

Adrian Versus the Boyfriends | Part 1
Slipping ahead in the  future quite as bit!
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Obsess-Confess
Little Miss Maggie
Artist | Student | Varied
United States
:iconrequestsopen: :icontradesopen:
Finally uploaded a pic of myself!
I'm a college student, majoring in character animation. My dream is to work at Pixar Animation Studios.
I love to draw people. The human body is a master piece in and of itself. I don't have a lot of my serious art on this account, but that might change.
I gravitate towards romantic subjects, or very emotional things. I like feeling something when I create. In a weird way, the mood of the piece possesses me while I make it.
I love art, writing, and discovering new ideas. I'm always up for a GT roleplay, or doing sketch trades.
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:icontheghostwriterscurse:
Hey I noticed you do SPN giant photo manipulations sometimes, you probably already know this,but I thought i'd show you anyways! ( in case you didn't because finding just the right picture can be hard sometimes)

www.homeofthenutty.com/superna…

this site has so many screen caps from the show! And so many could be used with size change photo manipulation !
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:iconobsess-confess:
Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2015  Student General Artist
I do know of that site, and have used it for many of my photomanips. But the thought is so kind and I really appreciate the trouble you went through to send me this. Hope you still enjoy the SPN GT manips I make in the future! 

(Oh! and btw, if you ever find a pic that seems like it would make a good manip, feel free to link me in a note. I'm always on the look out for good pics and there are a LOT to sit through. :) )
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:iconemeryaxiom:
emeryaxiom Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for faving! :hug:
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:iconobsess-confess:
Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2015  Student General Artist
Thank for making it! ;) 
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:iconlennygrosskopf:
LennyGrosskopf Featured By Owner Edited Mar 22, 2015  Student Digital Artist
thanks for the many favs and the watch :heart: :heart: :heart:
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:iconobsess-confess:
Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015  Student General Artist
thanks for being awesome :)
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:iconlennygrosskopf:
LennyGrosskopf Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015  Student Digital Artist
ohhhhhh yoooooouuuuuuuu Llama Emoji-02 (Blush) [V1] :hug: :hug:
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:iconobsess-confess:
Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2015  Student General Artist
^_^
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:iconphoenixgirl500:
Phoenixgirl500 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2015
The big thimble in your profile pic though!.... I want one @_@
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:iconobsess-confess:
Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2015  Student General Artist
THANKS! I visited Tinkerbell's room in Magic Kingdom ^_^
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