I don't have a lot of common sense or restraint when it comes to signing up for challenges. This spring, it's the accidental Three-Big-Bangs-At-Once that I've put myself to. However! I'm enjoying all of them a great deal, and while I'm flying a little blind with "Robin Hood" and looking at a lot more work than I have time for with "Magic College" (those aren't titles, I swear...), they're all fun to do.
Futuristic Robin Hood:
He let the cold air cool his blood and slow his racing pulse. If he stayed too long, Robin would come looking for him, always on edge about his crew. Robin was a reluctant leader, but a good one, and he wouldn’t stand for anyone wandering off on their own longer than five or six minutes.
On schedule, the metal doors creaked again, and Robin appeared, wrapped in the old coat he’d been wearing when John met him. Christ, had it only been four months? He remembered the first time he’d seen Robin he’d been black and blue, his lip bleeding and his eye swollen almost shut, but he’d pulled John to his feet from the rubble and shoved him into a doorway. He’d clung to John like a lifeline as the city rained down around them, and John regretted putting that black-eye there. Robin had surprised him, that was all, and he’d already been mugged twice. There was a pause in the tumult of noise and Robin had looked up into his face, grinned, and said, “Well, I suppose they’re right when they tell you never poke a bear.”
Robin hesitated before reaching for him, and John quietly welcomed the familiar hand on his arm. “Come on back in,” Robin said. “I won’t ask you about it.”
Go to College, Sorcerer
Gareth Ember was the third child of a brood of four, the younger son of a farmer from Grassneck and a weaver famous in Resk. He was born outside Shadowhilt, a great way north of the capital city, and was brought up like the rest of the children in the village— coddled by many mothers, fed by many fathers, running free all day and sleeping at night with his siblings in the bed beside the fireplace. For years, life was simple. The Embers were never rich, but the village didn’t count itself wealthy by any means, so they got on just fine. Gareth went to school with his brother and his sisters, learned to read and write, and spent the summers working for his father.
When Gareth turned fourteen, things changed. He put on six inches in a year, and it began to become apparent that he was Talented. Not only was he sore and sullen, voice changing and face all spotty, but his body was surging with magic. He was an anomaly in the village, being the only one in three score years to show any Talent, and he was regarded with awe. At first, the Talent appeared to have no focus, and everything Gareth touched went awry. Pots on the stove boiled over, plants withered and died (or grew to immense proportions in an instant), and all the village dogs set to barking when he was anywhere near. People, while they didn’t exactly avoid him, gave him a woefully wide berth, and Gareth spent two years with only a couple of people who cared to talk to him for any length of time.
Oh fuck, Jared thinks, entirely grateful that he stifled the desire to make a male nurse joke. This guy is gorgeous, and it’s not just the drugs talking. Even from this angle, which is not a flattering angle on anyone, he looks good. Jared can see the line of his throat, the broadness of his shoulders, the hint of stubble on his jaw. He wants to lick that jaw all of a sudden, and feels himself flush with the craziness of the idea.
“How are you feeling?” the nurse asks.
“Awesome,” Jared says, his mouth entirely out of control, “now that you’re here.”
“Wow,” the nurse says, the hint of a smile turning up the corner of his beautiful lips, “that was quick. I usually get at least one blood pressure measurement in before I get hit on.”
“Really?” Jared asks. “That shocks me. You should get hit on all the time.”
“And usually it’s women,” the nurse adds, smiling openly now. He puts the chart down and reaches for the blood pressure cuff.
“Oh,” Jared says, seriously disappointed. He frowns and stares at the nurse’s bicep, and the nurse grins.
“Never mind,” he says. “Can you lift your arm for me?”
“The one that doesn’t hurt.”
Jared obeys. The nurse takes his blood pressure, tells him, “One seventeen over seventy five,” and writes it down, and then comes at him with the thermometer. “Under your tongue.”
Jared opens his mouth, wider than necessary.
“Don’t show off,” the nurse says.
Teehee, fiction. ILU.