melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2015-06-05 10:52 am
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Via [personal profile] tassosss, Pull seven lines from the seventh page of your WIP says the meme.

I like that these memes always think I have "A Wip". Here are seven-ish lines from the seven-ish page of all of my current-ish wips that had at least seven screens in Scrivener (which seems to equal about seven pages in Write.)


"No!" Peter said, and shoved the gun barrel down with one hand.

"What?" Rocket complained. "Why not?"

"That's Gamora's sister. You going to kill your sister-in-law?"

"You people ain't said yes yet," Rocket muttered, but he slung the gun back over his shoulder.

"Give it time, okay," Peter said.

"Time's not really my thing," Rocket said. "She did try to kill us, you know."

"Yondu tried to kill me all the time," Peter said. "Family, you know? Doesn't mean I want him dead."

****

Grantaire was quick enough, however, to send the other man's sword out of reach with one flick of his own, and then hold his blade to the downed man's throat. Joly took half a step forward, ready to intervene if necessary, but before he had a chance, Bossuet broke into a wide grin. "Well, at least she's a better lay than your mother," he said.

Grantaire echoed the grin, sheathed his sword, and held out a hand to pull Bossuet to his feet, and then into a wide-armed hug.

"You old bastard," Bossuet said fondly as they separated. "What are you of all all people doing under the red flag?"

"A man has his reasons," he said, and then he turned in a wide circle to encompass all of Bini's crew, ending with a sweeping bow to Joly. "I bring a message from Captain Bahorel of Le Canard, sailing under allegiance to the Republic of the Seas. The message is 'Up your ass right back,' and a request that your captain, and two trusted crew, will do him the honor of joining him for a morning repast. I'm to be hostage for his good behavior while you're there."

Joly and Musichetta looked at each other while Bossuet was putting his shirt back in order. "I'll have to consult with my mates," he said cautiously.

Bossuet looked up. "The real question is whether Grantaire has any value as a hostage. Captain Bahorel is probably hoping we'll keep him."

"I'm wounded to the quick," Grantaire said. "Also, you should know that yesterday we took a ship carrying supplies for the pantry of the Governor of Haiti. We have grapes and unspoiled wine and candied strawberries and pastry made with white flour and real French cheeses."

***

Fari shook her head, all her little braids jingling. "Right. So. How much do you know about how Chrinopher died?"

I spread my hands. "I barely knew he existed."

"It was super-melodramatic, wasn't it?" Rewi asked. "The High Priestess of the Sun fought him at high noon in a Temple, poison fire versus the wrath of the Gods, and once the smoke had cleared, they were both dead."

"Sounds exciting," I said.

"We went to a play about it when we were in Nikkur on the anniversary," she said. "There was a dance number."

"Right, of course." I usually ended up with a stabbing headache by about ten minutes in with those kind of things, but I guess this was proof that they imparted Important Cultural Knowledge after all.

"They seemed pretty sure he was dead though," Rewi added.

****

The farmhouse that would later become the Paris Commune was built by one of those settlers, from lumber hewn by hand out of trees felled from what had once been the carefully-husbanded open woodland of the Miami Nation. It was barely fifteen feet by twenty feet, with a low-ceilinged loft and a peaked roof of pine shingles. A large fireplace, for cooking, light and heat, had a hearth made of loosely-mortared river cobbles, and led into a chimney of woven sticks and mud. The small windows were closed only by rough shutters; the one door opened onto a bare yard that matched the dirt of the floor. It was a dark and smoky cottage such as would have looked familiar to the settlers' European ancestors hundreds of years past.

Soon a porch was added, and a wood-plank floor, raised up on foundations, with a root cellar underneath. Outbuildings, constructed for expedience rather than durability, circled a small farmyard and kept the farm's animals and harvest separated from the growing family's living quarters, and a roofed porch stretched the full length of the cabin. A small orchard of apple trees, an island in the growing sea of cornfields, enhanced the farmer's legal claim to the land, and brought an ineradicable taste of Europe to the landscape.

***

"MYAUOUR," he said angrily to her, and then attempted to leap onto her back with all his claws out: her huge, spoiled, and psychopathic black-and-white tomcat Montparnasse. She caught him mid-leap and nuzzled the top of his head while holding him far enough away from her body that none of the sharp pointy bits could get her. He was pretty predictable. "Awww, was there nobody here paying attention to you all day?" she asked him. "Did you have to go eight whole hours with nobody to admire your glorious sleek black fur and your glinting eyes? Awww, who's a pretty puddy tat? Oo is! Oo is!" she added sarcastically.

He tried to claw her eyes out. She took the six steps necessary to get from the front door to the bathroom, tossed him vaguely in the direction of the tub, and then shut the door on him.

"NYAWW!" he declared firmly from the other side of the door.

"Whatever," she said. "You're awful and I don't know why I even still keep you." Mostly because her little brother liked him for some inexplicable reason, and he would be sad if she got rid of him. And she'd be lonely too. Be a lot less likely to wake up with her throat slit, but the apartment would feel empty. Anyway she had to keep him because nobody else would be dumb enough to adopt the bastard. "Maybe I should adopt Marius instead," she said. "He's black and white too and he's even prettier, and he's only tried to bite me once so far."

"MIAONAAROO," said Montparnasse, accompanied by the screeching noises that meant more claw-marks in her bathroom door. She rolled her eyes and went back down to fetch the bird in the carrier, which if she remembered right should fit exactly into that little bit of space between the sofa and the outer wall. First things first meant sending the paperwork into the office, because if she sat down before doing that, she wouldn't get around to anything else.

"You eat fish, right?" she asked Marius. He stayed huddled down at the bottom of the carrier. She checked Wikipedia. "Well, I don't have anything as high-class as you'd get at sea, but I think it's a tunafish for everybody night. Yes, even you, you horrible cat," she shouted over his continual yowling. She'd have to let him out eventually if she wanted to get any sleep, but she was okay with an evening with nobody attacking her hand whenever she tried to move it.

She had tuna and cheese over leftover rice from Chinese takeout, which had the benefit of being cheap and not requiring any effort beyond the microwave. Montparnasse had the water from the tuna can, which he always went into raptures over, and some dry food; he was too distracted by the tuna water to try to get out of the bathroom while the door was open, which saved her another few ounces of blood. She put a can of tuna on a saucer and slipped it in Marius's carrier, along with a large bowl of water. He was probably going to need a better checkup and proper hydration - she wouldn't be surprised if he was seriously malnourished - but nobody who could do that would be available on a Friday evening anyway.

***

Once he didn't have to worry about her keeping up, he started to run, and he was fast. At first she thought it was really bumpy, the way he ran, and she had to keep grabbing onto his head to keep her balance, but before long she was used to it, and after awhile she was half-asleep, with her eyes drifting closed, and not really noticing what was around them while he ran.

He woke her up when they got to the town, and swung her back down onto her feet. "Sorry, Natashenka," he said, "But I need my hands free, just in case."

The new town was even smaller than the last one, but there were some houses all around a train station, and a little shop that sold them tea and hot dumplings. They stopped there first, because the Soldier said he was hungry. Once the lady put dumplings in front of her where she could smell them, Natasha realized she was hungry, too, and ate both of them very quickly. They weren't much like the ones they had at the facility and Natasha thought that maybe if she was less hungry she wouldn't have liked them much. But anyway an agent couldn't be picky about food, she had to eat while she could.

The Soldier ate his slowly, one little bite at a time, and sort of stared off at the wall while he did. She swung her feet back and forth under the chair so that she would be better at keeping still and waiting. The trainers at the facility didn't like that because it was childish and undisciplined, but she was supposed to be pretending to be a child, so she thought it was all right.

After awhile, when he hadn't taken a bite for a really long time, she asked him if he was going to finish his meal. He blinked a lot, like he was waking up, and told her she could have them if she was still hungry.

She shook her head. "My tummy is still too small. If I eat a lot at once I will be sick, and underperform. You're a big person, though," she said. "You need to eat a lot. You should finish."

He laughed, all of a sudden. "That sounds familiar," he said, in a voice that wasn't loud but somehow seemed bigger. And then he blinked again, and shook his head a lot. "I must have worked with someone like you before, I guess." He reached over and ruffled her hair, and she followed her training and made herself not react. "Tell you what, we'll wrap them and take them with us, just in case you get hungry later, yes?" He tipped his head at the clock on the station across the street. "We need to catch our train soon anyway."

***

Perhaps-- he tried to think about Bahorel, about the wild grief that he knew was lurking everywhere under the muffler of his pain-- he could come at it like a translation assignment, to put that knowledge into a language that was foreign to its words and wasn't meant for expressing such things.

He reached out and wrapped his hand around one of his friend's. It was cold and limp, but still alive. "Bahorel," he said, "I never spoke to you much, but you were the most alive person I have ever known. Even just being in the same cafe as you, when everything in my world was grey, you made everyone around you more alive, like adding more color to ink that's too thin. The world will be a harder and flatter place to live without you in it. To be human will be a worse thing to be, if we can no longer count you among us." He stopped, overcome with embarrassment. That had been worse than the worst German sentimentality he'd ever had to translate, worse than the worst of his long-burned encomiums to his Ursula.

But-- was Bahorel's hand a little bit warmer? Was his breathing stronger? It was impossible to tell. He bent his head and murmured, "Live, Bahorel. Please live. I think Courfeyrac will cry if you don't, and Courfeyrac should never cry, should he?"

Bahorel gasped. Not a strong gasp, barely enough that it would be counted a gasp if his other breaths had been strong, but it was a change from that sepulchral stillness. Marius dropped his hand, started, and pushed away, but he went back to that shallow, barely-there breathing.

Marius looked up for the National Guardsman, to ask how he'd done, but the old man had disappeared. Instead there was Combeferre, staring at him with that terrible kindness in his eyes.

"Joly's just come in with a long scratch on his leg," Combeferre said. "He'll be fine if it doesn't get infected, but that's always the risk. Would you like to try your miraculous healing words of love on him?"

"Yes! Yes," Marius said with relief. "That would be grand." Joly, at least, was remarkably easy to love.

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