Me at 5.35 am waking up with a jolt, mouth patched and pulse racing, with but a single thought in my mind:
Buddy and Vespa in a Marvel crossover, Buddy is Cap gone feral and Vespa as Barnes at peak feral
Oh my god!! Thank you so much for asking, this legit made my night. :D I spent about five minutes going “poorly timed confession… peril… confession… peril…” and then this whole thing hit me like a bus.
I might, uh, have forgotten the ‘comfort’ aspect…
First rule of thieving, Pete: only use equipment you’d bet your life on.
In Nureyev’s defense, he’d hardly had time to browse, what with the dozen security guards stampeding after him. Not even Mag, rest the old man’s soul, could blame him for hopping the first ride he could find. Unfortunately, it’s beginning to seem like it’ll be the last ride he’ll ever find.
“Engines at one-sixth power and dropping,” the computer’s automated voice announces with disturbing enthusiasm.
“Vespa,” Buddy snaps over the comm line, “I need a lock on his pod now.”
“The spatial rift’s causing too much interference.” There’s a clang, likely Vespa striking something. “Shitty good for nothing piece of fucking garbage tractor beam.”
“Less cursing, more calibrating, please. Ransom, what’s the status of the CureMother Prime?”
“Snug as an Arkasian dustmoth in its cocoon.” Nureyev strokes a hand over the protective case in his lap, the corner of his mouth curling up. For all their hiccups, this has been the heist of the century. He doesn’t know how he’ll top this one. Heaven forbid he find himself on a decline. Perhaps it’s time for him to consider retirement.
His gaze strays to the spatial anomaly on the viewscreen, pulling him relentlessly closer. Its edges flare with jagged light. No knowing what’s on the other side - another dimension? A wormhole? Pressure beyond his comprehension, crushing him instantly?
“Engines at one-eighth power and dropping.”
“We’re back,” says a voice over the comms, out of breath. “What’s going on, where’s Ransom?”
Nureyev closes his eyes. He’d hoped Juno wouldn’t have to witness this.
“Were you successful?” Buddy asks.
“We found enough dirt on the CEO to tank their stocks a dozen times over. If Okhra wanted their fingers in any more illegal pies they’d need extras grafted on,” Juno says, impatient. “Where’s Ransom?”
Nureyev swallows the lump in his throat. He’s proud of how even his voice sounds when he says, “Captain Aurinko, my pod’s computers are estimating that I will collide with the anomaly in three minutes.” Which means he needs to prioritize. While Buddy gives Juno the rundown - Nureyev’s firefight with Okhra’s hired muscle, the prototype weapon they’d brandished and regretted, the rift in space-time as a result of the explosion, the screams as the mercenaries were dragged in - Nureyev combs his hair and retouches his makeup. With the necessities tended to, he snaps his compact shut. “If I might make an observation.”
“You know I welcome input, darling, but we’re a bit busy at the moment.”
Nureyev inhales, filling his diaphragm the way Mag taught him. A glass shield around his mind, untouchable. “Captain Aurinko, my pod’s engines are insufficient to propel me away from the anomaly. However, they could provide sufficient force to expel a single small mass. Say, the CureMother Prime’s case.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Juno snaps. “Like hell is anyone sacrificing you for momentum.”
“It’s the reasonable choice, Juno. I can either waste fuel spinning my wheels in a relentless backslide, or I can deliver you the CureMother as planned.”
“No prize,” Buddy says in a low voice, “is worth more than a member of my crew.”
“Were I carrying sapphires and sculptures, Captain, I might agree with you. However, the value of the CureMother is measured not in creds, but in human lives.”
Letting the CureMother Prime be destroyed by the anomaly would doom every individual living with a debtor’s tag or medical bills beyond their ability to pay. Nureyev’s survived for years on the hope that someday he’d be free of his debts. He cannot kill that hope for all the other souls who share his plight.
Static crackles over the comm line.
Juno’s voice edges toward hysterical in the face of Buddy’s silence. “You can’t tell me you’re considering this.”
“Vespa?” Buddy asks.
“No good, Bud,” Vespa says. Nureyev’s never heard her sound so tired. “I can’t reach him.”
“Captain, I would ask you to respect what is looking to be my final request.”
“Your pod doesn’t have an ejection system, Ransom. You’ll have to open the doors to release the CureMother.”
Nureyev gazes into the anomaly’s flickering maw. “Frankly, I think that might be the kinder option.”
“Ransom, don’t. We’ll come up with something,” Juno pleads. Nureyev can picture him, desperation written across his lovely face. An eye crafted to burn, a mouth equally capable of snarling and smirking. A sense of humor quicker even than his aim, and a moral core so solid not even the Martian sands could erode it. An arm slung over Nureyev’s shoulder during Rita’s most recent movie night, with a glance checking whether this was okay.
Nureyev begins typing in calculations. He won’t be able to activate the firing sequence manually once the pod decompresses. “You once closed a door to save the world, Juno. It only seems right that I should open a hatch for the same purpose.”
“To hell with the world! I’m sick of sacrificing everything in the name of doing good. I’m being selfish, and it feels great.”
Nureyev’s fingers tremble on the touchscreen. Just a few more lines -
“Nureyev,” Juno says, voice breaking, “I can’t do this without you.”
They could have had so much time together. Nureyev wishes he could have brought Juno to see the Festival of Flowers on Brahma, petals on the streets and nectar in the air.
The pod computer beeps as it executes its commands. Nureyev rises to his feet. Securing the CureMother under one arm, he keys the opening sequence into the pod hatch. “Juno. You’ve always been perfectly capable without me. You’d have to be quite a fool to think otherwise.” He pauses, his fingers over the opening lever, and a smile plays about his lips. “But if you’re a fool, that makes two of us.”
The vacuum of space pours in to the sound of Juno calling his name.
Some man in glass sketch book drawings
Buddy: “my Vespa”
I don’t have time to actually make this as a meme but Jet Siquliak and Sir Angelo shaking hands over “I am Tall and my best friend is a lesbian.”
a lounge singer buddy bc i imagine her singing voice is amazing
When we were young
Buddy: listen here you ungrateful little shits - Except you Rita, i love you and we’re all delighted to have you here
straight friend groups are like: *blonde girl* *blonde guy* *brad* *the clown* *kyle* *brunette girl* *token minority*
gay friend groups are like: *depressed walking disaster who’s trying to get better* *melodramatic master thief* *hacker queen, lover of snacks* *elegant mom friend* *violent wife of elegant mom friend* *giant who looks like he can kill you but is actually a cinnamon roll*
yeah you read the post title you know what this is about
so chapter two is here!! man in glass part two inspired me to crank out another three thousand words or so. kabert out here giving the gays everything they want
Jet knows, in the grand scheme of things, very little about Juno Steel.
He knows the lady is thirty nine years old, and that before he joined up with Buddy’s family he had never before left Mars, and that he is light enough that Jet can pick him up like a sac of stolen creds. He knows that Juno, for a brief period, worked for Ramses O’Flaherty, and that the politician had given him one of the most expensive and invasive cybernetic prosthetic eyes on the market, and because he ripped that eye out of Juno’s head Jet knows that Juno had a twin brother named Benzaiten that had died when the two of them were just nineteen. Jet knows that Juno is a former cop, that he is an above average detective with the ear of almost every socialite in Hyperion city, and that he does not like tea, but he likes it more than being uninformed or the idea of killing another person. He knows quite a bit about how much Juno detests the idea of killing another human being. Juno wears his feelings on his face and his shoulders and his hands, worn thin through years of exposure.
Juno does not like that he wears his feelings, for all that he cannot help doing so. Jet knows this, too.
Thinking about Buddy bedazzling Juno’s eyepatch
I cannot draw guns woops
(Also @dtjunosteel made a really good post similar to this!!)
Juno: Ignorance is bliss. On an unrelated note, I am miserable. OR Do your best to establish justice, especially if it destroys me.
Peter: Only caring about your own self-interest is great and all but some people are just too hot.
Rita: I’m a bismuth soul!
Buddy: You’re not dead. Congratulations! Now get to work.
Vespa: Who needs therapy when you have fake leather.
Jet: I’m your strong silent anime weeaboo buddy in crime
Miasma: Just a liiiiiiittle psychological warfare - that’ll do the trick!
Alessandra: If I can locate local gays, so can you.
Sasha: I work for NASA. If you can believe NASA, that is.
Benten: You’re looking at me like I’m insane. I’m not. I’m just cool. Also, my mom didn’t care enough to have me tested.
Mick: Cheetos cure depression! It literally says on the nutrition facts - Depression curing Device (cheese). OR Hey man, it’s okay to get a C, and btw, wanna get a cough drop?
Ramses: If you’re such a good dictator that your country becomes democratic, you’re worse at being a dictator than a bad dictator. And if Amazon ran our government, I wouldn’t be mad as long as they were nice!
Rilla: It IS my job to tell you how to live. It’s rude if you die.
Damien: Apologies, the soap dispenser got me.
Arum: Humans are sooooo weak! Like….who even likes you???? I do???
Talfryn: (in response to someone flirting) *panicked* Is now an appropriate time to talk about the aerodynamics of a cow?
Mark: *takes a bite out of an onion* I’m a bird!
Angelo: I just unironically wrote ‘thicc’ on my resume. OR Can I have details of the weird sex cult?
Caroline: I don’t really express my feelings, it all comes out as sarcasm and the impulsive need to control everything.
Quanyii: What are your deepest, darkest secrets? Let me know in the comments down below! *cackles and holds up peace sign*
“Soft footsteps in the dead of night I pretended not to hear…”