Disclaimer: Fluff, fluff, fluff. There is brief mention of bondage, sexual innuendo (just barely), and a few comments (meant as jokes) about the nature of fan fiction which some may find upsetting. No violence or sex, though (darn). It's all in the spirit of fun, but comment as you wish. I crave and appreciate crits and praise alike, so feel free to make suggestions. There is a small amount of foul language.Oh, and I don't own any of the characters, we can thank Tatsunoko for their creation.
Fanfics and Bird People
Three days after the weatherman said it would happen, the skies opened up and released torrential rains on the city. The downpour had Joe, Ken, and Ryu chilled and goose bumped, hurrying through the glass doors of the Snack J anxious to warm up and dry off. Despite the lousy weather, their spirits were high as they looked forward to forgetting about Galactor for a while…until they saw Jun.
Tears in her eyes and shoulders trembling, Jun stood by the bar, her breath coming in short sobs. She fell against the counter and dropped her head in her hands, ISO standard issue laptop almost hitting the floor. Ken and Joe both reached out to her, concern evident on their faces.
"What's wrong?" asked a much sobered Joe. He'd seen her upset before, but never this tortured. Something had to be seriously wrong.
Ken stepped closer, leaned over the counter to put a hand on her shoulder, shaggy head tilted as he tried to get a look at her face.
Brows raised, he glanced around the empty bar and motioned to Joe to turn the sign. Joe walked over and flipped it to 'closed', turned the lock and, as an afterthought, closed the blinds.
As Ken reached to straighten Jun, she suddenly jerked upright, gasping for air. As her whole body spasmed, the boys suddenly realized that Jun was laughing herself into hysterics.
"What the hell!" said Joe.
Ken dropped clenched fists to his sides yet sounded calm as he said, "Do you have any idea what you just did to us?"
The red-faced Jun continued laughing and wiped her eyes with shaking hands as the boys stared.
"I'm…s-ss-sorry…but…wait!" A few more giggles and Jun managed to resume.
"If you read what I just read…are you familiar with fan fiction?"
Three blank expressions told her they weren't.
"I'll explain." Handing Joe a beer to settle him down she asked, "Where's Jinpei? I thought he was supposed to be with you guys?"
Ryu said, "Jinpei went out with his girlfriend."
"Oh, that's just perfect! I bet some fic writer would love that one! The Swallow with a girlfriend!"
Blank expressions resembled catatonia as Jun began her explanation.
"You take existing characters and build stories around them. The characters can come from TV, movies, whatever. Some writers even build whole new universes around them, create new characters to enhance the story, and just generally have fun while they increase their writing skills, imaginations, and enjoy the characters. Some writers even expand into writing about real-life people. That's reserved for famous figures, usually. Like us."
Ken crossed his arms, cocked his head, and said, "First you were talking about plagiarism, now you're talking about libel."
With a hard glare, Jun said, "If no one is making any money or spreading vicious rumors, it's all in good fun."
"I still say…"
"Whatever, Ken, that isn't the point. The point is, you know that show Battle of the Planets the networks have running? The one that made Joe say he'd like to roach spray Sandy Frank until he disintegrates?"
Joe snorted and said, "The one with that tin can sliding around, feeding our alter egos battle tactics, hiding the bodies, or whatever else he has to do to make it all better for the kiddies…"
"I really do think this fan fiction is just theft…" Ken said.
"Ken! Where are you keeping your birdrang these days? Is it making you walk funny? Loosen up and let it go! As I was saying...I was taking a break from some shopping, and ran into some fan fiction sites. When I saw some of the titles, I just had to read on. You would not believe what I found…"
"Jun, really, I think you should avoid encouraging these people by reading this stuff. It just doesn't seem right…" began an indignant Ken.
"Ken, with the tab you're running here you can't say much about someone writing for free! Keep it up and next it's shackles and a gag ball."
"As I was saying," began Jun, "I started reading some fics and most were pretty good, better than the TV show, even. Why some of these writers aren't famous, I don't know. But then I got into some stuff that really shocked me. You wouldn't believe the bed-hopping these people have me doing!"
At this, Ken began spluttering while Ryu blushed and Joe burst out laughing, spraying beer all over the counter. The irrepressible White Shadow opened his mouth, but closed it again when faced with handcuffs and a strappy leather contraption complete with red ball attachment. Jun swung these items in front of his face with her head tilted.
Satisfied with Ken's expression, Jun put her toys away and said, "They've had 'Princess' with 'Mark' because of the doe-eyed looks she gives him on the show, not to mention all the other little hints of this heated not-quite-romance they have going. I kind of understand that. It's a part of canon, and purists prefer it to any other pairing…"
"Sounds like you know a lot about this stuff. You learn all this tonight or have you been into this thing awhile?" asked Joe.
"I needed a change of pace, so I looked into this fan fiction stuff, that's all," shrugged Jun. "It only took me a short while to find all this out. And do you know that expression on your face is famous?"
"Huh? Continue with the story, please."
"Here's part of what I thought was so funny. It seems imaginations are really stretching in the world of fan fiction, because it's also become popular to pair me with Joe, or rather, Princess with the Jason character," and again Joe sprayed the counter with beer and spit. Jun frowned, throwing him a rag and spray bottle of disinfectant as she continued.
"That was interesting, because Jason is supposedly such a psycho and Princess is supposed to be this calming influence. But then I found fan fiction challenges, and at least one of these asks for a Princess/Tiny pairing…you know, get us into bed together."
"Can I just ask a question?" asked a subdued Ken. He kept his eye on Jun's hands to see if her toys were about to make a return appearance.
"If it has anything to do with what you consider the thieving nature of fan fiction, I'm having Joe and Ryu hold you down for gagging," warned Jun.
"It isn't. I just want to know if they managed to pair you with Nambu."
"Damn, Ken! Are you developing an imagination? I wouldn't want you to start writing fan fiction," answered Jun.
Ken said, "I don't think you have to worry about that."
The imagination or the writing? Jun wondered.
Looking unsettled, Joe said, "How about…" and pointed at the picture of Jinpei on the wall.
"Aaaack! Don't even think it! So far, so good on that one!"
"Decency prevails," said Ryu, and they all nodded in agreement.
"Now for the really funny parts. It seems canon isn't popular in all forums." And Jun opened up the laptop and began typing as the boys waited impatiently. Fingers flying over the keys, Jun quickly located the correct Web site. As she took her second look at the picture and an evil grin spread across her face, she told them that some people contributed artwork to fandom. Then she turned her laptop to face the anxious trio.
A pencil sketch of a naked Condor greeted their astonished eyes. Ken's eyes bulged from his head and his jaw dropped.
"Shit! I wonder if I can sell autographed copies of that?" asked Joe.
Jun let this slide and hit a few more keys. Both Joe and Ken shouted as pictures of the two of them together in somewhat suggestive poses popped up.
"What the F!"
Ryu and Jun began laughing, a now painful undertaking for Jun since she still wasn't recovered from her earlier exertions.
"Want to autograph that?" she asked, big green eyes shining.
"I'd like to autograph the artist with a few shuriken!"
Ken's Adam's apple bobbed as he tried for words and failed.
Jun wore a satisfied expression as she typed some more.
"Read this", she said and turned the laptop back toward her audience. As they read, she watched their expressions change from skepticism to enjoyment. She tracked the movements of Joe's eyes down the page until the pose depicted by the artist's sketch was clarified in the slash.
Ken slammed the laptop shut as he contacted a sleeping Nambu on his wristband. "We need to talk, now! Can you get a hold of the ISO attorneys at this hour?"
Joe demanded Jun research the ISP addresses to locate anyone posting Jason stories that didn't involve gorgeous women, fast cars, and absolutely no attraction to Ken.
"I have every intention of finding and driving over any writer of fan fiction I find!" Joe slammed out the door. Jun was grateful he unlocked it instead of just putting a foot through it. Ken followed him, still speaking with a none-too-happy-to be-awakened Nambu.
Once they were both gone, Ryu moved around the counter and stroked Jun's upper arm with a finger. He smiled as he asked, "So, when exactly did you write that story?"
Jun grinned and brushed a teasing kiss over his lips.
"Let's just say I don't spend all my free time shopping. And I hope Joe's still happy about those panty shots he thinks I don't know about. I wonder if the New Times paid him well. Let's go upstairs."