Fandom: NEXTWAVE (and some Good Omens, because apparently I have a disease).

Summary: A really, really boring day for the NEXTWAVE squad. Also: Aaron drinks beer!

Rating: PG?

Disclaimer: NEXTWAVE is Warren Ellis's. I wish I was him, but I'm not. Good Omens belongs to Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, or else Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, depending on what country you're in.

A.N.: Written for 15minuteficlets' "Mediocre" challenge. All I can say is, this fic is sure as hell mediocre.


A Mediocre Day Involving Gorillas and Bulldogs and Also Beer


"A million bottles of beer on the wall, a million bottles of beeeeeer. . . ."

Monica looked up from her movie(1), an expression of incoherent fury on her face. "Tabitha Smith, if you sing that song one more time, I swear to God—"

Tabby looked at her for a moment. "'Kay," she said. She tapped her chin for a moment, then brightened up. "How about this one? Sally the camel had four humps, Sally the camel had—"


"You suck," Tabby grumbled, slouching down into her seat. "And I'm bored. Bored. Bored bored buh-bored b—"

"Shut up! Aaron, can't you do something with— where's Aaron?"

"Over there," said Elsa, jerking a thumb over her shoulder. She did not look up from the game of gin rummy she was playing with The Captain, because winning takes such a lot of concentration.

"Oh for Chrissakes," Monica snapped.

Aaron was sitting on the floor, staring moodily out a window at the extremely flat patch of Iowa floating by, surrounded by an estimated seventeen bottles of Heineken.

"Don't you think you've had enough?" Monica said, putting her hands on her hips and using the voice that she thought made her sound exasperated but actually gave the listener the impression that she had a nasal infection.

Aaron stared at her, considering. "No," he said, after a while. "'Sides, 'm a robot. Robots can't get drun—dnrk—drang—intoxicated. 'S impossible."

"Can't you find anything better to do? Clean the toilet, maybe?"

"You've got to be kidding me. I don' even use your damn toilet. Not going to clean it." He shuddered. "The word 'fleshy' does not properly describe the horrors of toilets. I must create a new word."

"Look," said Monica, as her movie went to commercial, "everybody's bored. You could try looking for something to do."

"Have something to do. Beer," said Aaron irritably, gesturing at it.

"Weren't you raising support for some endangered monkey or something?" Tabby suggested from the corner. "Why don't you work on that some more?"

"That was me," said The Captain distractedly. "And they're not monkeys, they're gorillas."

"Right. Monkeys."

"I know somethin' about golliras," said Aaron suddenly. "Gollirillas—" He stuck a finger in the air importantly. "—make nests."

"Don't care," said Elsa, and won at gin rummy for the fourth time in a row.

"I know whatcher thinkin'," said Aaron, raising one wobbly eyebrow. "You're thinkin': gorillars don't make nests! That's birds! But it's true!"

"What," asked Elsa, "has convinced you that I care?"

"Seriously?" said Tabby. "Is that true, Aaron?"

"'S true! Nests! Like in trees! Although they prob'ly fall out a lot," said Aaron. "Learned it once when I went to . . . that place." He snapped his fingers. "Funny money. Bad teeth. Bad food. Um. Like here, only not."

Tabby thought for a moment. "Egypt?" she ventured.

"D'you mean England?" said Elsa.

"Yeah, that one," said Aaron.

"When the hell were you in England?"

"Couple years ago. Robot Pride parade. 'S lots of fun. In London."

"Are there many gorilla experts at Robot Pride, then?" Elsa asked dryly, and started to shuffle the cards, while The Captain looked on with pain in his face.

"Nonono," said Aaron. "After, me an' some others went to Soho2, and there was this shop an' there was this—"

"Oh, hell no," said Elsa, spilling the cards onto the floor.

Aaron blinked at her. "Huh?"

"Was it a bookshop? Little old bookshop? Extremely g—British man at the counter smelling of fine wine?"

"Wow!" said Aaron. "That's amazing!"

"Yeah, I met him awhile back, before I came to this accursed wasteland," Elsa said. She gave Aaron a sideways look. "You do know what he is, don't you?" she said.

"He's a fleshy—" Aaron began, and then fell over sideways and started snoring.

"Good grief," Elsa said, bending down to pick up the cards.

"That's really not nice, Elsa, you know?" said Tabby, picking at her fingernails. "Just because someone is a different seck-shoo-ul purr-sway-jon from you, doesn't mean you can say things about them that are, like, not nice. And stuff. You know? 'Cause I used to know this guy once, and he was super nice, and once—"

"Actually," said Elsa, rolling her eyes and looking out the window, "what I was going to say is, he's an an— holy ----."

"What? What?" snapped Monica from in front of the television.

"Something to fight!" Elsa said excitedly.

Monica strolled over to the window, coat flapping behind her. She looked. Then she looked again.

"Elsa," she said, putting her hand over her eyes, "that's a dog."

"No! No, it's not!" said Elsa. "It's the Enemy!"

"No," Monica said, "it's a dog. It's a bulldog. I can tell. I'm good at this sort of thing. It's a skill of mine."

"No, but, look at it," said Elsa. "Look at it really, really closely. Doesn't it look just like Dirk Anger?"

Monica looked. "Oh. My. ----ing. God," she said.

"NEXTWAVE squad!" she shouted, turning around and striking a heroic pose. "Get out there and destroy that bulldog!"

"Finally," muttered Tabby, hopping out of the ship after the others and humming, "How much is that doggy in the window. . . ." to herself as she went.

(1) The Captain Marvel Project.

(2) To get some useful device upgrades, hur hur.