Title: Because That's How They Think.

Fandom: Runaways [comic.

Rating: PG-13 for language and extremely mild het. I think I am allergic to heterosexuals.

Genre: . . . Angst? I don't even know.

Summary: Gert thinks about shit. I just. I do not know.

Warnings: Het (OH MY GOD).

Pairings/Characters: Gert/Chase, Molly.

Author's Note: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TWITCH! HART HART HART. I cannot believe you have made me write het. For those who are interested: I did it by putting my iPod on shuffle. It came up with 'Summertime' by Big Brother & The Holding Company. So I listened to it for forty-five minutes while writing this. I am nothing if not adaptable. Ahahaha, what.

Disclaimer: All characters herein are property of Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona, ALTHOUGH NOT JOSS WHEDON BECAUSE HE CAN SUCK MY DICK.




If wishes were horses, goes Arsenic's reasoning, she would have been born to reasonable adults who'd have named her something less putrid than Gertrude and, ideally, would not have been involved in a plot to destroy the world.


Failing that, she would like to have her damn raptor back, or at least be sitting somewhere other than the bed of a truck full of chickens. Chicken shit, it transpires, does not brush off; in fact, it sticks to the hand most distressingly.

"Gert? I have to pee."

She sighs. "You're gonna have to aim over the side, Molly."

"I can't aim!"

"Try. We can't stop this thing."

Not to mention the fact that she is not a babysitter, especially not to Molly. Of course, it goes without saying that, if she had not gotten Molly, the girl would have been forgotten -- and heartbroken. Molly isn't as tough as she acted, although she is tougher than she looked.

"Oh. Um. Gert."

She sighs again. Wordlessly she hands over the extra pair of pants she'd slipped into her bag at Mutant HQ, waving away Molly's thanks and wincing at the wet slap of the soiled clothing on the floor of the truck bed. A few chickens squawk in protest; one flaps wildly and butts its head into her back.

Arsenic experiences a brief urge to wring its neck, then wishes she could recoil in horror all the way out of her own body. All that chicken's done is shit and shed feathers.

It looks at her in some confusion and makes a little sideways peep.

"Shut the fuck up," she mutters to it, as Molly leans against her dusty shoulder and yawns. One of her flip-flops falls off onto the highway. Gert watches it until it disappears from view.


Because this is what every guy knows:

Fat chicks are desperate.

Fat chicks want it bad enough they'll do anything.

Fat chicks are a dime a dozen and a toss of the coin: they might rut against you like pigs and grunt and cry, and then you just have to put your foot down. But sometimes you get a good one.

Fat chicks are sometimes depressing.

Fat chicks are always sad.


At her boarding school, every girl gets a laptop. Arsenic's is secondhand and has a butterfly sticker on the lid. It makes her physically ill, but it's all she's got.

Occupied as she is by the loss of Old Lace -- a pain that leans on her lungs and makes breathing a labour -- she's had little time to think about Chase.

Dirty lies. She's thought about him. Over and over again, because something's happened to him; it must have, otherwise he would've called her, emailed her -- surely his aunt has a goddamned phone.

Now Arsenic surfs Playboy's website, aware at all times of the muttering of her roommates, who are already speculating about her tendencies (apparently the belief system of the school holds that fat girls with purple hair are held under suspicion in any case). She eyes the spreads, the teasing un-clothes, the useless articles that nobody reads.

"Jesus Christ, Chase," she mutters.

She goes back to the pictures, glares at them -- nothing. She can't get out Karolina's way.

That night, for the first time, she considers a possibility that had not previously occured to her. Chase seemed too stupid to be duplicitous, but his acting skills were, perhaps, better than she had thought.

She didn't cry.


Old Lace, who is deeply in tune with everything except her own body, is hungry when her mistress is hungry, satisfied when her mistress is satisfied. She was designed never to get horny, because of the practical problems that would result, but she does occasionally get a highly irritating itchy feeling.

This evening, she's been highly confused. For one thing, her feelings have flickered in rapid succession from joy to fear to annoyance to worry to pure hatred to overwhelming excitement. For another, they've been getting stronger. After months of feeling numb, she's suddenly feeling so frantic that, for the first time in weeks, she tries to kick her way out of her holding cell, and, failing that, continues to kick anyway.

Then the door opens, and all she feels is crazed, perfect love.


Kissing Chase is sometimes like kissing a dog, because he doesn't brush his teeth every day; but he's brushed them today, Gert can tell. For her.

The thing is, Chase, I think you're honestly a total dickweed. And you read Playboy. And you saved my dinosaur, and you kissed me. So obviously . . .

There's nothing she can really say, is there?

She looks at him as he breathes, leaning back against a tree tonight, because they have nowhere else to stay and he likes to pretend he's a cowboy sleeping out on the open range, even though the open range in this case is a sketchy park on the outskirts of L.A.. She looks at him, and he catches her looking and winks at her, and she sort of wants to hit him again.

"You idiot," she says instead, and is disgusted at the fondness in her voice.

"You know you love it," Chase says, and he leans in to kiss her again. He tastes like spit and Colgate, honestly. It's not all that romantic, but Gert admits, biting him on the lip and laughing softly at his surprise, that romance is a convenient fiction designed to disappoint people. And in any case, Old Lace is purring next to her. Right now, she won't ask for any more.