Did someone link to this? Because says a hundred people have clicked on it, and I haven't updated in a while.
Also, I keep getting reviews from people pointing out that in Cannon Tim's probably not gay. Seriously, people, did I not put a big enough crack warning on it?
Victor Von Doom is a meglo-manical asshole.
Let's be clear.
Oh, we could demonstrate his pig headedness, his misplaced feeling's of entitlement, his tendency to blame everything from his indigestion to the weather on people who are not him, never mind his bad habit of drinking all the pickle juice in one go while futzing with his storm-ray(tm).
But it's easier just to tell you.
And, like most asshole's, he think's he's right. Just meglomanical might be less annoying. People who want to take over the world because that's what you do when you're evil are at least easy to understand, the one's that want to be feared and respected because they got poked in school a lot.
There's something honest about men who want power because it's power, money because they are greedy, and respect because of fear. Well, at least honest about their motivations.
Victor Von Doom, wanted to make the world a better place. In his image. After getting revenge out of the way.
His most useful flaw is over confidence.
The villagers self imposed quarantine, with the following exceptions.
Itachi, who simply had the words 'cation, may explode' printed on flyers and nailed them up around his work area and exhibits.
Nami, who just warned the rest of the staff of the Daily Planet that the largest blast radius had been fifteen feet, not counting debris and possible shrapnel, and if they had a problem with her being there, fuck them. Then she'd painted a twenty foot radius around her desk.
That didn't mean that they vanished but all of the ones there were 'out' as it were didn't go out in the conventional way in case a stranger walked by and exploded.
Kiba and Kisame didn't like this much. It made getting any even harder than normal.
They were currently discussing it over coffee.
"Do they have the ink maker yet?" Kisame asked, eying Itachi. Itachi was trying to talk Kiba's wolves into eating bacon from his hands. They were drooling over it, but eying Itachi like he was made of rolled up newspaper. Wild wolves would have just run away but Kiba's were smart enough to be stupid enough to think about it.
"They're trying to extract a scent but since the thing don't really put off any particles... Plus the ones they have are like, two hundredth generation. None of the makers blood sweat tears or smell."
"I don't think they're any closer," Kisame said, a slight inflection in his voice changing the 'they/them' of the village to the 'they/them' of the local heroes. They'd started to called them the local color but they'd gotten damn shirty about it apparently.
Kiba caught it, nodded. "Tim say's he'll tell me the day after they catch em."
"Grayson just said a day after."
"Mmm, well, Grayson's never seen you fight, has he?"
"He saw me stop that explosion. He's seen Itachi spit fire balls."
"That's still a no, isn't it?"
"Itachi told him about me," Kisame shrugged. "I haven't offered a demo."
"You should come do the tracking practice with us. Got a few different area's. Find a few dozen acres of wasteland or ice or jungle and chase down a buncha wannabe's, hit em with paint," Kiba said, changing topics.
Kisame's shoulder's twitched. "Tracking avoidance practice, you mean? No, I wanna be able to hunt you little bastards down if I need too."
"Don't you trust us?"
"I trust Grayson not to knowingly lie to me. I Trust Itachi to be Itachi. Outside of that, what else can you trust?"
Kiba nodded. "I trust a few of the villagers, I guess."
"Do you trust Tim?"
"Not to lie to me or not to kill me?"
"Killing doesn't count, they're against that."
"Eh, well, he's the bat's. I don't expect loyalty."
Kisame nodded. Trust and loyalty were different.
He had another sip of coffee, dark, no cream no sugar, black. It was good, after all.
"We're really going to have to kill him, when we find the bastard, arn't we?"
"Dosen't have to be us," Kisame said, blankly. Face calm. A thousand yard sort of look that clearly read 'the less we know, the better!'.
But the perpetrator was going to die. There was no two ways about it, someone from the village would remove the man. After asking him a few serious questions. Simple ones. But serious.
Kisame stood up, finally, took Kiba's cup.
Kiba nodded, stood slowly. Under his shirt was still pink and raw and angery. Akumaru, curled in the corner, had the matching half, the furless awful swatch that went from her ribcage up her flank.
Mortal scars. Ones that took you to the edge, ones that you had to bear with pride because there was no hiding them. Kisame already had the swirls, patterns of the burn-heal, faded light blue, oer even older ones, but he thought that these might be Kiba's first visable ones.
"I have some creams, that work well for that," Kisame offered.
Kiba shook his head. "I got those. I'm gonna go see Tim, I think. it's been few weeks, now, and we were doing so well, you know?"
Kisame nodded. "I think I'll have to do the same. He's been working his ass off," He rubbed his neck. "Shit like that." He did not like the distance, at all. He'd gotten used to Grayson's smell lingering on everything the way some perfumes were supposed too.
He saw Kiba out (talking Itachi into putting the bacon away in the process). Straightened the place, and taking the rooftops, quietly, made his way to Graysons apartment.
Victor Von Doom has been dead for three weeks now.
"That's what we got," Iruka repeated, rubbing his temples. He felt outclassed here, detective work, interrogation, none of these things were his strong points. His strong points were catching cheaters, taking over out of control illusions or attacks, his strong points were stopping spitballs without looking and threatening to call mom in a world where 'mom' was often able to punch through walls. "All this, time and looking and we don't have a damn thing?"
Ibiki nodded and pour the drink. Pushed it over. Poured two more.
Diane took hers with a gracious sort of nod. Iruka didn't know what Ibiki'd said or done to the woman but she'd been dropping by in the last month.
Iruka enjoyed her company well enough, and Ibiki was at least partially smitten with her so it was hard to protest. It did mean that their shop talk over drinks was just that.
"It's the same here," she was saying. Leaning back, staring out the window at the village. "We're not back burner-ing it, but there's simply nothing floating to the top no matter how hard we stir."
"It's probably a combination of the two," Ibiki said. "Our ways and science. Our ways to program, probably catch the people in the first place, and science to make them detonate."
Iruka nodded, they'd had this talk. "Who's that mad at us though? From our side, that-"
"I know you two plot out what to discuss before I get here, can I have the short version?"
"The short version?" Iruka laughed. "This is the short version. This is the part where we keep drinking and tossing out names. Like, um, Orochimaru."
"He was dead before the world went sideways through the sewage drain," Ibiki said. "And if he had survived, he'd be in a new body by now."
"See?" Iruka smiled at her, shrugged. "Okay, so the first bit's for your benefit, but you can feel free to chime in with anyone you know of that could pull this off."
"We have a list of people who could," she said. "But villains here tend to have a... Style. Signatures."
"That's convenient," Iruka mused.
"Our people have styles as well," Ibiki said. "It's not like your universe has some sort of, corner on the stylistic market."
"How long before I got here did you start drinking?" Diane asked after there had been a thoughtful moments contemplation of that statement.
Iruka shrugged and Ibiki snorted. "I'm sorry. It's just that you people in this world seem to think you had all the good idea's first."
"You said they had," Iruka said.
"I don't know. A few months ago. You were online."
"I didn't say they'd had all the good ideas. I just said then internet would have been very useful to me," Ibiki said, almost sullenly.
"So, is it blackmail?" Iruka asked her as sociably as he can. "Is that how he get's you here? He's got the negative's hidden somewhere?"
"Oh, nothing like that," she grinned at Ibiki. "Isn't that right?"
Ibiki straightened his cuffs carefully. Like a preening hawk, really. "We go to strip clubs," he said, finally. "Henge's are involved."
"Ah, so that's where your extra money comes from? I always thought you had a secret love for pole but-"
Iruka didn't try to dodge the blow. It was futile. If he'd succeeded the next one would just be harder.
"It's enjoyable," Diane said, pouring herself a second drink and downing it much more quickly that the first, standing up. "To not worry about being a role model."
Ibiki finished his drink, stood and was offered an arm.
Iruka watched them leave, shaking his head.
It didn't matter how sturdily built the bed was, or if it was bolted to the floor. By the end, it was always banging a wall rhythmically while Grayson screamed.
Another thing that didn't matter was how determined NOT to scream he started out. By the end, he was always nearly hoarse, cursing and begging and demanding. Maybe some of it was knowing that Kisame was stopping the noises. That no matter how much he screamed, no one but them would hear it.
Or maybe the man was just that good, Grayson thought dimly, sticky, sweaty and limp as a noodle. That he didn't say out loud, Kisame had something of an ego in that department already, thank you.
A tongue traced one of the tendon's in his neck and Grayson groaned. "Stop that."
"Mmph," Grayson half nodded. The ceiling was all skylights and black paint with thick white swirls. The moon was perfectly framed in one glass rectangle right now, heavy and almost golden in the fog. He lifted an arm lazily, pinching the celestial body between two fingers a moment before dropping the hand back down. Traced scars in their endless spirals. Somedays he swore they moved. Maybe they did. It wasn't hugely important. "June ninth's next week."
"Yeah, it is," Kisame agreed. A shift, and the large man was sliding off Grayson.
Grayson made a soft noise at that, and let himself be nudged to his side. The moon and the window left his field of vision and his eye refocused on a weapon rack glittering in moonlight. "Itachi still having that party?"
"Yeah, he still is."
The kiss at the nape of his neck made Grayson's eyelids go heavy a moment. "Not dangerous, that many villagers in one place outside Montana?"
"Course it's dangerous."
Another kiss. "Bait?"
"Yeah. Hoping for another attack."
"Gonna ask me to stay home?"
"Cause you want me there or because you think I'll be annoyed if you ask me to stay away?"
"Hrrm, that was a bit on the diplomatic side, don't you think?"
Grayson laughed. Stretched. Let Kisame's arms wind around him as he settled back down. His heart was still pounding, he could almost imagine Kisame's doing the same against his back. Sun would be up soon, he'd probably drift off to sleep, if he made himself. At some point Kisame'd get up. The man didn't sleep very much, Grayson had noted. "Kisame?"
"When's your birthday?"
"Don't know for certain,"
"You don't know? What, different calender in that world?"
"Well, yes, that too. Mostly just. Never celebrated it. Ever new year, I just, mentally add to my age. Like racehorses."
"Charming." A pause. Grayson could feel the man exhaling. The gills on his ribcage pushed warm air out. It'd been weird the first few nights but it was one of those things you go used too. It was amazing, the things you found yourself getting used too. "What about just saying it was the ninth?"
"I'm going to give you a minute or two to think about why taking any attention away from Itachi on his day is a bad idea."
Dick sighed, nodded a little. "Yeah. Okay. July ninth then."
"If it makes you feel better."
"What are you getting him?" Dick asked, or started to ask, except Kisame'd lifted his head off the pillow, was looking... He looked too and flushed a bit. "How long has he been there?"
"Not sure," Kisame grumbled, sliding out of bed and wrapping a sheet loosely around his waist. "Sorry, Grayson," he added, before his tone mellowed out. "Tachi, what's wrong?"
Dick couldn't hear everything that was being said from here. Itachi in the moonlight was two hands flickering on a black back round. Kisame was just a line of spine above the white of the sheet.
"... strange feeling... it's the.... why? ....they're not sharp enough yet, they need to cut...." Itachi's voice rose and fell until Kisame lead him out of the room.
There was a dull hum through the floor as the light came on in the studio section. Itachi might have been blind but he kept the lights high to make sure no one else stepped in his paints.
And, Dick thought, probably to annoy everyone in a mile radius. He knew that the local made men had tried, only once, to suggest that all of Itachi's paints had been the sort that might burn easily.
Dick had come by that day to find Kisame scrubbing doggedly at a scorch mark fifteen feet long.
A sigh, a groan and he got up. Wobbly maybe but upright meant the itch of energy made him want to go do... Something. A quick patrol, that'd be best.