Title: In This Petty Pace
Word Count: 2032
Summary: Set approximately 60 or so years after season 5 and before Fast Forward. Bishop is changing the world. Not everyone is happy about this. And apparently coffee can deflect assassinations.
In This Petty Pace
The first time Bishop discovered the criminal known as Torbin Zixx rooting through his private files, he did not think much of him. Actually, he did not know who he was. Rather, his focus was more on watching the robed figure slip out the window of his office building before calmly picking up the phone and ordering that the security guards be fired first thing in the morning.
Normally he would have had them permanently terminated as not only had they allowed someone to ransack his files, but they themselves were now to be considered security risks as a result of working in his department. However, while this was still back in the days before Bishop had become a universal leader working in conjunction with other interplanetary heads of state, he had been in the process of moving up the political ladder. Future world leaders did not leave a trail of bodies in their wake – and if they did, they had them suitably covered up or blamed on a convenient scapegoat.
As to why he did not apprehend the criminal himself, well, that was a bit more tricky. He had been about to move forward, when something had tickled the back of his mind. A memory. Something... hazy, indistinct, but definitely familiar. And it had something to do with the man who had apparently just jumped off the one hundred and tenth floor of his building.
The second time Bishop saw Zixx, it was his blurry photograph being shown on the FBI's most wanted list. Again, this was before the FBI had been replaced by a unified world peacekeeping corps. The man dressed like a reject from a Marvel comic book, but apparently he had some skill after all; he was wanted in twenty different countries at the time. The familiar feeling repeated itself, and Bishop suddenly knew.
The third time he saw Zixx, it was once again in his office, a newer, bigger one. Bishop was in the middle of convincing his bosses (the few that remained above him, that is – and not for long at that) that interplanetary alliances were, in fact, the only way to go, and the man was holding a bomb with a stereotypical red clock ticking away at a countdown.
Bishop stared at the cloaked figure who had so rudely teleported into his office, mildly irked by the mud the man's boots were currently grinding into his imported and obscenely expensive Persian rug. "Can I help you?"
"Not really," the man said with a grin and a shrug. The long dark cloak was pulled back from his face, and he raised one eyebrow, looking interested. "You seem rather calm for this sort of thing. Or do you routinely have purple men materialize into your office while carrying explosive devices?"
Bishop was above such petty reactions such as eye rolling, and so he merely turned to the expensive coffee maker his secretary had told him to keep on his own desk (admittedly, his reliance on caffeine could one day be an issue, but he would deal with that on his own terms) and pushed a button at random. He hated this machine. He was a brilliant scientist who could manipulate the human genetic code to do whatever he wanted, and he couldn't work his coffee machine without the instruction manual – which his secretary, in her haste to deposit the contraption and retreat to her weekend off, had neglected to provide. "I am not in the mood to deal with this. Therefore, I will be very generous and let you leave alive."
Zixx tilted his head – Bishop was not so lax as to not keep an eye on the intruder (and at least the coffee pot's reflective surface proved the machine was worth something at any rate) – and blinked slowly, several times. "You expect me to leave? Just like that?"
Bishop shot him a low-level glare. "In an effort to convince the world that the time is coming for alliances with other planets and dimensions, I have had to cut back on shooting people who enter my office. Apparently diplomatic relations go much smoother if one does more negotiating and inflicts less blunt trauma." He pressed another button. The machine gurgled at him and refused to drip any coffee into his cup. Bishop restrained a growl and made a mental note to fire his secretary on Monday.
Zixx barked out a laugh and suddenly reached down, tapping the buttons on the bomb held in the crook of his arm. The timer went flat-line and then turned off.
Bishop ignored him. The coffee maker did the same.
Zixx set the contraption down. "You're interesting," he said, folding his arms and grinning cheekily. "You know, I've threatened a lot of people. Hurt a lot of them too. Even killed a few. But this is the first time the reaction has been complete disinterest." He chuckled and swept himself forward, sitting down in the plush office chairs Bishop kept for the rare honored guests he allowed entry into his private sanctum.
"You are dripping mud all over my furniture."
"So send me a dry cleaning bill. If you can find me, that is." Zixx watched him poke the coffee machine again, and then leaned forward, batting his eyes. "May I assist you?"
Bishop was not unaware of the flirtatious nature of his guest – he simply did not care enough to dignify it with the sort of reaction Zixx was obviously looking for. "You were contracted to kill me and now you're going to serve me coffee?"
"Fifty years ago, you would have had guards in here shooting enough tranqs in my ass to down an elephant before dragging me to your lab for dissection," Zixx returned smoothly, eyes suddenly cold and hard. "I've read the files on you. Color me curious."
Bishop snorted, ignoring his statement, and waved his hand dismissively at the errant machine. "Have at it then."
Zixx snickered and pushed another button on the side. The top flipped open and the man pointed at it. "Helps if you put water inside." Bishop silently handed him a water bottle from his desk. A few minutes later, dark, rich-smelling coffee began to drip into the cup.
"You may go now," Bishop told him, and turned to the papers on his desk. There was a small rustle of movement, and he looked up, glaring at the man who had just returned to his previous position in the chair. "Is there anything else?"
"Why haven't you called for help? Attacked me? At the very least, why didn't you defend yourself?" Zixx was still watching him warily.
Bishop noted that his cup was full. He turned off the machine – at least the power button was clearly marked on the wretched thing – and added one sugar and one cream, stirring it three times and only that. "You are not worth the effort." He could suddenly feel the irritation suddenly wafting off the other man, and it was only due to his long years of exercising discipline and self-control that he did not snicker in his own amusement.
Zixx growled, low in his throat. "I have a bomb," he pointed out, unnecessarily.
"You defused it. Obviously, you did not intend to use it all. You wanted to intimidate me into doing something the likes of which I have absolutely no interest in."
"I find that hard to believe," Zixx retorted. "You're lying. You want to know why I'm here, and what I want from you."
"What you want from me? Unlikely." Bishop sipped his coffee. "Rather, it is what your employer wants of me. He will undoubtedly be upset by the idea that I will not be cowed into tearing up the peace treaty currently being discussed with Africa Zone 3."
Zixx stiffened. "How did you..."
"I know everything," Bishop said so flatly that for a minute, he knew Zixx was contemplating the idea that he actually was omniscient. "And I have a very important summit meeting I need to prepare for in three days. A galactic council is less than a decade away from being a reality – provided I get back to work." He looked at his watch – he had four hours before his team would be leaving for Switzerland and the next round of alliance discussions. "Was there anything else?"
"You realize you're costing me a very large paycheck," Zixx said softly. A click suddenly echoed in the room, and Bishop sighed, looking up at the extreme-looking weapon now being pointed at his face. "Any reason I shouldn't just cut my losses?"
"You are starting to annoy me," Bishop said, equally as softly. "I do not want to kill you but I will not be responsible for what will happen if you do not use that delightful teleportation machine of yours and Leave. My. Office."
Zixx didn't move, and for one long moment, Bishop was considering the fastest way to put the other man down, when suddenly Zixx slipped the gun back under his cloak. "Okay."
Bishop raised an eyebrow. "Okay?"
"You interest me," Zixx said, matter-of-factly. "Precious few things in this world do. And besides, there's something else about you..." He trailed off, a momentary look of confusion crossing his face.
"If you make another attempt to kill me in the future, do not expect this level of leniency," Bishop warned him.
"What if I make you another coffee?" Zixx countered swiftly, grinning crazily at him. He stepped back. "Later Bishie." He flickered out of existence, as neatly as if he'd never been there at all.
Bishop studied the space where the man had stood seconds before. It had taken him awhile, but he was now sure of who the other man was. Obviously, Zixx did not remember him. It was fortunate, really – had Zixx recalled that it was Bishop who was in fact responsible for his purple skin, that it was Bishop who had genetically altered him in the name of scientific curiosity – then there would likely have been significant structural damage to the building, lives would have been lost, and Bishop would have been in need of a new body.
He could have captured Zixx. Quite easily, in fact. But then the memory of the genetically altered creature he'd tormented and tortured reaching for him through the smoke and haze of his destroyed laboratory, picking him up and carrying him to safety reminded him of the debt he owed.
Zixx's celular structure had apparently calmed and settled to the point where if it were not for his skin tone, he could pass for a pure human. Not that it mattered much, what with the gradually increasing flow of alien settlers on earth, but it was interesting to see one of his former experiments apparently having adjusted quite nicely after escaping. He may be a politician, but at heart, he was still a scientist.
Zixx had turned out quite nicely, he mused thoughtfully. Bishop considered it a sign of good faith that he was finally doing the right and best thing for his country – nay, for the world, that Zixx had not recognized his former jailer.
Then he set the entire incident out of his mind in preparation for more important things.
He had a world to unite.
Notes: This is not really the end, actually. Rather, this is the start of what will hopefully be a realistic attempt (such as it can be, obviously) at a Bishop/Torbin Zixx fic. ^__^ Yes, I have thought about this long and hard, and as much as I detest certain aspects of Fast Forward, I adore Zixx. He reminds me of a cross between Deadpool (comic-verse) and Gambit from the X-Men.
My take on Bishop is a bit different - he's not the same as the turtles remember, obviously - but at the same time, he's not as mellow and 'good' as the future version. But he's getting there. :D
Feedback greatly appreciated. I have a feeling I'm gonna need encouragement to keep this going. ^^;;; I shall do my best.