-Read It and Weep-

A 9 Crack Fic by Digitaldreamer

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Oh God.

Oh God I am so sorry.

Okay so first I swore to myself I'd never write fanfiction again. And then 9 happened and that obviously changed. Then I was working on my big serious fic that I'm not going to talk about here... and then this happened. I got this horrible, horrible crack idea and it would not go away. It only got worse the more I thought about it, in fact. So instead of my first fic being what I planned, it ended up being this.

I am so sorry. I apologize in advance for anything that seems out-of-character (though in my defense this situation being... well, you'll see, it's really hard to tell how canonly everyone would react), I apologize for poorly written dialogue, I apologize for any spelling or grammar mistakes since this is un-beta'd, I apologize for any not-so-grand writing as I swear I am normally better than this, and I apologize for world hunger while I'm at it.

I have more to say, but I'm a horrible person and I don't want to spoil the surprise soo... I'll just let you read this and decide if this horrible crack idea is amusing to you or not. Yeeaah.

Disclaimer: I don't own 9. Upon reading this, people will probably sigh in relief.

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There was a suspicious amount of giggling going on.

1 frowned as he heard the sounds of laughter echoing throughout the throne room for the fifth time. Laughter wasn't something one often heard in the emptiness, even on the best of days. It was a strange sound on it's own, breaking the hushed silence of a run-down world in such a way that 1 had never been entirely sure how to react to it. While the noise tended to make him nervous (who knew how 'safe' they really were, after all), he generally let it slide. After all, laughter on it's own was innocent enough.

Another giggle rang through the air and 1 had to scowl, claw-like metal fingers tightening around his staff. Laughter could be innocent, but it could also mean something else entirely. When it was extended for this long anyone would have been a tad suspicious, and 1 tended to be more suspicious than your average stitchpunk.

Again the giggling came and 1 let out a growl. "Alright, that's it! All I ask for is something as simple as peace and quiet, but apparently that is out of the question today" He stood from his throne, the small bell at the end of his staff jingling with the motion. 8 blinked in confusion from his spot at the leader's side, cloth lips pursing in confusion. 1 looked to him with narrowed eyes, halting the obvious question. "Come, 8! It seems we have no choice but to figure out what this... infernal laughter is about," The eldest stitchpunk grumbled as he stalked down the hall.

It didn't take him long to find the source of the noise. The rest of the group was assembled in the main hall, all with varying expressions ranging from amusement to curiosity to outright bewilderment. This wasn't an entirely uncommon occurrence, if any of the group went on patrol in the emptiness it was inevitable that some sort of strange object would return with them. Whether it be a toy, a stupid trinket or some tidbit of information it was certain that someone was going to be interested. 1 bore these bouts of excitement as necessary, albeit frustrating and dangerous. To have each of them interested was a tad more uncommon, however. Especially considering when what was being peered over between them all was not some new contraption of 2's or some ridiculous trinket 7 has stumbled upon... but a parchment.

"This is just so incredibly strange..."

"What do you suppose that word means?"

"I just don't get why..."

1 listened to the chatter for a moment, then shook his head, deciding his presence had gone unnoticed long enough. "What exactly is going on here!?" He snapped as he stalked into the room, his footsteps dwarfed by 8's lumbering gait.

The other stitchpunks all glanced up, their reactions differing but almost all carrying a hint of panic. 3 and 4, whom had been rushing around the parchment like excited bees, promptly abandoned their latest quarry of information and dove behind 7. The female stitchpunk's smile fell slightly as the twins vanished and she looked up to scowl at their leader. 5, whom had been holding one corner of the parchment, promptly released it as if he'd been burned, clasping wooden fingers together as he tried and failed to hide his expression of guilt. His release of the parchment left 6 to grapple for it, the artistic stitchpunk left holding the crumpled paper with an expression of bewilderment. It was 2 who stepped forward, a careful smile on his face.

"Oh, 1!" He chirped, unable to keep the excitement out of his voice as he fumbled with his cane. "7 returned from her patrol with the most interesting artifact! 3 and 4 were just analyzing it."

1's eyes narrowed and he looked from the old stitchpunk to the girl across the room, as if he wasn't quite sure which one he wanted to direct his ire at first. His eyes finally settled on 7's pale face. "7," He growled as he began to stalk toward her, shaking his staff before him. "How many times have I told you to stop bringing those things here!? We have a rule against bringing the past--"

"It's not a historical document!" 7 snapped, defiance clear in her gleaming eyes as she held her ground, the twins behind her doing their best to remain unseen. A slight smirk came to her pale lips as she nodded to the parchment in 6's hands. "It's a work of fiction, and you have no rules against that."

The eldest stitchpunk blinked, then scowled again. "... Clever loophole," He muttered as he turned to the parchment in question, gesturing with his staff violently. 6 let out a yelp and ducked beneath the jingling bell, narrowly avoiding getting whacked in the head. "Out of the way! Let's see this 'fiction' of yours," 1 muttered as he tugged the parchment from 6's hands, gazing at it with angular eyes. There was a tense silence as he began to read quietly under his breath.

"...And then Spock looked deeply into Kirk's eyes and whispered...." 1's eyes widened. If he'd been capable of blushing, he would have. "What is this unnatural monstrosity!?" He yelped as he tossed the parchment away. The thing nearly floated the to dusty floor before 3 and 4 darted from behind 7 to catch it, their fear overruled by their desire to continue cataloging the strange work.

2 was laughing. "Well, from what I can tell and from what the twins have documented, this is a work of fiction written about some sort of show humans used to watch called Star Trek."

6 blinked, then suddenly beamed and waved an arm excitedly as if he were in school. "Ooh, ooh, I remember what that is! 3 and 4 found a video about that and then we watched it and it was exciting and I made drawings and it was great and... then... 1 was... reeeeaally angry and made us get rid of it. Ahaha..." His eyes flicked nervously to 1 and he clicked the ends of his pen nib fingers together.

The inventor chuckled as he leaned forward on his cane. "That's right! I was looking into these things with 3 and 4 and we learned all sorts of things! Apparently this was written by something called a 'fan'."

"You mean like the thing that's hanging from the ceiling in the church?" 5 spoke up, his curiosity enough to overcome his nerves.

7 frowned as she glanced up at the ceiling, shifting her helmet so she could properly peer up at what was left of the structure. Though it was far away, she could faintly see the cracked and destroyed blades of a fan hanging down from it. "Somehow I can't see a fan writing," She said as she cocked her head to the side.

3 and 4 glanced up from their cataloging, then looked to each other for a moment. They then both gave an excited series of clicks and shook their heads. Finally they apparently honed in on what exactly they were trying to show and in a burst of light the image of a strange, fat man with an odd skintight outfit was being projected against the wall.

2 clapped his hands together. "Excellent 3 and 4! Yes, yes, I do believe that's a fan! They were almost like regular humans, only unlike other humans they never took care of themselves, got painfully obsessive about strange things and wrote things like this fiction." 3 and 4 nodded enthusiastically at this and both gave a series of clicks. 2 cocked his head to the side for a moment, then blinked and rubbed his chin. "Oh, I see! I think they're suggesting a name... perhaps... ah, I've got it! Fan fiction!"

"Fan fiction?" 5 tried it out, his cloth lips fumbling over syllables. It didn't sound bad.

"Exactly!" 2 beamed as he hobbled over to the parchment and lifted it up again as if he were hailing it as the next great work of art. "Ah, what an exciting discovery!"

"Let me see it!" 8 broke his confused silence as he lumbered over, snatching the 'fan fiction' from 2's thin hands. He normally could care less for reading, but with the rest of the group constantly rambling about the thing the large stitchpunk couldn't help but feel irritated about being out of the loop. Beady eyes glanced across the parchment, the paper crumpling even more in his heavy grasp. After a moment 8's mouth twisted into a confused frown. "Hey... this is about two guys... and they're... kissing?" He made a face, recoiling from the paper as if burned.

"They're what?" 1 sputtered, turning toward 8 in a flourish.

2 burst into laughter, slapping his knee. "Oh dear!"

"W-wha? Is that normal?" 5 asked. "I-I mean kissing was like... that thing in those pictures 3 and 4 found and 6 tried drawing, right?"

6 beamed and nodded. "That's right, I remember those! T-those were fun, I saw images like those in a dream once! But those were of a guy and a girl!"

"I remember that too," 7 frowned and scratched her head, looking somewhat perplexed. She then gave a shrug."Well... I don't see why it couldn't be two guys... I mean... I guess--"

"It's not normal!" 1 snapped, cutting her off with a swish of his staff. "I assure you it is most unnatural and it should not be discussed anymore!"

Unfortunately for 1, his ranting went ignored as 3 and 4 began to shutter excitedly amongst themselves for a moment. Then came another projection, this one of a page from a dictionary.

"Oooh, ooh, it looks like 3 and 4 have a word!" 6 exclaimed excitedly, then began to read aloud. "Gay! Definition, having or showing a merry, lively mood... ooh, does that mean we're all gay!?" He asked as he glanced around, looking positively thrilled at this discovery. It sure was great to hear that they were all happy!

7 gave a laugh. "As great as that sounds, I think they mean the second definition..." Her eyes glanced across it and she frowned. "Homosexual? What does..." She blinked as a second definition came up, then snapped her metallic fingers. "Ah! Okay, that means... of relating to or having a sexual orientation to persons of the same sex." Her brow furrowed. "...What."

"Haha, gaaaay...." 8 tried the word out, then grinned and pointed at 5. "You're gaaaaay!" He declared, then let out a booming laugh.

"What!?" 5 sputtered, backing away slightly with widened eyes. . "I-I am not... wait... I mean I guess I'm kind of happy but... the second one shouldn't be an insult anyway!" He exclaimed, hands clenching into fists at his sides as he frowned.

"Regardless!" 1 snapped, trying to get everyone's attention again as he banged the end of his staff against the aged wooden floor. He took a deep breath, apparently trying to decide where to begin. Finally he cleared his throat and put his arms behind his back. "Evidentially this story is of... 'romantic' nature. While I may not have rules against fiction in general, I do believe we have had a discussion regarding such things... what with the 'Twilight' incident and all."

7 let out a gasp and promptly reached out to cover the spot where the twins ears would be. 3 and 4 stood there, blinking in confusion as 7 turned to glare at 1. "You know you're not supposed to mention that around the twins!" She exclaimed. "3 could go catatonic again like the last time they tried to read that... thing!"

Their leader rolled his eyes. "It would be preferable to 4's reaction. Ugh..." He gave a shudder. "I don't care how fantastic 'Edward' or whatever his name is, vampires do not sparkle!"

"Oh, leave 4 alone! Even if it's not the best book ever it's no reason to go bashing their reading choices!" 7 huffed, not even noticing as 3 and 4 darted from her protective grasp so as to not get between her and 1's argument. "Besides, what do you know about vampires? You can't know anything because you never bother to read anything or listen to anything!"

"I know they do not sparkle! That's just ridiculous" 1 barked in return, his hands clenching around his staff as he stalked closer to 7.

"Alright you two, calm down," 2 said gently as he stepped between them, his cane clicking against 1's staff as he brushed the heavy object aside. "That incident is in the past, surely by now we can learn to forgive and forget?"

1 snorted, his head held high as he continued to glare at 7. "Indeed... at any rate, back to my point. I'm afraid, unfortunately, we have already made a rule and you know what that means." He held one finger in the air, pursing his lips. "We already know such stories are dangerous and--" The eldest stitchpunk paused as he heard a flurry of clicks. He then glanced over at 8, his eyes narrowing. The large stitchpunk blinked, then glanced down at his empty hands.

"Wha!? Where'd the--" 8 sputtered, glancing about. His eyes finally fell upon the corner, where 3 and 4 had apparently commandeered the parchment and were once again eagerly inspecting it, scattering all over it like two puppies who were excited over a new toy.

7 laughed as she watched 3 and 4 look over the parchment, her anger vanishing at the sight. Really, how could she stay mad when she was around those two? "Well, I think 3 and 4 seem interested at least... come on 1, you should let them keep it," She declared as she put her hands on her hips and looked back at the eldest stitchpunk.

The leader tried to open his mouth to give a proper, adamant 'no', but he was interrupted. "Indeed," 2 chuckled as he leaned on his cane, watching them as well. "They aren't reacting badly at all! Why, this could open up an entire new creative venue for them! They may read more and go on to write their own! It would be wonderful!"

1's eyes widened at this. "They might... write their own?" He said, the words practically a whisper on his lips.

"Oh wow, that would be cool!" 5 exclaimed excitedly. "3 and 4, you guys should do that! I'd love to read anything you made! Although... maybe not about the two guys? That's kinda weird... I-I mean I guess if you want to... ah... gee..."

"Read...?" 1 mumbled.

3 and 4 both gave a series of excited chatters and 6 blinked, stepping closer. "Wha, me?" 6 blinked, pressing a hand against his chest. He then nodded and smiled, clapping his hands together excitedly. "Oh, what a great idea! I could make illustrations for your guys' story, that would be great! And I could draw... yeah, yeah, I can see it now! Hang on, I have to get my ink and paper!" He exclaimed, then turned and ran for the door.

"Hold it!" 1 sputtered, catching 6 with the circular part of his staff. He ignored the stitchpunk's yelp of slight pain as the leader scowled at the artist. "You can understand them!?" 1 spat out.

"Huh?" 6 blinked at him with mismatched eyes for a moment. Then he laughed. "Oh yeah, didn't you know!? The twins and I sometimes form a mind link!" He declared, reaching up and pointing at his own head.

"...A mind link," 1 said flatly.

"Yup! Telepathic! It's great!" 6 beamed and nodded, the expression on his face making it rather clear that he believed every word that came from his own mouth. "...Um... d-do you mind?" He gestured toward the door. Caught up in his sense of numb disbelief at 6's sheer insanity, 1 let him go, watching the stitchpunk's striped back vanish with wide eyes. He then turned back to the others, all of whom were still babbling excitedly around the parchment.

"Gee guys, this really could be pretty cool," 7 said as she leaned over the excited twins, both of whom already seemed to be planning something. The twins excitement was apparently contagious, judging from her wide smile. 5 looked excited as well as he peered over the parchment, his one eye scanning across it. 2 was laughing so hard he was leaning heavily on his cane. 8 stood a few paces away, apparently still busy being amused by the word "gay".

"...Ridiculous," 1 muttered, his hands clenching into fists around his staff. "This is absolutely ridiculous... stop this at once!" He cried, voice ringing throughout the room.

They all ignored him, too busy with their chattering.

"I said stop this at once!" 1 snarled, slamming his staff down against the floor. "We have rules against this sort of thing, I've already told you! Get rid of that abominable thing at once! It's unnatural! Ugh... things like that shouldn't be written anyway! Its... it's dangerous! Don't you remember Twilight!? Why won't any of you listen to me!? " He ranted at the top of his mechanical lungs, desperately trying to get their attention.

The only one to spare him a glance was 7, whom scowled. "It's not dangerous. You can't prove that. Let them have some fun for once, 1." With those words her attention went back to 3 and 4, whom seemed to be trying to explain some sort of diagram and failing without any sort of visual aid.

"Fun!?" 1 sputtered. "That's not... it's.... that's an abomination! You shouldn't be... we can't afford to be having fun, this is about survival! You... you all-- ACK!" He only had a moment to catch the sound of fluttering parchment before the eldest stitchpunk was suddenly knocked off of his feet., He hit the ground with a loud thud, the tiny bell on his staff jingling violently before it connected with the wood floor.

"S-sorry 1! So sorry!" 6 called out behind him as he spun around momentarily to observe the stitchpunk he had knocked over in his hasty return. However, even as he apologized he was hopping toward the group and in a moment he was back to rushing, babbling excitedly as he dipped his metal fingers into the leaking ink bottle he lugged with him. Apparently he was quite excited to get to sketching and the fact that he hadn't gotten to his destination yet wasn't going to stop him.

1 lay there on the floor for a moment, watching them in disbelief. He then blinked in confusion as a hand was quite suddenly offered to him. The stitchpunk frowned, then glanced up at 2's beaming face. "Need a hand?" The inventor asked.

"...Tch," 1 scoffed, but took the offered limb and allowed himself to be pulled to his feet. "Honestly, 2. Was all this really necessary?" He asked as he dusted himself off, shooting a glare at the other stitchpunk.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," 2 said innocently, glancing back toward the group.

"Don't give me that!" 1 snapped as he straightened his cape and hat. "Where on Earth did you find that... thing?" He grumbled as he gestured to the wrinkled (and it was fast becoming more wrinkled with everyone stepping all over it) parchment.

"Thing?" 2 repeated, then gave a chuckle. "Now 1, is that really how you want to refer to yourwork from the grand days of our ah... youth?" He asked as he shot his leader a wry smile.

1's eyes widened and he cringed, grabbing 2's arm and giving him a rough shake. "Don't say such things so loudly!" He hissed, casting a nervous glance at the rest of the group as he lowered his voice. "And don't ramble about our 'youth', it was only a few days for heaven's sake!"

"A few days spent watching Star Trek while that dear old scientist was toiling away making the rest of us~!" 2 chirped as he elbowed 1 lightly in the side, a look of nostalgia coming over his features. "Such denial of your creative side. It's a shame, I thought your writing was rather good. I was particularly a fan of how Kirk gazes lovingly into Spock's eyes..." 2 let out another chuckle.

There was a low groan as 1 brought his palm to his face. "Please... just... just stop talking, 2. You sound like your foolish apprentice. I will send you into the Emptiness and never let you return, I swear I will do it." He mumbled around metallic fingers.

2 let out a laugh as he leaned on his cane. "Of course! I don't doubt you will one day, and I'm sure when you do this foolish old man will deserve it!" He glanced back to the others, his gaze becoming somewhat wistful. "Is it truly so awful to be reminded of what you once were? You've always been stubborn, but even you... you were curious once. I'm aware we've been here a long while... but that makes it all the more important to not forget moments like these, wouldn't you agree?"

1 watched the group as well, then shook his head. "Moments like these... you know as well as I they have no place in a world like this, 2. Not back then, and certainly not now. Not here. Not anymore." He declared, his fists clenching around his staff as he forced his eyes to the ceiling. "...They need to listen and understand that."

The inventor glanced back at his oldest companion, trying to meet 1's eyes. After a few moments, however, it became clear that 1 had no intentions of meeting his gaze. "Ah, my friend... your stubbornness and the weight of your duties really has changed you, hasn't it?" He murmured, his expression sad. "I know you were never one for taking risks, but..." He shook his head, trailing off with a sigh.

"Bah! I have no idea what you're talking about!" 1 huffed as he crossed his arms before him, switching his gaze from the ground to the ceiling.

2 watched him, then looked back to the group. He then shrugged and gave a final smile. "Well, I wouldn't worry..." He reached out and gave 1 a light pat on the shoulder. "I'm sure this little madness will only last about a week. Surely your iron-fisted reign can last that long, can't it? Perhaps you can take this opportunity to take a bit of a vacation yourself." With those words he made his way back toward the group, his gentle laughter easily joining in with the rest.

1 watched the inventor reunite with the group, let their happy babbling wash over him like some sort of strange white noise, something painfully out of place in their broken down home. He then huffed and turned, his red cape fluttering with the motion as he stalked away. "Fine... let them have their fun. They'll learn on their own anyway, hmph!" He declared, the tiny bell ringing with each footstep he took. His words seemed hollow against the laughter echoing throughout the church, however. "Changed... hmph..." His shoulders sunk slightly as he continued to walk.

Had he changed? Perhaps he had. But the situation had called for it, and he understood that. Let them all be silly and frivolous... someone had to understand what was going on here and keep them all together, understand the seriousness of the situation, keep them from taking foolish risks, keep them all alive. Even if it meant moments like these were so scarce... even if it meant he wasn't about to admit the laughter didn't sound so bad.

Besides, if he hadn't changed he never would have come to the conclusion that Spock and McCoy was the superior pairing anyway.

-End-

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Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. First of all, I'd like to apologize for any eye-burning that may have taken place and again I apologize for characterization. If anyone seems too OOC, please let me know and perhaps I can see about fixing this monstrosity or... something. Unless it's just a part of the crack, in which case I have no explanation.

So right, explanations. I am aware given the setting of 9, this whole idea is a bit... well, insane. But hey, I kind of figured with this being a strange alternate universe and all, it's still possible that Star Trek could have come into existence prior to people getting themselves killed. Yes, in spite of everything taking place after WWI. They made sentient machines, anything's possible.

Second, why Star Trek? Because although I've never seen it, it's... it's Star Trek. And we're talking about fanfiction. As far as I know Star Trek was one of the first things with fanfiction so it seemed fitting.

Why is 1 a fan of Star Trek? Because the mental image of 1 having once written fanfiction is hilarious to me. And then with that came this theory in my head that before the stitchpunks were all sent out into the world they spent some time in the scientist's lab... y'know, except for 9. I figured since 1 and 2 came first they probably spent a lot of time together and there might be a history there that we never saw. I wanted to expand on the relationship that might have been, the one that wasn't really seen in the movie but when I consider it, it could be quite an interesting thing. I kind of meant for this to show that 1 and 2 have been "friends" for awhile and maybe 1 wasn't always such a jerk. I may have to write more things about this, there's so many possibilities... hmmm... but right, enough of that for now.

The yaoi thing? Yeah, I don't know. I'm not a fan of yaoi or pairings in general, although I used to be. It's fine if other people do it and I'll still read stuff with it but it's not really my cup of tea anymore. In spite of that, the idea of the stitchpunks having a discussion about yaoi was just a bit too hilarious to pass up.

Lastly, 6 having a mind link with the twins? Yeah, he really doesn't. Damn that guy is crazy sometimes.

I do believe that's the last of my notes, so I'll shut up now. Please review and tell me what you thought! I'd love to get some feedback since this is my first full fic and even if it's mostly crack, if I can get pointers on writing these characters I'd definitely appreciate it. So yes, go, review, do it!

Thank you for your time and I hope you enjoyed this!