Disclaimer: I do not own The Biker Mice From Mars nor any of the characters. I also do not own, nor claim to have written, any of the quotes from other recognisable movie. This is just a story for fun, and no copyright infringement is intentional.
This is again a response to Inuficcrzy 'The First's' challenge. If you haven't read hers, or any of the other entries, you really should. Promise you'll thank me for it!
A/N On a personal note, having been a Queenslander, all my love and thoughts to my family and friends still in Queensland with the floods. Wish I was with you now.
The First of Something Beautiful
Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight,
But it's not a star he's wishing on. It's Mars. Maybe that's why these wishes never seem to work. It's been the same wish for the last 3 months. Still nothing.
I wish I may, wish I might, have this wish, I wish tonight.
I want to go home.
"Star light, star bright –" he began to repeat the rhyme softly to himself.
He glanced up at the unexpected intrusion her voice made. Charley stood over him as he sat alone on the roof of the Quigley Stadium scoreboard.
In the last three months the human woman and wonder mechanic had taken himself and his bros in, she had fed them, introduced them to Chicago, fed them again, found them the scoreboard hangout and then fed them some more. Also in that time, she had been captured by Limburger and used as bait more than he wanted to think about. Some way to show the Mice's gratitude and repay her for all her help. But she was so strong and beautiful. She hadn't complained once. Charley was just a tower of strength. Like a mortal Athena.
His Athena who had now, had quite possibly caught him singing a nursery rhyme. Ouch.
"How'd you get up here?" he asked, partly alarmed because she might have heard him, and partly because she had climbed up all the way to the top unassisted. The ledge was very narrow and the ladder didn't possess a handrail, just a long drop to the ground.
"Oh, I followed the cheese crumbs." She responded with a light shrug, a smile turning the corners of her lips. The wind was building as she stood, whipping around her face. "Scoot over, there's room for one more." He shuffled over, offering his hand to steady her as she sat. Her hands were rough. It was incredible to think that he had only known her for just under three months. She was already such an integral part of his existence on earth. Or maybe on any planet.
"So, whatcha doin'?" Charley asked again after a moment of silence, as they sat side by side, gazing up at the starry night sky.
He shrugged, murmuring wistfully "Just looking at home." He smiled sheepishly feeling a little foolish. For some reason being around this woman made him feel far more naked than the green bandoleers that strapped his chest ever did.
She didn't laugh, but somehow he'd already known she wouldn't. He could be himself; goofy and eternally trying to extricate his foot from his even bigger mouth, and she simply took it all in her stride.
"You miss it, don't you?" she asked softly. No judgement, just a question.
He nodded again. He felt stupid missing a hunk of bloodstained soil when he had so much to be grateful for. He had his bros, they were alive, and they were out of Plutakian clutches. And at present, he had the company of a very lovely human woman, who was proving to be a great friend and ally.
He didn't have any reason to miss Mars. There wasn't anyone to miss there, like Throttle did Carbine, or Modo did his mother and niece and nephew. Only Harley. And she wasn't ever really his, either. His and Harley's relationship, if one could even call it that, had been the very definition of ambiguous.
But he did still miss the blood red Martian plains. It was home, and all he had ever really known.
Charley noticed his quiet sigh. There wasn't much she didn't pick up on about this guy. He drove her mad, made her furious at his ego and macho attitude and exhibited a total disregard for her food bill. And then ten minutes later here she was, seeking him out, wanting his company, and a way to comfort him. She had just climbed up to the top of the scoreboard, risking a broken neck for him. A risk she hadn't even given a thought to. He looked so forlorn and serious staring up at the starry night sky. Such a contrast with his usual light-hearted self. Without thinking Charley reached over and gripped his hand. His white fur was surprisingly soft and warm.
Vinnie tried not to flinch with surprise at her unexpected touch. But he did. And she noticed. She blushed, and dropped his hand immediately.
"Sorry. I shouldn't have done that." she whispered and cleared her throat a little.
Vinnie opened his mouth. He wanted to reassure her, to say: no its okay, it's been a long time between drinks, but its okay when it you. Nothing came out though.
Brilliant work, Van Wham, you really have a way with words.
"So," Charley murmured after a moment. But the silence wasn't awkward. "Tell me about home?"
War, betrayal, carnage and death. Wasn't that something everyone wanted to hear more about?
And contrary to popular belief, a male will not always be fascinated and easily distracted with the potential ability to blow things up.
Vinnie could honestly say that he had no desire to see any more holes made in the Martian landscape. It already looked like Swiss cheese. Nor talk about it either.
Instead he raised his eyebrows faintly. Hadn't she heard enough when Throttle gave her the overview, when they first met her three months ago? Hadn't she seen enough of Throttle's memories?
Vinnie had heard enough, and had to live with his own memories. So he reacted the same way he did when Throttle had initially told her about their war torn planet and their Karbunkle's work on the bro's 'injuries'. He made a joke out of it. It masked the pain. Masks were good like that sometimes.
So he smiled sardonically at her. "Okay, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away," He broke off laughing as she whacked his arm.
Why it was okay to whack him but not offer him physical comfort, Charley wasn't ready to debate just yet.
"Very funny." But her eyes twinkled; she really did think it was very funny. "I was trying to be serious! You can talk seriously to me, you know?"
Yes, I do know. He thought. But not about home. It hurts too much. Instead he snickered, "Why, the sudden interest, sweetheart? You jealous that I mighta left someone back home?"
Charley rolled her eyes. "You can't be serious, can you?"
He continued, ignoring her remark. "Don't feel too bad. There wasn't that many girls. Just the ones I've rescued. You've seen James Bomb, right? All the girls fall in love with the rescuer, it's just good manners."
He grinned impishly then, "Come to think of it, I've rescued you a few times now," he rubbed his chin thoughtfully and quirked a metal-masked eyebrow at her.
"Uh huh, you keep dreaming." She laughed as rolled her eyes again. "And the answer is no." But underneath, her voice was firm.
He smirked at her. "Or," he drew out the vowel sound, "maybe, secretly, you might like us coming to your rescue? Understandable response, course."
She whacked his arm again, harder this time and then his head. It didn't hurt. "No, I dont love being used as bait, you lummox. And getting kidnapped really interferes with my work schedule." She sighed then, all humour gone. "I can see you're not ready to talk yet. But when you are, I'm all ears, okay?"
Vinnie smiled and tweaked one of her little pink ears. "Hardly." And twitched his own. It made his point. Then he sobered, "thanks."
She patted his arm, still a little hesitantly. But she needn't have worried. The awkwardness was gone. It would be okay to touch him again, next time she would be able to hold his hand. Next time he wouldn't flinch, either.
And he knew just how far he could push her buttons before she really lost her temper, and her pink fur-less face would go a bright red colour. Rosy, rosy red. Red was such a Martian colour.
Damn it, if everything didn't remind him of home.
"Hey, chin up. You know you'll get back there one day. Just think of this time on Earth as a holiday, some well earned time out... just with the occasional Limburger-fuelled interruption." Charley murmured with a little smile, guessing with alarming accuracy what was on his mind.
His Athena could joke around with him one minute, and then able to read him with piercing clarity the next. Athena with Psyche's gift of perception. And she had the beauty of both goddesses' combined. The stadium lights behind gave her a soft glow and highlighted the red strokes through her chestnut hair. Her dark green eyes were wide and sparkling.
She really was so different to Harley. And that thought confused him. He had loved Harley hadn't he? Was it wrong that he was enjoying someone else's company when he should have been feeling awful that he hadn't done more to protect Harley? Do more to rescue her now?
And Charley? He didn't quite know yet what to make of this girl. But she was something, that was for sure, but what that was exactly- the jury was still out. So for now he would be content to think of her in his mind as his Something Beautiful and leave it at that.
Charley leaned over and propped her head against his shoulder. It didn't mean anything, he knew that. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders. It didn't mean anything, she knew that.
Purely platonic, that was all. Their casual contact didn't mean anything else. Yet.
Something beautiful, alright.
And maybe home wasn't quite so far away.