Title: Robot Boy
Rating: T (for a bit of language and mentions of shooting)
Characters: Ender, Bean
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Angst
Description: Bean was tired of listening to Ender's slow deterioration, and when Ender said that nobody would fight for him, it was the last straw. Songfic with Robot Boy by Linkin Park.
Disclaimer: If I owned Ender's Game and all of its sequels, prequels, and parallel novels, Sister Carlotta would still be alive, there would be a cure for giantism, Petra would've ended up with Dink, and there would've been a lot more description and a lot less "said"s. So, obviously, I don't own the books; they belong to Orson Scott Card. I also don't own Robot Boy by Linkin Park - I can't even pretend I sing well enough.
A/N: This is just a random little drabble/one-shot/song fic that I thought up and wrote in one night, because Robot Boy fits Ender's character so fnicking well. Also, it should be mentioned that this takes place during Ender's Game/Ender's Shadow, in between Bean figuring out that they're actually fighting the Buggers and the last battle.
Bean had had enough.
Enough of the growing difficulty and the lessening help in fighting the Buggers. Enough of wondering how Ender had managed to not go completely insane yet. Enough of feeling Ender's pain and self-hatred. Enough of listening to Ender's voice slowly grow more and more weary. Enough of knowing that Ender was approaching his finish line, the place where he would completely give up.
And this ... this was the last straw.
Today's battle was exceptionally difficult - two hundred Bugger ships hidden by a star cluster versus only fifty I.F. ships. Their commander had been sluggish in giving them orders - it had been five minutes, and still, none were forthcoming. Alai had wondered, as they often did amongst themselves, why Ender didn't seem to care about the game any more. Only today, instead of angling his head left or right in order to speak to the others ... he had titled his head up. And Ender's answer had been the absolute last straw.
"Nobody would fight for me, so why should I fight for anybody?"
Bean allowed his anger at Ender, at the Buggers, and Graff and Mazer Rackham, at everybody in the goddamned world simmer inside him until it boiled over and he just couldn't contain it any more.
He cleared his throat.
"Do you heed a table to stand on, Bean?" Dink asked, remembering the time back in Battleschool when Bean stood on a table in the mess hall to make a speech about Ender, and, later, when he did it again to make a speech about how everyone should disregard the ranking system of the game.
"Shut up, Dink." The way Petra said it, Bean could tell she was rolling her eyes. "Let the dwarf talk."
"Ender," Bean began, tilting his head up so that his commander could hear him, "you say, you're not gonna fight, 'cause noone will fight for you."
"Eh," Ender agreed, his voice so exhausted that Bean almost wanted to cry.
"And you think, there's not enough love, and noone to give it to."
"And you're sure, you've hurt for so long, you've got nothing left to loose."
"So you say, you're not gonna fight, 'cause noone will fight for you."
"You already said that." Ender was becoming a bit skeptical, but the others were quietly listening, so Bean kept going.
"You say, the weight of the world has kept you from letting go."
"Eh," Ender said, in agreement again.
"And you think, compassion's a fault, and you'll never let it show."
The fact that Ender was so tired, he wasn't even questioning how Bean knew these things was almost more worrying than the fact that Ender thought these things.
"And you're sure, you're hurt in a way that noone will ever know."
"But, someday, the weight of the world will give you the strength to go."
"E - wait, what?"
"You heard me. The weight of the world will give you the strength to go," Bean repeated.
"Yeah, that'll happen when Mazer stops giving us these stupid tests and actually lets us fight the Buggers."
"Well, at least he still knows how to be sarcastic," Tom remarked while Bean resisted the urge to laugh at the irony of Ender's statement.
But he remembered that he still had to convince Ender, and the urge to laugh died.
"Ender, it's wrong when you say that noone will fight for you," Bean nearly shouted.
There was no answer.
"It's wrong," he continued, "because I would fight for you. And I'm somebody. And it's not just me, either. All of us, all of your jeesh, we'd fight for you."
Still no answer.
"And you know why? We love you, Ender. We wouldn't just fight for you, we would die for you."
As Bean's voice rose in volume, he could hear murmurs of agreement from the others, murmurs of "Yeah," murmurs of "The dwarf is right," murmurs of "I'd take a bullet for you, Ender."
"And it's not just us, even. It's the world. The entire chaotic, overpopulated, war-driven, miserable world is counting on you to save it. 'Cause you know what? You're the only one who can. So don't you dare say that you won't fight, 'cause noone would fight for you. Fight, Ender. Fight for me. Fight for us. Fight for the world."
He could hear the others - hear their cheering, their praise, their applause. But the one person from whom he most wanted praise didn't say a thing.
Then, a set of orders began to pour through their headphones from a voice that was excited at the challenge ahead. The plan of action was brilliant. There was no way they would loose.
Ender was back.
It felt as if a triumphant guitar melody was playing as a soundtrack while they hunted down and shot Bugger ship after Bugger ship.
They won without loosing a single I.F. ship.
"Just hold on, the weight of the world will give you the strength to go," Bean whispered into his microphone as the last shots were fired.
He was about to leave the ansible and go get some lunch when a quiet voice sounded in his headphones.
"It was no big deal."
The dwarf who was already a giant in the mind of his commander grinned, then added, "After all, you'd have done the same for me, neh?"
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