Disclaimer: don't own nor make a profit from this.
Wikus van de Merwe had believed the Prawn didn't understand the concept of property or ownership.
He was wrong.
Things. They weren't interested in ownership of things. Or objects. Or land. That was key.
As he looked with unblinking trepidation into the Prawn's eyes, he realized it was something he had discovered too late.
-o- WEEKS BEFORE -o-
The familiar rumble of scattered gun shots in District 9 wasn't even disturbed by the refugee fleeing inside the perimeter's fence. Human sentries looked bored at their post, never noticing the most wanted man escaping within the slums of Johannesburg.
But the Prawns did.
One speckled with gold flicked his antennas up, eyes snapping towards the strange human running past. Travis clicked and chirped to get the attention of a rust-colored drone, digging into the trash a few yards away. Carter shared a questioning trill at the being sprinting past, though it stumbled when it cast terrified glances at the both of them. Then just as quickly, it had disappeared into the shadows between the shacks.
They both rose in unison. Their search through the mounds of garbage could wait.
Wikus clutched his trash bag to him, the remains of scavenged food and useful items clinking quietly within. But to the hybrid's ears, it was as if it rang as loud as a car alarm in the settling silence of the night.
He had slipped past the human guards easily enough. But he prayed to whatever god was out there that those two Prawns wouldn't take an interest in him.
He stumbled in the first shack he could, ripping the caution tape off the front doors before shutting the thin piece of tin behind him. As he stepped backwards in the darkness, he should've known better. Prawns were fast. Faster than him with his half-prawn half-human reflexes. And they had noses like blood hounds. Which didn't even make sense, because he didn't see any fookin' noses on their faces.
Two Prawns kicked open the door so recently shut, standing momentarily in the moonlit entrance, before striding inside. First a golden one, then a crimson following step behind him.
Wikus backed away, human hand raised in surrender, "I-I'm sorry. I didn't do anything. Is-is this your shack? I'm sorry, I'll find another place."
They easily blocked his attempts to step past them, prowling forward with an eagerness neither could explain. Twenty years. Twenty years they had spent cooped up in this hellish District 9, as the humans called it. There were so few forms of entertainment. So when something, or rather someone, stumbled in, they took it upon themselves to find out why.
It's what Christopher wanted, after all.
Just as they were about to give their usual line of questioning, the two tall Prawns exchanged surprised glances.
"What are you?" Travis clacked, golden form backing Wikus into one of the shack's tin walls.
The human dressed like some in the district, in rags and tattered clothing, a healthy layer of dirt and grime spotting the surface. He trembled as the two converged on him, hand held out as he asked, "W-what?"
This time the red one, Carter, piped up, "You look human. You speak human. You move human. Yet... you seem different."
Wikus looked dumbly at them, voice failing him for a moment. Here he was, on the run from his own government, his own people, his own father-in-law for christ's sake, and these two Prawns were the ones to catch him?
He watched warily as they stopped a foot or two from him, fear trickling down his spine. He had seen Prawns tear a human limb from limb as easily as a newborn could wave its chubby hand. He was glad they had stopped, but couldn't help his nervousness rise at their proximity. Prawns never had a sense of personal space.
"P-please, no questions. I just want to be left alone." Wikus tried once more to go around, but froze at the sudden hiss from the one named Travis.
A three fingered hand gripped his Prawn arm, raising it to the moonlight.
"Do you see?" Travis clicked and chirped in disbelief.
"Part human... part Poleepkwa." Carter trilled, black eyes shifting from Wikus's prawn arm to Wikus's face.
"P-please." The former MNU agent tried again, tugging his arm against the hard grip, "I will just be on my way-"
"No." Travis snapped, walking towards the door, an unwilling human in tow, "You must come."
"No please! I-I didn't do anything!" Wikus's self-preservation instincts starting to kick in.
But he forgot about Carter behind him. The red settled a warning hand on his shoulder, clacking, "You either walk, or we drag you to see Christopher."
The name sent a spark of familiarity to run through Van de Merwe, but he was too busy sagging in defeat.
"Lead the way..." He murmured half-heartedly, if only to get both pairs of eyes from looking at him so intently.
An emerald green Poleepkwa, dressed in a red vest and yellow pants, stood in deep concentration. He was running the figures through several computer screens. He clacked in annoyance. Such primitive technology. It made the whole process of picking up necessary parts and fuel from the mothership longer than it could be.
As if that annoyance wasn't enough, a sharp rap at the door presented another problem.
"Enter." His deep voice as directed behind him, not even bothering to turn around as the newcomers filed in.
His antennae flickered as he detected a set of human steps along with the pair of his trusted lieutenants. He was swiftly pivoting in place even as Travis's troubled voice called out, "Uh, Christopher...?"
Blue human eyes widened as Christopher's own red orbs did the same. The brown hair, that face. That fragile, slender body. The naive innocence that clung to the man's mere being.
"You..." Christopher couldn't hold back the snarl from his tentacles.
This human had blackmailed him to sign the eviction notice the other day, in exchange for his son. Of course the human had gotten sick before they could follow through, but still...
Wikus recognized him, among the million other Prawns, but didn't quite know how. Perhaps because he was the last Prawn he had seen before this entire mess had gone down. Or perhaps it was that intense, fierce intelligence shining in those crimson iris's.
The human shifted nervously on his feet, glancing at his original captors, "See guys, we met already. Christopher obviously doesn't want to talk to me. So I will just be on my way-"
"Travis, bring him farther inside. Close the door, Carter." Christopher ordered, though his red eyes never left Wikus.
The gaze traveled through his nerves to the tips of his Prawn hand, making it twitch. Wikus barely stopped from cursing as those observant red orbs flicked down to the limb, briefly widening before looking back up at him.
Sharp bastard. Wikus had been right earlier.
All the Prawns in the colony were worker drones, as a cultural expert had stated on camera. Driven with very limited mental capacities and basic survival needs. The trio in this very room proved that theory false. Though Christopher more so than the other two.
"Have a seat." Christopher gestured to a chair, though his tone was too firm to be a simple offer.
The command in it made Wikus's arm twitch, ready to obey. This raised the green Poleepkwa's ridged brow, as Wikus struggled against the urge, declining, "I'd rather... not. Thank you."
Travis and Carter flanked him, a strong arm -Wikus was unsure who's- pushed him into the chair.
"But we insist." Carter clicked sternly.
Wikus felt a sense of dread as he was shoved down, feeling any slim chance he might have had in escaping shrink to nothing. And the Prawns knew it. Had known.
Christopher leaned uncomfortably close, his angular exoskeleton glistening in the dim lighting. His eyes flashed as his deep voice rumbled, "Now... where is the cylinder?"
The sound sent a shiver through Wikus's spine, try as he might to still the reaction. But those eyes drank it up, missing nothing. As usual.
The former agent swallowed thickly at the green Prawn's smirk, never feeling more intimidated by their size difference than he did in that chair, at that precise moment.
Wait, why should Wikus answer that? The sentiment leaked through his blue iris's, the sudden streak of defiance a tangible taste through the air.
It surprised the green Poleepkwa. His previous assumption being that this human could be easily cowed. Easily ordered.
It sent a warm thrill of... something... down the serious Poleepkwa's hardened spine.
Then he gathered himself.
Christopher's eyes narrowed, a growl slipping through as he leaned lower. Closer.
His very form seemed to demand respect. Obedience. And he wasn't in a very patient mood.
Wikus felt his hairs raise at the proximity, his heart pounding.
Then again, maybe telling the truth was a good idea.
Christopher snarled, pounding his fist against the metal hull. He had retreated into the hidden shuttle below to think, not minding that the human was witness to its entrance.
Wikus was not going anywhere.
He had lost the liquid. The MNU probably still had it.
The human words rang bitterly in his ears. Twenty long years. Of collecting. Of meticulously draining the fuel from their scattered technological components, and the human managed to ruin it all!
He couldn't allow the human half-breed to leave. Then why not just kill it? But the thought did not settle well within him.
After more harsh clicks and trills, Christopher's shaking form managed to calm enough to think rationally.
There was nothing to do about it now. The best thing for his people would be to continue the long journey to starting their ship. They would begin the process once more.
Wikus was surprised when they actually let him go. He had expected some sort of punishment for his deeds. Fook, even for just being human.
But he should've known. That's where humanity had them beat. Humans were greedy. Spiteful. Driven easily by anger and quick for instant gratification.
For all their power and technology that made mankind look childish in nature, the Prawn possessed an infinite tolerance and patience that should put them all to shame.
Feeling suddenly ashamed and alone, Wikus made his way back to the desolate shack he had claimed as his own.
It had been four days and the transformation was almost complete. Wikus despaired in the mirror as he saw the last vestiges of his humanity slipping away. He was scared.
He needed help. Needed comfort.
But there was no one he could turn to.
A blinding pain struck, twisting his insides like so much putty, and he fell to the floor, unconscious.
Wikus awoke to darkness and so many smells he almost gagged, tentacles frenzied in worry. Every fiber of his being ached, and every noise and vibration in the air was deafening.
He keened out, crying for help. But he didn't know for what? Help from himself? Help getting out of his new body?
Because as he looked down, touching the soft leathers and the hard exoskeleton of his new form, he realized the transformation was complete.
He was a full Prawn.
Sudden movement outside his shack, then his door burst open. Solid green armor stood stark against his favored red shirt, eyes falling easily on the new Prawn on the floor.
Wikus eyes widened. Had... the Prawn always looked so... powerful?
So in control?
His broad shoulders dwarfed the door frame, having to angle himself slightly just to fit through. Those thick legs were tense, as if readying for fight or flight.
Realizing that he was actually checking the other out, Wikus came back to himself and snapped, "What the fook are you doing here?"
Christopher himself needed a moment to collect himself.
He had barged in, ready for anything. But he had not been prepared for this.
He had his men watching Wikus from afar since he had arrived. Making sure he didn't get himself in too much trouble with the larger, unpredictable drones, or even the Nigerians. Making sure he didn't attempt to leave. They had sent him reports over the days, but they had never...
They had never disclosed just how... *beautiful* Wikus was developing as a Poleepkwa. His exoskeleton, finally shed of the fatty human flesh, bore a healthy ebony gleam. Traces of blue edged his form, as if certain points and angles of him had been dipped in blue paint. His shoulders were broad, but not as wide as a normal Poleepkwa's. He was even shorter than the average drone, the same 6 and 1/2 foot height as he was as a human. But that did not detract from his beauty.
Rather it enhanced it, Christopher's blood calling out to dominate the new Prawn's slender form.
The Prawn's mismatched eyes, one gold the other blue seemed to fit perfectly in his face. It was a rarity to have such eyes. As an effect, it brought to the forefront the former human's exotic qualities.
As Wikus chirped nervously, sprawled vulnerable on the ground, Christopher couldn't stop the mental images of shoving him down and taking him right there. The hybrid didn't know his place. Christopher could teach him-
Then the green Prawn realized that Wikus was speaking to him.
"Well? What the fook are you doing here?" Wikus demanded, scrambling to his feet at the look in those red eyes.
Unfortunately, he didn't expect his legs to give out on him. He was having trouble as it was just speaking in their language with his tentacles.
Christopher rushed forward to catch him, though his own green form seemed tense, as he murmured deeply, "You called for help... I was nearby. I answered."
With the strong arms around him, Wikus looked up and flushed. Though he wasn't sure if it was from how pressed against Christopher's broad chest made him shiver, or if it was from the embarrassment of the whole predicament. Probably both.
"I don't need you help!" Wikus growled weakly, trying to push himself from Christopher's grasp.
But the green Poleepkwa would have none of that.
"Calm yourself, Wikus." The emerald Poleepkwa attempted to click soothingly, sweeping the more slender black Prawn into his arms and off his unreliable feet. It amazed him just how easily he fit in his hold. How lighter he was than normal. Heavier than his old human soft shell, of course, but lighter than the average Poleepkwa.
Wikus's looked adorable just then, mandibles flailing speechlessly, antennas twitching nervously. But then that unflappable ire came rushing back to this beautifully mismatched eyes and Wikus was struggling in his arms like a Prawnling, "Put me down, THIS instance Christopher!"
Chuckling, Christopher kicked the door open with one foot, carrying the protesting hybrid out into the predawn light, his cries going unheeded.
Wikis felt his faceplates heat up, "Don't fookin' laugh at me, this is not fookin' funny Christopher!"
But he felt the vibrations of another chuckle rumble through the chest he was pressed against, a mirth to those red eyes he hadn't seen since he had met the Prawn a week ago. His self-sense of indignation at the unnecessary 'assistance' however, took away any compassion to just let the Prawn have his merry way.
They were going at an easy lope through the shacks, curious eyes snapping up at the sight of a gorgeous ebony Poleepkwa in their leader's arms. The fact that he struggled made more than a few go green with envy. How they wished to have such a succulent, slender thing in their own grasp.
Wikus pushed against the well-shaped chest, noticing for the first time the twin trail of well-defined abs as he squirmed against them. He growled, trying to take his mind away from just how easily this green Prawn could handle him. Away from those unbelievably thick forearms, circled enticingly with those armbands even as spikes adorned their outer side. Away from those firm tentacles that steadily held him pressed against the heated chest. He could feel the strength ripple through Christopher's limbs at every step he took, a prisoner within the cage of the Prawn's arms.
Shaking his head, Wikus snarled. Wasn't he supposed to be stronger now that he had transformed? Or had he drawn the fookin' short stick and become an ugly AND weak Prawn?
"Christopher! Are you even listening to me? Put. Me. Down!" Wikus demanded, not liking the way he suddenly felt his insides turn to mush when those eyes focused on him.
There was a hunger to them, though the stronger covered it with amusement, "I hear the complaints of a Prawnling, yes."
Wikus narrowed his gaze, then crossed his arms, looking away. If the Prawn was simply going to make fun of him...
At another rumbling chuckle, Wikus sunk further into those unwanted arms, denying it felt the least bit comfortable at all.