AN: Hi! This is my first Starship fanfic. I only saw the play online about a week ago, and ever since then I've been obsessed with it. I really hope that you all like this. Sorry if the characters seem a little OOC. I'm working on that. Also, this is my ninety-ninth fanfiction. One more, and I'm at one-hundred! :D Anyway, any and all suggestions on what I can do to improve are welcome.
Disclaimer: I do not own Starship. Starkid does, and to be honest, I don't think anyone else would be awesome enough to actually have created this.
When Tootsie Megagirl wrote and published his first book, Taz had just laughed.
Supposedly 'based off' of the missions that the crew had been on since the Bug World, the Lieutenant had just written them off as garbage, nothing more than a waste of her time if she gave into his puppy dog eyes and actually read them. To get him off of her back, she had skimmed the first two chapters, just enough so that she could say that his writing wasn't completely horrible, and had found that it was almost an exact word for word record of exactly what had happened, her own memories concluding that the first conversation she had with the ensign had been exactly the same as the one written in the book. Taz had shrugged it off, for if Tootsie wanted to relive every detail of his own life for the world to see, then that was his own problem. Putting the book to the side, for weeks Taz completely forgot about it.
It wasn't until those weeks were over that, while surfing the internet during one of her rare free moments, Taz found that the book had not only become popular, but it was also being hailed as one of the best romances to be written in almost two thousand years. Deciding that the public must have been taken in by the 'romances' that had occurred between Tootsie, Megagirl, Bug, February, Krayonder, and Specs, though that latter was only just now getting out of the tentative beginning stages of a relationship, Taz had once again shrugged off her thoughts about the book, though she did have to wonder how the general public could stand to read something that the country bumpkin from Farm Planet had written. Taz had seen his space logs, and even just the few minutes she had spent going over them months ago still occasionally gave her a headache today when she tried to figure out what his first word had been. Tootsie could barely spell his own name, so how could he have actually written a readable book?
It wasn't until she factored in the fact that Megagirl, for some reason unknown to Taz, loved Tootsie and probably spent hours fixing his writing so that it made sense, all while letting him keep credit, that Taz was able to once again forget about the book and concentrate on their newest mission.
However, six months, three missions, and three 'publically acclaimed as totally awesome,' books later, Taz had to know what the hell was actually going on.
Taz was a tough son of a bitch, but if anyone were to ever ask her if the wink and giggle that February gave her after she asked to borrow the girl's copies of the books, for Taz had long ago 'misplaced' her own that Tootsie had given her, scared her, Taz would have had to lie through her teeth to keep her reputation. That girl terrified her sometimes.
For a single, hopeful moment, Taz had wondered if Up could perhaps help her, could tell her what it was about Tootsie's books that seemed to draw people so that she could put her mind at rest without actually having to read them herself. That hope was dashed, however, when, during their next weekly Karate Kid movie night, she realized that the first book was still sitting on his bedside table, covered in dust with a bookmark still stuck between the first few pages. Up had never read it either, so if she wanted her questions answered, she would have to answer them herself.
Within the first five chapters, it was with eyes widened by horror and a mouth dropped by shock that Taz realized that the book, while still an accurate depiction of the events that had happened on Bug World, was not totally focused on the mission. Nor was it completely centered around the couples she had assumed that it was going to be, although all three of them were given quite a bit of mention and development. With a sinking heart and raising suspicions, it wasn't until chapter seven that Taz came to realize just why, exactly, the public had lapped up Tootsie's writing like a dehydrated datadog did water.
"Tan," the Commander said softly as he reached out towards his Lieutenant, his wide blue eyes sparkling under the grey bangs that fell ever so slightly over them. Feeling her breath catch in her throat as he gently brushed a strand of hair away from her face, the tips of his fingers ghosting over her cheeks as he did so, it was with a pounding heart that she struggled to maintain the mask she had been wearing for so long. Shaking her head, forcing her lungs to work and her eyes to remain cold, Tan quickly took a step back, away from him, before answering his call.
"Si, Commander Tup? What is it dat jou want?" Her accent was heavier than normal, as if her tongue was expecting her native Spanish instead of her adopted English to being rolling off of it any moment.
"I've missed you," was all he said before leaning in for the first kiss the two had shared in over three long years.
Although the books 'Tan' pushed her 'Commander Tup,' away, claiming that not only did she no longer love him, but that he wasn't the man that she had fallen in love with in the beginning, it did nothing to calm the boiling in Taz's blood. Her body shaking from the rage she was fighting so hard to suppress, biting back the almost overwhelming desire to go kill the idiot and be done with everything, it was with a deep breath that she began to flip through the book, hoping against all hope that that one scene would be it.
"I know I can never be the man that I once was Tan, not after the way I was injured in the Robot Wars, but do I need to be? Do I need to be the cold hearted killer, or can I just be the man that's fallen in love with you?"
"Tup," Tan whispered softly, allowing her tough façade to momentarily fall, "I can't. Jou can't. We can't. I might have been in love with jou since the day jou rescued me from the robots, when they had strung me up like a piñata on my quinceañera and were going to kill me, but jou're not the same man who did that. Jou've gone soft." Her voice rising with anger now, Tan spat out the words that she had been hearing from so many others, words that could finally be heard by the rest of the crew behind them. "Jou're nothing more than a sad, pathetic, spayed little puppy. And jou'll never be anything more." Tearing off the fake mustache that he had taken to wearing ever since his injury, it was while fighting back tears that Tan slapped the fake hair onto her face and began to lead the rest of her people to safety.
It wasn't until an hour later that she realized that Tup had caught back up with them, and it wouldn't be until much later that she realized that she was glad that he did, for that at least meant that he wasn't completely giving up.
From there, everything just kept getting worse.
"Oh good, because I like Tan," Tup said with a sigh as Bud bounced him on his lap, the soothing motions that he himself had just used moments before to put Dexs to sleep now calming him enough to reveal his greatest secret to his newest crew member.
"You do," Bud said with a slight surprise, raising one of his eyebrows at his new Commander. "Well, that's cool. You know, you should tell her, because I think she likes you too."
"You think," Tup asked with a turn of his head, as if he was considering the thought. "Well, maybe…but anyway, who's this girl that you're crazy over?"
"Well sir, you see, it's January, and I think I like her the same way that you like Tan."
The 'best' part, however, came towards the end of the book, right in the final chapter that never, ever, happened.
"I'm still a killer Tan," Tup said softly as he leaned over, his arms pressed against the wall on either side of her, effectively trapping her in the corner she had found herself in. "I'm still the man that I use to be, even if there are still pieces of me missing. But, if you can accept that, if you can accept me, then I still want to see where this can go."
"Even after I was so cruel to jou," Tan asked tearfully as she reached up to cup his face between her hands, her thumb tracing the scar that cut through his eye as she spoke. "I am sorry Tup, so, so sorry dat I said does dings to jou, but me being sorry will never be enough. How can jou still want me, still love me, after everything I've done to jou?"
"Because Tan, that's the nature of only having a human heart in a mostly robotic body. If it loves something or someone, then no matter what that thing or person does, it'll still just keep on loving it, just like I've loved you for the past eleven years."
"Tup," Tan said hesitantly, as if she was struggling with the words she wanted to find. Finally, looking him in the eyes, brown meeting blue in a swirl of emotions, she found the strength to say what she needed to. "Tup, I love jou too."
With that having been said, neither knew who made the move first, but the moment their lips touched, years of hurt, anger, and worry faded away, leaving only the passionate love that led to Tan leading Tup into the confines of her bunk for the rest of the night.
From there, it was fairly straight forward. A cut to the next morning, where the two had an in depth discussion about just how hard it would be for them to keep their relationship a secret from the League, given how it was illegal for two Rangers of different ranks to be together. Passionate, heartfelt declarations that, no matter what, they would do whatever they needed in order to stay together, damn the risks and consequences. And a final kiss that took place on the bridge, uncaring if the rest of the crew, all of whom secretly already knew and supported them, saw as, arm in arm, they gazed out the windows at the passing stars.
As far as Taz was concerned, the bumpkin was dead. But just to fuel her rage a little bit more, Taz took a look at the summaries of the other three books, already having an idea of what they would say.
The illicit romance that has swept the galaxy continues as lovers Commander Tup, Lieutenant Tan, and the rest of their Starship Rangers travel to a new colony that has been deserted by its inhabitants. Can they figure out why the people have disappeared, or will they turn out to be just too late?
It had been the water supply. The local rodent population had taken to swimming in man-made lakes during the hot afternoon, and the chemicals in their fur had been making people sick. The solution had been as simple as putting up a fence, but, obviously, the book was making it sound like so much more.
When their ship crashes on a desert planet, devoid of all life except a species of man-eating worm, the crew is separated, leaving each one to fend for themselves in their new, cruel reality. However, not all is as it seems, for Lieutenant Tan has been keeping a secret that could change the way everything is played. Can Commander Tup find his beloved before it's too late, both for her and the thing she carries within her?
They never crashed, nor were any of them ever more than seven yards away from each other. Specs had determined that there was a problem with one of their backup generators, and since those were the only things standing between them and suffocation should their main engine die, it had been decided that a quick, three day pit stop would be beneficial for them all. The 'man-eating worms' had been no bigger than her little finger, and all they had done was eat the dead skin off the bottom of their feet. And the thing that she had 'carried within her' had been a new type of tracking beacon that Dr. Space-Claw as chosen her to test out and had had implanted under her skin.
Finally recovered from the tragic miscarriage that has taken everyone on the team to cover up, Lieutenant Tan has finally rejoined her beloved Commander Tup and the others on the Starship 16-BIII. But after two months of being unable to discuss their loss, their only chance to have a child that she destroyed by refusing to tell him and take leave from being a Ranger, tensions are running high between Tan and Tup. Will they be able to overcome their hurt and pain during their mission to transport the Plutarian Ambassador to his destination, or will this be the knife that cuts our favorite Starship Rangers apart forever?
Muerto dios maldita sea, she had had the flu! And there had been 'tension' between her and Up because he had decided that, until she was feeling better, she had to be confined to her room, an order she had not obeyed lightly. Eventually, after a sparring match that had ended with them heading over to his room to watch Karate Kid, the good one with Jackie Chan, they had gotten over it, their friendship no worse for the wear. And never had she been pregnant.
Oh yes, Tootsie Megagirl was a dead man walking.
"What…de hell…is dis?"
Looking up at the thing his officer had dropped onto the table before him, Tootsie smiled as the cover of his first book looked back at him, the simple red planet creating a nice contrast against the black background his publisher had convinced him would be best. Picking it up so that the ring of moisture where his drink had been a moment beforehand wouldn't harm the pages, it was with a curious smile that he turned to look at Taz, completely oblivious of the waves of fury rolling off the small Hispanic woman. With the eyes of the rest of the crew that were in the mess hall upon the two, it was with his completely happy manner that Tootsie began to talk.
"Well hey there Taz. If I had to reckon, I would say that this right here might just be my book, you know, the one that I wrote almost a year ago. It was my first one, and I've had plenty of people say they like it. Which is why I had to write all the others, because I couldn't just leave my fans hangin' there like a fish with no bait to nibble on. Did yah finally get around to reading it Taz? How did yah like it?"
"I know that jou idiota. I am talking about dis." Flipping to one of the random sections, it was with a furious hiss that Taz bent closer to her prey, the look on his face telling her he was only just now realizing that, for some reason, he was in deep trouble. "Tan," she spat, a growl rising in the back of her throat. "Tup? What de hell is dis?"
"What, you didn't like it," Tootsie asked sadly as he quickly skimmed the section she had opened it to, his memory filling in most of the scene for him. "My wife, Megagirl, said that the book needed more romantic things to happen, so that people would like it more. She also said that it had to be between people who couldn't be together, so that everyone would like them even more and hope that they could be. That's why we thought of you and the Commander, since it's obvious that the two of yous love each other, but that you just can't say it. Isn't that right Megagirl?" Turning to look at his wife, it was with a slightly raised eyebrow that he saw the smirk on her mechanical face, an expression she must have only downloaded recently, since he had never seen it before.
"According to my every reading, an increase in heart rate and pheromone production is common when you, puny human, come into close contact with the Commander. And because you are too dim witted and dull to express it yourself, we have just given the world a chance to give you the push you needed. You may thank my husband, Tootsie Megagirl, when your own nuptials are about to begin."
"Jou metal puta," Taz snarled as she drew her knife from her belt, "dat is it. I am going to tear jou to pieces, lower you into a vat of lava, and be done with jou. And jou," Taz growled as she turned on Tootsie, her knife raised and pointed at his face, murder in her eyes, "jou will stop dis foolishness right now. No more books, do jou understand me? Otherwise, I with cut open jour belly and fill it with jelly."
"Bring it, puny human," Megagirl said with a chuckle as she rose to her full height, towering over the other woman so that they were nose to nose. "I doubt that you will be able to carry through with your threats. And, unfortunately for you, human, no matter what my husband, Tootsie Megagirl, claims, legally, all characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. So, Tootsie can continue to write as much as he wishes." Tilting her head, her face transforming into a mask of innocence, it was with a malicious gleam in her eyes that Megagirl continued to ask her last question. "But if you just so happen to see a parallel between yourself and one of the characters, especially since it is the character that is a secret relationship with her commanding officer, what does that happen to say about you?"
A screech of rage tearing itself from between her lips, Taz leapt towards the robot, her every thought focused on the small juncture at the neck that she had used so many times during the war to decapitate her robotic opponents, only to find her movements restricted by a pair of familiar arms wrapped around her waist. Her arms trapped to her sides, it was all Taz could do to struggle in her captor's grip, his superior strength effectively neutralizing her as a threat. Tilting her head back so that she could snarl at Up, it was instead a huff that left her lips as she saw that he was amused more than anything. Mumbling curses in Spanish, it wasn't until he had taken away her weapon that Up returned her to her feet.
"Tootsie, we'll be talking about this later," Up said as he picked the book up from the table, holding it gingerly as if it was a grenade about to explode. "And Megagirl, how many times have I ordered you and Taz to get along? I can't be having two of the best members on my team constantly trying to kill each other. Now, go make yourself useful and begin compiling a list of updates for the computer. Taz, you come with me." Without waiting for a response, Commander Up dragged his Lieutenant from the mess hall, both of them silent until they had reached his room.
"Knew I should have actually read that instead of the summary online," Up muttered as he threw the book onto his bed, running his other hand through his greying hair as he did so. "I might have been able to keep you from figuring out what the internet told me months ago. Guess I'll now have to pretend that all of those weird messages from the General are finally making sense. But Taz, did you really have to go and threaten the boy?" Turning towards the woman, it was with a sigh that Up shook his head, his frown deepening even more. "Now Megagirl will have even more of a motive to give him ideas."
"I knew dat de puta had blackmail on us Up," Taz said with a sigh, shaking her head as she did so and hating the single moment when Up had given Megagirl the code to security feed before he had remembered to wipe it clean, "but de fact is dat she's using us. She's making it even harder for us to actually keep up de lie."
"Or maybe," Up said, closing the distance between them so that he could wrap his arms around her, "she might just be making it easier. If anyone asks, we can just claim that they've been reading Tootsie's books a bit too much. Like Megagirl said, 'all characters appearing within this work are fictitious,' right?"
"Jou really dink dat would work," Taz asked as she wrapped her arms around his neck, her face thoughtful about the spin Up had just given her on their situation. "Do jou really dink any of dem would accept it?"
"Not our crew," Up said with a shrug, leaning over to touch his forehead to hers, "since most of them already know. But the rest of the world, I think we could pull it off. Do you think you're up for some more acting?" Smiling as the tips of their noses brushed, it was with a smirk that Taz answered, her voice confident despite the worry that still swirled with him.
"Si, mi amor, I do believe dat I am more den up to it."
Liking the answer he had been given, Up finally closed the rest of the distance between them, his lips soft and encouraging, wiping away the last of her fears, though her anger towards the irritating, yet if Up was to be believed in his theory, well intentioned, robot was only pushed to the back of her mind to be used at a later date.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, in Tootsie's books was true. It was just that everything was uncomfortably close to being so.