for wendelah1: Olivia & Astrid friendship fic. I loved the dynamic between them before Peter showed up in season four.
There was a thing with the landlord, a very small but very stinky dog, and a leaky pipe, and after the short but eventful confluence of the three, moving was Astrid’s only thinkable option. She could’ve paid movers, but she’d been raised to lend a hand and get a hand, so it only seemed natural to ask Olivia.
And Olivia pitched in with good grace and a super eye for what would fit through doors and around corners if tilted at just the right angle. “You should’ve been a mathematician,” Astrid told her, after a particularly tricky maneuver with the couch.
Olivia smiled. “I’m not sure how often mathematicians get to bring down bad guys.”
“So that’s what you always wanted to do?” Astrid asked, picking up one of the smaller boxes, now that they’d finished with the big items.
Olivia took her own box and followed Astrid into the new place. “You know about my stepfather,” she said, and Astrid nodded. “So yes, that was my goal: protect the innocents, and make sure the guilty were punished. If not for myself, then for the rest of us. Surely you joined the FBI with the same motives.”
Astrid put her box down and took a moment to breathe. “I’m not sure I believe in punishment as such. Justice, yes, but that’s not the same. And you can’t say that our cases involve a lot of ordinary punishment.”
“I’m not sure our cases involve a lot of justice, either,” Olivia pointed out, but she didn’t seem upset. She almost never did, not unless it was on a victim’s behalf.
It took a few more hours, but ultimately the boxes were all in the rooms Astrid had labeled them for.
“Now,” she said, “you turn on the oven while I get the cooler.”
“The cooler?” Olivia asked, quirking an eyebrow as if she were interviewing a rambling witness.
“Did you think I was just going to order a pizza and a six-pack to thank you for this?”
Olivia tilted her head and smiled, surprised and pleased. “Okay. Shall I dig around for plates and forks?”
“The small box on the end of the kitchen counter,” Astrid said. She was a planner, and not ashamed of it.
They’d worked hard, and to prove it, they each polished off more lasagna than Astrid would ordinarily have eaten in three days. And then there was chocolate mousse, which Astrid hadn’t made but had bought from Walter’s favorite bakery/dessert store.
The conversation was sporadic, with long silences devoted to serious eating. They talked about whether Broyles was going to be promoted away (always a worrying possibility in a bureaucracy) and whether Walter was ever going to remember to turn off his camera/microphone when he went to the bathroom (unlikely; Astrid was fiddling with a program that would automatically register the sound of a zipper and default to muting the apparatus for a few minutes, but she worried about Walter’s repeatedly demonstrated ability to get himself kidnapped, and listening to him speculate on the condition of his prostate seemed like a small price to pay for greater certainty as to his whereabouts and safety). Olivia told a story about her last trip to the zoo with her niece and how she’d had to stop herself from inspecting the great apes for signs of human-level intelligence.
“Thank you,” Astrid said when the few dishes were done and the tattered remains of the lasagna had gone into the otherwise empty refrigerator.
“It was my pleasure,” Olivia said, and Astrid believed her. They didn’t have conventional lives, and they didn’t even have conventional friends. But unconventional ones—yes, that they had.
... and for vivien: Lex Luthor in the Hamptons - Smallville/Revenge crossover
Watching the Graysons struggle like flies who hadn’t yet realized that this sticky stuff posed a real problem was entertaining. But they’d just been so sloppy – admittedly a hallmark of his father’s projects.
Despite her undoubtedly legitimate grievances, Emily Thorne was a problem he didn’t need at the present moment. She was a thorn whose pricking he wouldn’t mind—defined any way she wanted, come to that—but her agenda consumed her. He knew the look well, from back when he consulted mirrors. And her machinations were likely to interfere with his own plans if he didn’t work around her.
He felt a bit like a tank pausing for a duck to cross the road. But she was a very pretty duck.
So instead of the simpler blackmail scheme he’d been planning on to get the necessary inside information on Grayson Global, he ended up hacking into their computers. Which proved quite revealing when he discovered all the telltales Nolan Ross had left behind.
Nolan Ross, now: there was a man he could deal with.
He arranged an appointment. Well, he walked into NolCorp, which for Lex Luthor amounted to the same thing.
“What do you know about the Initiative?” he asked when he was ushered into the sanctum, before Nolan could rise or deliberately fail to rise.
Nolan blinked. “Um, a plot device on season four of Buffy?”
Lex smiled his razor blade grin. “Then it seems that I have some information you might find relevant,” he said, and opened his briefcase. He expected to learn a lot just from watching Nolan read the file.
Nolan Ross and Emily Thorne were closer than they appeared at first glance. Lex was used to sussing out secret connections. And once found, they could be tugged on. Perhaps Nolan Ross and Emily Thorne could provide just the kiss of English he needed to take the Initiative off the table once and for all.
... and for angryfurball: Damon/Elena; "Damon is either the best thing for her, or the worst." Note: um, this doesn’t have any Damon/Elena interaction? But it is all about that, so. Damon Salvatore & Bonnie Bennett, bestest enemies.
“So, can you break it?” Damon asked. Sure, the New Orleans witch had obviously known her stuff, but she didn’t have the same incentives as Bonnie did, nor the knowledge of how to break a hybrid sire bond. Also, Bonnie was as sharp as a fang; if there was an innovation in the witchy world that could get the job done, Bonnie Bennett was the one to find it.
“I can barely light a candle,” Bonnie said instead.
“Spare me your self-pity,” Damon began.
Bonnie got in his face, or as close as she could get (she was kind of tiny). “It’s not self-pity! The spirits won’t help me, and maybe after a few years with this new kind of magic I could think about ways to help you. But you’re asking me to, to write sonnets in French when I’m still trying to figure out what the weird accent marks stand for!”
Damon closed his eyes. “I need the bond broken.” When he looked down at Bonnie again, she was at least listening. “Elena can say her feelings are separate, but as long as it’s in place she’ll never know for sure. I’ll never know for sure.”
Bonnie sighed and crossed her arms over her chest. He hated her pity, but if it secured her help he’d—well, not live with it, but the undead equivalent. “No one thinks you don’t love her. Except Caroline,” she added with tactless honesty.
“Bitter exes,” Damon said and shrugged expressively. “What can you do?”
“I’m not saying I can,” Bonnie said, and that was already a concession. He didn’t let himself smirk. “But I’ll do my best.”
He nodded. He had confidence in her best; all they had to do was survive long enough. Whether he could keep himself from doing things to make Elena hate him forever while the bond was still in place, that was another matter, but it was his problem and not hers.
“It matters, you know,” she said as he turned to leave. “That you want to break it.”
He stopped in his tracks. “And that’s the difference between you and me,” he told her, suddenly furious. Her pity was acceptable; her delusions were not. “That and witchcraft and stunning good looks, but anyway: you think that how someone feels is the measure of who they are. Whereas I know that what we do is all that matters.”
Bonnie’s jaw firmed. “You should think less about the what and more about the why,” she said. “Elena does.”
He gave her his patented smile-sneer. “That, witchie-poo, is precisely why you need to break the bond. Before it breaks her.”
He got out of there quickly. He wasn’t sure who’d won that encounter. He had the sneaking suspicion that it wasn’t him.
No matter. Bonnie would come through. She loved Elena enough.
He knew the feeling.