|Drabbles: Wurstfest, the Creation of Man, etc.
||[Sep. 27th, 2009|04:49 pm]
All Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, all the time!
Are you sick of me yet? :D Here are six more drabbles I did to that old music-player-on-shuffle meme, the one "Claustrophobia" mutated out of. Watch our favorite heroes, with cameos by Guy, Max, and the rest of the JLI, as they sing karaoke, eat sausage, and get mindraped! (Yes, sorry, the first one is death!fic. But don't worry! The karaoke makes it ALL BETTER. I promise.)
Six drabbles. Enjoy!
MUSE - HYSTERIA
Ted had never experienced Max's telepathic pushes before, besides that one time he was out of his mind and turned into a psychopathic killer. And that time was a bit fuzzy; his mind had already been so addled that Max's pushing hadn't made much of an impact.
It was nothing like having his brain wedged open and taken over by Max 2.0. It HURT. It felt like... like Liquid Plumber with ground up glass in it, filling the crevices of his brain, expanding, digging into his motor cortex. He lost feeling from the neck down, and wondered why he didn't fall.
"Put the gun down," Max said. His tone of voice was normal, but in his head, it REVERBERATED, digging more of that glass into his head. It sounded DIRTY, somehow.
Ted didn't want to. He wasn't going to.
His BB gun fell to his feet with a clatter. He still couldn't feel his fingers.
He knew what was coming next. Ted might've played the fool, but he was no idiot; unless a miracle came for him (and his best friend was in the hospital, nobody else was speaking to him), he was going to be dead very, very soon.
There was only one slight blessing, he thought, as Max started rattling off his evil plan. Max's telepathy was powerful, but it still seemed strictly localized. Max could nudge him, and control him... but he couldn't do anything to Ted's thoughts or personality. Not in this amount of time anyway. There was filthy Liquid Max in his head, but only in the parts that controlled moving.
So Ted did the requisite gasps and 'you fiend!' responses, relying more on Max's intonation than his actual words, and focused on retreating back into the parts of his mind that still remained clean. The parts Max couldn't get to. The nice, friendly parts.
Most of them were filled with memories of Booster. Ted settled into his imaginary home, which was a lot less blown-up than its corporeal counterpart, and flopped onto the imaginary couch with his imaginary Booster. By the look in imaginary Booster's eyes, he knew what was coming too.
"Trouble out there?" Imaginary Booster asked. Even though he wasn't real, Ted still felt slightly reassured.
"'Fraid I'm done for, pal," Ted replied. "Luckily, Max has control over the parts of me that can wet itself right now. Sorry I put you in the hospital. Sorry I never got up the guts to tell you how much I LIKED your stupid, shiny ass."
Imaginary Booster smiled and hugged him. "Don't worry. I won't let it hurt."
Ted wasn't so sure about that, but he heard Max's voice rise--a question. Ted was fairly sure what it was.
"Rot in hell, Max," he said, and hoped his imagination was stronger than he'd given it credit for.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT TEXAS -- JERRY JEFF WALKER
"You've never been to Texas?" Ted asked incredulously.
Booster crosses his arms and huffed. "I'll have you know in my timeline, it's not Texas anymore. It's four smaller states, has been for a century."
"Well, obviously we need to fix this!" Ted pitched a backpack into the Bug; he didn't need much, the ship held most necessities. "Here, come on, do you have an overnight bag?"
"Uh... I guess... I keep it in case I have to spend the night at the Tower again..."
"Well, grab it! If you hurry, we can pop in the Bug, be in New Braunsfels by three..."
"New Braunsfels?" Booster asked incredulously, but he went and fetched a duffel bag--there was a gold star on it, Ted noted. "What the hell is New Braunsfels?"
"I'll have you know that it is the location of a spiffy waterpark, great barbecue, and most important... Wurstfest!"
This was big news, but it apparently meant jack all to Booster.
Booster stared at him blankly. "Wurstfest?"
"Wurstfest! What the hell is wrong with you, don't you people have Wurstfest in the future?"
Booster let out a melodramatic sigh, and with the tone of someone humoring a straight-line that's bound to end in a very bad joke, he asked, "What's Wurstfest?"
Ted clapped a hand to his forehead and moaned in agony. "You've never been to Wurstfest!"
"Ted, I've never been to TEXAS. Why would I have gone to Worstfest?"
"That's Wurstfest with a 'u,' which is a clever way to say: get in the goddamn car, you're coming with me."
"It's not a car, it's a--" Before Booster could finish, Ted yanked him into the Bug by his arm. Booster allowed himself to be manhandled.
"As for what it is, it's a festival celebrating the German settlers of New Braunsfels; oom-pah music, yodeling, and lots and lots of wurst."
Ted plopped into the cushy pilot's chair, flipping switches, pushing buttons, and generally making a show out of getting the Bug's engine running. "Yes, wurst. It's called 'the Salute to Sausage.'"
Booster snorted, and caught himself against the armrest when the Bug hoisted into the air. "Wow."
"What? You think I don't appreciate a good sausage now and then? You think just because I'm fat I have no taste? I'll have you know my palate for sausage is quite refined. I'm a CONNOSIEUR of sausage. Why, I've had more sausage in my time than..."
Booster finally regained his balance enough to shuffle into the co-pilot's chair and fasten himself in. "Okay, okay, I get it, you've had more sausage than Dick Steele."
Booster smiled. "Ted. Do you really WONDER why people think you're gay?"
Ted rolled his eyes and kissed Booster on the forehead. "Shut up, or I won't take you to the waterpark afterward."
"Ooh, waterpark." Then Booster's expression reversed. "Hey, wait, turn the Bug around, my overnight bag doesn't have a swimsuit!"
Ted grinned. "I'm a genius, I think of everything." And when Booster raised an eyebrow at him, "You left a pair in my Samsonite after the trip to Cancun."
"Ted, that was over a year ago."
"So I hung onto them. Sentimental reasons."
"Uh huh. Genius, think of everything, sure." Then Booster beamed and wrapped an arm around Ted's shoulders. "You're the best road trip buddy ever."
TIME TO GO - DROPKICK MURPHYS
"Yes! Yes! Faster! Go faster!"
"Oh! Oh my god! He's--he's going to--"
"Go! Go, go, gogogogo--"
"YES!" Guy inadvertantly sent a bowl of tortilla chips to the floor leaping from his chair. "Touchdown, Baltimore!"
"No, Falton, what is WRONG with you, he was wide open!" Booster wailed.
Guy, being the sympathetic man he was, pointed and laughed at Booster's pain. "Losers weep! Losers weep!"
"He should have passed! He should have PASSED!" Booster shrieked.
Booster and Guy howled and stomped the floor and took swigs from their beers in celebration or remorse. Guy pranced around the living room doing a touchdown dance that faintly resembled the Funky Chicken, while Booster glowered at the screen as though asking the TV why it had failed him.
It was Baltimore vs. Gotham in the Superbowl finals. Ten minutes left in the game, and Baltimore had just pulled ahead, 32 to 28.
"Can't believe he didn't PASS," Booster finally grumbled.
Guy just sang to the tune of Gotham's alma mater with the lyrics, "We are Gotham and we suck!"
Booster grunted sullen disapproval.
"You both are so immature," Ted said from his work desk, where he was tinkering with a wind-up beetle.
"Hey, shut up, blue-breath, just because Chicago didn't make it past the quarter-finals..." Guy started, and got a book of diagrams to the face for his trouble.
PLAY SOMETHING WE KNOW - ADAM HOOD
Dinah was sincerely regretting hanging with the JLI on karaoke night. The half of the JLI who weren't brave or tuneful enough to perform found the courage in a few drinks--though not a sense of key.
Bea and Tora actually weren't bad. They sang "My Boyfriend's Back," to catcalls and Guy even tried to tuck a few dollars into Tora's boot until Bea glowered at him. She had taken on the task of designated driver... less out of a sense of responsibility and more out of protectiveness for Torah, Dinah suspected.
Dmitri did a fairly creditable rendition of "Constantinople," complete with a jitterbug. Dinah wasn't even entirely sure where Dmitri had LEARNED to jitterbug in Russia, but apparently he managed. When asked, he only responded that "Star Trek, it is the greatest of teacher," and laughed.
Batman spent the whole evening skulking in the corner. He had apparently been strong-armed into coming for purposes of team unity, but that didn't mean he had to like it. At one point, Blue Beetle came up and pointedly asked him, "Am I blue?" which was enough to make Batman bare his teeth and steal a bottle of vodka from Dmitri. Black Canary didn't know what Beetle was referencing, but apparently whatever it was had been quite traumatizing and had never left Batman the same.
"I have photos," Ted had whispered to her, before Booster hauled him off, giggling excitedly over some new plan.
Dinah didn't even want to know.
Guy had steadfastly refused to sing at all, despite the prodigious amount of alcohol that'd vanished into his kidneys and cajoling from Torah. Normally a plea from Torah was irresistable, but apparently the Green Lantern had limits.
"Oh, come on, Guy, I'm sure you have a lovely voice..."
"Sorry, babe, I know I have a lot of great things... but bugging the Bat by singing 'King of the World' ain't going to be worth losing a girlfriend. The Gardner voice can only be appreciated by a select few... and most of them aren't human."
"Oh, you can't be that bad, Guy, I've heard you humming your old school song..."
Guy flushed, but before he could deny it, Booster slid onto the karaoke stage on his knees, microphone in hand. He was wearing a tuxedo jacket over his uniform; apparently he thought this was stylish.
"Laaaadies and gentlemen! It's the moment you've all been waiting for--"
"BOO!" Guy and Scott bellowed.
"No, no, Halloween's next week, nice try guys--it's the Gold and Blues Brothers, performing for your epic entertainment... 'The Creation of Man!'"
Across from her, Dinah heard J'onn mutter, "Oh, no," and hide behind a package of Chocos and a stein of chartreuse Venusian liquor. She didn't know the song, but she had no doubt that soon she would know more than she ever wanted.
And she did. With an attempt at an expression of staunch dignity, completely ruined by his broad grin, Ted strode out, wielding his own microphone and a record player. Over his costume, he was wearing some sort of terrifying parachute pants and one of those faux-leather newsboy caps that nobody had had the heart to discuss with him yet. With exaggerated delicacy, he set the record player down on the podium, and placed the arm just so.
Within the first five seconds, Dinah had absolutely no doubt who'd chosen the song.
"Be an example to your sex.... give your boot a dapper strap!"
"And it's smarter if your garter has some... snap!"
Ted. Definitely Ted. Only Ted could possibly know a song as esoteric as this.
"La, but someone has to strike a pose and bear the weight of well-tailored clothes! And that is why the Lord created men!" Booster cried, throwing out his arms.
Then again, the song DID seem particularly well suited to Booster...
"Roosters do! Give a cock his comb and the hens will pale! Bucks! Bulls!"
Scott and Guy started pelting Booster and Beetle with peanuts, but they continued to prance the stage, even breaking into a spirited gavotte, completely ignoring the cries of horror in the JLI break room.
"Stop gaying up our stage!" Guy howled.
But despite all abuse and hurled items, Booster and Beetle determinedly, drunkenly danced and warbled for almost five minutes. Wrapping their arms around each other, surrounded by peanuts, wadded napkins, and indignant cries to get off the stage, they crooned, "Each species needs a sex that's fated to be highly decorated! That is why the Lord created men!"
Guy finally sent the record player careening across the stage with a green glowing baseball bat, and a fight broke out over Ted's apparently antique record player, while Booster giggled in the corner and J'onn and Batman proceeded to get smashed and absolve themselves of responsibility for the night.
Dinah had to admit--her teammates were idiots, but at least they were entertaining.
LONG LONG TIME - GUY FORSYTH
"So what toys did you have in the future?" Ted asked.
Booster shrugged. "I dunno. I played marbles myself."
"Marbles? You're kidding. MARBLES? Those were outdated when I was a kid."
"Hey, marbles were cheap. I mean, times don't change much for the poor, Ted."
Ted had never thought about it. All the time he had known Booster, he'd been dressed in high style, wealthy from advertising contracts, tanned and toothy and by all looks rich from day one.
"I forget, sometimes," Ted admitted. "You had money when I met you, and you're rolling in it now. Sometimes I forget that you..."
Booster smiled sadly and shrugged. "Hey. Nothing makes you want to be rich like being poor. Trust me. I'm glad you know me now. It's a better me you know."
Ted shook his head and rested his cheek on Booster's shoulder. "No. Better situation, maybe. Better you? Never."
BAD EYE BILL - DR. HOOK
Booster had a lot regrets in his life. It had taken a long time for the responsibility to catch up with him, but it had, and though he wouldn't admit it to anyone, he knew a lot of the things he'd done were wrong, no matter how strong the reasons had seemed at the time. The gambling. Stealing the gear to jump through time. A lot of the business deals. Some of the things he'd done with the Conglomerate.
He might've been a hero, but he was definitely no Superman. He was only twenty-five, for Christ's sake. How had he gotten so much bad karma in so little time?
Being a hero seemed to have only made it worse, not better. The capacity to do great things, he'd realized, referred to size of impact, not goodness. At times, he was almost relieved to hawk toothpaste and be a strict C-lister; at least he didn't have to worry about the really big things, the universe imploding or massive time-space-continuum breakages that Superman and Wonder Woman always seemed to be running off to take care of. Sometimes, even making it through the day seemed hard enough.
But then he'd see Ted sleeping in his bed, pillow tucked between his legs and stolen sheets twined around his body. The morning sunlight would creep over his skin, highlighting the bruises on his shoulders from absorbing so many falls and tumbles in hero duty. Then it'd shift to his hair and eyelashes, turning it from brown to auburn, and the lines of strain in his face would be relaxed in sleep.
Booster had a lot of regrets. But turning back time, he'd do it all over again.