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[fic] In Another Life, You and I

I was totally going to write an original short story. And then this happened. My insistence on pretty much only ever writing fic for fandoms no one cares about anymore is apparently alive and well! Clearly, I have learned nothing from my misspent youth.

Title: In Another Life, You and I (or Three Crossovers That Don’t Exist But Should)
Fandom: The Mighty Ducks (Game of Thrones, X-Men: First Class, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Pairing/Characters: Mostly gen. Adam Banks, Connie Moreau, Julie Gaffney, various others.
Rating: PG
Summary: AU. Three worlds that never existed.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: Unsurprisingly, this borrows content from other fandoms – specifically Game of Thrones, X-Men: First Class, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer – but familiarity with them isn’t a necessity to reading this (though I like to think that it would add flavor!)

1. you win or you die (game of thrones)

Adam Banks was never meant to join the Night’s Watch.

His father is an ambitious man, though, and sometimes, ambition makes men foolish, especially men with money and sons to spare – and Lord Philip Banks has both. House Banks’ rebellion against the Iron Throne, in hindsight, seems less a war and more a child’s tantrum, ineffectual as it is, which is perhaps why Lord Banks escapes the fallout with his head still intact. Or perhaps the hand of mercy is simply greased by the combined wealth of his and his wife’s families, their bargains and promises and connections at King’s Landing and beyond.

It is an easy enough bargain to make, relatively speaking. Adam is a youngest son, not an heir, thus a lighter price to pay in his father’s eyes; but he is also a trueborn son of two noble houses, thus an acceptable price to pay in the eyes of the crown. And pay, they must – for Adam’s lord father is still a traitor, and Adam’s lady mother was a Lannister before she was a Banks; traitors, once discovered, never truly find forgiveness from the Iron Throne, and Lannisters always pay their debts.

So Adam finds himself packed off to the Wall in his father’s stead, the biting cold of the North tearing through the expensive furs his mother wrapped him in. He’s to take the black in penance for his father’s misdeeds, to spend his days among the convicts and outcasts who patrol in darkness and eternal winter for terrors that ordinary men will never face.

Adam keeps his lips pressed shut, teeth clenched in defiance of chattering. He does not meet anyone’s eyes for the entire journey. He knows better.

When he first arrives, Ser Alliser Thorne, the master-at-arms, sneers at him. “Another traitor’s lordling, is it? Let’s see how well you wield that sword your parents’ gold bought you, Lord Turncloak.”

Adam finds himself squaring off against a peasant boy named Conway, who seems to make up for lack of technique in raw enthusiasm and sheer bullheaded stubborness. It’s not quite enough to match the training Adam has taken from his father’s men since he was knee high, but it’s enough to give Adam something like a challenge.

Conway surprises Adam by losing not with a scowl but a grin, albeit a wry one. “You may be some stupid lordling,” he proclaims, “but you’re not useless. Oh,” he adds, the grin widening, “you can call me Charlie, by the way, if you want. On behalf of the Night’s Watch, allow me to extend a welcome to you, milord.” He sketches a half-mocking bow, but the laughter in his eyes is kind.

“Adam,” Adam says quietly. It’s the first word he’s uttered since he arrived on the Wall with snow melting in the sweat-darkened, Lannister-blond hair his lady mother gave him, wrapped in his fine nobleman’s furs and bearing his lord father’s traitor name. Rich as a Lannister, treacherous as a Banks.

The peasant named Conway – no, Charlie – cocks his head. “Lord Adam?”

“No,” Adam corrects before he knows what he’s saying. “No, it’s just Adam.”

Charlie gives him a long, measured look, as if judging him anew. “Well, Adam,” he says at last, “let’s get you introduced to the people worth knowing around here.”

In the following weeks, he’s Lord Turncloak to everyone in Alliser Thorne’s hearing. But to Charlie Conway, and a handful of other boys – a chubby baker’s boy called Goldberg, a bespectacled jester named Averman, and a few others, Russ, Jesse, Guy – he’s simply Adam, or Lord Adam, if they’re in a petulant mood.

They will fight together, train together, and say their vows together, rising as men of the Night’s Watch: the misfits, the crows, the defenders of the realms of men.

Years later, the boy once called Lord Turncloak will look on his father’s face again, for the first time since the latter made a bargaining chip out of a son. Lord Banks will want his youngest boy back, the last of his legacy, and damned if it makes an oathbreaker of them both. “Have you forgotten where you come from?” Philip will hiss. “Have you forgotten your mother, your father, your brothers?”

And Adam will look him straight in the eye, the other crows at his back, and say, “These are my brothers now.”

They will not speak of the matter again.

2. homo superior (x-men: first class)

A silent explosion of scandal shakes the Agency when they choose Moreau over the favored and well-connected and male Banks, assign the freaks not just the one token female handler, but two – and the second greener than a lightweight after ten rounds of vodka.

Connie Moreau, for her part, scowls through it all. “How do you stand it?” she demands of Moira MacTaggart, the senior female agent. The only other female agent, by the looks of the Agency.

MacTaggart shrugs, looking tired and a little amused. “They say the CIA’s a man’s world.”

“Yeah, the CIA and everything else,” Connie mutters, thinking of her hockey days. “Why did they even pick me?”

MacTaggart eyes her pointedly. Connie sighs and obliges, lifting the conference table between them, high above their heads, holding it for a few seconds, and gently setting it back on the clean, clinical tiles of the office floor. “Satisfied?”

“Are you?”

“I shouldn’t be a handler,” says Connie. “I should be lumped in with the rest of the fr – with the others.”

“You have an operative’s training,” says MacTaggart. “An operative’s clearance. Last I checked, that made you an operative. You’re still one of us, you know.”

“And they aren’t?”

MacTaggart raises a slender eyebrow. “And which of them has had your training?”

Connie tries to remember what she knows of these so-called mutants, these people with abilities as strange or stranger than her own enhanced strength. There’s a telepath among them, and a man who bends metal. A human bomb, a boy who can survive anything, a girl who can look like anyone.

Gravely, Connie takes a moment to reflect on that. “Do they even need it, with what they can do?”

MacTaggart smiles. “Did you?”

Connie shakes her head. “I hadn’t manifested yet, when the Agency recruited me and Adam.” She glances at MacTaggart’s kind, tired smile, and suddenly feels very lonely. “Does that mean – I mean, am I the only mutant officially working here?”

“The only field operative, as far as I know,” MacTaggart confirms.

“Oh,” Connie says in a small voice. So that was why they had picked her.

“Connie,” MacTaggart says, watching her with a solemn expression. “You asked me how I can stand being a woman at the CIA. It’s pretty simple. You work hard. You excel. You make yourself good – so good that no one can question your belonging. And if you have to work twice as hard as the men, so be it. Can you understand that?”

Once, Connie had played competitive hockey. Under the helmets, the protective padding, you couldn’t tell who might be a boy or a girl, not really, and Connie had flown across the ice with the best of them. One might be a woman, or a mutant, or a freaking alien from outer space, and no one would have known. No one, in the heat of a game, would have cared.

“Yes,” she says. “I mean, yeah, I think I do.”

Moira MacTaggart’s eyes tilt up at the corners. “Welcome to your new team then, Agent Moreau.”

3. one girl in all the world (buffy the vampire slayer)

The vampire is, to Julie Gaffney’s chagrin, rather inappropriately good-looking.

“I’m not evil,” he protests for the fifth time. Or maybe it’s the sixth. Julie’s been trying to count, but he keeps interrupting her. It’s very irritating. “There’s this curse, you see –“

Julie rolls her eyes and pins him to the wall with her stake, using the hem of his shirt. “Do you think I’m stupid?” she wants to know. “If I’ve heard that one once, I’ve heard it a million times. Contrary to what Bombay thinks, I actually do look into the history of past Slayers. That Buffy Summers girl, let me tell you – ”

“Well, the curse works,” the vampire interrupts, insistent. He seems to be sulking now, slouching artfully against the wall, though still mindful of the stake. “That’s why it keeps popping up.”

“You’re a vampire with a soul,” Julie deadpans.

“A soul,” the vampire agrees. “A nice, human soul with a moral compass and everything.”

“Which is why you decided to kiss me instead of say, trying to tear my throat out when I came at you with my crossbow.”

“Well, no,” says the vampire, looking a little embarrassed right now. “See, I’ve been dead a while, and you’d be surprised how difficult it is to –“

“Oh my god,” Julie groans, suddenly traumatized, “never mind. I don’t want to know. You can keep your sordid undead love life secrets to yourself, thanks.”

“I was going to say that it’s difficult to come by girls as pretty as you,” the vampire finishes lamely, his voice small.

It’s a stupid line, and they both know it, but Julie sighs and unstakes his shirt. “Say I believe you,” she begins.

The vampire’s eyes grow wide like a puppy’s. “Does that mean you’ll go out with me?”

“Do you want me to pin you to the wall by your heart this time?” Julie answers.

The vampire quakes, and she takes pity on him. “I was going to ask what your name was,” she admits. “If we’re going to be destined arch-nemeses, we should at least know each other’s names.”

“I go by Scooter nowadays,” the vampire says happily. Happily, probably because he’s somehow still not a pile of dust despite the way Julie keeps brandishing her stake at him.

“Scooter,” Julie repeats flatly. “Scooter.”

“I know,” says the vampire. At least he has the good graces to sound sheepish. “It’s not a very threatening vampire name, is it? Still, it’s what people have been calling me ever since I got slapped with this soul thing.”

Julie sighs. “I’m almost afraid to ask what they called you when you were still an evil bloodthirsty creature of the night.”

The vampire brightens. “Oh, that’s easy,” he answers, drawing himself up and looking almost proud. “Your Watcher, that Bombay guy, he’s probably heard of me. See, back in Iceland, they called me…” Here, he pauses dramatically. “… Gunner Stahl.

“… Scooter?”

“Yes, Slayer?”

“You’re the lamest arch-nemesis ever.”

“Ah,” Scooter says, grinning, “but I hear all the lame arch-nemeses make excellent forbidden starcrossed lovers.”

Julie pins him back to the wall.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 24th, 2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
These are fantastic! When we were talking about Mighty Ducks AUs, I was thinking of sticking other characters into the Mighty Ducks 'verse, but this is just ace.

I've still only rewatched the first movie so I'm less familiar with the characters than I should be but I love Adam's Theon-on-the-Wall hostage-esque plot. Eee. Also, you wrote about Moira, no-one writes about Moira, so kudos to you. The Buffy one was hilarious. So on the mark, taking the piss out of all the silly clichés. Fierce. Yeah, so, YOU WROTE IT! :D I approve. Thank you for sharing these with ~the world. /mad & incoherent
Aug. 27th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC)
OH YAY I'm glad you enjoyed this! I wasn't expecting much of an audience, because let's face it, this is a weird-ass concept that is mostly a creature of my own self-indulgence. But it makes me happy that this worked for you too!

More people should write Moira! I'm convinced that she is a badass lady, because come on, guys, she's a female field operative for the CIA in the freaking sixties. There must be something awfully impressive about her that led to that gig.

Lolllll, the Buffy one was totally my favorite one to write. I also had way too much fun inventing Adam's backstory for the GoT crossover, but I'm more of a stupid banter kind of writer than a worldbuilder kind of writer -- so slayer!Julie and soul!vampire!Scooter/Gunner pretty much wrote themselves. :3
Aug. 28th, 2011 04:47 am (UTC)

Sorry, I only know of the last two fandoms, but that totally didn't stop me from enjoying your writing and your ridiculously amazing portrayal of the characters.

Again, didn't really watch Buffy but the fact that you made Gunner this ridiculously likeable, undead guy was infectious! And Julie - she really, really would've made a good Slayer.
Aug. 28th, 2011 11:05 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! This fandom seems pretty dead, so it's exciting to me that you read (and liked!) this - thanks for giving the bizarro premise a chance, even if you weren't familiar with the other fandom in the first crossover.

The Buffy one was totally my favorite one to write. I'm glad you liked my fail jokes. |D And Julie is a badass.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )