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Feb. 7th, 2014


Me and my Shadow (Maxine, Jo)

Wash had never really wanted a twin. He'd had three older siblings so that had been enough. If Wash HAD wanted a twin the person sitting across the kitchen table from him staring at him with smiling eyes, tidy hair, and in a sweater vest (of all things) would not have been his ideal brother.

The thing that was bothering him in particular right now (because a lot of things about the "Wash" that The City had created bothered him) was the fact that notWash had two pieces of buttered toast on a plate in front of him that he hadn't eaten. He had a cup of coffee that he hadn't touched and The City daily paper was in his hand almost as if it were a prop.

Wash shovelled cereal in his mouth watching him from underneath his scruffy light red bangs.

It had been more than difficult sharing notWash's existence to Jo. Wash thought it was a good idea as any to leave the man-thing in the closet for the foreseeable future. But Jo needed something out of the closet. Wash was surprised (and slightly disappointed) the man was still alive.

He shovelled more cereal in his mouth.

"Should we get Maxine up? It's almost time for school!" notWash said, smiling.

"School's out today," Wash replied shortly. "Inservice."

Inservice was some sort of teacher cult, Wash decided when he couldn't get a straight answer on what it meant through Maxine.

"Oh. Well. Does she have homework? We should probably make sure she's up to--"

"Nope," Wash replied, shovelling more cereal.

"You know...I'm her father," notWash stated.

Wash glared. He clinched his fists and bared his teeth. He hated that he hated his own face so much right now.

Jan. 26th, 2014


Ribbit means...(Maxine)

Freedom! Wonderful, glorious, stupendous freedom! Marvelous, open-air, kind of dark, but she was never afraid of the dark, not really, no much freedom! Okay, who was she kidding there were things that ate frogs even if she wasn't normally a frog and currently seemed to be a very big frog freedom! Plus, there were now hunters and who knew what else after her that maybe didn't want to eat her freedom!

Fred's elation from finally getting out of that apartment was tempered quickly, possibly all too quickly, by the realization that she'd only been freed from it because there were two very large men with guns kicking down her door. The former-human now-frog Texan had some problems, and she didn't know even where to start in fixing them.

Rather than wallow though, Fred used her rather powerful back legs to start hopping, leaps and bounds. She know got exactly what that meant. It was sort of fun, but scary too. That sick thud squish sound didn't do much for her honestly. The sound wasn't all that pleasant, not even a little bit.

She finally found her way to a "pond"; Fred supposed that made sense that she'd want to be near moisture, but the pond turned out to be something stagnant and probably very bad for her and whatever other creature or plant that was near it. She settled down by the water's edge and looked into the water. It was pretty yet not at all right. She supposed she should have known better as it was sitting in front of some restaurant touting itself as a gallery for the senses. Thankfully she could still read in this state. For all her thinking as she sat there, she didn't once consider the dangers of sitting in front of place that might want to serve very big purple frog's legs.

Jan. 15th, 2014


DoppelGAAAAH! (Maxine and open to Jo, maybe?)

At this point in his recovery from smashing into the upper invisible dome of The City in a shuttle he was hobbling around in an obnoxious black boot with velcro straps and an arm/wrist brace in replacement of the even bulkier (and smellier) casts he'd donned before. He was doing remarkably well but as he hobbled around his room in Jo's house he still felt like an invalid. It frustrated him and made him anxious to not have full use of his faculties. Still, all of this was better than being a puddle of a pilot in the middle of a crater. Not much, but a little.

He grumbled as he tugged on shorts and a hawaiian shirt. He hobbled out of his room using door frames and walls for support. That's when he noticed that he door to the coat closet was ajar. Maxine. She must've been playing in there. Little, sticky, stinky blonde five year old that he couldn't stop loving even though she could be really trying sometimes and Jo and him really needed to talk to her about...nevermind, he didn't want to think about that now.

Focus on what's ahead of him, he thought. The closet door was ajar. He could fix that. He came up to the closet and tried to close it, something was caught. Aggravated he opened the door after pushing did nothing to solve his problem.

Was that a mirror?

"Hello" Hoban Washburne's 'reflection' said, "Have you seen Maxine? She needs to take a bath and do her homework before going outside and playing with her friends."

"Aaaaah!" the real Wash said. He slammed the door shut with his breath near hyperventilating in surprise and fear.

Slowly he opened the door again and peeked in.

"Is Maxine here? She's my daughter and I seem to have lost track of her whereabouts. I believe we might be playing a game of hide-and-seek. But I've been hiding for several days now," the second Wash said with a worried and hopeful smile.

"Ta Ma De! Yi dwei da buen chuo roh--MAXINE!!!" Wash yelled.

"Oh good! She's here!" not-Wash said stepping out of the closet.

"You! Shh! Don't!" Wash replied, warning him with his finger up. He couldn't even look at his double. "Ah-ah! Not a word! Just--MAXIIIIINE!!!"

Dec. 21st, 2013


A Christmas Wish

By now, The City had watched many of its denizens celebrate this thing called 'Christmas' and it was beginning to understand it better. It was a time for fir decoration. A time for singing songs. A time for creamy or apple flavored beverages. There were also presents.

The presents were the most interesting things to The City. It understood that the presents were designed to be special. To be meaningful. To express care. And The City did care about its people. Very much.

This year, it decided that it would participate in this 'Christmas.' And it wanted to participate in a big way.

A Douglas Fir sprung up overnight, positioned in the heart of The City. It was huge, dwarfing most multi-level buildings, bedecked in oversized copies of the decorations that previous and current citizens had used on their own trees. The Christmas star dwarfed the moon in its brightness.

But what to do for presents? The City had seen that presents were supposed to be personal. They were supposed to be something that made sense for one to give to the other. But The City did not know how to give presents in this way. It tried to calculate what would be right for every citizen - and failed. At last, it decided that it would grant one wish to each citizen. Just one. And it would do its best to fulfill it in a personal way.

Dec. 16th, 2013


Getting lost...(Maxine; threadmas)

Logan locked up the front door to Fixit'.

It had been a long day, a day that had been both frustrating and yet somehow productive. Frustrating because the piles of things needing repairing seemed endless due to the fact that Megan couldn't so repairs (not that Logan held that against her) and productive because he had been able to make a dent in the things that needed his help.

He was efficient enough, as well, to make some of the things he was fixing work better than they had before they had come in. Motors could be re-wired, changed and altered, and made to work and run better. Logan didn't mind the extra upgrades because that meant less work for him. Honestly he was probably going to put all of them out of a job if he wasn't careful, but that would take a while even at his pace.

But it was closing time and Logan was glad for it.

He pulled down the gate, made sure it was secure and then took a moment to gather himself.

A sniff of the street told him nothing out of the ordinary was going on, and with that the mutant turned and slid his keys into his pockets, walking away from the shop. His boots clicked against the pavement and a swirl of leaves danced around him as he moved back in the direction of the motel he was staying at.

His eyes caught some of the festive decorations in the store windows that lined the streets and though Logan wasn't feeling particularly festive he still enjoyed that others were.

A car honked from somewhere down the street but Logan paid it no mind. Those were typical city sounds. Nothing major and no reason to give it any thought. With a grunt Logan crossed the street in the middle, walking against the traffic, to the other side.

Nov. 17th, 2013


After school special [Wash]

Maxine sat on a seat by herself on the bus, her forehead pressed against the window. It wasn't until the yellow school bus stopped in front of the hospital that the five year old perked up and made a run for the exit.

Wash had been in the hospital for three whole weeks. Though Maxine really liked Jo, who also agreed to look out for her, Jo felt more like a big foster sister or foster aunt. Her backpack bounded up and down behind her with each step as she ran through the hospital doors toward the front desk, staffed by nurses and candy stripers.

"I need to see my Wash!" she blurted, hands holding onto the desk. "His name is Wash. The bus took me here so I get to see him now, right?"

Maxine was directed to a seat and told to wait. She sighed. There was a lot of waiting involved. It felt like hours, though it had barely been fifteen minutes, before Maxine was guided by a nurse to Wash's room.

"Mr. Hoban? You have a very excited visitor to see you," said the nurse.

"Wash! Wash!" Maxine bolted for the room and instantly attached herself at the side of his bed. "When do you get to come home. Can you come home now?"

Nov. 10th, 2013


Stopping those buses (Maxine)

Unlike Dean, Sam didn't have a car in the City. Or at least not one that he could find anyway. It didn't bother him all that much usually, though he did miss the Impala from time to time since it wasn't like back home when the two brothers had practically lived in that car. Had, in fact, spent nights in the car when they hadn't had anywhere else to stay. Then again, he was still adjusting to just how different things were in the City. Still adjusting to caring about the differences now that his soul was back.

He didn't mind walking places, or depending on public transportation. Walking could certainly clear his mind at times. That was a plus. For the moment, he was looking into a potential case. Maybe it was nothing. Truthfully, he'd been coming up empty quite a bit in the last few weeks. He needed something to hunt, someone to help, something to do. He was retreating inside his head again and that was never a good place to be.

For the moment, he'd just hit a dead end and the potential werewolf turned out to be just a tomcat who liked ravaging dumpsters. Not nearly enough to inspire the rumors that a wolf was stalking the streets of the City.

Sam took a seat on a bench and sighed heavily as he pulled out his notebook to put a big, angry scratch mark through the last lead in this non-case. He didn't notice right away that there were a few students standing near the bench, presumably waiting for a bus. He was too wrapped up in his frustration at being idle.

Oct. 27th, 2013


Waiting [Leto]

Maxine didn't question the adults who brought her to the hospital waiting room, or the nurses that said Wash wasn't able to have visitors yet. She sat in the waiting room with crayons and computer paper and spent the afternoon drawing pictures.

Eventually she was going to see Wash, or someone was going to take her to Jo and Ted's. None of that mattered, however, because Wash had been in an accident and was hurt. She wasn't panicked by the news. He was still alive, she could feel that much through the Red, but the idea that the person who looked after her could get hurt made her uncomfortable though she wasn't quite able to articulate why.

Maxine didn't cry. Instead she drew pictures of her and Wash in his spaceship and gave the stars smiley faces.

Oct. 16th, 2013


Wash could do terse. (Maxine, Wash + Tony)

takes place shortly after the school field trip. )

Oct. 12th, 2013


School Field Trip [Maxine/Tony Stark]

Takes place after Maxine is allowed back in school. )

Sep. 23rd, 2013


Principal's Office [Ted, then Ted + Jo]

Mrs. Portello was screaming. It wasn't the reaction Maxine had been expecting and the little girl was shocked into a stupor by the grown up's hysterics. It took exactly three seconds for the kindergarten teacher's panic to infect the other small children, most of whom started crying. Many of them ran behind the trusted teacher for protection.

Maxine wasn't the only student in a daze, there were two others. Christi was also very quiet, staring back at Maxine in awe. Rex had his hands on his head, only vaguely aware that the head he was feeling was no longer a human one but that of a very large duck. His fingers were on the bill, reaching into his mouth, trying to find his real face underneath to no avail.

He'd called Christi stupid. He'd made her cry. When Maxine told him to stop he laughed. He said if Christi wasn't so stupid she would do something beside pick her nose and cry. Maxine had told him Christi hadn't picked her nose, but by then the rumor started to spread and the other children were laughing which made Christi cry even harder.

Then, instead of continuing to taunt Christi, he began to quack.

Maxine had given him a duck head.

And that'e when Mrs. Portello started screaming.

One of the teachers from next door rushed into the room, she was equally terrified of seeing a boy with a duck's head. It wasn't until a third teacher entered the room and asked what happened and fifteen tiny hands all pointed at Maxine, that the teacher faked enough calm to tell Maxine to go to the principal's office.

The teachers were terrified of her.

Maxine waited on an uncomfortable wood bench outside Principal Crisp's office. They'd tried calling the guardians listed on Maxine's file. Not even Principal Crisp wanted to handle the super powered child until another adult was present.

Aug. 28th, 2013


The Grand Tour (Bruce)

As strange as it seemed, Wash still wasn't over whatever illness had attacked him a month or so back. He was still experiencing general stuffiness and the kind of mucus draining that inspired folks to stuff tissues up their noses while they slept.

But he had his voice back, no matter how hoarse it sounded. And his energy was up. He had meant to get back to Bruce about the extra glass that was stored on Serenity so he decided that this was the perfect day for it.

And the ship had never looked so pretty. Wash had been up-keeping her pretty well since he was here. It was a distraction that got his mind well off of all of his misgivings about the City and his existence in it. And it might well have been the cleanings of places that hadn't been cleaned since the Firefly's purchase that kicked up something into his nostrils that started this whole illness thing in the start.

Bruce was set to arrive any moment and within the small collection of trees sat the large ship, shiny as she had ever been. Wash took pride in that. He sat in the cargo hold with the door open on a chair with Kaylee's parasol. A stack of replacement windows for the shuttles were beside him.

He played "Angry Birds" on his phone while he waited.

May. 29th, 2013


Career Day aka Wash's Nightmare (Maxine)

Wash was sitting in a tiny chair in front of a classroom full of 5 year old children. A boy in the back had his finger perpetually in his nose. A girl in the front had so many smudges on her thick glasses that the pilot questioned their use in correcting her vision.

Kids were gross!

Wash frowned a little as he shifted his 6 foot frame in the tiny candy-colored chair and straightened his flight suit while brushing the sleeves of his colorful shirt. All the parents beside him were also donned in their career themed outfits. They also all had grown up chairs. Apparently there was a shortage of those. And Wash was too nice.

His eyes glanced up at the bright blonde haired girl in the middle of the class. Her big blue eyes shined as she watched the current chef talk about how to baste a chicken. The chef father had also brought samples of said chicken. They were only for the kids though and Maxine couldn't have any.

Maxine had steadily stopped talking about her father as time went on in The City. She had also stopped talking about super heroes. Further more, her activities with her own powers were happening less and less often in favor of learning more about piloting. It worried Wash, truth be told.

He wanted Maxine to still have connections to her old world. He didn't want to forget her father, or a place where superheroes existed, or animals. He was in such deep thought about this that he didn't notice his name being said over and over again by the teacher.

"Mr. Washburne?"

He looked over at the concerned teacher.

"Oh. Me? It' turn?" Wash asked. She nodded.

The teacher introduced Wash as a pilot and immediately there was interest.

"Hi. I'm Wash. I'm Maxine's...uh..." Wash started and stumbled a little on words. "Guardian?" he finally settled on. "And I'm a pilot. But...but you know what's a really cool job? Being a superhero! Like-like Batman or Ironman..."

He nodded emphatically.

Apr. 17th, 2013


Maxine's First Day of School (Maxine: done)

Wash had the cargo door open in preparation for Maxine’s arrival from school. Even after he had insisted he wait at the bus stop in front of the park for her Maxine had insisted she walk back to the ship herself. And though he fully trusted a five year old girl with the simple task of walking less than a block through the park and trees to a well hidden space ship, he decided to set proximity alert to small blonde child anyway.

Well, roughly speaking. Though apparently raccoon also classified as small blond child.

He was under the pilot’s display working on fixing some electrical shorts with his tongue sticking out neatly at the corner of his mouth when the alarm went off again. He sat up quickly, narrowly missing smacking his head on the side of the console, and listened for tiny feet up the ramp.

“Maxine? That you? Come on up! Or...or should I meet you?” he asked himself this quietly. “Wait, or...something! I’ll meet you!”

continued )

Mar. 1st, 2013


Adventures in Babysitting [Ted/Jo]

After the first day of total darkness, Maxine started to fret. She used the internet to look up when the sun was supposed to rise and set. Then there was the alarms. Maxine set every single alarm in the house, all for different times. Without the sun, the animals wouldn't know when it was their bedtime. Maxine had to fix that.

As obnoxious as it was, the owls and crickets were only heard during the nighttime hours. The rodents and other creatures only ventured out during the safety of the dark days. With or without the sun, the animals continued the best they could under Maxine's ernest direction. To the untrained eye, however, Maxine was a nightmare of a house guest -- waking up at all hours and going out into the yard, concentrating with all her five year old might.

It was a strange sight in the least.

Getting up at all hours of the night meant sleeping at all hours, too. Maxine had curled up in the living room with a blanket. When sleeping deeply, she didn't hear Jo coming or going. She did, however, hear the knock on the door. Her hair was comically disheveled. Maxine rubbed the sleep from her eyes when she looked up at the older man at the door.

"...Are you Jo's dad?" she yawned.

Feb. 18th, 2013


Code Adam [Open!]

Without being to explain precisely how, Maxine knew that this world was not her world. No one needed to tell her, The Red of this place was different than The Red back home. Back home, The Red was much more complex, built up like a fragile House of Cards made of thousands upon thousands of ecosystems. This world’s Red was very small, like Maxine. And like Maxine, it seemed to be contained in one single spot, webbed through a single city.

The six year old wasn’t afraid though. She may not have been smiling but there were no tears. After all, Maxine Baker was the daughter of a superhero. It didn't matter if the five year old had no comprehension that Animal Man was a second stringer at best who didn’t make a big enough dent in even the regular criminal underworld to require a secret identity. She still assumed he’d be in the Justice League someday, on par with titans like Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

Aquaman was her favorite superhero besides her father, of course.

Somewhere along the way, a well meaning adult made up of the simpler Red gave Maxine a brochure. She could read some of it, but didn’t bother trying to struggle through the more complicated words. Maxine just needed someone else willing to explain it to her. Someone that looked trustworthy. The first person she looked for was a uniformed police officer. After failing to find a patrol officer, Maxine settled for the first adult who wasn't obviously an evil mastermind of some sort. Walking toward the lucky individual with all the confidence of a five year old, she tugged on their hand.

“Excuse me. My name is Maxine Baker and my phone number is six one nine, three four four, three one two three. My dad is Animal Man, he isn’t here though. He’s in San Diego with my mom and my big brother Cliff. Do you know how to get there? My dad can come pick me up.”

Maxine handed them the brochure which read, New to The City?