Friday, December 30, 2011

Chapter 3 and 4!

These are both relatively short, so I'm posting two. You're welcome...

She looked barking ridiculous. And that bum rag prince couldn’t have been enjoying it more. He kept watching her with this awed kind of look on his face. The blithering idiot. It’s not like she was anything to look at.
Deryn shifted uncomfortably in the long skirt--the lady boffin had insisted on the one with a big bow on the back and a sharp v-neck--and adjusted the wig on her head. It looked quite convincing, actually, but it didn’t make her despise it less. It was mostly hidden by a feathery hat, every strand arranged by the boffin herself. Deryn had fumed the whole time. Before that, every night after dinner she had been retaught how to act like a lady--she even said “yes” now instead of “aye”--and it reminded her too much of her aunts sometimes to bear. The only thing that had kept her from going completely barking mad had been Alek, who hadn’t joked about it or even brought it up when the went to climb trees once the sun had fallen. They were often late into the night, sitting on the highest branch of the highest trees, watching the stars in the cold night air.
Now she was riding in a carriage pulled by a fabricated beastie, blithering useless nonsense to Dr. Barlow just like a good girl even though she couldn’t breath in her clothes. She had to pat herself on the back a wee bit for learning to drop the curses and walk like a girl. It was not easy. Her mind kept wandering to Alek, who would also be on his way to the mansion by now, under the cover of the trees, Bovril a lookout on his shoulder.
“Mr. Sharp, Aleksandar, you will be pleased to know I have considered your request to disclose recently discussed information,” she had told them three nights before, after dinner had been cleared and all the guests had gone. Dr. Barlow led them to her sitting room, speaking in German so none of the staff would understand. Deryn’s reaction had been a bit delayed, but Alek had nearly jumped out of his seat when she said, “And I will comply.”
She looked around the room, closing the door. “One of the few remaining Clankers, a well known count, Abbott Welker, is here visiting one of my close friends. We think he has another reason to be here. It is rumored he has plans for a great machine to fuel a rebellion and regain respect for the German empire, and intends to acquire funds to build it. I should like to know if this is true and stop it. Alek, you will search his rooms and find the plans.
“Now, Deryn. You’re part is more tricky,”
She had mumbled something along the lines of, “Aye, I’d noticed,” in English.
“He has a son,” Deryn’s eyes widened, “and I’m sure that you can easily pry some information from him.”
“It would be simple enough with a good knife.”
The boffin had shaken her head, “In an unsuspicious manner.”
Deryn forced herself out of the memory, fixing her eyes on Dr. Barlow. “It is wonderful you could join me this evening, Dalia.”
Dalia was her fake name for the night. “Yes, I am quite pleased,” she said, forcing emotion into her voice.
“Lovely that your visit aligned so perfectly with the occasion.” Deryn nodded, not knowing a good answer, “I must ask, dear, do you have a gentlemen back home?”
“No, I haven’t, Aunt Barlow,” she pretended to be disappointed with herself.
The coach driver looked over his shoulder at the two of them. “Then you’re in luck, little lassie, because there is a handsome young fellow goin’ ta be at that party.”
“Is that so?” Deryn feigned surprise--and interest. “Do tell me about him,” she grinned, more out of success than anything else; this was exactly the plan. Get the driver to spare some gossip about the boy, see if he knew anything of use. The working class loved to gossip, the boffin had told her.
“Oh yes, Miss. His pa’s a count from Germany. Got some gold, he does,” He paused a moment, as if wondering if it was rude to mention money to a lady, “And quite a strapping young lad, too. About your age, Miss.”
“I will certainly look for him, Sir. What did you say his name was?”
“Thaddeus. Thaddeus Welker, Miss.” with that, they pulled up to a grand house, and they said their thanks to the cabbie. Deryn itched to thank the beastie, too, but knew it would be unladylike. She took a deep breath and faced the mansion. Barking spiders, she was in for the hardest night of her life.
Alek tripped on a root and swore. He was rewarded by Borvil shushing him in between imitating the sounds around them. He needed to stay focused.
Mr. Sharp,” the beastie said, somehow knowing exactly what he was thinking. She had seemed out of place, awkward, even, in the dress. If it had been anyone else, she would have looked absolutely stunning--not that she didn’t, it just wasn’t her. He preferred her in the loose fitting trousers, her jacket slung over a chair and just the white button up shirt on.
Crunch. He’d stepped on a dry stick.
Focus, dummkopf! He cursed himself yet again. You can think about her later, now get in and out, fast! He stepped to the edge of the tree line, waiting for the signal that the door was unlocked, and hoping he did, in fact, have the right door. A man stepped out onto the unlit porch, a cigar smoking lazily as it hung from his mouth. He made three quick puffs and slipped back inside, presumably not locking the door behind him. Now Alek had to wait for a count of one-hundred fifty before following the shadows to the mansion and inside. Straightening the standard issue servant’s uniform--it never hurt to be prepared--and brushing off any twigs, he counted.
He crept in, almost easily, and found the servant’s staircase, reaching the third room on the right in no time. It was dark, the moonlight from the windows giving the objects cruel and severe shadows. Where to start? he asked himself, shrugged, and started rifling through the nearest drawers, careful to replace everything as he found it. It was doubtful a man would hide war plans with his socks, but Clankers were sneaky.
His hands frozen in place. Less than a year ago, he had been a Clanker himself. Strange how quickly everything had changed. For the better, he added, very sincerely. Bovril had been sitting silently on the bed until now, not really helping. Now the beastie was making the noise of heavy footsteps, and they were getting louder. Alek frantically snatched it off the bed and looked for a place to hide. There! Heavy drapes hung around the windows, thick enough to conceal him and Bovril easily. He held his breath, waiting for the--
Click. Creak.
He stood, completely rigid, as the oil lamps in the room flickered to life. His vision was limited to a sliver of light at the end of the curtain. The floorboards made no noise--fabricated wood--so he couldn’t track where whoever was in the room was at. Alek stared at the dark maroon fabric, concentrating on the small rustles and other noises. His heart hammered in his chest, and he fought to keep his breathing low. The loris waited patiently on his shoulder, seemingly unnerved. Long minutes passed with Alek not daring to even wiggle his toes. Finally the lights dimmed and disappeared, and the door snapped closed. He forced himself to count to another one-hundred fifty before stepping slowly out from the draperies. With an internal sigh of relief, he resumed the search, his hands shaking.
“Who are you?” Alek whirled, and saw the gun pointed at his chest.
Teehee! Have fun squirming while you wait to see what happens next!

Leviathan FanFic chapter2 (ish)

Here's the (not so) long awaited chapter 2!
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or anything, Scott Westerfeld does.

Alek smoothed his hair in the mirror and sat on his bed, resting for a few precious minutes before being called to dinner. 
God’s wounds, that girl was going to be the death of him. Even with her hair freshly cut to look even more like a boy’s, she was beautiful to him. If he tried, he could always see through her disguise.  She cursed like a true airman, seemed perfectly adept at being a boy, and was somehow still infuriatingly taller than him, but it didn’t matter to Alek. What did matter, however, was how she was always doing something dangerous. Last night had been the closest call, and his heart nearly jumped out of his chest when he’d seen her fall, and he nearly fell himself catching hold of her.
There was a knock at the door, “Come in,” Alek said.
“Mr. Hohenberg, you are being summoned to Dr. Barlow’s sitting room,” a servant said, “and you are asked to have haste.” Alek nodded his compliance and straightened his shirt and trousers in the mirror, frowning at the size of his ears.
Deryn and the lady boffin were already there when he arrived, and the lorises had climbed up onto the unlit chandelier, chattering away. The girls looked up, and Deryn’s face lit with a dazzling smile. She stifled it soon enough, though, when the servant appeared behind him at the door. “Prince Aleksandar, Dr. Barlow.” he announced, and left.
“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” Alek mumbled.
“What was that, Aleksandar?” the lady boffin asked him.
“Oh, nothing.”
She raised an eyebrow in question, but didn’t comment. “I’m sure you are both quite anxious as to why I have summoned you.”
“Quite anxious,” one of the lorises said from above.
“Miss Sharp,” as Dr. Barlow said this, Deryn looked nervously around the room, “I assure you we are quite alone,” she amended.
“I trust you recall our conversations prior to your appropriation of this job?”
“All too well.”
“And then you recall our discussions of you having to go into disguise.”
Deryn’s face took on a suspicious look, “Aye, I remember.”
“Good. You shall understand, then, when I ask you to come out of disguise.”
“What?” she was confused, Alek could tell. But he was catching on, suddenly desperately suppressing a laugh.
“Honestly, Miss Sharp, I thought you were clever enough to have understood by now.”
Comprehension dawned on her face, and her lip curled. “Oh,” she said, keeping her voice low and calm. “I see.”
Dr. Barlow continued, pretending not to notice Deryn’s poorly hidden anger. “You will be accompanying me to a party ten days from now as my niece. Until then I will be reeducating you in the ways of being a proper lady.”
“What will I be doing, Doctor?” Alek asked, composing himself.
“Doing some discreet skulking--as you call it. Your face is too well known to make an appearance, so I will arrange to let you in through an unguarded door while all the guests are at dinner, and you will search several of their rooms.”
“Alright. Can I ask a question.”
“I believe you just did.” She sighed. “Proceed.”
“For what reason am I skulking, exactly?”
“Ah, yes. That is a classified matter, Mr. Hohenberg.”
Deryn groaned. “Sorry, Ma’am, but now that we work for you, I think we have a right to know the ‘classified’ things. Right, Alek?”
He felt trapped between a rock and a hard place. He couldn’t disagree with Deryn--it would have consequences,--and the lady boffin was not someone to argue with. In the end, he knew what his answer had to be; “Right, Dylan,” Dr. Barlow gave him a hard look, and his resolved weakened. “And besides, it would help to know what I was looking for. I’d get in and out faster, less likely to be discovered.”
“I shall consider your request, Aleksandar, and in the meantime, the two of you should dress for dinner. We’ll be having several of the Zoo board with us, so be presentable.” She turned on her heel and strode out of the room.
The two of them followed, and as soon as she was out of earshot, Alek opened his mouth to speak.
“Don’t even start,” Deryn snarled and whipped around to face him, her hands curling into fists. He could see it on her face, the terror hidden by a sheen of rage.
He took a step back, afraid. “You’re not going to punch me again, are you?” like the night I found you out, he added to himself. He remembered how she’d been so ready to fight him, anything to feel more like a boy. The same thing was happening now.
She faltered. “No. I won’t--I wouldn’t.” The anger drained from her face, leaving only what was beneath. “It’s not even you I’m mad at. It’s that sticky boots lady boffin. I never thought she’d ask me to do this. Alek, the last time I actually acted like a girl--wore a barking skirt--was before the Leviathan. And I hated it. The thought of returning to that, for even just a wee bit, terrifies me.” He could tell her control was breaking. She’d already let her voice go up to normal. Alek closed and locked the door to her room behind them.
“It will be alright, Deryn.”
She gulped, as though pushing down the tears and fright. “Aye. It will. After all, how hard can it be? I was a girl most of my life, I can do it again.”
“That’s impossible to imagine.”
“What is?”
“You being a girl.”
“That’s a bit daft, considering all the kissing.” He gave her a withering look.
“You know that’s not what I meant. It’s you acting like a girl. I try to picture what you’d look like, and I never can.” He shook his head, still unable to. “You fit just the way you are. But I’m sure you will be able to pull it off. After all, you are the great Deryn Sharp.”
“Aye, I am dead brilliant, aren’t I?”

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Leviathan FanFic Chapter/Part 1

Okay, so here's the first part of my Leviathan FanFic, set after the end of Goliath.
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor did I create any of the characters in the Leviathan series; Scott Westerfeld did.
I realize it may not be too interesting right now, but it's just getting started. Please read and review, if at all possible.

A Fan Fiction. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” -Dr Seuss
The three of them were seated around the dinner table, for once without any guests. It was strange that the room was so empty; usually the large table was swarmed with visiting boffins and wealthy men anxious to donate to any of the zoo’s numerous projects. Now it was just the three of them, though, with the boffin at the head of the table and Deryn and Alek to either side of her, across from each other. Deryn exchanged lots of glances with Alek, who occasionally even made faces when Dr. Barlow wasn’t looking. Deryn had the suspicion that the boffin knew of this but made no show of it.
“I’m quite stumped upon what path to take with my next fabrication, boys.” Dr. Barlow said in German. Deryn was secretly pleased at how well she’d continued to pick up the language since departing from the Leviathan for the last time. Mr. Newkirk had been sad to see her go, even to the point of an ashamed tear, that she was leaving. He’d swiped that single tear from his cheek like it was poison, looking around to make sure none of the officers noticed. It was all Deryn herself could do not to squeak like a girl when she told him goodbye, promising they’d see each other someday, and gave him a gruff hug.
“Do me a favor and don’t get yourself killed while I’m gone,” she’d told him.
“I’ll try. You either. That boffin business is tricky stuff.”
“Aye, I’ll try too. But at least I’ve got that daft prince to save me if something goes wrong.”
“Fah! Daft princes!” Bovril had exclaimed from her shoulder.
“And I’ve only got a ship full of men behind my back,” Newkirk said, ignoring the loris.
“Um, Dylan?” Alek and Dr. Barlow were looking at her expectantly. Barking spiders, she’d drifted off into a memory again.
“Oh, um, sorry.” she said in her deep impression of a man’s voice. Quite convincing, it seemed, as it had fooled the entire crew of the Leviathan and almost everyone else for the last year. “What was that again?”
“I asked you, Mr. Sharp, if you had any ideas for which path to take on the latest fabrication. Or perhaps you find our conversation boring?”
“Of course not, Madam, I was just thinking about my reply. I believe we should try to accomplish something new, which will be difficult considering how many beasties there are. Or perhaps a companion creature to the perspicacious loris.” Deryn spoke in slow, clear German, looking at Alek to confirm she’d said everything correctly. He nodded.
“Certainly an idea. And what is your opinion on the matter, Aleksandar?”
“I quite agree, Dr. Barlow. Mr. Sharp’s suggestion has potential.”
“Thank you for your helpful input,” the boffin raised an eyebrow at him, and he smiled at her, rather smugly, for just a moment. The lady boffin had become much more tolerant of the two in the recent months.
The lorises, who had been chatting with the other under the table for the duration of the meal, chose that moment to pipe up. “Barking spiders,” Bovril said seriously.
“A suggestion with potential!” replied the other loris. This set them off giggling uncontrollably, and Deryn could easily picture them rolling around on the floor.
“Please quiet your loris, Aleksandar,” ordered Dr. Barlow. He leaned under the table and shushed them.

“Shush!” was the reply, but they spoke quietly again after that.
“I read something quite unsettling in the newspaper this morning,” Dr. Barlow said and stirred her tea. “The Danava caught fire and exploded early Tuesday off the eastern coast of America, according to The New York World.
“Barking spiders! How did that happen?” Deryn paused mid-chew and let her mouth hang open in shock, earning her a stern glare from the boffin.
“Mr. Malone theorizes that a German zeppelin in the area had something to do with it. He states that one of the few survivors told him they heard strange, high pitched noises and the message lizards panicked right before the explosion, and there were radio disturbances in the ares. Quite eccentric, if you ask me, but it does start me wondering.”
“That’s terrible.” Alek pushed the remnants of food around his plate, seeming to have lost his appetite. Deryn frowned and took another bite. 
The three of them settled into silence as dessert was served--there were barking servants here--, the only sound the clanking of plates. Deryn only picked at the strange pudding and studied the ornate tablecloth, tracing the flowers with her eyes. Finally they were dismissed from the table, and she and Alek hurried back to their rooms, Bovril sitting contentedly on Deryn’s shoulder.
“What was that, Deryn?” Alek grabbed her arm and pulled her around to face him, switching effortlessly to English. She took a quick glance around to make sure no one had heard him call her that, avoiding his gaze. His face turned serious. “Were you thinking about the Leviathan?”
There was no point in denying it. He knew her too well. “Aye,” she admitted.
Alek paused a moment before speaking. “I know that thing with the Danava it horrible, and that it could have been the Leviathan. Is there anything I can do?” he asked carefully. His eyebrows were creased with concern. He knew how much she missed the ship.

“No,” Deryn gritted her teeth and pushed down her sadness, dragging him down the corridor. “Now come on, you softie, we need to get some exercise!” Once they had reached their rooms, Deryn hurriedly stripped from her dining clothes--she still found it ridiculous that all the fancy-boots had special clothes for barking eating--and put on more sensible ones, suitable for their nightly adventures. She stepped out into the hall just as Alek did, nearly running into him. Bovril leaped onto Alek’s shoulder now. “Ready?” she asked.
“As ever, Mr. Sharp.” They crept into a guest room, and Deryn led them out to the balcony. She turned to face him, and reaching out her arms...
And grabbed the ledge above, hauling herself up. Her muscles strained with the effort, but eventually she scrabbled up to the next balcony. It took Alek a bit longer. The process was repeated until they were atop the building. The burning pain in her knee was an old friend by now, and in the back of her mind she was always convincing herself that the pain was growing weaker, that she was healing still.
Alek huffed out a breath. “That never gets any easier.”
“It will. Probably,” she said, flexing her knee.
“Not quite like climbing the ratlines, is it?”
She shook her head sadly, “But now--”
“--Comes the fun part,” he finished for her and strode to the edge of the roof, staring at the gap between it and the next building. Deryn flew past him and leaped over to the next rooftop, trying to make the landing look easy, even though it sent a jarring pain up her leg. She let out a hiss.
“Hurry up, bum-rag,” she called jokingly. He shook his head, but took a few steps back and made the jump, barely reaching the side. She grabbed his shirtfront to steady him, resisting the urge to pull him in close. At this point, Bovril found it wise to cling to Deryn’s shoulder instead.
“I still don’t understand why we can’t take the street,” he mumbled.
“Because that would be absolutely no fun.” The next jump was shorter, as were all the others to their destination, and they made good time to the park.
“So, Deryn,” Alek began, “Are you going to tell me what your fascination with this place is?”
She sighed, thinking he should have guessed by now. “It’s the trees. The way the tops sway in the wind is the closest I can get to flying these days. And the view, if you look straight up from on the highest branch, is almost like I’m topside again. Almost.”
“Oh. Okay.” he cast her a wary glance, as if thinking there were something she hadn’t told him. But there wasn’t. She would never break their oath. “So, which one are we climbing tonight?”
Deryn made a quick survey of the surroundings, and pointed to the highest tree she could find. “That one. Come on, I’ll race you!” she shouted, and broke into a dead sprint for the oak a hundred yards away. Her longs legs carried her to the base of the tree, slowing just soon enough not to run into it. Alek followed short seconds later. They both took great breaths for a moment.
“I need a warning next time, dummkopf,” he said around wheezes. “Totally, completely, unfair.
“Aye, I’ll remember that.” she grabbed the first branch and swung herself up, Alek in quick pursuit. Soon the two of them were swarming up the tree like they were ratlines, the limbs swaying under their weight. Deryn lunged for a branch, but somehow her aim was off and her hand missed. Alek had taken hold of the same one, pulling it down. A curse escaped her mouth as she plunged toward the ground--and felt a tug on her leg, swinging her body around, barely avoiding a head bashing. She was stunned, speechless.
“Deryn!” His voice came from above, full of terror. “Deryn! Are you okay? Did you hit anything?” he cursed, “Did I catch the wrong leg?”
She took a shaky breath. “No, I--I’m fine. Thank you.” He grabbed her other leg and she climbed with her arms until she was above level, swinging her feet onto a nearby perch.
“I’m so sorry, Deryn, I didn’t see you. You could’ve been hurt, and I would have never--” his voice quavered uncontrollably, the color on his face completely drained.
Deryn chuckled shakily. “Silly how this sort of thing gets us worked up. How boring our lives are. This would be just another day on the Leviathan, nothing to worry about.”
“Are you sure you didn’t get knocked in the head?” He was still being so fearful. She squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep breath. She was about to reassure him that she was fine when she felt a sharp pressure on her mouth. Her eyes flew open. Alek was smiling now. “It worked when you did it.” Deryn’s mind shot back to the night on the Leviathan when Alek had fallen and hit his head, and they’d made their vows to never keep secrets from each other, or give the other’s secrets away. When she’d kissed him to keep him awake.
She took a halfhearted punch at his shoulder, “You knew I was fine. You just wanted an excuse for that, you ninny.”
“That’s complete nonsense,” he said, and kissed her again. “I merely found and opportunity and took advantage of it.” with that he clambered up the tree the rest of the way, stopping every few seconds to make sure she was following. The top branches bent under their weight, and Deryn could see the unease on Alek’s face mixed with awe. “You were right.”
“About what?”
He leaned back, gazing at the sky. “It is kind of like we’re topside.”
“Aye, it is. Look! Over there, an airbeast!” she cried, pointing. It was passing to the right, and though it was not as grand as the Leviathan, she imagined the Clanker engines rumbling on it’s sides, and even Newkirk in the huxley ascender floating lazily above.
“Hmm. Yes. There certainly is.”
“Certainly,” Bovril echoed gravely. Alek put his arms around Deryn, holding her steady as they watched the beast pass, remembering their days on the ship.

Story Shuffles!

Sorry in advance if some of these aren't the greatest.

Disclaimer: I Did not create any of these characters, nor do I own them in any way. Scott Westerfeld does.
Jump then Fall- Taylor Swift
“Honestly, Mr. Hohenberg, it’s not as hard as you think. All you’ve got to do is jump.” Deryn watched from across the crevice with mild amusement at Alek, who simply refused to leap over the gap between the two roofs. It wasn’t that far, really, only a yard or two. Any airman could make the jump easily.
Of course, Alek wasn’t an airman.
“And what happens if I don’t make it across?” he eyed the empty space with a sort of suppressed terror, as if it were just waiting to swallow him whole.
“You’ll fall, I assume. Now hurry up! Sneaking out was your idea, after all.”
“Yes, but I figured we’d just climb down a trellis or something.”
“What fun would that be, you daft prince?” she tapped her foot impatiently, “We haven’t got all night! Back up and run at it if you have to!”
He took one last look behind him and went a few paces from the ledge. Deryn hadn’t realized he would make this skulking about business so hard. Life at the Zoological Society had been uneventful so far, and they needed an adventure. What better way to do that than climbing over the rooftops to spend a night on the town?
She readied herself to catch him as he took a running leap across. Deryn grabbed his shirtfront to keep him from tipping backwards, pulling him towards her. The two of them stumbled back, and he fell on top of her, his weight crushing the breath out of her in a choked laugh. “It seems I’ve fallen, Miss Sharp.”
Clocks- Coldplay
Where could that girl be? The clock on the wall had drifted five past the hour, then ten. Alek was beginning to lose hope. Fifteen.
He sighed as the door opened and Lilit stepped through, followed by Dylan.
“God’s wounds, that took long enough! What kept you?” he said in German.
“The printer stalled, and we had to fix it, Prince.” Lilit watched him with a cool distaste, as usual.
“Aye,” Dylan held up greasy hands, “Your Clanker contraptions aren’t so hard to figure out. I twisted a few wires and it’s as good new.”
Alek knew the boy was thinking about what fabricated creature could have done a better job. He saw how Lilit watched him with a fierce admiration, and her cheeks flushed a little every time Dylan talked to her. Did the boy realize the way Lilit felt?
If he didn’t now, it was only a matter of time.
Hey, Soul Sister- Train
Deryn could feel her heart beating wildly in her chest. Calm down, you ninny! she ordered herself, but it did no good whatsoever. She hadn’t seen her brother since she joined the airservice, and that had been over a year ago.
So she waited at the train station for him, Alek and Dr. Barlow waiting on a nearby bench and Deryn bouncing around almost as much as Tazza.
Finally--finally!--his train pulled in, and the hiss of steam filled the platform. She kept her eyes open against the sting, hoping for just a glimpse of him through the windows. The doors opened and people began pouring out, forcing Deryn to the side. Where was he? Her heart leapt as she saw a flash of blond hair, identical to hers, and she was pushing her way through the crowd to him.
“Oi! You!” she shouted at him. He turned and a giddy smile spread across his face; he was as happy to see her as she was him. She smothered him in a bear hug right there in the stream of people, tears welling unbidden in her eyes. Blinking them away, she pulled out of the hug. “Hey, bumrag.” she said jokingly.
“Hey, sis.”
Dead Man Walking- The Script
He was going to die. He accepted the fact. There was no way out of the situation.
The fire in her eyes had been the first sign that he’d stepped too far. God’s wounds, he was such a dummkopf. But it was so easy to forget sometimes!
“Take it back!” she said icily. In some ways it was worse than if she’d been yelling at him.
“I didn’t mean it, I swear! I just--” he swore in German. She had pulled her rigging knife out of her boot. “No, please, Deryn! I believe you!” he pulled at the ropes tying his arms together behind the chair.
The knife flew through the air, straight at his head.
“See? Told you I could,” every ounce of anger had disappeared from her face, replaced by smug triumph. Alek blinked. No searing pain, no blackness, nothing. He was alive!
Deryn untied the knots and hauled him to his feet. To his amazement, the knife had sunk centimeters deep into the wood of the wall, right above where his head had been. In the center of the target, the “o” in “York” from the paper, The New York World.
“I--” he was about to say he should be dead, but then he really would be, “seem to have learned my lesson.”
She yanked the blade from the wall. “And what lesson is that, your Princeliness?”
Alek sighed. “Mess with Deryn Sharp and your a dead man walking.”
If it Kills Me- Jason Mraz
He’d had enough. Seeing her as the avenging angel at the New Year’s Eve costume party had been the last straw.
With alcohol buzzing through his brain and the message lizard suit hiding his face, he found her. He grabbed her by the arm and pulled her unceremoniously into the hallway.
“What is the meaning of this, Count?” she sputtered.
He pulled off his lizard head and looked her straight in the eye. “Dr. Nora Darwin Barlow, hear me out. I love you.” he said the words carefully, deliberately, but with the utmost passion and meaning.
The woman stepped back, appalled. “Excuse me?”
“I. Love. You. I don’t know how to make myself more clear, Nora. I love you!”
“Clearly you are drunk, Count. This is absurd.”
“Fortified,” he corrected her, “And there is no mistake in my words. I love you, and you love me too.”
“I have a husband!” she cried indignantly.
“But you still love me. I don’t care if you have a husband, Nora, nor do I care if he is the most fearsome man in all the world. Somehow, some way, I will find a way to you, or die trying. I promise, even if it kills me.”
For the First Time- The Script
The bed creaked under their combined weight. Deryn supposed it should feel awkward, being on a bed with Alek now that they were--oh, how to phrase it--seeing each other, but it didn’t. Something about it just felt so barking right.
He laughed at something she said and cracked open the bottle of wine they’d borrowed from the boffin’s kitchen. He took a swig and passed it to her, and Deryn took a long draft.
“God’s wounds, woman! This has got to last us a while!” he snorted and pulled it back from her. She fixed him with a challenging look and he shook his head, but drank some more anyway.
The night passed in a blur, the candle on the nightstand burning itself down to a squick. They talked, mostly, and before they knew it the first rays of light were peeking at them through the window. Had they really been there so long?
Suddenly she felt the burn of tears in her eyes, but a smile spread across her face. So this was love. She, Deryn Artemis Sharp, was in love for the first--and oh, God, how she hoped the last--time.
Safe and Sound- Taylor Swift (Attempt 1)
The fire was everywhere. It crawled up her arms, leaping to everything around her.
No! No, please! Not again...” she pleaded with it, but it didn’t listen to her, just continued to eat away at all that she had left. “I thought I’d escaped you!” she cried, wishing the fires would just go away. They followed her everywhere, even here into her new life with Alek.
Oh no. “Alek!” she screamed, but he was already gone, the flames had taken him away, leaving her alone like they always did.
“Deryn? Deryn, wake up!”
There were tears streaming down her face, and she reached for him blindly, craving his solidness, the reality that he was still there, still alive. “Don’t leave me alone, don’t ever leave me, please.”
“It’s alright, Deryn. I’m here. It was just a nightmare. You’ll be okay. Just close your eyes, Deryn. I won’t let you go.”
“Don’t ever leave me alone.”
“I won’t. We’ll be together, safe and sound.”
Bad Day- Daniel Powter
Newkirk kicked at the leaves, scattering them in a flurry of brown.
“What’s got you in a rut, Mr. Newkirk?” Dylan came up behind him, somehow knowing he was in a rotten mood.
“I’ve had a barking awful bad day, Mr. Sharp. A bad week. Nothing is going right--”
“And that won’t fix itself all on it’s own.” The boy fixed him with a hard look. “You need to do it yourself. When you have a problem there’s no way to get it solved except to barking do something about it. Come on, Mr. Newkirk, I don’t need your carrying on about it, so let’s go have some fun instead. A dead good time, we’ll have, and you’re going to like it.”
“That sounds like a threat to me.”
“Consider it a promise. Now hurry, before all the good shops close for the night!”
Safe and Sound- Taylor Swift (Attempt 2)
The ground was shaking. At first they had been small tremors, but they had grown larger steadily. Alek could feel it on his bare feet as he rushed to Deryn’s room. Another blast came, and the chandelier in the dining room clanged against itself. He pushed her door open and rushed to the bed, finding her shaking worse than the floor. She looked at him, face pale and tears gleaming on her cheeks, and he gathered her into his arms. “Come with me, Deryn, we’ve got to get to the basement.”
This wasn’t the first they’d heard of the bombings, but never before had they been this close. Dr. Barlow had warned them before she left on a mission that the Clankers would be targeting London soon, but Alek hadn’t thought it would be this soon.
Don’t you dare look out your window, darling, Alek pleaded with the girl silently, everything’s on fire. It was the one thing that terrified Deryn Sharp.
They scurried down the hall and under the trembling chandelier to the basement stairs. He led her to a corner and their they huddled, watching the dust fall from the ceiling with each new bomb. Alek tried to look brave as he brushed away the tears streaming down her face.
Her wide blue eyes met his as the ground shook more violently. “Don’t leave me here alone.”
“I’ll never let you go,” he assured her. “Just close your eyes. The sun is going down.”
She nodded and took a deep breath. Alek leaned his head onto hers, kissing her hair.
“You’ll be alright,” he breathed. “No one can hurt you now. Come morning light, you and I’ll be safe and sound.”
Science & Faith- The Script
The daft prince just couldn’t get it through his barking head. He kept prattling off blether about providence and destiny, and it was giving Deryn a headache.
They were in the middle of one of their long debates of science versus faith sitting atop a large tree and watching the stars. As usual, the two were stalemated, until--
“You can’t find faith or hope looking down a telescope,” he glanced at her, daring her to argue.
“But you can--”
Alek pointed to the sky. “You won’t find heart or soul in the stars.”
She shoved his shoulder playfully, and caught his collar as he began to fall back, pulling him upright toward her.
“You can break everything down to life strands or chemicals,” he said breathlessly.
She laughed, shaking her head, and finished for him, “But you can’t explain a love like ours,” and leaned in and kissed him.