We're not superheroes, okay?

Codenames are for people who play games, and we're done being somebody's pawns.

pos: chill
Gertrude Yorkes arsenicmauls
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Griffith Observatory | Los Angeles, California | Wednesday Night Fandom Time
The Leapfrog touched down at the observatory and Nico charged out in front of the group, shouting, "You guys suck at blowing people up!" at the gang of neo-Pride nerds already waiting for them in front of a nondescript white van.

"What is that supposed to mean?" one of them asked.

"It means I picked up a few tricks when I was off-world," Karolina said, "like how to put up an impenetrable shield around my friends." As the pastel-colored magic began to swirl around their latest band of antagonists, she boasted, "Luckily, it works on enemies too."

"So the alien invades again, huh?" yelled one of them from inside the shield. "Mr. Wilder said the Abstract warned that you might show your face."

"Which is why we forged a sword out of the material that dampens your energy points," sneered another, unfolding what looked like one of those collapsible blades that Gert had seen in sci-fi movies.

Meanwhile, Gert's attention was drawn to the hideout itself -- while they were in the parking lot, the place was starting to burn.

"Geoffrey's in there!" gasped one of the nerds.

"So is Molly," said another one.

"We gotta help 'em!" Chase yelled, bolting toward the entrance.

Gert shouted, "Chase, wait!"

"You and Old Lace go after Leeroy Jenkins," said Victor. "I know how to handle gamers."

Gert glanced back at her friends one more time, then sprinted after Chase.

It was smoky and hard to see even before she made it into the building, but by the time she did, Gert tossed her glasses aside, since they were fogged up beyond belief.

Old Lace was whimpering, but Gert kept going, avoiding the flames and directing her sidekick to do the same.

"Chase?" Gert yelled. "Chase? Molly?"

Finally she saw some of the people she was looking for: two figures, who, once she got closer, she could identify as Geoffrey Wilder and Chase, with Wilder holding a knife to Chase's throat.

"Careful, Wilder," Gert said, straightening up and looking right at him. "Killing him would be the biggest mistake of your life. And I'm factoring those shoulder pads into the equation."

"Gert, get out of here!" Chase yelled.

"Miss Yorkes," Wilder said, very calm and collected for a guy in the middle of a burning building. "Give me one reason why I should spare this waste of DNA."

Gert's heart was pounding, but she ventured, "I heard you say you were looking for an innocent soul. Chase Stein is anything but."

"What?" Chase yelped.

Gert glared at him hard, urging him to catch on. "You know he's stolen vans, right?" she challenged Wilder. "And cheated on girls?"

"Please, those were just youthful indiscretions," Geoffrey said.

Chase, finally getting it, shoved backwards and insisted, "Trust me, I've done way worse stuff than that in my life."

"I don't doubt it, Chase," Gert said, trying to channel real malice into her voice -- malice she didn't feel. Whatever resentment she held toward Chase because he didn't return her affections was her own business; she'd never once held it against him, but that was what she was trying to draw from right now. "You've always been the least innocent of the Pride's kids. At least Alex loved his parents. You've never loved anyone except yourself."

She curled her hands into fists at her sides, willing herself to seem brave and confident for once in her life. "So go ahead, Wilder, slit his throat. But if you try to cash in his soul, I guarantee that check will bounce. Either way, the second you open my friend's jugular, just know that Old Lace here is going to open yours."

Finally Wilder moved his knife from Chase's throat, and Gert felt a rush of triumph until he said, "Then it looks like this round belongs to you, Gertrude. And so does this."

Then suddenly his knife was soaring at her -- and then it landed hard in her chest.

"Gert!" Chase yelled.

Old Lace roared in pain and Gert wasn't doing much better. She fell hard to the ground, Old Lace coiling beneath her to catch her fall, for whatever good it would do. Shit, that hurt.

Wilder was saying something Gert could barely hear, but she saw it when Chase punched him hard in the face, knocking him down instantly. That was the Chase she knew and loved. Then he was on the ground beside her, his hands on her shoulders.

"Don't try to move," Chase said.

He was blurry -- Gert didn't think it was because of the smoke anymore.

"Chase," she panted, trying to concentrate on something other than the searing pain in her chest. "We -- we have to work fast. When I die, my dinosaur will die, too."

"No, no, you're not gonna die, Gert! You're --"

"Shut up," she managed. "Old Lace and I share a telepathic link, but... but I think it can be transferred. Like the time I gave control of her to Alex..."

"No!" Chase insisted. "Old Lace was made for you! You guys have a... a bond."

It was a struggle to keep her eyes open and see his face when she said this, but she forced herself to look at him as she insisted, "Not as strong... as the one I have with you."

Chase dropped his hands from her shoulders. "But I thought you said you hated me."

"I think... I think maybe sometimes you have to lie to protect the people you care about," Gert mumbled. Her voice cracked as she asked, "How'd I do?"

Chase just shook his head, squeezing her hand. "Gert, you're gonna pull out of this," he said. "You're gonna get up and grow up and... and be a hero. Like you said. Like we saw when we met the you from the future."

Except she wouldn't. Gert knew that for sure now. There was something vindicating in finally being proven right about that, regardless of the circumstances.

"The future is a threat," she coughed. "Not a promise. I'll never become that woman."

"You don't know that!"

"Sure I do," Gert said, struggling to reassure him one last time. "She was boring. Chase, you know me." She squeezed his hand now, using all her strength. She knew she was fading, so she took one last second to will a final message at Old Lace: a new guardian, someone she could trust. "I need you to... let Bay take Old Lace back to Fandom," she said. "I'm giving her to Evan. He could use... someone watching his back."

Refocusing, she squeezed Chase's hand again and said, "So could you. I'm sorry I couldn't... be the one..."

She concentrated hard on rushing the words out, but they came slow and slurred, and then she couldn't get any words out at all.

[[from runaways volume ii, issue #18. nfb/nfi/ooc actually a little bit necessary tbqh. follows this, this and this. warning for [Spoiler (click to open)]character death. i'm very sad now.]]


CRYING FOREVER DAMMIT. *clings* I promise to take very good care of your dinosaur.

While crying. Forever. :(

I'M SORRY. AND I'M SORRY ABOUT MAKING YOUR TINY MUTANT SAD, BUT ALSO, E TOLD ME IT IS PERFECTLY NORMAL TO WANT TO MAKE TINY MUTANTS SAD.

HE PROBABLY HAS IT COMING TO HIM ANYWAY.

😭😭😭😭😭😭😫😫😫😫😫😫😖😖😖😖😖😖

Oh Gert. :(

Edited at 2014-05-01 12:17 am (UTC)

CRYING FOR A MILLION YEARS.

CRYING FOREVER NO GERT, DAMN IT CANON.

I WARNED YOU TWO YEARS AGO, KATIE. I DID.

OKAY IM WAITING FOR THE POST WHERE SHE COMES BACK FROM THE DEAD AND IS SNARKY TO EVERYONE. LET'S MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

knew it was coming but damn it all...

I WISH, MAN. I REALLY WISH.

God, Marvel has like VIRTUALLY ZERO PERMANENT DEATHS and my girl had to be one of them.

Can Barry at least CLONE Gert so he'll have someone to snark with? Please?!

?

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