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31 March 2010 @ 06:35 pm
Fic in honour of sugar-fey  
Happy Birthday sugar_fey! I hope you're having a fantastic and wonderful 21st bithday :oD I know usually you get some happy Wash/Zoe from me, but I wanted to try and so something a bit different, since this is a special birthday and all.

Title: Insert Key In Lock
Rating/Warnings: PG13
Length: 1,515 words
Fandoms: highlight to view *Harry Potter, Firefly/Serenity, Dr Who, Buffy/Angel*
Summary: The important thing is that keys make doors open. (Multi-fandom fic in which characters turn twenty-one.)

Insert Key In Lock

She's read that, unlike in the Wizarding world where a person comes of age at seventeen, in the Muggle world it varies, although for most purposes in the UK it’s eighteen. Either way, Luna has already been considered an adult by most societies for some time, even if she's not always treated as such. Turning twenty-one still seems to be a special occasion in the Lovegood household.

Daddy tells her that it's time for her to receive 'the key to the door'. She assumes that this means the key to their home, which according to Muggle tradition is symbolic of her becoming a kind of 'senior' member of the family. A proper adult and not just a young adult.

(She's also receiving her own desk in the newly purchased offices for The Quibbler, a jar of Practagoria scales, a copy of the latest new edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, her mother's wedding ring, and the recipe for the best scrambled eggs and banana concoction ever invented.)

Luna likes to think that she is an open-minded individual who does not form assumptions. A key to a door could be any key to any door. She wonders what a key made just for her would look like and what lock it what fit.

The important thing though is that keys make doors open.


Zoë turns twenty-one on a battlefield. She's a career soldier, fighting since she was old enough to enlist, and before that fighting for the right to when her large, nomadic family refused to let her put her life on the line for territory, for dirt and earth. Always fighting. This is just another day of it. It’s a milestone though, becoming another year older. Another year survived.

The rattle of gunfire sounds to her right and she hunkers down in the trench until it stops, before peering up out of the glorified hole dug in the mud and over the shallow mound of sandbags that line the edge. The uniformed bodies to either side of her stay down and she doesn't blame them. It's all too easy to confuse what's safe with what's right.

She wonders if they count their years. The months, the weeks, the days. The minutes. Do they count winning as the end of the next battle or having survived it?

She raises her riffle, the last weapon she has left, as a figure comes racing towards her, and then lowers it slightly as she recognises that the brown of his uniform is the actual colour and not just a mud covering. He's splattered with plenty of that too, their new Sergeant Reynolds, transferred from the 34th or the 75th or whichever battalion managed to lose only half their troops at Craigsdown. She hasn't seen him for sometime today and had thought they'd lost yet another over-eager officer, but here he comes, grenade in one hand and pin in the other. He tosses it back over his shoulder with a yell and keeps on coming.

"You know what'd be a real nice present right now?" he says, just moments after launching himself into the trench next to her. "Zoë, right? What I'd really like, Zoë, would be some more of those grenades. You have any of those?"

"That would a no," she tells him, keeping her eyes and riffle focussed on the battlefield. "Sir."

"Now that's a pity and a shame." Zoë can hear him shifting around next to her and see him out of the corner of her eye, trying to wipe the worst of the mud off his face with an equally muddy coat sleeve. "How 'bout some soap?"

He's informal and somewhat amusing, and he comes to crouch next to her rather than hiding at the bottom of their pit. She thinks she might come to like this one. Maybe.

"Seeing how it's my birthday today, sir, I think it should be you giving me a present actually."

Reynolds laughs and his hand comes into her field of vision to slip a grenade pin into her coat pocket.

Some people, she thinks, probably don't count at all.


Okay, so he's still wearing the black leather jacket, but Rose has never seen the Doctor in a suit and tie before. Black trousers, black shirt, black tie with a silver TARDIS tie pin. He's still the Doctor though, a goofy grin on his face as he aims his sonic screwdriver at something purple and square-ish on the ship's console.

"Hey," she says, resting her elbows on a railing and letting her hands dangle. "You didn't tell me it was a special non-jeans wearing day. What’s the occasion?"

"My birthday! Twenty-one today."

He prods the purple thing and it hums happily. She guesses that means he's fixed whatever it was that needed fixing. Unless broken parts of the TARDIS are meant to sound happy.

"Hang on. I thought you said you were nine hundred or something?"

"Well, yes. I am." He pockets the sonic screwdriver and leans forward to adjust a monitor. "But I'm also twenty-one. This time around."

"Oh! I get it." She grabs hold of the railing and leans backwards until holding onto it is the only thing stopping her from falling. "You're always twenty-one, right? Every year, when anyone asks. Mum was like that 'till I told her I wasn't that bad at maths."

"Not really, no. It's more something that happens to me. Every so often. I'm twenty-one in this body."

Rose pulls herself upright and walks over to stand next to the Doctor, so she can see what's so interesting about the monitor that he can't seem to look away from.

"What? So you're some kind of body-snatching alien? Should I be worried?" She nudges him in the side with her elbow. "Or don't you go for girls?"

"Cake." He turns to smile at her, wide and happy. "We should have cake. It's traditional. And I know the perfect place. With really great cake."

"Let me guess. Banana flavoured, right?" Rose lets him steer the conversation wherever he likes, nudges him again with her elbow, and grins. "How many candles are we putting on it, then?"


He celebrates every century, would celebrate every year too if he could remember the date. He likes celebrating. Twenty-one is a special number though, like eighteen, thirty, seventy-five. It just is. Might not be anymore in whatever passes for society or culture these days, but when it comes to what he thinks about birthdays, it just is.

"Twenty-first century to twenty-one centuries," he says out loud in the empty workshop. "Bugger, I'm old."

"Living forever means being old for a long time."

Spike glares at the legless robot he's trying to complete. The head is already finished. He likes something to talk to whilst he's working.

"You're not meant to be a philosopher, love."

"I think old people are sexy."


He pats her on the arm and starts grafting what will be a thigh muscle onto the nervous system wiring. It's about two hours later and he's just finishing the second calf when Xander strolls in.

"Y'know, you and robots? Kind of creepy."

"Only 'kind of'?" Spike seals the last connector before turning to face him. "Must be losing my touch."

"There is no such thing as inappropriate touching," says the robot. It’s nearly done, but there's no kind of skin covering yet, just the inner workings. It wriggles forward to the edge of the work bench and flexes its new muscles.

"I still can't get over how many of those you sell, and for how much money," says Xander, shaking his head. "Seriously."

"Pays the bills, so sod off," says Spike. Not that he wants the only non-robot person he knows, really knows, to leave.

He'd always thought it'd be one of the others still around this long after. Someone with magic, or Angel, who Spike has never been able to get rid of and not for lack of trying. Hell, he never though that he himself would be around this long, soul or no soul, let alone one-eyed, still completely human Xander. For a given value of human, since Spike maintains there's got to be some reason he hasn't grown old and kicked the bucket.

"Found another Slayer today."

"They're everywhere," says Spike, "so it's not like that's difficult, is it?"

Except when it is, but this time it doesn't look like it was.

Twenty-one centuries and Xander is still looking for Slayers, explaining what it means to be them, initiating them into a whole new world of hurt. He thinks it's why he's still around, that maybe The Powers That Be, or whoever the higher-ups are who make that kind of decision, need him to keep on doing what he's doing.

Spike, though. Spike thinks maybe Xander is here to keep him doing what he's doing, to keep him holding onto his soul.

It's as good a reason as any.

"I come bearing a birthday present," says Xander. "Also, tasty liquids."

"Better. Now bloody well bring it over here."
feeling: sillysilly
sugar_fey: Buffy: fangirl momentsugar_fey on April 4th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC)
Oh wow, you wrote me fic!!!!!!!!! *tackle hugs you* One thousand thank yous!

I'm sorry it took me a while to read this, I've been out of internet range.

I love Luna, how her section is hopeful and dreamy yet at the same time melancholy, just like I always imagine her.

Luna getting her mother's wedding ring on her birthday makes me sniffle.

Luna likes to think that she is an open-minded individual who does not form assumptions. A key to a door could be any key to any door. She wonders what a key made just for her would look like and what lock it what fit.

The important thing though is that keys make doors open.

This section is absolutely beautiful, and fits Luna perfectly.

Zoe turning 21 on the battle field? Perfect for her. I like the idea that she's actually younger than she seems- most people write her much older, but I always assumed that the reason she acts to mature and adult all the time was because she was forced to grow up extremely fast. In my personal canon she's quite a bit younger than Mal, probably the same age as Wash.

You know what'd be a real nice present right now?" he says, just moments after launching himself into the trench next to her. "Zoë, right? What I'd really like, Zoë, would be some more of those grenades. You have any of those?"

Awww, Mal. Mal dialogue always wins.

Black trousers, black shirt, black tie with a silver TARDIS tie pin.

I want a silver TARDIS tie pin!!!!

What I love about this section is that the Doctor is so obviously the Doctor, and Rose is so Rose. You have a real gift for capturing characters' voices.

You wrote Buffyverse fic! Yayness!!!

I would really like to know why exactly Spike is building a robot. I agree with Xander, it's kind of creepy.

Oh wait, he's selling them. *slaps forehead* Makes sense!

I'm intrigued by why Xander would have an immortally long life. This presents possibility of longer fic! Yes please?

And one-eyed lonely Xander makes me sad. He needs a friend. Or he and Spike can hook up. Am I meant to get a slashy vibe from this? Because I totally do. *ponders Spike/immortal!Xander possibilities*

I love that Angel is still around and that he and Spike still hate eachother. Of course.

I love this fic so very very much. Thank you so much for writing it. *more hugs*
inkvoices: F:goingmadSimoninkvoices on April 5th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
*hugs and twirls you* Did you have a fantastical birthday? Did you did you?

I normally gift you the happy Wash/Zoe so I was a bit 'um' about this. Glad you enjoyed it! :oD

I always think of Luna as melancholy as well, floating through life somewhat.

Hmm, I think I shorten the Firefly timeline a lot more than other people. I see Zoe being as young as Wash, and the two of them getting married a year, maybe less, after they've met and Inara showing up on the boat not so long after, and then Serenity the pilot happening...so that by the time War Stories comes along Wash hasn't time to get over his insecurities about Mal and Zoe's history together yet, and in the Serenity comics he hasn't been with Zoe long enough yet for it to crop up that she was a Dust Devil and so on. But then maybe I picked up that pace from the show itself - one thing happens after another and fairly fast.

The minute I wrote that I thought 'do they have TARDIS tie pins? There needs to be TARDIS tie pins!'

I haven't attempted writing Buffyverse before because I've seen very few Buffy episodes. A lot of Angel, although not in the right order, which I'm currently correcting. I get slashly vibes between Spike and Angel in Angel 5. It's poosible that I have extended this to Spike and Xander. Hmm...

It's twenty-one centuries in the future and they have to eat. Well, one of them has to eat, but Spike's liquid lunches are easier to pick up legally when he has money. He's a fan of 'easier' in his old age. Plus, he's always gotten bored quickly. Gotten restless. Building the 'bots gives him something to do and it pays the bills.

Xander doesn't like them, never has. Spike thinks the fact that the first one he ever built, long ago, being in the image of Buffy might have something to do with it. Xander searches for Slayers as a living, though, and that doesn't pay. Never has.

It's easier for Spike to earn money. It's easier for Xander to move in with him and share it. Truth is, Spike likes the company.

Sometimes Xander moves out again. Spike is, after all, a vampire. He builds sex-talking robots for a living. He's killed a lot of people (in the past). He's (been) a bad guy. There's every reason in the 'verse for Xander not to want to live with him, but Xander always comes back. It's twenty-one centuries in the future and they're the only ones they know that knows how that is.

...okay, you have me written future!Buffyverse. Should I be worried now? *laughs at self*

I'm really please that you like it and that you think the dialogue works for all these fandoms, especially the ones I haven't written in before. *hugs*

ps. *hangs head in shame* Edited for bad spellings.

Edited at 2010-04-06 06:31 pm (UTC)