Posted in Criminal Minds, Hawaii Five-0, NCIS, Rule 63, Short Fiction

tBS: War Brides

Title: War Brides
Author: darkseraphina
Fandom: NCIS/Criminal Minds
Prompt: Rule 63

Characters/Pairings: Spencer Reid/Aaron Hotchner, Antonia DiNozzo/Steve McGarrett
Genre: historical AU (yes, really)
Word Count: 1990
Notes: So, I wrote a historical AU. And a Rule 63 story. At the same time. This is what happens when you spend time reorganizing a history section in a bookstore. I have no regrets. More seriously, I’m Canadian and that means that war brides are a large part of the post-WWII identity of my country; more than 40,000 brides from Britain and thousands more from Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, and other nations immigrated to Canada in the years after the war. Some faced poverty, others rural isolation; some faced abuse and suffering. And some made happy lives, despite the strange circumstances and the difficulties of a world recovering from war.

Synopsis: They were more fortunate than most, even far from home and soon to reach a strange country.



They were luckier than most.

It was an odd thing to think, hundreds of miles from home while on their way to a new country to meet husbands they hadn’t seen in years. They’d been at sea for days and the war was barely over.

Still, they were lucky for the war was over and they had survived as had the men they’d wed days before being sent to the front lines. Though they were sailing to a new land, it was one that spoke the same language as their own. Their families were an ocean behind them but they’d found a friend in each other to ease fear and homesickness.

Spencer leant against the railing of RMS Queen Elizabeth, watching the dark smudge of land along the horizon. She’d calculated their position based on estimated speed and her knowledge of nautical charts; they were past the coast of Canada and soon to pass Boston, the final leg of the trip between Southampton and New York.

“Almost there,” Nina said softly, round tones giving away her upper-class breeding. Spencer’s accent was pure London despite years at Oxford, first under the guardianship of her mentor, Dr Gideon, and later as a student of mathematics. It wasn’t her accent that had drawn looks then, but her age and gender; women were permitted within the hallowed halls of Oxford but only begrudgingly, and sixteen-year-old girls more so than most.

When war broke out it hadn’t mattered that she was nineteen and female to the War Office. Her gender was a blessing for once, as it meant one less man pulled from the front lines to do the work needed at Bletchley Park. Spencer had been challenged, by both the work and the people, but there was nothing she regretted from her time there.

It was at Bletchley that she’d met Aaron, an American army captain attached to the War Office as an interrogator. It was in the nearby village that she’d married him, two years after their first meeting and two days before he was sent to rejoin the Americans, seven weeks before Normandy.

It was September 17, 1946. Spencer Hotchner had last seen her husband in April of 1944.

She touched a creased letter in her skirt pocket. It was the last of many sent over the years, having arrived only days before she boarded the ship. “Yes, almost.”

Nina leant back against the rail, arms draped across it as she lifted her face; the sun was thin, but it was there. For days the ship had been battered by storms, forcing them to stay inside and many to battle seasickness. That wasn’t a problem for her, not after years spent flying everything from Tiger Moths to Spitfires.

She was the granddaughter of an Earl and Italian immigrants; raised amid grand rooms and manicured gardens and expected to marry well. The Paddingtons wished for a well-connected husband while her father wanted him to be rich. Antonia, called Nina, had never concerned herself with a wealthy life, only one that was hers.

When the war started, she hadn’t joined a women’s organization as a director, the way Peeresses and their daughters had; she hadn’t signed up as an ambulance driver like Princess Elizabeth. She’d joined the Air Transport Auxiliary and learned to fly.

It had horrified her cousin Crispian and worried her Uncle Clive, but Nina had done right by her country and enjoyed herself immensely. The work was hard and dangerous, but they’d made the most of every day, and even more of the nights.

It was on such a night that she’d met Steven, a Navy officer. They’d been celebrating in the pub and he had offered a truly terrible line only to make up for it by buying a round. He’d also known how to dance, which Nina found terribly attractive in a man. They’d been married a month later.

When he’d been sent to Sicily, she’d gone three months without a word; more than once she’d found an S. McGarrett on the casualty lists but always of a different rank or nationality. The letter that finally arrived had mentioned that he’d been ‘a little shot up, but fine’ and little else. Her blistering response had threatened to set the mailbag on fire and ensured he’d never gone more than two weeks between letters again.

A child ran by, obviously enjoying some time above deck, mother following and calling in French. Nina and Spencer grinned; as they both understood French, they caught the woman’s creative scolding. Of the hundreds of women and children on board, less than half were English.

“Are you frightened?”

“Running into a Jerry on reconnaissance while you’re flying with empty guns is frightening.”

“Nina.”

“Terrified,” she admitted. “And you? I’ve more time to wait, but you’ll meet Aaron again soon.” Having been discharged, Aaron lived in the Capitol as a barrister. The trip to New York was only the first part of Nina’s journey; she would take a train to San Francisco, then another ship to Honolulu.

“His mother is going to hate me,” Spencer mumbled.

“Probably,” Nina said cheerfully, ignoring Spencer’s frown. “A posh bird from another country who stole her lad’s heart and left him to pine all this time? Fortunately, your husband doesn’t live with his mother. Think about how many women on this ship will be living in the same house as their mother-in-law, and be grateful.”

“I’m grateful he lives in a city, one with libraries. I like a ramble in the countryside as much as anyone,” Spencer admitted, “but I’m not interested in living there.”

“Countryside means something quite different for us than Americans, but I agree; the first thing I asked Steven when he asked for a dance was if he was a farmer.”

“Nina.”

Unashamed, Nina shrugged. “Better to be rude than to fall in love with a man whose life would make you miserable. Don’t frown at me, you had the sense to marry a barrister.”

Since it was true, Spencer only asked: “Are you packed?”

Many war brides carried only a single bag with them as they joined their husbands, but they were more fortunate. Nina’s family and Spencer’s husband both had money enough to pay for passage rather than depending on the government. Instead of only what they could carry, they were able to bring all their belongings.

Well, most; Spencer would have to wait and have her books sent by packet later.

“I’m ready to get off this boat as soon as we land,” Nina agreed.

The waters grew busy as other vessels became more common; fishing and transport, steam and sailboats grew numerous. The decks grew crowded with women and children who watched as their new home grew closer. Crewmen made the rounds, warning of the coming landfall. A few left to gather belongings but most stayed, waiting and watching.

“Oh,” Nina said quietly beneath the shouts and cheers in multiple languages; Spencer clutched the railing. The Statue of Liberty was larger than they’d expected, rising above the sea and city beyond her. Her face appeared solemn and kind.

As they drew closer to port, both women retreated to their berth to collect their suitcases and their composure.

“How long to unload the baggage, do you think?” Spencer asked as they descended the gangplank; around them, chaos reigned. Spencer gripped the handle of her suitcase as she watched the exuberant greetings and kisses playing out. There was a crowd of onlookers and even photographers nearby, and wasn’t sure if she was grateful not to be part of the spectacle or saddened; there was still a train journey to Washington D.C.

“In this? At least an hour, then we’ll have to arrange to get the trunks on the right trains.” Nina eyed the crowd with a faint smile and dark eyes, for it reminded her of the Victory Day celebrations, right down to the sailors dipping women back in enthusiastic kisses. “We might find a place to sit, or better still, to have a bite to eat.”

“You can still take the train to Washington, and then go to San Francisco from there.”

“Spencer, I doubt either of you wants a house guest on your first night together since D-Day.”

“You can find a hotel if you insist,” Spencer cajoled. “You were of staying a night here before going on; why not Washington?”

Nina linked their arms and drew Spencer through the crowd. “We’ll see. You know what I’m looking forward to most?”

“Not in public, Nina,” Spencer blushed.

“Do you know what I look forward to almost as much as that? No rationing.”

“Sugar for tea,” Spencer sighed. “Bacon for breakfast.”

“And fruit instead of jam. Steve told me that you can buy pineapples and bananas in every greengrocer on the island.” It had been years since she’d had a banana, and only ever canned pineapple. Even oranges had been rare since the war began, the risks of shipping too great for luxury items. Apples and fruit from gardens and hedgerows made into preserves had been the order of the day.

A letter describing Hawaii was carefully folded among many in her case and while Steven was quite awful with words, he managed to summon some eloquence in writing as well as private moments. Lush green forests and crystal blue seas, white sand and warm sun; he obviously loved his home.

“Spencer.”

She glanced around at her name; it wasn’t common and was usually someone calling a last name rather than her. This time, however . . . “Oh.”

Nina chuckled and took her case from her hand, then gave her a little nudge. “Go on, then.”

“He wasn’t supposed to be here.”

“Well, go tell him that.”

It was odd to see him in a dark suit rather than a uniform, but his face seemed the same. A few creases near his eyes and a scar on his jaw that she could see up close, but otherwise as the picture in her pocketbook showed. And just like she remembered, he showed little of what he thought in his face and everything in his eyes.

“You weren’t — what are you doing here?” she managed then blushed. Hardly a warm greeting.

Aaron smiled. “I missed you.”

She took the last few steps and wrapped her arms around him; his came up to hold her tightly. “I missed you, too.”

Nina smiled and turned away to give them privacy, though she doubted they’d do anything half so demonstrative as those around them. Spencer described her husband as restrained, and she was rather contained as well. Around them, husbands and wives, parents and children were still connecting as the business of unloading a ship went on around them.

She and Spencer were the lucky ones. For every kiss, there was a stilted greeting; for every warm hug, a loveless one. Nina would lay a pound for a pence that at least one woman here had been widowed and not yet gotten word, and was now without husband or money in a foreign land. Plenty had married in haste and would now have time to repent, and there were surely men who’d all but forgotten they were married.

Spencer’s husband was speaking quietly in her ear and, based on the women’s blush, it was something loving or carnal. Nina rather hoped it was both for Spencer was charming and so terribly serious. Regardless, there was no repenting there. As for herself, Steven’s letters were as full of wistfulness and longing as ever, so she didn’t think he’d forgotten her. She would go to the other side of the world and make a home with him and, if it didn’t work, she had three hundred pounds hidden in her case and a bank draft for more from her grandfather.

“Nina?”

She turned away from the crowds towards her friend, and let her stern husband take the luggage.

 




 

Note: Yes, I used Nina as a nickname instead of Toni. Context matters, and fashion changes. Try to picture a young woman, growing up in the 1920’s in Britain with an upper-class family being called ‘Toni’. And that’s before the whole ‘we’re at war with Italy’ element. Nina is a nickname for women’s names that start with N or end with ‘-nia’ and is well-known in Britain.

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Posted in Hawaii Five-0, NCIS, Rule 63, Short Fiction

tBS: Give Us A Kiss

The Big Short

Title: Give Us A Kiss
Prompt: Kiss
Fandom: NCIS/Hawaii 5-O
Characters/Pairings: fem!Tony DiNozzo/Steve McGarrett, John McGarrett, Victor Hesse
Word Count: 760
Notes: I did a Tony/Steve prompt fill earlier, so I suppose I genderbent my own story
Warnings: canon-typical violence

Synopsis: “McGarrett has good taste. Give us a kiss, sweetheart?”


 

John yanked futilely at his bonds at the sight of the woman that Hesse’s stooge dragged inside. Twenty years ago — hell, ten — he’d have not let some Irish gangster get the drop on him. Retirement had made him soft. Or maybe he was just old.

“Ah, there she is! Well, now,” Hesse eyed the gorgeous blonde up and down, “McGarrett has good taste. Give us a kiss, sweetheart?”

“I’d rather kiss a pufferfish, Victor.”

Hesse laughed. “Spirited, too!” And casually backhanded her.

She licked her split lip and raised a brow. “Really? Is that how they do it in Belfast, Vicky? I’ve had harder blows from wannabe wiseguys who only dream of making their bones.”

The Irishman jerked his head, sending his goon toward the laptop on John’s desk, and grabbed a handful of the woman’s hair before leading her to John.

“Let her go, Hesse — you already have leverage with Steve.”

“I do, old man, but then I thought — who’s more use, an estranged father, or a pretty new wife?” Hesse smirked and drew her closer. “And the I found out that you, lass, were coming to this fair isle, and I could get both.” Then he leaned forward and licked her cheek.

John growled and tried to lunge; Hesse punched him, hard, and he spat blood. “You’re a tough old man, McGarrett. Must be where your son gets it from.”

“Hey, Victor?”

“Yes, luv? Reconsidered that kiss?”

“No.” And she elbowed him in the face, spun, and jammed a sleek black stun gun into the side of his neck.

Hesse dropped like a rock and a small hideaway gun was pointed at the computer man. “Hands, now! Though I should just shoot him anyway,” she told John. “Bastard didn’t even search me, just took my cell phone. Fucking hackers, I swear.”

“You should definitely shoot him,” John agreed, “though maybe he assumed you couldn’t hide anything in that dress.” She wore one of those soft, floaty sundresses that made a man think of summer.

She shoved the hacker’s face into the desk, wrenched his arms back and yanked a zip tie over his wrists. “I’ve got a knife, too; I work for a Marine. Though, I know a woman who carries a small armoury with her everywhere but the shower.”

Hesse shifted moments after she’d hogtied him. John rubbed one of his freed wrists and glared down at him. “We could both shoot him.”

“It’s still an option. Toni DiNozzo.”

“Not McGarrett?”

Toni smiled; there was blood on her lip. “I’m a modern woman, John, and getting new ID is a pain in the ass — especially a badge.”

“I’m not sure if I should throw a luau or kick his ass. How long?”

“Two months ago — I got tired of his begging.” Then she shoved Hesse on his back with a sandled foot. “Comfortable, Hesse? Or should I shoot you in the knee to make my point?”

“Should have known McGarrett would marry a stone-cold bitch.

“Bet your ass, Hesse; Steve is the nice one. You’re going to give me everything, Vicky. Names, contacts, places — I’m going to wring you dry and take apart your empire piece by piece.”

He sneered. “Is that what you think?”

“It is. You know why? Because as long as you’re useful to me, NCIS will fight off all comers to hold on to you. Otherwise,” she smiled, “I won’t have any reason to refuse the Navy when they demand you. You came at a SEAL’s family, Hesse; you’re a dead man walking.”

And now the smug fucker looked wary; John was thrilled to see it. “You think McGarrett has the balls to kill me in custody? An unarmed man?”

“I’m sure your escape attempt would be suitable justification, but if I were you I’d be more concerned that he wouldn’t kill you. You put your hands on me, Hesse; Steve might just feed you your own dick. Unless . . .”

“Bitch.”

“Agent Bitch, Hesse. Victor Hesse, you’re under arrest.”

After she’d read him his rights and John had called HPD and Pearl Harbour, Jack turned to his daughter-in-law. “So, dinner? There’s a place nearby that makes some of the best ahi poke on the island.”

“If there’s beer to go with it, deal.”

“Steve’s going to be pretty freaked out when he gets here.”

“About Hesse? Or us meeting?”

“Both.”

“It’s his own fault — I told him he had two months to tell you and Mary. Besides, I like to keep him guessing.”

Posted in Hawaii Five-0, NCIS, Short Fiction

tBS: Navy Spouse

The Big Short

Title: Navy Spouse
Prompt: Anthony Dinozzo, Jr
Fandom: NCIS/Hawaii Five-0
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, Steve McGarrett, LJ Gibbs, Danny Williams, Kono Kalakaua, Chin Ho Kelly, Meka Hanamoa, Victor & Anton Hesse
Genre: Slash, Action, Angst, Badassery
Word Count: 1520
Warning: canon-typical violence; retconning of the end of DADT; homophobic language
Summary: The Hesse brother decide that Steve McGarrett’s husband is a softer target than his father. That’s probably their first mistake.


 

“You should answer that — you don’t spend nearly enough time with your spouse. You wouldn’t want him to feel neglected, would you?”

Anton Hesse’s smirk made Steve want to stab him in the face, but the icy fist wrapped around his heart was making it difficult to breathe. He flicked the call button on his phone. “Tony?”

“Hey babe. You miss me?”

His husband’s voice was as calm and cheerful as ever. It might have been the start of any other conversation if not for one thing; Tony never called him ‘babe’.

“Tony, are you alright?” Continue reading “tBS: Navy Spouse”

Posted in Hawaii Five-0, Short Fiction

tBS: Jurassic Five-O

The Big Short

Title: Jurassic Five-O
Author: darkseraphina
Prompt: Steve McGarrett
Fandom: Hawaii 5-O, Jurassic World
Characters: Steve McGarrett, Danny Williams, Kono Kalakaua, Chin Ho Kelly, Owen Grady, Claire Denning, Zack and Gray Mitchell, Grace Williams
Genre: Action, post-movie, late night writing (which is so a genre, or at least a writing style), team-fic
Word Count: 1236
Warnings: This is what happens when you listen to old podcasts when reading character prompts. Poly. Dinosaurs.


Danny was still going, and Steve couldn’t blame him. Even the easy-going Chin Ho had found time to make some fairly aggressive comments; no surprise that his partner had reached a new orbit with his vitriol and hand-waving.

“ — and the next time the governor decides to reward us? Ask him what we’ve done to piss him off! In what realm of reality is a trip to an island full of the biggest predators in history a reward?”

Chin and Kono were nodding in solidarity. Both looked a little ruffled, a lot battered, and very tired. Kono listed slightly in her seat, and Danny absently propped her up.

“And really, these things aren’t dangerous enough on their own? Some moron had to go and start playing God? That thing was like one of those flip books, where you can mix and match animal bodies! Great for kids — Gracie loved those things — but not a legitimate science project!” Continue reading “tBS: Jurassic Five-O”