[Editor's Note: This interlude was co-written with Anjilly and originally posted in her journal. I've included it here for ease of reading.]
A nice, happy interlude between missions—no fandom knowledge required!
Disclaimer: The PPC belongs to Jay and Acacia. Singsong, Joyce, Brenden, and Anjilly are mine. Agents William Archer and Sabbat belong to guil_solo, who kindly let me borrow them for a cameo. Any candy mentioned belongs to its respective producer. Star Wars and everything having to do with it belongs to George Lucas. I did create the character of that one nurse Brenden hates, but I do not claim sole rights to her. If anyone ever needs a surly nurse for anything, by all means, go ahead and take her.
Also, many, many, many thanks to tea_fiend for her awesome betaing skills. ^_^
Brenden Sanderson's life officially sucked. He was confined to a bed in Medical for an indeterminate amount of time, the congealed Sue blood that had confined him to said bed had turned his skin a nasty pink color, that one nurse was on a suicide mission to make his life a living hell, and Anjilly, his dear, beloved partner, had the nerve to lecture him.
"Seriously, Brenden, you can't go around blowing things up like that."
He'd saved his home continuum from Anakin Skywalker's other daughter for this?
He'd gotten the job done, though, hadn't he?
"... and unnecessary..."
Right, and Anj had wanted to wait a little longer, letting the girl have her way with Wedge Antilles while they racked up more charges. Not to mention that she'd wanted to end the Sue's pathetic life with a quick blaster shot to the head. That was far too merciful.
"... and childish..."
So was the Sue.
"... and it needs to stop!"
Brenden sighed and stared up at the ceiling.
Anjilly chewed on her lower lip. "Look, I don't mind a few explosions in the field, but it doesn't end there! I mean, you melted the walls in that one corridor a week ago—"
"Hey! That was during the Sue invasion, all right? It doesn't count! Those thermal detonators saved our lives, and you know it!"
She frowned. "All right, then. In that case, how about the time you blew a hole in the floor from our RC down to the cafeteria?"
Before Brenden could defend himself—it took too long to get to the cafeteria, dammit, they needed a shortcut—that nurse came towards them, leading a pair of familiar figures. Brenden decided to take the opportunity to get his partner's attention away from him.
"Hey, look! It's Patches and the Mad Hatter!"
Anj blinked and turned around to see William Archer helping his partner, Sabbat, walk towards the bed beside Brenden's. Archer was impeccably dressed, as usual, while Sabbat was... not, unless having your shirt untucked, waistcoat unbuttoned, necktie undone, and only one boot on counted as fashion these days. Anjilly immediately brightened at the prospect of having someone saner than her partner around. "Archer! Sabbat! How's it going?"
Archer turned from where he was helping his partner onto the bed and saw her. "Oh, hello Anj. We're all right, though Sabbat's got a nasty cut—"
"Hurry and get him on the bed," the nurse ordered. "I need to stitch that up."
As the vampire hurried to comply, Brenden noticed that Sabbat's one trouser leg – over the foot without the boot – had been rolled up, showing off a clumsily wrapped bandage that was stained red. "Ouch, Hatter, what Sue did that to you?"
Sabbat growled as the nurse checked the wound. "Wasn't a Sue. It was the vampire's godsdamned pet."
Brenden raised an eyebrow. "What kind of pet would that be?"
"swenny tod's our mini-Razor," Archer explained.
"Our?" Sabbat repeated, wincing as the nurse stitched up his leg. "That thing's all yours, mate. Didn't like it even before it cut my leg open."
"It's not his fault – you should have been wearing boots."
"I know that! Godsdammit, I'm even wearing my boots in bed these days."
"So why weren't you wearing them?"
"Because I was in the bloody shower!"
"Guess it would've been pretty bloody, what with the leg getting cut open and all." Brenden nodded. Coming from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, he tended to forget that some words were used as curses in other cultures and continua.
"Well, mate," Sabbat said, looking over Brenden's new color scheme with amusement, "what in the hells happened to you? Someone mistake you for a lobster?" He grinned.
Brenden grimaced at the jibe. "Well, there was this Sue...."
"Brenden was a complete and utter idiot and flipping exploded her." Anjilly scowled. "Got Sue blood all over him. As you can see, the stuff stains." She turned to the nurse, who was finishing with Sabbat's leg. "How long did you say he'd be like this?"
"A few days. The epidermis needs to peel off," the other answered. "And I want him to stay in bed until he's back to normal—there's no telling what sort of consequences will come of being soaked in Sue blood." She finished with Sabbat. "You ought to rest a while, yourself. Stay in bed. You need anything, press the call button." And she left.
"I think she's lying," Brenden proclaimed. "You know she doesn't like me. I bet I'm good to go right now, and she just wants me to stay here so she can make my life a living hell."
"You smell like rotten candyfloss," Sabbat pointed out. "Not to mention the color...." He smirked. Brenden crossed his arms and scowled.
"Don't get me started on the kriffing color," he grumbled.
"Aww, c'mon," Anjilly smiled. "Pink isn't that bad!"
"Says the My Little Pony collector."
"...." Anj turned a very vibrant red at that and mumbled something under her breath. If one listened closely, one could hear something along the lines of "cute," "not that bad," and "they aren't all pink."
Archer, meanwhile, was steadily becoming more and more irritated with his partner, who insisted on vilifying swenny.
"Well, at least you were injured in an honorable way in the field, rather than getting ambushed by a psychotic mini in the shower," Sabbat was saying.
"Good point." Brenden nodded. "Did you have the Psycho theme playing, perchance?" Sabbat didn't look too amused. Brenden changed the subject. "So, other than getting your leg sliced open, what've you been up to?"
"Not much. Yourself?"
"Well, there's this nice new type of thermal detonator I've been dying to try out, but someone took all my explosives away when she dragged me to Medical...." He looked at Anjilly pointedly, who snapped out of her embarrassed state to glare right back.
"I feel your pain. That bloody nurse wouldn't let me bring my pipe in here." Sabbat scowled.
"Isn't she awful?" Brenden asked, happy to find someone who shared his sentiments.
Archer turned to the saner of his three companions. She was still glaring at her partner.
"So, Anj, other than Brenden's predicament, how are you?"
She sighed bleakly. "Other than this, not much going on."
"Tell you what—do you want to come for a drink with me?" Pause. Anjilly's eyes widened, Sabbat started laughing under his breath, and the vampire realized his mistake. "Uh... I didn't mean that how it sounded. Really."
Anj's sudden terror, however, seemed to have nothing to do with blood loss. "You mean we'd leave them alone? Together?! IN THE SAME ROOM?!?"
Archer hadn't thought that far ahead. "Well...."
"I'll keep an eye on them," the nurse said as she walked past. "No worries there." She parted with a threatening glare.
"All right, then," said Archer. "That's settled. Shall we go?"
Anj still looked uncertain. "Well... I don't really think...."
"You wouldn't leave me alone with that witch, would you Anj?" Brenden asked, trying his best to put on the wet puppy eyes and sound meek, and instead coming off as annoyingly pathetic.
Anjilly sighed. "Yeah, Archer, I think I'll take you up on that offer...."
"WHAT?!?" Brenden yelped as his partner left his bedside. "You're leaving me here with her?!?"
"You have Sabbat," Anj said over her shoulder. "I'm sure you'll be fine."
"Anj, the woman wants to kill me."
"Only because you're an idiot."
"Let's go," Archer said before the twosome could start fighting. "Later, Sabbat."
The other shrugged. Archer and Anjilly left Medical.
"So," the vampire asked, "Bleepka sound good?"
"Bleepka sounds lovely," Anj answered, rubbing her head. "And thanks. I – what are you doing here?" The question was directed at a brown-haired girl heading the opposite direction down the corridor, towards Medical.
"Oh, hi Anj," she said, popping some Skittles in her mouth.
"Singsong," Anj asked her friend slowly, "what are you doing here?" In the back of her head, she already had an idea, but she wanted to be sure.
"Well, I heard your jerk of a partner was in Medical, so I decided to pay him a visit." Singsong Jacobs shrugged.
Anjilly went into panic mode. "Well, that's nice," she said, speaking at about a mile a minute, "but it's really not necessary and all, he's doing perfectly fine and the nurse says he'll be ready to go in just a few days, so don't feel like you have to take time out of your busy day to go say hi—"
"Nonsense." Singsong grinned. "What sort of friend would I be if I didn't?"
"You'd better take her for that Bleepka," Singsong said to Archer. "She could use some time away from Sanderson, I think."
"Right," said Archer, thoroughly confused, but happy to help. "Let's go, Anj."
"NO! You don't understand – having Brenden and Sabbat in the same room is one thing, they actually like each other – BUT I CAN'T LEAVE BRENDEN AND SINGSONG ALONE TOGETHER!"
Archer wound up having to drag Anj down the corridor. "I'm sure they'll be fine...."
"NO! They'll try to kill each other!"
"Just another day in the PPC, then."
Singsong smiled to herself and headed on into Medical. Now that Anj was out of the way, there was nothing to stop her from making Brenden Sanderson go insane.
"What a great partner, huh, Hatter?" Brenden sulked. "She up and leaves me here in Medical to go get drinks with a vampire. And here I lie while she's out having fun, nary an explosive in sight, and a nurse who'd like to kill me."
"Not to mention the fact that you're pink."
"And you're confined to bed until that nurse says you can get up."
"And you could die from the exposure to Sue blood, and your partner wouldn't be here to say goodbye."
"Yes, that too – Oh, Force, what the kriffing hell are you doing here?!?" Brenden demanded as a new girl happily sauntered towards their beds. She stopped at the foot of Brenden's, quirking an eyebrow.
"Well, what sort of friend would I be if I didn't stop by to make sure you're all right?"
"You wouldn't be a bad friend, Dingdong; you'd be a polite enemy."
"My name is Singsong. My, you're quite an interesting color...."
"You look like.... What's the name of that one My Little Pony Anj has? Oh, yeah, Pinkie Pie. You look like Pinkie Pie."
"Pinkie Pie?" Sabbat repeated, looking amused.
"Don't kick a man when he's down." Brenden scowled.
"No, really, you do." Singsong smirked. "We just need to get some tinsel in your hair and paint some blue and yellow balloons on your butt and – ta-da! – you'll be a humanized My Little Pony."
Brenden glared at her. "That's nice. You can leave now."
"Nah. I think I'll stay."
"Be grateful I don't have my Z-6 on me, Dingdong."
She looked him over. "Wow, you don't have any weapons or explosives on you, do you? Guess the Medical staff learned their lesson last time you tried to escape...."
Sabbat looked questioningly at Brenden, who mumbled, "It would've worked if it wasn't for the stupid door...."
"Hmm," Singsong said. "Weaponless, confined to Medical, stuck in a bed, totally humiliated.... If it wasn't for the fact that you're Anj's partner, I'd totally take advantage of this situation."
Brenden sensed an opportunity to strike back, so he forced his eyes to widen to an unnatural degree. "My goodness, Dingdong, I didn't think you were into that type of thing!"
Sabbat got it immediately, and he began laughing, but it took Singsong a moment. Of course, she was only all the more livid when she figured it out. "I meant I'd kill you, you idiot! Good Eru, I probably should kill you for that!"
"Would you all shut up?!?" the nurse asked as she passed by. "I've got a load of patients recovering from the Sue invasion over here – I suggest you let them rest in peace!"
"Why? Are they dead?" Brenden smirked.
Singsong glared at him. "Have some respect, Sanderson."
"Says the girl who slept through the entire invasion because she was too clueless to realize we were being invaded without a partner to tell her! Jeez, you're lucky Anj and I found Joyce...."
"Why you little – at least I didn't get my pay docked for melting half a corridor with thermal detonators!"
"It was a necessary action that saved many lives," Brenden insisted.
"Actually, Archer said that you and Anjilly were the only other people in that corridor, besides himself," Sabbat said.
"Well, if I hadn't've gotten them all right then and there, who knows where else they would've gone to wreak havoc?"
"I don't know. Couldn't you have just shot them all? Less mess, I'd think...."
Brenden scowled. "Whose side are you on?"
"My own." Sabbat didn't know Singsong all that well, as they'd only met two minutes ago, but he did still have to repay Brenden for that nickname.
"Say," Singsong broke in, grinning, "if you don't want to be Pinkie Pie, you could be Rarity. You know, the pink unicorn? We could find a horn somewhere and glue it to your head...."
"Would you please leave?"
"Or maybe you could be a Twi'Lek, from your home continuum. You like those, don't you? And they come in pink...."
"There are pink creatures in your home continuum?" Sabbat asked.
"I don't like the pink ones," Brenden mumbled. "Blue, red, and green are okay, but the pink ones... no. Just no."
"Oh, c'mon, don't be racist. What's the name of that one Twi'Lek Jedi girl you like? Alley... Ayli... Aayla. Aayla Secura, that's it."
Brenden was silent at the mention of his lust object, and was suddenly glad that his skin was pink. It was good for hiding the blush. He didn't want Sabbat to be more amused than necessary.
"Is this Aayla girl pink?" Sabbat questioned.
"She's blue," Brenden said, defending his LO as best he could in his embarrassed state.
"We could just put some of those head-tail things – what're they called? Lekku? – on your head. I'm sure she'd fall all over you," Singsong went on.
"... A Jedi shall not know love," Brenden quoted, scowling at her.
"Well, you've got the personality to be a Gary Stu—"
"WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?!?"
"You are a bit of an egomaniac...."
"YOU CALLED ME A STU?!?"
"Oh, calm down."
"I WON'T CALM DOWN!!!!!!!!" Brenden exclaimed, spewing punctuation. "I REFUSE!!! HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A SITHSPAWNED GARY STU, YOU DIRTY LITTLE—"
Brenden's rant was cut short as his eyes suddenly glazed over and he fell back against his pillow, eyes sliding shut. Singsong and Sabbat watched as the nurse pulled her tranquilizer needle out of Brenden's leg.
"Visiting hours are over," the woman declared, looking pointedly at Singsong.
"But... there aren't visiting hours here... it's a sort of come-and-go place...."
"Out," the nurse ordered.
"Fine," Singsong grumbled. "Nice meeting you, what's-your-name."
As Singsong left, the door to Medical burst open and Anjilly dashed in, closely pursued by Archer as she rushed to her partner's bedside.
"Anj!" Archer exclaimed. "Do you want a drink or not?" He'd been dragging her down the hallway until she'd managed to break free and run back to Medical, shouting that she had to make sure Brenden and Singsong were okay.
"ALMIGHTY VALAR, SHE KILLED HIM!!!" Anjilly shrieked, shaking her unresponsive partner. "Brenden! Brenden, can you hear me?! Speak to me! Come on! Don't die on me now—we've been through so much together! And I haven't gotten to apologize for that time I shoved you through a portal to Alagaësia because you were getting on my nerves!!" She collapsed on his chest, sobbing.
Archer looked at Sabbat worriedly. "Is he really dead?"
"No, the nurse tranquilized him."
Anj perked up at that. "She tranquilized him? That's it?"
"Oh," said Anj, getting up and brushing herself off. "You'd think I'd be used to it by now...." She sighed. "I need a drink."
"I thought you did," Archer nodded. "Let's go. Again. Later, Sabbat."
And thus, Sabbat was left alone in his section of Medical, with no one for company but a comatose explosions enthusiast and a surly nurse. Still, he supposed it was better than the mini-Razor back in the RC.