So. This began from Bilge Rats & Puppets. That is: in Bilge Rats and Puppets, you have Evil?Charming and DeckHand!Hook(*) in a situation where they are completely in the control of an Evil Snow White.
And then I was thinking “so what if this was in Fae Apoc?”
Which meant deciding how I was getting them into a situation where they were from separate “groups” (in this case sects of Ellehemaei) and then getting some evil queen’s hands on Charming’s heart —
Wait, not actually in Once Upon a Time, getting some Evil Queen to Own Charming and Hook, or rather, David and Killian.
This is set, thus, in Fae Apoc in the middle of the apocalypse. It should be readable without knowing that setting, however.
Charming looks like Charming from Once Upon a Time and his characterization is based on that character – and on the character in Puppets and Bilge Rats, the fic which inspired my Bilge Rats and Puppets.
Hook – Small Fry – is based on DeckHand!Hook more than normal canon Hook – here’s the gifset I referenced in Bilge Rats.
(*) See https://fanlore.org/wiki/! to explain the trait!Name style of naming. I put a ? in Evil?Charming’s name on purpose because it’s not clear either in canon or in the fanwork whether Charming is actually evil, and in my fic he is not particularly evil. And here is another link on the same topic.
Okay, once again I have written an entire fic’s worth of introduction. Have at!
The rubble hit Charming in the head while he was still trying to stop the blasted wyvern from eating a police officer. He had managed to get the thing pinned down, a piece of rebar through its neck, but it was still moving.
He missed fights that weren’t in the middle of downtown and didn’t involve massive swarms of wyverns.
He missed not seeing more than one wyvern in a month and he definitely missed not having to protect civilians who were trying to protect him at the same time.
“Watch out!” someone shouted. He aimed his Force shield over and around as many civilians as he could while the wall came falling right into him.
The rubble hit him in the face; he went down still trying to shield as many people as possible.
He wasn’t even supposed to be here. He’d been pulled through with the Gargantuan’s retinue, even though he wasn’t a fighter, wasn’t even all that good at that many Workings.
But: “You can do that translation thing,” they teased him, and though it’d been the most useless Working back home, here in this weird world, it was actually useful.
Which meant he was actually useful, which he was finding he didn’t like as much as he thought he would.
There were humans screaming everywhere, and the Gargantuan wasn’t exactly the most compassionate of souls, even under normal circumstances and definitely not in this haphazard chaos of an invasion. (Invasion! He’d never heard of invading another land, and here they were, running rampant.)
He saw the Gargantuan’s hammer hit the building – the Gargantuan was used to a home that allowed for his wide swing – and had time to shout “watch out” before the whole thing came down on him.
“Hey, faerie boy.” Charming woke to a sensation like being stabbed with a burning-hot rod. His eyes flew open.
HIs vision was blurry, but he could make out, at least, the woman directly in front of – more like on top of – him.
“Yeah, you.” The woman smiled down at him – if you could call it a smile. She was wearing what looked like the remains of a business suit that had seen better days – considering the whole area, that wasn’t surprising – and a vicious smile. “We saw you stab that wyvern that brought down the Watson Tower.”
Charming swallowed, trying to get enough moisture in his mouth to talk. His legs were pinned, but he didn’t think anything was broken. His wings felt mashed, maybe one of them sprained, but they only ached. There was blood dripping over one of his eyes and his head felt as if he’d dropped a building on it.
Since he more or less had, that seemed fair.
“So we know you’re fae, and we figure, the mess our city is in right now is all your fault,” the woman continued, before he could work up something to say. She gestured around. “All this magical damage. It’s all a fae problem. And we believe you should do something about it.”
He managed to focus on what the woman was holding just as she jabbed him with it. A tree branch. A tree branch that burned.
Shit, who had told the humans that hawthorn and rowan were poison?
“You’re going to say exactly what we tell you to say and nothing else, do you understand?”
Charming managed a nod, although it was difficult. His head was splitting apart.
And there was a human pointing a stick at him.
A deadly stick.
“You’re going to say you belong to us. To me,” she added, more quietly. As Charming’s vision started to come back into focus, he could see there were a number of people around her, all of them staring at him.
He didn’t stand a chance.
Someone had told her what to do. Now the question was, was she actually fae, or would the words hang in the air and not do anything?
“Don’t think too long.” The prod with the stick burned like his blood was on fire.
He swallowed again. “Temper—”
The stick jabbed right into his shoulder. “No!” she snapped. “No, none of that. The words you say are that you belong to me, or I will shove this stick in your mouth next, understood?”
He swallowed and nodded. There was nobody else around, was there? His team had been on him not to go out on his own but there’d been people in danger.
And now he was in danger and there was nobody to bail him out.
“I belong to you,” he whispered. He wasn’t sure there was another choice.
“Yes, you do. Now, let’s see. Do not do any magic without permission, stay within line of sight of me until I tell you not to, and, oh, of course, do not attack me. Understood?”
He gulped as the orders started lining themselves up like bars around his soul. The Belonging had taken hold. That meant she was fae. That meant he was stuck. Fuck.
“Yes. I understand.”
“Good. Now help me get this other guy out of the rubble, would you?”
Warning — this section and the next discuss how Hook loses his hand. Sorry!
Consciousness came back in a wave of pain.
Small Fry opened his eyes and closed them again just as quickly. He was half-buried in the rubble and his left -hand – he was pretty sure there wasn’t much left of it.
He’d have to get out from the rocks before he could do anything about that, and he couldn’t work Earth to – in this case literally – save his life.
He opened his eyes again and, squinting, tried to find anyone he knew. Gargantuan? He’d be hard to miss. Anyone?
There were some people – some human-types – around, moving the rubble. Maybe he’d get lucky and they’d mistake him for human. He focused on the Masking thing that the fae around here did – sure, he’d learned how as a teenager, every fae did, but back Home he hadn’t needed it, except when he wanted to pretend his Change was something more exciting or less fragile.
After a moment, he managed – he thought – to make himself look human enough, although these people had such a boring range that it was hard to tell if he was in it or not. He whispered his translation spell again, trying to hear what was going on. He could cover all the nearby minds easily, except one, and he made the extra effort to hear what that one was saying.
Humans, he had found in his few days here, had no protections against Workings, nothing guarding their Minds or their Emotions or even their bodies. No wonder Gargantuan and the others wanted to take over this place. All you needed was a couple basic Workings and everyone would be bowing at your feet.
If you liked that sort of thing.
Small Fry thought that maybe, when this was over, he might settle by some water here with a small – a crew, that was it. A few people, not worshipers, but a team. He might just sit in the ocean and ignore all this humanity and all their screaming. He would, whatever he did, get away from Gargantuan and everyone like him.
He started moving rocks with his good hand – the hard way – lifting them, rolling them, pushing them. The damn building was half on top of him, and almost all of it was over his left hand.
When he got a big piece of building rolling he was cheered – until it rolled right on top of the rubble on his hand and arm.
He couldn’t even begin to stifle the scream.
He had to – he had to turn off the pain, no matter how bad of an idea it was. He had to shut off his nerve endings for now.
He began to croak out the Working. It wasn’t his best set, but he could do it. “Tempero – Tempero tlacatl Small Fry gamma-“
Something sharp hit him in the throat, sharp and burning, and Small Fry passed out.
He woke up to people talking in a language he didn’t understand. Shit. His translation spell had gone when he lost consciousness.
Someone was poking him with something burning, and the pain in his hand was unbearable. He didn’t think he could stand to look in that direction. He looked up, instead.
There were two people. The woman was aiming the stick at him. Hawthorn or rowan, it had to be, and she’d just pulled it back. It had blood on it. His blood.
Small Fry was pretty sure he was going to vomit, but he knew enough medicine to know he shouldn’t vomit into an open wound. He rolled over onto his side, ignoring his hand.
The woman with the stick barked at him. He didn’t understand a word of it. He held up his good hand, trying to express that – or anything to her. Maybe if he could just –
The stick was poking him again. He screamed and lost consciousness.