ptahrrific: Jon and Stephen, "Believe in the me who believes in you" (fake news)
Erin Ptah ([personal profile] ptahrrific) wrote2011-07-13 12:16 am

Fake News: It Came From Beyond The Stars And Stripes (4/4)

Title: It Came From Beyond The Stars And Stripes (4/4)
Characters/Pairings: Jon/"Stephen", Olivia, alien OCs
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: (skip) mortal peril
Disclaimer: #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement. The Report characters and their universe are property of Stephen Colbert, the other Report writers, and Viacom. The real person(s) are used in a fictional parody context.

Jon and Stephen deal with the emotional aftermath of Jon's operation. Ideally, they wouldn't have had to do that while Olivia and Jon were also facing the climax of the fight for humanity's place in the universe...but hey, you work with what you get.

For the record, this hits "unexpected pregnancy" (in the wildcard square) on my card for [community profile] hc_bingo.

Full story: Table of Contents




~*~


Stephen didn't look up when his cell door slid open.

If the Committee was having trouble with his presentation, that was their problem; he rarely knew how to deal with Jon himself, and that was after more than a decade of practice. And if it was a concerned friend, he was plenty comfortable falling asleep at his desk, thank you very much.

"Go away," he clicked. "Leave me alone to wallow in my misery."

"English, please? Unless that was alien for 'fuck off', in which case, suck it up and deal."

Stephen sat bolt upright. "Senior Hot Girl Correspondent!"

"I have a name, you know," said his visitor. Just as well; she had been too long away from foundation, not to mention a comb, to do the Hot Girl thing properly. "Olivia. Say it with me now: O-li-vi-a."

"How are you even here?"

Olivia held up her iPhone. "Your AI gave me a map program to show me around your spaceship. All I had to do was plug in the schematics for the moonbase, hack the lock on the door, and not run into anyone on my way over."

Stephen tried to crane his neck to see behind her without being obvious about it. No sign of Jon. He couldn't remember if that was what he'd hoped for.

"We also hacked our way to watching the end of your presentation," continued Olivia. "That was clever, the bit you did about the cars. Jon was pretty impressed."

"He wasn't supposed to see that." Stephen rose to face her down, though his legs felt ready to buckle under his own weight, as if someone had turned up the artificial gravity just for him. His tentacle hovered over the desk's main wallscreen: switch it on, and he could have guards here in under a minute. "He wasn't supposed to be impressed, or flattered, or hopeful. He was supposed to suffer."

"The surgery did a number on him. Can't eat, standing makes him dizzy, poor guy can barely move without nasty stomach pain. That make you feel better?"

To Stephen's surprise, it didn't.

"Yeah, that's what I thought," said Olivia. It really wasn't fair that Stephen's expressions were as transparent to humans as theirs were opaque to him. "Seriously, he's fine, but now we know you care. Just hear me out, okay? I get that you're upset—"

"You have no idea how I feel," hissed Stephen.

"Okay, fine! But no matter what you're feeling, in a couple of hours, your mission to Earth ends, right? Your bosses don't have any reason to send you back, and you get to stand trial, maybe end up serving time on the other side of the galaxy. If you don't make things right with Jon before then, you might lose the chance forever."

Stephen's tentacle fell to his side. Even if her guesses about UP procedure were wildly off, she was more right than she knew. "It'll never work. Anyway, it's not enough time."

"At least go talk to him. Please. You'll never forgive yourself if you don't try."

"I can't!" He strode forward and swung his fist at Olivia's face—she dodged sloppily, but he wasn't aiming for a punch, he was thrusting the cuff in front of her eyes. "You think this is just a fancy WristStrong bracelet? Even if I wanted to see him, I can't leave this room!"

"Do you want to see him?"

"I don't know!"

"Do you love him?"

"Yes!"

"Then quit waving that thing in my face and sit down while I figure out how to mimic the signal."


~*~


The screen had been left on a feed from a camera trained at the world outside, leaving the wall splashed with the five-foot-wide image of an airless crater underneath a black night. They were on the wrong side of the Moon to see the planet, and if the sun was out, it wasn't in the frame. All he could see was an endless vista of stars.

It should have been breathtaking, and all Jon could do was stare through it, expecting every second to be interrupted by some kind of alarm. Or an explosion. Or a guard bursting through the door with a handcuffed—or, worse, phaser-burned—Olivia in tow.

He shook his head, splashed some water on his face, and tried once more to focus. Even if he couldn't pick out so much as a familiar constellation, something in that sky was calling to him.

After all, one of those tiny points of light was Stephen's.


~*~


"Ready...set...now!"

Olivia lowered the desk, its full weight coming down on the tracking cuff with an understated crunch. When Stephen pulled his hand away, the cuff's remains hung loosely on his wrist, its panels dented and its obnoxious little light fizzled out.

The noise had overshadowed her scanner's modest beep, and from his awkward position on the floor Stephen probably wouldn't have noticed it anyway. With a grin Olivia turned it to face him, one word resplendent in the middle of the screen: Transmitting.

"Now of course this has to stay here," she added, as Stephen got to his feet. "If I show you the map, will you remember the way?"

"Aren't you coming with me?"

Olivia hugged the gadget to her chest, aghast. "And leave my scanner alone? Never! Besides, I can pull the ol' decoy-under-the-covers trick." She nodded to the untouched pallet in the corner of the cell. "That way, if anyone comes to double-check on you, they won't find this place empty."

Even with his unreadable faceted eyes, Stephen's trembling lip told her more than enough. "You're a good human," he said, holding out his tentacle. When Olivia met it with a handshake, he pulled her into a jittery three-limbed hug.

Stephen recognized the place on the map instantly, and the corridor was empty when he opened the door. He looked back to mouth the words Thank you one last time; she waved to shoo him onward.

As soon as the door was closed, she parked herself in the beanbag chair at Stephen's low desk and aimed her scanner at the largest screen. "Now we're talking. From now on, all your base are belong to me."


~*~


When Stephen, unaccompanied, burst into the room, everything Jon had planned to say flew out of his head. He shrugged off the blanket and stood in wordless greeting.

Since the broadcast presentation, Stephen had lost both the crispness of his UP uniform and the preternatural stage presence that could have made it seem authoritative anyway. Jon felt as awkward as his visitor looked—especially since he was now sure he had been dressed in one of Stephen's suits, or at least a copy printed at the nearest replicator without changing the measurements first. Even the bare curves of Stephen's thighs didn't tip the balance, especially since Jon knew firsthand just how unsuggestive that was.

It was Stephen who broke the silence: "Are you happy now?"

"You're going to have to be a lot more specific," said Jon weakly.

"You know exactly what I mean! Now that you've had the—" He waved his tentacle vaguely at Jon's stomach. "Now that she's—"

"She's what? Did she survive?"

That brought Stephen up short. "The doctor didn't tell you?"

"Nobody's told me anything," said Jon. "Whether I'm supposed to move around yet or not, whether I have stitches in me or what, what happened to my original clothes, whether you're going to end up with a kid, whether they even realized you wanted to, or...or anything! They've given me all the tender consideration of a pet cat you brought in to be neutered. Hell, I could've been neutered for all I know. They didn't say!"

"That wasn't right." Stephen's voice was firmer here: on solid, uncontested ground. "I...I'm sorry they did that. It must've been...scary, and confusing, and...they shouldn't have done that."

A humorless laugh stuck in Jon's throat. "Not much worse than how I've felt for the past month."

Stephen blinked several times. "Really?"

Jon nodded. He didn't feel like elaborating.

"They would've used biosealant," said Stephen quietly. "On your intestines where s-she was attached, and on your skin and tissues where they cut in. It'll heal up in about a week if you don't exercise hard enough to tear it. The doctor put her in an incubator, where she lasted...i-it'd be not quite two hours. That's all they did. You can go on and—and father all the future b-babies you—"

When it became clear he wasn't going to finish, Jon said, "I'm sorry too."

"Well, it's a little late for that now!" cried Stephen.

"That's not what I mean!"

Fighting a shiver, Jon wished he had kept the blanket on. What was he sorry for, anyway? Producing functional sperm? Not thinking to ask about alien birth control? Letting his vibrant, charming, impossible co-worker catch his eye in the first place?

"I'm sorry I couldn't handle this," he said at last. "And that you had to find out in maybe the most traumatic way possible, when the last thing I wanted to do was hurt you, even for a second. If things had been different—if I had been different—but I wasn't. And I'm sorry."

After a fragile pause, Stephen said, "I—"

"—this thing on? Sweet!" broke in a familiar voice, as the moonscape was replaced by the Giant Head of Olivia Munn. "People of Earth, your attention please!...I have always wanted to say that."


~*~


Every television broadcast and every FM station, every high-tech satellite linkup and every backroom ham radio, plus an indeterminate proportion of cell phones and probably a couple of microwaves, surrendered itself to the same stream of audio and, when possible, shaky handheld video.

"So I know these are not great production values, but cut me some slack," said Olivia into the camera, "because I'm broadcasting from the Moon. Specifically, a secret alien moonbase located in what we call the Daedalus Crater. Hi, Mom!"

She allowed herself a wave and a flash of teeth before pointing the lens at the wallscreen she'd loaded up with satellite data. "No scenery, because I'm in a room that didn't come with windows, but these are the heights and current GPS coordinates of everything they've got in orbit. Check them out, but don't shoot any of them down, okay? There's no weapons here, I swear.

By the way, I caught a news item that me, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert were all reported missing. Well, you can all quit worrying, because they're up here too, both safe and sound last time I checked. Much as I would love the bragging rights, I wasn't the one who made first contact. Although I was first in the Agency, so suck it, Kearney!

"You've managed to make a copy of this by now, right? Because I'm gonna move on to some schematics that I want our best engineers to get working on ASAP...."


~*~


Though Jon's expression could have been shock and awe, Stephen was in no mood to err on the side of charity. "You set me up!"

"Only a little," said Jon, the reflections of classified UP data shining in his jelly eyes. "Stephen, please, believe me, I meant everything I said."

"How can you ask me to trust you now?"

"You're one to talk about trust! You were planning to mindwipe us!"

"Not necessarily!" When Jon gave him a sharp look, honesty compelled Stephen to add, "Only if the committee ruled humanity wasn't ready to find out about us yet. But you are! I argued that very persuasively. They would've come around!"

"And what if they didn't?" demanded Jon. "And what even gives them the right to make that call in the first place? It's our planet. It should be our choice!"

He broke off as the audio feed echoed with the sound of booted footsteps.

"They'll be here next," said Stephen, heart sinking down to his chest. "We need to get out of here. The Professor's quarters are only a couple blocks up, we can surrender from there, she won't let them shoot—"

"I'm staying."

"What?"

"No hard exercise, remember?" Okay, that had to be sad resignation. "It's okay. Go ahead. I knew the risks going into this. But you didn't, and I didn't call you down here to get you shot on my account. Go."


~*~


Olivia had heard plenty of stories about people who felt an eerie calm when they heard death approaching.

If only she could have been one of them.

"So, uh, I think this thing is the principle behind an FTL drive," she said, voice raised to cover the humming at the door. "A bunch of the concepts don't translate, but I'm sure you can get something useful out of it. Sorry about the racket—I jammed the electronics on the door, so they're lasering their way in."

The metal panels began to hiss; heat poured off them, filling the room. Olivia was starting to feel like a chicken in an eccentrically-furnished oven.

"I'll get a shot of whatever species that is, if I have the chance," she said, pushing a lock of hair back from her sticky forehead. "Lemme give you the next round of equations first."


~*~


While the sizzling of the jammed cell door echoed over the speakers, the door of the human pen opened with glassy smoothness, letting a handful of troops charge through. One !'^''*', one of the four-armed people, two of the walking sticks of celery. All wielding appropriately-sized phasers.

Jon ignored them. The military !'^''*' snapped something like an order; he didn't bother trying to figure it out.

He didn't care about anything right then except the !'^''*' wrapped around him.

Stephen's embrace was at once desperate and gentle, not putting any weight on Jon but clinging, fingers digging into his shoulder blades and tentacle winding around his thighs. "Didn't want you hurt," he choked, paying the guards even less attention than Jon was. "I mean, I did—but not really—nothing you wouldn't get over."

"Wasn't sure for a while," admitted Jon, caressing the ridges of his spine. "But I know that now."

"Won't let them hurt you. Have to—have to go through me first."

He would have put up a paltry defense in that state, and they both knew it, and Jon didn't care. "I know, babe. Thank you."

"And it's good—" He was shaking now, trembling from head to foot. "If you couldn't have her, it's good you're okay, that she wasn't your baby girl yet—"

It was the acknowledgment Jon had shied away from: afraid to give Stephen another emotional bludgeon against him, afraid that it would fuel Stephen's anger, or, worse, be an admission of guilt that he wouldn't recover from. Only now, with Stephen tumbling into the unsteady space between them, did he find the strength to reach the rest of the way.

"But she was yours," he finished.

With a squeak like a rusty hinge Stephen sagged against him.

He wasn't sure whose legs gave out first, but somehow they managed to sink to their knees together. The guards seemed to have backed off, respectfully quiet except for one of the celery people, and even it was talking softly into the gadget on its leafy wrist. On-screen, both the sizzling and Olivia's chatter had dwindled, leaving her to silently page through star charts.

"This'll all be sorted out soon," Jon said, as much to convince himself as anything else. "We'll get back to Earth, and you can leave this all behind and go see the rest of the universe. Maybe find a partner who'd love to bear your children, instead of being stuck protecting some schmuck who can't handle the idea."

With an effort Stephen recovered enough to shift the weight back to his own legs, though he didn't let go of Jon, nor Jon him. "Y-you think I'd lay eggs in just anyone?"

"Well—not anyone, no—"

"I don't want whatever partner will give me a baby," said Stephen faintly. "I want whatever babies I can have with you! Even if that means none. Even when I thought it couldn't possibly take, I wouldn't have laid in the first place if it hadn't been you!"

It had to be meant well, but Jon, for all his emergency reserves of Zen, had been whipped around by a galactic-scale emotional roller coaster and was running on a cocktail of synthetic soup and adrenaline. "God, Stephen, why are you telling me this now? Am I supposed to be flattered? Thankful?"

"You're supposed to quit brushing me off!" cried Stephen. "How can you talk about me leaving so casually? Didn't you care about me at all?"

"Don't ask that," begged Jon, hands twisting the shimmery fabric of Stephen's jacket. "It doesn't matter how much I want to keep you! Because you're not you—you're a slapped-together Bill O'Reilly mock-up whose reason for being just expired. Even if your real self stays on Earth, even if he's a wonderful person, he won't be you!"

A curious stillness settled over Stephen's form, as though Jon had absorbed all his shakes and quivers. He clasped Jon's hands tenderly in his own, cupping Jon's chin with his tentacle and tipping it upwards. Though his ruby eyes took in everything and could physically focus on nothing, Jon's shattered face was reflected in every shining facet.

"!♥♥♥~," he clicked softly. "It's me."

The screen burst into static, then went dark.


~*~


A starburst of soot framed the hole in the main monitor, belching smoke and spitting the occasional spark. Olivia stood well out of its way, certain the transmission had been cut off, aiming her scanner at the door just in case.

The phasers had done their part; the humming gave way to a series of crashes, slamming against the door's weakened metal panel. When at last it thudded to the floor, the battering ram turned out to be a battered table, hefted by a couple of guards who looked more astonished than menacing. Clearly, this had not been included in their training.

With a disorganized scramble they got out of the way to make room for a new arrival: a !'^''*' Olivia recognized from the transporter room, and the judging panel at the presentation. Thankfully, she hadn't come alone. She clicked something, and the gadget in her tentacle translated, in a voice that sounded, for whatever reason, like Helen Mirren: "It appears that we have misunderestimated you."

"You could say that," stammered Olivia. "I mean, assuming you had the English skills of a fourth-grader." Possibly not the most tactful angle to take, but her training hadn't exactly covered this, either.

"We are aware that there are gaps in our research," replied Helen smoothly. "And now that the United Planets has been...prematurely introduced...to Earth, those gaps become a liability we cannot afford. On behalf of the United Planets Species Relations Counsel, I, Professor @!!i^o^, would like to formally invite you, ohogesama Olivia Munn, to be our first interspecies liaison to humanity."

Okay, that was definitely not in the Agency's handbook.

"First things first," said Olivia. "Are my friends okay?"

"They are under some emotional distress, but physically unhurt. You have my word that their guards will not harm them."

"Good! That's a start. Okay." Her immediate worry lifted, Olivia started scraping together some slightly longer-term plans. "I accept your offer...on the condition that we all get some decent food, and a nice long shower each, and a good night's sleep somewhere that isn't locked. While you're setting that all up, let me explain a few things about Japanese...."


~*~


Epilogue
One Year Later

"You realize," said the UP Ambassador, after the first hour of inching through United-Nations-clogged traffic, "that we could have skipped this whole mess altogether if you had just let us bring a flying saucer."

His part-time human emissary sighed. "And you know as well as I do that the panic and chaos induced by flying something large and heavy around New York at street level would not in any way be worth shaving a few hours off your commute. Or did you lose memories along with the transplant?"

"It's called sulking, Jon," huffed the Ambassador, leaning against the limo's tinted window. "It's not supposed to be logical."

Jon slid across the black leather to his fellow diplomat's side. "You know," he said, running his hand up a thigh which he knew to be its natural bluish-grey under the tailored suit, "there are better ways we could pass this time than sulking."

The Ambassador sat up straighter. "Are there now."

"There sure are." Jon hooked his fingers around the coiling tentacle. "For instance..." He unfurled its full length to pull it close. "...we could..." He twined the end around his palm. "...review the details of the Langley Orbital Lunar Waste Aggregation Treaty." He slid a sonic iPad, its screen bearing the text of the treaty, into the tentacle's grip.

"You're no fun."

"...And if you demonstrate that you know all the details, then we can make out."

When the limo finally arrived, Stephen knew the treaty backwards, forwards, and upside-down. He also knew Jon backwards, forwards, and upside-down; but the waiting throng of reporters was mostly interested in politics, handshakes, and tentacleshakes, which he obliged as best he could.

"Ambassador!" exclaimed one plucky young correspondent, sticking a mic in his face. "What do you say to the criticism that you've never repaid the United States for the decade you spent living here as an illegal alien?"

"Olivia," said Stephen frostily. "Was that your hoverboard I saw double-parked on the way in?"

Olivia did a double-take, then rallied. "Oh, no you don't. Fool me once, shame on you..."

"...fool me twice, shame on me," finished Stephen, because he could. "And my answer is that ten years of being the world's greatest American should be payment enough for anyone. All right, that's it for questions! We've got a future to build, here."

He turned to Jon, who had kept a few paces behind him, and took the man's hand to pull him forward.

"I'll see you all at the press conference after," he assured the crowd. "And you better cover it fairly, or this guy will tear you apart tomorrow."
fenellaevangela: text: Kirk & Spock & Bones & some guy in a red shirt. (Default)

[personal profile] fenellaevangela 2011-07-14 12:48 am (UTC)(link)
Going in to it, I never expected quite so much action and general sci-fi adventure from this fic. It was a pleasant surprise to find it! In this part in particular I liked Olivia's surprise broadcast to Earth, that was fantastic. Oh, and the epilogue made me giggle :-P

Bentley again!

(Anonymous) 2011-07-18 06:10 am (UTC)(link)
I love your work. I love the way you portray Jon and Stephen; you capture them so well that hardly a quote seems out of character. I read your work for S/J but I relish it for the fascinating stories and fast-paced plots.

The scene in chapter one, the couch scene -- it turned me on! Gay sex with alien Colbert! Who would have imagined. But it also made me laugh out loud. How do you DO that?

I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed your graphic story, The Eagle of Hermes. And your Blue series of S/J drawings. And the chici one, OMG, the D/s one where there are two Jons and two Stephens.

This is the wrong place for this missive, and I apologize. Brevity, like profundity, continues to elude me.
phantomcranefly: The Tenth Doctor, with text:  "Why, oh why do I never learn to ascertain my time-space location on arrival?" (Default)

[personal profile] phantomcranefly 2011-07-27 03:09 am (UTC)(link)
Aww, this is wonderful! I especially love Olivia's awesomeness.

(And genrequeer, if it is not a word yet, should totally be one.)