ptahrrific: Woman with a notebook (Default)
Erin Ptah ([personal profile] ptahrrific) wrote2012-06-28 02:02 pm

Fake News | Jon, "Stephen" | -PG-13 | Not Sure If Breakthrough + Snowflake + Pulpit

A sequence of ficlets written for prompts at [community profile] punditfic and [ profile] fakenews_fanfic.

Blanket Disclaimer: #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement. Characters belong to the Report. Names of real people are used in a fictitious context, and all dialogue, actions, and content are products of the author's imagination only.

Title: Not Sure If Breakthrough
Series: TCR
Rating: PG
Cast: Jon/"Stephen", OC
Prompt by [personal profile] kribban: The personal notes of Jon and "Stephen's" marriage counselor.

Patient 1 ___J. Stewart (49)__________
Patient 2 ___S. Colbert (47)__________
Length of marriage ___2 yrs 4 mos____
Issues ___Infertility Constant conflict___

Week # __1__
Talked subjects thru standard forms. S completely filled "other information" space with accusations - unsettling. J wrote, quote, "If he writes anything here that sounds too weird to be true, it probably is. You'll get used to it."

Professional duty: no taking sides. Remember, abusers often sabotage credibility of victims.

However, admit to struggling w/legitimacy of "summons mice to cupboards w/telekinetic pwrs just to annoy me."

Week # __2__
J: "Every time something works out, you take all the credit. Every time things go wrong, it's somehow my fault."
S: "Exactly! Don't you feel better now that you've admitted it?"

Re-evaluated considerations re: abuse. Encouraged J to employ reality testing. Reply: "I'm not the one disconnected from reality here!" Encouraged J to take deep breaths.

Week # __4__
Tried to instill habit of I-statements.

S: "When I get yelled at for cutting up curtains to make a fashion show for my Emmys, I feel slighted and unappreciated. And so do my Emmys."
J: "When I hear that my opinions are less important than the fashion sensibilities of a chunk of nickel-copper alloy, I feel like dumping them in the Hudson."
S: "When I hear my sense of self-actualization invalidated with such judgmental blah blah other therapy words, I wonder why I married such a meaniehead."

Week # __6__
S spent entire session crying. Professional estimate: 82.7% crocodile tears.

Week # __9__
Priorities exercise. J: "If I could change just one thing about our relationship, it would be that Stephen would stop accusing me of plotting against, attacking, and/or secretly hating him every time I ask him not to do something."
S: "Is this another of your gambits to stifle my freedom of self-expression?"

S: "If I could change just one thing about our relationship, it would be that Jon would come home early more often."
J: "It would? Stephen, I didn't realize...if that's what you want, sure. I can do that. It'll take some arranging, and it won't work out every day, but a couple days a week? I can swing that."
S: "Really?"
J: "Yes, babe. Really."
S: "Awesome! In that case, the new just one thing I would change is that Jon would let me get a pet elephant."

Week # _11__
J: "Dammit, maybe I want to be the irresponsible one sometimes!"
S: "Well if you want me to be in charge, why don't you just say so? Is it because you don't trust me?"
J: "It's because last time you were in charge of something you nearly stole an election and I ended up crashing a zeppelin!"
S: "Now that is not fair. Just because I've crashed eight pre-World-War-I aircraft to date doesn't mean it's my fault the one time you crash one!"

Not sure if breakthrough?

Week # __14_
Attempted to explore possible areas for repair in sexual connection. J and S both uncomfortable, unwilling to share. Reminded them that office is safe space, practice sex-positive & kink-positive. S turned red, J started sweating.

Note: explore this further.

Addendum, same evening. Just got a phone message from J. Paraphrase -- "At home we hardly ever fight, resolve most disagreements in good humor. Your office only place we argue. Afterward, go straight home & engage in rough angry sex &/or tender comfort sex depending on content of session. Fantastic either way. Point is, sex life excellent, no room for improvement. Hope this does not affect progress of counseling."

Of course not. $100s/hr not to sniff at. Future plan of treatment: memorize handful of stock phrases; interject at key points during S+J conversation; use remainder of session time to work on novel.

Title: Snowflake
Series: TCR
Rating: G
Cast: Jon, "Stephen"
Prompt: An image (at the end)

Jon should have known better by now. Opening any kind of drawer or cupboard or storage space at Stephen's studio was a hazardous experience, best carried out by trained professionals. But Stephen had insisted that he wait in the break room, the coffee pot was empty, and there was a neon blue Post-It on the door above it labeled "COFFEE." What could go wrong?

The instant Jon opened it, something stiff, metallic, and pointy nearly took his eye out.

He scrambled backward as the silvery spire popped forward, revealing other spires attached to its base, which wasn't the base at all because it kept coming. One of Stephen's creepy dimensional portals must have been holding the thing, and was now discharging it bit by bit: enough metal to form the frame of a mid-sized pup tent, and in almost as complicated a configuration.

Jon hid under the table.

There was a pile of glittery silver fabric with a couple of metallic plates sewn in attached to part of the thing -- the center, Jon realized when it tipped fully out of the portal and began to tip over. At this point it looked mostly like a giant fake snowflake, its diameter wider than Jon was tall. And were those...bits of tinsel? Some kind of demented Christmas decoration?

The demented whatever-it-was landed with a thunk with its side against the table, two of its radial spires having landed on the ground and wedged themselves against the base of the fridge.

Jon was definitely not trying another drawer for coffee. At this point, no one was even going to be able to reach the coffee pot anyway.

Playing it safe, he stayed under the table until a familiar pair of wingtips sashayed through the door. "Stephen! Hey, I'm down here. Sorry about the, uh...."

"My costume!" exclaimed Stephen. "You found it!"

Jon inched out from his hiding place. "Your...what?"

"My costume," Stephen repeated, pulling the snowflake to a vertical position, then reaching through the spires and holding up the fabric. "I was going to wear it at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics when I was up in Vancouver, but then I lost it! Where was it hiding?"

The fabric's true form struck Jon with Magic Eye suddenness: a leotard, the snowflake radiating from its back like a peacock's tail. It was about Stephen's proportions, even. On the other hand, it was strapless, and visibly designed for someone with cleavage.

"It was in the coffee cupboard," said Jon, still keeping a wary distance. (You never knew what else might fall out.) "Someone must have...uh...accidentally put it there." And by 'accidentally' he meant 'deliberately, in order to spare Stephen becoming a target of moral outrage for the very people whose approval he most desperately craves.' (Or was that too optimistic? It was just as likely to be 'deliberately, in order to annoy the horrible boss.')

"Well, that's stupid. How are people supposed to find the coffee? That explains why my interns are always so tired." Stephen squeezed past the costume, letting it go (it fell back against the table with a BANG that made Jon jump), and stuck his hand in the cupboard in question.

"Stephen, don't--!" cried Jon, too late. Stephen's arm vanished an inch or so past the end of the shelves; when he got all the way in it looked as if he'd been cleanly amputated just below the shoulder.

"Quit being a sissy, Jon. It's just quantum rearrangement. Make Neil Degrasse Tyson explain it to you sometime." He rooted around invisibly for a few moments, then lit up and drew his arm back. Clutched in his hand was what appeared to be a few strips of black cloth.

At least, until he held them up by the shoulders.

"And here's the costume I was going to wear when I went to Iraq!" enthused Stephen, displaying a slinky black Cher-style catsuit. "Now I know what I'm doing for Fleet Week this year! C'mon, Jon, help me carry this."

In spite of himself, Jon ended up lifting one of the snowflake costume's horizontal spires, the one nearest the door, while Stephen hefted the opposite one (the catsuit was hanging over it like the world's shiniest clothesline). "Uh, where are we going?"

"My office!"

"Not, uh, the wardrobe room?"

"Don't be ridiculous, Jon. I know I've aged well, but my youthful figure still isn't quite what it used to be. Can't give these to wardrobe until I know if they still fit, can I? You'll have to help me into the Olympics one, of course."

It was surprisingly hard to argue with. "Of course," said Jon, and, trying to look at least somewhat put-upon for appearances' sake, led the way.

Woman dressed as a snowflake?

Title: Pulpit
Series: TCR
Rating: G
Cast: "Stephen", family
Prompt: "Warning signs," specifically from [personal profile] politicette: "Something about baby!"Stephen" and how if someone (Charlene?) were paying more attention, they would have honed in on a specific incident or two and caught how miserable and unstable he was growing up to be."

Ed doesn't have time for this.

It's after the Easter service, when the gossip and the handshakes have wound down enough that they can start shepherding the family together, in order to head home for barbecue and more gossip. For the Colberts this has always been a production, and it's even worse now that half of them have partners to bring along, plus Jimmy's two moppets and Deb so big with Ed's soon-to-be firstborn she should rightly count for two already. This is no time for someone to go missing.

But missing Stevie is, which is why Ed is searching the choir room for his baby brother when he should be fussing over his wife.

There's no little boy to be found in the practice room, even in the closet full of enticingly fancy robes. Ed works his way through the back hallways of St. Sebastian's, grumbling to himself and checking doors. This passage leads to the sanctuary, pouring directly into the choir seats; he can't remember if someone else was sent to check under the pews, so he pushes through, just in case.

Finally: a stroke of luck. Stevie's standing on tiptoes behind the pulpit, on the velvet-covered footstool used by the kids who get called up to recite a prayer or light an Advent candle. His tiny cream-colored suit is half a size too big; by contrast, his polished black shoes look about to explode. Ed makes a mental note to confiscate them for the baby before Jimmy's wife catches sight of them.

The boy's chattering away like he's practicing for the priesthood. "Stevie! Quit yapping and get over here," snaps Ed. "We've all been worried about you." It's mostly true.

Stevie ignores him. "You're wrong," he informs the empty pews. "And you're wrong, an' you're wrong, and you're bad an' you need to listen so you can be good."

"I don't have time for this," says Ed. "Come on, Stevie, it's time to go home. Don't you want lunch?"

"Shut up!" yells Stevie, still looking outward, pounding on the podium with one little fist. "No! No, you shut up! Now say you're sorry or God will hate you!"

Okay, that's it. Ed crosses the distance between them and scoops Stevie up under the armpits, hoisting the kid over his shoulder.

"Lemme go!" wails Stephen, kicking and struggling. "Lemme go, Eddie, I'm busy!"

"Settle down!" orders Ed, giving him a light swat. "You had this coming. I told you it was time to go. Keep throwing a tantrum and I'll spank your butt, don't think I won't."

The boy quits thrashing. He starts crying, though, big gulpy sobs that make him that much harder to balance. Ed could put him down, but that might turn into dragging him, and it's easier to just suck it up until they reach the stretch of parking lot with the Colbert cars all in a row.

Most of the family has regrouped by now. Ed dumps Stevie in the middle of them as quickly as possible, before the women all set to coo over him realize he's not hurt, and flees for his pickup.

Deb's sitting on the edge of the bed, fanning herself with the program from the service. "Oh, good, you found him! Is he okay?"

"He's fine. Throwing a fit, that's all." Ed drops a kiss on her lips, one hand resting possessively on her stomach. "Ours won't be anything like that, of course."

There's the usual geometric shuffle to pack everyone in a car. Stevie ends up in someone else's, thank heaven. Hopefully he's stopped squalling by now, but if he hasn't, Ed won't have to deal with it.

Of course, if the boy does manage to cry all the way home, that'll be awfully long for a silly childish tantrum....

In which case Ed really doesn't have time for it. So it's a good thing all around that Stevie is now somebody else's problem.
politicette: (Default)

[personal profile] politicette 2012-06-28 06:52 pm (UTC)(link)
I still really love the first one and the whole idea of counseling-as-kinky-sex-ritual :33 Mah babies.

[personal profile] scissorphishe 2012-06-29 07:02 am (UTC)(link)
That line cracked me up too! And also the telekinetic mouse-summoning!