rc45: (Default)
[personal profile] rc45
Title: Hotel Nights
Author: PumpkinQueen
Fandom: Bandslash
Sporked by: Trojie and Soulshadow
Notes: Actually the first fic that made Trojie angry enough to volunteer for the PPC.
Disclaimer: We have no connection to Led Zeppelin aside of Soul liking their music and Trojie being a Led-head and general fanatic. We have no connection to PumpkinQueen, her sick and twisted imagination, or the libel suit we’re sure will occur if anyone who actually IS connected to Zeppelin ever finds this fic. To PumpkinQueen; you are sick. If we were in Author Despatch you’d be eating Molotov cocktails right now.


Soulshadow tapped the side of her pipette, knocking the bubbles out. The aliquot was carefully measured, and she started to pour it into the flask, but a minor point nagged at her.

‘Do you not think that four molar HCl is slightly overkill?’ she called out.

‘Who cares? If it dies, we can rejoice. If not, well, on to five molar!’

‘I’m not sure we actually have five molar HCl.’

‘Bugger.’

‘However, we do have some anhydrous copper sulphate.’

‘I was wondering where that had gone.’ Trojie looked up from the equipment she’d spread out on the console. ‘Good news is the Miller-Urey apparatus is nearly up and running.’

‘I must admit I was having my doubts about whether or not you would actually manage to build it,’ Soul said dryly, raising an eyebrow at Trojie over her own set of glass tubes.

Trojie tapped two wires together, causing a spark. She grinned. ‘I’m shocked that you would ever doubt me.’

The Bad Slash response centre had been . . . changed. In addition to the two large and threadbare cushions that adorned the floor, currently with Deimos and Absinthe sprawled on top, there was also a considerable amount of glassware and obligatory colourful bubbly liquid. The absence of any exorcisms for a few days had been the catalyst for this burst of activity. The mission: investigate the nature of Author-wraiths, with an eye to inventing painful tortures for them. Trojie and Soul, both biologists at heart, had been having the time of their lives.

But as always happens in these situations, something just had to interrupt the peace. A piercing ‘beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!’ cut through the soothing hiss of the Bunsen burner in the corner, and Soul, carefully dripping acid through a burette, jumped a foot in the air, and came down smouldering.

‘Blasssted thing!’

Trojie, who’d tripped over the power cord of the microscope she’d been working on a few moments before, took a moment to pick up her slides, and then leant over the console and pressed 'Print'. Paper scrolled out of the printer.

Trojie picked it up, read a few lines, turned white, then red, then white again, and made a choking noise. Soul, who’d turned back to her chemicals, said, ‘What is it this time?’

There was silence, interrupted only by a little hiccupping noise. Soul swivelled slowly around, and saw that Trojie was crying.

‘Trojie?’

The human looked up, eyes red-rimmed. Soul, unused to the finer points of human emotion, (come on, they cry when they’re happy, they cry when they’re sad, they cry when they’re hurt, they cry when they’re tired . . .) felt she needed some clarification.

‘What’s the matter?’

Trojie waved the paper at the demoness, wailed something incoherent, and then slid down the wall of the response centre and started sobbing. Soul carefully took the papers out of her partner’s unresisting hand and scanned the text quickly.

‘Led Zeppelin . . . PWP . . . oh dear, that’s not . . .’ She sat down, utilising a chair for the purpose rather than the floor as Trojie had. ‘Ow . . . did we need that much detail--? Urrgh.' She paused a moment, gathering her thoughts, then sighed. 'Well? Shall we?'

Trojie looked up at her, eyes bleary with tears. 'It's bloody disgusting! It's . . .' Words failed her and she collapsed in tears afresh.

'Yes, dear,' Soul said with long-suffering sympathy; 'and we can but hope that the people in question never get to read this utter . . . well.' She realised that this had probably been the wrong thing to say when Trojie emitted a howl rivalling Soul's wolf impression, and the demoness quickly added, 'But I'm sure they won't.' Standing up, she brushed her uniform down and planted her hands on her hips in a businesslike fashion. 'To which end, may I suggest we get in there and do something about it?'

Trojie sniffed and stood up, wiping away her tears with the heels of her hands. 'I suppose we'd better.'

Soul, wearing an expression which spoke volumes, wordlessly handed her a tissue.

'Oh.' Trojie blew her nose and wiped her eyes properly. 'Thanks. Now.' She sighed, shuddering. 'This is going to be awful.'

'I'm sure.'

Trojie blinked at her partner. 'You're far too calm, even for you. Have you ever done Led Zep slash before?'

'I must admit,' Soul said, 'that I've never had that dubious pleasure.'

'Ohhhh.' Trojie shuddered again. 'Lucky for some.'

'Indeed,' Soul said without a trace of irony. 'So, you'd better get me acquainted with the basics.'

Quickly Trojie did so. 'Led Zeppelin were a four-piece band whose career spanned from 1968 to 1980, when their drummer died. Lead vocals; Robert Plant. He was in a steady relationship or married for a lot of his time in Zeppelin, and he had kids, one of which died of a stomach infection when he was really little. Lead guitar; Jimmy Page. Kinda enigmatic, but by all accounts straight. Bass; John Paul Jones; married throughout the Zeppelin years. Drums; John Bonham, also married later on, and had at least one son. Plant and Bonham were only nineteen when Zep formed. And there were NO indications of any kind of slashy activity whatsoever. All right? God, I can’t even . . . this is just so stupid . . .'

'Understood,' Soul said, carefully moving a few random bits of glasswork aside so she could access the disguises console. 'So . . . we arrive looking . . . how?'

‘Well, this is another hotel-room fic, but, oh god, I don’t know. Roadies? I like roadie, it’s a good disguise. It doesn’t really matter I guess, not like we’re going to hang around. Call it roadie.’

'All right.' Soul set the disguises while Trojie got together the essentials for a music exorcism. A thought struck the demoness and she half-turned to address her partner: 'Did you get another CAD from Makes-Things?'

Trojie nodded. 'Yep.' She waved it around before slinging it into her bag. 'Though I warn you now, I refuse to use it in this. It'd only burn out again, and the results . . .' She shuddered. 'I don't even want to think it.' She shook her head as she grabbed her beloved stereo. 'No. Ick. Anyway -- hit the button.'

'Roger,' Soul said randomly, and did so. The portal shimmered into existence, and the two Bad Slashers stepped through . . .

Soul had one eye on the Words as soon as they reached their destination. They were in the hotel room; actually, they were in the wardrobe. The darkness inside it made disguise analysis difficult, but Soul managed to discern that both she and Trojie were male, and both had very long hair in sincere need of washing. Also, despite her lack of practice with this particular form of clothing, she was quite convinced that jeans were not supposed to be this tight. Oh well, they were in the Seventies. Fussily she attempted to get her hair into some semblance of order, then looked at the Words.

As Robert stepped out of the shower he heard the door slam to the hotel room Jimmy and him were staying in that night.

‘Are you reading this? Soul hissed to Trojie. ‘The grammar!’

Carefully the demoness pushed the door of the wardrobe ajar so that they could see what was going on. And she caught sight of Robert Plant in nothing but a towel . . .

‘Well, that’s . . . He’s . . .‘ She cleared her throat, arching an eyebrow thoughtfully.

‘Don’t even say it,’ said Trojie, who had her eyes tight shut.

‘Say what?’

‘It’s 1973, so that’s a twenty-four year old Robert Plant out there, and he’s only in a towel. I know what you’re bloody well thinking,’ said Trojie. Before Soul could protest that her thoughts were as pure as the proverbial driven snow, the fic’s dialogue began.

“Jimmy? Was that you slamming the door?” the blond asked

‘Good grief,’ said Soul with some exasperation ‘who was he expecting? And their security has got to be so lax in this fic; I mean, come on, a groupie got away with his trousers!’

‘What?’ asked Trojie. Soul looked at her, and then said

‘Listen . . .’

There was dialogue.

“What happen? You seem pretty bloody pissed.” Plant questioned farther as he gave up on trying to brush out his mane of hair.

“Some crazed groupie or something stole two pairs of my good pants.” The guitarist fumed.

Soul clamped a hand over Trojie’s mouth just a second before she went ballistic. When she was sure that the human wasn’t going to blow their cover, she released her, marvelling at how far up her partner’s eyebrows could travel.

After a second, the eyebrows returned to their normal positions and then continued down over into a scowl. "That," Trojie spat, "is the worst reason for hurt/comfort I've ever seen!"

"Oh." Soul shrugged, apparently unaffected.

"They should just admit it's bloody PWP!" Trojie fumed. "I mean, there's nothing intrinsically wrong in writing PWP if you'll only bloody well admit it!"

Soul arched an eyebrow, but nodded her understanding. "Yes..."

"And not try to crowbar in 'plot points'," Trojie continued, having apparently not heard her partner's agreement.

"Or 'reasons'?" Soul suggested.

Trojie heard that all right. "Yes! Or damned 'reasons'! Or even 'sanity'! It's just--!"

"All right, calm down, dear. We're missing dialogue. And some really rather impressive redundancy."

"Really? Wow. Groupies will take anything now a days.” Robbie said as he took a joint from a pack laid on the nightstand that sat between the two beds in the room and lit it up. “Here, suck on this. Calm your nerves.” Robert took a hit of the joint and passed it to Jimmy as the guitarist sat on the edge of one of the beds closest to him.

Trojie and Soul eyed each other.

‘Why not just give us a map of the bloody room?’ asked Trojie truculently. ‘Do we need an exact description of the placing of everything in the room?’

‘It’s a common thing amongst the more over-enthusiastic authors,’ said Soul. ‘The excruciating detail. It’s as if they feel that description can take the place of Plot.’

‘And I’ve never heard of Robert Plant being called Robbie before,’ added Trojie sulkily. ‘Pagey, Jonesy, Bonzo for the others, yes, but Plant usually got called Robert. Not that I’m being pedantic or anything. And I could be wrong, of course,’ she added, when Soul glanced sidelong at her.

‘Of course.’ said Soul, polite to a fault.

Page took the weed filled smoke and placed it between his lips feeling the moisture from where Robert’s lips had rested just seconds ago. Inhaling deeply Jimmy let the toxic smoke fill his head clouding his anger and washing it away.

‘Oh the joy,’ said Soul after reading that paragraph, ‘of seductive drug-use. The joint was still vaguely soggy from the last user. Be still my heart.’

Trojie growled.

Robert padded across the room and locked the door to their room. Moving back to the beds, swaying his hips as he walked. The slightest wrong move could cause the terry cloth towel to slip from its place, wrapped around slight hips.

‘Must be a Red Dwarf issue towel,’ Soul whispered to Trojie, who had her eyes shut again. ‘They’re only good for slipping off. And they’re as absorbent as dried-out vindaloo chicken.’

‘I hate this author,’ confided Trojie. She carefully slipped the CD wallet out of the bag and started flipping through the discs, trying to find something that suited.

‘Led Zeppelin I . . . Dazed and Confused might do it if we had time, but we don’t . . . I guess Good Times Bad Times . . . no, we want something more –‘

‘Rock and Roll?’ offered Soul.

‘Maybe . . . where’s the Untitled disc? Ah, here we are.’ The human read through the track list, and her face lit up. ‘Got it. Black Dog. It’s perfect. Do you know the words?’

Soul looked skywards for a long moment, thinking. 'Is that the 'Eyes that shine burning red, dreams of you all through my head, ah ah ah' one?' She sang a bar or two under her breath.

'That's it,' Trojie said, slipping the CD, plus a couple more for good measure, into her stereo. 'Ready?'

Soul peered out of the wardrobe again. Jimmy and Robert were on the bed now, both sitting, Robert massaging Jimmy's shoulders. 'Oh my word,' she muttered, not listening to Trojie particularly any more. Anyone who had seen what she had would not be listening to anyone trying to keep them on-track. Someone who had seen real Cyclopes and was not particularly expecting one in the guise of Jimmy Page to manifest itself in a hotel room was even less likely to return her attention to her partner. 'Trojie! Look!'

Trojie, luckily for her now-fragile sanity, had been fore-warned; she’d seen the Words.

Jimmy let out a frustrated breath of air and closed his eye giving in to the feeling of skilled hands rubbing and massaging his neck and shoulders.

'Absolutely not,' she said firmly, closing her own eyes tight. 'Just tell me when he has two again.'

'But the Cyclops is rare! I've only seen two before in my life and one of those was in a mythology canon so doesn't really count -- this is an opportunity I never thought I'd get--!'

Although this was the closest Soul had yet come to talking about whatever plane or version of (possibly sub-) reality she called home, Trojie was barely listening to her protestations. 'Soul! No! It's disgusting! It's an abomination unto Zep!'

'But the potential for study--!!'

'The potential,' Trojie said firmly, 'is for exorcism. We've seen enough.' She dared to crack an eyelid and peer into the darkness, concentrating on the inside of the wardrobe for now. 'Does he have two again?'

'Yesss.' Soul was obviously not pleased at the missed 'opportunity'.

'Good.'

'Trojie--'

'What?'

'They haven't actually done anything yet . . .'

Trojie growled. 'All right, but I'm not hanging on here a split-second longer than I bloody well have to.'

Luckily, she didn't have to hang on long. After Page 'got up and turned around, almost pouncing the slim vocalist pinning him to the bed' (and both Bad Slashers tried to figure out what the hell he was supposed to be doing, because it seemed to involve contortionism and possibly lepidoptery with all the ‘pinning’ going on, and didn't look at all comfortable), Trojie finally got sick of it all and slammed out of the wardrobe with the stereo on full blast. 'All right, party's over boys!'

'Quite ssso.' Soul followed her with an evil glint in her eyes.

The two musicians paused, mid-kiss. Trojie, who was in no mood to be polite, marched over to the bed and dumped the stereo beside them. She nodded to Soul. The little guitar intro finished . . . and the two Bad Slashers suddenly howled along with the voice of Plant.

‘Hey hey mama, said the way you move, gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove . . .’

Plant’s eyes widened in shock. Page sat up, with a distinctly puzzled look on his face. After a moment, they looked at each other in growing horror. Page slid off of Plant, trying to touch as little flesh as possible, and to not disturb the ridiculous towel. The part of the author-wraith infecting him released him without much comment, and Trojie, who was still singing, scooped it into a jar. Plant’s wraith was proving more obdurate; it was patently obvious from the Words that the Author had been extremely attracted to him, and that the Wraith wasn’t giving up without a fight. Soul and Trojie kept singing, determinedly. Page hurriedly started getting back into the shirt that Plant had stripped him of.

‘Ah ah child, when you walk that way--’

Someone knocked at the door.

Soul broke off mid-wail. ‘Christ . . . what do we do?’

‘Wardrobe,’said Page quietly, pointing. ‘Robert; shower.’

The Wraith-possessed vocalist showed no signs of moving. Sighing, Page grabbed his shoulder and shoved him into the ensuite. He hissed to the Bad Slashers as he did so.

‘I have no idea where you two came from, or what in hell’s name you’re doing here, but hide.’

He went to answer the door as Soul and Trojie climbed back into the wardrobe, switching the stereo off hurriedly as they did so.

‘Yeah?’

‘Um, the rest of your luggage has arrived sir.’

‘Bung it next door then,’ said Page shortly, and shut the door in the surprised maid’s face. He ran his hand through his hair.

‘All clear.’ He paused. ‘I’m going to want an explanation of all this.’

Trojie and Soul, without much dignity, clambered out of the wardrobe. Trojie nodded at Soul, who slipped across the room and opened the ensuite door.

Plant came back into the room, sliding seductively up towards Page, who looked distinctly sick.

‘Fix him,’ said the guitarist, with a hint of begging in his tone.

Soul looked at Trojie. Trojie looked at Soul, with the same expression Page was using.

‘Fine,’ said the demoness. She marched across the room and grabbed Plant by the shoulder.

Trojie turned the stereo on again and flicked through the tracks till she found one she thought appropriate.

‘In my time of dying, want nobody to moan
All I want for you to do is take my body home
Well well well, so I can die easy . . .’

Plant started to make retching noises, his face screwed up in pain. Soul held him up impassively as he disgorged the stubborn Author-wraith. As soon as enough of the greyish, misty thing had appeared, the demoness grabbed it and started hauling it out of the poor vocalist. This made him start to choke even more, and Page made as if to go over and do something, but Trojie pulled him back.

‘He’s in pain!’

‘Trust us. This needs to happen,’ said the Bad Slasher, trying to ignore the inner voice that was pointing out loudly that she was in fact talking to her favourite guitarist ever, and instead concentrating on the removal of the Author-Wraith from Plant.

As soon as Soul had hauled all of it out, she stuffed it in the jar, squashing it on top of the Wraith that had infected Page. The two amalgamated almost immediately. Soul tossed the jar to Trojie, and whipped out a neuralyser. Trojie packed away the jar, and walked over to where Soul was, fishing two pairs of sunglasses out of the bag. She handed one to her fellow agent.

‘Do we get an explanation?’ Page asked, supporting a slightly-green Plant.

Soul looked at Trojie again. Trojie shrugged. Might as well, her expression said. We’re gonna neuralyse them anyway. Soul nodded, and handed the neuralyser to her partner, before turning back to the musicians.

‘Very well. Neither of you will believe this, but you did request an explanation. Technically, although the laws of physics are somewhat fuzzy on this point, we are from the future,’ Soul said, arching an eyebrow as if she dared the two musicians to say something. When neither did, she continued. ‘In the future, people have developed an easy method of communication called the internet, and on it people write stories. Some of these stories involve you two, and, well, we’re not entirely sure if they change the past temporarily, or if they merely create some sort of . . . alternate past, but that’s why you two started acting like you did; you were simply possessed by the author of the story. We have just disposed of that author. Is that enough of an explanation for you?

Plant said nothing. Page had a thoughtful expression.

‘But who are you?’

‘We’re just . . . the people who fix things.’

Trojie held out the neuralyser. ‘Just look here please,’ she said, and when both Page and Plant were staring at the silver stick curiously, she pressed the button.

*flash*

‘You’re in a hotel room. Tomorrow is your concert at Madison Square Gardens. It’s going to be awesome,’ Trojie began, her eyes glazing slightly with happiness at the thought. ‘Jimmy, your luggage has just been put next door.’

Soul opened a portal quickly, while the two RPs were still dazed.

She stepped through the portal breezily, grateful to be back in her own shape, or at least that which she preferred. Trojie followed looking absolutely drained. 'That was horrible,' she said, collapsing onto her disembowelled amp. Soul, in a rare moment of compassion, hastily put the jar of Author-Wraith on the nearest flat surface and hauled both canines -- excited that their human and demon companions had returned -- away to give Trojie a moment to recover. 'Horrible,' the human repeated softly, shuddering.

'Well, it's over now,' Soul said philosophically; 'and we have another Author-Wraith to play with.' Letting Absinthe go, she retrieved the jar and surveyed the Miller-Urey apparatus expressionlessly. 'How has the other one fared in our absence, I wonder? And what can we devise for this one?'

'Something worse,' Trojie said venomously, allowing Absinthe to scrabble into her lap and stroking her absent-mindedly, looking for all the world like a parody of an evil genius with a green and very wriggly Great Dane instead of a fluffy white Persian, and a rather scruffy appearance instead of a neatly suited-up, formal air. 'Something far, far worse.'

Soul smiled, showing her fangs. 'Sounds interesting. Do you have any ideas?'

***

Trojie’s A/N; *grinds teeth* I hate RP fic at the best of times, but Zeppelin slash is just WRONG. I nearly cried when I first found this fic. I just can’t get a handle on the kind of mind that would think that writing stuff like this is OK. I mean, literary slash, movie-character slash, anime slash, yeah, whatever floats your boat. I write the odd bit of slash myself. But at least they’re all fictional characters. This fic is about real people. Actual living people, and Plant at least has kids. What if they found this?

Soulshadow's A/N: Although I'm not half so much of a fan of Led Zeppelin as Trojie is -- I like their music but know almost nothing about them, as you may have gathered -- I agree wholeheartedly with her views on RPS. I don't mind admitting I'm a huge fan of FPS, but RPS is utterly despicable, as far as I'm concerned, and Author-Wraiths who force those poor people into those situations *deserve* to be tortured slowly and painfully until they die a lonely, screaming death. It's only very, very slightly better if the people in question actually were gay; it's damn near unforgiveable when they're straight. How would you feel if some completely random person you didn't know (or want to, I'd bet) started writing about you and your (same gender) best friend in embarrassingly graphic (and badly-written) detail? Yes. I know I should quit the ranting now, but-- *Trojie clamps a hand over Soul's mouth, wary of the fangs but more wary of the four-page rant impending, and drags her off to the next fic*...

Date: 2009-02-12 08:43 am (UTC)
ext_85481: (Default)
From: [identity profile] hsavinien.livejournal.com
*wince* Eesh. I technically like some RPS, because I'm a fan of historical slash, often involving real people. But at least they, their children, and friends aren't around anymore to get creeped out.

Date: 2009-02-12 08:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
Historical fic, no problem. Fic involving people who are alive or have live descendants? No thank you.

Date: 2009-02-12 08:45 am (UTC)

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