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Birthday fic: Boredom Strikes, 1/1

Title: Boredom Strikes
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Runaways, set vaguely near the end of Vaughan's run, no major spoilers
Characters: Chase, Molly, mentions of other characters
Rating: PG
Word Count: 843 words
Betas: candyflosskillr and handyhunter
Author’s Notes: A birthday fic for van_el. His prompt: “I’d love a Runaways (Marvel-616) fic, focusing mostly on the character of Chase Stein – everyone’s favourite rebel. I think my favourite point in the character’s history is when Victor Mancha is being introduced to the team and he asks what Chase’s superpower is (as everyone else has one). Chase’s response is to point a flick-knife at Victor and claim it’s ‘a poor upbringing.’ Seeing as he is the pilot and mechanic of the Leapfrog, as well as Old Lace’s master, I would like a ficlet that really illustrates why this IS a superpower in Chase’s case!” And this is not really Van’s correct birth date – it has been changed “to protect the age of the innocent.” ;D

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


“Humph!” Molly crossed her arms and pouted, dropping heavily against the Leapfrog. “This is so boring!”

“Hey, watch it, ‘Bruiser,’” Chase teased. “You’re going to dent our ride.”

“Shut up,” she shot back, without any real anger behind her words.

Beside her, Old Lace mewled a soft “Arrrooo?” and rubbed her large reptilian head lightly against Molly’s shoulder. Molly’s pout broke as she answered the dinosaur with a small grin.

Chase simply crossed his arms and leaned against the side of the vehicle as well. Sure, playing lookout was boring, but someone had to do it. The others were staking out the building around the corner. They’d heard through the grapevine that an up and coming group of arcane thieves were planning a big heist. Their target – a magical artifact protected by high-tech security and safeguarded by some pretty heavy-duty spells. Chase had no idea what the artifact did, and he didn’t really care anyway. But Nico insisted they had to stop the robbery – or they might have another Pride on their hands.

Victor was handling the tech; Nico, the magic; Karolina and Xavin were there to handle the unexpected. Molly’s super-strength was superfluous. And that left Chase to play lookout and babysitter.

Chase smirked. He was used to it.

A low-riding burgundy sedan glided past on the dark street, and parked about a block away under a broken streetlight. The Leapfrog’s cloaking made Chase and Molly invisible to their new visitors. The four doors opened, several guys unfolded themselves from the interior of the car. They were dressed mostly in basketball jerseys and loose jeans, with a flash of a blue bandana here and there. Gangbangers.

They slowly approached, and Molly wrapped an arm around Old Lace’s neck, a look of distaste on her youthful face. Chase didn’t move. When he’d lived through his own parents trying to kill him, these punks hardly made him bat an eye.

Each one of the gang members bore a look of dark menace as they rolled silently past, projecting a ‘don’t $#&% with us’ attitude. The leader had some destination in mind, following an unwavering path… but Chase knew that behind the other guy's pair of unnecessary sunglasses, he was scanning the streets for any threat.

The leader suddenly stopped, even with where Chase, Molly and Old Lace stood. Chase knew the cloaking mechanism was functioning – but even then, he tensed, ready for action. The leader’s entourage halted with him, and several hands moved toward concealed weapons… but no one questioned him. No one made the slightest sound.

His head turned slowly left, right, and then back again. With a grimace, he shook his head. And then hocked a giant wad of spittle at the pavement a foot from Chase’s boots.

Chase’s eyebrows drew down, but he stayed still.

Finally, the leader began to walk again, his thugs trailing in his wake.

When he was finally out of sight, Molly let out a breath she’d been holding. “Ewww, gross,” she commented, nodding her head at the glittering puddle of slime at Chase’s feet. “What a loser.”

Chase looked at the spittle a moment longer, then over at the car lurking below the streetlamp. A malicious grin suddenly stole over his face. “Still bored? I think I've got the cure for that.”

- - - - -


An hour later, Victor and Xavin pelted around the corner first. Karolina soared through the air behind them in a cloud of rainbow-colored light, with Nico held protectively in her arms.

With a terse command from Chase, the hatch of the Leapfrog opened, and he leapt into the driver’s seat to turn off the cloaking device. Molly and Old Lace were already inside – Molly was curled up in one of the seats. She stirred groggily. “Wha…?”

The others piled into the vehicle, and Karolina set Nico gently on the floor. “Let’s get out of here!” she shouted urgently.

But the whine of the engine almost drowned out her voice. He was in the air within moments. “Is she all right?” he shouted back.

“I think she’ll recover – there was some sort of magical backlash,” Xavin explained, crouching beside Nico, who began to stir.

Nico slowly pushed herself up to a sitting position. “I think we’d better hurry.” She lifted her hands. “They’ll be coming after this.” Lying between her pale palms was a jade figurine. Some sort of horse.

Damn, that wasn’t part of the plan. Chase put on a little extra speed.

“Be careful, Chase; they could be disguised as anyone,” Victor added, placing an arm around Nico’s shoulders. “We almost didn’t recognize them at first – they were hidden with a magical glamour.”

“Really?” Molly asked, now wide-awake. “What did they look like?”

“They were dressed as gang members.”

Molly laughed triumphantly. “Score!

“What’s so funny?” Victor asked, annoyed. “They could be following us right now!”

Chase smiled. “Calm your circuits, robot boy. Uncle Chase has got it all under control.” He surreptitiously pressed a button under the dash.

Far below them, a brilliant flash and deafening explosion lit up the Los Angeles night sky.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Is your birthday soon? Request a ficlet!

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
handyhunter
Mar. 30th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
ordinary heroes
I like how this shows Chase is an integral part of the team, despite not being super-powered, from looking after Molly (and Old Lace) to (inadvertently) affecting the outcome of the Runaways' heist intervention. :)
htbthomas
Mar. 30th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
Re: ordinary heroes
Thanks! I have to say, it took me a while to warm up to Chase at first. But I definitely think of him as the foundation of the team -- he's the one who seems to see more clearly, perhaps because of his lack of powers... :)

And again, I really appreciated your help on this!
sandoz_iscariot
Mar. 30th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
Nice! Very interesting character study for Chase. And it's nice to see the team in action in fics.

Also, I LOVE your banner.
htbthomas
Mar. 30th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
I think I tend to use action to further my character studies... :) Plus I know van_el likes it. ♥ Thanks for the review!

I love my banner, too! The birthday boy made it for me for my own birthday last month. *raises fist in protest against Joe Q*
candyflosskillr
Mar. 30th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
That was a fun read, I love the Chase/Molly brother/sister relationship and I missed it so much after Gert died. Vic covered for Chase but it wasn't the same. This fic shows those two can still have antics together. Loved ♥ it!
htbthomas
Mar. 30th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
*mesmerized by icon*

*shakes it off*

Yes, I think this relationship should come back again... he's starting to get over Gert, and Molly is just so hard not to like. I wonder what Terry Moore (squee!) will do with the relationship?

And thanks again for all of your help! *hugs*
mark_clark
Mar. 31st, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC)
That was freakin' sweet!! Since Chase and Molly had to stay behind, it was nice to see them get a little action. When the thieves went by them and the leader stopped, I had no idea if he knew that there was someone there or what. Luckily he didn't but he spat in Chase's direction almost nailing his feet. Right then, I was hoping he would do something to get even and luckily he did with some help from Molly.

The end of the story was wonderful and funny. I didn't think that Chase would get even with them the way he did but it certainly helped them get away.

Nice, very nice indeed.
htbthomas
Mar. 31st, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it! I think you would really like Runaways... especially Chase. You should really give it a try!
zahri_melitor
Jun. 28th, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)
Chase is probably the Runaway it took me the longest to fall in love with, but he's gorgeous and this showcases exactly why Chase is great. He's not threatened by being the eldest, or by being the one with the least showy abilities, or being stuck with the babysitting, and he gets to play around with Old Lace and the Leapfrog and blow things up.

Just running the 'Frog should be considered a superpower, or simply "vehicle tech" as his power, since he donated the white panel van way back in volume 1.
htbthomas
Jun. 28th, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
I'm actually the same about Chase! I think it wasn't until after Gert died that I started to appreciate him more. He's definitely more awesome than people give him credit for. :) Thanks for reading and reviewing!
van_el
Jul. 5th, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
Oh god, I am REALLY sorry I never actually left a review on here at the time - I remember thanking you over Yahoo! Instant Messenger, of course, but that's not the same.

First of all, once again - thank you SO MUCH! The character study here was perfect, especially as you showed how Chase doesn't need to be in a fight with his Fistigons up in order to do some serious damage or be a major influence on events. He just needs improvised incendiary devices instead. :)

The others were staking out the building around the corner. They’d heard through the grapevine that an up and coming group of arcane thieves were planning a big heist. Their target – a magical artifact protected by high-tech security and safeguarded by some pretty heavy-duty spells. Chase had no idea what the artifact did, and he didn’t really care anyway. But Nico insisted they had to stop the robbery – or they might have another Pride on their hands.

Victor was handling the tech; Nico, the magic; Karolina and Xavin were there to handle the unexpected. Molly’s super-strength was superfluous. And that left Chase to play lookout and babysitter.

Chase smirked. He was used to it.

beginning of "Boredom Strikes"


I'm also very happy to see Molly in the fic too. Power Princess, or "Bruiser" as Chase lovingly refers to her, is always great fun to see - and the semi-sibling relationship these two have is awesome.

From top to bottom, the slow moving story which avoids an action scene (your least favourite thing to write) was the perfect way to show off Chase as a rebel! And I loved the fact you stuck to my prompt really closely and showed how Chase solved the "problem" without resorting to using the Leapfrog or Old Lace!

While the best moment was seeing Chase come up with the idea for revenge and offer Molly a way to break up the boredom, the best line has to come from the Runaways' youngest member:

"SCORE!"
htbthomas
Jul. 6th, 2011 12:42 pm (UTC)
Aw, this was sweet of you to come review it now!

I miss this version of the Runaways. The Vaughn run on the series was like a bright, shining time, wasn't it? Chase was never my favorite character, but the funny thing is, writing Chase made me like him! A lot! :) So thanks for that gift as well. :)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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