Title: Space Ranger(s)
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Leon/Zell, Bradey
Summary: Sometimes the heroine doesn't get the reward.
Notes: One Wing-verse. Contains a lot of swearing.
Bradey sighed, trying to figure out why her ship even had a radio. After all, there were no pop stations in space. But, she reminded herself, she was Bradey, Space Ranger.
That means she had to leave the radio open and constantly scanning for distress signals. It's what she'd sworn to do after saving up for her own ship.
Of course, she hadn't exactly saved any body yet. Unless her current partner in Space Ranger-ness counted. But she'd more fell over his body than saved him. It had not been one of her more graceful moments. Especially since she'd bruised a rib when she fell onto her own sword. Luckily she'd been holding it wrong to begin with and hadn't done any more damage.
The white noise pouring through the radio was starting to put her to sleep, yet she really didn't want to end her shift to quickly. The ship was on autopilot, after all, and no one would know if she caught a quick nap.
"... anyone ... ship ... assistance ..."
Bradey sat straight up, wondering if she'd even managed to sleep. Even if she hadn't, she felt awake now.
"Hello? This is the rescue ship Alita," Bradey quickly radioed out onto the frequency that had locked itself in after the incoming transmission.
Bradey banged her head on the controls. She knew the voice now that she was paying attention.
"Leon!" she exclaimed. "What have you done? Give me your coordinates."
She rubbed her hands together in glee. Her first real rescue, and it was someone she knew!
Leon rattled off a string of numbers, which Bradey quickly programmed into the ship's computer.
"I'll be there in an hour," Bradey replied after looking over a few digital read-outs. "But I'm sure you have plenty to, er, do."
She winked, forgetting she wasn't visible to the recipient.
"I'm alone," Leon replied. "Batteries are weak. Out."
And the frequency reverted back to its white noise. Bradey slammed her fist on her chair. An hour to find out what was going on? It seemed like an eternity.
She almost considered waking up her partner to help her pass the time, but she knew he needed his rest. He had plenty of things on his mind, too, but hadn't bothered to tell her.
Not that it was any of her business, anyway. She was adventurous, not a gossip.
But all he said was that he was looking for somebody.
Damnit, everyone she knew was looking for somebody or had been looking for somebody or should be looking for somebody. It had kind of gotten overdone.
What was wrong with being content by oneself, anyway?
The control panel started lighting up midway through Bradey's seventy-eight verse of 'Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer in Cid's Fridge'. She cursed the fact that she'd never actually sung the song all the way through before letting her fingers fly over the controls.
A moment later a small ship came into view. Leon's. A quick scan showed that, sure enough, the ship had completely lost power. Already Bradey was searching her mind for potential causes for such a problem. Somehow she'd ended up being the only believed survivor from the world that had created the space ships every one now relied on.
Still, her ship didn't have anything fancy like a tractor beam, so she just closed her eyes and shot a hook into Leon's ship. The hook easily pierced the metal of one wing and with little trouble, both ships landed on the nearest world.
Bradey paused as she started undoing the air locks of the Alita. All the commotion and the boy sleeping on her bed hadn't even woken up. Go figure. Oh well, if she needed him, she'd get him. Or he'd wake up on his own.
Either way, this wasn't going to be a quick fix.
Leon's ship lay where it had belly-flopped into the tall grass of the field they'd landed in. And upon closer inspection, it was in rough shape. The hole she'd pierced in the wing was nothing compared with the gashes elsewhere.
It was little wonder the main power had failed.
Life support? Leon? He wasn't out yet. No...
Bradey held her breath until she found the exterior door controls.
They were dead. Even the master over-ride codes that were somehow in the back of her brain did nothing. With a cry, she flopped to the ground, her knees weak.
She didn't really know Leon that well, but the thought of losing him hurt.
Her sword. Of course!
In seconds she was back in the ship, digging through supplies to find the weapon she was rather incapable of using anyway. But it would work to make a hole in the ship. She didn't want to try a laser - she didn't want to hurt Leon.
"Bradey? What are you doing? Where are we? Did we land?"
"My friend Leon... His ship... C'mon!" she yelled, motioning for him to follow her outside.
"The door?" he asked after bouncing over to the dead ship.
"Yeah," Bradey replied, stepping back. He had limitless energy, she thought as she watched him demolish the door in seconds.
Luckily he's a good guy, she thought.
Smoke poured from the ship as the door fell inward. Bradey held a hand out to stop her partner from following inside.
"He's my friend," she said quickly, and then ran inside.
"Leon!" she called as she dropped to her hands and knees.
Something had been on fire, but it wasn't now. Still, the smoke was thick and she couldn't see a thing.
Then she stumbled into a body.
"Ow. Bradey?" She couldn't see a thing, but it was Leon.
"Leon! C'mon, we gotta get out of here," she replied, feeling for his hand rather awkwardly and trying to tug at him.
"Something... An explosion. My legs are trapped under most of the control panel," Leon said, coughing every few words.
"I can't see," Bradey said, trying to follow Leon's body with her hands until she quite awkwardly found the debris.
Sure enough, it wasn't going to be easy to free him.
"That was, er, purely professional, okay Leon," she said, trying not to let out an inappropriate giggle.
"Hurry up," Leon replied.
"Don't be a pain or I'll renounce my title of Space Ranger and leave you here," Bradey retorted before throwing her entire body weight against the control console and managing to push it upward about a foot.
"Can you move?" Bradey yelled, straining with the weight.
"Broken..." Leon said softly. "My legs... but I can crawl."
"Then fucking do it!" Her voice was breaking with the strain. Not three seconds later something burned through the side of her uniform, causing her to howl in pain and stumble forward, the entire control panel crashing to the ground behind her.
"Leon?" Even if he was going to insult her, she wanted to hear his voice.
"You okay, Space Ranger?"
She was very tempted to kick him in the side but opted instead to finish saving him first.
Bradey stumbled as she pulled Leon from his ship, causing them both to tumble out onto the ground. Leon howled from the pain and from having Bradey land sprawled across him.
In the daylight, Bradey could see just how injured they both were. Besides Leon's legs resting at unnatural angles, his face was covered in blood and his shirt was shredded, burns and gashes covering most of the skin revealed. With a wince, Bradey got to her feet and started yelling as she ran to the Alita.
Her partner met her at the doorway, arms loaded with potions and ethers. Bradey wondered if it would be enough.
"Over there, I..." She pointed in Leon's direction before falling to her knees. She'd unconsciously had her hand to her side and when she pulled it away, it was covered in blood. "Fuck."
Bradey managed to turn as she heard her partner call Leon by name. A name she'd only heard him called once, in anger, by the diminutive ninja who had worked as his partner.
They knew each other? She shook her head in disbelief as the first thing the blond Space Ranger did was gently kiss Leon, full on the lips.
Neither spoke as Zell started a barrage of healing spells and potion administration. As many times as Bradey saw it, she still had trouble believing the amazing abilities that other worlds had developed. And then she closed her eyes. A nap sounded so good to her all of a sudden.
"Wake up, Space Ranger!"
Blinking slowly, Bradey realized she had two pairs of blue eyes looking down at her. She's only closed her eyes for a moment, what was wrong? Oh... A quick touch told her that her wounds had been healed.
Time to get to work.
She sat up slowly, wincing a bit as she looked over at Squall's ship. The smoke seemed to have dissipated, leaving a gaping hole where Zell had punched the door in.
"What happened?" Bradey asked, a hand to her head. "Is that Cloud's ship? Where is he?"
"Yes. And I told you," Leon replied. "I'm traveling alone."
"Well good thing I rescued you," Bradey said as she stood.
"I wonder if I can even fix that thing. You may be traveling with us Space Rangers for a few days."
"You have better?" Bradey asked as she circled Leon. "Zell and I rescue people like you and fight the heartless."
"Zell..." Leon looked around, but the blond had vanished.
"I rescued him too," Bradey announced. "How do you two know each other? Is he from your world?"
Leon managed a glare as he heard a noise behind him. From his ship.
"Got 'em!" Zell came bounding out of the wreck, holding both Leon's jacket and his gunblade. "Knew you'd want to go after them, but it's a mess in there, baby."
For a moment, it looked like Leon was going to try to smile, but it faded quickly as he snatched his belongings away.
It was then Bradey noticed the two men giving each other very odd looks. Something was tainting the air between them.
"Let me look around," she said quickly. Scooting into the ship, she could see well enough to find what she was after.
A hidden panel clattered to the floor, and a last resort systems panel was revealed. "Oh yeah."
Dim lights flickered on inside the ship, but neither man noticed. Leon was looking at Zell with contempt in his eyes, and Zell was wringing his hands together, looking for the perfect way to express himself.
"I lied," Zell said quickly, looking up to meet Leon's gaze. "That day, at breakfast, I lied."
"What?" It was quick and quiet. Leon shook his head. All those years ago, everything that had happened.
He didn't know if he was going to laugh or cry or punch a hole in something with the sheer rage that coursed instantly through his body.
But it wasn't anger aimed at Zell. It wasn't aimed at anyone, really. Years lost.
"I just wasn't ready for something like that," Zell continued. "I've been kicking myself for years. I thought you were gone forever."
"I thought I was too," Leon replied as he set his jacket and weapon down before walking over to hug Zell.
"This thing is not flying again," Bradey diagnosed loudly as she stepped out of the ship a few minutes later. Her jaw dropped when she saw her partner sprawled underneath Leon, their lips locked with one another's.
The white noise pouring loudly from the ship's radio did nothing to drown out the noises coming from her bedroom. Hers. Was hers, at least, past tense. Traverse Town was still hours away, even with the warp engaged, and there were no pop stations in space.
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!