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Lauren or Lou, as you like.

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Fill #2 [Sep. 6th, 2011|12:29 pm]
Lauren or Lou, as you like.
[Current Mood |tiredtired]
[Current Music |Oasis, "She's Electric"]

Sorry for spam, archiving another fill. The first one happened yesterday, but this one was what I did when I still wasn't sleeping at 1:30 this morning. Or 2:30... Finished this morning and posted like it wasn't no thang. It's like crazy times, over here.

Anyway, here:

Not really titled, I'm just amusing myself.
Fill for a round One prompt: "Newly-refitted Rinzler gets injured on a hunt and CLU corrects his coding. Reasonable fluff, perhaps a bit of light sexytiems. Huge bonuses for Rinzlerkitty."
(Further explains wanting purring, arching, and the wounded animal act.)

This was already filled and I loved the fill, but more fills were encouraged and I couldn't resist hitting up the wounded animal angle. (I have known Way too many cats who were all too ready to milk a war wound for all that it's worth.)

Words: 1968. Hints of Tron: Legacy spoilers. Clu/Rinzler.

- - - - - -

"I know you've returned, Rinzler..." Clu kept his voice as even and cool as possible while he crept, peering into dark corners. "You were spotted by a search program when you came back in. Why don't you come out and show me what happened?"

He paused, waiting for a flicker of light, for the program to skulk out and hand over his disk, for any sign of where he might be hiding...

...Nothing. The disused storage center below the game grid was dark, and for all intents and purposes silent, but there were too many narrow places between archives the size of shipyard cargo containers and walls to be sure. A protocol so flexible, sleek, silent, and dark could find a thousand places to hide, here.

The question was why he was hiding.

The search program had told Clu that she thought Rinzler might have been injured, which would be a new experience for both of them. Oh, Clu had had plenty of programs come back to him broken, and he had either (if they were worth the effort) taken the time to repair their code himself, or (if they weren't, or the damage was too extensive) sent them to be rectified more permanently, but the vast majority were faceless sentries and guards. Lackeys, at best. He hadn't toyed with Rinzler's code since... well, since it hadn't been "Rinzler" whose code he was manipulating.

And Rinzler had been invincible. Any serious damage (since he had become Rinzler, at least) would be completely foreign to him. Clu realized with a mixture of unsettled disappointment and curiosity that he had no idea how the program would react.

Although disappearing seemed very clearly to be part of it.

"Rinzler," he called again, trying and (almost) succeeding to keep the flush of impatience out of his voice. "Here, boy..." he muttered, and snorted at his own joke. He even whistled and clicked his tongue. "Come on out, kid... Clu's not gonna' hurt you..."

He had no apprehension that that might actually prove effective, however. So when he caught a flicker of movement out of the corner of his eye, he was more than a little surprised.

"...Rinzler?" he tried, and turned towards the motion, pacing slowly. He wondered if he should have painted great swathes of circuits over his hunter; the almost-camoulflage of mostly internal circuitry was fine when Rinzler was supposed to sneak up on other programs, but it was hell, Clu decided, trying to find him in the dark.

There was an uncomfortably narrow space between two nearby archives where they butted against a far wall, creating a tiny dead-end corridor, and when he got closer, Clu finally made out for certain a sliver of red light. He wondered just how the program had folded himself to obscure everything but that dim reflection from the wall.

He was tempted to scold, but disappearing could be a useful skill to develop in a hunter, and Clu supposed he shouldn't crush anything like a step closer to perfection.

So, clenching his fists and counting to ten, Clu steadied himself and tried one last time. "Rinzler," he murmured disarmingly, even sweetly, "come on out now." 'Or I'll come in after you,' he finished silently.

It was another long moment, but then there was another shift in the glow, and a low scrape, and he could hear the soft growl-whirring of Rinzler's caution as he started to creep towards the thinner shadows. Unable to help himself, Clu gave a little encouraging clap and another click of his tongue, as though the program were some shy dog he was trying to coax out of a corner. "That's it," he mumbled wryly, "you can do it."

When Rinzler was finally close enough that Clu could reach in to grab him, Clu leaned in, ready to do just that.

"This had better be good," he admonished, grasping a shoulder half-blindly, but he wasn't prepared for the extent of it when he dragged the program into the (comparative) light.

"Shit, man..." Clu said, needing both hands to grip Rinzler's right arm hard, to keep him from struggling back into his hidey-hole. "Damnit, come here and let me see it."

In truth, there wasn't much to see. Which is to say, once Clu's eyes made it across Rinzler's collarbone to his left shoulder, there stopped being anything to see at all. "Where's...? User," he cursed, under his breath, "how did you even get home, like that?"

Rinzler's growl was starting to grow darker, underlaid by a threatening whine that pitched up before dropping precariously into what was undeniably an unhappy note. His head was drawing back, leading the retreat, and Clu was immediately certain that if Rinzler had still had a left arm to speak of, it would have been creeping back towards his discs.

"Now knock that off," Clu scolded, and despite the danger of the remaining three limbs, ducked tight against Rinzler's chest and pulled the resistant program over his shoulder in a fireman's carry, one arm wrapped tight around his middle, but the other never releasing the death grip on Rinzler's wrist.

Rinzler's struggles froze, then, and he braced tightly against his master. Clu thanked--well, himself, come to think--that the hunter was at least cowed enough by his precarious position that he'd stopped fighting. Or maybe he was just smart enough to know it wouldn't necessarily be a good thing to get one part of himself free, while another was still in Clu's vice.

Or maybe he had just finally gotten it through his panicked and pain-addled processors that Clu's grip meant safe.

...And a part of Clu hoped that was what it was.


Clu had (once he had made certain the room was sealed at all sides) released Rinzler in Clu's quarters.

The change in Rinzler was immediate.

No longer was he presenting 'danger' and 'kill;' no longer did he pitch the threatening yowl, like he was trying to convince the surrounding grid that--terribly injured or not--he would certainly be able to destroy anything that came after him.

No; now that he was in this familiar place, with Clu sitting almost patiently while he waited for the program to settle, the program's mode took on a completely different tenor.

Now, you might think Rinzler was dying. From where he had crouched against a wall, he crept forward toward Clu on knees and hand, and the limp from the lack of fourth 'paw' was pitiful, and each pace looked like it took every ounce of strength he had left. The sound that whirred out of him now came in broken hiccoughs of his usual rattle, choked little tatters, and he projected 'pain' and 'terror,' now, instead of his aggressive assurances.

Clu watched uncomfortably while he approached, unsure of how to handle this new vulnerability. The part of him that craved order hated the sight of weakness; but it also itched to fix the blotch of damage. The part of him that liked feeling supreme and infinite appreciated the animal baseness, trust, and desperation he saw before him.

And the part of him that wasn't quite so unmovable at the rest did feel a foreign twinge of pity, and an unplaceable amusement. "The mighty hunter," he thought, "with his war wounds."

He sighed, and reached out a hand when Rinzler was near enough, chuckling to himself, and Rinzler butted his head against it, closing the rest of the distance with far less theatrical flair. The program ingratiated himself between Clu's knees, like it was the last safe place in the world, the last fortress, and Clu laughed outright.

"Okay, okay buddy. Come on, let me get at your disc..."

The fix was easy, once Rinzler let him at it, and Clu felt the urge to gloat. He felt like a god, when he did this, tapped a disc and brought a cloud of code up before him, like he could reach into the universe itself and rewrite it.

It always put him in a very good mood.

So by the time he was locking the disc back into place, his earlier frustrations had evaporated, leaving him feeling supremely indulgent. And when the lines of code started reassembling at Rinzler's shoulder, stitching a new arm from the wrecked joint as if out of nothing, he smirked, self-satisfied, and patted Rinzler's helmet. "There, see? I told you I'd fix it."

Rinzler's gratitude was instantaneous and excessive, his shielded face mashed against Clu's midsection, his fingers grappling up onto his master's chest. Both arms--the complete one and the ethereal weavings of the new one as it formed--stretched up along him luxuriously, as Rinzler tested the recovering muscles, seemed to itch to have his fingers back, so he could curl them in the collar of Clu's cloak.

Clu indulged him with a rough rub over the circuits on Rinzler's back, fond encouragement.

When the program settled and sank back down to stare at his arm, though, he fidgeted impatiently, weaving his head this way and that, gripping the floor. He butted the semi-limb against Clu's knee and tilted his head up and to the side as if he expected his master would make it heal still faster if he did so.

"Patience, Rinzler," Clu chided, "I know you want to get back to your fighting weight, but you're allowed--no, you're instructed to relax and wait this out." Rephrased: "Chill."

Rinzler collapsed bonelessly at his feet, the angle of his helmet somehow suggesting mild defiance as he obeyed to excess. Clu rolled his eyes, and reached down to stroke his belly. "Close enough."

It was clear, though, that Rinzler was disconsolate, in this half finished state, and the energy going into rebuilding was sending little shocks through his circuits that startled and distressed him. So because Clu was feeling so magnanimous today, and because Rinzler really had been very badly hurt, he shifted forward and went down to one knee, perched over the lithe, prone body. "Let's give you something else to think about, hm?"

Rinzler arched impossibly when Clu's palm flattened low on his abdomen, curling to follow the touch as it slid up towards the squares of red light on his chest. His thumb just barely brushed the circuits before dropping into a luxurious stroke back down Rinzler's stomach.

Rinzler stretched out to his full length, lightly splayed to four corners, and the ragged whir was gone, dropping into a low, steady purr that pulsed faintly with the rhythm of the energy in his circuits. "Better?" Clu asked, chuckling, one eyebrow arching as he swept his hand back along the path it had taken.

"Good boy," he murmured, and the praise seemed to soothe and please his warrior--his pet--almost as much as the petting did, and Rinzler slid improbably smoothly from his back to his knees, laying his side flat and steady against Clu's chest.

The purr vibrated through Clu's circuits, and he closed his eyes, savoring the tremor. "Good boy," he repeated, this time with a little more conviction, as he slid his arms around the program before him, enjoying the illicit rumbling.

The thin lines of red over Rinzler's surfaces were pulsing with the effort of the recompilation, but they brightened further under their master's ministrations. Clu sought the small crevices and planes where the circuitry peeked through, rubbed a thumb distractingly over the base of Rinzler's neck or the crook of his elbow while Rinzler writhed and purred, bumped against Clu's circuitry blindly as he did.

Clu felt the flush of his own circuits brightening, when that happened.

"...What the hell," he thought, and pushed Rinzler to his back, falling over him, covering the lithe body with his own.

...Perhaps his program's not being exactly invincible wasn't unacceptable, after all.

- - - - -