This is a placeholder for a series that I'm doing on Bodhi Rook and Cassian Andor, if I can manage.
I wanted to do a tropetastic modern A/U that crosses over with my Poe Dameron/Finn fluffy/tropey modern AU series
, but we'll see if I manage. In the meantime, this is where I'm collecting what I have so far.
UPDATE: Here's the whole opening scene. I think I have an idea of where to go from here. Alas, it doesn't really involve basically any of the tropes I wanted to use, but maybe! Also I know how it can cross over with Found Cat, I
, without it becoming unmanageable.
Bodhi Rook sat in his truck watching the defrosters and wipers try and fail to make any appreciable dent in the frost on his windscreen. He was trying to update his logbook but his fingers were too cold to properly hold the stylus, and he was approaching a crisis point of existential despair as he realized that the frost was on the inside and so the wipers weren’t going to do a bloody thing, now, were they, and what was the point of continuing to live in this godforsaken wasteland-- but there was no real heat behind it, because there was really no heat in anything, and he was a kind of dried-out shriveled-up husk of a human, now, wasn’t he.
Into that spiral of mental non-function came a sudden interruption, that of his unlocked passenger door suddenly opening and closing, and a man got in with a burst of cold air, startling because it was already fucking freezing in this van, and it was only after he’d had this incredulous thought that it suddenly struck Bodhi that surely, he was being carjacked.
“Shit,” Bodhi said, staring at the man, who was wearing a fur-hooded parka and giant gloves and looked something like a sled-dog-musher, only if he had sled dogs why was he carjacking a van-- of course he would be carjacking a van, sled dogs were a horrible form of transportation surely, especially in a city?
“Shh,” the man said, “don’t mind me, I’m just hiding from someone.”
“I don’t have any money,” Bodhi said, something reasonable finally winding its way through his brain’s nonsensical chatter about sled dogs. The man looked at him, and Bodhi started to get mad that he was surely going to be shot to death over six dollars and twenty-three cents and a wrapped tuna sandwich, which were the entire contents of his messenger bag. Oh, and a smart tablet, but it was totally a proprietary one with like zero resale value. And his phone, he had a phone, but it was like, four years old and the camera was all scratched up. “I mean it! We’re not paid in cash for these jobs, I’m a repair technician and it’s all billed remotely, I don’t have anything--”
“I’m not mugging you,” the man said, and he had the nerve to sound offended; he wasn’t even looking at Bodhi, he was peering out the fogged window. “Jesus Christ! I’m just trying to avoid somebody seeing me!”
Bodhi stared at him. “What?”
“I’m not mugging you,” the man said, as if it were an outlandish suggestion. “Christ, just because I’m Mexican-- we don’t steal from everybody, you know!”
“Now hold on one fucking minute,” Bodhi said, “you’re dressed like a fucking sled-dog musher, I thought you were a local. The locals are fucking savages. But who the fuck leaps into people’s repair vans and then doesn’t carjack them? What the fuck kind of backwards hole is this goddamn place anyway?”
The sled-dog musher peered at him uncertainly through the enormous fur fringe of his hood. “Oh,” he said, “you’re not from around here either.” He did have an accent, come to think of it, but so did Bodhi, as far as everyone around here was concerned. (Bodhi talked like a normal person, but nobody else here thought so. This was his native language and he was getting really fucking sick of explaining that.)
“No fucking shit I’m not from around here,” Bodhi said. “I’m from civilized places where you can park your van at the curb and not get accused of racism by random sled-dog mushers who just let themselves in and judge you for reacting to that like a person who knows they live in Hell now.”
The sled dog musher started laughing; through the ridiculous fur fringe Bodhi could make out that he had a long straight nose and dark eyes and there were crinkles around them like a nice person had. “This place is hell, isn’t it? And horrible people live here.” He peered out the window. “I think he didn’t see me, but is it okay if I sit here a couple more minutes to make sure he isn’t waiting?”
“Now you ask,” Bodhi said. “Now you ask?”
“Well,” the man said. “I mean, there wasn’t time to knock, I’d tried three other car door handles and they were all locked. I actually didn’t notice your engine was running until after I got in.”
“I can imagine the entire animal in your hood probably dampens the sound,” Bodhi said. “This is a work vehicle, I’m not allowed to take on passengers.” He looked glumly at the windscreen, which was still stubbornly coated in frost.
The sled dog guy looked, too, and said, “Oh shit, is that on the inside? Oh what a pain in the ass.”
“I don’t even know how to scrape that,” Bodhi said glumly. “The defrosters aren’t even making a dent. Why do I live in a place like this?”
“Why do you?” Sled Dogs asked.
“It’s a long story,” Bodhi said. “And I mean. Don’t get me wrong, I’m from England, it’s not like I’m some wilting tropical flower, but like. It should rain in winter and have a bit of ice, maybe an inch of snow now and then for the aesthetic of it, not do this for six straight months.” He gestured at the impenetrable frost. “Humans shouldn’t live in this.”
“Where I’m from it doesn’t freeze,” Sled Dogs said. “That’s much more reasonable than this.” He kicked his feet around, found the ice scraping brush thing, which Bodhi had chucked over on the floor there. He picked it up and started scraping at the inside of the windshield. “This is bullshit, humans shouldn’t live like this.”
“It never freezes in Mexico?” Bodhi asked. “How did I not know that?”
“I mean, in some parts it does,” Sled Dogs said. “Just-- not where I’m from.” He shot Bodhi a sly look. “It’s a big country.”
“No doubt,” Bodhi said, who knew basically nothing about Mexico. He grimaced at the way the scraper was just leaving narrow little marks in the frost and not really removing enough of it to be useful. “That’s just plain not going to work, now is it?”
“Sometimes you just have to believe in yourself,” Sled Dogs said, redoubling his efforts. Little flakes of frost were falling onto the dashboard, and you really still couldn’t see out the windscreen at all.
“I don’t see how self-confidence is going to melt that ice,” Bodhi said.
“Oh,” Sled Dogs said, shooting him an unexpectedly charming crinkle-eyed look, “you’d be amazed what self-confidence can do.”
“Mostly, terrible things,” Bodhi said. “It generally hasn’t worked out for me, you know. Okay, I have to ask, where do you even get a parka like that?”
Sled Dogs kept scraping, and gave him a look. “I bought it in a store,” he said, “I don’t remember, but you know, that’s an amazing hat.”
“I know it is,” Bodhi said. “My neighbor gave it to me.” It was an absurd piece of knitwear, with ear flaps and a pom-pom, in a stunning colorway of variegated yarn, and it was the only winter hat Bodhi owned. Sled Dogs stopped scraping and stared at him for a moment.
“Does your neighbor hate you?” Sled Dogs asked, and resumed scraping. He was, improbably, making progress, but he’d probably be making just about the same progress using a toothpick. Somehow despite the broad flat end on the ice scraper, it had only a couple of points of contact with the smooth surface of the glass, and was approximately the least effective possible tool for this job. It worked fine on the outside but Bodhi supposed the curvature was opposite. Sled Dogs didn’t seem to care.
“No, no,” Bodhi said, “my neighbor’s quite sweet, but, well. He is blind. I don’t think he understood what this hat actually looked like.”
Sled Dogs laughed, and scraped some more. “I’m getting there,” he pointed out.
“The defrosters are finally working because the engine’s warm,” Bodhi pointed out.
“Hush,” Sled Dogs said, and laughed. He sat back, holding the ice scraper, and looked over at Bodhi. “Are you colorblind?” he asked.
“No,” Bodhi said, “I’m aware it’s hideous, I didn’t exactly prepare for the weather when I moved here. That’s why I’m asking where you got that parka.”
“I wish I remembered,” Sled Dogs said. “It was fucking expensive but I spend a lot of time outdoors and this climate is no joke.” He put the ice scraper down and gestured to the windscreen. “See, look, there, I helped you, maybe that makes up for me scaring you when I burst in here.”
Bodhi looked skeptically at the mostly-defrosted windscreen. “Those marks are going to be there until the end of time,” he said.
“True,” Sled Dogs said. “Isn’t that the worst? Stuff on the inside of the windshield never comes off. If you breathe wrong it leaves a mark and then you try to clean it and it’s worse.”
“At least I don’t always drive this van,” Bodhi said, looking on the bright side.
“Good,” Sled Dogs said. He put the ice scraper down. “Hey, thanks for letting me hide in here, it’s been fun, I gotta go.”
“Anytime, I guess,” Bodhi said. “Stay warm.”
“You too,” Sled Dogs said. He reached over and shook hands with Bodhi, a firm grip inside enormous gloves. Bodhi got his first really good look at the man’s face: youngish, paleish-skinned, very dark eyes, little moustache and goatee not particularly well-trimmed but not shaggy either, and a kind of sly, lively intelligence to his look. “See you around.”