Ah don't own Dev-Em or GiGi Cusimano! DC comics does! This is a fanfic strictly for entertainment purposes, and not intended to infringe upon copyrights held by DC comics or any others! So don't sue moi!
Rated PG-13 for some mature, adult themes and such! So, if'n that sort of thing bothers ya'll, then best skedaddle!:):) Nothing graphic, though! Or even depicted, really! Just implied!:):)
This one is for DarkMark! Who made moi once again appreciate Dev and want to write about him! Hee! It's all DM's fault!!
Special thanks to Steve Zink, Mr. Editor, and to Paty Cockrum:):) *smootchies* to both of y'all!
Like Heaven above me -
The spy who loved me...
Is keeping all my secrets safe tonight!
- The Spy Who Loved Me
- Sheena Easton
(Theme to the James Bond movie with the same title, for those totally out of it or way too young to remember...da editor)
Shvaugn says I like arrogant men.
I guess she's right. After all, I dated Sun Boy, didn't I? Okay, I'm here to tell you that Dirk Morgna isn't the thoughtless lady killer everyone assumes he is. I'll admit that. But the truth is...that's why I was first attracted to him. Other than the obvious, I mean. Because I thought that's what he was. As long as I told myself it was just a fling for the both of us, no one getting hurt or in too deep, I was fine. It was only when I discovered that Dirk wasn't quite as casual as I thought about these things that I sort of panicked and cut and ran. It's why it didn't last all that long between us, really. I guess most of his teammates just thought he moved on to greener pastures. I know that's what all my fellow SP's thought. I just about gagged to death on all the kindness; all the, "Poor heartbroken GiGi! That Sun Boy is a real dralgo!" Nothing I said could convince them otherwise, either. And I did try. Really, I did.
The really terrible thing is, Dirk was the one who was hurt. And I never meant to do that. I didn't. I just got scared is all. Oh, he tried to pass it off as if it were just one of those things. Just another fun time coming to an inevitable end. But I saw the pain in his eyes; that haunted look of, "It's happening to me again. She's leaving. It's over...and I don't understand why." Poor Dirk.
I think Shvaugn was the only one who actually understood.
"You're just afraid of being happy, GiGi," my roommate accused gently in her best firm, yet chiding, voice. You know...the one we SP's usually reserve for foolish but innocent bystanders.
Ha! She should talk! I've lost count of the times I've come home and found her in tears or in a towering rage, surrounded by fragile, broken things she'd smashed against the walls or the floor. And I would know, without being told, that Jan Arrah, Element Lad, had been there. Been there...and gone, leaving her alone again. I finally told her that her problem was she kept waiting for him to make the first move. When she finally tripped him and beat him to the floor, things got a lot better.
Well, quieter, at least.
So, in my book, Shvaugn, friend though she is, s'got no room to advise me on my love life.
But, she is right that I like confident men. Look, I spend most of my working life being a competent and tough as neutronium Science Police officer, okay? To get where I am, I've had to be sprocking good at my job. The truth is, I can be a little overwhelming for the average guy. So I need someone with a bit of arrogance about them.
It's almost a requirement for survival around me. And if I like it...then so much the better, right? But now, they do have to have something to back up that arrogance.
And Dev-Em sure fit that bill.
From the moment I saw him, I knew I was in trouble. Deep trouble. The instant he flashed that cocky super nova smile at me, I was as helpless as a leaf in a storm gale. I mean, here I had Shvaugn as the perfect illustration of why not to become involved with a Legionnaire, right? Okay. So Dev isn't technically a Legionnaire. Oh, no. It's worse than that. He's a sprocking spy, for Cosmos sake! Now, I've had dealings with the Interstellar Counter-Intelligence Corps before. None of them very pleasant, to tell you the truth. Shvaugn may worry about Jan, and beat herself up a lot because she can't quite figure out sometimes just what's going on between them...if anything...but she usually DOES know where he is and basically what he's doing. The Legion rarely makes it's missions totally public. But, on the other hand, they don't make a state secret of them, either. CIC agents can disappear for weeks, even months at a time, and no one is allowed to know where they are or what they're doing. Not a lot of fun, friends and neighbors.
Still, when a girl is deep in the throes of lust, as I was, she doesn't usually pause to consider little things like that. At least I didn't. Honestly, I was lucky we made it all the way back to my apartment. Thank the Deity the privacy shields were down and Shvaugn wasn't home, or I might have had to arrest myself for public indecency. As it was, I know Dev and I left a few shocked looks behind us before the doors I raised mercifully closed at our backs, shielding us from the view of my nosy neighbors.
Shvaugn keeps this place neat as a pin, so she was going to be more than a little annoyed when she got back. Hastily discarded clothes lay scattered hither and yon, laying over the backs of furniture and spread-eagled on the floor. And I think we knocked a few things over in our - ah - enthusiasm. Shvaugn was likely to be angry about that light-sculpture of Jan.
For an SP, Shvaugn has a lot of artistic talent. I remembered her creation of that piece. It took her forever to get the body language just right...that ineffable quality of apartness and aloneness that is such an integral part of Jan Arrah. She worked on it for a long time. I think it was one of the things that helped keep her sane when Jan was missing for that whole month just after that huge fight the Legion had with virtually every supervillain in existence. The details of all that happened on Orando are still kind of vague. But some things had definitely changed. Light Lass was suddenly back in the Legion...and she was Lightning Lass again, too. Projectra was back on Orando as Queen. And...Karate Kid...well, Karate Kid was dead.
But he wasn't the only one who didn't make it back home. Five of his Legion colleagues, including Element Lad, went missing during the return trip. It was a bad time for Shvaugn.I snuggled closer to Dev-Em and ran my fingers lightly through the fine hair of his chest, smiling. "You're something else, mister," I grinned. I shivered as he ran his hands down my spine, then stroked the firm flesh of my buttocks.
"One of a kind, babe," he assured me, "one of a kind. And not just because I'm the only Kryptonian living in the 30th Century."
I chuckled. "Well, I have to admit, I'm kinda glad, right now, about that." Blinking in surprise, I muttered, "Say, that's right. I forgot. You were born in the 20th Century, weren't you?"
He nodded, grimacing distastefully. "Don't remind me!" he grunted. "Talk about primitive! Earth back then was a sewer. Trust me on that. Not to mention the irritating presence of the Big Blue Boy Scout..."
I raised one quizzical eyebrow.
"Superman!" he spat. "It just had to figure that the bratty little two-year-old I used to torment back home on Krypton would be the only other survivor when the place exploded. Just my rotten luck."
"What rotten luck?" I asked, nibbling on an available ear lobe. "That your Homeworld was destroyed, or that Kal-El survived?"
He pulled a long face. "Both," he replied, and made me chuckle.
"Well, he has done an awful lot of good for an awful lot of people, you must admit."
He waved his hands about in dismissal. "Yeah, yeah, yeah," he grunted, grimacing at the same time.
"Well, aren't we Mr. Grumpy Spy?" I laughed.
My Kryptonian lover shrugged. "It's just a sore spot with me, okay? Everybody's got one."
I turned away. Yeah. Everybody's got one, all right. Even an ambitious, hard-nassed SP like me.
The memories took me in waves. Like a strobing light they flashed in front of my closed eyes. I couldn't stop them. It was like suffocating. I couldn't seem to breathe properly. I swear the temperature in the room dropped to roughly that of Tombough Station on Pluto. I was frozen solid. Helpless.
And the things that I remembered ...
Oh! The things that I remembered.
Hungry ten year old little GiGi Cusimano standing in line with so many other starving people on Blaylock's World as tons of foodstuffs, infected with deadly RustBlight, burned in the warehouses ...
I remember the voice of Governor Marcus Norridian, forever after known as Norridian The Executioner, ring out as he addressed the silent crowd of dying people ...
" ... do this in the name of the many .. all the ones who will survive. The relief ships from Winath, sent by the U.P., will not reach us in time, I fear. Those chosen must surrender their lives that the rest of us may live. We do this with a heavy heart but implacable will. Begin."
I remember watching the Proctors striding purposefully down the long waiting lines of now terrified people, grimly tapping every third or so person lightly on the shoulder with their Staff of Office ...
I remember forcing my eyes open to see them tap Annie Carter, my best friend Annie, sweet, laughing Annie, as they passed me by.
I remember watching the Governor's Guards lead Annie and the other Chosen away to be "humanely euthanised" ...
... And I remember clearest of all, thinking, "Thank God it wasn't me!"
Thank God it wasn't me ...
... wasn't me ...
... me ... me ...
I couldn't feel my feet. Oh, Cosmos. What a fine time to remember such ancient history. I'd have sworn that I hadn't thought about Blaylock's World in at least a Galactic Turn. But does a thing like that ever really leave one?
I flipped Dev over playfully, but expertly, and pressed my lips to a certain small spot in the middle of his broad back. "Everybody's got one of these, too," I husked in his ear. Dev groaned, and reached for me. It was a long time before either of us could speak again.
Turns out he's one of those guys who's out like a light, as if you'd clubbed them, five minutes after he's done. I had to admit, I was rather tired myself. Sleep is always at a premium for a busy SP, and there I was all nestled safe and sound in those protective arms. Two of the strongest arms in the Galaxy, in fact.
It surprised me how good that felt.
Wish I could have said the same when I woke up.
Dev hit me.
Now that isn't what you might think, and it wasn't as bad as it sounds at first, just said baldly like that. And it sprocking sure wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, although I doubt seriously that Dev would have agreed with that. Usually when a Kryptonian hits you, you stay hit. To be kind. At first, I thought my ordinary human lover'd just rolled over in his slumber and thrown out his arm by reflex. But in my drowsiness I had forgotten precisely who I was sharing my bed with. No, it wasn't until I'd yelped myself to full wakefulness that it occurred to me to wonder why I wasn't very messily dead.
But one look at Dev, and I instantly knew exactly why I was still counted among the living.
He was doubled over in pain, silently screaming, and his skin was a pale shade of lime green.
I dived, mother naked as the day I was born, for the stun gun still hanging off the end of the bedpost, my eyes probing around avidly for the kryptonite.
I didn't make it.
The world seemed to explode in a bright red light, tossing me across the room. The neatly cauterized hole in my bare thigh didn't even bleed. It hurt like bloody blue blazes, though. All I saw in the beginning were boots. Boots walking past my swimming limited field of view. Shiny, golden boots, with the scales still clinging to the leather, sauntering unhurriedly by. Quite as if they had all the time in the Universe at their personal command. Glowing with a soft iridescence, there was only one thing they could be made from.
Space dragons are an endangered species. Golden space dragons are the breeding females, and it is way illegal to kill them.
'Fine,' my thoughts were still muzzy. 'I'll arrest him for poaching. Right after I kill him.'
Approaching Dev's side of the floating gravi-bed, the tall man with the spade shaped chin beard reached down and picked up the stone of Green Kryptonite lying on the floor next to the sleep unit. He straightened, tossing the small chunk of deadly mineral several times into the air experimentally, and catching it with one hand.
"Are we having fun yet?" he grinned at me.
And then he touched the radioactive rock to the bare skin of Dev's cheek.
Dev-Em found his voice at long last, and shrieked.
"Leave him alone, you nassing dirj!" I shouted before I could stop myself. Sometimes my mouth lives its own life, totally independent from the rest of my body. Apparently, I was fonder of Dev than I admitted to myself. And wasn't that an interesting thought for later reflection?
If there was a later...
The stranger rounded on me, his eyes sparkling hot wrath, and pointed a Mark V laser pistol directly at my head. The Mark V is top of the line U.P. Coluan tech...not available to the general public. It can burn a hole through three feet of viridian-steel plate. You don't want to know what it can do to the fragile sack of blood and organs that make up the humanoid body. Shivering visibly, I was slipping into shock, fast. I expected to die, and my friend with the powerful gun was more than willing to oblige me, I'm sure.
"I hardly think that you're in any position to dictate orders, my dear," he chuckled, and touched the rock to Dev's forehead.
Dev's scream cut itself off in mid shriek this time, when he lost consciousness.
I was almost grateful.
"What do you want?" I cried.
Maybe that would work. All these paranoid world conquering types like to brag, don't they? It's almost a cliche that they simply have to explain in excruciating detail exactly how they plan to take over the Universe, or some other such idiocy. Usually, I'm not interested. I couldn't care less about their inflated egos.
But the longer I could keep him talking, the better for both Dev and I, right?
And...and...anything, rather than listen to another one of those wrenching screams...
I did my best not to think about what this might mean for me after this whack case was safely bagged and tucked away on Takron-Galtos.
Little Miss "This Is All Just For Fun" GiGi Cusimano was in way over her head, and I was beginning to realize it.
And, frankly, it scared the nass right out of me.
He seemed surprised. "Why, I want to kill him, you silly little twit!" my villain explained with a lifted eyebrow. "What did you think I was planning to do to him? Sodomize him?" The look of pure astonishment that burst upon his finely chiseled features, then, was quite genuine. He stroked his beard, peering down at the dying Dev speculatively.
"What an appropriate punishment for such a pain in the fundament... Tempting... " he finally decided, "but no. Alas, I haven't the time. Pity, that."
I told myself later that the hot rush of anger and revulsion that overwhelmed me with his urbane words, the accompanying stab of icy fear shooting through my body, were a direct result of the wound in my thigh.
That's what I told myself, at any rate.
Sprocking shame I didn't believe it, isn't it?
"Who in the Cosmos are you?" I demanded, not actually expecting an answer. Imagine my shock when he gave me one.
"Does that really matter?" he asked, surprised.
"It matters to me," I told him, desperate to keep him talking. I was running out of options here. Trust my luck to run into the only megalomaniacal sprock in the Galaxy not simply aching to crow his triumph to the starwinds. That's GiGi Cusimano for you. Galactic Poster Child the for the Hard Luck Blues.
He smiled. "Let's just say I'm an old...friend...of Dev-Em's, and leave it at that, shall we?"
Marvelous. That really narrowed the field. It only left roughly half a galaxy of various and sundry nasties who would gladly make Kryptonian stew out of my new lover. 'Think, Officer Cusimano, think! And make it fast, while you're about it. If you don't, then Dev is as good as dead.' What could I use to distract him? To turn him from his course? Anything? I'd like to say inspiration struck, but it was more like a drowning woman clutching at the nearest floating object, to be honest.
"If you hurt him, you're going to nass off the entire Legion," I pointed out, grasping at quarks. "You know that, don't you? You'll be as good as dead."
His answering chuckle was languorous and calm. So very, very calm. Well, at least he hadn't tortured Dev again with the kryptonite he held. That was a small victory, but an important one, I thought. Hey, I was a desperate woman by this point, and willing to admit it, okay? I'd take what I could get.
"I take strenuous leave to doubt that, my dear," he said. "Surely, even someone so terminally, nay, galactically stupid enough to sleep with this filth, will know that the Legion of Super Heroes, those heroic...foolish children...never kill their enemies. Why, no! They'd rather let them live, to run amok another day. It must be a terrible burden to have a conscience. A burden, I can assure you, I do not labor under in the least. I'll take my chances."
The slime had me, and what's worse, he knew it. His face hardened like volcanic rock. "I didn't ask much," he mused. "Only one small primitive planet to rule. That was all. A place to hang my crown and robes of state. The inhabitants called me a god, and treated me as such. I was happy. They were happy. All in all, quite an equitable arrangement, I thought. The most I asked was an occasional sacrifice. Just to keep them on their toes, you understand. One must have one's standards, after all," he sniffed. He touched Dev once more with the only legacy of his homeworld left to him, and listened to him moan. "He took that away from me."
And I remembered Blaylock's World, again. Blaylock's World and Annie. Helpless ... so helpless ...'Then, do something! Dev is going to die if you don't!' I shouted at myself. 'Do something this time, instead of just standing there praising the Deity for your continued good luck and well being.'
Good advice. But, do what? That was the 64,000 credit question, wasn't it? And at the moment, I had no answer. I was fresh out of inspiration. Sprock!
And then my eyes fell upon the unconscious Dev. Was his clammy skin a brighter shade of green now, I wondered? I didn't have much time left, unless I was mistaken.
And I knew that I wasn't.
"Pity, that," I heard that cultured voice declare again, saw the smile stretching those thin lips. And, just that suddenly, I knew exactly what to do.
The trick was, I had to lure him closer. Close enough to take that megawatt Mark V laser away from him and stuff it up his backside. I considered the odds for a moment. He didn't look to be that physically formidable. Not the sort of guy who'd be heavy into self defense at all. But...if I was wrong about that...then I was one dead little Sci-Cop. Just another statistic.
But then, if I hesitated or lost my nerve I was dead anyway, wasn't I?
And, more importantly, so was Dev.
So I burst into tears and began to beg, incoherently. I watched carefully as he smiled and his ego swelled. I bided my time. At first, I thought I'd failed. He remained stubbornly in his place beside the bed. That was when I took another chance. A big one. Sobbing hysterically, I began to crawl toward him. The stupid dirj let me get close enough to clutch him around the knees like a supplicant.
I bit him in the tender flesh behind one knee, spat out a mouthful of villain, then chopped him behind the other. 'Thank The Maker for modern legless clothing fashions,' I thought, watching in delight as the Mark V went flying from his hand and he crashed to the floor.I must admit that the scream he let loose was very satisfying under the circumstances. I drank it in like music, scrambling for the laser. I just had time to adjust the setting from "lethal" to "moderate" before I lased him into unconsciousness. Then, I kicked him in the head a few times for good measure.
You wouldn't believe how tempted I was not to adjust that setting. To just burn him down where he stood. It wasn't until later that I let myself get really upset about just how close I came to descending to his level. But just then, I had other things to think about.
Still crawling, I grabbed the kryptonite and shoved it down the disposal chute. Dev's color improved immediately with the deadly mineral's absence, and I breathed a heartfelt sigh of relief. Next thing I did was vid for back up, and then I called an ambulance.Yeah, I did all the right things, sure enough. My fellow SP's were on the way, ready to take my wanna be killer into custody. Medical help for Dev was on the way. All taken care of. So what did I do then, you ask?
I sat down with my back against the bed, lay my head on my knee and bawled my eyes out.
I didn't stop weeping until I felt a weak hand stroke my hair. "Please don't cry," Dev entreated in a small voice. "I can't stand it when women cry. My mother used to cry all the time. Drove me crazy. Rao! Dad would be late from work, or the neighbors would complain about something I'd done, and Mom would be a flowing waterworks factory for the rest of the day. Please don't cry, GiGi."
I grasped his hand and kissed the palm. "Make you a deal, Mister," I managed. "You don't die, and I won't cry. Deal?"
He found the strength to smile. "Deal," he agreed.
I held on tightly to his hand. It was several moments before either of us spoke again.
"GiGi?" His voice sounded a bit stronger, but still weak, and somehow...uncertain; vulnerable. "Don't leave, okay? Just don't let go. Not right now."
I engulfed his hand with both of mine and pressed. "I won't," I assured him. A heartbeat later, I was more taken aback than anyone when I found myself saying, "Are you okay?" And I wasn't talking about his physical condition, now. I think he knew that.
"Yes - I - I - no..." His voice rang with fear, and his hand tightened on mine. If he'd been at his full strength, my hand would have been pulp, I'm sure. "Rao, I was almost dead, babe!" He shivered, and I was sure it wasn't with the temperature of the room. "Another minute, and I'd have been pleading with Cynthonnia for my soul... "
Cynthonnia. Kryptonian Goddess of The Frozen Waste.
I kissed his lips softly. "You're going to be fine, Dev. Just fine, do you hear me?"
He couldn't seem to stop trembling. "The Dark Circle," he gasped. "They almost killed me, too. They came so close...Oh Rao Oh Rao...and they cloned me! Used me! When - when I ripped the mask off the head of one of them...I was staring into my own dead face!" He was too weak to roll over and hide his fear, but he tried.
I lifted his shaking shoulder from the bed and embraced him, skin to skin; warmth to warmth. "It's okay, I guess," he finally whispered. "I should have died with Krypton. I should have..." I ran my fingers through his brown hair. "Just think what a loss that would have been to the women of the Galaxy," I teased him. Then I blew my humorous cover by getting serious. "Especially me!"
I thought of Annie and Blaylock's World. Pressing his hand to my cheek, I said, "We have a lot to talk about when you're better."
I didn't let go of his hand. Not even when the Paras came and took him away. I sat with him in the ambulance all the way to the hospital.