winryweiss: (Default)
Really, he must.
And I am not a believer.

Today, even though I didn't planned it, I just happen to be nearby, so I decided to stop there, I went to bookstore called "Cheap books". This shop make honour to its name, because various book like those printed some years ago, or last few pieces from stock, or (I strongly suspect that) those which didn't sell well are main merchandise there, and they are sold really cheap. But you cannot wait for too long, if you want something from this shop. (Yeah, no restocking. Once it is sold, it is sold for definitely.)And it is not a secondhand bookstore, all the books are (relatively) new and unused. It's great for christmas shopping.

And you can find real treasures there.
Which is what happened to me today.
So, now I am proud owner of "Shadows over Baker Street", fist czech edition printed in 2007, (of course in perfect shape) and it cost me only 17,- Czech crowns. Let me repeat: seventeen. It is less than 1 USD!

I feel fabulous! ^^
winryweiss: (Default)
Just something fabulous for the start of this month.
(I think I'll do this every month. Post some funny/adorable fanart on 1st might be nice.)

Opera, oh opera. )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for the prompt Dear father. And partially for Child abuse promt as well.
You know those fic you keep rewriting 'cause something feels ... odd? Yes. This. After like four versions in my mind and two written down I recreated it completely. So, it might feel slightly deus-ex-machina-ish but I am satisfied.
part one part two
Warnings : Friendship & Fluff.
Tintin’s POV

Back in fluff(ish). ^.~ )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for the prompt Dear father. And partially for Child abuse promt as well.
Since I could speak Polish, I could as well use it. ^.~
part one part three
Warnings : (Mentions of) child abuse. Violence.
Tintin’s POV

Prepare, seriousness ahead. )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for the prompt Dear father. And partially for Child abuse promt as well
Another different view on Tintin and Haddock's relationship. This time not so twisted. *hehe* As much as I love them as lovers, I have totally no problem to see them like this.
part two part three
Warnings : None. So far.
Tintin’s POV

From fluff to seriousness. What happened to me? )
winryweiss: (Default)
When you are searching the net high and low for some pictures, you sometimes find real treasure.

I'm out of words 'cause I'm laughing so hard )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for my own promt.
Archibald's side
Fluffy general fic. Takes place before ‘Moon series’ with various allusions to preceding adventures.

this way for sugar )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for my own promt.
Tintin’s side
Fluffy general fic. Takes place before ‘Moon series’ with various allusions to preceding adventures.

this way for sugar )
winryweiss: (Default)
HUGE pic-spam post. Better be prepared.

Somehow, I got myself into yet another fangirlism seizure. Probably due to watching Spielberg's movie again. This time, it was more graphic desire, so I searched the net for some new, funny pics with our beloved intrepid reporter. And I was amazed and amused with the "fake" covers of unknown Tintin's adventures.

Here are my personal favourites.

(Now, if only I would be able to do the Expand/Collapse thingy ...)

Let's start mildly. Official adventure with more cool cover. (Tintin looks totaly BAMF here.)

Old-school adventure. (Oh my fangirl God! Look at Skut!)

We all live in the yellow submarine Marlinspike hall.

Brand-new! The Mars series

Staying in the space theme. To bodly go where no man was before!

More modern Tibet.

Another Tibet. This time, it went horribly wrong.

One representative of Cthulhu crossovers.

You know, I actually feel sorry for the Aliens. They will get their ... body parts kicked.

Christmas came early this year. *Muhahahaha*

Wilde decadence!

LOL ^^

And the total top!

And this as the Kill for end. (I can not have missed it, thaks to my little nieces.)

Credits goes to all those cunning minds and skillful fingers who created those.
winryweiss: (Default)
My take of this prompt.
GEN story (but you could take it as pre-slash, if you insist) which happens sometime between 'Shooting Star' and 'Secret of the Unicorn' adventures. Mere small scene from ordinary life about the little heroic deeds we do everyday. (Seriously, have you ever tried to bathe a dog? Or cat?)
Warnings: Friendship.

Heroic deeds of ordinary life

Tintin felt dead-tired. His whole month efforts didn’t bring anything at all. No new clues for the case of forgery, not a single one successfully accomplished reportage, and the interview with major Wings had to be postponed due to his unexpected reinforcement call. He sighed and rubbed his nape.
Captain went to visit him today, since he happened to have few free days before his next sail. Yet Tintin had to leave his friend in his flat and go to work today. But he didn’t left him alone, no, that wouldn’t be fair from him. Furthermore, he was actually glad, that Captain could look after Snowy today. For some unknown reasons, Snowy feels strong antipathies towards Mr. Grotski and already tried to bite him once, so it wouldn’t be the best idea to bring his dog along.
Tintin fished his pockets for keys.
On top of everything he should finally bathe Snowy.
He dragged himself up the staircase and opened door to his flat, coat already down. “I am sorry it took s…” His heart stopped only to start again frantically, coat slipped from his fingers and fell to ground.
His flat was ransacked. No doubt about it. Sheets of papers from his reports were scattered everywhere, coffee-table shoved away, both armchairs overturned. Somebody was chasing after someone else.
Captain. Snowy. The worst-case scenarios went through his head.
Yet, Tintin could hear something.
He stopped cold and tilted his head.
Again. A faint sound.
Sloshing of water.
Tintin cracked the door to bathroom open, holding his breath back anxiously. This room was in mess too, puddles on the floor, laundry basket upturned and …
Captain was sitting inside filled bathtub, fully clothed, his hat still on, and between the soapsuds poked out white-furred head. Black eyes closed delightfully, because Captains was scrubbing him, humming silently.
Door creaked loudly and the man and the dog looked at him.
Tintin could not do anything else than look back.
It was Captain, who broke the awkward silence after while. “Yer were s’pposed to return at four.”
“It is already five o’clock.”
Tintin could not hold back any longer and burst out laughing, supporting himself at doorpost. “How … how did you … get him t… to bathtub?” The ginger reporter bent, with one hand holding his stomach, with the other hanging on doorframe. “He despises bathing.”
“I noticed.” Captain rubbed Snowy’s scruff. “He gave me quite a workout. Yer saw the flat, didn’t yer.”
“I thought …” Tintin shook his head, glad he hadn’t been right.
“I wanted to clean up before yer return, but chasing this little rascal took longer than I thought.”
The ginger smiled at his older friend. “And how, exactly, did you got into bathtub?”
“He tried to wriggle out and I tripped.”
Tintin suppressed a giggle. “You are staying overnight.” He announced simply.
“What if I have something planned?”
“In drenched clothes? And smelling like a wet dog?” Tintin smirked at Snowy’s disapproving look. “I will not let you go.”
Captain smiled gently. “I’ll take yer word on it.” Snowy thumped his foot to bathtub since the other occupant started to scrub him behind ears.
Tintin chuckled. “I’ll cook something for dinner.”
“I already did. Yer just need to warm it up.”
The ginger glanced at kitchen unit. “Curry?” He asked, like Captain could cook anything else.
“Duh. I think I made it mild, but yer should better taste it.”
“Aw, Captain.” Acting on whim, Tintin paced to bathtub and pecked Captain on forehead. “You are my hero.”
A violent blush seized Captain’s features. Even his ears were red. “Yeah … That’s … nothing.”
Snowy decided that this would be the perfect time to shake the shampoo off. Tintin yelped and covered his face with laugh. Captain shrieked and uttered something about lunatic dogs.
“I’ll get us dry clothes.”
“Don’t want to offend yer, but I won’t be able to fit into anything yer have here.”
“You think?” Tintin intended to give the navy-blue dressing gown to Captain as Christmas present, but this day decided otherwise. “I have a shining armor just for you.” He winked at his friend before leaving bathroom.
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for this prompt
part ten part twelve
Warnings: Alternate Universe. Haddock/Tintin.

The Crab with the Mechanical Claws (part 11)

Cuthbert tilts his head and looks at astonished Archibald, smug smile on his lips. “Never underestimate a scientist, Captain.”
“Yes, sir.” Archibald blurts out.
Steelworks employees are encircling them. Professor leans on his lead pipe like on walking stick. He turns at closest man and says something in German. The worker retorts, but soon stutters under the intensity of Calculus’ stare. Other workers join the debate, yet they quickly succumb to professor’s authority. Captain notices expressions for “accident” “illegal” and “police”. But he couldn’t care less, since he spots inert Milou in debris.
“Oh no.” He mutters, taking the copper canine to his arms.
“Allow me.” Professor, keeping a tight rein on situation, takes Milou from his hands. “Ah, severe malfunction due to impact.” He examines automaton’s head-piece. “Hmm, main memory seems not to be damaged.” He smiles at Captain reassuringly. “Do not worry. I can repair your dog.”
“No no, he’s Tintin’s …” Chill crawls up Archibald’s spine. Tintin. He looks around, searching frantically for unmistakable ginger hair. Instead, he notices the trace of destruction. “Blue blistering barnacles.” Captain knows immediately where exactly Tintin is. “Take care of here, would yer?” He interjects in the loose direction of Cuthbert.
“Wait! Are you going to confront stampede AST bare handed?!” Professor’s voice falters.
“Yes?” Archibald answers, unsure of himself.
“Are you mad?”
“Captain,” Cuthbert grabs his shoulders and turns the ex-soldier to face him. “Lure the ‘Crab’ to river. The device is sensitive to water.”
“Now, that sounds like a plan.” I must totally lost my mind! “Handle it here for while.” Archibald starts running after Tintin. “Interpol should arrive soon!” He shouts back at the engineer.
Professor Calculus stands there, unmoving Milou in his arms, watching as Captain hurries away, his injured leg obviously forgotten. It is not just that boy, who is extraordinary, no. Even this man is especial. Cuthbert smiles. He should watch over those two.

This is nightmare come true.
One of those nightmares in which you are trying to desperately run away from something dangerous and unseen, something just behind you. And no matter how fast you run, you never escape.
Tintin perceives everything in decelerated pace, discerning every detail. Bark of trees, twigs on ground, protruding roots, cautionary tweeting of birds, fleeing squirrel (poor girl, she must be terrified), his own screaming voice, gruesome rumble accompanied with steam puffs behind and dazzling reflections from river surface ahead.
He is aiming directly to river.
Great Snakes in Thundering Typhoons!
He is going to die.
He is so going to die.
He never learned to swim properly.
But on the other hand, this might be his only chance.
Supposing that the monster behind is same specimen as his dog, it would not react well to soaking in water. It might slow it down. It might even stop it. Very improbable, but still possible.
Tintin begs every saint and god he knows for help and steers his uncontrollable bicycle towards river, luring the ‘Crab’ into what he hoped will turn out as inescapable trap. Swerving on the last moment, he listens with satisfaction how caterpillar tracks drive the monstrous machine from bank to deep water, heated copper sizzling angrily. Then his back tyre slips on mud and Tintin feels dread grip his heart when he falls backwards to the river, still clutching the handlebars tightly.

Archibald hastens through smithereens trees. He could feel his heart’s frenzied beating up to his throat and his legs weakening, threaten to give up under him, the gash from rapier burn more with every step. He is out of shape, that’s for sure, but he pushes his limits apart and keeps going, fear for that boy driving him forward. Captain tries to force the terrors of war out of his mind. Yet he seen so many men died due to steam weapons and he certainly does not want to see another. Not Tintin. Not Tintin!
He could see the line of uprooted trees ending on river bank and that devilish device sunken partially in deep water, artificial arms still moving abruptly, but the whole thing obviously stuck.
Where is that ginger?
Captain stumbles over tree root and nearly falls down to ground. He staggers for while, cursing coarsely, but regains his equilibrium within heartbeat. He trips and skids all the way down to bank, flinging his hands in the air for better balance.
“TINTIN!” He calls out again, voice rasp. He wheezes bending forward, shaking hands supporting him on his own knees, forcing air into his burning lungs.
Oh God, I’m in terrible shape. I should give up drinking. And smoking too. I’ll give it up, I’ll sacrifice everything, I’ll …I … Just don’t take that Angel of a boy from me! Please, don’t.
“Captain?” That desired voice comes from the river.
Archibald makes an effort to move but his legs give up and he topples down, panting heavily, hand clutching at his chest.
“CAPTAIN!” The ginger reporter tries to climb back to solid ground, slipping and sliding on mud. He falls, not for first time concluding from the state of his clothes. “Captain! Is it infarct? Stroke? Coronary? Captain!” Tintin crawls up the incredibly slippery bank only with his sheer willpower at amazing speed.
Archibald can’t help himself, he laughs loudly.
The ginger grabs him by his shoulders, face pale with anxiety. “Do you need doct…?”
Archibald crushes Tintin at himself, paying no attention to the muddy dirt. “Oh God, lad, don’t make me so afraid.”

“I bet my year salary, that this is Tintin’s work.” Thompson pinches the bridge of his nose.
“This is Tintin’s work.” Thomson put his hand on his coworker’s shoulder compassionately.
They look at each other with loud sigh.
“It might have been worse.”
Thompson questions his colleague with his eyes.
“The main building still stands.” Answers Thomson simply.
“Oh. Yes.” Thompson looks around ruins of workrooms and the swarming of people on courtyard. “Apparently, our boy had been mindful. But where is he?”
Detectives step out, each in other direction, unknowing of the fact, that their walking sticks had interlocked. Canes stubbornly refuse to let go of each other, so detectives collide back to back with surprised huffs.
Cuthbert swallows a laugh. He noticed those two black-clad men the very moment they stepped into bustle of steelworkers and local policemen. For some unknown reason, he has the feeling that they would be the Interpol agents. Calculus checks his pocket watch. Eight is drawing close. He pats Milou’s head-piece lovingly.
Do not worry, little one. I’ll not only repair you. I’ll make you even better than from assembly line.
“Professor Cuthbert Calculus?” He hears two voices speaking as one.
“This apparatus?” Professor turns to face detectives and lifts Milou slightly. “It is not mine. I am merely keeping an eye on it.”
“Is that …” “… Milou?”
“Snowy? No, I believe that his masters are calling him Milou.”
“What?” “Masters?” “This isn’t Tintin’s dog?”
“Whether his masters are from Innsbruck?”
Detectives look at each other, baffled. They have been warned, that professor is hard hearing, but they hadn’t expected it to be so bad.
“No, this automaton belongs to Tintin and Captain Haddock.” Calculus glances at them contemplative. “You certainly must have heard, at least, about that courageous boy.”
“Captain …” “… Haddock?” They ask mistrustfully. “Tintin must have took him along.” “But why?”
“Oh.” Cuthbert espies the ginger colored tuft of hair. “Here they are.”
Tintin and Archibald are walking side by side, dirty and visibly tired, the former soldier leaning on the reporter. Far too close for detectives liking.
No one would menace their boy.
“Tintin!” Detectives wave their canes in air, nearly knocking a passerby worker. Professor is clever enough to steps aside a little. The threesome goes to meet them halfway.
“Great Scotland Yard! Boy …” “… are you all right? We were …” “… sick worried about you! Couldn’t you …” “… wait till we arrived?”
But Tintin does not pay any attention to them. He rushes towards Cuthbert, eyes glued on immobile copper canine. “Milou. What …?”
“He protected us. But there is nothing to worry, my boy.” Calculus smiles at the ginger and pats him on cheek. “His memory is intact. Once I repair him, he will be better than ever.”
“Tintin?” Thompson and Thomson encircle the ginger. “Tintin, what happened?”
“What happened?!” Archibald roars. “He played a game of tag with stampede AST and ended up in river!”
“And the ‘Crab’?” Professor becomes serious.
“That antediluvian crustacean got jammed there!”
“Calm down, Captain.” Tintin sneaks from detectives and lays his hands on the bearded man’s arm. “Or you will really get a heart-attack.”
Captain growls and the ginger snickers at him, stroking his arm absentmindedly. Detectives share surprised yet askance glance. And Cuthbert only smiles knowingly into his moustache.

Author’s notes
Whew! This was pleasant ride. (Next part would be even more pleasant. ^^)
x Never underestimate a scientist. Really, never do such a stupid thing.
x Despite the fact, that Cuthbert is mild and kind all the time, I belive he has that sort of authority wich makes you shut up and listen obediently.
x The river flowing next to Malbork's Castle is called Nogat. I do not remember how deep it is exactly, but it is deep.
x (This) Tintin could swim. He is just not exactly great in it. To be hones, he is terrible. Which still does not stops him from throwing himself into ranging river to save certain Chinese boy. Luckily Milou have a chain.
x Thom(p)sons are little overprotective over Tintin. You should not resent them for mistrusting Captain. He is snatching "their boy" away, after all. ^^
x It might seem unfair to Milou, but believe me. Cuthbert will make him even more awesome.
x Snowy? No, I believe they call him Milou. I originally prepared another pun, but this won.
x And why does Cuthbert think, that they have the dog together. Well, they apparently appeared like couple to him.
x Antediluvian crustacean. I got painful laughing fit from thinking up this insult.
Only one part to go. At least for this steam-powered adventure.
winryweiss: (Default)
Today, alcohol prohibition was announced in my country!
I am not kidding.
There is a nasty case of methanol poisoning from adulterate alcohol all around my country (19 deads so far), so every alcoholic beverage above 20% volume is banned.
But still ...
Still ...
A Prohibition!
Even if it is not complete ban of everything alcoholic.
This is ... astonishing beyond believe.
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for this prompt
part nine part eleven
Warnings: Alternate Universe. Haddock/Tintin. (Heroes in grave danger!) War flashback.

The Crab with the Mechanical Claws (part 10)

Universe has sadistic sense of humor. Amongst many proofs of previous statement belongs the fact, that when one thing go wrong, others follow inevitably like toppling domino blocks.
The doors on the other side of library are thrown open and group of few tough-looking guys enters, discussing about the alarm wildly. Upon seeing the assemblage of strangers they stop short.
“This could happen only to us.” Announces Captain.

Spalding paces to and fro in Cuthbert’s room, hands twitching in his hair. Boss will kill him. Herr Müller will frizzle him! He will deep-fry him in boiling oil! Or he will feed him to his pet gorillas! And no one will ever find his remainders.
How could this happened? How could he underestimated that man? How could he not saw his evil plans? Professor Cuthbert Calculus is genius! And he let that man to make a fool of him.
“Chief did lose it.”
“You!” Spalding turns at his subordinates. “Start the ‘Crab’.”

“That was amazing.” Cuthbert still couldn’t believe what he just witnessed.
“Shall we tie them?” Tintin turns to Captain.
“Yer think they’ll be able to wake soon?” Archibald stretches his arms.
Tintin looks contentedly at unmoving men. “No.”
“It took you two less than five minutes.”
The ginger reporter giggles.
“Yeah, we’re fabulous.” Captain grabs Cuthbert’s arm. “Let’s go, professor.”
“Oh, no, wait.”
“Professor.” Tintin grabs Cuthbert’s second arm. “This is no time for panic.”
“NOW LISTEN, YOU TWO!” Both men stand upright, like after swallowing a ruler, surprised by the sudden outburst from the ever calm professor. Archibald even clicks his heels together and his right hand jerks in attempt to salute. “I know that you are trying to help me, and I do appreciate this, but there is something I must do.”
Tintin opens his mouth to voice his opinion, but he is stopped by Cuthbert’s threateningly risen forefinger.
“They have fully functional AST here!”
“Oh shit.” Archibald turns completely pale.
Tintin scours his mind for this abbreviation, unsuccessfully. “What is it?”
“Automaton Steam Tank.”
In the crestfallen silence after professor’s words Tintin could hear his own surprised exhalation. Automatons are devices able to function independently within the framework of its programming. Automaton tank would be merciless killing machine. “Such things are outlawed by The Treaty of Versailles.”
“And that’s only right!” Captain punches nearby bookshelf. “Where it is?”
“In former horse barn.”
“Can you sabotage it?” Tintin could almost touch Archibald’s anger.
“I am chief engineer in ‘Tournesol Factory’. I’ll take it to pieces.”

“Yer gotta be kidding!” Archibald tries to comprehend how, by ten thousand thundering typhoons, did he get into this situation. Facing bunch of security guards on rickety gangplank, while professor scrutinizes absolutely nasty example of steam tank down below, and Tintin with Milou are trying to obtain their escape vehicle in different building. To make his position worse, the guards have rapiers. He is armed by mere lead pipe. One of them attacks, Archibald cover his rapier on last moment, deciding not to care about rules of fencing anymore. He punches the man to stomach and hurls himself to the tumult. Using abruptly remembered fencing postures only to improvise completely, to elbow his opponents, to stomp at their feet unexpectedly, using his lead pipe partially as a sword and partially as a cudgel. “I didn’t fence for years!”
“And you are doing just great, Captain.” Cuthbert unbolts latch on ‘Crab’. “Keep distracting them.”
“Yer evil!” Archibald yells, not fully decided if towards Cuthbert or towards the guards. “Troglodytes!” OK, he will scream at guards, it is calming. “Prickled pirate parrots! Canned cucumbers! Rusty renegates!”
Professor Calculus taps his screwdriver on ‘Crab’. “You are sophisticated device, aren’t you?”
“Very much, sir.” Sounds behind Cuthbert and he turns with a startle. Before his world darkens he notices Spalding’s face distorted with hatred.
“Professor!” Captain lose his concentration on the fight and the last standing guard gashes his left leg.
Spalding smiles devilishly and switches the ‘Crab’ on.

“Where are they?” Tintin taps his leg nervously. He should have never agreed with the separation. Of course, he is used to working only with Milou, but what if something happened to them? What if Captain ends up injured? The ginger bites his lips.
Even thought he is not exactly technically skilled, he managed to disable every vehicle, with the exception of the one they intend to use. And now he is waiting for his companions here, on this quad, while the sun is already rising.
Crumbs, crumbs, crumbs, crumbs, crumbs.
Something went wrong.
He can feel it.
Captain pops up in the barn gates. Tintin breathes out with relief. But then he realizes, that Archibald is limping on left leg and that he is dragging unconscious professor.
“Captain?!” The ginger reporter moves forward, ignoring the rumbling which grows louder and stronger with each second.
“Run!” Archibald yells at him.
Milou bolts towards them, dashing on its small legs, emitting puffs of steam in its peculiar simulation of furious barking.
And then the world falls down. Or rather, whole wall of stable is knocked down from inside. Something, something big, is moving there, behind the clouds of smoke, steam puff and red brick dust. The noise is unbearable. The screech of steel, the heavy, regular puffing of engines, the screaming of people. It feels like the world has stopped. That’s when it emerges, arising from the dust, majestic, breathtaking, dangerous. Steam-tank bristling with countless artificial arms, levers and gadgets, cogwheels whirling in insane rhythm whenever the thing moves, red eyes shining brightly on its front end, resembling gigantic crab.
The Crab with the Mechanical Claws.
Tintin stands, frozen to the spot, sensing the terror taking over his body.
“TINTIN, RUN! Captain’s voice has unadulterated dread in it.
And Tintin obeys. Archibald’s voice was a signal. An order. Slap back to reality. His body is moving on its own volition. He jerks forward with a speed he did not know human could generate. The ‘Crab’ rushes behind him on its caterpillar tracks. Within couple of heartbeats the ginger runs through gateway to another courtyard where he collides with postman, knocking him down from bicycle. Letters scatter everywhere while the elderly mailman starts to curse in local dialect. Tintin lifts the bicycle and mounts it in one swift movement.
“Was?! Oi! Du!”
“Entschuldigen!” He shouts back, pedaling the bicycle.
The ‘Crab’ clashes through gateway, leaving it in ruins. It emits steam from both funnels, like a threat, and hastens behind Tintin.

Dust. Clouds of steam.
Shouts. Moans.
Ferrous taste of blood on his own lips. Smell of scalded skin.
Life draining away from Simon’s eyes.
Everything felt like under layer of fog. Dampness seeped into bones. His left side hurt. He could hear voices of his comrades-in-arms, but their shouting came from distance. He realized that he was shuddering uncontrollably and that he could breathe only with great effort. His left side hurt. He tried to reach there but his left arm was somewhat limp.
Simon was looking at him. No, that’s rubbish. Dead could not look at anybody anymore. His eyes were merely cast in the direction towards him. Torn copper plate sticking out from Simon’s body, etched sunflower watered with blood.
And above was distant uncaring blue sky.

Milou strides around unconscious Archibald. He could not wake him by mere prodding and steelworks employees are drawing dangerously near. The copper canine emits steam. He had to be drastic.
“OW!” Captain rouses thanks to the insidious feat. “Ow!” He says to Milou, rubbing his ass.
Milou sits and casts him a ‘Don’t be hypersensitive’ glance.
Captain crawls next to Cuthbert to check professor’s pulse. He had ditched him to safety rather unceremoniously when the ‘Crab’ annihilated barn. Thanks for it, or else they both would end caved in under debris. But his movement stirs the sore in his left side. He utters a hiss and presses his scar.
“Hope you aren’t wounded, sir.”
Spalding. Thundering typhoons, is that man indestructible or what?
Archibald scrambles up to his feet, holding his side he slowly turns to face the enraged secretary who is aiming gun at him. “Herr Spalding.” Captain coughs. “Shouldn’t yer see about yer employees?”
“I’d rather deal with you first, sir .”
Archibald learnt only one useful thing in ‘Great War’. Never ever argue with madman. (Kill him before he kills you.)
Spalding’s finger twitches on trigger. Milou jerks forward with threatening gear grind, closing its jaws around Spalding’s forearm. Captain follows the automaton’s example, hurls himself at the secretary, knocking breath out of him. Spalding sweeps his hand, firing the gun aimlessly, and jettisons Milou. The delicate device lands in debris with nasty crack. Archibald tries to push Spalding down, but is himself knocked with hard elbow shove on his back. With a triumphant smile, Spalding aims his gun at kneeling Captain. But then, professor Calculus clubs him from behind. He leans the pipe on his shoulder and snorts scornfully.
Clock tower mechanism rattles and the minute hand shifts its position. Carillon starts its dance to announce 6 o’clock.

The logic is telling Tintin not to look back, but the adrenaline has opposite opinion. Obeying the latter, he glances back. And regrets it in instant. The ‘Crab’ is catching up on him and there is no way, absolutely no way, for his confiscated bicycle to be quicker than that monstrous mechanism. But he still has a chance. He swerves, driving into the hideout provided by thick old forest. He doesn’t need to pedal so much, since terrain here is mildly downhill, but he still keeps moving his legs frantically. Any advance is good advance. Hideous sound of trees ripped from roots, sound of something unnatural entering this serene nature. And Tintin knows, he knows, he does not have to look behind, that that monstrous machine will simply steamroller anything what would dare to stand in its way. Him included. He clutches the handlebars so tightly that his knuckles turn completely snow-white, his eyes are frantically searching for any possible escape route. The ‘Crab’ tears out another tree and hurls it towards him. His white polo shirt is perfect substitution for target, no one would overlook him in the dim morning light in dusky forest. And then, the derailleur chain snaps, sprockets fall off, pedals and brakes become useless.
Tintin is widely known as calm and reserved young man. The one who would never loose his temper. The one who would find logic and composure under any conditions. But even for such a man, there ARE situations where he simply could not remain unruffled. Like dashing down a hummock, through a forest, with a crab-like steam tank behind, which is drawing dangerously near every second, riding a broken bicycle.
So Tintin, doing his best to maneuver the uncontrollable bicycle, because ramming into a tree would not help him the slightest, decides to do the only thing, he never thought possible.
He opens his mouth and screams out of pure horror.

Author’s notes
Whatta day. ^^
x Müller's pet gorillas are homage to the mighty Ranko, gorilla guard at Black Island.
x Of course The Treaty of Versailles of 28 June 1919 happened here. It only have few amendments about prohibited steam-weapons.
x A gangplank in stables? You know those scaffoldings used for reaching high places in workrooms? That's it.
x Fencing has quite complicated terminology. Captain is not awesome fencer, but he could protect himself effectively.
x Average time of daybreak in that area of Polan in July is around 5:30.
x What do you think about the 'Crab'? (Like you didn't expected it. ^^)
x Caterpillar tracks. I, antitechnical, do not know how is that thing named in my own language! Searching how to say it in English was pain in the *ss.
x Mini lesson in German: Herr [mister/sir], Was [what], Du [you], entschuldigen [forgive/pardon (me)].
x Poor Simon. See, I couldn't use any Hergé's character.
x Automaton are delicated devices sensitive to hard impacts.
x Let's give Calculus some space too, he can save the day!
x I keep reminding the time, since this part, as well as previous and even the next, takes place during one day.
x I firmly believe, that even Mr. Spock would scream out of horror in such situation.
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for this prompt
part eight part ten
Warnings: Alternate Universe. Haddock/Tintin.

The Crab with the Mechanical Claws (part 9)

18th of July, 193-, Malbork
It worked.
It worked.
It frigging worked.
At least the ‘sneak in’ part.
Archibald was no more surprised by the useful gadgets in Milou, but Tintin’s skill in entering uninvited had taken him a little aback.
“D’yer do this often?” He asked after they successfully climbed over the ramparts, using Milou’s chain.
“Actually, yes.”
“Thought yer a reporter, not a thief.”
“I am investigative journalist.”
“I ran out of witty remarks. What now?”
Tintin chuckles. “Well, workrooms and laboratories are down there, but the dormitory is in High Castle and professor would be probably there.”
“So let’s get him and get outta here.”

Professor Calculus could not sleep. He generally welcomes insomnia when working on his projects, but staying awake till two o’clock in the morning while in captivity is counterproductive. So he fumbles with his pendulum. He doesn’t try to find anything in particular, but this eases him. The reactions of pendulum become strange. The spherical piece of brass is twitching wildly, as if trying to tear away its chain. “Hmm,” Cuthbert scratches his moustache. “Something is coming?” He looks from his window. “But the sky is completely clear.”

Prowling through crepuscular hallways of hostile castle reminded Archibald of his own childhood. It is like he is teen again and is sneaking out to enjoy nightlife in Dover. Apart from the fact that his parents would not kill him (presumably) when found out.
Tintin pulls him into small utility room, taking shabby map out of Milou’s strongbox.
“How old is that thing?”
“From 17th century.”
“Look.” The ginger reporter steps closer, pointing to the map. “This is where we need to get. But we cannot go this way, because …”
“‘Cause they modernized it here a little.”
“Hnn,” Tintin bits his lower lip. “We need to find another way.”
Archibald leans over him to study the map, partially embracing him from behind, and Tintin could feel his heart racing the adrenaline in his veins. He closes his eyes and starts to count in Chinese in his mind. He needs to calm down.
He needs to get his mind out of the gutter. Archibald, Archibald Haddock, get your sick mind out of that frigging gutter! Oh Columbus, that boy makes his knees weak. He is nearing forty and he feels like enamored schoolgirl! For a boy, waaay to younger and mysterious as a castle in Carpathians who is obviously magnet for troubles.
Captain reaches up, firmly grasps Tintin’s chin and tilts his head back, lowering himself to capture those mesmerizing lips. The ginger kisses back, ignoring the uncomfortable angle of his neck.
Milou snorts and somehow manages it without emitting steam. If he would have eyes, he would roll them back right now. Instead he puffs out thick wisp of steam from its muzzle and maliciously kicks down a nearby crate, leaps on it and gives them a ‘yuck it is’ Look from above. Well, not exactly from above, but from higher than normally.
“Ain’t yer dog a little jealous?”
“He is just reasonable.”

There is one unbreakable rule in Cuthbert’s live. Of course, there are other rules, which should be respected, like the security of work (especially when dealing with dangerous or explosive materials), so he keeps these rules with iron grasp. But they are not so important. No. This rule is primal. This rule is above everything. This rule is: Always obey the pendulum.
And right now, the pendulum says: “Westward.”

Archibald releases Tintin with a soft kiss on head and takes the map from him.
“How d’yer got this?”
Tintin smiles at him mischievously.
“Aaa, I see. Connections.”
“Precisely. Shall we go?”

Professor Calculus resolutely puts his hat on and flings his doors open. Unbeknown to Cuthbert, right behind them is a guard stationed. That poor man will ever had no idea what did knocked him out. Professor looks at the unconscious figure with a grunt of disapproval and with admonishingly raised finger he gives his advice. “Young man, if you are on guard, you should better watch out, and not sleep.”

“I’m telling yer, we’re walking right into trap.” Even thought that Archibald is whispering, his voice is rumbling through empty hallway.
“Captain. The fact that we did not managed to run into anyone, does not mean that we will run into troubles.”
They turn left and nearly collide with inconspicuous man in his early forties, clad in green tweed suit, who is visibly following a brass pendulum twitching in his hand.
“Oh. Morning, gentlemen.” He tips his bowler hat and continues walking, like this kind of situation is completely normal.
Captain and Tintin share a look of surprised disbelief.
“Strange.” Cuthbert stops. “Very strange.” He turns around and walks back to them, hand holding pendulum aiming directly at the ginger reporter. “You are absolutely extraordinary, young boy.”
Tintin regains his composure forthwith. “Professor Cuthbert Calculus?”
“This apparatus? That’s my handmade brass pendulum.”
“No, he asked whether yer are professor Calculus.”
“What is its radius? I dare to say kilometer or more.”
Captain fells the irritation rising in him. He gratuitously wants to scream some sense to that deaf man, but Tintin’s hands on his arm have calming effect.
“Oh, Great God, where are my manners?” Cuthbert grabs Archibald’s hand and shakes it zealously. “Pardon me for not introducing myself.” He then seizes Tintin’s hand. “My name is Cuthbert Calculus.”
Captain moans. For what? Oh Lord, for what?

Spalding is tossing and turning in his bed. He did not get a wink of sleep. Whenever he thinks about that stubborn professor, he is on verge of tears. How could such a brilliant man be such a dumbass? Abandoning all thoughts of proper night rest, he lights up the oil lamp. One quick glance at timepiece reveals to him, that it is already three seventeen. He wraps himself in his dressing gown, cursing the coldness of the Castle, and heads for bookshelf. Perhaps he could calm himself down with something nice to read.
To read. Read!
Oh, Heavens Allseeing, why didn’t this occur to him sooner?
He stumbles to his slippers and after waking his assistants up, he heads for Cuthbert’s room. Spalding doesn’t care for the unruly hour, he will settle it with the professor once and for all right now!

“See? I told yer it will go wrong.”
“Calm down, Captain. He is just a little hard of hearing.”
“He is as deaf as a doorknob.”
After the curious introducing ritual, they persuaded Cuthbert to go with them, Captain more or less dragged the poor professor all the time, while Tintin, without consulting the map, led the way. Which turned out to be the worst possible idea. They ended up in large yet cozy library somewhere in the castle. Professor is babbling to Milou, evidently enthralled by the little automaton, scrutinizing it from every angle. Milou wags his tail fiercely, thinking that Cuthbert wants to play with him.
“Where are we, anyway?”
“Well," Tintin fumbles with his fingers, "you have the map.”
Archibald wants to kill somebody. Just because. He takes a deep breath and another one and takes out the map. After staring at it for while, which fells like eternity for Tintin, he paces to window to examine actual arrangements of buildings. “How, blue blistering barnacles, did we get into Middle Castle?”
Tintin shrugs his shoulders with nervous snicker.
Captain waves his hand in resigned forgiving gesture. “It’s actually handy. Look.” He shows the map to Tintin. “We could use this way, supposing it is passable, and …”
“…and confiscate some vehicle in workrooms.”
“Right yer are.” Archibald grins at Tintin.
“Great.” Tintin grins back. His jaw-muscles hurt from ginning so much. “They have not yet noticed that professor is missing, so …”
The alarm goes off, ear-splitting metallic sound reverberating through whole building.
Archibald’s eyebrows shoot sardonically up. “D’yer said something?”

Author’s notes
Oh wow, this was rather long part. And we haven't ended the day yet. ^^
x Malbork, once again. See this page for more info. It is not just one building, it is enormous area. × × × × × × × Wonderful, isn't it? Though I'm forced to make some changes. First, you might notice that the Castle is practically a suburb. Not in this story. The actual city of Malbork (with air-port) is further away and separated by thick old forest. Second, Poland, in general, is flat. The part where Malbork is located is flat flat. I need it a little higher, so let's pretend, that it has been built on a hummock.
x Archibald's childhood in Dover sure must have been ... wild. His family, that's another story.
x Counting in foreign language is an efficient method how to calm down.
x I honestly belive, that all most of those stunts which Tintin and Captain do, is turning them on. There's nothing more arousing than hijacking a ship, or jumping out of runaway train, or breaking and entering.
x Being as mysterious as castle in Carpathians is idiomatic expression in my language. I don't know proper English equivalent.
x The ‘yuck it is’ Look is known to every proud owner of dog/cat/any misbehaved animal all around the world. And every one of them, including me, know that the pet is able to learn it and cast it back, ten times stronger.
x Cuthber's pendulum has infinite radius.
x From my own experiences, I know that the most genius and simple ideas always come last.
winryweiss: (Default)
I spent this weekend on family cottage. I love that place, it's relaxing to drop out from city to wild nature. And when I say wild nature I mean wild nature. It's not like our family cottage is on the edge of the world. It's more likely behind. Closest city is barely mile away, but you didn't seen the road.
I took my cat with me. Despite his name, my cat is pampered yellow-belly. To answer the question, I named him 'Lucifer'. And no, he is not black, he is ginger. When he was kitten he looked like blaze, but the red pigment just grew away. And he is total coward. I know it is cat's nature to be circumspect, but jumping twenty centimetres (8 inches) to the air just because someone in his near proximity unexpectedly moved ... WTF? He is afraid, among many other things, of: sudden movements, garden hosepipe, that curtain which hangs in main door of cottage, both of my nieces, vet, brushing, ... and dragonflies.
But to be honest, even I was afraid of that.
Now, I am a city girl, but I studied in small spa town. In summer heatwaves, sometimes the dragonflies from nearby brook (proudly called river by locals) used to fly really close to dormitory, sometimes even to balcony or inside. They were really beautiful colourful glittering gems. Small beautiful colourful glittering gems. Around an inch (2.5 cm).
That ... specimens which were fluttering around our garden were at least ten centimetres (4 inches) long! They were frigging huge! And there were four different kinds of them! I am used to the fact, that in our garden are fleshy spiders, so I don't look around much, but ... Is this normal size of dragonfly? I hope so, since the other possible explanation is that there are some mutagens in soil.
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for this prompt
part seven part nine
Warnings: Alternate Universe. Haddock/Tintin. Hurt and Comfort, war-flashback.

The Crab with the Mechanical Claws (part 8)

The Death herself must have been walking on this battlefield. The air was filled with thick steam fog and the unmistakable taste of gunpowder, blood and dying. Heavy puffing of engines shouted down all other noises, all the wails of injured ones, all the yelled orders. He could barely recognize silhouettes of others around him, his vision was somewhat blurry. His eyes were crying, and he could not distinguish anymore whether the tears were of desperation or from acrid dust.
The opponents retreated. For how long?
He was tired. He wished to give up, just lay down and die, be at peace finally. But he had promised with Chester, he had promised, that they both will take captain exams together, that they both will become freelance sailors, family traditions be damned. After they will be free again, after this madness will end.
“Hey, Arch!” Simon appeared next to him. That boy kept telling that he is eighteen, but everyone knew that he was younger. Way too younger. “Chester’s fine. Patella did take out the bullet.”
“All hail to our doc.”
“But he still could lose his arm.”

“No way.” He turned to face Simon. “Chester is far too headstrong for it.”
Simon grinned, his face dirty and hair damp, and he opened his mouth to say something. But it was drown out in high-pitched screech of nearby tank. The copper machine shuddered violently, etched sunflower pranced in mortal spasm as the whole thing exploded. Red-hot components, sharp-edged copper plates and scorching steam burst to all direction.
Smell of scalded skin.

His face stings and his eyes shoots open. For a while he doesn’t know where he is, but then he remembers. War’s end, captain exams, parting with Chester when he acquired ‘Karaboudjan’, years of solitude and memories drowned in whisky, tinned opium, that lithe ginger with queer name and automaton dog, ‘Sirius’. They are on way to Malbork because some crazy engineer has been kidnapped.
“Archibald?” Tintin asks insecure, Milou peeking behind his side.
Captain can’t tell him. He just closes his eyes again, fighting back the tears that threatens to spill out, and shakes his head. Tintin moves closer, embracing him hesitantly. The boy is warm and tender and alive, so Archibald pulls him closer, burying own face in his crew cut hair. Tintin shifts to more comfortable position, seating himself in Captain’s lap, his hand tenderly finds Archibald’s left side. Captain stiffens.
“You have some injury there, don’t you?”
“Yer sharp.” Archibald relaxes and covers Tintin’s hand with his own.
“I merely pay attention to details. Does it hurt?”
“N-No. Not exactly. But it reminds me …”
Tintin listens to Captain’s heartbeat. He feels drowsy, warm and safe. “You need not talk about it. But if you want, I will listen.”
“Yer Angel.” Archibald kisses him on hair. “Did anyone told yer that?”
Tintin laughs. “I have been called nosy, intrusive, meddlesome, snoop, but never Angel.”
“Angel with halo supported on Devil’s horns.”
“Hnnn, I like that.”
Milou puffs and tries to wedge itself between its master and the other man. They both chuckle and Tintin snuggles his automaton with his free hand.
“Some other time.” Captain encased them in his arms. “I’ll tell you at another time.”
“It is a deal.” Tintin kisses him on bearded cheek, polishing Milou’s head-piece.
“Promise.” For the first time since he became captain of ‘Karaboudjan’, Archibald feels at ease.

16th of July, 193-, Malbork
“Please!” Spalding smacks his head to table in pure desperation.
“Grease? What do you mean by this, young man?” Cuthbert is proud of himself. During the nine days of his captivity, he had led most of his captors to verge of tears (and over), five of them to murderous intentions towards his person, one to total nerve collapse and the leader to the deepest depth of desperation. Yesterday, apparently out of any other idea of how to make him understood, they brought him to workroom showing him the devices that their late chief engineer worked on.
They showed him the ‘Crab’.
And he was supposed to finish and improve those! Of course, he will never descend himself to creating weapons of mass destruction! Never, never again. But there are plenty of others who would. And, let’s face it, some of them are nearly as good as he is.
Plus, he should not omit the fact, that ‘Crab’ is functional.
Cuthbert combs his fingers through his moustache. Luckily, he had sent all his blueprints to that promising young reporter. They had found it out, tracing factory post, but according to the boy’s reputation, he doesn’t need to worry about this. On the contrary, his captors are the ones who should be worried. “Why won’t you simply tell me what do you want from me?”
“I did!” Screams Spalding at him. “I’m doing it all the time, you old goat!”
“Buying a crime boat? What is that, some prototype?”
Spalding starts crying.

17th of July, 193-, Malbork
“Lad, yer know that I don’t have any particular interest of getting meself killed, right?”
“Come on, Captain. This will be fun.”
“Shh. Keep your voice down.”
“’kay. But yer have pretty strange notion of fun, yer know.”
They are hiding in the shade of ramparts, near river, while clock tower in the castle ground strikes eleven. The darkness of the night is shredded by few lights here and there shining from tall windows.
“We’re gonna raid the most protected castle in all Preußen and there’s only two of us.”
Mechanical gear grinding from below sounds surprisingly like aggrieved dog’s growl.
“Sorry. Three. I forgot yer.”
“You are talking to my automaton?”
“Yer do it all the time.”
They stare at each other for while, but then they burst out laughing, trying hard, but unsuccessfully, to stifle the sounds. Archibald bites his fist and Tintin breathes hardly to cave from his palms.
“You really do not need to accompany me on this.” Less than more calmed, Tintin starts to unscrew Milou’s tail.
“Yer kidding? I always dreamed of raiding a castle.”
“It is called ‘breaking and entering’.”
“Great to know what we’re doing.”
Another round of stifled giggles.
“We’re twisted.”
“Totally.” Tintin wipes the tears of laughter that prickle in the corners of his eyes. “We just need to sneak in, find professor and sneak out unnoticed.”
“Laddie, I’ve been in army long enough to know, that such plans simply never works.”

Author’s notes
x Captain exams or captain course is something that all mariners who want to have and command own ship (not just some small puny boat) must undergo.
x Captain Chester is Captain Haddock's dear old good friend.
x Simon is an OC. It would be mean to bring an old acquaintance on stage only to [spoilers]. ^^
x Doctor Patella is the unfortunate owner of the poor arrested skeleton and the one who treated whole rocket crew upon their return on Eart in 'Moon series'.
x Professor Calculus could be a really, really cruel man when he wants to. But somehow he remains oblivious to this fact.
x The 'Crab' ... will arise soon.
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for this prompt
part six part eight
Warnings: Alternate Universe. Haddock/Tintin.

The Crab with the Mechanical Claws (part 7)

13th of July, 193-, Sirius
Tintin tries desperately not to laugh. But his own lips are betraying him, again and again turning into satisfied smile.
“How. Did. Yer. Got. Tickets. To. Here?
“I have connections.”
They look at each other, both fighting hard to suppress laugh.
Sirius, latest model of passenger-carrying rigid airship, most sumptuous vessel in K33 class, is a luxurious cruiser which stops in every airport city along its way. They will be in Malbork in three days. The reception room, furnished with leather coated armchairs, rosewood coffee-tables and heavy satin curtains, in which they are sitting right now offers breathtaking view outside through glassed-in wall.
“Out with the plan, laddie.”
“Do you know the competitive factory of ‘Tournesol’?” Tintin polishes Milou head-piece.
“‘Müller Stahlwerk’.”
“Cut out the German. Will yer?”
“If you wish.” The ginger reporter rises his hands in conciliatory gesture. “Last year, there was an accident in its main manufactory. It was all around the newspapers, starting a debate about safety in such institutions, since there were more than 10 deceased.”
“Explosion of steam-machine cause a mess.” Captain rubs his left side absentmindedly again.
Tintin notices the gesture, instantly remembering every time, when he saw Captain doing this. He mentally notes to ask about it at first suitable opportunity. “Thanks to this, we know where it is located.”
“Uh huh.”
“And what makes yer think, that professor Calculus is there.”
“It mesh together. Who else would risk kidnapping a famous engineer in the middle of street in broad daylight?”
Tintin laughs and pats Milou lovingly.
“So, we gonna run around the town, searching for professor?”
“No, Captain. If I am not mistaken, and I hardly am, we would need to sneak into the Malbork Castle.”
“Yer gotta be kidding.”

14th of July, 193-, somewhere in Prussia
“Yes, Thomson?”
“Where, by Great Scotland Yard, are we?”
Thompson looks around the desolated train station. No human in sight for miles, only an old cow chewing on pasture far away. Wild nature all around and absolutely no traces of civilization.
“In Preußen?”
“I can see it. But we are, apparently, not in Malbork.”
“Well, no.”
“Can you even imagine what will Tintin do without our supervision?”
The sudden paleness in Thompson’s face revealed that he could imagine it very well.

15th of July, 193-, Sirius
Tintin stares at map of Malbork Castle in the dim light of oil reading lamp, memorizing all details. He could only guess how many string must have Thompson and Thomson pulled to obtain this for him. That Interpol agent who delivered the map to him at Hannover surely didn’t have any idea, that he has one of most protected secret of Preußen in his hands. The map was old and, without any doubt, outdated, but it was the proverbial scratch from which they could start.
Archibald snores softly once again and turns over in spacious double bed. Tintin smiles, looking at the man and his automaton, which was lying in the foot of the bed, almost like a real dog. Strong feeling of tenderness washes over him. For great snakes, he met that man barely a week ago! But he knows, knows, that he could rely on him. That he will never be betrayed by him. Plus, there is that peculiar feeling, like butterflies fluttering inside his tummy, whenever Captain smiles at him. And that … incident in Calais. He could still feel the warmness of Captain’s body, the scratchy tingle from his beard.
Sadly, they didn’t have an opportunity to repeat it. First night here, he was so tired from all the phone calls, dealings and promises he had to made, that he barely crawled to bed. He doesn‘t even remember taking off his shoes. And this time, Captain fell asleep before he returned from bath.
Archibald moans.
The ginger reporter puts the map away and looks at the timepiece. Almost one o’clock in the morning. He didn’t plan to stay up so long, but this happens to him quite often. Especially when he immerse himself into something interesting.
Archibald tosses himself around and growls.
Milou lifts its head-piece up, looking at the other occupant of bed.
Something is wrong.

Author’s notes
x Sirius, in original stories, is merchant trawler under captain Chester, Haddock's old friend. It appears in 'The shooting star' and 'Red Rackham's Treasure'.
x Let me quote wiki : A rigid airship is a type of airship in which the envelope retained its shape by the use of an internal structural framework. K33 class in reality doesn't exist, but I imagine it as luxurious cruiser ship, very similiar to Hindenburg. Cruiser means that it will go to certain city, stays there for some time, letting the passengers to explore and shop and then heads to another city, stays ... and so on and so on. That's why the cruise from Calais to Malbork lasts for 3 days.
x 'Müller Stahlwerk' [Müller's Steelworks] is, as you can guess from its name, a steelworks, 'Tournesol Factory's' greatest rival. "Natürlich" means "naturally/of course" in German. Doctor J. W. Müller, villain who appeared in 'The Black Island', 'Land of Black Gold' and 'The Red Sea Sharks', is in this story an industrial tycoon without scruples.
x Hannover is a city in Germany. Which, in this story, is an independent state. I somehow didn't mentioned it before.
x Yes. Tintin and Haddock share the cabin and, yes, they do share even the bed.


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