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[sticky post] Just a Number: Contents Page

Title: Just a Number
Fandom: Make It Or Break It (MIOBI) AU
Characters: Sasha Belov, Payson Keeler
Kim Keeler, Mark Keeler, Becca Keeler, Marty Walsh, Howard Bryson (OC), Rassilon (OC), Nikolai Gabordi, Emily Kmetko, Kaylie Cruz, Lauren Tanner, Austin Tucker, Kelly Parker, Nicky Russo, MJ Martin, Viola Pettinger, Dmitri Belov, Ellen Beals, Summer Van Horne, Shiela Baboyan, Marcus McGowan . . .    

Pairing: Sasha Belov/Payson Keeler

Summary What if Sasha never came to The Rock? He was never her coach, and she was never his gymnast. Now all that stands between them is the age gap . . . and the Atlantic Ocean. Not to mention his reputation, the competition, and the fact that everyone seems to have an opinion on how she should feel about him and nobody thinks he's right for her. Nothing between them but age, and well . . . it's just a number anyway, right?

​Arc One: Across the Universe - The Beatles

Chapter 1: Have We Met?
Chapter 2: A Good Night's Sleep
Chapter 3: Same Old Song
Chapter 4: The Conquering Hero
Chapter 5: Magazine
Chapter 5: Kings and Queens
Chapter 6: A Lesson From Nobokov's Book
Chapter 7: A Word to the Wise
Chapter 8: No Dancing Today
Chapter 9: A Night of Firsts
Chapter 10: Thank Goodness
Chapter 11: Magazine
Chapter 11: The Magic of Misdirection
Chapter 12: The Unexamined Life of Mistress Viola
Chapter 13: Fortune's Fool
Chapter 14: Just Say Yes
Chapter 15: The Morning After
Chapter 16: Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow
Chapter 17: Misplaced Concern

Arc Two: Hey There Delilah - The Plain White Tees

Chapter 18: Half the World Away
Chapter 19: Back on Top
Chapter 20: New Beginnings
Chapter 21: One Short Day
Chapter 22: Back to Reality
Chapter 23: Strike a Pose
Chapter 24: Out in the Open
Chapter 25: Daddy's Little Girl
Chapter 26: Catwalks and Catfights
Chapter 27: Transition
Chapter 28: One of Those Days
Chapter 29: Getting Off on the Right Foot
Chapter 30: Some Unprecedented Results
Chapter 31: The Aftermath
Chapter 32: The Problem With Holding Grudges
Chapter 33: Lines in the Sand

Arc Three: Bottle It Up - Sara Bareilles

Chapter 34: London Calling
Chapter 35: Domestic Bliss
Chapter 36: Going to see the Great Bard
Chapter 37: Home is Where the Heart Is
Chapter 38: Edging Forward
Chapter 39: The Ultimate Ultimatum
Chapter 40: Before the Worst

Chapter 41: We Need to Talk
Chapter 42: In Difficult Circumstances
Chapter 43: Readying the Troops
Chapter 44: Where We Stand
Chapter 45: Nefarious Ways
Chapter 46: Breaking News
Chapter 47: Say Anything
Chapter 48: Down for the Count

​Arc Four: Love You 'Til the End - The Pogues

Chapter 49: Swept Under the Carpet
Chapter 50: A Birthday Reprieve
Chapter 51: Countdown to Nationals
Chapter 52: Send My Love to St. Louis ay 1 Results
Chapter 53: Caught Out
Chapter 54: Reigning Champion ay 2 Results
Chapter 55: State of Emergency
Chapter 56: Quid pro quo
Chapter 57: Emotional Upheaval
Chapter 58: While You Were Sleeping
Chapter 59: Delaying the Inevitable
Chapter 60: Airplanes
Chapter 61: The End

Deleted Scenes: Inflatable You - Tim Minchki

Chapter 9.5: Baby, It's Cold Outside
Chapter 14.5: Wake Up Call
Chapter 25.5: The Rules For Dating My Teenaged Daughter
Chapter 26.33: Romanian Stuffed Peppers
Chapter 26.66: Fish of the Day
Chapter 34.5: Nothing Beats It
Chapter 48.5: Payback's a Bitch
Chapter 51.5: Kitchen Disasters
Chapter 50.5: A Very Good Day
Chapter 52.5: It's In The Bag
Chapter 54.5 Nikolai the Great
Chapter 57.5: Someone to Watch Over Me

​Vignettes: he Long and Winding Road - The Beatles
All vignettes take place between Chapter 60 and Chapter 61.


Oct. 15th, 2016

Doctor cover

Summary: Post-Olympic AU.  Payson loses her sense of direction following victory in London.  Her therapist thinks she needs closure.  Sasha Belov has other ideas. Payson/Sasha.

Just What the Doctor Ordered – Intervention

This was not the girl he remembered . . .Collapse )

Fic: Just What the Doctor Ordered

Okay, so this should probably be a Priceless update, but you know . . . its not.  I've had this one on my computer for ages and I felt like posting (because I'm procrastinating and fan fiction is my go to for procrastination).

This story is AU from 2x14: Life or Death.  The girls don’t lose to Pinewood, therefore leading Payson to confront Darby on her coaching skills and being spurred into finding a replacement coach.  She doesn’t find a letter with Sasha’s address in Romania, and she doesn’t hop a flight form London to Bucharest in order to tempt Sasha back to The Rock.
That’s not to say that Payson herself stays at The Rock.  But we’ll get to that part later.

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Doctor cover

Summary: Post-Olympic AU.  Payson loses her sense of direction following victory in London.  Her therapist thinks she needs closure.  Sasha Belov has other ideas. Payson/Sasha.

Just What the Doctor Ordered – Insanity
Payson thought it was insane that she even had a therapistCollapse )
The Games We Play
Summary: AU. Snow proposes an alternative after Haymitch's victory. One that will save his family and damn himself to the most vile of professions: A Gamemaker.
A/N: I kind of surprised myself in being able to add to this universe.  As much as I've filled it out in my mind, it's mostly just ideas of how the characters all come together in this verse.
Disclaimer: I do not own The Hunger Games.  Image credit for the chess image (King's Move) goes to Daniel Go.

The Games We Play – The Prisoner’s Dilemma

The hob was loud and crowded, with noise coming from every direction.  It wouldn’t normally bother Haymitch – in fact he’d spent a fair share of his time in the hob before the Games – but now it was all just too much.  The sounds and movement and the dank smell and humid atmosphere triggered memories of the arena, reminding him of the horrors he had faced there.

If he closed his eyes for a second too long he’d see the bright, deadly colours of a tropical rainforest and it was like he’d never left the arena.
Conroy didn’t seem too bothered by the noise, or the crowd.  Then again, his arena had been one of those urban outfits where they were placed in some long deserted ghost town.  Silence was probably more of a bother to him than the hustle and bustle of the hob.

The two of them were seated at a makeshift table set up near Greasy Sae’s, a bowl of her famous stew set out in front of each of them.  Kyler Everdeen had been around earlier that day, so rumour had it that the mystery meat filling was rabbit, but Sae was known to use anything from dog meat to slices of protein cake.  Meat wasn’t easy to come by in District 12 and they made do with whatever was available.

Haymitch had hardly touched his dish while Conroy was already soaking up the dregs with one of the bread rolls they’d picked up from the baker on the way.  He hadn’t felt much like eating since his return from the arena, whether that be out of the habit of subsisting on the bare minimum, or the fear that, as in the arena, his food would turn out to be as deadly as everything else.

“You never really leave the arena,” his mentor said suddenly, the words corresponding with his own musings.  Conroy wore a sad smile, his expression full of understanding and pity.  “There’s only one way out of The Games.”

This was the reason why they’d come to the hob, in spite of the noise and the dankness and the way it made Haymitch’s very skin crawl.  With all the noise and movement and the precautions taken to stay under the radar of the local Peacekeeper, it was the safest place in the district to talk about Snow and the Games and the Deal that Haymitch had struck in an attempt to save his family.

“Don’t for a second think that this is anything other than what it is,” Conroy continued after a moment, his tone solemn.  He’d taken up a bottle of Ripper’s white liquor and was sipping it slowly.  Not that Conroy was a habitual drinker – the heavy conversation simply seemed to call for alcohol.  “This isn’t a reward for your cleverness or some great honour bestowed on a poor Seam boy from the lowliest of districts.

“This is punishment,” he said firmly, slamming the bottle of liquor hard on the table.  The liquid spilled out of the top of the bottle, and the sharp smell of alcohol lingered in the air.  Haymitch flinched involuntarily, the sound and smell triggering a different set of memories that had haunted him long before the Games.

“You’re luckier than some, I suppose,” Conroy continued, with a tilt of his head.  That seemed to Haymitch a subjective judgment.  As a mentor he could only be held responsible for the two children a year that were reaped from his district.  As a Gamemaker he could be blamed for every death, not just those from District Twelve.

But Conroy wasn’t finished and the life of a Victor turned out to be a whole lot grimmer than Haymitch had ever anticipated.  It wasn’t just being forced to Mentor the children of your district and having their blood stain your hands.  Snow owned you from the moment you stepped out of that arena, and the president put his toys to work in satisfying friends and enemies alike.

“You’re lucky,” Conroy repeated, although the hard expression on his face said he only meant it in this one very specific respect.  “The last thing that Snow wants is to give the impression that his Gamemakers can be bought and sold.”

Neither of them said it aloud, but they were both clearly thinking the same thought.  He was lucky that Snow didn’t like to mix up his whores with his assassins.

“That wouldn’t look very fair, would it,” Haymitch answered him bitterly.  He reached towards Conroy’s bottle, looking to share his misery with a commiserate drink, but Conroy knocked his hand away and deliberately pushed the bottle off the edge of the table.

“This is not a solution,” Conroy said sternly, his voice low and serious in the same way it was when he offered his one piece of advice for the arena: Stay Alive.  “Not with your family history.”

Haymitch scowled, more at being reminded of the man who had sired him than at being denied a stiff drink.  “And what do you suggest?” he asked, practically sneering the words.

Conroy was indifferent to the show of disrespect.  “I suggest you find a talent,” he answered, with an unhelpful shrug.  “Chess, maybe? Or perhaps whittling.
“Find something to distract yourself,” Conroy advised sagely.  “And when that doesn’t work find something to ground you.

“And when that doesn’t work?” Haymitch questioned.

Conroy smiled sadly.  “You get good at pretending it does.”

One-shot: The Games We Play

Games We Play1
The Games We Play
Summary: AU. Snow proposes an alternative after Haymitch's victory. One that will save his family and damn himself to the most vile of professions: A Gamemaker.

A/N: I had this idea and it didn't seem to have been done before.  I'm hoping to have a series of one-shots in this universe, but for now here is an introduction of sorts.
Disclaimer: I do not own The Hunger Games.  Image credit for the chess image (King's Move) goes to Daniel Go.  The lines that begin this one-shot are a paraphrase of C.P. Snow.  According to wikiquote it's a humorous expression of the Laws of Thermodynamics.  Take out the contractions and it becomes a sinister and accurate description of The Hunger Games.
The Laws of ThermodynamicsCollapse )

Fanvid: Undefeated

So I made this video ages ago as a sort of opening credits for MIOBI.  Only my laptop got stolen and the only copy I had was on my iPod, which made it kind of difficult.  Surprisingly, the quality of the copy on my iPod isn't unsalvageable, so thought I'd finally post it.

Oneshot: Technical Failure

Title: Technical Failure
Fandom: MIOBI
Pairing(s): Payson/Rigo (teeny-tiny bit), Payson/Sasha
Disclaimer: I don't own MIOBI.

I saw a prompt for 'Payson doesn't win gold' sometime ago and this is what came out.

Technical Failure

Rigo didn't get it.  Of course he didn't.  He wasn't a gymnast and even though he'd been training for the Olympics his whole life (well, like 8 years 'cos BMXing wasn't even a real sport, and yeah she was felling pretty bitter about things - Rigo included - right now, but that still didn't put gymnastics and BMXing in the same class), it wasn't something he could understand.  She had the gold medal now, so what else mattered?

"Everything," she told him.

He hadn't disguised his eye-roll and she hadn't softened her words when she'd told him to leave her alone so she could brood in peace.  He had shrugged, his patience worn thin, and told her to call him when she was done being a psycho.

She told him not to hold his breath.  That was a week ago and she hadn't heard from him since.

Because he just didn't get it.  It didn't matter that China had cheated - that their star athlete had turned out to be well underage - because at the end of the day she'd still been beaten.  By a thirteen year old girl, yes.  But by a thirteen year old who had outscored her by nearly half a point.

It kind of put a damper on the whole gold medal thing.

If it weren't for some stupid USOC rule (a rule that a large branch of the gymnastics community considered unnecessary and stupid) she would still be hanging on to the silver medal, not the gold, and it was only that Ying Fa Li turned out to be ineligible to compete that changed the colour of her hardware.  It was a technicality, that was all.  It didn't change the results themselves.

She didn't feel like a gold medalist. In her mind she was second best.  Just because she physically had the gold medal didn't change the outcome in her mind.  She was the silver floor medalist.  Not gold.

The gold medal was now a constant reminder of that - a big black mark just sitting atop her dresser while the rest of her luggage sat in the corner, all packed up ready for the journey home where she would be treated as the bigger winner.  She'd almost rather have the silver than her tainted, pity gold.  At least then she'd have the medal she deserved instead of the one she'd earned by a technicality.

"It'll be alright," Lauren told her, offering comfort as they sat side-by-side on her bed.  Lauren put her arms around her shoulders, hugging her tightly.  "It won't even matter a year from now."

Payson highly doubted it, but at least Lauren got why she was upset.  Lauren had taken bronze on beam, not the silver or gold that she was expecting.  There was disappointment in that.  And if Ivanka and Genji got stripped of their medals tomorrow (for whatever reason), she knew that Lauren would feel as lousy about suddenly being awarded a gold medal as Payson did now.

Lauren eyed her worriedly as she just stared silently at her dresser, a part of her wishing it would all just disappear in a puff of smoke so she didn't have to think about it.  "I'll get, Sasha," she said suddenly, with a determinative nod of her head, hopping off the bed and darting out of the room.  Lauren, for all the problems that they'd had in previous years, knew well enough that there was only one person who could get her through something like this.

Sasha arrive moments later and took the seat beside her that had been recently vacated by Lauren.  A moment later she had buried her head in his chest and finally gave in, sobbing quietly until the front of his shirt was a damp mess and creased under her fist.

"I'm sorry," he said, his voice low.  Somehow he knew exactly what to say, offering neither platitudes of how things would get better in time or reasons for why it shouldn't matter.  Instead he simply gave apology.  Because it sucked that it had happened at all, but there was nothing that could be done to change things at this point. 

He gently rubbed her back, the action giving her a sense of calm and ease.  She'd almost forgotten how good it could feel in Sasha's arms.  How nothing could matter when she was with him.  It cleared away the jumble of thoughts in her mind, the questioning and hurt, to get to the root of her problem.

"I never should have changed my floor routine," she said, lifting her head slightly so she could see him better.  "I can't believe I was so stupid."

Sasha gave a shrug.  "You did what needed to be done at the time.  The NGO weren't taking you seriously.

"If you'd kept with your original routine, you might have been underscored in preliminaries and missed out on a place in the finals," he noted.

She read between the lines.  "You don't think so?"

He shrugged again.  "It was good routine.  You'd have made floor.  Maybe not All-Around and Bars, but definitely floor."

"And look what good that did me," she muttered sourly.  She'd placed sixth in the All-Around due to a mistake on beam and fourth in bars, not medalling in either event.  The medals had gone to Kaylie and Jordan respectively: silver in the all-around for Kaylie and bronze for Jordan on bars.

He smoothed her hair and held her a little bit tighter.

She let out another sob.

"Stupid gold medal," she said bitterly.  "I don't even want it anymore."

Sasha pulled back at her words, holding her far enough away that he could look her in the eye.  "I had an idea I thought you might go for.

"How about a trade?" he suggested.  "You keep my All-Around.  I get your floor."

She gaped, blinking widely as she tried to rebuke his suggestion.  She couldn't keep his medal.  Not when he'd put his own blood, sweat, and tears into earning it while hers really belonged to someone else.  Was a Floor medal really equivalent to an All-Around?

"That medal hasn't belonged to me for a long time," he added, cutting in before she could begin to mount her protests.  "Its been yours from the moment I first gave it to you.  It would be wrong for me to try and take it back."

"Sasha, I -"

"Please," he added, his expression pleading.  "I've been where you are, Payson.  In the lead up to Sydney the only thing I cared about was beating Marty and showing MJ that I was a better man than he was.

"Except that I wasn't," he continued.  "I was a better gymnast, but Marty was the better man and for years that medal was a reminder of my spite and how even though I'd won it, I'd done it for all the wrong reasons."

One of his hands left her back, coming up to gently rest against her cheek.  "You made it stand for something good," he told her, voice barely a whisper.  "Something brave and honest.  And beautiful."  He kissed her forehead, smiling affectionately as he pulled away.  "For that I can never repay you."

He held her gaze for a moment longer, eyes conveying something that she wished desperately to understand.  Then he stood to leave, not waiting for her response, taking a long step towards the door.  "Sasha, wait," she called frantically, jumping to her feet before he could get any further.  "The medal," she said, sounding breathless.  She lunged at her dresser, picking up the case containing her unwanted gold as a part of a single movement.

She moved quickly towards him, not wanting to waste any more time and handed him the small, wooden box.  "Hopefully this will come to mean something good, too," she told him.

She paused for a moment, almost leaving it at that, but the decision was already made.  It had been made long ago, in an empty gym, just the two of them, the moment not so different from this.  Once more it was time to be brave.

She smiled shyly, ducking her head slightly as she spoke her next words.  "Maybe we could figure it out together."

He nodded, understanding flashing in his eyes.  "You know the next Olympics is only four years away," he told her, slightly hesitant.  There was a question buried in his words, one that asked her if she was sure that she wanted this, that there wasn't something else she'd rather pursue instead.

She shook her head.  "I'm done with competing," she said, smiling back at him.  That part of her life, and everything that went with it, was the past.  Only one thing remained in her future.  "Someone once told me I'd make a pretty good coach," she added, giving him a cheeky grin.

"You'd make an amazing coach," he agreed.  "I'd be honored, Payson, to work beside you."

It was more than that, she knew.  More than just job and place at The Rock.  It was a place in his life, a place she desperately wanted to belong.  "So you'll have me?" she asked, risking a step closer.  He mirrored the action, and suddenly there was no distance there at all.

"Yes," he answered simply.

They didn't seal the promise with a kiss.  It was the wrong time for that.  She hadn't even properly broken up with her boyfriend and Sasha was still officially her coach until they got back to Boulder in 24 hours time.  But soon, after everything had settled down and their lives had begun, soon there would be no hesitation.

And anything else they'd work out together.

~ FIN ~

For some reason I imagined this existing in the same universe as The Dog Days Are Over, although I'm not really sure why.  The 'moment in an empty gym' just seemed to reference that fic, although I'm sure it was supposed to reference the kiss.

Fic: Priceless - Part XII


Summary: No matter what it always came back to him – to the one person who had seen her at her best and her worst and found beauty in both.  Who could put a value on that? Payson/Sasha

XII: What I've DoneCollapse )

Oneshot: La revedere

Title: La revedere
Fandom: Make It or Break It
Characters: Sasha Belov, Payson Keeler
Pairing: Payson/Sasha
Genre: Angst/Romance
Summary: Five times Sasha Belov didn't leave Payson Keeler.

Disclaimer: I do not own MIOBI or any media used in this oneshot.

Sasha Belov (Season 2)
La revedere
Read more...Collapse )

Fanfic: It's in the Math - Proof

Title: Proof
Series: It's in the Math
Fandom: Firefly (Impliedly post-Serenity)
Characters: Simon Tam, River Tam
Pairing: River Tam/Jayne Cobb
Summary: Armed with nothing but logic, Simon attempts to make his sister see reason whereupon reason knows nothing.
Disclaimer: I do not own Firefly.
Evidence or argument establishing the truth of a statementCollapse )

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