Two-Factor Theory by evangelina
[Reviews - 2] - Table of Contents - [Report This]

Printer Chapter or Story
- Text Size +
Story Notes:

The challenge for this one was: "“Angst. Shounen-ai (or at least no sex). Joe being confused over his feelings for Ken. Ken being Ken, and therefore being oblivious over Joe's feelings (but also being in no way interested in Jun, or any female for that matter). Happy ending optional.”

(Additional clarification: We don't know if Ken wants or doesn't want Joe, but we know he doesn't want Jun...and it's up to the writer whether it works out or not between Joe and Ken.)"

As for the canon question...I went with mostly canon because of the setting and context. 

 Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners, most notably Tatsunoko, Sandy Frank Entertainment, Saban Entertainment, ADV, and Turner Entertainment. (Wow.) The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No profit is being made. No copyright infringement is intended. 


And with tears of blood he cleansed the hand,
The hand that held the steel:
For only blood can wipe out blood,
And only tears can heal 

Ballad of Reading Gaol - Oscar Wilde 


Two Factor Theory


The Gatchaspartan’s doors whispered open, and Ken appeared, Jun’s limp body draped between his arms. Both he and Jun were covered in blood, and when he stopped moving it flowered in bright, wet red blossoms at his feet.

Kneeling, he laid her carefully on the floor. Jun moaned a bit as he pulled his arms out from under her, her dark lashes fluttering against her cheeks. Jinpei skidded to his knees beside her, stripping off her crimson-spattered white gloves so he could clutch her hands.

Ken straightened, automatically bracing himself against the tilt of the ship as Ryu dodged the basilisk mecha. His blue gloves were black with Jun’s blood.

“We need to use the Hypersuit if we’re ever going to get rid of that thing,” he said. “So I’ll be back.” To Jinpei, he said only, “Keep her awake.”

Ryu and I had to stay in our seats as the Phoenix tore through the basilisk, shredding it like so much tissue paper. It exploded in our wake, but I could hardly say I was sorry.

Ryu immediately turned in his seat, craning to see Jun. The Gatchaspartan wobbled a little in response.

“I’ll go take a look at her,” I said.

I went to my knees beside Jinpei, laying a hand on the kid’s thin, trembling shoulder.

“Joe-aniki,” he said, his voice choked, pleading.

“She’s going to be okay, you’ll see.” It was a useless, empty platitude. There was so very, very much blood, great red blooms of it all over her uniform. I was hard pressed to find a clean spot larger than my thumb.

I tugged off my gloves, intentionally turning them inside out. My hands were cleaner than the cloth, and it wouldn’t do for me to probe the wounds with my gloves on.

I had to tear her uniform to reach the injuries. I gripped the bottom hem of her skirt with both hands and ripped upward, leaving just enough material covering her breasts to be modest. Even her white undergarments were red.

The wounds were bad; she had been shot five times with a projectile weapon, and I knew without turning her over that the exit wounds would be at least twice as big as the ragged holes I could see.

I gently peeled off Jinpei’s gloves, laid his hands over two of the wounds, and bade him push. I took two of the others, folding my inside-out gloves over them first, forced to leave the one I deemed least dangerous uncovered.

Ken reappeared, looming above us and looking even more haggard than he usually did after we used the Hypersuit. His skin was paper white, and even through the pale azure of his visor I could see bruises forming beneath his eyes.

“You all right?” I said, aware that my question was absurd, considering how badly Jun was hurt.

He reached up and tugged his helmet off. His hair tumbled across his forehead and down around his shoulders in rumpled waves. His eyes were disturbingly blue against his pale skin.

Without acknowledging me, he lifted his wrist, opening a line to G-Town. “This is G-1. Jun is badly injured.”

Jun stirred at his voice, opening her eyes, a vivid jungle green in contrast to all that crimson.

Ken described the injuries quickly, even angrily, and Nambu promised to have a medical team waiting for us.

“Ken,” Jun said weakly. Her gaze roved a bit, and he lowered himself to one knee, across her body from Jinpei and me, so she could find him.

“I’m sorry,” she said, “that I…got hurt.”

His face was impassive, unreadable, but his eyes shone with unshed tears. “As fast as you can humanly get us there, Ryu,” he said tersely.

“That’s what I’m doing,” Ryu replied. I could hear the anxiety in his voice.

Jun lifted her hand and fumbled for a moment before finding Ken’s arm. “I’m dying,” she said.

“No, you’re going to be fine.”

She shook her head slightly. Her eyes were a little glassy. “I know…I’m dying.”

I thought about Cross Karakorum -- it seemed so long ago now -- when I had lain in that wet grass, the scent of earth and blood filling my head. You really did know when you were about to die. There is a sense of finality, an almost preternatural awareness of your soul coming loose from your body.

I felt tears burn my eyes, the back of my throat. If that was what she felt, we were going to lose her.

“I have to…tell you something,” she whispered.

“You’re going to be fine,” Ken repeated.

Holding his eyes, she said, “I love you.” Her fingers tightened around his arm, and I saw tears slide from the corners of her eyes, back into the darkness of her hair. “I’ve been in love with you for years, but I…didn’t tell you. I wish I had.”

At Cross Karakorum, I’d told Ken and Jun to leave the team, to make a normal life together. When I returned, there had been a part of me that was angry at them for not doing as I told them.

I glanced at Ken, at the strong clean lines of his face, pinched now with concern.

And there was a part of me that had been relieved, though I still hadn’t quite sorted out why.

“I love you,” she said again.

Ken shook his head, once. Denial. “You’re afraid,” he said. “What you feel is fear. You’re just misinterpreting it as love.”

“No,” she said, that one word as assured as any I had ever heard her utter. And I believed her. It wasn’t like I had never seen her cast longing glances in his direction. It wasn’t like I didn’t know why she really let him get away with never paying his tab at the Snack J. “Ken. I adore you. What I wouldn’t give…for another chance…”

“They drilled this into our heads,” Ken said, cutting her off, drowning her out. “The two-factor theory of emotion. You feel one strong emotion, but you interpret it as another because of the circumstances. Fear becomes attraction.”

They had drilled that into our heads, “they” being the shrinks on staff at G-Town. If you find yourself attracted to your teammates, it’s a trauma bond, they said, based on the two-factor theory…

We’d heard it all. Stockholm Syndrome, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, ingroup bias and outgroup homogeneity. Whatever. She loved him. Of course she did. Why wouldn’t she?

“We’re down,” Ryu said.

I was the one who gathered the now-unconscious Jun into my arms. She curled against my chest, her silent tears soaking through the fabric covering my chest. I laid her gently on the stretcher they had waiting, and the medical team ran down the hall to the OR.

We went down after them to wait.

Chapter End Notes:
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners, most notably Tatsunoko, Sandy Frank Entertainment, Saban Entertainment, ADV, and Turner Entertainment. (Wow.) The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No profit is being made. No copyright infringement is intended.
~ Table of Contents ~
[Report This]
You must login (register) to review.