Fandom: Sapphire and Steel
Characters: Sapphire, Steel, Silver
Edited by: Unedited. All mistakes are my own, and sorry I am for them.
Summary: Cutlery shouldn't always be cutlery; now it's up to Silver to make sure it's something else.
Author's Notes: Written with affection for lost_spook , during the 2013 fandom_stocking fun. She it was who introduced me to Sapphire and Steel, and I thank her very much. (Really - In 2011, I didn't know S&S. In 2012 I wrote one. Last year I doubled that to two, this and "Hearth and Soul". Goodness knows, if the rule stands, I shall write four this year, and eight the next. It really is a seductive little fandom ... but I digress.) Anyhow I hope she enjoys this adventure with a favorite threesome.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended; all characters the sole property of their respective creators.
“I’m not completely certain this will work.”
Silver looked doubtfully at the silverware he’d collected and laid out carefully on the front lawn. Sapphire knelt to one side of him, Steel to the other. In front of them, the shimmer of an eroding reality first revealed, then concealed, shadowy figures approaching and receding from sight.
“You said it would work,” Steel said flatly. “You promised.”
Silver pursed his lips and raised his eyebrows. “I did nothing of the sort. I promised that I would do my best to make it work.” He looked at Sapphire and smiled. “And I am doing my very best. I should hate to let you down. It’s just —”
“We need to move,” Steel interrupted, shutting his eyes and concentrating. The figures that had been shifting into solidity in the shimmering mist stepped back a pace, but only a pace.
“ I concur,” Silver said, hurriedly sweeping the cutlery into the empty document bag he’d used when he stole it from the human who’d stolen the settings in the first place. The three of them stood up and moved rather quickly about four yards farther from the wrought-iron gate that was causing the problem.
“They seem to be quite disagreeably close to this reality now,” Silver complained, eyeing the ever shifting figures with distaste. “Really, I think they should have called us in a little sooner, don’t you think?”
Sapphire put a hand on his arm and shook her head.
“Ah. Well, yes.” Silver sounded almost embarrassed at having inadvertently touched upon Steel’s miscalculation. Almost; he was still Silver, after all. “Back to the problem at hand. Sapphire, dear—”
Sapphire raised one exquisite eyebrow of her own.
“ — could you hand me … hmmm …” He looked about them, and brightened when he saw a particularly large and loose paving stone in the front walkway. “It’s a bit small, but it should do, if you could pry it up and get it to me.”
“I’ll get it.”
Silver shook his head at Steel.
“I’m afraid you’re just going to have to keep concentrating to keep our uninvited guests as far from the gate as possible.”
Steel didn’t bother to answer, just took a parade-ground stance, closed his eyes and continued concentrating. Sapphire walked over to the paving stone Silver indicated. Her fashionably high-heeled boots were gone, replaced with a sturdy set of steel-toed work boots in deep navy blue. Her work pants were cerulean, and she hadn’t changed her utterly impractical cobalt blue silk blouse.
“Sorry about that,” Silver said, waving his hand vaguely at her outfit. “It’s very fetching, though.”
“You could help me,” Sapphire said, sounding slightly irritated.
“Actually, no. I’ve got to get these forks and soup spoons just … just — oh, this is annoying — just … so! There we go! Now, the knives ….” He trailed off as his focus narrowed to the utensils in front of him.
Sapphire shrugged, and bent to her task. Even under the circumstances, her lips quirked in amusement. Silver was always enjoyable to work with, she thought.
After trying ineffectively to pull the stone out, and determining that it wasn’t quite as loose as it had initially appeared, she sighed.
“You’ll have to hold on a bit longer,” she told her companions, as she knelt to get a closer look. She bent her head, breathed deep and scrutinized the stone to find the necessary pressure point. Her eyes shone faintly and then she smiled. “I’ve got it.”
She brought her right hand down, hard, on the edge of the stone. It tilted and almost popped out of the earth surrounding it; Sapphire caught it easily and carried it back to Silver.
“Excellent. Thank you so much.” He plucked it from her. “Oh, I was wrong; it’s exactly the right size!” He looked at the knives, forks and spoons he had crossed and crossed again on the ground. “Now all I need to do is —”
“Whatever you need to do, do it now!”
Steel grimaced with effort, but even his formidable will was shredding before the constant onslaught of the shadows by the front gate. Two were now not nearly as shadowy as they had been. None of the figures were retreating, all were advancing, striding nearer; becoming.
Silver placed the paving stone on top of the latticed cutlery and pressed down. Sapphire felt her ears pop, as if she’d just shot to the top of a building in an express elevator. The silverware glowed and began to melt; Silver pressed harder, ensuring that it all melted into the stone. When he picked it up and flipped it over to show them the glittering pattern he’d created, the residual energy was bright enough to make the sweat on his forehead glisten.
One of the figures started to push forward through the shimmer, and Steel staggered.
“See to him, would you?” Silver directed. His eyes narrowed as he got a good grip on the stone with both hands. Holding it before him like a shield, he walked directly through the mass of shadows, taking care to avoid the two closest to reality. The move appeared to catch the shadows by surprise. They milled about, and the two most solid ones began to blur at the edges again.
Silver paid them no mind, and walked straight to the wrought-iron gate. The stone now looked remarkably like a padlock, and he proceeded to shackle the gate shut.
“Let’s see — ah, here we go.” Silver fished about himself and pulled one remaining knife from his pocket. It slid easily into the padlock’s keyway, then it, too, melted, ensuring that no other key could unbolt the gate.
Steel fell to his knees, but Sapphire was there to steady him. Together they watched the shimmering vortice steady. The shadows might have begun wailing as it disappeared, and they with it, or it could have been the wind suddenly picking up. It didn’t matter, really, now that the gate’s long-destroyed silver lock was recreated and back in place. The gate itself became translucent, then transparent, then disappeared. So did the pressure in Sapphire’s ears, for which she was grateful.
Silver joined his companions as they sat in the soft grass, catching their breath. People walked by the now gateless house, but didn’t look at them. “How are you, Steel? I told you it would work.”
Steel looked up at him and Silver thought his expression was priceless. “I’m fine, and you did not.”
“Oh, didn’t I?” He settled in and patted Steel’s knee. “Well, you know better than to pay attention to what I might say while I’m figuring things out.”
Sapphire laughed softly. “Don’t tease him.”
“Let him. He earned it,” Steel said. He fought a grin and largely won. “Even I can admit that technicians have their talents.”
Silver looked pleased. “Shall we?”
Sapphire nodded. The three helped each other up and walked away together.