Fandom: !Fanfiction, Glee
Personaggi: Leo, Adam, Matt, Annie, Cody
Verse: Broken heart syndrome
Genere: Sci-fi
Avvisi: AU
Rating: PG-13
Prompt: Written for the Pasticcino Fest ("Un giorno sarò un planetologo")
Note: inspired by Fucking Pollen by Liz
This story is an AU from the original 'verse.
Leo and his friends are space travellers, namely they visit and explore new planets for fun (and sometimes money). On a little planet in a corner of the galaxy after a belt of asteroids Leo finds Cody... and troubles ensue.

Riassunto: Leo and Cody first's encounter in this universe.

Leo and his friends began space traveling a few years ago.
None of them had the smallest idea of what to do with their life after graduation, so putting some money together and exploring the farthest galaxy they could reach with a class two spaceship for rent was an idea as good as any other. In time, it became an habit.

Now, every three months they leave Earth – which is not exactly exciting anyway – and all together they take a few weeks off work to explore the outer space. It's a good thing their government promotes these kind of travels, in order to map as much territory as possible in the shortest time. The more unknown the planet you reach, the better. And as long as you come back with a new map officially charted under US flag, all the trip expenses are covered by the Department for Space Development.

Of course, leaving for unknown places and, possibly, risking your life in hostile territories is not the only way to travel. There are well known routes and completely colonized planets that represent no danger whatsoever. Some of them have equipped resorts for tourists and theme parks. In others animals are preserved in well-controlled areas, so that the whole planet is just one big safari. You can go somewhere to enjoy alien art, to meet other friendly cultures, to play new sports and so on. In 2155, the creation of the Mainstream Planets Circuit – a group of certified safe planets – has sensibly increased space tourism; but those are destinations suitable for families, elder citizens and newlyweds who wants something more exotic than Paris for their honeymoon, especially since half the city was razed to the ground by the meteor rains.

Young people want adventures, danger, the thrill of being part of a real expedition in mysterious lands like those brave men who dared the jungles of South America in the early 20th Century. In the last ten years the number of young people who regularly leave to find new planets has multiplied. They form real teams, they are equipped and organized, armed in most cases. They stay out enough to be back with things valuable for the DSD, and in return they receive what officially are mere refunds, but that in time pay off the purchasing of the ships which are no longer rented. For some people this is not an hobby anymore, but a very lucrative job.

This gave way to a series of unpleasant phenomena, like feuds between different US teams (or between teams from different countries), some improper use of weapons to the detriment of both local species and other human beings, risk of unknown disease breakouts and other pleasant disasters of that sort, and since it's still a pretty recent activity, everything falls into the endless gray area of awaiting regulation, which is what makes these journeys quite dangerous and, therefore, extremely fun.

For Leo and his friends this is not a job, and they're not even a proper team, but they've been doing this long enough to be considered one. After years of renting they also bought a ship. A class one cargo ship, not very fast but extremely resilient, and most of all fitted with enough room for five people to live in it comfortably for weeks. The Prince of Persia is more like a traveling holiday house for them, and a real house for Matt, who lives in it whenever they go back to Earth. Being a cargo ship, it is not armed. They have a weapon storage, though. A little thing, not bigger than a broom closet, with a couple of shotguns they never used, a plasma gun they seriously hope they will never need to use and various low voltage stun guns, which is what they carry around just in case.

Adam is the one insisting on the weapons. He's not crazy about them, but as the self-appointed captain of the ship, he had to make a choice. Space is a dangerous place – a very infinite dangerous place – and it's either risk to lose all of his friends to some alien hostile force or take the chance with arming them, hoping they're not going to shoot each other out of clumsiness.

Leo is not a big fan of weapons. Mostly because he is more likely to shoot himself in a foot than hit anything that's supposedly attacking him. He's not a man of action, he's got a different set of skills, so to speak. His main task, whenever they do explore some close to unknown planet somewhere in the galaxy, is to interact with the sentient population. He's got a way with words, and he easily makes friends. Or, as Adam put it once, for some inexplicable reason, everyone likes him. Possibly because they don't know him yet.

“Aren't you forgetting something?” Adam asks. He stands between Leo and the ship's hold door, blocking the way.

Leo already knows what he'll see in Adam's hands when he looks up. One of the stun guns. “Oh, come on! This planet is supposed to be safe,” he complains instantly.

“Only 30% of this planet is charted, Leo. So, it's not supposed anything.”

“Technically, since most of it is not charted, thus not known with certainty, everything is supposed on this planet. That's what supposed means.”

Adam frowns. “So you agree, this is not a safe planet.”

“No, I'm just stalling,” Leo pouts. “I don't want one of those things.”

“You have a choice. You can take this stun gun with you as a sensible way to defend yourself in case some alien lizard attacks you to eat your heart out, or I use this stun gun on you right now and you don't leave the ship.”

“It's not much of a choice, is it?” Leo frowns, aggressively grabbing the stun gun from Adam's hand.

Adam steps aside and lets him pass. “It depends on how you look at it. I could have stunned you and be done with it,” he smiles, pleasantly.

Once everybody is out and the hold door closed with an ominous screeching sound, which promptly forced Matt to add fix the door again to his endless mental list of repairs, Adam rounds them up for a recap and the usual pep talk. They have just landed on a remote and small planet, just a few hours from Pluto. Despite its proximity to one of the oldest and most important member of the Mainstream Planets Circuit, this planet and hundreds of others are yet to be fully explored, on account of the bad stretch of space which separate them from Pluto, where a meteor belt makes very hard to navigate. Many a team just think that the risk of damaging or losing their ship is not worth the chance of visiting little planets. Luckily for them, Annie could drive the ship in any condition – included the explosion of two out of five engines, which she did – and so, moving past the meteor belt was no problem whatsoever.

“Meredith, what does the guide say?” Adam asks, scanning the area around the spaceship. It's a small clearing, a few feet from a small scrub of trees that look like spruces, except that they are icy blue, like those plastic Christmas Tree they sell in the malls. So far, no visible threats.

Meredith quickly browses on her tablet. “The guide says basically nothing,” she announces, without looking up from the screen. The little guide the DSD made available on-line for this specific planet is about five pages. “Air's okay. No noticeable temperature range. It's basically always spring here. That's good. Blah, blah, blah, intact environment, blah, blah, blah, presence of fauna and flora similar to those of Oetune, which is to be expected, since the two planets are very similar configuration-wise, blah, blah, blah, any and all findings, including but not limited to animals, plants, new species and resources, must be reported to the Department for Space Development through forms C to S, as stated in paragraph three of your travel license, we know all this. Oh! This is interesting.”

“What?” Adam asks, half annoyed by his own need of abiding the law, which prevents him to ask Meredith to just skip to the important parts. The law requires them to read the travel guides and guidelines before any expedition as part of their mandatory preparation, and the fact that they always read quickly through them just moments before starting to explore, when they are already on the planet, is breaking the law enough for Adam's adamant sense of duty.

“It's said here that the planet was the object of two previous explorations, during which the presence of a small settlement in the South-East was reported, but the two teams involved in the discovery never engaged the local population for some reason. The people is described as somewhat primitive but nothing more, they were possibly uninteresting.”

“What about the rest of the planet?” Matt asks.

“Nothing,” Meredith answers. “Apparently nobody cared enough to take a look.”

“Or they cared and there's nothing,” Leo suggests. “Maybe we should ask ourselves why this planet is so close and yet unnamed are unexplored.”

“I think it's the perfect way to start this vacation. The planet is on the map, but it's unexplored,” Adam instantly intervenes, stopping Leo before he can complain about whatever he wants to complain about. “So, we can warm up with something easy before leaving for something more... demanding.”

“So this is basically the stretching part of a space traveling work out,” Annie chuckles. “I like it.”

“Thank you,” Adam says, grateful for the support. “So, we are gonna split to cover more ground. Now, I don't like this one bit, but since we decided to spend only a couple of days on this planet, there's no other way to proceed. The rendezvous is here in five hours. Please, make sure you walk only long enough to be able to come back in time. I don't want another Cheron experience.”

Everybody fidgets awkwardly. The incident on Cheron is something they don't easily talk about. What happened was that for some reason – possibly the high amount of a toxin in the air they didn't know about – some of them just walked and walked, allegedly enthralled by the exotic black and hell-like landscape of the planet, until their radio batteries died out and they found themselves nowhere near the spaceship with the prospect of spending the night in the wilderness without being proper equipped for it. At the time they were supposed to meet back at the ship, only Adam and Meredith were there, and they had to leave right away for a rescue mission, before everybody else died of hypothermia. Adam was so angry at them that he swore they were never gonna hear the end of it. In fact, they never did. They don't talk about it, but Adam brings it up every time he can. It became a cautionary tale.

“If any of you finds any trace of alien sentient life, you contact the others and we regroup to decide what to do,” Adam continues, saying things he has been repeating forever in the past years. “You are not to engage the local population, no matter how friendly looking it is, alone. Speaking of which, Leo, I think I should come with you. Just this time.”

“I really think you shouldn't,” Leo shakes his head.

“I do trust you,” Adam says, implying that he kinda doesn't, “but we want to make sure that nothing, you know, happens.”

“For the umpteenth time, Adam, those girls definitely didn't wanna kill me,” he says, rolling his eyes. “A guy can't even be kidnapped by a all-girl tribe to become their God once that you never trust him again. Geez, you should really learn how to give people a break, you know? It happened six months ago!”

Matt chuckles. “You're not helping your cause, bro.”

“If you don't want me to come with you,” Adam insists, “maybe you can take Matt.”

“I'm not gonna take you or Matt or anybody else. I'm gonna go alone and enjoy my stroll on this probably very boring planet, where the chances of being taken hostage by an horde of beautiful women is sadly close to zero,” Leo says. “Are we free to go now, Cap'n?”

Adam frowns, but nods, dismissing them. He watches them as they take different directions, hoping nothing's gonna happen and deep down knowing that he's not gonna be this lucky.


Despite its boredom and possibly the absence of beautiful creatures ready to mate with him during fascinating and mildly creepy rituals, Leo must admit that the planet does seem beautiful. He didn't want to come here because he's not the kind of explorer who likes the wilderness – he's more likely to enjoy interacting with new civilization, learning the language, fraternize with the locals – but it really looks like the perfect planet to spend a couple of days before leaving for a big, dangerous adventure.

He's walking along a path of strangely emerald grass among icy blue spruces. It feels like being in one of those snow globes with a tiny Christmas village inside. The planet's colors are saturated, giving off the impression that everything here is made of sugar or glass. And it's weird, because everything looks cold and sparkling with snow crystals, sort of wintry in a way, but the weather is warm, definitely spring-like. Every time he touches the leaves of a plant or the vaguely sugary dust on a rock, he expects his hand to come away wet, but it doesn't. It takes him a while to get used to it, but he likes it.

When he reaches the end of the scrub of trees, the path opens on a wide clearing, the strong green of the grass standing out against the outline of the icy mountains he can see in the distance. The sight is absolutely stunning. “Wow,” he whispers as the beauty of this place really hits him for the first time. He grabs his tablet and after updating the map, he takes a couple of pictures, which leave him quite unsatisfied because, despite the high quality of his camera, digital images can't do justice to what his eyes are seeing.

He decides that this is the perfect place to end today exploration. He has walked enough anyway, and he can't go further if he wants to get back to the ship in time. Plus, the lake bank seems the perfect spot to rest and have something to eat. The lake is big and vaguely flower shaped. Leo has never seen a water so blue before, and even if he knows better than dive into waters he knows nothing about, he still reaches out to wet his fingers to discover that the water is warm too, despite looking cold.

He's still lazily moving his fingers in the water – a thing Adam would scold him for, because doing that is almost as dangerous as diving in – as he savors the sandwich he carefully prepared with his own hand back on the ship, when something rustles behind his back. Leo turns around, a hand to the stun gun at his hip. But the clearing is empty. There's only him, the lake and the trees. Leo takes a deep breath, trying to calm down. “My bad,” he murmurs. “I keep forgetting not to let my guard down just because I'm sitting next to a pretty lake in a fairyland place.”

The rustle comes again though, always behind him. This time he stands up, gun in hand. He didn't even know he could be so quick at holding it. He scans the place, but he can't see anything. Leo is not a contemplative guy, and he's definitely not patient. Being alone in the wild just gives him paranoia. “Alright,” he says aloud, mostly to give himself courage. “I see that my brain doesn't agree on staying here any longer. Let's grab my things and go back.”

But when he turns to retrieve his backpack, he finds himself looking into blue eyes. He takes a step back, stumbles and barely manages to keep standing, the stun gun shakily in his hand, proving to be completely useless in his hands. “Hi?” That's the first thing that comes out of his mouth, and it doesn't get him anywhere.

The creature in front of him looks human enough, the size and look of a fourteen years old boy.
He's got straight black hair, blue eyes and cat-like tail and ears. And he's barely dressed in a very short tunic and Leo's jacket, which he's apparently wearing as a weird headpiece.

“Hi there,” Leo tries again, waving his hand. “My name's Leo. Who are you?”

The creature listens to him very carefully, but then seems to decide that Leo is not interesting enough at the moment. All the weird-looking little things scattered on the ground catch his attention tho. He crouches on the grass and tentatively nudges Leo's equipment with a hand, like a cat would do with his paw. When nothing fights back nor move – thus proving to be completely uninteresting to him – he goes back looking at Leo, who hasn't moved an inch. When the creature opens his mouth, Leo is almost expecting to hear a meow, but what comes out of it are definitely words. Not words he can understand, but words.

“Ah! You talk. That's prefect!” Leo smiles, friendly. He presses a hand to his chest repeatedly. “Leo,” he says slowly.

The creature tilts his head on the side as if pondering what he just said. And then he smiles a feline smile, little pointy teeth showing behind his lips. “Leo,” he repeats quite right. Then he presses his open hand against his own chest. “Cody,” he says.

Leo smiles widely. “Cody,” he repeats. “Nice to meet you.”

Cody takes a couple of steps forward, and Leo doesn't feel the need to step back. Cody smells sweet – weirdly candy sweet, actually – and he doesn't seem dangerous at all, despite those teeth and the fact that he looks like an hybrid between a human and a feline, which could mean cat but also lion, and other combinations that wouldn't be exactly safe.

“Cody,” Cody says, touching his chest again. Then he touches Leo's. “Leo.”

“Yes,” Leo nods, slowly.

Cody watches him intently, his big blue eyes fixed on him, following his every move. His stare is so intense to give Leo a little chill, but underneath it there's a subtle, yet powerful, vibe of pleasure. Something that should make him think this through, but it doesn't. As Cody gets closer and starts smelling him, his lips slightly parted as he registers the smell, exactly like a cat would do, he starts purring. The sound is strong and low, echoing deep inside Leo's body.

He doesn't need to speak to Cody more than their names to know that he's gonna be late for the rendezvous. There might be no female tribe ready to seduce him, but Adam's got a big problem coming his way anyway.

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