Title: Fragmentary Fandom: Top Gun / Top Gun: Maverick (2022) Author: DaenaBenjen42 Characters: It's drabbles. Clowns in a circus car, with a special guest or two, because I love the idea of Charlie meeting a recently divorced father of five whose entire family is mad at him for moving to Virginia. Disclaimer: **points to Paramount, Bruckheimer Productions... Tom Cruise...** To quote Bratling/Brightfeather, who was actually quoting someone else: "I borrowed them, squeezed them, hugged them, called them George, and then gave them back like a good girl." (Yes, I'm going to keep using it!) Notes: Somehow, someway, the movie I did not have a copy of until recently caused plot bunnies in F-14's. I'm STILL STUCK on everything else, so how DO we break this writer's block I've got? Exactly. Plot bunnies in F-14's it is... though honestly, I expected said plot bunnies in F-14's, if I were ever to get any, to involve David James Elliott. Story this is Backstory Exploration for: Seeing a Trailer And re: the title... hey, I got to use it after all! Yay! (Thank yous, many of them, go out to Mira_Jade, DarthIshtar, vader_incarnate, Kahara, Tarsier, thesanctuary, indynerdgirl, amidalachick, samwife, watin77, GraceEliz, Karrington, Mnm456, Sophia_The_Scribe, MatalieMichelle, ash_blackthorn, inspired2013, SupermassiveUbersue, and Mistress_Renata, for the encouragement to kill more ink pens. How many have died so far since I let myself start writing again? Two. They did NOT die in vain.) Warning: Permanent Angst Warning. Welcome to the SECOND fandom where I'm giving a permanent angst warning. If you're new here: the other is Robocop. Everybody warned? Fabulous. Drabble Prompts taken from Ultimate Drabble Challenge #10 Week One - UDC 10 - Charlie gets a study partner... 1. Prelude He was in the base library after their last Hop for the day when he noticed their civilian instructor, Charlie, poring over several books and what looked like duty rosters at once while writing on a yellow notepad and muttering to herself. Carefully, he looked over her shoulder to read what was on the pad and frowned. "Otis Redding?" Charlie froze and turned her head to look at him. "I'm trying to find answers on something. You're...?" "Wolfman." He frowned at the other details. "Who disappeared in an F-4 in November of '65?" "That is part of what doesn't make sense, Wolf. VF-51 wasn't even flying F-4 Phantoms at the time." 2. Bygone She'd explained what the research was for, and now Wolfman was even more intrigued as he read through a record of service for a member of VF-51, who was the father of one of his classmates. Then he frowned. "Charlie?" "Hmmm?" He showed her and she stared first at the information, then down at her yellow notepad. "Home on leave in February of '68?" "And the memories of children are fluid," she muttered, writing that detail down. "Thank you." "The rest of this file is redacted," he said, flipping some pages in confusion. "Why would they do that?" 3. Impend Charlie sighed. "If I knew the answer to that, I'd already have that promotion I'm working to get, Wolf." Wolfman nodded. "The detail I don't get is the Otis Redding song." Charlie smiled, then noticed something. "Huh. That's interesting. F-8's, something classified I couldn't get into, and the squadron downed at least two North Vietnamese MiG's in '68, making them MiG Killers." She sighed. "That doesn't answer my question about what happened to Duke Mitchell, though." "Maybe it does," Wolfman told her, waving his hand down at the service file he still had open. "And it's so secret they redacted it." 4. Descend Charlie sighed again. "Maybe it does," she echoed, reading another service file. Then she frowned at the redacted pages that covered the same amount of time. "And I know just who to ask." "Who?" "Commander Metcalf." She continued frowning as she raised her head to look at him. "What were you actually doing in here, anyway? I know you didn't come in here to help me with this mystery." Wolfman shrugged. "Yours is more interesting?" Charlie glared at him. "Research on radar systems, because the F-14's radar cone has blind spots and Jester keeps using it to his advantage." 5. Arise Charlie stared at him for a long, long moment before laughing. "Oh! Well, you can go do that, then, Wolf. Thank you for your help." Wolfman paused. "You're sure?" "I'm sure. I keep running into redaction roadblocks." She glanced down at the notepad, shook her head. "November 1965, when he was home for a month in '68. That is some story, there. It's like someone was daring anyone to actually look into it and discover the holes." Wolfman left her to it, and Charlie continued to grumble over twenty-year-old paperwork for another hour or so. Eventually, she found something that made her chuckle.