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Yet another fic first posted anonymously at Goddess-in-Green's tumblr. I'm just coming off of anon.

All hail Fink and Crannor, creators and owners of Welcome to Night Vale. All hail.

(This story is set well after First Meeting and well before the Future Fic. In the podcast timeline, this fic occurs roughly around "Dana" and "A Blinking Light up on the Mountain". Enjoy!)

Equipment Check

"Ca~arlos! I'm home!" I call, tossing my keys into their dish.

"In here, Cecil," my perfectly imperfect scientist responds from the dining room.

I literally bound into the room, only to metaphorically skid to halt when I see Favored Outsider sitting at the table. "Is something... wrong?" I ask, mentally reviewing today's stories and events to find the danger that has Carlos in his uniform.

"Nothing is wrong," my Carlos replies, echoing his words in the Arby's parking lot so many months ago. "I'm just doing my weekly equipment check, querido."


He waves me into a chair. "My magic isn't as strong as yours, so I've got fewer magical attacks and have to rely mostly on unarmed combat. Not everything we face is vulnerable to hand-to-hand, so I use this stuff to make up for my lack of magic." He offers me a wry smile and a shrug. "It keeps me from being useless in a fight."
This resigned acceptance of his supposed weakness - this dismissal of his own strength - brings a burning desire to call down curses upon the magical people Carlos worked and associated with prior to Night Vale.

I barely manage to swallow down the rage. As much as I want to make those vile, vile wretches suffer, it won't help Carlos here and now.

(And he still thinks I over-reacted to Telly and the haircut. He'd be mad at me if I avenged an injury he could never see as... thoroughly as I would like. It's not worth it.)

Instead, I lean against my Outsider and run my fingers through his perfect hair. "What do you have?"

"Well, these are flash-grenades. Those contain tear-gas, but these containers hold powerful and undiluted acid. Next to them are strong and undiluted bases. I keep them together so they'll neutralize each other if the containers are broken. These items are flammable - once lit they can't be put out with water. This squirt gun contains a mixture that burns when exposed to water. The bag next to the lighter is full of ground glass. I would carry poison, but anything fast acting enough to be viable in a fight would pose a danger to innocents, allies, and myself." Carlos pauses to kiss me, before adding, "I used to carry sonic grenades before we started working together, let alone dating. I'm not sure how they'd affect your powers or you."
"Hmm... Something to test later, when we both have a day off?" I suggest.

"Maybe." Carlos sounds dubious of the very idea. "I'm worried it might actually hurt you, querido."

I make a soft sound of acknowledgement, discarding the idea of making a date out of testing the sonic grenades. Time to change the subject. "You haven't said what that is."

Carlos fidgets and ducks his head. "It's ... um... it's plastic explosive. Back before I became The Outsider for the first time - right before, actually - I read some people's ideas of what they'd do if they became Magical Girls. The only thing that stuck in my head was 'the near-magical powers of plastic explosives'.* I took that to heart and it's turned out pretty well, actually."

"My clever Carlos," I laugh softly. "Do you have any ideas for things we could add to my repertoire?"

Carlos tucks Favored Outsider's equipment away into various hidden pockets of his uniform. "Maybe? I still think you need to learn some hand-to-hand, but you know that. Give me a change to figure out what will work for you? In the meantime, I've got an idea for something that would work with your powers."

Eyes lighting up with excitement, Carlos grins, "Miniature portable speakers that connect to your microphone. We'd have to do some tests, but if they work the way I think they will, you might be able to use your voice out of range targets or ones hiding in places where using your usual attacks will cause a lot of collateral damage. I might be able position the speakers in a fight so the two of us will catch our opponents in a cross-fire or something similar."

I smile and rest my head on Favored Outsider's bare shoulder. "Sounds... neat."


*This is from item 53 of the "If I Ever Become A Magical Girl" list, found here: (The list belongs to its makers, not to me.)


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