written by @l1lyposting using worldbuilding and characters from the witchcraft continuity
Katy crashed into the bush with all the gusto of someone sliding down the stairs, and as June started running towards her, she found her lab partner and fellow EE criminal yelping over her wrist.
"Fuck Katy, did you break your wrist or something?" she asked, anxiously pacing as she tried to figure out how to get Katy out of the bramble.
"I mean... probably? But it's fine I can ask a friend for help..." she winced, before glancing at her broom and a look of dread overcame her. "Ah gods, I broke it... Where the hell am I gonna find new wood... maybe... Alice would know? But I got this when we road-tripped through Massachusetts and we definitely can't go back there..." her mind racing with options; far more concerned with the broom than her wrist.
"Katy please stop; how are we gonna get your wrist helped?"
"I don't know, there's probably a witch available." she began, voice straining from pain. "I cannot go to the health center and explain I fell off my broom because of a fucking bush..." she said, trailing off again as she winced in pain trying to keep it together.
June paused for a moment, a metaphorical lightbulb appearing above her head as Katy got a look of dread on her face, pushing the cracked glasses back up her face. "June don't do that, you always have that look right before you're gonna suggest something dangerous."
"Like breaking your wrist doing broom stunts isn't?"
"Touché, nurse, touché."
"I was gonna..." she began, pausing and shaking her head slightly. "Nevermind. Anything in your bag?" she asked, her head tilting slightly and her hair bobbing as the now awkwardly length bits bobbed slightly.
"Actually wait, grab my bag." gestured Katy, trying to not move her other wrist much; a difficult task given she was still in the bramble as June ran over and grabbed it, flipping the black canvas bag open and sorting past countless arcane, thaumalogical, magical, runic, and technical artifacts. The fact the bag was movable at all was a miracle, but not the one they needed that moment.
"Uh.... green vial, purple contents, left side, fourth pouch." she winced, June muttering "how the fuck do you know where it is...?"
"Spatial memory, it's just recall. Same with my room."
"Oh, shit, makes sense."
With a single flourish Katy had the bottle open and the contents down her throat, the milky glass bottle capped and tossed back into her bag, deeply breathing and let out a guttural yell as her wrist snapped back into place as she shoved it against her jeans.
"FUCK that hurt..." she sighed as she shook out her significantly less broken wrist.
"It'll probably bruise or something." she began, looking up at June as she teared up a little and tackled her out of the bush.
"That's my line idiot, don't scare me like that..." she muttered.
Katy was grateful that June was past her shoulder, or she might notice how red she was in the face as she rolled off of her and into the grass, grateful nobody saw or heard her screaming.
She had enough fun times with yelling in the commons during off hours and finals week, before facilities found keys mysteriously liberated and tried to blame her.
June knocked on the steel door the bunker, rocking on the balls of her feet in her sneakers anxiously. She found it terrifying a grad student lived here, and more terrifying they were the friend of choice for Katy if she didn't fix her own wrist magically.
June knocked a second time and Alice opened the door to find a (relatively) tall girl with her wrist raised ready to knock again and shot her judgement death beams with her eyes.
"Were you going to knock again?" she asked, her voice grim and murderous.
"Uh, yes, no I mean... do you know Katy?" June stammered, pacing back a little bit at Alice's coldness and found her suddenly more... shocked than hostile at the mention of Katy.
"How the fuck did you find me?"
"What?" she yawned, scratching her head slightly in the sheer strangeness of it all. And that was saying something.
"Well, you're one of Katy's friends, so I cross-referenced the university directory for anyone with your first name and an off-campus mailing address."
It was Alice's turn to be taken aback; "You little snoop, what, CS student too?" death beams warming up.
"Actually, aerospace. But I'm here about a broom." she spat out quickly before Alice had the chance to quip again and her demeanor instantly relaxed.
Of course it's a broom...
"Did she break her broom...?" Alice sighed and tried to wake up, reaching past the door procuring a steeping cup of something that smelled unearthly.
"Yeah... bunch of pieces, very broken up about it..."
"So what, she sent you to get me to fix it? I can't."
"No, actually, I want to know... how a broom works."
"You're..." she began, stepping forward to flick her on the forehead.
"You're not a witch no. What makes you think _you_ can get it?"
June was never known for having an ego, or for being boastful, but she found herself raising her voice a little, a rare occurrence given how stressful voice training was.
"I build airplanes; good ones too." she began to say, rubbing her forehead where the red mark was quickly fading.
"Airplanes are nothing like brooms kid." she sipped, leaning against the doorframe.
"I was gonna use carbon fiber parts and ask for help on ensuring it's not magically un-kosher or something."
"this is a very sweet gift, it's clear you like her very much."
"OH NO not like that!" She frantically blushed, trying to hide her shock. "It's mostly because I broke hers, or like... We were hanging out and she broke it, point is, I need to make this right!" She said, more defiant than ever. Alice glanced up and down and realized two things:
1. This girl is a gay idiot and didn't know how down bad she was.
2. She wasn't going to take no for an answer.
"Come in, let's talk about this." she waved her new lab assistant in, disappearing into the cramped home behind the blast door.
"Okay so you want to re-use the original wood, that'll be rough, but carbon fiber sheet?" she began, her tea steaming above, trying very carefully to wake up before she blew the both of them up with a piece of bad advice.
"I'd be uh... borrowing some dray from the solar team. They have an abundance and also I know which doors have bad bolts." June smiled, trying not to be proud of herself.
"So... carbon fiber tray, probably fine." she went. "what else?"
"Well it's typically done with resin layer after layer to make it rigid and reinforce it."
"Hmm..." she buzzed and stood up to to to the bench behind the couch, reserved especially for guests. The space was a bit short but definitely livable. Cozier than dorm living anyways.
"Well..." she began, "the resin is probably fine, but the magic needs to be able to flow through it. It's an extension of your body essentially, and you it's."
"What, like it's alive?" sputtered June, still reeling over the fact she was in a witch's home asking for advice to build a gift she knew nothing about for a girl she... nevermind.
"Oh you poor girl... you really don't know much about magic, do you?" she said, her eyes twinkling in the shadows of her home.
"uh..." she muttered, glancing down quickly.
"how'd you make your eyes sparkle like that?" she smirked, trying not to laugh. "you looked like a sailor moon character..."
Alice struck a dramatic pose and flopped back onto the couch, her brew twinkling all the same as she flipped over the edge into a reasonably comfortable and incredibly gay seating arrangement, and coughed slightly.
"Yeah magic is alive, gotta be careful."
June tried to focus herself and get back to the task of the hour; "Can you like... help me make it? A second pair of hands actually is mandatory in the lab, even after hours." June frowned.
"After hours, just do it when it's open, not like the manager cares."
"I didn't want to have to explain I'm making broom parts with our CNC routers, mills, and lathes."
"Ah..." she sighed. "Fine, I still have my safety training done. Just don't get maimed or I lose my job too."
"June-bug! Why are you here so late, you have an exam tomorrow if Jonas is telling the truth."
"Anton, I need to borrow the shop for a bit."
"Ah, personal project? Who's your double?"
"Alice from the grad school, and it's.. a gift."
"Ah, a gift..." he poked, "not like the last one, right?" he said, pain in his eyes.
"No, not like the last time. Already checked all the MSDS right Alice."
"Yep Anton, already got it all checked out." Alice chimed, trying to be as pleasant as possible. Damn this girl better ask her out...
"Oh no Alice, don't do that right now." Anton steeled himself. "You're not the only one with a history in this lab. You may be the queen of the chem lab but in the machine shop we actually give. a. shit. about safety." he grimaced, each word bringing him closer to them both.
"Anton..." June began, "Jonas also checked it. It's why he told you I had an exam. To try and keep me from booking study rooms in the library."
"Ah, very well... I'll be back to check tomorrow morning. If anything happens...?"
"Call 911." the girls said in unison, already tired of his shit as he walked out the door and down the hall. They burst out laughing as she caught him peering through the tiny porthole in the second door at the back of the room.
"This" she yells, over the running mill "is why we did this and not the router. Because this shit is awful to mop up."
"What about chips?" she yelled back, watching the fires light and get extinguished just as quickly, more than one splinter hitting the polycarbonate and making it sound like a thunderstorm.
"They'll be inert mostly. It's intent remember? We intend for it to be the end piece of a broom, it'll be the end piece of a broom no problem."
"Well you're the machinist, right Junebug?" Alice snickered, June red in the face slightly.
"Where'd you get that nickname from anyways? Anton does not seem the fellow to start it, despite his normally jolly disposition around anyone but me." Alice asked cautiously.
"Well uh... it was something Katy said sarcastically and it stuck." she answered, struggling to keep her eyes on the mill with a million miles an hour of girl on her mind.
"The bristles on the broom matter, right?" she asked, stirring tea in Alice's bunker again the old fashioned way. As she plonked down on the couch she got gently zapped by static and yelped, fixing her sweater and sitting down to chat with her partner in crime.
"Well for sure. The question is what. Enchanted feathers, bristles, or circumstantially charmed artifacts are all good options."
"Does it have to be organic?"
"Nope, it just has to be light and fast."
"Light... fast... okay I have a spool of fiber optic cable." she piqued, her eyes lighting up. Finally, I can get rid of it and impress a girl in one go!
"Well that'll look ugly!" exclaimed Alice, her spoon rising in her tea slightly.
"Since when did you care about it being pretty?" chided June, jokingly pouting as her blue dress flowed slightly standing at the table at Alice's for the nth time in many days.
"Since you're stapling my name onto this thing too." she smirked, knowing damn well she was gonna take some credit for the 3am machining without breaking any rules. Antonio needed to relax anyways.
"Okay but actually, if you use like, I don't know greek fire or something-"
"That's a thing!?" she exclaimed.
"Yes-" she began, raising a single finger to her lips, the retroreflective nightmare she put on last night nearly blinding her, "but it's tricky. get me the spool and I'll deal with it."
"Okay but then what do I do?" June asked, suddenly nervous as she realized she just traded her weekend away.
"You, Miss June, are going to thread every single bristle into the broom, and I'm going to enjoy watching you poke your fingers."
Alice neglected to mention that magically prepped glass and glass-adjacents form witch's needles, but she didn't need June catching on just yet. A single 'static' in a charmed room that could only be magic was evidence enough to be cautious.
"Holy shit Alice, why can't you help?" she said, the thin fiber optics gently flowing into the tiny holes of the broom's base. The issue of the hour was that it was flowing more like pitch than water.
"Because we had a deal, Alice sitting there as June poked the wires into their holes as carefully as she could.
They'd borrowed a pin-set tool from a particular someone's stolen Bell gear, but didn't mention when they'd bring it back; unfortunately it was already late on a day before classes.
Alice was sitting there, reclined in a chair, wearing particularly strange glasses as June finally figured the courage to ask.
"Why the dark shades, we're indoors? If you just like, got high and photosensitive that's totally okay."
"High, what type of- ugh." she began, sliding back down to sitting and taking them off her face.
"They're thaumic detecting. Lets me see most common forms of magic."
"And why do you need to wear those right now?"
"Well peabrain" she began, poking June on the shoulder gently, "it's the easiest way to see if you're making a mistake." she responded.
"and have I?" she asked, expecting to be put on blast.
"Out of several thousand? I'll take it!" she said, laughing!
Alice wasn't counting the time June poked her finger on the bucket of spools and she watched the entire bucket of fiber strands light up thaumically in a way she didn't expect.
As June sat there pushing the last stray strands in, she felt the broom gently lift off the table, wire scraps holding it afloat.
Alice was busy texting the groupchat:
alice: can non-witches do thaumically linked stuff if it's magically related already?
...: not without a soulsparking
alice: does a soulsparking *have* to be with a person?
alice: what if they don't notice it happened
...: there's no way not to, it's pretty significant.
*It could always have been my tea or someone fucking up elsewhere. They are inductors after all.*
"Hey uh... Alice?" June chimed, the broom gently lifting off the table.
"so I take it you're done?" Alice remarked, eyes wide open.
"Well, I thought I had a few dozen more to go, but it seems ready to go already. Do brooms do that normally?"
"I mean, not for a long while? it usually means it's a really *really* good broom."
"How good is this thing?"
"uh... no idea. wanna take it for a ride?" Alice grinned, her eyes involuntarily looking more Sailor Moon than June saw the first time.
June immediately went red and mumbled about getting it to Katy quickly, grabbing her bag, still enchanted from a birthday gift from katy, and stuffed the broom into it, and began the ride back to campus, Alice chasing after her.
Stupid girl has no idea what she's doing.
"Hey Katyyyyy" June chimed, her favorite dress and the messenger bag clashing immensely. She even put on eyeshadow. She caught Katy on the way back from her lecture, the evening sun casting long shadows and giving them the best setup for photos.
"June, you look wonderful! Where have you been for two weeks?" she responded, blushing slightly before catching herself.
"Well, i got busy! You know how you broke your broom..."
Katy winced at the mention. "How could I, my wrist clicks now, listen!" she said, demonstrating as June winced back at her.
"Yikes, okay well..." she began, reaching for the bag "I asked Alice for help" she beamed, so proud to show off her work.
"You know Alic-holy shit Junebug that's a broom. Is that my broom? Oh gods that's the wood from the old hilt, and...are those beryllium copper fasteners? Oh the neck is carbon fiber dray, but it's thaumically conductive! What are the bristles, oh they're all witches needles but... fiber optics? Oh that's brilliant! How the hell did you make this?" she blabbered, her eyes darting from piece to piece as she felt the neck of the broom in her hand, and found it perfectly balanced.
"Way too many hours in the machine shop, a lot of illegal components, Alice calling in favors from essentially her entire circle, and... a lot of stabbing." she beamed, revealing her bandaged fingertips.
"Oh June..." Katy responded, kissing her hand and then her cheek, both immediately blushing immensely and falling over onto the grass, June feeling the small holes in her fingertips close and the tingly nerve damage fading for the first time in a week.
"You didn't have to, did you try it?" she asked, absentmindedly appreciating the girl laying in the grass with her.
"I can't, not a witch. Wasn't born with magic." she responded, barely containing her disappointment before Katy gasped.
"June, no that's not at all how that works. You can learn magic! it might take a bit, it's not easy, but there's no strange bloodline stuff or whatever" she said, leaning up to hug June as she began to cry.
After June's sniffling quieted down and the moon peeked through the clouds, Katy donned her hat and June piled on the broom behind her, hugging her waist tightly after a quick shock cone protection charm, as they blasted past mach one in low airspace, ending up at a beach they heard from friends was great for dates.