Here's To Those Who Still Believe
Here's To Those Who Still Believe
Here's To Those Who Still Believe
Here's To Those Who Still Believe
Here's To Those Who Still Believe
Here's To Those Who Still Believe
Here's To Those Who Still Believe
Welcome to the headquarters of my insane Fallout: New Vegas novelisation project! (Apart from my skull... stay back, Dr. Dala!)
What happens in WIP stays in WIP, until it's uploaded some day in the future (hopefully before 2077). Once the whole thing is written and I'm happy with it, I'll upload a chapter a week.
I caved slightly from my super sensible write-in-advance approach and uploaded a large excerpt of chapter 10, Nihil novi sub sole, to AO3. It's the part where the Courier, Arcade and Boone are exploring Vault 22 :) Please just see and understand that this fic is REAL. I created it and it's real!!!
HTTWSB features my same Falloutified self-insert Courier as Maybe You'll Think of Me, And I've Got No Defence For It and As Sure As We Live (the latter two of which are HTTWSB AUs: it's not how they get together "in canon" lmao). It's about her adventures in the course of the game, her relationships with the other characters, and their relationships with one another.
The whole fic is told from the POV of companions. That's (in order of first appearance:) Cass, Boone, Veronica, Arcade, Raul, Joshua Graham, Christine, Ulysses. Joshua and Ulysses only narrate their respective DLCs; Christine also comes back to the Mojave with the Courier and gets promoted to main cast. :)
By frequency, so far it's mainly Boone and Arcade, and it's likely to stay that way. The Boone/Courier &Arcade relationship is the core of the whole story.
The end game pairings in this fic are Boone/Courier, Veronica/Christine, Arcade/Manny, and... Raul/Cass. I don't know if the latter snuck up on me because I'm a romantic and wanted to pair everyone off or what. But it happened. They never actually get together during the fic (the others all do), but it's always under the surface.
On 26/07/2020, I became obsessed with Fallout: New Vegas. A game I hadn't touched or even really thought of since I first tried to play it 5 years before. A game that had confused me so much when I got all the end game quests after leaving the Lucky 38 that I never finished it. A game in which I mainly remember pining sadly after Arcade and seeing Boone as nothing more than a steadfast comrade... getting off the pill really changes a woman.
I realised I wanted to play again and worse, write a fic. At the time, I was part way through a similar (similarly long, similarly insane) Dragon Age: Origins novelisation. I was so into DAO I ended up entering an exchange and writing my first fanfic as an adult - and then, just after I got my assignment, I could only care about plasma pistols, not elves... (I did finish my assignment, though. That was what I wrote Warmth for, though I had grand plans for extra fics I never got around to. And my DAO WIP remains very in progress!)
I finished my first playthrough of FNV, and all the DLCs, too. It was fun, even though I spent nearly as much time taking notes as playing. I'll be honest, I find that plenty of fun, too.
I'll finish one day. (Fanfic... fanfic never changes. Women do, through the sex scenes they write.)
The total word count includes stray scenes from later chapters. It doesn't include my billion notes. Thank god for SmartEdit Writer (or, I suppose, thank its dev)
|The day it all began...
|The first day I wrote more than notes!
|Finished 1st draft of chapter 2
|Finished 1st draft of chapter 3
|Finished 1st draft of chapter 4
|Finished 1st draft of chapter 5
|Finished 1st draft of chapter 6
|Finished 1st draft of chapter 7
|This is when I started these updates.
|This chapter (9) has the first kiss. ❤
|Here's the first Arcade/Manny scene.
|I finally finished the first chapter, too!
|(Just to assure myself I'm still writing.)
|World's slowest chapter! Good, though!
|World's joint slowest chapter (and 2nd longest)
|Bye bye Benny! After 3 long years!
But vegetablearian, what does this mean!
Benny is dead! Yay! We've recruited Boone, Arcade, Raul, ED-E, Cass and Veronica. Next and last for a long time is Rex! But technically, Boone will recruit him...
They just moved into the Lucky 38 :) So cute! So luxurious! (Arcade & Cass: so creepy! So awful!)
Romance report: the Courier and Boone have been a couple for a while, and shagging like rabbits whenever they have a moment's privacy. Boone has told her he loves her, but he feels weird about it due to widower problems (and she hasn't said it back, due to widow problems). Arcade is trying to tell Manny that they're just friends and friends obviously have sex in a way that isn't too insulting next to the whole unrequited Boone situation. Veronica totally can (can't) understand, because she is not still desperately in love with Christine and therefore is totally ready to find a new woman, you know, any day now. Cass is sulking that Arcade didn't introduce himself to her as gay, but she'll get over it. Raul is hoping to meet a nice ghoul lady or something, with a surprising (or not?) lack of urgency for someone who's been locked up for nearly 2 years. ED-E will continue to record whatever "human mating calls" he can. I typed that with a lot of judgment in my heart, but let's be honest, I'm no better, am I?
Chapter titles - so far!
- Here's to the losers, bless them all
- Strangers in the night
- Let me play among the stars
- Just a couple of problem solvers
- Wise men say only fools rush in
- And in between it's nicotine
- Didn't have too much to say
- You can wag your tail
- Fight it with all of our might
- Nihil novi sub sole
- For the sake of having you near
- Just like a couple of tots
- I'll be your cowgirl
- Oh, ain't you glad you're single?
- Wait 'til you see that sunshine place
- Caravan code of the wastes
- And so the best that I can do is pray
- To be the darling of all
- Don't care for high-tone places
- If you're not here with me
- I didn't see the devil in your eyes
- Accused of drinkin' water
- When your heart turns on the juice
- I guess I never told you
- Laissez-moi vivre un peu
- When you have such luck
- A roaring lion now is a lamb
- My idea of nothing to do
- Nights when you don't sleep
- That voodoo that you do so well
- Losin' when you oughta not bet
- Love is funny
- Part of the job description
- And oh, the night's so blue
- Here's to the losers, bless them all 4k
Here's the last toast of the evening: here's to those who still believe
all the losers will be winners, all the givers shall receive.
Here's to trouble-free tomorrows. May your sorrows all be small!
Here's to the losers, bless them all!
Frank Sinatra - 'Here's to the Losers'
The whiskey shrunk her cares as it shrunk her world, and when it was nearly as small as the goddamned outpost, she was nearly happy.
But she could never truly forget that there was more out there. And every little bit of it that blew through those doors — well, at least the whiskey's heavy warmth stopped her dropping whatever dignity she had left to scrabble for those fragments on the floor. Greedy, like a gambler for his winnings, or a dog for a bone…
Cass has been waiting for something other than dust to blow through the Mojave Outpost's doors, whether trouble or salvation. This courier with a revolver, a head injury, and a love of liquor to rival her own? Might be both.
- Strangers in the night 10.6k
Two lonely people, we were strangers in the night
And ever since that night, we've been together
Lovers at first sight, in love forever
It turned out so right for strangers in the night.
Frank Sinatra - 'Strangers in the Night'
Once, it could have been Carla's voice drifting up the stairs — not for long, 'cause she didn't like the shop. But it would be shortly followed by her. She'd come to bring him lunch, supposedly, but really she was coming up to see him. Any excuse. And he'd kiss her, once — or a few times, maybe, sometimes — but he'd tell her he had to keep his eyes on the view outside. 'Cause he was keeping her safe.
Now he wished he'd let her tempt him away from his duty now and then. Or every time. Hadn't changed anything in the end, had it? But he wished a lot of things, and he knew it would never amount to anything.
Boone meets a courier who can try even a sniper's patience. But nosy and brash might be just what he's been looking for. And hoping not to set his sights on - again. Shame he doesn't deserve hope.
- Let me play among the stars 30.7k
Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars
Fill my heart with song and let me sing forever more
You are all I long for, all I worship and adore
Frank Sinatra - 'Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)'
It was the chems, wasn't it? That was why she was unreliable. Goddamn it. He didn't know how she'd survived this long this way. Even as he was thinking about splitting up with her for her own good, he knew she wouldn't survive long if he did. And he shouldn't have cared, but… But the caps he'd given her was nowhere near repayment for what she'd done, for him and Carla. He'd stay with her until she caught up with the men she was chasing, and then, hopefully, she'd stop taking stupid risks like this.
He wasn't really sure he believed that, even now.
Boone's not sure agreeing to travel with this careless courier was a good idea. Maybe it's not so bad: he not-so-secretly likes chatty people. Like Briscoe, or Carla, or... Wait. This is very bad.
- Just a couple of problem solvers 34.5k
Boone: Any closer, I'm shooting any legionary I see. Hope that's not a problem.
Courier: No, that's not a problem. That's a solution.
Boone: Damn right. You and I, we're just a couple of problem solvers.
Fallout: New Vegas
He remembered what she'd said last night about lying for the sake of politeness. He couldn't believe he'd somehow come off as a nicer person than her. And… how could she think she was useless? On top of the legionaries she'd killed and the attack on the ranger station she'd alerted the NCR to, she'd made him laugh.
Boone knew his new partner had something wrong with her. Many things wrong with her. Still - at least she's not Manny. Though... maybe things would be easier if she were a man. Less hard, in any case.
- Wise men say only fools rush in 26k
Wise men say 'only fools rush in'
but I can't help falling in love with you.
Shall I stay? Would it be a sin
Elvis Presley - 'Can't Help Falling in Love'
"Isn't Vegas pretty?" she breathed. "The lights. So sparkly. All the colours…"
Maybe she liked the lights, but he liked the heights. He wished people could still get up to the top of the Lucky 38 — up to the cocktail lounge, at least. And he was not a cocktail man, but for that view… he'd drink something with a goddamn umbrella in it. And maybe even pretend to like it.
Maybe. Depended who he was drinking with, and if they'd want him to.
The past comes back to haunt Boone at Boulder City. More than usual - rattling the chains this time, the works. At the 188 Trading Post, ghosts are Veronica's only comfort. Which is pretty sad, isn't it?
- And in between it's nicotine 32k
I'm moanin' all the mornin', mournin' all the night
And in between, it's nicotine, and not much heart to fight
Peggy Lee - 'Black Coffee'
He didn't know how to answer. He wasn't any good at it. But if he didn't look after her… who would? And it wasn't entirely selfless. Shit, he didn't even mean— No, he wasn't gonna think about that part of it.
It was just that… they were a team. She helped him, too. Just, he didn't have the words for how. Not words that she wouldn't think were insane. You couldn't tell someone you'd met a week ago that they were— No. She wasn't his reason for living. That was crazy even to think. Crazier than he was. But this was… She was… She kept his mind off it. And that meant more than he could say.
Brotherhood spy, women who lie - Boone would rather just fight legionaries. On the way into Vegas, Lady Luck smiles on him. Arcade has been in Vegas for years, though, and if she's interested in him, she's got a funny way of showing it.
- Didn't have too much to say 61.1k
Hardly spoke to folks around him, didn't have too much to say
No-one dared to ask his business
He was vicious and a killer, though a youth of twenty-four
Marty Robbins - 'Big Iron'
"I grew up on a farm. It's natural to me. Could teach you? We'd do okay together."
She laughed and shook her head. "Being rangers together and keeping me from being court martialed? Now farmers, and keeping me from ruining the crops? I'm starting to think you just like the idea of putting out my fires."
"Wouldn't be that bad."
"Yeah? Oh, there you go: a fireman. You look like a fireman! Carrying Grecks the other day and all. Ha! Booney, don't talk about wouldn't be that bad. It's that bad already. Look at me!"
He did as she asked. But he didn't see what she wanted him to see. Just a woman who needed a friend. And, for now? Had one.
Boone's friends are good people who don't deserve PTSD, unlike him, though they're too damn stubborn to accept help. His other charitable endeavours in Vegas bring him into contact with various doctors, only some of whom immediately become his mortal enemies; his search for paid work mostly involves his old squadmates, only some of whom immediately become his mortal enemies. Patching things up with them isn't too hard - patching himself up's a two-steps-back affair.
- You can wag your tail 81.9k
You ain't nothing but a hound dog, been snoopin' 'round my door
You can wag your tail, but I ain't gonna feed you no more!
Big Mama Thornton - 'Hound Dog'
"Pacer was right about one thing, you know," Ruth said, to Arcade. "You are a hero. I can't believe the way you just fucking… pegged it to go and help that King. And those dickheads didn't even stop shooting, not like they couldn't see you — what are you, eight feet tall?" She laughed. "No, I'm serious, how tall are you?"
"Six and a half."
"Jesus! Well, yeah, no bloody way those bastards couldn't see you. And in that white coat and all. Knobs."
It was mild as anti-NCR tirades went — at least compared to all the ones Arcade had heard, between the Enclave, the Followers and the Vegas locals. Didn't stop Boone looking like he was about to have an aneurysm.
Arcade's work moves on from cacti to spikier people. Boone fears becoming the third wheel, due to relative immaturity, but actually he could beat Four-Eyes at anything. Putting up with this would prove Arcade the bigger man - you know, if he were truly part of Boone's ridiculous contest.
- Fight it with all of our might 25.1k
I'll try hard, ignoring those lips I adore - but how long can anyone try?
Fight, fight, fight, fight it with all of our might
Bing Crosby - 'Something's Gotta Give'
She was far from hostile right now. She giggled with delight, and put a hand each on his and Gannon's nearest shoulders. "All those times I walked through Novac, the Old Mormon Fort, and I never knew my favourite people were there!"
"You knew Julie was there," Gannon pointed out, before Boone could.
"Oh. Yeah. Okay." She lifted the hand Gannon had moved to her lap, and replaced it on his shoulder, to his deep sigh. "You're my two most favourite, though!"
Gannon made an interested noise. "Can I tell her?" he asked, attempting to fasten her wayward hand around her drink.
"Hmm." It worked — she took a sip of vodka as she thought it over. "Well, I would always want you to be able to brag, but I don't want you to bully Julie, either. Just tell her you're all in the top three. She can draw her own conclusions."
He looked uncomfortable, even though he'd successfully gotten out of her grasp. "We're really your favourite people? What about Mr. Teddy?"
"Oh! Yeah, how could I forget! Okay, so he's number one, and you two don't have to fight over it any more."
Gannon snickered at Boone over her head. "I wasn't fighting, believe me."
Boone's patience crossed the line at some point; became cowardice. No more excuses. Well... maybe a little more recon, first. But that's just appropriate caution for a shot this important.
- Nihil novi sub sole 47.2k
Arcade: I'm enthusiastic about helping people, but nihil novi sub sole.
Arcade: Oh. Sorry. 'There is nothing new under the sun.'
Fallout: New Vegas
"Maybe it's not that the plants bite, or spit thorns," Boone suggested. "Maybe it's… some kind of… gas, or something. Gannon, you know about that stuff."
"Not enough. I'm a medical researcher, not a botanist. But, uh… I don't think you need to be either to see that something's wrong here."
Ruth gave him a disgusted look. "Wrong? How can you say that? It's gorgeous."
Huh. So were all manner of dangers. And he shouldn't have been surprised that the kind of woman who'd voluntarily walk through the gates to the Strip because of the glittering lights beyond would show a similar lack of caution with the entrance to Vault 22.
Arcade could have predicted the results of his most recent experiment a mile away. So now to put a few miles between him and Novac, and hope it's enough. Novac's nothing to Boone now, or so he tells himself. Arcade tells himself and others plenty of things, sometimes voluntarily - but will anyone listen?
You can read a longer preview excerpt of this chapter here! :)
- For the sake of having you near 45.4k
I'd tried so not to give in.
I would sacrifice anything, come what might,
for the sake of having you near
In spite of the warning voice that comes in the night
and repeats (how it yells in my ear!)
Frank Sinatra - 'I've Got You Under My Skin'
Ruth had barely stepped out of the Old Mormon Fort before announcing, "I need to go shopping. Wonder if Dixon's cleaned up his act?"
"Dixon?" repeated Arcade, unable to believe what he was hearing. "And what do you mean, cleaned up his act? What were you hoping to buy from him?"
She scoffed. "What, so it's my fault Julie won't sell me no Med-X?"
She ignored him to complain, "It's so hard to get a hold of recently. I don't reckon the Fiends are buying it all up… or the Omertas… I reckon the Legion's to blame. It's not getting in."
Boone met Arcade's eye; he looked as ambivalent about that as Arcade felt.
Boone swaps his shades for rose-tinted glasses. Despite their worse eyesight, distinctive, girly eyewear will provoke fear in both Arcade and Raul from now on. So many things can prevent you from realising you've escaped the frying pan for the fire - like Med-X, radiation, and worst of all, love.
- Just like a couple of tots 21.3k
You and I are just like a couple of tots
running across a meadow,
picking up lots of forget-me-nots
Frank Sinatra - 'You Make Me Feel So Young'
The bartender jumped up like a firework. It didn't just startle everyone — everyone but Ruth worried it would trigger the lasers. Not a mini-nuke denotation like Arcade had suggested, though, because Raul had carefully checked the inside for one.
He wondered why they weren't just being refused service, rather than herded, with a strained smile, into a private room, until he remembered: oh yeah, the unstable deathbot and the unstable woman it might leap to defend. Plus, she was in good with the sheriff, unless she'd programmed it specifically to refuse such nepotism.
And none of them looked particularly easy to eject from an establishment — even Arcade, now he was scowling about the robot, and somehow looked more like his full height — so it was kinda funny how scared they all were of Ruth's new pet, buzzing as it hovered over her shoulder. It watched them ordering drinks and food, and watched it all arrive, and… never even tried to beep at any of them. Like it knew they couldn't understand. So why could she?
Instinct, programming, destiny - Arcade wishes he knew the difference. Raul knows how to smooth over the cracks. Actually repairing robots for insane women is new; so is keeping their secrets.
- I'll be your cowgirl 18.8k
I'll be your cowgirl, you'll be my cowboy
You'll be my Dale, I'll be your Roy
When the day is done, homeward we'll be wending
like a movie with a happy ending
Lost Weekend - 'Let's Ride Into The Sunset Together'
Who the hell were these people? A junkie courier out for blood, an NCR guy who thought the three-to-one odds against them were too much in their favour, a smoking and smoking hot Followers doctor, and a ghoul? And a fucking floating laser bot… thing…! This was crazy. These were crazy people.
Cass sighed, realising no-one had made her leave the Outpost with them. No-one was making her keep walking with them, either. So it wasn't four crazy people and their robot. It was five.
Cass doesn't want to think she's anything like this vengeance-obsessed courier, but their little caravan is seeing double, too. Boone's fears for the future look too much like the past. Blocking it all out, locking everyone else out - can Arcade pretend one's better than the other much longer?
- Oh, ain't you glad you're single? 25.6k
I got spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle
as I go ridin' merrily along
and they sing, 'Oh, ain't you glad you're single?'
and that song ain't so very far from wrong!
The Kay Kyser Orchestra ft. Harry Babbitt and Julie Conway - 'Jingle, Jangle, Jingle'
"Hey." Manny pressed his lips together, and glanced around the balcony, as if he hadn't been aware Arcade was alone the moment he set eyes on him. "Another smoke break?"
Arcade chuckled. "It would be, if I weren't out."
Manny nodded at the ground, and looked back up with a very small smile, more in his eyes than his mouth. "Come over?"
"I… hmm. I… really don't have the time. I'm supposed to be—"
"Just for a cigarette."
Well… he had promised, last time.
An ill-advised promise—!
Was still a promise. "Sure. Just a quick one."
Manny smiled before he turned around and headed back to his room. Arcade followed behind, hands in pockets but refraining from casually whistling.
It's 24 hours of utter fornicating chaos for Arcade. Boone starts to get his affairs in order, and tells a new old enemy to do the same. Veronica has no idea what she's just stumbled into.
- Wait 'til you see that sunshine place 54.8k
Wait 'til you're locked in my embrace
wait 'til I draw you near!
Wait 'til you see that sunshine place
ain't nothing like it here
Frank Sinatra - 'The Best Is Yet to Come'
No sense beating around the bush. "You don't like me much, do you?" she asked, as cheerfully as she could. It was a hell of an understatement. She was still a little concerned Boone would actually kill her.
"No," he answered, with an evil smirk that didn't reassure her whatsoever.
She nodded, and tried to keep smiling.
"Maybe you're not so bad," he admitted. Veronica was pretty sure it was going to be something like… "Go down easier without power armour." Yep! Wow.
"You know, I knew you were gonna say that. You could have just stopped at the 'no' part. I know you don't talk much. Wouldn't want you to sprain anything."
He glared at her. Silently. Hmm. He was following her advice, but she wasn't sure it made her feel any better.
How many misfits does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Cass has her own eureka moment, leading her to a messier kind of lightshow in Freeside. Arcade would like everyone to stop thinking so much, thanks.
- Caravan code of the wastes 80.1k
Courier: [Benny] wanted something I was carrying.
Cass: So he robbed you? Robbing a courier's low, and any family or group he's with is going to get a black eye for it. Caravan code of the wastes is you don't fuck with the one who brings you your mail and you don't fuck with your supply line. Hope this shithead knows what he's in for, from both of us
Fallout: New Vegas
He looked around, as if there was anything to see but the tent walls, and lowered his voice to a whisper; Raul and Veronica moved closer. "I have to admit, I'm a little nervous about patronising, uh, that energy weapons establishment in the future? Even though I wasn't involved."
"Relax, doc. They have no idea about your indirect involvement in their humiliating downfall. Yet."
"Mhm. It's gonna get ugly. Uglier than me. Why did we get involved with this, anyway?"
Veronica crossed her arms, her eyes burning with reproach. "Because they're our friends!"
Revenge is a dish best served well-dressed. Ruth weaves plans. So many loose ends to tie up - so many hems to sew. Veronica learns about stitches and the ties that bind. No Chain links to get them through the Strip gates; maybe the real miracle technology was the friends we made along the way!
- And so the best that I can do is pray 24.5k
You might forget your manners. You might refuse to stay!
And so the best that I can do is pray.
Frank Sinatra - 'Luck Be a Lady'
"You like the Chairmen?"
She beamed at him. "Yeah! They're my favourite… the Tops is my favourite casino! It's the Tops!" she added, bursting into giggles.
"… even after their leader shot you in the head?"
"Oh, yeah." He hated seeing her so sad. "Well… they might not have all been in on it? Well… fuck. I never thought about it until now. I guess I kind of thought, if we could deal with Benny, then the other Chairmen would…" She sighed.
He couldn't believe he was in this position, but, well, he was. "Hey, cheer up. There's still the Ultra-Luxe, no matter what."
"That's true!" Her grateful smile didn't last long. "But it's not the Tops…"
Was it really so much worse? It was more expensive, right? And that was a good thing to the kind of people who enjoyed it. Who he could no longer write off as bad people who revelled in bad things, but the instinct remained.
A courier, a doctor and a sniper walk into a casino. Ruth unsettles, settles scores. Inside bets tip the outside; Arcade wonders how much he's willing to put on the table.
- To be the darling of all 41.3k
It's something to be the darling of all
la grande femme fatale, the belle of the ball
My head may be aching, but it's unbowed
Peggy Lee - '(Ah, the Apple Trees) When the World Was Young'
The troopers were muttering about her as they all filed out of the car and through McCarran. She caught the Legion spy? What was that about deathclaws? She's the one House let into the Lucky 38, right? The one who killed that guy at the Tops.
Had she heard them, too? She was nervous, but she was always nervous here. She thought she was scared of the soldiers, but it wasn't true. It was the fluorescent lighting all across the airport. It did things to you — Mom always said an oil lamp was better than electric if these were the only bulbs you could get.
Or maybe it was how it had shone in his eyes so many times getting a bad briefing or a worse debriefing. He wondered what Betsy was up to today. Hoped to hell she wasn't about to get sent out on what they'd quietly refer to as Freeside for years to come.