Co-written with solaris242.

Acid Tears

It was Maya's turn to cook.

A raid on a Hyperion supply train had turned up some fresh produce, and skag meat and rakk eggs were always in good supply after their adventures out in the badlands. She stood in the kitchen, surrounded by the looted vegetables and other food they'd... acquired... and pondered what to make.

In the next room, Krieg and Salvador were arm-wrestling, while Gaige and Axton were engaged in very loud debate as to which death machine was the best: Deathtrap or Axton's turret. Clearly, Deathtrap was superior, and Axton was deluded. At least, that's what Gaige insisted.

Zer0 was drinking in a corner, somehow managing to empty his bottle without ever taking off his helmet. Talon perched on his arm, his favourite resting place while Mordecai was sleeping off his own alcoholic misadventures.

Having made a decision, Maya began to chop vegetables. After a few moments, there was a sniffle, then a loud curse.

Krieg looked up. "Whose pain screams the loudest!?" he snarled. In the process, he stood up, still holding Salvador's arm. Salvador's arm bulged as he was lifted into the air, but he refused to let go.

"I'm fine," Maya responded. "Just..." She sighed. "I have a new power, apparently."

Tiny Tina bounced into the kitchen, a grenade in one hand and a crumpet with a lettuce leaf on it in the other. "Can you blow stuff up?"


"Can I?" She waved the grenade in front of Maya's face. In the process of doing so, she waved her other arm around too, and the lettuce was flung off the crumpet. It landed on Maya's arm.

"Still no." Maya flicked off the lettuce shrapnel.

"Then what?" Tiny Tina asked.

A yelp from Salvador alerted them that Krieg had grown bored. He lowered Salvador back to the ground and wandered away from their arm-wrestling match. "You can't leave now!" Salvador insisted.

The rest of the team was looking towards Maya now. Zer0 sauntered into the kitchen and placed his empty bottle on the bench beside their soon-to-be dinner. Thick black sludge oozed over the cutting board and through the metal underneath. Smoke rose from the benchtop, and Zer0's glass sunk into the surface of the bench.

Axton joined them. "What's that on your face?" he asked Maya, pointing at her.

"I… uh. I may have acid tears now."

The others crowded around, staring at the hole in the counter.

"Why were you crying?" Axton peered at her.

Krieg patted her on the back with his axe.

"Shut up. You'd cry too if you had to chop enough onions for a dozen people."

Axton shrugged. "Just asking."

The room grew silent, as Krieg exchanged a menacing glance with Axton.

"I'm hungry," Salvador said, breaking the silence.

"Me too," Gaige added.

"I just told you I have acid tears." Maya narrowed her eyes at them. "Do you really think now is a good time for food?"

The benchtop continued to dissolve. With a crash, the bench collapsed into the widening hole. The fresh, possibly illegal food fell in with it.

"Yep!" Gaige replied, grinning. "So, where's our dinner?"

Maya looked down the hole. "Uh."

There was a scream from below. "If you imbeciles think that 16 Molar Flouric acid is an appropriate condiment, then we might as well have let Jack win," came Tannis's voice from the hole. "This skag meat is over-tenderised, by the way."

"Well, Brick did punch it until it exploded," muttered Axton. "Speaking of, where are he and Lilith? Aren't they supposed to be back by now?"

"Oh, we're here," came Lilith's voice from the hole. A few moments passed and she and Brick entered the kitchen behind everyone else. "Quick, question, why is the kitchen down there? And why is it liquid? I don't remember it being a liquid."

"We skinned the cockatiel with a twisted sawblade," Krieg announced to the room.

For a moment, no one spoke. The kitchen continued to smoulder.

Then, Maya sighed. "I… it was me. I have a new power."

"What the flying skag sack kind of power is that?!" Brick boomed.

"When I got a new power, I liquified a guy. You can liquify kitchens?" said Lilith. Her eyes widened slightly. Whether out of jealousy or admiration, Maya couldn't tell.

"Uh. Just the one." She shrugged. "So far."

Gaige fiddled with her cybernetic arm, and Deathtrap materialised beside her. Deathtrap hovered above the hole, and quickly identified the most pressing threat to his mistress. With an electronic roar, his death laser blasted through the hole, cutting a neat circle into the bottom floor of the building. The goop fell away into the clouds below Sanctuary, and a cold wind whistled up around them.

"See, Axton. Clearly superior." Grinning smugly, she suggested, "Maybe you should shove your turret into the hole, make sure no one falls in."

"Maybe Deathtrap should stick his butt into the hole - OH WAIT, HE DOESN'T HAVE ONE."

"That's because he doesn't give a crap," Gaige returned.

"Quiet, children," Lilith told them, shaking her head. "Maya. Do you think that-"

"Can we eat this food or is this stuff toxic?" Salvador interrupted.

Tannis, beneath them, said, "Possibly toxic. I should know shortly."

"-you have this power under control?" Lilith finished.

"Uh. Well, as long as I'm nowhere near onions?"

"Speaking of onions, dinner?" reminded Salvador.

Lilith rolled her eyes. "Call Moxxi. Looks like we're having pizza again."


Early the next morning, a bleary-eyed Mordecai climbed from the roof and stumbled into the kitchen. There, he stared dumbly around the room, before clutching his head. "How much did I drink last night?!"

Talon screeched, swooped, and took out a chunk of his shoulder, causing Mordecai to lose his balance. He tripped forward and fell through the space where he could have sworn the bench used to be, landing heavily, the next floor down, on top of Claptrap. Claptrap, bound and gagged, waved his arms around.

Mordecai carefully climbed to his feet, and pulled up Claptrap. "What the hell are you doing there?" He glanced down. "Oh." Backing up a step, Mordecai shoved Claptrap back into the hole. "You stay there for now."

As he was leaving the headquarters to find another drink - because after that experience, he needed several - he ran into Tannis. "What happened in there?" he asked.

Tannis shrugged. "Maya made dinner."