Chuck | 265 words |
They’ll call him formulaic in the morning.
The usual: anyone can do what he does, it’s easy to be him with the cigarette and the loose drawl. It just takes practise, and a lack of morals that’s deceptively simple to acquire. Mostly, these words will come from the girls who wake up to the debauched sticky bedsheets, crumpled yet clinical; and without the luxury of a phone number.
Gossip Girl accepts the complaints with all her catty good grace, listing the conquests with an eye for the sadistic: looks like someone else dropped their panties for C; do they never learn?
And he sent her the inevitable love-letter last year, dashed off from the back of his limo: I’ll do you GG; Y/N? She chose N, of course; but he likes to think he got closest. If anyone could get Gossip Girl to drop her mask and open her legs, it would be him. That, at least, is agreed.
He oozes sleaze, of course, but there’s got to be joy in the sleaze or there’s no point. He’s not apologetic for any of it; girls don’t have fantasies about fixing him because it’s embarrassingly obvious that he likes being the way he is. There’s no sense in trying to alter him; he’ll just fuck another girl in the morning, and be over it all a few minutes later.
So they’ll call him predictable, dull, formulaic; but oh, what a formula, and after all that he’s still the only one who can smile like it hurts and say: “I’m Chuck Bass” without a shred of shame.
Arthur/Morgana | 297 words | Set pre-show
“I think your father expects us to get married,” Morgana admits to Arthur.
They have stolen wine from the cellars; they are fifteen. Morgana was given her first personal maidservant two weeks ago, a shy girl called Guinevere, about the same age. Now they are growing up, there seems to be a great deal more responsibility for themselves and others than Morgana was expecting.
Arthur takes the news without changing his vague facial expression of bemusement and nausea. He has drunk a lot more than Morgana – “I’m the man here, I can hold my drink” – and it shows.
“You don’t sound very enthusiastic,” Arthur manages, eventually.
“It would be like marrying my brother,” Morgana tells him, reaching to pull the heavy gold goblet from Arthur’s loose fingers. She is going to need to be considerably more inebriated if she’s going to attempt this conversation, consequences be damned.
“You don’t have a brother,” Arthur points out, which is abut as much sense as Morgana is going to get out of him at the moment. His mouth is stained red, his eyes heavy. She is about to say you’re practically my brother when she realises it isn’t quite true. She’s grown up with Arthur, but she’s never viewed him as a sibling. Perhaps she should have done. “Being married to me won’t be so bad, will it?” Arthur asks.
“You’re insufferable,” Morgana replies, filling up the goblet again.
“Yes, well, you’re…” Arthur frowns. “So are you.”
Morgana leaves him crumpled there, taking her goblet of wine with her. Guinevere never tells, and later on, Arthur’s the one who gets the punishment from King Uther for stealing wine from the cellars.
He talks to her a lot less, once his headache has passed. Morgana insists to Guinevere that she’s glad.
Jack, Gwen, Ianto | 280 words | Set post 2x13
Every time he turns his back someone else disappears.
That, at least, is how he’s playing this. Determined not to remain culpable. There are inevitabilities and of course they happen and when they do they’ve nothing to do with him.
He’s spent most of his career at Torchwood playing with blamelessness; finding new ways to avoid acknowledging that he lives on always and no one else does.
“Does… time get new meaning?” Gwen asks, shreds of hesitancy in her tone. Her fingers drum on the warm ceramic of her coffee mug. “You have so much of it.”
Ianto is hovering, compulsively cleaning. At his most tired moments, Jack sometimes wonders if Ianto only misses Owen because he always made lots of mess, and then hates that even after all this time he still sort of thinks of Ianto as some kind of OCD robot. Maybe he shouldn’t have skipped that sensitivity training.
“Time looks smaller when you look back, and bigger when you look forward,” Jack responds. “The same as it is for everyone.”
Gwen looks disappointed, taking a mouthful of bitter coffee. Jack feels cruel again, but while he’s been playing with telling the truth recently, since two of his team members died and all, he can’t tell her this. He doesn’t remember most of what it was like to be just mortal, what it felt like to wake up and check a day off a finite list. He wasted so much of it and it was so long ago.
Jack lets himself be the silent bastard while Gwen sighs into her coffee and Ianto dusts and he thinks maybe he’s getting worse at the whole avoiding culpability thing.
Clyde/Luke | 290 words |
Somewhere along the line Luke is learning to fit in. Clyde is doing his best from a teenager perspective, so at least Luke talks like everyone else and manages to avoid the worst of his ‘social miscalculations’. He’ll never be cool, but at least he won’t be horrifically weird. And, much as Clyde hates to admit it, his own ‘cool’ status is dropping, the longer he hangs out with Maria and Luke. He decides it means he’s grown as a person, because he doesn’t actually care.
Sarah Jane is doing her best to make Luke normal by being a loving and dutiful mum and therefore not setting him up to be a messed-up psychopath in the future, which is always good. And Maria tends to just ignore the majority of Luke’s abnormalities, and is therefore far less critical than Clyde is ever willing to be. Between the three of them, Clyde likes to think that they’re doing a pretty good job.
Someone, though, is teaching Luke to dress better. Oh, he’s still not a fashion victim and probably no one else has even noticed, but Clyde can’t help it. The first time he sees Luke in a pair of skinny jeans, straight-cut and well-fitting, Clyde can’t help looking on them as some kind of reward for a good deed he hasn’t done yet.
He knows that it’s pretty much wrong to be appreciating the sight of his best friend in the first pair of flattering trousers he’s ever owned, but Clyde reasons that Luke has no idea that he’s doing it and since Maria seems to deliberately ignore the fact that Luke and Clyde are actually pretty good-looking, someone has to do it.
At least, that’s what he tells himself.
Gene/Alex | 266 words | Set post season 1
The world tastes hollow and Gene’s shrug is too eloquent.
“Sod this,” Alex mutters, her curls unfolding under the rain, make-up streaking down her cheeks. It’s her own mind and she can’t even control the weather inside it. If she makes herself ill from this then she is going to less than amused.
“Patience, Bolly.” Gene has sunglasses on despite the obvious, storm water speckling the lenses. Everyone has sensibly holed themselves up in Luigi’s with cheap red wine, but they’re out here, getting pissed on, and for a moment Alex has forgotten why.
“What are we doing, Gene?” she asks helplessly. “Just tell me, because I don’t bloody know any more.”
Gene’s lips curl and Alex is getting cold. She can’t work out how to get out of here; her parents are gone and Evan is a question she won’t answer and Gene Sodding Hunt is apparently the only thing she’s got left to her. For better or worse and he’s Sam Tyler’s hallucination anyway.
“We’ve got choices,” Gene explains on a sigh, and Alex feels a deluge of cold water run down her back. They got bored of screaming at each other, took it outside because an amused Ray suggested it, and now they’re here getting drenched for no good reason. “So we’re making choices, Bolly.”
Alex isn’t sure she feels better for this revelation; she nods curtly, shoulders trembling. Her own private world and she can’t control any of it.
“Come back inside,” Gene says, a hint of a give in his voice. Alex sighs and obeys because she’s run out of options.
Cameron, Foreman | 236 words | Set during season 4
Their shoulders skim in the cafeteria, trays of sustenance and a feeble attempt to ignore each other that has the nurses laughing. They’ve always been this hospital’s favourite form of entertainment; who else has fucked up so badly? And, she reminds herself on a scowl, who else has fucked up so repeatedly?
“This is childish,” Foreman mutters, which is nearly amusing because they did this eighteen months ago, petty theft and a feud that only ended because Foreman almost died. Cameron knows this means she didn’t win, she conceded, and it’s sad because she had the moral high ground.
“You don’t have any right to judge me,” she sighs.
“You came back earlier,” Foreman points out.
“I wasn’t trying to prove your point,” she almost snaps. Chase – oh God, Robert – fold easily on everything; she suspects it’s partially because he knows they should break up but is too passive to fix that. It’s nice, Cameron reflects, to talk to someone unwilling to crack on the first sentence.
“So what point were you trying to prove?” Foreman all but demands, thrusting crumpled bills at their cashier. He’s buying her dinner, Cameron reflects, bemused.
“I just wanted out,” Cameron tells him. “I wasn’t trying to find redemption.”
Foreman’s mouth tightens, she thinks they were friends for a few months but possibly not any more.
“I knew it was too late,” she finishes acidly, and leaves him standing there.
Isaac, Daphne | 235 words | Spoilers for 3x01
The pages of his sketchbook flutter; Isaac skims his pencil in a final line and turns.
“I know you’re there,” he offers, and her laugh tinkles. Faster than a blink, faster than a thought, she steps into vision, white-blonde hair looking like she cut it herself one dull Sunday afternoon, a white-toothed grin curling across her lips.
“Of course you know,” Daphne scoffs, glancing around his cluttered loft. One of Isaac’s latest paintings is smeared, as though a strong wind blew past the paint; she grimaces. “Hope that wasn’t important.”
Isaac shrugs. “Well, I won’t know now,” he points out.
Daphne likes him because although he can’t catch her he can draw her; techniques borrowed from reading The Flash comics as a kid. Wind lines scored across images, or one person multiplied on a page, each second of her bleeding into the next. His predictions make her laugh, though she believes them. Even a girl who can outrun all possible threats doesn’t find herself entirely safe.
“Anything I should know?” she asks, ruffling her hair with impatient fingers.
“No,” Isaac responds, waving an arm out at his most recent canvases, none of which have Daphne’s tell-tale presence on them. “Not at the moment.”
“Good,” Daphne’s hands squeeze his shoulders, and she presses a soft, brief kiss to his cheek. “Can’t stop.”
She never does; Isaac reflects that if he had her gift, he wouldn’t either.
Susan, Peter | 279 words | Set at the end of Prince Caspian
What if clings stickily to the hem of her dress, slapping against her legs. Aslan’s eyes seem dark, too dark; when they were smaller, lions meant danger and teeth. Now, it has all become rather too complicated, too big for true comprehension. Peter’s sigh is regret taking flight; his fingers tighten a fraction in their lion’s mane, boots echoing on stone.
Susan wants to ask what she is supposed to do now, how she is supposed to live in the world; but she suspects she knows the answer already, and Aslan knows it too, and she will not like it voiced aloud. Once said, it’s real. And she cannot stand the way Peter will look at her, knowing the truth.
Peter’s jaw clenches, there’s anger in the angle of his spine. He’s more of a warrior than he can ever confess to; Susan saw the relief in his eyes when he first buckled his sword around his waist, the movements practised and never forgotten. He’s a schoolboy, still, but a king first and foremost. Susan doesn’t know where queen comes in her personality and it is a thought she cannot dwell on. There’s no point anymore.
The wind seems too cool, whipping through the castle courtyard, and reminding Susan that so many were slaughtered here for the sake of youth and arrogance. They have made so many mistakes that it almost hurts, the faith the Narnians still have in them.
For the best; no, but this can’t be, and Susan wonders how to explain to Aslan that leaving Narnia will break Peter, and who knows what it will do to her?
Susan gazes downwards, swallowing loss against her teeth.