Ashes To Ashes
Molly, Gene | spoilers for season three and The End | title from Across The Universe by The Beatles
fifty-five. spirit. Images Of Broken Light
Evan tells her not to, but she enters the police force anyway. She’s good, too; sharp and soft in all the right ways. Molly Drake winds up transferring to Glasgow, still running.
She keeps the notes for the book her mother never wrote under her bed.
Chris has kind eyes and a smile that makes her life a little less empty. The cool engagement ring around her finger is the last thing she feels, one week before her twenty-ninth birthday, when a car thief turns around and laughs and she never sees the knife.
When she opens her eyes it’s daytime and she’s on a bus. Someone’s playing music on their phone; I keep bleeding love wails from the tinny speakers.
When she gets off she’s in London, and the shred of the Metro that sticks to her shoes reveals that it is 2008. Of course it’s 2008. It’s always 2008.
She goes to where she used to work before she moved, looking for familiarity.
“So you made it, Inspector Drake,” the man on the desk says.
Molly lets herself be swept along. Her chest aches and she doesn’t know how to be here. She’s taken to an office to meet her new boss, and she stays silent because there’s nothing else to do.
“This is the guv,” the man informs her, like anyone still says that; she swallows a laugh.
“So, you’re Drake.” ‘The Guv’ is imposing, mouth thin, but there’s something like recognition in his eyes that makes Molly feel uncomfortable. “You’re late.”
“Sorry,” Molly says, automatic, and holds out a hand. “Molly Drake.”
“I know,” he says, but takes it. “DCI Gene Hunt.”
Molly thinks about laughing, about crying, about asking did you know my mother?
“It’s an honour to meet you,” she says instead. “At last.”
Mitchell, George | early season two spoilers
seventy-five. shade. Uncomfortably Slow
Mitchell brings him some of the tea that Annie’s making like it’s the only thing keeping her sane. Well. It is the only thing keeping her sane, but they’ve got used to that (and to buying the extra box of teabags) by now.
“Also, there are biscuits,” Mitchell informs him, settling himself on the floor next to George. “Two kinds and they both have chocolate. Annie is really starting to branch out.”
“Oh good,” George says flatly. “Two kinds of biscuits? Wow.”
He cups his hands around the mug and stares at it.
“I’d drink it if I were you,” Mitchell says quietly, “it wasn’t that warm to begin with.”
They listen to the clattering from the kitchen.
“It’s all right,” George murmurs, “there’ll be about four more litres along in a minute.”
“True,” Mitchell concedes, and something that isn’t a smile but that might be one if you squinted hard enough flits across his mouth.
George sips at his tea and reflects that, if nothing else, Annie has got the hang of making the perfect cuppa.
“I made my girlfriend a werewolf,” he mutters at last. “I gave her this curse.”
Mitchell is silent. “At least you didn’t give her chlamydia,” he says eventually.
George considers this, sipping his tea. “Tell me, Mitchell, in what way is being a werewolf better than having chlamydia?”
Mitchell shrugs. “It doesn’t hurt when she pees?”
“That’s cystitis,” George responds.
“Ah.” Mitchell offers him a smile. “You didn’t give her that either.”
There are a thousand things that George wants to say to that, most of which cannot be said with words, just with teeth, but in the end he sighs and reaches for one of the two kinds of chocolate biscuit.
“No,” he agrees heavily, “no, I didn’t give her that either.”
Chronicles of Narnia
Susan, Caspian | movieverse
ten. years. Queens Cannot Always Remain Gentle
The Milly Molly Mandy books grow dusty on her bookcases. Mother read them to her, village life for the little London girl. Lucy was read them too, tucked away in air raid shelters. Susan picked one up over the school hols, and couldn’t help wondering if she ever grew up; if Billy Blunt ever turned around one day and demanded marriage, or perhaps he chose Jilly from the shop instead. If Millicent Margaret Amanda found a sparkling future.
(The future preys on her mind more and more of late; she fears she cannot spend forever hoping for Narnia to pull through.)
Father read the boys Robinson Crusoe; Peter grew desperate with the idea of ruling his own island and Edmund merely scowled because, then, Edmund scowled at everything. Susan attempted it one wet afternoon, but wasn’t interested in the tale of the man washed into a new place and forced to create his own society. Of course, it was quite different when it happened to her.
“Does it hurt,” Caspian begins awkwardly, “that Narnia is not as you remember?”
He seems uncomfortable every time he speaks to her, a shadow in his eyes that she knows from the boys at home. It makes Susan feel both powerful and terrified, and she is not sure how she is meant to feel about that.
“It is strange,” Susan admits. “And sad, of course.”
It’s not quite what she wants to say; the words stick to her tongue.
“You found your castle in ruins,” Caspian presses, and Susan thinks that maybe he isn’t sympathising with her after all; perhaps he’s just trying to assess his own emotions through the medium of hers. “Your old home smashed apart.”
I don’t think I really expected any different. Susan says nothing, but her smile waxes wistful.
Danny/Lindsay | set post 3x18 Sleight Out Of Hand | title taken from Short Stacks by The Ditty Bops
forty-four. circle. the less you put out the less that’s gone
Outside the courthouse and well away from the flashbulbs of the cameras, Lindsay finally turns to look at Danny. Her eyes are exhausted but there’s a light sparking deep in them, a light he hasn’t seen in a long time. It makes all of this worth it.
“You look tired,” she tells him eventually, “When was the last time you slept?”
“I took a nap on the flight,” he replies, avoiding telling her that he’s very, very sleep deprived and therefore more than a little crazy. Lindsay’s look tells him that she knows anyway, and she’s probably equally insane. It’s not a good way to start a conversation, but then they’ve always been so careful around each other that maybe actually talking when neither of them are in a frame of mind that’s exactly stable could lead somewhere new. If that even makes sense. He decides not to try that thought aloud, just in case it doesn’t.
“So,” Danny begins, “you gonna give me the guided tour?”
Lindsay gives him an unreadable look, and then a smile.
“Ok.” She points to a restaurant across the street. “There’s where I had my first date.” She turns her attention to a store a few doors down. “There’s where I used to buy candy as a kid.” Her smile twists. “And there’s the diner where all my friends got shot.”
Danny turns to look at her.
She laughs slightly. “Too morbid?”
“A little bit,” he says. Lindsay shrugs, and her hand slips into his. Her fingers are warm and her hands aren’t shaking and he wonders if this is it, finally, the edges of a new beginning.
“Thank you,” she murmurs, “for being here today.”
Danny wants to say a million things but not here, not now.
“Any time, Montana,” he replies.
Slightly Gabriel/Johnny | no specific timeline, maybe pre-show?
ninety. home. Other Incorrect Decisions
“You are not staying here,” Johnny says helplessly. His voice is bordering on a wail, thin and thready, and Gabriel easily ignores it the way he ignores everything that gets in the way of him doing exactly as he likes.
“I have no tin,” Gabriel responds, tone cheerful as though this isn’t actually a semi-catastrophic situation at all. Johnny supposes that when you become flat broke as often as Gabriel does that it rather loses some of its distressing nature. “And, well, Maniac is being more insane than usual, so that leaves you, my dear boy.”
“No, really,” Johnny tells him, “you cannot stay here.”
“I think we will get along famously,” Gabriel adds, with that viciously sharp tooth-filled grin. Women seem to find it attractive; Johnny has never actually understood why. He just tends to find it unnerving most of the time.
“Are you drunk?” he asks.
“That’s a ridiculous question,” Gabriel replies dismissively, “you already know the answer. Now, where shall I sleep?”
It is at moments like this that Johnny severely regrets ever deciding to have artistic integrity and deciding to leave the Royal Academy to start a brotherhood with two men who are decidedly unstable.
Gabriel is staring at him. “No need to look quite so traumatised, Johnny, you’ll come to like having me about, I’m sure.”
Johnny is not. “Maniac never did,” he points out.
“Maniac is Maniac,” Gabriel responds, waving a careless hand. “I think our temperaments will get along perfectly.”
But you’re insane, Johnny wants to say, but ends up being distracted when Gabriel plants a kiss on his cheek. “Thanks, Johnny.”
He stands very still and when he finally pulls himself together Gabriel is across the room looking pleased with himself and Johnny isn’t sure anymore how to tell him to go.
Chuck/Dan | like, season one? Something like that
twenty-two. enemies. You’re Nobody Until You’ve Fucked Chuck Bass (And Lied About It)
When they fuck – Chuck is experimenting with being an indiscriminate whore, and Dan is bored– Dan promises something stupid like I’ll write a story about you.
He laughs even with Chuck’s teeth marked on his throat.
“I can make you fucking hurt,” Chuck promises.
Dan reaches for the cigarettes on the nightstand, a shift of bare skin. Oh, debauchery.
“I guess I should just be grateful that this isn’t a limo, huh?” Dan asks.
“I’ll screw you in my limo,” Chuck mutters, unsure if it’s a threat or a promise.
“Yeah, that wouldn’t be at all sleazy.” Dan strings out smoke through his teeth. “We’re not doing this again.”
Chuck remains silent, because otherwise he’ll mutter: you say that now… and then it’ll descend into a discussion he’s not having now or ever.
Cigarette between his teeth like he’s something tougher than a schoolboy whose new extracurricular activity seems to be indulging in dirty sex in hotels which happen to be, you know, owned by the father of the guy he’s screwing, Dan starts getting dressed. Chuck lights himself a cigarette for the sake of clichés.
Dan looks better in his uniform now it’s crumpled and his shirt has two buttons missing that Chuck tore off in the throes of whatever passion this wasn’t (but he’ll deny it). He’s got a hickey coming up on his neck but Chuck resists the urge to smirk in triumph, because really, that’s too easy.
Dan stubs out the cigarette in an ashtray that cost more than his apartment, still looking too pleased with himself. Chuck wants to bite that expression off, but really, fucking Dan Humphrey once in a day is enough.
“You seem to be labouring under the belief that you’ve won,” he drawls. “You really haven’t.”
Dan just slams the door.
Peter, Nathan | Five Years Gone AU
twenty. colourless. Lady Luck Fucked My Brother But Left Me Well Alone
Nathan is still the only person who knows that Peter cheated on a math test when he was twelve.
Peter’s teeth taste like chalk and he watches himself heal with aching eyes. There’s no blood spilled around him, red from his cracked body. There’s an absence of blood.
Certain places on his body are sliced straight down to the bone, a sickening white left bare to the open grey sky. There is a ringing static that fills the empty hollow where New York city is. Used to be.
And the silence rings on and on, as Peter sits in the hollow where his body broke apart, and waits for something to change.
Later, Nathan swoops down from the sky like Superman.
“We have to get you out of here,” he says, pulling Peter up. Peter sways uncertainly and he can’t say a word. Nathan swishes them away into the sky.
Nathan sits Peter down somewhere, kneeling before him, taking Peter’s hands between his.
“This didn’t happen,” he says, loud and firm.
Peter shuts his eyes.
Peter watches the TV while Nathan talks to news cameras. Peter waits for the confession. For the I’m so sorry guys; my brother kind of lost it. But it never comes. Nathan is appropriately sombre, with a tie picked out to mark the occasion, and he lies through those straight white teeth.
Peter’s face has been split apart and the scar won’t heal. It looks sort of beautiful, and sort of hideous. It’s no less than he deserves.
“Senator Petrelli,” a reporter asks, “do you know what caused this tragedy?”
Peter edges closer, waiting for his damnation.
“Yes,” Nathan replies. “The explosion was caused by a man. He exploded like a nuclear bomb.” Peter’s breath catches in his chest. Nathan tells the world: “his name was Sylar.”
Arthur, the Dragon | title from Dragon by Tori Amos
one. beginnings. but now i’m not so sure
The first time Arthur goes to find the Dragon being kept beneath the castle, he is five years old.
It’s easy to slip away, and the guards don’t see him as he goes where he has been told Not To Go, Not Ever. It’s dark and cold and scary but Arthur is going to be king one day so he doesn’t get to be frightened.
…The Dragon is very very big, and it’s sitting on a rock and looking at Arthur as though it’s been waiting for him.
“I am Prince Arthur Pendragon,” he whispers.
“Arthur Pendragon,” the Dragon repeats slowly. “It is an honour to meet you.”
When Arthur is nine, the Dragon informs him that he has a Great Destiny ahead of him.
Arthur has a broken arm from falling off his horse and the look of disappointment on his father’s face hurt more than the injury did.
“I’m going to be king,” Arthur points out. “That’s quite an important destiny, isn’t it?”
The Dragon is, somehow, grinning.
“Your Destiny is beyond the reckoning of mortal minds,” it intones.
It talks like this a lot. Arthur thinks it just does it to alleviate the constant boredom. He once gave the Dragon his favourite wooden horse to play with; he’s not sure what happened, but he thinks that the Dragon might still have it.
“Do I get a clue?” Arthur asks.
The Dragon just looks at him, and although Arthur isn’t stupid enough to think that he can outstare a gigantic mythical creature capable of incinerating him, he doesn’t look away.
Eventually, the Dragon says: “Someone will come to Camelot searching for refuge. They will be tied to your Destiny forever.”
It’s the straightest answer Arthur has ever received. He is impressed, and so forgets to ask for clarification.
Ryan/Brendon | post-divorce | what the actual fuck was I thinking | title from Distractions by Zero 7
eighty. why? i can not quite but nearly guarantee a divorce
There’s an afternoon when he isn’t looking at anything in particular, nothing that stings with memories, anyway, and it turns out there’s kind of a fucking lot of stuff that is all enrobed in memories and thoughts and desires he never ever voiced because they’d always have the time and in any case it didn’t seem as important at the time, you know? Anyway, there’s nothing to spark it, no photographs or websites full of speculation and none of it hitting the mark and so his mind shouldn’t be forming connections. It shouldn’t be, but that doesn’t stop it, the thoughts driving sharp through his brain and forcing stunned air out of his chest because, what, fuck, seriously?
When did you decide it would be ok to break my heart? he thinks with clarity so bright it kind of hurts. Only that’s not it, that’s not right, and it takes another moment with his eyes closed rearranging words until he comes up with: when did I decide it would be ok to let you?
He’s not broken-hearted, he’s really not, because why should any of it matter, but God, it’s such a real fucking mess and there’s so much he’s not talking about that it kind of aches somewhere deep down and tight and clenched and there aren’t words in the English language to describe how being this unhappy feels. There’s no melody to encapsulate it. But he’s unhappy nonetheless, aching and silent because there’s nothing that saying real words can achieve at all.
It’s fucking ridiculous, is what it is. Fucking ridiculous and even that doesn’t make it better because it’s not fixable. Not anymore. It’s too late for that, too fucking late and you know, sometimes, sometimes that makes him glad.
Mostly, though, it just makes him tired.
Becker, Connor | set post 3x03
sixteen. purple. Get Out While You Can
Connor looks like he hasn’t slept since Cutter died, pale and drawn and eyes ringed with deprivation bruises.
“I want you to help me,” he says, and his voice is unsteady.
“With what?” Becker asks carefully; Connor looks like he’s reaching breaking point, and who knows which way it will go.
“I want to be ready,” Connor responds. “When Helen comes back. I want to be able to protect myself. And… everyone else.”
Becker thinks about saying but that’s my job, but doesn’t because he’s already cocked it up once. Connor has a point, but his hands are trembling at his sides and he shouldn’t be allowed near anything even vaguely resembling weaponry in his current state.
“When was the last time you slept, Connor?” Becker asks, trying for gentle.
Connor scowls. “Fine,” he says, turning away, “if you won’t help me…”
He gets three steps before Becker catches him, curling his fingers around Connor’s upper arms. Connor feels brittle and thin under his hands, glaring at him with defiance and despair in his eyes.
“I didn’t say I wouldn’t help,” Becker corrects him, “it’s just not a good idea right now. I think you should get some food and some sleep and then I’ll see what I can do, ok?”
He’s relieved when Connor nods. “Ok,” he concedes. He shifts uncomfortably, misery flashing across his face. “Becker, could you… could you stop touching me?”
Becker quickly opens his hands and steps back, careful to give Connor the distance he needs. He’s never been good with comforting people; and he doesn’t want to say something like I’m sorry I couldn’t stop this because even though it’s his fault he’s not sure it’s something people want brought up.
There’s too much grief here, and no one wants to talk about it.
Jack/John | set waaaaay before KKBB | title from Hamlet
four. insides. Now Could I Drink Hot Blood
The group therapy session is strangely dull, seeing as how this is murder rehab. You expected to pick up more tips but everyone is subdued, shuffling their feet, twitching their hands. You enjoyed the strip-search at the door more than you’re enjoying this.
When it comes to your turn, you shrug. “I’ve killed five hundred and eight people that I know of. Which is bad, ‘cause you’d think I could at least have a nice round number.” You do a quick mental count, fingers flickering, while the woman beside you flinches. “Oh, wait, I’ve killed five hundred and ten. That’s ok then.”
Your counsellor doesn’t blink, and you picture ripping out his throat with your nails, just briefly.
“What is your name?” he asks you, which is a fucking ridiculous question.
For one thing, you can’t actually remember. The only person who might remember is your mother, and it’s debatable she’d even recognise you. If she did recognise you, she might find out all the things you’ve done, and then she’d become sad and you’d have to kill her.
Unless you’ve done that already.
Five hundred and eleven, perhaps?
You get a visitor that evening; your partner with a bottle of hypervodka and a light laugh. “Look at what they’ve done to you, you look fucking awful.”
You’re not sure how he got away without rehab, seeing as how he’s so much worse than you. You don’t ask; there are some answers better left unspoken.
“I’m not meant to have alcohol because it lowers my inhibitions and I might kill people by accident,” you explain as he pours you a glass.
“So go ahead, kill me,” he taunts, too many teeth.
“I won’t kill you,” you respond.
He raises an eyebrow. “Ever?”
You shrug; you’re by no means fixed. “Yet.”
Owen, Ianto | set after A Day In The Death
sixty-five. passing. Rigor Mortis
“What are you doing?” Ianto asks, when he looks up from trying to tidy up and finally realises that Owen is picking up coffee mugs on the other side of the Briefing Room.
Owen shrugs. “I’m like the honorary teaboy, aren’t I?”
“Martha pronounced you fit for duty,” Ianto replies tightly, “you don’t have to do this anymore.”
The unspoken but I still do is sour in the air.
“I don’t sleep now,” Owen points out, “what else am I going to do?”
“Go out and have a life, maybe?” Ianto suggests dryly.
“There is a flaw in that sentence,” Owen remarks, piling mugs onto a tray balanced on his bad hand.
Ianto rolls his eyes.
“You know exactly what I mean,” he says, “I’m paid to clean up around here. You’re not. Go away and do something more productive.”
Owen picks up the last coffee mug, apparently ignoring Ianto’s words.
“I was you for a day,” he begins.
“No, you were me for about three hours before you had a temper tantrum and left,” Ianto corrects him.
“Well then,” Owen shrugs. “I know how crap it is being you.”
Ianto ties a knot neatly in the top of the binliner he’s been filling with greasy takeaway containers.
“Ok,” he says carefully, the tone of a man trying to keep it together in the face of potential insanity, “in that case, thank you.”
Owen flashes him a smile, and then delicately shifts the tray so that he’s holding it in both hands. Otherwise it’s going to slip off his immobile hand and smash on the floor, and then Ianto will actually find a way to make him stay dead.
“What does it feel like?” Ianto asks, nodding casually towards the bandaged hand.
“It doesn’t,” Owen replies, kicking the door open.
Sarah Jane Adventures
Clyde/Luke | implied minor character death
sixty-six. rain. There Aren’t Rules For This
Sarah Jane tells him come home with them after the funeral, but Clyde refuses, says he needs to get used to the empty house. She lets him go, worry in her eyes.
Later, he works out that she was right.
It’s pouring with rain and the walk between his estate and Bannerman Road has never seemed longer.
A car swishes past, sending a gutter full of water right over Clyde; he can’t even summon up the energy to swear.
He presses the doorbell of Sarah Jane’s house, trying to come up with something logical to say.
Luke stares at him as though he’s never seen him before when he pulls the door open.
“You’re wet,” he says, like this is the most astonishing thing that’s ever happened.
Clyde resists the urge to point out that there are times when it’s ok to be the weird kid who only got activated four years ago and still sometimes struggles with reacting normally to situations, and times when it is not ok at all, but knows it’ll only come out sounding more cruel than he means it to, so just nods.
“Come on,” Luke adds, stepping aside, and Clyde walks into the warmth.
Luke studies him for a moment, frowning slightly, and then pulls him into a hug. Clyde wants to pull away before he falls apart, before he gets Luke wet, but in the end he doesn’t, he can’t, wraps his arms around Luke and holds him as tightly as he can, fisting his numb hands in the back of Luke’s t-shirt.
“It’s ok,” Luke murmurs against the wet curve of his ear, like the barest edge of a kiss, and Clyde closes his eyes against tears and thinks that maybe Luke has learned something over the last few years after all.