A Knight’s Tale
Onesided!Geoff/Will, slight Wat/Geoff | set during that epic ballroom scene where they dance to Golden Years | title taken from that song
fourteen. green. Run For The Shadows
There’s a mantra running desperately through Geoff’s head, and the words are oh please God don’t let him trip over his own feet. His nose aches and his teeth taste like blood, but he’s had worse and today is a good day, even if they have no tent to sleep in because it’s being paraded around so Will can capture his overpainted hussy – sorry, that should be Lady Jocelyn.
“Oh please God don’t let him trip over his own feet,” Kate says aloud. Geoff likes her if only because she rescued him from trying to teach Will and Wat and their four left feet to dance. She offers them a smile and a lilted: “goodnight, boys”.
Roland is examining his fingertips – “pricked to buggery” he complains; Geoff turns his hysterical laugh into a cough because he’s been punched enough for one day – while Wat looks disgruntled. He catches Geoff watching and the expression becomes disdain.
There are better times to be doing this but Geoff is driving himself half-mad trying to work out if William is flailing about knocking over tables, setting himself on fire and spilling pathetic nonsense to a woman who, in Geoff’s admittedly not-very-humble opinion, isn’t worth it. He needs to distract himself. Geoff gets up and goes to lounge beside Wat, who looks at him with a mixture of confusion and dislike.
“What do you want?”
Geoff shrugs. “You must have redeeming features,” he remarks.
“You’re lucky I’m not sure what that means,” Wat replies, but there’s a playful note somewhere there.
“Are you ever going to get bored of fucking me up?” Geoff asks, with little hope.
Wat shrugs. “Not any time soon.”
Geoff hears himself laugh, in spite of it all.
Roland sighs. “Oh please God don’t let him trip over his own feet.”
The Master/Lucy | also the same prompt for doctorwho_100
seventy four. dark. Lucy – Sky – Diamonds. (i’ve heard this song before)
The fucking orbs that she has been ordered to like chant kiss, kiss, kiss in their shrill voices.
Her brand new husband smiles with all his white teeth. He has too many of them.
Shall we? He asks.
She smiles behind the veil. Her fingers drum against her thigh.
The priest who has wed them looks worried but his time will come. Why else would the orbs be here?
Her husband peels the veil back over her hair. He murmurs Lucy Lucy Lucy, and looks at her as though he can see something that she never has.
His mouth is cold.
We could have met at Cambridge, He suggests.
She thinks about this.
That’s dull, She replies.
It’s their wedding night and they are sat in a hotel room coming up with a cover story. Her mother will wonder why she was excluded from the ceremony. She’s never really liked her mother.
There is a slice of red right across her veil. They tried to back away quickly but the orbs are so very enthusiastic.
Love at first sight? He asks.
She says nothing. She doesn’t know.
Her husband has two hearts and a menagerie of cruel things. She’s learning to turn a blind eye.
How would you like the world on a plate? Her husband asks.
She thinks about it.
As a wedding gift?
If you’d like it, He tells her.
Most husbands just give their wives jewellery, She observes.
Wouldn’t the world be better? His smile stretches, and holds.
If he got the world, it wouldn’t be for her; she knows that much. He won’t take the world just to hand it over to her. That much is clear.
I don’t know, She murmurs.
Funny little thing, He tells her, curling his fingers in her hair.
Leporello, Zerlina | set post-opera | title is a Tori Amos song
eighty-six. choices. Abnormally Attracted To Sin
“Almost being raped by Don Giovanni on your wedding day is an honour few women can say they’ve had,” Leporello offers to Zerlina, in the vague hope of sorting everything out. His master was dragged away to Hell and apparently he’s got to remember how to function within the world.
Zerlina does not look particularly convinced, which is understandable. For one thing, there is nothing particularly honourable about rape, and for another what he’s saying isn’t even true; brides were a favourite of Don Giovanni’s, something he tried to collect for his own amusement. The books are crammed full of them.
With hindsight, it is rather surprising that something like this did not happen sooner.
“How many times did you stand back and watch while your Master tore people’s lives apart?” Zerlina asks. She sounds far too accusatory and Leporello immediately resents her for it, regrets ever thinking he should try and offer an apology. Don Giovanni is not around to appreciate his efforts and in any case he wouldn’t acknowledge them if he were.
Working for Don Giovanni was a frequently thankless job and Leporello cannot even claim that he was well paid for it because most of the time he wasn’t paid at all, except in occasional handfuls of – frequently false – coinage and with the opportunity to sleep with one of his master’s leftovers. Why he stayed is something that Leporello didn’t think about when his master was alive and he certainly is not going to think about it now he doesn’t have to.
“Too many,” he responds simply.
“And what will you do now?” Zerlina asks.
Leporello thinks of a plumed hat and honeyed language and his master’s fortune and realises that his future probably holds eternal damnation in it as well. He doesn’t say this aloud.
Laertes/Ophelia [Hamlet/Ophelia] | obviously hints at creepy incest
seventy-six. who? Ill-Intentioned
She’s her father’s good little daughter.
How could she be anything different?
When her brother is in France, he writes erratic letters that do not seem to feel the need to explain what he is doing or why.
I miss you, he leaves at the end. And: with all my love.
Ophelia reads them so many times that the words seem to fade as they imprint themselves onto her mind.
She does not write please save me from father; he will not let me out. She does eventually write our prince Hamlet is showing an interest in me. His smile is like sunshine.
Her brother writes to their father, and says that he is coming home for a visit.
Ophelia keeps her eyes downcast, because of course she is chaste and obedient and she is afraid of the consequences if she should deviate even slightly from this. Prince Hamlet paints pictures with words, darting from thought to thought like an intricate dance that Ophelia cannot join in with for fear of stumbling.
She folds his letters up and keeps them hidden beneath her bed. She is not entirely certain who she is hiding them from.
Prince Hamlet’s laughter makes her blush; somehow all this is more difficult with him.
“You must take care,” Laertes tells her. “You must be on your guard.”
His fingers are tight around her wrist, his dark eyes bright.
Ophelia honestly does not know who is talking about, and when he swallows and his gaze flickers over her, she realises that her brother is not sure either.
She thinks that this is wrong, his expression by candlelight, but he has always retained too much distance and lectured her too long and too hard.
Ophelia shivers when his fingers entwine with hers, but she doesn’t pull away.
House/Chase | I started writing this, like, four years ago if you can believe it, found it on my USB drive, and thought “hmm, with a bit of editing this could work”.
thirty-seven. sound. This Isn’t Interesting Enough To Be An Aftermath
The pieces of himself that he won’t get back again live in a cardboard box under his bed. Lid duct taped closed, kicked just out of reach. Chase allows the dust to build up and does not ever think about Robert. Robert, who crumpled like soggy newspaper within the first week of entering Princeton/Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. Chase is hardly stronger, but he’s lasted. Clinging on beyond what is healthy, clinging on because he has nothing else left; there’s only so far you can live on your daddy’s name. Chase isn’t a bad doctor but mostly he isn’t a good one, not really, not quite. He tells himself that it’s the problems of youth, but he’s not young any more, at least not like he used to be. And any shreds of naïveté he’s holding onto are entirely forced. These things happen. Chase lets the pieces the life he used to live rot away underneath the bed, fragments of fragments of the tiniest pieces of happiness.
House’s fingers are gripping hard enough to bruise, and Chase thinks dizzily that the loneliness was better than this. At least that made sense, somewhere along the line. This – bright flashes of skin, fingernails and teeth, hopes and fears and rough-edged laughter – is so confusing and so illogical that Chase wonders why House indulges in it. So Chase closes his eyes, hands splayed on denim, and undoes every button of House’s Levi 501s with his teeth because it makes the man laugh. Laughter is so brittle and broken in here that it’s close enough to tears, too intimate and ugly and emotional for what should be crisp, clean silence, but laughter is better than the alternative and Chase knows better than anyone about the lesser of two evils and the price of the choice.
Pepper, Tony [Tony/Pepper if you squint] | set between movies
eighty-nine. work. Q & A
“Do you like working for me Pepper?”
Occasionally Tony stops being all caught up in saving the world and starts thinking he should save things closer to home. Like his PA, for example.
“It’s ok,” Pepper replies, because it’s true, and because she doesn’t want to be one of Tony’s whims that are picked up, toyed with, fixed and then dropped within a week. She has only really lasted this long through making sure that that’s never happened to her. “I miss some things but, on the whole, it’s ok.”
Tony raises his eyebrows, looking away from the computer programme he’s been tinkering with for the last fifteen minutes. “‘Ok’ isn’t a very strong word, I really think there should be more gushing.” The eyebrows lower, become a frown. “What things?”
Pepper smiles to take all potential sting and therefore recriminations that will go on for weeks out of her words. “Well, I sometimes miss sleeping and recreation and not having to worry about whether my boss’ giant robot suit is going to get him killed or not. And jeans, I miss jeans.”
Tony’s eyes travel from her Louboutins and up her legs in a way Pepper would probably find invasive and kind of eyerape-y if she wasn’t already used to this.
“You could wear jeans,” he offers. “I wear them all the time. I could give you some of mine!”
“My legs are longer than yours,” Pepper responds easily.
Tony’s eyes narrow. “You have no idea how long my legs are.”
“I get your tuxes tailored,” Pepper points out, and enjoys the fact she’s won this round.
Tony scowls and turns back to his computer screen. “You’re not getting a birthday present this year. Only employees who like me get birthday presents.”
“Noted,” Pepper replies, and swallows a smile.
Arthur[/Gwen ?] | future!fic | title taken from The Cambric Shirt by Dr. Faustus
sixty-three. between the sea water and the sea sand
It is the summer Arthur turns twenty-seven; king in all but name, and still unmarried. Uther is still alive, but his mind is fading, and he won’t last much longer. He clings to old traditions and is sliding into paranoia; half the kingdom would be dead by now on suspicion of sorcery if Arthur hadn’t stepped in. The official policy on Magic is wavering, uncertain; in every terrified person dragged into the throneroom Arthur sees the shades of regret and hurt in Merlin’s eyes as Arthur pushed a horse at him and told him to escape while he still could. There hasn’t been an execution for at least a year, though not for Uther’s lack of trying.
Uther has retained enough sanity to want to see his son married off before he dies; ladies of all kinds have been invited to the court on useless pretexts. Arthur spends most of his time dodging them, smiling awkwardly and doing his best not to be appealing.
Arthur’s problem, really, is that he has too many queens, too many would-be wives. He doesn’t want them; doesn’t want any of this, though he has no choice. Arthur barely recognises the face he sees in the mirror; he used to have such confidence and now all he has left is weariness.
There are too many strangers in the castle now; the courtiers and servants who peopled Arthur’s childhood have left or been pushed out. Everyone looks at him with calm deference or power-hungry flirtation these days, and there isn’t anyone who knows Arthur in any real capacity. The only person left is Guinevere, who drifts around the court looking miserably stoic, and Arthur never knows what to say to her. She is a piece of days that are dead and gone, and the memories ache.
Romantic Poets RPS
Wordsworth/Coleridge | based on Real Actual Historical Events of how they first met | title taken from The Last of the Flock by Wordsworth
twenty-five. strangers. And Wicked Fancies Cross’d My Mind
Samuel’s passions are sudden but fleeting. For a space of weeks he finds himself intoxicated with wants and options until he forgets them entirely.
His wife Sara is the result of one such infatuation with possibilities; he has bluntly realised that she may not have been the most sensible of choices. Already her smile is hardening at the corners.
This time, Samuel holds a determination that he will help those unable to help themselves. He speaks to rooms full of disinterested gentlemen who seem more fascinated with the contents of their pockets than in helping the lower classes.
He gives this address in Bristol; people listen or don’t listen and Samuel returns to his rooms feeling that in some way he has fixed the world for the better. He likes to believe this about himself because it soothes his inability to commit to anything for a decent amount of time. Or any amount of time at all. It is, frankly, embarrassing; the deepest of fatal flaws.
Things change when the nervous-looking man comes to his rooms; there is a light in his eyes. Here is a man as capable of all-consuming passions and that reason alone is enough for Samuel to invite him in. He leans back in his creaky chair.
“I have written a poem,” the man explains, “which I feel complements the speech you gave.”
He has a thick accent that Samuel will later learn comes from Cumbria, though right now all he knows is that he wants to taste it, to feel its nuances against his own tongue.
“By all means, read it,” Samuel says. His fingers grip the wineglass a little tighter, to hide the tremble in them.
Later, he learns that the man’s name is William Wordsworth, and by that point he is already drowning.
Romeo & Juliet
Mercutio/Benvolio | set post-play | title taken from Juliet’s death speech
sixty-one. winter. There Rust, and Let Me Die
Afterwards, when everyone is wearing clothes cut of the blackest cloth that can be found in Verona and tears have been shed and there is talk of commemorative statues, Benvolio is left with a pile of books and a great sense of loneliness and confusion. No one cares that his friends are dead, gone, lost to madness and lust and perhaps even love. No one cares and the lingering silences that used to be filled with Mercutio’s words are like suffocating, like a tiny death in and of themselves.
There is an embarrassment, too, that they allowed hatred to get this far, that bodies have littered the streets and tainted their society. People are already starting to try and write this event out of history, to smooth it over as though it is merely a crack in plaster that can be closed and ignored.
Benvolio spends hot summer nights alone with the ghosts and spirits of his memories. Recollections of Romeo’s laughter and habit of falling for every new woman who crossed his path until finally he gained maturity and, with it, his demise. Of Mercutio’s habit of making the world around him burn as bright as he did, of his foolish ideas and his crazed notions. Of the way he climbed up the trellis to Benvolio’s window most nights, grinning as though he knew the best joke in the world and no one else was privy to it right up until the moment their mouths touched, when he gave that grin to Benvolio along with his body and his soul and what felt like acres of exposed skin that he mapped over and over again to mark the territory as his own.
Benvolio is much too sensible to kill himself for love. He frequently wishes that he was not.
Owen, Ianto [Owen/Ianto?] | set post CoE (which I still haven’t seen. I guess I’ll have to watch it now...) | title is a real place but also where Sherlock Holmes ‘died’.
two. middles. Reichenbach Falls
“Well,” Ianto says, “it’s been a good summer.”
Owen is too old to be sitting beneath a tree with holes in his jeans, watching the rain and sucking on the dregs of a shitty cigarette. He hasn’t even smoked since medical school. The whole thing is ridiculous and Owen had had enough of it all long before it had ever really begun. He doesn’t even remember getting here, trainers soaked and hands scraped raw. Ianto probably remembers. Ianto has a memory like a filing cabinet, all cardboard folders and colour-coded tabs and incomprehensible fuck-off cross-referencing. Well, Ianto used to have a memory like that; Owen can’t be certain of anything anymore. He isn’t even certain that this is Ianto sitting next to him, thumbing a ragged gash in the thigh of his own jeans.
“It’s been a shit summer,” Owen mutters, “in fact it hasn’t even been a summer. It’s been three months of ambiguous sunlight and doing fuck knows what-” He tries to turn his head to look at Ianto but they’re sitting too close and all he gets is the cold crush of Ianto’s cheek against his. “Do you remember what we’ve been doing for the last three months? ‘Cause I really fucking don’t.”
Owen feels Ianto’s jaw tense.
“No,” he sighs. “Maybe it wasn’t important.”
“It probably was,” Owen replies, flicking the butt away into the rain.
Ianto laughs but it’s more like a sob, tangled, and Owen closes his eyes because the last thing he remembers is the powerplant and last thing Ianto remembers is Jack. Suzie said there wasn’t an afterlife but she probably lied; she isn’t here, Tosh isn’t here and there are no fucking answers.
Owen wonders how many times they’ve had this conversation. It doesn’t feel like the first time.
Owen/Martha | apocalypse!AU | Title taken from Little Amsterdam by Tori Amos
fifty-three. earth. but mama it wasn’t my bullet
“Has the world already ended, or is it in the process of ending?” Owen asks, in far too analytical and thoughtful a tone considering the fact the sky is the colour of flame and the world is full of screaming.
“Does it matter?” Martha demands.
Owen shrugs. “We’re all going to be dead soon, everything matters.”
“You’re already dead,” Martha points out; Owen’s skin looks paler than ever under the burning sky and he hasn’t blinked in hours.
“Fine,” Owen says, and sighs, “The kind of dead you don’t come back sarcastic and pretty from.”
“Oh,” Martha says, “Right.”
“You’re not going to comment on my prettiness?” The flirtatious note in Owen’s voice is rusty, insincere. Martha ignores it because neither of them know what the answer should be.
She spares scattered thoughts for the rest of the Torchwood team, who are either somewhere in Cardiff or killed – except Jack, who never ends, though at this moment the thought evokes more envy than reassurance. She thinks fleetingly of the Doctor, who is not here, and of Tom, who walked away months ago, leaving her just with a depressed reanimated corpse and the memory that her life once made sense. Owen has stayed where so many haven’t, and she’s never found the words to ask him why because she knows she won’t like the answer.
They have one gun, two lighters and a knife between them, and Owen’s grim smile hasn’t slipped since the clouds exploded.
“There’s no way out of this, is there?” Martha asks dully.
Owen’s dark eyes reflect the amber light, and at some point in the last two years he’s forgotten how to be alive. He reaches for her hand with the one encased in a leather glove to hide past masochism, and says nothing at all.