You can request drabbles here until tomorrow. :D (but if you’re nice to me I might extend my deadline. Although my Russian history AS level is on Monday. Ah well. I know all about the Cult of Personality and everything).
House MD [No crossovers]
Title: Can’t Forgive/Won’t Forget
Fandom: House MD
Word Count: 633
Notes: Based around “Euphoria” and its aftermath cuz I’ve done the article to death and also season three doesn’t have nearly enough C/F angst yet.
Hold me responsible; it’s all my fault, I want you to hold me any way you can.
Like a victim of an accident returning to the scene to kick at bits of broken glass and hot scraps of metal and remember in an increasingly morbid and self-indulgent fashion, Eric Foreman wanders around downstairs in the isolation wards and recalls dying with perfect clarity. It doesn’t help that his co-ordination is still all over the place and he can’t connect properly and he shakes, shakes, shakes. He nearly died. And he can’t forget. In his dreams he’s behind glass in that stupid backless medical gown and they’re telling him he can’t see but it’s all there, imprinted on his eyeballs, colour and light and Cameron’s face twisted behind the barrier.
This is either desperately sad or sadly desperate. Eric can’t work out which and tells himself he doesn’t care, but he was happy to be alive for three days until House dragged him down again (Just because you’re messed up doesn’t mean you have to make everyone as fucking miserable as you are; but he doesn’t want to be fired – not yet, anyway – so he kept his mouth shut). Now he’s back to attempting to drag himself through the days, persevering because the brain damage makes him tired and angry.
His medical proxy leans against the wall and tells him that this isn’t healthy. He turns to tell her that if he wants to wander around looking angry and trembling like his nerves are as damaged as his brain, it’s his business, and doesn’t she have dying puppies to pet or something, but it doesn’t quite happen.
Her wrists are small and seem to be lost in his hands when he pins them cold against the glass. Her mouth opens. You’re not yourself, or maybe please, don’t, but she can’t speak either, and they stand for a moment, pressed against each other so tight you couldn’t get a needle between them. A needle so beautifully tainted; she’d be just as dead as him. Eric knows he shouldn’t have. But mostly he still doesn’t care.
“Is this because you pity me?” he asks, while he still can. In the moment of silence, his forehead resting about hers, for a second it’s easy to forget that they’re not friends or anything resembling even vague acquaintances.
“I thought you were going to die,” she replies, “And I cared. Even after everything you did. I cared.”
She doesn’t say but I still won’t forgive you, and when she kisses him it’s frantic and hopeless and sad.
This isn’t forgiveness, it isn’t mending any bridges or making life better or easier for either of them. Scene of the accident, the glass reflects light into his eyes even though they’re closed, Cameron tastes like sheer need and he thinks maybe if they do this then nothing will change but at least they won’t wonder any more. It’s been a tough few months, tough couple of years, there’s nowhere left to go now. The air is thick with blame and resentment and this, if nothing else, is proof that working for House makes you crazy, crazy, crazy.
He lets go of Cameron’s wrists and winds his fingers in her hair. Still shaking. Still unbelievably broken. Still too far gone to turn back and at least she isn’t keeping her distance.
They shouldn’t do this. Not now, and definitely not here. He nearly died right there and it’s morbid and self-indulgent. Eric is sure that he used to have things like common sense and sanity. And then they probed his brain and he went blind and he was on the point of actually fucking dying and now he’s frantically kissing Cameron with his hands in her warm, thick hair and nothing’s getting better.
Desperately sad or sadly desperate. Cameron’s hands push the labcoat back over his shoulders either way.
Title: Coping Mechanisms 1/2
Fandom: House MD
Word Count: 777
Prompt: “You bruise so easily”
Notes: Set at the end of “Que Sera Sera” (I would love to set this at the end of Finding Judas, but it doesn’t air for a whole week and I am supposed to be spoiler-free regarding the events of FJ
There are sensible ways of dealing with things like this. Well, probably. You are not the most sensible of men and to be honest, if you were at all even slightly sensible, then you shouldn’t have lied to the cops for House. Fuck loyalty, there’s a lot more on the line here than just a soul-destroying friendship. But it doesn’t matter. Because you did lie. And the revelation that House has betrayed you, betrayed you in the cruellest, most dangerous way possible (if you get fired again-), well. That hurts. And it makes you angry. And there’s rain pouring down the windows. And you want to break something.
You’re sure that there must be sensible ways of dealing with the fact your best friend fucked you over and now you’re on a knife-edge of destruction and it’s all going to spiral downhill in a painful and complex way, but you don’t know what those are. So you go for the option that is simplest.
Chase tastes like coffee and he looks exhausted. You know that he’s spent the afternoon somewhere, anywhere, you know he’s feeling more than a little broken, but fuck, for once, this evening, you can beat him. For once, you’re more damaged than Robert Chase, even with his daddy issues and his mommy issues and his masochism and his inability to empathise and his wrong decisions that have lead to more complications than seems technically decent. For once, you win.
He asks no questions, which is sensible, because you’re not going to answer any; Chase isn’t your friend or your confidante or your wife and you’re not going to whisper into his neck House is going to be the death of me. You might if he were Cameron. You considered her an age ago. But she’s still in love with House and to be honest, you like needy, but you don’t like needy that much.
Now that you come to think of it, Chase is so perfect, so tailor-made for your out-of-control misery and anger, that you have no idea why you haven’t done this before.
Out on your balcony, rain pouring down on the two of you and soaking you through to the skin and bones and pure white fury beneath your shirt, Chase kisses you until you’re half-dizzy with confusion and hurt. He could be anyone, anyone with rain-slicked blonde hair and torn sodden shirt clenched in your fist, because you can’t stop thinking about House and what he’s done and how it’s going to get worse not better and Chase is incidental in the grand scheme of things, but, fuck, he knows what he’s doing.
His soft hand around your cock, both of you slick with rain, you can’t face going back inside even though you’re both shivering fit to break. You cover Chase’s hand with one of your own, squeezing hard and moving faster, he groans, for all you know you’re squeezing too hard, and your other hand is under his shirt and pressing into his ribcage. His skin is impossibly smooth and you imagine that you have hours to explore it, but it doesn’t matter because it’s not going to happen. Not ever.
You come on Chase’s shirt and he lets you. God knows why, but you don’t care enough to ask.
“What has House done to you now?” he asks when you’re both back in your office, looking like drowned rats, shirts torn and mouths swollen. Maybe he’s more perceptive than you gave him credit for and for a moment you hate him because he’s got you at your most raw and vulnerable and yet he’s being irritatingly weak and letting you do this. A sensible person would have told you to fuck off.
Neither of you are sensible, though, and you’re both so damaged now that it’s not as though this situation can make things worse.
“Go home, Chase,” you reply, and for a moment you don’t recognise the world-weary tone until you realise it’s his; and that disturbs you. Chase looks like he’d like to protest but it’s his not his place to argue and when he pushes a lock of dripping hair away from his face you see the purple marks over his knuckles. His ribcage must be beautiful – finger marks and violet-black shades of desperation.
You both bruise a little too easily; you emotionally, him physically, and tomorrow you know you’ll look at the marks you left and think that maybe you’ve got one thing House doesn’t.
Tonight, though, you just watch Chase avoid your gaze and think that this is the moment where things need to change before you go completely insane.
Title: Coping Mechanisms 2/2
Fandom: House MD
Word Count: 521
Prompt: “You bruise so easily”
Notes: Set at the end of “Que Sera Sera” again. These two are my favourite veryweirdhatesex!couple at the moment. Lord knows why…
You know that he spent the night in prison. You know that he’s trying to keep it quiet from Cuddy. You know that he’s angry. You know that, in spite of everything, he’s high.
So you also know that you shouldn’t be doing this. House is in a dangerous place in his head right now, and you’ve been on edge around him since he went down in his own blood four months ago, because you realised a few things while waiting for him to not die, hands between your legs and biting at your pillow, because you don’t get over a man like House. Not really. Not ever. And now you’re here with him and his dangerous smile and you should go home. Because everything’s on the edge of breaking as it is, without you making things worse.
He thinks you’re a joke. He doesn’t respect you, no matter what you do, it amuses him. And you hate it. You hate him. You’ll be obsessed with him forever but you still hate him. His lips against your neck, sprawled back in that chair in the corner of his office and you listen to him mumbling tired nonsense against your skin and the world’s fading out around him and you’re tired. It’s been an impossibly long day – where the hell did Chase disappear off to? – and what with accidentally managing to break about half the hospital, Cuddy really isn’t amused with you, and you’re feeling just destructive enough to let this happen.
Not that you had much choice. House grabbed your wrist when you were leaving, pulled you back into the semi-dark of his office, and you wanted to tell him to let go because you were completely sick of him and his misdeeds and his stupid personal issues and you just wanted to go home and sleep and sleep and sleep, and besides, he was really hurting your arm where he was gripping onto it, but he looked at you and his eyes are really not normal and you couldn’t stop yourself. You never can around him. You always let yourself fall down the same bruising slopes with him, and that corsage is pressed flat between two medical dictionaries on your shelf because you can’t bring yourself to throw it away and count it off as a dead loss.
Well, this part isn’t. Fingers in your cunt, same old same old, you fall and he doesn’t quite catch you but he does make the fall more enjoyable. You tell yourself you shouldn’t be doing this, your face feels stubble-burned and this wasn’t the way you saw your evening panning out. But you gave in anyway. Because you always knew you would.
He catches your wrist and smirks. His fingers are perfectly wrapped around it in red-purple bruises, and it’s artistic or maybe beautiful.
“You bruise so easily,” he says, it sounds derogatory spilling from his lips like that but there’s a hint of something sadistically pleased, and this is your cue to turn and run and you don’t.
You never know what’s bad for you until it’s too late.
CSI:NY [No crossovers]
Title: Ticking Of The Clock
Word Count: 840
Prompt: “Alone By Heart” (lyrics here)
Notes: Inspired slightly by events in “Love Run Cold”, with angstridden!Lindsay (because I haven’t yet got the hang of writing the other kind for fear where that would lead me) and slightlyemo!Danny. Who knows. I’m gonna submit this a bit for fanfic100. Because yay.
How do I get you alone? You don't know how long I have waited and I was going to tell you tonight, but the secret is still my own.
He needs her to tell him if it’s never going to work out between them and let him down now, because if she doesn’t then it’s going to drive him insane. She’s been driving him crazier than he wanted her to anyway; he thought after Aiden was forced to leave he’d hate her replacement, but then he saw that beautiful smile and he realised he was screwed.
He breaks and snaps into pieces in her eyes, some days. Most days he can function like a man, laugh, smile, pretend he isn’t watching her out the corner of his eye and wondering if today will be the day he’ll say Montana, I’m thinking that I might be in love with you. That gonna be a problem? Most days, it doesn’t even matter if she meets his eye or not, smiles or not, if her fingers brush his when he hands her a coffee cup on a well-earned but not at all long-enough break; she doesn’t own him and he doesn’t own her, and if he wants to watch her for too long in the early hours of the morning and wonder if she tastes as sweet as she looks; that’s his damn problem. Most days, he can deal.
Today isn’t most days.
There’s snow on the pavements and Lindsay can’t – or won’t – meet his gaze, answers his work-related questions and definitely-not-work-related teasing and flat-out concern with monosyllabic mumbles. She looks tired and pale and flinches away from him when he reaches out to place a concerned hand on her arm.
“Danny, I can’t,” she says quietly, voice trembling.
And if Lindsay can’t, then he can’t either.
He told her, weeks ago, understanding as much as he could manage when Lindsay was ripping off the band-aid and messing around with his head to degree that was both hurtful and confusing, that if there was anything she wanted from him, she just had to ask. She won’t ask, he knows that now; Danny does his best to see if he can figure out what she needs just from the tremble of her hand on the microscope, smiles that barely manage to stretch their way across her mouth, and miss her face and eyes entirely.
Lindsay Monroe is falling to pieces in front of him and he can’t figure out what it is that will put her back together again.
Which is pretty sad, considering that he’s supposed to make his living figuring out puzzles.
“Not everything’s about you, Danny,” she practically snaps one day, trembling fingers clenched.
“I know,” he replies, trying to keep himself calm because losing it and shouting at her that she’s been driving him crazy for months and it’s all he can do to keep it even slightly together around her isn’t going to end at all well. “But you gotta give me something, Montana, or this isn’t going to work.”
Stella and Hawkes are over the other side of the lab, staring at something on the computer screen. They have to keep their voices down or risk making this even more awkward than it already is. They’re never alone and in some ways it’s a safety net and in most ways it’s frustrating.
“Don’t,” Lindsay whispers, her dark eyes anguished and helpless, “Please don’t.”
Danny can’t work out if she’s begging him to stop the argument or the line of thought or if she’s put two and two together and is pleading with him not to love her. It’s a difficult enough situation that Danny realises it’s probably all three.
“Let me in,” he says, softly, sparing half a glance for Stella. She doesn’t look around. “Let me-”
Lindsay steps back; something glass falls and smashes.
“I can’t do this Danny,” she says, “I told you, I can’t.”
Her footsteps echo long after she’s walked away. Stella and Hawkes depart for the morgue, frowning, and Danny consigns himself to being interrogated later.
And then Lindsay runs back, face twisted with emotions he can’t read, wraps her arms around his neck and kisses him. She tastes like pain and desperation and she pulls back too fast.
“I’m sorry,” she says, fingers pressed to her mouth, “I’m so sorry, Danny. I don’t know how to-”
“No.” Lindsay shakes her head, and visibly shakes off whatever the hell is tearing her up inside. It damn near breaks Danny, when she smoothes down her emotions and returns impassively to trying to solve their case.
Six months ago, this wouldn’t have mattered. Now, it matters more than Danny could ever willingly admit.
He’s losing her, digging in his fingernails and still feeling her slip from his grasp; it’s getting past the point for last-minute confessions and promising her he can fix anything. Danny knows that if he doesn’t do something soon Lindsay will be gone and he’ll either have to mourn her or go back to a life where a relationship really doesn’t have to mean anything.
And the thing that really, really stings is that Danny has no idea why.
Title: Stubborn Hues Of Fine
Word Count: 785
Notes: I wrote this an hour or so ago in the organic café on the Northcote road, sitting with my legs up in an arm chair and making a pot of tea last an hour and a half (which is impressive even by my standards, especially considering I spilled tea all over the paper I was writing on), trying to find song lyrics about colours. Gonna be submitted for psych_30 and fanfic100
(Forever yellow, wonder if I’ll muster anything other than fear)
This is you being fine. This is you regaining your sanity. This is you with your fingers flat on the piano keys trying not to hit wrong notes and playing the sheet music with so much desperate heart behind the melody it’s a wonder you’re not in pieces on the floor. This is you trying to pull back the only things left in your life, and you loved the piano when you still knew how to love things so you try, try, try. Scales. Tunes. Played loud enough to block out the screams in your head and you don’t look out the window, won’t search for faces you already know are gone.
This is you recovering.
(Just a little green, like the colour when the spring is born)
They find her out on the grass and sprinkled with dew like a wilted flower, but the blood in her hair implies a murder. Most of your friends and family still think you’re mad for choosing to become a CSI, but it’s your life and things are better now. You feel sunlight in your hair, kneel down to examine defensive wounds on Jane Doe’s fingers, wet crushed grass beneath your knees, and once again slide into that special little bubble-world you have to live in or else go mad – the mental state where death is inevitable, and nothing matters all that much, and you know how to function without once falling apart.
(I could be hurtful, I could be purple, I could be anything you like)
In New York you are not pitied or resented for surviving or treated like you’re made of glass. In New York the crime scenes are more insane (tigers, dolls and subway lines; sounds more like a pretentious song lyric than a career), and the hours are longer and more hectic, but the people are nice and you love the city itself more than anything, a heartbeat. You sound like an outsider, though, unable to remember street numbers or their intersects and always, always amazed by the city that never sleeps, but it’s a new start. A chance to try and be someone whose misery doesn’t colour her every word. A chance to paint a new picture with a clean canvas.
(I fell into the moon and it covered you in blue)
This is you refusing to feel homesick. This is you on a subway train on the way to a prison preparing yourself to get an answer whatever the cost, even though Danny told you to let it go and Mac told you to let it go and it’s so very late, but they pulled that girl out of the harbour and you can’t. A fellow Montana girl, hands crossed with matching scars, in another life you’d both be at home counting fields of wheat and waiting tentatively on a dream. You took charge of your own dream and survived; she tried her best and now she’s cold, Y-incision in the morgue. Yet again, you’ve cheated death. So you sit and grit your teeth and wait for why.
(I got my new red fetching leather jacket on)
The world seems full of hospitalisations at the moment. Being a CSI doesn’t make you any less vulnerable to crime than the rest of the world, and Danny’s brother and Stella and now Flack have all been damaged and bloody and spat-out; you draw a breath in through your teeth and wonder if now you’re cursed with watching people you care about get hurt while you escape over and over. Maybe that’s just the concussion talking. Getting blown backwards in an explosion that came dangerously close to killing your colleagues will do that to a person.
And you can’t sleep for fear of it all tumbling to pieces.
(You go back to her and I’ll go back to black)
This is you ten years older and hopefully a little wiser, watching the rain and counting your breaths. This is you pushing memories to the back of your skull and realising that something has to change before something else gives entirely. This is you tired and hurting and sitting in a hospital room holding Flack’s shaking hand and asking him to be ok because losing people breaks your heart. But you decide that you’ll be better and stronger, all shades of normal, because you don’t want to ache or cling onto a stinging past any more. This is you determined not to be morbidly sad or irrationally afraid of losing any more. And you know that it doesn’t matter because none of these resolutions will work.
This has always been you. But you’re fine. Honestly.
Torchwood [No crossovers]
Title: Rainclouds and Stitches
Word Count: 793
Prompt: “I Hope That You Don’t Fall In Love With Me” Tom Waits
Notes: Set between “Combat” and “Captain Jack Harkness”, to make a nice timeline change *gasps* Also might explain why they were trying to tear out each other’s eyes out in CJH, I mean, other than the whole “please don’t make the world end” thing. Jack/Ten with the same prompt is below.
Owen has a headache and if he’s perfectly honest he wasn’t expecting to be alive to see this grey, depressing evening, with January rain flooding the pavements and fuck all on TV. This city. It’s enough to make the most cheerful of men suicidal, and Owen would never have classed himself as the most cheerful of men even before Diane arrived to tie his life into a painful knot and then leave without at least giving him some scissors.
He aches all over from the Weevil attack that nearly killed him. He told Jack: I didn’t want saving. Jack had looked unimpressed and left him a load of grapes to stare morosely at while stuck in hospital with concussion and stitches and cracked ribs. Gwen ate most of them when she came to check he was all right; eyes narrowed and refusing to say a word but the gesture of solidarity – or whatever the hell you call it when you’ve fucked and don’t want each other dead – stung.
He’s been out of hospital two days. He’s due back at work in four more. It’s not a holiday and Owen suspects he won’t get paid leave either; Jack is sadistic like that and attempting to get a Weevil to eat you because you’re going through a giant-sized, just-been-dumped teenage sulk isn’t exactly a situation that invokes sympathy.
Which is probably why Ianto, who is quietly drinking himself into a silent heap in a black suit at the other end of the bar, is pretending that he can’t see him. Or maybe he can’t. They’ve never exactly been friends and are barely even colleagues most days, so it’s entirely possible Ianto wouldn’t even notice him. He is rather systematically getting pissed. If Owen were the sort of person to get concerned about people, he’d be concerned about Ianto. As it is, he just orders another beer.
He has no idea what the time is and cares less, it’s not as though he has anywhere to be tomorrow. Or the day after that. January spreads itself out in front of him, looking impossibly long and impossibly tiring. Owen fingers the stitches in his cheek and reflects that he’s bored and in no mood to sit around being morose in his flat tonight with the great view over the Bay and the ringing silence. But he’s not going to be good company and can’t be arsed to go to all the fuss of chatting up anyone, the pheromone spray is all the way back at the Hub, and whatever the fuck Gwen thinks of him now, she won’t pick up the phone.
That leaves Ianto, crumpling into himself at the end of the bar. Owen sighs; but beggars can’t be choosers, and he narrows his eyes and appraises the secretary. He has no doubt that Lisa screwed Ianto’s mind over perfectly, and he’s not exactly sure what their teaboy is doing with their boss and quite frankly never wants to find out, but he finds himself wondering exactly when Ianto had a good, hard, no-strings-attached shag. Probably long enough. Owen’s manipulative enough when he wants to be, and as the man beside Ianto slides off his barstool and goes off with the pretty blonde girl beside him, Owen makes a vague attempt at eye contact.
It clicks, but Ianto impassively tears his gaze away.
Owen shrugs, and moves to slide onto the stool beside Ianto. The other man makes no sign that he’s noticed Owen, but a moment passes and he says:
“Not out trying to find some kind of alien to kill you tonight?”
“Yes, because I’m much more pathetic than you are,” Owen mutters. “How much have you drunk?”
“You’re the one who’s been staring at me all evening,” Ianto responds, “You tell me.”
His accent is thick and the vowels keep swirling together; Owen just wants him to stop talking, the sound makes his brain hurt. Better speed this up a little.
“Fuck off.” A strange little smile twists across Ianto’s face.
“You could make a dozen bad mistakes this evening,” Owen points out, “Make this one.”
“You are a sad, disturbed little man,” Ianto replies. There’s something sadistic in the grin on his face, but he obediently drops his Torchwood credit card on the bar and follows Owen out into the rain.
“Try not to fall in love with me,” Owen tosses off, as they trudge back through the wet streets. “I know it’s hard not to, but...”
“I bloody wish that Weevil had killed you,” Ianto mutters, but his eyes are oddly clear and maybe he’s not as drunk as he sounds.
There is nothing about this evening that isn’t destined to end in disaster. Owen wishes that he cared.
Doctor Who [No crossovers]
Title: Mistakes I Chose With My Eyes Shut
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 805
Prompt: “I Hope That You Don’t Fall In Love With Me” Tom Waits
Notes: This just flowed. I got the first exchange of dialogue and I couldn’t stop myself. It’s unforgivably cruel to Ianto and kinda twisted in and of itself, but I love this. Well, I did at 00:23 anyway. Also being submitted to paliphrase.
“I’ve been in love with you before,” Jack says, because drinking makes him eloquent, “And it made me dead. Seventy-three times, if memory serves. Which it might not, because repeatedly killing yourself kinda scrambles your memories.”
He’s bled for the Doctor, given his pound of flesh with interest, sold his soul and given everything up for him, over and over. Just to find him. Just to ask why. Even now, he wonders how the hell Torchwood are holding themselves together when he’s not around to be enigmatic but helpful. He shouldn’t have left. But there’s nowhere he’d rather be even though his body and soul are stinging from the proximity.
“Don’t fall in love with me again,” the Doctor mumbles against his mouth, one hand carded in the back of Jack’s hair, “Please don’t.”
The Doctor has changed a little – or a lot – and he’s not right. He’s not Jack’s either. He wears a pinstriped suit and coloured hightops and has a smile with at least five too many teeth in it, except when it snaps off and he frowns and that expression is one of the most terrifying things Jack has ever seen, even in thousands of years falling through the universe in an increasingly hopeless fashion.
“Believe me,” Jack murmurs, unknotting the Doctor’s tie with one hand (so sleeping with Ianto was at least good for one thing – wait, that’s not fair, but he can’t think straight, can’t think at all, because the Doctor’s a different man but he smells the same and for a moment it’s like-), “I intend to hold out as long as I can.”
Martha’s eating her heart out for the Doctor, it’s in the looks she gives him when his back’s turned, but most of the time it’s as though the Doctor can’t even see her. Won’t see her the way he saw Rose, afraid of getting too close in case it snaps and hurts. Jack feels sorry for Martha, she’s a nice girl, and he’d like to introduce her to Owen sometime just because he feels the sparks would fly in an amusing way, but she can’t understand the Doctor or why she can’t get under his skin, and Jack is too tired and bruised to explain.
“Thank you,” the Doctor murmurs, his eyes are closed, hands wrapped around Jack’s braces like he needs as much contact as he can manage and he can’t move away, kissing Jack again, that unusual coolness (because Gallifreyans have a very low body temperature, Jack can’t believe he forgot that) on his tongue. “Just don’t – promise you won’t, Jack.”
He hates this. He wants to be angry. He wants to resent the Doctor for what he did to him, but it isn’t the Doctor’s fault, it really isn’t, well, not entirely (although he’ll never forget the feeling in the pit of his stomach when the TARDIS faded away and he was left staring at the space it left behind with nothing but dead bodies and four hours’ worth of air left to keep him company). Jack wants to carry on thinking of him as invincible in his leather jacket and his wicked, wicked smile.
This Doctor clings to him in a trembling fashion and Jack knows that he’s drunk but the Doctor isn’t, and he doesn’t want him to be vulnerable because the vulnerability will make him forgive him unconditionally.
“I don’t want to forgive you,” he says, “I didn’t come here for that.”
When running Torchwood, he didn’t drink. A low tolerance for alcohol makes Jack great fun at parties but it’s problematic having a boss who can’t keep his mouth shut or censor his remarks, and on the whole he managed to maintain his dignity. Ianto probably knows a few too many things that he shouldn’t, but things could be a lot worse. And Jack is fairly sure he shouldn’t have accepted the Doctor’s offer of a drink, but he did, and the world is entertainingly fuzzy around the edges, although the part where the Doctor’s shirt collar is ripping in his fist and they’re kissing like they hate each other is painfully crystal clear.
“What did you come here for?” the Doctor asks breathlessly, his mouth red and eyes dark.
“I didn’t come for this either,” Jack replies, though he knows he’s not exactly going to stop it, now it’s started. He thinks about it. “I came here for you.”
“But I’m not me any more,” the Doctor tells him, looking suddenly sad.
“And I’m not Rose.”
“I know that.”
“Sometimes I’m not sure. I don’t think Martha’s sure either.”
The Doctor winces. And they don’t talk again.
“Everyone who loves me dies,” the Doctor mumbles into his stomach an age later.
God, Jack thinks, I know.
And he tries to convince himself that he won’t fall again.
Lost [No crossovers]
Word Count: 626
Notes: Written crazily late. But I don’t think it makes it bad. And angsty!Sawyer is always great fun…
At night the moon turns the sea silver.
But moonlight isn’t purity, it isn’t an all-forgiving baptism, and by the dubious illumination of the night sky Sawyer reads his creased and faded letter yet again. Childish letters read so often he knows the shape of each one off by heart, the promise writing itself into his mind and heart over and over. Anger’s the only thing he’s been able to cling to, last however many years. Self-loathing kept him going for a while, but it’s always been anger fuelling his steps, his bastard smile, his resolve as bit by bit he became what he always swore he wouldn’t.
Sawyer isn’t Jack. He isn’t the good guy, the respected (and respectable) one. He doesn’t want to be and he doesn’t even know where he’d start. As a kid, he was the quiet one, beating up other kids for looking at him funny. When he got older, though, he figured out how to make the slippery charm and charisma work for him. And he said he wouldn’t become Frank Sawyer, conman, bastard, tearing the Ford family to shreds and leaving without a backwards look, but with a suitcase full of money.
He remembers his father’s footsteps on the floor and the screaming. He remembers lying still under the bed while the neighbours called the cops, and a policeman kneeling down and begging him to come out, and he remembers growing up in that endless, endless hour. Sawyer hasn’t been James for years; all that’s left of the kid is in the sheet of paper trembling in the breeze, spread out flat under the moon. James is a different man. James would have cut his hair and smiled and not stolen everyone on the island’s belongings and sold them back for three times their worth. James wouldn’t be sitting here brooding with moonlight in his hair and on the scar on his arm where he caused his fellow islanders to hate him so much they resorted to torture.
It’s an addiction, the gambling, the con, so bad he’s conning himself in pretending that it doesn’t matter. That he likes being hated. That it’s simpler to be the nemesis in the shadows than the hero in the light, that Jack has it so much worse.
Sawyer is used to second place by now, silver medal, cracking his knuckles and trying to accept the fact that he’ll never be the man his parents wanted him to grow up to be, that he betrays and lies and can’t even kill the man responsible for how damaged and tired he is now. He can’t kill him because he can’t find him, and now he’s trapped here with the sand and the sea and even now he can’t let it go, even though he’s fast losing hope of escaping here and even if he does, Frank Sawyer is elusive. Gone.
He’s never been good enough.
With obsessive care, Sawyer folds the paper back up again, slides it into the pocket of his jeans, lies and watches the silver tops of the waves rise and fall. He can’t sleep and he doesn’t want to. Staring up at the moon, its expression disappointed if you’re one to believe that the craters are really a man, bored with his own company and halfway insane from the isolation but unable to break out of his mould, Sawyer silently promises himself that he’ll never change. And that it will all be worth it in the end. In that moment of blood and hatred and all these years of loneliness and self-loathing will be rewarded. Right now, bathed in cold, unforgiving light, Sawyer doesn’t care if it’s true or not. He just needs to believe in something. Anything at all.
Title: Unification Day
Fandoms: Doctor Who (Torchwood)/Firefly
Word Count: 945
Notes: I don’t know how far you’ve got watching Doctor Who, River, but since you’ve read my Torchwood stuff I figure I’m not spoiling as much as I might be. I wrote this at around midnight (because sleep apparently no longer matters), and I couldn’t think of any other way to do it other than to make it angsty. Set before Jack makes it to Torchwood Three.
In his years and years of wandering the universe, first as a bored fifty-first century boy out for whatever he could lay his hands on, then as a rather arrogant (but oh-so-good-looking) Time Agent, then as a conman with a dangerous smile, then as a man using a dead man’s name and identity searching for the Doctor or maybe just for a really good method of staying dead, Jack has lost all respect for people.
They’re so weak, so easily seduced, wide eyes and wicked smiles. Being easy seems to be a fatal flaw no matter the time period or species. Jack knows he’s got charisma, good looks, a smile that makes people literally weak at the knees, and enough balls to ask for what he wants, regardless of the consequences; he knows all this, but yet everyone falls in his path at one time or another.
It’s exhausting, and depressing. Even the Doctor, the great, marvellous Time Lord, supposedly in love with Rose Tyler or maybe someone left behind on his shattered and missing home planet, gave in. Fell for him a little bit. Jack is frankly tired of finding out that every person he meets is as easily seduced as the last; it’s difficult to respect someone who you know would drop their equivalent of pants for just a sliver of a smile. At one point in time, it was fun, it was all a game, and he got plenty of sex and the whole thing was perfectly fine. But he died of asphyxiation seventeen times in the hollow wreck of Satellite Five before they rescued him and his sense of humour twisted somewhere along the line.
He finds himself despising anyone who so much as smiles at him.
Jack winds up down the complicated end of the universe somewhere around Unification Day, a time when absolutely everyone on every single little terra-formed planet seems to be drunk, smugly happy or pretending to be. His ship needs refuelling and although Jack hates it in this part of the universe, he’s not going anywhere soon. Making the best of a bad situation, he sits around in a dusty bar trying to figure out how many sonic showers he’s going to have to have just feel even remotely clean again, and thinking longingly of all the millions and billions of planets in the universe where they have clean running water and no dust at all, sipping home-brewed alcohol that is making his eyes water (because it’s more paint-stripper than anything else).
There’s a man at the bar in a long and battered-looking brown coat, apparently trying to get alcohol poisoning as fast as possible. Jack doesn’t know a whole lot about the history of what went on between the Alliance and the Independents, but he knows enough to know that that brown coat isn’t just a fashion statement. He should pick someone else, but there isn’t anyone else here catching his attention in the same way as Mr Incipient Alcoholic.
He hates himself for it, but he’s not going to be stuck here on his own with nothing but dust to entertain himself with.
It’s easy to saunter over to the bar, slide onto the stool beside him, order another drink and physically stop himself from shuddering as it goes down. Wherever he lands next, it’s going to be somewhere with much better alcohol. And when the other man turns slightly to look at Jack, he’s ready with a carefully calculated half-smile. Seduction by numbers.
“Captain Jack Harkness,” he says, the dead man’s name dropping easily from his lips by now. He should change it sometime, but he knows he won’t.
“Captain Mal Reynolds.” It’s told in a gruff mumble, and the hand he offers Jack is work-calloused and perfectly steady.
“Happy Unification Day,” Jack offers, allowing a sardonic edge to enter his smile. He can read body language and speak in it fluently; it’s easy to make people think what they want to think.
Reynolds lets out something that might almost be a half-laugh and murmurs yeah and things ease up a little. A simple enough conversation, nothing too complex; Jack knows so little about these planets and their politics that it’s all he can do to keep up. Reynolds has an edge to him, is good-looking in a jaded and ragged kind of way, and all Jack needs to do is to find one crack and force it.
“Where’s your ship?” Reynolds asks, three-quarters of a bottle gone, whatever the fuck happened to him in the past, it’s got to be hurting him as bad as Jack hurts.
“Not far,” Jack replies thoughtfully, “She’s small but she’s speedy. Wanna come see?”
He allows himself to look through his eyelashes, the invitation clear enough even if it’s not in his words.
And he’s surprised.
“I ain’t gonna say I ain’t tempted,” Reynolds replies, “But no. I don’t.”
Jack feels the smile break across his face, because, in spite of himself, in spite of the stupid unhygienic surroundings, the alcohol that tastes more like cleaning fluid, and the fact he’s now going to have to spend tonight alone cursing the day he ever rescued Rose Tyler from that barrage balloon, he’s finally found someone worthy of his respect. Someone who can say ‘no’ to him, and mean it.
“Fair enough.” He holds out his hand, sliding off the bar stool, “Nice to have met you, Cap’n Reynolds.”
Mal shakes his hand, looking faintly bemused and a little bit wistful, and Jack walks out before something changes.
At least now there’s one man in the whole damn universe he respects. That’s got to count for something.