Fandom: Papo & Yo
Word Count: 319
He recoiled against the chill of the wall, half-peeled paintwork scraped against his bare arms and he could taste the damp as he struggled to control his breathing. Footsteps thundered on the stairs and his father bellowed his name.
His bedroom door clattered open and he watched his father’s feet stagger in the doorway. Quico held his breath and prayed that his father was too drunk to even think of searching the room. As seconds seemed to drag by, the universe answered his prayers for once and his father turned unsteadily on his feet and teetered back out of the room.
Quico’s chest screamed in relief as he let out the breath he had been holding, but he lay still for another five minutes. Convinced his father had returned to the front room, Quico maneuvered his school bag around to the front of him and slid out the novel they were studying.
The other children in his class hated their reading assignment - they probably had more exciting books at home to read. All of Quico’s books, the few that his mother had bought him, had gone on the fire the previous winter. He had mustered up the courage to protest their burning, and had been given a sharp backhand for his troubles.
As he lost himself in the words on the page, Quico transported himself to another life. Even as the sun began to set and the light diminished, as he squinted and strained his eyes to read, and his body ached from hours against the wooden floor; Quico read on.
Title: No fairytale
Fandom: Bomb Girls
Word Count: 263
She wondered if any of the other girls had books she could borrow. Vera probably had some hideously trashy romance stories that were just risque enough that Kate’s strict Catholic upbringing would prevent her from finishing them - no matter how much she secretly might want to. Gladys probably had a library of her own at her parents’ house - most of them unread, which was practically a crime in Kate’s mind.
Kate’s lips twisted into a smile as she wondered whether Betty would have any books. She shook her head and chuckled to herself. She probably did, just didn’t want anyone to know that she curled up with a book at night. Kate was wondering whether Betty hid her books under her bed, when a darker thought crossed her mind and she felt guilty for making fun of her friend, even if it were in her own head.
Kate’s imagination conjured up images of Betty, younger and confused by her feelings, finding books that might help her find closure and having to hide those books because if anyone found them… Kate shook her head and decided to risk the embarrassment of going to ask Vera for a book to read.
Title: Torn Apart
Word Count: 380
Note: Spoilers for Season 2 Episodes 21, 22, and 23. A slight alternative to what happened in the show.
He should never have let this happen. He was her friend. He was meant to protect her.
Sherlock paced his front room, his hands clenching and grasping at thin air as he struggled. Struggled to think about all the possibilities, the facts, the statistics. Watson was gone, and it was his fault. If he had only swallowed his pride, agreed to accompany her to meet with Mycroft. If he had valued her more. If he...
If he had just been her friend.
Sherlock grabbed the nearest object, a side-table and threw it, not caring where it landed. The legs shattered when it hit the wall, leaving a dent in the otherwise pristine decor of the room. It didn't make him feel any better. His blood raged with guilt and fury, and he stormed over to the book case, climbed the ladder and retrieved the book from the top shelf. Once he had descended again, he threw the book open on the nearest table and stared at it.
At the cut out in the pages.
At the bag of heroin.
He could feel the pull - which he knew was ridiculous because it was a bag of drugs, nothing more. He wanted to reach out and touch it but he knew that if he did...
If he did they wouldn't get her back.
She had made him the man he was today, and even if he didn't tell her often enough, she had saved him. He owed her more than he could ever repay, and to take up that bag now would be to spit on everything she had done for him.
He grabbed the book and stormed out of the front room, up the stairs two at a time, and came to a halt in the bathroom.
He couldn't remember how long he stood there, fingers whitened by the tightness of his grip on the book, but that didn't matter. What mattered was that eventually he held the book over the toilet, turned it over, and let the bag fall out. Before he could freeze again, he flush it and walked away.
He made it to the landing before he fell to his knees.
They had to get her back.
He had to get her back.
Title: Study Night
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Word Count: 525
“…the slayer should have to kill the bad guys, save the world, rescue the damsel, and do homework as well”, Willow finished for her and Buffy couldn’t help but smile,
“Guess I use that one a bit too often?” Willow just gave her one of those looks - the despairing, sexy librarian looks. Not that Buffy named Willow’s looks. And especially not as sexy.
“It’ll get easier once you get started - it’s just an analysis piece, what you think the author was saying”
“I know what the author was saying, he wrote it down, it’s there”, Buffy waved her hand over the open page, “That’s it, end of homework, want to get popcorn?”, she pushed herself up onto her hands and knees and started to get off the bed where they were studying.
“I’m serious Buffy”, and now Willow looked a little bit hurt and that was a Willow look that Buffy couldn’t deal with, so she settled back down and read over the poem again, and again. Then finally she rolled onto her back and covered her face with her hands.
“I don’t know Will, I just…why wouldn’t the author just say what they wanted to say?”, Buffy groaned, “See me, I don’t see the point in beating around the bush. Just get right in there and say what you’re thinking”. She felt the mattress raise and then dip again as Willow moved, and a quick peek from behind her hands placed Willow sat cross legged beside her.
“It’s not always so easy though”, and Willow didn’t sound so Willowy anymore, and Buffy lowered her hands, “Sometimes what you really want to say might get you hurt, or expose you too much, leave you open to pain or criticism, so you hide it, code it in writing and words”. Buffy shifted up onto her elbows and tried to read Willow’s face, but her red-headed friend was stubbornly focused on the anthology on the bed.
“Sometimes…”, Willow continued, “We just don’t ever get to say what we really want to say”.
“Hey…”, and Buffy balanced herself so she could reach out and grab Willow’s hand, “you need me to do something for you? Can I help?” Willow finally looked at her, but Buffy couldn’t work out what she was thinking, so they just stayed there for a while, until Willow shook her head,
“It’s fine. You can shift your butt around and do your homework though since I’m giving up my precious Thursday night to help you”, and Buffy chuckled at her words as she maneuvered herself back around to pick up her notepad.
“You love it, how could your evening possible be better than spending it with me?”, Buffy teased, and then switched to a more serious tone, “You know you can tell me anything right Will?”.
“I know”, Willow nodded, but her eyes didn’t quite agree with her words, and Buffy wasn’t sure if there was anything she could really do about that.
Monsters and ends of the world, now those she could deal with. Books and emotions, might as well have been all Latin to her.
Title: Books and Memories
Fandom: Harry Potter
Word Count: 357
Note: Per sabethea’s request that I attempt a Harry Potter fic when my knowledge of the fandom comes from 12daysofchristmas/40fandoms and TellTale Lego games.
Professor Remus Lupin stopped on his way towards his classroom and looked across at the sight unfolding across the courtyard. Ron Weasley was sat up on one of the tables, and from the look on his face, and the exasperation on Hermione Granger’s face, he was clearly trying to get her to give up on her reading. Of course, Harry Potter was close by, although he didn’t seem to be involved in the press-ganging. Remus shook his head with a wry smile and continued on his way.
His friends had loved to tease him too, especially if they found him tucked up in the common room with a book in his lap when they came in sweating and covered in mud from Quidditch training. Sirius would snatch the book out of his hands and put on this squinted expression of disdain before throwing it back into his lap and announcing that he was going to take a shower.
James was a lot more subtle. He would ask Remus if he were alright, up in the common room by himself, under the guise of checking that he hadn’t felt pushed aside or left out. Remus suspected he just found it as hard to believe as Sirius, that anyone would want to spend their afternoon reading. Then James would follow Sirius, and once more Remus had peace and quiet.
He couldn’t have expected them to understand the appeal of books for him - the ability to lose oneself in a tale and travel through time and space to experience something as someone, anyone, else. Even if it were only for a short while. He couldn’t blame them for that, they had done the best they could to understand him and for that he was eternally grateful. But it didn’t stop him wishing that he could just be something other than what he was.
He clenched his jaw as he caught himself, drifting off into memories of his school friends. He didn’t allow himself to do that anymore; what good could come from it when two were dead and a third locked up?
No book could take him away from that.
T itle: W hen you read to me
Word Count: 374
Pete had found out, and of course he bloody had, and Jimmy had tried to push him away because that’s what he did. It was humiliating and if Pete had told anyone then Jimmy would have been the laughing stock of the school. Except, Pete didn’t tell anyone and Jimmy had never really thought her would. Mostly he was just embarrassed that Pete knew.
They hadn’t really spoken about it. Pete just found him one day, in the corner of the library, with his fists clenched and pressed hard into the top of the desk and turning white at the knuckles as he struggled over the book in front of him. Pete hadn’t asked any questions, he just sat down next to Jimmy, and waited in silence for a while. Jimmy’s face had gone hot as the words began to sway again and everything he had just spent the last ten minutes ramming into his brain went straight back out of it. Then Pete had pulled his own copy of the book out of his rucksack and put his English book on the table beside Jimmy’s.
“Look at the descriptions used in the first three paragraphs, what do you think the reader is meant to feel about the protagonist”, Pete had read off the question and then proceeded to read the first three paragraphs aloud. It was clumsy and unsubtle, and Jimmy knew damn well what he was trying to do, and he wanted to be angry or feel patronised but this was Pete and he was just trying to help.
So Jimmy let him read and then found an answer rolling off his tongue after Pete finished, and from there it just kind of worked.
So they did it again, every damn week in that same corner of the library where no-one would bother them. Pete read and they discussed, and Jimmy didn’t feel so stupid anymore.