Fandom: Malory Towers/Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Word Count: 5978 (in total)
Summary: Everyone has questions and sometimes the answers are not the ones you want.
“Did you get answers?”, Alicia grinned as she managed to make Marie jump by appearing beside her as the teacher walked through one of the fields near Malory Towers, “I see you’re not always on guard”.
“It’s the middle of the day, I am on guard as I need to be”, Marie replied and then after a pause continued, “Nonetheless that was well done - it’s not often anyone sneaks up on me”.
“Thanks”, and Alicia grinned despite herself, “So come on then, what did you find out?”
“I found out that you took Darrell out on patrol with you”, Marie continued with her walk and Alicia fell into step alongside her.
“Rupert’s already given me the lecture”, Alicia muttered, “Don’t know why he had to go and tell you”
“He didn’t”, Marie took their walk further away from the view from Malory Towers.
“Darrell?”, Alicia screwed up her face, not imagining that her friend would have revealed anything.
“Not intentionally”, Marie had a slight smile at the corner of her lips, “Unfortunately Miss Rivers is quite easy to read, and far too forthright to keep all of her emotions off of her face.”
“Are you angry?”, and Alicia was surprised to find that she was anxious to know the answer.
“You are both alright, although it could have ended quite badly. I would think you both realise now why her accompanying you is not a good idea?”, Marie stopped beneath a cluster of trees and faced out over the ocean.
“Yes”, Alicia scuffed at the ground with the toe of her shoe, “When all the skeletons rose at once I…”, she glanced out at then ocean and shrugged, “She can't defend herself and I can't keep her safe. It's better for me to be alone”.
“Is there something you need to talk about Alicia?”, Marie asked. Alicia thought -for all of about a second- about answering truthfully but eventually just shrugged,
“You know there is, or you wouldn't ask”, she said, “I just don't want to. So how was the Council?”
“Less illuminating than I had hoped”, Marie said, “I did visit a cemetery that had more answers for me - shame that the dead often offer more assistance than the Council”.
“I think I’m beginning to see why you took Rupert in”, Alicia grinned, “I see that streak of defiance”.
Marie gave her a quick glance but didn’t dispute the statement, “I found another entry concerning the Conduit”. Alicia forgot the teasing of her mentor in an instance,
“Do you know what it is?”, and she eagerly took the parchment that Marie took out of her pocket, relieved to find it in a language she could read this time - French.
“The Conduit didn’t just affect Greece?”, she asked.
“It did the second time it rose - this is the first time the Conduit was summoned”, Marie explained, “To say that the second summoning in Greece was more devastating would be an understatement”.
“Five hundred people died…”, Alicia said as she read down the page, “More died in Greece?”
“Many more…”, Marie accepted the parchment from Alicia, “I fear that the next time may see even more deaths. The skeletons were not a coincidence. They were called from their graves so that someone could search them”.
“Something was taken - something to do with this Conduit?”
Marie sat down in her chair with a sigh. She would be expected to put in an appearance at least in the teacher’s common room later that evening - with a convincing explanation for where she had been that did not involve cemeteries - but for now she was grateful for the opportunity to rest.
Alicia - as she perhaps should have expected - had practically drilled her for every last piece of information about the Conduit, and had seemed quite unsatisfied with the limitations of Marie’s knowledge. Marie smiled to herself; it had at least prompted Alicia to return to the books from the vampire nest to look for more information herself.
“Come in Rupert”, she called as she heard the floorboards outside her office creak. The door opened a moment after.
“Showing off are we?”, Rupert asked, “I take it Alicia was quite energised by your findings - I saw her rush off down to the cottage”.
“She seems to be throwing herself into the Slaying with perhaps a bit too much vigour”, Marie said, “but you aren’t here to discuss Alicia are you?”. Rupert smiled, and was it Marie’s imagination or was it almost ruefully.
“Your visit to the Watcher’s Council got me thinking - along with an encounter whilst you were away”, Rupert took a seat in what was usually Mademoiselle Dupont’s chair and leant back.
“No need to be subtle - although your discretion is admirable - I have already established that Alicia had Darrell accompany her on a patrol”, Marie shook her head to herself, “I am quite aware of the sorts of trouble those two are capable of getting up to when together. I suppose it must have been quite sobering for you? To see Alicia put a friend in such danger?”
“You could say that”, Rupert looked away from her with a frown, “I found it unsettling to be on the other side of that conversation - to be the responsible adult. I’ve been thinking quite a bit about it actually”.
Marie waited patiently, giving Rupert the space he needed to find his words. Seconds ticked into a minute and the young man seemed almost conflicted as he stared out of the window. When he finally spoke his voice was soft,
“I don’t think I should be a Watcher, Marie”
Marie found herself both surprised to hear the words come from Rupert’s mouth, and equally surprised that he hadn’t spoken them sooner. She fought the instinct to respond immediately, experience telling her that he had more to say that would be lost should she jump in too quickly. Sure enough Rupert continued,
“I had forgotten about them all until your visit”, Rupert finally looked back at Marie, “Managed to keep their smug faces out of my head. I joke about and tell you that you’re the only decent Watcher I’ve ever met, but for me it’s not a joke. How can I ever be a Watcher when they stand for so much that I despise?”
“I could give you an answer”, Marie kept her tone soft, “I could list off your good qualities - though I think you would just wave them off - or I could talk about how the sort of man you will become is exactly what the Watcher’s Council needs, but I don’t think that would help would it?”
“Not really no”, Rupert got to his feet and shoved his hands into his pockets, “Why do you do it? Stay a Watcher? I know it’s supposed to be a calling and everything just like the Slayer but let’s be honest - either of us could walk away at any moment”.
“A few months ago I would have said I didn’t know”, Marie hesitated before deciding to be a little more honest, “I considered retiring. Then Alicia was called and I decided that I couldn’t trust any of the Watcher’s at the Council to mentor her. She’s...a difficult personality at times”.
“Then they lumped you with me as well”, Rupert almost managed a grin, “Bet you really do wish you’d retired”, then he sighed and shook his head, “Thanks for the talk but it’s getting dark and I feel like I need to do some Slaying”.
Marie wasn’t sure that she had been of any help at all.
“Everything okay?”, Darrell realised that Sally had stopped and was patting down her pockets.
“I don’t think I picked my necklace back up after you untangled it when we sat down - it must still be on the log”, Sally frowned, “I’ll run back and get it”. Darrell glanced at the horizon through the trees. The Autumnal evenings were growing darker ever earlier, and Darrell had no desire to be outside after the sunset. She had even less of a desire to let Sally walk around alone as it got dark.
“I’ll come with you”, she said immediately.
“Don’t be daft, it’s just a few minutes if I run”, and Sally had turned back and started to make her way quickly through the trees. Darrell clicked her tongue in frustration and scrambled back up the bank to follow her. Of course Sally would think she was being over-protective but Darrell could live with that.
She moved quickly through the trees, reminding herself to breathe in and out slowly so that it didn’t feel like her heart was about to burst out of her chest. Sally was quicker than Darrell had given her credit for. When she heard a cry up ahead she broke into a sprint.
“Sally?”, she slowed to a jog as she ran into the clearing and allowed herself a sigh of relief when she saw Sally at the centre, “Is everything alright? Are you bleeding?”. Darrell closed in the gap between them to get a better look at Sally’s wrist.
“It’s fine - my own fault”, Sally said immediately, and she tugged her sleeve down to cover the cuts, “I...think I caught myself on some of the brambles or something”, and she waved vaguely at the bramble bush nearby.
“Let me look”, Darrell insisted, holding out her hands and after a moment of hesitation Sally complied. Darrell turned Sally’s arm over to look at the cuts and frowned.
“This looks awfully deep for bramble bush cuts”, Darrell said, and she squinted at the peculiar pattern of wounds.
“I tripped coming over the ridge”, Sally replied, pulling her arm back, “Put one hand right in the thorns. Look can we get back to school so I can wash up before dinner?”. Darrell was quite taken aback by Sally’s tone and gave her friend a glance over. Sally’s cheeks were a little red and flushed, and Darrell realised that her over-reaction to a simple trip and fall was probably embarrassing her.
“Sorry, Did you get your necklace?”, she asked and Sally dug one hand into her pocket and pulled it out to show Darrell, “Alright - come on then”. The walk back to school was quiet, not peppered with their usually easy conversation. As they closed in on school, Darrell noticed Alicia walking in from across the fields - probably returning from the cottage. Sally, of course, noticed her attention shift and a strange something crossed over her face when she saw who Darrell was looking at.
Darrell was quite sure that Sally didn’t realise that Darrell was watching her out of the corner of her eye - otherwise she surely wouldn’t have practically tracked every one of Alicia’s movement across the field as they walked.
“Sally?”, Darrell asked eventually, feeling a little unsettled.
“Hmm?”, Sally finally looked away and turned to look at Darrell. Darrell stopped walking and stared at Sally’s eyes. Darrell blinked heavily and looked again - whatever she thought she saw was gone, Sally’s eyes were the same dark blue they always were, she must have seen a reflection of the sunset.
“Is everything okay?”, Sally was the one to ask this time and Darrell shook herself.
“Fine - must just be tired or something”, Darrell started walking again. Alicia had reached the school before them so Darrell was spared any awkwardness between the three of them. Sally dashed off to the dorms to wash up and change her shirt before dinner; Darrell waited at one of the bay windows in the corridor, one overlooking the woods.
It was strange how so recently she would have felt quite comfortable sat gazing out at the countryside, charmed almost by the beauty that surrounded the boarding school. With the added knowledge of the monsters that crawled out at night, it became much less enchanting. Darrell couldn’t see the graveyard from the school which was probably for the best. The sun was low now, and not being able to see what was outside made Darrel a little uneasy.
A slow tingle crept up her spine and she just knew something was watching her. She tried to remember what Alicia had said about all the spells and wards around the school - practically impenetrable was how Alicia had made it sound with how often she talked about it. So where then was she being watched from? No - not watched - hunted. She felt like at any moment she was about to become something’s prey...
She wasn’t too proud to admit that she actually squeaked when she turned around and found Sally behind her. Sally seemed to study her for a moment,
“Are you sure you’re okay?”, she asked, looking past Darrell and out of the window.
“Never better”, Darrell said, hoping that she didn’t look even half as terrified as she felt. She was very grateful when the bell sounded for dinner.
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“What the hell are you doing?”, Darrell jumped at the sound of Alicia's voice and looked up guiltily from her position lain on her front next to the lamp, not where Alicia had left her.
“I couldn't keep reading this in the dark, and I need to move around a bit”
“Then you wait for me to come back and help you”, Alicia shot as she put down the water and food she had gathered, “You shouldn't be crawling around the cave, you'll get hurt.” Darrell bit back the retort that it was more dragging herself around than crawling, as she imagined that would only serve to make Alicia more irate.
“You look really pale”, Alicia sat down opposite Darrell and took a drink from the metal container then offered it to Darrell, “Have you hurt yourself?”
Darrell took the water and took a few sips, “You need to stop treating me like I'm so fragile”.
“Are you hurting?”, Alicia passed over some of the fruit and leaves that they had found to be edible, and Darrell rolled her eyes at the blatant ignoring of her question.
“Of course it hurts Alicia, I have a constant headache and when I can feel my leg, it's agony”, Darrell pushed herself up into a more comfortable position, “But lying around and waiting to die of my injuries isn't going to help either of us.”
“Don't say that”, Alicia's words came out as a sharp bark that made Darrell jerk back in shock, “You're not going to die, don't say things like that”.
“My chances are much better if we get back home”, Darrell nibbled on the edge of one of the pieces of fruit, was it even fruit if it existed before anyone had been around to name it? She felt her thoughts start to drift and she refocused them on Alicia.
“How it going anyway?”, Alicia nodded towards the notepad and Darrell was grateful for the change of topic.
“I think I know how to force an anomaly to open, well the codes to set the device to do it anyway”, Darrell put her fruit to one side and lay back down, resting her forehead on her folded arms, “I just don't know how to set a date.”
“We could just open one and see?”
“I think there's only going to be enough charge for one, maybe two anomaly openings”, Darrell closed her eyes and breathed slowly through the pain before she continued, “It hasn't been plugged into the mains for weeks, even if it's been turned off. I don't want to risk ending up somewhere worse”.
“Worse than here?”
“Remember the predators from the future?”, Darrell moved her head to one side so she could see Alicia out of one eye. Alicia grimaced and nodded,
“Okay, so we'll wait. You need to eat something”
“You are unbearably attentive at the moment Alicia, when is the real you making a reappearance?”, Darrell groaned.
“You nearly died Darrell, it's going to take a while”
“I nearly died at that abandoned warehouse estate a few months back, you weren't like this afterwards”, Darrell wasn't sure what response she was trying to goad out of Alicia, did she really want to have to deal with whatever it was Alicia felt for her when it was just the two of them, stuck here?
“That's because I was an idiot”, she hadn't expected that response, “I got you caught up in all this and I've nearly got you killed twice.”, Darrell felt guilty as she raised her head and watched Alicia sit, body tensed and eyes focussed on the floor.
“I didn't mean...it's not your fault Alicia...”
“I should have just accepted it when you turned down the journalist job. Then none of this would have happened.”
Darrell didn't have a response to that and dropped her head back onto her arms, no longer having the strength to keep talking.
Alicia spat water out as she dragged herself up on the shore. Her throat burned where she had choked on the water in the lake. She clawed at the sandy mud and dragged herself away from the water, as images of some of the sea creatures they had dealt with before came back to her. Her legs wobbled as she staggered to her feet, and she tried to scan for the dinosaur that she had been running from.
She struggled a few more steps and collapsed onto her knees, and coughed until she was certain she would be sick. As her head pounded with each breath she took, she fought against her body's desire to fall onto her front and lie in the dirt. That would be certain death. If she collapsed out here, if she died, then she condemned Darrell to the same fate.
That thought was enough to get her back on her feet, and once she started to walk, it got easier to put one foot in front of the other. The sky hung dark overhead, and the air felt heavy on her back, but she kept walking.
It had gotten easier to pretend that things were going to be okay; having Darrell awake and talking to her made it seem like losing her was less likely. Of course, rationally, Alicia knew that was a load of rubbish. You could have talked to someone on the phone and hear the next day that they'd dropped dead of a heart attack an hour after you hung up.
Alicia leant heavily against a nearby rock and struggled to catch her breath, trying to make herself just focus on getting back to the cave instead of all this preoccupation with death. She tried to push away the thoughts that Darrell was so much weaker than Alicia had ever seen; that the grey of Darrell's complexion made her look half-way towards death already. Alicia briefly considered smacking herself in the head in her frustration at her own train of thoughts but instead clenched and unclenched her fists as she pushed herself off the rock and back into a determined walk back towards the cave.
She would have been a prime target for any predator that had happened upon her, and Alicia stopped just short of thanking divine intervention for the fact that the carnivore that had driven her into the water in the first place had decided she was far too small for too much effort. Still, intervention from higher or not, Alicia was grateful when she finally crawled back through into the cave. She slid the rock across behind her, just in case something had caught her scent, and staggered forward towards the small glow of the lamp.
She crumpled. The dull thud of her knees hitting the stone floor echoed around the cave and in the meagre light she saw Darrell glance around, and then try to move.
“Don't!”, Alicia cringed at the sharpness of her own voice, but it did stop Darrell in her tracks. Alicia took a few deep breathes and then forced herself back to her feet, “I'm fine”.
“You are a truly awful liar”, Darrell replied as she carefully manoeuvred herself around to face Alicia. Alicia sat down beside Darrell and squinted at her friend against the faint glow of the lamp.
“You look really...”
“I know how to get us home”.
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“You look like you need a break”, Sally's voice disturbed her from her reading and Darrell looked back over her shoulder at her friend and room-mate.
“I must look awful if you're tell me to stop working”, Darrell offered Sally a lopsided grin, and her friend just rolled her eyes in response to the teasing.
“You make me sound like a taskmaster”, Sally said, “Do you want to come for a walk?”. Darrell nodded and got to her feet with a wince, her body protested to the sudden movement and the discomfort must have shown on her face.
“You have been in the same position for about two and a half hours”, Sally chided gently as she handed Darrell a coat, “You've been working yourself too hard”. Darrell laughed and followed Sally out of the door.
The evening air was cool on her skin and she shivered at the first contact.
“Anywhere in particular?”, Darrell asked as she put her hands in her pockets,
“We can just walk, see where we end up”, Sally said and Darrell shrugged in agreement.
“Probably lost”, her smile broadened when Sally swatted her playfully. A moment passed and then Sally linked her arm through Darrell's; Darrell glanced down but didn't comment on the, unusually, overt sign of affection from her friend. They walked in silence for a long time and just as Darrell was about to suggest they turn around and head back before her predication came true, Sally spoke,
“I have something I need to tell you”, and Darrell stopped walking. Sally unlinked her arm from Darrell's and moved to stand facing Darrell, putting her hands into her own pockets away from the cold, “and I don't really know how to so just let me talk.” Darrell immediately began to run through scenarios in her head, none of them good,
“I...okay”, and Darrell tightened her arms against her side, as if constricting her movement would help constrict her speech.
“I'm not good at this sort of thing”, Sally sighed and lowered her gaze, “Talking about things. But we've been friends for a long time and, I don't want to ruin that, but if I don't tell you then all these feelings will still be here”. Sally stopped talking for a moment, and pressed her hand to her forehead. Darrell felt a strange feeling inside her chest, and squirmed as she struggled not to speak.
“I'm scared I'm going to tell you and you're going to...”, Sally ran her hands through her hair and Darrell startled at the unspent tears in her friend's eyes, “That you're never going to talk to me again”. In her surprise, Darrell forgot her promise,
“You can tell me anything”, she stumbled over her words, bewildered by Sally's upset, “I can't think of anything you could have done that would make me stop caring about you Sal...”. Sally met her gaze and Darrell swallowed heavily as dark blue eyes searched her face. There was a peculiar look in Sally's eyes that Darrell couldn't place. Then Sally's shoulders slumped, and they broke eye contact. When Sally spoke her voice was barely audible,
“I love you”
“I love you too Sal, I don't...”, and then Sally stepped forward, closed the short gap between them and pressed her lips against Darrell's. Darrell froze, for just a moment, as her body reacted in an explosion to the sudden contact. Then, without any conscious thought, she returned the kiss. Sally pulled away with a soft gasp, as if she had shocked herself as much as she had shocked Darrell.
“I mean...I love you”, Sally said.
Darrell rolled onto her side with a wince and pushed her pain-induced daydream to one side. Alicia was pacing the cave, obviously waiting for her to regain some semblance of lucidity. Darrell groaned as the cave began to sway in front of her, how long had she been out?
“Are you okay?”, Alicia stopped pacing, “You look...”, Alicia stood and studied her for a moment and then her voice softened, “you look really sad”.
“I got stood on by a dinosaur, of course I'm sad”, Darrell shot back, and her words must not have come out as good-naturedly as she had intended because a look of hurt flashed across Alicia's face, “I didn't...it's nothing. Just stop walking about, it's giving me a headache”.
“You've been out of it for the last two hours”, Alicia pointed out, “I don't think you much noticed my pacing”.
“Please shut up Alicia, I'm too tired to argue”, Darrell slumped back onto the floor, an awkward moment passed and Darrell spoke again, “I didn't mean to snap at you”. There was silence and then Alicia crossed the room and sat down beside her.
“How's the head? Leg?”, Alicia took one of Darrell's hands in her own and held it.
“I really do have a headache, but...I can't really feel my leg”, Darrell felt Alicia's panic and carried on talking before her friend could start, “which is probably a good thing”.
“Not really, you might lose your leg”, Alicia said.
“That's certainly cheered me up”, Darrell groaned, but she squeezed Alicia's hand as she spoke to soften her words. A wave of nausea went through her and she closed her eyes, her entire body shuddered and she winced as muscles protested to the movement. She couldn't imagine being in a much worse position, with her own mortality being dangled in front of her, but Darrell felt strangely calm at her core. It was as if all the chaos had drained her of the strength to panic.
“I just want to go home”, Darrell said, once it no longer felt like the world was spinning around her.
“I know...me too. Not that you're not enough company for me or anything”, the teasing was back in Alicia's voice, by this point Darrell wasn't sure if it was a coping mechanism or if it really was just the way Alicia was.
“I know you enjoy having me all to yourself”, Darrell replied. She had meant to keep the light atmosphere going but something, that was so familiar in its presentation, crossed over Alicia's eyes. The light heartedness was gone, and Alicia got to her feet.
“I need...”, she brushed herself down as she avoided eye contact, “I need to go and get some more water. Do you feel up to looking at Connor's notebook?”. Before Darrell could reply, Alicia dropped the notebook at her side and headed towards the cave entrance.
It was only when she was halfway through deciphering the next page in Connor's book that Darrell realised when she had seen that look before. She shook her head, then immediately regretted it as her head pounded in response to the movement.
'It must be the headache', she reasoned, 'There's no way Alicia feels...', and then the conversation with Sally, when the other woman had asked Darrell if she had been stepping out on her with Alicia, came to mind and she wondered if her more perceptive partner had seen something that Darrell had missed.
“Oh bloody hell”, Darrell groaned, and she slumped onto her back. How could she have been such an idiot?
Word Count: 873
NB: Based in the same AU as my 12days fic, which means it’s not worth trying to work out how this fits together time-wise because it doesn’t.
“He is out of control - useless, arrogant, headstrong…”, Marie tried her best to ignore his voice as she scanned the room and wondered what a Watcher did in his spare time that would allow him to indulge in such an extravagant office. She certainly couldn’t afford such extravagances…
“He is young, and young people tend to be like that, Lord knows I have a school full of them due to return come September and they’re even younger than he”, Marie sighed, “Perhaps he is just like all other twenty year olds”
“He has dabbled in black magic, he got someone killed”, Walter pointed at her as he spoke, “Thefts, joy-riding, that group of hoodlums he put together”. Marie chuckled to herself,
“That was his band Walter, they played music together”, Marie got to her feet and brushed the wrinkles out of her suit, “and he wasn’t the only one responsible for that young man’s death. Nor was it his intention to harm anyone.” All of a sudden, Walter got a peculiar look across his face, and Marie stopped, dreading what was going through his head.
“I am glad you seem so willing to overlook his many faults, Marie”, a sickly tone had come over Walter’s voice, “since you seem so keen on seeing the good in him, perhaps you are the best person to mentor him”.
“I will be returning to Malory Towers come September, you aren’t suggesting I take him with me?”, Marie demanded, “Where would I put him? Under my bed? In my cupboard perhaps?”
“Are there no positions he could work in whilst you mentor him? A groundsman maybe? Handyman?”, and Marie groaned inwardly as she realised that logistics were not going to be the route to getting out of this. She thought of more protests, about the questioning she might receive for recommending a twenty year old with no references or history of work for a job at a girl’s boarding school but the protests died on her lips. After all, if she didn’t take him on then another Watcher would under protest, and she doubted that a quality education would be received under such a situation.
“Fine, I will take him with me”, she said eventually and, from the odd look that passed across Walter’s face, the older man had clearly been expecting more protesting.
“Very well, the Council will be pleased, your actions will no doubt be commended”, and Marie thought privately exactly what the Council could do with their commendation as she followed Walter out of the office and down a few corridors.
“Here he is”, Walter held out one hand with a flourish at the young man slumped in the chair with his legs stretched out in front of him, crossed at the ankles, “Rupert Giles, meet Marie Potts. I’m sure you two will get along just fine.” The Head of the Council practically skipped from the room and Marie barely refrained from rolling her eyes. When she looked back at Rupert, he was looking her up and down in quite an obvious manner as he took the cigarette from behind his ear and twirled it between his fingers. Assessing her no doubt.
“Wasn’t expecting a senior Watcher to look like you”, Rupert said eventually as he shoved the cigarette between his lips and lit it. Marie raised an eyebrow and began to walk down the corridor, leaving the young man to follow after her with his holdall. His long strides meant he caught up with her halfway down the corridor.
“What did you suppose I would look like?”, Marie asked.
“Old, boring, with a face like you’d been sucking a lemon”, Rupert replied without a beat, “What are you? Thirty-five, forty?”
“That’s rather forward of you”, Marie responded as they took the stairs down to the main entrance, “I’m not going to tell you, if that’s what you’re waiting for”.
“Didn’t suppose you would”, Rupert grinned, and she could hear the smirk in his voice, “Reckon you’ve had plenty younger men chasing you though, the way you look.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment shall I?”, Marie swept through the doors of the main entrance and out into the cool night air.
“Best to, since it was meant to be. So where we off to then?”, Rupert asked as he finally flung his holdall round onto his back, then slowly exhaled cigarette smoke into the crisp darkness of the night, “Your place I guess since I don’t have one.”
“In a manner of speaking…do you have a preference of name?”, Marie stopped and hailed a taxi, “Rupert, Mr Giles, Giles…”
“Don’t suppose you’d call me Ripper…”, and Marie shot him a bemused looked, “Rupert’ll be fine. So where is your place and what exactly are you meant to be teaching me?”
Marie left his question unanswered as she gave the taxi driver instructions to take them to the train station, then climbed in after Rupert. Finally she turned to him,
“Cornwall, and I’ll explain it to you on the way”
Word Count: 214
“Do you want to know what I was thinking about this morning, when I was supposed to be looking over the crime scene?”, and normally Kat would have come back with a decidedly un-PG rated response to that but Lilly didn’t look like she was in that sort of mood.
“I have no idea Rush, why don’t you enlighten me”
“That song, Miller, that damn song”, and Kat couldn’t help but crack up laughing at the frustration in Lilly’s voice, “I can’t get it out of my head - and I’m meant to be looking at the photos from ninety one and comparing them to what’s there but no, all I can think about is squashing up baby bumble bees”, and Lilly finished her rant by pointing sharply at Kat.
“You owe me, big time”, and Lilly got up and returned to her own desk. Kat just carried on laughing, Veronica would get a kick out of hearing of how big an impact her school performance had on Detective Rush.
Fandom: Malory Towers/Harry Potter
Word Count: 386
It was ridiculous, the whole business. Or at least it would be if Sally could find some other explanation for the things that she could do, both with and without meaning to. Even now, when she tried so hard to keep everything hidden away, things would sneak out when she wasn’t paying attention. A floating book here, a pen that inconceivably disappeared from right in front of someone, the legs of a chair momentarily changing to actual legs…
Sally was convinced it was her own mind, punishing her either for having these…these abilities in the first place, or for not following her abilities to this school of magic. Either way she saw no solution other than to close herself off even more and hope that eventually her willpower would overpower whatever it was that brought about these abilities inside her.
Which would have been fine if it wasn’t for Darrell Rivers. Darrell who had noticed that Sally was angry and tense and withdrawn all the time and instead of doing what everyone else in the form had done and deciding that Sally wasn’t worth the effort, had made these awkward and tentative efforts to include her and attempt to befriend her.
Sally couldn’t yet bear to be outright cruel to the other girl, not yet. Darrell didn’t know what Sally was like after all, didn’t know what was wrong with her. Yet as each day passed and to her own dismay, Sally found herself being drawn to the idea of having a friend to go around with. Except friendships meant sharing and honesty and other good things, and not worrying that you might blow up your friend’s maths book or make her bed vanish whilst she was sleeping in it.
Sally had started to wonder whether going to Hogwarts might have been the better option after all.
Fandom: Binding of Isaac
Word Count: 183
NB: References to infanticide.
He wondered if the voices he heard had belonged to his brothers and sisters before him or perhaps the doctor was right, and there was something wrong with him. He had returned the floor boards to how they were before and been grateful that his Mother had not noticed they had been moved.
He shivered at night, thinking of the bones and mummified remains that lay mere metres away; he cried as he thought of how they must have ended up there. He wondered if it hurt, wondered if they had suffered. He spent weeks trying to be a good boy, hoping that if he could prove to Mother that he was good and pure and obedient then he wouldn’t have to join his siblings under the floor.
When she started to hear the voice of God telling her that her son was corrupt, Isaac knew that it didn’t matter what he did - the same fate would befall him.
Fandom: Harry Potter
Word Count: 1,106
NB: Suggestive scenes, nudity, and fifteen year old characters.
NB2: Those on 12daysofchristmas will already know my lack of Harry Potter canon knowledge, this was written just to see if I could.
Even thinking that amounted to sacrilege in the eyes of his family.
Albus pulled his cloak tighter around himself and rocked in his chair, hoping it would generate some warmth. He was almost inclined to cast Incendio on the small collection of rubbish that had collected at his feet and huddled up to a makeshift fire - but knowing his luck he’d burn down the whole stands. That would make him popular…
Who in their right mind would want to be out here flying around in this weather throwing a magical ball around. Then again, what sort of idiot would sit in the cold and watch the damn thing when they didn’t even like it.
They were all landing now, and he could see James jumping off his broom and striding towards him so he prepared himself for the conversation that was to follow.
“Good practice yeah?”, James grinned, his face smeared with dirt and rain and his hair windswept, “You see the turn I made when Malfoy was right up my arse?”, Albus tried not to react to the imagery of that and instead just nodded his head.
“Give you a bit of extra practice over summer and I reckon you’d been good for the team next year”, James offered and Albus managed to smile and nod and tell James that he’d like that before the other players descended upon them and his brother took off towards the changing room with them. Albus waited for a few minutes then got up and followed them. The changing room was quiet when he entered, most of the players had rushed through a shower and getting dressed to race off for supper which apparently always tasted better after Quidditch practice, but Albus knew there would be one player who took his time getting changed. Albus had worked out his changing routine, and at the same time after each practice he could sneak down and…
“Potter”, Albus jumped when Scorpius greeted him.
“Malfoy”, Albus replied after a beat and then frowned when he realised that Scorpius hadn’t even changed out of his Quidditch robes. His mind raced with fears that Scorpius had caught him spying on him - which was a generous term considering exactly what Albus was doing - the last time they’d had practice, “Uh…good practice, you flew well”. Was that even something you were meant to say to someone after practice? Or ever?
Scorpius just smirked and nodded his head in an acceptance of Albus’s words, then changed the subject, “You look like you’ve gotten cold sitting out there - why don’t you jump in the shower as well. There’s dry robes you can borrow”. Albus glanced over his shoulder where there were indeed robes hanging conveniently from one of the open lockers, and all of this being a coincidence seemed less and less likely.
But Scorpius was already stripping as he walked towards the shower and Albus was pretty damn certain that the other teenager didn’t always move his arse like that when he walked, so Albus followed him. Unlike Scorpius’s trail of discarded clothes, Albus dropped all of his into a single, convenient pile and then stepped into the showers. He could insist on going into one of the cubicles, but the part of his brain that had gotten him into this bloody mess was telling him to stay in here with the very naked Scorpius Malfoy.
He took one of the showers a few down from Scorpius and turned it on, shuddered at the first blast of water before he groaned, quite involuntarily, at the hot water. He felt Scorpius’s eyes on him the moment he uttered that groan, and he dared not look at the other. So he focused on the wall in front of him, repeated the mantra to not look over and over, until suddenly Scorpius was in the next shower over from him. Albus’s head whipped around and he couldn’t help but stare.
“Other showers were running cold water”, Scorpius said, and Albus knew that was a load of bollocks but he didn’t care. He tried to just look at Scorpius’s face, but that lasted all of about ten seconds, before his eyes drifted down over pecs and abs that he had only ever glimpsed from afar. Scorpius was pretty solid for a fifteen year old. Albus suspected it had something to do with the reputation his father had had of being something of a scrawny wimp, but whatever the reasons the results made for more than pleasant viewing.
“You spent more time working out and less time perving then you’d have some of your own to look at”, Scorpius commented and Albus went bright red. Well that answered the matter of whether Scorpius had caught him.
“I..uh…”, and he wasn’t the most articulate of people at the best of times, but Albus just couldn’t get his mouth to work when all his attention was focused on not looking any lower than Scorpius’s stomach.
“It’s quite a compliment really”, Scorpius said, as he stretched his arms above his head and accentuated his muscles as he did, “What would you do for me if I let you touch them?”
Albus lost his nerve and scurried out of the shower before Scorpius had the chance to get a good look at just how appreciative of Scorpius’s body Albus was. He toweled himself dry roughly and threw on the robes with trembling hands, by which time Scorpius strolled out of the showers with a towel wrapped around his waist.
“You’re so tense Albus, it’s not good for your health”, Scorpius said. Albus couldn’t even begin to think of how to respond to that so he just gathered up his dirty robes and went to stalk past Scorpius. The blond grabbed him by the upper arm and stopped him in his tracks,
“Since you lost your nerve this time, I’ll give you another chance. Next practice I’ll wait until all the others are gone before I have my shower. Seems only sporting since I caught you off guard this time.”, and then he let Albus go. Albus practically ran the whole distance back up to the Gryffindor common room, his mind a flurry of thoughts and half-made decisions.
If disliking Quidditch was enough to lead to raised eyebrows and concerned voices around the Potter dinner table, he dreaded to think what fancying Scorpius bloody Malfoy would get him.
Also...seven Cupid's arrows, six open books, five punishments, four floods of tears, three portents of doom, two buried secrets and one outstretch hand.
Title: The Thief and the Shopkeeper
Word Count: 484
But her thoughts were disturbed as Charme’s lips found a sensitive part on her neck again and she could barely stifle the gasp that threatened to escape her. Warm breath enveloped her neck, with soft kisses peppered in between; and when Charme’s mouth returned to her own, Recette could taste the alcohol on the other woman’s tongue.
When they broke apart to catch their breath, the thief took the opportunity to back Recette into the counter and press her own body against her. Recette took a few deep breathes to settle her racing heart before Charme kissed her again, and this time her hands dropped to Recette’s waist and pulled her in close by the hips. Recette whimpered at the feeling, desperate to take Charme’s hands and guide them to exactly where she wanted them to be.
The sound of something hitting the floor of the room above them brought them to an abrupt stop, and they stood deathly still, listening for any further movement. As Charme’s breath tickled Recette’s ear, Recette struggled to avoiding shuddering beneath the other woman.
“Should prolly be going”, Charme whispered, the edges of her voice softened by alcohol, “Ain’t in the mood to be dealing with your fairy”. Recette wanted to protest, and she toyed momentarily with the idea of suggesting she accompany Charme to her house, but Tear always woke up before she did and having to explain where she had been…
“There’s always tomorrow”, Charme grinned and kissed Recette one final time before she disappeared out of the shop window and into the night.
Recette closed the shop window with a sigh and set the lock. She heard the flutter of wings before she had a chance to move and instead tried to settle her expression, hoping that her nightclothes weren’t too disheveled.
“Something happened?”, Tear bobbed into the room, expression all business as usual and Recette faked a yawn and rubbing her eyes.
“I thought I heard something, and there was a draft”, she slunk a little closer to the fairy, “Came down to check the windows”. Tear did a quick flit around the room and then stopped in front of Recette. Recette blushed as the fairy seemed to inspect her, and she stood under the scrutiny for a few seconds, trying not to squirm.
“Better get back to bed, busy day tomorrow”, and then Tear disappeared back up the stairs.
Recette let out a sigh of relief and followed her friend up the stairs. Tear had been complaining recently that she hadn’t seen any other fairies for a while - perhaps now was a good time to convince her that a vacation from the store would be a good idea.
Fandom: Watch Dogs
Rating: 12/15 for impliedness and language
Word Count: 436
In most cases Aiden would let the people he was surveying meet before he decided whether to intervene, but he couldn’t allow himself that luxury this time. Joanne was expecting to get together and enjoy an evening of dinner and conversation with her boyfriend of just shy of a month. Richard had very different ideas for where the evening was headed.
Aiden took a sharp turn into a newspaper stand as Richard stopped abruptly and glanced over his shoulders. Aiden couldn’t work out whether he was just the paranoid type or whether Aiden’s own rage was making him careless. He bought a stick of gum from stand-owner and popped a piece in his mouth, chewing slowly and deliberately to calm himself as he continued his pursuit.
Aiden wondered for a moment if Richard was the same person the police were looking for in connection to attacks earlier in the year, four women had been assaulted so far and it was only luck of coincidence that had meant all four attacks had been disturbed.
‘That would certainly explain the paranoia’, Aiden mused, sliding between people in the crowd and keeping his attention on Richard. They had just over a block to go and then it would be too late to prevent the meeting. Of course he wasn’t about to let this animal go just because he actually made it to his meeting with Joanne - Richard might be terrible at what he did now, but too many opportunities and he would get better. Then someone would have to pay the consequences.
Richard seemed to hesitate at an alleyway and then change directions, and Aiden smiled to himself. Desperation and paranoia had made him take a shortcut.
Aiden glanced around one last time before he followed Richard into the alleyway. He closed in on foot before kicking out the back of Richard’s left knee - sending him tumbling into the rubbish-strewn concrete.
“What the fuck?”, Richard rolled over, face bursting with rage and Aiden grinned to himself, face concealed beneath his cap and the bandana across his mouth.
“Sorry Richard, but you’re gonna miss your date”, Aiden spat before he kicked him again.
Fandom: Malory Towers
Word Count: 331
“Everyone deserves love Sal”, Darrell said in response to Sally’s, rather sulky, statement that perhaps some people were just destined to be alone. Sally couldn’t even remember how they had gotten onto the topic; it had started out so light hearted, their chat beneath the willow tree.
And Sally shook her head, keeping her head down as she toyed with the end of Darrell’s lace, her friend sat right beside her in the cool autumn air.
“Even the worst people in the world had someone who loved them once”, and Sally wasn’t sure if Darrell was right but she didn’t get a chance to protest because Darrell continued, “and you are far from the worst of people.”
Sally blushed at her transparency, “I wasn’t talking about me”, she muttered. But she knew Darrell didn’t believe her, and of course Darrell would think she was worthy. This was the girl who saw good in Alicia Johns of all people. It didn’t make her right though; even Sally’s parents, who were meant to love her unconditionally had sent her away when they’d seen that she was no good.
“Of course you weren’t”, Darrell replied, and Sally startled when a kiss was placed on her cheek.
“What was that for?”, Sally asked, glancing around for anyone who might have seen them.
Darrell just grinned and jumped to her feet as the bell for third session rung. Sally touched her cheek and shook her head with a smile before following her friend.
She still wasn’t convinced she deserved Darrell’s love, but she it seemed she had it all the same.
Title: Love Notes
Fandom: Left 4 Dead
Rating: 12 (15? I don't know how these ratings work if you hadn't guess, I just randomly input numbers)
Word Count: 779
“What’s that?”, and Ellis’s only response was to point at the words written on the wall in front of him. Rochelle sighed, overly dramatically if she were honest with herself, and swung herself around to get off the table. She glanced around the safe house, wondering where Coach and Nick had gotten to.
“They’s upstairs rootin’ through the bedrooms - just in case”, Ellis was facing her when she turned around and she couldn’t mistake the sheen across his eyes. Sometimes she forgot…no…they all forgot, just how young Ellis was. He should have been out trying to woo some young lady or young man - she’d never asked his preference - and not here with a shotgun slung around his shoulders, a face that had aged ten years over night and boots stained with blood and dirt. Of course, they should all be doing that, but Ellis just seemed too young to be here.
“What you reading that’s got you so pensive?”, Rochelle strode up alongside him, movement at the window causing her to tense for a moment before she reminded herself that they’d chosen this as a safe-house for more than one reason, the least of which was the solid bars that had been installed by the previous owner on damn near all the windows.
That was probably when the infection first broke out.
“Look here”, Ellis pointed again, and Rochelle followed his finger to the scrawls on the wall.
‘Georgia, I’ve gone on to the mall in the centre of town - they say we’ll be rescued. Meet me there, I’ll wait for you. David’ and then to the scribble below, ‘If you end up back here David, I’m moving onto the mall - they’re still choppering people out, I’ll find you’. There were a few jack-ass comments around them but Rochelle ignored those and shrugged her shoulders.
“Maybe they got out - seems like this was when the military were still rescuing people”
“I s’pose, it’s just sad that they…I hope you’re right”, Ellis sighed. Rochelle wanted to press him a little harder, find out what had prompted this melancholy, but Coach’s voice boomed from upstairs telling them to gear up. So instead she gave him a quick squeeze on the shoulder and turned around to collect up her gear.
She hadn’t thought about the exchange for days. It was hard to think of anything but survival when your life had become a slog from safe house to safe house, swinging weapons until your arms burned just to keep the undead at arm’s length. They had made it to the mall, but that hadn’t brought any respite. They had nearly lost coach when two spitters and a hunter had pinned them down on the escalators. Only Ellis’s quick reaction had saved the older man from having his throat torn out.
The security room inside the mall seemed about the only safe place to hold up in. So there they were. Exhausted, soaked in sweat and god knows what, and far beyond ready for this nightmare to end. Rochelle found herself left with Ellis once again, thankful for the silence, as Coach and Nick rounded up supplies from the storage room.
“Hey, would ya look at that”, Ellis commented as he pointed at the wall, and Rochelle opened her eyes to see what he was talking about. It was one of those stupid pieces of graffiti that love-sick teenagers drew on everything, where someone hearts someone else, this one was drawn for David and Georgia with the words “Reunited at last” written underneath.
“Yeah and?”, she groaned, closing her eyes again.
“They made it out didn’t they, look at the date”, Ellis nudged her again and she opened her eyes once more, “See, 12th October, they were still choppering people out of here then. She caught up with him here”. And Rochelle was about to open her mouth and remind him that they still had to get from here to the evacuation point, and even if they did get there no-one had any idea what the military were doing with these people they were claiming to be saving. But she looked across at him and saw the lines had lifted from his face, he looked twenty three again and like the whole damned world hadn’t gone to shit around him.
“You know what sweetie, I think you might be right”
Title: Myths and Legends
Fandom: Tomb Raider
Word Count: 279
With all that said, she was reluctant to take up the bow and arrows that lay before, beautifully ornate and untouched by time. It was quite one thing to carry around a dagger that could transform you into a dragon, or an ancient Egyptian amulet that granted incredible strength.
It was quite another to carry around something that the legends said could change someone’s free will.
Lara wondered how many had used it - and for their own desires or for the sake of others? She couldn’t imagine what it must be like to lose control of your own most intimate thoughts, the things that should be untouched by anyone else. She ran her finger tips over the flats of the arrow heads. Just as legend told, there were gold tipped and silver tipped. She wondered if the silver ones had been used to break up marriages and that seemed just as awful. To turn around and despise the person you had loved most in all the world before someone had intervened.
Still, to leave it here would be to risk letting it fall into the hands of someone with less moral guidance than she. So Lara lay the leather canvas down on top of the weapon and carefully wrapped it up, making certain to securely pad out the arrow heads.
After all, the last thing she needed on the way to the extraction point was to fall in love with an undead Greek soldier.
Title: The Stuff of Legends
Fandom: Harry Potter
Word Count: 536
Note: A second attempt at the Harry Potter fandom for sabethea, if anyone is out of character at all it’s because Lego characters don’t talk and they are my reference point.
“Cupid’s real?”, Harry scooted his chair closer to Ron. The red-head didn’t answer for a while, seemingly fixated on where he was going to make his next move. Then all of a sudden he moved his knight forward and his attention was back on them.
“Dunno about him, probably not, but that bow you’re talking about is real”
“There is honestly a bow and arrow that has the power to create or destroy love?”, Hermione had moved along the sofa to sit right next to Ron, “I haven’t read about it”.
“Oh right, so it must not exist then”, Ron shot back and Harry hid the smirk that pulled at his lips by pretending to cover up a cough. He was pretty sure, from the glare that Hermione shot him, that he had done a poor job of it.
“You want to hear about this bow or what?”, Ron asked.
“Are we going to finish playing?”, Dean complained, “You always moan that I won’t play chess with you and the first time I do…”
“Rain check mate, I’d have beaten you in four moves anyway”, and Harry couldn’t look at Dean’s bewildered, and slightly offended, expression for more than a few seconds for fear he might laugh. Dean muttered something under his breath and moved across the common room to sit with Seamus.
“Anyway, my dad’s seen it. The reason you haven’t read much about it is because it’s locked away in the Ministry of Magic. Only about three people have even seen it in the last century”, Ron started to pack away the chess pieces, “They’re proper strict about the security on it”.
“Over a love potion on a stick?”, Harry scrunched his face up in disbelief but noticed that Hermione was nodding her agreement, as if she approved of the Ministry’s decision. To be fair she probably did.
“Well it makes sense - I mean if we assume that it’s as powerful as the stories that we heard as children”, Hermione said, “It would be like using the Imperius curse, except once the arrow had hit you wouldn’t need to maintain it.”
“Yeah, say you wanted to sneak someone into the Ministry of Magic - you’d just get the head of security to fall in love with them and the magic’s so strong they’ll do whatever you ask them to”, Ron had finished tidying away and rejoined the conversation, “There’s no limit, the first person you see after being hit with the arrow is the person you will be madly in love with forever. Don’t think they ever found a cure for it, s’why it’s locked up”.
The silence that fell after that was awkward and Harry eventually had to say something,
“So Ron…you know if anyone’s ever come across a box that no-one’s ever meant to open?”
Title: Meant to be unspoken
Word Count: 237
Jimmy wasn’t quite sure what it was, and he wasn’t sure he was meant to. He was only sixteen for god’s sake and he didn’t really know who he was yet, let alone what anyone else was to him. That’s why they hadn’t said anything, that’s why he’d hoped it would stay that way.
He could tell that Pete hadn’t meant to say it, that it had just slipped from his lips, eased on by tiredness as they sat on the beach watching the sun rise. When Jimmy looked up again, Pete’s cheeks was turning red in front of him and there was a glassiness to his eyes that damn near broke Jimmy’s heart.
So Jimmy hadn’t meant to say it either, but he couldn’t leave Pete in that state. So he slung one arm around Pete’s shoulder and pulled him back to lie on the sand,
“Come here you dork, I love you too”
Note: Tomorrow's fics will either be posted very late in the day, or will be posted on Friday as I am driving back to London tomorrow and fully anticipate spending most of my day in traffic.
Word Count: 187
Fish took a long drink from her glass and set it down, someone would refill it. They knew better than to let her glass run dry. As the young woman finished her song and offered what she no doubt hoped was a self-assured smile, Fish’s mind returned to a certain Oswald Cobblepot.
A bitter smile pulled at the corners of her lip and she took up her glass again, dutiful refilled as she had expected. Nothing she could think of seemed a fitting response to the disloyalty her little Penguin had enacted upon her. The usual methods - the crushings inside cars at the scrap yard, the breaking of bones one by one, the hanging from meat hooks and beaten and left to freeze - all seemed too mundane and typical for the crime of such betrayal.
No, Fish needed something special for Penguin. After all, he deserved nothing less than her best.
Fandom: Afro Samurai
It’s a life of paranoia, an unhealthy way to live, but the way Afro sees it, it’s no more than he deserves. If he were the powers above, dictating the punishments for the way people lived, he would have given himself a much rawer deal.
Having to watch his back every moment for people trying to kill him still didn’t seem enough of a punishment for all that he had done, for the lives he had destroyed. He would have put himself through agony, endless pain and torture. Then again, he could see his path ahead, knew what he was going to do.
Despite what anyone said, he wasn’t sure any higher power could.
Title: Power Games
Fandom: Malory Towers
Word Count: 778
NB: I feel like I should put something here because in canon June is 15 I think - there is nothing overt, but it is implied. I’m not good at labeling stuff.
The truth was the older girl had been a regular fixture in her mind since the incident in First Form. For a while June had enjoyed the power she had, the ability to make Darrell snap with a few well placed words and phrases. But over time that changed, and June had just figured it was because, even if she wouldn’t admit it to anyone else, the whole incident had affected her rather more than she had anticipated.
That didn’t explain what she was feeling now though.
June gripped the notes in her hand, the bloody poem that Darrell had given her to memorise. June wasn’t too bothered by the work, memorising poems was hardly a chore for her. She just hated it when it was Darrell she had to deliver them to and not another one of the other older girls.
Darrell almost never spoke to June when she came in to repeat her punishment, sometimes their only interaction was for Darrell to hold out her hand to take the paper and jerk her head towards the door to indicate that June might leave once she had finished parroting off her lines. June could never quite explain why that bothered her so much.
June fidgeted uncomfortably as she tried to force herself to knock on the door. She would have to sooner or later, or risk someone opening it and finding her stood there like a sap. So she thudded in what she hoped was a petulant manner and waited to be summoned. She deliberately avoided eye contact with her cousin as she entered the room, fearing that Alicia might see something that she was trying to keep hidden, and tried to keep her frown firmly on her face as she approached Darrell, who didn’t even have the decency to look up from her work.
Darrell finally glanced at her and held out her hand for the poem, which June exchanged, then looked back at her work.
June started to reel off the poem, but in a change to the norm Darrell spoke,
“I’m not ready”, and June stopped.
She waited, squirming on the spot as Darrell returned her attention to what she was writing. It seemed like an eternity standing there, and June had to commend Darrell on finding a new way of making her suffer. Darrell finally put down her pen and turned to face June, who all of a sudden lost her tongue,
“You can start now”, and June so desperately didn’t want her body to react like it did to the feeling of Darrell humiliating her like this, but her stomach was tied in knots and there was this feeling in a far more intimate place that June didn’t even want to begin thinking about.
So she rattled off the poem, hoping her voice didn’t betray her by shaking or altering in pitch. Darrell just watched her, as if the whole procedure bored her, until June finished the final line. June shouldn’t have been surprised that Darrell didn’t dismiss her straight away, no doubt a continuation of the new ordeal she was intent on putting June through.
It felt like hours but it reality it was probably no more than a minute before Darrell stood up and took a few steps towards June. June wanted to stare back at her in an act of defiance but was horrified to find that as soon as Darrell was in front of her, her gaze dropped to the floor.
“Considering how often you’re up here June, we might be mistaken in believing that you rather enjoy doing this”, Darrell’s voice was cool and calm, but when June finally managed to make herself look at the other girl, there was something glinting in Darrell’s eyes that was far from that, “Out.”
June hated the way she obeyed so willingly, hated the fact that Darrell could do this to her in front of so many other people and she couldn’t find her tongue in time to say anything in response. But when she left the sixth form common room and broke into a sprint to the nearest bathroom to douse her face with cold water and try desperately not to think about how much she wanted to find somewhere private and…
…and that was the problem. June didn’t hate it, and Darrell wasn’t far wrong.
Word Count: 249
“It’s stuck in my head again darling, oh you know that song, that song! You know how it goes”, she called as she heaved the last of the barrels up into her barricade, “I’ll just have to ask someone what it’s called, you know I can’t stand it when I don’t remember things like this.”
Margaret skipped over to Dennis, where he lay sprawled across the floor. She was sure his head had been attached earlier in the day - he’d certainly had it at breakfast - but there was no harm down because she’d just stood it up next to him.
“I wish you’d use a mirror when you shave instead of doing it in the front room as you rush out the door”, Margaret sighed as she inspected Dennis’s gaunt face, “but I suppose it will do. We have to receive our punishment now Dennis”. She sat herself down primly on the sofa above Dennis and cast her eyes around the room with a content sigh. She’d never imagined that one would be able to find quite so many explosives in a quiet little place like Rapture.
“Are you ready dear?”, Margaret called, “Excellent, let’s go then”.
The explosion that wiped 31 Fairview Cross off the map (and a good few of the surrounding houses too) send shudders through the whole of Rapture.
Title: Losing people
Word Count: 211
Of course, it would happen eventually anyway, unless they were vampires or demons as well. That was the price he paid for befriending humans.
It hurt to think that one day Buffy too would be gone, even after all she had fought through and survived. And he would still be here, the same as he had been for hundreds of years. That was why it was easier to just stay away. Of course she thought he was punishing her, or she did at first. Angel wasn’t sure how much she thought about him now.
Her last visit to L.A had been so long ago.
As much as it hurt her, it hurt him more. He felt guilty that the pain of not seeing her, not being with her, was sometimes as great as the pain he felt from losing others close to him. When Doyle died it hurt, but not like losing her.
Losing Cordelia came close. The same gut-wrenching pain that made him wonder how humans, with far less power than he, managed to endure this sort of heart-ache again and again as the years went by.
So he couldn’t put himself through losing Buffy like that too. Not again.
...four floods of tears, three portents of doom, two buried secrets, and one outstretched hand.
Title: Not Afraid to Cry
Fandom: Necessary Roughness
Word Count: 231
Dani had seen tears from the unlikeliest people. She had been begged and sworn to secrecy over emotional outbursts from hulking sports stars who didn’t want anyone to know they cried. God forbid.
Of course Dani never told anyone - those moments of vulnerability were nobody else’s business - but she had to wonder when people became so ashamed of tears.
T.K wasn’t afraid to cry - and Dani had to admit that that shocked her. She had spent so longer dealing with superstars that denied their every emotion, that it was a shock to see one who wore theirs so openly.
T.K raged and shouted, he sulked and pouted, and he cried and begged for forgiveness like Dani had never seen. She had sat beside him, barely coming up to his shoulder and let him lean against her as he opened up his heart piece by piece. He didn’t really believe it now, but it was helping him, bringing him out of his self-destructive habits and building better ones anew.
He might not believe in the process just yet, but he did believe in her, and Dani wished she had a few more clients who weren’t afraid to cry.
Title: Pushing You Away
Fandom: Malory Towers
Word Count: 442
Darrell would come back, she always did. She was the only one who did anymore. When you weren’t a particularly popular person in the first place - and she knew that a lot of people only socialised with her because of Darrell - it didn’t take many weeks of snappy comments, dark thoughts, and cold affect to push most people away.
Sally lay down on her bed and stared at the ceiling, there wasn’t even a pattern for her to stare at. She berated herself mentally for once again playing the same horrible game of pushing her friend away. She didn’t want her to go, after all she needed Darrell more than anyone, more than anything else. And as much as Sally wanted to blame someone else, Darrell hadn’t done anything wrong.
It was dark before Darrell returned, and Sally was in her nightwear facing the wall when the door opened. As soon as she heard the click of the door handle, Sally tried to calm her breathing, to stop her tears. It didn’t matter because Darrell always seemed to know when she’d been crying.
Sally wanted to protest when Darrell got into the bed behind her and wrapped her arms around Sally, she wanted to shrug Darrell’s affection off and prove to herself that it wasn’t true. That Sally wasn’t like that, that her relationship with Darrell wasn’t anything like that. But she wasn’t strong enough and the embrace was enough to bring the tears bubbling back to the surface and Sally choked on a sob. Darrell’s arms tightened around her and Sally let herself fall into the hug.
Darrell didn’t talk about it anymore, and Sally was glad for that. Her friend had asked questions in the beginning but that had always ended in arguments. Sally knew Darrell was deeply worried about her - the other woman wore her emotions close to the surface - but she just couldn’t tell her. To tell her about why her chest ached with sadness and her thoughts were swallowed by darkness, was to tell her about what had happened, about what people had been saying. Which meant telling Darrell that Sally was…that she felt…
And she just couldn’t do that.
So the questions had stopped and now Darrell just held her whilst she cried.
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Word Count: 299
He gripped the edge of the sink and breathed out heavily. He didn’t even know why he was crying. It’s not like Lydia was his girlfriend or anything; she could do what she liked, Scott could do what he liked.
Except Lydia was meant to be with Jackson, and Scott was meant to be with Allison and not spending unclothed quality time with the girl his best friend had been crushing on for years. Stiles slammed his palm against the wall beside the mirror and cursed loudly when it hurt more than he expected.
He scrubbed at his eyes, threatened by tears again, with the back of his hand. He wasn’t sure which was worse - telling himself that hurting his hand had made him cry, or that thinking about Scott and Lydia had.
He splashed more water on his face but it was no good, any idiot would take one look at him and realise he’d been crying. He grabbed his backpack from the floor where he’d thrown it and slung it over one shoulder as he stormed out of the bathroom. There was no way he was letting anyone see him like this so he might as well go home.
He knew there’d be some changes when his best friend was turned into a werewolf.
He just didn’t expect him to change like this.
Title: Pathetic Excuse for a Man
Fandom: Ripper Street
Word Count: 267
Captain Homer Jackson fell hard against his front door, wincing as his cheek smarted from the impact. He lifted one hand to try and check for blood but could barely see his hand through the darkness and whiskey, let alone any sign of injury. He tried once more to get the key in the lock, and after what seemed like hours of fumbling and dropping the damn key, he finally got the door open. Only to fall over the doorstep and land in a heap in his front room.
He dragged himself forward, his knees hurting now to match the pain in his face, and rolled onto his back so he could kick the front door closed. The crash reverberated around the room and Jackson lay still for a moment to keep the room from spinning.
He could never brush off her barbs; she always knew what words would hurt the most. She would select the perfect words and slide them, like surgical knives, right into places where they would cause the most pain. She avoided the obvious, and took full advantage of the fact she knew about his past.
None of the others had that sort of ammo.
Jackson laughed, a bitter joyless bark, when he felt the tears start to trickle down his cheeks, and he didn’t bother to try and stop them. No-one was here to see him cry anyway.
oh and 2 buried secrets!
Title: Dig a Shallow Grave
Fandom: Dead Island
Word Count: 275
He reminded himself of that which each crunch of the shovel, with each clod of mud and sand tossed to the side.
They had tried to kill him.
He went over the events again and again, as he pushed the first body into the hole, wincing as it landed with a sickening thud.
He didn’t know what they were, but they weren’t human.
He threw the second body on top of the first, his vision started to blur with tears and his stomach lurched.
He didn’t have a choice, they would have made him like them.
The last body completed the pile and he pushed dry wood and grass onto the bodies, desperately trying to avoid the soulless eyes that stared back up at him. Accusing him. Blaming him.
If he got out of here he’d tell their families. Tell them that they’d died, been bitten by the creatures, been turned by this godforsaken disease.
He poured petrol on top of the wood and grass.
He’d tell them that he’d seen them turn, seen the life drain from their eyes to be replaced with bloodthirsty rage.
He took out his matches and hesitated.
He just wouldn’t tell them the whole truth. He couldn’t tell them the truth. That he had been forced to kill them. Been forced into a corner, swinging a bat with the desperate rage of a man fighting for his life. That he had hit them again and again until his clothes were drenched in blood the groans had finally stopped.
He struck a handful of matches and threw them into the hole.
He felt the heat on his back as he turned and walked away.
Fan dom: Ma lory Towers
Word Count: 512
After all it would look jolly odd if she shimmied away from Sally as soon as she got in the bed, and Darrell had no intentions of hurting her friend’s feelings.
It wasn’t Sally’s fault anyway.
They had joked about it the first time they had awoken to find that Darrell had wrapped her arms around Sally and bundled her up in an embrace during the night. Darrell had gone bright red when Sally teased her and offered up a half-asleep apology. Sally certainly seemed to find it entertaining, and when it happened a few more times she didn’t seem to mind. Darrell didn’t mind it so much then, although she cursed her own seemingly inability to stay on her side of the bed.
“Are you alright? You look a little pale”, Sally had returned from the bathroom and shaken Darrell from her thoughts. She offer up a smile and hoped that if it seemed in anyway odd she could pass it off as tiredness.
“Fine, it’s just been a busy day”
“You didn’t have to wait up for me to finish”, Sally went around to her side of the bed and shrugged off her dressing gown. Darrell averted her eyes as she swung herself around and under the duvet,
After their good-nights were said and the lamps turned out, Darrell lay staring up into the darkness and let her thoughts wander once more. The trouble had started one day when her night-time embraces weren’t just a source of light-hearted teasing to endure anymore. They were a source of warmth and this peculiar excitement, that spread through Darrell and left her with these thoughts and feelings that she just knew she shouldn’t be having. And the sight of Sally half-awake and barely extracted from her arms in the morning made Darrell’s breath catch in her chest.
Darrell felt stuck, caught between needing to tell Sally that she just couldn’t share a bed anymore and desperately not wanting to give it up. So she put it off, every time Sally stayed at the Rivers’ household, and just endured the sleepless nights which left her close to petulance and with a short-temper during the day, but that were so necessary to ensure that she didn’t end up with her arms wrapped tightly around her friend once more.
As she lay there, painfully aware of just how close Sally was beside her, and how tired she herself was, Darrell squeezed her eyes shut, even though she knew she wouldn’t dare sleep. Tomorrow she would have to tell Sally that they were getting rather too old to be sharing a bed.
Which is why I am not going to guarantee that I will get anywhere near 78 fics this year - I'm stubborn enough to try though (and I might even manage to not screw up the formatting as much this year) so without further ado...
one extended hand
Fandom: Malory Towers
Word Count: 373
Had she honestly believed that her choices would have been well accepted? That her family would have embraced her with open arms? Perhaps she had, deep down, thought that might happen and in doing so ignored the entirely more likely scenario that she was now dealing with.
She thought bitterly of her departure from her parents’ house, nearly two months past, and her father’s order that she never return. She thought of the whispers and sideways glances that had accompanied any chance meeting with people she knew, who had inexplicably heard about her through other people. Then she thought of the letter from Felicity, that had arrived that morning, filled with rage and resentment from weeks of people prying into their private family business.
Darrell lowered her head, closed her eyes, and she sat for a minute, maybe longer, before the glass was taken from her hands and placed on the table with a gentle clink.
“Here”, a glass of water was pressed into her hands, “drink this”, and Darrell did as she was told. Sally pressed a kiss into Darrell’s hair as she sat beside her and wrapped one arm around her.
“Finish that and then go to bed”, Sally whispered and Darrell nodded. She wondered what would be the thing to push Sally away from her. The other woman already had to put up with everyone assuming that Darrell’s preferences were also her own - and that their closeness was evidence of something more than friendship. Sally’s own relationship was struggling, as her fiance harboured his own suspicions based on half-whispered rumours dating back years.
“I didn’t mean to do any of this”, Darrell mumbled, although she could not say whether the words were meant for herself or for Sally.
“You didn’t do anything”, Sally stood up, held out her hand for Darrell to take and pulled Darrell to her feet; it was only upright that Darrell realised her unsteadiness and was grateful for Sally’s steady hand and presence, “Other people did”.
Fandom: Papo & Yo
( Leaving Home )
( All fairytales and lies )
Title: All Fairytales and Lies
Title: Bending the truth
Fandom: Rizzoli & Isles/The Closer
( Bending the truth )
Title: Seeing things
Fandom: Malory Towers/Grimm
( Seeing things )
Title: Bunsen Burner
Rating: PG-13 (language?)
( Bunsen Burner )
( Endless Loop )
Title: Endless Loop
Fandom: The Binding of Isaac
( Hearing Things )
Title: Hearing Things
Fandom: Afro Samurai
( Goodbyes )
Fandom: Malory Towers
( So impossible it might be right. )
Title: So impossible it might be right
Fandom: Warehouse 13
( Bloodstains )
Fandom: Cold Case
Fandom: Resident Evil
( Questioning the Timeline )
Title: Questioning the Timeline
( Bird-brained )
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
( Civilian Life )
Title: Civilian Life
Fandom: Gears of War