tallulahgs: Baffled Tetsuo (Baffled Tetsuo)
[personal profile] tallulahgs
my true love sent to me

eleven people reaching


[Title] At the Heart
[Fandom] Endeavour
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Prompted by [personal profile] still_lycoris, who asked for Thursday comforting Morse. Spoilers for S3 episode Prey.



Morse is standing at the centre of the maze and he's not dead. His stomach is still lurching as though he's going to be sick again, and he can see the body of the tiger out of the corner of his eye and every time he looks at it he hears its heavy breath, feels it, and behind him, the baby crying, and that you never realised how big a tiger actually was until you were standing inches away from one –

He is going to be sick again. He's not. He's leaning over a little, hands on his knees. His fingers are sweaty, a chilly, clammy sweat that's very different from usual damp-palmed nerves. The sun is shining and the leaves of the maze rustle. The air smells of warm, large animal. It was inches away from him.

Thursday is still there. Morse doesn't realise for a few moments, most likely because the tiger is still drawing all of his attention. His boss nods to him, stands with hands in his pockets like they've been walking through the maze for a breath of fresh air.

“We should get back to the house.” Morse's voice is a little less wavery than it was (when it jumps, you run, when it jumps, you run, it had been close enough to feel the heat of it) but he still doesn't sound like himself. He doesn't particularly want to go back to the house. Not that he thinks anyone else would have been calm and collected in his position, but it would have been nice if they hadn't all witnessed him sobbing and vomiting in sheer terror.

“No hurry. It'll do her good to cool her heels a bit. And you.” Thursday's looking for his pipe, because of course he is. As if everything is normal. Morse watches the familiar gestures, the careful fingers; waits for it all to collapse, to suddenly find himself being ripped apart (if it went for your throat you might die before you could feel very much. You might) but nothing happens. Birdsong above them. The smell of pipe smoke.

“I think... I think I'd like to sit down,” he says, too loudly, but Thursday nods and says, “Reckon you should, don't want you passing out.” Morse slumps onto the ground and it rolls underneath him and the sunlight blackens but he swallows and manages to say, “I'm not going to pass out,” as if that command will make it true. The grass is warm and soft. The tiger's almost out of his vision.

“I'm all right,” he says, again. Now it's not so much stubbornness as disbelief.

“I'd've had her guts for garters if you weren't.” Thursday's hand holding the bowl of his pipe is shaking, just a bit. “Not what I bloody signed up for. And you running off in here like a –”

The sun is warm and the birdsong is rich and sweet and all of this is the most beautiful it's ever been. Morse takes a deep breath. The smell of box hedges, which he doesn't think he's ever going to particularly relish again. “Your wife is going to have a fit when she finds out.”

“This is one of those stories you keep to yourself.”

“You really think she won't notice the headlines about a man-eating tiger on the loose in Oxfordshire?” Morse manages to smile, and it's too much of a smile, too much laughter, but he's entitled to smile because the sun is shining and he is alive and after all the crying and the breath and the gunshot everything is still. Everything is still and the world might just keep turning. Thursday shakes his head: “I meant the bit about how it hunted us through a maze and nearly made breakfast of you. Let's just keep it that we got the experts in to deal with it, otherwise she'll never let me hear the end of it.” He reaches down, pulls Morse to his feet. “Now don't go running off again. Take it nice and slow.” Claps him on the shoulder. “And well done.”



[Title] Special
[Fandom] Death Note
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Raito isn't sure about this new baby sister.



Raito remembers he wasn't sure about the baby, before she came. He had been a baby and now he was a big boy but he still wasn't sure. He was going to have to share things and he didn't think he wanted to do that. He took his most special toys: his magnifying glass, Tsuki the cuddly wolf, his best books, and hid them in the wardrobe. He was going to share most things but some things were his.

He remembers that they went to the hospital and the baby was there in a glass box. She was more ugly than he'd expected. Not that he played with dolls but he'd seen baby dolls in the shops and this baby was a lot more squashy and red. But she opened her eyes and stared at him as if he was really interesting and he liked that. He smiled at her but Mummy said she wouldn't start smiling for a long time.

“But I smiled when I was a baby,” he said, hopefully. “I was clever, wasn't I?”

Mummy said he was very clever but that he hadn't smiled when he was this little. He thought probably he had though. Mummy showed him though, if you reached out to the baby and gave her your finger she held on to it. “Nice to meet you,” Mummy said like it was the baby talking. It wasn't of course.

He remembers that for ages the baby didn't do much but sleep and cry and make messes. He said to Mummy that maybe they should send her back because she couldn't do anything properly, not like him. Mummy told him not to be a show-off and said that once he'd been as small as this. “Daddy and I looked after you and kept you safe, and now you're a big boy, you're a big brother, and you can help look after Sayu and keep her safe.” Sayu clutched his finger and sucked on it.

If you were clever you could work out why she was crying. He got pretty good at it. He could say I don't think she's very well or I think she's hungry. When she got able to crawl and smile then he could show her things. He told her all the right words for things and he tried to show her how to walk.

One time she bit him and he pushed her over and she started to cry. Daddy was there and he was really angry. He said how when you were a grown-up you weren't allowed to hurt people just because you were cross with them, and it was even worse if it was someone littler than you. Raito thought it wasn't fair because she'd bitten him but Daddy knew everything so he said he was sorry. She didn't grab his fingers any more but she laughed at him and chewed on her own hand instead.

He didn't push her over again or anything. He was very clever, after all, and she was still only little. He held her hands when she tried to walk and he tried to give her rides on his back. Everyone said what a good big brother he was being. Sayu would try out new words on him, or every time he was holding something she wanted to grab it. But that was okay because he could tell her about it, tell her what it was. He was still the clever one so Mummy and Daddy would always love him best. But he would help Sayu get almost as clever



[Title] Same Time, Same Place
[Fandom] Akira
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Kaneda still dreams about Tetsuo sometimes.



Kaneda still wakes up, sometimes, grabbing out for Tetsuo. Not Tetsuo as he saw him last, bloated and screaming and monster and nothing more

(Although he remembers how the pools and mountains of flesh pulled back like the tide going out and Tetsuo, in the centre of it all, reaching up to him, help me –)

But Tetsuo as he was when they first met, in the playground, small and grubby with bruises on his face, sniffling a bit and smiling at Kaneda. In his dreams, Kaneda often goes back to that playground. Sits on the swings. Creaks, the smell of dried paint. Digging his heels into the dusty ground. Tetsuo was supposed to meet me here. He sits, and swings, and waits. Sometimes he thinks he sees Tetsuo on the other side of the playground, but as soon as he jumps up and starts looking, he's awake. While he waits, it's just that Tetsuo's late again, like he always was.



[Title] Watching Big Brother
[Fandom] Death Note
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] After their father dies, Sayu wants to reach out to Raito.



After Dad died Sayu clung on to the thought of seeing Raito. He'd always been able to cheer her up: tell her she was worrying over nothing, or come up with a way to fix things. And no one else can understand the way losing her father feels like all the air has disappeared from the world.

But for weeks Raito doesn't come, and when he does he talks to her as if she's a friend or a colleague, someone he needs to charm, someone he has to be polite to. Not the little sister he used to chase round the house pretending to be Team Rocket, or prod to make her squeak, or do homework for even though he knew she was talking him into it. She's too scared still to risk making anyone angry but he almost pushes her over that edge. She yearns to slap him, pull his hair, scream at him and make him turn back into her brother.

She doesn't want to hurt him, not really.

She wants to reach out to him and say how much she hurts, and does it all feel as awful and squashed up for him as it does for her? But then she looks at him and she thinks that maybe it doesn't. Raito always was better at putting on the face people wanted to see, but perhaps he really doesn't hurt as much as she does. Why that should be, she doesn't really want to know.



[Title] Call of Duty
[Fandom] Death Note
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Mello reaches out to Matt from Los Angeles.



Matt's asleep when the call comes, but really that's just another clue that it's Mello calling.

He grumbles, “Go away, it's too early for pranks –” and that sharp voice, slightly deeper and rougher but still the only voice that he knows down to bone-level, cuts him off with, “Shut up and listen,” and it's like Mello's never been away at all. Certainly, Matt shuts up.

“It's all good,” Mello says, “but I want a safe house. Just in case. You still at Wammy's?”

“No, I moved out a while back. I'm in London –”

“Fuck London. Get over to L.A., now.”

“Why?” Matt says, not unreasonably.

“Because I said so, why the fuck not? Look, I'll send you the cash for a plane ticket, I'll find you a place to crash, just pack some clothes and that shitty Gameboy and get here.”

Matt thinks about hanging up on him. It's, what, five years since they've seen each other? Mello was his best mate, sure, but they were kids then. And Mello was pretty damn scary when he was a kid and it doesn't sound like he's any less so now. There's a steely edge to his voice, and why exactly does he need a safe house anyway?

“Come on. Matt. Seriously.” A crunching noise. So he's still on the chocolate, then. Through a mouthful: “I promise I won't get you killed or ask you to set anything on fire. It's literally just a holiday. You can see Hollywood or whatever the fuck. Just... I want you to have my back.”

Maybe it's just curiosity about how Mello's managed to survive on his own this long, or how exactly he got to America, or maybe it's just that last line. It's not like Matt's doing much here, messing around half-heartedly hacking and doing bar work in his spare time. Maybe he's actually bored. And Mello's pretty damn good at preventing boredom.

“Okay,” he says. “Tell you what, you book the flight. Text me the details and I'll be on it.”



[Title] Sweets to the Sweet
[Fandom] Ashes to Ashes
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Prompted by [personal profile] still_lycoris: "Chris gets Shaz a really weird birthday present."



Say what you like about Chris, he's not the perfect boyfriend but he does try. He tries but sometimes he tries too hard. Which is why Shaz is reaching so gingerly into the gift bag he's handed her. Just make it not be something he's nicked out of the evidence room. Or something that's clearly cost three months wages. Or something he'd buy Ray. Or something he's bought on Ray's suggestion...

Her hand touches something like beading but the thing she pulls out of the bag is not a necklace or even a decorative tea cosy.

“Chris... why have you given me an edible bikini?”

Chris sighs, looks crestfallen. “You don't like it?”

Shaz can't quite bring herself to say no. She needs to know if it's a joke to him or if it's another example of trying. “I'm just trying to understand what made you think of it.”

Chris shuffles his feet. “Well... you said nothing big. So I thought, jewellery, but maybe candy jewellery? I thought it'd make you laugh. Only then I asked Ray if he knew where to get edible jewellery and... he really thought you'd love it, Shaz, honest, he wasn't trying to be a knob. He said it'd say that I thought you were sweet... but sexy. And... you know, I like eating stuff, and I like you in not many clothes, and... if you thought it was objectification or something we could just eat it?”

And this is why she's still with him. There are a bunch of men out there who'd give her perfume or flowers, but no one else would make her smile like this. She shakes her head, hugs him, whispers in his ear, “Didn't say I won't try it out first.”



[Title] Survival Instincts
[Fandom] Portal
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Chell learnt to manage when she found herself falling.



At first when Chell found herself falling, she'd reach out, clutch at the air like anyone would, desperate to find a handhold somewhere.

Now when she finds herself falling her instinct is to loose off a shot with the gun, spot a place to land, chart herself falling through holes torn in reality.

That's what keeps her alive. But it means that when she doesn't have the gun in her hands she feels as though there's nothing to stop her falling at any moment. Even after she is free, she expects the earth to open under her feet, and her hands feel empty with no weapon in them. At night, she falls through dreamscapes and opens up portals in them. During the day, in the real world, all she can do is watch, and there's nothing to hold on to.



[Title] Field Trip
[Fandom] Skins / Jurassic Park
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Everyone blames Tony for ruining the field trip. (Prompted by [personal profile] thesoulofchaos, who requested dinosaurs.)



The mood in the minibus is awkward, to say the least.

“Come on,” Tony says at last. “It wasn't meant to go like that.”

Everyone else ignores him, except Sid, who looks guiltily over and sighs.

“It's not my fault their security was shit.”

Silence.

“And Sid was well up for it, weren't you?”

“Sid's always up for it,” Michelle says, icily. “He can't help it. We all know whose idea it was.”

“Yeah, well, if I'd managed to pull it off, I'd have had enough cash to take us all to... Vegas or something. I did it for you lot.”

“We nearly got eaten,” Anwar says, flatly, gazing out of the window as the freeway rolls past them. “By a Tyrannosaurus.”

“I didn't want you to. And if I hadn't been there, you would've been. None of you could've got that electric fence back online.”

“If you hadn't been there,” Jal snaps, “we'd have had an awesome visit to the world's first live dinosaur park and we'd all have been able to write killer essays on paleontology. Now what are we supposed to do? Tell everyone how we got the first-hand experience with dinosaurs hunting their prey because our idiot mate took an offer from a weird bloke in a pub to smuggle out some embryos and, in the course of that, managed to derail the security systems of the entire park? Not to mention it's hard to make revision notes when you're being stalked by velociraptors!”

“Yeah,” Chris said, nodding, even though they all knew he would never have made revision notes anyway. “I'm going to have nightmares for life about that bit where I reached out and that spiky one nearly bit my arm off. No offence, mate, but that wasn't okay.”

“I'm really, really sorry,” Sid says, gazing sadly at his feet.

“Maybe next time someone suggests you do something illegal involving dinosaurs,” Michelle says, glowering at him, “you just say no. Especially if it's Tony.

“You wanted to see dinosaurs in the flesh,” Tony says. “I got you dinosaurs in the flesh. I really don't see why you're all being so unreasonable.”



[Title] Reach Out and Touch Faith
[Fandom] Akira (movie)
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Now he rules the Great Tokyo Empire, Tetsuo has no need for sleep.



Tetsuo doesn't sleep very much any more. The pills and the powers make it so he doesn't need to. Sleep is basically switching your mind off for a while, and his brain's never switching off again.

Besides, he's too busy ruling a freakin' Empire. And showing everyone around him that he's top dog and he's staying that way. If you sleep they can attack you. At the very least they'll see you curled up looking like a little kid.

And when he does sleep it's hardly restful. Akira left footprints in his head, seas of pills and people calling him and wrinkled kids and the sky opening up. Tetsuo's no coward but these aren't dreams, these are reality falling apart around him. And then, half the time, Kaneda appears, walking through it all like it's nothing, mocking smile on his face. Tetsuo finds himself reaching out like he's still that stupid child who thought Kaneda could fix everything. Then the fury at himself makes him wake up. No. Sleep's doing nothing for him now.



[Title] Cute Things
[Fandom] Akira (movie)
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Kaori/Tetsuo. Kaori has a memory that makes her smile.



Mostly, Tetsuo likes to pretend he's too cool to really have a girlfriend. Kaori knows this and if it sometimes makes her sad then she swallows down the feelings because she knows that Tetsuo needs to keep pretending.

But they went for a walk through the shopping centres one day – they couldn't buy anything but it was nice to wander and pretend that they could – and Kaori saw the pet shop window with all the puppies and kittens and before she could remember not to, she had reached out and grabbed Tetsuo's hand and was running towards it. She stood laughing at the small furry faces and paws and the puppies jumping on each other and biting each other's ears and the kittens curled up into balls of fluff and it was only after about ten minutes she realised that Tetsuo was watching too and they were still holding hands. She squeezed his fingers, and he squeezed back and muttered that he knew girls liked cute things like kittens and it wasn't like he was in a hurry. Kaori has that memory with her all the time now. His hand in hers, and her smiling.



[Title] Signatures
[Fandom] Jet Set Radio
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Tab and Gum admire some graffiti.



Tab can remember the first time he properly noticed graffiti. He and Gum were in the playground – it was the summer holidays, he thinks, because it was sticky-hot and the slide burnt if you touched it, so they weren't playing, they were sitting in the shade of the model dinosaur picking bits of dead grass and throwing them at each other. After a bit, he got bored of that and stood up to wander off. Walked round the side of the dinosaur and there was a massive word painted on its side. Blue and gold. Gum came to look, said, “My mum says that's vandalism, they ought to be ashamed.” Tab pointed out, “You think your mum's stupid,” and Gum stuck out her tongue at him and said, “Yeah, 'cause this is cool.” They both reached out and ran their hands along the sun-warmed concrete. It was like the dinosaur had make-up on, or a second skin. Tab found a sharp stone and they carved their names – probably their old names, probably they weren't Gum and Tab at this point – under the tag, on the dinosaur's belly. He's never gone back to look and see if those names are still there, and it doesn't matter now 'cause they've covered most of the city with their names, much bigger and brighter, but every time he sees that dinosaur he thinks of that old tag somewhere under layers of paint, warm and glinting in the sun, like something specially painted just for the two of them.

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