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30 September 2010 @ 10:27 am
September drabble dump, other fandoms edition  

Pursuit
Sherlock doesn't give a damn about him, and that's why he keeps at it.

It's good, to have someone not give a damn about him. Ianto gave too much of a damn. Enough that he got himself...

Enough. Jack won't think about it. He throws his energy into pursuing this consulting detective, who starts showing up at the scenes of strange murders. Jack has to retcon him more often than he really cares to, and after the fifth or sixth time Jack's thinking the guy's Torchwood material.

But Sherlock is not interested, he won't give Jack the time of day and he doesn't have a suspicious or superstitious bone in his (extremely well-proportioned and lean) body. Jack wants to jump his bones so hard it hurts, but mostly, he wants to know what's going on in his mind. It's always working. Jack can see it in the too-quick dart of his eyes, in the way he speaks, clipped, under his breath, just too quiet for Jack to hear and understand. It's driving Jack crazy.

So he pulls a favor and sits in a certain detective inspector's office and waits for an appointment that's not with him.

"Oh, Lord," Sherlock says, and turns to leave.

"Come on." Jack rises, presses a button, and the office door shuts. Sherlock looks at the knob and turns quickly to him. "Like it? It's a cheap knock-off of a friend's toy. Can seal any door instantly."

"What do you want?"

"Well, you, for starters," Jack says, "possibly in front of a roaring fire, with champagne sliding down your--"

"I'm leaving."

"But!" Jack slams the device onto the desk with a loud sound. "Mostly I want to know what goes through that mind of yours."

Sherlock scoffs at him. "You couldn't begin--"

"But maybe I could. More importantly, maybe I could show you something that'd actually give your mind a workout."

"I doubt it." Sherlock's hand is on the doorknob, trying to shake it loose. The metal won't budge, a fact that's causing him more and more consternation each second. He's getting remarkably bad at hiding it.

"You don't believe me, of course," Jack says smoothly, coming to lean against that stubbornly shut door. He crosses his arms over his chest. "But have you ever considered that maybe regular people bore you not because you know too much, but because you know too little?"

Sherlock's lips tighten. He glances at his shoes. "I don't know what you're talking about," he mumbles, but there's just a little bit of fire in his eyes. Something so ineffable and enticing that Jack can barely hold himself back.

He smiles. "You can see things that most people don't even notice, am I right? Have you ever wondered whether there's anything out there -- anything at all -- that could blow even your mind?"

"Of course." His voice is muted now, quiet, and he's gazing steadily at Jack. "But there isn't."

"There isn't," Jack says quietly, "because we've been keeping it from you."

"But now you're going to show me the wild unknown?" There's a smoky quality to his voice, and he's half-smiling. "How generous of you. Forgive me for suspecting a scam. Or is this a seduction?"

"Perhaps both," Jack responds. "But if it is a scam, I'm sure you'll prove me wrong in due time. What do you say? Would you like to visit my secret underground lair?"

They're close enough to touch now. "All right," Sherlock says. "I must admit I'm interested."

Jack leans in, unafraid. "Yeah," he murmurs, "me, too."




Home

He returns to the apartment where so much happened. Where he tried to put his life back together, where he tried to deny himself and make it work with Daphne, where the nightmares coexisted with the happy memories. Matt looks around at the blank blue walls, the scratches in the floor, and thinks it's weirdly appropriate that the place has sat empty since they left. Too much drama happened here. Too much confusion. He isn't sure why he came back.

But his key still works, and the baby in his arms is uncannily quiet. Even Matty knows how important, how significant this place was to him. Matt rubs his forehead against his son's, soft tuft of blond hair brushing harder scruff of black. "This is where Daddy lived," he says, a sad smile on his face. "This is where Daddy lived with his best friend and his favorite girl." He pauses. "Daddy misses them a lot."

"Daddy talks to himself in the third person," says a clean British snap of a voice, a smile in the tone, and Matt turns around and stares, dumbfounded, at two pairs of eyes focused on him.

Then there are skinny girl's arms around his waist, squeezing hard, and Matt oofs before he can say anything else. The bright flash of teeth behind a sunny smile. Tiny fingers reaching out to meet an outstretched hand. And somehow now Mohinder's holding Matty and Matt's lifted Molly up in some bizarre switcheroo laced with laughter and not a few tears.

"Welcome home," Mohinder says to him. Their eyes lock. Matt lowers his eyes and nods.

"Can I hold him?" Molly leaps down, reaches for Matty.

Once Mohinder hands him off, that leaves him and Matt as the only two who have not yet embraced. They look at each other, laugh awkwardly. Then Matt's head is on Mohinder's shoulder, and Mohinder's forearms are resting against his back. It's an embrace much more intimate than any they've ever shared, but it doesn't feel odd. It feels right. And although Mohinder welcomed him home a few minutes ago, now is when Matt says, soft into the hollow of neck and shoulder: "Nice to be home."




A Clean Desk Is a Sign of a Sick Mind

The first afternoon, Matt had cleaned the apartment. He saw Mohinder's pristine white lab coat and made the same assumptions anyone would make, and he wanted to get in good graces with his new roommate. So he cleaned the place within an inch of his life. If he could, he would have alphabetized Mohinder's book collection.

Mohinder blew a gasket.

"Where is everything?" he demanded, tearing through the neatly stacked piles of paper until the floor was littered with receipts and envelopes. "Damn it. What did you do with.... God! Damn it!" He was equally distraught when the cereal and the flour weren't right out on the counter.

That was Matt's first indication that Mohinder wasn't quite the pristine doctor in white he'd thought.

After that, it became clear that tearing things up was Mohinder's favored method of stress relief. Kleenex, old correspondence, if it came apart with a satisfying rip, Mohinder would shred it to pieces. You could always tell when he'd had a bad day, because the floor would be uniformly white, like a pillow factory had exploded. It was the sort of thing even a guy like Matt had trouble dealing with. Finally, one night, he turned and said, "I'm not cleaning that up."

Mohinder gave him a blank look. "Clean what?"

Matt indicated the floor. Mohinder looked down in horror. "Did I--?"

"Don't tell me you don't know you're doing it!"

"I'm generally preoccupied, that's why I do it to begin with!"

Even Mohinder's hair was starting to look too frazzled for words. Matt sighed and let him shred in peace. He'd be there to sweep up the pieces later.




Lobster

"Ow. Ow, ow, ow."

"Stay still!" Mohinder chided, coating his hands with another pump of lotion. Matt hissed as he spread it on. "For God's sake, Matt, how am I supposed to take care of you if you keep squirming?"

"It's cold!"

"That's the point!" Mohinder sighed. "Come on, turn your arm to the side - there." He ran his hands down Matt's lobster-red arm, trying to suppress his chuckles. To have this big kid under his care was better than the best script for a screwball comedy. Matt was insufferable, and it was really kind of endearing.

"I guess I really screwed this one up, huh?" Matt was pouting now. "I'm sorry to cut our beach trip short. God, how stupid can you get?"

"Apparently very." Mohinder couldn't resist, and Matt shot him a look. "But it could have been worse."

Matt twitched on the bed. "How?"

Mohinder leaned over and whispered in one tender pink ear, "It could have been a nude beach."




For Yourself

Monica remembered standing across the street from the burning building. Firefighters were battling the blaze and rescuers stood trying to move the charred lumber, to find Micah's mother's body among the wreckage. She held Micah's shoulders steady, feeling him tremble, thinking to herself, this was it. This was the last straw. She couldn't let this town destroy her the way it had so many others.

She put the applications in the mail in secret. Nobody had to know. She was over 18 and didn't need a parent or guardian's help. And she'd saved up enough to pay the deposits. Other students had found their way into schools with less in their pockets. Not much less, but less. Truthfully, the practical considerations weren't much on her mind. She was acting from a need that was much more deep-seated. She prayed the rest would take care of itself.

The afternoon of April 1, she came home from an early shift to see her Nana in the kitchen holding an envelope. A stern look was on the old woman's face. "What is this?" The envelope flashed an embossed insignia in the light.

Monica dashed forward. "Give me that!" She snatched it out of her Nana's hands, opened it with trembling hands. A quick skim, then a closer read, and tears were flowing down her cheeks. Monica buried her face in the paper, smiling and crying, sending silent prayers of thanks up to heaven.

"When were you planning on telling us 'bout this?" Nana asked.

Monica looked up. Her happiness jolted to a halt. "I--" she started.

Nana's expression was as inscrutable as ever. Monica swallowed hard. If she was gonna make it through college, she was sure as hell going to survive this conversation. "I'll keep working," she said, clenching her fists. "I'll work hard and I'll send money home. I know it won't help much with the mortgage if it's just part time, but Nana-- I gotta. I just..." She pleaded as hard as she could with her eyes. "I've gotta."

Wrinkles creased as the corners of a thin mouth turned upward. "Of course you've gotta," Nana said quietly. "We'll survive. Go off to school. Get an education. Make a life for yourself."

Gratitude flooded Monica's heart. She shook her head. "Whatever I make," she said, "it won't just be for myself."