Posts tagged Leonard Church.
RvB: Little Darling
Her dad was never a good singer. He’d try, when she didn’t want to go to sleep, or when she got scared from going to the lab and meeting all the new, tall people. He’d try singing, because he saw her mom do it all the time. But he was never very good, and somewhere between the frightened tears and small laughter at his efforts it would turn into missing her mother’s voice, and he could never get her to stop crying for that.
There was just one song that he could ever sing that would make her smile. It was really old, and she’d never heard the original version of it. Probably so she could never hear how off her father was.
“Here comes the sun,” he would hum, and she’d sway in the rhythm. “And I say, it’s alright.”
It was the song he’d sing while her mom was walking up to the front door of their house. She’d wait patiently until he got done with it and then run to the front door and open it to see her mom, kneeling on the steps so the toddler could run up and hug her as tightly as she could.
That’s why Carolina always thought it was so cruel that there were no clouds in the sky as they buried an empty casket in silence. She spent weeks pleading with her father for him to sing the song, as if it would magically summon her mother to the front door again and it would have just been a mistake, or a cruel joke.
Every time she’d ask, her father would suddenly say he had to get to work. After two months, he didn’t have to say it anymore, he was just always at his office. He came home after she pretended to be asleep, and left the moment she woke up. The babysitter didn’t know the song. It didn’t matter, Carolina knew it had to be her father who sang it.
She’d tried to herself, every night since she was told her mom would never come back. It didn’t work.
Long after she was a child who would sing herself to sleep at night, after she became a soldier because that was the family business, soon after she proved herself good enough for a shot in her father’s program, just after she had been shipped to the Mother of Invention, one of the new agents stopped in front of her at the gym while she was running on a treadmill.
"The Beatles?" he said. She looked at him, a little confused as to why he was talking to her, let alone what he was talking about.
"Excuse me?" she said, not slowing down.
“Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting,” he sang quietly, and she nearly fell off the treadmill.
"Whoa," the man said, putting his hands up as if in defense. "I just recognized the song. You have good taste."
"Where did you hear it?" she demanded. "Who are you?"
"Agent New York. You were humming it." he took a step back as she powered down the machine she was still running on. "Didn’t mean to interrupt. Sorry."
Carolina stared him down a second too long, before shaking her head. “Don’t worry about it, it was nothing. I was just confused.” She turned the speed back up and resumed running, staring straight ahead and focusing on her breathing.
"Yeah, alright," the new agent said, unconvincingly, and resumed walking past her to the weight machines.
She didn’t know it, because her parents never talked about such things, but she met York in the same chair that Allison met Leonard.
York leaned himself across the counter, flagging down the bartender with all of the concentration and enthusiasm of someone who is still too sober to be at a bar at this time of night. Carolina glanced at him as his waving hand almost grazed her arm, and scooted her chair away.
Allison pushed the drunk man passed out on the bar counter off of his stool quietly. No one could have possibly seen it, though everyone heard it. The man ambled away towards the street, car keys being confiscated by the bouncer. She put both hands around her glass with a small, relieved smirk, which was immediately wiped off of her face when a man complete with glasses, a tie, and a pocket protector, sat down next to her.
"Maybe if you yell," Carolina suggested, mostly to discourage the dangerous levels of flailing that the man next to her was engaging in. "Obviously the hand motions aren’t doing anything." He didn’t turn to look at her, just muttered, "I think he’s almost going to look my way, any moment now."
"What kind of wine do you have?" the scientist asked the bartender in a low Southern accent, while Allison tried not to stare at this caricature of a man. The bartender laughed, and then pointed to the two bottled behind the counter. "One white, one red," the guy said, "which one would you like?" Allison could swear she could hear the eye roll in the over-exaggerated sigh as the scientist said "The white one, then."
Carolina finally placed both hands on the bar and lifted herself up high, yelling over York’s head at the bartender on the other side of the room, “hey! This man needs to order, for the past five minutes, and I’m worried he might flail himself into my drink if you keep ignoring him.” As she sat down, York turned to her with a frown. “I didn’t want to bother the man - oh, hey.” His voice dropped from reproachful annoyance to a slow, low whistle. “Sorry,” he said. “I didn’t really… My friends call my York.”
"Aren’t you supposed to ask to be my derivative, or something," Allison finally said, sipping her beer straight from the bottle. Leonard looked at her, sipping at his wine. "Right. And then you’ll pretend you know what it means, and laugh. Or own up that you don’t, and laugh. I think I’ll just sip on this, thank you." Allison laughed, her head tilting to get a good look at the man next to her. "What if I just told you where I lived, and that I’d be heading there in about ten minutes?" Leonard raised an eyebrow at her, put his glass down, and leaned his elbows on the bar, pulling himself up towards her. "I wouldn’t believe you."
For a moment, she considered giving him a fake name. Carol, or Lina, or, as she sometimes said, Allison. “Carolina,” she finally said, mostly because she noticed the metal tags hanging from his neck. York took out a lighter and a cigarette from his pocket, and she instinctively reached for her pack as well. “Seems we share a vice,” he remarked with a grin. She sized him up, and made the connection. York. New York. Everyone assigned to the new project had just been given a month of leave before shipping out. Of course they sent them all to the same city. “You have no idea,” she said, bringing the cigarette to her lips.
Allison smiled at the answer. “Having a bad day?” Leonard looked at her, at the way she was smiling, and leaned back, saying, “that depends.” “On?” she asked, taking another drink. “On what you write on this paper,” Leonard said, taking out a neat square of white paper and a pen. Allison looked at him with that grin, the one he’d have no choice but to love, the one he’d watch on an old film recording for years to come.
York struck the lighter, cupping it with his fingers as he offered it to Carolina. She leaned her face close to the warmth and took a long drag from his flame. “Thanks,” she said as he lit his. “I don’t have much of these left,” he said conversationally after finally having placed his order. “Shipping out soon.” “Yeah,” she muttered. He put the lighter down and picked up the two beers he’d been waiting on, turning away. “Aren’t you forgetting-” she said. He turned around. “Bring it to me tomorrow night,” he yelled out, disappearing in a sea of people carrying drinks and drunk friends. She turned back to her drink, smiled, and waited another minute before picking up the lighter and flicking it open and closed.
Allison folded the piece of paper, finished off her drink, and passed it to the stranger. “Open it after I leave,” she directed, leaving a tip on the bar under the empty bottle, and walking out of the bar. Leonard watched her go, and opened the paper. “Come back tomorrow night, and wear that pocket protector - Allison.”
Force of Habit
From Poolwatcher: Prompt: “I believe we lied, even though we said it was the truth. We were never in love with each other, it only felt just the same.” Pairing/character of your choice.
"It’d be just like you," she said, quietly, and it scared him because she never said anything quietly. "God, Church, I’m leaving in the morning. Can’t you just give me a proper sendoff without making me question this?"
"I never made you question it," he said, "You’ve always done that by yourself."
Allison laughed a low, sarcastic chuckle, and Church frowned. “Don’t make this out like I’m imagining things. You’ve always liked ideas.”
"What does that have to do with anything?" he said, confused.
"You love the idea of me." She sighed in an I-don’t-want-to-fight-anymore way. Church knew it well.
"Where’s the harm in that?" he said as he leaned over and kissed her forehead. She didn’t respond. "I love you.”
"I love you, too," she echoed.
RvB Drabble: Film Reel
He hunted for a film projector for six months. One of those old players with wheels that click and turn and always seem like they’d catch and freeze the moment in time. He used to work at a vintage movie theater, one summer when he was sixteen. He wanted money for a car. He loaded the films and listened to the whir and purr of the machines as lights danced across the room from the projector.
He never bothered to get one after that summer, forgetting about the money he wound up spending on new technology and the car he never bought and the hum of electronics he always vaguely thought he should record so he could fall asleep listening to them.
The letter came, delivered by two men in uniform, and he took it quietly. Wordlessly. He read it and his hands naturally found their way to his computer, to the file from his camera, to her face. It played as he read the cordial, formal, stiff letter, apologizing for taking his world. His whole world. It echoed as she laughed and said “you’re going to make me late!” and “I hate goodbyes.” He thought about how he wouldn’t say it at the funeral, either. Goodbye. He’d never say it.
Six months later, he had a projector and a custom roll of film. Something more physical than data streams and words, backlit screens and small memory sticks. The film reel was big enough to hold, had a weight to it. Had a feel. A curve and a crevasse and a coldness that came with metal as he pressed it to his lips.
He loaded it in and her face was there, on the wall, smiling at him and waving away the camera half-heartedly. Her face was trapped in this metal form that whirred and clicked and if he closed his eyes, he could pretend it sounded like her breathing when she slept. He watched it once and packed it all up, all the sounds and lights and weight of it in a small chest as old as the technology he insisted on using, put out of sight but never out of mind.
When he saw Agent Texas for the first time, alive in that weird way she was made to exist, he thought it wasn’t that much of a stretch from that old film reel he kept in his office. Texas moved and purred and clicked just like he’d grown to think of her, of Allison, in that wooden box.
She was just as cold, too.
queen-of-france asked: "Oh, Lilian/ I should have run/ I should have known/ Each dress you own/ Is a loaded gun" - Depeche Mode, "Lilian"
Something that fell through the cracks with Tex was Allison’s ability to dominate every war, every form of fighting she ever cared to get in. Leonard Church thinks fondly to the first time they met, the next time he saw her in that unforgettable dress, makeup, everything, how she reeled him in with a brief, non-committal smile, how he didn’t have a choice because she had won this battle, this war, before he even knew it had started. He remembers how Allison could change and carry herself depending on what her passion dictated, what she wanted, and looks at Tex with her one-track soldier mind, looks at what his memories of Allison have become and reels from admiration to resentment of this empty, almost-there echo.
RvB Drabble: Where Credit Is Due
He stopped laughing and joking when she did, an informal letter of condolences sealing his eternal frown.
He always thought he inherited her passion in a way, he had been so unfocused before he met her and he saw how efficient and direct everything she did was, including him.
He thought that maybe the way she interacted with him for all that time was why he stopped seeking approval, and decided that a lack of direct opposition was the same thing as express permission - it was exactly what she had always assumed as well.
He had her to thank for the fact that when someone finally criticized him, he could shut them down, he could get so wrapped up in ideas and motivations and reasons and justifications that by the time someone realized he needed to be stopped, there was no other possible course of action; he had her to thank for the unadulterated conviction an obsession with a memory offered.
When he really thought about it, Leonard Church could trace back every habit and trait he has to her.
RvB Drabble: The Devil in the Details
He told himself it was normal to compare the two, on some level. She’d caught his eye with her stance, so much like Allison’s, and that deadly thirst to prove herself. He thought that’d be ok, that if he could control what she does, then the same desire that killed Allison might just keep her alive.
Of course there were differences. She was so much like her, like the memory of her, that he used those small oddities to make sure he remembered who she was. Which one she was.
Her hair was so bright. Allison had red hair - longer - but her shade was more like blood. Where her hair was bright and violent, like the woman who owned it, Allison was more subdued, more the quiet fury that owned her actions so often and so completely.
This new woman was reactionary. You don’t get to being where she is without a bit of ambition, but in everything she did it was obvious it was a reaction to something external. Often it was reaction to orders, reaction to success, to disappointment. She reacted like an animal, instinctively and without pause, but she also reminded him of the fundamental difference between animals and humans, because as instant as her reactions were, they were also deliberate. They were planned with a human mind, trained to keep up with her instinct, trained by the threat of death to adapt until she could make sure she got out alive, every time.
Her eyes. Allison always had this glint to her eyes, somewhere between mockery and cruelty. All this woman had behind them was determination. Allison always knew she was the best at what she did. This woman wanted everyone else to know it, too.
She stood at attention in front of him, this woman, every muscle and bone in her body reminding him of one very particular, very unforgettable girl. She stood at attention and awaiting his approval, and for the first time since the woman had walked in he knew what the defining difference between the two women was.
He knew that this woman would be an integral part of Project Freelancer.
For all the ways she reminded him of Allison, this, here, this desire for his word, his say-so, his assertion that she’s good enough, that’s what set them apart. That’s what made this woman invaluable. That’s what made her his, in a way that, he had to admit, Allison never was.
"Carolina," he said.
"Sir?" the woman said, staring straight ahead, at attention, so much like a memory, and yet so much more than that.
"That’s your name. Agent Carolina."
"Yes sir," she said firmly, and the Director of Project Freelancer couldn’t help but smile.
RvB Song Prompt: Sweet Dream (by Greg Laswell)
If I could write out my own dream
For the next time that I sleep
He used to dream of her all the time, easily. He’d tell her with a smile that she’s much more agreeable in his dreams. She never threatens to shoot him. She always wants to cuddle. She’d laugh in that condescending, derisive way of hers and would reply “where’s the fun in that?”
Now she haunts his every waking moment, but rarely visits his dreams. Now he longs to hear her snide remarks as he enters deep sleep, wishing only for her to show up and clean her guns again, not pay attention to him again, be herself again. Because then maybe he can convince himself that reality isn’t real, and he can focus on his Allison in peace.
Maybe then he can be with her again.
You’d be the first one that I see
And I the last one that you keep
It wasn’t like Wash had never had a crush before. He had, he’d had plenty. But there was something about this girl - something beside her good looks and odd hair. Something about how she looked at people, really looked at them. Something about how she never took anything at face value, when that’s all he was ever taught to do.
This girl, this Agent Connecticut, she occupied his every free thought. In how she stood, in how she never liked her helmet, in how she’d smile at other people’s jokes, in her thirst to prove herself, in her desire to be the best, in her, in her everything.
It was only after it became the friendly “Connie” that she started to invade his dreams as well, these subconscious fantasies which didn’t involve kissing, or sex, just one very simple gesture. Her trust in him.
And the dream would go on and on
While we sway against all things thrown our way
Connie would never tell Wash she still dreamt about him sometimes. She still dreamt that he’d start listening to her, that he’d see what the Director was doing to them. She dreamt that he’d remember who she was. That he’d trust her again.
She dreamt that she could ignore the way he looks at Tex now, that she could chalk it up on something to do with his new AI.
She dreamt that he could tell her he loved her and she didn’t ever feel like he was constantly holding something back.
She dreamt she could give herself to him again, at least here, at least in her dreams, and maybe that’d make the harsh reality she had to live in bearable.
And the morning would be so cruel
When it came with sunshine and warmth to blame
Mornings were the worst for them.
York would get up and make her coffee, even if she never quite liked the stuff. She’d drink it anyway because he’d sit there like a little kid until she did, and she’d smile as he beamed at her halfhearted compliments.
She’d race into the shower while he’s busy riding the high from her praise and lock the door in laughter. Of course, it’d take him less time to unlock it than it did for him to turn the handle. He’d throw something at her - a towel, his shirt, something - and then they’d get in the shower together.
They never got much sleep the nights they spent together, but it was because they’d stay up late, talking, touching, hugging, chasing the morning away because morning meant the end.
Morning meant they had to leave this room and be Agent Carolina and Agent York, they had to be two separate, professional people. They had to not be touching, not be kissing, not be laughing.
They had to end their vacations from their lives.
For announcing the end of my sweet dream
"Does it bother you?" the Counselor asked in the soothing voice of his.
"No," Tex said with a shrug. "It’s just weird."
"Do you remember it happening before?"
"I remember having vivid dreams before. Very vivid. My mother used to say that I would invent my own reality because this one sucked." She paused to laugh at this memory. "She used to say dreams were like a different universe. Just as real, just…different."
"What did you dream about?"
"Usually it was just standard mission stuff. Bring the work home with me, you know? After a while, though, I started dreaming about…about the guy I was dating. Just, going on dates. That’s it. Complete with flowers and chocolates, even though all I ever did was make fun of him, and he gave it right back." She realized distantly that from across the table, the Director has stopped writing on his pad but was avoiding eye contact. Next to him, the Counselor leaned forwards. "And then?"
"And then nothing. I don’t dream anymore. I haven’t since I got to this project."
"It’s only been a few months-"
"Trust me. I used to dream every night."
"You never mentioned that before," the Director said from behind his paper and pen.
"Why would I mention something so common? You told me to tell you about problems, not about when life is going according to script." She frowned at him slightly and he gave her that look, the odd one she caught him in sometimes. The one that always made her think he wasn’t looking at her, not really.
"I am sure it is merely temporary," the Counselor stepped in again. "It must be part of adapting to your new environment. I wouldn’t worry about it, Agent Texas."
"Right," she said, unconvinced. "Sure."
For announcing the end of my sweet dream
500fly asked: My love for you / Will always live on / Like a song / A simple melody
There was one song that every iteration of Leonard Church remembered every lyric and every note of, and it was the song that was playing in the background of the bar the very first time he met Allison. Even Alpha Church would absentmindedly hum the tune, those days back in the canyon, not sure why the song would constantly run through his head (or even exactly what song it was).
It was Tucker who first placed the tune as “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”.
RvB Drabble: Days Like This
He’d heard how cruel the mind could be. He had experienced it firsthand. From the way his mind would egg him on when he used to argue with her. His own logic telling him he was right, his own mind insisting that logic had a place in this relationship. The way he tricked himself into resenting her for joining the army. The way his mind took the comfort away from the eulogy he was going to deliver at the very moment he needed it most. The way his mind locked the memories away, slowly, efficiently, as if it was to preserve them, as if it wasn’t a coping mechanism that wound up backfiring. The way his brain fixated on the one fact about her, about them, that she had died, and that he’d never be able to get her back. The way his mind orchestrated Alpha so that Tex showed up at the same time, because that was the only way his mind could see her again. The way his mind justified the preferential treatment he showed Tex. The way his mind justified all of his actions, with such conviction, in the face of every opposition - until Tex was gone. Allison was gone. Again.
But the cruelest trick his mind ever played on him are the moments of doubt of all those memories of Allison that were locked away, all those things he remembered aside from her death, all those instances of the two of them together. The mere suggestion that those things were something his mind invented. The slightest of doubts, in his weakest moments.
RvB Drabble: Eulogy (pre-Blood Gulch)
He looked around the room slowly, shuffling papers in his hands because he needed something to do. There was the man conducting the service and Leonard was never sure if he was reverend or a priest or a rabbi, it all melded together for him and was never thought important enough to remember. There were a handful of people from her old job, and a couple of people from the army.
He knew he’d be talking to himself.
"I’ve got this speech," he started, already going off the planned path. He held up the index cards to prove it. "It seems to always comfort families of loved ones who have passed on. I was going to read it. I was going to find comfort in it. But standing here…" he trailed off as he looked at the coffin next to him. Her picture was on a easel on the other side of the room. It was one of those rare ones in which she was smiling. He remembered taking it. She didn’t know he had the camera in his hand.
"I am a scientist. I process things with facts and figures. I know how the universe works. I know how science conducts it. I know the symphony of life because I play it. I thought I knew the symphony of death.
"I thought, as a scientist, I knew that death was merely a stepping stone of life. It was an end point, but it was also a simple diffusion, a way to make life less orderly. I thought I knew that all her death meant was that her energy, her particles, her being were just released into the universe. That everything she was is now everywhere, all around us. That she hadn’t just stopped existing. That her existence was spread to the universe.
"The speech I hold in my hand is far more eloquent. It was not written by me, because I have no time or patience to be a wordsmith. I don’t understand sentences, I understand numbers. I had always thought it comforting, because it was a translation. It took death and grief, these profoundly human, profoundly literary concepts, and translated them for me. It ends by saying that, due to conservation of energy, you can be sure that not a bit of the deceased is gone. Every particle, every breath, every photon that bounced off of their face, they’re still here, they’re still in the universe, still travelling. Still existing. Not a bit of her is gone. She’s just less orderly.
"Still, as I stand here, in this room, next to this coffin, I find the translation meaningless. I find all of it meaningless. The comfort I thought would come of this speech is hollow. The idea that she’s still here, still around us, it isn’t a point of relief. It is a point of torture.
"She’s still here but I can’t touch her. Photons that bounced off of her smile are still in the universe, but I can’t gather them and see it again. Her heat that she radiated, I can’t feel it. I can’t know it’s her. This diffusion didn’t make her eternal. It made her indistinguishable. I can’t accept that. She always stood out. She’d never be anything less than extraordinary."
He paused to look at her picture again. He briefly, distantly, registered the looks of confusion and apprehension that adorned his audience in the small funeral parlor. His hand went out and his fingertips rested on the corner of her coffin, and he thought for a moment how proud she’d be that he’s thinking outside of his narrow box of science. His ears almost rang with her voice, her small, jokingly disapproving laugh, her exclamation of “you fucking nerd” that he grew so used to (and so fond of).
"My conclusion is simple. Grief is not something you can translate. It is not something you can avoid. It’s not something you can comfort. It is merely a state of being. It is a state that I will now carry around with me, for every moment of the rest of my life. She deserves to be grieved. She deserves to be remembered."
RvB Drabble: And Try One, and Try Two
And here I dreamt I was a soldier.
He used to stare at her. Just stare. She’d eventually say something mean, with a fair amount of cursing, but she’d keep that smile on her face and he’d chuckle and poke fun at her. She’d call him a fucking nerd, he’d call her a weapon-obsessed psychopath. It was their courtship.
When she said joined the army, he stared at her. He stared while she told him, talked about it for two hours. All he could do was stare. She waited, patiently, for him to say something when she was done. All he could think to say was “Why?”
She spoke of patriotism. Of being able to make a difference. Of the war and how she needed to be part of it because she’s one of the best marksmen out there and everyone knew it. She needed this in her life because she dedicated her life to it. This was her chance. Her one thing she could do better than anyone. The one thing she could do to help.
He hated her dedication, hated it because he didn’t have it. He didn’t understand it. It was only after she was gone that he understood how she threw herself into everything she did, into everything she was. It was only after her death that he filled what used to be his dedication to her with his dedication and fever for science.
And just to lay with you
There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
Save lay my rifle down
And I am nothing of a builder
But here I dreamt I was an architect
When he was handed Project Freelancer, it wasn’t a surprise. It wasn’t even handed to him. He stole it, from anyone in his way. He wanted it. He wanted to have his hand in every part of it because this war had killed her and this project was what would eventually kill it.
For a long time, he was doing exactly what was needed of the project, and nothing more. He was a picture of efficiency. His Agents were an example of excellence. He carefully crafted every aspect of the project, building it up and caring for it as one would a child. He sometimes thought of it as a child, the one he had idly thought about having with her all those years ago. When he started writing Alpha, the thought of everything he’s built, created, gave birth to, drove him forward.
It was when she came along that he realized he’d just as soon watch it crumble to nothing, if it meant she could watch it with him.
Even though my work is unparalleled
This structure fell about our feet
And here in Spain I am a Spaniard
His story was one of adaptation. He would eventually present it to the jury as just that. It was being a Roman when in Rome. It was being the best fucking Roman anyone had ever seen. Adaptation and excellence. He would never tolerate anything less.
His story was Shakespearean. A tragedy of the ancient times. A loss of love, of life, of the spark that kept him in check. A story of overcompensation. Of war. His entire cast was tragic heroes. He chose them for that very reason.
His story was human. That’s what he would hold to. His story was human in every way, it was human nature. It was human and because of that, no human jury would convict him. No jury could convict him. He only did what humans do, in their misguided, flawed, extremist ways.
He never quite found out if his story would hold. He couldn’t tell his story to her. He couldn’t tell it when she showed up in her light blue armor with Epsilon because she knew it. She knew the story, the whole story, and she’d already found him guilty. Telling it to her would serve nothing. His story was useless.
His story was over.
I will be buried with my marionettes
RvB Drabble: Resignation (post s6)
He sat back in the comfort of his office, a broken glass on his desk. The whiskey it had contained was spilled over the wood and he had just finished recording the last transmission, half an hour since the EMP went off.
That was it.
It was over. She was gone. She was gone for good and he didn’t need to fight anymore, didn’t need to keep going or keep trying to find her because there was nothing to find. She was with Agent Maine, and she was gone now.
She was dead.
He told them that he was tired. He told them that Alpha was part of him, he told them that they can take this to court but he’d never be convicted because he didn’t defile a person, he didn’t torture anyone other than himself. He defiled a memory. He split up Alpha but then all the other pieces didn’t remember her, didn’t remember Allison, just Alpha did. The Alpha, and him. They couldn’t convict him because all he did was relive a memory, over and over, in some masochistic attempt to make it better, make it different this time.
And here she was, dead.
He didn’t know if he should feel this guilty at the slight sense of relief this brought him. He knew the relief was temporary, knew his search for her was merely being put on pause. But for right now he could breathe out slowly, pour himself another glass of whiskey, and say that he’s tired. He’s old and tired, and he didn’t do anything wrong in the eyes of a court, but he sure as hell did something wrong to himself, maybe even something wrong by her. He knew that soon that thought would eat at him until he started to chase her again, do it differently, do it better.
But right now, he was a tired old man, with a glass of whiskey and a verbal resignation letter, waiting to be arrested.
RvB Drabble: Books (pre Blood-Gulch)
He wondered sometimes, during the late nights of creating Alpha, when he rubbed his eyes, displacing his glasses and yawning despite himself. He wondered why it was that memory that stood out to him. Why he had such trouble recalling everything else, but that one thought was the quickest to jump to his mind.
He caught himself one night, when he hadn’t really slept the few days prior and thought that programming at 4 am was the best possible idea. The last four lines weren’t even in the right syntax, and he hurriedly deleted them and tried to forget they were ever on the screen, lines from the service all those years ago. He saved his work and went to bed after that, but he couldn’t fall asleep for another hour and a half.
He could remember how her hair smelled. Every inch of her body. How she stretched in the mornings. He could remember the feel of her, the sight of her, the way she smiled sarcastically, teasingly. Sometimes he’d remember a few lines of dialogue before it was buried again, before she retreated back into his mind, somewhere.
He never had much patience for literature. He always assumed that anything he’d deem worth reading, he could write himself. So far he hadn’t been proven wrong.
"Open up a fucking book sometime," she had said one night. Her legs were stretched across the couch and onto his lap.
"Why? All you read are training manuals," he’d answered, watching her pick up and polish the pieces of one of her rifles, neatly laid out on the table.
"At least I read, jackass," she said with a grin.
"Why would I read those? I write them." She put everything back down on the table and slid up next to him.
"You’re really lucky you’re cute," she said before kissing him, her idle work forgotten.
He knew it was a concept expressed often in novels - the death of a loved one, how that affected a character. He always thought that a death meant that all your memories of the person became that much clearer, that much stronger. He never even considered that maybe all the other memories faded, almost completely forgotten, peeking through at the oddest times. He never expected the brightest, strongest memory of her to be her dead, her coffin, lacking a body. Incomplete, even in death.
RvB Drabble: Tangents (pre Blood-Gulch. Also, smut)
He couldn’t even catch his breath.
They couldn’t stop for long enough to walk up the stairs like a normal pair of adults. They were pushing each other into the wall, walking up but never breaking lip contact. There were four steps where Allison led him up by biting his bottom lip and pulling him after her. He would remember those steps for a good, long while.
On the second floor landing, he pushed her against the wall, holding her by the arms, and pushed her shoulders up. She responded by wrapping her legs tightly around his waist and sticking her tongue in his mouth. He carried her like this for the next two flights of stairs, before kicking the door to her floor open. She did this thing where her thighs tightened and flexed around his waist and he nearly collapsed, right there, in the middle of the hallway, the door to the ninety year old neighbor she always complains about five feet from them.
She paused and looked around. “That one,” she whispered, pointing, and let her head fall back as he kissed at her neck and chest, every possible inch of skin he could reach. They got to her door and he pressed her against it. She unlocked her legs from behind him and let herself slide down until her feet were touching the ground again. She dug into her coat pockets for her keys, glancing up at him with a smile.
"Allison," he said softly as she finally got a grip on her key.
"Hm?" She pulled it out and jammed it hurriedly into the lock, trying to waste as little time as possible, limit the breaths they’re not sharing.
"Allison, I really do respect you," he said. She turned to him just as the key in the lock turned, an expression of impatience.
"I know, Leonard. That’s why you’re here." She opened the door, letting it creak, and walked in as he trailed after. Carefully and slowly, he shut it just as she turned on a small lamp and shed her jacket.
"No, I mean it, if you don’t want to…"
She grabbed him by his jacket and grinned. “Oh, I want to.” She started walking back with him, but two steps and already he couldn’t wait, couldn’t stop himself, his arms wrapping around her and pulling her closer. He moaned softly as she bit into his neck, an intake of breath as she rolled the flesh over her teeth with a grin.
"Uh…Allison?" He had opened his eyes and caught a glimpse of her wall.
"Mmhm?" She didn’t even pause, her fingers unbuttoning his shirt, her mouth touching every bit of skin on his shoulders.
"You’ve got a really (creepy? scary? odd? fucking weird?) interesting home decor.” She paused to look at the direction he was staring in. She smiled. Along her wall, behind a plane of glass, stood her extensive, impressive, and well-polished gun collection.
"I know what I like. Are we going to talk about my choice of throw pillows or what?" He turned back to look at her and she bit the left corner of her bottom lip with a grin, and suddenly the wall full of guns was completely gone from his mind as he was pushing her, forcefully kissing her towards the door to her bedroom. They were three steps away before she chuckled into the kiss and pulled back just enough to say "no, no, that’s the bathroom, that one’s the bedroom.”
He tightened his grip on her waist and lifted her up as he walked carefully to the door she indicated. She took an arm off of his shoulders and reached around to open the door, letting it swing in and reveal the end point, the bed itself. His steps quickened and soon they were close enough for him to bodily throw her. Before climbing in after her, her pulled of his jacket and shirt, kicked off his shoes. By the time he was slowly climbing over her, she had done the same. His hand touched her warm stomach and traveled up to her breast along with the rest of him, and she stretched her arms up to the headstand, a classic metal frame, made for gripping. Her knuckles began to turn white as his tongue and teeth worked her flesh, differences in her breathing and small, soft sighs being the only indication of her enjoyment. He went up and down, removing the remaining clothes in the process, at first taking his time and then the desire of it overtaking him until he couldn’t wait any longer.
She raised a leg and used it and her arms to push him down and mount him herself, using her feet and toes to work off his pants after she had undone the button with one quick movement of her hand. She could already feel him beneath her and she moved her hips slowly to let him know this. She fell forward, almost touching his lips, but stretching her arms up and catching herself on the head board firmly. They were an inch apart now, both of them breathing heavily, scrambling for a good breath but not really wanting one. “This is… what you had in… mind?” she said in between gasps as he positioned herself, now as free of obstacles as she was, and slipped into her.
"Kind of," he said, moving slowly at first. "To be honest… I’m surprised… you’re letting me… set the pace…" He raised his head slightly to kiss her, running his hands over her thighs and sucking on her lip. She smiled.
"Shut the fuck up, Church," she said, grinning. "You’re ruining the fucking moment."
"I hardly think I’m ruining the fucking moment… oh. Oh, ok,” he said softly as she took control, deciding the rhythm and frequency. She wasn’t being quiet anymore, and neither was he, though he had always been the more vocal one. Soon they were moving together, her hands on his chest, nails digging in and leaving red marks, his hands helping move her body in the rhythm for both of them. Both of their bodies tensed up at the same time, and he thanked whatever God smiled upon him that night to have the timing so perfect. She fell on top of him, sweaty, panting, smiling, their energy and bodies drained. Carefully, she rolled off, smiling at herself in the dark as she stretched like a cat. He watched her in the dim room, a smile on his face. He rolled over to her and kissed the side of her forehead.
She chuckled slowly and turned her back to him, pushing herself closer until his body was in contact with hers. He wrapped an arm around her and she took his hand and brought it up underneath her chin.
"Hey, Allison?" he said softly in her ear.
"Thanks for letting me be your derivative."
"You know," he said with a smile. "So I can lie tangent to your curves."
She groaned. “Oh, God, Church,” she said tiredly and grabbed the nearest pillow, hitting him in the face with it.
"Ow! Watch the glasses!"
"You deserve it, you fucking dork," she said simply and pressed her body against his as she fell asleep.