daniel_marlow: (Getting mad)
It was Danny's first time out since he'd been at Priory and before then he wasn't exactly hitting the town every night. The trip to Robert MacGavillary Memorial Hospital felt strange and by the time they arrived, Danny was just glad to be inside again.

Having arrived early, Danny sat in the waiting room, willing his friends to show up soon. He couldn't get his mind off what he was about to do. He hadn't told any of his friends his plan because he knew they would stop him. It involved getting closer to Greg than he ever hoped to be again, and just the thought of it was weighing on him. He hoped it would work out and he could get the information he needed. Without it, this was all going to be for nothing.
On Monday the day after she’d lost and found her phone, Rachel woke with the feeling that someone was in the apartment. Her heart leaping into a state of panic as her mind reminded her she was wrong, she was so wrong, there was no one else in the apartment because there was never anyone else in the apartment except herself and her father and she had to stop believing her stupid paranoid fears because all they were were stupid paranoid fears.

But a floorboard creaked and her body froze.

... )
Danny said he was going to see Greg next weekend. Next weekend they would face him and Rachel would look into the eyes of the man who had nearly destroyed Danny and she was terrified.

What would he look like in person? What would he say to her? Danny had warned her that it wouldn’t be nice. What if he escaped and came after her? Abstract fears kept her awake. She’d slept so much in the past couple of weeks and now she’d spent nearly two days awake, the nap she’d had curled up against Danny when she went to visit him yesterday was the only sleep she’d had.

... )
Rachel rifled through her room, pushing aside clothes, piles of magazines, her bedside lamp with the dead lightbulb she hadn’t been bothered to fix, but she couldn’t find her phone anywhere.

She crawled under the covers of her bed, groping down the far corners of the sheets in case it had slipped down, but it wasn’t there either. Where had she put it?

She couldn’t remember where she’d last seen it. Maybe she’d left it at Zoe’s place at dinner the other night? Maybe in Cai’s car? But they would have found it and bought it back, surely. Did she have it yesterday? What did she do yesterday? Napped a lot and watched most of a season of America’s Next Top Model and ate peanut butter sandwiches while the rain hammered down on the windows, too wet and dark to go outside. Or was that the day before? Or both?

... )
“Your armchair’s gone,” Zoe said, frowning at the space in Rachel’s room that used to be inhabited by an arm chair covered in laundry.

“Mm, sold it,” Rachel replied. “There’s a lady down the hall with loads of kids and nowhere to put them. What do I need a chair in my room for anyway?”

... )
daniel_marlow: (Impish smile)
It was Rachel's birthday and Danny decided that all the things he was worried about didn't matter. Today he was going to spoil his girlfriend and he wasn't going to even think about her drinking, or the fact that he was terrified about money, or having to go to court and face Greg again. The rest of the world could fuck off today. Today he was going to spoil her rotten.

Despite the fact that a few of the nurses had protested, Danny had managed to set himself up in his wheelchair. He was fairly sure he was going to pay for it the next day, but this was important to him. He had even managed to get dressed, though not as snazzy as he wanted to be. He settled on jeans and a tuxedo t-shirt he hoped would make Rachel laugh.

With the help of Dr Abby, Cai and Zoe, he decorated his hospital room with battery-operated fairy lights and several colour-changing LED candles because he knew Rachel liked bright things.

It was all ready now, the presents resting on the bed and the music cued up. Nerves unsettled his stomach as he waited for her to arrive. All he wanted in the world right now was to make Rachel happy.
Rachel woke as the front door of the car slammed shut, screaming in shock which made Dom, who was not expecting to be screamed up when climbing into his own car, start screaming too.

“Whoa whoa whoa,” Dom tried to be a calm and collected adult as Rachel scrambled for the door. “It’s okay, it’s okay, Rachel? Rachel, look at me.” Rachel stopped with her hand on the handle, panting. He didn’t look angry but adrenaline was thumping through her body and she wanted to get out and run. “You okay? You’re okay.”

... )
After saying goodnight to Danny, Rachel did end up on the roof again.

She felt so flat. Depressed, she supposed. But the world had given her reasons to be. Some voice in her head told her to go to the roof, she’d feel better on the roof, and she listened, and hauled herself off the couch, and crept back up.

... )
daniel_marlow: (In a room)
"Nooooo!"

Danny had his arm flung over his face and he was hiding in the crook of his elbow from a very bossy Abby. "Daniel Marlow, you need to finish your lunch."

Danny groaned, fairly sure if he ate anything else he was going to throw up. Abby had informed him, however, that he needed to eat more than he had been to put some weight back on. Something about not fucking his heart up more than it already was. In order to do that, considering his stomach had shrunken from disuse, he needed to not give up on his meals after three bites. "You are mean to me!" he accused her, still hiding.

"Yep, I'm a dragon lady. Not literally, in case that worries you. Now eat your damn tater tots before I tell your mother on you."

Behind Abby his friends filed into the room, though Danny didn't entirely hear them. He was still hiding in his arm. "That's a dirty trick, Dr Abby. A dirty, dirty trick."
The furniture in Rachel’s new flat was mismatched; a combination of furniture that Harley had rescued from Imogene’s house. The white leather sofa, for instance, sat next to an arm chair he’d found on his way from work. The desk from Rachel’s old room was letting all its ergonomic potential go to waste as it was being used as a dinner table, but since they never ate at the table it had turned into a kitchen-storage area. Rachel had her old bed, which took up most of her tiny room, but no storage to put anything, so her clothes were in banana boxes under the bed. All of the curtains were falling apart, leftovers from the previous tenants. The toilet was avocado and permanently stained, the seat was peeling.

Rachel spent a lot of time on the white leather couch which was already dirtier than it had ever been. Baked bean juice just didn’t come off if you didn’t really care enough to scrub it.

Read more... )
Cai could hear Rachel singing from the doorway, her voice thin as a reed and her words and the tune unclear. He walked past the other two beds to the end of the room where Zoe sat on Rachel’s injured side, and the side between her and the other patients. Zoe snapped to attention as he came around the curtain, but relaxed a little when she saw it was him. “Rach, shush,” she said, giving the blankets over Rachel’s legs a short tug to get her attention.

Rachel made a noise like hauling her eyelids open was the most strenuous activity. “Caiiiusss,” she smiled. “Cai-yuss. Cai.”

... )
Zoe kept having the same conversation.

“What happened?” Rachel would ask, frowning down at her arm.

“Do you remember anything?” Zoe leaned forward, her elbows resting on the side of Rachel's bed. "Were you up on the roof? Do you remember?”

Rachel mumbled something in the negative, tipping her face up to stare at the ceiling. Her face was grazed lightly up the side of her cheek and worse at her temple where her head had struck the ground.

“Don’t you remember, Rachel?”

... )
The final two floors of the block of flats were closed off – there’d been a fire there long before Rachel and Harley moved in and the doors to the stairs had been bolted shut. The door on the east staircase had a busted padlock, and though the staircase was chained off it wasn’t difficult to step over chains. Rachel had heard people fighting up here, and there was broken glass bottles, trash and condoms littered everywhere.

Most of the time it was even kind of peaceful. Only one corner of the building had been damaged by the fire and it can’t have been more than cosmetic otherwise the rest of the building wouldn’t have been open, right? To be fair, Rachel didn’t care right now if the whole building did come down. She didn’t care if anyone stabbed her in the closed off staircases. Didn’t care if the crazy guys who squatted up here heard her creeping through the abandoned hallway.

... )
Danny’s disappearance had bonded them all together, not like glue but like kids terrified that if they let each other out of their sights one of them would vanish. All of them had lost any sense of object permanence, so they spent the holidays while he was missing close together, and nights apart, full of anxiety and instant messaging.

Sometimes during that time Zoe was able to convince Rachel to stay at her place for the night. She never asked Cai, but she did know that Cai had slept on Rachel’s couch once after giving her a ride home and she knew that Rachel had been put up in one of the beds at Cai’s more than once. Rachel had said to her once, about Cai, “D’you know he’s the first friend who’s a boy I’ve ever had? He’s so nice to me.”

... )
Deirdre was an idiot.

It was late. Zoe’s dry eyes were viciously burning hot with the promise of tears and though she was shaking she managed to lace her shoes.

Deirdre was a fucking idiot and Zoe wanted to scream but screaming would alert Liz and Liz must not be alerted.

... )
daniel_marlow: (Seriously worried)
Knowing Rachel was coming to visit him had lifted his spirits despite Danny believing such a thing was impossible. Sure he felt like his life had been shattered, but he still loved Rachel with as much of his heart as he had access to. Probably more.

When she arrived, Danny asked his mother to leave them alone, and he reached out a bandaged hand to Rachel. "I'm so happy you're here," he said with a small smile. "I want to try to kiss you but...carefully, okay? Really carefully?"
daniel_marlow: (Feeling shit)
Since waking up, Danny hadn't allowed anyone other than his mother and Zoe in to see him. He did feel guilty keeping his girlfriend and his brother out, but there was a part of him which just didn't want to see the pity and pain on their faces when they finally laid eyes on him.

Zoe had been there to see what Greg had done to him firsthand, though there was more to it too. Danny saw Zoe as fiercely strong, whether she saw herself that way or not. He worried that he might have to pretend to be okay for Cai and Rachel, while he knew he didn't have to act for Zoe and he didn't have the energy to try anyway.

He had to face them sometime, however, especially since he was fairly sure Cai and Rachel had been waiting outside his room from time to time, as if keeping some kind of silent vigil for him. Danny was still struggling with whether he wanted to stay alive or not, as well. Could he really leave them without giving them a chance to see him? He didn't think he could.

Hesitantly, Danny told the nurse his friends were allowed in. He told his mother he wanted to see them on his own, however, though he had a feeling she was going to hover right outside his door. He was really okay with that. Then he steeled himself for their reactions to the state he was still in. He knew he looked terrible. He felt terrible. His hopes were that they felt better than he did.
Despite almost everyone telling Cai to sleep last night, he’d stayed up much longer. Something in him had decided that he could only go to sleep after making sure that Zoe was asleep, and since Zoe seemed to be much better at staying awake than he was, this was difficult.

He spent the night at Zoe’s, in her living room. At first they googled every instance of Smith street they could find and talkedto the rescue team on the internet, then, because nothing else could be done tonight, because everyone had gone to sleep, because they were both so tired they could barely keep their eyes open, they put the television on and watched late nigh infomercials.

... )
It took a couple of weeks for Harley to find a place where they could stay in the long term, whatever long term meant. Weeks or months, Rachel didn’t ask. Danny had been stolen by his uncle and so it didn’t matter how long Harley was planning to keep them in this boxed in room on the eighteenth floor of the tower block.

They moved in the weekend after Danny was taken. Rachel spent the day she should have been getting ready for prom hauling their belongings into the flat. There was quite a lot of stuff from Imogene’s there actually. Rachel was confused as she unpacked a box on the threadbare carpet of the living room. “We have two blu-ray players?” she asked, setting the one she’d just pulled from the box on the floor next to the other. “But no telly.”

... )
Harley woke her up a little before five in the morning. He tried to be gentle, but when he loomed over her with a "Rachel? Rachel," she sprung from sleep so violently she shrieked. Bolt upright, the blankets clutched to her chest, she stared at him, panting and on the verge of a panicky cry.

"I gotta get to work," he told her, in a really bad whisper, as if there was some reason other than the hour for secrecy and quiet. "Gonna be there till six. Didn't wantcha to wake up alone."

... )

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Darker London

October 2014

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