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.
Things had gone sour at uni, anyone could see.

Joss had turned up once on Monday, stayed at home for the rest of the week, and turned up again on Friday afternoon. One side of his face was painted with fading bruises. He felt pummelled, but could not bear to stay at home another day. Razvan was judging him.

... )
Zoe tensed when she heard footsteps running up the library steps behind her, even though she didn’t expect that whoever it was was actually trying to catch up with her, even though people ran past her all the time, she still tensed. You could expect danger, and still not be prepared for it, which was why when she heard the voice behind her say her name, she wasn’t expecting it, and jumped.

Merry smiled because she understood jumping at the sound of her own name. It was a ridiculous thing to understand, but it was a ridiculous thing to do. Her stupid, jumpy self; she hated it. “Alright,” she said, to Zoe.

“Hi,” Zoe said.

The girls eyed each other suspiciously, out of habit.

... )
Zoe had mixed feelings about university.

On the one hand, it was a comfort to be one part of a faceless crowd, all of them with their own personal end goals. It felt good to have a purpose, and be surrounded by people with a similar purpose.

On the other hand, she wished Danny was here with her. Or if Cai was a year older (and cared about higher education, which he didn’t) or even Rachel, just to have someone to hang out with between classes. Through high school she’d gotten used to being on her own, then in her final year Rachel had attached herself to Zoe and now it almost felt like Zoe didn’t know how to spend the day on her own without missing anyone.

... )
“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?”

... )
Cai had to admit he was a little bit scared of going shopping with Zoe today. He pulled on his best non-church jeans and tried to avoid the mirror because that would make things worse (whatever he tried to do with his hair it just flopped back, but, he hoped, endearingly) and kept remind himself hey, she kissed you, remember?

But then she’d also told him not to touch her, which stuck in his mind just as firmly.

Read more... )
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."
I’m not wearing my gloves to school thought Cai as he pulled himself together for his first day back. I don’t need them. I don’t want to need them.

It was not so much a stubborn thought as a bit of a pitiful one – with his old friends still presumably avoiding him as much as he was avoiding them and his new friends not in school any more Cai didn’t think it was necessary. He didn’t expect to talk to anyone today, let alone touch them. And he could keep himself to himself in the hallways.

... )
Cai left Rachel’s room and found Zoe just down the hall, slumped down in a chair with arms folded across her chest, staring at the opposite wall. This time when she saw him she didn’t relax, she made a huffing noise of total frustration and stood up to stomp away.

“Zoe wait-” Cai picked up his pace to catch up with her. “What’s going on with you?”

... )
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?”

... )
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: (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.
Warning: Effects of sexual and physical abuse

They had one day left to fine Danny and Deirdre was beginning to get more than a little frantic. It had been her responsibility to watch over Danny in the first place, and a tragedy involving her brother had drawn her attention away. If that driver ended up causing two casualties, Deirdre was going to hate herself for a very long time. Not that Dylan was dead yet, but Deirdre was fairly pessimistic about his prognosis.

Thomas had taken to driving, and he wasn't keen on discussing the fact that Spectre had gone with Flynn instead of him. Deirdre was aware, distantly, that something had happened in Glasgow, but she didn't really have time to worry about the state of her friends' marriage. She was just happy enough to have him with her; and happier still that at the last moment, Zoe had decided to join them. Deirdre understood. They had done day and Zoe was getting as frantic as Deirdre was.

Rescue )
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.

... )
The text came through to Zoe at 11:38pm: Are you asleep?

Hah, no. she replied. I am definitely not asleep tonight.

A moment later Zoe’s phone started to gently ring. "I can’t sleep either,” Cai said, though that fact was fairly obvious.

... )
Zoe took a taxi back to Cai's to pick him up. He didn't want to take the car today; he didn't trust himself to drive. Not after Zoe told him what they were going to be doing. They sat in the back of the taxi together and didn't touch and barely talked.

"It's going to be really bad, isn't it?" Cai asked, though he'd seen Peter's warning. Of course it was going to be bad.

... )
On Zoe's way home from Rachel's depressing flat, her phone beeped loudly to tell her someone had made a new post. She'd set it up so she wouldn't miss anything. She was glad she had.

She rang Cai. "Look Zo, don't worry. I'm fine," he lied. "Everything's fine."

"Right," said Zoe. "See you soon."

"No - Zoe - It's fine."

... )
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.”

... )

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Darker London

October 2014

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