sunsetmog: (Who - Nine & Rose dancing)
sunsetmog ([personal profile] sunsetmog) wrote2013-03-27 06:21 pm

Fic/Writing dump!

Writing splurge! Stuff I just found on my hard drive. Here are some fics/writing that either a) are never going to be finished or b) I'd forgotten I'd written in the first place. :D? Obviously all unbetaed, etc. And some of them end in the middle of a sentence, because that's how I roll, baby.

1. The Fast and the Furious

Brian O'Connor was bored. He was bored, and spoiling for a fight, so he did what he did every time he wanted to hit someone; he went to the gym down at the station and punched seven types of shit out of the punch bag, and then went to the bar on the corner and ordered a beer. Some of the other guys from his shift were there, so he joined them, and ordered another beer, and then another one, and then

2. Lotrips angel/demon wing fic character notes

Viggo took over from Matt Damon as the angel of death. previously he was the creative consultant to God, but he got a little bit avante garde and God gave him something potentially less catastrophic to look after.

Sean Astin. Known as the enforcer. Never gets his email because Dom perpetuates spam on his afternoons off. It was probably Elijah’s idea (he’s the brains, Dom is the... wait. Dom is Dom) but Dom probably stole it. Sean now has a laptop which means he’s an absolute terror. He can look up rules faster than when he had to refer back to the gargantuam reference library. Now it’s all at the touch of button (he’s got wireless internet connection hooked up to heaven), he’s often heard saying “we’re going away from the divine plan, people! The divine plan!”.

Sean Bean is on probation for trying to use his divine powers to get Sheffield United to win the FA cup. He’s constantly at war with Dom as Dom is a Manchester United supported. Sean has a curfew and can’t go to football matches. No one can tape them for him either as Dom - in a fit of pique with Sean earlier in the century, when Sheffield deigned to beat United - made programming the video a feat only possible if you were truly evil.

Dom was also responsible for Stock Aitkin and Waterman. Billy was responsible for Kylie, although Orlando takes responsibility for the bubble perm. He is still heard bemoaning the fact that Ian McKellan took charge and demanded that it go. Too many people have suffered as a result of Orlando’s thoughtless actions, apparantly. Orlando’s a Jason fan. That’s why he isn’t allowed to choose the music at their parties.

Sean Astin is always running after Elijah, getting a soft spot for him after he felt he was unfairly made a demon because of a loophole. Sean comes to realise the difference lies between mortals and not mortals rather than heaven and hell through his vying for Elijah’s attention with Dom. Although Dom is secretly falling for Billy.

Elijah is dead and has issues because he sold his soul for a good blow job. But no one can remember whether he got it or not because he was too drunk and none of the divine beings are coming forward to claim responsibility. his angelic heritage comes out later... sacrifices himself at the end. is he an angel or a demon or a prophet, that is the question.

3. Original fic, college story.

Alex showed up to his first band practice seventeen and a half minutes early. He would have been even earlier, because Drew's warning about lateness being a firing offence was still loud in his mind, but the cross-town bus had gotten stuck in traffic ten minutes from the practice space.

In the end, Alex had got off and jogged.

Alex was seven weeks into his first semester at college, and so far, every single thing about it had been a disappointment. There must have been an entrance requirement he hadn't been aware of, because everyone—everyone—from his roommate, to the guys in his dorm, to the kids in his classes, was completely tone deaf. Alex wasn't sure that any of them even liked music. Michael, his roommate—and from what Alex could tell from seven week's acquaintance, a total dick—had a music collection that consisted of one Queen album, fast gathering dust, and Justin Timberlake's first album.

The only reason Alex wasn't in a music program was because his parents refused to pay for it, so Alex had pinned all of his hopes on turning up at the dorms and finding a band to play in. He'd checked all the places he could think of, but other than the sign in Coffee Bean, the tiny coffee shop he'd discovered while wandering the campus in a desperate funk his first week, he hadn't seen a single band member wanted poster. Other than Drew's, but that hardly counted because Alex was fairly sure that Drew was actually crazy.

Drew's poster had been on the wall of Coffee Bean since the second week of the semester, a single sheet with fiercely spiky capital letters at the top, BAND MEMBERS WANTED. Below that was three quarters of a page of closely handwritten text, and a row of tear-off slips underneath. Drew had clearly never heard of the maxim, 'less is more', and for the last six weeks, the tear-off slips and remained firmly attached, until Alex had reached desperation point and torn one off.

Alex had called the number on the slip from the fire escape outside the dorm, because Michael was spending some alone time with his awful girlfriend, Susie, and Alex's options were reduced to the library (his card was in his backpack, inside his room), the cafeteria (ditto) or outside in the freezing cold. He should have learnt by now not to go to the vending machine without his backpack, but he kept forgetting that Michael was a dick. In in the time it had taken Alex to go down one floor to get a pack of Skittles, Michael had put a sock on the door handle and a chair under the handle, so Alex was stuck on the fire escape with his cell phone, calling up and asking if the space in the band was still free.

Drew had invited Alex to bring his Casio and come over to his apartment, which Alex had taken to mean that he might be meeting the whole band and auditioning. What it had actually meant was finding Drew sitting cross-legged on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beanbag and cradling a guitar, while a girl with huge glasses leaned against the windowsill and tuned a violin. Neither of them told him the kind of music that their band played, and when Alex asked if they had any shows lined up, Drew made a weird hand-waving gesture that Alex took to mean fuck no. He'd then launched into a list of rules, the first and last of which was don't ever be late, and finished by telling Alex that Tuesday and Thursday practices were mandatory, and no excuses for non-attendance would be acceptable.

It was increasingly obvious that Drew had some significant control issues, and that this was going to be a total fucking disaster, but Alex was so desperate to play some actual music for a change that he figured he could stick out a few band practices with Drew and the girl with no name for the sake of getting to play.

So, when Tuesday had come around, Alex had shown up at the practice space early only to find all the lights turned off, and a single, sullen guy manning the front desk while sporting the attractive dual aroma of sweat and way too much cheap aftershave.

The guy had waved him back past the desk, but after ten minutes still no one else had shown up, and Alex had checked the faded, ratty notice outside the practice space twice. It still said, DREW CHAMBERS – EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT BETWEEN 7PM AND 9PM – DISTURB US AND DIE.

Yeah, Drew was weird, and if the past few weeks hadn't turned out to be so disappointing, Alex would have cut his losses and run. As it was, he sat on the floor next to the practice room, back up against the wall, and pulled his ragged paperback out of his backpack. His best friend from high school, Neil, had told him this was the best book ever, but Alex was still trying to figure out if Umberto Eco was for him or not. He just kept telling Neil in email that he was too busy reading for class to get around to it, but that was only half the truth. He just couldn't concentrate, and hadn't been able to since the first week, when he'd realized he missed home too much to settle in properly.

He flicked through the pages instead of reading. It wasn't that he hadn't met nice people since he got to college, it was more that now and again he wanted to have a conversation with someone who could actually name all four members of The Beatles. He couldn't help but think that maybe he'd made the wrong college choice, and he certainly couldn't imagine spending the next four years here. He'd mistakenly assumed that going away to college would mean that he got to meet a lot of interesting people, but mostly what it had meant so far was that Alex spent a lot of time in Coffee Bean with his iPod, avoiding Michael and Annoying Susie, who kept going through his stuff and had already borrowed one of his shirts without asking.

Drew arrived at seven pm exactly, which was probably another reason Alex was going to end up going crazy. He was trailed by the girl who still hadn't introduced herself, and they both nodded at Alex before unlocking the practice room.

"I'm Alex," he said pointedly, as he followed them both in and put his Casio down on the bench beside the girl's violin case.

She gave him a weird look. "I know," she said. She unzipped her case. "We auditioned you, remember?"

"Yeah," Alex said, manfully resisting the urge to roll his eyes. "But you didn't tell me your name."

"Oh," she said, yawning. "It's Jill."

"Cool," Alex said. "So, uh. How do practices normally work?" He was beginning to think she perpetually looked a little confused.

"We practice," she said, like Alex was stupid. Maybe he was. Everything about the last few weeks had been seriously fucking weird.

"Do you have music?" he asked.

"We improvise," Drew said, coming up behind them. He'd been busy closing the windows. "We jam together, see what comes out. We follow a path." He touched Jill's elbow with his fingertips, and smiled at her when her gaze met his.

Definitely, definitely crazy. "Oh," Alex said. "Cool?"

"Yeah," Jill said. "It is."

"So," Alex went on, since this was maybe weirder than everything else he'd done recently. "Who starts?"

"Matt isn't here yet," Drew told him, taking out his guitar and stroking it in a loving, yet slightly crazy manner. Alex was starting to wonder if he was going to get out of here alive.

"Matt?"

"My cousin," Drew said. "He plays bass. Didn't we tell you?"

"No," Alex said, but Drew's attention was elsewhere again, plucking out a rhythm on his guitar. He wondered where Matt fell on the Drew Chambers' Weirdometer. "Isn't he late?"

Drew made a face. "Matt doesn't wear a watch," he said. "He says it compromises his moral integrity."

Alex blinked. "Oh," he said. "Right."

Jill played a mournful, discordant tune on her violin.

Alex finished hooking up his keyboard, and then played Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in a minor key.

Drew looked impressed.

There was no way on earth Alex was going to keep playing for this band.

"Guys, haven't you started yet? You know coming in to a quiet room pushes my chakras out of alignment."

Alex looked up, blinked, and sat back down again. There was a hot, blond, freckled guy in the doorway, with wide shoulders and a narrow waist. He wasn't wearing a watch, and was carrying a guitar case. He didn't look particularly like he was all that concerned about his chakras. His iPod was still pumping out something that sounded tinnily a lot like Kanye West.

"Our two hour practice officially starts when you arrive, Matt," Drew said, in what Alex thought was a long-suffering voice. "Just because you're late doesn't mean that you get to leave early."

"Shame," Matt said lightly. "Who's this?"

"I'm Alex," Alex said. "The new keyboardist."

"Oh," Matt said, with the ghost of a wink. "Do you like avant garde musical improvisation, too? Or is that just Jill?"

"I like it too," Drew said, looking a little less calm and composed than he had done two minutes ago. Alex suddenly suspected that Drew's current musical direction had a lot to do with a crush on Jill.

"Yes," Matt said. "We know." He dropped his case down onto the bench and unsnapped the catches. "Do we have a theme this week? I know I can't wait to get started."

4. More original fic.

Bee Manthorn was as sure as she could be that she and her sister were disappearing.

It had started small, a couple of house moves ago. In the playground of her new high school – the third new school in as many years – she’d waved her hand in front of her face to swat away a fly, and, just for a moment, she’d been able to see straight through her hand, a ghostly-pale grey mist where her palm should have been. She’d blinked, grabbing her sister’s wrist in alarm, but when she’d looked again, her hand was there, just where it had always been, as real as anything.

Ria had rolled her eyes at her, but two weeks later Bee had rushed out of the house, late to school as always, and she’d tripped over something that wasn’t there, sprawling painfully across the driveway and skinning her knees.

"Stop being so clumsy, idiot," Ria had said, and when Bee had looked back, Ria’s feet were there, right where they hadn’t been a moment earlier, heavy and sort-of see-through like fog in the early morning.

"Ria," Bee had said, urgently, but when she’d looked again, everything was just as it should be, Ria’s completely-visible foot nudging her in the ankle to get up off the floor.

It hadn’t stopped there. One morning at registration, Miss Tindall had read Bee’s name out from the list in front of her, and Bee had said, "Here," just like she always did, and Miss Tindall had looked up, tiredly looking right at her, and she’d said, "Bee? Grimsby Manthorn? Has anyone seen Grimsby this morning?" as if Bee wasn’t right there in front of her.

"It’s Bee," Bee had said, urgently, waving her hand in the air so that Miss Tindall would notice her. "Not Grimsby, Bee."

Miss Tindall’s gaze had slid over her then, almost past her and on to the row behind. "Oh," she’d said, after a moment. She pushed her glasses up her nose. "Do speak up next time, Grimsby."

In a PE lesson at her last school, the one before this one, nobody had picked her for their side in the netball game, and nobody had noticed, not even when one team had one more player than the other, and Bee was left standing by the bench the whole lesson. There was the time in the queue for lunch in the dining hall, when the dinner lady hadn't given her any chips because she didn't even notice Bee sliding her tray past the counter. Her teacher hadn't given her a partner for the history project because he hadn't even realised she was there. The bus driver had let her and Ria on the bus without paying because he didn't notice when they got on and walked past him.

This morning, Bee had woken up and where her hand should have been was nothing but a grey, hazy half-light, the barest shape of a hand visible against the pale blue of her sheets. She'd blinked, over and over, desperate for it to be a trick of the early morning light, but it hadn't come back, not even when she'd squeezed her eyes shut and wished.

Bee was disappearing.

5. More original stuff I don't remember writing!

There was a beer already open and sweating for him on the coffee table when he got in from work; Ailie must have heard his car pull up. She was pretty good like that.

Tom let out a breath, grabbed the bottle, and took a long drink. He took another gulp as he tugged off his jacket and dropped his shit down onto the couch, next to the pillow he hadn't had time to put away that morning. He was such a bad roommate, what the fuck.

"Hard day at the office?" Ailie asked, from where she was leaning on the door jamb on the way into the kitchen. She had a dish towel over one shoulder, and flour on her nose.

"You know," Tom lied. Work was pretty terrible, but it was a job, and it was money, and it meant he didn't have to live in their mom and dad's basement any more. Ailie's fold-out couch wasn't any more comfortable than the basement bed, but at least it came without the stress of living with their parents. "Are you baking? Should I call 911 now? Get the fire service on standby?"

"Shut up," Ailie said. She never baked. She barely cooked. She made a lot of noise about the patriarchy condemning women to the kitchen, but Tom knew that secretly she just didn't like cooking all that much. Tom did, so at least it worked out fair. And Ailie taught him a lot about the patriarchy in return. "My stupid office is having a stupid bake-off and I have to participate if I don't want to go and explain to my boss why there's no I in team."

"Nice," Tom said, because his office was a really shitty place to work, and at the best of times the more complicated parts of his job involved data entry, but at least nobody had tried to make him bake. "Anyway, you should tell him that there's a me in team."

"That would go down well," Ailie said, turning around and heading back into the kitchen. She popped her head back around the door. "Come on, I need help."

"So that's why you got me a beer," Tom said, rolling his eyes. He didn't really mind; Ailie was pretty cool for a big sister, and they'd gotten a lot closer in the two months he'd been staying in her living room. He was pretty sure they were actually friends as well as brother and sister now. He should come out to a wall of parental disapproval more often. Or, wait—no.

"Obviously," Ailie said. "Do you want to take over? I could call for pizza."

"No," Tom said. "I've spent all day having to listen to Steve and Trina talking about how great small government is. And refusing to pay taxes. Let's move somewhere with socialised healthcare so I don't have to deal with them ever again." Tom's job leaned between so dull his brain wanted to leak out of his ears, and so frustrating he wanted to bang his head against the wall. It turned out that when your parents refused to acknowledge you any more, or fund your college experience, suddenly your options became a whole lot smaller. Tom worked so many hours he lost track after a while, and all of his friends had left town, and he was stuck living on his sister's couch. At least they could bemoan their lack of boyfriends together.

"Sure," Ailie said. "How about England?"

"Let's do it tomorrow. How hard can emigrating be, anyway?" Tom said, leaning past her for the cook book. He didn't remember seeing it on Ailie's shelves before; flicking to the front he found a label that said Oldport Children's Library. He raised an eyebrow. "The kids' section? Really?"

"It was on my way home," Ailie told him, tugging it out of Tom's hands. She pushed her hair behind her ears, already complaining that it was getting too long and annoying. Ailie had always had shorter hair than Tom. It had driven their dad crazy growing up. "What's next after adding the sugar?"

Tom studied the page. He'd been all slated to go to college this fall. He should be taking college courses and pretending to know shit about philosophy. He was supposed to be meeting nice young men with hipster glasses and weird scarves who would want to kiss him as much as he wanted to kiss them. He'd had a plan. He liked plans.

Shit never turned out the way it was meant to.

"Ask a grown-up to help you beat the eggs," Tom read. "Dude. These recipes require parental supervision. And you're not allowed to hold the knives. It's like they know you."

"Shut up," Ailie said. "See if I let you hang out on my couch any more. I'll make you go home to Mom and Dad."

"Like they'd let me in the house," Tom said. His parents had managed to achieve new levels of crappy parenting in the last two months. The last time he'd gone by to pick up the rest of his stuff, all of his school pictures that his mom and dad had used to have on the mantel were on the top of one of the boxes. It had turned out that being gay really was a game changer.

Ailie made a face. Her hands were sticky with the cookie dough, so she leaned over and rubbed her nose against Tom's sleeve instead. "They're both dicks," she said. "Total dicks." She hadn't spoken to Mom and Dad since Tom had told them he liked guys and they'd told him they didn't have a son anymore. His sister was the best. His parents—well. He was better off without them, that was for certain. And at some point, he was sure it would stop hurting so much. It was just getting to that point that was turning out to be the problem.

"Aunt Sarah called me," Ailie said quietly, as Tom concentrated on the recipe instead of the way his heart was twisting in his chest.

"Yeah?" Aunt Sarah was their mom's sister. They'd never seen that much of her, growing up. Their mom had said that she lived too far away to come visit that much. Their dad had said he didn't like having her in the house. Either way, Tom didn't know her all that well.

"She wanted to know how we were."

"Weird," Tom said. He didn't ever remember Aunt Sarah calling before. They barely ever saw her. She lived in New York, in Brooklyn, which was a world away from Oldport. All he remembered about Aunt Sarah was how tall she'd been, and how fierce. He'd only been about eight the last time he'd seen her for any length of time, but it had felt then like she was ten feet tall, towering above him and Ailie with her hands on her hips as she'd yelled at the neighborhood boys out the front of their house.

Ailie shrugged, and went back to her bowl. Tom wondered if she was avoiding his eye for a reason. He wondered when all of this would stop hurting so much.

He tried not to let Ailie know he woke up most nights breathless and upset. She didn't need to know how badly he was secretly coping.

"She wanted to know if we had enough food," Ailie said, "which was weird. That's weird, right?"

"Yes," Tom said. "We've got enough food. We're hardly starving."

"She's sending us a delivery," Ailie went on, making a face as she leaned over Tom's shoulder to read the rest of the recipe. "I tried telling her we were good, but she wouldn't listen. You know how she never listens."

"Uh-huh," Tom said, which was kind of a lie, since the only thing he really remembered about Aunt Sarah was how fierce she'd been to those neighborhood kids who'd taken his bike that time she'd been to see them. He'd skinned his knee on the sidewalk as he'd chased after them. Aunt Sarah had yelled at them and got his bike back.

All Tom could remember was how stupid he'd felt, not being able to get his bike back on his own.

Story of his life.

"So, anyway, I told her we were fine, and she insisted, and now there's a delivery coming. Are you working on Saturday? Because one of us has to be here to receive it, and I've got this stupid work picnic thing."

"I'm not working," Tom said. He felt kind of breathless. It came upon him at the weirdest times, this odd panicked feeling in his chest. He blinked it away. "I'll be here." The work top had the strangest marbled pattern, a muddy mix of terracotta and off-white and beige. He followed a whorl with his fingertip.

"You okay?" Ailie asked.

Tom nodded. "I'm always okay," he told her. He didn't want her to worry. Sometimes he felt like he was half a step from falling apart. Other times it felt closer to a hair's breadth. Sometimes he remembered the life he was supposed to be having right now—living in a dorm, nights in the college library, classes, coffee houses and boys in black-framed glasses who wanted to kiss him—and it all felt like it was too much.

"I'm good here," Ailie said. "How much can I fuck up putting this in the oven? Why don't you take your bike out?"

Tom let out a breath. Being outside felt like a good idea. He slid his beer over the work top towards her. "Finish this for me," he said. "Or save it until I get back."

"Like it's going to last that long," Ailie said. "Stop at the store on the way back, will you? There's a list on the fridge."

Tom nodded, and grabbed the list off the front of the fridge. The dinosaur fridge magnet skittered across the front, but didn't fall. His BMX was in the hallway, under the coat rack, and his chest already felt a little less tight at the idea of getting out of here for a while, of thinking about nothing but his bike. His scruffy backpack—still covered in black marker pen from when he'd been in school, and drawing on his stuff with a Sharpie had been the only way he could think of to make his parents mad at him (he should have just told them he got hard thinking about the guys in the locker room after gym practice, but hindsight was a bitch)—was on the floor by the door, and he shoved his wallet and his keys in, and the list from the fridge on top of that. He should get changed out of his work clothes, but he felt kind of desperate and all caught up, so he just tugged his button down off instead, leaving it on the floor by the door. He was wearing a t-shirt underneath, inside out so that the picture didn't show through his button down, and he didn't bother turning it the right way around.

It wasn't like he was going to meet anyone he cared about, anyway. All of his friends were a world away from here, off at college, figuring their shit out.

Tom was the only one still here, trapped and alone and desperate.

It wasn't any wonder that he hadn't told any of them the truth about where he was staying and what had happened.

He was good by himself, just him and Ailie. It was all good. It was.



Tom had been riding a bike for as long as he could remember, and ever since he was old enough to ride it out of the street, he'd been trying to do tricks. He was pretty good at it, truth be told, and he took the long way to the skate park, taking the steps sideways, jumping down each one, his focus fixed on getting the bike to do what he wanted it to.

It was the only real time he'd ever felt like he was truly breathing by himself, nowadays.

The skate park was full of fourteen year old kids with skateboards and baggy pants. Tom hadn't been like that when he'd been fourteen, and he wasn't about to try and start fitting in with them now. He took off for the slope in the corner where it was quieter, and he could use his bike on the slope without getting in anyone's way. Using a skate ramp was far from ideal, but the BMX track was a couple of miles out of town, and you needed to pay to get in. Tonight he'd settle for doing tricks; it kept his brain busier than riding the track, which felt more like endurance at times.

He couldn't help but wonder why Aunt Sarah had called Ailie. They had birthday and Christmas cards from her, usually a little late—something his parents had never exactly approved of—but they usually came with a gift token or a twenty dollar bill with a note in the card to spend it on something frivolous and fun. He didn't remember her ever calling up before. He barely remembered her calling their mom, and they were sisters. There was an awkward, stilted conversation on his mom's birthday every year, and the same on the anniversary of Grandma's death, but as far as Tom could tell, that was the extent of their relationship. He didn't ever recall having the phone passed over to him or Ailie to talk to her. It was weird, even if she had found out that Tom and Ailie weren't exactly welcome in the family home anymore.

Tom let out a breath, and circled the slope on his bike, lazily looping the slope with his shirt riding up as he stretched out his legs. He didn't usually get a slope to himself in the evening, but maybe the other kids could tell how little he wanted to talk to anyone, and how desperate he was.

He really couldn't remember feeling this broken before, and hiding it from Ailie, and from work; it just felt like it was getting harder with every day. Not being able to talk to his friends anymore, too ashamed to tell them what had happened, too scared to come out to them too—it was all too hard. He braked slowly at the top of the slope, letting the bike crawl to a standstill before loosening his grip and letting the bike start to roll.

Tom bunny hopped the bike, keeping the pedals parallel to the floor as he pinched the seat between his legs. He spun the handlebars with his right hand, letting them spin once before catching them in the left. It had taken him about a year to master the bar spin, back when he was fifteen, but he did it almost lazily now, twisting the bar at the height of his jump, landing with barely a bump. He wasn't anything close to being a champion or anything, but he was pretty proficient.

He liked that there was something he could still be good at. College seemed a million miles away from where his life was now.

Biking wasn't as much fun tonight as it normally was; his heart wasn't in tricks. He let out a breath and biked out of the skate park, taking the path around the edge of the park and towards the woods. It was still going to be a while before it got dark, so he had time.

Sometimes going fast was all he needed in order to remember that this wasn't forever. Living on Ailie's couch, doing a data entry job he hated, it wasn't going to be forever.

Fuck, he thought, because he could feel the way his breath was catching in the back of his throat. Not fucking now.

He'd had his first panic attack two days after moving out of his mom and dad's place; he'd been on Ailie's couch, watching old re-runs of The Cosby Show, and one moment he'd been okay, the next he'd been gasping for breath and trying not to cry and clutching Ailie's hand so hard he thought he might pass out. Ailie had ended up calling the Samaritans, and the guy at the end of the phone had told him to breathe into a paper bag and try and regulate his breathing. It had been the scariest couple of hours he could remember, and since then they'd kept on coming back. Luckily they hadn't ever been as bad as that first time, but the idea of one coming on now, when he was away from home and by himself, that was new. New, and terrifying.

Tom braked his bike to a standstill, and then let it fall to the floor as he stumbled off and onto the bench by the side of the path. Regulate your breathing, he told himself, trying to measure his breaths against a count inside of his head. He was shaking, his hands trembling, and he was already sweating. He felt dizzy. Normally they weren't this bad, and he didn't have a paper bag like the guy on the phone had suggested. He tried to unzip his backpack and go for his phone to call Ailie, but his fingers felt like thumbs and he couldn't get the zip unjammed.

"Fuck," he managed, starting to wheeze. "Fuck, fuck, fuck." He dropped his bag on the floor and covered his face with his hands. Just breathe, he told himself. Breathe in and out. Slow and regular. Everything's fine. You're not having a heart attack. Just breathe. He wanted Ailie, and he fumbled for his bag again, but he was wheezing too hard.

"Hey," a guy said, standing next to him. Tom hadn't heard anyone come over. His panic intensified. "Hey, are you okay? Is it an asthma attack? Do you have an inhaler?" He reached for Tom's bag, and all Tom could think of was that he was trying to steal it. He kept a hold of it, but his breathing was getting worse. There were tiny black dots on the edge of his vision.

"Keep a hold of it, dude," the guy said. "I'm not stealing it. I just want to get your inhaler out."

"Not—not asthma," Tom managed. "Need my phone."

"Okay, okay. Is it in here? Let me get it for you."

Tom couldn't breathe. He couldn't breathe, and he was going to pass out, and he was going to die. This was what the end was going to be like, in the park with a strange guy going through his stuff, and Ailie wouldn't even know. "Panic attack," he managed. "Not asthma."

"Okay," the guy said, and then he was dropping to his knees in front of Tom and holding out a paper bag. "Breathe into this. It might smell a bit like sandwich. Just put it over your mouth and breathe."

That was what the guy at the helpline had said to him the first time he'd had an attack, but Tom couldn't help but feel suspicious of the motives of a stranger in a park. He couldn't help but take the bag, though, and he tried to regulate his breathing as he breathed out into it. Count slowly in your head, and try and match your breathing to it. He was trying, but it was hard, it was really hard, and he could feel his breathing getting out of control again. The bag smelled like bread and ham and mayo.

"Hey, hey," the guy said to him. He had blond hair peeking out from under a beanie and a band t-shirt layered over a long sleeve black shirt. "Watch me. Watch my breaths. Match them, come on." He was breathing in and out, in and out, slowly paced and loud.

Tom nodded, and tried to follow. In and out, in and out. He didn't know how long it was before he started to feel like he wasn't going to keel over then and there. He dropped his gaze from the guy's face, and ducked his head, still breathing into the bag. He was still a little dizzy, and his back was cold with sweat.

"That's it," the guy said. "Keep going. Do you want me to call someone for you?"

"Ailie," Tom managed, kicking his bag towards him. "Under 'A'."

"Okay," the guy put his hand on Tom's knee. "Hang on in there, dude. Keep breathing."

Tom closed his eyes and nodded. If the guy was going to run off with Tom's wallet and phone, then Tom wasn't going to run after him. He wasn't going to do anything but sit here and try and remember what normal breathing was like.

6. Bit o' Panic. Going to be Brendon/Spencer, let's just face it.

Brendon doesn't tell anyone when he moves into his apartment. He pretends his roster has changed at the last minute so that he can't go to band practice, and then he packs his stuff into the biggest suitcase he can find, stuffs his t-shirts into his backpack, steals thirty dollars from the housekeeping jar in the kitchen, and grabs his sleeping bag from the top of his closet.

He takes the bus across town, taking up two seats with all of his stuff. There's a trash bag with his pillow and hoodies in too, and he keeps a tight hold of it all as the bus jerks its way through traffic. He keeps blinking, hoping that he can keep the tears away just by trying his hardest, and when the bus pulls up at the end of his street, he drags all his stuff off the bus and onto the sidewalk. He almost, almost cries, but he manages to hold off until he's struggled down the block with all of his belongings, and up three flights of stairs until he's outside the dark, flaking door of 307, where his surname is taped up on a scrap of paper by the spyhole. He unlocks the door with a shaking hand, kicks all his belongings over the threshold, and then he starts to cry for real, sliding his back down the door until he's sitting on the floor with his head in his hands.

He's sixteen years old, he's just come out to his parents, and he's wiped out the majority of his college fund paying for this place.



7. Brendon/Spencer that might have ended up being my stuffsit fic last Christmas. High school AU.

"I hate school," Spencer grumbled, sticking his feet up on the table and opening a can of Pepsi.

Ryan ignored him, drawing curlicues up Tarah's arm in black Sharpie.

"Hey," Spencer said, bumping his foot into Ryan's elbow and jarring the swirl across Tarah's skin. "I am here, you know."

"You don't hate school," Ryan said, without looking up. "This is just because you're failing math."

"Not just math." Spencer was failing pretty much everything. Everything. His guidance counselor had called his parents in for a meeting on Monday, and Spencer suspected that not only was he going to be grounded forever when they were done, he was also going to be forced to stop skipping classes.

"Spencer, how the fuck—"

Spencer shrugged. School was boring, school was too hard, school held nothing for him at all. At the end of the semester Ryan was graduating, and then he'd be away at college, and school would get even worse for Spencer than it was at the moment. At first it had just been not doing his homework, but then that had turned into him skipping classes when the homework was due, and that had escalated until he was failing grades across the board. "Don't know."

"Spencer," Ryan looked reproving. Ryan had always done okay at school, and pretty good in English, and as a result he had a full ride scholarship to college in the fall. But then Ryan had always known what he enjoyed, whereas for Spencer, school was just something he had to do until he could graduate and never go again.

What he did then, he had no idea at all.

"Are you seriously failing everything?" Brent asked. He'd come over, just like always, to hang out in Spencer's den and play computer games. Spencer had no idea how Brent was doing in school, because when it had come to choosing high schools, Brent's mom and dad hadn't wanted him to go to catholic school with Ryan and Spencer. It still rankled, because Brent was just about the only friend that Spencer had that was in his grade and not Ryan's.

"Probably," Spencer said. "Yeah, pretty much. Maybe not history. Ms. Chen is okay."

"I hate history," Brent told him. "My teacher has a fucking moustache. Hey, you think you're going to have to go to summer school?"

Spencer buried his face in the couch cushion. "Anything but that." If he had to go to summer school and he didn't pass that, his parents would probably never speak to him again. Problem was, he didn't care about summer school any more than he did about normal school, and if he couldn't find any motivation to work now, when summer school was just a threat, how the hell was he going to find the motivation to work at all during the summer?

It hadn't always been like this; in elementary school he'd always done okay in school. It was only when he'd gone to high school that he'd seen virtually everyone in his class pass him in grades and enthusiasm and participation. He was just bored, and school was a pain in the ass, and there wasn't a single class he found fun. The music program he'd enjoyed in middle school hadn't translated to high school with him, so even that had fallen by the wayside.

"You're going to be grounded forever," Ryan reminded him. He was drawing a pattern on Tarah's palm now, marker pen curling around the base of her thumb. She was ignoring them all, texting one handed while she let Ryan draw all over her. Tarah was okay, but she'd never had that much to say to Spencer, and Spencer had never found all that much to say to her, either. "Just do the work and catch up and spend the summer hanging with me."

Yeah, right. Ryan spent every free minute with Tarah, probably because Tarah would have sex with him. Spencer could see the summer stretching away from him even now, endless weeks of babysitting his sisters and working with his mom at the doctor's office. It didn't fill him with joy.

"Whatever," he said, and he nudged Brent in the arm. "You want to play two-player?"

"Sure," Brent said, and tossed him the other controller.

—//—

While his parents were in the hour-long meeting with his guidance counselor, Spencer was supposed to be doing some of the homework he was behind on, but he just couldn't find it in himself to care. Instead he was sitting out in the hallway and running out the credit on his phone texting Ryan and Brent.

It really hadn't always been like this; his first two years he'd at least managed to keep up, even if high school was boring and he couldn't find anything to interest him. It was only this year that disinterest had started to turn into him not caring, and not caring had turned into him just stopping showing up. All around him he could see kids being interested in stuff, and having fun, and he had nothing that made him feel like that. Boredom had seeped under his skin, slowly stealing all the good stuff away until there was nothing but the tired realization that he had another year of this after Ryan had gone, and nothing to look forward to.

He doodled across the bottom of his notebook until his parents came out, looking disapproving and disappointed. He picked up his backpack and followed them out into the hallway, nodding as Ms. Butler called after him, "I want to see you first thing in the morning, Spencer. After you've had time to talk with your mom and dad."

Whatever, he thought.

His parents were barely speaking to him, which was an experience Spencer didn't exactly want to repeat. The car journey home was silent and drawn, Spencer sitting in the back seat and feeling just like a little kid.

"Skipping class, Spencer," his mom said, turning away from him as she went into the kitchen once they got home. "I've never been more disappointed."

Spencer rolled his eyes, and started to go upstairs.

"Oh no you don't, young man. Kitchen table, now. Your dad and I need to go through some things with you."

"Fine," Spencer said, and followed her into the kitchen. He checked his phone as he sat down at the table—there was a message from Brent.

Kid at school is offering tutoring $15 an hour. U want me 2 get his #? Super smart.

Spencer sighed, and stuffed his phone into his pocket.

His parents were really mad. They had a detailed list of all the work that Spencer had to do between now and the end of the semester to make up the work that he'd done badly on already. Spencer's guidance counselor had drawn up an actual plan, which just suggested to Spencer that she had way too much time on her hands. That and his teachers seemed way too engaged with stopping him from failing, which didn't seem to fit with how they were with him in the classroom. Maybe his guidance counselor was just super persuasive. She was annoying enough.

Anyway, the list was long, and involved a fuck-ton of work for Spencer to do, and it all looked way past his ability level. He was so fucked.

"So, Spencer. What are we going to do?"

Spencer looked at his parents. "I don't know," he said, because there was no way he was going to get through all of this work. Even if he tried his hardest and didn't slack off, it wasn't going to change the fact that he wasn't as smart as his parents—and Ryan—seemed to think. "What happens if I don't catch up?"

"I don't know. It depends if we can see that you've tried or not."

"Maybe I'm just a dumbass." Spencer picked at the edge of the table with the tip of his finger.

"You're not," his dad said.

"I might be. You don't know."

His mom relented. "Is this why you've fallen behind? Have you been struggling?"

Spencer shrugged.

"Maybe we should think about a tutor."

"I don't want one," he said.

"I'll ask the school tomorrow if they can recommend someone."

No way. Maybe he should take Brent up on the offer of the tutor at his school. The idea of someone else knowing that he wasn't just lazy, and that he was dumb as well—that was really shitty. The idea of it being someone at his school was much worse than the idea of it being someone he didn't know, from some other school. "Brent said there's a guy at his school who's offering tutoring."

"Okay." His mom nodded. "Ask Brent for the details and I'll give him a call, see if we can't work something out."

Everything about this was the worst thing in the world.

—//—

Spencer was late to his first tutoring session. His parents had mostly grounded him, and Ryan was always busy with Tarah, so it wasn't like he got to spend that much time with him any more. In a few weeks Ryan would be gone, and then Spencer would be all by himself, and it was all really shitty. So when Ryan had caught up with him after school, he'd taken full advantage of the opportunity to spend half an hour with him. It had been great until he'd realized he was supposed to be meeting the new tutor at home in twenty minutes time.

Ryan had just laughed when Spencer had made his excuses. He still couldn't get over the fact that Spencer was actually failing. It would have been funny if Ryan didn't think that Spencer was just lazy and not stupid as well.

Spencer really had started to feel dumb recently.

The tutor was waiting for him on Spencer's stoop. He was skinny and dark haired and bouncing from foot to foot, his back pack at his feet. He also looked younger than Spencer, which Spencer hadn't been expecting. He felt wrong-footed, because apart from being the same age as Spencer, he was also hot.

There was a possibility that Spencer might have been going through just the tiniest sexuality crisis recently, too. In between skipping classes and not doing his homework, he'd been on his computer or flicking through magazines, looking at the girls and looking at the guys, and trying to figure out which of them he found hot.

It was always the guys. He wasn't an idiot. He just wasn't out yet, that was all.

Spencer held his hand up in an awkward attempt at a greeting.

"Hi," the guy said, holding his hand out for Spencer to shake. His smile was wide and bright. "You must be Spencer. I was pretty sure that you were going to flake out on me. I'm Brendon. Brendon Urie."

"No." Spencer shook his hand awkwardly. "I was just late."

"There's no one in," Brendon said, pointing at Spencer's front door.

"No. There wouldn't be, because I was late. My mom and dad are at work, and my sisters have dance class after school."

"Oh, cool," Brendon said. He was weirdly energetic, like someone had wound him up and just not let him go yet. "Your mom said you'd be coming straight home from school, so I was kind of worried you were going to stand me up."

Spencer didn't say anything to that, because Brendon's jacket had an LGBT pin on the collar, and a rainbow etched onto the sleeve in Sharpie. Oh, he thought, and reached past Brendon to unlock the front door.

His parents had arranged the tutoring sessions, three times a week after school at Spencer's place. They'd talked to Brendon on the phone to fix the times, and Spencer hadn't even been allowed to have an input into it. His mom said that as he didn't have any extra-curriculars to work around, she was just going to fix the sessions with Brendon and Spencer would be expected to show up.

Nobody was being very nice to Spencer recently.

"My mom left us snacks," Spencer said dumping his backpack on the floor once he got inside. "Or she said she would, anyway."

Brendon hovered uncertainly in the doorway. "Do I need to take my shoes off?" he asked.

"Eh," Spencer said. "You can."

Brendon didn't look much like he was helped by that, but Spencer didn't exactly want to make it any easier for him.

Instead he just pushed on through to the kitchen, where there were cookies on the counter, a post-it note stuck to them that just said, to be eaten after some kind of learning experience. Juice in the fridge.

Spencer pointed at that counter and went to the fridge, coming back with a carton of orange juice. "You want?"

"Please," Brendon said, but he was already unzipping his backpack and getting out his books. "Your mom emailed me all of the work you have to do, so I knew where to start, so maybe we should start with your English paper? Or maybe with math. Do you have a preference?"

"I hate them both," Spencer said. "What kind of music do you like?"

"All kinds," Brendon said. "We have to do something, so pick one. Either. Math or English."

"I don't care. Do you want me to put Blink-182 or Fall Out Boy on?"

"I like them both but we're not listening to either of them until we've achieved something. I promised your mom."

"I hate my mom."

"You do not."




***STUFF***

"Hey, so, are you ever going to invite me over to your place?"

Brendon flinched, and then tried to hide it. "Um?"

"I guess that's a no, then." Spencer sighed. Maybe he'd been stupid, but he'd thought that the fact they'd made out might have meant that Brendon might show him where he lived.








Brendon's apartment was stiflingly hot and disgustingly airless. It smelled like old socks and stale ramen. There was an air conditioning unit on the floor by the window, but it didn't look like it was attached to anything.

"It's broken," Brendon said, seeing Spencer looking.

"I wasn't—"

"It's okay." Brendon stopped him. "It's pretty much a dump, I know it. The window's kind of jammed shut too, but if you can give me a hand we can try and shove it open."

"It's not a dump," Spencer lied, but he helped Brendon to open the window anyway. It was a dump, and secretly Spencer was kind of shocked, because the place was tiny, and scruffy, and lacking furniture. There was a tiny, tiny kitchenette with a microwave and a single pan on the stove. An open door showed the bathroom, a pink shower cubicle and a toilet with the seat up. There was a heap of clothes half in and out of a blue Ikea bag just inside the bathroom door, and Spencer assumed it was laundry. The rest of the living space was separated from the bedroom by a screen, but it can't have been bigger than the size of a bed. There was a chest of drawers in the corner of the room, all the drawers open and clothes hanging out the edge, and there was a battered desk in the corner by the kitchen, covered in school books and papers. The walls had pictures from magazines and a couple of posters pinned up, and in the corner of the room was a guitar case and a music stand, complete with pile of music. There was a casio keyboard leaning up against the wall. "It's nice."

Brendon flushed. "It's not," he said. "But thanks. It's okay. It's mine."

Spencer doesn't want to ask how much it's costing for Brendon to live here, and how much of his tutoring money is paying for this. It makes him feel bad for not taking the sessions so seriously before this. "Do you talk to your parents?"

"Sometimes," he said. "We didn't, not when I first moved out. They were really mad with me for a while. But now we do."

Spencer tried not to notice how grimy the apartment was, and how the windowsill was dirty and in need of a clean. "Would you go home?"

"No," Brendon said. "Not yet. My parents are pretty religious, and I'm not religious at all any more." He looks pretty studiously down at the counter. "Would you like some tea? I have some tea. I could make you some. My parents aren't really okay with me being gay yet either, so we don't really talk about that. I don't want to go home and pretend not to be gay anymore. I have peach tea? My mom gave it to me."

Spencer swallowed. He pretended not to be gay at home, but it didn't make him want to move out and have his own place. He wondered how different Brendon's home life had been to his home life, because he couldn't imagine his parents making his life difficult for that. They were making his life hard because he was a dumbass who couldn't even pass high school classes, but he hadn't really thought about what it might be like for him to tell them that he was gay. He hadn't told anyone that. He'd only just told himself, and the only other person who knew was Brendon, and that was only because they'd kissed.

"Tea sounds nice," he said, even though he didn't even really like tea, and peaches weren't exactly his favorite at the best of times.

Brendon microwaves them hot water while he gets two tea bags out of a foil bag in the one kitchen cabinet. Spencer tries not to notice that the shelves are pretty sparse, and that there's just pasta and ramen and jars of pasta sauce in there.

"Um," he said, because this was the point in the afternoon where he wanted to talk about the two of them maybe kissing again. "We kissed."

Brendon dropped the spoon to the counter top with a clatter. "Yes," he said. "I'm sorry about that."

"I'm not," Spencer said, surprising himself with how brave he suddenly sounded. "I liked it."

"Really?"

"I was kind of hoping we might maybe get to do it again. Um. That's what I was hoping."

"Oh," Brendon said. The microwave hummed behind him. "Okay."

"Okay?"

"Okay."

"To the kissing?"

Brendon blushed. "Yeah?"

"Now?" Spencer wanted it to be now. He'd done nothing but think about being kissed for like, a week now. It was turning him crazy. Really crazy.

"Do you want to wait for your tea?"

"No," Spencer said, and then Brendon nodded, turning around.

"Okay," Brendon said, and then he was stepping into Spencer's space, tilting his chin up, and pressing his mouth to Spencer's.

Spencer hadn't expected it to be so quick, and he swallowed a mmmph and tried to catch up.

[identity profile] calathea.livejournal.com 2013-03-27 06:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Is there a fund I could pay into for you to keep writing Tom's story? I am GRIPPED. I DEMAND MORE.
ext_16050: (Stock - launderette)

[identity profile] sunsetmog.livejournal.com 2013-03-27 06:49 pm (UTC)(link)
I just really, really love writing about people being a bit lonely and angsty and trying to find their way through. I LOVE IT. I had completely forgotten ever writing it, but now that I've rediscovered it I quite like the idea of it - will probably try and switch it so that it's UK based, though.

[identity profile] calathea.livejournal.com 2013-03-27 06:50 pm (UTC)(link)
O.O

*stares at you until you write it*
ext_16050: (Stock - Robot heart)

[identity profile] sunsetmog.livejournal.com 2013-03-27 07:00 pm (UTC)(link)
I believe I now have a project for writing group after Easter :DDDDD

[identity profile] calathea.livejournal.com 2013-03-27 07:02 pm (UTC)(link)
YAY \o/
isweedan: A happy fic reader hugs an ALOT. "I like this fic alot" (I LIKE THIS FIC ALOT.)

[personal profile] isweedan 2013-03-28 02:07 am (UTC)(link)
Oooh, that Bee-and-her-sister-are-diapering snippet was *fascinating*

[identity profile] mrsquizzical.livejournal.com 2013-03-28 11:17 am (UTC)(link)
oh wow. the original stories were so tantalising gdi. the disappearing sisters one, and poor lonely tom.

but finishing with brendon/spencer. ugh. *GRABBY HANDS*

[identity profile] theletterelle.livejournal.com 2013-03-28 02:51 pm (UTC)(link)
F&F: God, I love these movies. IDK why I haven't been active in the fandom (although I did do a songvid for the original movie. I think it's lost, though). You haven't written more F&F fic, have you? Because I want it if you have.

Lotrips: I... kind of have a thing for treating adults like bad teens and making them have curfews and taking away privileges. I may have been working out a Panic 2.0 fic about that last night, inspired by the rumor that Will Smith has been doing that with Justin Bieber. I'm sure the rumor is false, but I want it to be true.

College fic: I would like to read more of this. :) Why is there no drummer?

Bee: This is very, very interesting. I want to know what's going on.

Tom: TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. That is all.

Apartment fic: God, I love apartment fic. Poor, poor bden.

High school fic: I adore your high school fic. LOVE. High school + apartment fic = yesyesyes.

[identity profile] jackycomelately.livejournal.com 2013-03-30 07:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Love love love the high school fic. Love the idea of Spencer needing Panic just as much as everyone else.