Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by brodiew, Nov 18, 2014.
now I know who saved her. Great piece
A/N: Warning! This short depicts a failed suicide attempt by drowning. It take place in the fourth episode of Cloak and Dagger, 'Call/Response'. It is not the end of the story.
Death, Be Not Proud
The 'talk' with Tyrone had ended in unmitigated disaster. He had turned her pain back on her, not understanding or not being willing to listen to where she was coming from. Part of her knew that his self righteousness was born out his own pain, the loss of his brother, the circumstances. But, he still has the life he always had. The Catholic School, the upper middle class family, a mom and a dad. Even a comfortable bed. The death of her father at the hands of the Roxxon Corporation had left her with a delusional alcoholic mother, who made living at home impossible, a restless life of stealing and lying, and very little hope outside of her re-connection with Tyrone. That hope had been dashed. He had told her to 'check her privilege' she shared her thoughts about ending her life. That was rich coming from someone who seemed to have endless possibilities in front of him. Though he may understand grief, he did not understand how it could destroy a family, how it could leave one person permanently devastated and another cut adrift, left to fend for themselves. She was tired of fending for herself, tire of covering the pain with brief bursts of cash and gifts that she had to lie, cheat, and steal to achieve. She thought Greg might change that, that he might be a reliable anchor. Just as sure as she had allowed hope to blossom, Greg was shot dead before her very eyes. Tyrone didn't know about that. Neither did her mom. Poor soul. At least she wouldn't have to worry about Tandy anymore, if she did at all. Tyrone didn't understand her hopelessness and she was not going to explain it again. It was time. Their weird connection wasn't going to save her. It might even put her into Greg's shoes. A target of Roxxon. Enough. Enough running. Enough hiding. She was tired of the daily swindle. She would put a stop to it all.
Tandy packed her knapsack with a heavy chain and monster lock. The sun was rising as she left the church she had called home for the last time. The pier was only a few blocks away and it was early enough in the morning that foot traffic was nonexistent. As she set foot on the wood planks of the pier, she felt the weight of the chain she was carrying. She did not waver. Marching to the end of the dock, she removed the backpack and took out the chain. She climbed up onto the rail and securely wrapped the chain around her lower legs. Making sure it was locked, she tugged on the chain with force. She stood still and silent or a moment, trying to conjure a picture of her dad, any moment of happier times. She could not. Like hanging tapestries in her mind, sorrow and pain were all that would usher her into death.
Liam's heartbroken acceptance of her rejection.
Her attempted rape.
Tyrone's angry lecture.
Greg's blood spattered on his law office window.
Her mother leaving Greg a tearful message of reconciliation, not knowing he was already dead.
Tandy Bowen jumped.
She sank faster than she thought she would and hit bottom in a handful of seconds. She did not struggle, but nor did she suck the sea water quickly into her lungs. Did she still doubt her desire to die? She was so sure that it would never get better. Wasn't she? Roxxon had won again and Tyrone was not her friend or lover or guardian angel. Or was he? Tyrone had saved her once before. He seemed to want to keep saving her. But in a non controlling way. He wanted her to live. He wanted her to want to fight her demons. He wanted to be there with her when she defeated them. But why?
Why had God or Roxxon science or whatever linked them given them these cursed gifts. Hopes were only that. She could not see the future. What she saw was only a fantasy, a vision of a desired future, realistic or not. She realized how useful it could be in a deceptive manner, in order to manipulate people. But what would Tyrone say? How would he want her to use it? How would he use his own gifting of seeing people's fears?
Her lungs burned and she remembered the flight from her father's sinking car. Tyrone's hand shrouded in inky blackness. She wondered then if they would live. They did. She looked up and could see the glimmer of sunlight playing on the surface. It was not too far, but she could not reach it. In that moment, she knew she wanted to live. Without even consciously calling it, the hot white dagger appeared in her hand. The light was not near as blinding as when she had unwittingly called Tyrone to her rescue so long ago. But it was bright and it was power and it was life. She bent to over far enough to slash the blade through the lock. It fell in half as if she had sliced though a stick of butter. Hastily she shed the chain and swam for the surface.
When she broke the surface, gasping for air, the dagger was still in her hand. She brought to her face, to see the light. She clutched it tightly and did not let it go until she reached the shore.
Roxxon would pay.
She and Tyrone would figure it out; who they were, what they could do, and what they would do with it.
She would do what she could for her mom.
It would not be easy. But she would not be alone.
Back to Stranger Things, but still on the angst train. This one has Mike and his dad butting heads over his bad attitude.
Mike Wheeler could not muster the energy to get out of bed. His mother had already called twice and dear old dad would be marching up the stairs any moment to get him moving. Though he would prefer to avoid a confrontation, he just couldn't muster the 'want to' to get out of bed. It was day 29 since El had vanished and it already sucked just was much as the 28 days before it.
He turned to his right and spied the the digital clock on desk. 7:03. He was only thirty minutes behind schedule and if he didn't eat his All American breakfast of bacon and eggs and toast and orange juice, he might still make it. A frosted strawberry Poptart would be nice...and fast. But, no. Mom didn't like her kids having 'pure sugar' treats for breakfast.
With effort, Mike threw back his blanket and sat up. That was a far as he got before visions of El in a sleeping bag up to her neck smiling loving up up at him. His chest clinched and the moment of peaceful joy was swallowed up by the knowledge of the truth. El was gone. Gone, but not forgotten. Gone, but not dead. Gone, but not available to love. His mood darkened and the prospect of a fight with his dad seemed more and more inviting. He laid back down and folded his hands behind his head.
From his upper bunk, he saw the door open before he heard the light squeak of the hinges.
"Michael," his dad said in that dull monotone that made Mike want to rip his hair out. His dad was tall and his head and shoulders rose about the bed frame. "Your mother has called you to breakfast twice. What is the hold up?"
"I'm not feeling so hot, dad," Mike groaned, feigning illness. "I threw up in the middle of the night."
Ted Wheeler looked caught between fight or flight and disdain for his son's antics. It was confusing to Mike for many years until he realized that his dad didn't give a crap as long as he wasn't inconvenienced. This gave Mike special talent as long as he didn't push his advantage too far.
"Does that mean you're not going to school?" Ted asked, as if that fact were all that mattered.
Mike screwed up his face. "Gee, son, I'm sorry you're sick. What is it that feels yucky?"
Ted's face seemed to set like wet concrete. It was hard for Mike to tell if anything had changed when his dad's full range of expression consisted of tiny shades of disinterest.
"You better check that attitude, Michael," his dad droned. "I won't have it and I don't want your mother dealing with it either."
"Why would I give her any attitude, Ted," Mike said, pointedly. "At least she cares if I'm sick or not."
Ted took the provocation in stride and replied: "Are you sick, Michael, or are have you been smoking pot out in the tool shed?"
"What?" Mike exclaimed, incredulously. "Smoking pot, Dad? That's all you've got? Yeah, that's me, dad. Don't you know it! I roll my own joints and get high every day."
Mike climbed down from his bed and went to his dresser for clothes.
"What should I be thinking, Mike?" His father inquired, dully. "You're moping around the house in a fog and this outburst is consistent with how you've been acting. You're moody an-"
Mike whirled on his dad. "You're damn right I'm moody, dad. This house is like a mausoleum. Everyone mopes around. Why am I so suddenly different? Did you even notice that my best friend was kidnapped and was missing for almost a week? Granted, he didn't die, but it was a big deal, dad. Remember Feds coming to the house?"
"Michael," Ted said blandly, still not rising to Mike's level of frustration. "I'll ask you one more time to calm yourself and find a respectful tone."
"Or what?" Mike nearly screamed. "You'll take away my toys?"
Mike could hear footfalls on the stairs as, no doubt, both Mom and Nancy came running. They both entered the room as Ted dropped his disciplinary bomb.
"Michael, I don't have to take your toys. You'll need something to occupy yourself when I take your friends...for a month."
"What?" Mike cried, anger fuming. His face colored and he began to tremble.
"Are you ready control yourself?" His dad asked, calmly.
Mike caught his mother's eye, before releasing a ragged breath. He looked his father in the eye. He had rolled the dice on his father lack of presence and it came up snake eyes. "Yes, sir."
"Now, get dressed and eat your breakfast. I'll be taking you to school."
He turned and left the room, brushing by his wife and daughter, who stood still, in momentary shock.
The contest of wills was intense and realistic, very understandable for such a situation. Ted's lack of empathy is startling! I think if his feelings felt validated in the first place Mike wouldn't feel like he needed to grieve in silence.
Great to see Tandy getting a new will to live.
Mike sure has problems
Whew! That was an intense piece with Tandy; I'm glad to see her resolve coming back to her in the end. She certainly has a lot fighting against her, but I'm glad to see it's a fight she's willing to wage.
Then, it's so great to see more ST ficlets from you! Ted Wheeler is . . . well, everything a dad shouldn't be. His lack of empathy while still needing to be the man of the house here was a frustrating combo to read. Mike has gone through a severe trauma - even without his parents' knowledge of El, and what attitude he is displaying can certainly be helped by a little tenderness and understanding before immediately jumping to counsel and correction. It's a frustrating family dynamic to watch, and you, sadly, captured it perfectly here.
@WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Thanks for the review, Nyota! Ted Wheeler is a maddening character in the show. He is totally passive, except when his pride is attacked or he feels he should say or do something whether he wants to or not. You're right. A little empathy goes a long way.
@earlybird-obi-wan: thanks earlybird! I'm proud of the Tandy piece, though it is intense. And, yes, Mike's home life is not that great.
@Mira_Jade: Thanks Mira! That Tandy piece was born out of the final shot of the episode. It was powerful and I thought it deserved more.
Oh, Ted. I'm glad you picked up on the maddening dichotomy of Ted's character. I noticed it while writing, but couldn't stop. Thanks for continuing to show up.
And, now, for something completely different... Spoilers for Marvel's Ant-Man and Wasp!
It had been four days since Hank had returned from the quantum realm with her mother and the catching up has gone nearly 36 of those 84 hours. Hope Van Dyne was tired, in a euphoric, I've just being reunited with my mom after 30 years and don't want her to leave my sight, kind of way. Hank was there, too, but fell asleep in his leather chair about 18 hours in.
“So, tell me about Scott,” Janet inquired, conspiratorially, drawing out his name for effect.
Hope smiled bashfully, adding a 'he's crazy and I'm crazy for digging his crazy', eye roll. The two women were hunched over the breakfast table in Hank's meager kitchen sipping espresso. “He's complicated.”
Janet arched an eyebrow with a knowing grin and said: “Then simplify him for me.”
“Okay,” Hope began, taking in a clarifying breath. “He's a divorced, has a daughter, who lives with his mother and her husband. He's an ex-convict, brilliant thief and electrical-”
“-Your father already explained all that, Dear. Simplify him for me. Who is he to you?”
Clearly, the previous cleansing, or was it clarifying, breath had not done the trick. She took a moment and brought his face to her mind's eye and smiled again over the edge of her coffee cup. “He makes me laugh, Mom. He is funny and spontaneous, and so off the wall that's it hard to keep up with him. But it's fun trying. The truth is I've been angry for such a long time. Angry at dad. Angry at you. And, more recently, angry with Scott, too. It has been exhausting. But despite all of his faults, and there are a few, he completely disarms me.”
“I imagine you didn't like that, at first,” Janet added, deducting her daughter's defenses. “The loss of control.”
“You're right, Mom. I didn't just not like it. I hated it. When Dad brought him on, it was just another slap in the face. Of course, I was too prideful, then, to realize why he didn't want me in the suit. At the time, it was just another way for him to reject me, to set me aside, even though I had every single skill necessary for the job.”
Janet took a sip of coffee, nodding at Hope's confession. “How did you and Hank finally reconcile?”
A pleasant chuckle escaped Janet's lips. “I see. And, how is that?”
“It was pretty simple, actually,” Hope said, remembering the brief exchange in her car outside Hank's three years ago. “He helped remove my blinders. He told me that he was expendable and I was not. It was a truth that dad had never spoken. I'm not sure I would have heard if he had. Which is why hearing it from Scott was such an eye opener. I resented having him at the house. Can you imagine having a stranger with a front row seat for our family drama?”
“Awkward,” Janet said, as if she were fully aware of the present popular usage of the word.
Hope laughed. “Awkward, for sure. But, in hindsight, so necessary in a lot of different ways. He's the reason dad and I, and, now, you, are back together.”
Janet fixed her daughter with a weighty gaze. “Is that what he is you, Hope? Glue?”
Hope was taken aback by her mother's bluntness, but not offended. She stared into her coffee mug for a moment. “It's a good question, but I don't think this is one of those shared traumatic infatuations. We started dating after what happened with Darren Cross. It was going really well. I had even met his daughter Cassie. Germany changed all that. I won't go over it again. Needless to say, Scott and I ended on that tarmac. We didn't see each other for two years. We couldn't. And, believe me, for a long time I didn't want to. And, even when I did, I couldn't.”
“It was another betrayal,” Janet said, genuinely. “He set you aside to go fight with Captain America. It may not have been a conscious choice, but he chose to walk away from you, even his daughter, to a certain extent, for what? A pointless battle that didn't solve anything in long run?”
“In retrospect, I guess it was pointless,” Hope replied. “He was on the losing side. But, he did his time. There is something to be said for that. Now that all the dust has settled and we're together again.”
“I have to commend you, Hope. For all his faults, and you are right, there a few, you appear to want to overlook them and concentrate on the positive.”
“I'm not overlooking his past mistakes, I'm factoring them into the man I know; the man I care about more deeply with each passing day. He's not perfect. You ought to know that no man is. Scott is wise, but in an enigmatic way. He's brave, while affecting an insecure nature. He's a brilliant engineer, but acts like he's fumbling through it all. It's terribly maddening and insanely lovable all at once. As a father, he is so adorable, I want cry when I see them together. I don't cry, Mom. That is how disarming and charming he is. I guess, the bottom line is that he is becoming an honorable man, a hero even, and I want to be there with him.”
Janet nodded her ascent, reaching across the table to pat her daughter's hand. “History has a way of repeating itself, in love, and in war. I wish only the best for you and Scott.”
Hope's countenance fell. “Why did you mention war, Mom? Do you know something we don't?"
Janet shook her head and waved a hand dismissively. “I don't know why I said that, Dear. Perhaps, I was just remembering the day I lost you and your father. Don't worry yourself about it. Scott sounds like a good man. I look forward to getting to know him better.”
Hope's lips parted into a weary smile. “Me too.”
I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS!!!
This film actually ended up being one of my favourite Marvel movies - which really took me by surprise! And of course I left the theater really wanting Hope and Janet bonding fic - and even toyed with the idea of writing some myself, but then viola! Here you are providing. Of course, amongst everything else she has missed, Janet wants to catch up on her daughter's love life - they've gotta talk about boys. Simplifty - I really liked that line being used over again; this really is a family of scientists! You completely nailed Hope's anger and frustration, and how Scott has played a big part on enabling her to let things go and just smile. I hope that they continue growing that way. Just:
Yep. That about sums it up just perfectly!
Anyway, this was sweet and uplifting and just what I wanted to read. Every word was fantastic.
Super duper. Great brodie-style dialogue with the humor mixed in with candid connecting. You captured the confused but loving jumble that characterizes so many of my OTPs: L/M & H/L to name two It's wanting to slog through all that to get to the great, he completes me stuff that makes the relationship tick and click.
@Mira_Jade: I am so excited that you liked this fic and that you LIKED THE MOVIE! Okay, enough emojis. It is good to hear that Marvel bounced back for you after AIW. This film was so much fun and and the Scott/Hope ship is definitely OTP. I would not mind if you had a few special prompts you might throw my way like in the olden days. That would be choice, if you have the time and the notion. I never intended to write Hope-Janet. I fully intended to write Scott/Hope, but BOOM the inspiration went another way. I am pleased the you liked it so much. Scott is a clown, if a brilliant one and she is the perfect foil for him and he for her.
@WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Thank you, Nyota. Scott/Hope are definitely on my OTP list. Hope is much like Jean Luc Picard in her reserved dignity. She is not like him in that much of her reserve is rooted in resentment of her father and the need to make herself visible to him. But, like Picard, some of her best moments are when see behind the curtain, when her veneer cracks, for either humor or drama. And, yes, ultimately, they complete each other, but we are still on the road to that place. +
Scot Lang leaned back in his chair, folded his arms, and stared at the near empty wine bottle on the table.
“You realize that there is something very suggestive about this wine bottle,” he said, seriously.
“You're right, Scott,” Hope Van Dyne replied in agreement. “There is something suggestive about every wine bottle.”
He shook his head, tightly, dismissing her comment. “No, there something distinctly lewd about this bottle. What are you trying tell me, Hope? Are you wanting to be more adventurous in our love life?”
Hope frowned, now fully aware that she was caught in the word web of a slight inebriated jokester.
“What love life we have is adventurous enough,” she replied, undaunted. “Simply because it is a Menage a' Trois red blend has nothing to do with my desire to add another player to the mix. It's just good wine, Scott, as you are presently, warmly, aware.”
“It was also a good episode of Star Trek: Next Generation,” he said, changing tacks on the fly. “Now Lwaxana was a lusty lady. Lots of double meaning in that Troi.”
Hope rolled her eyes and poured the final splash into her glass. “No doubt. But I bet she also just wanted to cuddle on the couch with Jean-Luc from time to time. You think you could manage that?”
“Are you comparing me to Captain Picard? Because that would be pretty darn cool? I mean that you even know who he is and what episode I was talking about.”
“What I'm trying to do is get you to under a blanket on the couch,” she replied, directly. “But, if you need reminding of the fact the my father is a renown scientist and that I grew up a science geek, I'd be happy to tell you about all the science fiction TV I watched over the years.”
Scott refolded his arms and regarded her intently. He seemed to be mulling over which would be more exciting. “Star Wars?”
“Han or Lando?” he asked, giddily.
“I'm not doing this right now, Scott,” she deflected. “I thought alcohol was supposed to lower inhibitions, not ramp up inner fanboys.”
Scott pinned her with a seductive gaze, which was weird because usually women threw them at men. “Let's just say this fan boy is ramping up just fine. Han or Lando?”\
Despite herself, his childish, though alternatively seductive antics were getting to her. “Han.”
Scott nodded appreciatively, standing and picking up blanket which was laying on a chair beside the couch. “Picard or Kirk?”
He spread the blanket over the couch.
“Gandalf or Yoda?”
Hope cinched her eyebrows in confusion. “Wait, who is Gandalf?”
Scott looked at her as if she had sprouted a third eye and ripped the blanket from the couch. He pointed at her and with faux zeal and pronounced: “Blasphemer!”
“I'm losing patience, Scott,” she said, pointedly. “And you're losing an opportunity. But as long as we're talking about wise wizards, how about Dumbldore?”
Scott relented his posturing and bowed curtly to her. “Right, the blanket.” He removed it from the floor and replaced on the couch, smoothing it out. He placed a pillow on the far end and lay down, pressing into the cushions to give her room. “Dumbledore is acceptable. Now, come here Lwaxana, Jean-luc is waiting for you.”
She lay down next to him, her body pressing into his and her head laying in the crook of his arm. She kissed him lightly on the lips before following it with a deeper more passionate, pressing kiss. “I'm more like Beverly, Jean-Luc. She's the one you really wanted, right?”
“You are so right,” he replied, breathlessly and pulled the blanket over the top of them.
SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! When it comes to preferences: Jean-Luc & Han, Hope has taste! Flawless! Now if you were to ask her Ezra Bridger or Luke Skywalker -- hmmm.
Beverly Crusher is definitely the one for Jean-Luc, as a pairing. Lwaxana - that was all on her side.
Loved the banter and easy warmth between them. There's no prickliness.
love the mentioning of my favorite Star Trek characters with Jean-luc as the first
@WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: I thought I might get a SQUEE out you on this one, Nyota. Thank you leaving a review and proving me right. Beverly is definitely Picard's love and Kudos to Hope for knowing that.
@earlybird-obi-wan: Thanks for commenting, earlybird. Big Jean-luc can here as well. This was fun to write.
That said, it's back from the funny to the no so sunny, angsty world of Cloak and Dagger. Warning: More suicidal thought, but with a positive conclusion. Short, too.
Trap Door in the Floor
Tandy Bowen stared at the white hot dagger in her hand. Her mind raced. Her knees buckled. She was ready to die for real this time. She would not be stopped. The dagger, the previous symbol of her hope, her life line, only days ago, would now be instrument of her death. All the progress she had made, all the clawing she had done to get to surface, all the trust she had placed in her memory of her father, was gone. Cut off at the knees. Again. What was there left to live for? It all been about her father's good name. But, he was not good. He was mean and brutal and selfish. So many memories flooded her desperate consciousness. Her mind’s eye remembered the day he died. Mom wasn't coming to pick her up from ballet. It was daddy. She had beamed at the prospect. She was so happy that he was coming. She waited eagerly. He did not come. All the other girls had been picked up or left with parents who stayed for practice. Where was he? The busy street outside the studio deserted person by person. The sun fell and it started to rain. She had no umbrella. Where was he? Mom said he was coming. When he finally arrived, she was happy again, so glad to see her daddy. But, now, wanting to die, Tandy wondered how much grief her mother had taken for asking him to pick her up. How hard had he ripped her apart for interfering with his schedule? She is speculating, wanting to pile on more hate that had suddenly gripped her. She never saw the abuse, but the gift has never lied before. He never had the opportunity to beat her again. For that, Tandy was thankful. All of this raced through her head as she stood the lakeside, tears welling in her eyes, but for an altogether different reason than her mother suspected. She squelched the dagger so her mother would not see, but Ty saw. Ty worried. He was a worrier, but he would not have to worry about her for long. This time, the gift would not prevail.
Damn her father. Damn him for showing her such love while treating his mother like a slave.
Ran from the now fake lakeside vigil.
Ran from a mother just cannot face.
Ran from Tyrone, the one person who might understand.
Her plans to end herself bled away as she ran. How could she? Knowing what her mother has suffered, two three times over. How could she only think of herself? Revenge, though still a palpable desire, is no longer what drives her. She doesn’t know what it is anymore, but it is not selfish. It can’t be. If she continued to think only about herself, she would end up dead, either by her own hand or by that of her enemy, Roxxon.
She stopped running, sweat on her brow and hairline, sucking wind. She sat down on a bench to catch her breath. Ty was there, not having chased her on foot, but materializing out of his oily black shadow.
“Are you okay?” he asked, knowing the question is rhetorical, but asking anyway.
“What…do you…think?” she stammered.
“I think you’re fragile,” he said, quietly. “More fragile than ever. Fragile enough to need some to be with you for a while.”
She looked at him, wanting to shrug him off, do this on her own; figure out how to bring down Roxxon and build up her mother. How to keep the devil of suicide at bay, if not destroy it once and for all. But, she knew she cannot do it on her own. She needs someone to understand, someone to temper her irrationality. Someone to know. Someone to know her. She wishes she had his hoody. Her safest place. The smell of him. The smell of life. She realizes he did not give her life, but this boy, that day, saved her life. In her heart, buried under so much rock of pain and guilt and sadness and desperation, she realizes he still is. Saving her.
“You’re right, Ty,” she breathed. She leaned over and placed her head on his shoulder. She could feel the bristling energy in her hair and scalp, but she was not close enough to him to initiate the reaction. “Don’t leave me.”
He didn’t move or speak. He was rock steady. He was what she needed. Not to make her whole. Not to complete her.
To be her anchor.
To be her support.
To be her partner.
good to see her meeting Ty
(So, I am late checking in on this thread, but I would love to send some Scott/Hope prompts your way! Let me put my thinking cap on. )
And, speaking of catching up: SCOTT IS SUCH A MAN CHILD, I LOVE IT. But it's good for Hope - he's good for Hope. She can use a bit more breezy-easy in her life. They really do compliment each other. I adore how she humors his silly inebriated line of thought, and even gets caught up in the conversation. She has excellent taste.
Then you weren't kidding when you said not so funny. Tandy really is in a low place, and it was painful to read her inner thoughts. But I love the realization she reached at the end - she has a friend who wants to help, not to fix her, but to stand by her side as her equal. That was beautiful. I really need to catch up on this show now, so I can give you a more thoughtful review than that. But, great job with a very sensitive, triggering subject matter.
@earlybird-obi-wan: Thank you, earlybird. I've caught an angsty bug from this show, but it's still been fun to write.
@Mira_Jade: Ah, yes. Than man child we love so much. Castle, anyone? I am glad you enjoyed Ant-Man and the Wasp so much. It is so much fun, with good action, and just the right amount of romance. I'm glad you liked it. I had fun throwing in the SW and TNG references.
As for Tandy and Ty, the angst won't stop. Not yet anyway. The season finale is Thursday. So, there is that. It has been a rocky road getting to the point with this first season. I have overall enjoyed it, put it has had some pacing issues are killing me. I'm glad the piece hit had the desired effect. Despair does not have to be a never ending well.
'I see you dressed in white
Every wrong made right
I see a rose in bloom
At the sight of you
Oh, so priceless
Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable
Darling, it's beautiful
I see it all in you
Oh, so priceless'
-from Priceless by for King and Country.
A/N: I didn't think of this song lyric until after I finished writing. The lyric came to mind as I thought about Tandy receiving forgiveness and grace, Dagger's traditional white costume, and the dagger's themselves. Pure white light. Tandy's purity can be reclaimed. I can't wait to see these two in action on Thursday.
Dressed in White
When Tandy returns to the church, spiritually broken after he confrontation with Ty and Evita's surprise rebuff within her own hopes, she discovers the results of Liam's reprisal. She couldn't blame him. She led him on, talking marriage, all the while seeking to stir up hopes that she could recklessly and heartlessly steal. When Ty showed up and caught her in the act of her depravity, her reaction had been anger, of course, wanting to defend her sin as her right. What she had not considered in her ire, her need to tell Ty to go straight to the place in which she already lived, was Liam. Had he witnessed their fight in his mind? Or was it enough that she dashed from the church after a kiss and never returned. Had he deduced that she was using him? Did he have so much residual distrust and bitterness to take from her before she took from him, again?
As she looked at her meager possessions strew about her corner of 'heaven', she realized it didn't matter. It was just as well. Her money was gone. Her blood money. Her pride and self respect, what inkling of it remained, finally vaporized.
THE HOODY! Where was it? Tandy desperately searched her nest and breathed a heavy sigh of relief as she noticed it draped over a near by pew. She rushed to it and pulled it on. Her anxiety lessened, if only a bit. She had no strength or will to straighten up. She laid down on the mattress, curled into a ball and began to sob.
She did not cry as if her favorite pet had died or if a special keepsake had been lost. She did not even cry for her father; the 'good' man or her mother, the Dove with broken wings. No, she sobbed with the anguish of a thousand and one sins. She heaved with the weight of her pain and how she had fashioned it wall and weapon at the same time. She never imagined herself wailing. She was too strong and tough for that. But, that pride was over now. That anger, in its unrighteousness, was going out with the tide of tears. How many men had she used? How many had she seduced, drugged, and stolen from? How many partners had she led on, leading them by the leash of sex and money and promises of a life beyond 'the life'? So many lies. Lies upon lies upon lies. The biggest lie being that it had to be this way. This was the only life for a runaway; a little girl who could not face the fact of her father's death, her mother's downward spiral, and fending for herself with so little resources. She had endured so much pain and used the only thing that seemed to work. Her beauty. However, she had inflicted as much or more pain than she endured. The men she marked may have deserved it to Tandy's recollection, but it had still been wrong. What she had done to Liam was wrong in ways she hadn't allowed herself to understand, to feel.
She was feeling it now. All of it. All the doubt. All the disappointment. All the shame. All the guilt. All the lost hopes and dreams. All the tainted memories. All the times she lifted her head up only to have it swatted back down. She could not control the heaves, the unending waves of sobs, the rawness in her throat from wailing. Tears streaked her face as she shook. She did not try to stop it. She had nothing left to lose. But she could not yet see, clearly, what she had to gain.
After a while, how long she could not tell, she stopped crying. She weakly wiped her face one an arm of the aging black hoody. With effort, she stretched out her legs from the fetal position. She rolled over on her back. The Church's crucifix still hung above the altar in the sanctuary some 50 ft away. She had sneered at it so many times. She slept in the opposite direction so not to have to look at it.
She did not sneer this time.
She did not look away.
She did not curse Him.
This time, Tandy Bowen sought peace.
This time, Tandy Bowen sought strength.
This time, Tandy Bowen said: “Help me.”
Nice view into Tandy and great that she is asking for help
@earlybird-obi-wan: Thanks, earlybird! You are awesome. Tonight is the season 1 finale of Cloak and Dagger. There may be one or two more before it peters out. Thanks, again.
A/N: you never know how a prompt provided by a board friend can spark inspiration. This one did. Thank you to @Mira_Jade for the sproms of 'sleepover'. I hope this is even close to what she imagined it might be.
“A sleepover?” Hope said, wondering, for a moment if she was a grown woman talking to a grown man. “Like with sleeping bags and popcorn and pillow fights and painting nails and…”
She heard Scott chuckling on the other end of the line. He added: “And making cupcakes and watching movies and playing Rock Band and making costumes for role p-play acting.”
Hope’s voice, which was edging toward excitement, lowered again questioning: “Playacting?”
“Yeah, you know,” he answered, not breaking stride. “Like charades, but with costumes.”
“Why would anyone play charades in costume, Scott? Wouldn’t it defeat the purpose?”
“Okay, fine,” he replied, energetically. “I see what you mean. Not charades, then. More like theatre games, but for a specific film or tv show. Like Star Wars or Beauty and the Beast. Cassie loves it. So do I. And, so will you. That’s if we even get to it. Sounds like you are more into the pillow fighting, anyway.”
She heard the lilt in his voice. “Simmer down. Your daughter will be there, remember. I imagine this entire event is for her benefit.”
“Not exactly,” he replied, ruefully. “I know this gir-woman who never had the opportunity for a sleepover. She’s kind of hard-nosed from being deprived of fun for most of her life. If you ask me, she could use an opportunity to let her hair down and her inner child out to play.”
“Who says I never-”
“-Just say yes and don’t over think it,” Scott cut in with finality.
She remained silent a few seconds, letting him sweat, but when she heard the dial tone, she knew he had gotten the better of her. She smiled in admiration.
Later that night…
Throw pillows and pillows from all bedrooms and closets had been intricately placed into a quilt-like rectangle in Scott’s living room. He and Hope sat feet to feet with cotton balls separating their twenty respective toes. The artist formerly known as Cassie put the finishing touches on the painted phalanges, adding a small jewel to each one.
“Are they done yet?” her dad asked, desperately wanting to wiggle his toes, which his daughter had so insistently demanded remain still during the process.
“Done!” she exclaimed after placing the last jewel on Scott’s little toe. She had painted every other foot, switching back and forth from her dad to Hope. She did the same with the jewels. “Voila!”
Hope examined her toes and was pleasantly surprised by Cassie’s steady hand and attention to detail. As she looked to Scott’s toes, she noticed a more of a haphazard result, which was not Cassie’s fault, but the result of her father’s fidgeting.
“Your daddy really needs to learn to sit still, doesn’t he?” Hope said, winking and nodding conspiratorially.
“For real!” the ten year old agreed, enthusiastically, blowing on Hopes toes.
“Oh, you think, I need to sit still, do you?” Scott said, his voice lowering into a villainous growl. He turn to his right lifting his feet into the air and spinning his bottom, reaching out to grab her and throw her over his lap. While it appeared that he swat her bottom, playfully, he grabbed her left foot and bent it back toward him. “Let’s see how you fair against the Toesies Tickle Troll!”
Cassie shrieked in fake distress. “Not the Tickle Troll! Anything but the tickle troll?”
Hope looked on uncertainly. It wasn’t the first time she’s witnessed something like this, but it was the first time she questioned if she should join in.
“I will torture you with tickles before I gobble up your pretty little toes!” Scott continued in troll voice, turning his gaze to Hope. “And, no one can stop me! Mu ah ah ah!”
“Help!” pleaded Cassie, lolling her head back and eyeballing Hope. “Somebody save me!”
Hope hopped into a crouch, cotton balls still between her toes and launched herself at Scott. She dodged Cassie, colliding with Scott’s shoulder. He went down on his back, releasing Cassie.
“Unhand her, fiend!” Hope commanded, pressing his shoulder to the ground and looming over him with fierce and flashing eyes. Removing her hands from his shoulders, she placed one fist on his chest and calls back over her should. “Are you alright, M‘lady?”
Cassie’s eyes are wide in surprise and joy and she is giggled nervously. Yes! Yes! I’m okay!”
Scott, genuinely surprised by the action, grinned like a school boy. Hope turned back to him, her gaze still threatening.
“What should we do with this toe tickling beast?” Hope asked Cassie. “What punishment does he deserve?”
“Tickle is tummy!” Cassie squealed, animatedly. “He can’t stand it. Turn the torture on him!”
Scott’s face contorted in to fear and rage as he silently prepared for the onslaught of rib tickling terror.
“Help me, Cassie,” Hope entreated. “You take he left side and I’ll stay here on the right.”
Cassie joined her and they tickled Scott relentlessly. In the end, he was curled up in a ball threatening that he might pee if they continued. They did not stop. Grabbing a pillow as a last resort, he clobbered Hope in the back of the head. He went over, momentarily, allowing him an opening to get to his feet and arm himself with additional pillows. With a pillow in each hand, he stood ready to fight.
“Toesy Troll is has the upper hand again,” he snarled, impishly. He attacked before Hope and Cassie were fully armed. He swatted Hope in the back and twirled to pop his daughter in the belly. She reacted quickly enough to deflect it with a downward block. The pillow she was picking up with her opposite hand came up fast, but was a glancing blow off his arm.
With all his concentration on Cassie, Scott did not count on the combination of blows, high and low, that came from Hope. They were hard, harder than one might assume in a pillow fight, but understandable given the woman’s inexperience. He parried the attack as best he could, but he was being forced back, away, from Cassie.
Scott ducked the last high strike and stepped into Hope’s space, his left leg now behind her right. He grabbed her by the arms and pulled her to the pillowed floor. They landed softly, as he intended, he on top of her, face to face.
“You are a mighty warrior, but no match for the Toesy Troll,” he said.
She looked into his eyes; his silly, loving, caring, playful, daring, and courageous eyes. His character face dissipated. She had dropped a wall and he had noticed. Their lips were tantalizingly close and the heat of the recent exertion radiated from each of them. He didn’t ask. He must have sensed he didn’t need to. He kissed her. He kissed her a second time, which she engaged.
In the heat of the moment, they had both forgotten…
“Gross!” Cassie exclaimed as she rained down pillows on the two prone adults. “So gross! Toesy Troll and the Knight Hope aren’t supposed to kiss!”
“Says you!” Scott retorted, from beneath an ever growing pile of pillows.
Finally, Scott and Hope were covered in a mound of pillows. “Take that, you ugly, green toe tickler!” Cassie extolled.
The mound sat still. No responses came from within.
Cassie eyed it, warily. “Toesy?”
The young girl approached the pile, circling it at a safe distance.
Suddenly, the mound deflated a bit, which caused Cassie to start.
“Dad! Hope!” she called more urgently, her gamely caution giving way to a dash of fear. She began to pull pillow away and as soon as it was clear that no one was under the mound, Cassie’s eyes widened in wonder.
“Looking for us, Peanut?” her father said, placing had on her shoulder.
“GAK!” the girl burst out, jumping a foot into the air. She swung around with all of her might, pulling a pillow the in the shape of Captain America’s shield over her head and clobbering her dad in the face with it.
He grabbed her into a bear hug and kissed her flustered cheeks relentlessly. “I guess I deserved that!’ he said though a laugh.
Hope stood next to him, nodding voraciously and winking at Cassie.
“Don’t ever do that again!” Cassie admonished. “I could die from fright.”
“We wouldn’t let that happen,” Hope said. “Would we, Scott?”
“No way,” he replied, magnanimously. “At least, not until the next sleep over.”
Hope rolled her eyes and Cassie laughed. The sleep over was a wild success. They made chocolate chip cookies, watched The Incredibles, and rolled their sleeping bags out in the living room, where the pillows had previously been. Scott was on the left, in red, Hope was on the right, in blue, and Cassie was in between them, in a pink Disney princess sleeping bag. Her right hand was in dad’s hand and her left hand was in Hope’s hand. In just a minute or two, she drifted off the sleep, Her dad and Hope gazing at her and each other until they, too, fell asleep.
@brodiew -- how exquisitely adorable! Sweetness with Hope and Scott getting a pedicure & the pillow fight! Cassie is too fun!
SQUEE on the kiss(es) ...
And the gaze: his silly, loving, caring, playful, daring, and courageous eyes... That could describe Luke or Han, both.
BRODIE, THIS IS EVERYTHING I WANTED FROM THE PROMPT AND MORE, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!!
Ahem. Now that I got that out of my system - this was such a fun piece. I loved the banter, and the bonding - both with Scott and Hope, and with Cassie. This is exactly what all of these characters deserve.
I was smitten these few lines in. Yep - this was exactly the route I'd hope you'd take. Very nicely done!
YES! I'll say it again, but these two manage to compliment each other in every possible way, and you certainly captured their dynamic even in a vignette as fun and light hearted as this.
Aw - what a good daddy! Of course Cassie would love painting his nails.
Out of the mouth of babes!
I started quoting the banter during the pillow fight, but my selection grew too big. Just know that all of it was so perfectly spot-on and awesome - with just the right dollop of romance on top! Cassie's indignation here was just too cute for words. I loved it.
The CAPTAIN AMERICA pillow. He's 'Cap' to his friends, after all. And it seems that there's another superhero in the making with Cassie - the girl already has spunk and great aim, or so it seems. Grandpa Hank would love spoiling her with a suit, too. He just doesn't know it yet. (Oooh, and there's another prompt in the making. )
Once again, this was such a delight to read! I enjoyed every word of it. Thank-you so much for sharing.
(That said, I've been jotting down more prompts at work that I'll share as soon as I get them together - and if you have any the other way around I'd love to take a go at them, too! It's just like the old days, isn't it? )
sleepover's are always nice. Great to see them having fun
@WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: thank you, Nyota! I'm glad you liked it. It is the fluffiest thing I think I've ever written. You're welcome!
@Mira_Jade: I am thrilled that this is just what you wanted. It stretched me a little, but in a good way. I'm ecstatic that it worked so well. Cassie was fun to write, even if I skewed her younger. The image of hope hopping into fighting crouch with the cotton still between toes was a kick for me. And Cassie'e reaction to the kiss. all fun stuff. I Hope I'll be able do something else just as magical.
@earlybird-obi-wan: Thank you, earlybird. I really appreciate your continuing support.
Flexibility - prompt by Mira_Jade
When Hope asked what movie Scott wanted to watch for date night, he immediately answered The Sandlot. Hope had not heard of the film, but the title did not lend itself to anything romantic to her estimation.
"The film has lasting cultural significance. It's a historical dramedy," Scott opined.
"There are kids with baseball equipment, Scott," Hope argued. "Not romantic."
“I need you to trust me, Hope," Scott continued. "It's the feel good movie of...all time."
He said it with such conviction, an innocent smile curling at the edge of his lips.
"You are killing me, Smalls!" she chided.
Scott’s eyebrows shot up at the unexpected use of the phrase. He had not thought that Hope used such informal language. He was pleased to hear it, but it was, none the less weird coming from her still somewhat rigid personality. He and Cassie must be rubbing off on her.
“And, there it is,” Scott replied, enigmatically.
“There what is?” she demanded, confused.
“The cultural significance of the film,” he replied, directly.
Leveling him with her specific version of the evil eye, he knew he better get to the point.
“Have you ever wondered how that little gem of a phrase entered the American consciousness?”
The look transitioned from stink eye to a mildly frustrated incredulity.
“No, Scott. In fact, this may have been the first time I've ever used it,” she said. “Hanging around here is definitely opening my eyes to things I’ve never allowed myself to consider.”
Scott grinned, placing his hands gently on her shoulders. “You’re making my point for me. Thought it's not a date movie, depending on who you ask, it is a ‘feel good’ movie, and I think you will enjoy it. Will you trust me? Not mention you will now be able to see and know from whence came the famous line: ‘You’re killing me, Smalls!”
“And, you are definitely doing that,” she retorted, shaking her head at her losing battle against boyhood. But, perhaps, it wouldn’t be that bad. Perhaps, it was another opportunity to relax and enjoy without judgement. The more time she spent with Scott and Cassie, the more she realized the walls she built were not just to protect her from the grief of her mother’s loss and the pain of her father’s disappearance into his work. They had been built also to protect her from the world. Such protection and morphed into bitterness and distrust; each of which had been well earned. However, the world was offering her an olive branch and she would be a fool not to try and reengage her father and mother as well as the man who had so deftly cut through her defenses. He had not simply cut through them, he had ignored them altogether. He would not be intimidated, though he had no obvious strength or skill from which to draw. It was this confidence mixed with humor and a childlike recklessness and wonder that drew her to him; that made her want have some of that herself. And, so, in light of that self-awareness, she would watch The Sandlot. And, she would try her best to enjoy it.
“Are we a go?” Scott said, seemingly recognizing her reverie.
Her annoyance bled away, replaced by a welcoming smile. “We are a go. This better be good.”
Lovely! Scott is just what Hope needs, now and always. That blend of spontaneity and warmth and joyfulness in the moment, heals a lot and is the foundation of a great deal of fun! I don't think she needs a feel-good movie to feel good from the inside out. He's all that's needed.
... This pairing is growing on me!
Feel-good movies are always nice but the company of a friend is all she needs
Aw!! This was another endearingly sweet ficlet and a great use of the prompt!!
YES. I knew this would be awesome just from that.
And I think that's the crux of their relationship. Which is a realization Hope beautifully came to in her own introspection. Scott does let spontinaity and optimism and even a little bit of childishness back into her life. Which is amazing when you consider the baggage he carries as well. They just fit together in such a beautiful way - even if it's for bonding over silly movies like this.
Beautiful work, brodie! As always!