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30 October 2008 @ 07:05 pm
Prison Break - In the Dark  
Title: In the Dark
Auteur : clair_de_lune
Characters Veronica, LJ, with a dash of one-sided Veronica/LJ
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~ 1330
Disclaimer: Not mine. Just borrowing them for a while.
Summary: Veronica’s sleeping too, just like Nick. Or anyway, she fell into some comatose-like sleep, worn out by all she went through lately. She’s sleeping exactly for the same reasons why LJ won’t.
Notes: This is a fleshed-out version of one of the (ill-titled) Stories I Won’t Write. Thanks to torigates for the beta.


When he rolls over in the small bed of the hotel room for the fifth time in three minutes, he comes to the realization that he won’t get any sleep tonight and he pushes back the sheets with exasperation. It’s not like he doesn’t need to sleep: the recent events left him physically and emotionally exhausted. But his brain just won’t stop, thoughts and ideas and reasoning colliding and bumping.

He rolls onto his side and sits on the edge of the mattress; the floorboard squeaks under his feet. In the twin bed three feet away, Nick shifts and grumbles but doesn’t wake up. It annoys and makes LJ envious at the same time. How can the man sleep in such circumstances, how can he know that they’re – relatively – safe?

He pads across the bedroom, following the moving, blue light the adjacent sitting room is basking in. For a couple of seconds, he thinks that Veronica is still working on her laptop, but when he enters the room, he can see the computer, turned off and closed on a table. Vee is lying on the couch in front on the TV, which is playing an old black and white movie, one of those things that his mother loved so much, one of those things that always bored him to death. He tries to swallow the lump in his throat; he can’t think about his mom now or he will lose the little control he still has over his nerves. Damn, he can’t even think about his jerk of a step-father without feeling his throat constricting in pain – his jerk of a step-father and the way he shouted him to run away.

Veronica’s sleeping too, just like Nick. Or anyway, she fell into some comatose-like sleep, worn out by all she went through lately. She’s sleeping exactly for the same reasons why LJ won’t. She’s lying on the couch, pale and soft and strong, her black hair splayed over her face. Her skin glistens in the dim hotel suite, almost iridescent as the TV casts lights and shadows over her cheekbones and forehead. LJ glances at her as if he saw for the first time her familiar features, the delicate curve of her neck and, feeling like a thief, a hint of her breasts, a bit lower in the cleavage of her shirt.

It reminds him of the ambiguous fascination he had for her when he was just a kid. She was the girl, barely older than his mom yet so different, who helped him with his homework on week-ends. She was the young woman he once walked in on when she was wearing nothing but her underwear – blue lace, not something you can forget – in his father’s bathroom and who, rather than awkwardly showing him out, kindly asked him to close the door on his way out.

You’re not supposed to have a crush on your dad’s girlfriend. Fortunately, with the passing years, the girl who helped him with his homework chased away the young woman and her flimsy lingerie. But sometimes... sometimes when he’s tired and can’t quite think straight...

Without realizing what he’s doing, he sits on the coffee table and reaches out for her. Delicately, he puts two fingers under her ear and lets them slide along her jaw line and to her neck. Her skin is warm and smooth and it makes him forget that she can – and will, if he keeps that up – wake up any minute now. When he wanders down just a tad more, pushing away the soft fabric of her shirt, he brushes the swell of a breast, and Veronica grabs his wrist, her grip kind but firm. She doesn’t force him to get his hand off of her, she just withholds him, preventing him from going on as well as backing off.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she asks.

He looks up and wonders for how long she’s been staring at him, her green eyes partly accusing and partly amused. He slides down from the table and kneels by the couch.

“I don’t know,” he admits. “I just felt like...”

“You’re definitely your father’s son.” He glances at his fingers, their blunt nails harshly chopped on the asphalt during his runaway in the parking lot – they’re lightly pressed into the silky, pale flesh. He flinches when Vee speaks again. “You’re a bit old for that Oedipus thing now, don’t you think?” she says gently.

She releases his wrist and he thinks that he’s now going to have to remove his hand. Not an easy stunt: he must be fast enough not to give the impression to linger, but not touch her some more in the process, and...

She slaps the back of his hand, just like when he was a kid and twiddled anything within his reach, and he stumbles back in a hurry.

“I know that all the stuff going on is upsetting, LJ, but you must go back to bed. Now. Try to get some sleep, you need it.”

What he needs, he thinks but doesn’t dare telling her, is his mother. Or his father. As things go, even his step-father would be nice. He needs someone he knows and trusts, someone who will hug him and promise him that everything is going to be all right, even though the thought is absurd since the situation worsens every day. Nick, despite his best efforts, definitely can’t be that person.

“Let me stay with you,” he pleads. “Nick snores.”

It’s not quite true – worst case scenario, Nick breathes noisily – but she doesn’t argue. With a small knowing smirk, she lifts the cover up and scoots towards the back of the couch to make room for him. He settles into the vacant space she’s just made for him and snuggles up to her.

“Did you really dump you fiancé?” he asks softly.

The sound of a gun shot comes from the TV and he startles. Vee squeezes him lightly against her; he almost doesn’t have to make an effort to loosen in her embrace.

“We decided to cancel the wedding,” she answers cautiously.

“Are you sleeping with Nick?” he adds, and it was really, really not a good question to ask, because she grabs his ear and rudely twists it. He wriggles to try and escape her, but she’s quite merciless regarding punishments and she doesn’t let him go until she has decided to do so.

“Mind your own business, kiddo.”

“Do you still love my father?”

That is his business, right? Kind of.

She doesn’t answer right away, but at least, she doesn’t pinch his ear. “Of course,” she says in the end. “I’ve always loved him. I’ll always love him.” She affectionately pats his shoulder. “Exactly like I’ll always love you and your Uncle Mike.”

He nearly feels like smiling. He kicks her shin and grumbles that people always deal with as if he was still a kid and anybody will ever tell him anything. Just to prove him right, she does deal with him as if was still a kid: she tousles his hair, gently kisses the top of his head, and it’s so comforting and pleasant that he could cry.

He tries to shift and move but she closes her arms around him, she enfolds him in her embrace and holds him tight. She smells good; her hand is warm on his skin. He has a very unwanted image of bare skin, blue lace and black hair and he’s relieved not to totally face her. He tries to bring up more sensible memories of geography textbooks and English papers but even so, he fidgets nervously and clutches the blanket.

“Keep quiet and go to sleep,” she commands.

Maybe it’s because he can’t move, maybe it’s Veronica’s even breathing right next to him, or the fact that she still as an arm around his shoulders, but eventually, he does fall asleep, his cheek pressed against her forearm.

-Fin-


Comments are always welcome.

Initial drabble
Prompt: Veronica Donovan / LJ Burrows / in the dark

Her skin glistens in the dark hotel suite, almost iridescent. She’s lying on the couch of the small sitting room, pale and soft and strong, her black hair splayed over her face. LJ sits on the coffee table and reaches for her. Delicately, he puts two fingers right under Veronica’s ear and lets them slide along her jaw line and to her neck; her skin is warm and smooth. When he brushes her cleavage, Veronica grabs his wrist and sympathetically tells him that she knows all the stuff going on is upsetting, but he must go back to his room. Right now.
 
 
Current Mood: nervousnervous
 
 
 
The One with the Cauldron: do my own stuntsburntcircles on October 31st, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
You're nervous? About this story? I will be back to read it. Damn lunch seminar. Don't people know those two things are mutually exclusive? What the hell.

Oops. Misplaced rant, so sorry. Will definitely be back to read, because it's intriguing and I'm dying to know what happens.

*hugs*
*runs*
The One with the Cauldron: do my own stuntsburntcircles on October 31st, 2008 08:27 am (UTC)
*jumps up and down* LJ fic for the win! *hugs you*

I like Veronica here, the "all-knowingness" she has. She reprimands LJ because his behavior cannot continue, but at the same time she isn't too harsh on him, perhaps because he is a sixteen-year-old with a sixteen-year-old's hormones.

And underneath it all is just this lost young man trying to find someone to hold on to. Beautiful.

Parts that I especially liked:

his jerk of a step-father and the way he shouted him to run away.
A world of pain in so few words. *sigh*

“Mind your own business, kiddo.”

“Do you still love my father?”

That is his business, right? Kind of.

LOL. Impertinent boy. :)

Loved it. Thanks for writing it. This warmed my heart.
Clair de Lune: pb - veronicaclair_de_lune on November 1st, 2008 11:59 am (UTC)
First, it's good to know that you made it through the lunch seminar :-p

And underneath it all is just this lost young man trying to find someone to hold on to.
It's exactly that - I wonder if under different circumstances, she would have been that understanding. At the end of day, at this point of season 1, Veronica seemed to be all that what's left to him.

To be honest, it's one of those stories I wrote to see if I could do it (the initial drabble is part of an ensemble with quite... challenging prompts *g*) but I like how it turned out more than I would have imagined.

Thank you :)
rosanna;: [actress] robin ; lights up a roominpeopleshapes on October 31st, 2008 11:40 am (UTC)
Oh wow I loved this. I've been reading quite a few of yours, sort of from afar and never got round to commenting until now, but I just had to with this one. I do think that LJ's one piece of comfort throughout all this stuff was always Veronica, and you portrayed that perfectly. I've not seen season 3 (I skipped it) but I always thought it was odd in season 2 how Linc never told LJ that Vee was dead... especially since, although he was the reason she and Linc broke up, she still always seemed to care a lot for him. ANYWHO ramble over. I loved this, that's all that matters right. I especially loved the dialogue between them, and LJ's excuse of Nick snoring :)
Clair de Lune: pb - veronicaclair_de_lune on November 1st, 2008 12:00 pm (UTC)
I do think that LJ's one piece of comfort throughout all this stuff was always Veronica

Indeed. We don't know if he had any other family besides his parents, Michael and his step-father so at this point, she was pretty much the only person he could rely on.

I always thought it was odd in season 2 how Linc never told LJ that Vee was dead

One of those many holes in the story... I guess we have to assume that Lincoln told him after he picked him in Arizona, although they certainly didn't display any kind of sorrow back then ^_^

I'm glad you enjoyed this story enough to feel like commenting ;) Thanks.
happy is as happy does: Vee at window - Prison Breakhappywriter06 on January 9th, 2009 01:00 pm (UTC)
This is canon as far as I'm concerned. It feels like a deleted scene because I can see this happening. It makes sense that LJ would have these conflicting emotions about her. It makes sense that she would handle his affection for her with grace and playfulness. This really makes me miss these two characters and the fact that they didn't have this kind of interaction.
Clair de Lune: pb - veronicaclair_de_lune on January 10th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
I've always wondered what kind of relationship Veronica and LJ had. From them meeting up at Nick's cabin, they seemed to be rather acquainted. On the other hand, Vee was pretty much all that was left to him after his mother and step-father were killed and it could very well be only relief on LJ's part.

I miss them too. But then, I miss everything about season 1...

Thanks a lot the comment :)
Jackie: LJ: Yellow jumpsuityougottaletmego on June 3rd, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
Ah! More LJ fic. :) I love this. This made me really really happy. This was absolutely perfect. All of these thoughts that LJ has, they're so real. I know that LJ wouldn't have been as strong as he was during Season 1 if Veronica wasn't there for him. To have that familiar face, someone who cared about him, I think that's what kept him from breaking down and giving up completely. Granted he did stupid things, but he's just a kid. Excellent job <333
Clair de Lune: origami - canardclair_de_lune on June 6th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
So I can safely assume that you're an LJ fan? ;-)

The starting point of this fic was a pairing - Veronica/LJ - and a prompt from a random pairing generatr thing, but it provided the perfect excuse to write about LJ - which I don't do very often. It's great to hear you liked the result :)

To have that familiar face, someone who cared about him, I think that's what kept him from breaking down and giving up completely.

Absolutely. She was all that was left to him, and I really regret the show didn't address the issue of her death when Lincoln and LJ reunited in season 2.

Thank you!