Author: Rainwind PM
M promised him that if he joined, he would make him visible again. It’s his birthday and they finally remember.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Fantasy - Words: 2,040 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 4 - Published: 12-03-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2687568
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Summary: M promised him that if he joined, he would make him visible again. It's his birthday and they finally remember.
Disclaimer: not mine, though I wish it were. It really is brilliant.
Notes: Kudos to Jazz for lending it to me, and to whoever's idea is was to make it. Although I do think I'm the only one to remember Rodney Skinner saying (in the beginning of the movie. I have no idea if it happens in the book, as I haven't read it) that he agreed to join because they said they'd help him be visible again. Extra Note: Note my exceedingly clever title. Note how it says both Invisibility and Visibility. Am I not clever? I think I am. Also: did anyone notice – in the movie – how The Fantom's ring has the same symbol as the ones on the doors of the room the League first meets in? It was a dead giveaway. ANYWAYS.
Yeah, I just read this over and it sounds disturbingly implausible, but hey. That's what fanfiction's all about. I've warped Rodney's character a lot here, and I can't do the whole cockney accent bit, because the only British I've got is the upper crust British my mom sometimes slips into. Someone please help me, and I'll repost it when it's fixed.
Warnings: angst. Rodney Skinner angst. OH GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE? Eh. Whatever. I'll call it artistic license, rather than lack of other inspiration. Oddly enough, this started off as a brilliant idea, in my mind. Now it looks like a piece of crap.
He stood in front of his mirror, seeing his real skin for the first time in he couldn't remember how long.
"We were talking, and Tom remembered something I admit I had forgotten," Nemo said in his customary quiet voice, unexpected embarrassment flickering over his face.
"What's that?" Rodney Skinner made the mistake of asking.
Mina took over flawlessly; pretending not to see the grateful look Nemo threw her. "Quatermain and Nemo were telling us of the first meeting a while ago, when we thought you were the spy." She paused tactlessly, giving everyone time to grimace at their foolish mistakes, before continuing. "They mentioned that you had said you only agreed to join because they said they'd give you a cure to your invisibility. It took Nemo and I a while, with a few helpful suggestions from Henry, but we finally got it. And we thought we'd give it to you on your birthday. From what we read in your file – which by the way is disturbingly large – you haven't gotten that many birthday presents of late."
He felt himself pale. "Tell me you didn't…"
She smiled softly, uncharacteristically. "Happy birthday, Skinner." In her hand was a large vial of blood red liquid.
He took it politely, thanking them.
They couldn't see the horror on his face.
He'd forgotten how he looked. Slowly he took off his jacket and looked at the scars.
Things are so much easier to hide when you're invisible.
He could actually see the sigh in his body.
Since his features were usually the only thing visible on him, he'd taken to showing expression with his invisible body, so that no one would know what he was thinking 1. This apathetic shield slowly swept through him until he couldn't really feel anything anymore.
Slowly, carefully, he poured most of the liquid into a beaker. Things are easy to steal when no one can see you stealing them 2. He tested it for chemicals, swished the contents around in the vial and smiled. "Just what I thought," he thought aloud. Scribbling the contents of the concoction into a small leather-bound book he'd carried around for years, he quickly stored the majority of the liquid in a small hidden cupboard he'd built into the wall of his room.
It also contained several vials of the invisibility potion.
Why were others always credited with his ideas or thoughts? Rodney may not act clever, but no one could really tell since they couldn't quite see him long enough to tell. No one knew that he and the original Invisible Man had been friends for years. No one knew of Rodney speculating to his best friend his wish to be invisible, and his ideas for a potion to make him invisible.
No one knew they'd been criminals trying to find a way into the biggest safe in London.
No one knew anything.
He'd gotten used to walking around naked, and the habit would be hard to break. His eyes were light. He'd forgotten their particular shade, but now it struck him as oddly beautiful, a little bit of everything. Deep brown with flecks of color that changed with his mood. Angry was blue, sad was green. Yellowish was upset and grey was troubled, and hazel was any positive emotion, which didn't really matter because they were far and few. Perhaps that was why he always wore his sunglasses. To keep people from knowing the expressions they couldn't see otherwise, even if his eyes were invisible.
The lilt of his voice filled the room. His lips moved cockily. Unbidden.
Everything about his body fascinated him 3.
His feet were slim and his body muscular but thin, worn away by chemicals that had permanently affected his body. Effeminately rounded shoulders, small ears, slanted eyes and a slim nose, along with his small slim feet, made him look girlish enough. Perhaps it was why he'd shaved his head. Or perhaps it was because his hair was always visible, and with his hair he looked even more like a ponce4.
He didn't know.
He didn't care.
Slowly, he lifted the bottle and drank.
Slowly, he flickered and came into view.
Rodney Skinner's lower lip quivered. His eyes filled with tears.
He turned away from his reflection, then turned back and watched his shoulders shake with grief 5.
His dream lost, his false reasons for glory shattered.
His hope locked in a cabinet with his memories, his comforting anonymity and the newest addition to his secrets. His cure. His…some bad word he couldn't find a name for.
Or something like that.
He stepped silently out of the room and glided into the kitchen, coat tied firmly, sunglasses in place over his eyes, hat tilted artistically, casting most of his face into shadow. His entrance was barely noticed. He snagged a banana before turning to leave, and almost managed to go unnoticed had it not been for the accursed flare of his trench coat.
Tom's voice trembled. "S…Skinner?"
He turned his expression annoyed automatically, shaping his voice to match it. "What?"
"You're…you're…" he stuttered.
Mina turned around. "You're beautiful," she said quietly.
Rodney gave them a bitter smile and left for somewhere quieter.
It's so much easier to see things when people don't know you're seeing them, he reflected, still staring at his reflection in the mirror. "No one knows me," he said aloud, tasting the words on his lips. He blinked and saw his eyelids cover his eyes momentarily before revealing them again.
Really – blink – the human being is a – blink – highly interesting – blink – and rather fascinating – blink – example of the – blink – oddities of the – blink – world. Did you know; he told his reflection; that the little bit of skin in the corners of your eyes near your nose is actually the remainder of a second eyelid that closed sideways over your – blink – eye? 6.
Blink. He said it aloud and then scratched it onto his arm with a comb that was in his room for no apparent reason, as he didn't really have hair to comb. What an odd word. Blink. B-L-I-N-K.
He blinked several times and pushed the comb harder into his skin.
Bleeding, he reflected, is a lot prettier when you're invisible, because it comes out of nowhere and contrasts beautifully with everything that should be there but isn't. Blink.
"Rodney?" Jekyll's voice came, muffled, through his door.
"I'd rather not talk about it."
"Can I come in?"
The door swung smoothly open and Henry Jekyll stepped warily inside, Hyde laughing uproariously in his head, catching something he failed to understand. "Where are you?"
"'m right here."
"On the bed."
"But…I thought they said…"
"It worked, but I decided I didn't like it."
"I…oh. So you…changed back to invisibility?"
"You could say that."
"How? Should visibility be the same as invisibility? Permanent?"
Rodney stiffened, unwilling to spill his secrets. "You doctors," He sneered scornfully, "you're always asking questions, aren't you?"
"I…I'm sorry, I'll just leave then, shall I?"
A sigh. "No, it's all right. I only drank a little of the antidote, so I suppose after all these years of invisibility it just sorted of faded after a while."
"Well…I just came to tell you that it's mealtime."
"You're welcome. Do come. They say you're frighteningly thin."
"Thank you for your concern, doctor," he said, sarcastically stressing the word 'concern' and making 'doctor' sound like an insult.
"…If you don't want to come, it's all right. I could just tell them-"
"Tell them I'll be there in five minutes," the invisible man interrupted, "I just have to get changed."
The door swung shut, and Rodney got up and locked it.
Half an hour later, Rodney swaggered into the kitchen, trench coat flaring behind him, face paint, sunglasses, gloves and hat firmly in place.
They looked at him, but didn't ask questions.
Mina almost bit him when he kissed her cheek, and Tom failed to balance himself when his chair tipped over backwards.
Rodney smirked, grabbed a banana and disappeared through the door.
The end. What a bad ending. That's probably the worst ending I've written in a long time. Such anticlimax. I was going to make him leave and then they find the stuff in the little closet, some of it missing (DUN, DUN, DUNNNN), but then I realized how clichéd that'd be, and then I realized that I'm really not in the mood for writing, and then I realized that this sucks, and then I just left it, so ask me if you want a sequel and I may add one.
None of you know how hard it was to keep Rodney from sneaking up behind Jekyll and … getting slashy. This wasn't supposed to be slash, but all my stories somehow veer that way by themselves. O.o
1 – yes, I know it's bad. I read through it, like I said, and realized that if he's wearing clothes people would be able to see his movements, but I don't know how to change it properly, so I'll just ignore it for now.
2 – if you didn't get that, he stole all the beakers and vials and materials and stuff. Though you probably got it and are now horribly offended for me underestimating you. Sincerest apologies, dearest reader of mine.
3 - yes, I know. BUT NOT LIKE THAT.
4 – I looked up a picture of the actual actor here, but he wasn't really what I'd imagined. So I just changed him to what I had imagined. After all, cocky people usually have something embarrassing to hide.
5 – again, artistic license.
6 – this actually happened to me. I realized how odd blinking looked (and the side eyelid thing is true, as far as I know. If I'm wrong, yay artistic license!) And then when I started blinking a lot I realized how odd the word itself is.
Please review. TT I hate this story, but I don't wanna get rid of it.
I'm such a whiner. Please ignore me.