|consequences of upstaging the puppet masters
Author: McChanged PM
Janet trusts Joe. Janet trusts Joe, and she's going to put a bullet hole in his forehead because a motherfucking fortune cookie told her to.Rated: Fiction T - English - Janet - Words: 1,304 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 3 - Published: 06-27-10 - id: 6089741
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It rained again. So I spent three hours of my life watching Persons Unknown episodes, decided I loved Joe for all his shadiness, general badassness, and the fact that he totally went first when crazy Moira wanted to carve out an implant in his thigh. Then I wrote this. Review it so I know I haven't gone completely crazy.
Disclaimer: Don't own.
It's in the downtime that she falls in love with him.
In between the paralyzing fear that keeps her up at night and the anger that bounces between them all like it's fucking contagious. In between watching a fake psychologist dig an implant out of the back of his thigh and fighting for air while gas pours into a locked grocery store closet she falls for a guy whose last name she doesn't even know.
She wishes she could say it was the weirdest thing that's happened so far.
The first time her mom hits her, she's seven and frantically trying to clean up the glass of orange juice she hit off the kitchen counter. Eleanor's on the phone when she walks in, polishing perfectly wine coated nails on the side of her dress pants and she stops, eyes narrowing. Janet's heart is already in her throat by the time her mom tells the mayor's wife that she must go in that calm flippant voice all high society mothers acquire, and it ends up somewhere near her feet by the time the back of her mom's hand connects with her small cheek.
It doesn't stop until she's eighteen and walking out the door with a ring on her finger, a suitcase in her hands, and a plane ticket in her purse.
He leaves at the four month mark. Walks out saying he won't be a good father, but her mom used to lock her in closets and his dad cooked breakfast every Saturday, so she's pretty sure he's just a coward.
She gives herself a week to mourn for the life they were supposed to have, and then spends the next four months preparing herself for a baby she already loves enough to lose her husband to. She's determined to kickass at parenting.
And she does.
Until the, you know, kidnapping and leaving her in a park thing.
The fear spreads slowly when she wakes up in that damn room, but it quickly seeps into every muscle of her body setting it on fire. By the time Joe breaks down her door it's morphed into full blown fury and it's not until much later, when the adrenaline wears down, does she think she was completely prepared to kill him.
(The thought doesn't scare her as much as it should.)
The thing about this town is that there's always something going on. Always some sort emergency that needs her attention, so by the time she's sitting at a table surrounded by strangers and secrets, she can't eat. Because that fear, that fear that's been too overrun by adrenaline and anger and confusion to make another appearance, well it starts to crawl back through her veins. It's icy cold and sharp as needles, and she can't eat even though she's starving.
He's staring at her and she's staring at these strangers who are eating like they haven't just been ripped from the world, from their lives just to be set down in a town that never ends and a field filled with microwaves. But he drops his hand on hers and looks her in the eye and lies.
But, my god, it's the most beautiful lie she's ever heard in her life.
Janet trusts Joe. Janet trusts Joe, and she's going to put a bullet hole in his forehead because a motherfucking fortune cookie told her to.
When she walked in, she thought she'd be able to do it. Because mothers, good mothers, do this all the time, right. They risk anything and everything to save their children. Mothers do horrible things because I need to save them runs on repeat in the place of their conscious, and Janet is a damn good mother, so killing Joe should be easy.
He looks half ready to let her do it, too, after he reads the slip of paper that seals his fate and her freedom.
But he broke down her door. He broke down her door, and he burned his hands, and he touches her like she made of a million separate shards of glass. He told her he didn't have anybody waiting for him, and she believed him until she pointed a gun at his head and watched him plead like child to just not do this, please you don't want to do this.
She hopes the bastards see the fire in her eyes when she shoots the hell out of their camera.
She can hear him, through their shared wall at night, while everybody's pretending to sleep because it's the only normal thing they have left in this godforsaken town.
Oh father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
He says the entire prayer and when she's too exhausted to believe in anything that looks like hope, she thinks he sounds a bit like a prisoner waiting for his execution day.
Here's the other thing about this town: it makes you act on impulse. And sometimes it works out, because apparently not everybody is willing to break down the door that contains a screaming woman, but sometimes it doesn't.
(Running was definitely on the damn it Janet are you just that stupid side of this line they've been forced to draw because her face hurt like a bitch for a week, and Joe won't admit it but the back of his hands did too.)
His favorite ice cream's cherry jubilee and his dad sounds like her mom minus the backhanding, and she knows it's not fair. To compare his life to her daughter's isn't fair at all, but she almost died today, again, and he's just too damn confusing.
He would have given her the gas mask if he had it.
She's known this guy for a week and a half, and she doesn't doubt for a minute that he'd die for her and the daughter he's never met.
She could feel sorry about almost slitting Moira's neck with a broken bottle of cognac but it's her daughter. Her daughter who fell off her tricycle when she was three and didn't cry, just stood up, brushed herself off and got back on. Her daughter who loves cherry lollipops and butterflies, who's independent, and beautiful, and just too damn smart for her age.
Janet just wants her daughter back, and she doesn't feel sorry at all.
It's takes a week and a half to make her cry. It takes one two minute phone call to make her so fucking furious she can't even see.
Because her mother has her daughter. Her mother, who had entire collection of broken brushes and spoons and paddle boards, has her daughter who spills orange juice on an hourly basis.
Psychological warfare doesn't even begin to describe what's happening to them.
(This town's killing them slowly, like a frog in a pot of water that's beginning to boil and it's messed up that she falls for a guy who's probably going to die right next to her.)