|Things Can Only Get Better
Author: xX-Misty PM
It's the day of the 1997 General Election and Gene, Alex and the team must ensure that everything runs smoothly at the nearby polling stations. But threats of unrest pale into insignificance compared to the malicious intentions of Jim Keats as his power grows to extreme levels. With the world in up flames can anyone stop him or is this the end for Gene and the world around him?Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Humor - A. Drake & G. Hunt - Chapters: 33 - Words: 90,244 - Reviews: 79 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 09-28-12 - Published: 07-18-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8332760
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It worked both ways.
Of course it did.
As much as Kim wanted to know about Julian, so he needed to fill in the gaps about his sister too.
Julian stared at her. The last time he'd seen her she was a fairly typical teenager, the woes of the world on her shoulders. Except in her case it was partially true. She had secrets and Julian knew that, but she seemed to cope with them so much better than most would.
He remembered her fairly long, dark brown hair, her bare ears and blank skin. Kim always had been creative, and it looked as though somewhere along the line Kim had discovered the best canvas of all; her skin. Julian was fascinated by the extensive work that he could see already. He had a couple of tattoos himself but they were nothing compared to the work Kim had undergone over the years.
"I meant it earlier when I asked how you were," he said quietly. He saw a slightly confused look on Kim's face. "Kim, have you any idea what it's been like watching you collecting injuries? Not being able to call the hospital and see if you were OK?"
"Like that's my fault?" Kim sighed, leaning back a little and sipping her scotch. They'd both managed to put away a couple of measures. It had less impact on Kim who had been sinking bottles like they were orange juice but Julian was feeling the effects.
"It was years ago the first time," he closed his eyes, "stabbing in a London park. Detective sergeant in a coma." He saw Kim go visibly paler and wondered if he should have said anything but he'd kept all his anxieties about her safety to himself for years and the words just kept flowing. "And then years and years passed and I didn't know if you even survived, then suddenly there you were in the news again using a different name as a missing tattooist who was on the run with a couple of detectives, tattooing police dogs and avoiding beard models!"
Kim gave the tiniest of smiles as she recalled the day that Robin and Alex arrived in need of her help. That moment changed the course of the rest of her life.
"I never did actually tattoo any police dogs," she told Julian quietly, "you are aware of this fact, right?"
The police dogs and their body art were the least of Julian's concerns.
"You're my little sister," he said quietly, "I wondered what the hell was happening. It sounded like you'd flipped your lid. Like you all had." He sighed and shook his head. "A couple of months later you were on the news again; old name, old career, missing on a case, tied up on an old barge."
"I had no idea you'd even realise who I was."
"And then you were on again and again," Julian told her, "being run over by drug dealers and jewel thieves, getting gunned down by escaped addicts, taking a stand against shamed beard models…" he shuddered, "that one I wasn't so worried about… I was actually quite pleased… you should see the mess in this place after there's been an Evan theme night."
Kim turned green and downed the rest of her scotch.
"No, thank you," she said quickly.
Unfortunately Julian had been traumatised by the theme nights for quite some time and could see that Kim would be a captive audience for as long as he would carry on filling her glass.
"There were beards everywhere "
That was as far as he needed to go before Kim felt her insides churning with horror.
"Julian, stop," she warned.
"All the Evan lookalikes, wandering around, trying out their best beard modelling poses, jutting out their chins –"
"No," Kim shook her head warningly.
"Quoting to each other from Fifty Shades of Beard –"
"And then came the Geoff cosplayers –"
"Enough," Kim reached for her refilled glass and downed most of it in one go. She panted a little as she eyed him crossly. "I'm sorry for almost getting killed and worrying you by being on the news but if you keep talking about this then I'm going to have to abuse my powers and arrest you for the mental and emotional torture of a senior detective."
Julian cracked a smile at her threat and especially at the horrified look on her face. It soon faded however as he looked her in the eye.
"Kim?" he said, "I saw you on the news again a few months ago." He hesitated, "the bloodbath." Kim's eyes fell. He'd expected nothing less, "a-and your boyfriend," he said, "I'm so sorry."
Kim swallowed. Her eyes focused on her lap. The pain was too great inside as she tried to work out how to respond. She swallowed and whispered;
"He wasn't my boyfriend. We were engaged. He was my fiancé."
Julian flinched, as though his mistake had made things worse somehow.
"Sorry," he said quietly. He chewed nervously on his tongue as he said, "how are you coping?"
"The word 'how' implies that I am," she said quietly.
He studied her face and realised for the first time how thin and drawn she seemed. Her skin was dull and dry as though it – and she – lacked life. Her face was so thin it looked as though she was constantly sucking in her cheeks and her eyes seemed dark and bloodshot.
"You don't look well," Julian said quietly. She looked away as he struck the biggest sore point. She knew perfectly well how she looked – the problem was that she just didn't care. A very long silence fell. Kim wasn't intending to fill it and Julian didn't know how. Eventually he decided to change the subject. "I was shocked to hear you were in a relationship with some man the first place."
"Yeah, you and me both," Kim said quietly.
"I always knew about you, you know," he said.
"I know," she said quietly. She paused. "You caught me doing unmentionable things with my Gillian Anderson pictures enough times," she reminded him.
"You were more worried about people discovering your X-files obsession than your sexuality," Julian observed.
Kim raised a tiny smile,
"Not far from the truth," she said quietly. She breathed in deeply. The alcohol was starting to burn in her chest. Sometimes she acknowledged that she should have eaten something to balance things out and this was one of those times. Just because she recognised that's what she should have done didn't mean that she would have done it though. She gave a little shrug. "Weirdest thing that ever happened to me," she said quietly, "to both of us. Rob was gay too. We we're exactly a regular couple. We'd been through a lot of shit together too. It was just one of those things. We were just supposed to meet each other. Supposed to be together." she tried to hold back the words but they slipped out anyway ,"But now he's gone."
"I'm so sorry," Julian didn't know what to say to her.
"We always knew we wouldn't have long," she whispered.,
Kim looked up and realised she'd spoken unintentionally. She wasn't going to open up that can of worms. She waved her hand dismissively and bluffed,
"Oh… just all felt… too good to be true," she said quietly, "we were kind of waiting for something to happen."
Julian felt bad for pressing her now. Her face was growing more pained by the word and he knew he needed to change the subject fast. He drummed his fingers on the table for a moment as he tried to think of a safer subject.
"I… what I don't understand is how come you went from chasing no-good felons to inking people and then back again" he said eventually and Kim raised the slightest smile.
"Yeah, my CV reads like a car crash," she said, "It's a long story. When I woke from my coma I… I wanted to change my life," Kim skipped over the big, evil reason why, "I retrained. I'd lost my taste for police work after getting a knife in the guts."
"I can understand that," said Julian.
"~'d become interested in tattoos," Kim said quietly, "I kind of got hooked when I drew out a design for my first one and realised how much I loved doing it. The training was really bloody hard and terribly underpaid but I got there. And I loved it."
"So why the hell did you go back?" Julian couldn't understand it, "look what happened since you went back to the force, you've ended up in hospital more times than a channel 4 documentary crew."
Kim looked down. She knew that. She knew her life could have been so much easier if she'd just stayed away. But it was more complicated than that.
"It turned out," she whispered, "that working with the police was like getting a tattoo." she paused as Julian stared at her, bewildered, "it was under my skin. I had no choice. Needed to do it."
Julian stared at her very slowly he nodded.
"I get that," he said. He reached for the bottle and tried to pour himself a little more scotch but a mere few drops fell into the glass which otherwise remained empty. "Oh shit," he mumbled, "thought there was more left in there." He got to his feet, visibly weaving, "shall I get another one or –"
"Please," Kim said quickly, not wanted to sound too eager she added, "one more for the road?"
Julian looked a little sadly at her.
"You won't stay?" he asked.
Kim bit her lip. She wanted to. Well, a part of her did. She had just found him after all those years, but at the same time the fact she was in Manchester was slowly eating away at her, she needed to get the job wrapped up and head home. She supposed she could just refer to the first statement Julian gave and pretend he had no further answers for her. She certainly wasn't going to ask him questions about some stupid raid.
"I still have a job to do," she said apologetically, "I'm sorry."
"But we will… I mean, we'll keep in touch, yeah?" Julian asked, "now that we…" he paused and flinched, "I know a lot of time has gone under the bridge… but I really… I do want us to get to know each other again. If you… if you want to… Can.. can we do that?"
Every bone in Kim's body, every part of her longed to say yes. Of course she wanted that. Of course she wanted to get to know him all over again. But something stopped her. She didn't know what it was but something deep inside told her that whatever their intentions she was never going to see him again. She didn't understand it. It sent a chill through her bones. She gave a nervous smile. Julian didn't have to know the way her nerves were growing.
"I'd really like that," she whispered. That at least was not a lie.
Julian gave her a nervous but hopeful smile. Then he turned and staggered towards the bar.
Kim closed her eyes and leaned back as she watched him go. She couldn't identify what the strange nagging sensation was in the back of her mind but it wasn't going anywhere.
"Come on, brain, don't wreck this for me," she whispered to herself, "this is the one god thing that's happened since Rob died. Don't make me start panicking about –"
A fizz of static pulled her out of her thoughts as he eyes rose to the TV in the corner of the bar. It quite suddenly switched itself on and gave out a loud burst of fizziness, both in sound and vision. She quickly turned to the bar to see if Julian had switched it on but he was busy comparing labels to select a different spirit for them and had nothing to do with him.
Immediately her eyes rose again to the screen in time to see a burst of a music video cutting through the static and a familiar lyric struck her ears –
#...I don't need your tears
I don't want your love
I just gotta get home…#
Before it could even hit the chorus the TV went black again and the music stopped. She turned her shocked gaze to Julian but he didn't seem to have seen or heard a thing. Her heart was racing and she wasn't surprised. There it was again, that fucking song. Her hands were shaking suddenly and this time she knew she'd had more than enough alcohol so it had to be something else.
"Just gotta get home," she whispered as she echoed the lyrics.
The shivers than ran up and down her spine were killing her. Somehow that felt more literal than ever before.