Decided to write again after being bogged down by work. Suffering from Whitechapel withdrawal so I had to do something fun and constructive. :)
This story is not related to any of my other Kent/Chandler fanfics. It heavily emphasizes Kent's point of view and refers to Spoilers from Series 4. This was intended to be a continuation from the ending. Keep reading if you have already seen episode 6, or just don't care. I was inspired to give Kent some much needed attention because Chandler was so mean to Kent :(
I hope you will enjoy this one. As always, thanks for reading!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Whitechapel.
More Than Words
Chapter 1: Merry Go Round
Detective Constable Emerson Kent sighed heavily as he looked over to where the object of his unrequited affections sat. It had been a week after they had wrapped up the Cult Case and the team had gone to the pub for some much needed relaxation. They were supposed to have gone before, but because of the aftermath of the accident, they had to cancel their original plans. As expected, Chandler had taken the news harder than everyone when they had heard that no one in the transport van had survived the fiery crash, including several accompanying police constables. Not only was it another mark on Chandler's record of failed convictions, it was yet another failure on his part to prevent the perpetrators from perishing. Kent knew how much Chandler blamed himself for these deaths even though it was no fault of his own. He once overheard Miles talking about how Chandler had no hesitations putting himself in harm's way if it meant that he could save someone. This made Kent worry about him even more than he already did. But after so many cases ending sadly, the DI was convinced that he brought nothing but death and despair ever since he arrived in Whitechapel over four years ago.
Whenever Chandler was in this state, it was almost near to impossible to get him to open up about his feelings. Instead, he threw himself headlong into his work. He had become such a workaholic that there were times where Kent suspected that he didn't even go back to his flat at all. Which was why it was such a surprise that he actually agreed to join the staff for drinks, of course after much prodding by DS Miles. The older detective practically had to drag him kicking and screaming from his office. And although Chandler came along, he might as well have been not there at all. The far-off distant look in the DI's blue eyes was unfortunately a familiar sight for Kent. It was worse now than it was during the time after Morgan Lamb's death.
The fact that Chandler refused to acknowledge any kind of possible new relationship made it perfectly clear that he was still hung up on Morgan. Even in death, Kent couldn't escape the hold she had over the DI. How could someone who had known Chandler for such a short time carry so much influence over him? After all he and Kent had been through so much together. He thought that the boss might have trusted in him enough to share his troubles, but obviously he didn't share the same sentiment.
Kent's eyes lingered on him as the DI sat with Buchan and Miles in the same booth. Buchan was making grandiose gestures, no doubt telling another fabulous tale of the macabre from his latest book. Miles rolled his eyes in disdain from time to time at the sheer absurdity of some parts, while Chandler listened politely. Kent couldn't help but sigh again. In reality, the only chance of the DI ever noticing him in the romantic sense would only be in his dreams.
"Why don't I just give up?" Kent asked softly.
"You can't give up now," a familiar voice spoke very closely in his ear. "Not when you've come this far."
Kent jumped back about 10 feet and clutched his chest as his heart beat furiously. "Don't ever do that!"
Mansell laughed as he guzzled down his beer. "You are so obvious Kent. Stop being such a chicken and ask him out on a real date."
"I…I don't know you're talking about," the younger DC replied nervously.
"Kent and Chandler, sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G," Mansell replied in a song-song voice and pursing his lips together making kissy faces. "Don't pretend like you don't know. I was right behind you when you invited the boss to join us the first time. You couldn't have been more obvious."
"Bugger off! Haven't you hurt me enough?"
"After what you did to me, you're lucky I didn't ruin the rest of your pretty-boy face."
"At least I did it to protect my sister. You're just needling me because of spite."
"Give me some credit for having a little bit of class. Believe it or not, I do want you to be happy."
"What?" Kent asked in surprise. "If you're scheming some plot to get back at me, it won't work. I'm on to you."
"Stop being paranoid. Look. It wasn't easy to own up to what you did, especially when you knew how I would react. That took a lot of guts."
"I only did it so I wouldn't have to hear anymore of Riley's nagging. And my personal life is none of your business."
"Deny it all you want, but you can't fool me. Come on Kent. Are you gonna hide your feelings behind hero-worship forever?"
Kent stared into his glass of lager. If someone like Mansell was aware of his feelings, it probably meant that everyone else in the group probably knew as well. Everyone except the only person who mattered. He didn't know why he was hanging on to the hope that Chandler would return his feelings one day. There was a fine line between hope and futility. And recently, he felt like his current relationship with the DI was leaning more toward the latter. But every time Kent wanted to break free from the invisible hold Chandler had on his heartstrings, Chandler would invariably give him something to hang on to, like a life preserver. And in the blink of an eye, Kent would fall back into the same trap all over again.
As Kent looked up, he met Chandler's eyes from across the room. The DI smiled at him gently and Kent smiled back automatically. He felt his heart beat faster against his chest as he looked into those mesmerizing blue eyes. When he realized several years ago that his feelings for his DI went beyond that of boss and subordinate, he knew that he was in for a rough road ahead of him. He just never realized just how difficult it would be. Why did he have to fall in love with someone he could never have?
"Because you're a bloody fool, that's why," he berated himself silently.
Kent's mind wandered aimlessly as he made his way through the aisles of his local supermarket doing his weekly shopping run for groceries. His thoughts were consumed with his complicated relationship with his DI as it did most nights when he was alone. He would have laughed if his situation wasn't so pitiful. It took him years before he could even admit to himself that he had fallen for his boss. It was natural in the beginning for him to look up to the DI. But somewhere along the way, those feelings had metamorphosed into an all-consuming love for him. Whenever Chandler smiled, especially when it was directed toward him, Kent felt like his heart would explode from happiness. Every pat on the shoulder made him feel as though he was the most important person in Chandler's life.
But in a way, their relationship almost bordered on abuse in the sense that no matter how Chandler treated him, Kent would always come back to him. And he would always get hurt over and over again. First it was DI Norroy, then Morgan Lamb, and now the most recent incident with Chandler after the brush up with Mansell. Granted, Kent was partially at fault for the role that he played and he knew that Chandler was disappointed in him, but after all the years of unwavering support he had given Chandler, Kent thought that he would have gotten a little bit of slack. And yet, he couldn't put the blame entirely on his DI. After all, he had absolutely no clue how deep Kent's feelings for him were.
Kent knew that he should have given up by now. Chandler was Chandler and that meant he kept himself behind that impenetrable fortress of emotional solitude. When was he ever going to learn that nothing would ever change? Kent was so engrossed in his personal malaise that he wasn't watching where he was going and unfortunately collided into the person in front of him.
"Oh, pardon me," a deep male voice apologized as he turned around and steadied Kent by the arms. "Are you all right?"
Kent looked up spellbound into the one of the most handsome faces he had ever seen next to Chandler. He guessed the taller man to be in his early thirties, but he could easily be in his mid-twenties as well. The first thing Kent noticed was that this stranger had piercing brown eyes. No, they weren't just brown. They were chestnut brown and had green and gold flecks in them. His reddish brown hair was trimmed neatly and the expensive clothes he wore emphasized his chiseled physique. In a strange way, he reminded Kent of Chandler. Perhaps it was the finely tailored suit or the impeccable way he dressed. As inexperienced as Kent was with relationships, he found himself immediately drawn to this stranger.
"Yes, I'm fine, thank you. It was my fault, really," Kent replied apologetically as he backed away slightly.
"You must have had a lot on your mind," the other man commented, smiling sympathetically.
"I'm afraid I'm having a bad day."
"I know what that's like. You want to talk about bad days? I was supposed to meet my client, but got lost several times on the tube and so missed my appointment. I nearly cost my company one of its most influential clients. Then I got drenched in the rain and ruined my best shoes in the process. And that was just yesterday."
"You aren't from around these parts, are you?"
"Los Angeles. I feel silly because I've been in London dozens of times and I still can't seem to find my way around."
"That's quite a long trip for you to be making just to go to the supermarket."
"Believe or not, this is for business purposes. By the way, I'm Dylan Walsh," the charming man introduced himself extending his hand. Kent shook it politely.
"Emerson Kent. Nice to meet you."
"Very nice to meet you."
"Do you always dress up so formally when you go out shopping for groceries?"
"Only when I feel like it," he joked, making Kent laugh.
The other man was dressed in a well-tailored 3-piece navy blue business suit with a burgundy tie and matching burgundy handkerchief in his breast pocket. The suit was magnificently fitted and it reeked of class and elegance. It was no wonder he reminded Kent of Chandler.
"Actually, the client whose appointment I missed was very understanding, but my supervisor wasn't. As punishment, our firm is giving an informal potluck dinner party and I'm being forced to bring a dish. I can't cook to save my life and my boss knows it."
"Do you know what you want to make?"
"Anything that is edible and won't cause heartburn. Do you have any suggestions? I could really use some advice."
"If you're not picky, I could recommend some comfort food. It's not glamorous, but it's a family favorite and very satisfying."
"Is it fool-proof?"
"Absolutely. It's so simple that even a child could make it."
"Yes, but will I be able to?"
"You never know unless you try, will you?"
"Well, we've gathered all the ingredients and I've written down the instructions for you. You're all set. It's my mother's recipe and there are never leftovers whenever she makes it."
"You're a life-saver, Emerson. Lancashire hotpot sounds scrumptious. I hope I do your mother's recipe justice."
"Just follow my instructions and you won't fail."
"You really went out of your way to help me out. I want you to know that I greatly appreciate it."
"I guess I'm just a sucker for someone in distress."
"I know this is very forward of me, but I have to tell you that you have the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen."
Kent blushed profusely in response. He was not used to getting compliments about his looks. He didn't feel attractive, especially when he compared himself to Chandler. And yet, a part of him didn't mind having his ego pampered. Goodness knows that he could use a shot of confidence at the moment.
"You're being very presumptuous," Kent replied shakily.
"I'm sorry if I offended you, but I just had to say it. I hope you won't hold it against me."
"I'm not offended," Kent said, suddenly feeling very shy as he lowered his gaze to the floor.
"I'm very glad to hear that. If you're not busy tomorrow night, I would love it if you would be my guest at the dinner party."
Kent's head shot up immediately in surprise.
"But…but we just met. You barely know me."
"I know enough. I'm a very good judge of character and I like what I see," Dylan replied, smiling at him. He took out a business card and scribbled something on the back of it before handing it to Kent.
"If you're up to it, it's at 6:00 pm at this location. I hope to see you there. Goodbye Emerson Kent."
Kent stared after the stranger who had just swept him off of his feet before he even knew what hit him. For the first time, his heart fluttered with anticipation and it wasn't because of Chandler.
To Be Continued
Posted on: 26Mar2014
A/N: I have to admit, my heart broke for Kent after the last episode of Series 4. I wanted to reach into the TV and give him a big hug. Poor thing keeps getting his chain yanked. I thought I'd do something slightly different this time by introducing another suitor for Kent to make things a little interesting. What will Kent do? :)