As crazy as this sounds, I love this pairing. Maybe because Christian Bale is so damn sexy in EVERYTHING he does. But also because as much as I love Rachel/Bruce, I want Laurie and Jo to have their happy ending. INCREDIBLY AU to Little Women, mostly follows Batman storyline. Credits to Mariagoner for being the first to use this pairing, you did a really wonderful job and really inspired me to start this story.
Italics are directly from the proposal scene, don't own them. I don't own Jo, Laurie, any of those characters, except OC.
Strolling through the park, on a completely lovely, ordinary day, Jo March had no idea that in but a few minutes, she would make a decision that would change the city, and herself, forever. Lost in her thoughts, she swept through the leftover winter leaves, reveling in the sunshine, occasionally taking a moment to scribble a thought down before dashing off after a wayward rabbit. Her mind was unobservant, her thoughts were occupied, so when she smashed into a random stranger, Jo was not overly surprised at her clumsiness.
The surprising thing, Jo realized, was the man she had smashed into.
"Teddy! Oh, Teddy. Hail the conquering graduate! Is his grandfather exceedingly proud?"
Laurie beamed down at Jo from his great height.
"Yes, and extremely bent in locking me up in one of his offices. Why is it you can randomly scribble away, while I must manfully set my...interests aside?"
"Why must you?"
"I can't go against the old man. When I imagine myself...in that life...I can think of only one thing that would make me happy."
A sudden burst of realization flashed across Jo's face.
Laurie's face glowed. Jo knew that look; it was the look that everyone took for boyish innocence, but Jo knew what it really meant. It was the look of a man who knew what he stood for, knew what he wanted. The look of a man who always got what he wanted.
Taking her hands in his, Teddy cracked a smile.
"I have loved you, since the moment I laid eyes of you. What would be more reasonable than to marry you!"
"We'd KILL each other! Neither one of us can control our tempers."
"But I would!"
Without waiting for a response, Laurie pulled her flush against his chest, holding her face and ravishing her with a desperate kiss. For a moment, Jo couldn't help herself. She gave in, tangling his soft locks in her hands and pulling him even tighter. Hearing Laurie's quiet moans, however, shocked her out of her daydream. Pushing him away, she bent her head between her knees, taking deep breaths as she tried to gain composure. Before she could utter a word, he yanked her up and took her head in his hands.
"I'd take care of you Jo. You would be given every luxury you were ever denied. You wouldn't have to write, unless you wanted too."
Getting desperate, Jo fumbled for excuses.
"Teddy, I'm not fashionable enough for you. Despite the boy I know, the world knows you as the orphaned grandson of one of the richest men in the country. You need someone elegant, refined..."
"Jo. I want YOU.
Jo smiled at Laurie sadly.
"Oh Teddy. You know as well as I do that this would never work. Your parents would never...
Anger flared in Laurie's eyes.
"Don't you dare use my parents as an excuse Jo. You know well enough they loved you as much as I do."
"That may be. But oh Teddy, you don't LOVE me. You love us, all of us! You said it yourself, all you wanted was to feel a part of something, to be in a family. We both know all you have is your grandfather. Why, you would have married Hannah!"
"Jo. Ever since I went away to college...so, so much has changed. I realize that I already have a place within your family. All I need now is a place with you."
"Teddy...no. You know I can't. I can't!"
Laurie looked all over Jo's face for some flicker of giving in. Seeing none, his face turned cold. A single tear rolled down his cheek. Shoving her away, he glared at her, muttering something intelligible. Without hesitation he pulled his coat around him and stalked off, leaving Jo alone to collapse onto the nearest bench, sobs wracking her body as she attempted to calm herself. But she couldn't.
Leaving her sketchbook, she stood and walked frantically in the direction Laurie had gone in. From a distance, she could see him stalking up to his grandfather's car, the old man standing by it, waiting with open arms to welcome home his grandson. Laurie nodded briskly, turned on his heel, and continued on his way, leaving his grandfather behind.
Two seconds later a shot rang out.
Before Jo could make a sound, the old man was falling, his blood staining the pavement beneath him. She saw Laurie turn around, and with an almost animalistic cry of grief he rushed toward his grandfather, catching him before he smashed into the ground. A few more moments and the kind old man was dead, leaving Laurie to press him to his chest and moan like a scared, small child. Jo knew that this was only adding to the grief and memories of losing his parents, but unlike the previous time, when little servant Jo had gathered Laurie up in her arms to cry, Laurie was all alone, screaming at the sky for why he had to go through so much pain. Jo began to run toward him, but before she could take ten steps Laurie stood, pulled a gun out of his breast-pocket, and pointed it at the man who had murdered his only living family.
Jo knew that after killing that man, Laurie wouldn't be able to go back. The sweet boy she had played with as a child would be lost forever, turned into a killer by his greatest hate. She couldn't let that happen. She had one chance.
Jo woke in a cold sweat, shaking from the horrible nightmare. It visited her night after night, and every morning she would wake in tears, replaying that horrible day, nine years ago, when she had lost her best friend forever. Although Laurie ended up not shooting that man, he was forever changed and before Jo had been able to reach him he was in the streets of the city, lost to the world.
Nine years. Nine whole years. He could be dead by now, or worse. He could be homeless, freezing, starving, ten feet underground. The hole that had formed in her heart when he vanished grew larger by the day, and Jo sometimes wondered when her heart would would finally just give up in total despair.
But until that day happened, there was always her work to turn too.
To her family, she was Jo; tomboy, caretaker, and free spirit. To the world, she was Josephine March, former starving artist and current writer for a top literary magazine. Despite her quick fling with tabloid reporting, she worked her way up into a job that not only allowed her to do what she loved, it also paid for something more than a weak cup of tea.
Not that she had any time for tea.
Unfortunately for her, the magazine was about to go bankrupt. With crime levels sky-rocketing to unheard of heights, people had stopped looking for deep literary meaning and had started looking for a magical escape. With circulation numbers at an all time low, Jo was being forced to give up her dream job and hit the streets in search of a job which, hopefully, did not involve asking celebrities what brand of shoes they were wearing.
Which is why, 15 minutes later, after a hurried brushing of teeth and a flurry of clothing, Jo was sitting in the office of a small, but reliable newspaper known for revealing political scandals and covering stories most paper's would not take.
"Oh! Sorry, yes, spaced out for a bit. You were saying?"
"Only inquiring on what you think you could bring to this paper."
"Well..I, um...well, I've been writing a combination of short stories and prose free lance for the last few years. I've been commended on almost all my work, I have a tough work ethic, long hours mean nothing to me, and I always, always do what I can to best uncover the truth."
Placing his hands firmly on the table, the editor adjusted his glasses and reviewed her resume.
"Worked for the Laurence's, hmm? That family, almost all of them killed, huge fortune, large enterprise?"
"Yes sir. My mother was their housekeeper, and I worked a bit as their maid as well when I was old enough."
"Hmm...would you know the son then? Theodore Laurence?"
"Were you at all acquainted with the boy?"
"Yes, a bit. May I ask why it matter's though? He's been missing for what, nine years or so? Presumed dead and all that?"
The old man cracked a grin.
"Why miss, haven't you heard? The young man's back, and quite changed too. Apparently used to be the intellectual type, but if the stories are true than he's given that up for a life of vanity and luxury."
"Yes, he's been back for about a week, but already the rumors are simply just rolling in. Parties, trips, courtesans...all that sort of thing. You did say you know him, correct?"
Fighting to keep control of her emotions, Jo bit out a quick, "Yes."
"Lovely. Well, your credentials are good, your work ethic doable. Let's just say you have the job...could you get us an interview with the man himself?"
At this point Jo lost it.
"EXCUSE ME...I'm sorry. But, I thought this was an investigative. Is it possible I could start with, I don't know...uncovering some mad mob bribes? Looking into the city's asylums? Getting first hand accounts of serial killers. ANYTHING, anything at all, other than this?"
The man quickly frowned. "Reader's want something other than the cold hard truth occasionally. And why not? I'd assume you'd want a glimpse of the man you used to work for."
"I can assure, I want nothing of the sort. He's a...well from what you've said, he's changed beyond my liking."
"I'm sorry to say this then, but that's too bad. If you even want to THINK about making your way up to expose's with serial killers, you will get me that interview. This clear?"
Jo, at this point, was ready to storm out. But she needed this job. With Marmee ill...yes, she really did need this.
The man extended his hand, ready to seal the deal.