(Okay, this fic is one of those crazy ideas which you know are going to nag at you until you share them. Ever seen the movie Sucker Punch? Yeah. Flagrantly AU in every possible manner. Since it's based on Sucker Punch, I also should warn you this fic will contain extreme violence, sexual abuse, drug abuse, and involuntary surgery. It will also contain rampant anachronism, particularly in the soundtrack, and blatant artistic license with the way mental hospitals work – given that SP had Bjork playing in the 1950s and the hospital was apparently so poorly secured that the girls managed to steal knives, this is kind of par for the course. Chapter titles from songs – see if you can guess the sources! I'll reveal the last chapter's title source in each new one. Just for fun. Suggestions as to what to do in the fic are welcome, as I'd be pleased to see someone else who knows both fandoms.)
Chapter 1: The Tragic Events of September
The rain pattering against the windows of the house on the moor mingled pleasantly with the sound of the teaspoon clinking on the cup. The late-September night was cold and stormy, but a roaring fire and a pot of hot tea made the inhabitants feel warm and cosy.
"Tea, Uncle Nigel?" The boy entered the living room, offering the tray. "Two sugars, is that right?"
"Yes, indeed, lad. Thank you." Uncle Nigel chuckled and settled back in his armchair, accepting the cup. He sipped the tea and peered out at the boy from under his prodigiously overgrown eyebrows. "Delicious. Well, Percy, are you still keen to listen to an old man's war stories?"
"Oh, yes, Uncle Nigel! As always," the boy chuckled, settling down in the armchair across the fireplace from his uncle.
"Before we do, have you fed your pets?"
"I always do, Uncle, you know that!" Percy mentally went over his schedule for the evening; yes, his beloved pony Princess was fed and bedded down in the stable, the lizards in the glass tank in his room tucking into their fresh insects ...
"How are your studies going, by the way?"
"Excellently, Uncle! I just finished an absolutely wonderful book about penguins – they're fascinating birds, and quite charming as well."
"Good, good. Wasn't it monkeys last week?"
"Ah. Forgive me, I'm not as well-versed in natural history as you are ..."
At first, they thought the sound was a roll of thunder, but when it came again, they realised it was a fist battering on the front door.
"Now who could that be?" Uncle Nigel started to put his teacup aside, but Percy raised a hand and stood up.
"No, no, Uncle, I'll get it," he said, heading into the hallway. The lights flickered with a loud crash of thunder, and Percy shivered. Cautiously, he opened the front door a crack, squeaking and almost slamming it shut again when he caught sight of the dark figure standing there.
"Well, are you gonna open the door or leave me out in the rain all night?" snarled a deep raspy voice. The figure moved closer to the light of the hallway, and Percy realised it was indeed a normal human. An imposing man, though; dark hair buzzed short, long black trenchcoat, and an expression of barely-contained anger.
"Oh, I'm sorry, sir!" Percy opened the door fully. "What can I do for you, if I may?"
"This the Snow residence?" the man barked.
"Y-yes, sir. Percival Snow, at your service."
"You Bill's boy?"
"Um, yes, my father was William Snow, if that's what you-"
The man shoved past Percy into the hall, his coat billowing around him, and barged through the living room doorway.
Uncle Nigel nearly dropped his teacup, but maintained an air of politeness nevertheless. "As I live and breathe – Buck Rockford!"
Nigel started to stand up, but Rockford dropped into the other armchair. "Nigel. It's been a while."
"S-shall I take your coat, sir?" Percy stammered, noticing with mild annoyance that the black trenchcoat had left a trail of drips on the carpet and must be soaking the chair.
Rockford waved him off. "That won't be necessary, kid, I'll be quick."
Nigel seemed to tense slightly. "Percy, would you mind fetching another cup of tea, please? Mr Rockford must be thirsty after his trip." Percy picked up the look on his face which filled in the message; stay out of here. Wordlessly, he nodded and slipped into the kitchen. He found the spot just behind the half-closed door from where he could see and hear everything in the living room without being seen himself, and watched the conversation unfold.
"Well, it's been a long time, Buck old friend."
"Let's cut to the chase. You know why I'm here, Nigel."
"Let's pretend I'm very stupid," said Uncle Nigel, not looking at the other man.
"The money! The money Bill promised me!" Rockford slammed his fist against the arm of the chair and stood up, looming over Nigel.
"That was before the ... incident."
"Dammit, you owe me! Look, it's not like I'm trying to take everything. I just want what was promised to me."
Nigel sipped his tea again and placed the cup on the side table, perfectly calmly. "My brother's will states clearly that all his assets are to be passed to Percival. The money is not mine to give, I'm afraid."
"That useless little nancy?" Rockford spluttered.
"That 'nancy' is my brother's son, and I'll not have him slandered in his own home, traitor."
"You know why I left!"
"Yes, yes, but you've been searching for Sciurius for over a decade and never found hide nor hair! You didn't even stop your wild goose chase long enough to turn up for William's funeral, and now you demand a piece of the estate?" Nigel blinked as he realised Buck's reasoning. "That's it, isn't it? The government won't pay for your hunt anymore, you've run out of your own funds – you need another source, and William was your plan."
"Sciurius is a threat to the whole damn nation and I'm the only one willing to fix it!"
"That's irrelevant, Rockford. You get my nephew's money over my dead body."
"That can be arranged." Rockford reached inside his coat and pulled out a small but serviceable handgun.
Nigel's eyes widened. "You wouldn't shoot me, old friend."
"Oh, Buck, you poor fool. I didn't realise your obsession had gone this far." Nigel stood up very slowly, hands raised. Percy, still hidden behind the door, felt his heartbeat racing, his blood running cold. He stayed where he was, unsure what to do.
"Call the kid. He sees you at gunpoint, he'll sign over anything."
"I think you may be underestimating Percy," said Nigel, eyes raking over the room, looking for an opportunity.
Faster than even Rockford could follow, Nigel picked up the teacup and flung the cooling dregs into the gunman's face. Buck blinked and raised a hand for just a second, and in that second Nigel dived on him, too close for him to use the gun, and caught hold of his arm. He smiled, and hissed in Rockford's ear "You certainly underestimated me."
Rockford snarled and tried to pull his gun hand out of Nigel's grip. Nigel slammed him back against the wall.
"You delusional idiot, I was in the army as well, and I'm not stupid enough to have let myself get soft!" he snapped, trying to break Rockford's grip on the gun. "Drop the damn gun, Rockford!"
Rockford swung the gun, striking Uncle Nigel on the temple with it. Nigel shouted in pain, but only redoubled his grip, bearing his whole weight down on Rockford. He caught hold of Rockford's wrist and slammed it against the corner of the mantlepiece, trying to make Rockford drop the weapon. Rockford thrust his body forward, pushing Nigel away and ramming him against the armchair.
Percy, panicking, burst into the living room and darted past them, not thinking rationally, knowing only that he had to help his uncle. The two men were too involved in their struggle to even notice him. He reached the bookcase, fumbled several books out, found the secret panel he'd promised his mother he'd never touch and his father that he'd keep for emergencies. Behind it was a compartment containing a revolver. It was loaded, and his father had always kept it oiled and functioning.
He snatched up the gun and squeezed off three shots, intending only to warn Rockford. One bullet pierced the wall. One struck Rockford in the shoulder, causing him to yell, let go of Uncle Nigel, and turn sideways towards his shooter. The final bullet had been aimed far too close and, now no longer flying at Rockford, struck Uncle Nigel in the throat.
He dropped the gun, screamed, and ran to his uncle, sure he was imagining things, Uncle Nigel couldn't be dead, not so soon after his parents, he'd survived so much surely he'd live through this ... there was so much blood, more than he'd imagined there could be in one person ... He clutched the body and rocked back and forth, wailing like a frightened child.
The edge of Rockford's hand struck his neck, and he knew no more.
When he woke up, he was lying on a bed, still bloody and dizzy, in the back of an ambulance. The doors were open and Rockford, his shoulder bandaged and arm in a sling, was sitting on the step, conversing with a paramedic and two police officers. It took Percy a while to realise his hands and feet were strapped down.
He tried to think clearly enough through the concussion and uncontrollable sobbing to explain himself to the police, but it did no good. On one side, upstanding war hero Buck Rockford, and on the other, a sad little boy, recently bereaved and terribly confused. According to Rockford, Percy had panicked upon seeing a stranger enter his home, taken the gun from the bookcase, and attacked. Rockford and Nigel had tried to take the weapon from him, and it had misfired and hit Nigel. As Rockford had dropped the gun and run to call for help, Percy had managed to fire again, hitting him in the shoulder.
Rockford and the policeman with the clipboard moved away from the open doors of the ambulance. He heard the officer say something about taking him in for the night ... no, please, he couldn't go to jail ...
"I don't think that's a good idea. The kid's out of control, he's unpredictable. I think he needs to go somewhere more secure than the station lockup ..."
The ambulance doors slammed shut and the paramedic pushed a needle into his arm, and everything went dark again.