A/N: So, welcome to my beautiful crack fic. It's awful. Okay, just so you know, I didn't exactly watch this movie. I mean, I did, but it was my fifth movie of the night, and I was at my friend's house, and yeah. So I watched it in between watching Youtube videos and reading other fanfics. My biggest impressions of this movie were: Oh, baby Caesar is cute; Wow, that guy's dad is crazy; THAT'S TOM FELTON!; and ha, that guy just got pushed off a bridge in a helicopter. That's pretty much how it went. And I googled all the stuff I didn't know, so I'm sorry if it's wrong. I couldn't find anything about Dodge's mother, so I made it up. This is based solely on random dialogue I made up right after Dodge's death (One of the only parts I watched.)And yes, Lightwood does refer to Mortal Instruments. So y'all can figure out Braic's father rather easily. And yes, the failure line I totally stole from Take Me Home Tonight.
Braic (think algebraic and then remove the alge) Lightwood didn't exactly know what to expect when he arrived at the house, and he didn't really care, either. All he knew was that he had to do a couple of hours of community service after punching a member of the opposing basketball team for making fun of Braic's sister, Mercury. The principal, who also happened to be the coach of the basketball team, hadn't wanted his star player to be suspended, and had instead given him a sentence of community service assisting an old lady, Mrs. Landon, clean out her house in preparation for a move to the nursing home.
Anyway, the house was pretty normal looking, two stories tall, white, with a blue front door. He walked up the front walk, careful not to step on any of the carefully planted flower beds. He rang the doorbell and waited.
After a few moments, the door swung open to reveal a lady of about 80, with white hair arranged neatly in a bun, and wearing an immaculate red suit that would have seemed out of place if she hadn't had such a regal, commanding air about her. Braic could tell she had been rather beautiful when she was younger. She looked straight at him. "You must be Mr. Lightwood." Her voice was crisp.
Nervously, Braic ran a hand through his dark hair. "Yeah, I mean yes, I am."
"Of course you are." She said, half to herself. "I'm Mrs. Julie Landon." She held the door open, beckoning Braic inside.
The entryway was stacked with boxes. He could barely get through the way, there were so many. When he finally emerged on the other side of the tunnel, he found himself facing into a living room and kitchen area, with stairs off to the left. These areas were mostly empty of stuff, with more cardboard boxes stacked haphazardly in piles.
Following his gaze, Mrs. Landon said "Yes, of course they would send you when I only have few more items to go through. Ah, well. Now-" she pointed a finger at Braic. "I need you to grab the boxes from upstairs. They're sitting at the top of the landing." She pushed him in the direction of the stairs.
He ascended the stairs, noting the white carpet and rose bud wallpaper. Three cardboard boxes were indeed sitting at the top of the stairs. The first was empty. The second appeared to contain clothing, and the third was sealed shut with tape, but the top was riddled with holes, like someone had taken a knife to it. It wasn't supremely heavy, either. He managed to balance all three boxes as he walked back down the stairs. He deposited the boxes one the kitchen table, next to where Mrs. Landon was sitting.
She reached for the boxes, quickly discarding the empty one, and taping the second one shut. The third she paused at. "Do you have a pocket knife, Mr. Lightwood?" She asked.
"Yeah, I do." Braic reached into the pocket of his jeans, and withdrew the knife. He clicked the blade open and made to cut through the tape, but Mrs. Landon snatched it from him and sliced through the tape herself.
She flicked the flaps of the box open, then paused and handed Braic his knife. "Thank you, Mr. Lightwood." The phone rang on the kitchen counter. Mrs. Landon stood and went to answer it. "Just take everything out so I can look at it." She directed Braic.
He peered into the box (and no, he did not find a chimp). The contents were covered with layers of tissue paper. He removed them slowly, one by one, until he found fabric. He pulled it out gently and held it up. It was, he realized, with some surprise, a shirt. It looked to have been a sort of gray plaid short sleeved button down originally, but it was burned, black in places, and torn until it was more ash gray scraps of fabric. He bent over it, examining it closer. Was that dark stain a burn? Or was it... blood? He dropped the shirt on the table, where it landed in a heap.
Mrs. Landon was talking animatedly to someone who must have been from the nursing home, because she kept saying "No, your receptionist said that I was to get settled in on Saturday." and generally acting frustrated. She didn't appear to notice what Braic had found.
He inspected the shirt from as far away as possible without arousing suspicion that he was trying to stand as far away as possible. Yep, that definitely looked like blood. He didn't feel at all inclined to inspect the contents of the box any further.
Mrs. Landon turned then, still on the phone, saw him standing there, and mouthed at Braic "Get on with it." She glared at him in annoyance.
With her watching his every move, he took a few steps towards the box, and removed the tissue paper the shirt had been lying on. Beneath it was another shirt, a brown T-shirt this time, but in the same condition as the other one had been. The entire front of the shirt had at one point been covered in gold lettering, but the burns, tears, and the fact that it had been in a box rendered the letters faded and indecipherable. The front of this shirt was in much worse condition than the back was. He dropped this one next to the first.
Mrs. Landon had her back to him now, but she was still in an energetic argument with whoever she was speaking to. She still hadn't taken any notice of what Braic had found.
Cautiously, he removed another layer of tissue paper, and, gingerly, pulled out a pair of thick tan pants. They too, had been scorched and bloodstained and ripped. He let them fall next to the shirts, becoming increasingly uneasy. Why in hell would an old lady have bloody, burned, and mangled clothing in a box in her house? The only conclusion he could come to was that she'd murdered someone... and burned them too, from the looks of it. Terror overwhelmed him, and he fought to remain calm. There was probably a very good reason that she had these in her house.
Trying to act normal, Braic reached into the box again with a sense of dread. He pulled out something he recognized immediately, his father being a policeman and all. Well, not exactly a policeman. But that's a completely different story. The point was, Braic's father was well acquainted with the weapon that Braic now held in his hands.
It was a stun baton.
It was a useless stun baton, too, because it was partially melted, and very obviously shorted out, like it had come into contact with a high voltage fence. Or possibly a very large amount of water. That sealed it for Braic. She had obviously murdered someone and she was probably planning on doing the same to him.
Unable to mask his sense of horror, he glanced at Mrs. Landon. She still had her back to him, but her conversation seemed to be winding down. Feeling nauseous, he reached for the box, and pulled out the last item inside. It was a picture frame, an old gilt one. It was kind of ugly as picture frames went.
There was however, also a picture inside. It was of a boy, who looked to be in his early twenties, with blond hair that swept over his forehead and blue eyes. He was quite handsome, as far as guys went in Braic's world. The picture was clearly taken in a studio somewhere, a professional portrait. But what made the back of his neck prickle with dread was the fact that the glass had been cracked, creating a spiderweb over the boy's face.
A hand descended on his shoulder, and Braic twisted to find Mrs. Landon standing above him, staring down at the photograph in his hand with contempt and sadness. "Ah, I should have known that's what was in this box." She said, prying the picture loose from Braic's frozen hands. She inspected the picture, grimacing in distaste.
Braic couldn't move. He was really afraid now. Mrs. Landon was going to kill him. It was pretty evident.
She looked up at him suddenly. "What's your first name, Mr. Lightwood?"
The question surprised him. "B-Braic" he stuttered.
She set the photo down. "Interesting name."
"Yeah." He said, confused. "My grandmother came up with it. I'm named after my uncle."
"It's such a strong name." She said, with a smile. "Does your family call you that? Or do they not, so as not to get confused with your uncle?"
"Well, my family always calls me Max, because my middle name is Maxmillian." Braic really didn't know where she was going with this.
"I always thought that giving a child a strong name would influence their character, make them stronger." She picked up the photo again. "This is a picture of my son, Dodge."
Braic tried to hide his confusion. That was her son? What had happened to him?
She mistook his confusion for disbelief. "Yes, I know. Dodge. Could you find a more cowardly name? I wanted to name him Leonard. Leonard Deuce. That's a strong name. But no, my husband insisted on Dodge, after one of his deceased friends."
"Oh." Was all he could think to say.
"Yes. His name was definitely bad luck. You see, my son Dodge died."
"I'm sorry." Braic said automatically.
She looked at him quizzically "Why? You didn't know him. He died almost 34 years ago." She paused, smoothing a non-existent wrinkle in her suit. "Shall I tell you the story?"
"Um...okay." He agreed. What other choice did he have?
"Let's see... it was 34 years ago, as I already said. My son was a keeper of the apes in a compound somewhere in Los Angeles. I didn't really keep up with his work situation. He lived with my husband, and well-that's a different tale for a different time. But there was a terrible fuss, with making these apes more intelligent and they broke out. And then they all either disappeared into the redwood forest or were killed. And they prevented a global pandemic.
"Now, my son, coward that he was, had been taunting the apes because he was afraid of them. When the apes escaped, they were going to attack him."
Braic listened, vaguely remembering that story from something his parents talked about.
"He pulled that stun baton on them, because he was afraid. Afraid of what they'd do to him, because he'd tormented them. And he told them to back off, or some such nonsense. The chimp said NO. (They had extra intelligence as I said.) The chimp, Caesar, I believe his name was, got a fire hose. He turned the hose on, and blasted my son with it. Dodge had been just about to fire the stun baton, and the water washed over it, and electrocuting my son."
Braic stared at her in horror.
"And do you know what my son had the nerve to do then?" Her voice was hard, angry.
"Dodge, the pansy-ass that he was, had the nerve to die." She slammed the photograph down on the table. The already cracked glass shattered and fell on the table. "They rescued his body, and I took the clothing and the stun baton that killed him. I boxed them up and vowed never to look at them again. My stupid cowardly son had no right to just give up and die."
Braic moved his hand from the shards of glass. "I-" He really didn't know what to say.
"I attended his funeral, and I didn't cry. They refused to let me speak, saying I was too 'distraught.' I wasn't. I was livid with my son. Do you know what his epitaph says?" She interrupted herself.
Braic shook his head no.
It says 'Dodge Landon' and underneath it says '2012-2037. And then he died like the pansy ass he was.'" She laughed to herself. "I knew he was no good from the moment he was born. He was weak. He cried all the time. Maybe it was better off that he died when he did, because if he'd survived, I would've damn well murdered him."
"I-I'm sorry your son was failure." Braic managed.
"Ha." Mrs. Landon spat. "Don't oversell him he hadn't done enough to be credited as a failure."
Braic didn't say anything.
She looked at Braic. "You wouldn't have done that, though, would you? You wouldn't have died. You're strong." She advanced toward him.
Braic bolted, sprinting past her to the door.
As he slammed it behind him, he could hear her laughing hysterically.
He sprinted, not knowing where he was going, only trying to escape from the ghost of a boy who had deserved to die, but had no right to do so.