Okay, for the record I have no idea why I wrote this other than that it was whirling through my mind all day. I should have been writing Casualty fanfic, but hey I thought I would try something a little different. This is just a short little one shot in honour of Kate and Jed from Bedlam.
Dedicated to Anny, for understanding that when something is in your head you do just have to write it - even when it is 2:30am and you should really be asleep.
Jed rolled over and glanced up with dismay at the clock on the wall of the tiny box room that had become his place of residence since his recent arrival at Bedlam Heights. It concerned him that for the fourth time in no more than a week it was 4am and Kate was still not curled up asleep in her room where she should be. In the short time he had been back in her world he had started to grow used to her erratic behaviour but even by her standards rolling in at dawn on an almost daily basis seemed peculiar and he was surprised that Uncle Warren had yet to pull his daughter up for how shocking she looked when she stalked into their office each morning ever more sleep deprived. However if he gave it any real thought he was sure that whilst his uncle might be present each day, his mind was definitely elsewhere and although Warren probably spent more time with Kate than almost anyone else Jed was certain the man never really saw the girl his daughter had grown up to be.
He wasn't sure what concerned him the most actually; that Kate seemed so intent on self-destruction that she was recklessly picking up men as if they were toys before falling apart all over Molly each subsequent morning or that he couldn't shake the odd sensation that it was being back in this awful building with the horrendous past it contained that was somehow causing her to act so provocatively. Jed reflected back on the girl he had grown up with and the innocent connection they had once shared before his own demons had threatened to overwhelm them both. He knew that sending him away for treatment had been done more to keep him away from her than it had been about getting him well but Jed had understood the situation well enough to be aware that the intensity of the bond they had shared had been far too much for the vulnerable girl to handle when things had started to spiral out of control.
They had been each other's first, although that night had never been spoken of since, and regardless of how many girls there had been in the intervening years, Jed knew that Kate would always be his one and even now she was the only girl who ever kept him awake at night, be it with fear for her or desire to replace whoever it was within whose arms she currently slept. That she was his cousin, technically or not, had never come into it for him as it had done for their parents but that despite what Kate had seen in her past she still stubbornly refused to accept his visions as anything other than fantasy always did. Every snide comment she had made about his ghosts felt like a betrayal of their history together after all that had gone on, but in the many sleepless nights he had subjected himself to waiting for her to come home in these last seven days he had taken time to wonder whether her denial could more correctly be attributed to fear of what she knew she would find if she looked than it was that she did not want to see at all.
The rattle of keys striking the lock and the sound of footsteps in the living room grabbed Jed's attention instantly, pulling him from his thoughts and causing him to jump out of bed with a view to checking on Kate's current state of mind. However before he could open his bedroom door he heard the sound of objects breaking and an unfamiliar male voice say her name with a fervour that he recognised without hesitation. He placed his hand on the door handle and slowly pulled it open; allowing his eyes to adjust to the light of the room in contrast to the darkness of his own confined space.
In the seconds that followed he took in the unfolding scene in front of him with dismay as he watched the stranger undressing his cousin's body frantically as she kissed him with a passion Jed found difficult to observe, yet powerless to tear his gaze away from. The couple were practically atop the dining room table locked together so tightly in an embrace it appeared to him that they had melded into one mass of desire, but it was as he heard Kate moan out in pleasure as her companion explored every inch of her that she tipped her head back and Jed found himself staring into the eyes of the girl he had once fallen in love with against all the rules.
He felt time stand still momentarily as despite the man's continued lust-filled assault on her body, Kate appeared stubbornly focused on him standing half-dressed in the doorway of his room and in spite of his outward confidence Jed found himself feeling exposed under the darkness of her glare. After what felt like a lifetime, but may have been no more than a few seconds, he noticed that the bloke who had appeared totally immersed in ravaging the beautiful woman realise that she was no longer responding and looked up to see why she had been distracted.
"Who is this?" the man asked with what seemed to be a mixture of horror and embarrassment at being caught making out on someone's table.
"The lodger," Jed heard Kate respond as he simultaneously answered, "Her cousin," which he could only assume he had stated to give the stranger an indication that he had a valid right to be concerned over his behaviour towards the woman who was still studiously watching him as if her life depended on it. Within less than a minute and with no further words being spoken Kate's date fled the room and Jed considered that throughout that time the girl in question had made no attempt to even acknowledge his exit or try to cover herself up in any way.
As the door slammed shut behind the stranger Kate finally glanced away and Jed felt himself physically relax at no longer being under the scrutiny of such an intense stare. He watched with interest as she sat up, pulling her opened blouse around her and straightening her skirt from its scrunched up position at the top of her thighs before she stood up to face him.
He had no time to act before Kate crossed the room at speed and came to a halt inches away from his position, totally focused on his eyes yet her own facial expression seeming completely unreadable. She leant up and kissed his cheek, just touching the corner of his mouth with her own as she did so before pulling back to assess his reaction. Jed could feel every part of him screaming in desperation at wanting to respond to her warmth but he held himself immobile in anticipation of what she may do next.
He did not have to wait long for an answer, with her reaching up and placing one hand behind his head as she captured her mouth with his own in a kiss which he found himself incapable of preventing his lips from reacting to. His arms instinctively wrapped themselves around her back as he pulled her closer, drawing himself deeper into the hunger Kate was emitting with every single touch. However it was as he felt her hand move to the waistband of the jogging bottoms he had chosen to sleep in, dropping her hand from her blouse as she did so and allowing his chest to feel the heat of her bare skin on his own that an overwhelming sense of sadness hit him.
The look of confusion on Kate's face burned through him as he pushed her off him, but having just spied her about to get intimate with a complete stranger on the dining room table Jed knew that he was not about to be used by this girl to scratch an itch he doubted had more to do with her desire to feel loved than it did about their own connection. He wanted her more desperately than he had ever needed anyone else or than she would ever comprehend, but he had come here to save her not to destroy her further with his own selfish wish to pursue this further that night.
He held her at arms lengths, gripping her shoulders firmly to hold her still despite her struggle to get away and tried with every part of him to focus on her face rather than the barely dressed body that was below it. The emptiness in her eyes spooked him far more than any ghost he had ever known and in Kate's all Jed could see was the damage a lifetime of never feeling secure in anyone's affections had done to her. He remembered how a young Kate had once trustingly confided in him that all she wanted was to be important to someone and his response had been to meet her lips with his own before pushing her gently back onto her bed in the only demonstration of real love he had ever felt able to give. Jed knew he had spent his entire life reflecting on the damage being adopted into the Bettany family had done to him, but now standing here semi-dressed holding Kate in his grasp he wondered why he hadn't before seen that she was far more damaged by this family than he would ever be, silently questioning whether the responsibility for this laid more with himself or Uncle Warren for their indifferent treatment of her over the years.
"Your loss," Kate snapped bitterly, shaking herself out his touch before placing her own hand on his chest fleetingly until she stormed off into her room and slammed the door shut behind her. Jed looked down at the patch of skin where her fingers had seconds before scorched his skin, feeling the electricity from that charged moment even after her departure from the space.
"I don't know what's worse," Molly's voice came from across the room and Jed snapped his head round to see their sleepy flatmate watching him from the doorway to her own room. "That you stopped her getting hurt or that you then hurt her yourself," she continued with a sigh. "Either way it will be me that has to pick up the pieces in the morning as usual, only when it involves you it is never that simple."
"Molly," Jed started to respond, but found himself cut off.
"No. Do you have any idea what it is like to watch someone you love tear themselves apart every single day and know that there is nothing you can do to fix it?" Molly responded and Jed wordlessly acknowledged that he did, glancing in the direction of Kate's bedroom door to demonstrate his understanding. "Then why?" she questioned, pleading with him to give her an answer. "Kate might come across as confident, a bit of a bitch sometimes even, but we both know that it's just a front and right now you're making it worse," Molly concluded before quickly fleeing back into the sanctuary of her own room, with Jed able to tell from her tone quite how difficult that had been for her to say to him.
From behind him he heard his phone bleep repeatedly but he didn't bother to answer it. He knew that each message would just instruct him to "Save Kate" or inform him that he would be incapable of doing just that, but right now he wasn't sure whether he needed to save her from the spooky horrors of her home, from her father or from her own connection with him. All Jed knew for certain was that the girl he had once innocently made love to aged sixteen was long since gone, Kate having been irreparably damaged when they had been torn apart and for that reason if nothing else he knew that it was her time to face her own ghosts, whomever they may turn out to be.
With that in mind he returned to his bed, positioning himself so that he lay sprawled across the covers, feeling far too overheated to require the added warmth of a duvet or sheets. He stretched one hand out to pull the familiar item from underneath his mattress before holding it up in front of his eyes. The photograph was crumped from frequently being moved from hiding place to hiding place but even through the murky darkness Jed could make out the crystal clear image of Kate taken not long after his arrival at Bedlam some weeks before. He held the photo to his chest and shut his eyes, taking comfort from its presence in his fingertips as he finally began to drift off into sleep.
"You can't save Kate," came the whisper of a female voice in his ear causing his eyes to spring open instantaneously to find not even a ghostly being by his side. "You can't save Kate from herself."
So thank you for reading, yes it was a random little one-shot but that is where my mind was at tonight!
Please read and review, am considering writing more Bedlam fanfic as love Jed/Kate but thought I would start with something short first of all!
Promise will update other fics soon!