I wrote this before Season 3 was broadcast; the first piece of Remember WENN fanfiction I compsed that I was satisfied with...except Victor Comstock ruined it with three little words in "In the WENN Small Hours" (ain't he a stinker? <g>). I still like it. Think of it as existing in an alternate "WENN-iverse."
A Remember WENN story
by Linda M. Young
He really needed to be in bed.
Instead he was sitting on the sofa, still in his shirtsleeves (tie discarded long ago), leaning forward and idly shoving the heavy- bottomed glass tumbler back and forth over the scratched finish of the coffee table. It made a rhythmic rasping noise that he found almost soothing.
Back when he was sailing he'd learned to cope without much sleep, but recent relentless jolts were catching up with him. He felt raggedbut still sleepless; the glass of bourbon hadn't relaxed him as he'd hoped.
He considered having another, rejected it. He was good at holding his liquor, but one careless moment in Spain had taught him not to allow his senses to dull too much, as if the past few days had not dulled them enough. After two weeks it was all becoming mind- numbingly routine: days spent trying to cope with a despairing staff and vanishing sponsors, scrabbling to hold together what had meant so much to his friend; nights waiting for the last holdout to leave, following her to the trolley and then home, to at last go home himself. And then to start the cycle once more in four hours.
She didn't need following home, he'd tell himself every nighteven in her grief she was coldly efficient, steadily typing hour after hour after hour, producing voluminous copy without taking time to eat.
But he did nevertheless, for what of many reasons he wasn't sure. The haggard face that spoke of little rest? The pain in her eyes? The pain in her scripts that even he noticed in his usual offhand acknowledgment of her creative efforts?
Or was it just remembrance of conversation about her with a friend who still lay buried under bombed-out rubble in London, probably crushed and tangled with brick and steel and dirt...
He remembered Guernica, the smell of burnt-out buildings and worse, the smell of burnt flesh; abruptly turned his mind away from the last thought.
"Hell with it," he muttered roughly, rising from the sofa. He found the bottle of bourbon under the kitchen counter, poured himself a generous swig, brought it back to the sofa with him to continue his relentless sliding of the glass across wood.
He hadn't expected her to fall apart. It was what he liked best about her, the way she turned the tables on all his schemes with stubborn determination and cleverness. She was almost getting over her resentment of him and their duels had been something hežd begun to look forward to, until one part of her world had come crashing down, taking the rest of her with it.
Except she was taking everyone else with her as well. He tightened his jaw for a moment. He would have to say somethingbut what?
Since he'd learned to bluff at his father's knee he'd never been at a loss for words. The sensation of verbal inadequacy was alien. Say what? "You've got to stop this?" "Buck up?"
Or the one resentful phrase that kept clawing at the back of his thoughts"You weren't the only one who lost a friend."
He was still staring at the bourbon, shoving the glass hard now, making the liquid slosh with the force of his push. He'd been drinking Scotch the last time he was in London, not bourbon, but a smoky whiskey peculiar to the British pubs. They'd been at his favorite one, the George and Dragon, just a block from the BBC...
You stayed sober. You stayed in control. You put on the face you met the world with and told your stories in hopes they covered that which was outside your control.
He'd done that in the past two weeks until even his fertile tongue was getting raw with lies and promises. Tomorrow he had to face the guy who wanted to take away their microphones. He'd danced for two days on the phone with him, but now the jerk was insisting on meeting face-to-face.
So damn tired...
Without even thinking he flung the glass, bourbon and all, through the archway that led into the kitchen. It struck the cabinet doors and shattered, spraying liquid and shards across the room.
"You weren't the only one who lost a friend," he finally said aloud, to empty air.
By the time he'd finished picking bits of glass from the worn linoleum even he was ready for bed.
He had to be up early. He had a trolley to follow.
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