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dresden_kink_mods ([personal profile] dresden_kink_mods) wrote in [community profile] dresden_kink2012-01-10 11:13 pm
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Round Five by five, baby!

Round Five: Open!
Ghost Story Prompts and meta: Open!
Tracking Post: Open

| Round One: open only for feedback, WIPs continued in The Overflow Post or the current round. Link back to your previous posts! |
| Round Two: open only for feedback, WIPs continued in The Overflow Post or the current round. Link back to your previous posts! |
| Round Three: open only for feedback and WIPs continuation. You can also continue in The Overflow Post or the current round. Link back to your previous posts! |
| Round Four: open only for feedback and WIPs continuation. You can also continue in The Overflow Post or the current round. Link back to your previous posts! |



Read this first. Do it. There will be a test.

The Rules. Including the Posting Guidelines. aka:

In the first line of your fill*, you must include:

1) Character(s)/Pairing(s)/Threesome(s)/Moresome(s) as applicable.
2) Any kinks included. Please take this to include scenarios, themes, etc. Use your imagination.
3) MANDATORY WARNINGS/CONTENT NOTES if there is dubcon or noncon, underage characters in sexual situations, major character death, suicide, self-harm, and/or graphic descriptions or extensive discussions of abuse.
Please consider trigger warnings for any other widespread triggers in your fill, such as natural disasters, or specifying instances of harm, such as eating disorders.
Please don't conflate warnings and kinks; treat each individually, and use your pairings to indicate gen/het/slash/multi/&c. Do not warn for het, slash, or otherwise.

EXAMPLE:
Characters & Pairings: Mentions of Harry Dresden/John Marcone, but entirely nonsexual gen in this fic. Harry Dresden, John Marcone, Ebenezar McCoy, Thomas Raith, Justine, Listens to Wind, Mister, Mouse.
Kinks: kidfic, second childhood, age regression, family bonding, fish out of water, situational:age change, involuntary transformation
Content notes: no mandatory notes. Mentions of a previous sexual relationship between two adults, one of whom is now a child, but absolutely no sexual contact or content while said character is a kid. Veg*n trigger warning for death of an animal.

*THIS IS REQUIRED FOR ALL FILLS. MINIFILLS, ART FILLS, WHATEVER ELSE INCLUDED.


For images: Please post image prompts and fills and all other images with alt tag descriptions or with a text description of the piece. Example: [img src="neked.jpg" alt="Here's John being all hot and half naked saying Dresden et cetera et cetera"], replace [ ] with < >. If you are linking to an external image, please include a description with the link.

NEW FOR ROUND FIVE: After you have posted your fill, please go to the fill tracking post and comment there to say so, including a link back to your fill. You don't have to do this, but no guarantees it will be caught otherwise.

Thank you.


The discussion post is here. Mod questions go here. The delicious account is here, (currently on-hold. Thanks, newdelicious.). The pinboard account is here (not up to date).

Don't forget about all the unfilled prompts. Got an unfilled prompt you want to give a second chance? Repost it here. Otherwise, go ahead and repost an unfilled prompt as a new comment with a link to the original if you are filling it. Please indicate in the subject line that it is a Repost To Fill.

Open prompt is here: http://dresden-kink.dreamwidth.org/3344.html?thread=3032848#cmt3032848

Comments in chronological order: http://dresden-kink.dreamwidth.org/3344.html?view=flat

Edit 5-14-15 So 3+ years later, the only comments this post is getting are spam comments. I've changed the settings to screen all comments to discourage that. If you leave a legit comment, I will unscreen it. Thanks, all. I had a great time.

Repost With Fill: Not So Much A Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-25 03:03 pm (UTC)(link)
From Round 4 (http://dresden-kink.dreamwidth.org/2675.html?thread=2151539#cmt2151539)

Dresden glared at me, but that was nothing new.
The sheen of tears in his eyes? Was.
"You're not a gentleman, Marcone," he said evenly. "You're just a dick."
With that, Dresden left. For once, I let him have the last word.

This is a Sentinel/DF fusion, in a world where sentinels and guides are widespread and well-known.

No Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-25 05:40 pm (UTC)(link)
What the hell am I doing, I like happy endings, dammit!
Pairing: Harry Dresden/John Marcone
Characters: Harry Dresden, John Marcone, Hendricks
Kinks: au!Sentinel crossover/fusion, sentinel bonding, Harry teary-eyed
Warnings: non-con interrupted

NO GENTLEMAN

It all came to a head in my office. Another enemy, another battle, yet another time that my Guide (“Not your Guide!”) had come to me far too late to keep him safe and gotten badly injured as a result. Even reminding myself that at least the wizard had come to me this time didn't do much to settle the beast within, and when Dresden exposed a length of skin that looked more like hamburger meat than human flesh I snapped.

And so began the extremely juvenile yet deadly earnest chase around my desk.

“Mine,” I growled, finally getting my wayward Guide into my grasp.

“No, mine,” Harry snarled back, reversing the hold and pinning me to the wall. I grinned ferally, genuinely delighted. Finally the man understood!

*-*-*

I don't know what triggered it, I swear. He'd gone all bossy-Sentinel and insisted I come to his office – not that I'd care what he wanted ordinarily, but after a battle it was generally easier to go along with the less pushy requests so he'd ease up and drop the really unreasonable ones, instead of going Blessed Protector and literally carrying me off somewhere his inner caveman felt was safe. That had not been a good day. I still got guff from Murphy about it. I'm not even a guide! Seriously, I'm not! As far as I can figure, wizarding just overlaps in places for some practitioners – go figure I'd be a lucky winner.

So I'd gone to the damn office, figuring I'd check my latest scars-to-be and wait for him to get himself under control. One second I was looking over what Sunshine, Sparkle, and Twinkle had managed to do to my side, the next he was full-blown claiming feral like I hadn't seen him since that first godawful meeting in his car, chasing me around his desk as I backpedaled furiously and tried to make enough noise to get Hendricks in there. Say what I will about Cujo, when it comes to talking down John Marcone in full Sentinel mode I'd never seen anyone better. I don't know why the stubborn ass won't just take him as a Guide.

Marcone managed to get his hands on me though, and the growled “mine,” was the last damn straw. He'd been doing this for years, dammit – oh, not this exactly, not since I gave him a concussion and half-melted his car getting away from the bastard the first time and left him to fend of a pack of berserker-type werewolves by himself the second, but a more genteel version that amounted to pretty much the same thing. And I was sick of it. I. Am. Not. Property. No one controls me but me!

So I used a move I would buy Murphy a six-pack for teaching me later in order to break loose and slam him into the wall for once.

“No,” I snarled, because hell if I belonged to him or anyone but myself, “mine.”

I don't know what reaction I was expecting, but it wasn't what I got.

His eyes widened and his pupils blew so wide so fast for a second I thought his eyes had changed color. Then he grinned as if I'd offered him all the sharp metallic instruments of death a growing boy could wish for. “Yes!” he exclaimed, like I'd just gotten first prize in the science fair, like I'd at last made the final leap to understanding quantum physics. I didn't know what the hell he thought I understood, but I did not like the satisfied excitement suddenly pouring from him, like he'd won a long, hard battle against ridiculous odds. I had too strong an inkling that I was those odds – and the goal.

“Yes! Yours! Mine!” And he kissed me.

*-*-*

Dresden tasted like – oh, I don't even have words to explain it. There is no way to truly describe what losing yourself in your own Guide is like, but it was something like winter sunlight and that smoky autumn scent, the dry, crackling heat of summer and the damp, life-packed feel of a spring day, all rolled into a sparking electric bundle and flavored with the best steak you've ever eaten.

It was beautiful.

It was mine.

I could feel him responding as I called out to the Guide in him, pushing him down and rubbing my hands over the scenting areas to lay the foundation for where I would claim him. “What – ” he protested muzzily, “How are you – stop. What are you doing?”

His protests were halfhearted and distracted at best, and even less convincing was the weak, “No. Get … get off...” that followed as he writhed and arched, exposing his neck instinctively so I could mark him. I nuzzled his jawline, nipped lightly, playfully, at his pulse, then moved to secure my claim, eager to take and be taken by him, to accept him as he had accepted me a moment ago.

I was thrown from my Guide by a surprisingly silent red-haired semi-truck.

I very nearly killed Hendricks in that moment for interrupting, best friend and sometimes-guide though he was. = It's just as well he knew what to expect and had me pinned thoroughly the second we landed.

“Stop, Johnny, you need to stop, he asked you to stop,” he repeated in a frantic litany.

I snarled and fought. “Mine! He claimed me! He's mine!”

“Dammit Johnny, you're scaring him, you're taking him against his will.” He growled the last one furiously, never having been remotely tolerant of guide-abuse and forced claiming. For that matter neither had I, and although it took me a moment, those two phrases were the ones that brought me out of the animalistic state I was in.

Dresden hadn't moved except to pull his arms in from where I'd held them down. Now he rose, pulling his clothing closed with trembling hands and wrapping his arms around his middle as if it was all that could hold him together. He shook incessantly.

Remorse washed over me, and I felt a pang of horror. This hadn't been what I wanted, had never been what I wanted. I wanted him bold and reckless and laughing fearlessly in the face of enemies who far outclassed him, winning by brains and guts and luck and the skin of his teeth. I wanted to be a part of that, be the one who guarded his back and fought by his side – the one he trusted to protect him when he was weak and care for him when he hurt. Had I broken him instead?

Dresden glared at me, but that was nothing new.

The sheen of tears in his eyes? Was.

"You're not a gentleman, Marcone," he said evenly. "You're just a dick."

With that, Dresden left. For once, I let him have the last word.

How I'd ever make up for this, I didn't know.

Re: No Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-25 10:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm just sitting here flailing a little after reading that - I love sentinel AU's, and this one was really awesome

and, oh, Harry! and, John, oh, boys D:

Re: No Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-26 04:03 am (UTC)(link)
I'm pretty crazy about them myself; it was reading one in another fandom that triggered me to start writing this! It's addictive, too - I've already started writing another piece set earlier in the same 'verse, even though I ought to be job-hunting. *sigh* Self-control, I have it not. I'm glad you liked this!

Yeah, this is the first non-happy ending I've ever written (I'm a complete sucker for them) and I still don't know what crawled into my head and planted this despair-y stuff. It makes me go all wibbly and sad! ;_;

Re: No Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-26 04:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay! I love sentinel crossovers. I haven't ever actually watched the show but I am really familiar with the fanfiction AU and love it! Poor Harry Poor John and even Poor Hendricks stuck in the middle. I can't wait for more thanks for writing.

Re: No Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-27 04:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Ditto for watching the show, actually. I know it solely through the works of its fans, and always found it rather fascinating. I'm glad you enjoyed this! I've been working on a prequel (and a sequel, but that one's giving me rather more trouble). There should be more in a day or two. ^_^

Re: No Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-26 06:51 pm (UTC)(link)
"...instead of going Blessed Protector and literally carrying me off somewhere his inner caveman felt was safe. That had not been a good day."

This. I now have a deep, pressing need to see this. Concussed Harry being hauled over Marcone's shoulder and carted off while Murphy flails in the background.

Re: No Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-26 07:35 pm (UTC)(link)
You're, uh, not the only one who wants to see Harry literally carried off over Marcone's shoulder!

Re: No Gentleman

(Anonymous) - 2012-01-27 16:21 (UTC) - Expand

Re: No Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-26 07:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow! What a creepy disaster.

Re: No Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-27 04:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Yep! It started as high emotions + misunderstanding and spiraled out of control, as these things tend to do. Just, it spiraled in a really bad, rapey way, which is less common. I don't know how John can possibly fix this, either, but I'm trying to come up with something (because I am a sucker for happy or at least happy-ish endings).

Re: No Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-26 10:46 pm (UTC)(link)
More please. plllleeeaassee?

Re: No Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-27 04:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Working on it!

Definitely Not A Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-29 03:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Pairings: Harry Dresden/John Marcone
Characters: Harry Dresden, John Marcone, Karrin Murphy, Hendricks
Kinks: crossover/fusion, sentinels and guides, au sentinel-verse (sentinels and guides are known), Sentinel!John, GuideInDenial!Harry
Warnings: mention of attempted non-con, harassment

DEFINITELY NOT A GENTLEMAN

I knew the day was going to be a bad one the moment Murphy called me.

Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for the job police do, and since they make up the steadier portion of my paycheck I have pretty good feelings about them in the abstract, but I hate going to the station and the crime scenes. Cops and sentinels of all bonding-statuses everywhere, and nowhere to hide or run from them. If it's not pitying looks (and occasionally sneers) from the bonded sentinels and guides and confused, hurt glares from the unbonded guides in training, it's unbonded sentinels getting in my personal space, sniffing my neck (or as near as they can get; I'm a pretty tall guy and not at all inclined to stoop and make it easier for the creeps) and trying to rub their hands on me, making lewd, crude, or otherwise demeaning comments about my supposed wizardry, my disinclination to bare my neck for anyone, and/or my insistence that I'm not a guide.

Which I'm not, and all the guides there will back me up on this – I am about as far from empathic as it is possible to be, although some of the more sensitive ones mutter sometimes about trauma and walls and repression, and some crap I don't really get, or care to. As far as I'm concerned, they're just speculating, throwing out wild theories to explain why I'm sentinel-bait without being like them. I'm not a guide, and have no interest in being someone's guide. It's not my fault the cavemen on the force can't differentiate between “Guide” and “Wizard,” even with a map and a sign.

If you were curious, a pretty good hint is that even latent or passive-aggressive guides usually don't deliberately wear irritating and conflicting scents, pitch their voices to annoy delicate hearing, select shiny and/or intricate jewelry that could cause a zone out, or remorselessly break oversensitive noses when “not interested” doesn't cut it. Not that an angry or desperate guide won't break a nose if he has to, but they tend to feel bad about it afterward, not vindictively satisfied. They don't usually start fights if they can avoid it, either, although I've heard of exceptions.

And none of them would ever...

Anyway, I wasn't keen on trotting myself out for the latest round of Piss Off All You Sniffy Bastards Or I'll Knock You Into A Wall. But my funds were low, my rent was due, and Murph was good people and a friend, even if she was a sentinel, so when she called and asked me to look at a double-homicide I winced – and whined a little, I'll confess – but I grabbed my blasting rod and basic sentinel-repellant gear and got my ass down there.

Working with Lt. Sentinel Karrin Murphy was always a little hit-or-miss – she ruled her division with a tiny iron fist (if she'd ever yielded to pressure and taken a guide of her own she'd have been head of the station or damn close, no question), and not one of her sentinels would dare try to force a bonding on an unwilling guide for fear of her reaction (bloody), so I didn't get in half as many fights, but all of them were in her division because they were too scummy, stupid, bullheaded, all-around unpleasant, or honest for any of the others. I could at least respect the honest ones, for all that they didn't care for me, and I mostly didn't have a problem with the stupid ones. It was the others that tended to make sure I knew I was pathetic (or outright despicable, depending on how up-to-date they weren't on the Guide Rights Act) for “denying my calling,” “refusing my duty,” or both.

That day she mostly had the better sorts with her. I got the usual snap-and-snarl routine from her Second, followed by a surprising endorsement and even defense when the newbie got curious.

The scene was … ugly. Frankly, the less said about it, and my reaction to it, the better, but it was the result of some serious and seriously nasty ju-ju. I told Murph I'd look into it and left at a fast clip that nevertheless in no way resembled a run.

It was on the way back to the office that a car containing the man who would ruin my life pulled up beside me.

Considering Gentleman Johnny Marcone had been all but formally acknowledged by the Sentinel Clans (and was resoundingly hated by all of them for being a criminal and, so far, untouchable) since he rose to the top of the Chicago Outfit, I was more surprised by his self-control than his attraction. Regardless, I slipped my emergency vial of sage into one palm and kept the hand armed with kinetic rings free and deceptively loose. The decreasingly subtle scenting was par for the norm. The soul-gaze after I told him where he could stick his bribe was less so, and it shook me pretty badly, but the claiming attempt that followed was exactly what I'd expected and braced myself for. My reaction to it wasn't.

I'd never been particularly drawn to the various sentinels that had tried and failed to collar me over the years, not like I'd heard guides were, whether they wanted to be or not. It was one of my most solid pieces of evidence against being one. But when John Marcone leaned over, green eyes unnervingly focused on mine, and ran his fingers along my throat … I flushed, for the first time feeling the urge to tip my head back and allow him unimpeded access. It terrified me, and as always that made me furious. Half-enraged, half-panicking, I got my be-ringed hand between us and loosed the stored power there, slamming him headfirst into the door on the opposite side of the car. Then I grabbed my blasting rod and melted my own locked door into oblivion with a blinding flash, along with a fair portion of the car's side (and probably killed the motor in the process), and bolted down the street using every escape and evasion technique in my well-honed arsenal, including shattering the vial of sage in my wake after I turned a corner.

I was still shaking and wild-eyed when I got to my office, which only further alarmed my already-jumpy client, but I managed to reassure her and get the details she was willing to part with. Later I stocked up on all my sentinel-deterring armor, from sunlight handkerchiefs to air horns, before heading out. I didn't know how he'd pulled a reaction from me where scores of other sentinels had failed before, but I wasn't going to be caught like that again – if Marcone popped up out of nowhere he was going to get a face full of ground wormwood and chili pepper before he had a chance to do anything.

Anything at all.

I'd never let someone control me again.

Re: Definitely Not A Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-29 07:15 pm (UTC)(link)
This series is killing me! I really just wanna see Harry give it the hell up!:D

...GIVE IT THE HELL UP HARRY! YOU KNOW HE'S GOING TO WIN!!!!!

Re: Definitely Not A Gentleman

(Anonymous) - 2012-01-29 19:25 (UTC) - Expand

Re: Definitely Not A Gentleman

(Anonymous) - 2012-01-29 19:48 (UTC) - Expand

Re: Definitely Not A Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-01-30 02:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Looking forward to reading more!!

Also, I've seen reference made to Sentinel/Guides before...Could someone clue me in? I've tried google but I really don't get much

Re: Definitely Not A Gentleman

(Anonymous) - 2012-01-30 19:49 (UTC) - Expand

Re: Definitely Not A Gentleman

(Anonymous) - 2012-01-30 22:42 (UTC) - Expand

A Gentleman Never Asks

(Anonymous) 2012-01-31 07:36 am (UTC)(link)
Pairings: none explicit
Characters: Harry Dresden, Elaine Mallory, Justin DuMorne
Kinks: crossover/fusion, au!sentinel-verse, Guide!Elaine, Sentinel!Justin, Guide?Harry
Warnings: child abuse, trauma, hinted sexual abuse, mindrape

A GENTLEMAN NEVER ASKS

My dreams that night were predictably awful. Money-green eyes looked out at me from Justin's face, and I screamed and screamed and screamed inside my head as my body smiled lovingly and went pliant for him, disregarding all my efforts to shove him away, to close my legs and run.

I woke and vomited over the side of the bed. Cleaning it gave me something to do, at least, something that let me not think about the dream and how accurate...

It hadn't been like that.

It had been worse.

It hadn't just been about finally having a family again. Elaine had always been drawn to him, and I'd been drawn to his need. Without us he had trouble sometimes, just staying focused on what he needed to stay focused on, like which ingredients he needed for a potion, or how to complete the chalked patterns for his more dangerous summonings. Elaine kept him calm, soothing and gentle as she was, although she had a hard time pulling him back when he drifted. I was better at helping him stay on task, but didn't really feel the pull to do so beyond the obligation and affection that I felt because he'd taken us in, not like Elaine did. She fussed over him almost compulsively while he wandered in his head but didn't get the same results I did.

I got in trouble a lot, too – I was always more impetuous than Elaine, and tended to get into scrapes that would have Justin scowling darkly and reaching for his staff.

It was a pretty good life, I'd thought. In retrospect, there were a lot of things going on that really shouldn't have been, but at the time I barely noticed the problems in favor of working to win Justin's regard. Both of us were desperate to be useful, helpful, and therefore worth keeping. We endured things children aren't even supposed to be able to dream of to prove ourselves worthy of his love. We even managed to create some manner of happiness from our situation.

And then I turned sixteen, and it all collapsed.

I still remember the moment his magic, digging into my mind, touched something that I hadn't even realized was there; something that wasn't for him, that he had no right to see and shouldn't be touching. He plunged into it, twisting it and tearing it apart and oh stars it hurt worse than anything he'd ever done but it worked and I didn't just smile and sway toward him through my screams and tears, I meant it, I wanted it, wanted to yield to him where before I'd only wanted him out.

So I did the only thing I could. I turned on that part of me, cut away what I could and walled off the rest, burying it so deep it could never surface again, no matter who called on it. Then, as he reeled from the sudden loss of his stranglehold, I chucked the nearest thing I could find at his head with enough magical backing to knock him out and ran while I had the chance.

When he sent... when he sent the thing after me, and it became clear he'd never just let me go, I bartered for power with the only coin I had left – myself – and returned to see him dead.

I watched him burn alive. I watched him burn to ash.

I've never been able to feel remorse.

Re: A Gentleman Never Asks

(Anonymous) 2012-01-31 05:48 pm (UTC)(link)
This... is stunning. The sheer willpower Harry had to have mustered to Justin off... authornon, you're world keeps getting better and better. I particularly like the line about Marcone's eyes staring out of Justin's face, creepy as it is.

Re: A Gentleman Never Asks

(Anonymous) - 2012-01-31 18:56 (UTC) - Expand

Re: A Gentleman Never Asks

(Anonymous) 2012-02-01 05:41 am (UTC)(link)
Oh no! It's Harry Dresden's shitty and maybe/probably sexually abusive past with Justin! MY ONE WEAKNESS. I shall now be stuck f5ing here forever.

Not A Gentleman's Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-02-14 05:54 am (UTC)(link)
So much for a fix-it-up, happy ending chapter...

Pairings: Harry Dresden/John Marcone
Characters: Harry Dresden, Hendricks
Kinks: crossover/fusion, au!sentinel-verse, empathy, Sentinel!John, Guide!Hendricks, Guide?Harry
Warnings: language, allusions to non-con, drunkenness, PTSD

NOT A GENTLEMAN'S GENTLEMAN

Hendricks turned up outside my apartment door a few days after... what happened. I slammed it in his face.

“Dresden,” he called through the steel, “I want to talk to you.”

I threw the bolts and secured the chain, then went for broke and pressed the button lock on the handle too. It didn't make me feel any better.

“Dresden. I'd rather not go into this out in the hall.”

“I don't give two shits what you'd rather. Fuck off.”

“There's things that need to be said, and shouting through the door in a public building is not the way to handle a sensitive issue.”

“You don't have anything to say that I care about hearing. Fuck off.”

“The other day – ”

“I don't care. It doesn't matter. Just leave. Please?”

“I'm sorry I didn't get there sooner.”

That … hadn't been what I was expecting.

*-*-*

Let me explain right now that I've never much liked Dresden. Aside from being alarmingly difficult to :read:, he's loud, brash, immature, obnoxious, dense as five bricks, and so invested in his denial and heteronormative, black-and-white morality that it's painful. And he hurts my best friend and sometimes-sentinel on a regular basis, generally without even noticing. There's a lot I'd forgive the man who held Johnny's heart, but hurting him isn't on that list. The only reason his corpse hasn't long since rotted away in some well-hidden area of Chicago is that he's never intentionally used the fact that Johnny's crazy about him to do it. And because Johnny wouldn't like it.

That said...

I don't think I've ever heard anything more heartbreaking than the small, uncertain, “You are?” that followed my apology.

It hadn't occurred to me that Dresden wouldn't see this visit coming. That he wouldn't expect me to apologize for leaving him alone with a sentinel I knew was both interested in bonding with him and in a borderline-feral state. He almost sounded like he thought I wouldn't care... or I'd done it on purpose.

I took a deep breath, reminded myself again that Dresden's interaction with guides and sentinels was severely limited and mainly with the Chicago PD, still a fairly reactionary group in spite of the social progress that had been made in recent years, and with SI in particular, a department made up of cops the rest of the force had rejected, frequently for good reason. He didn't mean to be insulting for once, that much was clear from the bewildered violet :glimmering: amongst the muddy, tangled snarls that typically made up his aura. He honestly didn't get that forced bonding was a massive fucking issue and no matter who or what they were, decent people did not leave a near-feral sentinel alone with an unwilling or unscrupulous guide.

“Yeah,” I grunted instead of breaking something, “didn't realize he was that close to snapping. Usually he calms down when you come by. Figured I had time for a couple calls. I was wrong. Sorry.” If I'd realized how close Johnny was to the brink I'd have stayed no matter how badly those damn phone calls had to be made.

He was silent long enough that I almost assumed we were done, left my gift at his door, and gave it up as a wash.

Almost.

Various locks scraped – but not the chain, I noticed – and the door creaked open a cautious inch and a half so one bloodshot eye could rove warily over the hallway.

“He's not here.”

The cyclopean gaze flickered suspiciously between me and the very empty air around me, then Dresden sneered, “Too good to do his own apologizing? Or am I just not important enough to get one in person?” and I doubt even the strongest empath could say for certain whether he was more disgusted, relieved, or hurt by that prospect.

I admit, I lost my temper a little.

Dresden yelped and tumbled backward out of sight when I shoved the door open to the full extent of the chain, driving it right into his face. “I'm not his valet, Dresden. I came to apologize for my own actions and their consequences. He'll do the same once he gets his head out of his ass enough to believe me that he's not a threat to you.”

It was definitely deep-set fear, in :spiking: emerald spirals, that flavored his resentfully muttered, “And you're so sure of that, are you?”

I saw my opening – just because I wasn't there to apologize for Johnny didn't mean I couldn't ease the way a little – and hefted the cooler I was carrying to give myself a second to think. “He's known you how many years now, and managed not to jump you? Just don't claim him again and you'll be fine. You want your beer or not?”

He sputtered for a minute, seemingly unable to settle on a single point to be be outraged over first, then the door slammed shut and the chain was all but ripped from it's mount. When it swung open again, accompanied by a snarled, “I didn't claim him!” it was all I could do not to stiffen in shock.

Dresden was a mess. There were bags under his red-rimmed eyes three fingerwidths deep, and the eyes themselves were so bloodshot I could barely make out any white at all. His skin was some godawful mixture of sallow and gray, and raw, as if he'd been washing so frequently it had lost all elasticity. It hung loose on his body, too – either he hadn't been eating or he hadn't been keeping anything down, and it wasn't like he'd had a lot of fat to burn in the first place. Whether his faint but constant tremors were caused by that lack of sustenance or fear or exhaustion, I couldn't tell. Worse than any of that was this nauseating, tar-black knot of something pus-like and :oozing: in his aura that I hadn't :seen: until it was highlighted by the sullen red :glow: of his anger.

He'd actually looked healthier burnt out, helpless, exhausted, afraid, and beaten to a pulp on the floor of the Full Moon Garage so many years ago. I was suddenly exceedingly grateful that Johnny hadn't been sensible enough to come by yet. Seeing Dresden like this, knowing he was the cause, would have been very, very bad for him.

Struggling to seem oblivious to the damage scrawled across the body in front of me, I fought to focus on his words and come up with an appropriate response. What had he said? No claiming, right.

“Yeah, we figured that out when we went over it later. You meant you were yours, right? Next time you might wanna be a little plainer when you're talking to someone who's not thinking too clearly, that's all.”

Maybe I could have worded that better. Dresden :flared: furious crimson rockets. “So, what, it's my fault, is that it? Fuck y– ”

“NO,” I boomed, sick to death of explanations that only triggered further misunderstandings. He flinched, and I kicked myself for shouting, then kicked myself again when I heard doors and windows opening overhead. Great, now we had an audience.

“No. Not your fault.” And he could figure out the rest of it by himself, because I was done talking. I offered him the cooler I'd been holding and turned to leave.

*-*-*

He gave me a twelve-pack of Mac's microbrew.

That surprised me more than all the rest of it, actually, and not just because he somehow, creepily knew my favorite beer. I know Mac, and he doesn't sell his brew for transportation outside the bar very often – almost never, and not for just anyone. If he was willing to sell Hendricks twelve unopened bottles of his finest, and God help the man if Mac ever found out he'd put them in a cooler, then it was pretty clear that he thought highly of him. Given that Mac is one of the best judges of character I've ever met, well... It made me curious.

And, maybe, I hoped having someone else around would help to distract me from all the memories I couldn't seem to get back into their boxes, not to mention Mouse's worried moping.

So before Marcone's definitely-not-a-valet, right hand man could get out of hearing range I blurted, “Do you want some?”

The look on his face was priceless.

*-*-*

“Don't know why he won't just bond with you. You handle him better'n anybody, an' you actually like him, too,” the wizard grumbled around his third beer, already slurring.

“What makes you think that was his idea?”

Dresden gaped at me, mouth flapping open and closed like one of those bug-eyed asian goldfish. It was simultaneously hilarious and frustrating. Did he think I had no mind of my own? Or, given the assumptions he seemed to have about Guardian Pairs, had it just not occurred to him that I'd be able to say no?

“Johnny, he's pretty practical. He asked, once, way back. We're highly compatible, we work well together... It would have been a good pairing, you're not the only one to think so. And I love him, as my best friend, as my brother. But he's not The One. So I said no.”

I was on my fifth beer, on an empty stomach since I hadn't eaten before coming and Dresden had no goddamn food, and possibly more talkative than I ordinarily would be.

“He actually listened?”

“Of course he listened. It's only you he gets stupid around.”

“Huh.” He drank a little more. “Huh.”

Halfway through beer four: “Wouldn't've pegged you for that kind of romantic.”

I shrugged, beginning my seventh. “It wasn't just about me. He's not... He deserves better than to settle. Better than to be somebody's second choice. Better than a, a resigned acceptance from somebody who doesn't, doesn't... doesn't want him, just a sentinel.”

That earned me another startled look from Dresden, as if he'd never considered that compatibility-based convenience bonding might do a disservice to both sides of the equation. Or perhaps he was boggling over the fact that I had.

“Not that it mattersh now, I guessh,” I mused around my eighth bottle.

“Mmmm? Wh'not?”

“'Caushe he met you. Hish One. He'd never bind himself to anyone elshe, now. Jusht you. You or nothing.”

I was just sober enough to know that I wasn't supposed to see the tears that welled in response to that, so I feigned drunken slumber as a man powerful enough to level cities or bring down mountain ranges with a gesture sobbed himself to sleep on the couch beside me.

And when I called Johnny for a ride home, he was kind enough not to ask any questions when I did the same into his thigh.

Re: Not A Gentleman's Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-02-14 04:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Damn you I am actually crying right now and trying to look like I'm not. That was beautiful and you better keep this going if you end it there I will have to cry again. Poor Harry, I wish someone would just find out about his issues already so they can smack some sense into him and then give him a hug. Thanks for writing, have a good day.

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An Officer And A Gentleman

[personal profile] kakaitalover 2012-05-20 04:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Sorry I've been gone so long, everyone, but massive writer's block, seasonal employment, a new fandom, and an epic collaboration work have conspired to keep me away. Here's a slice of Harry's relationship with Lt. Sentinel Murphy to appease you. Thanks for your patience!

Pairings: Harry Dresden/John Marcone (not mentioned here), Harry Dresden & Karrin Murphy friendship (with hints of UST)
Characters: Harry Dresden, Karrin Murphy, Rudolph, Carmichael
Kinks: crossover/fusion, sentinels and guides, au sentinel-verse (sentinels and guides are known), Sentinel!Murphy, Sentinel!Rudolph, GuideInDenial!Harry
Warnings: minor violence, PTSD, in-universe bigotry

AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN

“Go away, Dresden.”

I paused, fist hovering over Murph's paper-labeled door. “Bad day?” I whispered, conscious of the fact that, while Murphy coped better without a guide than most sentinels half her age and sensitivity, when her senses did spiral out of control they did it with a vengeance, often leaving her raw and overstimulated even after she wrestled them back in line. Typically the aftermath involved crippling headaches and tender input receptors. Everything from her skin to her sinuses had to be killing her if it was that kind of day, and being stuck in the least sentinel-friendly part of the precinct for a double shift couldn't have helped any.

“Just leave. I absolutely cannot handle your flashy, smelly, clangy defense system today.” The faint undercurrent of pain in her voice decided me. Lt. Sentinel Karrin Murphy was a tough lady; she had to be for anyone to take her seriously in the face of her point-blank refusal to claim a permanent guide, or get off the streets. Ever a champion for equal rights, that was Murph, determined to be living proof that a sentinel didn't need a guide to function and thrive in the rough world of policework, let alone society as a whole. That meant exhibiting near-freakish control of herself and her senses at all times, lest the Brass get an excuse to force her into a choice between bonding and resigning. If pain was creeping into her words in spite of her best efforts, it was because she was so far beyond agony normal people would be screaming mindlessly. Even if I didn't count her a friend, leaving her to that without even trying to help would be more callous than I could justify to myself.

I stepped down the hall and into the Guide Bathrooms. First the jewelry came off, slipped into a pocket where it couldn't jingle obnoxiously or dazzle already-aching eyes. Then I stripped down in front of the sink and began washing off the three abrasively cheap, uncomplimentary colognes I'd put on that morning with the special unscented, odor-removing soaps promoted by the Clans. I couldn't do anything about the (again uncomplimentary) shampoo and conditioner I'd used – wetting my hair would only make the scents stronger until it dried again. After a moment's hesitation I grabbed cotton and linen cloths from the cabinet, along with a small bottle of rosewater. My stomach churned a little at the thought of walking around without my usual deterrents, but with any luck I'd be able to get out of the building and back home quickly enough to avoid a fight once Murphy was taken care of.

A quick stop in the break room to use the microwave with Carmichael's help (thank god, it didn't break until after I achieved my goal) had me armed with a steaming bowl of rags in barely-scented water. All that was left was to shake off my latest coterie of hopefuls, accomplished with a truly vicious glare and a flash of my airhorn, and pad back to Murphy's office.

I paused long enough to murmur a warning – “Cover your eyes, Murph,” – before I walked in with my prize. Her electronics would already be unplugged; the constant hum and whirr of machinery is the bane of the modern sentinel, and the first thing to go when one needs a soothing moment to recenter him or herself.

“Dammit Dresden, I thought I told you –”

“Look, Murph, just hush. Even Rudolph could tell you were hurting; you might as well let me lend a hand before he gets on the horn and you have to face a snap inspection,” I interrupted, setting my burden on her desk and swinging my canvas duster over a poorly-veiled window (cheap venetian blinds are shit for blocking light) and cutting the illumination in the room by half.

“Shit.” A contemplative pause followed this pronouncement, then –

“Thought you didn't do the guide thing,” she observed drily, already losing some of the tightness from her vowels.

“Couldn't if I wanted to,” I assured her with deliberate cheer, pitching my voice at a low rumble that wouldn't grate on her ears. “But my first teacher used to get killer migraines and disorientation spells, and this almost always helped get him back on his feet.”

That hadn't always been a good thing, not for us.

I didn't expound, but eyes closed or no she seemed to catch some of my involuntary tension regardless, because her eyebrows knit slightly in confusion. She didn't press me on it, thankfully, and I shook my head to derail the ugly direction my thoughts were traveling as I snagged the first cloth from the bowl and wrung out the excess water.

“This is just sort of a mish-mash of various relaxation techniques,” I babbled softly, stepping around behind her. She flinched at the first press of cotton, and I softened my touch, tracing it ever-so-lightly over the contours of her face – smoothing the tension away from the corners of her eyelids, down the bridge of her button nose, along the curve of her ear. I swished the fingers of my free hand through the water steadily, adding a soothing backdrop to my quiet patter.

“A little bit heat massage, a little bit pressure points, a little bit breathing exercises and aromatherapy; I used to make this vanilla-scented salve with a sense-dimming potion as a base, I can dig up my old recipe if you want some.”

The cooling fabric went back in the bowl on the desk, and the second cotton cloth came out dripping and giving off steam. Wring, wring, and it draped over her eyes, blocking out a little more of the light. I brushed a wet finger across her lips (a responsive area, the mouth, a focal point for three of the five senses), letting the smell and the taste of roses and my skin mingle with the faint touch and lingering dampness on one of the most delicate surfaces of the human body.

“Breathe in slowly, let it fill you up until you could almost lift right off the chair. Slowly, slowly, there's no rush. Now breathe out, just as slow, let the itch and the ache and the stress go with it.”

Back to the bowl, this time for linen. Dip, dip, wring, wring, down the line of her throat and back up, across a shapely cheekbone, broad strokes along her forehead, tracing her hairline.

“In again, deep, slow breath, take in some of the oxygen your shoddy excuse for a desk plant is giving off; what did you do to that poor thing, drown it? And out, let all the nastiness leave with it.”

Her jawline relaxed as I swept my cloth along it, traced little circles around her throat, brought it back up the other side. I pulled off the cotton blindfold and draped its linen replacement over her eyes.

“And in,” I crooned, “deep and slow, filling you up until you could almost float away.” I danced my fingers across her face, pausing here and there to dig them into specific points with tiny, circular motions. Moving slowly, I coached her through a few more breaths, eventually working my now-dry hand into her hair and scratching gently at her scalp.

“And out, last time, let yourself sink back into the seat as gravity takes hold.” She was butter in my fingers, languid and pliant and all but melting into the mild torture device that passed for her chair. I peeled away the linen and put it in the bowl, stirred the water one last time, and withdrew my slightly pruney hand to graze her lips with the rosewater again.

I stepped back, and the room seemed to breathe again.

Murphy opened her eyes lazily, and although she seemed as indolent and peaceful as a contented cat, there was an all-too-familiar hunger in them when she looked in my direction that doused me in a cold sweat, killing my own peaceful contact-buzz. I backed away sharply, instinctively, hands up like I thought she might go for my throat with her teeth. A loose cord sent me crashing into a machine I couldn't name in a multiple choice question; Murph lunged forward, blue eyes wide with concern.

I flinched away, scrabbling to escape, and she froze.

I realized I was chanting “no, no, no,” and clicked my teeth shut.

The room was very still for a minute as we stared at each other (well, she stared at me and I stared at her ear), then Carmichael passed by briskly with the subtle double-knock that warned Murphy's higher-ups were on the floor. With a jolt, we began moving.

“I, uh, guess I'd better go,” I stammered, hauling myself up off the floor with my fallen duster and edging close enough to grab the bowl. Murphy twitched and I reared back, sloshing water everywhere, before I realized she'd only been reaching up to fix her hair from the disheveled mess I'd left it. She looked at me inscrutably, blue eyes opaque as she took my measure. I tasted bile.

“I guess you had,” she agreed with a slow nod. I made tracks for her door.

“Harry.”

Frozen in place with my hand on the knob, I turned.

“Thanks for the help.”

I shrugged awkwardly. “It wasn't anything special, Murph. I'll make you that salve, it'll help much better than I can.”

She watched me a little longer. Then she sat down at her desk decisively and pulled the report I'd originally come to drop off in front of her. “I'd appreciate it,” was all she said, dismissal clear in her voice. I breathed (when had I stopped?) and stepped into the hall, scurrying to the Guide Bathrooms before I could be spotted by Murphy's boss and scolding myself the whole way for skipping enough meals to give me the shakes again.

When Rudolph stopped me very publicly on my way out and tried to make a grand spectacle of implying that I'd somehow skewed the results of Murphy's inspection by indefinite, guide-y means, I'll admit my smile was probably more toothy than conciliatory.

“Don't be dense, Rudy. I'm not a guide, remember? I showed her a few basic pain-management techniques to help with her headache. That's it. And incidentally, I know you've been warned to respect my personal space. If you don't get those slimy paws of yours the hell away from my scent-zones I'll break your ugly, little pug nose for you again, asshole.”

It was absolutely worth the jail-time and the not-so-accidental groping on the way to the cell to see his eyes lit up with fear and hatred as his blood dripped sweetly from his chin and my fist.

Re: An Officer And A Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-05-20 10:32 pm (UTC)(link)
So happy you continued.

Re: An Officer And A Gentleman

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Re: An Officer And A Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-05-21 12:09 am (UTC)(link)
I really enjoyed this posting and I'm glad you're continuing the story.

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Re: An Officer And A Gentleman

(Anonymous) 2012-06-11 04:26 am (UTC)(link)
I love this series and am glad that you've continued with it. Totally worth the wait. : )

(Poor Harry. You need so much therapy.)

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Re: An Officer And A Gentleman

[identity profile] nagasasu.livejournal.com 2012-09-30 07:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Eee! Not my fandom at all, but I really hope you continue this! I'm having so much fun reading it! <3