Acknowledgements: tinnny for hooking
me up, elishavah, murron, rez_lo, bimo and auburnnothenna
for bouncing ideas, gabby_silang for prodding for fic
in the first place, everyone on LJ who answered my question
about the various states of drunkenness: Thank you!
Feedback: Is, especially in this fandom, cherished
as much as an old, good, expensive wine or a cup of pure, unblended,
In a thousand drunken dreams
I sunk in
(Angela McCluskey - A thousand drunken dreams)
Pub-crawl. He can’t remember how many
he’s been in, only that as the night grew darker, he stopped
caring about the quality. The smaller, dirtier, smokier the
Make him forget, drink the events out of his
Beer, several pints. Whisky. A handful of nuts
and crisps now and then, and another whisky to wash down the
stale taste. It’s blended, low quality, but it does its
job well enough. The smoke burns his lungs like a wildfire and
he’s chain-smoking again, doesn’t care about the
cancer-warnings on the package, only cares about the nicotine
rush, mingling with the alcohol in his brain.
”It is peace they are after Michael,
He’s torn between raging at his own stupidity
and opposing Pearse’s fanatic crusade. Who tells them
that this really is true? Where’s the proof that the leeches
But the evidence Angie’s shown him earlier
that night is suffocating, and Pearse is right. Vaughan’s
right, has always been. His attitude has been correct all along.
It’s himself who’s been the soft-hearted, easily
manipulated fool. Too straight, Frances had said. Damn her for
being right, too.
He needs more alcohol, needs to forget, needs
to wash this away. He doesn’t need memories, doesn’t
need his thoughts drifting toward his former best friend and
Doesn’t need the burning ache in his chest
when he remembers the look in Kirsty’s eyes and the smile
on Jack’s face and damn it, why are those images still
The memory of her eyes stays with him. The questions,
the accusation. Why Jack? It could have been anyone from the
stock of freeze-dried leeches. Anyone at all. But he had chosen
To punish her? Christ knows. It had been a punishment
for him more than for her. But she hates him now, maybe even
He’s the fool who believed that maybe
Jack would thank him for resurrecting him. That maybe it would
change his best friend. That there’d be a chance to get
over the choking guilt of neutralising him in the first place.
Bringing Jack back wasn’t only for Kirsty. Christ, no.
But he’s the arse in the end, easily used. His guilt doesn’t
He downs another drink, feels it burning all
the way down to his stomach. Sucks on the cigarette almost desperately.
The rush doesn’t come strong enough.
“He was going to come after you.”
“And maybe I would have liked him
to. You ever think of that?”
He can’t say what’s worse: That
his former best mate is back from the undead with plans to nuke
the world, or the fact that Kirsty will most likely never be
able to look past today’s revelation: That Michael first
killed her fiancée and then raised him from the dead.
He wonders if he himself will ever get over what Kirsty told
him on that bridge. Over what he saw in her eyes.
Is there enough whisky to drink this away, just
for one night? To wipe the memories away? He has to try, has
to stop the memories from invading his carefully errected wall
Things are piling: There’s Kirsty - Christ,
Kirsty - ; a resurrected Jack he didn’t have the
strength to take out again, even when he had him at gunpoint.
There’s Vaughan’s accusatory and suspicious scowl,
Angela’s insufficiently masked pain and anger, the discovery
of the leeches plan … and Frances. He hasn’t spoken
to her since Angela and Vaughan took her to see the Code V incident
that was Paul Hoyle. He doesn’t know if she understands
what she’s been shown, the implications it’ll have
on her life. A life he’s not a part of anymore after his
last visit to her place.
Another whisky, and he can’t stand quite
straight anymore, is wavering behind the bar.
“How about you call it a night, mate?”
the barman asks, interrupting the onslaught of unwanted memories,
all suspicion about a sudden fit of nausea on Michael’s
side written over his doughy face. His greasy hair needs trimming
and he’s sweating and Michael suddenly feels repulsed
by this place.
“Not going to projectile vomit on your
bar, don’t worry, ” he slurs, half-surprised that
he’s still able to form an actual sentence.
The face in front of him moves, but in strange,
halting motions, like pictures in an old movie, on picture at
a time, no connection between them.
“One for the road,” he orders and
pushes five quid over the sticky top of the bar. He won’t
get any change back and doesn’t care that the barman is
ripping him off.
Kirsty would have hated this place. Jack would
have loved it, would have loved to shine among the ordinary
people, flashing his perfect smile at the scowling punters.
“Last order!” the barman’s
voice is unnaturally loud and Michael flinches. His wristwatch
swims into focus when his arm rises in slow motion. Almost 11
He wonders if he can find a corner shop somewhere
around here for another bottle to kill outside the dingy cosiness
and the company in the pub.
If he moves now, he realises as the room around
him starts to spin, he’ll fall flat on his face. Inevitably
he does when he turns around, slipping forward in what seems
like slow-motion and he thinks how this isn’t so bad,
how it’s almost like flying until he’s stopped by
the harsh reality of the oxblood coloured linoleum floor meeting
his face. His eyes water at the pain and he feels a hot stream
dripping over his lips and chin and wonders if he broke his
nose. The sounds of the pub have dimmed back to a dull murmur,
his body succumbs to gravity and refuses to act in accordance
with his brain so he doesn’t even try to get up. Lies
on the floor, his nose bleeding profusely.
The scent of his own blood is alluring, like
copper and salty sea-air, another rush, like the alcohol and
the nicotine. He touches the sticky liquid with his tongue,
runs it gingerly over his lips, actually tasting for the first
time, lingering. Hates the taste and wonders how the leeches
can crave it. The thought that Jack had tasted his blood, too,
makes him sick.
It takes him a while to notice that someone
is crouching next to him. It’s not the barman. The face
that hovers above him is haggard, and grey from too many cigarettes.
“You all right there?” The Cockney
is heavy in the gruff voice.
“Enjoying the view,” Michael slurs
and props his head on his arm, pointedly staring at the whirling
mass of legs and chairs and burn marks in the linoleum, as if
it’s the most normal thing in the world to lie on the
filthy floor of a pub with a bleeding nose.
The face breaks into a toothy grin.
“Not much to see here, guv.” A hand
comes out of nowhere and presses rough toilet paper to his nose.
“How about we hail you a cab?”
Michael tries to shake his head when the nausea
hits him with full force. A dry heave wracks his body; the pork-pie
he’s eaten earlier swirling dangerously in his stomach.
The last thing he hears is the barman yelling: “Oi, not
in here!”, then the hands belonging to the face grab him
and hoist him to his feet, shove him out the door and lead him
to the street where he empties his stomach completely.
‘Pork-pie looks interesting like this,’
is the last thing he thinks, blurrily, before he passes out.
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