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A Sense Of Suspension [The Cell] [May. 25th, 2004|12:36 pm]
Random Drabbles
[mood |hopefulhopeful]
[music |OutKast: The Way You Move]

Title: A Sense of Suspension

Author: Juanita Dark

Fandom: The Cell

Rating: R

Spoilers: The Cell, silly.

Summary: Peter wakes up and broods.

Disclaimer: Mark Protosevich wrote the script, I covet his characters.

Author's notes: It's un-beta'd, so yeah, mistakes are most likely in there. Also, the interpretation of time is kind of a loose one but I thought I'd hazard it seeing as no one's posted here for a while.


A Sense of Suspension


Peter woke and arose at 4am, almost stepping on Valentine on his way out of Catherine's bed. The dog didn't seem to mind, and licked Peters fingers when he offered a hand and stroked Valentine's wet-nosed muzzle by way of apology. From her strategically high position atop Catherine's dresser (to the right of the bed, as Peter had discovered after many nights of leaning over and hitting his head against it), the cat, Abigail, only purred in approval.

"Nice to see you two getting on," he muttered quietly so as not to disturb Catherine, who he presumed had finally fallen asleep. Her breathing seemed deep and steady enough - but she proved surprisingly resistant to sleep when the time came. He'd watched her once staring at the ceiling and trying to commit herself to a kind of trance. It didn't seem healthy but who was he to criticise? On all their nights together he'd woken abruptly a few hours after falling asleep - usually between 3 and 4am - and proceeded to make himself a coffee before making his way back to the Bureau.

In one sense he had fallen out of his usual habits of a couple of months before; when the Stargher case had still been a wide open affair and he'd lived at his field office. Now he kept scrambling back there in order not to arouse suspicion - if even in himself - that he was growing attached to his nights with Catherine, no matter how fleeting or befuddled they were. The last thing he wanted was his colleagues prying into his personal life - they were too smart with that kind of information.

They'd been trying to roast him effectively for years but fallen flat on most attempts; in all sincereness there hadn't been much to goad him on, for the first few years out there he'd had nothing but the job. But the last few months of jibes about hallucinogenic trips down memory lane were starting to rankle and dig deeper than the previous ones about disillusioned District Attourney's defecting to the FBI - those had mostly danced off his impenetrable surface.

To his mind, Catherine was a No Man's Land - and likewise, no colleague of his should go there.

Smiling at his territorial stance - one that Catherine had no doubt detected and deciphered before he was even aware of it - he attempted to declutter his thoughts. The question of what he had just been dreaming a few minutes ago troubled him only for a moment.

Catherine twitched in her sleep but didn't cry out - she never cried out - making Peter leave the bed by stages, so as not to send it rippling in his absence, missing his weight. The bed had been another mystery he'd filed away, no doubt a fine peccadillo for the boys behind desks to play with. Catherine Young slept on a water bed. And yes, it did get turbulent when they made love. Christ, they'd have to torture that one out of him if they wanted it to become common knowledge; they'd have better luck carving on a turkey.

On the thought of 'torture' the abstracted visage of Stargher's imperialised self stood out too starkly in his mind. The grisly apparition mocking Peter's screams and clapping gleefully like a golden but malign bishop, Peter's blood coating his fingers:

"'Not real, not real, not real.'" (Which sounded more like: "'Nod reel, nod reel, nod reel,'" when Stargher pronounced them).

Before proceeding to extract Peter's lower intestine out of the hole he'd made in Peter's abdomen. Peter, eyes watering, too busy screaming, could only observe the long coils of his own viscera winding and turning around the barbed spit above him from a situation of twice remove - the first through a prism of expanding pain, the second through an assertion that this could not, and effectively wasn't happening. He didn't know what happened next, only that Catherine had materialised above him, Stargher was nowhere to be seen, the hole in his belly was gone, and the first words out of Catherine's mouth were:

"Peter, it's not real!"

Back in the real world Peter found himself looming over Valentine, who lifted his pale muzzle questioningly and then sat up, a slight kink of empathy in his tail. Peter wondered if Stargher had trained the dog to retrieve slippers... or was it just victims, then skipped over the thought. It came back to him however, when he realised that maybe they all fell in love with the dog and that that was the bait. To his left, Abigail the cat, now sufficiently stirred (and ignored) balanced on the edge of the dresser on tiptoe as if calculating the best way the land on her feet on the floor. Likewise, getting his bearings, Peter ran his fingers through his hair, and tried to recollect where he'd left his clothes the night before.