Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

WIP Meme

I have finished a first draft of one of my holiday exchange stories! *crows*

Anyway, nos4a2no9 asked for a WIP meme. Here are four from my WIP folder.

This is a side-step from the Dawson Trilogy. Yes, I should really finish the third of that trilogy, and tell everyone what MacLeod never knew about Joe, Methos, and Galati. But in the mean time, here's a taste of Jean-Pierre's reaction to the Dark Quickening.

I ignored my housemates' concerned and gossipy comments, pushing past them to reach the lonely luxury of my room. It had served as a pantry until recently. Until the third time I woke the household with my nightmares. Tomas had come to me the next morning, red-faced, explaining that they had rearranged things so that I could have more privacy. On a different floor and on the far side of the house from the other bedrooms. It was a kindness. They could easily have asked me to leave.

I was new to the house, new to Caracas, still finding my way into the identity of Miguel Rodriguez. "A brilliant but somewhat troubled young man,” Grace had said when she handed over my forged papers. A sly quirk to her lips, she added, "It shouldn't be too much of a stretch. The new quarter begins in six weeks. Learn your way around and try to freshen up your Spanish – you sound like someone's maiden aunt."

Once in my room, I pulled out the box under the cot to retrieve my most valued possession - a CD of Joe's music. The CD player had been a gift from Duncan. I closed the door with my elbow and lay down in the dark to listen. The slow opening chords of Joe's guitar washed through me, releasing my tension in a deep sigh.

I had first come to know Joe Dawson through his music. It had promised strength, wisdom and compassion; things I was desperate for after my flight from Rwanda. When I met him, he exceeded all my hopes. Joe had saved my soul. I owe him a debt of gratitude, and I love him dearly. He had turned to me for help with Duncan's Dark Quickening, and there must be a good reason.

I searched within myself for the pattern that would make sense of what was happening. I've always had trouble with Quickenings.

On my knees in the dirt, I felt Carlo's sword whisper to a stop against the back of my neck. "It all starts with the killing blow," he gloated. "When you take an enemy's Quickening, you steal his power. No act of passion can compare. Once you've experienced it, then you will be a man."

Grace treated a child's fever by candlelight. "If you are Challenged, do what you must to come home to me, dearest."

Darius and I pulled weeds in the priory garden. "Some Immortals develop a taste for Quickenings. To headhunters, the Game is an excuse and the Quickenings their reward."

"But is it … pleasurable?" I asked, awkward as a virgin facing her wedding night.

Darius's face hardened for a moment as he was lost to memories. "Quickenings are a temptation," he finally answered.

An ape of a sailor was the first to Challenge me. I won the sword fight but nearly lost the battle. In Haiti, I was trained to listen to and cooperate with spirits, not to resist them. I found myself cursing in a language I did not speak, yearning after a lover I'd never met, overwhelmed by memories of a past that was not my own. Over time I learned to hold my own against the Quickening of an enemy, but it was never easy.

This is a sequel to my first due South story, Black Ice. It's very plotty, and the A plot got mired in some reserch about Chinese military decorations. I definitely want to finish this one at some point.

“Hey, Fraser,” Ray asked, looking over his right shoulder as he backed into a parking spot near the Consulate. “You like Westerns?”

“There are some classic examples of the genre that I have enjoyed,” I replied cautiously. I had heard Ray use just this casual intonation when “softening up” a suspect for interrogation the other day.

“Yeah, I loved Westerns when I was a kid.” Ray pulled forward, neatly aligning the Intrepid parallel to the curb, and put the car into park. He glanced over at me and flicked on the interior lights. Both of us squinted against the sudden brightness. “You know, the way the good guy, some cowboy or sheriff, would take on the bad guys all by himself, with the townspeople cheering him on.”

Ray turned towards me, pulling his right knee up onto the seat and hanging his arm over the seat back. “Of course, its all bullshit,” he added evenly, looking me in the eye. Ray’s body held the vibrating stillness of a hungry wolf crouched by a rabbit hole.

I was tempted to protest Ray’s use of foul language, but now did not seem to be the best time. “American films of that era generally require a willing suspension of disbelief, particularly from a modern audience accustomed to - ”

“Everybody knows its bullshit,” Ray interjected heatedly, “because if a guy tried that for real, he’d end up in one of those pine boxes, right, Fraser? And that’s why real cops have partners, to watch their backs!” The snarled words hung between us for a moment.

‘Lacks interpersonal skills,’ my annual evaluations had read, year after year. ‘Has failed to assimilate into the detachment. Recommend a posting where he can work independently,’ said a supervisor who had tried partnering me with four other Constables before finally leaving me to work with Diefenbaker. After several transfers, I ended up in a detachment far enough north that under-staffing required members to operate solo.

I turned away from Ray’s furious face to reach for the door handle. “I believe I see your point, Detective, and I thank you kindly for your con - ”

The click of the car’s child safety locks reached me just as Ray interrupted. “No. No, I don’t think you see my point at all, Fraser.”

I swung around in my seat, jaw clenched. Ray had no right to lock me in like some recalcitrant child. He had rudely interrupted me, not once, but twice. At the sight of my face, Ray’s eyes narrowed briefly in satisfaction. Ray had undoubtedly sensed that I was withholding information from him. He excelled at making suspects angry and off-balance, to the point where they hurled their secrets at him like weapons. But these secrets were not mine to give.

I closed my eyes and took a deep, calming breath. When I opened them, Ray had shrunk in on himself. “Fraser … look.” He spoke in a hushed, harsh voice. “You know I’m not Ray Vecchio. I know I’m not Ray Vecchio. But I’m your partner, right?” I nodded mutely at the entreaty in his voice.

Ray scanned the surroundings and leaned closer. We were two men alone in a bright-lit car, telling secrets on a deserted midnight street. “You can’t cut me out of a case, not like this. Not 'cause I’m not him. You gotta let me back you up,” he pleaded.

I nearly told him everything in that moment. I reminded myself that Ray Kowalski was an experienced undercover operative and interrogator. He was surely capable of using emotion to manipulate me. However, I recognized the self-doubt that Ray had revealed to me in the crypt, when speaking of a beloved wife who had come to despise him. I simply could not leave Ray thinking that I would put myself in harm’s way because I found him an unworthy partner.

Ray’s gaze dropped and he began picking at the tattered hem of his jeans. The overhead light passed through his hair to disguise his expression in wavering shadows as he gave me time to formulate my answer.

There were reasons why I could not discuss the details of the case with Ray. Mrs. Lieu trusted me to keep the details away from the police. Ray was not the most discreet of investigators, and it would be wrong of me to involve him in an extra-legal operation. Yet, I had to tell him something.

“Ray,” I said. His eyes met mine. “It’s not that at all. My recent reticence has nothing to do with Ray Vecchio, or his absence.”

“No?” he began belligerently, and then stopped. Ray lifted his chin and stared. “No, it doesn’t, does it?” He slowly settled back against the window of the car, examining me as if I were a member of some previously unknown species.

This one's angsty, but with a happy ending. Yes, I know the ending. I always get stuck on the MIDDLE of stories.

Ray was excited to see an 867 number on the caller ID. He hadn't gotten a phone call from Fraser since Christmas. Sure, the guy wrote every few weeks, but it wasn't the same. Fraser still didn't have phone service at his cabin and wouldn't accept personal calls at work, so it was almost impossible to get a call through to him.

Ray picked up. The woman on the other end definitely wasn't Fraser. She called herself Doctor Hanaway, and wanted to fax him some papers to sign.

None of it made any sense. First of all, no way was Fraser in a looney bin. And even if he was, which he wasn't, why would Ray be listed as his next of kin? Maybe when they were partnered up in Chicago, he could see that, but Ray hadn't even seen Fraser for two years, since he came back from not finding Franklin's Hand.

He waited by the fax machine until the forms came through, and poked his head in Welsh’s door.

“Hey, Lieutenant? I need some time off.”

Welsh looked at him, and said, “Given that you’re not faking a cough, I assume that you need more than the afternoon. May I ask why? No, wait, let me guess.” He pulled a desk calendar closer and peered at it. “You’ve converted to Islam, and need to make the Hajj?”

Ray walked over to the desk, and held out the slightly smeared forms in his hand. Welsh took them, smoothed them out, and put on his glasses. He read silently for a minute, and then looked up.

“I’ll contact HR, Kowalski,” he said. “You get on the phone and start arranging a flight.”

This is an odd one. It's gone through 3 complete iterations. At one point it was a werewolf fic. And now, NOW the damn file's disappeared. But I remember several of the scenes. Computer, you shall not defeat me! So here's the first scene, re-written from memory.

Ray woke up hot. He’d been cold for weeks, bone-deep Arctic cold, but now he was sweating, trying to unzip his sleeping bag with hands that wouldn’t work.

“Ray?” Fraser said from his sleeping bag on the other side of the tent, sounding wide awake in the black dark. “What’s wrong?”

“Hot,” Ray muttered. “Can’t – ”

Fraser was at his side, hands moving along the bag and then touching Ray’s forehead with cool fingers. “You’re burning up,” he said, calmly, and Ray wondered dizzily if Fraser would throw him in the snow to put out the fire. Fraser fumbled around the tent, rushing to get the camp stove going. Finally it caught, and Ray squinted up at Fraser.

“I need to examine you, Ray. It might be a bit chilly.”

Fraser unzipped the sleeping bag and opened it up. He took off Ray's hat and ran his hands through his hair, down his neck, and then Fraser sat Rayup and took off his shirts. Ray kept still as Fraser peeled him out of his sweat-soaked layers. He tried to apologize, remembering that sweating in your clothes was dangerous up here. Fraser paused and cleared his throat.

“I’m afraid that bite you got from Pierre while breaking up his fight with Diefenbaker the other day has become infected, Ray. It’s rather serious, and we’ll need to get you some medical attention as quickly as possible.”

“No problem,” Ray said, cackling. “Just call 911; they’ll have me at UCH in no time.”
Fraser tried to smile.

“Just kidding, Frase, I know we’re … what … 3 days out from the nearest town?”

Fraser nodded distractedly, pulling off the rest of Ray’s clothes and putting him into dry ones before zipping him back into his sleeping bag, snug as a bug in a rug. It would’ve been nice, if Fraser hadn’t looked so freaked out. Finally, Fraser pulled the map out from his pack and spread it out on the floor of the tent.

“There’s nothing closer,” Ray said. He was a little fuzzy, but he knew that. They’d been real careful stocking up in supplies this time, because they wouldn’t see another town for a week.

“There’s a settlement just up river from here,” Fraser said abruptly. “It’s not on the map, but I can find it easily enough.”

Ray tried to think that through. “You been there before?”

“Yes,” Fraser said quickly, in that way he had when he wasn’t mentioning something important. Ray glared at him. “Thirty years ago,” he amended. “But I’m sure I can find it.”

“You must’ve been just a kid,” Ray said through chattering teeth, feeling the cold again.

Fraser nodded, unzipping his own sleeping bag and laying it over Ray. “My mother’s people. They don’t ... welcome outsiders.”

“Fraser, you got family up here? Not just Maggie? That’s great, buddy! Let’s go visit,” Ray said muzzily, and then the tent went dark.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 26th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
Huh, the last one is intriguing...*wonders what's going on there*

And yay for plotty gen fic! I love the way Ray corners Fraser about cutting him out of the case. And great backstory about Fraser's work evaluations. The psychiatric one looks interesting, too.

The worst thing about this meme is that it's kind of a tease--it whets your appetite without satisfying it. Have you read the Sandman books? There's a library there where they store not only all the stories that were ever written, but also stories that people didn't finish, or that they only thought about writing. *wants access to that library*
Oct. 26th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
*wonders what's going on there* Well, it's not werewolves, not anymore.

This meme is a TERRIBLE tease, all the way through.
Oct. 26th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, and if I had access to that library, I might never leave.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 27th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
God, I know, it's awful reading about all these things that I can't read. It feel like the Poor Little MatchGirl, peering in through the window at all the things I want to eat.

I think the Quest one is going to kick ass, despite the fact that my computer has now eaten the file. That just makes me more determined, damn it.

Oct. 27th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
Oct. 27th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
I. Want. Them. All. I had no idea you were working on a sequel to "Black Ice." That's fabulous. I adore that fic to pieces, and now there is a possibility of a sequel! I love the conversation they share, too, with Ray oh-so-casually talking about Westerns, and Fraser ruminating about his inability to work with anyone. That's pretty damn brilliant, Peaches.

I also really adore the last one, because it is, as luzula said, intriguing. The psychiatric one also fills me with longing. (Did we talk about that one? I seem to remember emailing with you about mental health care in northern Canada). Anyway, I want to read them all, right now. So, um, get working on that, okay?
Oct. 27th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
Yes, we talked about the psych one. It's ouchy.

And the "Black Ice" sequel actually has a side-story I posted, Suspicion is the Silent Killer. Yes, that was 1.5 years ago. Yes, this story's been sitting in my WIP folder for a while.

I really like the Quest one. Since Caroline is such a cipher in canon, I can do almost anything with her and her family, and (as SB mentioned) it's NOT an AU.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )