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Fic: Can't Stand Me Now (Being Human)

Title: Can't Stand Me Now
Pairing(s): Mitchell/Herrick (implied)
Rating: 15 for language
Disclaimer: They're not mine, they're Toby Whithouse's. Title from the Libertines.
Warnings: Language
Summary: Set sometime in the 1990s or early 2000s- a scene from the slow breakdown of Herrick and Mitchell's relationship.

 

Herrick throws open the front door and shoves Mitchell inside. To look at them, you would think Mitchell could easily put up more of a fight, but he doesn’t resist, and once inside lets Herrick back him up against the nearest wall. He’s watching the older man warily.

“So what was all that about?” Herrick’s voice is surprisingly mild but Mitchell knows him well enough to recognise the barely controlled anger. “What the hell did you think you were doing?”

Mitchell knows better than to respond to this sort of rhetorical question. In the past he might have tried to answer back, but he’s learned the hard way just where that gets him. He meets Herrick’s eyes though, a defiant gesture of sorts.

Herrick moves back a little, carefully drawing his black leather gloves off and folding them into a coat pocket. He steps the menace in his voice up a notch. “Was it meant to be some sort of protest? Are you upset about something, have I been neglecting you?”

“I’m not some stroppy teenager,” Mitchell mutters, with more petulance in his tone than he would have liked.

Herrick snorts. “No, I’d say you’re more like a three-year-old, throwing your little tantrums in public.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake, Herrick, it’s not that big a deal, is it? So you didn’t get to feed tonight. I’m sure you’ll be off murdering someone again tomorrow.” The words flood out of Mitchell’s mouth before his brain can catch up with them, and he’s horrified at the advantage he’s just handed to the other man.

“Not that big a deal?” Herrick is suddenly raging and though Mitchell’s seen it all before, he can’t stop himself from shrinking back against the wall, willing himself to become invisible. “We’re meant to keep a low profile! And the last time I checked, that did not include causing a bloody great scene in a nightclub! Do you know how long it’s been since I was last chased out of somewhere?”

Mitchell shakes his head contritely, but Herrick is in full flow, eyes flashing. “Well I’ll tell you- it was before you were even born! Because I’m careful, Mitchell- I choose my kills sensibly and I treat them nicely and I don’t scare them until I absolutely have to. And I don’t appreciate you wading in and fucking it up for me just because you think you’ve got a better way of doing things!”

He can still remember the anticipation that had risen in him as he picked the girl out of the crowd, standing there alone and uncomfortable as her friends danced. Ripe for the taking. But now the sweet joy of the hunt, the ultimate conquest, has been tainted, and all he can taste is bitterness and bile.

“Herrick, look, I...” But Herrick cuts him off with a hand across his mouth and a warning hiss.

“Do you remember the life I rescued you from? You were probably a couple of days away from getting impaled on a bayonet and dying of septicaemia, or being blown to smithereens, or some other horrible death. If you hadn’t met me, your corpse would be long rotted and forgotten in some lonely corner of France. And even if you’d survived the war, what would you have done? You’d have gone back home, back to your pathetic little farm, and you’d have slogged your guts out there and if you were very, very lucky, you’d have died a withered old pauper about twenty years ago. You’d never have had two pennies to rub together, you’d never have left Ireland again-”

“Do you think I don’t know that?” Mitchell bursts out, eyes burning with shame and defiance.

“You certainly act like you’ve forgotten at times.”

Mitchell shakes his head again, looking at the floor now. “I never asked you for any of this.”

“Oh yes, that’s right Mitchell,” Herrick scoffs. “I’ve often seen how reluctant you are to accept my generosity. I mean, you live in my flat, where I pay the bills, you eat my food, you let me take you out and wine you and dine you... And you’re always quite happy to use my connections to clean things up when you get yourself into a compromising situation.” He shakes his head, contemptuous.

“Well it’s not like you don’t get anything in return, is it,” says Mitchell flatly.

Suddenly Herrick is very, very close to Mitchell, gripping his chin and forcing him to make eye contact. He leans in until their lips are millimetres apart. “Ah,” he whispers, “well I think our little arrangement is... mutually advantageous, wouldn’t you say?” He strokes his pale fingers along Mitchell’s jaw, down the curve of his throat and lets them slip below the collar of his shirt. “But don’t ever think that means I need you more than you need me. We both know where you’d be without me to look after you.”

“I don’t need you,” Mitchell says tightly. “All of this... it makes me sick.” He flinches slightly as Herrick’s fingers work another shirt button open, lingering to caress the skin beneath. “I’d rather be alone than do this anymore.”

Herrick’s eyes are cold as he withdraws his hand from Mitchell’s chest and steps back. “Well if that’s what you want, Mitchell, you’re going the right way about it. You know, I’ve put up with your little whims until now; I’ve let you come and go as you please, and every time I’ve taken you back. You go off and do whatever you want, with whoever you want, to whoever you want, and I never complain, never get jealous, though God knows I’ve had enough reason.  I’ve looked after you, protected you, provided for you- and now you throw it all back in my face. So the next time you come crawling back to me, you might find I’ve moved on.”

He smiles nastily as a thought comes to him. “You know, Seth’s been very patient, hung around all this time since you came along, just hoping I’d get tired of you. I’ve got plenty of other places to go, Mitchell. Have you?”

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
swas
May. 19th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
Wow, I really liked this :)
I'm going to skip back in this nice community to see what else you've written!
distraction16
May. 19th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
Thankyou very much! Glad you liked it.
I haven't written that much but there are a few fics on my journal so feel free to browse... and of course there is lots of amazing fic on this comm by other people :-)
jaynedoll
May. 19th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
I really like this, thought you had the characters spot on, I could really imagine this scene. And I just love Mitchell/Herrick.
distraction16
May. 19th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks, it's nice to know you thought the voices were right. It kind of scares me that I can hear Herrick talking in my head sometimes!
Yup Mitchell/Herrick is a great if slightly disturbing pairing.
(Deleted comment)
distraction16
May. 20th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks :-) I'm not feeling very inspired to write anything else at the moment. Could do with a prompt... hint... :-)
(Deleted comment)
distraction16
May. 20th, 2009 09:05 pm (UTC)
I think maybe we need some medication! Maybe stupid pills would do the trick.
drwhorose
Aug. 24th, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
You capture both characters very well. Another great fic. Hope you write again after the writer's block is conquered.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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