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[personal profile] 2corbies
I wrote a snippet in response to [personal profile] helens78's plot bunny from last week's rewatch of "All the Queen's Horses". The snippet won't make much since if you're not familiar with the episode. It's based on a specific moment, when Bolt disconnects the caboose car and leaves Fraser and Frobisher alone to stop a train hurtling towards a nuclear explosion. Bolt keeps Thatcher (with whom Fraser has recently shared a Moment) as a hostage and Frobisher has to bodily stop Fraser from jumping after her, choosing to abandon their main objective in favor of rescuing her.

So, here it is:

Distancing

He was more than half expecting to be shot in the back.

He could almost feel it: the shock of impact, sudden sharp taste of pain in his mouth, the startling helplessness as his legs collapsed beneath him. The delirium that would follow. The poem, already rising to his lips as snow fell around him. . . I caught this morning morning's minion. . .

But no, it was Frobisher's hand on his Sam Browne that held him back. Frobisher spoke in his ear, telling him to let her go, let her go.

"But, sir!" and she was disappearing, disappearing, distancing. She had a gun to her head and her hands were at their sides, but she had the same fear in her eyes, as if he was the only one who could possibly save her. He wanted to- oh, how he wanted to go, and to hell with everything else. He would desert all of his duty, abandon every thought of honor and justice if he could just save her.

Please, he had never, ever asked for anything else for himself, would never ask for anything else if he could just save her. . .

His treacherous body would not move-- damn it, Frobisher was an old man, he should be able to pull free, easily-- and he thought his legs might collapse under him after all. His pulse thundered in his ears and his breath grew short; his vision narrowed until it was almost as dark as a cold Chicago night. No brightness besides her face, shrinking in the distance.

He felt as though he were floating, disconnected. He thought: "anxiety, panic reaction, flashbacks, all symptoms of post-traumatic stress." All symptoms which had not troubled him since he had left the hospital and gone north with Ray. Ray. . . who was not here.

Ray was not here to save him from himself this time. It was entirely up to him; Benton Fraser was the only one who could save, not the Inspector (who was not Victoria-- she was a Mountie, not a criminal and she was not without her own resources), but the countless civilian victims who would perish if this terrorist's plot came to fruition. He braced himself against the rail of the train car, focused on the feel of movement and vibration, and listened to what Frobisher was actually saying.

Replied: "She is my superior officer, sir." He watched the train vanish into the distance, her face no longer visible. And, yes. . . Sheer plod makes plough down sillion shine and blue-bleak embers fall, gall themselves, gash gold vermillion. . .

He shook off the snow and the memories, straightened his tunic and turned, returned to his duty.



Thanks so much to [personal profile] luzula and [personal profile] andeincascade for the excellent beta work. I'll be putting it up on the AO3 as well. Feedback always appreciated!
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