quiet_curiosity: (Angelique)
quiet_curiosity ([personal profile] quiet_curiosity) wrote2007-08-19 07:58 pm

Fic: Whatever Makes You Happy

Title: Whatever Makes You Happy
Fandom: Dark Shadows
Characters: Carolyn, Elizabeth, Jason, and a nameless man
Words: 1036
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Dark Shadows was created by Dan Curtis and is distributed by MPI Home Video. I receive no monetary benefit from this work.
Summary: Harsh words rarely lead to positive results.

* * *
Elizabeth fondled the shard of broken pottery between her fingers. She could still see the faint black lines that denoted its former design. Though it had broken easily, the shard was dense and heavy. Had it not been for this afternoon, the vase would have lasted many years more. She couldn’t help but note that the vase had been in Collinwood for as long as she could remember. It had been a gift from her aunt Nora. The family had seemed so strong then. Why is it all falling apart under her watch?

The drawing room doors shuddered and Elizabeth shoved the piece of pottery into her pocket. Her heart leapt forward for a moment, desperate for it be her on the other side. It sunk back into her chest the moment she saw Jason McGuire standing in the doorway. “I don’t think we have anything more to say to each other.”

He walked forward, a slight smirk spreading across his face as approached her. “If it means anything, I truly am sorry. Though I can’t understand why….”

“Then don’t say anything,” she hissed. “If you don’t know why you should apologize, you shouldn’t bother saying anything at all.”

“I don’t mean to upset you, especially after what she’s done.”

She could barely look at him. “‘What she’s done?’ This wouldn’t have escalated as far as it did if you hadn’t said what you said.”

“But you can’t deny the truth of it, can you?”

She didn’t say anything. She bowed her head as Jason began to pace around her chair. He hummed an old Irish tune as he did so. Elizabeth tried to block it out but all she could hear in the back of her mind was her voice: “Why do you let him stay? He’s a monster!”

“Stop it! Don’t make another sound until I ask you to speak.”

He laughed. “I think we’ve long passed that point in our relationship.” He traipsed toward the love seat and plopped down on it with a satisfied thud. Casually, he reached into his jacket and pulled out a cigarette case. “I’m permanently entrenched here, Elizabeth,” he said as he pulled one of the long white sticks from its container. “I’ll be here forever. And as long as I’m here, I would prefer that we all uphold a certain level of decorum.”

“Like smoking in the drawing room?”

“There’s nothing wrong with that,” he countered. “Most people, though, would say that there’s something wrong with that daughter of yours.”

“What business would it be of theirs what my daughter does?” asked Elizabeth, her voice suddenly tight.

“It’s not like she contains her behavior to the house. They all know her down at the Blue Whale. They all know what she does with those boys. They talk about how her absent father and crazy mother led her astray. Whose fault is that?”

“You wouldn’t have a clue, would you Jason?”

“I can’t deny my role in this,” he said, his voice slightly lilting. “But I can’t take all the blame.”

Elizabeth could barely contain the sneer the threatened the spread across her face. She couldn’t hate anyone more than she hated this man at this moment. But what could she do to make him stop? He knew all of her dirty little secrets. She couldn’t let him wander around unattended in Collinsport. There was no telling whom he would tell.

At the same time, she couldn’t let him wander around her house either. The whole household was coming together under their shared hatred of Jason. She couldn’t explain to any of them, least of all Carolyn, why he was allowed to stay. But she couldn’t let the family fall apart either.

“You’ll listen to me.”

“But Liz…”

“No! You’ll listen to me.” Elizabeth rose to her feet. “You have to stay here. I understand that,” she said as she strode toward the loveseat, “but I can’t let you speak that way to my daughter. She’s my daughter and I will deal with her behavior in the way that I see fit. And remember: you are just as guilty as I am when it comes to Paul. If I have to, I will take you down with me. Do you have any questions?”

“None right now.” He took a drag off of his cigarette and said, “You’re a hard woman when you put your mind to it.”

“Don’t forget it.”

* * *

His hands were cold. She shivered as they trailed up her calves and played daintily with the slick skin right above her knee. But as his hand tried to slip up a bit farther, Carolyn sent that hand screaming back to her knee with a sharp strike. “Not there,” she hissed. “Not now.”

“You’re normally not so frigid, babe,” slurred the man. “What’s the matter?”

“‘Frigid?’” she asked with a giggle. “You wouldn’t know the half of it.”

He began to talk again but Carolyn had completely tuned him out. In the back of her head, she could hear that other man’s voice: “Your prancing around town is going to send this family to ruin. Why are you such a harlot? Whore.”

The word still stung. Whore? He’d surely know, wouldn’t he? She knew all the old rumors about sailors and how the loved cheap booze and easy women. It surely didn’t apply to all sailors, but she couldn’t help but think that it applied to Jason. After all, she knew the crazy company that he kept. Who had he been to judge her? He didn’t understand her life, either as a woman or a Collins. And yet he wanted to prance around her house and try to act like her father.

Though his words still hurt, it was her mother’s silence that hurt the most. Regardless of what she had thought, how could she have let him say those things? The more she stood behind him, the more it led her to believe that her mother agreed with all the horrible things.

If they expect a bad girl, she thought, then I’ll show them a bad girl.

She leaned up and pressed her finger to her friend’s lips. “I think that’s enough,” she purred. “We can’t go any farther if you keep yammering on like that.”

She leaned and kissed him softly. Carolyn knew where they would be going on this night. She just didn’t want to get there too fast.