Realest Thing in the Universe (Dollhouse)
Title: Realest Thing in the Universe
A/N: This was my Yuletide Pinch Hit prompt I picked up over at AO3 this past holiday season - and then forgot to post over here after the sites festivities were over.
A/N2: Reviews are Good. This has been a subtle hint from the author - Please return to your regularly scheduled reading
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Dollhouse belongs to Josh Whedon.
Spoilers: This is story is really pre-series, but plays with the bits of scenes, "Season 1, Episode 12: Omega", gave of Whiskey and fleshes out the flashback bits from that assignment Alpha and her were on.Warning
: There is a bit of torture in this fic (mixed in with other characters being sexy actually) - if you know the episode, you know what I am referring too. But fair warning to all others.
Topher looked up from his computer when he heard the elevator.
"...are you certain that this will not take much longer?" the lady in the blue 1940's style dress (complete with a string of pearls and kitten heeled pumps) was asking the woman in the dark suit as they exited the conveyance and walked towards him. "You see, my husband will be back from work soon and we have ever so much planned!" unfettered joy gleamed in her eyes and perfect brown curls bounced every time she moved her head.
"Of course Miss," she responded, a thin indulgent smile on her lips as she led the woman over to the high-tech looking chair in the middle of the room. "Everything is going to be alright," the key phrase was dropped in an almost off hand manner.
"Now that you're here," the other woman replied, without really knowing why, instantly becoming compliant and sitting down with a smile on her face. Never even commenting when the chair reclined and her head was now haloed by a metal semi-circle above it.
?" Topher asked Sophie Alvarez sarcastically once the Handler had joined him a few feet away at his computer bank. "You forgot her name again, didn't you?"
"With how popular our girl, Whiskey, is lately, I'm surprised I remember my own name," she snorted, pulling a hand through her dark shoulder length hair.
He pushed a key and they both watched dispassionately as the chair glowed, Whiskey gasped, and the Active's back arched as the memory of the past day cleared from her mind. Memory of most things gone until she was back in tabula rasa state. When they went over to her, she smiled up at them blankly, as trusting as a child that has known no fear, has never been lied to.
"Hello, Whiskey," Topher said. "How are you feeling?" he asked.
"Did I fall asleep?" she returned, following the post-whipe script imbeded into her brain.
"For a little while," he returned calmly.
"Shall I go now?" she asked
"If you like," he said neutrally
And she got up to leave but they both saw how she hesitated once exiting his office. Sophie sighed and went to her side, "Why don't we go downstairs, Whiskey," she said "We'll visit, Dr. Saunders for your check up."
"Dr. Saunders is nice," Whiskey smiled in response, trailing after her.
"This is the order you wish for us to fill?" the woman behind the desk asked with a slightly raised eyebrow
The almost aggressively normal business man (white, brown hair, khakis, button up shirt, dress shoes
) in front of her barely glanced at the paper; his arms crossed defensively, "It's what I sent you, isn't it?" He frowned, "Is there some sort of problem - I'm paying a lot of money for this - I was led to believe you people could do practically anything
"We can, Mr. Lars," she smiled, cool pride neatly covering any discomfort. "And no, there is no problem. But when a client, such as yourself, asks for a scenario that is potentially dangerous to them, we are always sure to verify this wish so as to nullify the chance of," Adelle paused searching for a proper term, deciding vagueness was her best option, "difficulty
He had settled as she spoke, calmed by her reasonable, almost legalese cadence (as well as her British accent.) "I won't sue you," he said rather sullenly pulling at the cuffs.
"Of course you won't," Adelle said smoothly. "Now, if you will only sign here. I will give you a tour of the facility and you can choose who will be joining you in your fantasy."
"I don't like that they're being paired together again," Belvins huffed, hunched down beside her, in the back of the van, while they both watched the readouts of their Actives in the field. "I don't have a good feeling about this one. Your girl is a bad influence on Alpha."
Sophie just looked at him out of the corner of her eye as she sipped her coffee for a long moment. "If you think Whiskey's influencing him one way or another while they're all in Doll-state, I think you need to have a conversation with Topher about the technology," she finally stated pragmatically, not looking for a fight. "And if you're complaining about her out on assignment - you know as well as I that we don't get to choose which personalities they get imprinted with. That's up to the people with much more money than we'll ever see."
He didn't dispute any of this but kept frowning. "I still don't like this," he muttered.
She just shook her head and decided to change the topic, gesturing towards the screen she said, "Looks like they're almost done with that po-dunk bank, it's the convenience store next - do you want to drive or keep an eye on this?"
"That was so cool. The way they all ducked down - and they were so scared, and that one lady screamed when you, then we...," Lars babbled from the back seat, jittery with excitement.
"Shut up," the blonde man driving said sharply, gesturing at him with a half full bottle of alcohol (picked up on the way out of the convenience store earlier
). Then his voice softened, addressing the woman, "Baby, did you see that van earlier?"
She looked up from counting the money; pulling her body across from the passenger seat until she was leaning onto his shoulder. "What are you talking about, Bobby? We got the money from that last place, real clear."
"I'm sure it's nothing - there are lots of cars on the market. Vans are popular - I'm sure I read that somewhere," the other man tried to divert them.
"That van - two back," Bobby said, utterly ignoring him, eyes sharp and focused on his rear view mirror, "you see it, Crystal?"
She twisted around and squinted out the actual window - as if not trusting the mirror reflection; once she spotted it she stiffened. "I see it Bobby. I think there mighta been one at the convenience store hit too. You think we've got a rat?" she asked her eyes flicking to their third, her hand moved automatically to her knife.
"I'm not a rat," he said a bit too loud, on the edge of starting to panic. This must be part of the scenario, though. Right? Still he edged towards the door, "I'm cool. You know I'm cool, guys."
"Don't you dare fucking move," Bobby yelled not taking his eyes off the road, Crystal leaned over the front seat toward him, oddly seductive despite the blade in her hand - and her body was half way over the separation of front and back when Bobby put a hand on the skin where her shirt had rode up.
"I know you're eager, Baby, but keep it steady. I've gotta plan," his thumb rubbed gently against her as he said this.
"Alright," she gave in sliding back down into the passenger seat but keeping a careful eye on Lars. Bobby handed her his gun, "Make sure the bastard doesn't go anywhere. I'll loose our tail and take us to a place I know. We'll figure out who he's working for."
"I'm not working for anyone," he said, voice shrill - now well and thoroughly panicked. He'd never asked for this.
"We got enough rope? If he's this loud, after you tie him up, I think we're going to hafta gag him too," she asked watching as Lars's eyes widened at the comment.
Bobby had been watching too and laughed. He took another swig of the bottle before saying, "You know I always have enough rope, Crystal."
"Hmm," she purred, "and I always bring my knife," she said holding it in her left hand since her right was training a gun on him. She twisted the long blade, so that the man could see it catch the light before bringing it to her mouth and licking it slowly, keeping eye contact, while Lars watched both scared and titillated. Wondering if he would live through this sudden turn in the "engagement" he had paid for.
"Baby!" Bobby hollered near the end of another of his monologues and Crystal stopped dancing in front of the light (it had made her feel like she was on a stage - like she was putting on a show. And she knew she was of sorts - Bobby always liked looking at her move
), she had been hearing pieces of what they were saying anyway but it made no sense to her. They weren't real? What sort of nonsense was that. Seemed most likely now that Bobby was going to end up killing a crazy man - but she wasn't going to loose any sleep over it.
Bobby comes over and takes her hand, leads her over to the chair where Lars is tied up, already quite beaten from her man's questioning. He kisses her before helping her onto the other man's lap - as if this is all part of some elaborate dance too. It makes her laugh, a deep throaty sound - especially when he does a little bow while placing her knife in her hand.
Crystal licks the blade again, like she had in the car - and this time there is much more fear in his eyes when he gazes upon her. He presses back hard into his chair trying to get away. Good.
She smiles as she draws a line across the snitches chest (she wonders if it would be too hard to write something
). And oh, she likes that face he makes, seconds after the cut, when the air hits it. But she loves
looking up and seeing Bobby watching her so filled with fascination, lust, and pride. They grab each other over his bleeding body, lips crashing together messily, hands first diving into hair and holding on roughly (the knife is still in her hand and presses a bit into the skin of his neck but he doesn't seem to notice
); then sliding to other places (such better places
). She moans and presses forward - pressed into Lars making him whimper and Bobby just chuckles when they break apart for air, "What's wrong? I thought you said we weren't real?" he taunts the man.
"It feels like he thinks we're real," she smirks grinding her hips while pressing her thumb into the cut she made, spreading the blood like finger paint across his skin. He gasps in pain but it shifts into a surprised moan.
Bobby moves behind her cupping her breast and she arches back into him, letting her body weight fall against his chest, which in turn causes her hips to press forward again. Lars watches wide eyed, pain, pleasure, and fear mingling in such a confusing way.
"You really think this ain't real?" Bobby asks with a raised eyebrow. He slides his hand down her stomach and she gives a hum of approval. "Look at her. She's the most real thing in the fucking universe." He kisses her neck but then his lips turn in a malicious twist.
He leans Crystal forward gently (makes sure she is balanced completely on Lars again
) and moved so that he was behind him, kneeling down so that he could whisper in the man's ear. "Look at her," he repeated, gazing at Crystal himself - their eyes met and the moment between them felt oddly reverent as she reached out handing him the knife without him having to ask, their fingers caressing, "she's the last thing you'll ever see," it sounded prophetic.
The blade was placed at the rat's throat - he was talking again, begging them maybe (certainly crying
), she wasn't paying him any attention - because it all seemed secondary as their eyes held and a life was suspended between them, completely within their power.
And that was when the doors of the power plant exploded inwards and people ran in - two specifically breaking off to speak to "Crystal" and "Bobby", who were quite different after a few key words.
"I told you this was a bad idea," Belvins, all but hissed, as he passed her in the hallway, later; once they were all back safe (and mostly sound
) at the Dollhouse.
Alvarez paused and looked at him incredulously, "You really can't be blaming this on Whiskey.'
He frowned, not saying anything but in doing so answering the question.
She just shook her head and walked away, continuing towards the elevators and Adelle's office (she had another engagement lined up for Whiskey already
) - he was probably just jealous after all.
Her girl was