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05 April 2009 @ 08:15 pm
Dollhouse Fic: A Past Best Laid to Rest  
Written for dollhouseflash Challenge #007 – Past

Title: A Past Best Laid to Rest
Pairing/Characters: November
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Man on the Street, Needs
Summary: In the back of the car November remembers
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

It's fleeting familiar: street names, landmarks, the hint of salt air beneath the exhaust, the lavender litter of jacaranda trees dotting the sidewalks and anonymous lawns.

Her past is a balloon floating just beyond her fingertips. Her daughter's name rests on her lips; she feels the phantom shape of her in her arms. The ache of mother love is a weight in her chest, heavy and as real to her as the car she's riding in. She has given birth: no woman's body can forget this.

Her need is like a beacon, stretching out in welcome to the lost parts of her life, beckoning them home. Memories flit at the edges of her consciousness: fingers grazing the balloon, but pushing it away in the trying.

So close... Like a swimmer surfacing she can see where the water meets the sky, she can almost feel how close she is, reaching... She gazes out the car window, searching for some semblance of a sign. Then it comes: a woman lifting her young daughter out of a stroller.

The balloon pops. The past rushes back in a flood of images, panic-fueled adrenaline and gut-wrenching pain: Katie still, too still, in her crib; the EMTs doing CPR on her little chest; a paramedic pulling a sheet over her baby girl's head. Suddenly there's no air: this was her old life - drowning, never surfacing, no respite from the crushing loss of her child, from the emptiness of existence without that part of herself stolen from her, ever missing.

She fought so hard to remember and now? She wishes she hadn't. Ever.

Only now that her baby girl is calling out to her, she can't ignore her cries, can't help but go to her even if it's just to lay her body on the cold ground - to be as close to her as she can, even in death.

"Stop the car. I know where Katie is."

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on April 6th, 2009 03:17 am (UTC)
I know the Dollhouse volunteers were supposed to be there to forget some great pain, but ow. /winces/ That was worse than Caroline's story.

So once again, I'm drawn to writing Mellie/November. She's fast becoming a favorite, competing with Boyd on the good guy side and surprisingly beating out Laurence on the bad guy side of the equation.

Is it just me, or does her being a mom make total sense to anyone else? (It also explains her picking the totally mom-like dress out of the entire wardrobe to wear.) Of course she's a mom, my brain said. It almost explains why she's driven to take care of Paul. She desperately needs someone to love and care for to fill up that void inside of her. /sniff/

Very special thanks to beta melissima for her assistance with this fic.


Emma DeMarais
dhamphir: halfdhamphir on April 6th, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
Yes, I found her backstory much more painful than Caroline's. Perhaps because Caroline was an active participant in the events that led to her troubles. But no parent should ever outlive their child. It's a pain that only someone who's gone through can totally comprehend.

Nice job on capturing the essence of November's realized pain.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 6th, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
Thank you. I've had a mother in my family lose a child so I've seen this grief first hand. It never goes away, people just learn to somehow get out of bed in the morning and go about their lives anyway. Well, some do...
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: Melliesabaceanbabe on April 6th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, God, this is just gut-wrenching. The imagery is amazing and vivid and... Oh, poor November. (I wish we knew her real name.)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 6th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I really felt her in this episode and it almost made me believe that the Dollhouse was helping people by giving them a respite from such horrible grief. Almost.
Tori Lovelostandalone22 on April 10th, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
Nice story! I still need to watch this show.