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12 June 2012 @ 09:01 pm
[Whitechapel] followed the piper [Chandler/Kent]  

followed the piper ([archiveofourown.org profile] );
Whitechapel | series: 37 stitches to keep the pain in;
(pre) Joseph Chandler/Emerson Kent;
U-rated, 1631words;

Coda: 2.03: After Chandler’s apology, Kent finds himself confessing to being in the incident room that night.


Kent didn’t know what to think when the call came in. He’d been expecting one after finding out about McCormack’s betrayal and subsequent suicide. He just hadn’t expected for it to come from Miles, or that he’d be asking for Kent to meet everyone at Buchan’s place instead of back at the precinct.

It made sense once he got there, of course. They were on lockdown, as it were. Nowhere was safe and if they wanted to finish this investigation without anyone else getting hurt then they had to do it from the secrecy of Buchan’s house, and within the next three days if that secrecy was to be guaranteed.

He tried to ignore the way Chandler smiled at him when he first entered the room. How he kept flashing smiles at him even as Commander Anderson explained the situation, but it was hard. Chandler never smiled, at least not so openly, so hopefully, and he found himself smiling back despite himself, before ducking his head to hide it from everyone else.

It’s not as though he was holding a grudge, or anything, against his DI for suspending him. He’d had time, between the nightmares and the paranoia, to think over Chandler’s choice and he could admit that if he were in the position of power, he too would have found Kent’s denial of anything (else) happening to him a cause for concern.

He didn’t think he’d have believed Chandler capable of that kind of betrayal, though it was easy to rationalise that the pressure of knowing someone inside his team had betrayed them, coupled with the suspect circumstances surrounding Kent, had left Chandler with little choice but to act. The suspension, pending the investigation that would have cleared him, was the only thing he could have done.

         “Out of everyone, I really wish it hadn’t been you.”
         

That didn’t mean it didn’t hurt though. To have lost the trust of the DI he looked so highly upon. Chandler hadn’t even given him a chance to explain. Which was for the best, all things considered. Kent didn’t think he’d have been able to keep quiet if Chandler had called him into his office and asked him outright if anything had happened to him. It was a catch-22, and he found himself in two minds about the whole sorry situation- equally thankful and upset that he hadn’t been given a chance.

When Commander Anderson finished, Buchan stood and offered to make everyone some tea before they got started. His fellow DC’s started to push to their feel, moving around the room to collect files or take bathroom breaks. Chandler didn’t move, and neither did he. He kept his eyes downcast, watching the curl and flex of his fingers as he fisted them till his knuckles whitened. He could feel Chandler’s eyes on him, watching him, assessing him. Kent tried not to shift under the scrutiny. (Tried not to picture that wide-mouthed smile he’d thrown Kent’s way). He could all but hear Chandler thinking about what to say now that they were in a position to talk.

“Kent?” Chandler called after a long pause.

He looked up quickly, his gaze hesitant. He wondered if Chandler was going to apologise now, or pretend as though nothing had happened. He didn’t know which one he was hoping for, if he was honest with himself.

Chandler’s smile was softer now, sadder. He tilted his head towards a side room as he stood. “May I have a word?”

“Of course, sir.” Kent said, pushing up carefully. His heart began to thud.

Chandler gestured for him to proceed him and Kent went, stopping just inside the room. He watched guardedly as Chandler stepped in behind him and closed the door before moving to take a seat at the side table set up against one of the walls.

“Won’t you sit?” Chandler asked, ever polite.

“You’ll understand if I don’t.” Kent declined, looking at everything and anything that wasn’t his DI.

The silence lingered. He could feel Chandler watching him again as he awkwardly leant himself against the wall.

“I’m sorry,” Chandler said, unexpectedly. Kent looked up, eyes wide, but Chandler hurried on.

“I shouldn’t have treated you the way I did. You know the situation we were in and for a while there I didn’t trust anyone. I didn’t trust Miles, I didn’t trust the commander, and… and I didn’t trust you.” He looked down at the glass he’d brought in with him, his fingers tapping nervously against the rim, and Kent found his eyes drawn there too.

“Kent,” Chandler called, drawing his attention back up. “I was wrong,” he said, sincerely. “I’m sorry.”

Kent looked away again, feeling suddenly and overwhelmingly guilty. He wasn’t entirely faultless, after all. He’d made his own mistakes over the course of this investigation, for fear and shame and the humiliation of having those he worked with see him so wretched and weak.

“I was there,” he blurted, shifting his weight. He wished he’d taken that seat now. “The night the incident room was burgled,” he pressed on, “I was there.”

“Why didn’t you say anything?” Chandler asked, his voice just an octave away from demanding.

“I couldn’t stop them,” he said, wanting to get this over and done with as quickly as possible. “I didn’t want you to know.”

The moment dragged on, till Kent began to worry that Chandler was reconsidering suspending him.

“Well,” Chandler began, his voice a sigh. “From now on leave your ego out of it. All that matters to me is the truth.”

Kent sucked in a breath. “My ego?” He demanded, unable to stop himself. “You think my ego is what stopped me from telling you what happened?”

“I didn’t mean-,” Chandler tried, his voice placating enough but Kent felt himself bristle under the implication that he thought too highly of himself, that this was why he’d refused to confess the truth and not because, because-

“There were six of them!” He bit out, defensive, shoving his hands deep into the pockets of the jacket he’d yet to remove- every layer worn was another layer of protection between him and the next knife as far as he was concerned.

“They started by just watching me through the glass. At first I thought I was imagining things. I’d look up and someone would be standing there. When I looked again they would be gone. Until suddenly they were all there, just standing there and watching me and then they were in the room and-,”

“Hey, hey,” Chandler stood quickly, responding to his distress. He reached out, gripping at his shoulders, offering what little comfort he could in the face of Kent’s story. “It’s okay, Kent. You’re okay.”

“No, I’m not.” He shook his head. “I can’t stop thinking about it. About all of it. One of them came up to me from behind. He had a knife on him and he… he told me what he’d do to me if I said anything and… and I was scared. They were police, sir. How was I supposed to fight against that? Tell me how?”

He looked up then, meeting Chandler’s gaze with a desperate sort of need for Chandler to see him and believe him.

“I… I didn’t know.” Chandler said, looking almost as upset as Kent felt.

“You didn’t ask,” Kent whispered, voice tight. “I’d have told you if you asked.”

Chandler’s fingers tightened against his arms, drawing him slowly closer and Kent, as always, followed where Chandler led without question. This time right into Chandler’s embrace; his arms encircling Kent in a hold so tight it should have felt restricting, but all Kent could think was that it felt safe. That it felt safe in a way he hadn’t been able to feel since that first night in the hospital.

He was powerless to stop himself from pressing closer, burying his head against Chandler’s neck, his own arms slipping around his DI’s waist to cling to him with the sort of desperation he’d usually be ashamed of. But what was there to feel shamed by now? He’d been living with nothing but shame and fear for weeks, he didn’t think he could feel any worse about things than he already did, and all he wanted- if only for a minute- was the chance to just stop. To stop thinking and remembering and worrying and just… just have this. This moment.

Chandler’s arms tightened impossibly further and Kent responded by strengthening his own grip.

“I’m sorry I didn’t know,” Chandler breathed, one hand lifting to stroke at the back of his neck, before adding: “I should have known.”

Kent tried to shake his head. He couldn’t have known. And Kent had never said. And no matter what he’d implied, he didn’t want Chandler to blame himself for this.

“It’s like you said, sir, you didn’t trust anyone.” His words were muttered against Chandler’s neck, his lips pressed so close he’d all but mouthed them against his skin. He felt Chandler swallow, and closed his eyes as he began to turn his head. He needn’t have feared being released however, as Chandler turned only enough to press his cheek to Kent’s forehead.

“But I should have trusted you.” Chandler breathed.

“And I should have trusted you.” Kent returned. “I’m sorry I didn’t.”

He felt the huff of breath Chandler let out at his words, an almost-laugh if there’d been anything about this situation worth laughing at.

“I think we both messed up on this one, Emerson.” He said, turning his face a little more to press his lips against Kent’s temple. Kent’s arms tightened a little further, a little more desperately, but Chandler didn’t move. He left his mouth pressed against his temple and didn’t let go.

end.


 
 
 
Shaz: [TV] Buzzcocks: Adorabledancy_dreamer on June 12th, 2012 09:13 pm (UTC)
I was very pleased to find that as soon as I commented on the last part you'd put up a new one. Eeee.

You capture Kent's emotions so well I really don't have enough words to flail really. I just want to swap places with Chandler and cuddle him. I love how this just works with these two boys, there's no need for awkward 'oh I'm hugging my boss' moments because they both need it and they understand each other and ♥_♥ I love this, and them, and you, and ajfladskla

The end.
Campaspe: Whitechapel \\ Kent; starecs_whitewolf on June 16th, 2012 11:27 am (UTC)
;) it's just further proof of how good I am to you! hehe.

<33 ugh, I'm so happy you think so! It's always a bit nerve-racking starting in a new fandom- you just never know what people are going to think of your interpretation of the characters until the first reviews come in. But thankfully I seem to have pulled it off!

Just. these boys! How are they so precious?! I've been powerless to resist them and their obvious love for each other. There doesn't need to be any inner torment of 'my boss/by subordinate' because the lines are already so blurred between them the titles are pretty much just a courtesy now as far as I'm concerned! :D
she was a work in progress.: emerson kentdreamer_98 on June 13th, 2012 04:10 am (UTC)
I love how you get inside Emerson's head. I'm glad Chandler apologized for what happened and actually listened to him. The hug at the end was sweet.
Campaspe: Whitechapel \\ Kent; cryingcs_whitewolf on June 16th, 2012 11:29 am (UTC)
:D I love being able to get inside his head. This boy is just a cornucopia of emotion and I'm having such a great time playing around with that. Chandler too; these boys need all the hugs! heh.

Thank you so much for continuing to read!
(Deleted comment)
Campaspe: Whitechapel \\ Kent; caughtcs_whitewolf on June 16th, 2012 11:36 am (UTC)
:D It makes me happy to know that an update on this series can spark that kind of reaction!

And thank you so much for your kind words! It's my absolute pleasure to be able to share these coda-fics with you guys, and to have you find them so believable is just really overwhelming.

I started writing for this fandom because I wanted to see what could have (should have) happened between Kent and Chandler once the cameras cut away in that first episode- I never expected to end up with a series of fics, but once these boys get in your head it's really hard to get them back out again! Not that I want them out, of course, I'm very happy to be a part of this fandom now and plan to play around in it as much as possible :D
galaxy_song: pic#116377289galaxy_song on June 13th, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
Oh those boys. There are so many time I have wanted Chandler to hug Kent. This is the way that episode should have went

<3
Campaspe: Whitechapel \\ Kent; bikecs_whitewolf on June 16th, 2012 11:38 am (UTC)
<33 thank you so much, darling! When I saw this scene I couldn't help but feel just a wee bit cheated. If Chandler was going to go to the effort of apologising to Kent in private, he should have damn well done it properly! ;) I'm glad you approve!
yorkshirewench: [Whitechapel] Riley OMGyorkshirewench on June 15th, 2012 06:21 am (UTC)
If only we'd seen something like this on TV. It never really occurred to me to be bothered by Chandler blaming everything on Kent's ego but when I think about it, it was a pretty shitty thing to say in light of what Kent had been through. I'm glad you have them sorting everything out.
Campaspe: Whitechapel \\ Chandler&Kent; wjhappenedcs_whitewolf on June 16th, 2012 11:45 am (UTC)
Thank you! It is my genuine pleasure to be able to sort these boys out ;)

As for being bothered by Chandler's words, I suppose it all depends on your interpretation of the scene. The first time I watched it I was pretty gobsmacked that Chandler could even think to blame Kent's 'ego' for anything. I felt pretty offended on Kent's behalf for that. But when I rewatched the scene, knowing what was coming- I found myself less offended by it. I don't think Chandler really meant it the way it sounded. Or, at least, he'd better not have! ;)