The fine art of procrastination

or stuff I wrote when I should have been writing something else

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
(ITV) "Metropolis" fanfiction: Letting you in; pg

Once upon a time, in 1999, Granada TV produced a four-part drama series called "Metropolis", that had absolutely nothing in common with the considerably older and more famous sci-fi movie of the same name. And while the TV series was pretty average overall, it did have one standout performance that made the whole thing worth watching...more than once.  James Purefoy's Nathan is simply the best thing he's ever done: compelling, romantic, tragic, sexy and totally, utterly psychotic.

The following story (written early in 2008, when I first discovered this gem) is AU, in that it rewrites the ending of the series and carries it on. And it will probably make absolutely no sense whatsoever to anyone who hasn't watched Metropolis. But hey, you can still get hold of a copy - though only on good old VHS tape - from Amazon. So go watch it - because it contains one of the finest portrayals of the complexity of mental illness that you'll ever see. And James is drop dead gorgeous. So there.

Title: Letting you in
Rating: pg13
Word Count: 1,486
Pairing: Tanya/Nathan
Warnings: none
Spoilers: it gives away the ending of the TV series
Disclaimer: all characters belong to Granada TV, but i doubt they're looking after them as well as i am

Summary: An AU in which Tanya makes a split second choice that will change her and Nathan's lives forever

Letting you in

“Nathan, no!”

She still didn’t know what had stopped her hand reaching for the scissors, what sixth sense had made her turn around and fling herself across the narrow space. 

She remembered the texture of his trouser hem, the smooth skin and crisp hair of his leg as it slipped through her grasp, the sudden white hot pain as her fingers locked around his ankle and her newly healed collar bone snapped, muscles tearing under his weight.

She knew she couldn’t hold him, felt him ease away from her with a sweat-slick inevitability that made her want to throw up again. When he fell she couldn’t open her eyes. She heard running footsteps, a woman’s voice screaming on and on as she hung there, draped across the window sill like a broken toy.

Some days she wondered whether it might have been better if she’d fallen, too. Dying seemed easier that sorting out the mess he’d made of her mind and her body. She spent time examining all the possible outcomes. Would the fall have killed her? Would his body have crushed her or cushioned the impact? How much damage would that have done…surely enough to put a stop to what he’d started, even if she’d survived?

She’d had to tell them, before they anaesthetised her to pin her shoulder. A choice in itself, though it hadn’t seemed so at the time. When she woke up the counsellor was there. She’d stayed for a year – a more constant presence in her life than her friends, certainly than her family. She’d never missed her parents more.

Even now the woman was only a call away, night or day. She was glad she didn’t seem to need her so much of late because there had been times when she’d felt she’d literally go mad without her. She didn’t use that phrase lightly any more. The agony in his voice was still too fresh…would always be too fresh.

And she’d been so angry, so fucking angry. At first she thought it was at him, for invading her life, using her, for forcing choices on her that she never wanted to make. ”Do you have any idea how cruel that is, torturing me like that?”  Later she realised it wasn’t him at all.

The hardest thing to accept was that she hadn’t seen it coming – the need in her, the crushing loneliness that had made her reach out to strangers as if trying to heal their pain would be a salve for her own. She wasn’t professionally trained but she’d done the Samaritans course, had always been the one her friends had come to for support. She was good at helping people - except herself, except him. Why hadn’t she spotted how alike they were? 

The fine line between sanity and madness had never been so clear to her than during those months when she had walked it. The changes both terrified and fascinated her but now she was stronger and, she hoped, wiser. Back to her old self physically but irrevocably altered mentally. There but for the grace of God…

She approached the gates at the top of the hill and paused, as she always did, to catch her breath and collect her thoughts. It had taken a full year before she could bring herself to come here and in the six months she’d been doing so she’d always used the walk to push herself. It’d helped her get back some level of fitness, but more than that it had forced her to examine her actions, her motives, and her future.

Between her fifth floor flat and these gates, she relived every moment from him stepping into her hospital room with his arms full of blood red roses, to now. She thought about how things were and how they might have been had she acted differently, about how they still could be if she turned around and walked away.

God knows, she had reason enough and more than a few friends who’d advised her to do so. But there were more compelling reasons to do just as she had done – at first once a week and now every day. She stepped through the gates.

Gravel crunched underfoot and her heart leaped at the familiar sound. She looked up, expecting to see him running down the steps towards her as he’d taken to doing these last few weeks, once he’d realised she looked forward to seeing him as much as he did her. But today was different, had to be different. They’d agreed he’d wait inside because, for the first time, she hadn’t come alone. Still, she was impatient for the moment when she’d see him again and she quickened her pace towards the door.

The staff made even more of a fuss of her than usual. She’d been sceptical at first, suspecting that money talked as much here as anywhere, but she couldn’t deny the excellent care they’d given him. She met briefly with his consultant and then headed upstairs. His rooms on the first floor were homely, comfortable – more like a suite in a country house hotel than a hospital room.

She slipped in without knocking but he knew the instant she was there. He was standing looking out across the gardens and when he turned around the brightness of his smile blotted out the sunlight from the window behind him.


Each time she saw him it was like this, her pulse beat wildly and she trembled as he raced across the room and captured her in his arms, rained kisses on her hair, her face, her neck and finally, finally, her lips. She dissolved in his kiss, sucking greedily on his tongue, running her hands over his face, gripping his shoulders and grinding herself against him until, with an answering thrust, he moaned into her mouth.

Usually, at this point, they would stumble into the bedroom and fall on each other until he filled her up with the truth of his being alive, but not today. Today they kissed until they were breathless and then he held her, whispering into her ear how much he’d missed her. And all the while she drank in the presence of the man she had fallen in love with, the man she had finally accepted was still present in the man she feared.

That was why she had held him when he jumped, giving the lads passing on the street just enough time to reach him and break his fall. That was why she had had him brought here, using every penny of her parents’ life insurance to pay for his sanity. Why she put her faith in the doctors who assured her that, with patience, care and regular medication, he could live a normal life…whatever normal was.

He kissed her again, swiftly and deeply, and then he held her face between his hands and looked at her. “Tanya, darling, did you…?”

The agonised hope in his eyes twisted her heart. She nodded, lifting her own hand to his jaw. “Yes,” she smiled and deposited a quick kiss on his cheek. “Why don’t you sit down while I fetch her?”

The nurse was waiting just outside the door, their daughter in her arms. He watched, transfixed, as she crossed the room and deposited the baby in his lap. He held her as if she might break, looked at her as though she might disappear.

“This is Natalie,” she hadn’t told him before and his eyes darted to meet hers, glistening before they moved swiftly back to the child in his arms. “Isn’t she beautiful?”

He nodded wordlessly,  his fingers tangling in his daughter’s curly hair. The baby reached up with a chubby hand, grabbed his nose and began to laugh as he began to cry.

She sat down beside him, one hand over his, supporting their daughter, the other gently soothing the back of his neck. After a moment, she let it stray down to his back, tracing a pattern with her fingertip. She felt him stiffen into awareness and then relax as she repeated the movements.

He looked up at her when her finger stopped moving. His voice was unsteady. “I love you, too. And I don’t know how to thank you…for my life, for my daughter, for letting me back in,” his voice broke. “Oh god,” he lifted Natalie against his chest and buried his face in her dark curls. 

She knelt at his feet, looking at his bowed head, stroking his hair.

“Nathan?” He allowed her to lift his chin. The baby looked around, too, at the sound of her voice, and two identical pairs of chocolate brown eyes gazed down at her. “This isn’t about thanks.” A tear rolled over her thumb and she brushed the damp pad over the cushion of his lips. “Everyone on earth has their perfect partner somewhere. My words – our future.”



Log in

No account? Create an account