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Fic: Night Lights

Title: Night Lights
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 565
Characters/Pairings: Beatrice Eliott/Jack Maddox
Notes/Warnings: None.
Summary: Bea’s doing her best to chase away bad memories in the night.

For in the 500 Prompts Meme #470: Let me be your light – Bea/Jack (House of Eliott).

Also for hc_bingo square “scars”.


Bea slipped out of bed in search of the nearest candle. She could have used the electric light, of course, but she thought it would be too harsh, too sudden. Having found one, she lit it and placed it carefully down on the bedside table, before climbing back into bed. Then she turned, leaning towards Jack. He’d been moving about and calling out in his sleep.

She put a hand to his shoulder as gently as she could. “Jack,” she said. “Jack.”

He opened his eyes.

She waited a moment for the dreams to recede and reality to reassert itself, and then gave a short smile, brushing back the hair from his forehead. “It’s all right,” she said. She didn’t ask if it was a nightmare, or what it was about. It didn’t happen often at all, but when it did, it was always the War. She felt that brief, irrational stab of anger that it was something she’d had no part in, thanks to Father, but she pushed her old feelings aside. That wasn’t the point, not here, not now.

Jack glanced over at her, sheepish. “Sorry. Did I wake you?”

“No,” said Bea. “I couldn’t sleep. It’s not very late, anyway. Not even gone twelve yet.”

Jack continued to look at her; he gave a slight smile, and reached out to touch one of her curls, golden in the candlelight. “You’ve got a halo.”

“Hardly,” said Bea, laughing at the idea. “It would be very misleading if I had, wouldn’t it?”

“I suppose it would.”

She watched him. “You’re all right?”

“Yes,” he said, looking away, and she saw the irritation pass over his face. “It’s only a bad dream. Don’t say you’re going to start offering me hot milk!”

“Well, I’m certainly not if you’re going to be ungrateful,” she said, and lay back down. “I’ll leave the candle, though.”

“Bea –”

“I’d rather,” she said. “The colours, the patterns of the shadows – it’s finally giving me an idea.”

“Don’t tell me. For your blessed collection.”

Bea bit back a smile. “Well, possibly. It’s only a thought. It might not go anywhere. Evie might not care for it even if it does.”

“Leave the candle, then,” he said. He looked up at the ceiling. “It’s not that so much – it just doesn’t always help to talk about it, whatever they say.”

Bea kissed him. “I know,” she said. “When – if – it does, though, I’m here.” She moved in nearer, trying to lighten the moment again. “After all, I must owe you that by now after all those hours spent discussing our fashion designs and the latest disaster to befall the House of Eliott.”

“I’ll have to remind you of that some other time,” said Jack, and Bea could hear the grin in his voice without having to turn her head to look.

She smiled, and told herself that was what counted, that it wouldn’t have helped Jack or anyone else much if she had been allowed to contribute more than socks and balaclavas to the war effort. It would be ridiculous to think otherwise. Selfish, when you came down to it. But she did envy people like Pen who’d been able to go out there, and who could understand something of what had happened in a way Bea never could.

She left the candle to burn itself out, and hoped it helped.