FIC: Love Will Tear Us Apart, From There to Here, Daniel/Joanne, M (1/4)Posted on 2014.07.31 at 06:56
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: Courtney Barnett -- Avant Gardener
Title: Love Will Tear Us Apart
Rating: M overall for sexual content.
Summary: When emotions run high, mistakes and painful misunderstandings can so easily occur. One night, the tension in Daniel and Joanne's relationship becomes too much for either of them to handle.
Notes/Warnings: Spoilers for the entirety of From There to Here, at least broadly. This is set sometime during the scope of episode 3 (summer of 1999 to be exact). As you might guess from the summary this is not exactly War and Peace, more of an angst-ridden relationship exploration.
Word Count: Entire fic around 9,000, this chapter 1700. All parts are complete (yes really!) and will be posted in quick succession. ;D
Love Will Tear Us Apart
To say that the weeks after his stay in hospital had been difficult would be an unreasonably grave understatement. Joanne wouldn't speak to him, would hardly even look at him, and Daniel found himself in the uncomfortable position of having to rely on Ryan as a barely civil go-between.
They didn't try and stop him from seeing Scarlet, and maybe it was because Joanne knew it would only be easier for him if she chose to behave spitefully and give him the justification to feel sorry for himself. Losing that closeness, the trust and quiet intimacy that had grown between himself and his lover and their new child was perhaps the bitterest pill to swallow, even in the face of all the attendant upheavals that he had recently experienced.
Living with his dad was simultaneously a blessing and a curse. The house was big enough to accommodate both of them several times over, and Samuel gave him a wide berth as if dealing with a surly teenager. Daniel received the occasional raised eyebrow on the evenings where he turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism, his response to which was to narrow his eyes and just dare the older man to begrudge him such inadequate measures of comfort.
There was something Daniel came to understand in the months after that, regarding the societal stereotype of divorced fathers who take their children to the park on a visitation day. He would pick Scarlet up from Joanne's place, and instantly have not a clue what was supposed to happen next. His daughter was growing so quickly before his eyes, but still wasn't old enough for films or the circus or other activities of the sort.
And so it was that he found himself among the ranks of those fathers in the park, trying not to hate himself even more than he already did, watching the ducks swim past in the small pond as Scarlet gurgled and smiled up at him without a trace of judgement.
Not long after Scarlet said her first word— 'Mummy,' no surprise there, then— Daniel graduated from doorstep-hoverer to slightly-unsavory-guest-occasionally-all
He still loved her so much, wanted things to be right between them with a degree of longing that was almost stomach-turning. What made it worse was that he knew from the depth of hurt he could still see in her eyes as they talked about the weather or arrangements for Scarlet that she loved him just as much— loved him but didn't trust him, wasn't ready to forgive.
All of those feelings they still had for each other were bound to cause problems eventually, and an incident in the summer of 1999 threw an even bigger wrench into the fragile workings of Daniel and Joanne's relationship.
It was just after Scarlet's second birthday, and the two of them had been getting along better than at any other point since the painful revelations following his heart attack. Daniel had spent a full Saturday with Scarlet, dinner at Louise and Peter's and long happy hours playing with her cousins Ella and Harry in the garden. The evening had run later than expected and the exhausted little girl had fallen asleep in the car as he drove them back to Joanne's, not even waking as he lifted her from her carrier and cradled her against him.
The door was answered after a couple short rings of the bell, and Daniel was rendered speechless by the sight of Joanne in a form-hugging dark red dress. No jewelry, minimal makeup, hair hanging in relaxed curls, and barefoot— as if she had returned home from a night out and shed all unnecessary adornments in favor of comfort. She was easily the most beautiful woman that he had ever seen, and the painful truth that Joanne would have gone to such efforts with her appearance for the benefit of someone other than himself was enough to make Daniel go weak in the knees from carefully concealed despair.
No words were spoken as she gestured him into the house; not even as Joanne reached out to take Scarlet and Daniel shook his head and gestured upstairs, not wanting to wake the sleeping child through an unnecessary transfer. He could tell that Joanne was reluctant to allow him onto the upper floor of the house. There was too much history there, too many reminders of the life they'd had together. Nonetheless she acceded, indicating that he should go first and she would follow.
Together, they settled the sleeping child. He could feel Joanne watching him as he carefully arranged the covers and kissed Scarlet on the forehead, and he stayed close as Joanne stepped forward to stroke their daughter's hair and check that she was all tucked up. They stood for a quiet moment, each with their own thoughts, until he felt a hand on his arm directing him toward the door.
He was invited to the kitchen, and the silence was finally broken as Joanne engaged in the familiar ritual of preparing tea while Daniel sat at the small table. "You're back very late."
"Yeah. Yeah, sorry— Louise and Peter keep a bit of a later schedule, and time sort of got away." His gaze landed on her back as she dealt with the kettle, watching the muscles shift where the dress was cut low across the top of her shoulders. "Errr… hope I didn't keep you from anything…?" It wasn't the most subtle way of asking whether she had been out on a date, but it wasn't a direct question, either. She could choose to answer or not.
The glance she threw over her shoulder was somewhat surprised, "What? No! No, it's fine. Only I've been out with some girlfriends and Lee was sitting up to wait for Scarlet. If we'd known you weren't coming 'til now he could have gone out for the night with Ryan and his friends."
She turned, one mug of tea in each hand. "Excuse me?"
"Who you were out with, I mean." He cringed internally at how jealous he sounded, which was a mere fraction of how jealous he actually felt.
Frowning thoughtfully, she set the tea in front of him. "That's really none of your business, now is it?"
"No, I guess not. Sorry, it's just—" He reached for her hand as she turned to walk away. Joanne stiffened, looking down at him with apprehension, but she didn't pull out of his grasp as he expected. Her eyes were wide and a bit glassy, and Daniel wondered if she might have had a drink or two that night. He pressed his apparent advantage, stroking his fingers over the skin of her wrist. "It's just that… you look so beautiful."
The remark brought color to her cheeks, her attention fixed on their joined hands as he urged her closer to him. "Daniel… don't."
Daniel didn't reply, transfixed as he was by her closeness and the level of contact she appeared to be permitting. He turned her small hand over in both of his larger ones, fingers at once lightly clasping and tracing over the valleys between her knuckles. Slowly he raised the hand toward him, closing his eyes and absently appreciating the familiar scent of Joanne's perfume as he placed a gentle kiss at the base of her palm.
A small noise escaped her lips, and he wasn't sure if it was from protest or pleasure until her other hand landed on his shoulder as she slumped against him. Their gazes finally met, electricity crackling through that connection even brighter than the buzz of physical contact. Daniel saw his own nearly ungovernable longing reflected right back at him, and it was all too much. He launched himself out of the chair, backing Joanne up against the kitchen counter and sliding one hand into her hair while their lips met and molded in a frantic, twisting dance.
Blood pounded out from Daniel's rapidly beating heart at the feeling of Joanne pulling him closer by the lapels of his jacket before sliding her arms inside the garment and around his waist, sucking on his bottom lip and opening eagerly to meet his tongue with her own. He wrapped her tightly in his embrace, lifting her against the counter just slightly and rubbing their bodies together in tandem with the sensation of her fingers digging into the small of his back.
The need for more oxygen eventually won out and their lips broke apart, feathering together as Daniel leaned his forehead against Joanne's temple, overwhelmed by a cacophony of repressed emotions and a powerful lust that had been so easily rekindled. Her hands swept up over his torso, outside the fabric of his shirt, resting on his chest. Their hips shifted absently against each other, seeking familiar friction, and Joanne's eyelids fluttered shut.
"Please," she whispered.
Daniel strengthened his hold, one arm around Joanne's waist and the other hand cradling the back of her neck beneath the hairline. It was the moment of truth, now— the moment where she could mean 'Please get out' or she could mean 'Please stay the night.'
He kissed the corner of her mouth, softly. "What? I'll do anything…" He meant it, he really did.
Chest rising and falling rapidly, she peered up at him. They were so close that he could taste the sweetness of her breath as she delivered her answer.
Swallowing heavily Daniel tipped his head back so that he could really see her face, wanting to believe in this, wanting… so many things. Joanne's expression was soft, sure. And so he nodded slowly, allowing her to take his hand and lead him up those well-traveled stairs once again.
GO TO PART II
xxxxxThat's it for the first chapter! I feel like something like this could easily have happened at some point, especially when you consider the scene where Ryan says to Joanne, "What did I tell you about letting him in?" To me that indicated that there had been a prior incident where Daniel had been in the house, and Ryan didn't like it. *smirks mildly*
I'll get the other three parts up later today or tomorrow... we get to hear from Joanne in the next bit. Hopefully someone will enjoy this!