leela_cat: Tommy Joe Ratliff hugging his old car (Tommy loves Bessie)
leela_cat ([personal profile] leela_cat) wrote in [community profile] glam_100 on May 4th, 2014 at 10:35 am
Prompt #116: Smoke
Title: Where There's Smoke
Author: Leela ([personal profile] leela_cat)
Pairing/Characters: Adam/Tommy
Rating: PG
Word Count: 11x100
Content/Warning(s): None
Author's notes: Written for [community profile] glam_100, prompt #116: Smoke. Many thanks to @eeyore9990 for the preread.

The only signs of life in the rubble of Tommy's apartment building are the wisps of smoke rising sluggishly. Somewhere, sounding faint, as if they were further away than they really are, people scream, sirens wail, and things fall, crash, and shatter.

His guitars were in there, his music, his life, everything he owns except the Jag he took with him to Isaac's and whatever's in his backpack.

He should be totally freaked out, but he's alive and his family is safe, on vacation in Hawaii, far away from this fucking disaster. He doesn't let himself think about anyone else.


"My baby!" The woman's scream pierces the haze that surrounds Tommy, jolts him far enough out of shock that he turns to see what's going on.

The sinkhole in the road has widened, and a mini-van teeters on the edge. A child, silent but clearly alive, is strapped into her seat in the back. The mother, who Tommy vaguely recognizes as having lived in one of the older houses on the street, is cradling a broken arm and a toddler.

Without a second thought, Tommy moves. "Watch over them," he says, putting his guitar and pack down next to her.


A few others join him, and they clamber over the rubble. They all pause to stare at the van. The back wheel that's right underneath the kid has a shredded tire and is hanging over thin air. Parts of the undercarriage are gone, and smoke is seeping from the engine.

Tommy hasn't a fucking clue how they're going to get the kid out of there without someone dying.

"One guy goes in," suggests a bald guy who once yelled at Mike and Tommy for leaning on his fence. "The rest of us keep it from falling into that damn hole."


"He's the skinniest," another guy says, gesturing at Tommy with a hand that's wrapped in a bloodstained rag.

"No, I'm..." Tommy trails off because he really fucking is. The one dude who's about the same size as him looks like he's in his 80s.

There's another creak, and the first guy says, "It's now or never, folks. C'mon, let's save this kid."

Nodding in agreement, the others take up positions. The sliding door comes off in one guy's hands, so he tosses it away and gets a grip on the edge of the opening. Someone else takes the other side.


Far too soon, there's nothing left except for Tommy to get his ass in the van. He makes it to the opening and puts a hand on the roof to brace himself. His stomach flips and he hesitates. Maybe if he tells them he's scared of heights?

"Move it," the old man says. "We can't hold this thing forever."

A sideways glance shows Tommy whitened knuckles and tensed muscles. They'd do this for Bridget, he tells himself.

"Just don't fucking let me die," he begs. Then, swallowing down something that's nasty and sour with terror, he crawls into the van.


It stinks of piss and blood. The kid stares at him, all wide blue eyes and fear. A cut is dripping red down the side of her face.

"No," she whispers and tries to squirm away from him. "I want my mommy."

As Tommy gets his hands on her seat, the same one Bridget has, he hears the sound of metal screeching against pavement and the van tips down at an even more precarious angle.

"Hold on," he yells, voice cracking down the middle.

"Then hurry the fuck up. Damn thing's heavy."

Tommy inches forward and fumbles with the buckles.


The kid claws at Tommy, kicks at him and screams, "No! No! Mommy!"

He fights with the seat, letting her hit him, trying not to hurt her.

The van shifts again, and fear cramps Tommy's stomach. Music rattles through his mind, a rocking tune that's driven by a wailing guitar and a pounding beat.

He finally gets the kid free, dropping back onto his ass with a thud, and her head bashes into his chin. The van shifts again, and he scrambles backward.

"Hurry up," a guy yells, sounding desperate.

Then the van's slipping, and someone's grabbing onto Tommy's shirt.


He flails in mid-air for a second then thumps down onto the hard cement. The kid's head slams into his face again, and she screams.


Heat rises from the sinkhole. Fire, Tommy realizes, and he tries to get to his feet. He almost falls down again, nearly drops the kid.

"We've got ya," someone says, and the kid is gone. Just like that.

A guy on either side, holding him up, Tommy stumbles and trips his way to solid ground. He just manages to see the mom cradle her kid like she's something precious before the paramedics find them.


The hospital's crazy busy, and after blood tests and a CT scan, Tommy's left to sleep in an ER cubicle. When he wakes up, the world is still noisy as fuck, but it stinks of hospital instead of smoke. Tommy flexes his hands, testing his fingers, wrists, and arms again.

Relief crashes through him when everything works. He pushes himself up onto one elbow and opens his eyes.

Such a fucking mistake, he thinks, as his head starts to pound.

"Don't do that." The familiar voice is accompanied by a hand on his arm. "They said you should lie still."


"Now you tell me," Tommy groans, squeezing his eyes shut against the spinning all around him. "How did you know?"

"Someone went through the contacts in your phone, and I was the first one who answered," Adam says. "I didn't ask how he cracked your password."

"Shit. I didn't think it was that easy," Tommy mumbles. "How's the kid?"

"The guy who called said to tell you she's fine."



"How long?"

"Have I been here? An hour, maybe?" After a pause, Adam adds, "You scared the shit out of me."

"'M sorry?"

"No, you're not, but that's okay."


Adam's fingers are gentle on Tommy's cheek. "It's a mess out there. Last I heard, they're saying it was a gas leak."


"I called your mom, told her you're okay. She said to tell you to come home with me and not to argue too much."

Tommy bites down on his standard, sarcastic response. "I heard music when the van started going, taking me with it. Stuff I want to write, to play, to hear someone sing."

"No white lights and angels," Adam jokes.


Adam's smile vanishes. "Don't leave me."

"Not happening," Tommy promises. "You're stuck with me."
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