tellitslant: Helen Magnus of Sanctuary, seen from the back pointing a gun (sanctuary - helen - waistcoat)
queen of analogue ([personal profile] tellitslant) wrote2015-12-06 11:30 pm
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I wrote a very quick, very tiny River ficlet over on tumblr, for the prompt 'Chrissie Read, one missed call.' Find it here!

Chrissie hangs up her coat with one hand and dials into her voicemail with the other. She puts the phone on speaker and sets it on the kitchen counter, busying herself with bottle and glass and corkscrew while the mechanical voice informs her she has four messages: one for each of the calls she saw come through but couldn't answer.

*Message one.*

"Chrissie, heya, it's me, I just - ah, shit, is that you ringing me back?"

The message drops, and Chrissie smiles despite herself at Stevie's flightiness.

*Message two.*

"Heya. It wasn't you. Clearly." Stevie laughs. In her mind's eye, Chrissie pictures her running a hand through her hair, pulling it off her face, crinkling her nose in parodic self-deprecation, putting on a show even alone in her flat. "Just ring me when you get this, okay? Ta."

Chrissie pours, sips, leans back against the counter. The recital continues.

*Message three.*

"Yeah, me again, sorry. Look, I know you're - you're probably at Parents' Evening or, or a play or something else, you know, with the kids, but." She laughs again. This time, though, the sound is flat, awkward; Chrissie cringes to hear it. "I need to talk to you. Don't matter what time you get in tonight. Ring me anyway. I'll wait."

Were it not for the tone of Stevie's voice, it could be any one of hundreds of messages she left since they started working together.

*Message four.*

"Chrissie, I..." Stevie stops; the dead air hisses for a long moment; Stevie takes a sharp breath. "We need to talk, but it's not..." Another pause, filled with the sound of Stevie breathing. Chrissie finds herself leaning closer to the phone, holding her own breath to hear better.

"It's not about, well, the usual," Stevie says at last. "Not that I mean you'd - it's important, is all, just want to make sure you know that. I'll be. Yeah. I'll be waiting. All right. Bye then."

*You have no more messages,* the mechanical voice says. *Messages more than ninety days old may be deleted. To continue saving these messages, press seven.*

Chrissie stabs at the screen violently. Yes, she thinks, yes, save them. She covers the phone with her hand, pushes it away from herself, but can't, quite, let it go.

She'll try again tomorrow.