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BioShock x Reader Collection

Chapter Text

"What was that even supposed to be? You could've gotten really hurt!" (Y/N) yelled, throwing her arms up in the direction of the man who had just leapt off a sky-line, almost landed on the person he was supposed to be protecting, and shooting blindly as if it was useful at all.

Elizabeth pretended not to hear her friends outburst, and continued to look around for anything useful.

Booker on the other hand slouched against a wall and looked a little bit annoyed as he reloaded his rifle. "I'm fine though, aren't I? Elizabeth's fine, you're fine. I got it done."

(Y/N) cocked her head to one side briefly. He was seemingly always doing stupid things that would hurt him. "And you couldn't have a bit more of a instinct as far as self preservation goes?"

It wasn't that she didn't trust him. She had no other choice but to do so, at least at first and over time it had become easier to do so. No, she simply worried for him as much as she did for Elizabeth, who was her dearest friend.

It was stupid to admit, but she liked him, even without knowing much about him. Booker was the one getting them out of this flying garbage heap, anyways and they couldn't afford to lose him.

"Why do you care? As long as I'm still alive, I'll get you out of here. One stupid move isn't going too change that, you know."

As much as she wanted to say on that topic, (Y/N) had suddenly gotten a much better idea than to continue to argue. So she ignored the question of "Why do you care?" and began to speak.

"How about we agree to all to things a bit more carefully from now on, and not let ourselves get killed unnecessary acts of stupid self-sacrifice?" she stuck out her hand, offering a shake.

(Y/N) swore she caught the beginnings of an eye roll but it looked like he soon thought better of it. "Fine," he grumbled and slowly put his far bigger hand in hers. She used to opportunity of his slight distraction to pull him forward and plant a firm kiss on his lips.

Thankfully, he didn't look angry. Surprised, yes. Annoyed? Perhaps a little bit, but not altogether unhappy. "I apologize," she whispered. She was not sorry. "I should've asked first."

He ran his free hand, the one with 'AD' marked on it, to run a hand through his hair. Was he blushing? She had made him blush, and that had brought her more pride than it probably should have. "Uh, well. Unexpected, but I didn't mind it."

Good, she thought, bring that she intended to do it again.

Chapter Text

"Do you trust me?" It wasn't a question she'd wanted to have to ask, but desperate times called for desperate measures more than ((Y/N) had thought even possible. Rapture had proved her wrong more times than she wanted to count.

Jack nodded, not saying a word. This was stupid, she didn't even know if it would work. It might get her or Jack killed and then what? (A Vita-Chamber, most likely but that wasn't the point and she diudmt want to think about him dying again.)

"Okay," she took a long, deep breath. "We're going to climb into one of the Little Sister vents."

Because it wasn't as if she'd seen how badly that could turn out, or how easy it'd be for a Splicer to close them in there. But there really wasn't much choice right now, with that already angered Big Daddy getting closer and closer by the second.

But, even given everything that could go wrong, Jack only nodded solemnly and offered her a much needed leg up, because she wasn't nearly as tall as him.

It wasn't as tight as she'd thought it'd be, it was actually fairly cozy. Still not somewhere she'd want to be stuck forever, or worse yet, burned alive. A second later, Jack popped up in the opening beside her and she helped pull him in.

For him, it was a bit tighter of a fit. However he still managed it, even if he was looking a little bit silly with his sweater pulled up to his elbows and his hair mussed from crawling in and his long legs pulled to his chest.

She scooted a little bit closer (was it cold on this vent, or was that only her?) and he did the same, placing one arm over her as if noticing the way she was shivering.

They stayed like that until the footsteps of the Big Daddy became quiet and its roaring went away. And even then it was hesitant movement, although if the hesitance was due to the hostile or the loss of contact, one couldn't be sure.

(Y/N) let out the breath she'd been holding in. "So," she turned slightly to face him in the vent, speaking quietly, knowing that the tight apace would magnify her voice already. "Where does Atlas need us to go now?"

'Need', being a term used rather loosely. She wasn't sure she liked Atlas much. He just seemed to have an...interesting effect on Jack. She just didn't want her friend getting hurt, after all.

Because yes, despite the off tensions between them, they were just friends. There wasn't room for much else here in Rapture, where all your energy had to go to surviving. Maybe they'd get out, after killing Andrew Ryan, and saving the Little Sisters.

If she tried hard enough, she could see a life with him on the surface. Him and all those little girls and hell, she'd even let Tenenbaum and Atlas into their house if they'd play nice. It was a good thought. Would Jack like the idea, too?

The man in question seemed as if he was contemplating something. He picked up the radio for as minute, before setting it down and shrugging, his shoulders brushing hers. "I...I don't know. But he can wait, I think. I need a rest."

"Yeah," she sighed again in response. "Me too." Who knows how long it'd been since they'd last stopped for an actual rest. That was pretty far down her list of worries, though so it was good he had mentioned it. "Let's find a better place than this vent to rest though. It kind of makes me nervous, being in here."

It was a bit harder getting out of the vent than it was getting in. Jack didn't seem to have too much trouble, moving backwards and then blindly out into the open.

There was a place not too far, (Y/N) remembered where a lot of Rapture's working class had lived. Apartments where there couldn't be many Splicers. They'd have to have moved on by now. She took him by his hand, the one that wasn't holding the wrench and dragged him along, up a couple flights of stairs to a place where everything wasn't as broken.

"I'll take watch," she offered, even though there would likely be nothing, that meant she could take the radio and answer any questions about where they'd gone.

He nodded slowly, offering her his bag and the radio. It wasn't as if they had much to carry around, but there was the occasional useful thing and Jack tended to hoartd all the EVE he could find, although she supposed it was with good reason. She went out to the hall, leaving everything but the radio behind.

(Y/N) pressed one ear to the thin wall, hearing shuffling that probably meant he was struggling with his sweater. Satisfied that he was alright, sheclixked on the radio. "Hey Atlas," she tried and waited for a response.

A moment later this static faded in. "Whatcha need, love? Where's Jack? Boyo hasn't gotten himself killed again, has he?" The calm tone when talking about his death might've been the reason she didn't trust him much.

"No, no he's fine. Just resting, is all. I figured I'd let you know we won't be going anywhere for a few hours."

There was rustling behind the wall, again. What was he doing now? Couldn't he just go to sleep so she wouldn't worry? She peered around the doorway, and he didn't seem to notice. He was starting up at the ceiling, one hand pulling at his hair, looking even paler than usual. Was Rapture really getting to him that much, and she hadn't noticed? Some friend she was.

(Y/N) got out of the doorway and spoke into the radio, much quieter this time. "Say, uh Atlas?"

She just wished that he wouldn't be so loud. "Still here, doll."

"What do you do, to make Jack so...calm?" Yes, that was the effect Atlas had on him, she decided. He laughed at her and she put her hand over the speaker a little bit. Couldn't he tell she was trying to be discreet?

"Just ask nicely," he chucked, a bit darkly for her tastes. "I'd love tah help yah out and all, but I can't divulge all my secrets." Although it was clearly supposed to be taken as a joke, she didn't laugh.

But it was worth a try, she supposed because she could've sworn she heard shifting again, this time paired with a tired sigh. "Uh, well thanks, Atlas. I'll try that." And the shortwave radio turned off with a small click.

Once entering the room again, she shoved it in their small bag of belongings after double checking it was off. He didn't need Atlas bothering him, not when he was trying to rest. He didn't seem to notice she'd come back in from the hall until she was standing over him.

His sweater had been neatly folded and put to the side of the dusgusting matters in the middle of the floor, and she noted that one day, he'd likely have to buy a new one, being how dirty it was. No amount of washing could get all that blood out.

Jack blinked at her a couple times in a sort of confusion, clearly wondering while she wasn't still on watch but she ignored that and leaned down near where he was laying. "Are you okay?"

"I'm not going to be able to fall asleep," he admitted. "I have nightmares. About...about all of this."

Of course he did, the poor thing. Why hadn't she realized or even suspected? He was the one fighting everything, not her. He was the one who's DNA was connected to the Vita-Chambers, not her. It made sense, she guessed, the toll that it all was taking when she thought of the sad glean in his eyes whenever they had to kill even a Splicer. "I-I'm sorry. I didn't even think...what can I do to help?"

He didn't respond, instead opting to shrug slightly. Not giving herself a minute to think about it, she sat on the opposite side of the mattress as him, and placed a hand on his shoulder. He shivered, slightly. "Close your eyes, please."

He did so. Atlas had said to ask nicely, and all. What was it that she Irishman always said? Would you kindly? Yes, that was it. "Would you kindly relax?" As if it was an order, he did so. Hesitantly (Y/N) moved her hand from his shoulder to his chest, and she shot a short glance at his sweater on the floor, rather happy it was there instead of being worn.

She began to him in a way that she hoped was reassuring. It slowly turned into singing. "If I didn't care, more than words can say, if I didn't care, would it be the same?"

The song came through the shortwave every so often, and it reminded her, somewhat of Jack. It was silly, really but maybe it would help. Once she was finished, she lie down next to him, absentmindedly rubbing small circles on his chest.

Eyes still closed, he spoke up a little. "Not to complain or...or anything but weren't you going to take watch?"

(Y/N) huffed lightly. "Oh, I see how it is..."

"No!" He interjected quickly. "No, please don't leave me alone, you help...a lot." She quietly told him that she had no plans to leave, and that it had simply been a joke.

"Jack?" He was nearly asleep now and it felt rude to make him stir from his rest, but this seemed pressing. He hummed slightly in response. "I think I might love you."

Jack smiled and opened his eyes to look at (Y/N). "I definitely love you. Can I...I can I kiss you?" She nodded, because of course. He first turned and then leaned to kiss her. When they both broke apart to breath he smiled sheepishly. "I've...um...never done that before."

"Could've fooled me," she grinned, scooting over and attempting to spoon him. It was quiet again, for another couple minutes. "Whatever happens...If you need me, I'll be here, alright?"

He kissed her again, on the forehead. It said enough.

Chapter Text

It had been a weird week. (Y/N) had been working for Atlas nearly as long as he'd been a name known in Rapture and she had just found out that the charming Irish Revolutionary was...none of those things.

Well, she'd let him keep the charming, maybe. He'd certainly managed to charm her, although it was seeming less and less of a feat. But the fact that he was really Frank Fontaine, who was supposed to be dead...less charming.

What, then would she do about it? What was the point of doing anything now that they were stuck down here, although she could suddenly appreciate the irony of the thing. The man, was stuck at the bottom of the ocean pretending to be a man he was not, in a prison made of his own department store.

Perhaps that was enough punishment on its own, and she wouldn't do a thing. But, she was likely the only one that knew of his true identity, and that was far too interesting of a concept to just let be.

And the best part was, it wasn't as if she couldn't find a private audiuance with him. There was nothing better for him to do all day and she had been a good worker, did everything he asked because she'd believed it was right.

And of course, like most of the people down here she was charmed out of her mind by him. For a man who was not supposed to be one of Rapture's top players, he was laying the charisma on a bit thick.

So she'd asked for an audience, said she just wanted to run over some ideas and some business, of course and it had worked.

He'd put up his feet on a desk, and she wondered, for a brief moment if it was something Fontaine would've done too, or just Atlas. It was a silly thought, they were one on the same. Atlas would not do something Fontaine wouldn't. "G'mornin, doll. Or evening, I guess. Hard to keep track in this hellhole."

So he was in a pretty good mood, at least. "Good morning, I guess. Can I close the door?" She gestured briefly to the wide opening into the hall, where noises flowed through of the others, mostly out there playing cards were.

He nodded and praised the idea. "Wouldn't want any a' them listenin' into a private conversation now, would we?" He smirked. He wasn't wrong. "Now, what can I do yah for?"

"Actually, its funny that you mention that," she began. "I have some...demands to make." His eyebrows raised into his hairline and his smirk darkened.

"And jus' what puts yah in a position to be makin' demands, love?" His voice was more pronounced, slower.

He probably thought she was stupid. You had to be, making demands of Atlas, right? "I think I might know something that-" (Y/N) coughed slightly. "You might find you may want to keep between us."

His legs dragged a bit on the way off the desk, knocking off a paper that seemed to be written in a code and a small hand mirror. His full height was intimidating, and it didn't help that he was so close. He was clearly angry, even if he was trying to keep calm for some sort of show of power. "And what 'xactly might that be?"

For a moment she wondered if his accent had really slipped, or if it was simply a product of the paranoia brought on by not only the fact that she was feeling rather intimidated by Atl-no, Fontaine being so close, but also, honestly a little too comfortable. Somehow, she figured that he wouldn't kill her. He could, and looking at it he probably should but she felt certain that she was walking out of this office fine.

"You're not who you say you are."

Still only inches away, his head tilted to one side. He seemed to notice his own slip of character and suddenly became cheerful again. It frightened (Y/N), a little. Did he really need to shift from ready to snap her neck to polite and accommodating so quickly?

"Really, doll. Now how could 'ya say that? I'm jus' yer friendly neighborhood revolutionary, same as always. And here I was thinkin' that we were gettin' along fine. You've done such good work for me in the past."

She shrunk back a little bit. "Yes, I suppose that I have and it isn't that I regret any of it. I did what was right. And I really want to believe you, I do. But there's a little room in the back of the VIP lounge telling me that you're not what you seem, Mr. Atlas."

It was a bold move, and she could see the look on his face switch back to upset. And then he was quiet, for a long, long time. It was because she was right, and he couldn't possibly deny it. So he'd have to either concede to her demands, or kill her and come up with a story so the rest of his mindless goons wouldn't get suspicious.

When he did start talking again, he dropped the accent entirely, switching it for his own, clearly pegging him for a Bronx man. "You're smarter then you look, I guess. Wasn't countin' on that, I'll have to clean up the room, I guess."

Fontaine wasn't murdering her yet, and that could count for a good sign. "Unless you wanna go clean it up for me?"

She hummed, confused. What had she just been asked to do? It wasn't to drown, or go fuck herself so it had been unexpected. Was he submitting to her demands, then? "You haven't even heard what I have to say-"

And then he cut her off, which shouldn't have been wholly unexpected. It was just...a little surprising to not hear Atlas's voice coming out of his mouth. "You don't really think I have to listen-" slowly, he backed away and suddenly the accent changed again. At least he wasn't so close anymore. That made it easier to think. Think, for instance about how this had probably been a stupid idea, and that realization hit (Y/N) like a train. But he was back to Atlas, now with that far too charming smirk on his face. "I don't have tah listen to a thing, love. Let's not forget that, alright?"

With a dramatic turn he was back in his seat, kicking his feet up on the slightly bent desk again. "But, by all means let's hear what yah have tah say."

(Y/N) straightened up quickly. "I want to have a say in what we do down here."

He had the audacity to laugh. What if she decided to open the door-it wasn't so far away-and simply yell the fact that he wasn't Atlas out to the others. Someone out of all of them would at least get the hint and then dead or not, he'd regret laughing at her.

But...naive was not something you could afford to be down here, at least not for long. And that would be...petty, she supposed. Once he stopped laughing, he looked at her, and he was back to Fontaine again. "It don't matter what we do up here, once we get back up to rapture. Nothin's gonna matter. How longs it been since you had news from up there, sweetheart? Ole Ryan's paradise is going straight to hell. All that's left to do is watch it go down, and kill the bastard."

"But you," he continued. "I think I can see you being useful. If you can learn to shut that pretty mouth of yours." She was fuming. He'd switched back to Atlas now. "But it isn't as if I'm opposed to payin' good people for good work. So whatcha want, doll to see this through? What can I do tah make seein' this thing through a..." He paused and his voice got far huskier, leaving a shiver running down her spine. "Pleasurable experience?"

No. No, even implied it was not what she wanted. He would not win her over that way, because no matter how attractive he was he had still lied. Although she had to admit that he got to her a little, with the Atlas voice and all. "Don't touch me," (Y/N) growled slightly. "Maybe I don't want to keep helping you, if that's you're plan, Fontaine. Maybe I ought to just let you get rid of me for knowing."

"That isn't how this works, sorry about that. You will, work for me. And if you refuse, well doll...death would be kinder than what I'll do to you."

Chapter Text

She was a violinist, and she only played for Cohen because there was nowhere else to play in Rapture, and one had to make a living somehow. Elizabeth, the Songbird was a good friend, and maybe the only one (Y/N) had in this place as it slowly fell apart.

Elizabeth was 'closer' to Cohen then she was, although that was clearly not a choice she had made herself. And that meant Elizabeth knew something that (Y/N) wouldn't hear from Raptures rumor mill, about herself.

"He's painted you," she says as they're both sitting backstage one night, waiting for their turns. (Y/N) tells her that she downy believe her, but after only a month Elizabeth is one of his disciples, so she would know these things, wouldn't she? "A few of them looked...comprising at best."

Oh, how lovely. People had noted the artists debauchery before. That and she'd heard what some of his other disciples had to say on that subject. The easiest course of action, of course would be to ignore that she had told her at all and move on hoping that he painted all the violinists in...what was it? 'Comprising' positions?

Another part of (Y/N) was morbidly curious. Why her, exactly? She'd even ask Cohen himself, just...without telling Elizabeth. (Y/N) didn't ask about the man she had been following, the private eye, and Elizabeth didn't need to get into her business.

Elizabeth was called onto the stage first, of course performing "You Belong to Me" as she did every night, but then going into some happier things and of course "Beyond the Sea", which she was far too fond of. She was next, of course and took a little longer than usual to begin.

It was harder to focus tonight. Normally so many people looking at her wasn't a problem, but tonight it was hard. She was lucky to be done after two songs, and although the applause wasn't quite what it was usually, it could've mattered less to her at this point.

Elizabeth had disappeared, perhaps to follow that PI she's always so concerned with. It doesn't matter, another night is done and she has decided suddenly that she can talk to one Sander Cohen in the morning. After all, he was nowhere to be seen while she was on stage and-

Oh. There he was, and looking furious, at that. Ms. (L/N) would you mind telling me EXACTLY what that was back there?" She doesn't answer, and not because she doesn't know. Its also pressing pretty hard on her that he's got at least one painting of her, probably hanging up in his suite. He grows angrier when she doesn't reply. "Do you value this job at all?"

Its a strange question but she supposed the answer was yes, being that it kept her afloat here even if it was stressful some days. "I do, and I'm sorry. It won't happen again, I just-"

Just what, exactly? Cohen asks (Y/N) the same thing. The morbid curiosity is back and she's not sure what to makes of it. At least not when he's right here in front of her. "You're usually one of my best performers, but tonight..."

"I...might've heard that you painted me. Could I...see it?"

He grins, surprisingly enough, such a sudden change from how annoyed he had been only a moment ago, and then nods. Soon enough, they're standing in his suite and she sees it.

Sees them. Actually. There's two. The other paintings here are all abstract, or of the stage and she isn't sure how to take that until he begins talking. It's more of a purr, really. "You make a fine muse Ms. (L/N) I must admit. And I don't show just anyone my paintings, as its a...lesser known medium of mine."

The first painting is about what (Y/N) had been expecting. A rather tasteful nude, and although her figure was not quite what it was in reality, for never having seen her posed, it was good. She sits straight in the painting, her eyes glazed over, not in lust but just without a care.

It probably should've creeped her out more than it did. If anything, she felt appreciated, and certain that nobody else had ever tried to paint her. And Cohen was without a doubt a master artist. If she was his muse, then she couldn't complain.

The one above her now has her nude again, same figure that isn't quite hers, but her intestines (is that what they are?) Have been pulled from her stomach and painted a lovely shade of pink. For a moment (Y/N) wonders how much this appeals to him, but she thinks she gets it, at least a little. Dark blood spills from the painted wound and she wonders if its paint. Paint would be more practical, really when it dried at least. If so, then who's blood?

He seems to be trying to gage her reactions, but without much luck judging my his slightly frustrated look. "Well?" He asks finally. "You haven't said a word and I'm waiting terribly patiently." At least he hasn't shrieked at her again.

The part of her that's logical tells her it isn't normal to find a sick sort of joy in seeing these, but another, deeper part of her feels the warm put growing in the bottom of her belly and doesn't want it to stop there.

"Why me, of all people?" Its the first thing that she can force out but she's quick to amend it. "I can't imagine I'm a very good muse." Its not meant to be rude of course but words aren't her specialty. Music is so much easier to express through, far easier than words.

He's not fuming again, maybe still a little bit annoyed but surely he's still a bit annoyed. Cohen takes a step towards her and (Y/N) takes a step back and she soon finds herself against a wall, shaking because she's nervous, and likely rightly so.

His large, soft hand finds her cheek and gently cups it, exept then his thumb begins to dig into her throat. Then he leans in, so close that she can smell his cologne mixed with the almost clean smell of paint and oil. "You," he inhales sharply. "You are a finer muse than anyone I have found. Can you not see it, you foolish girl?"

Now, (Y/N) has plenty of things to say on that matter, some very self depreciating, a few vey snarky about the things he gets off too. But none will come out, and the pit in her stomach is feeling heavier by the minute so all she can do is wimper slightly.

And then he stops, and looks at her for a minute like she's actually as lovely as his paintings and she realizes something. She's very, very wet. And the way he's looking at her isn't helping. Cohen sidesteps and dramatically places a hand out, gesturing towards the bed. "This way, darling. Lie down, and then strip."

She does, as its such a pleasing, straightforward request and closes her eyes waiting for whatever's next. When her thirst is never sated, and his big, soft hands don't touch her again, she opens her eyes, to see Cohen smiling brightly and painting.

Painting her, again. It wasn't what she was expecting, or wanting even. (Y/N) sighs under her breath and sits patiently until he's mostly done, not wanting to anger him after already having done so at least twice tonight. The entire situation is...frustrating to say the least.

She goes home, as soon as she's able because "I've got to preform in the morning" is as good of an excuse as any especially where Sander Cohen is involved. She brushes up against him as she's heading for the door. Maybe its a little bit petty but she's suffering, alright?

The glint in his eye tell her that he knows exactly what he's just put her through, and she gets the idea to lean close, the way he had when she'd been backed up against the wall and whisper. "May I come back?"

He nods. "I'm certain that I can arrange a time for us to meet. Oh, but it may be some time, I'm a very busy man." Of course he is.

 

Bonus Epilogue:

(Y/N) is sitting beside Elizabeth again, who's smoking a cigarette and not paying too much attention. If she's being honest, though she's not paying too much attention to anything, either.

But then her friend looks her up and down. "Don't tell me you went to Cohen." Is she really that much of a mess right now?

Of course she tries and changes the subject. "Yeah, I did. And you went to folow that detective again, I'm sure we both had interesting nights." Her big, blue eyes blink once or twice as though she didn't belive it.

"You fucked Sander fucking Cohen, didn't you!" Chimes in another voice from nearby. She sighs because she didn't want this getting out, or taken the wrong way. Its Finnegan, because who else. She sure wished she had, if it counted for anything.

"No, I didn't." She huffs. "And if you tell anyone that I'll tell them exactly what I caught you and Rodriguez doing on the piano last week, alright?"

He was about to reply when Cohen's voice cut through back stage. "Ms. (L/N) I believe we have some things we need to discuss!" Finnegan snickered and muttered something under his breath, Elizabeth simply raised an eyebrow.

It was going to be a long day.

Chapter Text

It was December 31st, 1952, New Years Eve and Rapture was still flourishing, as it had been intended to do. Most people were out celebrating, and if she had someone in Rapture to celebrate with, (Y/N) would certainly be doing so, too.

Instead she decided to drink enough to last well into next year (ha) and forget all about the fact that she had work tomorrow. And 10:30 PM Rapture Standard Time seemed as good a time as any to start.

She slid into one of the bars near her apartment. There was nothing particularly special about it, it was neither high end nor seedy and the only thing that really made it stand out was that they had a record player in the back and sometimes people would get drunk enough to sing along to whatever was on.

Its crowded, more so than usual and she can barely find a place to sit at the back. At least its not long before the bartender, Victor sees her. "Your usual, (Y/N)?" She tries to smile and says yes. He walks off, and when another figure joins her at the back table, she wishes she'd asked for something stronger.

The newcomer's a big man, maybe a little cubbier than some men around Rapture, but not at all unattractive. His eyes, which are a lovely dark brown are filled with intelligence, even if he looks like he hasn't slept in quite some time. Something makes him seem really familiar, and she doesn't know if that's a bad thing, yet. "Mind if I sit here? Rest of the place is filled up." His voice is a pleasant southern drawl, and yeah, she knows who he is now.

"Go right ahead," (Y/N) responds, fully aware that letting her boss sit next to her while she's trying to get shitfaced is probably a bad idea. Really, letting any of Raptures 'Heavy-Hitters' sit next to her tonight is probably a bad idea, but him especially. "Are you Augustus Sinclair? Not to be rude, or anything."

He laughed. "Sure am. I don't know who you are, though. Sorry." He probably got that a lot. Most people knew who he was, but there were a lot of people in Rapture. She told him her name and that she worked at Sinclair Solutions as a doctor. Helped...test things. "Oh," he replied, still facing her as he waved over the bartender. "I haven't been down there in a while, I guess. 'S probably not the best idea to sit here and get drunk then, huh."

"Its what I was planning to do," she blurts, a little surprised that he's here drinking and not somewhere... more to a rich businessman's taste. "So I mean, I won't say anything against it." That, and she didn't really want him to leave. Suddenly a few hours of drinking alone sounded less appealing then it had around 15 minutes ago.

He grinned, and she had to admit that it was a nice grin, genuine and kind of sweet and not near as slimy as she'd expected. "Well I won't fire you if you don't tell anyone," he joked. "That I am an extremely boring drunk."

She laughs a little bit. "I wouldn't dream of it." And suddenly a drink is in front of her, and in front of him. Over the first cheap beer she learns that he isn't scary, in fact he's very nice. Rapture needs more people like him, (Y/N) thinks, instead of the ones that cause the things she's got to fix every day. The third degree burns, the inflamed red skin...they can lie all they want but she knows its coming from the labs.

Over the second one she learns that not only is the Southerner nice, but he's pretty damn funny, too. Then he tells her he doesn't think he fits in with the rest of the Rapture hotshots so he comes down here sometimes. "You must do business with Andrew Ryan every day. Don't you feel any obligation at all to go spend today with that whole," cue vague gesture. "bunch?" Her head is spinning a little now and it's taking a little longer to find the words she's looking for, thank God.

He relaxes, settling into his chair a little and tilting it against the wall. "Nope. Life's not really long enough to spend doin' something you hate, especially if that something is sitting in Andrew Ryan's living room with a bunch of people you hate and sipping wine and talking about how great capitalism is. Not to say I'm perfect, either."

'Gee', (Y/N) thinks. 'He must be as buzzed as I am right now.'

The third one is about the last one she remembers in its fullness. They're talking about trains for some reason and suddenly she thinks of how nice this night would be if it ended with them both very, very drunk and in her-or his, she wasn't picky-bed. Actually, Augustus Sinclair seemed more of the man who'd like to wake up every day in the same bed, and that didn't actually sound so bad either. Except that bit about him being her boss, and all.

Sinclair was looking at her confusedly, eyes glazed over a little from the alcohol. She asked him to repeat himself, and that she was sorry, she'd simply spaced out for a second. "I said, would you like to dance?"

She didn't remember telling him yes, although she's sure that she did and there's no way (Y/N) would refuse, even entirely sober.

Soon they're pressed up as close as can be, swaying slowly to some song she can't identify over the buzzing in her head. Something's making it hard to wrap her arms around him, though and he seems to notice too, backing away to unhook something from around his waist.

"Utility belt, sorry I'll take it off," he apologizes sheepishly.

"Leave it," she shakes her head. The space might do her some good. "Its a fanny pack, not a belt," she mumbles, pressing her head back into his shoulder, with one finger hooked into the thing. "You're fooling no one." He chuckles, still swaying a bit more than he needs to, not that she minds. The rocking is soothing. In fact, she could fall asleep right here...

No, no. Bad idea. Not here. But then what. "Sinclair," she yawned, again into him rather than into his ear. If he hadn't responded the first time she'd have guessed he couldn't hear her. He's just so...soft. "I'm tired and I need to go home."

"'Kay, hon. Do you need an escort?" She cannot be held responsible for what she might do to him of she finds him in her house, not after everything she's drank. But (Y/N) finds herself nodding. Better safe than sorry, after all, right?

She doesn't need him, she thinks because its just a short walk down a big sort of corridor but as soon as he backs away again she almost falls over. He stumbles a little, too just not nearly as noticeably.

The next thing she remembers is back home. (Y/N)'s apartment cannot possibly compare to his and she finds herself a little embarrassed by that. But really, he's here, sitting on her couch with one arm around her.

Its all sort of surreal, the way they're sitting so close and comfortably and silently watching his watch. Three more minutes and it'll be 1953. Then what will she do? What will he do?

"Kiss me at midnight?" She finds herself asking. That's a thing people do, isn't it? Kiss someone at midnight on New Years Eve? If it isn't then well, she can make it one.

He hesitates. Why is he hesitating, damn it? She wants to kiss him, ill-advised idea or not. "I dunno, sweetheart it might cause some issues later, y'know seeing as how you work for me, and all. Not that I don't want to, mind you."

A good point, probably. "Please. I mean, no one has to know, right?" It might've been a split second decision when he glanced down at his watch again. Ten seconds. But he nodded and that was that.

(Y/N) is very sorry to say that she doesn't remember the fist kiss he gave her. Or the second, for that matter. Or even the third. Her memory (vividly) begins somewhere in the middle after she's decided to straddle his hips and pull at his bottom lop with her teeth. She hopes the ones before that were sweeter.

Because Augustus Sinclair, Esquire deserves that, she's decided. He decides to push her off a little, back to his side and her lips aren't on hers anymore and it feels...empty. "We're both drunk," he says. "I don't want to to this with you, drunk. Can it wait?"

God, she thinks she loves him. "Yeah, I can wait."

He kisses her temple and wraps his arm around her again. They fall asleep like that and she's a little bit sober, at least enough to think when she wakes up in the middle of the night.

She wouldn't have guessed that Augustus Sinclair snored. It wasn't that she minded, no in fact it was adorable. One of his arms remained around her shoulder comfortably, even and although her couch wasn't the best place to sleep, (Y/N) was certain that no one else in Rapture was going to sleep as well as her.

Chapter Text

Jack remembers that smile. He knows her...why is she here, in this nightmare place? She was his friend at home, on the farm...Except no, that wasn't right because none of it had been real. So she couldn't be real, right?

He remembers holding her hand, running through the fields and yet, here she is, torn and bloody and bruised, sitting in Tenenbaums sanctuary for the little girls.

She watches him with those bright, familiar eyes. She seems to recognize him. Well, he recognizes her from his not real world. He'd rather see her there, he thinks. "Jack," she says and it's her voice, alright.

He stares blanky at her for a long time, trying to work it all out in his head. She knows his name...how does she know his name? He knows how, but its all mixed up and not right in his head, tangled up like an old price of yarn. Has he ever even seen yarn, or is that just another thing he thinks he knows.

Finally he looks back at her. "(Y/N)..." Is all he manages to get out. His throat feels dry.

Her head tilts to one side in question, as if she didn't think he'd know who she was. Maybe he isn't supposed to. Maybe its another thing that they messed up inside him. Why won't it all just go away, and he can live in his false world again?

"You know my name? But I thought they were going to take away your memories of Rapture before...before they..." Her voice catches in her throat but he thinks he understands now. She must've helped to make him, too and then they-Suchong, more likely than not-decided to make her a part of his memories.

Jack swallows. "I-I think they did. But I remember you...in the memories they gave me."

She seems surprised about this, as if it was not something she knew. Why they would do that, he doesn't know but its not like he can figure out a real good reason why they did a lot of the things that they did to him. "What was I, there?"

He shrugs. "A friend." It's vague, and she looks a little suspicious but ever since he learned that none of it was real in the first place, it's been harder to remember. He thinks that's all, but they were so close. "Good friends." He says flatly.

(Y/N) seems to accept that as an answer. "I was a scientist here, working for Fontaine. I uh..." She hesitates. "Helped name you, actually. It's a little weird, I'm sorry." She's not sure that sorry covers everything that she helped with.

He remembers laying in the soft grass with her, under the stars and talking about what the wanted to do with their lives. Her ams stretch above her head, and her dress moves a bit above her knees and he catches himself staring. He's made her laugh with something that he said, she has such a sweet laugh.

"I know what I did was wrong," she continues. "And nothing I do, even helping these girls and Tenenbaum will make up for it. I hope, at least that you have good memories of me."

Jack nods, still thinking about the things he can remember. She helped teach him to dance, one night when his parents had went to town and so it'd been just them.

No matter what she did, if the real her is anything like the one he remembers, he forgives her.

Chapter Text

The Big Daddies drill hadn't gone all the way through her stomach, but it had certainty been enough. (Y/N) was quick to realize that she would be bleeding out in a matter of minutes.

At least it was gone now, having assumed her dead. If she didn't make it to a Vita-Chamber soon, she would be. But there was no way for her to get up, for she had fallen to the cold floor. Blood rushed from the wound through her fingers. "J-Jack!" She called, but her companion was nowhere to be seen.

Oh, no what if he was dead, too? What if it had gotten him? She reached for the radio at her side, finding it splattered in her blood and other things she didn't really want to think about. (Y/N) took a small breath in, and found herself nearly screaming from the pain that it caused.

"A-Atlas. I-I need help." Another breath followed by another weak scream of pain. The edges of her vision was blurring and she knew she didn't have long. "Jack's gone, I-I need..." The words wouldn't come out, anymore and it all faded away, even the pain.

 

She didn't wake up in a Vita-Chamber but instead on an old mattress that probably hadn't been all that great in the first place. There was someone sitting beside her, and as her vision cleared, she saw that it was a man.

One with rather nice blue eyes, filled to the brim with concern, and a strong jawline specked with dark stubble and slightly wavy hair of the same color. "Yer awake, good. I was startin' tah think that Vita-Chamber didn't do its job."

It was Atlas, she'd recognize the voice anywhere, after all when he'd been leading them through here. He'd heard her, and helped her, but still where was Jack, was he okay? She nodded and began to speak, even though her throat was dry and scratchy. "I think I'm alright. Where's...is Jack okay?"

He grinned at her, concern melting away some. "Boyo's fine. Got away without a single scratch, can you believe that? Say's he looked for yah but couldn't see yah. So I told him I'd take care of it. And look at yerself now, huh? Gotcha fixed up pretty nicely."

"Thanks," she sighs with a lot of relief before taking a minute to look around. This must be a safehouse, because its a little small for what she thought his base of operations would look like.

Absentmindedly her hand moves to where the wound had been. Its pink and a little sensitive like new skin, but she can't feel the stickiness of blood or the shredded bits of flesh anymore. "I was afraid no one would hear me," (Y/N) admits to him. "I was scared."

Atlas smiles again but it's a bit softer this time. "Well I couldn't just leave yah, could I? Losin' you..." He looks like he's going to say something but he rethinks it halfway through. "It'd be a big blow, y'know to the kid and all..."

She finds herself laughing, because he isn't very convincing. "Oh, so you wouldn't miss me?" One of his eyebrows raises into his hairline, probably because he gets it too.

And then he shakes his head, smile flattening into a completely neutral expression. "Not a bit, doll. Her a means to an ends, didn't yah hear?" But she knows he's playing now so she goes along with it.

"So if I do this..." She leans up to quickly peck him on the cheek. "No effect?"

"None at all." But despite his words, his voice has become far more husky, practically a growl. (Y/N) likes it, a lot.

So she does it again, deeper and longer and on his lips, and if she thought she'd gotten him riled up before, it was nothing compared to this. He rests on the mattress with her now, between her legs and with his hands on either side of her head, and once they break apart he kisses down her neck and begins to gently suck her earlobe.

She shivers, and guides his hand to her chest. It lingers there for a minute, as he kneads it through her shirt before his hand moves up her shirt and runs down her ribcage and on her stomach, and she hisses and pulls back a little. That hurt.

The moment of bliss is gone, and Atlas rolls to her side and looks at her apologetically. "Sorry, love. Forgot about that for a moment."

"No, its fine I did too." And suddenly another thing crosses her mind and she feels terrible. "A-And I mean your wife..."

He looks at her, almost confused for a good long minute. A look of realization suddenly crosses his face, and his head turns away from her. "I was...ah, trying to not think about her. Its just that...I don't wanna be alone, y'know? Its hard down here already, I jus'-"

She cuts him off. "No, I understand. It just...maybe its too soon?" Something seems off, but grief can be like that, can't it? She just doesn't want to be a replacement, that's all.

"Yer probably right. Get some rest, okay? I gotta go check up on boyo."

She falls asleep pretty easily, but she keeps herself awake long enough to see his shadow moving across the wall, pacing in the next room and she can hear him quietly cursing himself.

Chapter Text

"Good morning, Fontaine," (Y/N) says, the greeting not entirely as fond as it is most days. Maybe she should be happy, given the circumstances but she's actually fairly pissed, at least at him. "I assume you've come for Jack."

Rapture's stabilized, at least mostly. Tenenbaum and a Dr. Charles Milton Porter working on a solution to the Splicer problem. Things are going relatively well and so Fontaine thinks there'll be no use for the boy.

Suchong managed to slow his aging process to normal (with her help, and ADAM's) and although Jack is not even a year old yet, he looks six. But instead of giving him back to oh, his mother or someone who could take care of him, Fontaine wants him.

Wants him for what, exactly? Surely he's not just going to play father. The man doesn't have a parental bone in his body, after all which was further proved when he wanted to get the infant tattoos (Luckily that idea was shut down rather quickly).

Maybe, though its just to get back at Ryan. Raising his son however the hell he wants too seems like the kind of revenge Fontaine would like.

His cigar is hanging lazily out the corner of his mouth, and its funny because it isn't even lit, it's just for some sort of dramatic effect. "Yep. Is the kid ready?"

She nods. At least he's ready in that his few things are all packed together in a bag someone had left laying around the lab. Mentally, she's not so sure. He'd been crying every time they'd brought it up, and sobbing that he didn't want to go into her lab coat.

(Y/N) can't imagine why, the lab's never been an especially good or homey place for him, or any of the other children who passed through there, come to think of it. She specially requested to not work on the Little Sister projects for that reason. She already feels guilt because of everything they've done to him, she doesn't need more.

She gets nightmares about it sometimes, and thinking about some of it makes her want to throw up. "I think so. But maybe it'd be a good idea to let him sleep here for a few nights and just spend the day with you."

"Or you could stay with us," he suggests and (Y/N) sighs because she probably should've seen that one coming. Thwey had been friends for nearly forever, and it was one time that she 'stayed' with him, a very, very long time ago before Rapture was even a thought in the mind of Andrew Ryan. It wasn't bad, not at all but things are very different now.

"I don't think that's a good idea. Just...he's never been away from here, and he doesn't know you all that well, alright? Its not about you or me."

He tilts his head like a confused puppy dog, cigar drooping like its his tongue. Its as if he can't contemplate that she doesn't have a problem with him, or with him bringing up that incident. "Never thought I'd see you playin' overprotective mother, (Y/N)."

That is most decidedly not what she's doing, though she doubts he'd believe that. She's doing what he's paying her for.

But...what if she is, and she cares more about Jack than she'd led him to believe. So what? She's one of the closest things he's got to a mother, after all and when someone's with you all day every day, sobbing into your nice sweater about how they don't wanna go live with Mr. Fontaine, (Y/N) figures anyone would gain some sympathy and yeah, maybe be a little overprotective.

So she folds her arms and rests all her weight on one hip. "If you screw that kid up at all, I'm gonna tell Suchong what you did to his little toy." Its not the best threat, but at least it sounds believable. Really, if she was going to go to anyone about it, it'd be Ryan. Suchong scares her, even after 2 years of working together.

He seems to buy into it, at least a little because he flinches. "Fine. I'll stay at the lab with him, then. Kid needs to get used to it, though." That isn't quite what she meant but she supposes it'll do. She thanks him, in a tone far quieter than she reprimanded him in but he gets the message, and takes him into see Jack.

He's probably cried himself to sleep, she guesses by the way he's curled up in his bed around the small stuffed animal. He's been doing that a lot, lately but she's not going to tell Fontaine that or he'll think they did something wrong when...making him. Its not that, its just stress, and his mental age shows sometimes.

(Y/N) sits on the edge of the hospital bed and tells the asleep boy that its time to get up, and go. He stirs slowly and looks at her with wide, sad blue eyes.

"Do I have to?" He whispers to her. She nods, and asks him to grab his things. He obeys, without another word although its probably due to Fontaine standing behind her and attempting to look intimidating. Perhaps he does, and she's just been desensitized to it over the years.

It doesn't take him long, and its only a minute later and she's escorted them back to the main hall. This is where they would part. She first kneels down to face Jack. "You'll be good, won't you?" He nods hesitantly. "And you'll tell Mr. Fontaine if you start feeling sick, or if you need the ADAM again?" He hasn't shown signs of having dependence on the stuff but it had been talked about at length that he very well could be addicted to it.

Jack just nods again, and (Y/N) worries again. He doesn't talk much, what if- Fontaine was right, here she is, playing the worried sick mother of the young child. Damn it, she hates it when he's right.

So he doesn't finish her thought and just hugs him. She doesn't know if she's done that before, of her own accord. But (Y/N) will miss him. That's allowed, isn't it? "I'll see you tonight, okay?" He looks like he might cry again so she ruffles his already messy blond hair.

She stands and looks at Fontaine next, poking a finger into his chest. "When he talks to you, you better listen. He hasn't got the best immune system and it's more than likely he'll get sick soon, so if he says he isn't feeling good, bring him over here."

He pushes her hand away and scoffs. "You're talkin' to me like I haven't ever took care of a kid before, (Y/N). He'll be fine."

"I'm talking to you like that because you haven't ever taken care of a kid before," she rolls her eyes. "Seriously, you have any issues, you come get me." He responds by casually kissing her on the cheek (which for the billionth time manages to stun her, even though she should be used to it by now, since he does it so often) and by telling her that he fucking knows what he's doing.

She still doubts that, but she let's them leave without putting up anymore of a fuss, and then its back to reading reports and looking at the latest Plasmid developments. (Y/N) misses them, she finds.

Soon, she wonders what she'll be doing when Jack won't come back to the lab at night, she'll practically be out of a job. And its not like she can go work for Andrew Ryan, not with what she knows. That doesn't leave her a lot of options open. Maybe Sinclair Solutions could use a scientist...

She occupies her thoughts with this until everyone else has left. She's the only one with an apartment connected to the lab, but its not as though she can complain, being that it came with the job. She figures if Fontaine still wants to stay with Jack tonight after a whole day, he can sleep on the sofa she'd dragged in there, and if he complains than she can tell him to shove it.

They walk in the door at 11:30 and she almost starts scolding him until she sees Jack. Eyes half lidded and slouching. "Go ahead and get in bed, alright? I'll come tuck you in in a second." She tells him. He nods and rushes off. Fontaine is smiling, genuinely happy looking and kind of looking like an idiot. "What the fuck?" She hisses. "You don't keep a little kid up this late!"

"Relax, its fine. We just went to a movie, it ran a little late." That confuses (Y/N) more than his stupid smile. She tells him that they are going to have a serious, adult talk when she gets back and goes to tuck Jack in.

She's sitting on the edge of his bed, again and taking a few notes so Suchong won't think she was just socializing with the kid when she saw him, but working really and truly. Heartbeat, normal, breathing normal, temperament... Better than usual. "So, how'd it go?" He looks so tired and she's sorry to keep him awake but she has to know.

"At first I though Mr. Fontaine would be scary, but he really isn't. We went for lunch and to see where he lives and to a movie. It was really fun...but I'm glad I'm back now, I missed you."

"I'm glad you had fun," she responds, not bothering with the rest because it will only make it harder. "Now get some sleep, alright?" He obediently lays his head down and shuts his eyes.

She finds Fontaine almost falling asleep himself on the chair in the hall near where she'd left him. In a moment of weakness (Y/N) decides she's not going to push him away, not tonight so she points to the door to her apartment and sighs. The couch doesn't seem good enough. "Get in the damn bed before I change my mind, Frank."

No one, (and she means no one) gets to call him Frank, but she gets the feeling he's not going to argue about it tonight. She leaves her labcoat on her desk and finds him asleep in her bed. She lays down, faces him and speaks up only loud enough for him to hear.

"So, what'd you do all day, exactly? What was it like?" That's not where she wanted to start but its a little hard to think when he's draping an arm over her.

"Y'know," he begins to reply thoughtfully. "Kids are hard, I dunno how you deal with that all day every day. I mean making them is pretty fun, but actually taking care of them is kind of shi-"

She quickly shut him up. "Nevermind, then. Can I get a straight answer for why you want to take him, at least, or has that changed after today's... Outing?"

Even in the dark she can tell he's smiling again. "Maybe I just like the kid."

"Really, though."

The answer comes quickly and its not surprising but its still awful. "Families go over well with the suckers, (Y/N). Havin' a cute kid sittin' by my desk every day is a good wat to charm people, y'know make 'em look over some...flaws."

She wants to tell him just how fucking awful of a person he is, but it's not as if he doesn't already know it. "He's got to go to school, and if anyone falls for that I think they might deserve it. Have I ever told you that you're terrible, and I hate you?" And yet he's still here.

"No you don't."

(Y/N) sighed. "No, I don't I love you and I hate that about myself. I love you, you sick bastard."

Fontaine takes to opportunity to nuzzle into the crook of her neck and she's not going to stop him. "Love you too," he mumbles and she just sighs again.

She can get mad at him in the morning.

Chapter Text

Its so dark, and she can't breath. She can't fucking breath and it feels like water is filling her lungs, it feels like someone's trying to drown he-

"(Y/N)?" She jerks awake, and takes in her surroundings. Rapture. She hates it here, something about being surrounded with water just makes her anxious. "(Y/N)? Are you okay?"

Its Booker who shook her awake, and she manages to swallow thickly and nod. "Yeah, I'm fine, I think. I didn't wake up Sally, did I?" His expression softened slightly and he assured her that the little girl was still sound asleep. "Sorry I just had a nightmare."

"Yeah," he grunted. They were having this discussion again, weren't they? She didn't want to argue with him, not again. "Sounded bad. And you fell asleep at you're desk again."

She scoffed. Like he didn't fall asleep over work and a bottle of liquor far more than she did. She bit her lip to keep from saying anything aloud to her partner and took a deep breath in. "Yep, looks like I did, well then I'll be going to bed now." (Y/N) stood up from the desk, and intended to walk right past him to the other room, but he caught her wrist.

They both stood there looking at each other before he decided to speak up. "You're not sleeping well."

"No, and at he moment I'm not sleeping at all, am I?" She's quieter than he is, mostly because she's aware of the little girl sleeping in the next room. At least he doesn't seem to be drunk, or she'd have cut off this conversation already.

"Your nightmares are getting worse, aren't they?" She turns away simply because he's right. Yes, she wakes up more often lately struggling for breath and sometimes screaming. Something about Rapture just...makes it all worse. Why does there have to be so much water above her head?

And yes, she knows he has nightmares too, its no secret between them. But it isn't quite the same, is it? "I'm fine" (Y/N) replies sternly. "I don't need your help, I can handle my own problems." She's being overly stubborn, maybe. She'd rather not think about it too much.

He lets go of her wrist and she just stands there, for a minute remembering he nightmare and tears begin to come to her eyes. Why dies it have to be like this, so often? She moves to hug him, and cry into his shirt because she knows Booker won't mind...he never does.

"I-I'm sorry," she sniffles. "Yes, they're getting worse but I can't leave here, can I? There's no way out." (Y/N) is vaguely aware of him slowly rubbing her back, and making calming sounds, the way he does with Sally when she gets upset.

"No need to be sorry," he huffs. "There's never any need to be sorry yet you always apologize. I'll do my best to get you out of here, okay?" She sniffles again in response. "We'll save up, bribe our way out of here, okay? You, me and Sally."

It never happens, but the sentiment is a nice one.

Chapter Text

She's sitting on the porch looking up at the skies because she'd almost forgotten what they looked like, down in Rapture. It's funny but she does this every night now, not willing to forget again. All the girls are in bed, finally and it's perfectly quiet, and so blissfully peaceful.

And then she feel the old porch dip slightly to her side (she makes a note to get it fixed, sometime soon) and Jack's sitting beside her, with a lit cigarette in one hand and a book in the other.

(Y/N)'s pretty sure he picked up the smoking from Tenenbaum, being that she's near done it. And he's been reading a lot since they'd got here, about everything (another note to tell him to quit smoking, quite frankly its terrible). He doesn't speak, he never does, not much but he always manages to get his point across.

Out of the corner of her eye she watches him stick the cigarette in his mouth and then open the book, and then she goes back to the stars. They grow comfortable like this, and it's so unimaginably comforting to have someone who know what she's been through to sit beside her.

Its not long (of course) before the silence is interrupted by small footsteps and the creaking of the front door opening and then more footsteps. Little Leta leans over her, looking at her with those big, bright eyes. "Mama," she asks and something in her heart swells when they call her that.

"Yeah, sweetheart?" She's kind of surprised when it's her that Leta goes to instead of Jack or even Brigid. But its not as if it ever happens, its just strange.

She looks around for a moment into the fields surrounding the house, even though they're dark and empty now, and then back to (Y/N). "Can you please look upstairs, I thought I heard something..."

She sits up and smiles. "Alright, let's go look around, shall we?" She begins to stand up and Jack puts a hand on her shoulder.

"I can go, if you'd like me to." She tells him no, that it's alright she'll deal with it. Is silly, but she knows that if he goes he won't come back after, he'll just head up to bed with his book in case any of the girls need him again.

But (Y/N) wants to come back and lay next to him again on the porch, because she's terribly selfish like that. And she, of course can guarantee her own return.

As expected, there's nothing in the small farmhouse's attic, except for some spiders that Leta decides that she finds cute and two sweaters that somehow had gotten lost up there, probably an attempt by Brigid in forcing Jack to wear something other than one sweater. Being that these were up here, she'd guess that it bass failed.

So there was no harm in slipping one behind her back and making a quick detour (after seeing Leta to bed, of course) to chasnfe into it. It was starting to get cold outside, after all.

And jhavk doesn't even give her (much of) a second look when she comes back, sighing and dropping onto the porch again. "Nothing up there," she commented lightly. "Just spiders and probably some moths."

He smiled at her and laughed a little. "Spiders, Splicers. It's all the same, isn't it."

'He's such a dork,' (Y/N) thinks fondly and laughs back. "Well that's a little insulting to the spiders, isn't it? They certainly look better."

He grins, and its followed by a double-take. "Is that my sweater?"

Undeniably, yes. The way it hangs off her isn't something she'd noticed before, although they're so apart in sizes she's nearly drowning in it. "Maybe, I...uh...it was in the attic, and I thought that-"

"Keep it, you look nice in it."

(Y/N) finds herself exhaling deeply. "Oh thank God."

This time he just chuckles and goes back to his book and she's looking up again. And thinking, this time about what this must be like for him. He's told her, before about what he 'remembers' from before Rapture. This seems a lot like that, at least to her. A quiet farm, a little family (though she's not so certain 8 counts as little).

While she's thinking, he stands up. "Wait!" She sort of yelps. Wasn't that what she'd wanted in the first place, though? Solitude? But she doesn't want him to go becuase the irrational part of her brain is screaming that she might not see him again, and everything seems so much darker and scarier with that thought in her head.

(Y/N) knows its silly. Things aren't like that anymore, after all. He's just going inside, in their house, to his bedroom. Just like she should probably go to hers. He's looking at her, waiting for her to explain herself further. "C-can you just stay out here with me? For a few more minutes, maybe?"

He sat back down. "Do you not like the dark?" He asked, and it was rather endearing, really the way he was so curious. She supposed he had every right to be. (Y/N) shook her head, and told him it wasn't that, more of just not wanting to be alone. She tried to explain the feeling she'd had, the fear that he wouldn't come back and he seemed to get it. "I know what its like, to never see someone again like that." His gaze softens and she wonders who it is exactly he's thinking of but she doesn't ask.

"It's not something you should have to have to know," she responds quietly. None of them should, but of course this world is a harsh, unfair place and there's not much more to it then that.

At this, he sets his book down and leans back, resting on one arm. "You know I'll always come back right?" She's blushing, she thinks. "I could never leave you."

She's about to respond with "I could never leave you, either because-" but before she can even finish writing out the sentence in her head the porch squeaks again and his arm falls through. She's laughing now and her worries are gone. He's blushing too, now at least. "I'll..uhm...fix that I guess. In the morning."

"I'll help," she's laughing still. "And I couldn't leave you either, for the record."

Its an oddly perfect sight, seeing him with his arm up to his elbow embedded in the poor broken porch, hair mussed and smiling so sweetly, nothing could ruin this moment.

"Daddy!" Calls Sally loudly from the front doorway. "I need a drink!"

Almost nothing could ruin this moment.

Chapter Text

Columbia was often windy, yes but today it was a bit out of hand. (Y/N) clutched her hat tightly with one hand in a futile attempt to keep it on, and another holding the heavy fabric of her skirt.

Had it been up to her, she would've stayed inside today, for the Columbia Raffle was not something she looked forward to each year, in fact she thought the whole thing was incredibly sick. The only reason that she had even agreed to get dressed and go out was the promise of not having to really go to the raffle bit, just the games.

Of course, that had been a lie. Otherwise (Y/N) knew she wouldn't have agreed to go, so she supposed that she couldn't blame them much.

The baseball in her hand read '42'. What if she was called? She supposed she could just refuse, or 'miss' and accidentally hit one Jeremiah Fink, ah but she'd been around Columbia for a very long time (nearly as long as it'd been up in the sky) and he likely knew of her disgust towards the entire affair.

(Y/N) broke away quickly from her friends, intending to simply drop the thing on the ground and pretend that she hadn't been here at all. She was fuming, her anger threatening to bubble over and not helped at all by the large crowd that had gathered. How could people watch this and further still, find enjoyment in-

Her thoughts were interrupted by the fact that she had just slammed into someone-a rather tall someone, at that-and fallen to the ground. The numbered baseball rolled off somewhere, unseen. "I'm terribly sorry," the man said, holding out his hand in an attempt to help her up. "That has never happened before, I'm afraid and thus I was dreadfully unprepared."

Never ran into someone before? How fortunate, she supposed, and took his hand to stand. It was easier to look at him, then of course. He was still quite tall, red hair and angular jawline. He looked familiar, almost but she couldn't remember ever having seen him before.

(Y/N) found herself at a bit of a loss for words. "Well, its alright... I wasn't watching where I was going, really." Their hands remained locked together, and she didn't even give it a thought. "Have we met?"

He shook his head. "No, I do not believe we have. And if we had, I doubt that you would remember me, for it would not have been here. But I certainly would remember you and I'm afraid that I don't."

What a cryptic way of putting it...as if they could meet somewhere other than here. As if she would not remember him, if they had met. "Oh," she responded lightly, taking a short breath in. "But I'm certain I've seen you before. What is your name? Mine's (Y/N) (L/N), if it helps any."

"Robert Lutece. I still don't believe that we've met." He took a tentative glance towards the stage where the raffle was beginning. Ah, but it made a bit more sense now. He must've been somehow related to Rosalind, whom she had never met but seen working for Fink and the Prophet.

In act, he looked incredibly like her. They could've easily been twins, although she hadn't known that Rosalind had a twin. But wasn't she dead? Come to think of it, she had heard of him, and he was supposed to be dead too. Some unfortunate accident, if it was to be believed. "Wait just one moment!" She cried out. "You expect me to believe that you are a dead man?"

He raised his index finger to his lips and pointed at the ground with his other hand. The wind was beginning to pick up again,-another hazard of living in the sky, (Y/N) supposed. "You might want to get down, and keep quiet, there is a bit of trouble starting."

Again, rather cryptic. And she was about to come up with a sharp retort, until someone screamed from the stage. "It's him, it's the False Shepherd!" And chaos erupted. The man who claimed to be Robert Lutece clicked his tongue a few times in disapproval. "And you weren't going to believe me. I am who I say I am, Ms. (L/N) and while it has been a pleasure speaking to you I must go and find my dearest sister."

Now? He was just leaving now, in the midst of all this...mess? "Don't go," she said to the mysterious man. "What if I don't see you again?" But it seemed that he had disappeared, somehow. A man with a Sky-Hook came past, and between the man and the wind, her hat went flying off. Screaming followed and more men chased after the one with the Sky-Hook.

She was left nearly alone in the square, huffing under her breath. Today had been odd so far, putting it lightly. Home was likely the best place to go now, and there'd likely be chaos throughout Columbia and no one would come knocking there. (Y/N) made her way there, avoiding the crowds, and ignoring the sound of far off gunshots.

She had not been expecting to see him again so soon, certainly not standing in her front room with his sister. His dead sister. "She does not look as suitable as I was led to believe," said Rosalind as though she weren't standing just there.

"She'll do."

"Unless you grow attached, perhaps." He seemed to flush at this notion, and although she might've just imagined it, his sister scoffed, as if to say that of course he already had.

"Excuse me," she interrupted. "I believe that I deserve some answers."

Robert nodded, and held something out to her. Her hat! But it had blown away, and certainly he hadn't caught it. "You will get them, in due time. For now, we'd like your help."

Chapter Text

Looking back, it had been a fairly bad idea for two people so early in a relationship (Read: Known each other for a week) to lie about something like this. But (Y/N)'s parents had just been so exited, and she was exited about it too, if she was being honest.

And it's not as if he hadn't said he was opposed. She just...hadn't given him much time to say anything, really. She'd promised that at least it'd be a good business investment with the businesses they ran on the surface and then he really couldn't refuse.

Besides that, she knew Ryan had been wanting them to come down to Rapture permanently, so if that happened (heaven forbid) even better for him. After all, Sinclair with more money just meant all around happiness, (Y/N) had quickly learned.

They'd both backed off a lot since they'd met, after New Years Eve. They'd talked and decided to take things far, far slower although there was an undeniable attraction. "Trust me," Sinclair had laughed. "You don't wanna get stuck with this ugly mug forever unless you know what you're gettin' into."

But now they were going to pretend to be married, for the sake of her parents being able to rest easy and not worry about her. (Y/N) was waiting at the bathysphere station, praying it wouldn't be too much longer before they showed up. Waiting made her nervous, no matter what it was for.

She was not expecting two sets of arms around her without any warning, with a little struggling she decided to awkwardly hug back. "Oh, you're here! I hoped that nothing had happened on the way down."

"Oh no," laughed her mother in response. "It was such a beautiful view...your father didn't seem to enjoy it nearly as much as I did, though." It was quite the trip, is she recalled. Although she often wondered why Rapture couldn't have been built elsewhere.

"Its far too opulent," her father grumbled. "How its been kept from so many people makes me wonder how many people Ryan's bribed."

She quietly returned with a comment about how saying that aloud might not be the best idea. Anywhere. He agreed, and then her mother cut in again. "Oh, none of it matters. We're just happy to see you after so long. Tell us everything, especially about your husband, we haven't heard anything about him at all!"

Had any of it been real, she might've felt guilty for withholding information like that from her parents. But it wasn't real, and it was sometimes hard to get someone to get word up to the surface anyways. "Well, I'm still working at Sinclair Solutions as a Doctor, like I told you, which is kind of funny, being that..."

The lies slip out so easily its almost like they're true, and (Y/N)'s certain that someone in this city would be proud of her, but she isn't so sure she's proud of herself. Soon they're standing at the entrance to Sinclair's apartment and she hopes to God no one else sees them because she knows who else lives on this floor.

And it's too easy to think of all the ways things could go southwards if someone else showed up. (Y/N) let's them in, and while she supposes that adds to the believability its mostly just because she's spent more time here than at her high end Apollo Square apartment in the last two weeks.

"I'm back," she calls through the big, rather empty living room. She's not even sure if he's back yet, and she mentions to her parents that he might be working late. "Augustus?"

It still feels funny to call him his first name, even if she likes him. He's Sinclair, and even if they were really married she might just call him that. "So sorry," his voice comes from the hall and it's only a moment later that he comes into view. "These must be the lovely Mr. and Mrs. (L/N) he says in his pleasing southern drawl and its not hard to see that he's laying the charm on pretty thickly on purpose. "I hope the ride down didn't give you any trouble."

They looked as if they hadn't been expecting to see that Augustus Sinclair. Yes, he was that one. Her mother was to speak. "It's a nice ride, of course...no trouble at all. It's nice to meet you."

The awkwardness was quickly becoming unbearable. They'd had business dealings with him before, for fucks sake. It didn't need to be so weird. (Y/N) cut in, "So, where will you be staying while you're here? I mean, I know Ryan's been pushing for you two to move down here, so it wouldn't surprise me if you'd gotten a place in-"

"Actually," cut in her father. "We declined, hoping maybe we could just take a guest room here. It was going to be..." He cleared his throat slightly. "Rather expensive to stay there."

Oh. How lovely. And she'd almost been looking forward to going home tonight. Sinclair drew closer and set his arm around (Y/N)'s shoulders, looking at her. "We wouldn't mind that, would we? There's plenty 'a room up here and it wouldn't hurt for just a week."

And then he gave her a look that clearly said, "Doll, you're gonna owe me big time." She already had guessed that, and if the "Taking it Slow" agreement hadn't been in place, she might've just kissed him then and there. Her parents would be sick of her before the week was up and go home, undoubtedly.

"Of course not!" She replied without missing a beat. Except-oh dear. That would make the lie far harder to uphold, wouldn't it? Did he think of that, too? The was he was looking at this moment sugsted that he had come to the very same conclusion. "Augustus can take you to the guest room, and then can we show you around Rapture?"

They agreed easily, placing their things in the guest room that she had been sleeping in more than her apartment, lately and they set off, her parents first and then them. "This was a bad idea, wasn't it?" She sighs to Sinclair and he just smiles.

"Now I may not be the best conman in Rapture, but don't think for a second that this won't be easier than you think...its not as if we don't like each other, right?"

(Y/N) nods. "I guess do, it's just-"

He abruptly stops walking and turns to her. "Trust me, (Y/N) it'll be fine. I'll be easy." But she's not so easily convinced, and she doubts she'll risk asking for that promotion later, when all of this is over.

Chapter Text

It was nice, how the city's lights shown out into the water, illuminating all sorts of colorful fish and things. From Ryan's office it wasn't so hard to see why he'd chosen this location for the city. Well, that and she supposed his options were somewhat limited.

But for all the exterior beauty of the place, it still wasn't home, and even the presence of the man she loved would make home. Presence, of course being relative. Andrew was in the city, of course he never left Rapture, but he had seemingly forgotten that he was supposed to meet (Y/N) here, nearly 20 minutes ago.

It wasn't the first time he'd blown her off for work (or far more likely, another 'meeting', she wasn't totally oblivious) but it still hurt. And this had been important, and he'd known that she wanted to talk about something important.

More and more lately she'd found herself staring out this window, waiting for him to show up, and thinking about what might've been going on up above the city. It had only been the other day when she'd caught herself and realized that Andrew's Paradise was not seeming so grand anymore.

It was bound to happen sometime, (Y/N) supposed but she hadn't expected it to happen so quickly. She missed the sunshine, and trees that were all over and...how things used to be.

And no, of course it had not been perfect but she wasn't trapped in a place she couldn't leave and that was getting less and less safe by the day. She had known Andrew Ryan since he was a young man and it hadn't taken long for them to become friends and then later, once Rapture had been built-lovers.

She wasn't sure that's what she'd call them now, after all it was hard to miss the posters all over with Jasmine Joline's fave on them, bold letters proclaiming, "Andrew Ryan's Favorite Girl" and Diane McClintock was coming around often these days and well, poor thing.

His mistress might've been a proper term for the thing. Yes, she was Andrew Ryan's mistress and quite frankly she didn't give a damn. With that out of the way, she turned back to the window, having half a mind to start figuring with one of the got clubs he'd left near his desk just for the sake of having something to do other than sulk.

The door opened quietly behind her, as if the goal was to come in and pretend that he had been there all along. Without turning around, she sighed slightly, letting a little of her disappointment leak into her voice. "You're back, I was afraid something happened."

The last bit wasn't at all true, and both of them clearly knew it. She turned around and there he was, standing rigidly in the doorway, nothing on his face betraying if he felt any semblance of built for being so late. "I had been caught up in Hephaestus. There was a slight issue as far as security went."

Not this again. Maybe he saw the problem (how could he not see it when it was right in front of him) but he did nothing. They didn't argue much, but when they did it was about this. "Ah...I see." Perhaps it was best to leave it at that. "You're back now, though so I assume its solved?"

She was met with a bit of a huff. "Of course it is. You had something you wanted to talk about before dinner tonight?"

With another glance outside and a slow nod, she supposed that she was ready to bring it up, although she doubted that this was going to go very well. "I...now don't get the wrong idea, or anything," she says it for good measure, not because it will help or anything. "But I think I want to leave."

The raised eyebrow tells her that perhaps she could have phrased it better but it's not like she can redo it now. He looks at (Y/N) for what seems like an eternity and it's killing her. Its foolish but she's always sought after his approval and its not like this could be any exception. "You can't leave."

Now, she'd expected far more of an argument than that. Especially from him. Maybe a speech on why she can't go, even punctuated with a rarely given show of affection for good measure, just to be sure that he gets the last say in this particular argument for now. But as she waits for more, she realizes that that's it. Just, "You Can't Leave".

"Why not?" She can't keep the surprise out of her tone. It might've been better, had she tried to explain how trapped she felt, and his much she missed the warm sun and the cool grass beneath her feet wherever she went. But none of that would come out now.

Andrew finally closes the door and sits at his desk. (Y/N) suspects that he feels more in charge there. No, she doesn't think so, she knows so. Its something in the way he sits and the slight gleam in his eyes. That, and previous experience she supposes. "You're being foolish, we've had this talk before."

Had they? She couldn't recall ever mentioning it to him. In fact it hadn't even been a real problem until recently. "When?" She shouldn't raise her voice, even a bit, it could so easily be heard but she can't help it. 'Sometimes he is just so infuriating,' (Y/N) thinks.

He's searching around on his desk for something for a moment and when he finds it, she almost sighs again. A pen. So he isn't going to even listen to her. "The other day. I told you it was an absurd thing to worry about the 'attacks'. They are purely fabricated for that exact reason-to generate fear and create problems."

"That's not it." She shook her head. Not at all. Well, maybe partly but certainly not the main problem. "Do you ever just..."

There was no good way to put it, she guessed. Rapture was his brainchild. He was going to get upset no matter what she said, it was best to just be open. "I miss the sun. And I miss not being stuck in one place, you know? I'm not scared of what's down here, I'm just..." It was here (Y/N) hesitated, curling up on herself slightly, and her voice broke. "I think I'm homesick."

He rolls his desk chair out and gestures for her to come closer. He didn't even have to think about that, she notices. (Y/N) lets him pull her into his lap, laying her head on his chest and sighing. Despite all this, Andrew's still looking at her with some measure of disapproval. "Isn't this home? Haven't you made yourself a place here?"

The pen remained untouched. So he was going to listen, or at the very least pretend to. "I suppose so but..." Her face flushed. "Do you remember when we first met? We were both rather different, weren't we...and there was that house, the little one in Wyoming? And you said that you were certain that you could work from there, at least sometimes, and you wanted to get a couple goats and-"

"Is there a point to this anecdote, or are you simply hoping to appeal to my rather limited emotional side," Andrew deadpans. (Y/N) is fairly certain that was a joke but she decides not to reply in case that it wasn't.

Its a funny story to look back on, being that she had been very right when she'd said that they'd been two very different people. "I want that," she whispers. It's so, so stupid especially when you bring Jasmine and Diane into the list of growing problems. But she's lonely and trapped and grasping at straws. "Let me go home, Andrew, at least for a little bit."

The kiss pressed to the top of her head feels like a sort of wordless apology. "Two days. And you've got to be working, finding people who'd fit here. I trust your judgement."

It's fine. Coming back won't be all that pleasant she feels like but it's something. They can work up to more, and maybe he'd even want to come along. She buries her head in his chest and thanks him profoundly. "I'll miss you though," she smiles. "You know that, right?"

He huffs slightly again but its all for show. "Of course you will, you can't seem to go a moment without me. Which is strange, you aren't usually like this."

'One fight at a time,' (Y/N) thinks before the can bring up the posters, or the times he's been late, or anything else. They've got things to work on, sure but she'll fight for this thing that they have, as hard as he'll fight for Rapture.

Chapter Text

She was packed now-not that there was really much to pack for two days, granted but it was still another thing out of the way. What was next? Andrew had made the arrangements in a shockingly short amount of time but she trusted that he knew what he was doing.

Breakfast, she supposed seeing that it was late morning already and it hadn't been something she'd thought of yet. Luckily, there was food in her apartment and she wouldn't have to risk running into anyone. Andrew had asked her to keep her trip quiet, but she was just so excited that she was certain that it wouldn't be easy.

Oh, that was something she hadn't thought of...Considering that Rapture had long since switched to their own currency, it wasn't as if she had any money to eat up there, or take transportation. (Y/N) supposed that it might've been a good idea to try to contact family before now-ah, but that wouldn't have worked.

Anyone who came to Rapture was declared Missing, and that would be a lot of explaining to do, wouldn't it? Perhaps someone would have kept-

A knock at the door interrupted her. She quickly shoved her suitcase where it wouldn't be seen easily, and slowly opened her front door. It shouldn't have surprised her so much to see Andrew Ryan there, after all they had been seeing each other for years now and he showed up from time to time at her door.

But he was holding a suitcase now, an old worn one, though not the one he brought work with him in, but one that she recognized, somehow. It must've been one that he'd used long ago and since discarded. Otherwise, he looked as professional as ever in a pressed suit and with perfectly groomed hair. "You're ready to go?"

Although confused, (Y/N) nodded. "Yes. Are you going to take me to the Bathysphere? It's a bit early." Unless the suitcase in his hand meant other things and she had somehow convinced him that going would be good for him too. When they had spoken before, that certainly hadn't seemed to be the case.

He shook his head. "I wanted to come in for a minute, actually," and gave her a look that clearly said 'You won't deny me that, will you?' Although she couldn't see him saying the words, there was no other interpretation of the look. She gestured for him to come in, and quickly closed the door.

"So I assume you didn't drop by for a social visit," (Y/N) ran a hand through her hair, watching him get situated at her table. He didn't tend to do that much anymore. If they were doing something together it was long, long after he should've been done with work and she literally had to drag him away from his damn desk.

"I'm coming with you," with this, a wide smile crossed her face. "There's someone that I have been trying to contact up there for several years and if we could meet in person, I feel that I could be far more successful."

Her smile disappeared as quick as it had came. God, did he ever stop working? Who reminded him to eat between the borderline obsessive days? 'Oh, that's right,' (Y/N) thought sarcastically. 'I do that.' Sometimes the reward was not at all worth it, either. This would be worth it though, she was convinced.

She hugged him and tried to smile convincingly. "I'm glad you decided to come with." That much was true, at least.

 

It had not been the grand re-entrance into the surface world she'd expected either of them to make, but that was alright. When the bathysphere had first exited the water, she'd been asleep and he'd been reading.

But nonetheless the city was far behind them how and neither could change their minds on the matter. (Y/N) stretched and turned to Andrew again, speaking for about the first time since they'd left Rapture. "Can the Bathysphere take us very far, or have you got a boat or something waiting?"

"The bathyspheres have been updated since they'd been invented," he replied dryly. Whether that was a joke or not she wasn't sure. "We'll make it to America long before the sun sets...you look like you doubt me."

The answer came quickly. "Of course not. But you have to admit that its a bit of a stretch to imagine."

He seemed amused. "Rapture might've been more technically advanced than you gave it credit for, (Y/N)."

She laughed somewhat bitterly and looked away. "If you're talking about Fontaine's Little Sister project of your...counter to it, I'm fully aware of it and that's not even a very good way to broach that subject."

One of his eyebrows raised a tiny bit. He hadn't expected that, she supposed. "I suppose that it isn't."

Looking outside, she supposed that the Bathyspheres was travelling quickly, but not so quickly that she might believe him. Or perhaps it was faster than he looked, something in relation to the water and the sun and the movement-and well, it sounded sciencey and believable at least.

And the sun was shining and though she wished she'd noticed it before, it was here now and it was as warm and bright and perfect as she remembered. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched him smile, too.

 

It really wasn't that long before the Bathysphere hit land, she supposed. Around 5ish, probably. Luckily Andrew Ryan had managed to make dinner plans with the man he was supposed to meet with far, far later and somehow, it seemed he still had connections on the surface, even being declared missing (and likely dead a while after that) several years ago.

But they had a hotel room, apparently and a car (how long had it been since she'd even seen one of those?) And a reservation to a fancy restaurant that she'd never heard of. It was a lot like things tphad been before, actually and at that realization something swelled in her chest.

Yep, she'd missed this.

Chapter Text

It had started with a loud snapping. It hadn't hurt, at least not at first, but (Y/N) found that she couldn't move her hand. And then it had began to hurt. She didn't bother to look at it, fearing what she'd see, and didn't mention it till they'd gotten out of the way of Ryan's men.

"Uhh...I think I might've broken my wrist...or maybe dislocated it, I'm not sure." Her heart had since began to pound and she was feeling rather dizzy now. No one answered. "Atlas? You there?"

This was just supposed to be an easy job, but things were getting worse and worse in Rapture every day. All things considered, (Y/N) admired what Atlas was doing, and that was the reason she'd signed on, but she hadn't signed on for this.

But they were short men, lately and so here she was, running jobs with the man himself. This time it had been her wrist. Last time her shoulder had been dislocated, and the time before that she'd been stabbed in the leg, somehow. This was the last straw.

He didn't say anything, just mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like, "You're bleeding, too." And out of the corner of her blurred vision she saw Atlas approach and take hold of her wrist. Even though his grip was gentle, she still pulled away. Then he spoke. "Yep, its dislocated. C'mon, we'll get back and fix yah up, okay? Come on, let's get yah standin' up."

How was he staying so calm? Maybe it was just that it wasn't the first time she'd managed to horribly injure herself during a job with him and so he was used to it. Or perhaps it was just for her sake. In any case, had her attention not been directed mostly towards her wrist, she might've found his entire attitude both impressive and disturbing.

As he helped her to stand, she noticed that not only was her wrist broken, but there was blood all over and it was most definitely hers. Atlas would be completely right to just throw her to the curb st this point, she supposed, although the entire situation had went from a big deal to a minor annoyance in a matter of weeks.

Maybe he still needed some of the more sort of cushy office jobs done? She hissed slightly feeling a sharp pain in her leg. Her companion didn't seen to worry about it, and continued to assist her tired limp, his warm hand around her waist. His other arm hung loosely to his side.

She bent forward a little to see. His formerly white sleeves were soaked in blood. (Y/N) got halfway through asking if he'd been shot before he interrupted her. "No need to worry, really it was just a graze. Let's get back and then we'll worry about it, alright?"

That didn't look like a graze, but hey, what did she know? They fell back into the revolutionary's hideout like that, having gotten lucky enough to not run into any more of Ryan's men looking for them on the way. She collapsed into one of the chairs nearest to the door, not worried about getting blood on it, being that the thing was already in tatters.

Atlas used his good arm to pull up a chair next to hers and take a first aid kit off the wall.

"I'm so, so sorry," (Y/N) began. At least most people were gone now, being as it was getting late. "I..." Sorry just didn't seem to cut it this time. Maybe if it had just been her having gotten hurt again but this time she'd endangered both of them

What if they'd gotten caught? They'd either be dead by now or...maybe even worse. She just looked up at him, trying to silently convey exactly how sorry she was. Atlas just sort of smiled and took her wrist. "How 'bout we fix this and then talk about it, alright?" She nodded hesitantly.

It would have to be put back into place, she knew and that was most certainly going to hurt. (Y/N) shut her eyes tightly, wishing she had something to hold on with her other arm at least. Thinking for a minute before choosing to act, (Y/N) found something that would work just fine.

Really after this last mess up, she was pretty sure that it didn't matter what she did anymore. Besides that, Atlas' amused look at her hand fisted in his shirt wasn't so bad. "If you wanted to be closer, darlin' you coulda just asked," he smirked.

Halfway through her thought about how nice that smirk was, and how he didn't look angry at all, he popped her wrist back into place and she screamed, quickly clamping her hand over her mouth. "Why didn't you warn me?"

The smirk hadn't disappeared. Damn him. "Figured it'd be easier if I didn't." That had actually probably been a good idea. Likely there'd have been more screaming and some tears first if he'd warned her. "You think you can fix up your leg yourself? I would but ah...it's a little far up there, and all."

Oh. That.

It hurt, sure. Every single step she'd taken on the way back felt like someone was driving a knife into her thigh. But the pain was hard to pinpoint, exactly as it was shooting down to around her ankle, so the only thing she could really go by was the source of the blood. (Y/N) felt rather dizzy even thinking about it.

"S-sure. Can you handle um," she gestured to his limply hanging arm. "That?" He nodded and turned away and (Y/N) set to work as fast as her tired arms would let her.

Upon tearing the relatively thin fabric of her trousers to just above her knee, She found the wound. That was funny, she had been certain that she hadn't been stabbed, but that last bit if dodging had been a bit iffy and tensions had been running high. It wasn't too bad, but it would definitely need to be cleaned and wrapped.

She needed a distraction, and so she decided to start talking again. "I don't think I can do this anymore," she said quietly. A part of her hoped that he'd be busy enough to not hear her. But he did, and although they were facing away from each other, she'd guess that he had bandage in his mouth.

"Then how about we find you somethin' better to do around here? Even sittin' next tah me and lookin' pretty helps, y'know." She laughed and began to say that she knew that wasn't true, but he kept going. "Don't sound so down, would yah? Sure it helps. Boosts morale. Mine, anyways. Besides, I don't want to get you hurt, anymore than you already are, that is."

(Y/N) smiled at the ground nervously, although he couldn't see. "Thanks. Again, I'm sorry." At least he was letting her stick around. "I really believe in what you're doing here, and I just don't want to mess up. I...I really admire you. Running all this, its really hard, and I think I get that now."

She wrapped the wound tightly and turned around, not expecting to see all the blood. Everywhere. Despite what he'd said, that was definitely not just a graze. If the bullet didn't come out, it'd keep bleeding and get infected.

By his expression she could tell that the rebellion leader had expected to handle it on his own, no fuss made. He didn't like to make a fuss, at least about himself.

But there was blood everywhere and she knew what to do fix it. At least, she'd read about it before, because it had seemed like it might come in handy. In practice, and without any fancy equipment like other doctors in Rapture probably had, it might be more difficult. "Let me fix it."

Surprisingly enough, Atlas didn't laugh at her. Just said, "Y'Know how to do that, love?" And waited patiently for an answer while she struggled with words.

"Yes." (Y/N) decided that sounded better than 'Kind of'. "But um... I'm going to need time more antiseptic, I think. And unless you can roll up that sleeve anymore, your shirts going to need to go." A small part of her registered what she had just said, and if she screwed up this time, that was it, and probably permanently.

But Atlas just nodded seriously and did as she asked. Rifling through the First Aid Kit, she found some unused bandages and a pair of tweezers. After giving herself some space to set everything, and sterilizing the tweezers to the best of her ability, she looked at him. "I know I already have messed up at least once today, and I wouldn't trust me with something like this but..."

He smiled at her, leaning back in the chair as though he were either very careless or very dizzy. Perhaps he was both. "I trust you, (Y/N) really. Stop worryin' so much, would ya?"

"Alright, uh.." The whole shirtless thing wasn't going to help her concentrate, was it? "This is probably going to hurt."

A few minutes and several pieces of bullet later, things were going fairly well, and from the way he was looking at her (the same enticing smirk as before) he wasn't in as much pain as she thought he'd be in by this point. That, or he was good at hiding it. "I've had plenty 'o bullets dug outta me, its nothin' new." He responded as though reading her mind. "Her doin' a fine job though, don't let me stop yah."

(Y/N) kept going and cleaned and tightly wrapped the wound, and that one stupid part of her that had been acting up all night decided to take charge long enough to kiss his bare shoulder above the bandages (as if that would help). And then cough awkwardly. "All better, then. Do you...need anything else?"

'For the love of God,' she thought. 'Just kick me out already.'

It was then that he seemed to have a sort of epiphany. His eyes lit up further still and he leaned forward in the chair. "Why doncha do this? You seem to be pretty good at it, after all." She sat for a minute and tried to figure out exactly what he meant before it dawned on her. Oh, that's right. They didn't have someone who could do medical things. If you get hurt you just did what you could and left it.

"I'm not a doctor or anything!" Hadn't she already made enough of a mess? "I just read about that stuff sometimes."

"And that's more experience with it than most of us have. Besides, yah can't get herself hurt in here, right?" It was a joke on his part, she realized but that didn't stop blood rushing to her face.

Chapter Text

They'd all been through a lot. Far more than this, far more than some water falling from the sky, and yet this was the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak.

Five girls squeezed as close to each other as they could in (Y/N)'s bed, although it was a large space and the crowding was simply unnecessary. The rain came down hard outside, the noise occasionally accentuated with a strike of lightning that illuminated the girls frightened expressions, followed soon after by the loud crash of thunder.

It had been going on for hours now, but the lightning had only just begun. They'd never seen lightning before, (Y/N) remembered, or even heard rain. Come to think of it, neither had her housemate, although he probably had memories of it? What if he was scared, too?

She had no time to contemplate the thought before the wind picked up again and a light flashed briefly in the room. All the girls clung onto her, threatening to cry. Although she'd explained (several times) what the whole situation was and how there was no way it could hurt them, six year olds were not the most reasonable people.

The door to her room creaked open slowly and the silhouette of a huge figure wrapped in a blanket could be seen in the doorway. Sally took one glance at the figure and screamed. "Monster!" The blanket fell off of his head and Jack worriedly rushed forward.

"Its alright Sally," he said gently. "It's just me." She admired how much he cared for all of them, even if he was frightened himself. This reassurance seemed to satisfy the little girl, although she didn't seem to dare and get up and hug him, as the wind had just picked up again and she got back under (Y/N)'s blanket with her sisters.

Even though it would've been hard to make out in the dark room, she smiled at him. "Hi. Trouble sleeping?"

The room was bright for just a second, but he was nodding, she could see that. His expression seemed to suggest that she'd been right about the rain. With a little bit of shifting around, there was room for him. "Come lay next to us? It'd really help the girls calm down."

She met none of the expected resistance, and instead felt the action of a weight on the bed next to her, and another blanket was wrapped around them. Jack's arm went around not only the five (far more relaxed) girls, but (Y/N), too. She leaned forward to put her forehead on his chest. Was that going to far? Maybe, but he was soft and warm and she was too exhausted to really care.

Once things had quieted down a bit and the snoring of someone (likely Vera), she began to whisper to him. "Are you...are you scared? Of the rain, I mean."

It was silent for a little while. "I don't know," Jack replied. "Maybe not scared but...even though I feel like I've heard rain before, its still...kind of..." He trailed off.

"Unnerving?" She tried. He made a small noise of agreement. "Yeah, it can be. But it can't do anything, unnerving or not, right?"

"I guess not," he whispered into the dark room.

But he didn't sound all that sure, and so with a little bit of effort she placed one hand on this chest near her head and the other found one of his hand and held it tightly. "You don't always have to be the strong one, y'know."

(Y/N) felt him sigh slightly. "I know. But I shouldn't be scared of rain, I mean. That's silly." She told him that it wasn't silly, he just hadn't had to deal with it ever and new things could sometimes be difficult to deal with. "There's a lot of things like that," he replied quietly. "With me, at least. And I don't want you to worry about me."

"Then we'll go through all those things together, so you don't have to be so scared." She smiled. "I'm always going to worry about you, okay? I can't help it. You and the girls are my family." He seemed to accept this, and leaned to rest his head on hers, and she yawned as soon ass he had settled there. The rain was soon all but forgotten. "Goodnight, Jack." She whispered as soon as she was sure the girls had all fallen asleep.

He yawned in return and she titled a little but. "Goodnight, (Y/N). Thank you for letting me talk about this to you."

He was clearly asleep only moments later but she still replied. "Anytime. Thanks for trusting me with it."

Chapter Text

He's watched her stumble over her words the first time they meet over and over, he says and she of course doesn't believe him. She never does, not the first time.

Sometimes she's impressed when he knows her name, and sometimes (this time included) she isn't. "Anyone could know that," (Y/N) huffs lightly, a bit upset to be stalled on her errant but curious all the same about this tall, handsome man that claims to be her soulmate. "Tell me something that isn't so easy to find out by asking around."

Robert straightens up, and looks at her beautiful eyes. "Your favorite season is winter, although there's never any snow in Columbia. You enjoy pies although pumpkin tends to make you ill. You want children, three or four."

Her eyes light up slightly. Is he really telling the truth? How could he be...it doesn't matter how advanced they are compared to a lot of the world. It doesn't matter that they have the Prophet, or the Lamb. Existing in so many universes is simply impossible.

Still he continues. "You wanted to be a writer, (Y/N) which would be a respectable enough career but your mother convinced you to become a schoolteacher so you write in your spare time. Is that satisfactory, or shall I keep going?"

The gingers eyes have a glint of mischief running through them. Or perhaps it's just the sunlight. "No," she's stammering again. "No, that's quite enough for now, thank you. Its still a bold claim, though to expect me to beloved that we know each other so well. After all, you may know me, but I know nothing about you."

He smiled and gave a mock bow, knowing full well what came next. "Then allow me to introduce myself. My name is Robert Lutece, and in several universes, we are more than simply acquaintances. However this isn't what I've come to talk to you about. I wanted you to come with me, although I see that may take some convincing on my part."

Robert Lutece. She quite liked it, as it seemed to suit him well. He was moving far too quickly with things like this. He already knows her name (and far more than that, it seems) so she doesn't bother to introduce herself. "Yes, I'd think that it will. Would I be able to see all universes like you, if I came with you though?"

Robert nodded. "Yes, although it's a bit more difficult than that. I'm afraid you'll have to go through the machine that got you to Columbia in the first place and well...you'll see I suppose. I'm afraid I'm coming off a bit rushed. It's unfortunate, but we've never gotten quite this far before. Usually something prohibits us from even speaking about it."

It seemed that his sanity was still up in the air. Whatever he knew about her didn't change the fact that he sounded insane. However it also didn't change the fact that she wanted very, very badly to believe him. Perhaps that made her lonely, or perhaps a part of her knew that they'd met before and wanted to trust him. Now she was sounding crazy.

"What do you mean? Didn't you say we knew each other rather well? That we were...together even?" The entire thing sounds scandalous at best but also rather...enticing.

"Ah, yes but that was a different universe. Ended 1909, with my death. As much as I abhor sounding like one of those awful clichés in those books my sister reads, I missed you and wanted to find you again."

How much would it matter to her if this strange (yet not unattractive and seemingly well learned) man took her away to wherever he was from? Had he said something about a sister, before? Where would such people, living between universe's reside? There was not much for her in Columbia, it was as hopeless as it had ever been.

"Are you worrying? I can't say anything to further assure you, can I? If anything would help, I assure you I wouldn't mind trying."

Was she that obvious? "I appreciate the gesture, I but really don't think so. I'll be more certain once I...I don't know, see more solid proof I suppose." To his credit, Robert did not look the slightest bit discouraged. "I'll come with you, though. I think I trust you. And maybe its strange but its just one of those things that I somehow feel like I know."

He smiled so sincerely and sweetly, and again she knew that he wouldn't harm her. Robert held out his arm for her to take and (Y/N) grasped it tightly (perhaps too tightly, but he was still smiling, so she wasn't sure). And they headed off, leaving Columbia behind for as long as it would leave them be.

Chapter Text

They're not supposed to be here, but neither could really care less about where they're supposed to go and where they aren't, because what are rules if not for breaking? They're young and in love and nothing could matter more than that does.

Atlas usually isn't quick to discard reason. That's (Y/N)'s job, they decided. The nights in Arcadia after its closed are different though. They sneak through the security (although he says its limited she still finds a thrill in it) and find a spot far away from the watching cameras and lay in the grass together.

Its nice, (Y/N) thinks, to see him relaxed after a long day. He gets a smile on his face so less often lately, and she can't stand it. He's working too hard, but she knows if she tells him so, she'll get the same speech as always. Its not worth it tonight, not when she can just kiss him and giggle and they can pretend like they're home, his home, hers...the home they could've had if they hadn't come here.

At least he's here, with her.

Atlas (dear, dear Atlas) rolls onto his side for a moment, facing away from her. She hears a quiet snapping sound. What could he be doing over there? (Y/N) stretches her neck up to try to get a look at him but with all the place's lights turned off she can't see a thing. He turns back over and he's got something him his hands, but she still can't masks out what it is. "Hey," he playfully scolds. "Don't you go pokin' around in places you shouldn't, darlin'."

"Can't help it," she responds. "What've you got there?" He replies not with words but by running his hand through her hair. It only takes her a minute to realize that he's holding flowers, dozens of the with longish stems, and he's weaving them into her hair. "Let me see them," she says and with a small smirk he's holding his hands out to let her see.

(Y/N) takes a few in her hands and begins to work. They both end up picking more, which Atlas is sure will get them caught and in trouble but she figures they can deal with that later. Soon she has a whole sort of circlet, just big enough to rest on his head. She sets it there, and he grins again, albeit a little wearily. "There," she snorts. "Pretty as a picture. Not that you aren't always, but you get the point."

"Funny," he replies dryly but its not all that hard to hear the amusement poorly hidden in his voice. He takes it off and gently sets it to his side. They both lay back, and she moves so her head is on his chest. They sit there quietly for a few minutes and (Y/N) doesn't mind it but a small grown comes to his face. "Sorry, love. Long day an' all, but it sure is seemin' like we don't spend much time together anymore."

"Things are busy, I understand," she replies happily. Atlas really doesn't have to worry so much. The fisheries have been busy lately and he's been holding meetings to try and help things get better for the workers. Its not easy, but it's a noble cause nonetheless. "Look, I'll always be around and so will you. It has to get less busy sometime, right? We can always spend time together then.

He flinches a little. The thought crosses her mind briefly that he's withholding something he knows from her but that notion is gone as quickly as it came. "Yeah, I suppose yer right. I jus' miss yah, is all."

(Y/N) smiled. "I miss you too. Don't look so down, alright? Everything will turn out."

Chapter Text

“Shh!” Someone drunkenly hisses. Her head is still on the table so she can’t see, but its quite obviously Rodregez. “Do you hear that?” The entire table quiets to a level (Y/N) hadn’t thought possible, being that when sober, Cohen’s disciples were not quiet. When drunk…things tended to get out if hand.

She hadn’t been explicitly asked to babysit by anyone, but it was just for the best. If she brought a book along, it wasn’t even a waste of an evening. It was a common occurrence and a greats way to ensure that things didn’t get too far out of hand.

Everyone was still listening intently. (Y/N) heard nothing but the buzz of the bar and maybe the faint sound of a smooth jazz song being played closer to the front of the venue. “What? What is it?”

The four men simultaneously missed her and she sighed loudly and put her head up to peer around. There, she saw something unexpected. None other than Sander Cohen himself stood at the bar, speaking to the bartender in what appeared to be rather heated conversation. She knew from personal experience that it could mean nothing good, of course but her attention was caught. Him, here? Whatever for?

That was most definitely what they were all looking so intently at, at least. Finnegan was the first to speak up without being interrupted by a chorus of shushing. “Shit, I know what he’s doing here, he’s looking for us…I was supposed to be around for practice last night.”

“Well don’t drag us into it,” Cobb drawled. “Whatever you did, darling it’s on you.” But suddenly the other three realize almost the exact same thing as Finnegan had. And there was no way she way going to help them get away from it.

They were under contract (one far, far stricter than hers, being as (Y/N) was not one of his disciples, just a performer under his employ) and so they got whatever they deserved. How they all could miss scheduled events like that was beyond her, really. Cohen turned towards them, face red, presumably from yelling at the bartender. Fitzpatrick thought it necessary to yell, “Scatter!” And then in a sort of stampede of haphazardly used limbs, she was left alone at the table, a rather upset Cohen storming towards her.

He seemed slightly confused as he approached the table, although he quickly hid it well. She was left sitting there, looking up at him, and moving to close her book. “Ah…good evening, I suppose. Would you like to sit?”

They’re both perfectly aware of why he’s here and (almost unfortunately, she finds herself thinking) its not for the pleasure of her company, so there’s no use in the formalities but she finds herself using them anyways. “Good evening miss (L/N). You haven’t happened to have seen my disciples around, would you?”

Cohen’s tone suggests that he knows the answer as well as she does, and yet he still bothers to ask. “I think you might’ve just missed them,” she replies dryly. “Don’t know where they went, though.” He huffs, his shoulders relaxing although he still seems annoyed.

Although his eyes roll slightly and his lip curls up, still a bit angry, he sits across the table from her. “Of course you don’t. Nobody seems to know, always gone, always running. Its ridiculous.”

Her first thought is that he shouldn’t have hired such ridiculous people, then but she knows its best to just let him go on for as long as he sees fit. Although lately that seems to be getting longer and longer, she doesn’t especially mind. He’s smart in his own odd way. Smart might not be the right world for it. Enticing, she decides, sounds much better. “It is,” she agrees because they are. “To be fair, they all sounded…ah…rather sorry about missing whatever it was.”

Cohen scoffs. “Don’t play games with me, Ms. (L/N) I heard most of their absurd chatter from very far away. But what are you doing, this lovely evening, playing mommy to a group of grown men?”

‘Lovely Evening’ was more of a figure of speech than anything, she decided. He wasn’t so bad when he was in a good mood, or when he was away from his work.

Maybe she’d write a price for him on her violin and call it that. But she wouldn’t show him, of course. Not like he’d shown her the paintings of her (a part of her shivered slightly thinking about the somewhat repressed memory) but nonetheless it would be there, an imperfect ode to her feelings, and to those paintings where half of her poured out onto a canvas in a mess of reds and pinks and greys. (Y/N) took a moment to think that she’d be damn lucky if her intestines looked half as good as they did in the painting in his suite.

And that might’ve been the strangest thing she’d ever thought about, but it sort of just fit how Sander Cohen made her feel. Fuzzy, like her internal organs might fall out and she’d enjoy it, and like he was perfect.

Wait, had he asked her something? Oh yes. Why she was here. “I offered to get everyone home after they drank to their hearts content. Just figured if I’m going to be reading all night anyways, might as well ensure the safety of my favorite coworkers,” (emphasis on favorite, of course being that they were were not) “while doing so.”

She’s given a slight humming noise for a response and then, “Well, now that seems to be out of the way, you’ll be alone for the evening?” Even the blatant flirting is getting to her now. (Y/N) internally scolds herself for being so desperate, although maybe she should’ve thought this through.

And then again, its not like their last attempt at flirting ended up all that satisfying, with her sitting on his settee incredibly hot and wanting, eyes closed and waiting to be touched, only to look up and find that he was only painting her.

“Yes.” Her mouth is moving of its own accord, it seems. If she had any sense at all she’d stop now, get up and leave, maybe swear a couple times and quit her job, get a new one at the fisheries, one where her boss hasn’t seen her in the nude, much less painted her the way he has. But she has none, so she keeps going. “I don’t suppose a busy man like you would also be free?”

Something absolutely wicked flashes in his gaze. Something hungry, and despite the fact that she should be nervous, all she feels is a shock down her spine and in her stomach. “Mmm…I suppose I could spare a few hours for you, darling (Y/N). Perhaps we could adjourn to someplace more quiet.”

She expects him to continue with a sly comment about how he really wouldn’t mind being caught, but it never comes. However he stands with a sort of dramatic flair and takes her wrist and she can only watch as Rapture flies by her as she’s pulled along and suddenly she’s back in her suite, standing in the doorway.

(Y/N) takes the collar of his shirt and jerks him to face her. “No more teasing,” she says firmly. Cohen smiles innocently and when she let’s go of his collar the slightest bit, she’s pushed against the door and his lips are on her neck. Obscene noises are drawn out of her slowly and her legs are almost giving out.

By the time they make it to the bed he’s got that hungry look again, and his mouth is all over. “Does this make you feel good, Darling? It certainly makes me feel good.”

She can only nod, and tug on his open shirt. He continues to speak but at least he’s moving against her. This, this is so much better than last time. This feels so, so good.

Except of course it can’t last because she didn’t lock the door. “(Y/N)! Calls the very drunk voice of Finnegan. She wants to scream because everything just freezes. Cohen lays back slightly, but at least he looks as annoyed as her. “Can we hide here?”

“Get out!” She yells through her teeth. “I swear if you don’t get out right now I’m going to kill every single one of you!”

The door quickly shuts and she doesn’t hear any more noise. She sinks back into the bed. “Well…I fixed the problem. C'mon.” By the end of the night, she hopes that he’ll stay at least a little while after.

Chapter Text

May 8th, 1948

Although Frank Fontaine has only been in Rapture since February, he's going around like he was born here. Fontaine Futuristics is nearly as important as any venture of Ryan's, though you won't catch a single person saying so, at least not in public. 

And of course, if you said it in front of Fontaine himself, it would only serve to further inflate his ego. Nobody wanted to do that, being that everybody in the office was well aware that he already thought he was "The hot shit in this rustbucket," (Which of course was a direct quote). 

Sometimes she wondered why someone like Ryan would've brought someone like Fontaine to his city, but even if he could be stuck up and kind of slimy, he was a brilliant businessman. And then she would wonder why he hired her as a secretary.

There were probably a lot of people in Rapture better suited for the job, and who would actually just do what he said when he wanted but she wasn't so good at that.

She was thinking about this now, and it must've been obvious how out of it she was because he waved a hand in front of her face. "Hey, hon...y'still there or am I gonna have to call a doctor up here?"

"Yeah," she replied. "Sorry. Just keep talking, I'll keep writing." (Y/N) didn't really know when she'd stopped paying attention, so she didn't know how much she'd missed, but it was fine. It could all be pieced together later, and nothing she might've left out would be missed. He wasn't meticulous, really so she wasn't worried.

But he didn't keep going, just tilted his head and looked at her. "You look like you could use a drink, (L/N)." He said finally. Had it been that obvious? "You've been gettin' distracted an awful lot lately."

How did she explain that? It didn't seem any more frequent than usual, maybe-wait... Was he concerned? No, that wasn't it. He just needed an excuse to drink, is all. Luckily enough, so did she. So they sat and did the finances over a glass of alcohol. Had he not been her boss, she might've kissed him, then. 'Thank God', she thinks, 'for Frank Fontaine.'

Ha.

 


 

 

December 21st, 1951

It was done...Rapture, that was. The people who'd believed in it, the people who were new or somehow still exited to wake up every morning under the ocean were out celebrating. The last rivet had been placed, the last sheets of metal and glass layed, but she wasn't celebrating.

(There was always a lot of celebrating in Rapture, since a lot of these people took up any excuse they could to drink and dance and talk about inane things. She didn't get it, not always at least).

But she doesn't really feel like celebrating, because after a long day working she's found it's far more satisfying to sit on her settee with a book and just let her mind wander. Granted she doesn't get much reading done. But the thinking is a little more important than that to her. Sometimes she thinks about what might be going on above them, on the surface. Surely nothing to match the things that go on down here,  but still interesting, likely.

Sometimes she thinks about work, and maybe if anyone heard that they'd think she was obsessed with her job, but that wasn't it. She was working with one of the biggest companies in the entire place though, almost at the very top and she just didn't want to mess up. It was important that she didn't mess up. 

Even when she wanted nothing more than to just go home and crawl into her warm bed and think about nothing, it wasn't as easy as that. At least her boss (who had quickly become something like a friend, although somewhat of a rude and foulmouthed one) got done with the entire affair not long after she did in the day. Work really stopped after lunch, even if they stayed in the office long after that.

The book isn't really all that interesting, she's read it at least twice now, and despite what one might think, that hasn't made it any better. So, she's not hesitant in putting it down when someone knocks on the door. 

God, she hopes that no one from work had figured out where she lived. After all, who else knows about her in Rapture?

She opens the door just a tiny bit and sticks her nose out, and who she sees surprises her. Fontaine. "O-Oh. Hi." She doesn't really know what else to say. 'Why are you here?' seems insensitive, 'I was just thinking about you, and I, and our places in this society Ryan's built' isn't much better.

 "Hey," He seems to find her sort of flustered approach funny, since he's grinning like an idiot. "Can I come in, or do I just haveta' stand here in the middle of the hall?" 

 Without directly answering, she steps aside, out of the doorway and comes in. She offers him a drink, and everything after that is sort of fuzzy. It isn't that she's drunk, no. One drink-maybe two isn't enough to have that kind of effect. It's entirely him.

She wants to say that any powerful person might have the same effect, anyone equally intellectual to herself even, but she'd be lying.

They end up sitting together, laughing about something that isn't at all as funny as they've made it out to be, and leaning on each other. She knows what he wants and really doesn't care, they both know he isn't going to get it. Then why did he waste his time coming over in the first place? 

Why did she waste time letting him in? 

 


 

 

June 13th 1956

Had Fontaine been avoiding her? And for what, Suchong and the Little sister project? Why would he be spending so much time down there?

She could only hold off questions from the press so long before something untrue got out. 

She almost manages to run headfirst into doctor Tenenbaum as she's walking down the halls. The woman looks about as tired and frustuated as (Y/N)'s currently feeling herself. "Ah! You. Fontaine was looking for you, he's down hall. Go!"

Tenenbaum doesn't scurry off, but really only on a technicality. She's quick to go, at that point, adjusting the scale, books, and what look like a pair of tongs she's trying to juggle all at once. (Y/N) doesn't even get to thank her for pointing her in the right direction.

A right mystery, that Doctor Tenenbaum. She finds Fontaine where she was told she would, in a little room that looks like a lounge or a waiting room. It's just him in there, grinning like a madman and bouncing one leg on the floor. 

He's...happy. Which is strange, consisting the circumstances. She throws her hands up. "You walk out, and expect me to not only deal with feral journalists but also be able to find you here?"

It's only then that he seems to notice her. "Sure, you're good at that sort of thing. The wardin' off journalists part. I was gonna give you a call here in just a minute, really."

He is still her boss, so she just barely manages to resist the urge to tell him off. "Sure. You can't avoid the press forever, you know. And this is easy, we've already talked about how you just need to say that branch is closing down for updates, instead of letting on the thing about that spliced up-Frank? Frank are you listening to me?"

The use of his first name  makes his eyes snap to hers, at least. She's still sighs. "You weren't listening. What's got you in such a mood? A good one, I mean but you're not listening."

"Sorry, sweetheart. Just thinkin' about an investment that's gonna pay off well, 's all."

"With Suchong and Tenenbaum?"

Fontaine just grins. "Hey, you ever wanna go out to that fancy restaurant by Arcadia? Heard it's real pretty, 'n all that shit." 

She just shakes her head. "You're the second richest man in Rapture, you can go out wherever you want whenever you want, and you sure as hell don't have to invite me, so what's the real occasion?"

That gives him paise, but only for a second or two. "What, can't invite my favorite assistant to dinner once in a while? Just a contingency plan in case Things to go hell around here. I'd show you now, but it won't make much sense, so let's just wait it out and keep things away from the public."

 Paranoia is a good trait to have in a place where everyone's just looking out for themseves. Doesn't make it a healthy trait, either way. She sighs. "Fine. I can see I'm not getting specifics out of you. So sure, dinner. Maybe we can get some work done that we should done earlier when we were actually on the clock."

He laughs at her, sounding like a madman. She should quit, but she isn't going to. She's going to dinner, instead.

 



April 5th, 1957

"Shhh." He'd whispered, hands still over her eyes. "Yah gotta not scare him, darlin'."

Him? That didn't help her guess at all. He was taking her to see a person? How would she scare anyone? He's too close, and its...well, not making her nervous, exactly but someone must have a heater on or something up here, because she's so warm that her hands are shaking a little and his hand is calloused and big and cool compared to hers, and she's thinking about that and a dozen other things she she shouldn't be noticing about Fontaine.

"I thought you said this was your contingency plan."

"It is, you'll see. Hush."

(Y/N)'s pushed into turning a corner, and then another, and then they go straight for what feels like an hour. She manages to almost trip over a a door frame, but one of the hands over her eyes shift seamlessly into a hand on her shoulder, holding her back from falling into who knows what.

They stop, then. It's so quiet, she can't possibly imagine another person here. Nevertheless, he moves his hand away from her eyes, and she's met with a wholly unexpected sight.

"Your contingency plan is an infant?"

He laughs. "Sorta. (Y/N), that's Ryan's brat." he nods down at the baby. "Ryan's brat, that's your other boss."

The baby mostly just blinks at her with his abnormally big brown eyes and keeps sucking on his fist. She doesn't know what she expect, but not a baby. Wholly unremarkable, but sort of cute baby.

Ryan's, though? That didn't make any sense. Any kid of Ryan's would be...

Well, not in Suchong's clinic, for starters. Not with Fontaine for another. And a baby? Honestly this whole thing was absurd. "Okay, I'm going to need a better explanation than 'Contingency Plan', because this one's looking pretty bad for you."

That isn't enough of a threat, apparently since Frank just laughs. "You won't have t'put a spin on this one for the press, doll, don't worry. He's...hmm. Not blackmail. Just a test. Should grow up t'be the strongest person in Rapture, give or take one of them Big Daddies.

"And it's not hurting him at all?"

"Nah. Didn't know you'd worry about that, but I guess I shoulda figured. He's fine."

She takes about look at him, and then back to Frank, who's got his arms folded behind his back and is looking...almost nervous. It hits her. "You want this kept secret."

He laughs. "Can't keep shit from you, can I? Yeah. Imagine if that got out, y'know how many people would literally kill to get their hands on Andrew Ryan's brat?"

She can certainly imagine. And they as a company haven't exactly helped, supplying Splicers. "Yeah. I can. Hey, does he have a name?"

Fontaine shrugs rather nonchalantly and reaches in his slacks pocket for a lighter and cigarette, and (Y/N) thinks about slapping his arm and telling him there's an infant here that doesn't need that. "Does he need one?"

"Of course he does, stupid!" She forgets that Frank is her boss until the words come out. Damn, she's gotten attached to him, douchebag boss or not. He just takes a long drag.

"You're real endearing, sweetheart."

"His name is Jack." (Y/N) gets a bit closer and gently taps the baby's nose. "And what's your middle name, Frank?" He grumbles something she doesn't catch so she asks him louder. "Didn't catch that!" He grumbles again and she starts to laugh once she hears. "Okay, Jack Oswald Ryan. That's as good as its going to get, I think."

Frank smiles like he has a heart, at you, and for a brief second, at Jack. "Wynand."

"Pardon?"

"Kid's last name can't be Ryan, can it? So that's the one we're puttin' in his head."

"Okay. Jack Oswald Wynand then. Still not so bad. It's better than not having a name. Right?"

Jack doesn't do much as blink but Frank nods, strangely serious. "Sure is."

 


 

 

May 20th, 1957

She can't help but coo at the baby, despite some of his unusual features and the lack of knowledge a child his age should have. He could barely sit up on his own when he should have been starting to stand, poor thing. 

Tenenbaum, Suchong, and Frank weren't exactly the most parental people around, and despite being more of a tool to the aforementioned people than an actual baby, (Y/N) thought he needed someone, at least.

He's going back into his growing tank thing, because Frank has no sense of patience and wants his superweapon done now.

While she's cooing absolutely incoherently and wishing that Jack didn't have to grow up so fast because babies were cute and he was cute, Fonaine comes in, newspaper in one hand, lit cigar in the other.

Oh, maybe she could wave him in front of Fontaine for a minute. He liked to pretend he was immune to the whole cute baby thing, but she knew better.

"You're awfully engrossed in that paper."

He shrugs. "Jus' gotta love seein' what crazy shit people stuck somewhere they don't wanna be do under even more pressure."

Yeah, she knows. She's been crunching numbers all week. Well, their numbers, since he was pretty insistent the casualties related to his industries were what mattered, and she was sure she doesn't especially want to know more than that.

"Wanna hold a cute baby while you brood?"

His face scrunches up in an unconvincing attempt at disgust, at least to the disconcerting eye. "Last time I tried to hold that thing he threw up all over my nice suit."

She frowns. "I warned you about that, and then tried to hand you the towel. That's what babies do after they eat-It's fine, I like him, I'll hold him."

Fontaines frown turns into a full scowl, any bit of disgust gone. "I didn't say I wouldn't. I jus' said he was gross."

(Y/N) rolls her eyes but picks Jack up and stands, holding him out. He approaches like you'd approach a wild animal you weren't sure about. And then he takes him, and sits him on his waist, and her heart does a thing.

And she thinks about how much trouble she's going to be in, but she leans in towards him and kisses him. And he leans in more, but she's got to push one of his shoulders back so he doesn't squish Jack, and all and all, it isn't so romantic, but it's nice.

And they just keep going until she's got to take a breath, and he glares, but it holds no heat at all. "You've never even heard the word improprietary, have yah?"

"Like you're any better, you leaned in!"

Her tone carries no real venom, nor does hers. "Shoulda thought of that before you acted then. 'Sides, we've gotta make the most of what time we've got."

(Y/N) can't fight the laughter that comes. "One kiss, and you're suddenly the most cheesy man I've ever seen."

"Nah, I'm serious," he waves the paper in front of her face. "Never know when things could go to shit."

"Ah, " she says "There. There it is. I'm not sleeping with you because you want to get one more in before we're killed in a riot or something." 

 


 

September 12th, 1958

That...couldn't be right. It couldn't....Fontaine couldn't be dead. It didn't seem real.

And she didn't even mean it in the sappy way, "Oh, what a man with a big presence, who did so much for the world as a whole, how can he possibly have been taken away from us so soon..."

No, not that. It just didn't seem right logistically. Right? That was it.

Jack was ready to go, and by that she meant Tenenaum sent him...well, she didn't know where. She'd never see him again.

And this will that they'd found was...vague. Legally binding, but only on a technicality, really.

Left a few things to Sinclair, and Gil Alexander of all people, and some distant relative topside that nobody'd even be able to contact, and so for now, everything was staying right where it was.

Just looking at is is frusturating, because she feels like she can't touch it, because it's his. If she moved it, he won't be able to figure out where it is, because without a map in front of his face, Frank wouldn't know right from left.

(Y/N) huffs, and decides to give up for tonight.

Home is a lot longer journey than its felt like this morning. Maybe because there's not all that much to look forward to. She won't have a job in a few weeks, and that's if the fisheries or the scientists don't end up on strike or crazy like the rest of the rioters before whoever the new boss is fires her.

There's no conversations to have on the way back, until her and Frank split at the halfway point because home is in different directions. Or lately, not splitting at all, because he'll come up with some excuse and they'll both end up on her couch, or at Suchong's lab.

Tonight she'll probably end up on the couch anyways bottle in hand. (Y/N) hasn't ever thought of herself as the mourning sort, but it was like he'd said months ago. They didn't know how much time they had left.

The door doesn't need to unlock, it already is. She stumbles past the living room right into the kitchen and digs for the bottle she knows is in the back of a cupboard somewhere but where?

The bottle doesn't have much more than a good swallow left, but that's the hazard in sharing with someone who's nearly a functioning alcoholic.

Sharing. Sharing, past tense. That was...going to take some getting used to.

Maybe this was what denial felt like. Nothing, just normal. Like she'd go to work tomorrow and it had been April first, and they'd laugh and forgo any actual work to suck on each others faces until something important fell off a desk.

She takes the bottle and flops down on the couch, not bothering to even detour to turn on the light, and starts to unscrew the lid.

"You gonna share that, doll?"

(Y/N) nearly jumps out of her own skin. The little bit of liquid sloshes in the bottle, thankfully not out of it. She swears loudly. "You're dead!"

The barely visible silhouette of Frank Fontaine shakes with laughter. "Thought a little riot could off me? Nah, it's all part of a plan. Very secret one, pro'ly shouldn't be letting you in on it all, but what can I say?"

"Start with you're sorry for not letting know ahead of time? For making me worry since the moment I heard. I mean, I knew something wasn't right, but..."

He looks wrong, somehow. Less...Well, it sounds rude to say it, but less well fed. Skinnier and longer, and although by the light of the kitchen she can make out the sort of awkward way he always crosses his legs.

"Couldn't fool you, huh? Don't worry, I've got everyone else down. Think you'll be able to keep it to yourself? Oh, hey. Turn on the light, I think you'll like this change." 

Slowly she hands him the bottle, and gets up and turns on the light. She nearly breaks something again, because visually at least, that is not Frank Fontaine.

He's skinnier like she'd thought, and his face is entirely different dhaped, and he has a full head of dark hair, and stubble even, and she's pretty sure just plastic surgery couldn't do that. "You spliced?"

Not that it was bad. Her tone probably made it sound like she thought it was bad.

He shrugs, and runs a hand through his new hair. "Sure. All part of the new persona. Wanna be my inside gal?"

Not for the first time, she thinks it'd be safer to get away from whatever he has planned. But (Y/N) only nods. "Aren't I always?"