Tangible Schizophrenia


Gatekeeper Prologue: Three Judges

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: NC-17.
Pairing: Abberline/Sands/El
Feedback: Please let me know if something hit a nerve.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: What happened around the Jack the Ripper murders. Or, I rewrite the film.
Notes: AU from the very beginning of the movie. Section titles are Greek Underworld gods. Go here for more info. Crossover of From Hell and 'Mexico.' First one's for ldhenson in return for icon, second is for elefwin in return for LJ help, and third is just because. Quotes from Shakespeare's Macbeth.



"Sir. Sir!"

"What-" Abberline jerked, back meeting back as he knocked up against his chair and nearly toppled it. "Yes, Godley?"

"You're drifting. You've been drifting all day." The other man did not step back, but instead leaned in to closely examine Abberline's face. His breath smelled of the hot lunch they'd shared. Roasted flesh. "Have you…been seeing? In daylight?"

Quaint, really, that Godley seemed to link Abberline's "sight" with darkness. But then again, what he saw was generally confined to the black and the red. "No. Why do you ask?"

A deep sigh, blowing more of the meat stench into his face. He flinched and drew a narrow look from his Sergeant. "You haven't left for the opium den yet," Godley replied after a long, considering silence.

Abberline stared back, puzzled, but the look of absolute stolidity on the other man's face finally prompted him to check his watch, whereupon he found that it was indeed that late. He dropped his head onto one hand, rubbing at a temple. Another few moments of quiet passed before fingers gently alighted on his shoulder. "They're becoming real."

"But they've always come true-"

"No, not like-" Godley's hand fell away at Abberline's vehemence, which startled even himself. He took a breath to collect himself before beginning again. "They were solid. They talked to me-they--touched me."

The scent of death suddenly filled the air, making Abberline whirl around and stare wildly about the room, sure that they had returned. He began to rise, but Godley pushed him back down and shoved a handkerchief at his confusion. "You cut your hand. On your watch." A beat of steady regard while he bound up the minor injury. "'Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow'?"

Abberline shook his head and smiled, bitter and harsh as cinders. "'It will have blood, they say: blood will have blood.'"



He went, after all. Godley had tried to bundle him home and send him to bed, but Abberline slipped away to the den. He still hesitated on its doorstep, but by then the sweet burn was already crawling its way through his veins, and he could not resist the call anymore. No matter what he might see.

Murder, most foul and bright. Red spray off silver, black coat and brilliant yellow scream. Scarlet petticoats soaking blood, sin staining sin. Gross and horrible and it didn't stir Abberline at all. In point of fact, he felt…disappointment. Displeasure at the dragon, for its first failure to-

--blindness burning through the dark. Abberline shocked completely out of the haze and landed hard on the uncarpeted area behind the couch.

The other man, thin and pale and real down to the slight traces of mud on his shoes, swayed to an invisible breeze as he laughed. His black cane snapped rhythmically against the couch leg, and when a servant came scurrying up to reprimand him, it swished warningly through the air to slam the silver tip against the floor. He tilted forward, loose ponytail looping over a sharp shoulder, and tipped down his dark-tinted glasses to frighten the servant with twisted ivory scars. "Listen, boy. This is a very, very important man you have here, and tonight he has a very, very important meeting. So here's payment for him, and make sure Sergeant Godley picks him up. You understand?"

Abberline hooked an arm over the couch and dragged himself up, intending to seize the stranger's coat and demand-something. But the blind man was quick, disappearing like warmth from a corpse. And then the servant noticed Abberline's clenched fists and urged another pipe upon him, telling him it would calm his nerves.

It did. Long enough to get him past the realization of the apparition, long enough to get him through Godley's rude awakening and the appearance of the whore's mutilated corpse. But not deep enough. Not nearly deep enough for him to forget.



He was glad Mary had made it out with the baby, glad that at least one person had salvaged something from the horrid mess. He was…pleasantly surprised to find that letter from her, wishing him well. It hadn't seemed that he had meant much to her besides a source of protection, but apparently, he had been wrong.

Still, everything was as a dying match besides the endless void within him. The absence-and damn it, but when he thought of that he no longer recalled his wife's golden curls.

They hadn't come again. No matter how many pipes he smoked, they hadn't returned.

"No?" whispered low and rich into his ear as hands wrenched his up between his shoulderblades. As hellfire pressed up and down his back, as smoke and scorch dragged him back into the corner of the room. His dog's face peeked once around the door, then whined piteously and ran from the shadowy boots that stepped their way toward him. "You don't call us. We come when we please."

"What-" air thickened in his mouth, invading it like a nightmare's kiss "-what do you want?"

Palms pressed over his chest, calling burn marks back to the surface, then peeled away the fragile cloth as he was shoved harder into the-the presence behind him. "We don't want. You do."

And tongues trailed incinerated flesh behind them, and hands bound him with agony as every part of him was laid bare. Dreams, deaths, loves and hates, they all were cut from him and held up. Probed. Caressed, rough and gentle and-and-his legs failed even as they lifted. Twisted and pulled, puppet to their fierce play, he groaned and gasped and opened-opened-found himself flooding into them and then being fed back ragged pieces of himself. He choked, arched across the river and drowned in the night.

"Don't leave," he woke to hear himself saying, voice cracked and fallen beyond all recognition. "Don't leave."

"You won't," the musician reassured him. Abberline was lying with his head in the other man's lap, while the third was stretched out beside him.

A slow, dangerous white smile grew on the blind man's face as he stroked Abberline's hair, soft and tender. "No one leaves once they pass through the gate."


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