aaronlisa: (DH: Echo (reflection))
[personal profile] aaronlisa posting in [community profile] big_damn_fest
Title: Not With a Whimper nor With a Bang
Author: [personal profile] aaronlisa
Fandom: Dollhouse
Pairing/Characters: Adelle DeWitt, Topher Brink, Dominic DeWitt, Alpha (Carl William Craft), Priya Tsetsang, Zone, Actual!Iris
Rating: FR13
Disclaimer: Dollhouse belongs to Joss Whedon and company. "Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead" was written by E.Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen.
Notes: The title is a reference to T.S. Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men." Written for the [community profile] big_damn_fest for "Epitaph Two: The Return"
Note: I am not sure of the girl's name from the first Epitaph episode that gets imprinted with Echo's personality, however Wiki calls her as Iris, hence the use of the name above.
Warning: Character death, suicide
Summary: Not everyone is going to make it alive to face Topher's brand new world.
Word Count:1158

Death comes to them silently and quickly. One moment they're there and the next gone.

Topher is the worse. Adelle watches from the outside of the building that had dominated so much of her life (the building that will continue to dominate her life, even if Topher's mad scheme works.) She takes a breath, anxious, and then a flash of light. More accurately a pulse of energy from her office and she bites her lower lip.

She can't cry. She can't even mourn for the boy who she had grown to love. He's gone with his last words to her still ringing in her ears. In a brief moment (it lasts no longer than the space of a heartbeat) she wants to go back, she wants to go back to when she was in her office and they weren't fully aware of the evils that they were doing.

(No mater what she says now, no matter what will be said about her later, Adelle DeWitt knew full well that what she did was horribly wrong. Yet she'd rather be committing horrible crimes against humanity just for one more day to have one more day with Topher whole and complete.)

* * *

If he had thought about, he'd tell you that he doesn't want to die. Dr. Saunders (the one that he had made, not the one that was originally with the house that Alpha slashed and hacked) had once accused him of playing God and she was wrong.

At the height of his career, Topher Brink wasn't playing God, he was God. He never ever did anything by half measures and playing at the job would have been just that.

He knows he doesn't have to do this, that any of them would gladly be up here in Adelle's old office doing this job. But what no one gets, not even Adelle who loves him more than anyone else has ever loved him, is that Topher has to do this. If he doesn't, someone will come along and pick his brain.

He's crazy half of the time. Some sort of poetic justice, if he believed in that type of thing. He doesn't. He thinks (when he has his good days or more accurately, his good moments) that he's gone round the bend crazy because he realized that he wasn't God. You see Topher has this theory that God doesn't have a conscience. Man does. When Topher realized what he had done (it ended with Sierra but started when he made Whiskey into Claire) he started to fall apart. No one ever wakes up one day all Ophelia like completely loopy. It sneaks up on you.

He takes a moment after everything's done and he realizes what he's doing. He's basically killing himself for the better good. It's such a Paul Ballard thing to do.

Topher turns in Adelle's office and sees a memorial that someone put up there. All the people he had turned into dolls. There's something profound to be said...

* * *

Carl blinks his eyes and Alpha's gone. He can still remember who he was, he can still remember what it felt like to be part of a whole. The silence in his head is a nightmare.

Ding Dong Alpha's dead
Wake up sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed
Wake up Alpha's dead!! He's gone where the goblins go
Below, below, below!

He had always wanted to be in control of his body again, he had always wanted Alpha to be destroyed and now that the moment is here, he feels completely empty. The words aren't quite triumphant, instead they're hollow and empty just like he is.

"Come on, where you, stop playing games with me!" Alpha yells out.

He's just like Echo (for the most part, there's a little bit more junk in his make up, which is why she was a better candidate for Boyd's master plan.) There's no way that Alpha and all the others can actually be gone. Is there?

"Alpha! This isn't funny anymore!"

He falls to his knees clutching his head. It hurts now that it's just him in there and he doesn't want this anymore. He doesn't want to be all alone.

* * *

Dominic stumbles. He grabs hold of a table in the empty house that Adelle calls home in Safe Haven. He's been told where she is and he's trying to fill her shoes (he can't do it now, couldn't do it then.) He shudders as something washes over him.

Someone rushes to his side, concern written all over their generic face and for a moment, he almost forgets who he is. And then it comes back.

Obviously Topher dreamt up a plan to stop it all. His head is pounding and he just wants to curl up in a dark room but he knows that with Adelle in LA, someone's going to have to lead what fighters they against whatever is left of Rossum.

What ever advantage Topher's given them won't last forever.

* * *

She has no idea where she is or how she got there. Her body starts to tremble as she pulls herself up when a man offers her a hand.

"It's okay kid."

She feels like she should know this familiar stranger but she doesn't. Her mother's ingrained lessons ring in her head: never trust a stranger. Yet she doesn't really have much of a choice. Her body aches in ways that doesn't seem possible.

"What happened?"

"I don't know how to explain it but she's gonna to try."

The man points at an older woman who also seems familiar. She bites her lower lip and takes the man's hand.

* * *
She wonders what the world will be like when their final sentence in the dollhouse is over. She wonders how Echo will cope, how any one of them will cope. Priya doesn't kid herself about the fact that right now they're in some sort of paradise. But once they're outside, everything will change. Tony might be the husband she's always wanted him to be, but she knows that when they're out, he'll do whatever it takes to keep her and T safe from the technology that almost destroyed them.

(She almost wishes she can be like Echo and have her Tony imprinted in her head so she'll never be with out him.)

She tries to keep them all together, all of them sane, and she's pretty sure it's just a matter of time before someone snaps. Paradise never really works out no matter how hard one tries.

* * *

Two days of silence in his head is more than enough. He holds the gun to his head and convinces himself to pull the trigger.

It should be easy for him to do so. But his hand trembles and he has to talk himself into it.

One, two and then nothing.



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