glinda: yellow crocus on a bed of snow (Default)
[personal profile] glinda posting in [community profile] queerlygen
Title: Something Lost & Something Gained
Creator: [personal profile] glinda
Universe: Rivers of London
Type of work: Fanfiction
Contains: Older closeted character dealing with potentially being able to be out and doing something about his desires.
Summary and/or notes: There are a great many things Thomas Nightingale finds baffling or unsettling about this new century – this on the other hand is one of its great joys. (Set post Foxglove Summer so spoilers for that.)


Thomas Nightingale is an old man and he’s allowed the old man’s indulgence of looking back at his life and his choices and feeling a little melancholic, a little nostalgic. The thing is, that he is, in fact, getting younger. Slowly, gently and at the same inevitable pace with which he got older he’s getting physically younger. He’d wondered if it would stop or reverse when he took on Peter and… well, they were looking at taking on another apprentice so the one lost was bound to weigh heavily on them both these days.

But having an apprentice hadn’t stopped his gentle de-aging, if anything it made him more aware of the age that he physically was these days. Both its limitations and the limitations that his body no longer put on him. He knew after Ettersberg that he was done, there would be no happily ever after for him. Between his own trauma and the death of the only person he’d loved as an adult it had all seemed so bloody pointless. He enjoyed Molly’s company, the strange companionship they’d evolved over the years, but the implications that some of his remaining colleagues still made, baffled him. She wouldn’t, possibly couldn’t leave The Folly, if his thoughts had ever strayed in that direction, they would have been cut off by his keen sense that it would be a terrible abuse of her trust and loyalty to the place and to him.

It amuses him a little that even now those old colleagues would still see a tryst with a Fae as more acceptable than… well, the direction his proclivities had always lain. Not that his current colleagues would care. Abdul and he had been friends too long and through too much for that to change now. While Peter had all the unbothered comfort of someone who was absolutely secure in his heterosexuality. Thomas was aware as they investigated round Soho that people pigeon-holed them – older well-dressed privately educated gentleman and younger handsome mixed race working-class boy - unless they realised they were coppers. Peter corrected the assumption if it was relevant and didn’t bother if he thought it would help get answers. Thomas was used to looking at beautiful young people as a purely aesthetic subject, it was unsettling to realise that he was slowly approaching an age when he could take an actual interest in the proceedings again if he wished.

It had been a very long time since he’d shut away that part of himself. Since he’d last thought about…that in regards to himself. Opening himself up to trust, to pleasure, to love even seemed as strange and alien to him as he was sure the demi monde of London he moved among was to those outwith it. He envied Peter in a way, not for the reasons he would have years before, but for the way he threw himself into his passions, finding joy and heartbreak in equal measure. Thomas doubted he would have been that openhearted even had what he wanted been more acceptable, let alone legal.

The invitation to DC Croft’s wedding is a surprise but a pleasant one. They take the Jag out to Herefordshire and collect Beverley Brook on the way. Young Dominic has that stunned and delighted look that Thomas always thinks bodes well on the face of a groom, as he leads his young man round the dance-floor. As he will rather tartly tell an elderly disapproving aunt later in the evening: he knew a couple when he was younger who were together fifty years and whose family still referred to them as ‘flatmates’ to the day they died. They would have loved to have this. There are a great many things he finds baffling or unsettling about this new century – this on the other hand is one of its great joys.

He’s lived life in both directions now and love still baffles and unsettles him in all its varieties. For a long time he has regretted not being braver when he was younger, but now he thinks he might yet be.

When he’s a little younger.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-01-19 01:39 am (UTC)
mrkinch: albatross soaring (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrkinch
This is lovely!

(no subject)

Date: 2016-01-22 10:20 am (UTC)
mific: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mific
Gorgeous - and a perfect last line!

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