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16 June 2010 @ 06:43 pm
the truth the dead know  
Fandom: Cracks
Rating: G
Word Count: 859
Summary: Di leaves. Di-centric, with shades of Di/Poppy
Author’s Notes: I thought the film was amazing, but I didn’t really think there was a fandom for it. After seeing some fic recs on tumblr though, I was inspired to write. The title is from the brilliant Anne Sexton poem of the same name.
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor claim to own, these characters.

Di leaves.

She leaves early in the morning, with the sun barely creeping in through the slats in the windows. After writing the note, she stands at the foot of Poppy’s bed. She almost wakes her to say goodbye.

In the end she says nothing, just leaves one of her headbands tucked under Poppy’s pillow, picks up her things, and goes.

On the way to the mainland, Di can smell the salt in the air, can hear the waves lap against the ferry. She feels sick and sad and alive at the same time.


For the first few months, sleep is hard to come by. She stays in cheap hotels, registering herself under different names. Occasionally, she uses the name of a girl on the team, like some sort of dedication.



Fiamma (in particularly brave, stupid moment)


Her current hotel feels barren, blank. The rooms smell of anonymity, not of old wood and dust and disappointment. It does not have the same smell of history, of girls growing up, that clings to the walls of the school.

She dreams of red sashes dropping to the floor, and when she wakes, she finds herself alone instead of surrounded by six other sleeping bodies.


She almost books a ticket to Spain once, believing herself ready, but she ends up exchanging it for one to France at the last minute. She ponders her cowardice in a café in Paris and traces the edges of Fiamma’s book with a gloved hand.

Patrons around her talk of the burgeoning war, the fear and the confusion, the sadness of it all.

She does not know what to make of the situation, of its near absurdity. Sitting and listening to news of approaching death and chaos while wearing the perfume of a dead girl, acting as if things had always been this way.


Exhausted but plagued with insomnia one night, Di walks out to the front of her hotel, hoping some fresh air will do her good. She’s surprised to find a woman already leaning against the brick of the building, smoking. They’re an odd sight, the two of them, on a night so late.

For whatever reason, the woman offers her a drag, hand outstretched. Her eyes are distant, but not unkind. Their fingers brush when she reaches for the cigarette, and Di notes that they are soft.

But when she sees that the filter is stained a too-familiar lipstick-red, she cannot bring herself to take it.


She keeps only one thing on her nightstand: a picture of the team, huddled together and smiling. Depending on the night, the smiles alternate between feeling like lies and sweet, lost truths.


Her trips do not come without their price, however, and she spends a month stuck in Paris, working in the backroom of a pastry shop and trading English for French lessons with the workers. For seemingly the first time in her life, her hands are dirty from days of hard work.

On the day of her turn to teach, they’re sitting in the kitchen nook, munching on bread scraps and practicing pronunciation. She gives them a poem to read. As the recitation reaches its climax, she cannot help but hear Poppy’s proud voice in her head.

And on the pedestal these words appear:
“I am Ozymandias, King of Kings.
Look on my works ye Mighty, and despair.”


She stays in Egypt, for a time. Even rides a camel.

Stretches of brown and beige extend for miles in each direction. She tries not to look too much like a young schoolgirl as she marvels at the sight, but even with the sun beating down on her, she smiles.

While the guide is turned away, she cuts a few hairs off the camel’s neck and scoops up a handful of sand as souvenirs. Evidence of truth.


She heads north afterwards and reaches the Dead Sea.

She has heard of its healing powers, its reputation as a phenomenon born from the confluence of geography and geology. Walking over formations of salt buildup, she wonders how many have come and gone, and whose wishes were granted.

She wades in and paddles out, feeling the familiar strain in her muscles. When she goes under, the salt rubs at her skin, and she comes out feeling new.


For Di, it’s the time in between the adventures, when she is allowed to be alone with her past, that feel the most dangerous.

News of war is abuzz more than ever, and Di is tired of death.

She’s back in Paris, lying down at the top of a small knoll in a park, chain smoking, and formulating a plan to get on the Orient Express. She fingers the blades of grass beneath her and suddenly begins reminiscing about playing rolling pin in the fields with Poppy. They had clung together, ready to logroll down the hill, proclaiming, If we die, we die together!, and giggling.

She takes one last puff from her cigarette, and after positioning her body just so, crosses her arms about her chest, and pushes off. On the way down, she lets herself remember when things were easy.

(Deleted comment)
glass, concrete, & stonelikebanshees on June 17th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

I really hope more people do see the film and start writing as well. And a fellow Di/Poppy shipper! I really want to explore their relationship more in future fic.