#The fic that didn't have a name has a name now!
Also Is it dark? Yeah
Is it hella dark? Maybe
I don't think I'll have to put trigger warnings on this because it's more about Peggy and Ted, the investigation is just the thing that brings them together in the first place annnnnnddddddd I think this fic should average at about ten chapters or so when finished, maybe more though. I'm just kind of letting the words and characters carry me along at this point.
Reignite - available on AO3 - https://archiveofourown.org/works/30941900/chapters/79329064
#Ted Hastings x OC - Part Two
“You moved in here?” Ted asked, looking around as Peggy fiddled about in her handbag. She brought out a key chain that seemed stuffed. It jangled as she searched for the right one and a smile twitched at the corners of Ted’s mouth. Hardly inconspicuous.
“No, no it’s just-” Peggy paused sliding the key into the lock. “If someone’s watching the house I’d rather them watch this one.” She admitted, stepping over the threshold. A lamp was already on and Ted suspected timers to make it appear someone was still here. Ted wasn’t sure what he’d expected to find, maybe more clutter, something like hoarders. Newspapers taped to walls. The hallway was clear though. A stretching corridor that ran past the stairs and to the back of the house where Ted could see the kitchen.
His timer theory was confirmed as Peggy turned right and he spotted the plug in the wall.
The house was just big enough for its purpose. A living/dining area with a long polished table to the right. The corridor and stairs took the middle of the house and to the left was Peggy’s fathers office and then the kitchen.
On stepping in the open living/dining space looked, for a better word normal. Bookshelves, a wide telly that Ted imagined the footie looked great on. Nik nacks and pictures littered the walls. A glass bookcase contained memorabilia. As Ted turned back towards the wall the door he’d come through was on, a mosaic of paperwork blossomed. Peggy turned over a few paintings and then to Ted’s surprise pushed a bookcase on wheels out of the way revealing more.
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph you weren’t wrong about there being a lot here.” Ted breathed. His eyes didn’t know where to land first.
“I’ll get you a drink.” Peggy said her heels clipping along the polished wooden floor until she must have removed them.
Ted moved towards the wall starting to glance over the patchwork of paperwork in front of him. There were, he noted, albeit hidden, gruesome crime scene pictures. Markers on them indicated they were copies, probably from Peggy’s fathers legal practice.
There were symbols circled in red pen, missing persons posters, autopsies, grainy cctv print outs, newspaper clippings. Things were highlighted and connected but for now Ted had no real idea what he was looking at. There was a face he recognised though. Tommy Hunter. A red thread made its way from an outer circle of photographs to another man Ted didn’t recognise.
“Here.” Peggy returned, handing him a whisky in a glass tumbler.
“You remember how I like it.” Ted said, glancing down.
“And what you like.” Peggy nodded towards the glass, encouraging him to take a sip. In her hand she had what Ted suspected was cider.
“Is that your mother?” Ted asked, leaning in towards a picture on the board.
“She’s what got this whole thing started. Well Richard was.”
“Yeah well your da never took that divorce very well.”
“Yeah but that’s not why this started. Richard was creepy, as were his sons.” Peggy rubbed the back of her neck uncomfortably and Ted watched her for a minute. “She’s in the Bahamas now I think, mum, some business tycoon called Henry or something.”
“How many times has she been married now?” Ted asked with a brow raised.
“If she marries this one it’ll be six and honestly I’m surprised the police haven’t been onto her yet because it gets a bit black widowy after the third.” Peggy chuckled.
“God that’s not what all this is is it?” Ted asked, gesturing to the wall. Peggy laughed and shook her head but when she looked up at the wall her face fell a little. Something went out behind her eyes and Ted felt it down in his gut. He knew that look. It was the look of someone who knew about evils, knew people were still being hurt but was having to play a waiting game. He knew that look because he’d worn that look himself.
“My dad heard a rumour before he retired. A rumour about Richard Bank’s grandson. A party that got out of hand, all the gossip said it was drugs and violence and it just needed to be hushed up and it was. Dad found out later they paid off journalists, doctors, a few nurses. Which is nothing major in the grand scheme of things. Rich kids causing trouble then parents throwing money at it, is nothing new. Then just after retirement he overheard at an event that Banks' son, Andrew, was in trouble again. Something to do with a party.”
“Anyway dad, put it down to rumour mongering but things kept coming up and he ended up doing a little digging. He was just curious. Cut to a few years later. Must have been about 8 years ago now. Dad was doing some pro-bono work, an old lawyer that Dad had grown up knowing. The guy starts babbling incoherently, asking if Lucy’s okay, if she’s alright, that he didn’t mean to hurt her. Before dad can get his phone out the nurses come in, say something about watching Dracula and my dad is shuffled out. Dad said he couldn’t get it out of his head though. He couldn’t get out of his head how distressed his old friend had looked. So he started pulling on a thread and this is what he wound up with.” Peggy gestured to the papers around them. “It’s like a club Ted, and they hold ‘pleasure’ parties and gatherings and god knows what else.”
Peggy inhaled, then took a drink. How many times must she have gone over this and still the thought made her sick. It was then Ted knew something much worse than just drugs and gangsters was coming.
“It’s not about power, well, I suppose it is but not in the sense of what I’ve seen before. It’s not about money or blackmail or drugs. It’s about blood and pain and leaving humanity at the door.” Peggy paused for a minute and closed her eyes, holding her drink to her like it might save her from whatever was running through her head.
“From what we can gather it’s an anything goes situation. Whatever you want, they’ll get it. Whatever you want to do or try or indulge in, they will give it to you. You give them a fee and you walk into a room where anything goes and you can call yourself a god.”
“And I know what you’re thinking. People like Tommy Hunter and his friends have parties like that all the time. You hear about it from the poor victims but this isn’t some side operation this is the whole operation Ted. All they do is specialise in these parties. Doctors that stitch people up, doctors that forge death certificates, nurses that get medical grade drugs, policemen who falsify documents, lawyers that help keep things in check, funeral homes that burn bodies. It’s a business. A unique one of a kind business with enough people pulling strings and taping mouths shut that the wider world still hasn’t found out about it.”
“Your da thought someone at the firm was involved?” Ted stated more than asked.
“And he started pulling files.”
“And fell down the rabbit hole.” Ted said the skepticism he’d felt in the bar seeming to leach out of him. “I’m going to need another drink.” He said slowly before finishing the whiskey in his glass.