Rating: Teen And Up Audiences | Archive Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply | Fandom: Prodigal Son (TV 2019) | Category: F/M, Gen
Relationship(s): JT Tarmel/Tally Tarmel, Malcolm Bright & JT Tarmel.
Character(s): JT Tarmel, Malcolm Bright, Tally Tarmel.
Additional Tags: Post-Episode: s01e20 Like Father…, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Non-Consensual Institutionalization, Malcolm Bright Gets Sectioned, JT Tarmel POV, Malcolm Bright Needs a Hug, Angst, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Suicidal Thoughts, Malcolm Bright Gets a Hug, Gil Arroyo Has A Cat, Podfic, Podfic Length: 30-45 Minutes.
Language: English. | Posted: 3 April 2021. | Duration: 31 minutes, 31 seconds.
Link to “Regrets Are Like Ghosts” by Cornerofmadness: archiveofourown .org/works/26169913.
From the comments:
It's definitely alright if you can't listen to something I podfic due to the warnings and/or tags. You don't have to, but if you'd like to try to listen to some of the more light-hearted banter after the majority of the content warned for, about 19:37 picks up during JT and Malcolm packing so that Malcolm can stay with Tally and JT for a few days (previously established: because Tally has bird experience, Sunshine is already at their house anyways).
In the fic, 19:37 starts at: He sighed and started back down the steps. He paused, hand on the rail. "Are you sure Tally is okay?"
To skip details about the last 'worried about Malcolm being suicidal' bit, stop at 23:15 or at the end of the sentence: Bright grinned a little but fell back into silence for much of the drive.
Pick back up at 23:35 (Tally met them at the door). The rest should cover Malcolm getting settled for the night and joking about the expensive tie Malcolm told JT he could have.
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what happens after dinner
Malcolm and Edrisa attend family dinner for the first time as an official couple.
(written for @brighttanaka)
check it out on ao3
Malcolm Bright walked into the Major Crimes meeting room to clean up their most recent case board. He had caught their killer by doing what he does best, going just far enough into danger that he succeeds (while also making everyone else worry) but not far enough to die. He organized everything into case files to put into storage. The Major Crimes team filed into the room for a debrief.
Gil Arroyo, Dani Powell, and JT Tarmel joined Malcolm in the room. They didn’t sit down, instead electing to stand around the table as all attention turned to Gil. He went over assignments for paperwork, gave out praise for closing the case and thanked Malcolm for joining them. He did this after every case, thanking Malcolm for his work as if he was unaware that Malcolm was always, constantly itching to work on a new case, to solve a new murder. Gil made sure each case ended in a way that if Malcolm ever had to stop consulting, heaven forbid, his last case ended well and he was in good standing with each person on the team. That, and he knew that someone needed to praise Malcolm for being as smart as he was. Many people just expected him to be smart, they didn’t feel the need to congratulate him or tell him that whatever he did for the case was helpful and productive. Malcolm needed this occasionally though, and since Gil knew this, he made it a part of their case-ending routine.
Gil ended the meeting with a promise to see them all at family dinner and sent them all to their respective partners. Bright is the last to walk towards the door before he’s summoned back to talk with his surrogate dad.
“I know this is Edrisa’s first family dinner as your girlfriend, but make sure she knows that she doesn’t have to act any different than she is. We all know her, and we love her for who she is, she doesn’t have to impress us by being someone else,” Gil told Malcolm as he picked up the file box and walked towards the door.
“You do know that I can’t make Edrisa do anything, right?” Malcolm reminds the lieutenant. “I will remind her, though. If only to help reassure her. Dinner’s at 7:30 right?”
“Yeah, but you know your mother, you better-” Gil began.
“-Get there by 6:30, I know. Thanks, Gil. I’m going to go see if Edrisa is ready now. See you later.” Malcolm left Gil to put up the case file in the records room.
Malcolm made his way to his girlfriend’s office a few levels down. His new romantic partner was the medical examiner for this NYPD precinct, Edrisa Tanaka. Edrisa had an eccentric personality that Malcolm had been drawn to ever since he started consulting for Gil. They had so much in common and were constantly in awe of each other’s intellect. They understood each other very well and were nearly perfectly in sync, saving each other from dangerous things at crime scenes, and just being able to brainstorm about cases together.
Of course, Malcolm and Edrisa had things in common other than work. They were both interested in the same type of things, between human anatomy, ancient weaponry, and classic stories, among other things, they curated a wonderful friendship that blossomed to a romantic one. Malcolm was always worried that with everything that he deals with, he would overwhelm Edrisa, but she reassures him this isn’t the case, whenever he needs to hear it.
Edrisa and Malcolm fit each other well, so well, in fact, that Edrisa says “Hi Bright!” before Malcolm has pulled his second foot across the threshold of the morgue. He smiled and walked the rest of the way to his girlfriend. “I figured you would be done soon,” she revealed. “I knew you finished the case, and Gil’s speeches tend to be around the same length each time.”
Malcolm smiled at her, nodding. “Are you ready to head home to get dressed for dinner at the Whitly House, Ris?” He asked, moving directly in front of her to capture her attention.
“I just have to finish filling out today’s paperwork on this autopsy, it should only take a few minutes.” Edrisa told him, smiling. She then proceeded to explain what she had found out in this autopsy, a case Bright was not assigned to, and Malcolm listened intently, fascinated by not only her findings, but the passion with which she talked about her cases. Once Edrisa had finished, Malcolm helped her gather her things and they headed to the car.
When they got home, Edrisa held up two outfits. “Which one do you think would go over the best with your family?” She asked. “Ainsley helped me pick out some clothes that would look appropriate for your mother, which one do you think I should wear? I don’t want to wear something that would upset Jessica Whitly, ”
Malcolm studied the two outfits. One was a knee-length, emerald dress. The other was a navy blue suit with a lighter blue patterned shirt underneath. “I think you should go with the suit, it feels more “Edrisa.” Besides, my mother loves you already, Everyone who will be there loves you already. This will go fine, I promise.”
She nodded and left to change. “I know that I already know everyone, Malcolm, but this time it’s different. This time we’re going as a couple.”
“Edrisa, it’s just our friends and my family. You got this. We’ve got this. I’ll be right by your side the whole time.” Malcolm reassured her. She walked out and he couldn’t help but stare. She looked gorgeous. “Wow, Ris, you look amazing.” He got up and walked over to her, grabbing her hands and looking into her eyes. “We got this.” He said again.
“We got this,” Edrisa repeated.
The pair arrived at the Whitly House at 6:30 on the dot. Gil was already there, of course. So were Ainsley and Dani, since Ainsley had decided to live at home again to help out their mom and Dani coming over to visit her girlfriend before dinner. The only couple missing were the Tarmels. They started joining family dinners when Dani and Ainsley got together, because it didn’t feel right to have 3/4 of the team at dinner. They also invited Edrisa, before she and Bright had gotten together, and she had been participating. It had been a few weeks since Malcolm and Edrisa became a couple, but Edrisa had been busy for the past few family dinners. This was their very first one as an official couple.
At 6:45, JT and Tally came in, sheepishly. “We’re sorry, Jessica, the babysitter was late.” JT informed the night’s hostess. “We made dessert though. We brought brownies.”
“Who is this “we” you speak of, JT Tarmel.” Tally scolded, making Jessica laugh. Gil took the tray of brownies from JT and put them in the kitchen.
“Now that we’re all here, let’s have a drink and prepare for dinner,” Jessica announced.
At 7:30, the group sat down at the dinner table as the waiter brought out their dishes. They ate peacefully for a while, making small talk with the people around them. It was nice, getting to catch up with all their friends outside of work. They made sure to have family dinner at least once a week, because Jessica wanted to know what was happening with her children. All of them, which now included JT and Tally.
“Edrisa, I hope Malcolm is treating you well,” Jessica said loud enough that everyone can hear. “I taught him better than to treat you poorly.”
“Oh! Ma’am, Malcolm is wonderful. He’s so attentive, he’s kind, he’s sweet, he doesn’t leave a girl hanging, if you know what I mean,” Edrisa says, smiling at Malcolm who, all of a sudden, has a look of panic on his face. Most people can’t tell, but Edrisa has noticed. “He’s very thoughtful,” Edrisa continued, “and he loves me, too, even if he doesn’t know it yet.” She looked at Jessica with that statement and Jessica couldn’t help but laugh.
“I’m sure he does,” she responded before going back to talking with Gil. No doubt, they’re discussing how all of their kids ended up dating each other. Or, something about how they ended up here. They’re sentimental like that during family dinners.
After dinner and dessert, the couples broke off, heading to their own places. Edrisa and Malcolm went back to Malcolm’s place, where Edrisa always stayed over the weekend. They crawled into bed, Edrisa reading Dracula, sitting up against the headboard, and Malcolm scrolling on his phone, reading over a new psychological research paper. Edrisa has a favorite out of Malcolm’s clothes to wear, his old Harvard sweatshirt. No matter how many times it gets washed, it always smelled like Bright, and it was the warmest and coziest out of all of his tops, and he knew to leave it ready for her when they came home for the weekend.
After finishing his article, Malcolm rolled over to lean against Edrisa. “Are you done yet, Ris?” He asked her. She looked down and smiled, before lifting her arms up to let him lay on her more.
“I am not done reading yet, no. I’ll tell you when I am.” She responds to him. Malcolm takes the invitation and lays his head on her shoulder while she reads. He wraps his arms around her torso while she brings her hands back down, using his back as a resting place for the book and running the other hand through his hair. She knew that the best way for him to not have nightmares was for him to be holding onto her, and she knew that dealing with his family always exhausted him and he could use the rest.
Malcolm eventually fell asleep cuddling her while Edrisa finished rereading her book. She turned off the light and moved just enough so that she's laying down with him. She fell asleep in his arms and it’s the best sleep either of them has had in a while.
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