: Thinking around CornersFandom
: 500 wordsTimeline/Spoilers
: After the S1 finaleWarnings
: power games, implied threat of sexual violenceNotes
: Written for the Awesome Ladies Ficathon, prompt: luther, alice morgan [alice/luther/mark], after. Unbeta'd, all comments, nitpicks & crit welcomeDisclaimer
: Not mine. No profit, no foul.Summary
: Alice enjoys teaching her boys
Even now, Mark is still scared of her. She likes that. It shows his intelligence, for one thing.
John isn't scared of her, not any more. But he says that he is, and she loves him just a little bit more for that.
There might have been a time, early on, when he believed she was a threat to him, but not now. Not for a long time. She put everything on the line for him -- life and liberty -- and that's something that John understands, something that resonates with him on a fundamental level. John is the most passionate man she's ever known, and when he commits himself -- whether it's to love or hate -- he holds nothing back.
Alice is a firm believer in commitment, too. Once she starts a project, she gives it her full attention and resources. She sees it through. 'I've got absolutely no time for ditherers
,' her father used to say. It was one of the few things they agreed on.
It's also what made her sure it would work out with Mark, too. She always intended to kill Reed -- John deserved to have his death, but not to be his murderer -- but she was impressed with Mark's surety, his conviction. Do it, do it, do it!
Such certainty in his voice, his eyes.
So yes, Mark can be passionate, too -- surprisingly so. She hadn't been overly thrilled with him in the beginning, and rather thought Zoe had traded way down. But there's steel in Mark, under the liberal outer layers, a hard core that won't let him crumble even when he wishes he could.
In that sense, Mark is stronger than John. Flexibility is always key -- it's the rigid, unbending, black-and-white, this-way-and-no-other attitudes that snap and break. Mark is quicker at adapting, more willing to think around corners, better at taking instruction.
Mark always capitulates immediately when she brings out a weapon, dropping to his knees and closing his eyes. Awaiting direction. John is more resistant -- partly because he's never been a team player (Mark has), partly because he doesn't believe she would use the gun, the knife, the garotte (Mark does).
John challenges her, makes her work harder -- which is fine by her, because she doesn't like things to be too easy, either. It's not a good thing for her to get bored. It doesn't tend to end well.
An equal triangle is a stable form. She gives Mark the punishment he wants, he gives her the power she loves. When she and John fight it keeps her sharp, and provides him with the reassurance that he still knows one side of the line from the other. And the two of them share Zoe in a way that Alice - that nobody else -- ever could.
It might not be particularly common, their arrangement, or particularly normal -- but Alice has never exactly valued either of those things.
She's pleased to be teaching her boys to know better, too.