Fan Fiction by VTW
|Todd held the gun against Peter's head and whispered in his ear. "You
didn't really think I'd allow you to hurt her did you? And I know
you really didn't think I'd let you touch a hair on the head of my
child did you, Dad?" He breathed in a flat, deadly voice.
He cut his eyes toward Clarice. "I want you to take Starr and get out of here Clarice, hurry," he said urgently. He put his hand in Peter's pocket and fished out his car keys. He tossed them at her feet. "Take his car and get as far away from here as you can."
Clarice snatched up the keys and grabbed her clothes that were in a pile on the floor and hurriedly threw them on.
Todd wrapped a forearm across Peter's throat and dragged him backward away from Clarice.
Clarice laced up her shoes and opened the door. Starr had fallen asleep on the floor. She was curled into a little ball. Clarice felt tears sting her eyes. She was so tiny and innocent. She reached down and lifted the sleeping child into her arms.
"Daddy," Starr asked groggily.
"No, sweetie. I'm a friend of you're Daddy's. I'm Clarice and we are going to leave now."
"But, I want to see my Daddy. He promised I could see my Daddy!" Starr began to cry pitifully.
Clarice fought to keep from breaking down. "Shh sweetheart. Come on; put your arms around my neck. You will see your Daddy, I'm going to take you to his house, okay? Then you and I, we'll wait together for him. He loves you so much, honey. He can't wait to see you."
Starr wrapped her little arms around Clarice's neck. She had her legs hooked around her waist.
Clarice put Starr's head down on her shoulder. "I want you to keep your eyes shut, Starr."
Starr nodded. "Okay Clarice," she said sweetly.
Clarice began to slowly walk out with Starr in her arms. Her heart was racing in her chest like a locomotive. Please God, let me get her to safety.
Todd pressed the gun hard against Peter's temple. "You keep your mouth shut. Or I'll blow your brains out," he hissed in his ear. He watched Clarice and Starr cross the garage. His eyes filled with tears. His baby girl, she was so beautiful. He loved her beyond reason. She was the one and only thing in his life that he ever did right. She was his heart and his soul. Starr, and now Clarice, were the two reasons that he was still alive and fighting.
Peter took a calculated risk. "Hey Starr! Guess who's here? Your Daddy!" He shouted.
Everything seemed to happen at once. Starr raised her head and her eyes connected with her Father's. She began to yell. "Daddy? Daddy! Daddy! I'm here!" She struggled to get out of the tight hold Clarice had on her.
Todd roared like a lion and hit the side of Peter's head with the gun. Peter rammed his elbow back into Todd's stomach and broke the hold he had on him.
Starr wriggled out of Clarice's arms and began running towards Todd. Clarice sprinted after Starr and scooped the child up from behind. Starr was struggling desperately. "Let me go! Let me see my Daddy! I wanna see my Daddy!" She screamed.
Todd grunted as Peter's elbow connected with his stomach. Peter shoved Todd back against the wall and grabbed his hand knocking it violently against the wall. The P7 fell to the ground. Todd kicked it before Peter could grab it. It went skidding across the floor. He head-butted Manning sharply. Peter was momentarily stunned.
Clarice was huddled on the floor with Starr, forcibly holding the hysterical, screaming child down. She pushed Starr's head into her chest. "Please sweetheart, hush. Please Starr, please " Clarice had a finger hold on her composure. She was moments away from hysteria. She watched horrified as Todd fought for his life.
Todd took advantage of Peter's momentary lapse and did a quick combination, a hard punch to his nose and a bloodletting uppercut to his chin. Peter fell to the ground. Todd stood over him breathing through his mouth. He had his hands up around his face. "Come on, you coward," he growled. "It's you and me now. ME. The one and only Todd Manning. I've been dreaming of this for years. Get the fuck up," he snarled.
Peter rolled to his feet and stepped in, quickly jabbing Todd in the face.
Todd's head snapped back. He licked a drop of blood at the corner of his mouth and grinned. "That all you got old man? Huh? You fight like a fuckin' pussy," he taunted. He circled around Peter. "But then again, I'm not a small child or a helpless woman, am I?"
Peter laughed in his face. "You're just like me. Don't you get that yet, Todd? You're a rapist, a violent sociopath. You held that Saybrooke bitch down and fucked her till her ears rang. Then you sat and watched her get raped again, you sat and watched, Todd. It's in your blood. It's who you are. And it's just a matter of time before you look to Starr to fulfill you needs, and you're desires. Just like I did with you."
A black curtain fell over Todd's eyes. He charged Peter and knocked him to the ground and was upon him like a wild animal. He sat on his chest and reached back hitting him as hard as he could. Twenty-five years of hate, anguish, betrayal, and hurt was in that punch. He reached in his pocket and flipped open his blade and held it to Peter's throat. "I am nothing like you, old man," he whispered. His lips barely moved. Todd looked like a stone killer. "Don't think for one minute that I'm like you. I have carried around the guilt for what I did to that woman and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. But, here's the difference. Marty forgave me. Because I do have a soul and she could see that. I am capable of love and of loving someone other than myself. Unlike you," he spat venomously.
Peter glared at him and tried to struggle free. Todd was sitting high on his chest and his knees were grinding into his forearms. He was staring down at him with those amber eyes of his. They glinted yellow and glowed in his face like an animal. He felt a fission of uneasiness race through him. "Bullshit, boy. You are incapable of change."
Todd threw back his head and laughed harshly. "No. You have it the other way around. You are the sick, sick monster who's not capable of change."
He brought his face down to within inches of Peter's. He dug the point of the knife into Manning's throat, smiling when a trickle of blood ran down his neck. "And I'll tell you something else. My daughter is the most precious thing in my life. I would die for her in a heartbeat. I am a good Father, and unlike you, it's all I know how to be. Starr loves me just as much as I love her. I bet you hate that don't you? That I can be a normal, loving parent despite the things you did to me," his voice cracked a little. "All the times you beat me for no reason. All the times you burned me because it was fun for you."
He breathed harshly as he felt the tears come. He was going to say the words he finally could say the words. "And all the times you held me down and raped me," he said breathlessly. He felt light-headed as a rush of relief and empowerment flooded through him. He felt himself grow stronger. "How could you do that to me? Huh? I was just a kid. An innocent child." Tears dripped off his chin and he angrily swiped them with the back of is hand. "But, I'll tell you this. I will never, could never hurt my child. Do you understand me, Dad? If I thought I was capable of that kind of vile, sick, inhuman, behavior I would put a bullet in my head. I would end my life before I'd hurt Starr or any other child."
He was trembling from head to toe. "And you know what the really sick thing was Dad? I loved you, through it all. All I ever wanted was for you to love me and to be proud of me."
Peter glared at him. "I could never love you. You weren't mine. You were, and still are, a bastard. I despise you."
Todd stared coldly at him. His face was carved in stone. "I no longer care what you think. You have no power over me, not anymore. And the feeling is mutual. You mean nothing to me. You're not my father. You never were. The closest thing I ever had to one is Sam. A good and decent real man, one you could never be like. Not in a million years."
Peter worked his arm free and swung wildly. He clipped Todd on the chin and knocked him off balance. The two men rolled on the ground. Peter was on top of Todd and had a hold of Todd's wrist. He was forcing the knife towards his heart.
"TOOOODD!" Clarice screamed.
Todd bared his teeth and fought with all his strength to stop the knife from plunging into his chest. With a Herculean push, he stiff armed Peter and brought the knife up sharply. It caught Peter high in his breastbone. It was buried to the hilt. His eyes widened in shock, as he gasped for air. He slumped forward on top of Todd.
Todd flipped him over on his back. He scrambled backwards and drew his knees up to his chest. He was struggling for breath. He wrapped his arms around his knees and stared into the dead face of the man who raised him, abused him, and shaped him into the person that he was.
Todd squeezed his eyes shut. He was what he was.
A strong man, who defeated a monster and lived.
He rose gracefully to his feet. "I forgive you," he whispered. "Not for you but for me." Todd walked over to the table where his father's long coat was. He covered Peter's body. He didn't want Starr to see it.
He walked over to Clarice. He knelt in front of her touching her beautiful face. Running his fingers lightly over her cheeks, brushing the tears away. "Hi," he whispered softly.
"Hi back," she said through her tears. "I think there's someone here who really needs her Daddy." She looked down at Starr whose head was buried in Clarice's neck.
Todd smiled and gently placed his hand on his daughter's head. "Hey Shorty? Your old man really needs a hug. How about it?"
Starr lifted her head fearfully. "Daddy?" She trembled. "Daddy I was so scared. Oh, Daddy I missed you!" She flung herself into her father's arms.
Todd wrapped his arms around his girl and wept unabashedly. He held her in his arms and sobbed while rocking her, breathing in her smell. Holding her close, and luxuriating in the sheer bliss of having his daughter in his arms.
She put her small hands on his face. "Daddy? Please don't cry. Don't cry."
He smiled through his tears and kissed her hands. "I can't help it, sweetheart. I am just so happy to see you. I love you so much, Starr. I couldn't live without you. And I was so scared, so scared." He buried his face in her hair. "Come on let's go home." He looked up and locked eyes with Clarice.
She was crying and laughing at the same time. "It sounds good to me."
The three of them left the garage. Todd with Starr in his arms, and Clarice on the other side of him was clasping his hand. They walked out into the crisp winter air without once looking back.
Peace and Love,
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Back to Remember Roger Howarth