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Thicker Than Water
06-01-2012, 10:31 AM
Post: #1
Thicker Than Water
Spoilers for season 10

This is an alternate ending fic. It starts at the beginning of episode 10.6, and stays as close as possible to the real episode. As a result, you’ll recognise a lot of the dialogue. It’s quite long as I couldn’t find a way to split it into different parts without interrupting the flow.


London, Home Office

A ripple of applause breaks out as the Home Secretary and Ilya Gavrik shake hands. Ruth watches from the doorway. She should feel relief that it is done, but all she can think about at that moment is the man she said goodbye to a few hours earlier. The words she said to him keep swirling around in her head – this can’t be the end. Nine years of struggle and strife, and of mutual admiration, respect, friendship and adoration ended with a brief kiss by the Thames. At least the location was fitting, she thinks bitterly. As the river ebbs and flows, so do their connection to each other. Sometimes flowing strong, an irresistible force dragging them towards or away from each other, other times a gentle trickle that allows them to float along peacefully, together.

She wonders where he is, whether the Americans are treating him well. It’s ironic that a man who’s done so many dark deeds in a lifetime of service to his country, should be made to pay for the one thing he actually didn’t do. She has been wracking her brain for a way out of this mess ever since he walked away from her and her heart broke at the thought of never seeing him again. He told her not to do anything, not to come and see him, and in that moment she understood for the first time, with certain clarity, how much of what he does is aimed at protecting her. Not only from the shady world they inhabit, but also from himself and the demons he lives with everyday. Sometimes she thinks it is all they ever do – try to protect the other at the cost of personal happiness.

Elena Gavrik gets up and walks towards her, and she feels a sudden flash of envy for all that this woman once got to share with Harry. She envies the emotional courage of acting upon feelings, the intimacy, and the act of love that brought forth a son. Yes, she thinks, what she envies this elegant woman most of all is the child she got to have with Harry. But she no longer fears that Elena still has his love, not after the events by the Thames this morning. Elena reaches her and starts to speak, and Ruth realises that nothing is what it seems. And that Elena may just have afforded her the opportunity of seeing Harry again.

* * *

As the two women go down in the lift together, Elena addresses her. “You understand the guilt Harry has always felt about me; about Sasha… Do you think it’s what kept you from being together?”
She pauses and allows the thought to sink in. “Don’t worry – Harry will see things differently soon.”

Ruth doesn’t know what to say to that, so she says nothing. She stands behind Elena and thinks back over the last nine years. She remembers a clumsy dinner invitation and dancing bread rolls; gossip and sad desirous eyes in a hotel corridor; a glassing in a men’s club and a faked death; a farewell on a cold dock and Something wonderful that was never said; a man shot dead, the loss of a boy and I’m trying, with all my limitations; There will always be something else; an ill-timed proposal and a rejection, and You think I haven’t forgiven you for George, but the truth is much worse; the handing over of a state secret and In that moment it was unfair of you to love me; and It’s my turn and tears.

And she thinks, no, it’s about so much more than guilt over a long-lost son, so much more complicated than Elena Gavrik could ever conceive. This thought, and the knowledge that the Russian does not understand Harry quite as well as she thinks she does, almost makes Ruth smile.

As they leave the hotel and head towards the waiting car, a blonde woman suddenly steps in front of them and says, “Mrs Gavrik?”
Ruth’s heart stops when she sees the familiar face.
“Yes?” Elena says with a charming smile.
“Catherine Townsend. You contacted me about a possible documentary?”
Elena’s smile widens as she studies the woman in front of her. “Ye-es,” she says, and the way she draws out the word alarms Ruth immeasurably. Not for the first time, a niggling doubt worms into her mind about Elena Gavrik.
“I want her to come with us,” Elena says, and Ruth realises that she knows exactly who Catherine Townsend is.
“No, absolutely not,” Ruth declares resolutely. She ignores Catherine and addresses the Russian. “This is not a game, Elena. It’s a matter of national security. If you think I’m going to allow press anywhere near this-“
“She comes,” Elena persists, “or I give Harry nothing.”
Catherine, who has been listening to their conversation in some confusion, now asks sharply, “Harry?”
Ruth abandons all pretence and turns to Catherine. “Yes. She lied to you, Catherine. This has nothing to do with a documentary, and everything to do with your father and his work. Please, walk away, and stay away from Elena Gavrik, for your own good.”
Catherine hesitates and looks uncertainly between the two women, unsure who to trust.
And then Elena says, “I have information about a terror attack on London, planned for today. If you don’t come, I won’t give your father the information, and hundreds of people will die.”
They stare at her in horror, and Ruth knows that the battle is lost. Catherine is too much her father’s daughter to walk away now.

When they are joined in the car by Sasha Gavrik holding a gun, Ruth begins to understand that today could well become the worst day of her life. But more than that, it will almost certainly turn out to be the worst of Harry’s life, and for that she resents Elena Gavrik deeply.

* * *

He is jostled from side to side as the SUV leaves the tarmac and speeds over a gravel road. They are either taking him to the Welford Air Force base, or they are about to shoot him in the head and dump his body in the woods, he thinks dispassionately. Harry knows he should care more about which of the two options are the correct one, but he is numb. Perhaps he has finally reached critical mass in terms of the amount of pain that one person can reasonably endure before they shut down emotionally. He sees her face in front of him again, her eyes bright with tears as she tells him about the house she made an offer on, and lets himself believe for one moment that she was trying to tell him she wants to live there with him before he squashes the thought. Too late now. Perhaps it has been too late since the day he chose his particular career path. His jaw aches and as he lifts his hands to gingerly probe the spot where the Marine punched him, he feels the car coming to a stop. The back door opens and he is confronted with a masked man holding a gun, and for a split-second he thinks they are going to shoot him in the head after all. But then he recognises the eyes and Dimitri removes his mask.
“This is likely to come up in your pay review,” he tells his officer gratefully before getting out stiffly.

Later, in the car, as they fill him in on what is going on, his heart soars at the thought of seeing Ruth again, and he thinks that perhaps he hasn’t quite reached his critical mass of emotional pain after all.

* * *

He walks towards her, Erin and Dimitri in tow, and she can’t stop the smile from spreading across her face. Ruth wants to throw her arms around him, bury her face in his neck, tell him so many things, but she doesn’t. She restrains herself to drinking him in, because she still has to inform him that his daughter is here. Somehow it didn’t feel right to let Erin do that.
“I hear Sasha’s joined us,” he says, his voice full of light and his eyes soft on her, and she wishes she didn’t have to tell him about Catherine.
“Hm,” she responds, “he wouldn’t give up his gun. But I think he just wants to know what’s going on.”
She stops walking and holds him back with a hand on his sleeve. “Harry, there’s something else. Catherine is here too.”
He stares at her uncomprehendingly. “What? But how…”
She explains succinctly, and sees the anger rising in him with every word she utters.
“I’m sorry,” she says, “I couldn’t stop her.”
“Where’s Catherine now?” he asks through clenched teeth, and beneath the anger she detects his fear.
“I kept everyone separate. I’ll take you to her.”
She moves past him but his voice stops her.
“No,” he says, all the light gone from his tone. “There’s no time. I have to see Elena first.”

* * *

As it turns out Sasha Gavrik is the first person he talks to. They stand in front of each other knowingly as father and son for the first time, and he is surprised how easily his heart fills with love for this boy. His son. And he is saddened by his inability to express what he is feeling, to say anything at all. Sasha seems similarly inhibited, which is not surprising seeing as he’s had only a day to process the information. So they stand in awkward silence, feeling so much, until Sasha’s mobile breaks the spell.
“It’s my f-… It’s… Ilya Gavrik.”
Harry makes an instant decision. “Let me speak to him.”
He tells Ilya to come and sends him their coordinates. He does not investigate his motives for doing so too closely. If pressed he will say that it is because he still suspects Ilya Gavrik of masterminding the attempts to scupper the partnership and wants him close, but he knows, deep down, that it is also retribution for having to sit and listen to Gavrik extolling his perfect life with his perfect family and his bloody tortoise in the garden. And it is insurance against Elena bringing Catherine into this, a development which makes him exceedingly apprehensive.

* * *

Elena tells him there is an attack planned on London and gives him a telephone number. He stands and looks at her, more aware than ever how true his words to Ruth were: this woman, the mother of his son, is a stranger to him. He is no longer sure what her role in all of this is. The only reason she could want Catherine here is to unsettle him, and he wonders why she would want that. He is also aware that he can’t depend on his own judgement alone in this situation, that he is emotionally compromised. The next time he talks to her, he decides, he will have a second pair of eyes and ears with him.

* * *

In the end it is Ruth he takes with him when he goes back to Elena to look for answers. Not only because Erin and Dimitri are not there, but because he trusts her judgement above all others. It makes no difference, as he loses control of the situation almost immediately. He asks Elena who is behind the attacks on the partnership and she looks at him coolly, with a hint of a smile, before saying, “Bring your daughter into the room and I’ll tell you.”
Ruth, horrified, blurts out, “No!”
He is unspeakably grateful for her concern. But he doesn’t deserve it – not after what he did to Elena and his son. He thinks he knows why Elena is doing this; she wants to hurt him for abandoning her and Sasha in Treptower Park. And because he knows that he did so much worse to her, that perhaps he never deserved Catherine’s regard in the first place, he has no right to put it above the safety of the nation.
“Ruth,” he says gently, “It’s all right. Will you please fetch Catherine?”
Ruth looks at him for long seconds, and reads his surrender in his eyes. She understands that he is doing this as some sort of penance for failing Elena and Sasha, so she does his bidding without another word.

* * *

They are gathered in an absurd tableau: Harry, the asset he convinced himself he loved after she became pregnant with his child, the woman he truly does love, and his daughter – the apple of his eye - standing uncertainly in the corner. And of course, the son he never knew watching from outside. Harry knows that what is about to happen will irrevocably change his relationship with the two most important people in his life; that when this is all over he will probably have lost everything that has meaning for him just as surely as if he’d been taken to the US and thrown in prison. So he takes a deep breath, squares his shoulders and asks Elena again.
“Who is behind the attacks on the partnership?”
Her eyes move between him, and Ruth, and Catherine, and there is something calculating and cold in them that makes his stomach clench. And then she speaks the words that change everything.
“It was me, Harry.”

He finally realises that he has got it wrong, that Ilya is innocent in all of this. His guilt over Elena and Sasha blinded him, and Elena used it ruthlessly to outmanoeuvre him. He has barely processed this thought when she hammers another nail into the coffin.
”Have you ever told anyone the truth about how you recruited me?” she asks, and his world implodes.
”You know?” he responds weakly, aware of Ruth’s and his daughter’s eyes on him.
”Yes,” Elena says, with a hint of malice, before she turns her attention to Ruth. “I can see from your face he never told you. Too ashamed…”
Harry sinks into a chair and can’t bring himself to look at Ruth. ”Yes,” he admits hoarsely.

Ruth glances between Harry and Elena, trying to figure out what Elena’s true intentions are. She feels an overwhelming need to spare Harry this, especially in front of his daughter, so she tries to steer Elena back to the attacks.
But the Russian will not be deflected. ”Harry and I were in love,” she continues remorselessly. “Or at least we thought we were. But Harry had to choose between being a good man or a good spy.”
Elena pauses, and when she continues she is talking directly to Ruth and Catherine. She explains how Harry lied to her about her parents’ deaths, and used the lie to turn her.
“He asked me to spy on my country, my husband, to risk my life every day, to risk the safety of his own son,” she adds casually.
Catherine draws in a sharp, shocked breath that spears straight through Harry’s heart.
Elena’s eyes flick to the young woman and she smiles, before looking back at Harry. “It was the making of him,” she states with conviction, and Harry wants to laugh.
He understands what she means; that his actions towards her and Sasha and the resultant guilt turned him into the emotionally repressed man he is now. Not quite, he wants to say. By the time you came along I had already sacrificed my best friend to the cause. You and Sasha are just one of many things that have made me the man I am.

Elena turns her attention to Ruth, and to Catherine, eager to twist the knife.
“Do you see him differently now?” she asks with relish.
Harry can’t bring himself to look at the two women he loves most in this world, afraid of what he will read in their faces. If he had, he would have seen the tears gathered in Ruth’s eyes as she looks at him with infinite empathy.
”Yes,” she says, willing him to look at her, to see her acceptance and forgiveness. When he doesn’t, she spells it out.
“I see he’s given more than I thought possible.”
Harry’s heart leaps at her words, but he is also painfully aware of the deafening silence from his daughter. It hurts more than he cares to admit. He tries to ignore the pain, focussing instead on the professional aspects of the situation by asking Elena how she found out. But instead of the professional offering a distraction, her answer only drags him deeper into emotional turmoil as he learns that she was never his asset to begin with.

“Poor, sweet Harry,” Elena mocks him, as she exposes the extent of his folly and naivety. She mercilessly strips back the layers of her duplicitous role, and the stark exposure of his professional failure hurts almost as much as the personal pain. And on top of it all, the growing doubt about Sasha. Elena seems to sense this.
”Ask me, Harry. Be brave,” she challenges.
He is not a coward, so he glances at Ruth, steeling himself for this final humiliation, and asks. ”Is Sasha my son?”
She waits a beat, enjoying her ultimate triumph, before confirming what he already knows to be true. ”No. He is Ilya’s.”

Later, he will examine his feelings over this revelation. He will try to figure out whether he is relieved that there is no longer a third child that he has failed, or whether he is disappointed that the young man he has come to love so easily is not his. But for now he takes refuge in his anger.
”It was a lie designed to bond me to you. To compromise me. You let me believe for almost thirty years that he was my son.”
He can’t quite keep the note of accusation out of his voice and Elena pounces on it. For the first time her composure slips and she betrays her bitterness.
“What about your lie?!” she hisses. “You told me my parents were tortured, died in fear and pain, shot in the head, like dogs!”
Almost immediately she reins herself in and delivers the final blow. “The only difference is my lie was believed.”

* * *

After that, things develop quickly. He tries to talk to Catherine but she avoids him, and he can’t blame her. Instead he throws himself into resolving this crisis, to at least get something right. He almost messes that up as well, almost makes the same mistake of taking Elena Gavrik at her word. The truth is that he needs to believe her – needs to believe that there is some good in her, that he didn’t read her so very wrong all those years ago. It is only Ruth’s stubbornness to ferret out the truth, and her ability to change his mind, that saves him from making a horrible mistake. He is forced to slap around the boy who, just a short while ago, he was willing to love as a son. When he threatens to shoot Sasha and Elena doesn’t break, he finally sees her for what she is.
“You’re ten times the spy I ever was,” he tells her in disgust, and he is glad of it. He never wants to be like her – likes to think that he never could be. If the roles had been reserved, he knows for certain, he would not be able to sacrifice either Catherine or Ruth for the cause. That is his line, and he clings to it for all that he’s worth.

* * *

Catherine stays in the background and watches everything unfold. She is by nature observant and notices a number of things. She sees that her father is all at sea emotionally, that he no longer trusts his own judgement, that he is deeply shocked at how thoroughly he was played by the Russian. And she sees how hurt he is by her refusal to talk to him. Then there is the woman, Ruth, and her fierce desire to protect and comfort her father, her intelligence and perceptiveness as she sees the duplicitous game Elena is playing, and her ability to sway her father’s decision. And finally, she recognises the utter confusion of Sasha Gavrik as he realises, just like her, that he doesn’t really know who his parents are at all. When Ruth walks out of the bunker Catherine follows her, unaware of the drama unfolding behind her between Ilya and Elena Gavrik. Ruth walks up to her father and Catherine hangs back, unashamedly eavesdropping on their conversation.

Ruth watches him as he talks on his mobile. He looks tired and world-weary, and she wants to take him in her arms and sooth away his cares.
”You all right?” she asks somewhat needlessly, as the answer is so obviously ‘no’.
”I don’t know,” he says honestly. There is one thought running through his head: I made Elena what she is.
He tries to explain the depth of his self-loathing to Ruth, not sure she will understand what he is trying to say. “She talked about the line we don’t cross…”
She does. Of course she does.
”I think you can stop hating yourself for the lies you told her,” Ruth tells him, and he looks away, rubs his eyes. He doesn’t believe her, doesn’t believe that he deserves forgiveness, from her or himself, and she is not surprised – mere days ago she told him that he has too many secrets for her to accept, that she doesn’t know him at all. But now, she knows that he was right. She does know him, even if she does not know everything about him. And the rest is just so much noise. All that matters is that he is a good man, and she respects and loves him, and he loves her in his own limited way.
“I always thought that with every lie we tell, our true selves get buried that little bit deeper,” she says, knowing she owes him an explanation. “And I worry that one day I’ll wake up and look for it - look for me - and I won’t be there anymore.”
He looks at her, concern and understanding written across his face, and it encourages her to continue. “But that hasn’t happened, Harry, to either of us.”
He sighs deeply. ”Not yet,” he acknowledges, and she forges ahead with what she really wants to say.
”I left because I thought there’d always be too many secrets between us. Stupid really, because… You and I, we’re made of secrets.”
He picks up on her warm tone of voice, and hope flares brightly in his chest. Could it not be too late for them, even after today’s revelations? He hardly dares believe it. She must know what he’s thinking, because she runs her hand down his arm and grasps his hand, conveying her message in the clearest possible terms.
Ruth needs to say it. She finally knows exactly what she wants, and she will be the brave one this time. It is her turn.
“So leave the Service… with me,” she says, squeezing his hand, “while we still know who we are.”

He stares at her, speechless, overwhelmed by the enormity of the moment. Yes, he wants to say, yesyesyes. Please, yes. But effusive displays of emotion are not their way, and the smile he can’t suppress is answer enough as he allows himself to believe at last. He wants, more than anything, to kiss her, and he is about to lean in and do so when he catches a movement out of the corner of his eye.

* * *

When Sasha Gavrik strides past her, Catherine notices the piece of glass in his hand and follows him. She is close behind him as she calls out a warning to her father, and the man that could have been her brother whirls around in surprise. She feels a hot spear of pain and stumbles back, clutching her side. Sasha stares at her in shock and time slows down.

Harry sees a drop of his daughter’s blood falling from the shard to the grass, and then he moves, catching her as she crumples to the ground.
“Can’t… breathe,” she gasps, her eyes fixed on him.
A fear colder than he’s ever known grips his heart. “No, you’re all right,” he says desperately as he lays her down carefully and presses a hand to her side.
He is vaguely aware of a shot ringing out and Ruth kneeling next to him, but it pales into insignificance at the feeling of Catherine’s warm blood pulsing through his fingers. When Calum says that the Medivac is twelve minutes away, he knows instinctively that it is too long. Ruth prompts him gently to talk to Catherine, to keep her face warm, but her blood is on his hand and he doesn’t know what to do with it. He asks Catherine to tell him about her latest film and holds up his end of the most banal conversation of his life in a haze. In that moment, he would give anything to swap places with her. His child, whom he loves unconditionally, is dying in his arms and there is nothing he can do about it. He wants to rail against the universe, to scream and shout at the unfairness of it, but he stays strong and calm for her. Catherine’s frightened eyes never leave his face.
“Dad,” she says, “I always hoped that we could go to Berlin again. Remember when you took me to see the fall of the Wall?”
He almost chokes on his answer. “Of course I remember. It was one of the happiest times of my life. And we will go again, do you hear me Catherine? We’ll go to Berlin, just you and me.”
She smiles wistfully, gasping for breath. “Daddy,” she whispers, “it wasn’t meant to be. You belong to the country... you always have.”
And she closes her eyes and slips away from him.

* * *

He shuts down all emotion, doesn’t allow himself to feel anything. Instead he focuses on what needs to be done. He organises her funeral with clinical efficiency, and on the day itself he remains determinedly dispassionate. His ex-wife disintegrates at the gravesite, pummelling his chest with her fists and screaming, “Feel something, you cold bastard!”
He doesn’t allow himself to do so. He knows, if he does, he will fall apart, and this time he will not be able to put himself back together again. His daughter is dead, and it is his fault. If he allowed any emotion into his heart, it will fill with self-loathing and guilt of such magnitude that it will crush him.

He hasn’t spoken to Ruth since it happened, because she is the one person that could pierce the armour he’s erected, and he can’t afford that. After the funeral he makes contact with Tom Quinn and orders the death of Mikhael Levrov. He forces himself to tidy up Catherine’s affairs and pack up her flat. As he does so, he finds a picture of the two of them in front of the Berlin Wall, and he almost breaks. He gets into his car and simply drives, but the bleak void in his soul stays with him. He finds himself in Suffolk, in front of the cottage Ruth talked about buying. The sign states ‘Sold’ in big letters, and when he glances up to the first floor window she is standing there, watching him. She did it, he thinks, and is inordinately proud of her. He almost goes in, but Catherine’s words come back to him: It wasn’t meant to be.
So he turns his back on the cottage and drives back to London, back to the Service. It is the only way he knows to honour his daughter’s sacrifice; the only means of penance so that, perhaps, one day he will be able to look at himself in the mirror again.

The day he goes back to work, he visits the Memorial Wall. He knows too many of the names etched there for eternity. For a moment he imagines his own name on there, wishing desperately for it to be so instead of Catherine’s name on a headstone in a distant graveyard. But it is not, so he goes back to the Grid and sits behind his desk. It is there, the place where he’s had to make so many terrible decisions, that his resolve almost cracks. The emotion threatens to overwhelm him, and when his door opens he looks up in relief, welcoming the distraction. Until he registers who it is.


He can’t speak, doesn’t trust himself to do so. She comes forward and smiles nervously, toying with something in her hands. A key.
“I am going back to work for the Home Secretary,” she says into the silence.
He frowns; he thought she’d moved to Suffolk permanently after buying the cottage, to start her normal life. She senses his confusion.
“I told you that I couldn’t picture myself living in the cottage, but the truth is… I can’t picture myself living there without you. I bought it as an investment in the future and… it will be there when you’re ready.”
She lays the key on his desk, and adds, “I will be there when you’re ready, and we’ll go and live there together.”
He stares at the key for a long time and tries not to cry, and when he looks up again she is gone. His phone starts to ring and he sits motionless, wondering if he is strong enough to pick it up. He thinks of Catherine’s blood on his hands and knows that he has no choice, and snatches up the receiver.
“Harry Pearce.”
As he says the words, his other hand closes around the key.

* * *

Ruth is curled on the sofa, staring into the flames of the fire crackling in the hearth. It is Christmas Eve and she is spending it at the cottage, as she does with most of her time off. As always when she is here, her thoughts are dominated by Harry. And it is because of this that she thinks it is her imagination when she hears the door open – many months have passed since Catherine’s death and he is still locked in his self-imposed emotional isolation. After the loss of George and Nico, she sees it for what it is – a survival mechanism, and continues to give him the space he needs. But she is beginning to doubt whether he will ever use the key she gave him, ever take her up on the offer of sharing their lives, in London until the day they are both ready to retire, and then here. She sees movement out of the corner of her eye, and turns her head to see him stand in the doorway, snowflakes on his coat and his hair. He is real; she is not imagining him. His eyes are on her, soft and sad and… hopeful.
“Ruth?” he says, so many questions encapsulated in her name.
“Harry,” she breathes, just as many answers given in his.
When they embrace, she knows they are finally home.


Comment: I was challenged to think about whether it was possible to get Harry to where the Powers That Be wanted him at the end, and to achieve the same emotional impact of the ending without Ruth dying. This is the best scenario I’ve come up with thus far. Of course, had this been the episode, we would not have seen the epilogue. That would have been left to the viewer’s imagination. Thanks for reading.

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06-01-2012, 11:14 AM
Post: #2
RE: Thicker Than Water
A terrific look at the final episode with a bucket load of tension and drama. I particularly liked how Ruth gave Harry the space he needed because she recognized what he was doing. And a nice fluffy AU ending. Wonderfully written. Bravo to you

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06-01-2012, 12:05 PM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2012 12:06 PM by 0074.)
Post: #3
RE: Thicker Than Water
Neat twist bringing Catherine into the story. I have to admit that I didn't want her to die.

It works really well. Well done and thanks, Silktie Smile
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06-01-2012, 02:13 PM
Post: #4
Ruth RE: Thicker Than Water
Not that I would have wanted to see Catherine die, but you're right in that she's the only other person that Harry would mourn so very deeply. I agree that Ruth's actions were just right - Harry needed the time and space to work through everything on his own terms before he could join Ruth at the Suffolk cottage. Wonderful Christmas gift for Ruth, though! Thank you for sharing.

Zaf: "Shouldn't you be in prison or something?"
Ros: "This is the something."
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06-01-2012, 06:14 PM
Post: #5
RE: Thicker Than Water
What kind of arrogant, competitive, egotistical person would challenge you to write a certain kind of fic? As if it's any of their business what you choose to write. The gall! Thcussing Must have been a cousin.... Dodgy

Wait a minute.... I'm A Cousin! Wink Silba

Joking aside, I have to admit that this is a very good whack at it. Why am I not surprised that it came from you? Smile

Aside from that, I quite like Caroline Carver as an actress and always hoped to see her again at some point.

I agree with SweetTea that Catherine is the only other person in his life that would have caused a similar reaction in him. As a parent myself, I will suggest that it would have been more devastating for Harry. Although I am not sure that it would have evoked quite the same emotions in the viewers themselves.

Then again, it was The Wall and not Ruth's death that got to me. I do miss The Wall tribute to officers past. Maybe a trip to The Wall could have factored into a little scene-lette in which he comes to terms with the sacrifice of Catherine somehow?

Just to play "what if" for a moment, I think for it to have worked in the series as a whole, Catherine would have to have been integral to the Tourmaline series arc from at least one earlier episode if not the whole series. Parachuting her in for the last episode makes her feel too much like a device to me.

I do like that you left Harry devastated but not desolate. Ruth's understanding of the wall he puts up afterwards is a good way to come full circle in their relationship but more importantly for her character.

I love the scene when Ruth lays it all on the table (or his desk) for him - including the key. I agree about the epilogue being left to our imaginations. That office scene was just the right pitch and plenty for me. And, without your albeit beautifully pitched epilogue, it is open ended enough, for viewers to take it where they will, either as you did or in other ways as well.

Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet [Spooks];
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

~Wm. Shakespeare, Hamlet
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06-01-2012, 07:59 PM
Post: #6
RE: Thicker Than Water
Another great story, I love how you managed to fit so much of the narrative from 10.6 into it. Catherine dying also left me with a lump in the throat as I felt for Harry!

Loved the ending, Ruth's little speech and then leaving the key with Harry was perfect and I think would have been a great ending! However I'm very glad you added the epilogue in, and it would seem that they would both have had a wonderful Christmas!

Thankyou for writing!
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06-01-2012, 08:11 PM
Post: #7
RE: Thicker Than Water
Well this ending would have been fine and dandy with me.

Love this line and this scene, "Retribution for having to sit and listen to Gavrik extolling his perfect life with his perfect family and his bloody tortoise in the garden." One of the best unspoken Harry scenes in my opinion.

There are countless scenarios for the ending of Spooks and so many options, as you prove Silktie, which have the same hammer blow. I'm still scratching my head at the one they chose, all these months on.

Cool And if you are doing requests...perhaps an immediate follow on from the epilogue, Silktie Silba

Thanks for posting.

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07-01-2012, 04:02 AM
Post: #8
RE: Thicker Than Water
(06-01-2012 08:11 PM)Tea Lady Wrote:  Well this ending would have been fine and dandy with me.

There are countless scenarios for the ending of Spooks and so many options, as you prove Silktie, which have the same hammer blow. I'm still scratching my head at the one they chose, all these months on.

Cool And if you are doing requests...perhaps an immediate follow on from the epilogue, Silktie Silba

I suspect one of the reasons they went for the ending they did rather than something similar to Silktie's alt ending (which I much preferred) was to stop people asking for a S11. I for one would have loved to have seen Harry and Ruth together, but with Harry on the Grid and Ruth working for the HS. I would think there would have been a fair amount of conflict, Ruth torn in 2 different directions and more of the fantastic SRB! I think if Harry and Ruth were both still alive and working, then calls for a new series would have quite loud; by killing Ruth off they stopped a lot (though by no means all) of that talk!

Fortunately we have Silktie's great stories to keep us going!
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10-01-2012, 12:26 AM
Post: #9
RE: Thicker Than Water
Another brilliant short fiction. Thanks for sharing Smile
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11-01-2012, 09:26 PM
Post: #10
RE: Thicker Than Water
I prefer this version of last ever Spooks ep even tho it was heart wrenching as well... Poor Harry... but at least he has Ruth! Smile
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