Written from Hancock’s POV. Fiona begins to see past Hancock’s ghoulish surface, chem addictions and reputation, and view him as more than a business partner or best friend.
This is part of a series based on my first playthrough of Fallout 4. At this point, Fiona’s destroyed the Institute and romanced MacCready, but the relationship is on shaky ground.
If you’d like to see the actual Treasure bar and brothel I built in Fallout 4, click here.
Story spoilers, romance, language and sexual references.
The Treasure of Jamaica Plain
Fiona joined him on the sofa to admire the place they’d built together. She’d named it “The Treasure” because of the legends about Jamaica Plain. The stories were bullshit and the actual treasure was a bunch of crap in a basement, but it was a damn good idea to take advantage of the posters and billboards plastered across the Commonwealth.
“I think we’ve got a real nice place here, Hancock.” She hugged his arm and he felt the soft curve of her left tit through his coat. “Thanks for all your help.”
“Anytime. I’m always here when you need me.”
And she did always seem to need him. She’d tapped his mayoral experience to turn Hangman’s Alley and Egret Marina into thriving settlements. He’d been there when the Institute attacked the Castle, went with her when she took the fight to them in the CIT ruins, and stood behind her when she brought the nuclear hammer down on those assholes forever.
Now he was her business partner, building a bar and brothel across the street from an abandoned church. He loved the irony. She loved it, too, and that’s why he loved h–
He pushed the thought out of his ghoulified head. He may have performed a wedding for the general and MacCready last year, on the ramparts of the Castle, for all the Minutemen to see and all the Commonwealth to hear over Radio Freedom, but it didn’t change his feelings for her.
Marriage hadn’t changed her, either. MacCready gave up the mercenary life to spend time with his kid and drink Fiona’s caps, but she continued to build settlements, invest in businesses, and secure the wasteland. She stockpiled Addictol for her raider rehab program, tried to negotiate a truce with the Gunners, and hounded Doc Virgil to make more of his mutant cure. If she could figure out how to un-feral the feral ghouls, Hancock bet she’d do that, too.
“I can buy wood and recruit the staff, but I don’t know a damn thing about liquor, chems and sex work.”
Using the arm she wasn’t holding, Hancock lit a cigarette and snapped his gold lighter — the one she’d given him — closed with a flick of his wrist. “You mean to say, I know more about the shady side of the Commonwealth than you do.”
“‘Shady side’? Does it have a bright side?”
“You’re the bright side, sunshine.”
“I wish you wouldn’t talk like that.” She stopped hugging his arm and put an inch of distance between them.
“Like what?” He closed the gap by placing his arm along the back of the sofa, behind her, and shifting just a little closer.
“Like I’m cleaner than everybody else. Like I’m special.”
He pinned her with a steady, intense gaze, and spoke with all the sincerity he could muster. “I call it like I see it. You are special.”
He’d said it a million different ways since the day they met. But this time, she didn’t wrinkle her nose or laugh or rush off on a suddenly-remembered errand. This time, her eyes smoldered back at him in a way he’d never seen before. It wasn’t the kind of wistful look she gave Sturges when his big overall-covered back was turned, or the lovey-dovey eyes she used to give MacCready before she found out what happened to her kid and something deep inside her got broken. It wasn’t even the look she got on her face when she visited Nate’s grave.
He wondered what the hell she was thinking. Her lips parted and she seemed about to say something, then changed her mind. She turned her eyes to the bar.
“I’m glad I found Javier that tux, it looks good on him. Cait volunteered to oversee security but I think I’ll build an assaultron, next time I’m out at Sunshine Tidings. We can never have too much protection. Brian left the Minutemen to work here, but his brother Liam’s not taking it too well and he still glares at me every time I visit Bunker Hill.”
She did that sometimes, rambling on like a broken holotape, or singing songs no one had heard since the bombs fell. Restless, like a bird in a cage. Trapped by the wasteland, her marriage, old memories, guilt for giving birth to the man who caused the death of thousands, or remorse for having to kill her own son. Take your pick.
He wanted to set her free but he hadn’t found the key.
Hancock flicked ashes into the pristine ashtray she’d probably boosted from the Institute before blowing it up. She was practical like that.
“We’re helping some hard-working folks make a decent living,” he said. “If they didn’t have the Treasure, they’d be banging caravan guards on a dirty mattress in the back of a Slocum’s Joe, in exchange for jet and Cram.”
“I just don’t want it to blowback on the Minutemen. We’ve got the checkpoint nearby, but I’m not going to station anyone inside the settlement. People like Connie Abernathy and June Warwick wouldn’t like it.”
“Not until they got a look at Grognak anyway.” He waved his cigarette in Brian’s direction. The muscular redhead wore the costume Fiona found at Hubris Comics. “They’ll be sneaking over here every time their husbands are in Diamond City.”
She laughed, put her hand on his knee and gave him a nudge with her elbow. “And what about you? Are you going to…?”
“What? Ride Grognak? I would, if you wanted to watch.”
He enjoyed seeing her freckled cheeks turn pink.
“Do ghouls…? I mean, I know you’ve lost a few parts, so I didn’t know if…”
“If what?” Hancock knew exactly what she wanted to ask and enjoyed her embarrassment. Such a rare emotion in the wasteland. Most folks had very little shame.
“It’s none of my business. Forget I asked. I’m sorry. How rude.” She removed her hand from his leg.
“Don’t apologize. Lay it on me. What do you need to know?”
“I don’t need to know.”
This woman who’d faced deathclaws, an army of synths, and a mirelurk queen, couldn’t talk about his dick.
He chuckled. “You wanna know if my junk fell off, like my nose? No, it’s all there.” He drew out the word “all” because, well, a ghoul can brag, right?
“Everything still works?”
Jesus, she was fishing for some pertinent information. He liked it.
“What’s the point of living forever, if you can’t screw around? It even glows in the dark.”
“Really?” Her eyes widened.
“No. But you believed me. That’s adorable.”
“Goddamn it, Hancock.” She laughed. He loved to hear her laugh. He’d love to hear her make some other noises, too.
“There are some side effects, though. Like, if I’m making time with someone who’s not a ghoul, they’ll need some Rad-X and Radaway.”
“Because of radiation burns, like with ferals?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
“What else changed when you became a ghoul?”
“You already know most of it. My eyes. Lost my hair. Radiation doesn’t bother me. I used to be taller. And my voice, it didn’t always sound like this.”
“I like your voice.”
He thought about moving his arm from the back of the sofa to her shoulders, but the ring on her hand meant something. Not to him, of course, but it meant something to her, so he’d play along. Even though it killed him.
“Oh, yeah? I got the impression I kinda creeped you out.”
“When I left the vault, everything scared me. Giant insects, raiders, mutants, ghouls. I’m sorry if I made you feel bad.”
“But we’re good, now?”
“We’re good.” She smiled and leaned in. Her hushed, seductive tone got his full attention. “I even thought Edward Deegan was kind of hot. You know, that ghoul who worked for the Cabots. I felt terrible when he got shot, it just… I dunno, it really upset me. I’m glad he’s okay. Wish I could recruit him to work for me.”
She bit her lip. He imagined those lips on his dick. Anyone would have to be stone cold dead not to think those thoughts about her. He ached to be closer, touch her, taste her, know her imperfections better than he knew his own, whisper the thoughts he’d never told another soul.
Instead, he said, “Remind me to thank Edward for changing your mind.”
“Does it hurt?”
“Being a ghoul.”
Fiona gently touched his cheek with one finger. Hancock resolved then and there to send that Edward Deegan guy a fucking crate of whiskey and cigars. Hell, if she touched him again, he’d give Edward free use of the Treasure for the rest of his immortal life.
“I’ve gotten used to it.”
She kind of sank back into the couch and into her own thoughts, but he wanted to keep her close.
“You feel like dancing?”
“We don’t have radios yet. Sturgis is still working on a couple for me.”
“I take requests.” Hancock stood, adjusted his faded red coat and held out a hand. Fiona took it and they walked into the courtyard between the bar and the shops.
Swaying in the neon light, he sang one of Magnolia’s slow and sultry songs from the Third Rail.
“I see you lookin’ round the corner, come on inside and pull up a chair,
No need to feel like a stranger, cause we’re all a little strange in here.
Have you got a history that needs erasing?
Did you come in just for the beer and cigarettes?
A broken down dream you’re tired of chasing,
Well, I’m just the guy to make you forget.”
She didn’t keep him at arm’s length like she did during her birthday party, she held him close. But sometime after midnight, she went off to sleep alone. He found it almost impossible to untangle his fingers from hers, to give up the smell of her hair and the sound of her voice.
From then on, they spent their days scavenging furniture, pipes and wood from abandoned houses, hammering nails, shoveling rubble, and running off the raiders or mutants who came sniffing around. But evenings, they sat on the sofa, talking about everything and nothing. Then he and Fiona would dance. They eventually got some radios, tuned to Diamond City, but Hancock still sang along. She did, too.
The crew didn’t say a word. Minded their own business. Crucial trait in a bar and brothel.
One evening, she showed him some new stairs built behind the brothel, leading up to the flat roof of an adjacent, abandoned building. She used her pipboy to light the way.
From there, he could see quite a distance across the moonlit ruins of Jamaica Plain and the wasteland beyond. “Nice view. Decent tactical position. Could put a few guards up here.”
But she had other things in mind. She placed a hand on his shoulder and Hancock put his arm around her waist, moving into their usual dancing position while she softly sang.
“When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below can’t bother me
Right smack dab in the middle of town
I found a Paradise that’s trouble-proof
And if this world starts getting you down
There’s room enough for two up on the roof…”
She stopped singing but didn’t let go. Instead, she placed both hands around the back of his velvet collar. He put both hands around her waist and lifted his chin, so his tricorn hat wouldn’t hit her forehead when he leaned closer.
“I like that. You should sing at the Third Rail, give Magnolia a night off.”
“I’d have to get a sparkly dress.”
“Why wear anything at all?”
He couldn’t read her expression in the dark but the air felt thick with anticipation. She inhaled and tilted her head as if she might kiss him. He didn’t move. Neither did she.
“Fiona…” He poured everything he felt into that one word.
“No.” She whispered more to herself than to him, so he could barely hear. “I can’t.”
She returned to the edge of the roof, guided by her pipboy light. Hancock followed, not to stop her but only to avoid being left in the dark.
If she wanted to go, he’d let her go, and if she wanted to come back, she knew where to find him.
* * *
~ J.L. Hilton
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