A Crash in the Night

Dave Paulding was many things.
He was an assistant producer and survivor of the infamous ‘Bump in the Night’. He was a ghost fighter and borderline pyromaniac when under his sister’s influence. He was a twin, an optimist and was head-over-heels in love with Tony Belgrave.
He was also a terrible driver.
***
A fanfiction of BadassJem's 'Bump in the Night'. The song is called 'Lose my Mind' by Iamyournemesis. I take no credit for their awesomeness! Thank you for not killing Dave. :-)

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1. A Crash in the Night.

Dave Paulding was many things.


He was an assistant producer and survivor of the infamous ‘Bump in the Night’. He was a ghost fighter and borderline pyromaniac when under his sister’s influence. He was a twin, an optimist and was head-over-heels in love with Tony Belgrave.


He was also a terrible driver.


***
“Tony,” Dave whined, “I don’t want to do this.”


Tony rolled his eyes before sliding into the passenger seat of Julianne's car without sparing a glance at his boyfriend. It had been two weeks since ‘Bump in the Night’ had abruptly ended and now the two men were determined to face their fears before their fears faced them.


Dave wore a brightly coloured shirt and a nervous expression as he stood on the pavement, refusing to get into the car. This was the first day that Dave hadn’t worn black in mourning for his colleagues. 


“Tony…”


“Get in the car, Dave.”


“Make me.”


Dave crossed his arms in a childish gesture as Tony raised an eyebrow before pulling out his phone. For a moment, Dave thought that he had won until Tony lifted his phone to his ear and listened to the ringing with a grin tugging at his lips. Dave took a moment to wonder what his neighbours were thinking as he held his ground and refused to get in the car. He knew that he was being childish but the memory of his crash all of those years ago and the memory of losing his sister still lingered in his mind. The three broken toes didn’t help matters much either.


“Hello?”


Dave’s face paled as a voice came filtering through the speakers of Tony’s phone. The two men met gazes as Dave shook his head – pleading with his boyfriend to end the call before it was too late.


“Hello, Jules?”


“What do you want Tony? Is my car okay?”


Tony had the nerve to laugh.


“Belgrave, I still have my lighter. I know where you live.”


He sobered up immediately. The anger in Julianne’s voice was playful but the memory of the damage they’d done merely weeks before continued to haunt him. And the irony of that never escaped him. After the three of them had been questioned by the police, they went back to Dave’s house and got drunk. The memories of that night too much to bear and the reality refused to sink in until well into the next day. Since then, Tony and Dave had been living together and Jules had returned to her vaguely normal life. 


“Belgrave?”


Tony snapped back to reality with a sharp intake of breath.


“Yes?”


“What do you want?”


“Oh… Dave won’t get in the car.”


“Put me on hands-free.” Tony complied with her order, fearful for what would happen next if he refused. Julianne was not a woman to be messed with if you valued your life and Tony had recently become quite attached to his.


“David.”


“Yes?”


“Get in the goddamn car or else.”


“Or else what?” Dave’s eyes widened as he realised his mistake. Silence filled the air for a long moment before Dave reached out, opening the door and climbing into the driver’s seat with his eyes firmly fixed on the phone. The two men met gazes as Julianne decided to speak once again.


“You get a scratch on that car and you’ll pay. Broken toes won’t save you this time.”


And with that, she hung up.


Dave let out a deep breath as he turned to face Tony – a pout tugging at the corners of his lips.


“Traitor.”


In response, Tony rolled his eyes.


“You did get the keys, right?”


Dave patted his pockets before looking up at Tony with a guilty smile.  Undoing his seatbelt, Tony got out of the car, went back into their flat and returned a few minutes later with a key firmly in his grasp.


“No wonder you failed your driving test six times…”


Dave took the key, staring at it with fear before he shoved it into the ignition before turning to face Tony.
“Do I have to do this?”


“We agreed. Just across town and back.”


“I know. I know.” Dave took a deep breath before twisting the key as the engine came roaring to life beneath his fingertips. Gripping onto the wheel until his knuckles turned white, he focused on the street before him like his life depended on it. Because it just might.


“Tony…”


“I trust you.” And that was all he needed to hear.


Pushing down on the accelerator, the car shot forwards before Dave slammed his foot down on the break. He lifted his hands from the wheel in silent surrender as Tony released his hold on his seat belt.


“Maybe… Maybe try a bit slower.”


“Yeah, maybe.”


Dave tried again but this time, he managed to exit his parking space and move into the centre of the street. A grin crossed his lips as he turned to face Tony.


“I did it!”


“I said you could!”


The two shared a moment before continuing their journey. Dave drove the car down their secluded street before turning onto the main road.


“Make sure you indicate.”


“Obviously, Tony. I’m a great driver!”


And then the illusion came tumbling down.


Horns began to beep a people began to shout as the two took a moment to figure out what the issue was. For a moment, Tony thought that they’d been recognised; their faces had been on the news non-stop for two weeks now. His heart sank as he remembered the flashing of cameras and the shouting of journalists desperate to spin a good story. Some guy from London had been hounding them since the day all of this started. They had been forced to call Jules in to deal with him.


He couldn’t get away fast enough.


Then he realised.


“Dave! You’re on the wrong side of the road!”


“Oh, shit.”


Dave spun the wheel, forcing the car across two lanes as Tony held on for dear life. 


As they slipped in between two cars, Tony let out a deep breath. Turning to Dave, they stared at each other for a long moment before they burst out laughing.


“Great driver?”


“Maybe not.”


Tony looked in the mirror to see a man swearing at them and waved back with a smile. The man went red in the face and revved his engine. Tony didn’t miss his black eye and the anger that was clearly written on his face.


“Dave. Drive.”


The car shot away without a moment of hesitation.


The silver Mercedes was right on their tale as Dave shot around a corner. The other car followed as the traffic began to pile up around them. Dave winded in and out of the traffic as the other car drew closer and closer. Tony took a moment to wonder if he’d made a huge mistake before Dave took a sharp left.


 After almost five minutes, Dave took another turn and bolted through a red light.


“This car is under Jules’s name, right?” Tony asked, suddenly.


“Yes, why?”


“You just went through a red light.”


Silence.


“Oh, god. Tony she’s going to kill me.”


Tony placed a hand on his shoulder as he watched the Mercedes driver stop at the red light. He turned around and waved at the man as the car faded off into the distance. He was sure that there was some swearing going on in the Mercedes.


As the minutes slipped by in comfortable silence, Dave began to get into the rhythm of driving as Tony found his attention slipping away. He wondered what Kevin was doing at that moment. He was probably locked up in some high-security prison whilst he and Dave were messing about. He wondered what Andy was doing at that moment. He was probably being an idiot. But that didn’t make it any better.


If he could have chosen a third person to walk out of that house unscathed, it would not have been Andy.
Dave pretended not to notice how Tony’s fists were clenched; he knew how hard the events at Lansfield Hall had hit him and knew that he felt some degree of responsibility. Desperate to cheer Tony up, Dave turned on the radio as the Traffic piled up.


Midway through a song, the radio continued to blare out.


“-just drive you insane. I know you said you like a little crazy, but I don’t think you understand. Think I might be the death of you of you if you take me by the hand.”


Dave realised his mistake too late.


As he looked at Tony, he saw that the colour had faded from his skin as his eyes fixed on the stretch of road before them. The words seemed to strike too close to home.


Jean was gone now and Kevin was in prison.


And in truth, Tony missed them both.


“If you let me in, I swear I’ll try. I’ll do my best not to lose my mind.”


Dave leaned over, pulling Tony’s hand it into his own.


“But I’m a monster.”


“It wasn’t his fault.”


“I know, Tony. I know.” And Dave did.


Kevin had pleaded guilty almost immediately and was awaiting a sentence for a crime that wasn’t his fault. He was possessed and what occurred that cursed night was not his doing.


“Stupid f***ing ghosts.”


Tony let out a laugh.


“I couldn’t have said it better myself.”


“-When I’m gone. When dreams are nightmares, you’ll be there.”


“We should- We should write to him. Let him know that it wasn’t his fault.” Tony remembered the look in Kevin’s eyes as the police dragged him away. He remembered the desperation and the sheer hatred. He remembered the agony.


“Yeah. We’ll do that.”


“To take me home. We’re never alone, you know.”


“Together?”


“Always.”


“But I’m a monster.”


“Let’s go home.”


“Yeah.”


The tyres shrieked a Dave attempted a three point turn.
“But I’m a monster.”


***
Dave Paulding was many things.


He was waiting for his sister to beat him up. He was recovering from a night of paranormal hell.
He was in love with Tony Belgrave.


But above all else, he was still a terrible driver.
 

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