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New Job!

I have been offered one of the positions I interviewed for recently - after a face-to-face interview followed up by a phone call interview to ascertain how my own autism might affect me in the position. Pending my references (which should hopefully be fine) I will have a new place of employment, working to help young people with autism and learning difficulties access the community, use public transport, and develop their independence.

I am very happy.


May. 15th, 2016

Previous installments here:
1           6         11         16         22      27
2           7         12         17         23      28
3           8         13         18         24
4           9         14         19         25
5         10         15       20/21      26

Primeval/Malory Towers


“What the hell are you doing?”, Darrell jumped at the sound of Alicia's voice and looked up guiltily from her position lain on her front next to the lamp, not where Alicia had left her.

“I couldn't keep reading this in the dark, and I need to move around a bit”

“Then you wait for me to come back and help you”, Alicia shot as she put down the water and food she had gathered, “You shouldn't be crawling around the cave, you'll get hurt.” Darrell bit back the retort that it was more dragging herself around than crawling, as she imagined that would only serve to make Alicia more irate.

“You look really pale”, Alicia sat down opposite Darrell and took a drink from the metal container then offered it to Darrell, “Have you hurt yourself?”

Darrell took the water and took a few sips, “You need to stop treating me like I'm so fragile”.

“Are you hurting?”, Alicia passed over some of the fruit and leaves that they had found to be edible, and Darrell rolled her eyes at the blatant ignoring of her question.

“Of course it hurts Alicia, I have a constant headache and when I can feel my leg, it's agony”, Darrell pushed herself up into a more comfortable position, “But lying around and waiting to die of my injuries isn't going to help either of us.”

“Don't say that”, Alicia's words came out as a sharp bark that made Darrell jerk back in shock, “You're not going to die, don't say things like that”.

“My chances are much better if we get back home”, Darrell nibbled on the edge of one of the pieces of fruit, was it even fruit if it existed before anyone had been around to name it? She felt her thoughts start to drift and she refocused them on Alicia.

“How it going anyway?”, Alicia nodded towards the notepad and Darrell was grateful for the change of topic.

“I think I know how to force an anomaly to open, well the codes to set the device to do it anyway”, Darrell put her fruit to one side and lay back down, resting her forehead on her folded arms, “I just don't know how to set a date.”

“We could just open one and see?”

“I think there's only going to be enough charge for one, maybe two anomaly openings”, Darrell closed her eyes and breathed slowly through the pain before she continued, “It hasn't been plugged into the mains for weeks, even if it's been turned off. I don't want to risk ending up somewhere worse”.

“Worse than here?”

“Remember the predators from the future?”, Darrell moved her head to one side so she could see Alicia out of one eye. Alicia grimaced and nodded,

“Okay, so we'll wait. You need to eat something”

“You are unbearably attentive at the moment Alicia, when is the real you making a reappearance?”, Darrell groaned.

“You nearly died Darrell, it's going to take a while”

“I nearly died at that abandoned warehouse estate a few months back, you weren't like this afterwards”, Darrell wasn't sure what response she was trying to goad out of Alicia, did she really want to have to deal with whatever it was Alicia felt for her when it was just the two of them, stuck here?

“That's because I was an idiot”, she hadn't expected that response, “I got you caught up in all this and I've nearly got you killed twice.”, Darrell felt guilty as she raised her head and watched Alicia sit, body tensed and eyes focussed on the floor.

“I didn't mean...it's not your fault Alicia...”

“I should have just accepted it when you turned down the journalist job. Then none of this would have happened.”

Darrell didn't have a response to that and dropped her head back onto her arms, no longer having the strength to keep talking.


Alicia spat water out as she dragged herself up on the shore. Her throat burned where she had choked on the water in the lake. She clawed at the sandy mud and dragged herself away from the water, as images of some of the sea creatures they had dealt with before came back to her. Her legs wobbled as she staggered to her feet, and she tried to scan for the dinosaur that she had been running from.

She struggled a few more steps and collapsed onto her knees, and coughed until she was certain she would be sick. As her head pounded with each breath she took, she fought against her body's desire to fall onto her front and lie in the dirt. That would be certain death. If she collapsed out here, if she died, then she condemned Darrell to the same fate.

That thought was enough to get her back on her feet, and once she started to walk, it got easier to put one foot in front of the other. The sky hung dark overhead, and the air felt heavy on her back, but she kept walking.

It had gotten easier to pretend that things were going to be okay; having Darrell awake and talking to her made it seem like losing her was less likely. Of course, rationally, Alicia knew that was a load of rubbish. You could have talked to someone on the phone and hear the next day that they'd dropped dead of a heart attack an hour after you hung up.

Alicia leant heavily against a nearby rock and struggled to catch her breath, trying to make herself just focus on getting back to the cave instead of all this preoccupation with death. She tried to push away the thoughts that Darrell was so much weaker than Alicia had ever seen; that the grey of Darrell's complexion made her look half-way towards death already. Alicia briefly considered smacking herself in the head in her frustration at her own train of thoughts but instead clenched and unclenched her fists as she pushed herself off the rock and back into a determined walk back towards the cave.

She would have been a prime target for any predator that had happened upon her, and Alicia stopped just short of thanking divine intervention for the fact that the carnivore that had driven her into the water in the first place had decided she was far too small for too much effort. Still, intervention from higher or not, Alicia was grateful when she finally crawled back through into the cave. She slid the rock across behind her, just in case something had caught her scent, and staggered forward towards the small glow of the lamp.

She crumpled. The dull thud of her knees hitting the stone floor echoed around the cave and in the meagre light she saw Darrell glance around, and then try to move.

“Don't!”, Alicia cringed at the sharpness of her own voice, but it did stop Darrell in her tracks. Alicia took a few deep breathes and then forced herself back to her feet, “I'm fine”.

“You are a truly awful liar”, Darrell replied as she carefully manoeuvred herself around to face Alicia. Alicia sat down beside Darrell and squinted at her friend against the faint glow of the lamp.

“You look really...”

“I know how to get us home”.

Previous installments here:
1           6         11         16         22      27
2           7         12         17         23
3           8         13         18         24
4           9         14         19         25
5         10         15       20/21      26

Primeval/Malory Towers

[Spoiler (click to open)]

You look like you need a break”, Sally's voice disturbed her from her reading and Darrell looked back over her shoulder at her friend and room-mate.

I must look awful if you're tell me to stop working”, Darrell offered Sally a lopsided grin, and her friend just rolled her eyes in response to the teasing.

You make me sound like a taskmaster”, Sally said, “Do you want to come for a walk?”. Darrell nodded and got to her feet with a wince, her body protested to the sudden movement and the discomfort must have shown on her face.

You have been in the same position for about two and a half hours”, Sally chided gently as she handed Darrell a coat, “You've been working yourself too hard”. Darrell laughed and followed Sally out of the door.

The evening air was cool on her skin and she shivered at the first contact.

Anywhere in particular?”, Darrell asked as she put her hands in her pockets,

We can just walk, see where we end up”, Sally said and Darrell shrugged in agreement.

Probably lost”, her smile broadened when Sally swatted her playfully. A moment passed and then Sally linked her arm through Darrell's; Darrell glanced down but didn't comment on the, unusually, overt sign of affection from her friend. They walked in silence for a long time and just as Darrell was about to suggest they turn around and head back before her predication came true, Sally spoke,

I have something I need to tell you”, and Darrell stopped walking. Sally unlinked her arm from Darrell's and moved to stand facing Darrell, putting her hands into her own pockets away from the cold, “and I don't really know how to so just let me talk.” Darrell immediately began to run through scenarios in her head, none of them good,

I...okay”, and Darrell tightened her arms against her side, as if constricting her movement would help constrict her speech.

I'm not good at this sort of thing”, Sally sighed and lowered her gaze, “Talking about things. But we've been friends for a long time and, I don't want to ruin that, but if I don't tell you then all these feelings will still be here”. Sally stopped talking for a moment, and pressed her hand to her forehead. Darrell felt a strange feeling inside her chest, and squirmed as she struggled not to speak.

I'm scared I'm going to tell you and you're going to...”, Sally ran her hands through her hair and Darrell startled at the unspent tears in her friend's eyes, “That you're never going to talk to me again”. In her surprise, Darrell forgot her promise,

You can tell me anything”, she stumbled over her words, bewildered by Sally's upset, “I can't think of anything you could have done that would make me stop caring about you Sal...”. Sally met her gaze and Darrell swallowed heavily as dark blue eyes searched her face. There was a peculiar look in Sally's eyes that Darrell couldn't place. Then Sally's shoulders slumped, and they broke eye contact. When Sally spoke her voice was barely audible,

I love you”

I love you too Sal, I don't...”, and then Sally stepped forward, closed the short gap between them and pressed her lips against Darrell's. Darrell froze, for just a moment, as her body reacted in an explosion to the sudden contact. Then, without any conscious thought, she returned the kiss. Sally pulled away with a soft gasp, as if she had shocked herself as much as she had shocked Darrell.

I mean...I love you”, Sally said.



Darrell rolled onto her side with a wince and pushed her pain-induced daydream to one side. Alicia was pacing the cave, obviously waiting for her to regain some semblance of lucidity. Darrell groaned as the cave began to sway in front of her, how long had she been out?

“Are you okay?”, Alicia stopped pacing, “You look...”, Alicia stood and studied her for a moment and then her voice softened, “you look really sad”.

“I got stood on by a dinosaur, of course I'm sad”, Darrell shot back, and her words must not have come out as good-naturedly as she had intended because a look of hurt flashed across Alicia's face, “I didn't...it's nothing. Just stop walking about, it's giving me a headache”.

“You've been out of it for the last two hours”, Alicia pointed out, “I don't think you much noticed my pacing”.

“Please shut up Alicia, I'm too tired to argue”, Darrell slumped back onto the floor, an awkward moment passed and Darrell spoke again, “I didn't mean to snap at you”. There was silence and then Alicia crossed the room and sat down beside her.

“How's the head? Leg?”, Alicia took one of Darrell's hands in her own and held it.

“I really do have a headache, but...I can't really feel my leg”, Darrell felt Alicia's panic and carried on talking before her friend could start, “which is probably a good thing”.

“Not really, you might lose your leg”, Alicia said.

“That's certainly cheered me up”, Darrell groaned, but she squeezed Alicia's hand as she spoke to soften her words. A wave of nausea went through her and she closed her eyes, her entire body shuddered and she winced as muscles protested to the movement. She couldn't imagine being in a much worse position, with her own mortality being dangled in front of her, but Darrell felt strangely calm at her core. It was as if all the chaos had drained her of the strength to panic.

“I just want to go home”, Darrell said, once it no longer felt like the world was spinning around her.

“I know...me too. Not that you're not enough company for me or anything”, the teasing was back in Alicia's voice, by this point Darrell wasn't sure if it was a coping mechanism or if it really was just the way Alicia was.

“I know you enjoy having me all to yourself”, Darrell replied. She had meant to keep the light atmosphere going but something, that was so familiar in its presentation, crossed over Alicia's eyes. The light heartedness was gone, and Alicia got to her feet.

“I need...”, she brushed herself down as she avoided eye contact, “I need to go and get some more water. Do you feel up to looking at Connor's notebook?”. Before Darrell could reply, Alicia dropped the notebook at her side and headed towards the cave entrance.

It was only when she was halfway through deciphering the next page in Connor's book that Darrell realised when she had seen that look before. She shook her head, then immediately regretted it as her head pounded in response to the movement.

'It must be the headache', she reasoned, 'There's no way Alicia feels...', and then the conversation with Sally, when the other woman had asked Darrell if she had been stepping out on her with Alicia, came to mind and she wondered if her more perceptive partner had seen something that Darrell had missed.

“Oh bloody hell”, Darrell groaned, and she slumped onto her back. How could she have been such an idiot?

Essay done, managed to get it a whole five words below the upper limit. So that's gone, I'll get feedback and results in 2-3 weeks, just as I start my third module.

I went to the autism talk and somehow managed to make myself talk to Liz Pellicano. JJ was quite surprised when she saw me in an unfamiliar social situation (it has been years since she has seen me under that sort of social pressure) and she had forgotten just how difficult my autism can make communicating. It took me a long time to actually speak at all but Professor Pellicano was patient and nice about the whole thing. I explain who I was, that I was autistic, and I wanted to go into autism research after I had finished studying an MA in SEN. She then gave me quite a bit of advice and told me to e-mail her and she would give me a heads up on any suitable positions or opportunities that might become available at the Centre of Research for Autism and Education where she is Director. She then told me it would be a good idea to e-mail Simon Baron-Cohen as he did a lot of work with autistic adults.

So that's what I did tonight, sat and composed e-mails to two big names (including possibly the biggest name in Baron-Cohen's case) in autism research.

It was all kinds of terrifying, and now I am going to be anxious until I get any responses. But I did the scary things that I find really hard and that's a big step forward. I am happy, beneath all the terrified exterior.


I have been quite absent from LJ recently - appearances to post all kinds of weird and wonderful fics to 40fandoms aside - because life continues to be ridiculously busy for me. My 5000 word essay currently sits at 7,628 words...and I only get a 10% either side limit, so most of my time has been writing that monstrosity, then checking it, then writing out the references...I hate referencing with a passion...

Then on top of that I did all the editing for my other essay's publication, and that's now all gone off to be published so I'm very happy with that. In other big exciting Master related news I am also going to be working on...a something (that's what my lecturer called it) with my autism lecturer and another lecturer from the university. Essentially it will be a reworking of the scaffolding technique advocated to help teaching assistants better help students, but with autistic students in mind, so they're hoping I will be able to provide the autistic perspective. Exciting, but more work.

Then the big one is my lecturer's recommendation that I seriously consider going on to do a PhD, which is all kinds of terrifying. As a result of that I built up the nerve to ask my school if I could take half a day off of school unpaid to go to a talk by Liz Pellicano and Uta Frith who are big names in autism research; they are letting me take the half day fully paid as long as I feedback to the school about what I learn. JJ is coming with me on account of my complete failure at communication when in new and stressful situations, but considering the people there are going to be researchers in autism I don't think it'll take long for them to work out why I behave like I do. Which I think takes some of the stress off...?

On the work front Jab has moved on to Phase IV PECS, which for anyone who doesn't speak AAC mumbo jumbo basically means she uses a sentence strip to say "I want" + "desired item" which in Jab's case is pretty much food or being spun around...generally not too close together in time though thankfully. She is so proud of herself as well, and now I am so desperately hoping whoever works with her next year will carry on doing all of this with her and not take her voice away from her. Coelho is about to start trialling a Speech-Generating Device that I found hidden in the depths of the Year 6 maths cupboard (and no-one knows how it got there either). He has so far been quite resistant to any method of AAC so we're cautiously optimistic.

JJ finally found a full time job, since she graduated from her Masters she's been bouncing between agency jobs and it was having a bit of a bad impact on her mental health, but she's just been hired to work for P&G (they make Fairy apparently?) and is decidedly happy about getting to do science stuff again.

I'm sure there's more but I really can't think properly at the moment since I have that behemoth of an essay to get back to editing. Anyway, busy busy busy.


Fandoms 9 and 10

Originally posted by thesoulofchaos at Fandoms 9 and 10
Fandom: Elementary
Rating: 12
Word Count: 234
NB: Spoilers for Season 3 finale.
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Even though she told herself that this might happen, she found she couldn’t breathe. She had been a sober companion before she had met Sherlock - she knew the relapse rates. She had never allowed herself to think that heroin was off the table for good, because forever was a long time to go without a vice so strong.

That didn’t mean it didn’t hurt, like a sucker punch to the gut, to see him like this. Sherlock had said that she had never met that side of him, the addict Sherlock. He had been right.

She had met him now.

Captain Gregson put his hand on her shoulder, tried to guide her out of the tunnel, but she shrugged him off and stepped forward. Sherlock didn’t seem to realise she was there. She didn’t think he knew any of them were there.

She blamed herself. She knew the toll Alfredo’s kidnapping had taken on Sherlock. She should never have let him go with Oscar on his own - not matter how much he had insisted. She had failed him. She had failed her friend.

She wanted to slap herself. Now was not the time for this.

Watson knelt down in front of Sherlock and lay one hand on his arm. He looked up at her, though she had no idea if he was really seeing her or not.

“I’m here to take you home Sherlock”

Fandom: Teen Wolf
Rating: PG
Word Count: 192

[Spoiler (click to open)]Stiles couldn’t sleep.

It was a pretty common thing really, at least two or three nights a week. Just usually it was because he had gotten the dosage wrong on his Adderall or taken it at the wrong time, or he’d had too much caffeine. Tonight it was his thoughts that kept him awake.

He’d never really thought about what it meant to be human before. Not until he was surrounded by those who weren’t.

After Scott had been bitten it was like everything supernatural that he never knew existed suddenly came bursting out of the closet. Now he was surrounded by werewolves and other creatures he didn’t know were real, except they were wearing the faces of his friends.

Others had offered to turn him - make him a werewolf. He’d be a liar if he said he wasn’t tempted, at least the first time. After that it got easier to shrug off their offers and smile and say thanks but no thanks. They always seemed so disappointed in him when he did turn them down, like choosing to remain human was so unthinkable.

Like they didn’t used to be human once.

Fandom 8

Originally posted by thesoulofchaos at Fandom 8
Fandom: Merlin/Harry Potter
Rating: PG
Word Count: 426

[Spoiler (click to open)]Merlin didn’t drink - which was probably for the best because if he was witnessing this drunk then he might be more confused than he already was.

Alright, now he looked at him again, the boy didn’t look as much like he used to as he thought. This kid had a scar and glasses…actually that was mostly where the differences ended. Or maybe there were more… Merlin didn’t think he could be blamed for forgetting how he used to look when he was younger - that had been centuries ago and he certainly didn’t look like a young man anymore. He probably could if he tried, but he had grown quite attached to the beard over the decades.

Still - there were definitely similarities in the scruffy, black hair and the skinny frame, not to mention the sarcasm and the sense of humour. Merlin could certainly see bits of himself in this boy. Which is how he justified following him to this magic school that he was off to. Hiding in places up and down the train with a cloaking spell that he had learned to maintain for extended periods cast over him, Merlin was shocked at how laid back some of these children were about going to wizarding school. He would have done anything to go and learn how to do magic properly - well anything was perhaps a step too far but he felt the point was better-made with the hyperbole.

Following the boy, Harry, into the school was a bit trickier because even if people couldn’t see him they could certainly still bump into him, and Merlin had no idea what sort of powers the teachers at this school had. What if they detected him? An old man using a cloaking spell to follow a young boy into a school was probably not the best way to introduce himself - even if he managed to convince anyone he was the real Merlin.

That was when he was convinced that this was some bizarre sign from the universe - that he was reincarnate without being dead, or that this boy was meant to be his prodigy, or something else that he couldn’t think of. On the stairs up to the school they met him, or rather Harry met him and Merlin spied on Harry meeting him. Blonde and arrogant with a sharp tongue and a taste for putting down his fellow man, he even had a powerful father.

Though Merlin had to admit, he would have thought the once-and-future king would have returned a little less weedy.
I am to be published, academically speaking that is. My first assignment made my lecturer so happy that she has put me in touch with someone to get it published in one of the university journals with a possible view to contact SEN magazines in the future. This is very exciting, although now I'm terrified that I'm not going to meet the standards needed for all the rest of my assignments, peaking too early and such-like.

I think it is this that is making it so difficult for me to get started on my next assignment, which is ridiculous because the assignment is about autism so I should be able to write about it for days. Just whenever I pick up a pen I seem to lose everything from my mind and go brain-dead.

On a different subject, the communication panel to decide the placements of autistic children within the borough I work has been concluded, which means that from next half-term onwards the RP staff will meet the two children who will be joining us in September. This reminder of the fact that changes will inevitably be made, as they are every year, has bothered me more this year than last - because now I have seen how magnificently the staff have fucked up everything Mon and Shah worked on last year. Which means I will have to watch the same thing happen with Jab and Coelho next year, and it is a painful realisation to undergo.

Maybe I should find someway to write an essay about that and how messed up the education system is for students within these resource provisions - at least then I'd have plenty to rant about.


Fandom 5

Originally posted by thesoulofchaos at Fandom 5
Fandom: Malory Towers/Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rating: PG-12
Word Count: 873
NB: Based in the same AU as my 12days fic, which means it’s not worth trying to work out how this fits together time-wise because it doesn’t.

[Spoiler (click to open)]“I do think you’re being a touch over-dramatic Walter”, Marie sighed. Walter Straton, The Head of the Watcher’s Council, continued his ranting as he paced the length of his office.

“He is out of control - useless, arrogant, headstrong…”, Marie tried her best to ignore his voice as she scanned the room and wondered what a Watcher did in his spare time that would allow him to indulge in such an extravagant office. She certainly couldn’t afford such extravagances…

“He is young, and young people tend to be like that, Lord knows I have a school full of them due to return come September and they’re even younger than he”, Marie sighed, “Perhaps he is just like all other twenty year olds”

“He has dabbled in black magic, he got someone killed”, Walter pointed at her as he spoke, “Thefts, joy-riding, that group of hoodlums he put together”. Marie chuckled to herself,

“That was his band Walter, they played music together”, Marie got to her feet and brushed the wrinkles out of her suit, “and he wasn’t the only one responsible for that young man’s death. Nor was it his intention to harm anyone.” All of a sudden, Walter got a peculiar look across his face, and Marie stopped, dreading what was going through his head.

“I am glad you seem so willing to overlook his many faults, Marie”, a sickly tone had come over Walter’s voice, “since you seem so keen on seeing the good in him, perhaps you are the best person to mentor him”.

“I will be returning to Malory Towers come September, you aren’t suggesting I take him with me?”, Marie demanded, “Where would I put him? Under my bed? In my cupboard perhaps?”

“Are there no positions he could work in whilst you mentor him? A groundsman maybe? Handyman?”, and Marie groaned inwardly as she realised that logistics were not going to be the route to getting out of this. She thought of more protests, about the questioning she might receive for recommending a twenty year old with no references or history of work for a job at a girl’s boarding school but the protests died on her lips. After all, if she didn’t take him on then another Watcher would under protest, and she doubted that a quality education would be received under such a situation.

“Fine, I will take him with me”, she said eventually and, from the odd look that passed across Walter’s face, the older man had clearly been expecting more protesting.

“Very well, the Council will be pleased, your actions will no doubt be commended”, and Marie thought privately exactly what the Council could do with their commendation as she followed Walter out of the office and down a few corridors.

“Here he is”, Walter held out one hand with a flourish at the young man slumped in the chair with his legs stretched out in front of him, crossed at the ankles, “Rupert Giles, meet Marie Potts. I’m sure you two will get along just fine.” The Head of the Council practically skipped from the room and Marie barely refrained from rolling her eyes. When she looked back at Rupert, he was looking her up and down in quite an obvious manner as he took the cigarette from behind his ear and twirled it between his fingers. Assessing her no doubt.

“Wasn’t expecting a senior Watcher to look like you”, Rupert said eventually as he shoved the cigarette between his lips and lit it. Marie raised an eyebrow and began to walk down the corridor, leaving the young man to follow after her with his holdall. His long strides meant he caught up with her halfway down the corridor.

“What did you suppose I would look like?”, Marie asked.

“Old, boring, with a face like you’d been sucking a lemon”, Rupert replied without a beat, “What are you? Thirty-five, forty?”
“That’s rather forward of you”, Marie responded as they took the stairs down to the main entrance, “I’m not going to tell you, if that’s what you’re waiting for”.

“Didn’t suppose you would”, Rupert grinned, and she could hear the smirk in his voice, “Reckon you’ve had plenty younger men chasing you though, the way you look.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment shall I?”, Marie swept through the doors of the main entrance and out into the cool night air.

“Best to, since it was meant to be. So where we off to then?”, Rupert asked as he finally flung his holdall round onto his back, then slowly exhaled cigarette smoke into the crisp darkness of the night, “Your place I guess since I don’t have one.”

“In a manner of speaking…do you have a preference of name?”, Marie stopped and hailed a taxi, “Rupert, Mr Giles, Giles…”

“Don’t suppose you’d call me Ripper…”, and Marie shot him a bemused looked, “Rupert’ll be fine. So where is your place and what exactly are you meant to be teaching me?”

Marie left his question unanswered as she gave the taxi driver instructions to take them to the train station, then climbed in after Rupert. Finally she turned to him,

“Cornwall, and I’ll explain it to you on the way”


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