DISCLAIMER: Dollhouse and its characters are the property of Joss Whedon and Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for the 10 Song Drabble Challenge. I thought I'd dabble a bit with Dollhouse and see what came out. Challenge: 1. Pick a character, pairing, or fandom you like. 2. Turn your music player on and turn it on random/shuffle. 3. Write a drabble/ficlet related to each song that plays. You only have the time frame of the song to finish the drabble; you start when the song starts, and stop when it's over. No lingering afterwards! 4. Do ten of these, then post them.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Playing With Dolls
By Geekgrrl


1. Falling for You – Eva Avila

Echo was perfect. Dr. Claire Saunders had turned it into an obsession, her endless search for perfection. The scars on her face were stark reminders that she was no longer perfect. But maybe if she could be with perfection, be in the presence of it, possess it and claim it as her own, it would almost be the same as being perfect again. Wouldn't it?

Claire knew that there was no escaping the woman's spell, every time they met again for the first time. Although the touching her scars had been new. What made Echo touch her this time? The memory of it brought a shiver to her overheated skin.

Somehow she would have to figure out how to make Echo her own. Claire knew it would come to her. Just like Echo would come for her eventually. For now though she would settle for watching out for her, protecting her, an innocent in this crazy world they lived in. Deep down Claire knew it wasn't wise to fall for a Doll, but somehow she didn't care. After all she had to find her way back to perfection.

2. Tell Her About It – Billy Joel

The black van sat across the street from the restaurant and Boyd Langton watched with trepidation as Echo once again worked her magic. He was still relatively new to the Dollhouse project and it still amazed and horrified him at how the operative completely forgot everything. He glanced back at the monitor watching as Echo, or rather 'Rebecca', seductively run a hand along the client's arm, sliding up to twine a finger into the long blonde hair, smiling at whatever the woman had said.

Langton felt bad about the whole sordid assignment. He wanted to be able to tell Echo that this was not the way it was supposed to be. He wanted to shake her and ask her what the hell had made her volunteer to be a Doll. But he knew he would just swallow his ethics, cash his pay cheques and protect the girl the best way he could.

3. I Got Money Now – Pink

Echo rarely remembered her dreams. They were often confusing flashes of people and places, forgotten names that disappeared like wisps of smoke floating away in the morning light. That single moment of desperate panic and the feeling that she was drowning just before she opened her eyes would fade, forgotten, gone.

Sometimes while doing Tai Chi she would lose herself in the flow of movement and these images and feelings would come back. Dark clouds full of responsibilities and worries were just hovering on the edge if she could just push through the fog. And then they were gone, sunk down beneath the surface and all was calm and peaceful again.

4. Fancy – Reba

The shack was dirty and rundown and Miss Penn knew this wasn't going to be good. Ghosts can't come back to hurt you. They had said he was dead. But Miss Penn knew that the stories she was told were false. The heavy weight of depression she felt each and every day, a longing to find a way out from under it all had just presented itself if she dared to take the steps. She needed to walk inside and face her ghosts, face her rapist. Another little girl needed her to save the day.

The door opened and everything happened in a blur. By the time she left that rickety shack, handing the girl over from her protective arms, Eleanor Penn knew that she had not just rescued that little girl today. She had saved that little girl still hovering inside of herself from a horrible end. Today she had buried a ghost and it had felt damn good. It felt like the beginning of her own road to recovery. The door slid open on the black van and she stepped inside the cool interior. She had many plans for her life now once she her treatment was over.

5. I Got Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks

The crowd ebbed and flowed in all their black tie glory. Echo grabbed the glass of champagne and weeded her way through the crowd. The music thumped through her chest and she just wanted to dance, but she had a job to do. Glancing behind the bar she saw her blonde partner pouring drinks, a short nod to tell her that she was about to go. Pulling the small gun from her handbag, Echo slipped behind the target and brought the gun up to his back. She watched a moment, enjoying this instant when her targets knew they were about to die, for the fear to register in his dark eyes, before she squeezed the trigger and watched the life drain away. She smiled as the explosion from behind the bar covered her actions. And in the smoke and confusion they made their way to the back alley, slipping into the black van and safety.

6. Heroes – David Bowie

Topher Brink knew it was a morally grey area he worked in, but he continued to believe it was for the greater good. At least that's what he told himself at night. He watched as Echo, or whatever name she preferred today, sank back into the chair and prepared for her treatment. She had asked him to hurry because she needed to get home to her husband, they were heading off for the weekend together.

A part of Topher felt bad for a moment, as he stood and watched the memories wash away, the vacant look come over the woman's eyes. It was better this way really, safer for all concerned. He helped Echo out of the chair and watched as she happily went off to see Dr. Saunders. It wasn't easy to be a hero in this strange dark world they all lived in, but he would keep doing it, even if it was in the grey shadows.

7. Precious – Annie Lennox

Adelle DeWitt stared down at the group of Actives stretching in the main part of the Dollhouse. It was her special group, her best Dolls, the ones that for one reason or another surpassed every ones expectations and had excelled. One stood out from all the others for her, Caroline. Echo. The dark haired beauty was so cynical and twisted when they first met, bitter and lost. Finally now she was at peace. She was hands down her best Doll in the house, not counting Alpha. Adelle didn't want to dwell on Alpha. Adelle had underestimated him, she wouldn't allow herself to make that mistake again.

Echo looked up at that instant, their eyes locking for a moment. Adelle almost expected some sort of recognition even though she knew better. So innocent and vacant was Echo. Adelle almost longed for Caroline's eyes again so vibrant and flashing with anger. Almost.

8. It's All Your Fault – Pink

Caroline stared at the document in front of her. She knew it wasn't fair. She couldn't turn back the clock, couldn't change the facts of what she'd done to put herself into this position. What else could she say, or do? DeWitt had her in a bind and she knew it.

If she signed up she might have a chance to help people. DeWitt had hinted that she had great potential if she would just trust her. Right, trust her. She didn't have a choice really. Caroline picked up the pen and signed on the dotted line, feeling like she had made a deal with the devil. Adelle DeWitt smiled and Caroline knew in that instant she had made the wrong decision.

9. Say Goodbye to Hollywood – Billy Joel

The wind blew through her long dark hair as she drove down the road in the small red convertible. She felt free. It had been a long time since she had done something so impulsive and she liked it. Pulling onto the freeway she headed out of Hollywood. She knew she was supposed to be somewhere else, that the strange black van following her every move all week would eventually find her, but tonight she was free.

She couldn't explain the sudden need to escape, the desire to move on, to give herself a fresh start somewhere else. She didn't really know what from or why she felt this way but the feeling was very real. She just needed to say goodbye to Hollywood and everyone waiting for her there.

She turned into the next gas station to fill up her car, not even noticing the black van pulling in behind her.

10. The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson

Echo reached up and touched one of the lines crossing the woman's face. So beautiful and so sad, she wondered who had hurt her. She could make it better for the other woman, somehow she knew she could. She liked Dr. Saunders face, even with the jagged lines. She liked the way her eyes sparkled and the way her mouth quirked when she smiled. It made her feel safe and happy inside although Echo didn't know why precisely.

"I'll look after you Echo." Claire whispered, knowing that Echo wouldn't remember her the next time, again, but it didn't matter. She would remember for both of them.

The End

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