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Skills of Observation (Forever)


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Hi everyone!

I'm hoping that there's at least a small community of people who might appreciate a Forever fic? I wrote this a while ago, and it will probably be a little while more before I can get a second part up, since life is crazy right now. But I had a second, so I thought I'd post the first part now. Enjoy!

“You’re who?”

Jo exhaled heavily for a few seconds, before remembering she was on the phone and didn’t want to blow the old man’s ears out. “Detective Martinez, we’ve met before. I usually come into your shop looking for Henry?”

“Ah yeah, Martinez. The dark beauty,” Abe said wistfully, and Jo was grateful he couldn’t see her blush. He shook his head, grounding himself to more important matters. “Well, if you’re looking for Henry again, I’m afraid it’s a no-go. Not today.”

“Look,” Jo said, rubbing her palm on her sleeve, “I know he has the day off, but there’s been a suspected murder at the Kennedy Rec Center, and our other option, Lucas, is…” she trailed off, both searching for the gentlest word possible and ensuring that the young man in question was out of earshot, “less experienced. We could really use Henry’s touch.”

“That’s flattering, Detective, but--”

“Put me on.”

Henry had done the closest impersonation of running as he could in his current state as soon as he’d heard Jo’s name. He hadn’t bothered (and hadn’t desired) to leave behind the blanket he’d wrapped himself in that morning, and it was draped around his shoulders like a pathetic sort of cape as he stood at the bottom of the stairwell, clutching to the railing.



With an exasperated sigh, son relented to father. Henry took the phone, muffling a few coughs into his arm and the blanket before he put the receiver to his ear.

“What do you need Jo?” He kept his voice low, a degree above a whisper, both to try to alleviate some of the hoarseness and to alleviate the pain of speaking.


He paused, waiting for her to continue speaking. After a few seconds passed, he realized that she genuinely wanted an answer to the question.

“In the flesh,” he offered, clenching his jaw shut in a semi-successful attempt to stave off more coughing.

“Jesus, you sound like you’re dying!”

Henry smiled, thinking it best for his throat not to chuckle. “I can assure you I’m not. What is it?”

“Well I was going to ask you to come around and inspect a potential murder scene, but I’m not really sure that’s the best idea right now. Have you seen a doctor about that cough? It sounds disgusting.”

Ignoring her questions after his wellbeing, Henry sniffed wetly and pressed onward. “Where are you?”

“The Kennedy Rec Center on Madison and--”

Heh’issh! Heh’chhh!” Henry cursed the fact that he’d left his handkerchief on the stand beside his bed, damning himself to resort to sniffling a couple times instead. “Ah, sorry. Would you mind repeating that address? I don’t think I caught it.”

“No, but you sure caught something else,” Jo muttered to herself. Clearing her throat, she spoke loudly again so Henry could hear her. “Henry, you really don’t sound very good. I think your best idea would be to go to bed and get some rest. I promise you, crime in New York will still be there for you when you get back on your feet.”

“Jo, it’s really not all that bad. Heh’ngshhh! It just sounds much worse.” Henry found himself shivering slightly, and he drew the blanket more tightly around his shoulders. “I’ll be there in about ten minutes. I don't think the Kennedy Center is too far from the shop.”

“Henry, I really don’t think--”

A mischievous grin wormed its way across his lips as he tried a different tactic. “Tell me, who’s the M.E. on the scene now?”

“Lucas.” The bottled exhaustion in her voice told Henry all he wanted to hear.

“Ten minutes, Jo. Heh’issshh! I’ll be there.”

Jo’s shoulders slumped. “Fine. Just try not to contaminate the scene. Or me, please.”

“I’ll take every precaution,” Henry said, hanging up the phone in a small measure of triumph. This victory was short lived, however. Any traces of a subtle grin dropped from Henry’s face upon seeing his son’s.


Abe crossed his arms firmly across his chest. “You’re not going.”

“Come on, Abe. This is nothing. You know I performed an amputation while suffering from the Spanish influenza back in 1918.”

“And then you died, Henry.”

“That’s hardly the point--”

“That’s exactly the point!”


Henry paused, the back of his hand to his nose, feeling his cheeks flush all the more. Lifting his eyes to meet Abraham’s gaze was a momentous task. He shrank deeper into his blanket-cloak. “I don’t feel as bad as I did then,” he offered feebly.

Abe shook his head before turning to the counter and flinging open the book in which he wrote down transactions. “You know what?” he said, exasperatedly whisking through page after page. He slammed his hands, palm down, on the book. “If you want to go kill yourself again by working through an illness, who am I do stop you? Just find your own way home from the river, then, alright?”

Henry laughed lightly so as not to set off a fit of coughs. “It won’t come to that, Abraham. I assure you. I’m merely going to go to the scene, relay my findings, and then come home.”

“Uh-huh,” Abe grunted. “Things always work out so simply for you.”

TBC (I don't life in New York, and so I've made up all the settings in this story lol, can you tell?)

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Oh, yes, there definitely is "A small community of people who might appreciate a Forever fic"... They're the same community of people who appreciate your Hornblower fics.

Definitely a promising start here! I sincerely hope whatever goes wrong for Henry won't be as bad as winding up in the river, and that Abe gets a little more sympathetic when Henry finally drags himself back home. You definitely make me want to bundle him up and take care of him, which means you're doing it right!

Thanks so much for sharing!

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Of course we appreciate it! It's the best way to get the Ioan fans to come out of the woodwork.

8 hours ago, groundcontrol said:

“No, but you sure caught something else,” Jo muttered to herself.

I love this line. The snark makes me so happy. I can't wait to see what you do with poor Henry. I hope that as a doctor who should know better he takes care of himself and doesn't make things worse. I also hope that as a cavalier idiot who doesn't think much of his health he suffers. ;) Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to read on. 

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Indeed! Lovely!

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Yay I'm so happy I found that little community :) It's so cool, I mean what are the odds that not only are you on this website but you're into the same things as I am. It blows my mind sometimes, but anyway, thanks for reading everyone! I promise there is more on the way, but I can't make a promise as to when sorry :( Hopefully soon!

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It's so refreshing to see someone else write Forever for a change. This was a great start and I can't wait to read more.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/18/2018 at 7:49 PM, Shay said:

It's so refreshing to see someone else write Forever for a change. This was a great start and I can't wait to read more.

Thank you Shay! I love your Forever five btw :)


As promised, a bit delayed, but here is part 2 nonetheless. There will likely be more Forever to come, though probably in another fic. 


By the time Henry had arrived at the crime scene, he was already beginning to doubt that it had been a good idea to come out in the first place. He had felt fine lounging in his bed in the morning and reading, but even the brief wait in the cold air outside the antique shop for a taxi had renewed his chill and made him tired. The taxi driver had noticed him shivering in the back seat even beneath his thick coat and scarf and turned up the heat to the point that the driver was sweating by the time they reached the rec center. This small kindness almost made up for the dirty looks Henry caught in the rear-view mirror each time he sniffed or coughed. Almost.

Jo, Hanson, and Lucas were all waiting for him when he stepped out of the cab and ducked below the police tape that closed the front steps of the building to the public. Jo’s eyes quickly flicked over Henry, scanning him up and down.

“God, you look even worse in person,” she scoffed, equal measures concerned and disgusted.

“Detective, I must ask you to refrain from flirting with me while we are on the job.” He took his handkerchief from his pocket, unfolding it as the tickle in his nose grew. He fought to speak through the mounting urge, his next words coming in breathy gasps. “Highly unprofess-ISSHHH!”

“Bless you,” the three of them chimed in unison. Lucas stared at him open mouthed, seemingly in disbelief that Henry could do something so unrefined as be sick. 

“You okay to be here, Doc?” Hanson asked. 

“Yeah, Detective Martinez said you were pretty sick,” Lucas added, a note of hope in his voice, “so I can totally understand if you want me to take over on the autopsy or--”

“It’s just a bit of a cold, Lucas,” Henry said with a wet sniffle. 

Beside him, Jo scoffed again. “Said patient zero of the next flu epidemic.”

Henry turned to her. “As I told you over the phone, I will take the necessary precautions. I won’t stand any closer to anyone than an arm’s length and…” Henry trailed off as he produced the face mask he’d taken from his basement lab before coming. “I’ll wear this for the remainder of my time here. Just let me--” he paused again, feeling another sneeze brewing. “Eh-ex-excuse--eh’SSHH!”

He blew his nose sparingly and softly out of politeness, then fastened the mask over his mouth and nose before turning to Jo. “Satisfied?” 

Jo heaved a long sigh of resignation. “Well, now that you’re here, I guess we should show you the body.”

“That’s more like it, Detective,” Henry said, rubbing his gloved hands together. “Lead the way.”

Jo lead him up the steps to the landing just before the front doors to the center’s main lobby. Ashamedly, Henry found himself huffing and puffing slightly by the time they reached the top, and he took a few moments to cough and catch his breath before crouching beside the body splayed out on the top step. Jo glared at him but said nothing. 

Henry looked over the body, mumbling stilted reports here and there. He saw the blood pooled at the base of the man’s neck, he saw the rips and stains across the breast of his Adidas jacket, he saw the bruising beneath the left cheek bone, but the details of the wounds didn't fit naturally into a story in his head as they usually did. By now he should have been watching the murder play out scene by scene, gathering details frame by frame. 

He was uncomfortably aware of Jo’s eyes on the back of his neck, and he cursed his cold for having the audacity to mess with his concentration as well as his body. For want of anything better to do, he let his eyes wander off to the side of the corpse. At the corner of the stairs, by the garbage bin near the entrance, there was a small pile of glass shards that appeared to have come from a wine bottle or else some other liquor. A quick glance down the stairs showed him a tiny trail onto the grass. 

“There,” Henry said, pointing. “Glass shards, likely from a bottle containing an alcoholic substance.” He stood up, aiming to move toward them, but a wave of dizziness forced him to consider otherwise. 

“Lucas,” he said, blinking spots from his vision, “please collect samples of the bottle shards to bring back to the lab for testing. While you do that, I’ll be… over here.”

Doing his best to feign following some trail of information, Henry moved quick as he could toward the small fountain that guarded the bottom of the stairs. Here, he thought, he would be out of sight for a moment as he caught his breath. Just a moment, then he'd continue. 

Henry couldn’t help but groan as he lowered himself to a seated position on the edge of the fountain. He placed his elbows on his knees and rested his aching, dizzy head in his palms. 

Being in a seated position, gaze toward the ground, made his nose run. He clamped his handkerchief to his face. “Heh’CHFF!”

“Henry?” Jo had appeared beside him, watching him closely and with much more pity than he cared for. She sat beside him on the fountain. 

“Careful, that’s much less than an arm’s length.”

Her fingers brushed his cheek. “You have a fever.” 

“I’m not surprised, given the way I’m f-feeling. Heh’ihh...ISSHH!”

Jo sighed. “Henry, if you’re feeling that bad, why did you come? I told you, hell, I begged you not to.”

Henry sniffed lamentably. “I wasn’t feeling that bad when I talked to you on the phone, all things considered. It wasn’t until I got here that I started feeling tired and achy.” He cleared his throat and gave a few quick coughs before continuing sheepishly, “But by then I figured that I might as well accomplish what I came here for.”

Jo shook her head. “I could tell you weren’t feeling well. You seemed out of it while you were examining the body.”

Henry smiled ruefully, a touch embarrassed it but also strangely gratified. “I suppose I was foolish to hope you wouldn’t notice.”

Jo clasped her hand to her heart. “I'm offended. It's my job to notice things.” She tapped her badge for emphasis. “Don't get these by coasting through life obliviously.”

“Your point is well taken,” Henry said, finally feeling well enough to get to his feet. “I suppose I should head home then.”

“I think that would be a wonderful idea.”

“I suppose Luke should be able to manage on his own?” Henry said, shielding his eyes against the winter sun as he looked up the stairs. 

“I’ll make sure if it.”

Henry smiled, then coughed. “Thank you, Jo.”

Jo stared at him for a moment, then rested her hand briefly on his shoulder. “Feel better, Henry.” The gesture was awkward, oddly timed, but not altogether unappreciated. 

Henry nodded his thanks before succumbing to another sneeze. “Hihh’iih’IPSHH!” He shivered, clamping his nose in his handkerchief, tired but somehow already feeling a bit on the mend. 

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4 hours ago, groundcontrol said:

“God, you look even worse in person,” she scoffed, equal measures concerned and disgusted.

“Detective, I must ask you to refrain from flirting with me while we are on the job.”

This part really cracked me up.

I definitely think it would be like Henry to try to keep working for as long as possible despite being sick and would take him awhile to admit that he was in no shape for it. I definitely enjoyed reading this. I'd look forward to reading more should you choose to continue. If not, I'll look forward to seeing future Forever fics from you.

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This was lovely!

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I absolutely believe that Henry would be like this if he went to work sick; not at the top of his game but stubbornly determined to see it through, while trying to take precautions to keep others from getting sick. Fantastic work!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tbh I don't think I've heard of Forever before now but I love this fic so far! 😁

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Saying it's a detective type drama really doesn't give the real picture of it though. It's kind of like an urban fantasy with a detective drama as a backdrop with a lot of flashbacks to different periods in history. The main character, Henry Morgan, is an immortal medical examiner that can't die permanently. The best parts of the show have to do with his backstory and his relationships with other characters, plus on going plots regarding a mysterious enemy. It's a crime that it got cancelled after only one season.

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^^^ Listen to Shay, that summary about nailed it. The flashbacks were my favorite part (maybe I'll write something regarding those?). I'm definitely not still bitter about the cancellation... Definitely not. 

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Hurray another Forever fic! I miss this show sooooooo much 😭❤️🤗. This was amazing. Thank you 

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awwww Forever! I adored this show! pity it was only one season. loved your fic and characterizations!

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@2SHY222 @lilysneeze Aw thank you both! I agree, this show was great, perfect balance of seriousness and lightheartedness imo. Stay tuned, I don't think I'll be leaving poor Henry alone just yet :) 

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28 minutes ago, groundcontrol said:

Stay tuned, I don't think I'll be leaving poor Henry alone just yet


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