"Rachel, has her mom, and she talks constantly to her dad, and she has her little sisters and she has me. But Marco, for two years after your mom died, or at least everyone thought she was dead, your dad totally fell apart. You were the man of the house. No one was there to take care of you."
"I take care of myself."
Cassie sat beside me. She put her hand on my arm.
"Cassie, does Jake know you're flirting with me?"
She ignored my weak attempt at a joke. "And then we found out your mom was still alive. Only she wasn't your mom anymore. Her body had been taken over by a Yeerk. And she was the enemy. Marco, in the space of a few awful months you've gone from believing your mother is dead to almost literally having to try and destroy her."
"And you think maybe that's stressful?" I deadpanned.
"I think it would have crushed most people," she said. "That mission against her and Visser Three, you were setting her up to take a fall. You were intimately involved with leading Visser one, your mother, into a trap that-"
"Shut up! Shut up!"
I jerked up off the couch. I had my hands over my ears. Stupid. I took my hands down. They were trembling.
"Look, Cassie..." I started to say with exaggerated calm. But then I forgot what I wanted to say.
I could see her. On that mountaintop. Her sudden realization that it was me who had brought her there. Marco. Me. Her son. Her host's son. Not some ruthless Andalite warrior but her own son...Visser Three's troops and ships closing in. The cliff giving way.
And later, Rachel had come to me and said that her body could not be found. That maybe she was still alive.
And Rachel understood that she wasn't doing me any favors because it was so much better to know, to know for sure anything, even to know something terrible as long as the torture of uncertainty was over...
"What did I do?" I whispered.
"You're in a war, Marco. You're here, in your own living room, eating cookies and watching TV and going to school on Monday, but you're in a war. Bad things have happened to you."
"Tobias isn't losing it. Ax isn't losing it. Look at them, they're both all alone. My god, Tobias isn't even human anymore."
"Marco, you don't know what they've gone through. They'd never tell you."
"Guy code," I said.
"It doesn't matter what they feel anyway, you know? You have to deal with what you feel."
"I feel like you drank my milk."
The neighborhood he lives in is ridiculous. I'm sure it's probably average by English standards, but to me it's a shady, tree covered lane with quaint houses straight from a TV show. It's quiet and cool and so British just like everything else.
We get my bags out of the car and walk up the path to his front door. He lives on the ground floor, but there is still a set of steps I have to struggled to get the bag I'm pulling over. He unlocks the door with an old fashioned looking key, and i"m not sure I can handle this country any longer. It's living up to all my expectations. I make a remark about the key and he just gives me a look, saying it's a Yale lock, like that's supposed to mean anything to me.
Inside his flat is just as small as the one I've just moved out of, but it's bright and clean and nothing like my old place. There are gauzy white curtains over the window in the living room that bleeds into the kitchen. All of the furniture has "came with the flat" written all over it, but it's all in good condition and the place feels like home immediately. That probably has more to do with his presence than the flat itself.
In the living room there is a pleather couch facing a TV, the couch has a pile of bedding on it and he tells me that it folds out and will be my bed for the rest of my stay. He asks me if I want cake. I'm tired, but not stupid, he's a baker and there's no way I'd turn it down. He says he baked it for my birthday, but since that technically makes it my cake I make the executive decision that I can have some now. He walks the two feet that separates the kitchen from the living room. He has a mini fridge and a mini stove and, to my surprise, a mini washing machine. I point out the washing machine and I receive the same look as when I mentioned the lock. I am beginning to understand that there are more differences between the US and the UK than just accents.
As he's pulling out the cake and cutting me a slice that's way too big I go and sit on the couch and sort of end up tipping over onto the pile of bedding. It's only noon local time, but my body is telling me it's 4AM and the not-a-nap I had on the plane didn't cut it. I close my eyes and take a moment to realize that I'm really here. By the time I get on the plane back home I'll still be feeling this sense of awe.
He brings me a plate with the cake on it and I extract myself from the pile of bedding so I can eat it. He wants me to take a nap, but I'm not going to lose a second of this trip to sleep if I don't have to. I ask him if I can use his laptop to leave my mom a message letting her know I haven't died. I also write a status update on Facebook, but I'm so tired who knows what I write.
He goes into his bedroom to take off his shoes and he suddenly pauses in the doorway, looking at me and smiling the smile that I haven't seen in person for two years, but is still so familiar it's like a punch to the chest.
"What?" I ask.
"You're really here."
"I really am."
"You're in my living room! On my couch!" I just laugh at him because it's crazy to hear my own thoughts coming out of his mouth, and because I remember exactly what he's feeling from when he visited me. Our relationship exist in 1s and 0s so it's starling when there is suddenly a flesh and blood person you cna touch.
I snuggle back into the blankets and watch him putter around his room. Everything feels fuzzy and heavy with my lack of sleep. When he comes back into the living room he gives me an exasperated look and says, "Go to sleeeeeep."
"Nooooo," I whine, grinning at him. He actually threatens to tell my mom I won't take a nap, but I just laugh at him. He follows through on the threat, but my mom laughs at him, too.
The sugar from the cake starts to wake me up enough that I ask him what we should do for the rest of the day. He wants to show me his university, which is only fair because I showed him mine, and from the pictures I've seen, it's prettier and more impressive than the UofA.
Finally! This is my first original piece of fiction that I wrote for myself and actually like
(If you love me, you'll forget that Black Cats and Ladders exists) in a very long time. So I'm very exited to bring you:'Til She Cries No More
- Tags:original story
- Music:Silence - Delerium ft. Sarah McLachlan
Okay, I usually keep fandom stuff out of my journal, but come ON.
Do we need any more proof that Disney ships Joe/Nick than the answer to Joe needing a mystery girl is Kevin suggesting that they put Nick in a wig and a dress?
"They already do it at home! Just put a wig on him, it'll be perfect!"
Okay okay! I give up! I've resisted long enough.
Fandom top fives, people. You know what to do.
- Music:Daughter - Pearl Jam
Super 8, the needy girlfriend:
"Dear Courtney, Recently, we sent you an invitation to complete a Guest Satisfaction Survey concerning your stay with us at Super 8 PAYSON, where you checked out on July 21, 2009.
We noticed that you did not have time to complete the survey. We are concerned that you may not have responded because we have somehow failed to live up to your expectations. "