midnightdiddle: (flowers cherry blossoms)
[personal profile] midnightdiddle
Heroes. Mrs. Bennet, who is awesome. First-season compliant.

Crazy

Some days, she's afraid she's going crazy.

She forgets things. Not lots of things, not all the time, but just sometimes. She'll look up from the kitchen table, at the set table and warm food, and she'll wonder, how did I get here? or why pot roast? Not big things, not like she reads in magazines, or that she sees in the movies. She never wakes up covered in blood, or with a briefcase full of money beside her. She wakes up to pot roast on the table, and the dishes all cleaned in the kitchen.

And sometimes, she wonders if she's going crazy.

She knows that people, some people, have this problem. Blackouts, and they wake up in a different place, and don't know how they got there. Or they'll wake up, and can't remember the past few days (or sometimes, the website says, even months or years). It's schizophrenia, she thinks. At least, that's what she remembers; that's what scares her.

It's not as bad now, not like it used to be. It used to be really bad, when Claire was a baby. Back then, she would blink, and look around, and every week, she would wonder, "when did I when did I change," and "how did I get home," and "why is Claire's room pink? It was yellow before."

She used to forget a lot of things, and she used to hide her face in her pillow at night, and try not to cry too loud, because she didn't want to wake Noah up. She didn't want to scare Noah. She didn't want Noah to think she was crazy, to take Claire away, because she wasn't crazy. She didn't want to be crazy. She wanted to be her. She wanted to not forget things.

She doesn't cry into her pillow anymore, because Noah noticed (because Noah notices every thing, every time she's frustrated or nervous and scared, and he always takes her hands, and holds on, and tells her, I'm here, I'm right here). It never really helped, anyway. Just made her headaches worse, made her feel stuffy and irritated. So instead, she looks at the photo albums, and touches each one, and makes sure she remembers each picture, each day. And she does-- mostly. Sometimes, she can't remember one. Sometimes, she asks herself, "why did I let Lyle's hair get so long?" and "where was this?" and "why don't I remember going to a beach?"

When Lyle was in elementary school, and Claire started junior high, she had forgotten a lot of things. A lot of time. A week, she thinks. Maybe more. She woke up one morning, and looked at Noah, and said, "I'm scared."

He had kissed her, first her lips, then each cheek, then her forehead, and said, "I'm here." And he'd brushed her hair, had helped her get dressed. Had given her tylenol for the headache, and had stayed home from work, calling in on a sick day. He'd followed her around the house all day, carrying the laundry basket and helping her with the dishes; when she sank down at the table and laid her head down to cry, he'd knelt beside her, and had put his hands on her knees, and his head on his hands, and had hummed to her while she cried.

It was, she remembers, very good of him. And she hadn't been as scared then. And she had, she remembers, told him many things. Of how she was scared, and how sometimes, she forgot things. And how she missed her babies, how she hated rattling around in a big empty house all day, folding the laundry and waiting to hear the kids come home from school.

He'd kissed her kneecaps, her knobby knees, and had said, "it will be alright. We'll always come home to you." And then she'd wrapped her arms around him, and put her head against his neck, and had cried until her head hurt and her throat was dry and her nose was running; her makeup had been ruined, and her hair, too, and he had said she was beautiful, and had kissed her again.

The next week, he'd brought home Mr. Muggles. Tiny little puppy, small enough to curl up in the palm of her hand. He'd told her to close her eyes, hold out her hands ("do you trust me, Sandra?"), and he'd put the puppy in her hands, and said, "for you."

She loves him, the fluffy little pom that follows her around the house. She loves, and cradles him in her arms, holds him like a baby. Presses her face against his fur, and breathes in, and tells herself that it's okay, she's not going to forget. She's not going crazy, and she's a good mother and wife. A good woman.

It's enough. The dog shows take up time, and Mr. Muggles takes up her life. Gives her something to do, when the laundry is put away and the kids are still at school. Lets her remember things. She doesn't forget Mr. Muggles, not like she forgets Claire and Lyle and Noah (and always, she's forgetting more about Noah than anyone else; forgetting all the little things, but not how much she desperately, desperately, punch-in-the-gut loves him).

"Do you like him?" Noah had asked, when she had first held Mr. Muggles. And then, like now, every time she forgot something small (the dishes, the laundry, picking Lyle up from practice, taking Claire to school, going to bed with Noah), she had rubbed her face in his fur (and she does now, too, smells in his fur and flowery shampoo) and said, "I love him."

(She loves them. Claire, Lyle, Noah. Loves them so, so, so very much it makes her weak in the knees, weak in the chest. She loves them so much, and she doesn't want to forget.)




Some really sappy Sanji/Usopp for One Piece.

Curls

Usopp's hair is softer than it looks-- stupidly soft if you think about the fact that they're on a freaking boat in the middle of the ocean. Stupidly, stupidly soft, with curls that knot themselves around Sanji's fingers like seaweed.

Sanji's hair isn't half so soft, and he's used to that-- to dry, crackly hair, just like the dry, crackly hair that he lived with for ten long years. He's used to his lips being parched with the blast of salt-water, to his skin cracking blister-red from the reflected sun. To the dryness of a desert on an ocean of water.

Not stupidly soft hair, as soft as he thinks a girl's must feel.

He doesn't touch Usopp's hair much, not much at all. He still likes girls, like breasts and hips and the way their lips look softer and pinker than the inside of clam shells. Flesh, moist and tender, like the peaches Zeff used to buy at exorbitant prices (and leave, little slices at a time, on the edge of Sanji's plate, after breakfast and lunch and dinner).

He likes Usopp, though. He likes Usopp, too. He likes Usopp, period. He likes the Usopp is cowardly and sniveling and still stands up with the rest of them. He likes the Usopp that wears that stupid Sogeking mask with the red painted lips. He likes Usopp for all his polite awkwardness, and for the way that sometimes, after dinner, Usopp turns his knife and fork in at angles on his plate.

Likes the way Usopp sweats under the sun, the way Usopp's lips crack in the sea-spray. Likes all the things that are dry and crackly, the things that the sea makes a man. And all the other things, that makes Sanji sometimes think that, really, Usopp shouldn't be on this ship with them-- that Usopp should be left at the nearest port, with just enough money to get home, because Usopp's still a kid (more of a kid than most of them, maybe all of them. always more of a kid than Sanji has ever been).

So sometimes, when Usopp's nodding off during the third watch, or when he's leaning over the edge of the ship, looking at the sun's reflection (his skin going a cracked blister-red, three shades darker than Sanji's), Sanji reaches out, punches Usopp's shoulder. Lets Usopp's hair curl over his hand, twisting in knots around his fingers like seaweed around the legs of the drowned.

Soft as a girl's, and just as loved.






And Birth By Sleep. Spoilers for the ending, AU from the fourth chapter.

The Years of Ventus

They're the years of Ventus. They go by as slowly as his hair grows, and his fingernails. She trims his hair, his nails; holds his small, thin hand in hers, and tells him, "I love you. I love you. I love you."

The years go by so slowly, and nothing ever changes. He never changes.

She kisses him once: presses her lips to his, and waits. His breath a flutter, and her heart jumps. But he's no Terra, and she's no princess. He sleeps on, and she sits by his bed and waits, a tomboy called a prince.

(Terra never came home.)

(The Master never came back.)

She can feel herself growing older; her muscles are atrophying. Her wrists are thinner than before, and her fingertips taper to a delicate thinness. She holds her hands in front of her face, looks at the way the light curves around the tips. She lets her fingernails grow (she never could before, because they would always break when she was sparring or tussling or just wrestling with Terra and Ven, a tomboy with tomboy-short hair and tomboy-short nails), crescent moons of white at the edge of seashell pink nails.

She lays her arms on the edge of the bed, next to where Ventus is sleeping (still sleeping, still sleeping, her kisses don't make a difference), and she lies her head on her arms. Closes her eyes, and opens them. Stares at the downy hair on Ventus's arms.

The years of Ventus go by so slowly, and she kisses the sharp jut of his elbow, and the bony side of his wrist.

Each year is more beautiful than the last; more painful than the last. She sings the songs she can remember, and she remembers less every day. She makes up new songs, about grass and trees and windows and drapes.

Songs about the paleness of Ventus's mouth, the delicateness of the veins in his eyelids. The side of his cheek, and the bridge of his nose. The way, when she kisses the inside of his wrist, she listens for an in-taken breath.

And she weeps. God, how she weeps. She lies her head against the bed, next to his chest, and she sobs into the sheets. Clenches her hands into fists and screams. She cries until her face is wet, and the bed is wet, and Ventus's body is wet. And then she bathes him, dries him, clothes him in the faded, worn pajamas from years and years and years ago, those so-many years of Ventus.

And each year he sleeps deeper, a shell of something she used to know; and she sits by, and she waits, and she never sleeps.



Feedback is very, very appreciated.
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