Sunday, May 2, 2010

Between You and Me

This is a Shadow Guardians based writing doodle. :] There may be spoilers, to those who aren't up-to-date with the writing. But. It's cute? And sort of bittersweet? But. I LIKE IT SO. Whatever. =D


Angelica would be so pissed if she found out. He was mostly certain she would not – and if hope wouldn’t work, he crossed his fingers inside the baggy pockets of his hoodie. Deep inside, a vague memory stirred, one yet unforgotten. Above him, a night sky as he crossed fingers and leant towards her. His stomach clenched as he reminisced, as he turned her face and his memory self brushed his lips against her cheek. Misfortune seemed their destiny from the start. This realization crumbled his heart. Carefully, he shook the memory from his mind; later, he would log it in his journal.

For now, more important matters begged for attention.

At first, he said nothing. In silence, he stood in the doorway. His weight shifted and his lanky form leant against the doorframe. Eyes steadfast, he watched her from behind, like he’d done so many times, so long ago. This was so natural to him, it could have been a scene from his life. Her slender fingers held the brush with such ease, an act natural to her, and the trail of blue followed her sweeping arc.

Not moving, he waited as she paused, her arm lowered, as she lay the brush down with such care, as she pivoted slowly.


No surprise colored her voice or her eyes. If anything, they both were gentle, if not rather empty.

He chose not to offer her a real response and only muttered a gruff “yeah”.

Persistent and unfazed as always, she was not deterred, and instead, offered him a serene smile. Her smokey eyes were half-lidded as she watched him and his stomach stirred again. Such a look on her face was so familiar, and he recalled nights shared together, tangled hair and swollen fingers. Adam bit back a groan and tore his eyes away.

“I’m not surprised, you know.” The serenity of her speech was most jarring – her husky voice sounded almost tender, almost understanding.

And that made him angry.

“About what?” he asked. To busy himself, he jammed his hands further into his pockets, tugged his hoodie away from his body in straining effort. Anything to keep him from meeting her face.

When she spoke again, her voice sounded nearer. “About everything. You. Me. The way you reacted. How you avoided me. That it took you so long.”

He flinched, as if it was the sound of her speech which most hurt. In a way, though, it was.

“Don’t sound so proud, Roni.” His attempt to spit these words was half-hearted and they instead tumbled, uncertain and hesitant, but he was still pleased with the way she started, if only subtly.

In her silence, he took a cursory study of her. During their first encounter, he had been too shocked, too appalled to really take her in. Now, he drank her in, his gaze thirsty. She was different. For some reason, this surprised him so much a nervous flutter tickled his stomach. Her once beautiful hair was mangy, a mess, unkempt. When he was alive, he’d loved her hair – it was so silky and soft when he wound the tresses round his fingers, or when they fell in damp waves fresh out of the shower. Thinking on this, his throat tightened, and he shifted his gaze, tried to move his thoughts onward. Instead, he took in her thin build. So thin, so fragile. Before his eyes, she appeared breakable, so easily breakable. With little force, he could snap her. Had she wasted away?

Swallowing around the lump in his throat was impossible. He merely sighed, the noise heavy.

“I realize you’re upset with me-“

Adam did not allow her to finish. “Upset does not begin to cover it!” His interruption exploded from him, too loud for his ears. “Upset. Angry. Pissed off! You… knew… you… I just don’t understand!”

Bitter laughter responded. “Of course you don’t,” said Roni, and again, Adam felt a swell of anger from her assurance. “I told you. You cannot understand it. Even still… even now you’re too good, too pure. But you’re also too selfish.”

He felt his brows twist and rounded upon the girl before him. Unlike his, which had found his shoes so curious, her eyes were intent upon him, equally gentle and sad. It broke his heart to see the mess she had become. To see her. Why did she not realize this? And why was he so masochistic as to come looking for her like this? Later, he told himself, he would yell at Rowan for not talking him out of this asinine idea.

“You never realized, Adam. All that time, I was suffering, alone, depressed, empty. And you never knew! Maybe I was too good an actress or maybe you didn’t know the real me, but whatever the case, when you left me, you left me and it hurt so much, Adam!”

Every time she spoke his name, his heart shattered further and his hands balled into his fists inside his pockets. How dare she speak to him like this. How dare she! Anger boiled in his veins, swam dizzy in his head. Was he swaying on the spot? He felt as if he was.

“If you’d just spoken to me… if you hadn’t acted so rashly, things would’ve been different. I wouldn’t have lost you. And your mother-“

This, he could not listen to. A hand went up in the air, flagging her for silence. Obedient, she fell quiet at once.

“I told you, Roni. I explained this already.”

He watched her swallow, her lips turn inward.

“Yes. You did. But. I’m confused. If you don’t want to discuss that… then why did you come to find me? I’m confused, Adam. Explain this for me.”

“I… don’t know.” The truth sounded so helpless when spoken out loud, but he couldn’t muster a lie for her. Never for her. Somehow, Roni effortlessly commanded and received his honesty and he hated it. Eyes on his feet, he felt, rather than saw, her move closer.

“I wish you could understand,” she whispered, her voice barely a breath of air in his ear. “I wish you could understand how sorry I am. How

Against his will, he shivered. There was no way to prevent the involuntary tremble, but he hated himself for it all the same. That his body reacted, still, to her. After all this time! It bothered him.

“That life… that… it’s over,” he croaked.

Her sad hum was melodic, but haunting. “I know, Adam. Can’t we start over?”

Slender fingers laced between his. Upon reflex, he gripped her hand in his. She must’ve taken this for an affirmation, for she moved near him. Adam was not sure how he felt about this.

This was a lie, actually. Adam knew very well how he felt about this. A very large, very massive sum of himself wanted her. He wanted to pull her back into his arms like he used to, and to feel her mouth on his again. More than anything, he missed the fingers tangled in hair and the warmth of skin upon skin. Raspy breathing was the only sound audible and he realized, it came from him.

It caused him physical pain to do so, but he pulled away from her, his fingers last to trail away from hers.

She took a shuddering breath, eyes on the floor.

“I’m sorry.”

Her apology shocked him and Adam felt that crushing weight in his chest. Against his better judgment, he gave in to his will. The two steps between them closed in a fraction of a second and he pulled her to him. Gangly arms tugged her to his chest, crossed over the back of his head. Erratic thoughts ran through his head, all about her, about them, about how this hurt, and he took a deep breath, before he lowered his mouth to the top of her head.

“We can start over,” he mumbled into her hair. “But. I won’t… we… I can’t make promises. You screwed up and you shouldn’t be here. We’ll start over. But we’ll be friends. We’ll… get to know each other again. The real us. Not a fake you or a fake me or people masquerading, okay? We’ll be honest and real and we’ll start over.”

Roni said nothing at first. When she moved her thing, wiry arms around him and held him back, though, he kissed the top of her head once more, bid good-bye to their past, and opened his arms.

There was no point to a grudge if he had forever. If anything, forever was an opportunity. Ever the optimist, Adam knew he had to be a fool to pass it over. And, while he knew he and Roni were too different, far different from who they used to be, a beam of hope shown, if only for their friendship. To spend eternity avoiding her was impossible. It was impossible before and even more so now.

Adam would always love her, and she him.

But now, he realized, he could learn who she really was, and maybe, perhaps, he could figure out how to love the real Roni, if only through friendship.


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