Together As One
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Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: A Calm Within the Storm
- Chapter 1: The Other Side of Hate
- Chapter 2: Just
- Chatper 2: Bored and Busy, Thanks
- Chapter 3: A Strange Conversation
- Chapter 4: A Curious Agreement
- Chapter 5: Part of the Routine
- Chapter 6: The Nightmares
- Chapter 7: Winsome Dreams
- Chapter 8: Together as One
Fragments, pieces, memories: shouting and grasping, yelling, screaming, then everything smoothed over, tucked away, clipped and tied neatly. Only fragments, they do not tell a story. Barely enough to give an impression; little more than sketchings of an outline of disaster. The music quiets them to a single wavering line, half remembered pieces of lyric dancing an endless repeat through endless empty corridors; A haunting refrain from the ghosts in my head, mindlessly on the tip of an aching tongue, the only noise in a soundless abyss.
A conscious ripple in an underground lake of unconsciousness.
I submerge myself a little deeper in the silence, sliding into sleep...
It´s a similar kind of silence now, filled with apprehension, anticipation, an anxiety like the calm within the storm. You´re awake again, calm and collected this time, but far from being as whole as you once were. Feeling physically, emotionally, mentally broken into tiny pieces.
You want to hate this whole ordeal but it´s more a quiet appreciation of Her skill. You look for something to scorn nevertheless, restlessly on edge with the whole affair, but you´re too intrigued and amused by Her obvious acting as much as or more so than your frustration and annoyance at the situation. You have options you could take, of course, instead of waiting out this tedious pageantry of empty assurances in endless varied repetitions; you´re rarely unprepared
You don´t hate
You´d ask her, but she hasn´t seemed to even
And just like that, frustrated, insulted and fed up, you slip away.
You´ve finally managed to fool everyone into thinking you´re absolutely fine; almost managed to even fool yourself sometimes, acting your smiling way through all the hardships; the new simple desk job you had to apply for, the mounds of bills you go through on some sort of autopilot, only coming back aware to find they´re already sorted by pay date and some signed with checks and ready to be mailed. You only start to worry when those blank spaces happen more and more frequently, and not just at home.
Still, no one has
You haven´t heard from Her in
You spend most of a day thinking how best to catch Her attention, then leave a note in with Her mail.
“We need to talk; bench near the park´s lake, tomorrow afternoon. Please.”
A short note scribbled on a ripped piece of scrap paper, found mixed in with your mail... You read the note three times before any of it sinks in. You tell yourself you won´t go, vaguely concerned what sort of creep might write such a note, worried more at what sort of sick freak is clearly stalking you enough to know both your schedule and the park you visit, yet you still find yourself walking idly through the park after work that afternoon, apparently too
After three cautious circuits of most of the benches around the lake, all cold and empty on this blustery afternoon, you sigh and sit on one, wrapping your coat tighter against the chill, wondering what the hell you´re doing. You sigh again at your own foolishness and swear you close your eyes to rest for
“Dreary sort of day, isn´t it? It will rain within the hour, too.”
He´s harmless enough after all...
“...Why do you say that?”
“Checked the online weather satellite for the area little over an hour ago. Storm was heading this way at a fair pace.”
You both watch the gathering clouds awhile, reflected in the distorted ripples of the lake surface, lost in your respective thoughts.
“...So what did you want to talk about?”
He sighs, and seems to struggle with what He wants to say. Finally...
“You´re not really alright, you know. I´m not fooled by the act.”
Your sudden laugh startles you both, and awkward silence reigns for a while again.
Quietly then, you ask, “Fine; what do you think I should do about it?”
“Would you consider letting me help?”
“Why would you care?”
“Because you don´t smile anymore.”
You raise a skeptical eyebrow.
“Liar. I smile; I smile quite a lot.”
He huffs out a breath, unamused.
“Yes, and that well-practiced polite curve of lips has fooled practically everyone else. But it´s not
You bite back an initial angry retort or two (Your emotions are
“If we work
You snort, still waiting for the punchline to this whole surreally complex gag reel.
“What the heck am I supposed to be helping
“How did you get everyone to believe and keep believing you were fine when it was clearly a lie?”
“Oh...” You close your eyes, finally realizing He´s actually serious, and consider a while, then sigh.
“I´ll think about it then, and let you know.”
You´d already figured She would agree to the deal within the week, but are a bit surprised nonetheless when you find Her sitting at the park bench again only the next day after work.
“That was you wasn´t it?”
You´re not sure
“At my work?”
“Oh. Yes, obviously.”
She´s quiet for a while, and you wonder with anticipation what She´ll say next.
“Thanks, I suppose. I did wonder why the work seemed so easy, even now.”
You scoff, then smirk smugly.
“Clearly you underestimate your intelligence. While merely above average, you still out perform most anyone else at similar employment.”
Her smile twitches sideways, and She sighs and rolls Her eyes.
“Thanks for the back-handed compliment and evasion, though I still know you were the one that helped with all that paperwork before.”
“I was rather expecting you to notice all of that
“Yeah, well. Thanks. I
You absently watch the calm mirror of the lake a while, going over the entire conversation and coming up
“Is that a yes then?”
She puzzles a moment in thought, then nods absently, and stares at the lake like it has the answer buried somewhere within it, taking even longer than you had to actually respond.
“I guess so. I´m going home to get something to eat, if you don´t mind. You can tell me your plans to help each other out on the way.”
You´d given Him mostly free reign about your apartment since that day. Though He
You´d almost gotten used to the routine you´d both seemed to settle into: pestering Him to eat breakfast (“I´m not hungry, why bother?” “Because it´s a long time til lunch break and I´d feel better about it.” “...Fine.”), Him helping you with your work (“The meeting time´s going to be changed to later this afternoon.” “How do you know
She´s a master of understanding and controlling emotion it seems. Doesn´t modulate Her own so much, the occasional sudden mood swing will clearly attest to
Though those emotions She deals in seem to wear Her out so much more than the times when Her manic state energizes and aids Her. And this is without factoring in Her own bleak soul-rending depression, the Shadow that stalks you both but it never tears
How She survives each episode is nothing short of miraculous.
But while the pain and aches of the heart can be debilitating and harsh to Her, those same things you'll work past or mostly tend to ignore, but for
She´s wonderful then. Offering just the right distractions; music if your eyes burn, digs up
She gives you a
His dreams, few though they are, are usually as amusing as they are intriguing- giant sprawling half-remembered epics of spies and intrigue or magic and mayhem with intricate plots and twisting betrayals. He likes to recount them feverishly when He wakes up, desperately trying to recall everything that happened before it slips like water out of His grasping recollection. This one was the most entertaining yet- psychics and spaceship battles in the far-distant future. You listen to Him ramble for a while after he finished the retelling; about ESP experiments and far-seeing case studies, factors of ship design in anti-gravity and probable renewable sources of energy in space.
All of the thought that goes into His dreams makes your simple romantic fantasies seem like school-girl crushes. Even the better dreams of yours sometimes end sappily in you dying for your love, after all. You briefly thought He´d laugh when you woke up after that one and He had demanded you tell Him. Instead, He just quietly admitted that He envied you your simple serene dreams, and never brought it up again.
He doesn´t have the nightmares though. It´s only yours that cause you to abruptly wake, trembling in fear and panic and reaching for Him, unable to sleep well for up to a week after. He tries to soothe you both then, and it works sometimes, for the more irrational fears certainly; chainsaw murderers and inhuman monsters slowly chopping you to pieces while you´re too paralyzed with terror to even scream.
But He doesn´t always understand or comprehend the real dark foreboding dread; emotions aren´t His forte after all, and besides, not all your lonesome fears are irrational or unjustified.
Nevertheless, He gives you
They never bothered going back after the first few ´required´ sessions.
Besides, They really didn´t have any issues one of them couldn´t handle by asking aid from the other, and They have always helped each other out when it was
It´s an inevitable outcome though, putting up with an unnecessary appointment or two, once someone else gets that bit too
*****He doesn´t care so much once they leave; sees it coming weeks or even months before, after all, and guards Himself against the eventual falling-out, rationalizes it that if they couldn´t accept Them for who They are, they were hardly the kind of friend
She doesn´t take quite so well to that; scorns Him for His shallow hatreds and for seeing it coming and for always being so