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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:48 pm GMT 
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It was suddenly so fast, everything pressed together in to one swift response and Lucy almost felt like she was reeling from it. Not all anger disappeared just because she got her answer. A small part lingered, softly glowing in her chest, while in her stomach a lead weight settled. Had he come to tell her this? What had he hoped to achieve-- Columbia? A university, not the country, but still far away.That meant he was leaving, had already left, he came back to tell her he was gone.

The tears started to spill silently, slipping down the curve of her cheek, to her chin, then falling. Just a few, the rest sat in her throat, choking her words when she spoke again.

"... Why..." Always that lone word. She swallowed thickly. If he could not write, then why hadn't Han remembered her, did he even know about the young girl who had been left aching, who had grieved his son alone? Perhaps she was a secret, perhaps Jet had never thought to mention her, no matter what, it pointed to how insignificant they had thought her. Her arms crossed again, but not defensively this time; embracingly. The previously so hard green eyes didn't waver from his face.

"If I had known... If anyone had told me, I would have..." What would you have done, silly girl? Cried at his bedside? Pitied him? Held his hand and watched him die, which was likely what they had thought he was doing?

The answer was simple: she would have done anything for him. Youthful passion would have made her do anything within her power to do.

"I would have walked to you. I would have walked to the end of the world and happily jumped over the edge for you," she said, voice trembling and shattering in to an intake of breath as he pointed accusingly at the edge of the pavement as though it was the precipice of an abyss, which it might just be; the moment he turned and set foot outside it he would be lost to her. Again. "Why do you think I'm so angry?"

It was too much. She thought she had been given her measure of pain, that she would be spared for a while. She had only just bounced back, and here he was, alive, angry, hurt, not to blame. Her eyes closed and she sank down, sitting in a crouch at his feet, hands pressed at her temples and drew in deep breaths, sucked in the sobs and buried them deep in her lungs to hide them. Normal. The word had been spat at him as though it was a disease, but suddenly she wished everything was just that, normal. A normal fight, where she had someone she could blame, a solid person to set her eyes on, but now the only one she could accuse was the illness in Jet's lungs and an abstract Someone's failure to contact her in his stead, because his father likely didn't even know she existed. In the end she had meant too little in the heat of the moment.

"It was easier to think you died, because then it wasn't me..." Whispered at the pavement. Little cracked words. "Then it wasn't my fault, then it wasn't anyone's fault..."

With a sound of frustration she surged up, towards him but turning away again as though to avoid being pushed away, deflected, and she placed the back of her wrist over her mouth as he wet eyes glared at the house wall, the other hand settling on her hip. Pathetic. Crying over what was supposed to be a silly crush, a stupid fling, her first love. It was stupid, and it wasn't supposed to feel this painful, not compared to all those other things that had made her hurt in the past, that damned past. Was it really impossible to escape it? Was it fixed permanently to you like a tail or could you shake it off like a heavy coat one day only to have to pick it up on the next one?

"Goddammt, Jet..." A shaky sigh. "I don't... I don't understand..."

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:24 am GMT 
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"That's all there is to understand." There was none of that gently hesitancy anymore; instead his throat felt like an open wound. And correspondingly every word was laced with grit and pain and an empty sort of despair.

The tears were running down her face unchecked. As if watered by them her lips had begun to say strange things; something about walking the earth to be with him, to plunging from the edge of its borders, to loving him. But they didn't seem to hit the mark, and all he could do was stand there and look at this stranger who had to ability to reach inside his ribs and tear at his heart-- No, not his heart. His lungs. Making them contract and stutter and grow tight at the mention of them.

It felt as if a glassy wall has grown between him and the rest of the world; he could almost see his reflection in it. She was outside, crouched down, bringing herself up and towards him, turning away. It was like watching something from the cinema. It wasn't happening to him, just some character off screen. Instead he was rooted, motionless to the pavement. His head was cold and filled with memories of fires and beds and bloody sheets. It made everything else fade a little, even her.

"I never told Han about you. I don't know why. I guess I was waiting for the right moment-- he's awkward when it comes to stuff like that." She's missed a tear, it glinted on her jaw, trembled and fell down her throat. "As I said before. It was my fault. I should have done better." Hollow, almost emotionless, drained.

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:32 am GMT 
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Lucy breathed out harshly again, trying to clear something out of her system, something that was crawling inside her. She turned away a little bit, wiping her hands over her face and then dropping them to shake them off a little as though to clear something from herself, the feeling of being overwhelmed perhaps. Calm down, she chided herself, since when do you behave like some sort of crazy person? Everything she said sounded like nonsense all of a sudden, and she didn't recognize her own voice so she stayed silent to have time to go through everything again. There was no rush, nothing pushing her to speak without thinking, so the point of making a spectacle out of herself was non-existant. She was stronger than that.

"Your... parents died," she echoed finally, calmer, a bit more centred. "And you got sicker. And your dad, your... new dad took you to Cape Town?" A frown formed as she looked over as though she was making sure she got that right. Cape Town... She knew it was in Africa, that was about as far as her knowledge of geography stretched, but there was something lurking in her memory of Jet telling her about his adoptive father, something about South Africa. In the end, all she needed to know was that it was really far away. Just like Columbia, though it wasn't the country of Colombia she reminded herself. "Going to" meant that it was the University, not the city. "You got some sort of medicine and now he's going to school? What?"

It sounded like bullshit. She had no prettier words for it. By all rights he should be lying, because that sort of thing didn't happen. You didn't find a new father who took you to South Africa, saved your life, and then started going to university. And you didn't let your girlfriend think you were dead for over a year and then turn up by accident outside her door and expect her to accept it all. Suddenly something occurred to her, and that was that a shocking sense of envy went through her, for the sole reason that it might just be true, and that this envy was in part the reason why she had been so angry. Jet had suddenly disappeared, and one of the explanations had been that he had found a family. A small one, perhaps, but a family none the less, while for all she knew her mother might had died too, not to mention her father might as well have never existed. But he had paid a big price to be standing here, telling her this, and that subdued the envy with a dash of guilt.

"This is the most bizarre thing that anyone has told me in my entire life. I hope you realize that it might sound like bullshit if it weren't for the fact that you actually look..."

Better? Healthier? Different? She ran out of words again and she looked away.

"I was so... so scared, Jet. For you. You have to understand why I'm angry."

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:47 am GMT 
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"I'm trying to."

It didn't mean to come out as sharp and defensive as that. Almost as soon as the words had left his lips he turned momentarily, just to run a hand over his face, just to steal back some small measure of composure. Only it felt like he'd been stabbed. And that a modicum of that hurt hadn't... Hadn't been justified. There had been a viciousness, a sort of desperate cruelty in those last few moments, one that left him reeling. He could understand why she'd said it. Of course he could. And if this had been the other way around-- if she'd been the one dying and had vanished long enough for him to bury her, he might have echoed those--

No I wouldn't. A part of him hissed. No, I fucking wouldn't.

His hands clenched into fists, and had he not felt so empty he might have felt the burn of tears. Instead nothing-- nothing but that constriction in his throat, that meaningless confusion of grey behind his eyes. And outside the glass panel that surrounded him the earth turned on, and she stood somewhere in it, and was not looking at him.

A year ago he would have drawn her close and promised stupid things with the zeal of a child. But now he stood on the fringes of adulthood and found he couldn't move, in any direction, with any passion. Were he an adult he might have offered her a hand, and one last apology, and left. But whatever he was, he wasn't that yet. Not sensible enough, not cruel enough. But cruel enough to stay, if only for a moment.

He drew a breath, and cut it sharply, still looking away. His hands were left to knot themselves in his pockets.

"I didn't look for you to get back into your life. I'm not an idiot." The cracks beneath them on the pavement, the sheen of rain. Around them, a drizzle started, the raindrops their sound, their tempo. Quiet, and mournful. "I just wanted to see you were OK. That's all. I wasn't going to... to ask for more."

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:16 pm GMT 
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Her guard was still up. One thing had not changed, and likely never would, and that was how reluctant she was to leave herself open for more than one blow; she had taken so many already that she knew that it was better to dodge if you could. It was with wariness she watched him at the harsh tone of his voice, watched how he turned away and then refused to look back. Perhaps the blows she had dealt herself had been too strong, and now it was his turn to put up his guard, or perhaps he just couldn't stand to see her anymore, wished he hadn't come. For some reason that thought made something inside her squirm uncomfortably. Was she about to have to start mourning him again? Was he saying good bye now?

The first drop of rain hit right at the top of her head, and she was distracted for long enough to look up, see the grey clouds above them. Not like in the movies where someone just stood stoic as the drops started to make their hair slick to their head, fell like tears down their cheeks. But she didn't care more than what was required to brush that first drop away, while the multitudes of others where ignored; her thin shirt offered no protection and the hairs on her arms begun to rise in goose bumps in response to the cold that was creeping in.

"I didn't mean..." she started to say but then frowned and set her jaw. No, she had meant it. She had meant every word at the moment she had spoken them. Children could take things back, but not people their age. You had to own them.

"Oh to hell with it, I did mean it then or I wouldn't have said it, we both know that" she corrected herself with a huff, throwing her arms out to the sides in an unapologetic gesture before crossing them again. "You... I thought you were fine with things being... not normal. Because normal doesn't exist. It was hurtful to hear you'd said that, especially when you up and vanished... Of course I thought you were sick of me. If you want me to apologise you are damn well going to have to wait for me to calm down first."

Everything inside her had quieted, so as with any other turmoil now the smoke had to settle to bare the results. She wasn't sure what to do or say. Apologize some might say, but she wasn't sure she felt sorry yet, she had been angry and there was no changing that, but it was likewise too early to try and just talk, like they had in the past. There was still an open wound in her trust that could not be ignored, one that just hurt even more when he waited for him to turn around and leave her again.

"Did you... come to say good bye? Check up on me and then leave me again?"

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:29 pm GMT 
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Something seemed to snap. He turned, walked a couple of paces towards her-- hands still gripping the lining of his pockets, eyes dry with something like grief-- "You really thought--" he hissed, "After associating with syndicate scum and murderers you wouldn't be "normal" to me because you're-- you're what, Chinese? Or because some man dragged you into that life you hated--? When did I ever--"

Abruptly, sharply, Jet fell silent. In the cooling air their breath began to mist in the space between them, patches of frosty warmth from their lungs. His fell fast, and irregular, soft pants. Bitter, and desperate, and lost.

She'd seen him as so little. As so... He found himself tearing through those memories left to him, trying to recall any moment he'd mentioned her heritage derisively or sneered at her because of her work or done anything to merit the judgement he had been dealt. Part of him hated Freddie at that moment, but mostly he hated himself, hated the shadow of himself painted in her wandering thoughts, hated her capacity to tar him black-- And still consumed by the thought that perhaps he deserved it.

The rain fell. He could feel it down his collar, through his hair, on the back of his neck.

Suddenly he felt very tired. Empty, and wondering whether he should. He wanted to. God knew he wanted to leave.

And so in answer to her question he just... Just about the sound of the falling rain, he said, "Yes. I suppose I did."

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:36 am GMT 
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"Because people have left me for less!"

Harshly she cut him off, not being able to bear hearing more. Because she had wanted so badly not to think ill of him, for all the anger she had felt there had still been those flickers of hope, that maybe he would show up and prove her wrong. And here he was, and all she could feel was anger at his actually having an excuse, an excuse to leave her.

"So that's what you're angry about." Lucy hoped that her now slightly more level tone covered how she had shied back when he had rounded on her. Quickly she mirrored him, marching up to stand right in front of Jet, nearly close enough that her breath might be felt on his skin when she spoke. "You're angry with me because I took what little clues you left and came to a conclusion? Then what was I supposed to have thought, Jethro? What would you have thought? You never took me to where you lived, we always met at my place, you never let me see your dad... You wanted me to think that you just loved me too much to be with me?"

Droplets of rain chased eachother down her face from a few of the stray strands of hair that had now glued themselves to her forehead, weighed down by water. But a few of the drops were warm, started to fall when she blinked, and clung to her words, making them choppy and heavy as they were torn from her mouth with every snatched breath.

"I was selfish, alright? Because it was easier to blame you than to keep hoping! Be mad! Fine, be angry about me yelling at you or pushing you but don't you dare be mad at me for trying to make it easier to let you go when it hurt so much and I was just walking around here waiting for you. All my life I have been waiting, watching people to have one foot out the door, just waiting to leave. My supposed to be father left my mum because she was Chinese. He didn't want me either Jet, and unlike you I didn't find a doctor who suddenly decided that he could be my new one, instead I ended up with Joe. I thought you wanted me until you suddenly just vanished and that hurt. So I'm sorry that I wasn't strong or clever enough to assume that you were lying in a hospital in Africa trying to figure out my damn address!"

A shaky intake of breath cut her off and she put the back of her hand over her mouth to try and mute it. She wouldn't cry. She couldn't stand here and cry in front of him of all people, even if she felt the fears of a child begin to mix in to the anger that she wasn't even sure was anger anymore. So certain she had let it all go, and now it was washing over her like a wave: those mornings she woke up alone in a panic until she could find her mother, make sure she hadn't left in the night, that constant feeling of 'not good enough' that Joe had spun to his advantage to reel her in, always keeping people on arm's length because otherwise they would find out too much and then they would leave. For all her confidence Lucy knew that she had always been scared, scared to trust which would open herself up a blow that would suddenly release all of this, like it did now.

"If you didn't come here to prove me wrong then fine," she said, speaking in a strained whisper. "Do what you want."

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:16 am GMT 
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She was crying. For the first time it truly hit him; she was crying, and the tears were indistinguishable from the rain. At first try had been nothing more than trembling streaks across that pane of glass that had grown around him. Slowly, insidiously, they became real. He could hear the break and tremble of her breaths, and the proud, abrupt way she pushed them back with her wrist. Her voice was thick, and harsh, and pained.

He'd demanded logic from her when there was none to be found. Not in his life, at least, however much he sought it. After her life, who would not have assumed the worst...? Who had he been to assume otherwise. But he was still angry, at no one, and her, and him and the stupidity of his fishnet memory. Full of holes, so quick to tear.

Now he'd pushed this proud and stoic girl to tears, and the kick of self-hatred was enough to shut him down, make him utterly still.

"Do what you want."

Who knew what that was.

His hands slid from his pockets, and hung momentarily by his sides, torn with indecision. Then he raised them just enough to rest on her shoulders, and gently push her back, guiding her back to just inside the door, out of the rain. It still drummed on the back of his coat, he ignored it, could barely feel it. Everything had grown a little numb.

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:11 am GMT 
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The only reason she allowed herself to be steered anywhere was that he caught her completely off guard. She kept her eyes firmly on him as he manoeuvred her in to the house. He seemed so much taller now, she noted. Had she just forgotten his height, or had he gone through a final growth spurt while he was gone? The dying boy who she had loved was now suddenly a young man, and while the angles of his face were still sharp they were not skeletal anymore. His hands were stronger.

It was almost a shock when she stopped feeling the cold rain creeping through her already soaked clothes. When she stood as perfectly still as she did now she could almost hear the water dripping from the hems of her trousers, thought she could hear her neighbours moving about inside their apartments; perhaps they were listening in on the quarrel, curious about what that young, lonely girl living in their house was getting up to, who the person in her company now was. Let them, she thought, they could think what they wanted because whatever they thought they knew about her couldn't be worse than the truth.

She remained silent as her eyes finally fell away, the eye contact broken when she reached up to pull her hands over her face. Luckily she hadn't worn any make-up that day, so her hands didn't come off black, just wet as she tried to dry her cheeks, then smooth her hair back. It made a drop of the remains of the rain chase down the back of her neck like a cold finger tracing her skin and it sent a shiver up her spine. For now she wouldn't say anything, just keep waiting for him again, waiting for what it was he would want to do, be it turn and shut the door, or step in from the rain as well. Speaking was out of the question until she could trust her voice not to regress back in to that pathetic tremor again.

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:25 pm GMT 
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His hands lingered for only a moment longer on her slender shoulders. And then they fell away, slowly, as if he had broken her as he touched her body and now, only when drawing back he might see the damage. But she didn't shatter. And so one hand fell to his side, and the other to the beaten wood of the doorframe.

He was inside just enough to stop the rain from streaking his face and neck. Mimicking her, he drew his hair back from his forehead and wiped his forehead and cheek with the back of his wrist. Not that it did much, he supposed. The droplets still studded both their skin. His shirt felt damp beneath his coat. A new one, a little less sturdy. His own original second skin had been lost in the fire. Like many things, perhaps.

He slumped against the doorframe, and looked to the street. The water was beginning to swell in the gutters. It wasn't a violent storm, but persistent, and the shower was deceptively heavy. They ought to have been grateful; the percussion of the water on stone hid a little of the audible wound between them, shrill with their anger, frustration, their needs.

The air held nothing but the smell of the rain and their quiet gasps, and the echo of their bruising words.

Not quite leaving, and not quite staying. His sleeve was drenched.

"I'm going to Columbia with Han." His voice was quiet, and he didn't look at her again. Not that there would be much to see in his eyes. "I don't know how long the medications will last, so I just want to forge a new life while I can. I want to better myself. And go to school, and learn how to think again. I don't know how to tell you how I..."

He turned his face away, and his expression would be lost in shadow.

"The fever does things to you. I was glad you weren't there. You and Acacia and Freddie. I remember thinking- At least they won't see me like this. Han didn't recognise me, I didn't..." He lapsed silent, though there was no shake in his words. If anything there was an unerring blankness to them. "... I stopped fighting even before we went to South Africa. I went because Han thought it would be a good decision. I wasn't ready to die, but I couldn't go on, not like that. I was so tired, and confused. This city brings it all back. I just want to cut it away and never see it again. Everything but you, and them. And if that means I have your permission to send you letters or hold you again or just... Just say goodbye, then I'll take whatever I can. You owe me nothing."

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:47 am GMT 
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Lucy couldn't help that she had to swallow, her eyes drifting down to Jet's chest and finally down to the floor. There were so many things that she had never known, or understood about him. At a certain level she had always known how sick he was, she had listened to the rattle of his lungs and feared for him, but knowing and understanding were two different things. She had often thought about her own feelings on it, how much it would pain her the day his illness took over, but she realized at this moment that she had not spent nearly enough time thinking about how it felt for him; he had always managed to seem so carefree.

The strange thing was that she had already suffered the pain of him dying, while he was only just getting on with the business of being alive again. She had grieved him, and here he was, again, a second chance that many people would kill to have. Not even realizing this could fully disperse her doubts however, couldn't quite grind down the nick in her trust, and that showed in the slight crease above her just slightly red-rimmed eyes when she again looked up at him, his turned away face. She could not quite muster up a response at first, because she had never even considered what one might say in a situation like this one, when you wanted to push someone way but it hurt too much.

"Is he here now, in St. Louis? ...Han...?" she asked, taking the unfamiliar name a bit clumsily in to her mouth that tightened again, burying the tears under gritty defiance as she lifted her chin a fraction to compensate for the difference in height.

"I want to meet him."

A silent dare, perhaps even another ultimatum to get a bit of proof that he was telling the truth, that it wasn't shame that had driven them apart but things out of their control. It wasn't really true that she wanted to meet this South African doctor, the moment the words were out of her mouth she felt a little bit unsure why it felt so important. She wasn't about to take him back, wasn't about to let him hold her, but somehow she wanted to see if he was willing do what she asked of him. Something a little bit petulant entered the line of her mouth.

"Not right now, obviously. But before you go. If you let me do that, you can write me. Unless you forget my address again."

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:27 am GMT 
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Face hidden in shadows, he smiled a little. Not happily, but with just a twist of loneliness, and a pinch of some black humour.

"If that's what you want."

He drew himself up and away from the support of the frame, and drew his collar up high around his neck against the oncoming rain. And there he turned, just to look back at her... The sleek darkness of her hair, knotted now, coupled with the reddening of her eyes. She looked so different. Both of them did. And somewhere deep inside, there lurked the children of a year ago-- but children that only existed as a mere fragment of some bigger entity. They'd grown up apart. Whilst the boy Jet wailed and hissed and paced, the young man that contained him was quiet, and controlled by strange adult fears, a singular sort of cowardice, and a silent, cruel sort of acceptance.

People scarred over in time; they didn't just carry open wounds for you to slip back into. He just hadn't known it a year ago.

He stepped back, and felt the drumming of the rain on his shoulders.

"Bye, Lucy."

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:30 am GMT 
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Lucy watched him carefully, taking in every movement as he began to turn. Everything was somehow stronger now, the flick of his wrist as he flipped up his collar, the way he stood on his own two feet without swaying with fatigue. She just couldn't let it go, how alive he looked. At every second, every turn, there was a new detail that was the same yet different. More vibrant. The only thing truly subdued now was his mood and it made her uneasy.

"Hey." Her voice was still demanding, perhaps a touch arrogant as she yet again called for his attention. Her arms crossed over her chest defensively as she cocked her hip to enable her to bounce her knee a little bit to release some energy that was welling up in the aftermath of all the strong emotions. "So, what? You return from the dead, tell me you've been to Africa and has gotten some sort of medicine and then it's all 'oh sure you can see my dad some time, see you later, sunshine'? You're not going to tell me what they did to you? Was it some sort of... jungle medicine or was it some friend of Han's who's found a miracle drug? What the hell, man?"

As she talked one of her hands came up to gesture slightly, then being held out slightly to the side almost as though she was waiting for him to hand over a physical copy of My Trip to Africa: an autobiography by Jethro Bloom. She felt brushed aside when he simply decided to leave like this, just turn away from her with a simple concession and a good bye. It was too abrupt. Too different. A year ago he would have swooped her off her feet and kissed her before leaving with all the panache a terminally ill young man could manage, and while she was hardly looking for that it felt a bit too nonchalant of him to just leave like this; she didn't feel like they were done yet.

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 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:28 pm GMT 
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Unsought, a smile cracked across his mouth. There were many things that could be levelled against the young stranger that stood before her-- his tendency to slouch, the sloppy, half-completed way he tied the belt of his coat across his narrow waist and the inexcusable familiarity he used now with her, for all his apologies. To complete this ragged set was perhaps the one thing she might remember most; the crooked nature of his smile. How his lips were drawn unmistakably towards his right ear before the left side could keep up and counterbalance that ridiculous picture of a face. And whilst perhaps his eyes lacked that burning sort of passion from before-- and by "before" was that two years ago, or when he had wheeled about to accuse her just moments from now? -- who could say they weren't enough to remember the stick thin alley cat she had first met?

"I have never called you sunshine."

He shrugged almost insolently, turning his face up to look at the bruising clouds that churned and spat down on them. He'd become strangely accustomed to the heady charge of the storms of Africa, and the way the lighting impaled earth. It felt strangely subpar, this rain. It wasn't even particularly cold. He half-closed his eyes, and the raindrops fell heavy on his eyelids, ran into his mouth. He felt suddenly cut-off, as if this was nothing more than a particularly vivid dream. Perhaps he'd left the window open, and a fine spray of morning drizzle had made into onto his sleeping face and conjured this. Maybe he hadn't been brave enough to go to anyone's door, yet. He wondered whether this dream would give him more, or less courage to do so.

"Crucified Christ. What can I say?" His voice was rich with a sort of irony and yet thin, almost cracked. "Han had some friend from medical school and an enemy from God-knows-where-- some sociopath Brit. I signed their consent forms and gritted my teeth whilst they did their stuff. Can't say I liked it-- to be honest, if I'd been able to walk I'd probably have jumped out of the first window. I wasn't asking many questions at the time, you know?" He angled his face a little to look over at her, or at least the dip between her collarbones, or the patch of skin beneath her left jaw. "But I guess "jungle medicine" could be appropriate."

Her anger was infectious. It made him reckless, suddenly, this thought that it might just all be a dream. The rain tasted like soot.

"They injected it first, into the blood. Then they made this powder you breathed in through a nebuliser, a--" He halted, searching for an explanation. He almost resented it. "A machine that pushes medicine through your windpipe, into your lungs. It's new." He didn't know why he was going into this much detail. He never had to her in the past; he'd glossed over the illness and tried to cover the wheeze of his pus-logged lungs and the ragged flecks of blood that had marred his sleeves. But suddenly he wanted to tell her about the dull ache of the cannula sites and the dry scratch of gas at the back of your throat, and the clammy embrace of sweaty, reeking sheets, too exhausted to make it to the bathroom or even the bedpan beneath the bed and mortified when the nurses came in and found him, half-raving with fever and filthy. Luckily Han had never been there; his pride had already been gutted enough by the pitying looks of the beautiful nurses, their wrinkling noses and sing-song assurances.

The words fell short suddenly, garrotted in his throat.

"... And you. What have you been doing? All this time."

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is a spider-child
 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:59 am GMT 
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Location: Northern parts of Sweden
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Lucy couldn't help that the thought of having medicine forced in to your lungs almost prompted a cough caused by imaginary dust settling in her windpipe. It sounded unpleasant enough for her to allow herself to wrinkle her nose in an expression of not quite sympathy, but at least one that indicated that she understood the amount of discomfort that must have come with that treatment; especially when it was doled out by the hands of a "sociopath Brit".

"Obviously it must have done some good at least," she settled on saying, not really prepared to offer the pity that she might have felt before; it was easier to withhold it when it felt less as though the wouldn't have a second chance to be more empathic later. "It sounds a bit more like a way of killing someone instead of fixing someone though."

While there still was a very clear line between them that Lucy was so far not very interested in letting either of them crossed, the barbs were being drawn in again, and while the air around her still bristled a little it was becoming a little bit less electric. Suddenly her arm came up again, but this time to grab his coat instead of shoving him away; leaving no room for argument she pulled him in through the door, then stepping back to let it swing shut and to re-establish the distance between them. "You're going to undo it all again if you stand out in the rain," was the only offered comment as she shoved her hands deeply in to her pockets. The question of what she had been doing made her look at her feet, lightly scuffing one toe of a shoe against another.

"Not much," she said lowly before looking up, sucking at her teeth in annoyance as she tried to find a more flattering way of putting it but then giving up and mimicking his shrug. "Nothing like that at least. I moved. Not that I had a lot of things to actually move. We managed to get some back from Joe but..." There was a brief pause before she dropped the subject. It wasn't a pleasant memory, even if she hadn't actually gone with Danny and Billy when they had gone to retrieve what little items she actually owned. A new girl had already been staying at her apartment. This didn't mean she hadn't seen Joe since leaving however, but it had been a long time since she'd had to think about him so she would rather not do so at this point.

"Mostly I've just been working. Singing." For some reason she felt she needed to point this out. "Billy hired me. Freddie's brother that is."

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