I want one more day here. This place with no boundaries is not my house, is yours, but feels like mine. Mine is too restricting: I much prefer this sense of yours mine ours that creaks up from the floorboards to the tempo of our footfalls as we wander(more) this empty house together. I want one more day.
I have had too many already, I know. You have too. We spent too long in only each other's company and there are no walls anymore and I am going to have to start watching what I say. I have things I cannot tell even you and I do not want them aired now. Not here. Not with lazy days hanging around us like a blanket of peace and drawing our already matching frequencies into almost perfect resonance. I will have to face the weight I carry in a few hours, when the door opens and the others walk in. I don't want to.
I want one more day. One more golden day of not having to check which of my opinions I state, how far I let someone go before forcing them back, how exactly I phrase every thought that finds its way out of my mouth so that I can continue to be accepted.
One more day is too much to ask, but a few more hours isn't. So I will remain here on your couch and I will let my words flow almost freely and I will bask in this temporary lifting of checks and balances that you have given me.(less)
The cellar door always gave Deborah a strange feeling when she looked at it; probably because it led to a big, black hole in the ground. People weren't meant to go into big black holes, not until they were dead. At least, that's how she viewed it.
Rick(more)y said they would end up living in the cellar when the zombies came. Stupid Ricky- believing in zombies. He went on and on about the Zombie Apocalypse: how they should build up their supplies, how they should build up their endurance, how they should all learn how to fire a rifle because that's the easiest way to destroy zombie brains. Ricky watched too much TV and believed /The Last of Us/ was a simulated training exercise. Poor, stupid Ricky.
She took a hold of the iron ring and pulled the door open. It smelled of dank earth and old wood, not an unpleasant smell, just a dark one. She descended the stairs and found the switch to the one bare bulb. It flickered for a moment before illuminating the old and forgotten things upon the old and forgotten shelves. She hadn't been down here since a small child, when out of curiosity she followed her father and found him hanging up the meat hooks. They were cruel and barbaric looking, but he liked to hang ropes and all sorts of things upon them.
What's a cellar without a few meat hooks, he had said.
That's another reason the cellar creeped her out. It was a horror movie waiting to happen. She just hoped Ricky would appreciate her little joke. He was coming down here to check out her Zombie Apocalypse survival kit.
She smirked to herself as she heard his footsteps overhead. He was about meet Zombie Deborah behind the cellar door. (less)
Masayoshi lay on his stomach on the bed, his face pressed into his arm drowsily. All of his muscles felt like they had gone to jelly in the best way - he probably couldn't stand up right now if he wanted too. Good thing he wasn't going anywhere for(more) a while.
He watched Gotou pad about the apartment barefoot - back and forth, cleaning up and getting dressed. HE wasn't having any trouble getting upright - but he had to go to work soon. Masayoshi sighed contentedly, and tried not to feel too badly about the bright red scratches that ran down Gotou's shoulder blades.
The first time he'd done that, he had apologized over and over - and Gotou had actually laughed - well, he'd laughed after he was done wincing because Masayoshi decided the scratches needed cleaning first. He took it as a mark of pride in a job well done - Masayoshi was completely embarrassed, either way.
"You all right?" Gotou had stopped buttoning up his shirt and was looking with concern at Masayoshi.
"I'm fantastic," Masayoshi purred. He was, too - his thighs were still trembling. He tilted his head up and smiled, and after a moment Gotou smiled back. He knew that Gotou was terrified of hurting him, and that despite everything he was still so wary of this whole thing that had sprung up between them.
"Good." Gotou had to crouch to kiss the top of his head, and Masayoshi grabbed his shirt front and angled his head up for a proper, heated kiss. Gotou sighed and tilted his forehead against Masayoshi's. "We have got to stop doing this in the mornings," he said finally. "I don't know if I can walk out that door today and leave you here in bed without me."(less)
Elize's eyes snapped open, her bangs damp and clinging to her forehead. She wasn't sure if she cried out; she couldn't remember where she was at first, between the darkness and the unfamiliarity of the room and bed. She grasped blindly for Teepo and found him right next to(more) her, soft and comforting.
"Are you alright, Elly?" he asked, tilting himself closer to her. "Another bad dream?"
She buried her face into his side and nodded. Most of the time, her nightmares were about the storage room in Hamil where she'd been hidden away. She was strange, scary, dangerous, a witch. No one wanted to look at her, let alone be around her, let alone be friends with her.
(Except Teepo. Teepo was her friend.)
Sometimes, though, she dreamed of another dark place. It must have been a room, like the one in Hamil, but she couldn't remember any details about this one. There were strange noises she couldn't identify, people whose faces had been scrubbed away in her memory. It wasn't the same place as the storage room, except it made her feel the same way - scared and alone.
"We're in Sharilton," Teepo supplied helpfully in response to the question Elize never asked. "We came here with our new friends!"
Friends, Elize thought, and the word made her light up inside; it was a feeling like using healing magic, but more rare and precious somehow, and it came from somewhere in her chest instead of her head.
Teepo wriggled free from her grasp, floated over to the light on the wall and turned it on, illuminating the room in a soft glow. "Go back to sleep, Elly."
Now, with the darkness gone, Elize felt like she could. (less)
The flight was early in the morning. Tim hadn't slept at all. The memory of the devastation he had caused his children was too fresh, too raw. For the first time he had doubts about what he was doing. He had lied to the psychologists who had assessed him. He told them (more)that he had the full support of his family. He didn't see it as a lie though, it was more of a timing thing. He knew he would get their support, eventually. The sessions were quite bleak. They went through the legal reasons why they had to test him. They reviewed his medical records to fully understand his illness, to allow him review any medical options he might have. Not that that was a requirement, apparently many people have nothing terminal, they just have nothing to live for. This surprised him. He couldn't understand why anyone would go through this if there were no real reason. Then again, he supposed many people wouldn't see his circumstances as a real reason either. He had heard all the arguments, all the anecdotes, the pleading. He heard everything over and over. But he knew that it was his only option. Not for him, but for his family. He also knew he had to act fast, before he would not be deemed fit to make the decision. He lay awake on his bed. The memory of the tears, the anger, the violence of the previous night was too much to bare. A tear fell from his eye. He hadn't moved all night. Only the most sensitive of motion sensors would have picked up the squeeze of his eyes and the fitful breathing as he waited for his alarm to go off. In less than 24 hours it would all be over.(less)
They were each holding one end of the black bag, the middle drooping dangerously between them, as though the girl inside were laying, carefree, on a hammock, instead of dead. Hundreds of bags were to their left, all the dead laid side by side, blanketed in black. Hundreds of(more) bodies were to their right, sprawled, crossing over each other, bathed in red.
They carried her carefully, steps awkward, bag swinging despite their efforts. They weren't crying- not anymore. After carrying the fifty second child to the left, they realized that it hurt too much to continue to cry- the tears were hotter, the lump in their throat bigger, their hearts heavier, and their bodies shut down, protecting them from the hurt.
They laid her down gently, settling her carefully on the ground, straightening the bag as much as they could without touching her body.
In the bag, she wasn't straight.
They walked back to the right, pulling another bag from the pile in between the two sides, silent, heavy, slow. Their eyes scanned the bodies, searching, again, for motion, hoping, desperate, to see movement- but, yet again, there was nothing. They dropped their eyes again, walking towards the closest body, now nearly fifty feet away.
They were the only ones moving.(less)
It was one of those cold, dark days in the middle of January, the kind that is never fully bright. It had been a particularly tedious day at work. The energy was low and the heating had been set a couple of degrees too high on the thermostat and I had(more) spent the day alternating between being too hot with my jumper on and too cold with it off. It had been thoroughly unsatisfying work-wise too. Things had gone wrong, calls had gone un-made and the calls that had been made had gone often been to phones un-answered. I was glad to get home and even though the house was chilly, at least my woolly jumper was doing what it was supposed to, for the first time that day. I kicked my boots off and sank into the armchair. The patio doors stared blankly at me, the garden dark behind them. I stretched and began to contemplate what to rustle up for dinner. Realistically a food-shop had been on the cards on the way home, but the idea of dragging myself around the supermarket was a bridge too far today. As I turned to make my way to the kitchen the whole garden lit up. The damn sensor light. I rued the day I had it installed. The neighbourhood cats played havok with the motion sensor part of it as if they had their own private morse code. I turned to shoo what ever feline had strayed only to be faced with the image of a hooded figure retreating down the garden and nimbly pushing them over the back wall and away. My heart pounded in my ears as the garden fell back into darkness. This was not what I was expecting. I never though they'd find me here. (less)
Gotou really didn't think that he was out of shape - he was a police officer, for crying out loud - but keeping up with Masayoshi was a lot harder than he expected. Masayoshi stopped several meters ahead, when he realized that Gotou wasn't right behind him any longer,(more) and doubled back. He didn't even look like he was breathing hard, the punk.
"Gotou-san, are you all right?"
Didn't sound like he was breathing hard, either. "Freak," Gotou huffed. He wasn't doubled over, but he had his hands on his hips and was leaning just slightly forward. He wasn't even sure how long they'd been jogging. "You're not human."
"You're just out of shape," Masayoshi chirped enthusiastically.
"I am not out of shape," Gotou snapped. He swiped sweat off his forehead, took a deep breath and straightened. "How much further?"
"We can double back if you want," Masayoshi said.
"Fuck that," Gotou said. "I'm not letting you win."
"This isn't a competition, though?" Masayoshi stretched his arms over his head - at least he was sweating. Maybe he was human after all. Maybe just a little bit. "There's nothing wrong with being out of shape, most people are-"
Gotou smacked him in the center of his chest. "Shut UP, Masayoshi."
Masayoshi shoved him forward. "All right, fine. We'll keep going, I can carry you if I have to-"
Gotou groaned, and let Masayoshi take the lead again. The sudden humiliating thought of Masayoshi princess-carrying him was going to drive him the rest of the way. "There is no way I would ever let you carry me," he huffed.
"Save your breath," Masayoshi called over his shoulder.
"Fuck you," Gotou seethed.
"Doesn't sound like you will today," Masayoshi responded, and Gotou made a noise that sounded like a typewriter jamming.(less)
Masayoshi leaned against the bathroom sink, one hand holding the compress over his eye. It didn't hurt at all until he saw the blood and realized that maybe he'd gotten hit a little bit harder than he'd thought.
It had been a fairly minor scuffle - a robbe(more)r bolted right into him as he was entering the store, he wasn't even LOOKING for trouble for once; but the man had caught him with the bottom edge of the cash tray and damn, that was more blood than he was expecting to lose today.
There was blood in his hair, it was in the sink - Masayoshi smoothed his bangs back with his free hand and lifted the compress. The skin around the cut was bruised - but it looked like it had mostly stopped bleeding. Head wounds bled a LOT more than he expected.
He heard shuffling outside the door, and realized with a start that he hadn't heard Gotou come in. "Yoshi?" Gotou called. "There's - is this blood on the door?"
"No!" Masayoshi yelled, and braced his foot against the inside of the door.
"It IS blood!" The door slammed against his foot but didn't open, Masayoshi winced and pressed the compress back against his head and turned the water on to wash the blood in the sink down. "Masayoshi, let me in."
"You're bleeding in the bathroom again, what did you do THIS time?"
"I didn't DO anything!"
Gotou hit the door hard enough into his foot this time that he yelped and finally moved out the way. Gotou slammed the door open - he HATED the face Gotou made when he got hurt, so much worry - and he saw Masayoshi leaned over the sink, blood-stained towel pressed to his forehead. "Damn it, Masayoshi."(less)
They could have purchased a futon - Gotou's apartment was small, yes, but it wasn't so small that he couldn't work around Masayoshi sleeping on the floor. But Masayoshi insisted, and there was something weirdly comfortable about squishing the both of them into the same bed. They had no(more) choice but to cuddle to each other, one wrong turn would send Masayoshi over the edge and to the floor, but it was …nice. Masayoshi was definitely a cuddler, burrowed half under Gotou's side, nose pressed to the pillow and a soft sigh escaping on every breath as he slept.
His presence didn't even keep Gotou awake - he would pass out comfortably and wake well - although occasionally with a stiff neck - but suprisingly, the arrangement *worked.*
Of course, the one thing Gotou had neglected in his calculations was what to do when he woke up with a bad case of morning wood, and Masayoshi's arm slung over his lower waist, head pressed to his chest and one leg tangled between Gotou's own. His other leg seemed to be somewhere off the side of the bed, but Gotou's main concern was the fact that if Masayoshi's arm drifted any further south it would be in dangerous territory.
Gotou stared at the ceiling and tried to think about something other than the pressure in his underwear; he thought about cold showers and work - (no good, Masayoshi arriving at the station, grinning and cheerful) - he tried counting backward but soon the numbers matched the beating of the heart against his side. He was going to have to throw Masayoshi overboard and bolt for the bathroom, that was all there was to it.
Even as he had the thought, Masayoshi sighed and shifted, just slightly. (less)
This was it; the fruit of their labour. Though it didn't look like much, it held the key to forty years of work. The Magic Machine was proof that the people of Scree had discovered the secrets of the Subtle Arts three millennia before the Great Mistake, thus confirming that they(more) had arrived before the Scianthians. This proved Dr. Isis' diaspora theory of planetary settlement in the Dagba system and effectively nullified the Kandata treaty.
Without the treaty the Scianthians could no longer lay claim to the great Silicon forests of Yis-Tella, thus ending their ability to produce the psychoprompters that the Federation so desperately needed to see into the inner lives of their own people...
...Or so thought Diane Forsworth, lead archaeologist for the dig. What Diane did not know however, was that the Magic Machine existed within a subtle time ripple that their chronometers could not pick up. If their instruments had a high enough resolution they would have discovered that the Magic Machine was in fact a post Great Mistake invention. Indeed the people of Scree had only begun to delve into the Subtle Arts nearly a millennia after the horrible apocalyptic event. By that time they had developed a sufficient level of Chrono-manipulation such that along with the creation of the Magic Machine they were able to create a time-field so subtle that even the most sensitive instruments could not pick up the distortion.
It was a problem so convoluted that even the most astute Chrono-cop in the System would not be able unravel its intricate permutations.
This is how it came to pass that Bel-Uthra was able to achieve Moksha consciousness unmolested by Federation spies and draw the Dram-wraiths out from Blackspace like moths to a flame.