Author Topic: The Elephant in the Room  (Read 7994 times)

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Offline Saiketsu

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The Elephant in the Room
« on: March 14, 2011, 04:13:20 PM »
Reserved for CK

The dream which woke him took several moments to resurface once his silver eyes found the ceiling. Long moments kept the vividness of the dream from him, and the immortal kept his brain as quiet as he could muster, his ears focused on the mortal heartbeat of the young woman downstairs, his eyes remaining on their original spot. He lay still within his bed, alone, dressed in sleepwear.

She was running again, but this time he saw her running, her almost bare legs moving as fast as any human\'s could. The girl smelled horrible, like men who had not given her a chance to be. He remembered wrinkling his nose at the scent of the men, the make-up and the sweat. But there was something about that look in her eyes that made him not turn from her. There was something desperate that he couldn\'t abandon as easily as one would some piece of trash. She wasn\'t something he could so easily discard to the gutters, or hand back to Laurent with an indifferent nature.

Rachel ran; he could hear her lungs wheezing and her feet skidding and her heart hammering in her bosom as she came closer to him. He was alone again, the same way he had been for several scattered nights since the actual girl had so ungracefully fallen into his care, and she came to a stop in front of him, not two feet before his chest. And they simply looked at each other with the deepest of looks that he could not describe. And, as always followed, two men grabbed her and pushed her hard against a wall, running over her with intolerable grasps. His blood, hot with anger, found its ability to flow once more as he tore the intolerable hands off of Rachel and off of their stubby wrists.

He there he was with the girl again, face to face. Something had connected him to her without physically touching her. And in the moments that they stared at each other, in that un-physical connection, he felt his hand calmly reach up to her small, round face and brush against it with the backs of his fingers, with nothing of Lucretia rising in his mind.

Damien awoke just as his hand brushed the cheek of the mortal girl and while it escaped him for a few moments, as it always did, the dream returned to his memory fresh and with lingering importance. Below him he could still hear the purring of the small cat, the steady rhythm of his Delilah, and the quiet flipping of pages of the same girl of his dreams. Yet now she smelled infinitely better than before, her blood, skin, and hair two and a half years delayed from returning to the control of that man whom he despised with everything that made him a man. Her eyes had gained a happiness that he had become quite used to, her smile finding more truth than lie.

It was nearing dark when he willed himself out of bed. For nearly hours he laid silent, un-breathing and listening to the house around him react, his animals eat and his ward move about. More often than not she pulled at the vampire’s attention as he lay there, the warmth of her blood and the rhythm of her heart calling to his immortal senses. Upon waking he couldn’t find it in himself to be tired and sleep more. So after these hours the vampire woke and showered quickly, dressing himself in normal attire; a pair of jeans and a cream-colored turtleneck. With damp hair which remained in his eyes, Damien descended the stairs at a human’s pace so as not to startle Rachel, whom recognized his purposeful creaking steps of alert. She didn’t move, but flashed a smile at him when he entered the kitchen to retrieve the newspaper.

“Good morning,” he said reflexively in clear English, flicking open the immortal paper with white ink to read about the happenings of the city of immortals.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 11:42:15 AM »
It was the second all-niter the human had pulled since last she slept.  Even though she felt tired and was almost constantly yawning, she was planning on going at least another day without sleeping.  By now, Damien would have been used to her routine - though he still told her that she needed to sleep eventually.  He had seen her at least twice going five days without sleep, and that was certainly enough to make him concerned as long as she lived.  She was content with being perpetually tired if it meant less unconscious time wandering through memories.

The nightmares had been bad.

After living with Damien for what she considered to be \'awhile\', she was pretty content.  For the first time in a long time she felt safe and comfortable.  While the two had their share of tiffs, it was nothing that they hadn\'t shrugged off or gotten over.  She considered him a good friend and was infinitely grateful for everything he had done for her since that night they had ran into each other on the streets.  But that was something they didn\'t really talk about that much.

About three hours ago she had showered, dressing in jeans and a long sleeved black shirt that hug her body.  Yesterday she had spent an entire twenty-four-hours in her pajamas, and she had no intention of doing so again - it made her feel extremely lazy.  Lestat had waited outside of the bathroom door the entire time, mewing quietly but frequently enough to make the girl worry that he was going to wake Damien early.  If he had though, she didn\'t know, and the early evening progressed as usual.  She picked up a book from her shelf at random and made her way to the family room where she spent the remainder of her evening until Damien woke up and came downstairs.

"Good morning,"  Rachel smiled, her voice light and airy - though she was clearly tired.  Lestat, who was nestled in her lap, turned his head to watch the vampire walk into the kitchen.  For the last few hours she had kept her head buried in one of the Jane Austin novels that she had managed to collect during the time she had spent living with Damien.  Slowly, he had allowed her to build a small library of select favorites to keep her company when he could not.  The human wasn\'t exactly interested in television shows, so she needed all the books she could get her hands on.  She read slow enough to make the time pass by quickly when he was sleeping and she was the only one awake besides the animals.

"How\'d you sleep?"  she asked, glancing up from her book and into the kitchen where he stood reading the white newsprint - ink that her eyes couldn\'t read.  The first time he had showed her the \'newspaper\', she thought that he was just being an asshole.  But by now, after she watched him read the \'blank\' paper every evening and after he had given her a different story every night about something that the paper reported, she believed him.  

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 12:45:31 PM »
"Good," the vampire reported pleasantly. The response didn\'t sit right with him however so he changed it to the much more proper "Well," before he spoke again. English had always been difficult for him, so unlike the Romantic languages of his youth in Toulouse. He had been speaking it for many years but Rachel still had to remind him of his grammar, or explain to him a meaning of a slang word every so often. Though he was without much accent unlike some of his fledglings, he would have still preferred to forget about English as a language altogether and speak to everyone in one of the other dozen or more languages which were much simpler and straightforward. Rachel, unfortuately, would be the only one left out completely as she was the only person he knew that spoke perfect English and not a word of another language. It was unfortunate as well, in this regard, that she was the one person he saw and spoke to face-to-face on a nightly basis. So until he had the time to teach her other means of verbal communication they would work together through misunderstandings and explainations of ideas; she would explain the meaning of words he couldn\'t understand and he would give her the pleasure of understanding him and his thoughts.

He heard the girl smile, his ears picking up the movement of her lips stretching over her teeth to reveal a small smile as he corrected himself. Damien smiled slightly as well. He quite liked when things were easy with her.

The small arguments and misunderstandings that were common for the first year of living with the girl were nearly a thing of the past. Certainly, sometimes the girl and he disagreed on many things -- she was young and he was old afterall. But there maintained within the past year a sort of calm understanding in the house. There was a tie between them, one that prevented them from fighting about little, useless things which were just the occurances of the other person. Nothing was too irritating anymore, nothing too intrusive. There were, of course, things that they refused together to talk aloud about and subjects which were painful to brush over, but the two mostly maintained a relatively close friendship.

"I assume you haven\'t slept today?" He asked leafing through the paper to the article he wanted to read.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 01:03:54 PM »
She laughed awkwardly.  "No, not yet," Rachel paused, scratching Lestat behind the ear.  This was a very routine topic for the two to discuss: whether or not she had slept.  It used to be a heavy question for her to answer.  Now she responded to him as though he had made a comment about the weather.

"I probably will tomorrow night," she offered, as if that would make him worry less.  She knew he worried about her, along with the other million-and-a-half things that occupied the vampire\'s mind.

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 01:50:09 PM »
"I don\'t know about that one," Damien said, reading the same sentence twice. "You seem to be falling asleep much more frequently lately. You might fall asleep tonight if you\'re not careful. You seem rather tired."

Delilah yawned and stretched as she rose from her bed near the television in the family room in order to trot over to Damien\'s side and smile at him with a pant and lop-sided tongue. Mentally the vampire reached out to the dog and stroked her. The beautiful husky woofed in affection. "You feed them already, yes?"
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 02:11:30 PM »
"Yeah," she didn\'t look up from her book again until he asked her if they were running out of anything and were in need for a trip to the store.  The girl shook her head.

"No, we\'re pretty much all set.  I haven\'t been very hungry lately so there\'s still enough food for me."

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2011, 02:31:42 PM »
From above his paper the vampire cast the human a quizical look. Food was always an awkward conversation to have. Many times he forgot that others had to eat at all -- afterall he had surrounded himself with vampires for the better part of nine hundred years. Even so, eating and sleeping were constant battles with Rachel. He may not have been human in nearly a millenia, but he still knew that humans had to eat and sleep, neither of which Rachel did very well or regularly.

"Really?" he said, catching her eye as he made his way into the family room. Her face flushed a little at the intensity of his contact. "You know, I don\'t think you eat right, Rach. You should probably be eating more." With his silver eyes still on her, he sat down in a comfortable brown chair that was known to be his next to the couch that Rachel reclined on.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2011, 02:41:15 PM »
"I\'m fine. I don\'t feel hungry.  It\'s not that big of a deal."  She shrugged.  The girl was picky.  Lately, she hadn\'t had much of an appetite.  She wasn\'t sick, it just happened sometimes.  She snacked here and there, but didn\'t make any extra effort to eat planned meals.  Rachel didn\'t see what the big deal was.

"Stop worrying so much, it\'s not like I\'m sick.  You know that."  She smirked.

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2011, 03:25:46 PM »
Damien\'s eyes lingered on her in a stern look, to which he recieved a "what?" from the human before flicking open the paper again and letting Delilah adjust herself on his lap as she sat with the immortal. The vampire then disappeared behind the newspaper with a brief sigh.

Tonight the paper was filled with bad news for Damien. Kerr, the Luminary for two years, was loved and not much else. No new developments with McCloud or Vomas. Usual news of usual things, the location of blood bars, the rise in price of packaged blood, small protests of the secrecy of immortals downtown. Nothing which showed him much opportunity to get eyes or ears in the Oligarchy. Both Jack and Elias were out of the country, checking on Damien\'s foreign fledges and accounts. Pierre was in a much more flexible place for Damien, able to do just about anything with his sizable burn on his abdomen, but still not in top shape. Laurent hadn\'t shown his face in more than a year and Damien was beginning to think that the hunter had given up the hunt for Rachel. Yet the vampire was still at a standstill, his hands tied behind his back.

He had been waiting in the wings, so to speak, for a long time now, fittering away with small and manial tasks while those much younger than he entertained their own desires to be King. It was insulting to be governed such by young ones, forbidden to fledge within city limits unless Kerr, Jake, or Vomas were allowed to stick their noses into his business, into his family. But with things the way they were, there was still nothing that Damien could do to change the shape of things. Except wait.

Damien put the paper down with a sigh without bothering to finish the article he was on. The immortal leaned his head back on the chair and closed his eyes. Suddenly his pleasant mood was ruined; the paper was always able to do that. The young man ran a hand through his drying hair in frustration. Delilah took her head off of her paws on Damien\'s lap and looked up in concern at her master before putting her head back down and sighing herself.

"I swear, I am cursed with the worst of luck."
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2011, 03:32:22 PM »
"What is it this time?"  her tone was void of all sarcasm.  She could tell that he was moderately upset.  Her book went onto the table in front of her as she sat up, giving the vampire her complete attention.  Lestat hopped off of her lap in protest, and trotted off to the kitchen - undoubtedly in the direction of his food.

"Something new happening?"  Most of the time, it wasn\'t something new.  It was the same usual things renewing themselves in the vampire\'s eyes.  Usually it was something that he had no control over, and she told him that because she hated seeing him fret over things that he couldn\'t change.  But most of the time he worried anyway.

If he were human, he would have terrible blood pressure.

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2011, 03:55:07 PM »
"No, that\'s the problem. There are no problems. Not with Kerr, not with Jake, not with Vomas, nothing." He paused for a moment, making eye contact with her. "At least with Lazarus in power, there were problems. At least with Lazarus there was the opportunity to seize power from these... these...  ces enfants idiots et égoïstes!" Damien took an unneeded breath and continued in English, ignoring his own outburst. "Kerr does not have half of my age and yet he governs us all and eveyone loves him for it? And yet he has more say over my children than I do?" Again he sighed. "Ignore me. I\'m simply frustrated."
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2011, 03:59:30 PM »
"No, it\'s okay,"  a concerned look easily moved across her face.  

"You don\'t have any control over it," she offered, hesitantly, "Over any of it.  I mean, things are the way they are.  You can\'t really do anything about it."  She shifted in her seat.

"Worrying about it, as much as you do, especially isn\'t helpful," she muttered, as if to herself, but she knew that he could hear her plainly enough.  Not that she was trying to hide anything that she was saying.  Or thinking, for that matter.  They discussed things like this easily enough and this wasn\'t the first time that the vampire had heard her saying something like this.

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2011, 04:03:35 PM »
"I know," he said rubbing at his eyes as if to clear something from them. "Yet I can\'t help but concern myself. I should really stop reading that damn thing until I\'ve decided on some kind of course of action." Damien sighed and then added with a slight smirk, "I\'m going to give myself wrinkles or something."
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2011, 04:07:01 PM »
She laughed - light again, and amused causing her cheeks to glow slightly.

"Really, though.  You\'re going to end up giving both of us wrinkles.  So cut it out, \'cause I\'m way too young for any of that."  She smiled easily, eager to keep the subject (and his mind) away from current events of the immortal city.

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Re: The Elephant in the Room
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2011, 02:40:23 AM »
Damien put one finger up to his eye and pulled down the sack of skin just beneath it to show Rachel the dull pink flesh of the internal socket. "Ouais, ouais, ouais, mon oeil." And he smirked at the girl as one of the seat cushions came flying at his head. Delilah yipped and skittered off of him in just enough time to avoid any attacks from the girl. But Damien, being as fast as he was, caught the thing no problem, even at such a close distance.

"What do you mean \'I\'ll give you wrinkles\'? I\'m younger than you are, you know. I\'m only nineteen." He loved the warmth in her cheeks as she smiled at him.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death