Undetermined to March 27, 2013
Unforeseen - Pt 6
James grinned and shrugged the hoodie over his shoulders. It was still slightly warm from the wash (not that he could feel it) and smelled faintly of flowers. Not really his preferred scent but it was nice to have it clean all the same.
“Check it out, David. Laurel cleaned my clothes for me!” He boasted.
David, who had briefly regained enough lucidity to follow James to his room, cracked open one eye and fixed the boy with his lethargic gaze.
“I don’t see Laurel cleaning your clothes!” James continued with a grin.
David shrugged. His lap was full of teddy bears and perched awkwardly on his head, half slipping off thanks to his headphones, was a crude paper crown. James had declared him to be the ‘Bear King’ for the current game they’d been playing, which really didn’t seem to consist of anything more than burying him in teddy bears.
“I can do yours if you want, David”, said Laurel, trying to main
Unforeseen - Pt 4
James had been stealing from the kitchen again.
Laurel found the boy in the entrance hall, making his way through a large tomato. The front of his oversized hoodie was stained with juice and seeds. Laurel was not his caretaker, but he approached him anyway and pulled down the zip.
“Here, let me wash that for you”, he said.
James shrugged and pulled off the hoodie, too interested in devouring his prize to argue. Laurel had expected the boy to be wearing some kind of t-shirt beneath it, but his chest was bare.
Which meant Laurel had a perfect, un-obscured view of the ragged hole where James’ heart should be.
“James, what’s that?”
James took another bite of the tomato, juice dribbling down his chin. He ran his free hand over the hole, fingers poking the edges. Laurel could see right through it to the wall behind him.
“Oh, this? It’s nothing”. He sounded so nonchalant. “I’ve always had it”.
Unforeseen - Pt 5
Pariah stood in the hallway, examining his reflection in a mirror hanging on the wall. One finger ran over the heavy bags beneath his eyes. He reached up and plucked a hair from his head, frowning as he examined it.
A grey hair already? Well that’s just fantastic.
His gaze shifted, Laurel’s approaching figure just visible in the corner of his eye. His newest resident was holding a bundle of grey fabric in his hands.
“What are you doing?” He asked.
Laurel froze, startled by Pariah’s voice. A gentle gasp escaped his lips.
“I…I was just going to clean James’ hoodie”, he said. “It’s dirty”.
“Then James should clean it himself. It’s his responsibility, not yours. That or he should give it to Enya to sort out”.
Laurel bit his lip.
“I was only trying to be helpful…”
Pariah turned back to the mirror and returned to examining his hair, which surprised Laurel a little as
Unforeseen - Pt 3
Laurel couldn’t sleep.
The moon was obscured by fat, heavy clouds. The rain still fell, beating against his window pane with such ferocity that it seemed like any moment now it would burst right through. The room was dark and still.
It felt too big for one person.
The bed was king sized. Often he felt as though he were drowning in the sheets. He’d been given a nice room and he knew it, but it was so quiet and lonely.
He sighed and rolled over onto his side. His hair splayed across his pale shoulders and slipped into his face, tickling his nose.
Faintly he could hear the piano.
It was hard to make out over the pouring rain, but there was definitely something there. A soft, melancholy tune echoing from below him.
Pariah, it seemed, couldn’t sleep either.
Laurel rolled onto his back, trying to block out the rain and concentrate solely on the music. He knew – as did everyone in the mansion – that Pariah did not like company while he played. He did
Unforeseen - Pt 2
By evening the rain had come.
Laurel couldn’t say he was surprised. One way or another the rain always came. The garden was abandoned in favor of the living room couch and the warm, crackling embers of the fireplace. All of the heat from earlier in the day was gone.
In the corner of the room an old grandfather clock slowly ticked away the hours. Laurel was writing again. A poem about fish nibbling at his toes, chewing away the skin and exposing all the little bones. He couldn’t remember if he’d always enjoyed poetry this much, but it didn’t matter.
Thunder rumbled ominously in the distance.
“Enjoying yourself, are you?”
A low, snide voice broke Laurel from his thoughts. Marco appeared from behind the sofa, his big blue eyes full of hate. He had such a pretty, youthful face but whenever it came to Laurel he always looked so ugly.
Laurel wasn’t entirely sure how to respond to that, so he kept quiet. Apparently that was wrong answer.
Unforeseen - Pt 1
For as long as he could remember (which admittedly wasn’t all that far) Laurel had lived in the mansion. This old, dreary mansion in the middle of nowhere. It was dark and gloomy, constantly marinating within an air of neglect. But it was home.
He sat in the garden on a surprisingly pleasant day in late October. His shoes and socks were neatly placed upon grass that badly needed cutting, his feet gently swaying back and forth in the cold water of the pond.
It was strange, he supposed, that he should even feel the chill on his toes.
None of the other residents could feel like this.
But then, as Pariah had told him, Laurel was special. He was capable of feeling the warmth of the sun and the icy bite of the winter wind. And when he’d pricked his finger on the long thorns of the garden roses he’d felt the pain. He’d bled, too. But there was nothing special about that.
A curious fish dared to approach and nibbled on one of his toes. Laurel jerked his foot,
HEARTS MADE OF STEEL Chp VIII: Fiona
"And how are you today, Lieutenant Colonel?"
"Fiona, please, you've been to dinner more times than I can count; I think you can drop the title."
The ginger laughs lightly and sets a cup of black coffee in front of Maes. "I know, but for the sake of formality, I ought at least to say it once."
"Oh? Do you call Edward Elric 'Major'?"
"Sometimes," Fiona admits, "when he's in an especially sour mood. It's about as far as I can get with jokes when it comes to that boy."
"Teenagers, what can I say?" After a sip of coffee, however, Maes wiggles his eyebrows playfully. "But I'm sure my Elicia will be an absolute angel when she reaches that age."
"I have no doubt."
A few ticks of clock populate the otherwise still room. So peaceful — if only all of Fiona's clients could be as agreeable as Maes Hughes. Unlike Edward's tendency to brood in silence, when the Lieutenant Colonel doesn't feel up to sharing personal struggles, he boosts the atmosphere's spirits with talk of his family,
Pariah: The Next Guest - END
Memories could be oppressive, fickle things. But Pariah had long since learned how to deal with them. A simple alteration. A quick change. One fluid movement and suddenly it was as though Elliot had never existed at all.
Part of him questioned what he was doing.
Had he really become soft on this man because of the pain they shared?
More memories changed. Any trace of a life outside the mansion was purged and erased. There was nothing beyond these walls. Not now, not ever.
We aren't all that alike...
If it had been Enya in that sinking car he would have tried to save her until it killed him. He would have drowned with her in that river.
Is that really so? The person you were back then...he was very different. He was weak.
The moon was shining bright and full through the window. His study door was locked and not even Marco was allowed inside.
Laurel and I...we were both weak.
More memories ripped away. Marco was going to hate him for this but did that real
Pariah: The Next Guest - Pt 10
He ate with Pariah again. They dined on chicken salad in the private dining room, refreshment once again supplied in the form of red wine. Laurel was starting to wonder if Pariah actually drank anything else, and if the tea they'd first shared had merely been a one-off.
"Is everything alright?"
Pariah's crimson gaze was fixed on him. Laurel blushed and prodded at his salad with his fork. He'd eaten only a tiny amount.
"I'm fine", he said. "I'm just...not very hungry".
"I understand", said Pariah. "After everything you've been through it's not surprising that you don't have any appetite".
"I can sympathise, you know", Pariah continued. "To lose a loved one like that...it's a pain I'm very familiar with".
If he'd been eating, Laurel would have choked. He stared at Pariah, his eyes wide and what little colour he possessed now draining from his face. For his part Pariah calmly sipped on his wine and gazed at him.
"Oh? You thought I didn't know?" He aske
No Monsters HereHarry and Draco get an unexpected visitor one night.
Hearing faint but insistent knocking on their front door Harry looked over at Draco who, snuggled up comfortably under his blanket, slowly looked up from the book he'd been buried in, nose deep, for the past hour.
The knocking continued and a faint crying could now also be heard. Putting down what he had in his hands, Harry got up to go check who it could be. Was fairly late and the weather was terrible to top it off. Upon opening the door a small figure ran in, nearly tripping over it's feet as it scurried across the small entrance hall and in under the cloak rack. Little puddles of mud and water left a trail to where the little figure hid itself, sniffling and sobbing quietly. Slowly closing the door, Harry went over, crouching down low as he reached out only to have the figure give out a small whelp scurrying further back.
"Um, little... one?" He tried tentatively hearing a great sniff. Pulling the robes aside he could just abou