Tuesday, May 8, 2012

TAOM: Aimee - Love Is as Love Does

While she'd have liked to romanticize it and say she was gently kissed awake by the gentle morning light seeping through the curtains, the truth was Aimee was jolted into consciousness by a certain someone attempting to drag themselves out of the siren song of bed. That wasn't the best way to start a day. From her vantage point, she couldn't see the clock's illuminated numbers, but she knew, whatever the hour, it was too fecking early. Groaning, she buried her face her pillow, lamenting the fact she would eventually have to get up.

"Go back to sleep." The words dripped from sleep-slurred lips with a faint tinge of amusement. In response, Aimee held up two fingers in the voice's general direction. There was a snicker that seemed unusually loud in the still air of the bedroom.

Sleep sounded good, no… more than good; heaven on Earth, but something rebellious in Aimee's soul wouldn't let her submit and follow orders. "Make me," she challenged, but the force of the statement was negated by her voice; she sounded like a whining child.

Was that a breathy chuckle she heard? "I would love to, ashaya, but I need coffee. Right now."

"You're no fun," Aimee complained softly into her pillow, but her words obviously reached the intended recipient as a soft sigh reached her ears.

"I know." A hand curled into her mussed hair, wrapping a red tress around narrow fingers. "I need my coffee." Oh gods, she could feel hot breath against her neck. Unbidden, her mind skipped over last night's events, so full of want and need. Hmm, up for a second round? "My blood is only twenty percent caffeine and I'm going into coffee withdrawals." Oh, I see: you love your caffeinated beverages more than you love me, Aimee thought sulkily, wondering if the words would taste as bitter on her tongue.

A sigh, as if her thoughts had been read, and the mattress dipped beside her.

A gentle kiss was pressed to her temple; the action was devoid of last night's hurried lust, but it carried something stronger, something more meaningful. She was glad her face was hidden from view as a blush staged a coup on her face, staining it crimson. It was odd, really, when Aimee thought about it; she wasn't the one in this relationship with the fear of commitment.

With a sleepy groan – it really was far too early in the morning to be thinking like this – Aimee admitted defeat. "Just go," she grinned, tasting pillowcase on her lips. Blindly, she reached out; bare skin met bare skin and she ejected them from the bed without even an apologetic smile. "Oh, and put clothes on! You don't want to scare the normal people," she paused, considered the Society in all its eccentricities, and corrected herself, "The more normal people, sorry." She knew if she looked up she'd see some sort of realization dawning on that face, but that was too much effort.

Clothes were wrenched from their strewn positions on floor where they'd been cast aside last night in the haze of lust, and limbs were stuffed into their confining fabrics. Soft footsteps faded away, and Aimee was alone. Cocooning herself in the warm blankets, Aimee willed herself to sleep.


Gasping, Aimee sat up, drenched in ice-cold sweat. The nightmares were back, and worse than ever; tonight her sister and her family died. Ozzy never died, though; she was never there, only her grave remained. When her running took her to the cemetery in her dream, she always paused there, as if wanting to speak words as yet unspoken, but those that needed to be heard.

What were they?

Sorry was too easy; everyone said sorry all the time. Even Ossa. It wasn't forgiveness either; Oz knew that no matter what she did, she would always find absolution with her. Aimee didn't know, and the night terrors were nothing short of terrifying; she felt every emotion like a knife to the heart, and these were friends and family dying before her eyes.

Rubbing her eyes sluggishly, she fustily wished she'd never gone back to sleep. Why did nightmares haunt her when she slept? She'd committed sins in her life, but none of them grave enough to merit such punishment. The blankets that had warmed her only hours ago felt like restraints clasping at her limbs; she kicked themoff as if they burned. After dressing, she headed to the primary kitchen, her stomach complaining the entire way there like an annoying child on a long car journey.


"You look tired," Jamie remarked around a mouthful of bacon sandwich. In accordance with Sod's Law, Aimee had slept until lunch, and was now sipping herbal tea and trying not to be disgusted by Jamie's appalling table manners.

"I'm fine," she said dismissively, buttering toast with one hand. If you could call a burnt, carcinogenic slab of what used to be bread 'toast', that is.

"No, really," he pressed. "You look like really pale. Are you alright?" Aimee said nothing and just watched as he tore another bite out of that poor, defenseless sandwich. Really, the Scot's manners were an insult to pigs, she thought as ketchup dribbled down his chin.

As the informal meal wore on, Aimee noticed him watching her, eyes lingering on her face too long for it be considered polite concern. Those blue eyes held captive something she couldn't name, or maybe she was just too afraid to. She found refuge from that penetrating stare in the book Ossa was holding inches from her face, seemingly absorbed in the written word. Aimee's mind devoured the titled, sunk its teeth into the blurb and digested the endorsement from critics. It wasn't her type of book at all – far too focused on murder and mystery to captivate her attention for any length of time – but it kept her busy, kept her from having to meet Jamie's gaze.

James had grown impatient and tired of the games, so he took matters into his own hands. Gently, he seized her chin and brought her face around until she could see the hidden depths of his eyes. Something inside her broke, and it felt like her heart; why hadn't she been able to name those emotions before? They were clear as day: worry, trepidation, dread, panic, suspicion, fear. So many feelings spread out like a rainbow in his eyes.

"Jamie…" she began, but trailed off when words failed her.

"Aye?" he prompted. Dark eyes smiled mournfully from beneath a book; how very Scottish.

"My nightmares are back." No more words needed to be spoken; he swept her into a hug, dropping a single kiss onto her tangled hair. He held her until all the apprehension the nightmares had forced upon her melted away like snowflakes.

As he let her go, the atmosphere changed. Ossa even put her book down.

"I didn't get much sleep either," Aimee grinned, her smile weaker than normal, but still brighter than the sun to her friends. "Someone kept kicking me!"

"Maybe they wouldn't have kicked you if you hadn't hogged the covers!"


Aimee's day, it could be said, did not start out great, and as the day wore on, it grew steadily worse until it was absolutely fecking awful.

After lunch, she'd whiled away time on the Library's computer system. It was mindlessly dull, she'd freely admit, but it was at least something to do. Jaded, her eyes has roamed over the screen, noting down each tedious file name like a forensic pathologist notes down every last cut on the body of a brutally murdered victim. Without warning, the playing field shifted: Aimee had stumbled upon something … something you really wouldn't want anyone else to find, the sort of thing you give an innocuous name and hide in the depths of a file stuffed with dreadfully dull spreadsheets.

Captivated, she'd clicked… only to find the file path had changed. The video clip had vanished before her eyes. She told herself it was only natural to be curious, and she had attempted to track it down, but every time she thought she had it within her grasp, it fluttered beyond her reach. Calling the computer various names in every language she knew, she'd shoved the keyboard away, finally admitting defeat. She swore it was like there was someone in the computer system moving the file right under her nose; dismissing her thoughts as nonsense, she'd hurried on to get tea.

She couldn't catch a break, and she'd found the kitchen suspiciously empty of her herbal tea. She couldn't lament this tea-less state either for one of the techies (was it Jared? It might have been – that sounded like him) had created a horrific robot that had inadvertently been set on the rampage, and it had been attempting to obliterate everything in sight, and several things that weren't (like Adrian's intestines and Aimee's rapidly diminishing will to live). Luckily, Harriet had been on hand with her trusty cricket bat.

With a growing headache, Ai had wandered the corridors, hoping for somewhere dark and quiet to sit and brood for an hour or so. Fate, it seemed, had had other plans, and ten minutes later she was irrevocably lost. She knew this because splashed across a segment of plaster coated wall was a mural she'd never seen before of the underworld of Greek myth; a sea of dark blue and grey, awash with pale imitations of souls; pain and depression woven into every corner. It was beautiful in its ghastliness.

Minutes spent lost and hopeless had slowly ticked into hours. Metaphorical storm clouds twisted and swirled above her head, and she just wanted to collapse and cry. This was too much! One person couldn't handle this much hurt and pain in a single day. Or … maybe they could, maybe she was just weak. Jamie wouldn't refuse to go on; he'd pull out a pencil and start drawing some interesting motifs on the walls. Ossa wouldn't sob her black heart out; she'd laugh at the stupidity of the Great Poker Game of Life, and demand new cards, ones that weren't so twisted and vile. Yes, she was just a weak little girl who had never learnt how to fly with her own two wings.

Wishing she'd had the foresight to bring breadcrumbs or yarn, Aimee finally emerged from the Society's version of the Cretan Labyrinth, hungry, tired and oh-so fed up with it all. The siren song of her bed was calling out to her, but she resisted; bed meant sleep and sleep meant nightmares of fire and destruction and so much death. Eyes empty, expression drawn, face pallid, she spun awkwardly on her heel and shuffled in the general direction of her favourite TV room.

A groan of worn hinges announced her arrival to the room, but the proclamation fell on deaf ears. Dark skin almost gold in the candlelight, Ossa ran her hand through her hair with frustration screwing up her features, humming something under her breath. Aimee's green eyes surveyed the room for an instant and she raised an eyebrow so perfectly, it would have made Spock blush green in shame.

"Dif-tor heh smusma," the Irishwoman smiled breathily from the doorway, amazed by the simple gesture before her. Startled, Ossa jerked, her heart leaping it her chest, frantically pounding against her chest like a caged animal seeking freedom. A candle slipped from her slack fingers, and time seemed to still for one crystalline moment; the bright beacon of flame atop the wick curled and exhaled a single breath of smoke, while the main body of the candle hung in the air as if suspended there by invisible string.

Time caught up on the situation and hot wax dribbled thickly over the carpet. "Sochya eh dif," Ossa returned with a slight blush tarring her cheeks a rather interesting shade. She plucked the candle from the floor before it could do any real damage and ruin this liaison, but her mind was contemplating a billion chances, resolving a million situations and anticipating a thousand questions.

"Is this a date?" The question, dripped from those lips and laced with amusement, threw Ossa.

"Well," she began, knowing she had no idea how to answer it. "I suppose… it might be a date, but only because you've had a bad day and I thought doing this would make you feel better. I know we're not… well, like that, and if it's not what you want, you can go, 'cause it's just me being stupid. Really it is. You should just go, t'hy'la; this isn't very good or any-"

She found herself silenced by a pair of lips against hers, and she leaned into the overpowering taste of Aimee, drinking in the lingering tang of bitter tea and the syrupy sweetness of strawberry.

"Tell me," Aimee said lowly after they separated, "how many escape routes are there?"

There was a shuffling pause, clothes were readjusted, strands of hair were fiddled with and eyes were suspiciously not met. "Eight."

An incredulous giggle bubbled to the surface, and then she was laughing until her sides ached and her eyes were red with tears; only Ozzy would have continuance plans for a date! Oh, the fecking commitaphobe!

"Plan of action?" she snickered, her breath coming in uneven gasps.

"I have the best takeout pizza, and we're going to eat it while watching Doctor Who reruns… if you want, that is." A genuine smile spread across her face like butter on warm toast. "Or, if you prefer, I have the second season of Torchwood on DVD; we could watch it and ogle Gareth David-Lloyd." It shouldn't have been possible, but that amaranthine grin got even bigger; it seemed to extend beyond the dimensions of her face somehow.

"Have I told you I love you?"

There was a sharp inhale, but an answer of, "No, I don't think so…"

Aimee promptly shoved her against a wall and snogged her brains out. When they came to eat, the pizza was decidedly cold.

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