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Twelve Days of Christmas Challenge!

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On the fourth day of Christmas [Dec. 29th, 2015|09:16 am]
Twelve Days of Christmas Challenge!


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my true love gave to me

four floods of tears

[Title] Him and Her and Their Reality
[Fandom] Death Note
[Rating] R for sex and language
[Notes/Summary] Sequel to my second buried secret. Matsuda/OC. Sometimes things come to an end without either of you knowing why.

They're in bed together, in the middle of things, and everything is right. Ayako is on the edge and she knows she'll be taken over it, she's going to make the jump, and Matsuda, inside her, around her, mouth at her neck, whispering, “Oh, god, oh god, Ayako, you, you're, oh god,” and when she does make it she arches up like she's in a dirty film, right off the bed, the electricity coursing through her.

This, she thinks, after, looking at herself giddy and smeared in the bathroom mirror, this is perfect.

And she drifts back to the bed and snuggles up to him and he has gone still and he just says, “You know... I think we should... like, call it a day.”

Ayako has jolted away from him. Maybe she misheard or she's hallucinating, still high on the afterglow or something, but she stares at him and he – he looks back for a moment, wearing that half-smile he wears when he's joking around, but it's already turning into a wince and he says again, “It's not your fault or anything, I'm just not looking for anything serious. You know?”

Ayako can tell there is about to be crying and feeling like she's been ground into the carpet and how dare he, and before she can think about how she'd like to react (cold, icy calm, dignity) she is spitting at him, “No. No, I don't know.”

Matsuda shrugs. He tries to shrug. He's trembling. Like this is something he didn't want to do, something he wants to run away from as well. Oh, for god's sake. Maybe she didn't think enough about why he was keeping all their conversations light and happy but does he really think he's fooling anyone now?

She carries on, “Because up until now I thought we were fine. I thought we were – we were good.” Tears already in her throat. We were good. “I mean, god, you certainly seemed to be enjoying it half an hour ago. Or did I misunderstand?”

Matsuda is shaking his head: “No, no, it wasn't – it wasn't that, it... that was amaz – that was nice, it... look, I just, I don't... I said. I don't want to get serious and –”

“No, you clearly don't, do you? Why is that, exactly?” Her voice is cracking. She'd so much rather be having this fight with clothes on and oh, shit, she's going to have to get dressed and storm out and call a goddamn taxi because the trains have stopped by now –

And how many other girls has he done this to, dumped them because they're getting too serious, laughing at them as they scrabble around in his bedroom looking for their underwear –

Only he's not laughing. He's gone white, looking as sick and hurt as she feels. As if she's the one who just said it was over.

“I'm not a serious person,” he says. His voice is hard and flat but she thinks he's trying to stop it shaking. “I – always said. I just like to have fun and you seem like – you seem like you want more and –”

“You don't look like you're having fun now.”

Actually she doesn't think she's ever seen him this upset before. Once or twice he was a little quieter and when she asked he was like something happened at work and then twice as enthusiastic as if to pretend he never said anything. And they never talked about anything that would make the other one sad.

“Why are you saying this?” she demands. “And don't try and tell me it's because you want to. You look awful.” A horrible thought slamming against the bottom of her ribs. “Do you... do you have someone else? You're married or something?”

“Look, you just... you just need to go, all right –”

“Right, you're kicking me out of here at stupid o'clock at night – you didn't even wait til morning – god, I thought you were a nice guy – you invite me over for one last fuck and then you can't even stand to let me sleep here after before you – before you –”

“Okay!” he yells back at her, and she can see tears in his eyes now, too. “Okay, yeah, that's exactly what I did. I'm not nice, I never was, I just let you think – if you knew what I was really like you'd – but I can't, I can't keep pretending and lying and making you think I was, I was a nice person when it's not true –”

He gulps and rubs his hands over his face.

“I didn't mean it to be like you having to go home when it's late. I didn't mean... I like it when you're here, you make it... nice here, I just... what we did just now it was, it was so good and I was so happy and...”

Ayako feels like she's being ripped in two. Stupid. Stupid stupid. She thought the happy-go-lucky act was at least a bit of a facade. And all of this was underneath it and she never even noticed

“It is another girl, isn't it.” If she says it like it's a fact, maybe she won't feel so much like she's being sucker-punched. “You're two-timing her with me and suddenly your conscience has kicked in.”

Matsuda makes a movement that's probably meant to be a shrug but comes off more as if he's trying to shrink away from the situation. Ayako wants to punch him. As if he didn't want this to happen at all, as if none of this is his fault –

“So has anything you've ever said to me been true?” Her voice is all croaky. “You've clearly been... hiding the real you all along and –”

Matsuda blinks and then starts shaking his head, looking as horrified as if he wasn't here for the last ten minutes at all. Ayako's past horrified. She's into completely humiliated.

“I was such an idiot,” she carries on, before someone else can point it out. “I knew you were keeping stuff back but I never knew –”

“No,” he says, hoarsely. “It isn't like that. I wasn't... it wasn't like that…”

“Clearly it was. You -”

“Okay,” Matsuda says, tripping over words like he just wants her to stop. “You hate me, that's fine, I want you to, so, so you should just go and find someone who deserves you. Don't think about me any more –”

“It doesn't work that way!” she screams at him and that's it, she is crying so hard she can't talk. She's sobbing and she's thinking Stop, this isn't helping and she really should just leave but she can't stop crying.

“I know,” Matsuda is saying, over and over, sounding as hopeless as she feels. “I know, I know it doesn't. I’m… oh, god, I’m so sorry.”

She wants to ask him why, if that's the case, he did this, but she can't catch her breath enough at the moment. It probably doesn't matter. She suspects she won't get a real answer.

[Title] Prank Call
[Fandom] Battle Royale
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Shinji's really not on board with this whole bereavement thing.

The call comes at three a.m. and Shinji hears his dad getting grumpily up to answer it and he figures nice prank on the old parental units, wish I'd thought of it and then he hears his father's voice going still and flat, which is the opposite of what's meant to happen.

At three a.m. you can't get your head round anything and the whispered discussions in the hall, It's Hajime, they say there's been some kind of accident, I'm going to the hospital, seem like part of a dream, or like they're all goofing around. Shinji's even finding it kind of funny that Uncle's getting his dad up in the small hours, like it's the perfect counterpoint to all the other ways Uncle and Dad don't get along.

He goes back to his room and messes around online until he hears his dad's car pull up in the drive again. It's almost daylight now, though really it's just the sky's not completely dark. He goes to lean over the bannisters and eavesdrop but Dad calls up to him to come downstairs. When that happens, he kind of knows already that shit's got real. No. That's dumb. You say shit's got real when you're enjoying it, or you're the version of you who's with your friends. You don't say it about the kind of bad news he knows is waiting for him this time.

So they tell him and of course it doesn't seem real, it doesn't make sense, and they all kind of stand around for a while not knowing what to do and in the end Mum says he should probably get ready for school. He's walking down the street like everything's normal and maybe everything is normal, because, nothing looks weird. He's just feeling... shitty for no reason.

Yutaka catches him up halfway, like usual, and is all, Hey, Mim, what's happening?, and he – god – he comes back, like he's planned this, with Not much, little buddy – my uncle got killed last night but apart from that, things are pretty chill – Yutaka goes dead white and spends an entire block trying to stutter out a response. Shinji still feels kind of bad about that whenever he remembers it.

Saying it out loud kind of, it kind of unblocks stuff in his head. By the time the first class starts he's like, No. No way. He can feel the feelings ahead of him and he doesn't want to have to go through them, so he's like a kid again, pitching a fit at something he doesn't like. He works at focusing on class – even history, which he generally uses as an excuse to give his mind a break from studying – which is great but it means at lunchtime enough time has passed he's got way closer to the feelings than he realised, and they really, really suck.

He wanders off, into the empty basketball court, sits in the bleachers and tries to put some words onto all this, but it doesn't work. It's not words, it's just hurting and fury and still this suspicion that someone's messing with him and it's all a joke.

Yutaka finds him just as the tears do – and you know what, crying sucks as well, it makes you feel ill and you sound like a little kid – and turns red and says something like oh god, I'm sorry and I can go away, just tell me to go away if you want. Shinji nearly does but he's realising by now it wouldn't make any difference. The problem is way bigger than someone catching you in tears. Nah, it's okay, he says. Stick around. I'll be done with this in a while.

[Title] At Ground Zero
[Fandom] Akira (movie)
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Kai is one of the survivors. He still can't quite believe it.

Kai keeps surreptitiously pinching himself just to check (1), the entire city's been basically levelled, but (2), he's alive in the middle of it, and (3), Kaneda's still alive despite having been literally standing at Ground Zero.

They're in a more-or-less still-standing shopping mall and Kaneda's gone off to hunt for some food while he and Kei stay with the bikes. Kai keeps thinking of the white light. Of the skyscrapers getting eaten up. Of how there must be a lot of dead people around them. And of how he keeps expecting Yamagata to yell across the forecourt that he's found some beer, and see Tetsuo trailing Kaneda through the broken glass.

He pinches his arm again and is like, Stupid, Yamagata's dead, you remember, you saw his head burst right in front of you, you remember and he didn't actually want to because it still makes him feel sick and shaky. That's the thing; if someone can get popped out of existence like that, how do you know you actually got lucky, how do you know you're not just having a last-minute trip?

Kei's the only person around so even though he barely knows her and she's a girl and kind of scary in a quiet way, he says to her, “This. All this. This... really happened, right? I'm not going nuts?”

She smiles at him, tiredly, like she gets it. “If you are, so'm I.”

That helps. It makes all the crazy stuff kind of settle around him, like the ruins are.

“I'm sorry about your friends,” Kei says, softly.

“Uh. Thanks.” He goes to say, “I'm sorry about yours, too,” but the words go all croaky and he quickly turns away. He's cried in front of her like twice already, can he not get a grip and be cool for even a second, but he doesn't actually care about being cool because she just said that and made it real. Yamagata and the others are dead and it isn't fair. They'd have enjoyed being in a ruined city. They'd say it was like being in a zombie film.

He sort of sits quietly melting into tears and pretending she hasn't noticed and when he's over it – takes way too long but she doesn't say anything, she doesn't laugh or roll her eyes – he rubs his face with his hand and swallows a few times and can say, “Kaneda said you... you got him out of there. Said you... called him.”

She bites her lip, glances at the rocky floor. “I don't know.”

“But he was... going someplace else? Like, wherever Tetsuo and Akira've vanished to?”

She nods.

“Well... thanks.” He sounds grudging because his voice is still dried up. “No, I mean it. Thanks. With everyone else... everyone else gone, I think I'd be going really nuts if he'd... if he hadn't made it. So... thank you. I... I owe you.”

“It's all right,” she says, smiling properly now. “I mean... I wanted him to make it out too.” She blushes a little. “Actually. And... hey, you saved us from being vaporised by a laser beam. I think we're even.”

Kai knows he didn't really save them, that it was just dumb luck they weren't all fried right then, but it was nice of her to say it, and not to laugh at him about the crying. He grins back at her, and they wait for Kaneda to come back.

[Title] Scars
[Fandom] Malory Towers
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] June muses on a crisis averted.

June knows she behaves much as she always has – she certainly hasn't turned into a goody-goody or a friend to all the world – but inside, something is different.

She can't quite remember how it felt standing in front of Miss Grayling. You're leaving. You're beyond hope. She can just about remember packing in the dorm, afterwards. She couldn't stop crying, and tears were blotching all her clothes and pooling on her fingers and things like her hairbrush and her sponge-bag. She can see the tears and she can remember the feeling of a stuffed-up nose and hot eyes, but the thoughts behind them, those...

No, they're not gone. They left scars. She can run her mind over them like she would touch scabs or bruises on her skin. She has knit herself back together and she is no weaker for it, but she knows she can be cut open now. Still, that's good. She didn't know, before, how much that hurts.


[User Picture]From: sabethea
2015-12-29 09:42 am (UTC)
Oh, these are lovely. Sort of. In a messed up way. Again, I like the way you have the vague disbelief that people have, knowing that something's going to be terrible, or is being terrible, and yet still not quite being able to get their heads around it.

Poor Ayako, and Matsuda seriously needs to work on his timing. I like her worrying about how to get home and the practicalities of trying to find her clothes.

Then... God, Shinji being numb and "yeah, my uncle got killed" and then having said it having to actually deal with what that means.

#3 confused me with Kei and Kai for a bit - took me a while to realise there were two characters with practically the same name, as I don't know the fandom. But I liked the fact that he's thinking how his friends would have liked the levelled city.

And oh June. Yes. That is a very convincing glimpse into June's mind, and is still so June-like and her thought about internal scars are really interesting.
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[User Picture]From: versipellis
2015-12-29 09:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!

I feel very bad at Matsuda's terrible timing but I was like "... he just would, wouldn't he, because ARGH".

*prods Kei and Kai for being confusing* ^^

Aaah, thank you! I found it difficult to get into her head in this one so I'm glad it worked for you!
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[User Picture]From: sabethea
2015-12-30 12:07 pm (UTC)
You redeemed Matsuda a bit today, and I'm glad :) But yes, it was convincing awful timing!

June's a funny old character. I've rarely written her because I'm not sure I have a proper handle on her.
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[User Picture]From: versipellis
2015-12-30 03:47 pm (UTC)
I feel like writing that MT Battle Royale that one time makes it difficult for me to consider June outside of the context of violent death. But I enjoy trying!
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[User Picture]From: thesoulofchaos
2015-12-29 12:14 pm (UTC)
Nooo...sadness and bereavement and crying and tomorrow isn't going to be any happier is it? Punishments ahoy!

The first one is a brilliant follow up to the one from day 2 - kind of the inevitable outcome with much angst.

I can honestly say that Shinji's reaction to death is shockingly close to what I went through when JJ's mum died - the numbness and matter of fact responses (I went to work the next day) before eventually just collapsing into tears and not really being able to explain why except..you know...so that piece was very poignant for me.

The third one is really good as well in that same sort of vein - tears and trying to have this normal conversation because you want someone to tell you this isn't happening, but in reality you need someone to tell you it is.

And June. Considering she was portrayed very unsympathetically in a lot of the books, it is remarkably easy to paint her in a much more human light.
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[User Picture]From: versipellis
2015-12-29 09:19 pm (UTC)
My punishments maybe aren't actually too awful? But then I think sabethea's planning something dreadful, so that cancels out any hope I can bring ;)

Yaay and thank you! I'm really glad you liked the fics! I am SO pleased the Shinji one rang true for you. So far I have tended to process death in a similar way, to be honest...

I sometimes fall into the trap of thinking June is worse than she is, when the end of book 5 kind of shows how young and sort of idiotic she is. I find her hard to write at that point but I wanted to attempt ^^
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[User Picture]From: thesoulofchaos
2015-12-29 09:44 pm (UTC)
I have, on occasion, paired June with Darrell just for the fun of it because it's really hard to write when they have so much animosity in the books. It's a challenge of sorts.

I've just checked my own writings for tomorrow and actually there are two that aren't depressing, so there's that. But I think sabethea's in her element with some of these prompts :)
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[User Picture]From: sabethea
2015-12-30 12:06 pm (UTC)

ONE of my punishment fics was... quite sweet? And only two were appalling beyond everything. But yes, definitely happier with punishment than Cupid's arrows. Which says a bit too much.

And ooh, Darrell/June. Presumably half the animosity is because they're pretending they're not attracted to each other...
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[User Picture]From: versipellis
2015-12-30 03:39 pm (UTC)
Woah, I don't think I have ever written that pairing - I've done Felicity/June sometimes though. But I can definitely understand the appeal of a challenging pairing!
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[User Picture]From: thesoulofchaos
2015-12-30 05:09 pm (UTC)
Since I am one fic short for today I'll see if I can come up with one centred on the two of them for today, because...why not. :)
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