Blue Lines Alternate: Prism
By BJ Carlson
Well here you go....proving there's nothing like trying to write one thing to make you suceed at writing something else. This little baby is a sort of sequal/sort of request that I decided to let my muse haul in my direction while one pain medication. That should stand as both an explanation and a disclaimer. (Ali claims this is 'sappy' - which I dont; understand since I'm philosophically oposed to all that is overly sentimental, <snerk>)
PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT a third piece in the currant Blue Lines Series, but an alternate Universe Breakoff going in a totally different direction from Blue Lines on. Special thanks to everybody who suggested a Nate Monologue, to Siarade for her boundless encouragement and to Jeanna for not killing me when I asked her to beta for the fifth time. As always, all standard disclaimers apply and no money is being mad here, which is sad since I'm stuck on disability with a bum knee for another two weeks at least....<shrug>
Now on with the show.
I think what woke me up was the fact that my left side was freezing.
That actually happens more often than youd think, really - particularly when the both of us pass out in the same bed. Ill just wake up shivering, and discover to my trepidation that Ive lost my heat-emitting snuggle-leech.
Funny, thinking about it now, I dont think it ever happens when shes NOT here. Then its always nightmares come to life, or too much flonquing adrenaline trapped in my system...
Waking up cold and all alone though, that only ever really hits home when Im supposed to be fighting for the right to the covers with her.
Shes my little hotbox, you know: though Bright Lady spare me from slow and torturous death if she ever caught me thinking that. Shed probably pull out my large intestine through my nose and use it to string me up from the kitchen ceiling.
...No, Im not actually talking literally, here. For one thing Im far to heavy for her to lift up that high alone. Besides, even if she were mad enough to even consider it, such revenge isnt quite...uhm, creative enough to be attributed to your Mother.
She is a walking furnace, though. Or at least, shes especially that way when she sleeps. Its like all that compressed energy and...vibrancy she locks inside her all day suddenly boils up and practically emanates out of her skin. I used to wonder how in heck she could get by with her chosen sleepwear: I mean, the Packd be hold up in some drafty hole in the wall in Alaska and all shed have on was a tank top and shorts. True, most of the these days even that gets traded for one of my shirts if no ones around. Well unless, she really, really needs to actually *sleep...*
I mean she's got to know by now what that sight does to me. How else would she have gotten so darn good at *using* it?
Thats right, your fathers a flonquing letch. My downfall as far as shes concerned started the first day I lent her one of my lightly-starched Calvin casuals. She was a sopping wet ball of hair and mud, then - hellcat furious, and also utterly adorable.
...No, for the record, I didnt purposely leave her luggage behind when I loaded the transport, nor did I intend to snap back the branch that sent her flying into the spring ground. It was coincidence: chance. Luck, which last I checked, was *her department.* Offering her something dry to wear was meant as an act to promote peace. I just didnt listen to the part of me that was demanding I take into consideration the attraction wed been fighting for months on end...
That, and the plain fact of how little an oversized garment could actually conceal was the final straw. The gloves, you could say, got mutually thrown down.
Shed probably laugh if she heard me say that: comparing our relationship over the years to a war. It certainly fits the analogy, though - I mean, there were mornings when we woke up and we werent even sure we were on the same sides, much less enrolled in the same armies. Theres been a lot of distrust between your mom and I on both sides; especially in our earliest days, and our most recent. I mean, in the beginning, we were trying to scope each other out; to look for chinks in the armor that might give hint of a betrayer.
Now, things have gotten even more treacherous, because the stakes have gotten almost scaldingly personal. No were looking for signs of a lasting love - which is far, far more risky than a simple enemy.
Ironic, isnt it - were both old soldiers who know more about fighting than anything else. Weve been enrolled in campaigns against one ghost or another pretty much since the day we first learned to use both our fists. No, the enemy wasnt always external either, which I suppose in retrospect was part of the problem.
I mean, face it; when youre an old and constant soldier, you start running out of fresh places to keep the scars.
There are parts of her that are still totally pure, you know. Dom would probably look at me as if Ive taken leave of my senses, then offer me another cup of coffee after hearing a comment like that. Its still true, though - there are inches of her soul that have somehow managed to cling to the hope that she hordes: remaining impossibly clean in spite of it all...
Yes, I know for sure - Ive actually touched them. On occasion my mind has search them out all but desperately as my hands traverse her body. In those split instances, Ive been all but ready to vomit at the sheer filth of the world that surrounds us - only to see that part of her light up, bringing faith and sleep back as its companions. Ive laid in her arms spouting all measure of dreams and body fluids, watched her hands hold in my guts and stroke my face. Shes been the one to kick me in the butt when I was failing with X-force, and the one to walk silently beside me to my mother grave...
There are moments of shine so bright in her that I have to close my eyes if I have any hope of seeing.
But there are the scars. The ones that cross more than just her torso. Ive counted those too - taken the journey over flesh. Ive heard the stories and on occasion heard the silence and learned just as much from it as from anything that she might have said. Ive memorized the visible markings of our life together - traced the byways, and in moments of sheer helpless comfort tried to dig out that hidden inner joy, replacing the painful memories. Ive turned her scars into a thousand kisses. Watch her cry her release below them.
But they still remain. And in great number. Sometimes its all I can do not to weep. There are moments it takes everything in me not to crush her against my body and just deny the world for its utter unfairness. Such hope mixed with such desolation: I wonder sometimes how she can live in herself as such a dichotomy of what is and what should be.
She seems so STRONG. And yet so wounded. As if I was looking into two separate faces. Sometimes those features just refuse to blend into a whole - and its enough to leave me nauseatingly dizzy.
I think Im feeling that way currently - that lurch in my stomach is back. I feel my vision swimming - like Im gonna have to get up and be as sick as she is right now. I dont know *how* I know that shes throwing up, just that I can practically taste the bile in my own throat as she finally pushes to her own feet. Shes walking out of the bathroom now, shoulders slumped over in what can only be labeled as numbing exhaustion. Oath look: shes actually shaking. Why do I get the feeling you and mys little conspiracy of waiting is finally at its end?
Yes, I knew you were coming, or at least I suspected. Call it a telepathic itch I just couldnt convincingly shake. It bothered me incessantly for the two weeks I had to be away - and in fact was enough to almost make me postpone my yearly visit to see your brother.` Yeah, your mother probably thinks my behavior last night was all in response to Tyler...
I didnt quite know how to tell her it was a little closer to home.
No. I didnt chicken out: I was just being cautious. After all, for all I knew she already knew, and deserved the chance to tell me herself. And if she was still attractively thickheaded about the reality of things, well, we could afford to grant her a little more time. No, its not that your mothers generally unaware in any sense of the word, just unbelievably bullheaded...chronically so. She would have figured it out soon enough, and I just figured you and I had an unfair advantage. Given the uneven game, the telepaths in the family could at least give her a few more hours at least to work it through on her own.
Yeah. I know shes sitting awfully still. Shes in shock - and bordering on scared spitless. So was I when I first had to process the possibility: shell be all right, thats why Im here.
...Yeah, I know it sound confusing, but with your mom sometimes its a balance of knowing when to move in or back off. Doms always need a little adjustment distance, shell let me know when shes ready.
No, its not always as easy as it sounds. There are times the trait can be pure torture to actually live with. Knowing how to read her - the delicate balance of when she wants you to go and when she wants you to follow her can be as frusterating as it is fragile. I still remember the MKran Crystal - the utter despair when she laughed me off. For a while there, I thought Id be carrying what was left of my shredded hopes around in a box. But then, after a time she came - and she stuttered. I barely stopped myself from strangling her for a few minutes there, but then in some spot between the insults and the exasperation we each figured out what the other was trying to say, and shut each other up.
That moment was the single most chaotically *right* thing Ive ever known in this flonquing existence.
Okay, now shes really shaking - I can hear her teeth chattering. Remember that line I talked before about knowing when to cross? This would be it, I think. Im out of the bed before I can even really register it, my arms and a blanket around her waist - enveloping us both in a cocoon of warm wool as I start to speak.
"Dom.." her voice cuts me off. Her head thumps back against my chest with a soft sigh.
"Nate Im glad youre up." She clears her throat. "I think we need to have a talk."
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