Author: fleurily PM
Memories return when the holidays come around. Twenty one of twenty five for 24xmas.Rated: Fiction K - English - Family - Words: 624 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 3 - Published: 12-25-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3967942
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It was when the wind was blowing hardest and the house was silenced by sleep that she would awaken, sweat dripping down her face and chest aching from a lack of air. The blood was gone from her hands and clothing, but she'd scratch at them all the same, gasping as she stumbled off the mattress toward the bathroom. Hot water on the face brought her back, the light above the sink flickering with the inclement weather as she let the basin fill. There was nothing here to haunt her, no bodies sprawled across the floor. She was alone in her room, until the door creaked open to let Tiki in. She had been screaming in her sleep again, and she'd roused him. Rhode let him pick her up and carry her across the hall to his room, glad that he said nothing about the drying streaks of terror down her cheeks. He just cleaned off her face, gave her a few drops of laudanum from the cupboard, and settled into bed with her. Tiki would hum softly until she was asleep again, holding her tightly enough to chase any nightmares away.
They still flinched, rarely, when the Family moved a hand too quickly toward them. They could easily cover up the motion with a jabbing of their guns, but sometimes Jasdero would whimper quietly, sending a strange expression across Debitt's face before he roared some insult. Beaten puppies, Tiki had once called them, and they were determined to grow out of that nickname. All the same… It was hard to get past the fear of being touched, though they'd come so far. During the first Christmas at home, Jasdero had asked Debitt why nothing had been broken yet. The twin had snarled softly, jabbing the blonde in the side with an elbow and something muttered about being quiet. Years may have passed, but sometimes they would sit and stare out the window, thinking about the way life had been before the Earl had come and taken them home. Things were horrible when you were only human. Now, though, they'd be able to destroy anything that tried to hurt them.
The pain from old beatings would come back when he was in the bath, the hot water running down the grooves of scars that marred his shoulders and back. There was no excuse for the indifference he felt, tilting his head back and letting the water cover his features until it hurt to break the surface and breathe once more. Caring wasn't something he did much for himself anymore, and these days were no different. The scent of peppermint filled the room as he poured the oil into the bubbles, letting the dirt and sweat soak off of his skin until the water was cold and he was hot enough to burst. Sometimes he fell asleep, but dragging himself from the tub was a task either way, drying the hard lines of his body with the soft towels the Earl had acquired from some foreign country or another. Scars weren't as noticeable when they were older, but as his fingers brushed across them he remembered how they came to be. The pain of a knife in his stomach, a pipe to the ribcage; things that wouldn't have happened if he'd been just a bit smarter and lot less drunk, in most cases. Tiki would towel his curls lazily as he pulled on his pajamas, letting his attention be drawn from his thoughts as something crashed elsewhere in the house. He had to go take care of whatever mess it was, and his thoughts would be left for the next bath, drifting away in the steam.