|The Fate of Reciprocity
Author: Invariant PM
Takes place between 6B and OS and deals with certain effects of Reciprocity. Olivia has to deal with what truths she does know.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Peter B. & Olivia D. - Words: 4,692 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 4 - Published: 01-20-12 - id: 7758651
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I just like to play with them.
This story is dedicated to the readers who have stuck with my last couple of fictionettes. Thanks for enjoying them.
I found the skeleton of this tucked away on my hard drive so I decided to tweak it up a bit and post it.
Like always, reviews are candy.
The Fate of Reciprocity
The city at night is nothing extrodinary to her.
Tourists make it a big deal, the New York night life, excited by the vast span of city lights, architecture and comotion that color the municipality in some-kind of gigantuan wonder; eager, new blood captivated by societal splendor.
But to her, it's all merely routine. It's just another city in another state, populated by a rush of people thriving in an inauspicious world.
Like all big cities, even at ten at night, the traffic is horrendus, an automobile congestion that stretches the scope of perferial vision.
And she's stuck in it now, with him, caught behind a vehicular line of mainstreet impatience.
Out there, the world bussels in horns, copper-white lights and city-sidewalks.
In here, the world's marked by exhaution and silence; the two obvious planes of the triad that's, right now, living under her skin.
"Think we'd get in trouble if we took advantage of the siren after hours?"
His voice breaks the quiet, cuts through the car's cabin to illicit a tiny curl of her mouth.
But she can't remain to amused, not when fear, a tiny, undercurrent of worry is invading her bloodstream, a silent, unwelcome visitor that's shrouded her since six fifteen this morning.
He'd been up already, when she'd opened her eyes on his room, stretched herself out of his scourge-induced sore and the tangle of his bedsheets, her body still gloriously pliant from the lash of his handprints.
She'd thrown on his shirt; soft, blue cotton she'd tore from his body, then padded her way into the bathroom, closing the door on the smell of bacon and coffee.
Like the other six mornings she's spent at his place, today should have been perfect, comparable to heaven in the linger of her afterglow's slow, muscle-melting ecstacy, an intimation of toe-curling pleasure he put there not five hours before.
In the penumbra of his fevered, bedroom shadow, she should have been-as she's recently custom- harmoniously content.
And she had been.
Until she saw her undoing.
There were too many 2-ply sheets stained with too much fresh red; too many shredded kleenex tainted with crimson, fibers of his blood tossed into a steel and wicker waste basket. And it wasn't because he'd got up to shave the five o-clock shadow that left scratch marks on her flesh.
He'd had a nosebleed, and instantly, she knew why, as panic and fear grew incongruous to physical contentedness. She'd been thrown, viciously, back into the playground that dismays her too-eager happiness.
And she'd felt instanly nauseas from it, so ripped from the inside out by it's vestige, that she'd gripped the edge of the sink with white knuckles.
It's because of that machine, the Wave-sync, the archaic monstrosity of awaiting doom that he suffers infirmity at the hands of his implied fate. Weeks ago, simply because of his presence, she watched it come alive, creaking to attention at the hands of an unwilling master; an amenable reaction forcing Peter's own.
That first nosebleed, the first hint of blood on the tip of his finger, was the sure-sign that sent her axons into a schizophrenic spiral.
There was a barrel to his temple, and that machine was the loaded clip.
And just fifteen hours ago, she'd discovered how brashly it pressed into his bone.
And there wasn't time to ask of his state or tend to his mood because work summoned their attention the minute she pried her hands from porclein to answer her phone.
Being stuck here now, in nocturnal traffic is the effect of hours exhausting postulation and discovery; the perfunctional dance they perform to which a new case is the maestro. It's too fresh to irrefute their unique qualifications, so until fantastical phemomena is disproven, it falls top-side of their file-stack.
So after fourteen and a half hours of lost limbs, five bodies and remenants of indiscernable green powder, they'd left an insistent Walter at Massive Dynamic before they agreed to call it a night.
And sitting here, the day's end raps on the back-side of her fear, her silent personal terror muted by nine to five pragmatism.
It's hollaring out now, an amalgamation of heated despair and cold worry, its choking her lungs with the acid of a bile heart-cracking.
To the naked eye, he seems fine, behind the wheel with a trained patience, tapping his thumb against the leather while the other braces his tired head on the edge of the window.
But she knows better, can see through the facade he wears for her sake; a mask of alright-ness he constructs through easy smiles and short humor.
She studies him, illuminated by the spectrum of green, orange and gold; city lights hitting on his visible surface; lighting his eyes in a grey-blue carnival of colors.
He's remarkable, outrageously beautiful under the late-hour flourescence that's casting shadows on the car's roof, the backseat, and the spaces in-between them.
And those dark spaces hold the secrets he's hiding, beat under her flesh in an instant impatience that makes her fidget, an irriation of her harassed mind that calls out for him to talk to her, to confide in her.
To make her try and understand why he would keep something so profound from her. Especially after they'd talked already, about his silence in regards to the emotional fragility she hides from plain eyes. He was to concerned for her inner torture to reign down on her his own.
Even though he knew she could handle it, he didn't want to give her the option.
He's too delicately convinced that any-kind of dark confession will change the way she sees him.
But that's impossible now. He's too engrained in her every pore to make her un-love him. He defines, too hotly, everything she'll ever want.
They move a little in the line, a soft nudge of the S.U.V that get's them closer to the stop light, and she grows farther from her muted concern.
He checks the dashboard's clock, mutters a breath of impatience, and when he turns back to the out-there world, her words cut through the car's silence.
"How long have you been having the nosebleeds?"
Her voice is direct, a loud whisper laced with empathy that causes him to sit straighter, a tensing of his spine in response to what she knows.
Too quickly she feels anxious, a heavy panicky-flitter in the center of her chest. It spans under her skin to raise every down hair; her body's instant attraction to his direction, the bottoming tide of his galvanic restlessness that seeks out her taste.
And violently, he takes it, because her senses reel at his electric intrusion; his private reaction that heats her plasma with everything that he feels.
He doesn't look at her, just grips the wheel now with both hands and she watches his jaw clench as he swallows hard, his eyes turning from an outside concentration to an internal debate.
He never wanted her to know, she can tell this, he's unnerved that she's asked, and is privately cursing himself for leaving out in the open so blatantly, the evidence. So he has to choose careful enough words to initiate the path of his answer.
He's ruminating to tell her the truth, or offer up much less.
But arm's length died between bedsheets and slick skin.
There's no distance he can run to now to find a safe-haven.
And finally, as the car scoots a little more, he confesses.
"Two, maybe three weeks now."
Red plays on the planes of his face, the ends of his hair, brake lights catching him up in their illlumination under slow moving shadows. She reads discomfort in the lines of his frown, the twitch of his mouth, the dark grey of his stoma flecked with a private deliberation.
Still, he doesn't turn to her, only buries something like guilt and embarassment in the confines of her blood, pushing through her veins with a veracity that sets her every cell on edge.
From the moment she gave him the whole of her, she'd silently demanded his honesty in credence to their new relationship.
It shouldn't be a great expectation, but a given one.
And he knows it.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
She questions, too eager for her own good.
He frowns even deeper, worries his bottom lip with his teeth, and anxiety again, slowly under-cuts, leaving her fingerpads numb from his mild aggrivation.
He doesn't want to talk about this.
"Because I didn't want to see the look on your face that you're wearing right now."
Without even a glance her way, he says this, because in all the same ways she does him, he feels her, can discern her, merely from the gripping-his-matter hot pulse she melts into his body.
"I didn't want to put it there." He says. "I didn't want to worry you. "
And she understands that his hestience, his trepidation for this topic doesn't stem from self-concern but his concern for the torment it's assailing on her. He doesn't want to add demons to her dark tower; gargoyles to join what grotesque past-monsters already invade her psyche.
He didn't tell her, because he didn't want to be the reason what happy she's found has drained from her palor.
And though she could be aggravated at him, for not granting her the choice, all the deep ways that he loves her beat too loud in her ribcage.
But right now, looming desolation deafens them out.
"I'm fine." he says, his words bouncing off the dashboard, failing to assure her. "I'm okay."
The nervous panic at the small of her back; his unspoken reflections latched onto the base of her spine, convinces her otherwise.
And as they move, the length of three cars this time, he rubs his chin with his free hand, and when he drops it, she knows he's fighting an internal war of remorse over his silence, and a need to handle alone what he considers a private burden.
But she's right here, begging him to see the way she pleads for his confidence.
"You don't know that Peter. That machine is connected to you, for some reason we don't know yet, and despite whatever other horror it's capable of, it's hurting you. It's breaking you down."
And it's dragging her too.
"Thank you so much for pointing that out." his voice is curt, not loud but harsh, catching her off guard, and she can't help be offended when she stares at him in minute shock.
He's too presently unnerved, stressed, overwhelmed by whatever unknown to-her dissertion he'd focused out the window, she reads it in the way he fidgets, in the tight knuckles gripping the wheel with an impressive force.
And as soon as he was short with her, he regrets it, because he blinks his lids shut, takes a breath, is calming the nerves that are frantically dancing with her too.
And for the first time since she brought any of this up, he looks at her, blue heather sparked by out-there gold lights, and it's fiercely intent with the mirth of his apology.
As if, just a second ago, he's realized his private stress isn't the only one igniting the air.
It almost takes her breath away, the stunningly delicate set of his face in this moment.
"I''m sorry." he says to her. "You didn't deserve that. I didn't mean to snap at you."
He cocks his head to the side, turns a palm in the air in front of the gear shaft.
"They're just nosebleeds, Olivia. I feel fine, really. I'm alright."
The corner of his mouth lifts, a small, hint of a smile to try and re-assure her, vainly, that she's making a big deal out of nothing.
But there's a gentle under-course of doubt, needles that prick through bone and skin telling her his self-assurance stems from the same blanket of fear that initiates his fake calm.
There's no comfort in false pretense.
They've made it to the intersection, by the time the car line breaks and Peter sighs in relief when he steers them around the corner.
The air is still heavy, to damn heavy in the kind of silence that's suffocating her alive; his private thoughts that bounce off every wavelength between them.
And she wants to break them down, pick them apart.
She needs to diffuse the pain he's denied himself; the truths of this reality that he's bound, so tightly, into every inch of her skin.
"Doesn't it scare you?"
When she asks him this, he swallows, hard, sets his jaw and again, his eyes stare, transfixed out the window; a darker aquine this time betrayed by headlights; gold-yellow catching the shine at the edge of his cornea.
And when the lights pass, pull his shadow through and into rear glass, she feels his answer hollow out her chest; joining her own restless atoms in a streamline of faint panic.
"Shitless." He says, finally, his voice soft, hoarse, a truth broken out of the box he didn't want her to open.
It's too damn difficult for him, exposing her to this pain; adding to her collection, another dark monster.
But as he always does, in the remarkable way that makes her revel in his glory, he lives only seconds in his air of despairity.
"But I refuse to believe this all ends badly." he says, in another set of passing headlights, another collection of traffic signs. "I won't accept that's our future."
There's an assured countenance in his words; aplomb threatening to glue together all the broken parts of her own composure. And she can hear, in megahertz too loud, a thumping to strong, her heart's eager beat; she wants to believe to desperately in his anticipate-the-best-possible doctrine.
But experience has wisened her. Internal optimisms derived of pipe-dreams are already lost.
No matter that every aspiration he's ever had she hangs on anyways; to feel alive, to know faith, because his hope is a tickle to her ribcage when she forgets how to laugh.
Reality is a conniving, vile masochist. And he's her beautiful escape from it.
It's why she questions her own survival, in the horrid implications of the doom that surrounds him. She fears life without his air.
"I'm scared, too."
She ducks her head, when she tells him this, closes her eyes on the flittering anxiousness that has her gripping upholstry, her hands clinging to the sides of the passenger seat in an outcry to some highter power to spare his life; take away every un-deserving torture to befall his magnificance.
She's so absolutely desperate, she'll reach out to something she doesn't even believe in, can't even trust.
Not when it could be God, buddha or mother-fucking nature pointing this un-escapeable gun. And some, unjustly happy little trigger finger is squeezing the life from them both.
"Hey," she feels Peter's heat on her cheek, his thumb carassing the arch of her cheekbone and she opens her eyes on the friction and another red light.
"I know you're worried." He says to her, his voice soft, fragile, and when she turns to him his touch buries into the side of her face, a heat burning the rest of her so ardently, her skin becomes a prison.
"But we'll figure this out." he continues and in the darkness his eyes are dapple-grey, pushing lovat; a cerulean ferocity of his words in the glow of the dashboard's green dimmer. "We always do."
And in the faint light she reads his brow, sure and certain, a strong set of his confidence contouring every beautiful line of his forehead.
Without doubt, he believes this. But to her, his words are still, only camoflauge; hidden against a sacraficial backdrop with him as the lamb. Too much of her panic; her heart-hollow's kinetogenic energy has it's fists up to his aggressive positivity.
Decimation becomes of whatever she loves.
Her past reminds her of this, sickeningly, everytime haecceity, the here and nowness of reality, teases her with the flavor on the skin of his lips.
Maybe, no matter how hard she tries, she's just not meant for his hope.
"What if we can't? What if we run out of time?"
She asks this, as he drives them through another intersection, watches him glow under chartreuse and ruby, sucking luminescence from the traffic lights auora. His mouth lifts again, in the kind of tiny, beautiful smile that appears from his boy-like amusement.
"Then I guess I won't be taking you to a Yankee's game."
He's said this in deflection, in the way he always does when veering her away from the dismal creatures lurking in the back-parts of her mind.
And it would make some meleficent, twisted sense to that monster collection if he truly is wrong, and everything, all that's bountiful and virtuous and malleable is torn away forever from the universe's lining.
Their every small accomplishment, in the past three years, would be rendered meaningless at the end of all things. And it makes an even more perverted sense that she be there, in the destruction of everything, watching him and a world die.
It would be the victory dance of her sinister gargoyles.
Though they're only going forty miles an hour, she feels neaueas, a motion sickness of introspection and consequence; a doubling over of her gut that pitches into her diaphram; churns up to make her swallow, hard, on stomach acid and heartache.
She's physically averse to her own uselessness; the kind she's been mistaking this whole time for progress.
Because all she can picture is his stained blood at the feet of her own lifeless body.
And all of these same-kind mind-horrers are proving too much, too heavy; a collision of headache, pained breath and the wet heat that threatens to break through her optic wall.
"I can't lose you." She says to him, through the wake of his light air. "Peter, I can't lose you."
There's a won battle in the palm of her hands now; tears stampeding from hoplessness to cut into her flesh, a sharp slice of her desolation that reverberates through bone to ceize her whole body numb.
Coherency is lost to her, any in-the-present aspects of real-time offered to the attentive, so when she feels her door open, is attacked by his arms and the aqua-bourbon scent of his everything, she hasn't any idea when he'd got out of the car to pull her into him.
"God, Olivia, you won't." his words vibrate, through his chest and the hands she's involuntarily clenched the lapels of his coat with. "You won't lose me."
The pain she feels is icy, fused into her over his any lingering matter, and she's structureless from it, pouring out it's nerve-shaking abandon in the crook of his neck.
"I don't know yet what all this means," she hears him say. "I don't know what's going to happen to me or what the consequences will be."
With no strength of her own, her hot tears are molested by the cold of the air; his lifting up of her face met with the surrounding-them -invader. She's sucking in her attacker, grasping in oxygen under the heat of his closeness.
And she feels his restrained breath, sees the misery he holds back in the pained lines of his face, the beautiful crease between his brow charactering a softly-set upper lip. This is the pain of his words, his torment, his silent inner tormoil written across planes of wind-flushed flesh and stubble.
These are the fated-for-him night terrors that Machine's drawn on every arch of his face. He's fighting the brash disarment of his own fears, but he won't surrcomb, not infront of her, because what horrors plague him in darkness cower in his resolution to console her.
So he's wiping her tears with his thumbs, the soft pads of his fingers calling her to awareness through the brute force of a shared misery. His eyes are stunning, in the cabin's copper light, ripping into her soul through a caesious pleading; a bluish green mastery begging she find comfort in the threads of his surface.
"But whatever threat we face, I have to believe we'll survive it. I have to believe I still have forever to wake up next to you."
The sheer love in his words, the liquid of his voice in the power of this moment issues her present again in the beauty of his affection.
And she feels stunned by it, weightless and raw; her body subjugate to his merciless resplendence. So her breath is calming now, under the rising and falling of his chest, soothing itself in the hot devotion that's bled from his own.
There's familiarity here, in the power of his reassuring domination. This is his takes-no-prisoners reforging of her broken faith; his re-invention of her ripped-out soul in all the moments when she relinquishes hope to a darker power.
This is the beautiful, miraculous way that he saves her.
"No matter what the future holds, I will always be with you." He assures, brushing a hair strand away from her face. Then he kisses the tear-stained cheek it dampened on, and her nose and forehead, his lips brand them too. And when he crushes her to him, hugs an arm around her waist and tangles a hand in her hair, his hot voice melts her ear's inner muscle.
"I belong with you." he says, in the kind of low, deep whisper she hears in early morning, when he's between pressing kisses to her naked shoulder. "And that will never change."
Memory and his assurance make her hug him tighter, her fists clenching his coat so tight, the dark wool's become a third, fourth and fifth subdermis, wrapping over the layer he's claimed for his own.
She'd remain exposed without him, raw in disaster's destruction but he's her tourniquet, a perfect fitting second skin.
"I can't know a life without you."
She says, her voice pained as she buries her head in the crook of his neck.
Not I don't want to know or I don't want to think about, simply I can't. Because she's certain, no matter the timeline, or in what universe, he is her only savior from the black holes of her own atrocity.
And she feels his lips in her hair, his breath hot against the highway wind thats pushing in through her door.
"You won't have to. I promise."
This undoes her completely, makes her boneless, structureless from the promise he's fused into her muscle, striking sinew and tendon with the verocity of his passion.
She has to believe he's right, that they'll figure this out, that they're not bent for a life of the torment that spills out and onto thier every next move.
She has to hope in his blind faith, because without it, she's already accpeted defeat.
And she won't accept that. Not now, not ever and he'll always, constantly, with the honey-whiskey of his lips, remind her, as he marks every inch of her his, that giving up is a fool's surrender.
Victory is found in the courage to fight.
And it's what they'll do now, together, because the only higher power she believes in is stroking comfort through her hair while he kisses her temple.
"God Peter, I love you." she says, and she's overcome by her own fever, lost to anything besides his mouth when she captures his lips by her own.
Her life is found here, in pink flesh swelled by her devour of every sugary-sweet life-saving moleclue. And she's savoring the taste, drinking it deeper until he has to brace a hand on the dashboard, an anchor to keep her from pulling him down with the force of her ferver. Against her selfish ravage she feels him smile, a clash of their teeth when his lips stretch, a curve of his amusement front-lining depths of desire.
And when he pulls out of their kiss, already, she wants more, craves more in the way she always does, hotly excited from the-overcharged-by-him nerve ends on her lips that took a nosedive downward.
She's tempted, so intensely tempted to push back into his mouth but he's bracing her efforts with a gentle hand on her neck, and the ten inches of space he's created between them.
"You'd better." he says, in delayed response to her admission. And she blinks in on coherency. "Because we're stopped in a no-parking zone."
There's a silver glint of humor in a pool of dark aqua, his self amusement hinting under thick lashes; the ones weighting his eyes to half-mast from the same desire that's spiking her blood.
And when they move, from her face to the windshield, she turns to see the vehlicles-will-be-towed sign reflecting outside their car.
And she laughs, an amusement bourne of something comforting that's bubbled from the depth of her diaphram to swell in her chest.
With this humor, and devotion, with this unyielding mercy toward her obscure inclinations, this is how he pulls her back from a place that would swallow her soul.
This is how she knows he loves her, recklessly, with a runaway abandon that pushes into every nook of her heart.
It's a rapture that will imprison her again, under moonlight breaking through pitch-black, after they'd made it home at a hare's pace to find their way through jackets, impatience and the hard-breath of lust.
They'll tear away layers to descry the eager, naked flesh of each other.
And responding in kind to her earlier sentiment, he'll give voice to what's caused her surrender, when she's trailing kisses down his neck and he's drawing lazy circles on her bare hipbone. I love you, too, he'll say, in a whisper that bounces off his bedroom wall. Forever, Olivia, forever I'll love you.
And never ever, will even the city compare.
Because nothing at night is more extrodinary then his soft caress, his breath on her neck and the tandam of his drumming heart that beats along with her own.
There's belonging here.
And it has the power to save them both.