Mkay, I've done this several times with my TNBC (Well…only three times actually.) readers. By this I mean taking a short break (By short I mean however long it took to write this.) from my large fics that seem to take forever to finish to write a oneshot. I do this for small ideas that I can't fit into full stories and…because despite my intent to refrain from being too angsty and fluffy I have to sometimes get it out when my long stories are moving in an agonizingly realistic pace and are, therefore, too far from any romantic connection to satisfy. So, here is my first Psychonauts oneshot, I hope you enjoy it, and I assure you, after I post this I will return immediately to my other two fics.
It had been a long day…and it was hard to imagine that only that morning, he had been at Whispering Rock hearing about Truman Zanotto's kidnapping. Now almost seventeen hours later he was laying in a rather comfortable bed in a dorm in Psychonauts HQ, wearing one of Sasha's shirts, loaned to him for sleeping purposes.
Raz dozed on and off throughout the night. He wondered, at points whether or not he slept at all, or whether time was just passing at that eerie pace it often did when one slept badly in the evening. There were times when he was sure he was staring at the wall or out the window into the darkness and times when he would see the vague images of passing dreams.
The only sleep he got, while lying in the bed in that dark dorm room, that he was sure of was forty minutes before three o' clock. And then, his certainty only came from the jolt in which he awoke, because of the lightning cracking outside and then the suddenly heavy rain pattering on the windowpane.
For a moment Raz stared at the ceiling, his heart beating frantically, in the sort of shock that comes when one is suddenly shaken from their slumbers. He let out a long sigh and sat up. When he did, the neck of Sasha's shirt slipped a little exposing his shoulder.
The lightning cracked again, illuminating the room and leaving brief images burned in Raz's retinas. For a moment, he sat and let his night vision return. As he did he heard the rain beating against the walls of Psychonauts HQ. He might have liked rain, if it was not for the water. Still, he remained motionless for a few minutes, just listening, imagining, after a while that he could hear whispers of an ancient curse.
After a while Raz slipped is bare feet over the edge of the bed and onto the cold floor. He reached up to grab at his goggles, and was disappointed to find they weren't there having mistakenly left them with his father when they left Whispering Rock. He felt slightly uncomfortable without them. Exposed. Sighing, Raz crossed the floor towards the door.
'Let's see,' He thought as he did. 'Sasha said he would be in the room to the left, Milla would be in the room to the far left and Lili would be in the room to the right.' He opened the door and stepped out into the hallway. Down the hall the storm made window shaped impressions on the wall.
Raz crept down the hall in a sleepy sort of way, his mind on the coming mission. He was excited about it, being a psychonaut. At times he wondered if he was dreaming, perhaps somewhere in a circus caravan, asleep in a hard, uncomfortable bed.
He reached Lili's door and made up his mind not to disturb her. Even if she wouldn't readily admit it, he knew she was upset. It was odd, any kid would be upset if their parents went missing. It was perfectly normal…and yet, Lili seemed to consider it vital to keep emotions like that bundled up inside her. It was kind of unsettling for a girl her age and Raz found himself wondering what sort of person Truman Zanotto was, for his daughter to be so…closed up.
He stared at her door for a few more minutes, before almost passing it by. Then he stopped and looked again, curious. Delicately, he touched the surface of the wood with his bare fingertips and closed his eyes, reaching. The room was a blank to him. The reason for this was that there wasn't anything to read. He backed away and raised his eyebrows. Lili wasn't in her room.
Raz looked around, as if expecting to see her in the hall, then, with a set expression on his face, that was reserved mainly for psychic activity, Raz put the fingers of his right hand to his temple, while his left hand hovered blindly in front of him. (Ok…so maybe hovered wasn't the right thing to say…it WAS attached to his left arm…which was attached to him.) And he reached, this time on a larger scale.
He touched Sasha and Milla, in Milla's case, dreaming, in Sasha's case occupied with something else, that, perhaps was more important to the man then sleep. He touched the minds of strangers, asleep, working, thinking, afraid, angry. He touched old minds and young minds, nervous and guilty, a buzz of psychic energy and thoughts and ideas…and power. He looked for something familiar, and he found it, not too far away, and not precisely in the building. (Well…just not in the building…you can't really be PRECISELY in a building, I guess.) Raz broke the mental link and headed towards where he believed Lili to be.
It's like…fingerprints. Lili thought, as she closed her eyes and held her hand out, letting the rain fall in her cupped palm.
She was standing at the edge of a large balcony, used mainly for more dangerous psychic instruction. It was lined from edge to edge with various training mechanisms. The balcony itself, although made with wood, was covered in a layer of concrete, which was not particularly attractive…but was also not very flammable.
Lili had been to Psychonauts HQ on various other occasions and therefore knew where certain places were. She liked this place because it was generally empty and it was outdoors. Currently she was standing in the rain, reading it.
Lili was good at reading things. It was sort of like clairvoyance. If you touched something, that had once touched some living thing, you could get brief images of other places and times past. The rain, which had been everywhere at one point, in oceans, lakes and puddles, clinging to someone's hair (As it was doing now.) was an interesting thing to read. Sometimes Lili did it with flowers, which were far less interesting, but much easier to read. Rain tended to slip away.
One had to be perfectly alone when reading the mental fingerprints of certain things. Alone was something Lili was good at naturally. Human minds always got in the way when it came to clairvoyance, and so, it was nearly impossible to read anything when one was around. Lili felt the hold she had had on the rain slip away. She opened her emerald eyes. Someone was standing behind her. She lowered her hand, letting the droplets slide off and turned around.
"You know, you probably shouldn't be standing out here in the rain, since your getting over a cold and all." Raz was smiling faintly. Lili didn't say anything, but couldn't help but notice that Raz was in an oversized shirt, which appeared to be slipping over his shoulders and his underwear. Rather pleasurable actually. Lili blushed.
"I don't need any motherly concern Raz, shouldn't you be asleep?" She asked, her expression unchanging.
"Couldn't, besides the rain was pretty loud." Raz appeared to be undaunted, as usual, by her cynical behavior. It was sort of odd, the only time he ever seemed to be uncomfortable around her was when she mentioned kissing or making out. Otherwise, she could have verbally abused him as much as she liked and he would just shrug it off and smile and be…well, Raz.
He moved up beside her and leaned on the balcony. Lili put it out of her mind and found something distant to look at.
After a while, Raz realized he was getting rather wet. He wondered lightly if Sasha would be upset about his shirt being soaked by the rain, then decided Sasha seemed like the kind of person who wouldn't loan his clothes out unless the clothes he was loaning out didn't meant all that much to him. He looked up at Lili, who was staring at something beyond the headquarters with an expression that said she wasn't really seeing whatever she was looking at. Her hair, which had been taken out of the pigtails and was laying in long wavy rivulets down her back was getting soaked.
For a moment he wondered what she was thinking…then, realized he didn't have to. He felt a little guilty about reading her mind in such circumstances, but curiosity won over. He touched her thoughts gently, so that she might not feel him doing so.
'I wonder if he's out there somewhere…in the rain…or if he's thinking about me. Probably not. He's probably just worried about who's in charge of the Psychonauts while he's gone, and if everything's running smoothly. He probably hasn't thought about me at all.' Raz felt a hint of sadness touching her thoughts and he tried to pull back, feeling twice as guilty as he had before. Unfortunately his mind held on too tightly, and as he wrenched his mind away from hers, she blinked and turned towards him, for a moment her eyes held surprise, then accusation and anger.
KEEP OUT! And he didn't need a mental link to hear that, it roared and echoed in his skull, giving him a headache and making him cringe back from her.
"Was that loud enough for you?" Lili said, before leaving the side of the balcony and heading in a direction away from him. Raz watched her, feeling ashamed and concerned. Without much hesitation…because hesitation was not something that Raz was familiar with for long periods of time, he broke away from the edge of the terrace and chased after her.
Lili swallowed a pain in her throat, and felt it grow as her emotions built up. She felt angry and hurt. And although both emotions were brought on by Raz invading her thoughts, neither was really directed at him. They were directed mainly towards her father…and slightly towards herself, and although she was a little annoyed at Raz for catching a private thought inside her head, what she felt mostly towards him was a sort of wanting feeling.
She reached the other side of the balcony and sat down on a bench reserved for psychic instructors during training periods. After a moment when the rush of adrenaline brought on by her anger passed she was left with a sort of empty chill from the rain and the depression that was setting in. She pulled her legs close to her body and wrapped her arms around them bitterly, feeling her wet hair on the back of her neck as she rested her forehead on her arms. Around her the rain fell, and thunder occasionally cracked.
Then, she felt warmth as a set of small fingers moved a few strands of hair from her back and a hand touched her shoulder. She looked up into Raz's bright green eyes, set with concern and believed, wholeheartedly, though anyone older then her would have willingly denied it (Though these are the same people who treat the wedding vows more as guidelines, rather then a promise Which they often break, and who can say, sincerely to their other half 'I will eternally love you' while thinking about a game on television or a pair of shoes they saw in the mall earlier that day.) that she had fallen in love.
Lili threw her arms around him, surprising him, judging by the way he jumped slightly, and buried her face in his shoulder. After a moment, he wrapped his arms around her and she could feel the side of his face, lightly touching her hair.
For a while they sat like that, warm and soaked (And getting wetter by the minute.) Before Raz decided to break the silence.
"I'm sure he's thinking about you…wherever he is. In fact, I bet you were the first thing that crossed his mind." He felt her tense, and he braced himself, knowing that it had been a risk and hoping that it had been good judgment on his part to bring it up. After a moment she relaxed.
"You're an idiot, Raz." She said, her voice slightly muffled by his shoulder. He smiled, relieved. (Although…I doubt too many other people would have been. I would have probably been offended.)And I love you for it…
Raz's smiled faded a little as he took in the thought. Occasionally his mind did that without him directing it. It just read things, particularly things at the top of someone's head without him telling it to. He colored a little.
"You do?" He said, before he could stop himself, his voice slightly less sure then usual. Lili blinked, and then even in the darkness with most of her face concealed by his (Well…by Sasha's) shirt he saw her face turn a vibrant crimson color.
Oh, god…why does he always catch the embarrassing things! Raz, though still quite embarrassed…and also, he noticed, in spite of himself, rather pleased, smiled again and laughed softly.
X And another POV switch (sigh.)X
Lili felt Raz's warm breath against her ear and hair as he laughed. She looked up at him, feeling slightly chagrined and at the same time enjoying his semi squeaky laughter. Her eyes narrowed.
"What?" She said, not, at the moment able to think of a snappy and sarcastic response to his laughter. This was mostly because she was slightly concerned with what his amusement was directed towards.
"You know, if you just talked to me, I wouldn't HAVE to read your thoughts." He said playfully. Lili frowned and then just when she was about to come back with a snappy retort his lips closed over hers. It felt slightly different from others (Yeah…all two of them.) for a start, it lingered much longer between them and she felt the care and passion that went into it. For a brief moment she felt his emotions as well as hers, and thought, though she couldn't be sure, that if she wanted to she could open his near impenetrable mind and see every angle and corner of it. For a moment she felt she could read his thoughts and memories...
After a long moment, when he finally broke the kiss, Lili sighed, feeling pleasantly warm and slightly weak in the knees.
"Wow." She said after a moment, a dreamy look in her eyes. Raz smiled and then with a shiver, he stood and grabbed her hand.
"Come on, I'm getting cold." She seemed to snap out of her momentary trance and stood up with him, allowing him to direct her back into the building.
They walked hand in hand down the hallway. Both of them were silent and deep in thought. (But mostly they thought about each other.) When they reached Lili's door Raz let go of her hand.
"I'll see you in the morning, Lili." He whispered and turned. For a moment Lili watched his back, and then she smiled.
You definitely will if you sleep in my room. She saw him stop and turn back towards her. His face had turned red again and she thought he looked absolutely adorable.
"Um…you know I can…"
"I know." She took a few steps forward and grabbed him by the wrist, pulling him after her into her bedroom. (And it isn't like that…their only ten…perverts.)
X Last One.X
Raz watched the ceiling as the rain outside began to subside, turning into a shower and then the random drips from gutters and trees and any other thing that dripped after it rained. (So everything…except maybe animals…whom, hopefully were smart enough to seek cover from the storm…rather then standing around and dripping all over the place.)
His own clothes were finally starting to dry from the storm, and Sasha's shirt was getting wrinkled (Which he imagined, would not make the older man very happy.). His shirt may have been dry by now, had it not been for Lili's hair, which was scattered about on his chest, where she was laying her head, and on his shoulders and neck, where it felt cold and also pleasant. Occasionally, Raz would run his fingers through it, and then stop once Lili began to stir.
He sighed, and then, moving slightly into a comfortable sleeping position (While trying not to wake Lili up at the same time.) He closed his eyes, and began to doze.
Sometimes I have to get a little fluff out of my system…which I feel, is the purpose for oneshots. No action, not a whole lot a plot, just some major fluff or angst. Eventually my other two stories will have fluff…but not soon enough to get it out of my system. So I hope you enjoy. I'll update both of my stories soon.
Also, on a side note, for those of you who read Always the Same (And for those of you who don't…whatever.) I have loaned JintoR my characters and setting from ATS, so that he can write a fic using them. If you haven't already read the first chapter of In Cognito, I suggest doing so now. It's written very well, and his accurate portrayal of my characters as well as the Psychonauts characters astounds me. Just thought I'd say something.
I love all of you!