Rating: R (sexual content, disturbing imagery)
Spoilers: Through 2x11, AU future!fic
Disclaimer: Not mine, just like playing with them.
Notes: I've been working and reworking this damn thing forever but I wanted to post this as a... I don't know, exercise. I kind of like how it came out even if I'm pretty sure it... doesn't make any sense, you know?
Teaser: Elle hates the storms... Claire lives for them.
Elle hates the storms, grows restless and frantic, paces around the house until she's fuzzy-eyed and shaking.
Claire lives for them, opens the windows and the doors and turns off the television.
When it's like this, the world looks like what Adam said it really is when they parted at the burned-out holding facility with Elle bleeding in the backseat, looks darkly bright and feels sticky cool, smells like salt as Claire finally sighs and leaves Elle to hide in the house. Claire heads out and strips off the clothes that she's been wearing since she woke up, drops them to the sand and steps into the water, walks out until her hips are covered and then ducks under, kicking out and moving deeper. She stays down until her lungs burn and then pops her head up, swipes her hair from her face and shivers until her body adjusts with shocking speed to the chill.
Elle never joins her.
(When she showers, she leaves the door ajar and the curtain open. She spends more time in there then she needs to, feeling eyes on her as she soaps up her skin and then rinses it off and then does it again and then again. By the time she gets to her hair, Elle is standing in the doorway with her arms crossed over her chest and her little mouth quirked downwards. Sometimes, she lets her fingers slide across her own skin even more than usual, following dips and curves and spots that Elle knows but not as well as she does.)
Claire glances back at the house, gazes at Elle and then she splashes deep, moving out before finally coming to the surface, watching the clouds light up and then darken again, hearing a vague rumble that makes her react deep inside. She's pretty sure most of this is the years in her cell, the way fingers seared into her skin and then pushed deeper as Elle became more frantic, more obsessed with leaving her mark on her, inside her.
It's impossible to mark her, though (at least in the way Elle craves).
But Claire is nice enough to let her try—
(When she finishes her showers, she dries from her toes to her hair and only then does she plod out, stretching as she walks until the bathroom door is slammed closed behind her and hands grab at her, locking tight around her middle to push, sending her tumbling to the floor. A weight holds her down, nails scraping at skin that heals too fast to scar but Claire doesn't twist and doesn't fight, simply waits until Elle rolls off her and stretches out, tears of frustration leaking out of her eyes as she blinks fast and breathes noisily.)
—and Claire's beginning to suspect that Elle's not the only warped one now.
On the beach, Elle is beginning to pace, glancing upwards at the sky and then out at her, a slender shape with her arms locked around her middle, looking frantic and worried and desperate and furious and Claire takes it in, power that has nothing to do with raw force or fingers that burn her from the inside out. She sighs and then kicks out deeper, watching Elle rub her face, crouching on the sand and glaring down at it.
(Elle stops locking the bathroom door because Claire always gets in, breaks in or picks a lock or even shatters the window and climbs in that way because she has nothing else anymore. Instead, Elle scrubs furiously, mutters darkly and ignores Claire, sitting and watching curiously as water slide in rivulets down pale skin. In there, she's helpless and they both know it, and she wonders if Elle even realizes Claire learned this from her.)
Elle shouts something that's worried, a little bit scared, and Claire chuckles and licks her lips even though Elle can't see and goes back under until her lungs burn and she pops up without any conscious decision to do so. Now Elle looks like a child that's watching her toy get stolen and she laughs and does it again.
(Sometimes she climbs in with Elle, leaves her clothes in a folded pile outside the shower and slides arms around her, kisses the wet skin of her neck and tells her quietly that she does love her even if she's not capable of it the way she used to be. Pulls back and helps Elle rinse out her hair, dragging fingers through heavy strands and then sliding her thumb down her spine, counting the inches of skin until she can curve her hand between her legs. There she stops, strokes her just a bit before she turns away, reaching for the soap with a short snort of laughter at how fun it is even though it shouldn't be fun. Elle stares at her, waits, but Claire just showers and gets out and waits on the floor still wet until Elle's completely dry, sparking as she strides out and climbs on top, knots fingers in her hair and pins her down and lets the current travel through skin.)
There are lines appearing around Elle's mouth and near her eyes that didn't use to be there, little changes that she doesn't want to think about and she doesn't think about time anymore because she's not sure what she's going to do when Elle's no longer waiting, furious and scared and needing her. She'll be alone then in a way she wasn't even when they caught her, even when they tested and gave what was left to a smiling girl who played with dolls and broke them all to pieces until she finally found one that put itself back together for more fun.
She's Elle's favorite, always will be, but she doesn't know what she's going to do when she isn't anymore.
(Elle can't come unless there's some outside sting with it, unless she feels muscles tighten up from a current under her hands, but then she comes hard and a little bit too painfully herself, body rocking back as she groans and shivers and clings to the body pinned beneath hers. But after she's long and loose and Claire can have her way, can do whatever she wants and always does, knowing exactly how this body of hers works now.)
"Claire…" the voice reaches her, high and thin and she sighs, dips under the surface and then slides back up.
Elle looks like a child straying near the edge as light flickers through the night sky and she gives in, lets out a long sigh and dives under, kicking feet as she swims back, watching Elle's body stiffen as she gets closer. Embarrassment at weakness turns to anger, fury, and when Claire finally staggers up and onto the sand, a hand locks around her arm, a sudden shock allowing her to stumble and nearly fall. "You could have been carried out," Elle huffs as electricity laces the caresses that assure her that Claire is fine. "I saw it on the news, people getting carried out by currents, eaten by sharks…"
"I know what I'm doing," Claire says flatly, and Elle licks her lips, touching a naked breast almost nervously, staring at the wetness that's left. When the skin tightens in recognition of the sensations (when Claire smiles) she deepens the touch until she gets a yelp in response, until Claire smacks her hand away and steps closer at the same time. "I love it like this," she confides, squeezing extra water out of her hair, shaking her head. "The way the sky lights up and makes the clouds look," and Elle's nodding because even though she's not agreeing about the sky (so to speak) she is agreeing.
(Elle does it over and over again, trying to extract a promise that she won't be forgotten, a mark that will remain.)
Claire walks back into the house, still dripping and Elle follows close, locking the door behind them.