A/N: Okay, it's not Christmas, I don't care. I just wrote and this is what turned up. Love me or hate me, just review me.
The room is warm, stifling hot it seems to me, although it must be all in my head. I can't feel it, after all; physically, I know that there are shimmering waves of warmth drifting lazily outward from the fire; and yet it makes no difference to me at all. The temperature of the room could be one or one hundred degrees; I would feel neither a shiver nor a burn from it. The fire is only really to keep up the illusion of mortality. Humanity, that's the word that you expected me to use, isn't it? But I won't. Are we not human in some ways? Extraordinary humans, but humans still, in my opinion. We are far from civilization, and it is much too late for normal people to be out and about; so why bother with a fire, something that requires tending, if it is not neccessary? Habit, the thing that we are all slaves to.
The hearth is a mess of whimsical, mix-and-match, Christmas decorations, another pointless, but pretty thing. Stockings hang from little metal hooks all red and white and lovely; swirled with glittering script knit into the fabric: Eleazar, Carmen, Kate, Irina, Tanya. The rest of the room is the same, wreaths and bells and mistletoe. A large, ornament heavy tree sits near the fireplace, far enough away to be no danger at all, but close enough to have light dripping through the needles. It still smells very sharply of minty pine, although it has been standing an entire week. Eleazar and Carmen had disappeared off for a few hours one day and had come back lugging a perfectly sized Christmas tree behind them. Before they joined our family there was no pretense of a holiday season at all, it was simply something that we had never had the energy for. Carmen was very enthusiastic about celebrations, and she threw herself into assuring our mutual enjoyment of it with a gusto that everyone melted in the face of. Indeed, even now I can hear her flitting around, lighting candles to guide Saint Nick in.
No one else is in sight. Irina is out hunting, Eleazar must be hidden away upstairs with his beloved, preparing to nestle into a corner with her for the night. The front room is a seperate world, everything else is so far away that it might as well be imaginary. Only the happy decorations, the blazing fire, and the creature staring into it exist for me on a plane of tangibility. Our fearless leader stares distracted and seemingly unaware of her surroundings, her eyes not really seeing the beautiful dance of the destructive, hungry force in front of her, her mind far, far away. Her back is turned to me, her slight form enfolded by the light, the reflection of the fire turns her skin into a painted sunset and her strawberry curls into a halo around her face. It filters through it like sunlight through leaves and turns her tight-lipped expression into a forest of complexity. Her beauty surpasses any painted angel in the history of all artwork in this moment, and I find myself plain in comparison.
What is she thinking? Sometimes when she goes completely silent, sometimes when she stops, I long to know. Times like now I would trade countless years of my existence, I would trade my own gift to possess Edward Cullen's for just a few moments, just so that I could know how to make her smile again. It doesn't take a mind reader to know that it is loneliness that she dwells on most often however. My friend does not have to show it for me to see the anguish and bitterness that surrounds her. She absentmindedly stirs the log in the fire, getting much too close to it and showing not enough reaction to be human. Which is she missing? Loving, motherly embraces or more passionate ones? Which is she longing for a lover or a parent or a friend? Or does it even matter anymore: is she just wishing for arms to comfort her? Lonely, impossible Tanya, locked in her subconscious like a princess in a tower.
I know a secret about her though. I know that what keeps her unhappy is not longing, it is fear. She believes herself to be so naturally untouchable and cold that she will spend her entire existence alone. She's stopped even looking for a companion, and I am right in front of her; sure that I can be whatever she needs me to be and an eager slave to her every whim, and I go unnoticed.
I say nothing to her, prefering to be ignored to being given a look that says that she would rather be alone than with me. It is an endless cycle for the woman who calls me 'sister'. She keeps herself trapped as unloved because she is too afraid to realize that she can have what she wants if she would only reach for it. I am not her only admirer, that is true, but I must be her oldest and the closest to her by now. Is she still pining for him, her Edward? Is she still wishing that he would love her? I think that she must be when a small sigh escapes her lips.
She's wishing for him, and I'm wishing for her. Typical, cliche even.
"Penny for your thoughts?" I try, finally, just to break the heavy silence that sits between us. She turns to me and blessedly her expression does not repel me. She is soft and dreamy-eyed.
"Useless coins, dearest sister. You will need more tempting currency if you hope to loosen my lips."
Grinning, I take several steps to be closer to her "I could wrap all of this Christmas nonsense up, bind and gag our personal little elf and toss her in the closet for the remainder of the holiday, in exchange for knowing your thoughts?" I shrug, hopefully, and for a moment Tanya pretends to consider this. Her eyes are a warm amber, it seems that if I could only drink in that lovely liquid I would be forever warm.
A fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a second and she is at my side, her skin inches from mine, as close as any sisters could ever hope to be. I can feel the warmth that has gathered on her skin shed off of her, seeking another surface to cling to, I can imagine it coming off in layers; purple, blue, red, orange, yellow, peach, and finally there was only a shadow darkened alabastor. Her small, perfect lips turned up slowly at the corners, and if I were human I would have been scarlet; and when my expression proves to be too blank and my voice does not sound, her head tilts to the right, just the tiniest bit; her ringlets bounce slightly with the movement. "You're suddenly so silent, Katie, I expected a witty repartee." She laughs like the musical tinkling of bells.
"I'm not always clever."
She reaches out and brushes a stray lock of hair behind my ear, the touch is more electric than any that I could ever deliver. "Quite the contrary." I smile, cursing my own awkwardness in the face of a woman that I've known for much longer than one lifetime, and loved just as long. "Tell me your thoughts, for mine would not interest you."
I roll my eyes and try a characteristic snort of annoyance, it sounds half-hearted to my ears. I know I am a good actress, but somehow I do not believe that she is fooled. "I'm thinking about wishes, about how holidays like this make them come true." I can't help myself, I look deeper into her eyes, as if I might see her soul somehow.
"If only they did." Her smile melts from her face much more quickly than it came; she tries weakly to keep it, the corner of her mouth unsure if it should be turned up or not. Tanya's eyes return to the fire and the moment is gone, the distance between us could be an ocean instead of an inch, and I sigh.
As usual, she's thinking about him, I'm thinking about her.