I stifle a laugh as Sunny takes a bite out of another Scrabble letter.
Klaus sighs and shakes his head, but takes the piece from her anyway to make his word, " 'Triumph'. Your turn, Amelia."
I look hard at the board, then at my letters. I smirk when I eye Klaus's word, then take all ten of my letters and work them around his "H". I grin, " 'Phosphorous'. Read it and weep, Klaus."
He sighs again, "How do you always manage to come up with these huge words? Better yet, how do you get the letters to make them?"
I shrug, "Dumb luck? Wanna play again?"
He shakes his head, clearing the board. "No, thank-you. You'll just win anyway..."
I roll my eyes, "That's a pessimistic way of looking at it. You'll never get anywhere in life if you think that way, you know."
"Yeah, yeah..." he mumbles, going back to his favorite armchair and picking up his book of the hour.
I laugh and scoop Sunny up off the floor, "Come on, let's leave your boring brother to his reading..."
Klaus rolls his eyes, but says nothing.
Sunny gurgles something in her special "Gaa" language, which I interpret as, ((He's not boring. He just has a different idea of fun.))
"Yeah, yeah," I murmur, mocking her brother. In the seven years I've been living with the Baudelaire family, Klaus and I have always been poking fun at each other. We're the same age, though he never lets me forget that he's three months and two days older, the pain that he is. But, pain or not, he's my best friend, and he has been since his parents adopted me when mine passed away. My mother and father were good friends with Mr. and Mrs. Baudelaire, but I had never met their children until Mom and Dad were gone.
Anyway, that's all said and done, and I refuse to think about that fire again. So instead, I take Sunny up to her room to play with all of her half-toys, the other halves having been bitten off and misplaced.
Violet meets me in the hall, though, with a huge grin on her face. "Amelia, I have news!"
I smirk, "About a certain black-haired boy named Darryl who lives down the street?"
She nods excitedly and laughs.
I laugh as well, "Should I put Sunny in her room?"
((No! I wanna hear too! What's going on?))
I giggle, "Nothing you need to worry about. Now come on and I'll put you in your room so you can play while I talk to your sister."
I leave her amidst her toys and partially-eaten furniture before meeting Violet back in the hall and heading to her room with her.
She closes the door behind us and sits down on her bed with me, "He asked me to go to dinner with him!"
I muffle my girlish squeal of joy, "Oh, Vi, that's great! I'm so happy for you! When and where are you going?"
"He didn't say where, but he told me to dress nicely, as in wear a nice dress. That, and he's going to pick me up tomorrow night at six." Her grin hadn't wavered until now, "Amelia, I'm so nervous! And what am I supposed to wear!? All of my dresses are black and lacey. I don't have anything formal!"
I look up in thought, "Well... I could make you a dress. I mean, I know what you like, and I definitely know how to work a sewing machine like a pro. I can make it in no time! Oh, I can see it now, Violet! Black, but not too gothic-looking, and with a pretty pin on the front; I have the perfect piece!"
I can see her eyes shining, "You'd do that for me? Really?"
I nod, grinning, "Absolutely!"
She giggles and gives me a sisterly hug, "Thanks so much, Amelia. I owe you."
I hug back, "No, you don't. I'm volunteering, remember? Now, let me take your measurements and I'll get to work." With that, I break out the measuring tape, get what I need, and am off to start working before the vision in my head fades any. 'Oh, she's going to look so beautiful!' I mentally squeal, excited for my sister-figure. After being locked in my room for about two hours, someone knocks on my door.
I glance up from the dress's hem at the door, "Come in Klaus."
He does so, his eyes immediately sticking to the apparel on my mannequin. "Wow... So, I guess this is what you've been working on. It's been a couple of hours, and we hadn't heard a sound from in here. I was starting to worry," he says the last part with a teasing smile.
I smirk, "Aw, thanks so much for being concerned about little old me. I had no idea you cared so much!"
He chuckles, "So what's the dress for anyway?" He pauses, giving me a scrutinizing look, "You don't have a date, do you?"
I halt mid-stitch and look up at him, "No... Klaus, you do realize that you're the only boy I've ever talked to, don't you?" When he shrugs, I go back to sewing, "And why would it matter if I did? Unless you're jealous, of course..." I keep myself focused on the dress so he can't see my smirk.
"Not even close. I was just curious, " he defends, sitting down on the bed. "What's it for, then?"
I cast a mischievous smile his way, "I may not have a date, but someone else does..."
He remains silent, looking at me questioningly.
I giggle, "Violet's going out tomorrow night."
He quirks an eyebrow, "The guy down the street? What was it... Darryl?"
He sighs, "I don't get what she sees in him."
"Well of course not, Klaus. If you did, you'd be gay, which you already swore you weren't, so..." I trail off, smiling to myself as I keep focused on the dress.
"Oh, shut up."
"Make me. And know this if you plan on trying: I have sewing pins in my hands."
He shakes his head, "I can't believe I still have my sanity in tact after spending so much time with you."
"Hm, well you wouldn't know if you didn't. They say that when you go insane, you think you're still sane, even though it's totally obvious to everyone else that you're not," I retort.
"...I refuse to ask why you know something like that."
"Good choice." I finish sewing the hem of the dress and give it a once-over. I sigh in contentment, "Done."
He gets up from the bed and looks at it, "Well, even though I'm not exactly ecstatic about who my sister's going out with, I have to admit... She's gonna look great in this, Amelia."
I can feel my face heating up, "Thanks. This guy's important to her, and so is tomorrow night, so I want to help her look and feel her best, you know?"
He nods, "Well, if this dress doesn't make her feel confident in how she looks, I don't know what will."
"Hehe, thanks a lot. Don't tell her it's done, though, okay? I wanna surprise her with it tomorrow morning."
"Sure. So what are you doing now?"
I shrug, "Going to bed?"
"Why? It's only ten..."
I let my eyes wander, "I uhh... I've been having trouble sleeping recently."
I can feel his eyes on me, "...Are the nightmares back? Of the fire?"
My voice failing me, I just nod.
He sighs quietly and places a hand on my shoulder, "Amelia, if you wake up in the middle of the night from it, I want you to come wake me, okay? I promised I'd help you get through all of that, and I will."
"Hey, I mean it, alright? If you can't sleep, wake me."
I bring myself to meet his gaze and, with the smallest of smiles, nod and hug him, "Thanks, Klaus."
He hugs me in a comforting way, "Anytime." He steps back and goes to walk out, "Good night, Ams."
Then, he goes to his own room, and I get ready for bed, but not before draping a sheet over the mannequin. 'Can't have Violet sneaking a peek before I unveil it...' I then climb into bed, wearing a comfy big t-shirt and shorts. The paranoia of having those nightmares come back keeps me awake for at least a half-hour, and when sleep finally comes, it's not very peaceful.
^^My vision's blurry. I can't make out details of anything. The only one of my senses that seems to be working is my hearing. I can hear my mother screaming, yelling for me to run, to get out of the house. I can't breathe. My eyes are watering as I choke on my breath, searching blindly for my parents. I try to call out to them, but only choke on another mouthful of smoke. I can feel heat flaring around me, and my mother's yelling is getting closer. "Amelia!" I can faintly see her a few feet in front of me down the hall. I run towards her, and she takes me by the arms.
"Amelia, you have to run! Get out! I need to find your father! Go! Go now!"
I'm crying now, and I can hear myself croak out, "Mom, no!"
She hugs me tightly. "Please remember Amelia, we love you! Your father and I love you so much!" she yells to me over the roaring fire. She then pushes me down the long hallway towards the foyer, "Go, please! Don't look back!"
Before I can fight with her, a large chunk of the ceiling falls down behind me, forcing me to go where she'd told me. The tears streaming from my burning eyes, I run as fast as I can down the hall, thundering down the stairs. I start to unlock the door when the roof above me starts to crack. I fumble with the lock and finally swing the door open. I run outside, literally collapsing on the grass and sucking in gasps of fresh air. Then, when the hacking coughs slow, I start screaming for my parents, and when the rest of the house's roof caves in, the entire world seems to stop, and I can't hear anything but the blaring sirens of the fire trucks and police cars.^^
I jolt awake in a cold sweat, a silent scream stuck in my throat. I run a shaking hand through my hair, taking heavy, unsteady breaths. 'Not again... Why are these nightmares coming back? I haven't had them for four years!' I sigh, dropping myself back onto my pillow. I glance at my alarm clock and sigh again. "I can't go wake Klaus up, not at three in the morning..." I mutter to myself.
"I knew you wouldn't."
I nearly jump out of my skin as I whip my head around towards the door. "Klaus..."
He's standing in my doorway, his hair even messier than usual, donned in sweats and a t-shirt. He walks over to the bed as I sit up again. "I just came to check on you. I knew you wouldn't wake me up, whether you had the nightmares or not."
I make a feeble attempt at a smile, "You know me too well."
He tries to smile back, "Maybe that's a good thing. You and I both know you can't get through it by yourself."
I look down at the blankets, "...I know. I just... I don't like bothering you about it."
He sits down on the bed and moves his face into my line of sight, "You're not bothering me. I worry about you, Ams."
I find myself smiling faintly at the nickname, the one that only he uses.
"I want to help you move on from what happened. I don't care how long it takes, but every night you wake up screaming or crying is another night that I'll stay with you."
The fact that he cares so much makes me want to start crying all over again. And I think he can tell, because he moves a little closer and pulls me into hug.
He just holds me, doesn't say anything, and lets me calm down. When I do, he moves back enough to look down at me, "Let's try and get some sleep, okay? You'll feel better in the morning, once you see Violet's face when she sees the dress."
I laugh a little, and he smiles before going to the other side of the bed.
He gets under the blankets and lays down with me, one of his arms still draped over me almost protectively.
"Thank-you, Klaus," I murmur quietly.
Though I'm already a decent way into unconsciousness, I swear I can feel him kiss the top of my head lightly, "Anytime."
Not long after that, we've both drifted off to sleep. Just like when we were younger, the nightmares don't come back. It's always been that way. That's probably because Klaus has always been able to make me feel safe. And even though he doesn't realize it, he'll always be more than a best friend to me. And that's probably why I feel so safe around him. He's the one person I trust with my life. And I know he'd never take advantage of that.
And that's probably why I love him.