Hi, I'm back!
Alright, a few things to say before the story;
This is a very angsty story for the first few chapters. If you don't like angst, don't read this. Also, I'm aware that Chloe is very emo-ish in the first couple of chapters, but I think that it's perfectly in character for her and you'll see why when you read. Lastly, The poem that I'm using at the begining of all the chapters is Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town by E.E. Cummings.
That's all! Enjoy my new story!
Disclaimer: I don't own Darkest Powers, yet, but one day, I tell ya...
Memories of Dreams
Anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did
She was dreaming again.
She knew that she was dreaming, yet for some reason, that didn't stop how real it felt.
She was running. Running as fast as she could through the woods. Her breath puffed out in a panicked cadence and her legs shook from the strain of her speed, but she couldn't stop. She knew that if she stopped, she wouldn't be the only one to die; her loved ones would, too. She couldn't fight this; she was way out of her league.
Her eyes darted fearfully to the side, spying a break in the dense undergrowth. She dove for it, moving as quickly as she could. Behind her, she could hear the tell-tale grunting and snarls of the fight, but she didn't dare look back. She didn't want to. It would cost her valuable energy and time.
A sudden and unexpected noise alerted her, and she turned around and everything began to move in slow motion. Her hair whipped past her face, partially obscuring the shape that made the noise until it was too late. The image of a very large, very angry wolf bared down on her, its large fangs shiny white and dripping with saliva.
Her eyes widened. She opened her mouth.
Chloe bolted up in bed, a shriek still playing on her lips, dying before she let it fully escape. She shuddered and ran a shaking hand through her hair, closing her eyes and scrunching her eyebrows as she began to regulate her breathing.
Her heart thudded loudly in her ears and she had the nagging urge to start to cry; the prickling in her eyes and the throbbing in her throat. She turned her head over to the side and looked at the pillow next to her, looking for him, forgetting he wasn't there.
He hadn't been there for a while.
She gently ran her hand over the residual divot in the pillow where he laid his head so many times, hoping for some form of warmth or memory. She received none; the plush held its treasures too strongly. The urge to cry became even more incessant and she bit her lip as she bent down and laid her head next to the pillow.
Her hand gripped it in a claw-like vice and she squeezed her eyes shut. "Derek," she whispered aloud, wishing that he would hear it and come back. He didn't and she inhaled his smell before she heaved herself up into a sitting position and ran a hand through her hair again. She swung her legs over the side of the bed and got up.
She walked to look out of the front window, just to look. No particular reason. Though, perhaps, in her subconscious, she had wished that he would be standing there waiting for her to look out and see him. Only the sight of the moon shimmering off of the dew greeted her.
Chloe sighed as she turned around and moved back to the bedroom. She bent down to pick up her jeans, which she had taken off before she had crawled into bed, and slipped them on. She buttoned and zipped them as she walked towards the door. Then she began her ritual.
All it really consisted of was dusting. After all, no one ever really lived here anymore. The only thing that she had to clean up was the dust. Though, in the fall, she raked leaves, and, in the winter, she shoveled snow. Also, she brought in the paper and the mail to bring back to Tori's with her.
She tried not to look at the pictures that she ran her duster over, but she couldn't help it. The wedding photos, the vacation pictures, those mandatory fancy ones that had them all dressed up and posed. She smiled when she got to them, remembering how much Derek grumbled about them.
She let herself remember as she picked up one, the duster hanging limply at her side. It was the one when they went to the ocean in Florida.
In the picture, silhouetted across the dusk, Chloe was wearing the only sun dress that she owned, and Derek was dressed as he usually was; only his sleeves were shorter. He was picking her up from behind around the waist and spinning her in a circle as her hands gripped the arms circling her stomach.
Chloe's face showed her delight. Her eyes were squeezed shut and her mouth was open as she laughed to the sky. Her hat was in the process of flying off into the ocean. You could glimpse Derek's face, and it showed him smiling. Behind them, in the wet sand, you could see wild footprints that showed the story of their chase before he caught her.
Simon had been the one trying to take the picture. Though, he was laughing too hard to hold the camera steady so Tori had to snatch it from him and capture the moment. It was their last night in Florida and Simon had demanded that they party on the beach. By party he meant consume alcohol and act like they were teenagers again.
Chloe and Derek, being the deprived people they were, had neither of them ever acted like a good and proper teenager. Simon had spread his wisdom and plied them with enough alcohol to finally let them let their guards down. The chase that resulted in this picture was their long overdue game of boyfriend/girlfriend tag.
What the photograph didn't show was the sizzling kiss that came after it that had her booze-fogged brain spinning in anticipated circles. Tori had called a stop to that and her remedy was to have Derek wade out into the chilly water to fetch Chloe's hat. It had worked pretty well until they had gotten back to their hotel room and he had reignited the kiss.
Chloe swallowed and the reminiscent smile on her face faded as she swore she could hear her own shrieking laughter coupled with his low chuckles echoing through the empty house quietly. She quickly replaced the photo and moved onto the lamps.
Her eyes darted, unbidden, to the small, circular photo next to the lamp she was dusting. It was the only one in the house that had a picture of her and Derek as a wolf. Chloe was kneeling next to his huge form, her arms around his neck as she grinned at the camera. Derek sat up and had his tongue lolling out in his own wolfy smile.
Chloe closed her eyes and looked away, swallowing laboriously and gripping her chest against the pain in her heart. She licked her suddenly dry lips and finished her job, going through the motions like a robot. Then she was done.
Her feet padded on the wood floor as she made her way through their small house. She stopped in the kitchen to get a quick glass of water—which she swished around in her mouth before spitting out into the sink—before she walked around to the spare bedroom.
She leaned her hand against the door frame, unable, even after all of these years, to step into it. It looked the same as it always had. A bright, yet soft, yellow adorning the walls and random stuffed animals strewn about. Still, to this day, it was waiting.
Tori had once asked Chloe why she did this, especially if it caused her this much pain, and Chloe didn't have an answer for that. Well, she had a hypothesis. She figured that if she came here, then it would remind her of what she had—or could have again, as long as she kept searching. This was her motivation and her punishment all wrapped up into one juicy and cheap deal.
They didn't appreciate how motivating the dreams and the memories were.
Chloe jumped in surprise as she was startled out of her reverie by the light tinking of the clock that seemed ten thousand times louder in the compressing and depressing silence. Three chimes. Three in the morning.
With this knowledge, Chloe suddenly felt very tired. She blinked against the weight in her eyelids, and rubbed at them as she turned to collect her keys, shoes, and coat. As she locked the door, she turned one last time to look at the place she and her husband owned, her resolve to come back again next week faltering for only a moment.
She straightened her back, turned around, and walked out of the door. Her shoes made slapping noises on the concrete and she walked into her car, stopping one last time to look at the house.
Their little house on Beachwood Avenue.
"You're back." Tori stated, her voice hinting at shock as Chloe walked into the door to her apartment half an hour later. She smiled at her roommate.
"Yep. But," she started as Tori opened her mouth to say more, her eyebrows furrowing in concern. "I'm going to head back off to bed. Tired." She said, her smile turning brittle at the pity in Tori's eyes. She didn't need or want the pity. She had plenty of it for herself.
"Okay…" Tori's voice followed her out of the room and down the hall. Chloe walked into her 'room', which was really just the office with a mattress laid on the floor. She looked at it and slumped down onto it face first. She knew that she wasn't going to sleep but she could lie down.
As she lay there, she sort of just went off into a half-asleep-half-awake state, her eyes open and staring at the wall. She stayed that way until the sun poked its rays into her make-shift room. Then she blinked and pushed herself up onto her elbows. She checked the clock, wondering what time it was. The numbers flashed at her, informing her that it was seven thirty.
She rose from her laying position and grabbed onto Derek's shirt, to start out her morning as she always did. She clenched it in both of her hands, crossed her legs, and closed her eyes. She began to summon for him, gently and carefully.
She imagined her powers as hands, gently pulling and sifting, looking for him. The whole while she prayed that he wouldn't answer her call.
Since the day he had disappeared, Chloe had begun the habit of Summoning for him every morning, just to check and make sure that he hadn't died. And every morning since, he hadn't answered. She hoped that it would stay that way.
After Chloe was suitably sated that Derek's ghost wasn't going to come to her—thank God—she opened her eyes and sighed with relief before replacing his shirt and standing up to stretch out her tense legs. From outside her door, she could smell the coffee that Tori was brewing. Chloe found herself wondering if she had been up this whole time.
She shook her head, working the sleepiness out of it before she stood up, her knees cracking from being in that one position for too long. She stumbled her way to the door after tripping over the blankets on her bed, righting herself with the door knob. She breathed and tried to set herself to get ready to face the day. No more moping for today.
She wandered into the kitchen and saw Tori staring at the coffee pot, deep in thought. Chloe worked a small smile onto her face. In the past ten years since the Edison Group had been defeated, Tori had only seemed to become more beautiful. Tori's hair was still fashionably cut, though at the moment she had some crazy bed-head going, she was still tall, and still gorgeous, even without her make-up on.
Tori turned towards her as Chloe walked up to the counter separating the kitchen from the dining space. She smiled hesitantly and Chloe returned it.
"Good morning." Chloe offered, her eyes wandering around the kitchen, pretending not to notice the pile of dirty dishes waiting to be cleaned.
"Morning," Tori answered, moving to remove the coffee as it beeped its finished status at top volume. She poured herself some and blew on it gently before taking a dainty sip. She closed her eyes, moaned in her throat, and smiled. Chloe laughed at her.
"Caffeine junkie," Chloe teased. Tori opened her eyes, the contented smile still in place.
"Guilty as charged." She admitted, setting her mug on the counter and tapping it with her nails. They stood in silence. "So what's for breakfast?" Tori asked, sipping her coffee some more. Chloe gave her a look.
"Don't ask me! Remember what happened last time I tried to cook?" Tori snorted, nearly spilling her coffee. She set it on the counter and grinned at her friend.
"How could I forget? Simon nearly died of food poisoning." She descended into cackles at Chloe's indignant expression.
"It wasn't that bad…" Chloe protested resolutely, knowing full well that it was, exactly, that bad.
"It wouldn't be as bad if Simon wasn't such an ignorant dolt." Tori snickered, "Every time you give him food, and every single time he eats it. You would think that he would have learned by now." Chloe rolled her eyes as she walked over to her shoes.
"So I'm a bad cook. Sue me." She grumbled, stuffing her feet into her shoes indignantly. Tori cocked an eyebrow at her. "Let's go. We'll go get some donuts or something." She looked around for her sweater and spied it flung over the back of the couch.
"That sounds like such a bad idea for my thighs, but my stomach can't stop growling…" Tori murmured as she poured her coffee into an insulated mug with a screw on top. She pulled on a silky Japanese-looking robe that went down to her waist. "Look at this," she grumbled at Chloe, "I'm so hungry, I don't care that I'm going out in public like this."
Chloe laughed as she walked out of the door.
"Hurry! Those donuts won't eat themselves." She called over her shoulder. She heard a smack and a creative cuss word before Tori limped her way out of the door and turned to lock it shut before she followed her roommate.
Chloe led the way to the elevator and pushed the first floor button. Tori hobbled her way in before leaning against the side of the wall, grimacing.
"You're so lucky I like donuts." She grumbled, rubbing her knee tenderly. Chloe shot a grin at her, avoiding looking at herself in the mirrors on the doors of the elevator because she knew how bad she probably looked. The elevator slowed and Chloe looked up curiously as it stopped on the third floor.
The doors dinged open and Tori shot up into a standing position, sipping her coffee nonchalantly. A scrawny and gangly man with large glasses took one look at them, blinked a bit, and then, at a simmering look from Tori, mumbled that he would take the next one.
When the doors slid shut again, Tori grumbled into her coffee, and Chloe bit her lips. However, when Tori mumbled, "Damn neighbors," just loud enough for Chloe to hear, the dam exploded. Chloe bent over at the waist laughing madly.
"Oh, my, God," Chloe choked through her snickers. "No wonder you never have anyone visiting you."
Chloe danced out of the way as Tori's leg flicked out to kick her.
"I always have people visiting me!"
"Probably out of fear."
Tori faltered before looking away and sipping her coffee. "Shut up…" She pouted.
Chloe laughed again.
Tori watched her friend from across the table in the donut shop. She seemed fine, but then again, she always did. Tori knew that Chloe liked to think that she was smart, and that Tori couldn't tell how much she hurt when she put on a happy face for the day.
She knew that it was just smart to go along with it, though. It was a painful thing for her to remember and Tori didn't want Chloe to have to go through that hellish ordeal again, even if only in memory. The one time she tried to confront her about it, she instantly regretted it.
Chloe made a habit of going back to her house and, even though Tori had no idea what she did there, she always came back exhausted, upset, and quiet. Tori had suggested—actually it was more of a command—that Chloe don't do that anymore. Chloe freaked out on her.
She yelled. Yelled, for goodness sake! Tori hadn't heard her voice raised like that since…that day. All her interfering did was make matters worse, so she just decided to stay out of that part of it. Behind Chloe's back, though, she did what she could.
She had friends in the supernatural community on the lookout for Derek. If they even thought that they saw someone that sort of looked like him, they were supposed to contact her. Drastic? Maybe, but they didn't see Chloe in the state she was in after he left.
"What're you thinking about so seriously?" Chloe asked around the donut in her mouth. Tori jerked in surprise and shrugged.
"Not much," she picked up her own donut. "Just zoning out." Chloe cocked an eyebrow but didn't press the matter.
"Alright…" the murmurs of the surrounding people out for breakfast filled the silence. Tori sipped her now lukewarm coffee and wrinkled her nose.
Whatever. Better than no caffeine.
"So," Tori said, putting down her coffee and tapping her nails on it. Chloe jumped in surprise and looked up. "When do you get to know whether you get your movie gig-thing?" Chloe smiled nervously and shrugged.
"Whenever they feel like getting back to me, I guess." The door dinged as someone new walked in and Chloe's eyes roamed over towards it before flicking back to her.
"It can't be too long. You are awesome, after all." Tori responded with a sniff. She was happy for Chloe to be doing this. She had some real talent and, if they could see that—which any idiot could—then she would finally achieve her dream of being a big-time Hollywood director. Eventually. Probably. Hopefully.
"It's nice to know that someone else besides me thinks so." Chloe mumbled playfully. Tori snickered and waved her hand dismissively.
"You'll do fine."
You always have.
So, this is chapter one. I promise you that it'll get better as the story goes on. I'll post the chapters as soon as they're done being Beta-d. (Which reminds me, special thanks to LiliaCupcake376 for being my beta for the story).