A/N: Not such an original idea but hopefully the execution will be enough so you guys will dig it. This has little to do with my previous story directly. This is going back to the roots of what I thought Black Swan was. Hope you like.
Sequel to other story will be out when I feel a proper ending is already thought out. This will give me my Nina/Lily fix... while exploring a different style. Something more like the movie and much shorter than Birds of a Feather.
Chapter One: New Skin
"Wake up Nina… wake up please…"
... Should I go back to sleep?
The fluffy pillow hit the floor first. The thick furry blankets soon after. Nina shot out of bed in an exhale of utter desperation, covered in a cold and wilting sweat. It was that uncomfortable feeling anyone would understandingly loathe, the moisture sticking her pajamas to her skin like glue. Her deep breaths that followed were meant for someone who was drowning in an ocean, not someone sitting up in a cozy bed.
She holds her bony chest as if her heart was about to give, wondering why she was so frightened and alert. It takes a few moments but she realizes she was safe and inside her house. She realizes that nothing was happening. It was all just a dream.
I felt like I died but there was no pain.
Was it some sort of dream? Nightmare?
I don't remember… a thing.
Like any shaken sleeper the darkness wasn't doing it for her anymore, a flip of the light switch on the panel to the side illuminating the room in a warm amber glow. Nina rubbed her eyes to wetness as the light stung her at first, blinking her way to an iris adjustment. She took a look around with those gleaming pupils that seemed to not recognize a thing. She was puzzled yet as she continued to analyze things began to slowly come back… kind of.
My room is so nice and clean. So big. So white and black. No clutter. No butterflies… no pink.
… B-but why would it be pink?
It was a scary feeling. Things felt familiar… yet didn't. Her room was so spacious and free, like it always was. She wondered if the dream she couldn't remember had shaken her up that badly. Was that even possible? Was this some sort of disease?
You really need to relax.
Nina just shook her head with a ginger touch, trying to straighten out with a nice old fashioned shakedown. As usual it was a stupid theory that never worked. She takes a look at her digital clock that blinked in crimson that it was 6:15 a.m.
One hour before she would usually wake up for a school day.
Trying not to risk more of this splitting headache, the young girl stood up with a crack of her body and walked towards her interconnected bathroom, a nice layer of marble tiles tickling her feet with icy coldness. Her room was such a high scale design that fit a hi-end modern home, furnished with so much of the designer creations and novelties. She noticed this especially in a peak over at the electric toothbrush and wall dryer, those technical "marvels", staring at them like they haven't been there for all these years.
Maybe a bath would-
A glance at the new age shower right in front of her crated a sigh. Indeed showers are nicer. Nina gulped, feeling like her insides were fighting with one another just to go through the motions.
She began to strip off her pajamas slowly and carefully, feeling the smooth expensive silk that covered her body gently pass. The color pink began to float into her head but she stuffed it, thinking only of the comfort. She felt so pampered – enjoying the sensation of rich fabric, seeing the white garments hit the floor being the only minute she remembered she was stripping in the first place. She took a peak at herself in the mirror, her young naked body in clear view, very strong but lean… like a dancer of some sort. She looked beautiful and flawless…
"Flawless…" Nina paused again as she turned her back towards the mirror, running her fingers towards her shoulder blades as if something was supposed to be there. She sees nothing and feels nothing but smooth skin… not a blemish… not a scratch… not a scar.
This… has to stop.
She leaps into the shower with a foggy mind, the warm water hits her face soon after, sprinkling its cleanliness. She was praying maybe she could wash away whatever was shaking her up, these feelings making her head feel light. The steam slowly fogs up the entire bathroom like she was doing to her own head… no more reflections to be had.
- B – B – B –
School uniforms were a requirement apparently, and the large array of button up shirts and skirts scattered in her huge walk-in closet were not a coincidence. Black and white was all she had… so monotonous but some reason at least that felt right.
Nina walked out of her room dried and cleansed, dressed like the schoolgirl she was, the shower only doing half the job she hoped it did. Once out her thick oak door she traveled the hallways of her home, still feeling like an alien in her own living space. She looks around curiously to see the expensive woods and furniture that littered the entire area, admiring the beauty and smell of it. Expensive oaks, mahogany, and maple… had a certain rich scent. One she should've remembered nostalgically living here so long but didn't.
She takes a few steps towards the center staircase, now seeing the entire New York Time Square area… remembering she lived in a upstate Penthouse next to the Ground Zero Memorial.
Our family is rich…
"Nina, you're up so early. This is a nice surprise."
Nina turned to see a sight she would meet every morning. For some reason… just like everything else, the image just wasn't sitting right.
"… Mother… hi."
"Oh dear are you okay?" Erica Sayers curled her brow at Nina, walking over and touching her forehead. "You look a little pale. You sick?"
"I… I don't know."
Nina could only continue staring at her mother with her mouth a bit a gape – or what she knew this to be her mother at least. This bright ball of energy that was dressed like the fit business woman she was called herself Ms. Sayers. A successful artist and seller, an investor in performing arts, Erica Sayers was known around the world for her accomplishments. Her mother was… a success.
"You're not hot or cold." Erica shrugged nonchalantly. "Must be tough at school huh?" She looked down at the mention of her studies, thinking right away of her uniform. "My goodness, since when did you start wearing your skirt so damn low Nina? You look like a grandma."
"W-what?" Nina blinked, looking down, seeing no problem with the length.
"No daughter of mine with your looks will be so conservative." Erica began grabbing at her waist, and adjusting it so it would skimp up. "You have a beautiful body. Use it dear. It gets you far. Don't forget to unbutton a bit of your-"
"… Mother!" Nina's eyes were wide open, turning away and straightening out everything. She hugged herself. "I can dress myself…"
"Heh, what is up with you today? You're so high strung." Erica blinked in surprise but dropped it, walking over to the table to pour some fresh coffee. Nina smelt the aroma instantly, glancing over to see plates of breakfast meats and pancakes ready to be devoured. The delectable smells calmed her… for the moment.
"I-I… apologize mother." Nina frowned, holding her head. "I don't know what's wrong with me today."
"It must be the school stress. Relax a bit. Don't push yourself too hard and burn out." Erica drank her coffee quite snugly. "You've been in your room a lot the past few days like a hermit. Go outside and have some fun! You used to be so outgoing."
For some reason deep down somewhere in her mind, Nina wanted to laugh crazily. Her calmed self was thinking better of it.
"M-mom…" Nina looked at Erica seriously, staring at her like she was analyzing a complete stranger. "Have you ever had a dream where it felt… more real… than when you woke up?"
Erica stared back at her child as she sat meekly at the table, looking a bit worried. She watches as Nina nibbled at a piece of bacon like a little bird. "Um… what kind of dream did you have Nina?"
"I honestly don't remember." Nina massaged her temple with tightened eyes. "Something like a fairy tale yet, very real."
"They're just dreams Nina. Just relax okay? I don't want you getting sick or anything." Erica walked over to her daughter, kissing her head with a lovely smile. "I'm not going to be home tonight. Thomas and I are going on a business trip to Baltimore for a potential art gallery showing."
"Thomas… Leroy… right?" Nina felt like she was guessing… but wasn't.
"Y-yes dear." Erica chuckled even more concerned. "The guy I've been dating for the past four months now. Do I need to remind you about taking care of your sister while I'm gone too?"
"Um, maybe I should tell Geoffrey not to take you to school today." Erica stated with a blink, only to begin laughing after a thoughtful moment. "Oh I know what this is. Senioritis. You just don't want to go to class and be lazy Ms. Trickster."
"… Right." Nina looked over towards the counter seeing a little lunch bag with a name on it.
"Okay I have to run." Erica looked at her watch, standing up after kissing Nina's head again. "That's your sister's dinner for tonight. She loves it when I pack her food in lunch bags. I think you'll probably be out with your friends doing something so you can grab whatever you need. Call me if anything is up alright Nina?"
Anni… sister? I don't even…
"I… s-sure thing mommy…" Nina's head was just pulsing like a stressed vein, trying to get a grip. She didn't notice but she cut her egg yolk with her folk on accident, watching now as the yellow amber flowed over her plate.
"Mommy loves you Nina." Erica walked out of the room in a wave, taking her business coat and suitcase. "Don't forget to tell Anni she's my sweet little girl alright? See you tomorrow."
Sweet little girl…
"O-kay…" Nina clutched her hair tight, putting her utensil down frustratingly, staring at her plate. The yolk was deflated, spilling out all the liquid it had.
Stabbed and bled out to emptiness.
- B – B – B -
Nina was a trooper and she knew and felt surely about that. She was forcing herself to stop the questions, biting her lip every time she wanted the strange feelings to come out. She took the elevator all the way down to the first floor, down the many stories of the Trump Towers building like her memories told her to do, stepping out to a large black limo waiting for her. What popped out of the car next made her want to jump back in a heart attack.
"What up baby!"
"Gah!" Nina took a few steps back in a stagger, almost dropping her book bag.
The girl's head that popped out of the top of the limo's sunroof laughed. "Whoa, what's up with you today? You look kind of tense."
"Gailana stop scaring her. She just woke up you jerk." Another girl lowered the tinted windows, smiling and waving at Nina. "Come on! We're gonna be late for class girlfriend!"
"You're the jerk Madeline… making her hurry up." Galiana dropped down from the sunroof like a mole.
"Just shut up. You two are both jerks that talk too much."
"Veronicaisabitch." Madeline sneezed which made Galiana giggle.
"Takes one to know one M." Veronica replied with a playful smile while typing on her smartphone. As the door opened, Nina could now see three school girls dressed in uniform just like her. Very posh. Very sexy. Very short skirty. These were her friends. She was sure of it.
"Gailana, Madeline and Veronica." Nina named the girls off like a robot, looking at them as she walked into the limo. She closed the door in a tight and soft click. These names brought back something. Whether they were part of the dream… she didn't know. She couldn't know.
"Chip chip cheerio! To school Geoffrey! We shan't be late!" Gailana commanded in a mocking English accent.
"But of course dear Gailana, whenever you three decide to join me and Master Nina it is quite the delight." Their driver and English voiced butler Geoffrey's sarcasm rang as he began to take off.
"So why do you look like you've been brain scrambled this morning Sayers?" Veronica glanced over at a silent Nina.
"I don't know…"
"You do look kind of out of it. And not even the fun version of that." Madeline leaned back a bit concerned. "Let me guess, boy problems?"
"Yeah… like too many boys to handle?" Gailana laughed, of course knowing how great Nina Sayers had it with the opposite sex. "I wished I had that problem! Benjamin is all over you lately by the way. Are you two a pair yet?"
"Benjamin…" Nina nodded dumbly like a child, trying to remember the name. She faintly did so, ciphering the images of the normal pretty boy a popular girl like her would be dating. "I… don't think so. No we're not… a pair."
"Good so I have a chance!" Gailana pumped her fist quite excited.
"A slim chance…" Madeline adjusted her friend's hopes.
"Oh right, the Sadie Hawkins dance is coming up isn't it?" Veronica smirks almost diabolically. "I'm so looking forward to this."
"You just can't wait to deny a lot of hopefuls." Both the other girls said at the same time.
"You guys know me too well."
There was familiarity with the moment. Nina felt like an odd girl out in the conversation yet what got her was that she was the center of attention. Nothing was out of the ordinary and this is what high school girls talked about. Yet why did it all feel so strange? Talking about boys. Talking about popularity. Talking about how pretty they were. This… was normal. This is what normal girls do.
"Um hey, what's that building over there?" Nina finally chimed in on the talk, pointing to a structure that strangely meant something to her. She didn't know why.
"Oh that's the Lincoln Performing Arts center." Madeline glanced at the beat up and wrecked building. "That thing has been closed for years Nina. We drive by it all the time."
"… W-why did it close?"
"Because it was showing things like lame artsy stuff, old people entertainment." Gailana said the next cryptic words with such a cute timber. "… Of course it'd die."
"Nina are you cool?" Veronica looked over with a few bats of her lashes, placing her phone away in her backpack. "You're so quiet. Usually you're leading us in the conversations remember?"
"I do that yes, I do…" Nina took her eyes off the passing building coming back into the conversation rather awkwardly. She glanced at the three girls that were supposed to be her closest circle of friends. Apparently. "Sorry guys… I'm just not… feeling myself today. I don't know why."
"Aw, poor Nina. Our leader is not having a good day!" Gailana clung onto her making Nina lean back and eyes wide. "Don't worry! we'll make you feel better by the end of tonight alright?"
"Hell yeah, the party at your house tonight with no mother is going to be off the hook!" Veronica clapped. "Pool parties… oh I can't wait."
"Pool party…" Nina stuttered confused. She was just trying to play the part now. "Yes… totally."
The three girls just looked at one another after staring at Nina for an awkward second. The confused one just sighed, closing her eyes, knowing it was probably better just to keep her damn mouth shut. The trio of friends began to converse about the same things they always did, Nina nodding along as she was apparently in a day of catching up to reality.
- B – B – B –
Odette and Odile High School was a school for the privileged and rich. It was a school of the arts mostly that pride themselves on prepping their students for the future in creativity as well as academics. That's what Nina remembered a bit clearly, looking at the impressive campus that would rival a small boutique university. All kids here were pretty much cut from the same mold, all dressed alike, all act the same, and mostly were predictable.
Well… maybe not all.
A loud vroom scorches by Nina and her friends as they watch a black blur slide into the parking lot almost leaving tracks. Nina honestly felt that there should've been some fire or smoke as fast as this daredevil was going. After finding their hearing again, off the bike leapt off a small girl, clad in all black from head to toe. It was a biker jumpsuit with a black helmet on top that covered her like a midnight sky. Nina couldn't take her eyes off this strange anomaly in this place, watching as her helmet came off.
She was so beautiful… yet hauntingly familiar.
"That Lily chick is such a showoff." Veronica bitterly roamed.
"A very cute show off." Gailana smiled. "I have her in my English class. She's like barely there."
"She definitely isn't like most of us that's for sure." Madeline commented. "Guess San Francisco brings out the different kids."
Fresh off the plane from San Francisco.
"Lily…" Nina said the name in repetition, feeling strange feelings that welled up all at once. She felt too many things even… not being able to realize any of it.
All Nina knew was that she was staring at something she couldn't resist. Lily was the most gorgeous and most mysterious sight Nina had ever seen. Her dark hair bristled out of the helmet like smooth silky locks, swinging around as she whipped it back and forth to straighten. Her skintight suit hugged her lean yet somehow curved body that Nina couldn't look away from. When Lily bent over to lock the bike in place… Nina couldn't take her eyes off a more certain area in the caboose.
"She's getting so popular so fast." Madeline commented with a high schooler's train of thought. "You might have some competition Nina."
Nina was half listening, continuing to stare in amazement as this Lily seemed to have no insecurities whatsoever, pulling off her jumpsuit in midday light, revealing her school uniform underneath. She doesn't care whose watching, unzipping her bag and pulling out her uniform skirt. She yanked it over the shorts she was wearing, and hiked them up. She slithers out of the covered shorts beneath, tossing it in her bag. A few students immediately walk up to her exchanging high fives and pleasantries… lighters and cigarettes coming out.
Lily lit a cig smoking, fumes coming from them soon after. The bad girl of the school clearly in Nina's sights.
"Oh crap. Come on… we got five minutes till class! I'm gonna be late!" Gailana squealed as she sprinted off with her books. Veronica and Madeline just laughed amused as they went their own ways much more calm.
"See you at lunch Nina!" Madeline waved.
Nina nodded still having a one track mind as Lily was conversing with boys, all of them just swept away by her charm. The longer she stared at Lily the more she began to not feel… so strangely awkward to what has happening today. Like… this person was the only one that was making any sense in her mind… yet she barely knew her.
Suddenly when those dark eyes met with Nina's stare. Nina felt like her body just froze up as a frightened stone. Lily gave a little smirk with that pretty face, seeing a voyeur's awkward pause staring back with no reply. Nina blushed instantly, looking down as she scooted off to class in a hurry.
Lily's eyes track her like a bird… of prey the whole time.
- B – B – B –
The bell rang as Nina took her seat just before the clock hit 8:30.
"Alright class, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Week three is already here. Isn't that amazing?" The teacher turned to the board with her marker. "Alright everyone, papers out we're going to do a pop quiz."
The whole class began to groan as Nina notices a face poke into the classroom door. Of course it had to be that… Lily. Everyone looks over to see a Lily with her finger to her lips, telling everyone to be quiet. She opens the door as silent as a mouse, creeping in with light agile toes. She almost makes it to her desk but suddenly the teacher clears her throat.
"Lily… you're late… again."
"Fuck…" Lily grunted under her breath, turning with a big smile. "All apologize. It will not happen again Ms… uh… Ms."
"I'm sorry… Mrs. Jackson. I am for real." Lily bowed her head.
"Lily you've been late to eight of the ten classes. The other two you probably snuck in without me noticing. This has to be a Guinness World Record for two week tardiness. Young lady you will not result to anything with that sense of time."
"Right..." Lily really didn't want to hear any of it.
Nina watched on quietly as the brashness of this girl was enticing her as well as evoking admiration. The confidence and the swagger Lily had was something everyone seemed to be jealous of. Especially Nina… who apparently was supposed to be something like this according to her friends.
"Another detention for you. That's nine in the first eleven classes, probably another record." Mrs. Jackson pulled out the pink slip, preparing to write.
"Whoa! But Mrs. Jackson if you write that detention for me you're letting me off the hook!"
"This is a philosophy class Lily and I can't imagine your logic there."
"Like you said. If you give me that detention that's two Guinness World Records I'd have." She made a peace sign. "Journalists are going to come down and interview me on TV. Then? I get my pretty face on all of people's screens around the world."
The teacher tapped her foot as the class looked on quite amused.
"Then a director or producer is going to spot my photogenic beauty. I'm going to get a TV gig or a spot in a movie. Next? I star with Brad Pitt and Tom Hanks in an academy award winning film. I become a superstar! Don't you see? You're making me into a superstar by being a tardy kid! Punish me by not doing anything! Take away my dreams like the just and fair teacher you are!"
"… Just sit down Lily." Mrs. Jackson handed her the pink slip abruptly ending the show. Lily twitched frozen after her bravadoes debate as the class was laughing.
"You're definitely not going in my acceptance speech." Lily pointed out the threat with a hmph, taking the slip and walking off. The teacher was cross armed and shaking her head as Nina giggled a bit herself. Lily walked by catching her giggling, Nina quickly shutting down and looking at her paper.
"Sit next to Ms. Sayers. You might need someone who's actually academically efficient to rub off on you."
"Sure thing teach." Lily rolled her eyes as she sat down next to Nina, looking around as everyone had a piece of paper except her.
Nina felt a nudge of her desk.
"Hey Swan Queen."
"W-what… did you call me?" Nina looked into Lily's eyes for a second… getting lost in those dark orbs. She felt something pop inside mind like a fizzle at those words. Her mind felt right looking at Lily.
"Prom Queen…" Lily blinked as if she was wrong. "Weren't you Prom Queen winner last year? Maybe I'm wrong… I was probably fucked up when someone told me that fact."
"… I… guess I was." Nina gulped as the comfort of looking at Lily fought with… awkwardness. "What do you want?"
"I was going to ask for a piece of paper to take this lame quiz." Lily ogled her up and down, smiling to herself at Nina's sweetness. "Can you be a doll and lend someone in need some tree waste?"
"S-sure…" Nina began reaching into her bag, taking out the folder underneath her desk. From above Lily had a look that was sensual yet… creepy all at once. Looking at Nina like she was some sort of forbidden fruit. Like she was some glorious… object.
"Here you go." Nina handed Lily the paper, avoiding eye contact for the most part.
"Thanks… your name is Nina right?" Lily took the paper with a gentle pull, Nina nodding in reply. She notices Nina's uncomforting body language. "Uh something wrong with you today?"
"I've been getting that question a lot and yes. I don't feel so well."
"Ah, the school playing a little too rough for ya?" Lily began to whisper beneath the classroom's rustling.
We playing a little too rough for you?
"I…" Nina glanced back over to Lily as she felt images shoot into her mind. Colors. Dancing. Blurry events. She… just couldn't make sense of any of it. All she knew was that these images were intense pulses that were jolting but ironically calming.
"Good luck on your quiz. I think you'll do amazing."
**"So the big day's getting closer and closer huh? Well… I can't wait. I think you're going to be amazing."**
I feel like I know you…
Why do I feel like I know you so well?
During the quiz Nina couldn't help but peak over from time to time as Lily was writing carelessly, actually listening to music with ear buds while doing so. She was so pretty and flawless. She was dark but warm. She was so familiar yet so mysterious.
She was the only thing… that made sense.
You stare at me like I'm ecstasy.
On the surface you hate,
But you know you need me.
I come dressed as a pill,
In all black as you deem fit,
Whatever helps you swallow truth
A bit more easily...
A/N: Just like all horror films... everything starts off so nice. Lily and Nina romance will be a necessity regardless!