Story- What We Want…What We Need
Author- Alasyn of Crimson Amethyst
Characters- Chloe Saunders, Derek Souza
Summary- Because fear and the cold dark world brings them closer together, for they know that no matter what happens, the other will be at their side, holding their grip on sanity as if their own life depended on it.
Type- Original, Powers. One-shot
Dedication- To Chlereklover because she felt as if we all needed a bit more Chlerek in our lives. This isn't like Love and War though, and I'm fitting back into my angst style for this one. Still, there will be hurt/ comfort and definite Chlerek. Hope you enjoy this one KenzieDarling!
Author's Note- It's not like no one has done this before, setting up a different way for Chloe and Derek to get together, but that's the general idea. It's set in The Reckoning before anything critical happens. The night that Andrew gives Chloe that sleeping medicine to be exact… only it doesn't work too well… or does it? ;) Will have two or three parts.
.- Thanks to everyone who reviewed for the last chapter of Rumored to be True, and there will be a second part to Love and War!
Warning- This bounces between characters, because this couldn't be written without both Derek or Chloe's POV in first person.
Also, join the commission guys on facebook! Find Lauren and I on our page, titled Alasyn Lauren.
Disclaimer- Again… I don't own anything… But a girl can dream.
What We Want…What We Need
I'm scared, uncertain and alone... so, so alone.
I tossed from one side, lying there for a few agonizingly long moments before flipping to the next, finding each new position less comfortable than the last. Finally, with a heavy, deflating sigh, I rolled onto my back, staring absently at the stained, off- white ceiling, finding more images than the ceiling actually held. It was supposed to be nothing but a wall of solid white, but I saw black. I saw a movie screen. I saw what my brain projected on that wall. And I saw ghosts.
The sleeping medicine that Andrew had given me before was not working and another night was being wasted on my reckless, movie- making imagination. I felt drowsy and I tried to sleep. God knows I tried. But every time I closed my eyes, feeling the weight of unconsciousness push against my worries and concerns about what was outside in the surrounding forest, let alone the ghost I encountered earlier in this house, images of deformed, disembodied corpses pulling themselves from their graves had my eyes snapping open, flitting across the room for any sight of damage caused by my uncontrolled powers.
I grit my teeth and fisted my fingers into my sheets. For God's sake, I needed to learn how to get past this, how to face my demons- no pun intended- because this was my life. Seeing ghosts, raising the dead. Taking sleeping pills to more or less drunken myself to sleep will not help me escape what I can do in my sleep. It was a way out. A cheat.
But I wasn't in school anymore. Or safe away in my father's condo where cheating and finding any possible way out was cowardly. I was in reality, where it was about surviving. And as Derek had so encouragingly and bluntly put before, toughing it out wasn't going to impress anyone and it wouldn't do any good to my health. Even Derek, strong, smart Derek needed his cheat when he was, for lack of a better word, scared. I don't think he would choose to go through a Change without me now.
Unfortunately, though, my cop-out wasn't working. And I knew that even if it was, there was still the chance of me raising something out there, or summoning Royce- note that summoning a poltergeist who is potentially pissed at you is not the best thing to do when practically drugged to sleep. Especially when you might be so out of it that you won't even feel him bashing you're skull in with-
I groaned just thinking about it and knew I wasn't getting to sleep anytime soon.
Taking more advice from Derek, which seemed to be working wonders for me so far tonight, I threw off my covers and slipped my feet to the floor, promptly sliding my way out of bed. He had told me that if something like this happened again- more like seeing something that actually spooked me- I should wake him and not stupidly rough out my problems by myself. So that's what I was going to do.
It was actually odd thinking about it. How he had demanded that I inform him in case something happened; in case I saw or raised something. Sure, Derek and I were friends now, or what I considered our acquaintanceship to be anyways. But a couple weeks ago, if I had imagined Derek this concerned about my well-being, I would have tossed my head back with a laugh and questioned my own sanity. Before, I would have thought that he would grumble something about 'bothering him with my problems,' and 'why don't you ask Simon?' But now, I couldn't even imagine not telling Derek, or telling someone else for the matter; even Simon. I couldn't even imagine not wanting to talk to Derek about it, nor him not wanting to come to me about his Changes.
Doing a complete 180 in my head, I shook away the direction my thoughts were going. They seemed to be drifting into some undefinable, but tangibly dangerous, unknown territory that I wasn't too sure I was ready to explore. I thought of Derek and I as friends, but I knew deep down that there was something else about it. Something deeper. Something I couldn't put my finger on.
I was in front of Simon and Derek's door then, having padded across the hall while lost in my complicated thoughts. Suddenly, a sense of nervousness squirmed inside my gut as I stood there, willing myself to call out to Derek as loud as I dared as to not wake anyone else up. But nervous for what reason, I wasn't sure. Nervous about angering him for waking him up, though I doubted he would be. No, that wasn't really it. In fact, I rather him loom over me right now instead of being alone. Nervous that I knew that he slept in only his boxers and that waking him up meant... yeah... yeah that might be part of it.
Nevertheless, I quietly cleared my throat and noisily shifted my weight on the old floor boards, hoping that he would hear. When I didn't hear anything in response I tried calling his name.
"Derek," I questioned, turning the knob silently and peeking into the room he shared with his brother. Simon was there, sprawled across his stomach and snoring softly. I quickly passed over him and found Derek's bed empty, sheets strewn in disarray as if he had been as restless as I was in my own bed. Analyzing this thought more my heart skipped a beat from concern and idled disappointment.
Was he Changing? Had he gone out without me?
He told you that he would come get you if he was Changing, Chloe. You know he would.
A creak in the hall abruptly caught my attention and I whipped around, heart flying against my rib cage. I peered into the dark, seeing nothing, hearing nothing. Derek was out of bed, but he didn't make a lot of noise- surprising for such a sturdy guy, not so surprising for an instinctual werewolf.
So what? A noise in the hall; that was normal in a house this old. The thing was that, for a house this old, the halls and rooms were so extremely quiet. I used to think- being the movie- maker at heart that I am- that houses that made noise had something going on inside. I knew better than that now and knew that if a house made noise, it was undisturbed, much like a forest. However, a quiet forest meant that there was something going on, something that noise itself was trying to hide from. And, much like a forest, a quiet house was a house that knew that something was wrong.
"Derek?" I whispered, desperately hoping that I was acting paranoid. No answer.
Stealing myself from just cowardly crawling back into my bed, I crept forward into the hall. I had come out here for a reason. If Derek was already awake, then half of my work was already done for me. I really did want to talk to him, tell him my concerns, have him do that thing where he sincerely tries to reassure me, tell me that we will be okay, that we will figure things out, say we ten more times because it sounded so good, so safe, so...
And that was enough of that. I squelched the unsettling flutters in my chest and cleared my mind by taking in a deep breath through my nose, allowing the bitter cold air in the house to drug my senses until I was sure that I was thinking sanely again. Finishing my calming attempt, which wasn't doing much good for me, I decided that the first place to look would be the kitchen.
Unfortunately, when I finally ventured through the swinging door, there was no sign that Derek had been there recently. I checked the dining room, the living room, the first floor rooms, and I was sure that he wasn't in the upstairs bathroom.
That left the roof or the forest.
He probably just went for a run. He couldn't sleep, so he decided to exhaust himself. There is no reason to believe that he went out and Changed.
I still fought to stifle the wave of hurt when I approached the backdoor and found it unlocked. I sighed heavily and reached for the handle, feeling as if there really was no going back now. Now that I had myself all freaked about a quiet house with no Derek inside of it that is.
"Don't..." A voice whispered from beside me and I whirled around for the second time tonight. I frantically scanned the room finding nothing. It was so quiet that I could hear my own blood rushing in my ears as well as a faint ringing.
"H-Hello?" I cursed the cliche. A frightened heroin, sputtering out a call to her potential killer...
Stop it. Ghosts can't hurt you.
Yeah, but they can scare me.
You should be the one scaring them. You're the necromancer.
I was right of course; I was the necromancer. I had the power over them, not the other way around. And if this was just Royce coming back for me, then he had another thing coming. Who knows where I sent him last time. I'm sure that if I concentrate hard enough, I can send him somewhere specific. Somewhere he really wouldn't like going.
"I know you're there, Royce," I seethed, trying to sound as intimidating as possible. It helped that I was actually getting a little pissed off with this ghost. I carefully scanned the room again, not even catching a flicker. But I was less looking for him as much as I was looking for something to suddenly rocket at my head. When nothing moved, I figured that he was gone. So I turned to the door again, while opening it in the same motion and stepped outside.
A sharp, heavy wind instantly hit me and I first realized how under dressed I was. A black tank top and a pair of Tori's small- very small and very tight- sleeping shorts, considering I didn't have much to my name anymore. She flippantly lent them to me when she noticed that I was about to crawl into bed in my jeans.
"Jesus, Chloe. You need to let yourself breathe down there you know," she snapped, while tossing her shorts at me. I felt my cheeks heat and looked at the shorts skeptically.
How can anything breathe in these?
Now I wished I had kept my jeans. I was lucky to have grabbed my thin jacket before leaving my room, and there wasn't any way I was going all the way back up to my room now just to cover myself up a little. The wind wasn't freezing because it was late spring. But the smell that wafted through it was something to be concerned about. Moist and earthy. I looked up at the dark sky to see the stars blanketed in thick, navy clouds.
I shrugged to myself. I would find Derek first. Of course he would- not so politely- usher me back inside seeing what I was wearing in this weather, but at least he would come back with me. At least I wouldn't have to come back alone.
"Derek," I called out, still keeping my voice low. I was still too close to the house to start yelling. I would wake someone. The only answer was the ruffle and swaying of the forest in protest of the intruding wind. Compared to the house, the forest sounded more content and less troubled, so I ambled down the path, weaving my way into the first few trees.
"Derek," I tried louder this time.
I yelped, my own voice and the wind drowning out the whisper that sounded in my ear. Again. Turning, I looked around, agitation building inside me.
They were following me. He was following me.
I could feel it, like the tickle I felt inside the house, the anxiety bubbling up in my chest, seizing my lungs. I felt a slight zing whip through my temple and winced, cold enveloping me- having nothing to do with the wind- and spread goose bumps down my arms and legs.
"Don't be a coward," I said, grateful that my voice didn't break. "Face me."
There wasn't a sound or a movement for a moment. But I could feel something there. Fading and unfading. Like A.M. radio.
"I'm not going to stand here and let you patronize me, Royce."
I turned on my heel and pushed deeper into the woods, trying to make as much noise as possible so that Derek would hear me.
Whatever was there, it followed.
I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand on end, the throb against my temple picked up its tempo and I winced. The more I tried to ignore it, the harder and more painful it became.
"Stop…" came the whisper. I ignored it, the chill running through my veins intensified. I was starting to feel other things too, not just the one ghost. Not just other spirits. But there were definitely other things out here.
"Going… far… stop…" the voice behind the whisper was indefinable, but I was starting to get the feeling that it wasn't Royce.
"Who are you," I questioned, coming to stop in a tiny break in the trees. I turned to where I could sense them, but I still saw nothing.
I heard nothing.
Nothing; I could feel them fading and concern swelled in my throat. I tried concentrating on him, it, whatever it was, and pulled. Gently of course. There was too much out here to be reckless about summoning. I could summon something without intention; something that might not be too friendly.
"...enough..." the ghost breathed into my ear and I shuddered. Not enough? Obviously I wasn't giving it enough, or else I would have heard everything the spirit was trying to tell me. I took a deep breath in from my nose and released it from my mouth, gathering my bearings. I closed my eyes and put a little juice into it this time.
I felt it fade again, so I ramped it up another notch, drops of perspiration starting to form on my brow. But I kept losing my grip on it, again and again the sense of something there would grow stronger, then dim into almost nothing. I pulled harder. Nothing. Not a whisper. I pulled until I finally passed the warning bells in my head that told me that I was taking it too far, throwing everything I had into the summon and-
"No, baby, stop!"
My eyes snapped open and the air in my lungs escaped me in a hard gasp, as if something had just hit me in the stomach, hard. That voice again. That name again. That seizing feeling in my chest again. So loud. So clear. So familiar.
Breathing heavily, I looked around, desperately searching for her. I was so sure. Before, when I had heard her with Simon and Tori, I wasn't sure, but I knew now. Baby. She had called me baby. Her voice, I had thought it was aunt Lauren; they sounded alike, looked alike even. But I knew it wasn't.
And I wanted to see her.
I turned slowly, scanning with the limited eye sight that I had in the dark. I felt the first few drops of rain hit my cheeks, but I didn't care. I wanted- needed... it's been so, so long and-
I yelped and jumped back, having done a 180 and came face to face with a woman. For a second, my heart faltered in its frantic rhythm and stopped all together, thinking that I was looking into the blue eyes of my mother.
This woman was not my mother.
Her blue eyes were darker and wide with disbelief and curiosity as they traveled over my body. Like the woman at the graveyard earlier, the first one I had summoned with Margaret. She looked to be in her early forties, blonde hair graying at the roots. Her clothes screamed the 90's, meaning she had died about a decade ago.
"W-Were you t-the one speaking to me a-a moment ago," I asked, faining off the sadness of not finding my mother instead. The woman's eyes jumped to mine, focusing, questioning.
"No. I'm not too sure how I got here just now. Are you the reason for this, girl?" Her voice didn't match the whispers nor did it match my mother's. And I knew for certain I had heard my mom. So where had she gone?
"Y-Yes. I'm s-sorry. I didn't mean to-"
"Girl!" A voice bellowed from behind me and I spun around, meeting the stride of a tall, scrappy man, with mop-like brown hair. His hazel eyes bore into mine so intensely that I shivered, uncomfortable under his gaze.
"You brought me here," he asked.
"Yes. I didn't m-mean-"
"You're one of them then. A necromancer?"
"Y-Yes," I stuttered, taking a step back, unsettled by the way he looked at me, surveyed me. He moved closer, eyes reflecting that he was curious and wanted something.
"I've been looking for someone like you for a long time," he whispered hoarsely.
"You think you're the only one," the woman snapped and stepped in front of the man. He ignored her, gaze still intent on me. "She summoned me first. First come, first serve." This caught the man's attention and he sneered at the woman.
"No such thing when you're dead, lady."
Another figure materialized beside the two ghosts. A younger man, lighter hair. He looked from the two ghosts to me in confusion. Then he focused more on me and his eyes widened. He opened his mouth to say something but was interrupted by another ghost popping up before him. A man older than the first two put together. Meatier too, with a large round face and an ugly grimace.
"What the hell is going on here," he shouted, his voice so deep and loud that I winced, the sound vibrating through my already throbbing skull.
"I'd like to ask the same question," a woman of about the same age said as she turned up beside him. A small girl fazed into form behind her and looked around with large blue eyes, fear apparent on her features.
"Where a-am I?"
"What is this?" Another ghost appeared. I spun frantically to escape but was greeted by another.
"What's going on?" I pivoted passed the ghosts, only to be blocked by more.
"Girl. Why am I here?"
"What are you? How can you see us?"
"A necromancer! I've heard about them." I shied away from their swarming figures.
"You can help me! You must help!"
"Yes. I need you're help too!" Panic started to boil inside of me, spreading through my veins like wildfire.
"I was here first!"
"You're so strong, so powerful for such a small girl."
"You're so bright. You must be able to help me." I desperately squirmed away from their reaching hands.
I squeezed my eyes shut and aimlessly pushed against their spirits as hard as I could. I tried to block them out, to concentrate, to calm my speeding heart and erratic breathing. But I could still hear them.
"Help me girl!"
"I need you to-"
"Can you find my-"
"Tell my parents-"
"Help me find-"
"He killed me-"
"I slipped and-"
"I couldn't wake up-"
I didn't dare open my eyes, but it didn't help that I could still see them behind my eyelids. They were closing in around me, I could feel them. Wave after freezing wave boggled my senses and the hammering against my temple only effected my concentration so much more. They were close, whispering, moaning, shouting. They were touching me, falling through me. I desperately shoved against their advances, their cries, their pleas. But it wasn't working, I couldn't think.
My breath was ragged, my heart was pounding so hard against my ribs that it hurt. My body was trembling, freezing. All I could smell, instead of the rain that was steadily adding to the cold touches that passed through me was death. All I could feel was their souls mingling and rushing through me. All I could hear were their cries for help. All I could think of was how insanely claustrophobic I felt. I couldn't breathe.
All so close, the sounds rippling through me. Handicapping me. I could barely hear my own voice; small, frail, begging. Telling them to leave me alone, back up, stop screaming, quiet down, get away, stop, please, stop, stop, stop!
I wanted to call for my own help. I couldn't handle this. Not alone. I was scared, terrified. I was shaking. I couldn't think, couldn't breathe.
And I felt so, so alone.
If my mother was still here, I couldn't hear her, couldn't feel her as I did before. There was nothing she could do anyways. I've lived so long without her that her re-occurrence has left me overjoyed and heartbroken at the same time.
My aunt, whether she was still at the lab, held prisoner or- oh, God- if she was dead, she couldn't help me either. Our connection was a distant memory. Her attempt to be a motherly figure in my life was instantly demolished by the fact that I didn't have that life anymore. I wasn't even sure if I was the Chloe she would remember anymore. I could never understand the decisions she has made out of love for me. And at the same time, she would never understand this. This being what I had to live with now.
My old friends had jumped out of the picture the minute I ran my school's halls screaming like a maniac, sputtering about what I could see that no one else could. My father didn't know anything. He didn't know about my powers, or the Edison Group. He was so insanely clueless about everything- not even considering the fact that he didn't even know me before that me had changed- that he thought one of my housemates had kidnapped me and put a half a million on my head. I couldn't call him though. I couldn't talk to him. Not only would it endanger me, but him as well. And calling him now would require an explanation. As much as I wanted to reassure him that I was alright, I couldn't.
Andrew was an adult who was capable of helping and at the same time completely incapable of anything. He didn't know me and I didn't know him. I trusted him because Simon and Derek trusted him and that was it.
My relationship with Tori was a complicated mess and I was sure that if she had somewhere to go she would have been gone a long time ago. Hell, she even attempted to get back to her normal life but wound up stuck with us.
There was Simon. Yes, he cared about me. But I was slowly coming to realize more and more that I didn't want his help or his reassurances. I didn't want him to constantly make me feel better. I didn't want to talk to him about what I saw, about what I could do with my powers. I didn't want to concern him with my problems that I should be able to handle myself. Maybe it was because he was so willing that I didn't want to burden him. But I think it was more because I knew he could never understand. Not on the level that I selfishly desired from someone else.
This would only prove to him how stupid and reckless he thought I was though. His feelings towards me were still so unclear. He was such a contradiction around me that I wound up feeling whip-lashed. One minute he's bearing down on me, the next he's telling me everything will be okay, that we will figure things out. If I didn't know any better I would have myself convinced that he couldn't stand me. And even if it were true I couldn't deny that he made me feel significant and vital to our band of misfits. I couldn't hide that I felt less alone when he was around. And above anyone else, right now, I needed him for that.
I opened my eyes, planning on searching out an escape, but the sight that greeted me rooted my feet to the forest floor. The blood running through my veins ran completely cold to the near point of freezing. Bile slithered its way to my throat, my stomach churned unbearably.
Like the first ghost who put me into this mess, the janitor from my old school, the ghosts were in the forms and depictions of their deaths.
A woman shrieked, her throat slashed open. A man released a guttural sound, his face and intangible flesh melting off his skeleton. A boy cried, half his body mangled and deformed. A woman choked, flailing and spazzing. A girl screamed, gashes ripping across her arms and collar bone.
I staggered back, choking against a sudden wave of nausea. I lost my footing and fell through even more horrors. I scrambled away, shutting my eyes again, but the images remained, scarred into my memory. Their pleas and tortured cries got louder, the sound stabbing repeatedly at my skull. It was too much, I couldn't push them away. I couldn't handle this.
Knowing this, something inside me snapped and I screamed.
I couldn't hear myself over them, but I could feel the strain on my lungs, the desperate race of my heart, the swimming incoherentness of my brain.
I cried and screamed and called for the one person I needed now more than anyone. The one person I wanted now more than anyone.
I screamed for Derek.
To be continued...
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