Well, guys, it's basically midnight and I can't sleep. So here's another one-shot I wrote up to help bore me to sleep. If any of you are also suffering from insomnia, this may help.
Summary: Brielle is haunted by a repressed memory, which causes stress in her relationship and might even end it, if someone doesn't do something about it.
Italics will be memories and thoughts… which would be easy to notice, of course.
And as you all know, I only own Brielle, so the disclaimer isn't necessary. Enjoy.
It was her thirteenth birthday, the day she finally became a teenager. But in the Veni Con Yei group, it meant that she was ready to be a woman, and learn to cook, clean, master weaponry, and fight with stronger fighters in the clan. Vincent had told her that now that she was of age, she had to watch her back, for the teens in the clan were faced with rougher challenges.
She asked a few of the women in the group what kind of challenges they had to face, though they were forbidden to give her a heads-up, saying she had to learn on her own. It was then she had to go through the rite of passage: staying in the woods blindfolded from sundown to sunrise. It was an old Native American custom the clan picked up centuries ago, Vincent had told her, that tested bravery.
He guided her into the forest, blindfolded, and left her. The hours dragged on, but she kept her mind busy, wondering why everyone at the camp always carried weapons, and talked about 'their first hunt', and 'taking out those beasts'. She heard the mention of wolves, and figured the clan hunted them… which, she figured, would end up in a lawsuit with all the nature-lovers and animal-rights protesters.
It wasn't long before sunlight drifted through the blindfold, and she took it off, finding her way back to the camp. Everyone congratulated her, and she won the honor of carrying her own dagger. Vincent told her that if she kept it up by the time she was 16, she'd have her own gun next. She felt happy, feeling pride for accomplishing the task of staying out in the dark on her own, despite what kind of animals were lurking about, and didn't try to sneak back to camp… like what some did, only to get shot in the foot and be forced to do the make-up task: walking on cactuses with your bare feet while holding hot iron.
She felt like becoming a woman was the greatest achievement… but she misunderstood. There were few females in the camp, some who were married while others were reaching their 50's, making her the youngest and only eligible one left, which was a bad thing she learned later on. Vincent kept by her side, his gaze hardening on any young man who dared come close to her. One day, however, he had to go on a hunt and Brielle had to stay behind- girls weren't allowed to hunt until they were 18, he said, and he informed her to watch after herself.
She listened, keeping her guard up. She trusted Vincent's word, and if he felt something was wrong, she wouldn't question him. She walked through the camp, keeping an eye out for anything suspicious, not knowing someone was keeping an eye on her…
Brielle opened her eyes, seeing the morning sun. It had been a year since she met the Fangface Gang and fell in love with Puggsy, and the gang had decided to take a trip to Texas to visit some of Kasandra's relatives. Getting out of bed, she made her way down the stairs to the kitchen, where she saw that her best friend was also awake. "Hey, you're up early," Kasandra said, looking up from a newspaper at her. "Sleep well?"
"Eh, sort of," Brielle replied in a sigh, sitting down and pouring herself some coffee. "Had a little trouble getting to sleep, but I managed."
"Ah. What kept you up? Puggsy snoring?"
Brielle rolled her eyes. "If it were that, no one would be asleep,"
Kasandra chuckled. "Good point. So, what kept you up, then?"
She shrugged. "Just kept thinking about stuff,"
"What kind of stuff?"
"Meh. Random stuff. Not having to travel alone anymore, wondering what we'll do next, thinking up what food words to say around Fangface next time Puggsy annoys me… little things like that."
Kasandra scoffed, smirking. "You say food words to get Fangface to eat Puggsy? I thought you both were in love."
"Eh, no couple's perfect. Don't get me wrong- I stomp on his foot to let him out afterwards, Pugs gets a kick out of that."
"(snarl) You'd better be nice to my boyfriend, otherwise I'll have him eat you next!" Hunter threatened through Kasandra.
"Alright, alright, no need to get touchy. It's not like I threatened to shoot him or anything,"
"Just be nice to him, he's a great guy. …So how come you like to annoy Pugs like that?"
Brielle shrugged. "It's sort of a habit I developed- annoying guys tends to be kind of fun, and Puggsy's one of those guys who's fun to annoy."
Kasandra chuckled. "Well, can't argue with that." she then stretched, walking toward the stairs. "I think I'll crawl back in bed with Fangs. It's pretty early,"
"Yeah, I might crawl back into my own bed, too." she followed her friend up the stairs, heading to her bedroom.
"Don't you share a room with Puggsy?"
Brielle arched an eyebrow. "Why would I?"
"Well, you're both a couple… I just assumed you both shared a room like Fangs and I, and Biff and Kim." she shrugged. "Oh, well. No couples are the same,"
Brielle sighed, then made her way back down the stairs, not feeling like going back to bed and decided to take a walk. The sun was just peeking over the mountains, and the scenery was beautiful, but as she walked through the cool morning air, her mind was somewhere else. Maybe I should have told her the real reason, she thought, then shook her head. Nah, she doesn't need to know. No one does…
Making her way back to the house, she met the others in the dining room, where breakfast was being served by Kassy's aunt. "Hey, Brie, where have you been?" Fangs asked her as she sat down.
"Just on a walk. It was a beautiful morning, so I thought I'd enjoy it," Brielle answered.
"We're planning on going to a drive-in movie later on. You guys want to come?" Kim asked.
"That sounds great," Kasandra replied while Fangs nodded.
"Sure, sounds like a good plan," Puggsy added.
"I've never been to one before. Sounds good," Brielle said next.
"Great. We'll leave around 7," Biff said, looking at a newspaper that showed a list of movies. "What film should we see?"
Everyone looked over the list of movies, and they agreed to go see the new Sherlock Holmes movie, considering they were each a fan of mystery and adventure. Kasandra, Kim, and Brielle decided to go shopping with Kasandra's aunt later that morning and buy some new outfits for the night (Brielle decided to hold back comments of how ridiculous buying new outfits for a movie-outing was, knowing that her criticism had once ruined the first girls-day-out they had).
They came to a store and after finding some outfits, headed for the changing rooms… though Brielle paused, nervous about going in…
"Hey, Brielle, can you come over here real quick?" came a voice, and she turned around to see one of the older men of the clan. He was called Danta, and he was in his 40's. "Marlow wants us to clean a few gun barrels,"
Marlow was the leader of the clan, though she never actually saw him- only knew that when he gave an order, it was wise to obey, otherwise you'd be used in the next target practice… as the target. She followed Danta into the room where they kept the guns. "Which ones do we need to-" she began to ask, but was interrupted when the door was shut and locked.
She shook her head, walking behind a door and closing it. There's no one here but you and your friends. Nothing to worry about. she told herself, though she still felt uneasy.
"Hey, Brielle, are you doing okay in there?" Kasandra asked from the room next to hers.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Brielle answered, and quickly tried on the clothes she got. A couple fit yet one was too large while another was too small, so she put them back, then met up with the others to check out.
They made their way to the drive-in movie later that day, Biff parking in a middle row. The movie started and they watched in silence, and Brielle eventually got up to go get some snacks with Kim. "I'm telling you, Johnny Depp would've made a great Holmes, too," Brielle was telling Kim as they walked.
"Or Brad Pitt, but the actor they hired is pretty good too," Kim replied. They bought some snacks and headed back to the Wolf Buggy. "Plus, the plot is really interesting so it doesn't really matter,"
"I still think the first one was better, but we'll see how this one- oh, geez!"
"What?" Kim looked up at the screen. "Did someone die?"
"No… but my appetite did," Brielle nodded over to a car, where a couple teens were making out. "Do they always do that in public?"
"Some do, yes." Kim replied with a shrug. "Sometimes couples come here to make out than just watch the movie,"
"Talk about a waste of money. I hope no one we know will do that, especially Kass and Fangs- seeing them in romantic embrace is enough at home,"
"Don't worry, they won't. They like to have a relationship and keep their dignity, rather than showing off like some people."
"Good… otherwise this popcorn will go from my stomach and all over the pavement,"
They got back into the car and continued watching the movie. Halfway through the plot Fangs put his arm around Kasandra, both of them snuggling close, and Biff held on to Kim's hand. Soon, Brielle felt a hand on her shoulder…
Danta gripped her hard. "We don't have to clean them just yet…" he whispered close to her ear, both his hands caressing her arms.
"Whoa!" Brielle gasped, and by reflex her fist shot up and punched Puggsy in the face.
"Ow! What was THAT for?" Puggsy asked, rubbing the bruise he received.
"S-Sorry, I uh… wasn't expecting Watson to, um… I'll be right back," with that, she climbed out of the car and ran to the restroom, gripping a sink and taking deep breaths. Calm down already, would you? she told herself, but couldn't make herself do it, not with that memory lingering in her mind…
"Let me go!" she shouted, squirming in his grip, but in response he shoved her to the floor, pinning her down, kissing her neck and making her scream bloody murder.
She felt a tap on her shoulder and gasped, spinning around. "Whoa, easy! It's just me!" Hunter said, raising her hands in defense. "Don't hit me!"
"H-Hunter? When did you transform?" Brielle asked.
"Ah, they showed an image of the moon in the movie… and next thing you know, Fangface is seeing popcorn. As we speak, Biff and Kim are trying to get your boyfriend out of his mouth… Speaking of the little loudmouth, how come ya'll punched him? You acted jumpier than a rabbit surrounded by rattlers."
Brielle sighed. "Nothing happened. He just put his hand on my shoulder and just… caught me off-guard. It's kind of a reflex I developed over the years after being with Vincent- someone sneaks up on me and I just kinda respond defensively."
Hunter snickered. "Well, I can understand that… but why the heck are you so darn shy about it? Having a natural reflex isn't that big a deal,"
"Depends on how you develop it…"
"What do you mean?"
She sighed. "I'll explain later. Lets get back to the others. I want to see how Holmes solves the case,"
"Okay, but if Pugs is still in Fangface's mouth, ya'll better keep your feet off his feet."
"Whatever you say."
After the movie they drove home. It was getting late, and Hunter offered to drive so Biff wouldn't fall asleep behind the wheel, and Fangface sat up front with her while Biff and Kim sat in the back, falling asleep next to each other. "(grr) I still think Johnny Depp would've made a great Sherlock Holmes," Fangface was saying. "I mean, he was pretty good as Jack Sparrow,"
"Captain Jack Sparrow, darlin'," Hunter corrected him. "That was a good movie, nonetheless."
"Yeah, the ending really blew my mind," Puggsy added, then looked at Brielle. "I'm just glad I managed to stay conscious to see how Holmes solvified the case,"
"For the last time, I'm sorry. You caught me off guard," Brielle retorted.
"You weren't expecting me to put my arm around you. During a drive-in movie. …Seriously?"
"First of all, I've mentioned I've never been to one before, so I don't know what was allowed. Second, you were never the kind who'd pull a romantic cliché like that,"
"She's got a point, (grr)" Fangface added.
"Ah, shut up." Puggsy sneered, then looked back at Brielle. "Just because I'm not so romantified doesn't mean I won't show affection towards you, you oughtta know that," he put his arm around her. "I mean, you never minded me putting my arm around you before."
Brielle smiled. "That's true… Alright, I'll try not to be so jumpy,"
"Thatta girl," he gave her a peck on the cheek, then kissed her neck-
She screamed and kicked, but he kept her pinned down, going far as biting into her skin-
"Oof!" Puggsy grabbed his nose, which was now bleeding. "Whad was dat aboud now?"
Hunter looked in the rearview mirror, noticing the shocked look on Brielle's face. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to… I wasn't expecting…" she was stammering.
"Neber mind," Puggsy took out a hankerchief to stop the bleeding. "I dink I'b gonna lay off deh robance dowards you for a while, undil you learn do condrol your 'refleckses',"
Something's up with that girl… Hunter thought. And I plan on finding out.
They reached the house, and Puggsy went to his room without another word to Brielle, and she sat in her own room, wincing. What is WRONG with me? she asked herself. My boyfriend tries to show me some affection, and what do I do? I practically break his nose! …why do I always have to get so insecure whenever I think about what happened…?
Hunter then walked in and sat down on her bed next to her. "Alright, Brielle, something's up with you, and don't give me any of that 'reflex' crap, 'cuz I ain't falling for it." she said, firmly. "Now spill it. What's wrong?"
Brielle sneered. "Don't you werewolves ever keep to yourselves?"
Hunter glowered. "You're looking pretty tasty right now…"
"Don't get cocky. I just don't want to share something personal…"
"Better to let it out than throw your boyfriend into a doctor's office whenever he tries to kiss ya. Just tell me what's wrong, or do I have to shake the answers outta you?"
Brielle sighed, knowing that Hunter wouldn't give up. "Alright, alright… it started after I turned thirteen. Vincent and I used to live in a camp full of hunters, and when someone turned thirteen, they were labeled as an adult, ready for new challenges. There weren't many girls in the site who were eligible or young like I was… and some of the guys didn't get to go out and meet many women…" she shut her eyes, the memory flashing through her mind.
She managed to reach over and grab a gun, aiming it at his head. "Get off me or I'll pull the trigger!" she shouted, and he sat up, giving her a chance to hit him in the temple with the gun, and she ran to the door.
"Gotcha!" he roared, grabbing her arm and tearing the gun out of her hands. "Threatening an older member is a death-penalty, girl… but if you stop restraining, I might let it slide…"
Her response: she kicked him where the sun don't shine. Watching him fall into the fetal position, she unlocked and tore open the door, running out.
"…I was never so scared in my life," Brielle whispered after she told Hunter the story. "And basically every guy in the camp that was closer to my age was like that, and Vincent had to keep an eye on me for a while until they all finally lost interest." she sighed. "I know our guys aren't like that… but every time that memory pops into my mind, I get scared and can't let anyone touch me without remembering how I felt back then…"
Hunter put an arm around her in comfort. "There's no reason to be scared anymore, Brie." she assured her. "That guy isn't around anymore, and no one else is gonna hurt you… otherwise, they'll have to answer to me. No one's gonna force you into anything anymore, and I know for sure that Puggsy isn't going to either- he's not THAT kind of a jerk, and he knows he'd lose you if he tried."
"I know… but the memory won't go away. How can you forget something that has been haunting you for so long?"
"You could try replacifying it…"
They looked over, seeing that Puggsy was standing in the doorway, his nose no longer bleeding. "How long have ya'll been standing there?" Hunter demanded.
"Long enough. …Mind if I have a word with Brie, alone?"
Hunter looked at Brie, who nodded, and the she-wolf got up and started walking out the door, though turned back to her friend. "If he tries anything, just holler, and I'll mess him up for ya," with that, she left.
Puggsy rolled his eyes then walked over to Brielle, sitting at the end of the bed. "…So, what did you do, next?" he asked her, referring to her past.
She sighed, pulling her knees up to her chest. "I ran to my cabin and locked the door, and didn't come out unless one of the women escorted me, until Vincent returned. I know it was a weak move, but with so many roused up guys in the camp, I didn't want to take any chances," she looked at him, wincing. "I'm really sorry, Puggsy… I didn't mean to hurt you. I just didn't expect to go farther than kissing on the lips."
"I understand… but why didn't you bring this up before? I mean, you could've at least warnified me,"
"I just… never really thought about it until we got deeper into our relationship. After we started getting closer, that memory began to surface, and…" she rubbed her neck, as if still feeling Danta's bite. "I just don't want to go any further right now."
He sat closer to her. "Then we won't, not until you're ready. Just try to understand what Hunter told you, Brielle- that life is behind you now. No one's gonna hurt you or make you do something you'd regret… otherwise I'd murderfy 'em before they could even blink. We already know how much you've been through, Brie, and you don't have to go through any more. You're in good hands now," he put an arm around her, pulling her into a hug.
She winced, returning his hug. "I just want it to go away…"
He cupped her chin in his hand, making her meet his eyes. "I can help… if you want." he eased in, gently kissing her on the lips.
She shut her eyes tight, the memory appearing once more…
He gripped her by the shoulder…
His lips moved onto her cheek then…
He threw her to the ground…
He kissed her on the eyes, then on her right…
He pinned her down…
Then he kissed her neck, and she gripped his shoulders tightly… but the image faded as she focused on the reality, and she relaxed, keeping her arms wrapped around him. He then pulled out, lying down next to her. "You okay?" he asked.
She nodded, snuggling close. "Thanks…" she whispered, snuggling close to him.
Hunter watched from the doorway, smiling. A lot of girls deal with a lot of jerks, and never manage to find a good guy. she thought as she turned away, walking back to her bedroom, where she snuggled next to Fangface. Thank God Brielle managed to find one.
A/N: …And that's the result of me lacking sleep.
For those of you who managed to stay awake this long, thank you and please review. No flames though… lack of sleep caused enough problems already.