Wow, this is badly written and FLUFFY AS HELL, you guys. Whatever, someone needs to be writing about these two!
I guess it goes without saying I'd love reviews, please. :) Takes place right after the end of the "Spring-heeled Jack" arc.
As they walked away from the power station through the sprawling alleys of the Court, Zimmy noticed Gamma was staring at her oddly. She couldn't bring herself to feel annoyed, and instead gave a shivery laugh, the night wind cold on her wet skin.
What'cha- what'cha smiling at? she thought. The taller girl, observant as ever, held her closer to warm her.
I'm smiling because you're smiling, she replied softly, exhaling a gentle huff of laughter. They both grinned foolishly at each other.
That's the sappiest thing- she began, but she shook her head and looked back at her. I just can't stay angry tonight. She softly felt her clean eyes, stopping to look up at the sky still choked with clouds. I can see so clearly, Gamma. Later, she could sulk about the unfairness of it all, that every other stupid bastard in the world got to see this way all the time, but for now, she was elated.
Gamma smiled tenderly at her, and put her arm back around her to continue walking.
Zimmy... she began hesitantly, could we maybe go inside? I'm a little cold... Zimmy's face fell a few degrees, and Gamma hastily rushed to retract her statement. Zimmy held up a hand to stop her.
No! It's okay. You don't need to be so damned nice all the time; God knows I don't deserve it! she laughed, bright red eyes flicking away. Gamma looked at her toes, which squelched a little in reply. She hoarsely whispered something in her native language, barely audible. Normally this would make Zimmy furious, but this time she just raised her eyebrows and pulled the other girl aside into a niche in the narrow alleyway.
What'd'ya say? she asked, looking up into her dark eyes. Gamma realized she had spoken aloud and apologized.
I said, "You do." Deserve to be treated nicely, that is. She continued to stare at Zimmy until her intense gaze made the wild-haired girl fidget and look away. The cobblestones were dark and slick with the rainwater that still dripped loudly through the pipes. Sorry to stare! I just like to see your pretty eyes. These began to water as if they were embarrassed by this praise. You're crying! Gamma yelped, dismay radiating off her usually calm aura in waves that Zimmy could almost taste.
No... she replied, smiling shakily. I'm just feelin' weird. And tired of walking, and cold, she added, noticing how she was leaning against the brick and how numb and pale her shaking fingertips had gone. Maybe in shock, too. I guess we should go back in. Not the dorm, though. Too many people, too many cameras. Gamma chuckled.
We haven't been to the dorm in weeks! The hideout, then? Zimmy nodded, and her friend took her hand and led her. The smaller girl took a deep breath and released it slowly.
The air smells so good after the rain, she mused, resting her head on Gamma's shoulder.
"Mmm." Gamma squeezed her hand. They walked in a warm silence through the shining wet labyrinth, expertly navigating the forgotten back ways of the Court. I'm starved. Want me to fix some dinner?
Yeh. Zimmy took in the scenery with wide, clean eyes. It was obvious she didn't feel like talking, and Gamma didn't press the matter, planning the meal in her head. The inventory of ingredients and their possible combinations murmured softly in the back of Zimmy's head. She hated being forced to listen to the idle thoughts of everyone, which formed the horrible static, but Gamma's never bothered her. That was the lovely thing about being around Gamma: she could ignore people's thoughts, make them a murmuring noise in the back of her head, something she didn't have to listen to at full volume. She happily sighed, and Gamma distractedly patted her shoulder, wondering if she should pick up some of the special groceries they had the privilege of ordering, free of Court tracking devices. She decided against it, and they continued on their way to an unused apartment building.
It was odd, how empty the majority of the Court was. Perhaps the building was once a dormitory or accommodations for visitors. Maybe the Court was once a city and these were apartments. Either way, they seemed to be the only ones who used the building. They weren't under surveillance there, by human or mechanical eyes, an important arrangement for her. She wouldn't at all be surprised if the Court knew the location, but they were never bothered when they were there. The presence of working heat and water was certainly somewhat suspicious. They arrived at the dingy yellow building, slipped into a lobby tiled in a pale shade made grungy with the traffic of their dirty shoes, and up the dark flights. There had been times when Gamma had needed to carry her up those stairs, she remembered pensively. The air was warm and still, and they began to stop shivering. They came to apartment 3B and stood for a moment, holding hands.
Home, she thought, surprising both Gamma and herself. She had never really thought of any place as home.
Yes, it is, isn't it? Gamma agreed with surprise. She unlocked the door with a key from under the doormat, which swung open into a dark room. Zimmy kicked off her shoes and collapsed onto the faded green sofa as her friend flicked on the dim lights. As she moved into the cramped kitchen, Zimmy got up to follow, and crouched on a chair to watch Gamma make pasta. You should change clothes. It's not good to be out in the cold all wet like we were.
When have I ever gotten sick? Gamma shrugged and made her way out of the room.
Watch this doesn't boil over. Zimmy lightly stepped over to the stove, standing on her toes to minimize contact between the cold tile and her bare feet, leaning over the steam and letting it billow warmly over her face. It felt good, and she had to admit that Gamma might have had the right idea. Right on cue, a bundle of clothes hit her knee.
How- How'd'ya hear me?
I didn't. I know you too well. Zimmy smiled to herself and hastily changed into her other uniform, the only spare clothes she had. Her clothes from Birmingham she had burned. Perhaps melodramatic, but it had felt so satisfying. She felt at her eyes. Good, still clear. Gamma padded back into the room in more casual clothes. It's nice to be inside and warm.
Yeh. Zimmy sat at the table across from her resting her chin in her hands, closing her eyes, drowsy and calm in the heat. Maybe she couldn't sleep, but she was close enough. Gamma's fingers softly poked through the thick tangles of her hair.
You should let me brush this sometime. It's really quite pretty, just messy. Zimmy shrugged, eyes still closed. It wasn't the first time Gamma had offered. At least let me get a towel; it's absolutely soaking. Without waiting for a response, she got up to fetch one.
You fuss too much.
Someone has to do it, she distractedly replied, rummaging through the closets she had carefully organized. At a loss for a comeback, Zimmy rolled her eyes and lowered her chin to rest on the tabletop. Gamma stopped on the threshold to the kitchen. Zimmy turned her head without lifting it and saw her friend leaning her hip against the doorway, a pristine white towel in her arms, a dreamy smile quirking her dark lips.
What'cha thinkin' about?
"Hmm?" Oh, nothing. Zimmy raised an eyebrow, but let the matter drop. You just look so happy sitting there.
I guess. It was true: she was feeling more content than she had felt in a long time. It was, of course, the influence of the rain, her clean eyes, and a certain pride she felt over successfully dealing with the spider boy. Then there was the warm apartment, the dry clothes, and the pasta softly cooling in the sink as Gamma glided around the kitchen searching for something. Her hair seeped uncomfortably down the collar of her dry shirt. Gamma found whatever it was and hauled two chipped ceramic plates, forks, and a bowl of softly steaming noodles to the table, towel still stuck under an arm. She moved her chair from across the table to sit next to Zimmy, who sat up and turned away from the table to face her. Gamma shook out the towel and wrapped it over Zimmy's head, tying two of the corners under her chin.
Now you have a babushka! She grinned radiantly, vigorously ruffling the towel with one hand. Zimmy firmly patted at her hair.
Yer gonna make it worse than it was before!
If you let me brush it, you won't have to worry about it!
Ya know what? You should have the babushka, 'cuz yer already a nagging old lady! Suddenly they were both laughing, rocking back and forth in their battered wooden chairs. Perhaps it was stress from the events of the day, or relief to be safe and "home." Still, she was always able to laugh with Gamma. During good times, she had quite a sense of humor. She remembered the demon's surprised face and the Carver girl's reaction to her teasing with a snort, and Gamma's eyes flashed joyfully at her as they shared the memory.
They managed to compose themselves and sat with their knees touching. Gamma was giving that weird dreamy smile again, and this time her eyes weren't distant, but looking straight into Zimmy's. Back in the alleys she'd called them pretty, she remembered with uncharacteristic shyness. Gamma's mouth was no longer wide with laughter, and her eyes were worn, with dark circles under them, but they shone bright with residual mirth. Zimmy's hand moved on its own to neatly frame the side of her face, thumb brushing across the deep shadows under her eyes. Tired and relieved, she felt as if she wasn't all there. It was nothing like the terror of her... spells... and yet that was what this odd detached feeling reminded her of. She suddenly wondered if this was what it felt like to dream. The warmth of Gamma's skin seeping into her hand nearly brought her out of her reverie, and the Polish girl tilted her head and twitched her lips in a flash of a smile.
Zimmy? What are you thinking about?
Zimmy's mind was blank for a second. Something seemed to click in the back of her head, neatly falling into place in stark contrast to the grinding, tangled gears that usually occupied her skull. Her other hand disjointedly reached up so she held Gamma's moonlike face in both hands, and she leaned forward to place a brief kiss on her dark lips.
Gamma was silent, and Zimmy stared dumbly back at her, mind wiped blissfully clear of any emotion but anticipation of her response. At last Gamma's eyes softened and eyebrows raised as that familiar saintly smile spread across her face.
And all along. All along she had loved that smile, too, hadn't she?
That sweet face stared back at her, then its worn eyes closed and full lips moved to meet her own, arms encircling her to hold her close.
"Gamma," Zimmy whispered hoarsely.
"Zeta." Her real name sounded foreign to her ears.
In... there, you said...
That I love you? Zimmy nodded, and Gamma whispered it aloud in her ear. "Kocham Cię."
"I.. love you, too."
For a long moment they rested in each other's arms, wet hair seeping into their clothes, closely listening to their breath.
If only it could always be like this.
It could never, she realized, clean eyes watering.
She might as well enjoy it now. She had probably had a few more hours to be somewhat normal.
The rest of the night.
She was the one to finally pull away, turning to the food with gusto.
Gamma laughed, snagging a corner of the towel to dry rainwater off her face.
And Zimmy, for one of the first times in her life, was warm, happy, well-fed, and content.