A/N: This is my first Dreamland fanfic, so be as nice as you possibly can. Feedback is always welcome. As the description clearly states, this is about why Rogerson comes and sits with Caitlin. You know, in the car? When he won't say anything? Yeah. So, enjoy. Set to the song Cough Syrup by Young the Giant, though it's not TECHNICALLY a song fic. It's like the songfics weird second cousin who is just similar enough to be family, but is just unique enough to be...not. So, feedback is welcome. Enjoy.
Another sharp slap to the face and he was gone, trailing the smell of sweat behind him. He hadn't been sweating when he came here, only when he started abusing me did he start to sweat.
"Must be good exercise." I murmured, rubbing my aching cheek. I had several other bruised places, mostly on my back and shoulders, but they didn't hurt as much as the slap had. I wasn't sure why, I just knew they didn't.
I waited until the coast was clear before ducking out of my pool house. I left the lights on out of spite, because my mother hated when I did that, though she never objected She also hated when dad hit me, but she didn't object to that either.
I headed towards my car, sliding into the familiar seat with a sigh. Buckling up, I laughed a bit, and undid the buckle latch. What did I care about being safe, anyway? I started my car and drove, lights sliding by, blurring into each other. Before long, I realized I was crying, and impatiently wiped away the tears. I didn't want to appear weak, even though I was. So weak.
The familiar route was comforting, one I had become used to driving. In a way, I had become dependent on it. The control of it. The set turns, stops, starts. It all had a reason, and it never changed. It stayed constant, consistent, unlike the constantly shifting things in my life. Things that were perfect one day, but fell to pieces the next. People who promised to show up at 12, then didn't show up at all. No, this route stayed the same. Left turn, right turn, head straight until the next stoplight. The stoplight that always flashed red, yellow, green. Constant.
Pulling into the driveway, I honked the horn twice to signal my arrival. A few moments later, she appeared, hair pulled into a sloppy ponytail, baggy sweatshirt falling to her waist. Shorts too short to be visible on. In spite of my melancholy situation, I snorted. Despite how much she claimed to hate it, Caitlin had a good bit of cheerleader in her. The way she carried herself, how she wore her hair, those shorts. They all screamed preppy cheerleader who thought she was better than everybody else. It was oddly funny.
"Rogerson." Just the sound of my name in her mouth brought tears to my eyes. I stifled them, trying to look tough. I was sure I was failing miserably, and my suspicions were confirmed when she sighed "Rogerson." That one word said again, my name, said it all. She knew what had happened, or she could guess. And she knew I wasn't as confident as I was trying to look. I didn't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
She slipped into the car and I fell against her, letting the warmth of her soak into me. I tried to think of something to say, but couldn't. Of course I couldn't. All I could think about was him. The way he yelled at me, the way his fist felt against my back, and the way his palm felt against my face. I pictured his eyes flashing when I was late, and then compared it to the way I'd seen my eyes flash when I was angry and happened to pass a mirror. It was the same. We were the same.
I leaned into Caitlin, drinking in her scent, and she held me close. She didn't ask questions, which was good. I wouldn't have answered them anyway. I just wanted her to hold me and tell me, just with one touch, that everything was going to work out. Even though I knew it wouldn't. Even though I knew, as soon as I got home, the nightmare would start again, I clung to this false sense of security. It was like a nightlight for a child who's scared of the dark, or a gun for someone who's scared of robbers. A comfort to have, to own.
I closed my eyes and felt myself drifting off into a weird kind of sleep. It wasn't the deepest or best sleep, but it was dreamless, which was a comfort. Most of my nights were filled with horrible nightmares, full of death and destruction. Sometimes it was caused by my dad, sometimes my mom, sometimes my friend who'd first given me pot. Most of the time though, the destruction was caused by me.
But, with Caitlin, I never had nightmares. I never felt bad, or angry, or anything but love. I loved Caitlin, I loved her so much. She was my life, my world, and I only wished I could show her that sometimes. Show her just how much she actually meant to me. But, I never could. It just wasn't me.
Eventually, Caitlin shook me awake. I opened my eyes to darkness surronding me, and shrunk back. Caitlin looked a little hurt, but shrugged it of, kissing me before getting out of the car. I could see that the porch light was on, and I wondered how long it had been. Knowing Caitlin, probably not long. She was a good girl at heart.
She disappeared inside the house and I pulled out of the driveway, following the familiar path. Turn left, turn right, pause at the stoplight. The one that always changes from green, to yellow, to red.
Green, to yellow, to red.