A/N: Okay, so this is a little odd, I suppose. A fanfic of a webcomic. My first one. But this particular comic, Go Get a Roomie, is definitely worth as many fanfics as possible. If y'all haven't seen it yet, I really recommend giving it a read through. The comic itself is fun and the creator, Chloe, is an amazing person.
Anyway, on to the fic. The inspiration for this came after reading the strip entitled "Your Inner Roomie", so anything after that isn't taken into consideration. Enjoy, peeps!
Music: "Tour of the Galaxies" album by Alexander.
Disclaimer: Go Get a Roomie and related characters © Chloe
Beside a forest whose trees were of shadow and smoke, and where the spaces between were full of soft golden light, lay a still lake of liquid silver. The sun was setting over the hills, the moon, heavy and pregnant, rose over the waters. Yet it was not the moon, for that simple satellite had no rings encircling it. Still, it rode high into the sky, its image reflected in the lake, whose waters left behind a metallic sheen that was more than moisture on Lillian's fingers when she traced her hand across its surface. She stared up at the moon that was not a moon, the silhouettes of strange birds flying across its face before disappearing into the night again. She took a deep breath, filling her lungs with the sweetness of the night and releasing it with a contented sigh. "It's beautiful, isn't it?"
She might have been speaking to the shadows themselves, and it wouldn't have been so farfetched to think so. This was her dream, her domain where she was Queen, and she was often alone in reverie here. If she willed it, the very night could possess consciousness and reply to her observation. But it was not the dusky, secretive voice of the evening that responded, but a voice more like a summer afternoon, all warmth and brightness. "It is. You have a gift for this, you know. A beautiful imagination."
Lillian felt her lips quirk into a shy smile at the compliment. It was rare to be praised for something she truly cared about. But then again, it was rare to bring someone she knew from the waking world into her private kingdom. "Yes, well," she said a little haltingly, tucking a heavy lock of hair behind her ear, "I've had a lot of practice. A lot of dreams just dedicated to this kind of thing." She turned, her floating body twisting in midair to cast a glance at her guest.
Sitting in the grass, her toes sunk deep into the indigo blue blades and her bare arms wrapped about her knees, was the girl who so troubled her waking hours. Blonde, blue eyed, effervescent and brash, she was almost exactly what Lillian was not. She had suddenly appeared as from nowhere and insinuated herself so completely, so immovably into Lillian's life, that it had seemed only a matter of time before she became a part of her dreams as well. But Lillian couldn't bring herself to be annoyed. She found she liked the company of the blonde and her summertime personality.
The girl looked up at Lillian, the wide collar of her shirt slipping and baring a shoulder as she cocked her head to one side. "Do you remember all of your dreams, Lillian?"
She laughed – she was laughing a lot more these days, wasn't she? – and shook her head, her hair drifting around her face like seaweed in a lazy current. "No, not all of them, but I remember my favorites. And some people and places stay the same from dream to dream, just like in real life."
"But all people and places stay the same in real life," the girl pointed out.
Lillian shook her head again. "Not really. Places are always changing, and so are people. They grow, they change; sometimes people leave and others turn up… it's just here, the changes are much more obvious."
The girl grinned widely. "A reflection of the world that's all yours, eh?"
"But one that you can fully control, so one that's completely safe. Right?"
Lillian stopped short, staring into the sparkling blue eyes. She'd forgotten for a moment that this wasn't the real Roomie, and was in fact a part of her own subconscious given a voice. And her self-observations had a tendency to be rather biting. She smiled, conceding the point. "Perhaps."
Either Lillian's subconscious decided the point had been made or her memory of Roomie was strong enough to keep it from pressing; in either case the blonde lapsed into silence, watching Lillian's nighttime world. The stars came out, most icy pinpricks in the fabric of the night, some tiny five-pointed shapes, like a child's drawing of stars. A cloud of night butterflies, their wings a bright, glowing riot of neon colors fluttered past, attracting an orbiting ring of their plainer moth cousins attempting to inspect them. A raccoon in a green vest and cap who introduced himself as Thaddeus Vim offered his wares for the girls' inspection; tinderboxes and dried jerky, shining pendants and rusty keys, aged tomes and ruby slippers, even a golden lasso to capture the moon. The two women smiled, shaking their heads and sent him on his waddling way.
Eventually Roomie bestirred herself. "Are all of your dreams this… calm?"
Lillian, who had allowed herself to float upside down so the girl and lake were over her head and the strange moon and endless stars a carpet at her feet, tilted her head back to look at her. "Not all of them. Sometimes they can be quite adventurous. Exciting, even."
"Ooo," Roomie's eyes lit mischievously, he smile becoming coy. "'Exciting and adventurous,' huh? I knew you had it in you, Lillian!"
The brunette felt herself flush. Now was that her memory of Roomie at work, or her own mind? She desperately hoped the former. Still, it wasn't fair to be made to blush in your own dream. "I've been wondering," she said, trying to distract the blonde, "why it is you're calling me 'Lillian'. You never do in the waking world."
"It's your dream, you tell me." She didn't trust the gleam in the blonde's eye.
Lillian sighed, floated down lower, closing the gap between her and Roomie to make conversing easier. "Maybe because I only think of myself as 'Lillian' instead of 'Lazy Tyke', maybe because I dislike the nickname you've given me, maybe its serving as a reminder that you, as well as everything else here, are not really real…"
"Or maybe," Roomie interrupted, a light twinkle in her eye, "even though you are called Lillian by everyone else, you perceive my calling you by your proper name to be something meaningful, and secretly you desire that kind of intimacy."
Lillian stared, aware of how close they were now and how flustered her face must be. Roomie just smiled, watching as what she said had a chance to sink in. A little redness staining her cheeks, Lillian turned and began drifting away. "Shall we rescue a princess for an adventure?"
"Shall we discuss what you choice of adventures, the rescuing of a helpless damsel, says about you?"
Out in the waking world, where the butterflies flew only during the day and the lakes were merely water, Lillian's sleeping form was being watched over by Roomie. The darker girl was nestled deep into the pillows and blankets, only a sliver of her face visible between the rise of the pillow at her cheek and the locks of hair that slipped over her. The small piece that could be seen was soft and relaxed in sleep, her expression beatific, a little line of drool escaping from between her lips to pool on her pillow. Roomie smiled. It was a sign that Lillian was well, truly and deeply asleep when she began to drool like a kitchen tap left on.
But as nice as it was to watch her as she slept, Roomie was really beginning to wish she would wake. She spent so much of her time sleeping that Roomie hardly had any time to interact with the enigmatic brunette. Even on the few occasions when she managed to drag her out of the house, far from her pillows, it didn't take long for Lazy Tyke to start losing interest. She would start to wilt like a flower taken out of its vase, her eyes would begin to wander, and Roomie just knew she was fantasizing about her dream world. Which, if she was to fantasize about anything, wouldn't be what the blonde had in mind.
Roomie gently brushed back a lock of the girl's hair, tucking it behind her ear to reveal more of her slumbering face. Lillian didn't so much as twitch when one of her slender fingers stroked her cheek.
If she would only come to enjoy the real world even a fraction as much as she loves the one inside her head, Roomie thought. Then we might be able to spend more than the odd afternoon together.
It was rare for Roomie to spend as much time on a single person as she had with Lillian, and it was practically unheard of for, after having spent this much time and focus, for nothing to have come of it physically. True, they often slept together, but only in the sense that they shared a bed. The most intimate gesture to pass between them was an odd friendly kiss here or there. Well, most conventionally intimate. Possibly the most intimate gesture on Lillian's part was in sharing her dreams with Roomie from time to time. But still, it was a far cry from what the borderline nymphomaniac had managed to do with even the shiest of women. But she found the more time she spent with Lazy Tyke, rather than becoming frustrated, she was becoming more interested… one might even say 'invested' in the sleeping girl. Actually, the more time she spent with her, the less she seemed like a conquest at all, and was gradually evolving into something else. Not that Roomie had ever considered any of her previous partners to be 'conquests', per se, but…
It was just that whenever Lazy Tyke did wake, it seemed like the time spent in waiting was all worth it. She was interesting, with thoughts that hinted at hidden depths if you could get her talking. She had a sarcastic sense of humor that was in danger of cutting whoever she turned it against pretty deeply if it wasn't for her inherent kindness that tempered it. And despite her apparent cluelessness regarding anything to do even remotely with sexuality, she could still say or do little things that made Roomie wonder just how much went on in her mind that was rated higher than "PG".
She was a mystery, and one impervious to Roomie's charms. That alone might have been enough to keep her close, when it was more her nature to flit from place to place and person to person on a regular and frequent basis. But no, to make matters worse, whenever LT decided to surface from her private dreamland, she would always look so happy to see Roomie there. True, early on there had just been shock to find a naked girl sharing her sheets, but as time went on and she became accustomed to Roomie, she actually seemed pleased to open her eyes and find Roomie there. Each time she woke, the happier her expression became, a soft little smile on her sleepy face and a tiny sparkle in the corner of her dark eye. It made Roomie's heart flutter, no mistake, to see that adorable expression on Lazy Tyke, but it also made her ache, to know she was somehow the source of such quiet happiness. She didn't think LT was falling in love with her, but there was something happening there, something she knew should be sending her for the hills.
And yet she stayed.
But then, as always, her eyes would become heavy, the smile weighed down by fatigue, and Lillian would once again wander off to lose herself in sleep. She would go off to her dreams, the one place Roomie couldn't follow.
Roomie got up and left the room quietly, though she knew she could probably leave in a bulldozer and have no effect on Lillian's sleep pattern. She picked up a jacket laying over the back of the sofa, slipped on a pair of shoes, gave Mr. Kitteh a gentle scratch between the ears, and headed out the front door, making sure that the unfamiliar shape of the house key was still in her pocket before pulling it shut behind her. She needed to move, to interact with people who were already awake, to feel some vibrancy.
The door closed behind her with a muted click, and Roomie headed towards Jo's Bar to enjoy herself.
In the Kingdom of Has, a King sat without a Queen and without royal daughter. His wife had died many years ago in the Amnesia wars, and his daughter, in whom lay the future of his Kingdom, was missing. Kidnapped by the ruler of a neighboring land, so said his spies, taken to the land of dragons. In despair and desperation, the King had sent his very best knights to rescue the princess, but none had ever returned. Finally, when even the bravest of his remaining knights refused to go, the King had sent for the One, that legendary sorceress, only half believing her real, and not daring to hope she would come to his aid. When she did, with apprentice in tow, his heart leapt in sudden hope, and he related his sad tale.
"So who is that?" asked the young apprentice, pointing to the girl sitting beside the King.
The girl, her fine clothes, aristocratic face and very position beside the King all proclaiming her to be no mere peasant, blinked slowly at the finger pointed at her with startling orange irises.
The King hesitated a moment, then somewhat reluctantly said, "This is the Lady Adnilam. She is the especial guest of the court until my daughter returns."
"Meaning she'll leave when your daughter comes back?" the apprentice asked with a raised brow. Then she grinned lasciviously. "Wouldn't they want to meet before heading back to stuffy court life?"
The One, who had remained silent for quite some time, put a hand on her apprentice's shoulder. "No, Roomie, I don't think it's a case of wanting at all. Is it, King?"
The King of Has shifted in his throne, the seat feeling hard and his crown heavy on his brow. "Quite true," he said sadly. "Quite true. You see, Lady Adnilam is an advisor from the Dragon Court."
Jo's Bar was full up tonight. Full of people jostling each other, drinking and enjoying themselves. Roomie flitted about happily from person to person, reacquainting herself with old friends, making new ones, and enjoying the sensation of slowly floating about on a little fuzzy cloud of alcohol. It was wonderful, feeling herself coming back to life, more awake than she'd felt in days. It was as though watching Lazy Tyke sleep for so long, the sleep had rubbed off onto her somehow. As much as Roomie enjoyed slumbering, she wasn't the type to spend every waking moment asleep. So to speak.
And everyone was here today, it seemed. Jo, of course, but Allan and Steve, Richard-Puppy and Ramona, even Aggie and Ju—Jak, along with a ton more familiar faces. Roomie grabbed another round of her favorite beer and threw herself back into the crowd.
"An advisor of the Dragon Court?"
"So the Dragon Court had humans in high places of authority, they aren't all completely opposed to humans."
"Not quite so, Lady One. You see, the Lady Adnilam is a dragon, wearing a human guise for the duration."
"Oh. Well, that's… interesting…"
"And, of course, when you find my daughter, she will be in the guise of a dragon."
The world was taking on the soft, muzzy edges distinctive of the thoroughly imbibed. Roomie whirled about, dancing to some tune a redhead, or possibly another blonde, had put on. It was ethereal, with no words and a gentle baseline that made Roomie feel like she was moving to the kind of music stars made. Moving through space like a heavenly body, others pulled into her orbit, and she pulled into theirs' in her turn.
The road that led to the edge of the dragon kingdom was long and perilous, with dangers untold and hardships unnumbered barring the way. A traveler could expect to spend weeks, months on this road, and still might never reach their destination. But the One was no ordinary traveler, and she and her apprentice flew over the turbulent landscape like a pair of birds.
Lillian, so used to taking these sorts of journeys alone, delighted in the expression of joy and wonder on Roomie's face. Her fingers, interlaced with Roomie's to keep her from falling, tightened slightly, keeping the other girl safe.
The music just seemed to go on forever, and as long as it went on, Roomie would dance. No one attempted to stop her, or even suggested that she tone it down. In fact, the longer she danced, the more people seemed to be joining in. First Steve spun her about for a while, then Ramona was with her, moving with predatory grace, then Aggie, twirling about her playfully…
But dangers were to be encountered. The dragon people were a highly variant race, with a political system every bit as complex and given to intrigue as their human counterpart, and to anger a dragon was to risk its ire. The ire of a dragon, even for a sorceress and her apprentice, was nothing to sneeze at.
Then another girl, her hair so long it brushed the backs of her knees and her eyes the green of deep, cool places was there, touching Roomie here, there and here. Never anywhere that was inappropriate for a public place, but with a quality to her touch that spoke volumes to all the places her fingers didn't wander.
Who knew that dragons could also be sorcerers, ones with powers to rival those of the One and capture her apprentice in a prison of water and light? Lillian's eyes met those of Roomie over the horned head of the reptilian magic user. Understanding flickered between them. The One took a running start toward the dragon sorcerer and his hostage, explosive power building between her hands as her lips shaped the words of a spell…
Her lips were smooth, and in the soft-edged world of beer and companionship, Roomie was sure her long, long hair was moving to wrap them both up in a protective cocoon. She was alive, her blood singing through her merrily, but a strange thought intruded on her. What if she was more like Lazy Tyke than she knew, but instead of escaping into dreams, she escaped into other people? Was she deluding herself into thinking she was all about being present and aware, when what she was really doing was fleeing from one person to the next?
It was an odd, drunken thought. But Roomie was accustomed to odd, drunken thoughts. It was easily ignored and forgotten.
The ground had cracked open from the raw magic being flung back and forth, the combination of human and draconic powers producing unpredictable results. The human-turned-dragon princess, a tiny thing the size of a dragonfly, was safe, but Roomie, her beloved apprentice had fallen into one of the gaping crevasses. Her own comparatively meager powers had held her aloft only a moment before giving out and she dropped like a stone. Now she hung precariously by her fingertips, her feet hanging over nothing but void, and Lillian's own resources were tapped dry.
She ran forward. The only way to save her apprentice would be to pull her out by her own strength. She just had to get there in time.
Roomie entered the house as quietly as she could manage, but despite how careful she was the darkness and her own unsteadiness had her trip over something and nearly face plant into the floor. Mr. Kitteh meowed at her loudly, demanding affection and possibly food. Roomie scratched him behind the ears, but otherwise ignored the little fur ball and wound her weaving way back to the bedroom.
She was still more than a little tipsy, but the blonde paused in the door, peering into the deep shadows of the room to look on the girl whose snores could be heard all the way to the front door. Enough light fell into the room that if she looked especially hard, she could just see Lazy Tyke, still asleep, nestled in her pillows. Still sleeping as peacefully as ever… Roomie hadn't missed any small bouts of wakefulness while she had been out, it seemed.
She smiled, and walking toward the bed, began peeling out of her clothes, leaving a trail from the door to the mattress.
Slipping in under the blankets behind the sleeping Lillian, Roomie found an odd kind of comfort in returning to this bed. Even if nothing were to happen in the night – most likely the case for this night and many more to follow – it was still nice to have somewhere to come back to. Strange, but nice. It was even nice to come back to a single person, day after day, forbidden as the thought seemed.
It would be nice if that person were actually there.
In the darkness, Roomie gazed at the curve of Lazy Tyke's shoulder, her back, where her waist tucked in slightly, the mass of dark hair. Lillian was laying on her side, turned away from Roomie, but she could imagine her face in sleep. Peaceful and content, wrapped up in her dreams. Roomie reached out and stroked her hair gently, wondering how much of a dream could be gotten across just by telling it to someone? There was more to Lazy Tyke's dreams than could ever be told, she knew. Like the depths in the girl she could sense but not see well enough to capture, they fascinated and frustrated her. She wished she could share Lazy Tyke's dreams. If for no other reason, then she wouldn't be left so alone.
Roomie's hand strayed from Lillian's hair to her back, her palm resting in the spot between her shoulder blades. Lazy Tyke's sleepy warmth travelled up Roomie's arm.
She was right here, sharing a bed with her, and yet Lillian was so far away, the physical gap barely counted for anything. Even if they were both naked, clasped in each other's arms, bodies entwined and muscles trembling from the effort to keep each other as close as possible, they would still be worlds apart. Lillian would still be locked safely away in her dreamland.
They were back at the lake, gazing up at the moon that was no moon, the glowing neon butterflies flying up, and up, and up until they danced with the very stars. It was as though their adventure with the dragons and the princess had never happened. Except of course it had, and now the two of them sat in the companionable silence of heroes in repose.
When it was broken, it was by Roomie, who said, "Your dreams are strange. Fun, but a little strange."
Lillian chuckled, an odd sound since she did it so rarely when she was awake. "They've become a little more so since you've arrived."
Roomie grinned. "Fun, or strange?"
There was a pause, full of things that could have been said, but which were not. A quietness full of whispers, until Lillian broke it. "You can stay, you know. As long as you like."
The blonde looked up at her, one brow raised. "Truly?"
Lillian nodded, a little smile tugging her lips. "Yes. Please stay."
Roomie's hand was warm from her back, her nose filled with the scent of her, her ears with the even sound of her snores, yet Roomie felt she would never break through the distance that always separated them.
Curled up in Lillian's bed, hand on her back and body less than a foot away, she never felt so isolated, or so lonely.
You're always so far from me, she thought.
Then she fell asleep, and into her own dreams.
A/N2: I think I love the lighthearted feel of GGaR the best, and how it's epitomized so well in Roomie herself, but me being me, I can't help but think of some of the deeper – sometimes darker – aspects of the characters and their actions. While I don't think that this is what would happen in a relationship between Roomie and Lillian, I see it as a possibility and an interesting avenue to consider.
And you can tell I was sitting at my desk when I was writing this, as when I was searching for names in LT's dream, I was just pulling them from what happened to be there. (Amnesia Wars = Amnesia the survival game, 'Has' kingdom and Lady 'Adnilam' = the book 'Ash' written by 'Malinda' Lo. XD)
Thanks for reading, everyone and sticking with me through some of my more obscure fandom explorations. More on the way, as well as some of the continuing stories will be updated soon(ish).
Remember to give Go Get a Roomie some serious lovin', it totally deserves it!