A/N: So this is my very fist Predators story... I hope you guys like it. I wanna give a special thanks to my beta, LadyBonBon for helping me with this project of mine.
I do not own AVP or Predators.
It was pauk-de raining again—my low snarl was the only evidence of my displeasure with the weather of the backwoods mud ball I was currently stationed at. Not that I was complaining about observing the oomans. After all, I had my own reasons for trading jobs with Guan'ke. And he was only too eager to oblige me. Father had wanted to send me to collect more trophies. While I was pleased with my already abundant collection, he was not.
I knew why. Pauk, everyone knew why. The fact that I was too overly influenced by oomans... or rather just one ooman. Alice.
In my father's eyes I wasn't Yautja enough. In a way, I agreed with him. After all, I considered the aging ooman female to be kin—a mother to me even. She did not give birth to me, but she kept me from death when I was but a suckling. But just because I had a soft spot for the ooman did not make me any less of a warrior. Because of circumstances out of my control, I had to fight harder for my place among my clansmen, and even then many were not pleased with my standing.
So far, I only had one suckling of my own, as females tended to shy away from me. I was taller and stronger than most males of my species, and the females did not like that. Yautja females were supposed to be taller, stronger, and more vicious than any male. They did not like the aspect of considering me to be their equal. And the fact that I had nursed from a human female did not sit well with many. Not even my father.
Rumbling to myself, I shifted on the branch I was currently crouching on, my mask recording the actions of the many oomans filing into the massive building not fifty feet from my perch. They each carried some kind of object in their hands that protected them from the downpour. It looked familiar, probably something I had seen before; I just couldn't place it.
I wished to be closer, but I had to be careful being this close to the oomans. I had to make sure I didn't move too much or they would be able to see the blind spot of my cloaking device. It wouldn't have made me visible, but the ripples would alert them to my presence. And as there weren't any trees closer to the building, at least not with any branches with enough coverage from the rain, I would have to remain where I was perched. It would also look a bit strange if I stood out in the open. Rain hitting some invisible mass would have been a bit obvious—that something wasn't right.
Letting out a low grumble to myself, I settled in as the last remaining oomans headed inside.
It was raining, the thunder threatening to drown out the church's choir. It seemed fitting that the earth was crying along with me. Fat tears streaked down my cheeks, taking my makeup with it, staining my face black. My heart burned with pain. The urge to curl up into a ball among the pews that I had played among when I was a child, back when she was alive, and stay like that until the end of time was overwhelming, but I couldn't.
Not until I was away from prying eyes.
It was hard, but I took several deep breaths to calm and compose myself before I forced myself to tune into what the preacher was saying instead of staring at her corpse. She was just lying there, as if she was asleep, but she wasn't.
It didn't look like her. It didn't matter that she had only been dead a couple of days and all the hard work the
mortician had put into dressing her up. She was too pale and definitely too perfect. Too much like those fucking porcelain dolls she liked to collect.
But I knew she was, in fact, my mother as much as it pained me to admit it.
Her death had been a long time coming, the cancer too far developed for her to last much longer. Hell, living this long have even puzzled her doctors.
It had come out of nowhere, they said. All they knew for a fact was that it was caused by some radiation. How the hell she had gotten exposed to enough of it to cause several large growths to appear all throughout her body, I'll never know. But she had been fighting this battle since before I could walk and now her fight was over.
My mother was never a burden, but it was hard taking care of her. I never resented her for it, I just hated that I never had the chance at a normal life. I had made the conscious decision to make sure my mother knew that I loved her, and I never raised my voice to disagreed on many things, but I couldn't let her live the last bit of her life alone. Kyle and dad had already abandoned her long before I had come into the picture, and there was no way in hell I was going to carry on like there wasn't a time limit.
I didn't really listen to what these people were saying about her. Our friends and family. Most of them hadn't even seen her this last year. Like that asshole of a brother of mine, Kyle and his wife Lyssa. He could sit over there next to our father with his wife crying her fake tears (she wasn't even wearing black! All because it made her look too pale or some other bull shit answer), and put on his "act" of holding it together. He could just rot in hell for all I cared.
Dad too. All while she was alive, he'd wanted nothing to do with momma, even having he left her for a younger woman while she was pregnant with me. Why he was even here was a mystery to me.
I glared at him. My vision might be blurred from the never ending tears, but there weren't many people in the front pews. And dad and Kyle were unmistakable anyway. They both had that tanned skin from being out in the sun all of the time. Both had dark hair, but dad's was as black as sin. Kyle had a dark chestnut hair color . . . hair he got from momma. Both of them were tall, too. Over six feet, though Kyle was an inch shorter than dad.
While they were dark from being out in the sun all of the time, enjoying themselves, I had been cooped up in the house, taking care of mom. The nurse couldn't be there all of the time, and I didn't want to waste what precious time she had left. I was pale and skinny. My auburn hair was striking in contrast to my milky white skin. Normally I let it drape down my back, but today it was in a loose bun at the nape of my neck.
My dress was comfortable. It might have washed out my skin, but that didn't matter.
When he called us up to say our final good-byes before the burial at the cemetery, I felt a hand on my arm. Looking away from the preacher, I glanced at Chloe. She'd been the only friend I'd been able to make and keep during school. She was even going away to college with me as my roommate. Like the sister I never had, she supported me through everything.
She gave me a small smile. "You ready Emma?"
I nodded briefly. "Y-yeah."
We stood at the same time, slowly making our way to the aisle and into the line. The people before us parted like the Red Sea. Father, Kyle, and Lyssa were at the front of it where she was making a spectacle of herself.I clenched my fist, wishing to break something, anything. Most likely her face.
When Chloe grabbed my hand, intertwining her fingers in mine, I calmed a bit. A lot of people assumed we were . . . romantically involved with one another due to our close relationship. It wasn't even close to the truth. As far as I was concerned, Chloe was my sister. We may not have been born by the same mother, but she kept me from insanity.
Slowly but surely, we made our way to the front of the procession, the people in front of us leaving to get in their cars to drive to the cemetery. When we reached her, my breathing hitched. Fresh tears swelled, and I stumbled forward. Chloe let go of my hand then, giving me some privacy.
Sad as it was, I had always thought my momma was invincible. She had been battling it out with the cancer for eighteen years, and not even a month ago, she seemed to be going into remission from what the doctor was saying, but it suddenly went downhill a week ago.
I had always thought my mother was a strong woman. After all, she had dealt with a divorce and caring for me and cancer all at once. Soon, she would finally be laid to rest. She didn't have to be strong anymore, but I did.
My hands trembled as I leaned over and kissed her cheeks. A slight imprint of my lipstick was left as evidence, and I had the brief notion of whipping it off, but decided against it. It wouldn't kill anyone to leave some proof of my love for this woman behind.
To keep from lingering, I forced myself to move away from her casket. Once I put several feet between me and her, I glanced around the room, looking anywhere but there.
Chloe said her brief good-byes to my mother and together we left the church, an umbrella already in her hand and opened as we hit the outdoors to protect the both of us, heading straight for her vehicle. We didn't stop to chat, and I ignored the whispers.
Her bright green Bug looked out of place amongst all of the black bulky vehicles, but she loved the little thing. She had worked her ass off all through high school to buy it. Somber, we slipped into her car and pulled into the procession line. Two cop cars led the way, keeping traffic from interfering with our journey to the cemetery.
The town was small, But the short ride seemed to go on forever. Thankfully Chloe didn't try to make small talk, letting me glare out of the window in peace as I gazed at my hometown.
In two weeks, we would be leaving to go off to college. It hurt that momma wouldn't be there to send me off. She wouldn't be able to give me advice about college boys or tell me to keep my grades up. I wouldn't be able to come home to her over the weekends or on holidays. She wouldn't see me graduate with a degree or fall in love and get married. She wouldn't even get to see her first grandchild.
Tears swelled up, and I angrily brushed them away.
When we finally parked alongside the narrow road that stretched throughout the cemetery, we wandered over to where my mother's burial plot was. The sky was dark, and rain poured down from fat, grey clouds. Chloe held the umbrella over us both, but I didn't care either way. The rain actually felt good on my heated skin.
I refused to stand by the only blood family I had left, regardless of how it might look to the rest of the procession. Thankfully my step mother had stayed at home. I think father knew how well I would have taken her presence. Not at all.
As the men carried momma's coffin over to the burial site to be lowered, the preacher nodded to me, and I moved to stand beside him. Chloe squeezed my shoulder for that last bit of support I knew I needed. I didn't hesitate to step fully into the rain, and soon Chloe was just another spectator, lost in the sea of black, her cheerful yellow umbrella the only indicator of her position in the crowd. We all stood silently as they came closer, carrying my mother's casket. Closer still before finally placing the wooden box before the lowering mechanism that would take her body away into the abyss.
A picture of her, happy and healthy was enlarged, the easel a bit off to the side of where they had placed her. An umbrella was tied haphazardly to the wooden easel to keep the rain from ruining the picture. This time, her coffin was closed, flowers gracing the top in a rainbow of hues and shapes.
I cleared my voice and everyone looked at me.
"Alice Desmond..." My voiced wavered, and I began again. "My mom was the strongest woman in the world. Life hadn't dealt her the easiest hand, but she refused to give in to the cancer without a fight. She lived a good life. It wasn't as long as it should have been, but she lived with no regrets." I blinked back tears, refusing to look in the direction of my father and brother. "I have to ask myself what my mother would want for me right now, and that means to heal and move on. She'd want me to deal with her death in my own way, but also put her death behind me and live a life that she would be proud of. I know that she is watching over me. Always."
Without another word, I moved to Chloe's side, and everyone began to walk to her coffin to place a flower as token to her life. Last in line, Chloe and I placed our own flowers atop the numerous others; mine the only tiger lily, her favorite.
I watched as the men then moved her coffin onto the platform and she was slowly lowered into the dark, muddy depths below.
Around me, the crowd slowly began to disperse and started making their way to their vehicles. When I finally could take my mind off of the men slowly burying my mother, covering her in sloppy, wet mud, I turned my back to them and headed to Chloe's car.
My brother's voice had always grated on my nerves, but I easily recognized it. ". . . Nothing more than a whore. I'm glad she's dead."
I froze, a cloud of red hazing my vision. My fists clenched at my side, my hands visibly shaking.
"Emma?" I ignored Chloe's concerned voice, and stalked in the direction of my brother's voice. A hateful sneer contorted his face when I appeared in his line of vision.
"What the fuck do you want?" He asked. Without a word, I came to stand before him and let loose a punch, aiming for that handsome face, the face of our father. There was a crunch, and Kyle dropped into the mud, his expensive suit ruined instantly, his umbrella forgotten beside him. There was a scream, but all I really noticed was my father shooting me glares, his mouth moving, but I couldn't hear the words. Maybe I did, but they were of such little importance that my brain didn't even stop to register them.
There was a hand on my shoulder, bringing me back to reality. Chloe.
Lyssa was crying, kneeling in the mud, clinging to Kyle, asking him if she should call an ambulance or the police.
I didn't care either way. All I could feel was an insistent throbbing in my hand, and I stumbled away to Chloe's car.
When my mother's attorney contacted me not even forty-eight hours after I had buried her, I knew what he wanted before he even began. Since my father and brother were still in town, they wanted to go over the will. Greedy bastards. It wasn't like mom had much to give away.
Mr. Lawson had told me before that a reading wasn't necessary, but Kyle demanded it, so instead of staring off into space for a couple of hours in Chloe's apartment like I had planned, I was forced into this farce of a meeting. And I had to go alone. Since Chloe wasn't a beneficiary, she was not allowed into the meeting. It was utter bullshit. After all, I knew Lyssa and my father weren't getting a damned thing, but they were allowed in. I knew it was because they were immediate family, but still.
Chloe had dropped me off at the small office building, leaving me to fend for myself. Huffing, I shuffled my way inside. At my entrance, the secretary sent me into the back, where I'm sure the others were already present.
My assumptions proved correct as I stepped inside the meeting room. It wasn't a big room, and the table took up much of what little space was available, but I wouldn't have to sit next to anyone, thankfully.
Kyle was glowering in the corner furthest from the door, his wife babying him. Father sat across from the lawyer, not too far from Kyle. I made my way to the chair furthest from Kyle. The one opposite from his position in the room. With the table being oval, that put quite a bit of distance between me and everyone else, but I didn't mind.
I couldn't help but smirk in pleasure when I noticed how crooked Kyle's nose was. It looked painful too. Of course, as soon as he and bimbo were home, he would probably have someone fix it for him. After all, rural doctors weren't really interested in cosmetic surgery. I hated the fact that my handiwork would be gone in only a matter of days, but I had the pleasure of causing it, and that was enough for me.
"Um... Miss Desmond, do you want to sit any closer?" Mr. Lawson asked, lifting a brow at me.
"Nah, I'm good here."
He sighed, and I decided to go easy on him and scooted a bit closer so he wouldn't have to raise his voice for me to hear.
"Now, as you may or may not have been aware, Ms. Desmond had many assets to distribute to her heirs." He cleared his throat and began listing everything. "Three hundred thousand dollars has been placed in a trust fund for any children conceived of Either Kyle Desmond or Emma Desmond to be received on their twenty-fifth birthdays, untouched by anyone but them. It is to be split up and distributed evenly. Mr. Kyle Desmond, you have been given the amount of one hundred thousand dollars." Kyle whistled, happy about what he was receiving. I blinked. How in the hell did mom have so much money? "Mr. Matthew Desmond, you are hereby given everything in this envelope." The man said, pushing a large yellow envelope towards my father. I was surprised he got anything, but whatever. I rolled my eyes when he ripped it open, curiosity eating at him. Mr. Lawson turned and looked at me then. "And to Miss. Emma Desmond, every remaining asset in the possession of the deceased now belongs to you."
"And just what does that entail?" My brother demanded.
"None of your business Kyle," I answered for mom's lawyer.
"I have every right to know."
I sneered at him. "No, you -"
"Actually, Miss. Desmond, he does." Mr. Lawson interrupted. I fumed, glaring at the man when he began reading off of his list, doing as Kyle bid. "Miss Desmond will receive seven hundred thousand dollars in the form of cash, any vehicles Ms. Desmond possessed, her worldly possessions, and her half of her properties."
"What do you mean by half of the properties?"
"Just as I said. Ms. Desmond owned several homes in the area, including the home you currently live in."
"But you said half..."
"You already own the other half, Miss Desmond."
"But... how do I-"
"She purchased the properties and you both have
joint tenancy. Since she is now deceased, you have the right of survivorship." I blinked several times. I had never bought any properties, or signed anything, but I guess mom was looking out for me.
"I want to contest this idiocy. She is just a girl; she knows nothing of owning anything."
"That is none of your concern. As your sister had joint tenancy with your mother's properties, she is the sole heir of all properties purchased."
"This isn't over." With that, Kyle dragged his wife out, father close behind. I shook my head.
"Asshole." Of course it wasn't over. It never was when it came to that asshat.
"Emma?" At my name, I turned around to see the lawyer staring at me.
"I wasn't done. There is one more thing I need to tell you."
"Your mother asked me to request that you not change anything at this address." He pushed a folder towards me, similar to the one my father received. I took it, and started walking out, when I heard, "She loved all three of her children."
I stopped in the doorway, confused. Some lawyer, he didn't even know how many kids his client had. "Mr. Lawson, it's just me and Kyle."
"I'm sorry, I was under the impression she had another." He frowned, looking thoughtful. "Hmm..."
Curious, I started to ask, "What do you -"
"Have a good day Miss Emma." I knew a dismissal when I heard one. Frowning, I turned and left.
A/N: Reviews are much appreciated. Please tell me what you think? Any errors, thoughts, whatever...?