river_meimei: (in the corners between)
[personal profile] river_meimei
Nothing in room 919 is something Tig will have seen before. Everything that's here comes from Milliways; River brought nothing here but the (ghost of the) clothes on her back, and she got rid of those a few days into her stay.

But the style of it -- the framed posters on the walls, the duvet in swirls of blue and purple, the heap of semi-matching pillows on the papasan chair and the dance bag tossed in a corner -- will be wholly familiar. River picked these decorations, and she picked them to make this room hers.

Of course, there are a few new touches. The salt line surrounding the room, for instance. (The holy water in Poland Springs bottles, the iron horseshoe on the door, the devil's trap painted under the rug -- but only the salt is an obvious anomaly.)

Date: 2010-06-10 02:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
It's all so normal. Tig is torn, once again, between the urge to smile and to cry.

It's so River.

And it's precisely because it's so River that the salt, which is not, catches her eye. She recalls vaguely the hours staring at screens, the couple of books she'd found in the library-- sulfur smell, ghosts in my house, A Guide to Demonology and Witchcraft. She'd felt so stupid.


Date: 2010-06-11 02:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
Tig, in contrast, turns her head when River speaks to look right at her.

"Stuff," she repeats, faintly.

A slight quirk of her lips, though even she can't tell whether it wants to be a smile. "Is it better than Seattle? A lot of what they had ... wasn't very helpful."

Admittedly, Tig doesn't know what helpful really means, in a non-finding-River context.

Date: 2010-06-11 05:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
"Yeah."

Tig nods slightly.

"I guess I still wouldn't know what's ..." She swallows. "What's true, and what's not."

Date: 2010-06-11 06:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
I'll tell you it all tomorrow. Tig is notoriously bad about waiting for tomorrows.

But maybe she'll think it over as she reaches for River's shoulder and kisses her back, harder and longer.

Date: 2010-06-11 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
Some time later, they have made it to River's bed and are curled up there, Tig with her arms around River's waist and her chin tucked against River's shoulder. (She is wearing River's pajamas, ones she doesn't recognize exactly but that look and smell like her.) Maybe treating your missing-presumed-dead girlfriend like a giant teddy bear isn't the most dignified thing in the world, but it feels terrific.

Tig can tell, or thinks she can, from the particular hush in the air around them, that it's quite late by now-- she meant to be asleep, and she thinks for awhile she was, but she's drifted back awake and that's all right with her.

She doesn't want to cry.

Or at least she doesn't want to cry right now.

Softly, she whispers,

Date: 2010-06-11 08:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
There's light from a table lamp, warm and buttery; Tig finds it a comfort right now, actually, even if it's partially responsible for waking her up. (She doesn't know whether it is or not.)

"I wanted to know," she whispers.

"If you could tell me about it. I can wait until morning."

Date: 2010-06-12 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
Tig, on the other hand, is perfectly positioned to tighten her arms around River; and that is what she does.

"I want to know what happened to you." She can hear her voice going faint.

"I want to know what-- got us."

Date: 2010-06-12 04:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
Antigone nods slowly.

She hears all this as if it were another ghost story, another web account, although the specificities of abandoned rural properties and catalogues of crimes committed in particular rooms are replaced with a sort of ... abstract ... like looking into murky water, or reading a strange poem.

Soft, "What happened then?"

Date: 2010-06-13 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
Tig strokes River's side gently with her fingertips, the far side; her arm is still holding her close.

Date: 2010-06-14 04:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
I wish it hadn't happened. Tig finds herself thinking this with the pained repetition of a prayer.

I wish I wish I wish--

You can't make everything bad undo itself, even if the wishing cuts into you like something real.

"What," and her voice fails.



Date: 2010-06-14 05:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
"Oh--"

I always knew you were special. She's not sure who the past tense is for-- it fits either way.

She also knows she can't protect River in her dreams. She can't even protect her own.

"River." It's soft, and grieving, and full of love.

Date: 2010-06-14 05:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
If she holds her any tighter it'll probably start to get uncomfortable.

She whispers,

Date: 2010-06-14 06:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
"No you didn't," she says, a little more vehemently than may be necessary.

"River-- no-- I was sticking my nose where I shouldn't, in exactly the wrong place. I wanted to find you but it wasn't your fault--"

She shakes her head firmly, though the sound in River's voice is bringing tears to her own eyes.

"How could it have been your fault?"

Date: 2010-06-14 06:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
Tig feels horrible.

"River--"

And now she's crying too, soft quiet tears she can't stop, and she's hugging River and laying her forehead against her shoulder to try to disguise that she's crying.

"Shh ... shhh." She can be steady in her embrace and the touch of her hands, even if she can't in her voice, or in her heart.

Date: 2010-06-15 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
Tig, hearing what she's heard-- she doesn't understand it, maybe it's the hour but it still seems like a dream-- doesn't judge. (She's still crying herself, after all; it would make her a big fat hypocrite.)

She just holds River close.

She'll hold her as long as she needs her to.

Date: 2010-06-16 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buriedmybrother.livejournal.com
Tig, for her part and despite her own tears, wouldn't dare move now.

If she does, this dream could crumble.

(Maybe you can't fall asleep in a dream; that ought to make her feel better.

She's already done it once, and is drifting towards a second time.)




She can't really tell if it's morning, but it feels like morning. Tig takes in her surroundings, of which the most notable feature is River.


She woke up next to River.

And it's because of that, and despite the dried up tear-tracks streaking her cheeks, that Tig begins to smile.

In a very soft, very firm voice-- the tone she usually reserves for serious points of geopolitical import-- she says:

"If they do pancakes around here ... I'm really going to think this is heaven."

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River Tam

August 2010

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