Haunted((This fic is in response to Top's fic here. Just a quick mun note; I have heavily plagiarised from Top's post. This is deliberate, to amplify the same scene and emphasise the entirely different perspective of that idyllic scene. Hopefully that echo of those same moments is abundantly clear with the plagiarism.
Massive props and kudos to Topmun for providing such a wonderfully evocative moment, and opening up a plethora of opportunity to portray my muse's opposing pessimism, yet still share the same dream. Comments are not just welcome, but craved ;) <3 ))
If you think there's no such thing as ghosts, think again. There are ghosts, specters, haunts if you will. I believe in - no, I know. Ghosts don't have to wear bedsheets or clink chains, they don't have to hide in dark hallways and leap out at the unsuspecting.
I am haunted. I am a haunt. And you would never know it to look at me. I lie in my white bassinet gurgling and kicking out my legs against the cool breeze from the billowing white voile hung at the window. My room is the most idyllic shade of muted pastel green, not pink as my father wished or blue as my mother desired. I am perfect, yet I am not to be. And this room of mine, this perfect room of hope will never be used. She knows this, she lives in terror of this. She waited a lifetime to find love like me.
She sits there, in that pristine white rocking chair, rocking silently on the floor that's shined so well that her reflection could be seen should she look down, just once. She never does. Silently she sinks back into the macabre, spiritless she stares into the distant mountains, but sees nothing of their majestic beauty, for all she can see is a futile dream tainted by blood. I am stained and bleeding, crimson pools seeping into and masking the yellow and blue threads that are the tiny flowers on my sheets. My gentle cooing has migrated to breathless rasps. She wishes she could take another pill right now, swig from the bottle, see this how he sees it, see this how she did just a short while ago when she was rubbing paint on his cheek. But the shine of her synthetic euphoria is fading fast and a deathly pallor consumes me and her.
Gone are the plastic erroneous hopes that something as simple and as fragile as his hair could protect me, I am dead and mutilated and yet she can still cover for me and her sanity with a smile. A smile as apparently natural as the breeze that makes my curtains dance. But it was him, Frost, that brought that breeze, an ominous reminder of my fate that sent chills down her spine and brought the sickening taste of copper to her mouth.
She turns to softly kiss his hand, lamenting that things were not different. In this moment, in a crooked mockery of their history, his was the innocence, his was the optimism and hers was the twisted morbidity of realism. For all his attempts to break her, she couldn't break him in return. She had found the heart inside of him through me, and she couldn't take it from him.
Vivian banged on the door of her apartment, a new flake of paintwork floating to the floor as her knuckles rapped on the familiar aging layers of gloss. "Yo Kit, s'me!" she called through, trying to see the wrong way through the spy hole. "Get your lazy ass outta bed and lemme in."
The mould on the door jam had got worse, and at some point someone seemed to have taken out their frustrations with a fist or a foot on the crumbling plaster beside it. C'mon Kit, answer the door already. I need you to be here.
Vivian knocked again, there was more volume to the cheap plyboard's reaction this time, yet somehow less hope, somewhere in the back of Vivian's mind she knew Kit was long gone, no matter how much she wanted it to be untrue and nothing to have changed. The knocks were slow, knuckles white as her balled fist dragged and lingered after each resounding thump. "Please be here baby." Her voice quietened as she spoke, pleading with the unyielding door that she'd passed through so easily so many times before, and only a few weeks ago, least that was how it felt.
"You ain't gonna get no answer there sweetcheeks." The voice from the stairs at the end of the landing coughed out. It was the voice that instantly had Vivian wishing she could slip out of the window and down the iron fire escape, but she didn't owe him any rent this time. Yet still, the habitual instinct of flight was oddly comforting.
"Kit still lives here right?" She questioned the balding overweight man as he neared. The pot belly was bigger, the clump of hair behind each ear had shrunk, but the greying white of his vest was no different, even down to the pasta sauce stains.
"Well fuck me, look who it is. I'm guessin' you aren't here to settle up that bitch's back rent if you reckon she's still here. She upped and left about eighteen months ago, left all her shit here too. How's about you work it off for her princess?" The chubby hand trailed over her shoulder, a yellowing nicotine stained thumb just catching her nipple as the corner of his lip curled up in sleazy suggestion.
"Yeah right Carlos. In your dreams." Vivian pushed his intrusive arm away with practiced ease. The distance between herself and the repulsive man already widening as she backed away. When the fiery redhead had put more than an arm's length between them, she turned on her heels, flipped him off over her shoulder and disappeared down the stairs hastily without another backwards glance. She'd head for The Blue Banana club instead, maybe someone there would know where to find Kit.
If she could find Kit, everything would be fine again. Everything would be normal. Whatever the hell it was that happened to her these last few months, years? Being back with Kit would fix it all. It was all she remembered, and Vivian clung to the memory of her long since murdered friend like she were the only piece of floating driftwood left of an entire shipwreck.
"Vivian. I'm sure of it. Vivian Ward. I even know my freakin' address. What? You think I pulled a valid name and address outta my ass?" Vivian's arms flailed and gestured in her usual exaggerated flamboyance in her exasperation.
She was nice enough, the psychiatrist perched at the end of her bed. Even sympathetic, but in that infuriatingly condescending way, like she was dealing with a complete nutjob. "We've had our admin department check your details... 'Vivian'. There was never anyone by that name at that address. Are you sure that's your name and address?"
"YES." Vivian rubbed at her temples irritated. "Kit de Luca, she lives there with me. I ain't makin' this shit up ya know. Ya know, if I was gonna feed you some bullshit, I'd have at least said I lived in some expensive uptown condo wouldncha think? Not some hole of a room that barely passes health and safety regs."
Despite her continued protestations, the response from her psychiatrist was unwavering, it was as if she'd never existed. She knew that was her name though, two hundred percent she knew. Vivian Ward. Why did she not believe her, why was there no trace of her?
"Fine, so maybe I lost a few months of my memory. Hell, I musta been on somethin' pretty hardcore to go marry some John just 'cause the freakin' condom split. But, ya know!" Vivian was sick to death of this infuriating game now as she threw her palms sky high in supplication, "Looks like I did. More fool me."
"Pretty narrow escape I guess." Except she knew that wasn't entirely true, the 'John' part maybe, who knew? Vivian's memory may have regressed to a few years ago, but that one recent moment, that moment where her newborn daughter was taken from her, lingered like the echoes of a nightmare you can't shake til you turn on the light.
"Look." Vivian's voice softened, pleaded almost. "I just want out now, I can't stay here forever. Except for the little difference of opinion of who I am, I reckon I'm all fixed up and ready to go live again. An' if you ain't gonna let me go, then I'll just walk."
A few hours later, Vivian signed the self discharge papers that had been prepared for her, papers that unbeknownst to her would be destroyed as soon as they reached the hands of one Charles Bowman, Chief Operations Director of the hospital. The same Charles Bowman who, along with her Psychiatrist, had received a tidy sum from the Frost Corporation for their silence.
She had never held her. Never touched the helpless sticky crimson bundle that was her child.
Despite the horror, excruciating pain and knowledge of her daughter's inevitable fate, Vivian had cried in relief as she'd heard her baby's shrill cry when she took her first breath. Impotently she had begged in desperation as blood stained incisors had viciously ripped through the cord and then Vivian's world had turned to black.
The haemorrhaging woman in the rubble should have been dead from the usually fatal bloodloss, not merely catatonic. By some miracle, or twisted vindictive act of God, she was alive and breathing, protected by the steel girders and door of her cell that had fallen, cocooning her safely within. The ruptured placenta still inside her had been infected by an unknown virus and they were still drawing a blank as to the antibodies in her remaining blood cells that had miraculously kept her alive.
"I told you already," Vivian drowsily returned the doctor's questions flatly. Fleetingly she met his piercing gaze to drill home the point in a vein attempt to stop the endless daily barrage of questions.
"I don't remember."
It was a question she was tired of answering, along with all the fucking others that she really couldn't answer. What were they going to do if they knew? Bring her back? Her daughter was dead. As dead and broken as she was.
She was nothing more than a shell of the young woman she had once been, exhausted pained shadows for eyes would spend hours vacantly staring at the air before her, reliving over and over those tortuous tragic moments where her daughter had been taken from her. But she gave nothing, shared nothing of the trauma, emptiness and terror.
She obediently took the offered plastic cup of pills, and one by one Vivian grotesquely bared her tongue to prove she'd taken them. He'd leave in a moment, frustrated at the lack of response and satisfied with her medication intake, there was little more he could do. Then the nurse would come and fuck about with the saline drip and check her bloods. And all the while, the medical enigma that was the post traumatic shock patient in bed six who believed her only given name was Cinderella, would only ache for the daughter she had been denied, staring into the abyss vacuously.
((Plot summary for Vivian's pregnancy, because it happened in several different locations and I wanted a chronologically ordered list of events for easy reference. Plus! Gap filling for off screen stuff. Oh and this has coincided perfectly with realistic dates, if she was 6 weeks gone when the pregnancy was confirmed - she's due on the 15th March))Vivian and Top discover she is pregnant, JOY! A baby Top Dollar, how sweet!
Deacon Frost also makes his presence known inside Vivian's head for the first time since he turned her and she was cured, thank you Derek! There was more to it than Vivian ever knew. And Top too, for suffering the humility of going to him and force feeding reluctant VampViv! from his own arm.Frost in her head! Where are the damned sleeping pills?
This thread, marked the beginning of a downward spiral for Vivian. First it was just a sleeping pill, then a few more. As the pregnancy progressed, Frost's telepathic link with her through the ever darkening glyph and her blood became more and more pronounced, more frequent. Slowly sending her mad, not knowing if it was real or if she really had gone insane, all the while never telling her husband about it, for fear he would have her committed. Keeping up appearances with an increasing amount of booze and sleeping pills."It's a Baby, Not a Vampire"
Close call at the hospital, Vivian narrowly escapes the need for blood tests, and Frost's bitch girlfriend makes an appearance, confirming that Frost really does want the baby."I say who, I say when, I say how."
Vivian takes matters into her own hands, this ends now. Whether she or Frost dies, it doesn't matter, but she wants it over. Things take a turn for the worse however, and Vivian runs into Blade instead. The man that she had a relationship with, the man who got her involved with Frost in the first place. And the best bit? He doesn't remember her, the explosion back in New York fucked with his head.Vivian leaves Blade, and rushes off to meet her husband as he's expecting her,
but not before she gets herself completely and utterly blitzed. Vodka and diazepam are chugged back like there's no tomorrow. She's reached her breaking point, Blade's appearance finally tipping the scales from weighted to touching the counter top. This doesn't go down too well with Top, surprise, surprise. He bundles her off in the car while he finishes up some business, ready to deal with her later.Except later never comes...
Insanity had become reality. His voice, Frost's voice inside her head was no longer the twisted nightmare of a delusional woman who had been broken. Pepper had confirmed that
at the hospital. The laughter in Pepper's taunts, when she referred to the baby as Deacon's so mockingly, was the voice that echoed and stung inside her mind right now. The bile rose from her stomach violently at the thought of what lay ahead and the baby pushed its legs up hard into her ribcage, as if it too were convulsing with anger and desperate emotion as she stretched to escape its painful pushes.
The thin veneer of normality that she wore for her husband was cracking and peeling like week old nail enamel. The pills no longer able to retain that polished exterior that he demanded of her. Vivian had held on to this for too long as it was, but now it was a real threat. More than merely the fear that she had finally lost any grasp on reality, more than her own machinations of terror. Deacon Frost was laying claim to the baby inside her and when Top found out, she knew he'd blame her. Blade had taken so much him from all that time ago, and now even from beyond the grave, his actions would take his baby. Top forgave her many things, but the life of his child couldn't possibly be one of them, of this she was sure. Vivian was no longer on the brink, no pill, no drink, no drug could quell this anymore. This hadn't pushed her over the edge she had fought to balance on for so long, the edge had crumbled away beneath her feet like arid sandstone.
Reaching over to the glove compartment, quivering fingers curled around the Smith and Wesson handgun, the ten rounds of silver bullets already loaded, and tucked it into her purse hastily. She had no plan, no forethought even, and least of all any semblance of rational or realistic aim as she slammed the car door shut and clicked the fob to lock and alarm it.
'After Dark' was two blocks away from where she'd parked and the heavily pregnant woman strode towards it forcefully, despite the extra fifteen pounds she was carrying in her final month. Only one thought lingered in her mind. This was over, and it would be over on her schedule, not Deacon Frost's. Regardless of how it ended, it was over, and she would be the instigator, not him, not her husband, not anyone.
"I say who, I say when, I say how. Nothing's changed. I make the decisions. I say who, I say when, I say how. I say who, I say when, I say how." Over and over she chanted hers and Kit's mantra, inducing an almost trance like state as she made her way down the dark street, oblivious to the world around her.((Posted and continued at Tenebrae Nostro. ))
Woohoo! New layout for Viv! And I will add at this juncture that I'm damned proud of it, even if there are a still a few tweaky things pending responses at the s2flexisquares comm from theme layer geniuses.
I haven't had chance to mess about in Photoshop and be knee deep in code for yonks, so I had a complete geekfest today with it!
So yay! No more reason for posting than to say 'Go me! Ain't it purdy!' XD
Oooh edit, there is actually another reason. I come bearing two new Top icons for Viv's husband aswell! Annoying thing about that movie is that it's so damned dark for nearly the entire duration and therefore impossible to get loads of delicious screenshots that translate well to iconage, even with contrast, saturation, brightness and levels fiddled with to high hell.
I won't mention that the pic of Julia was swiped from a picture of her kissing a horse! Shhhh...don't tell Top.
PS: I think my new ooc icon is my best yet *g*
Just sitting and waiting wasn't easy. Vivian was distracted, and every thirty seconds or so she was checking over her shoulder to see who was watching or to see if her supplier had arrived. The PINpoint coordinates she'd given him were in a quiet corner of the Nexus. Not on her home turf, not anywhere that Top would have anyone watching. A pathway that led to the disused and abandoned Transgressions Hotel. Noone went there anymore, there wasn't any passing traffic, and the only reason anyone would be here would be to get to the Hotel, it didn't lead anywhere else.
It was only 4.45pm, fifteen minutes til the arranged time still. Every check of her watch was disappointing, time seemed to be ticking by so slowly as she impatiently drummed her fingers on the wooden arm of the bench, before lighting the third cigarette since she'd arrived less than ten minutes ago.
((Huge thanks to Topmun for writing this with me via e-mail, I've slipped in Deacon Frost's post at the end, and I think it came at a pretty damned good spot, well read it and you'll see *grin*. Oops!))
Another heave as Vivian stared into the porcelain bowl, one hand gripping at the auburn curls at her crown. Acid tasting bile rose to the back of her throat, as her stomach painfully contracted once more, desperate to rid of itself of its contents when there was nothing left to be rid of.
She sunk back onto the floor, lying prostrate, one hand resting on the aching swell of her stomach. She'd spent every morning for a week now, lying on the ebony gloss of these marble tiles or desperately retching into the toilet til the muscles in her abdomen could contract no more.
"What the hell's wrong with me?" she whined at the reflection as she pulled herself up to sitting, clinging onto her knees and rocking in an attempt to comfort her exhausted stomach muscles. If the answer was one which was not eluding her, then Vivian was holding her suspicions firmly at bay, refusing to even consider it.
"Got a problem, Cinderella?" Damn the man, silent as he was. And although his tone was casual, his eyes were not. Raking over her, and over the room, he then bent down and wiped her hair back from her eyes. A kind gesture from Top Dollar? Put it on the calendar.
"Talk to me Cinderella. Come on." With another glance around, he fixed everything in the bathroom in his memory. No bottles, no wine glasses, no needles, no nothing. So what the hell was wrong with his wife?( Read more... )