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Apr. 12th, 2016


Reflections (Preston)

With the exception of Peter, it had been months since Evey interacted with another person. Peter needed... not her, not specifically, but an anchor. She knew her course. She built mental barriers to surround her own internal conflicts and then wrapped herself completely around her best friend. Anchor? She was more a bandage. She held him together until his own shock and loss was manageable. After that, she wasn't far from Peter for long - certainly not mentally, but physically as well. It made it easy to stay away from other people. It made it easier to ignore what she'd barred off from her best friend - and herself. Her focus was Peter. And, she told herself, that was where it needed to be.

Somewhere within month three, Peter gave her a look. It was the same look she'd shared with him often enough - the one that said, "I know exactly what you're doing, and I'm not going to call you on it - yet - but you have a finite amount of time to sort it out for yourself. After that, we're going to talk." When one was deeply connected to the consciousness of another, it only took a single look to convey deep amounts of meaning. The next morning, Evey packed the scraps of possessions she'd kept with her - toothbrush, a few changes of clothing - and left Peter's apartment.

Her own apartment was just next door. 1406. She unlocked the door and dropped the keys into the white porcelain bowl sitting atop the Doric column just inside. The door closed behind her and she set her slight shoulders against the back of it. This place felt unreal. Her eyes skimmed the clean, simple surfaces, the streaks of rosy evening sunlight tossed over the tightly-looped beige carpet, the orderliness of all of it. It was a place she might have chosen for herself. The City seemed to know her; that was clear.

She passed her thin hand over her thin face and pushed away from the door. The next hour was slow and deliberate - a shower, the careful selection of clothing, a few minutes tending the hair she'd once been proud of. When she stood in a full length mirror after the time, a stern, grim woman stared back at her. She touched the mirrored glass and the reflection her fingertips met her own. She looked like the Evey who'd survived a dinosaur island and too much loss for exact sanity. It wasn't all of what she was now, but it... it fit. Her hands skimmed down the front of her midnight cotton pants, then she shucked herself out of them quickly. There was a skirt, pencil-thin and knee length, in the back of her closet. When she returned to the mirror again, she adjusted the gray pullover blouse so that the lines were straight, then slid her bare feet into a pair of heels she'd never worn before. They felt like they belonged to the other Evey, the one who'd never lost Aidan, but she had no memory of having seen them before. And yet, they were hers.

The City was a strange place.

This is not what she should be thinking about. She squared her shoulders and finally unlocked the gates of those high stone walls in her mind. And then, she palmed her keys and made her way to the apartment that had been her home for some time. She still had his key. She didn't use it. Instead, she knocked crisply, three times. Her hands went behind her back, then, and she clasped them tightly together around her keys. The palms were moist. Her stomach was twisting. The back of her neck felt hot, as did her face. She cataloged her body's reactions clinically and acknowledged that she was anxious. She focused instead on her breathing.

Behind the door, she wondered if Preston was reaching for a gun.

Mar. 28th, 2015


Machina (Preston)

Some silence closed around one's awareness like a fleece in the long stretches of the night - welcome, restorative. Others walked alongside oneself, becoming a companion that never asked too much and filled the spaces where garish talk might otherwise have marred the moments from here to there. And there were some silences that pressurized, filled the room to creaking, or would have, had the room dared make a single sound to approach that silence. There had been a time when Evey could have differentiated between the three. Tonight, she couldn't find the energy to try it. But she knew enough not to disturb whatever it was here in the room with her now.

She'd already removed what little dust she'd found on the tops of appliances or in the tiny corners of the shelves. John Preston's flat was spotless, and there was little for her to do to improve on it. Muscle memory drove her on to organize whatever she could get her hands on - but she found as she moved through the task that most everything already had its place, and the flat was laid out with extreme efficiency. It was admirable to find someone as fastidiously organized as Evey herself had become.

The yellow mid-afternoon settled into that soft lavender of early evening. After what must have been hours, the Londoner finally lifted her chin from her arms and her arms from where they'd been folded on the windowsill overlooking the City. Her body moaned softly, reminding her that she'd been too still for too long to escape some pain. It was hardly worth noting. It would pass.

They'd fallen into an easy routine, found unspoken rules, and followed them. Perhaps it was an artifact of life on the island, but they both seemed to understand that around this time was dinnertime for the both of them - regardless of where they were or what they were doing. Evey began setting the table mechanically, placing the cutlery with barely a sound on their white linen napkins. She wasn't very hungry. It seemed these days that she never was. But this was what they did. She would do it. Evey poured ice water from a jug in the refrigerator, inwardly cringing at the crisp sound of liquid hitting glass, and set the glasses out when she was done.

She didn't turn around when she heard a door behind her open. She was dressed in a plain gray blouse that was too thin to have ever been useful, and a pair of similarly-dyed linen pants. Her feet were uncharacteristically bare, though she and Preston had picked out a selection of shoes for her to wear the first day they found each other. The clothing fit her very well, and in the quiet of the room, she could hear it brushing against her skin as she moved. It was a strange sort of sound, Evey thought distantly, and then let the thought float away again. When she straightened from the table, she finally looked over at John.

She was grateful that he never clogged the air with unnecessary niceties, never asked her how she was doing unless he actually wanted to know... Evey was just as considerate, then, and turned toward the kitchen to put together a dinner from whatever it was that was in the kitchen.

Feb. 21st, 2015


Mind Your Surroundings (Preston)

Three days had passed since Evey left the TARDIS and dinosaurs behind. The City was ever-changing, vast, and full of life. Evey thought she should be happy. She thought it was the appropriate response after leaving the wilderness. Instead, a yawning quiet blankness filled her. She'd made it her goal to learn as much about this place as she could, and that meant spending a lot of time at the City Library.

It was just as well; she had no other place to go, and it was easy enough at closing time to duck through the stacks and avoid the librarians until they left and she was alone. She slept in the lounge chairs at the very back of the library, so that it was easy for her to hide again when the lights came back on in the morning. And, when the doors unlocked again, she'd slip out unnoticed, find someone's laundry, visit the lake in the park, change... It was an easy life, and there was so much food around the City that none of it ever really was missed.

She knew how to live like this. She'd done it in London, after leaving V. She fell into the rhythm of it as if it were second nature. All the while, she carefully kept her thoughts shielded from Peter. She loved him. He was her best friend. But she couldn't bear to be around him. He was so damned happy, and so damned in love, and Leeloo loved him back. What that must feel like, to have someone like that... Someone who looked at you as if you were the whole of the world to them.

Evey buried herself in study of the City. She'd learned that people from other worlds were pulled here commonly, and that they were typically given a place to stay, led to the provisions that the City itself arranged... Assuming that the City hadn't done the same for her because of her own abilities, she didn't think much of it. By the third day in the Library, however, the librarians were beginning to get suspicious. "Research project," she'd supplied on the second day - and it seemed to hold for a while. But her welcome was very soon to be over.

Today, after having left the Library for what she imagined would be one of the last times, Evey walked a street quietly, not too fast, not too slow, head down, hands in pockets -- invisible. She was so very good at this. No one bothered to look at her, as she had made herself wholly unnoticeable. But she watched everything around her, from the corners of her eyes. Though it wouldn't have seemed like it, she was searching for something -- searching for another likely place to camp out for a few days, before moving on again.

Jan. 4th, 2015


Been walking in circles [City-Evey]

Tired eyes fluttered open to a white wall and the forgotten blares of a morning alarm. He rolled over and reached for the ghostly shell of nothing on the side table like clockwork, and when his fingers curled around emptiness into a loose fist, he forced himself to get up out of bed.

The morsels of anticipation that had been stuck in his throat died swiftly at the sight of still curtains and the table lamp in his room.

He had hoped without hope that the universe would correct itself and return him home somehow, but this was not the home he had wanted to return to. The silence stretched after he switched the alarm off, as if he was waiting to be sure that he was neither where he was before nor where he wanted to be. As if he was waiting for someone else's voice or even the whines of a hungry puppy to cut through the silence.

But there was nothing.

The city continued to offer its cornucopia of disappointments as he wiped cold water off his face, got dressed and headed out into once-familiar streets. Instead of taking the shortcuts he'd learnt what felt like a long time ago and cutting straight into the heart of the city, his seemingly aimless wandering took him to places where an off-chance glance in an unspecified direction might find someone that would alleviate his worries.

Dec. 26th, 2013


Christmas Dinner! (Open to all Invitees!)

Backdated to December 25 at 5:30 pm

They'd spent all day preparing for Christmas dinner. The cottage itself was decorated inside and out. A fire crackled and roared merrily in the hearth. A lovely silver and blue tree quietly twinkled in the corner closest to the door. A larger-than-usual table took up most of the great room, and it was set to perfection with bright and creamy china, sparkling goblets, silverware that gleamed, poinsettias and pinecones and ham and mashed potatoes, tarts of every kind, salad, green bean casserole -- and oh, every holiday food imaginable! The wine selection was top-notch (after all, Beauty was French!), and the hostesses themselves were grinning ear to ear with excitement.

Under the tree, tiny presents waited - hostess gifts designed to surprise and delight!

At 5:30, Beauty went to the door and stood, bouncing on her toes, and waiting for the very first knock.

Oct. 10th, 2013


We were never here [Beauty & John]

Preston was starting to get used to the idea of living out the rest of his days here, but he wasn't finished exploring and he wasn't keen to drop old routines and fall out of practice. He spent the early hours of the morning on running and gun work before donning on the black clothes he wasn't ready to get rid of just yet and going out to map out another part of the town.

He seemed to be purposefully trying to get himself lost, taking turns down side streets and small alleyways, but somehow he weaved his way through to the park and that was when he was truly lost.

All the greenery was regarded with a small (healthy) dose of suspicion, and he took one glove off to rest his hand against the coarse surface of an old tree, feeling the cool, rough, crackled bark underneath his warm fingers. The dried leaves shattered as he crushed them beneath the weight behind his shoes and twigs snapped everywhere he walked.

He seemed rather taken by it all but the house he came up to held his attention the longest. This free-standing unit with vibrant, colourful flowers on the lawn was something out of a book or a work of art. Seeing and feeling the embodiment of imagination dabbed onto an oil painting gave him some pause as he circled the cottage.

Eventually he tore his eyes away from the structure and started heading deeper into the park.

Sep. 28th, 2013


Read in order to live [Errol & John]

For a while he had felt out of place in this new city. Every little anomaly kept him on his toes. He'd observed with reserved incredulousness all the noise and colours and vivacious people on the streets, half-wondering if this was some vision of a dystopian future (the irony of the past re-created wasn't lost on him) that he'd wake up from.

But the uneven bricks that lined the buildings he walked past were rough and cool under his fingers. It didn't seem so strange to be out of place after all when everyone else seemed to have their own quirks and stand out in their own ways. A conformist in a city of individuals could pick up rather quickly that everyone was as out of place as he was.

He'd wandered about aimlessly, turning this way and that, learning something new around every corner until his feet brought him to a glass window with city guidebooks on display.

When there was a soft jingle at the door he looked over his shoulder and glanced at the bell before making his way over to the display counter. The array of fiction behind him was admittedly tempting to look at but for now he needed to know more about this place.

Flipping through one of the books he'd picked up, he seemed more curious about the texture of the paper than he was about the actual contents printed between the folds.