|eilif (eilif) wrote in wariscoming,|
@ 2012-03-05 03:42:00
|Entry tags:||patrick milligan, tessa lewis|
WHO: Tessa Lewis and Patrick Milligan
WHAT: Tessa is feeling actual feelings. Maybe. We'll see.
WHERE: Complex roof
STATUS: In Progress
WARNINGS: A couple f-bombs so far, otherwise tbd
It was warm for winter, and the garden on the roof almost smelled like spring, all turned over earth. ”That is actually an odor produced by actively working tiny actinomycetes in the warming soil,” Tessa’s father had told her once, when she was little and her chatter about everything that crossed her path had turned to the smell of the newly raked flower beds in the garden they’d been visiting, somewhere in the south of Italy. Sorry about my friend Patrick, actinomycetes, she thought now, as she surveyed the upheaval this garden had been left in, I get the feeling this was him. He does this shit. Take a look at the inside of my brain right around now. The mental landscape would look surprisingly like how you probably feel. She crouched next to the main bed of the garden and rocked back on her heels, raising her eyebrows slightly as she considered exactly what had been ripped from where, and how old the damage was. You, however, I can fix.
The magic she needed wasn’t terribly complicated, bringing the planting beds back into order, repairing tools, and salvaging what was still living of the plants. Less work than she’d hoped when she’d teleported up to the roof to give her parents some alone-time for their moody staring or whatever the hell else they needed to do without their future daughter around. She’d tried more exotic locations since her father had come back of course- Champs Elysees and Rome and this one mall in Singapore where you could drink a cocktail while you shopped for jeans. Her mother now had more clothes than she’d owned before the fire (“Better clothes,” Tessa had insisted as her mother had eyed the pile uncertainly) and Tessa was reasonably sure she could now open some sort of designer sunglasses museum with her extra pairs. Eventually, however, even she got tired of shopping.
She’d wandered around Antarctica after that had happened, watching the penguins. She had a soft spot for penguins, and when she sent whoever had pissed her off at that particular moment to Antarctica she liked to imagine them freezing slowly to death, of course, but she also liked imagining that the small, ridiculous, tuxedoed birds were interested and amused by the new addition to their habitat. Hopefully the penguins were mocking them, at least a little, sliding past the near-frozen bodies of her victims on their stomachs all warm and happy. Of course she wasn’t really a “cute animal” kind of girl, so the only person who knew about her soft spot for waddling birds was the same person who usually convinced her to bring the playmates she sent them back to civilization. Who was also the same person she was avoiding.
She flicked some dirt off of her jeans and stretched slightly as she stood up, surveying her work. The garden wasn’t exactly as it had been, she couldn’t bring the plants back to life that had been entirely uprooted, but the greenhouse had been reconstructed, the still-living plants had been straightened, and the tools had been repaired and returned to their proper places. She flicked her right index finger slightly upwards, the gesture more caprice than necessity, and the dead plants and debris that no longer had a place formed a pile, and then burst into flames. Which meant she had nothing left to do but think.
”I think I've been in love with you since the seventh grade,” he’d said, and as she’d thought about what the fuck you were supposed to answer that with, she’d mostly zeroed in on, ”So what was I doing wrong in sixth?” Because what did anyone even say to something like that? The last night on earth speech blown up to one million, because there was no last night, no time for a reaction, the asshole just got to say it and run and leave her thinking she was about to lose her best friend and also, wrenched out from somewhere in the back of her mind so instinctive as to be unconscious - no, I wasn’t ready yet. Yet.
Tessa hadn’t loved anyone since the seventh grade. Hadn’t loved anyone, not like that, ever. Seventh grade was the year she’d had her first kiss, Andrew Schumacker by the water fountain in gym. She hadn’t thought about why or was this special, she’d just wanted to, and so she’d done it. He’d asked if he was her boyfriend and she’d said, “Sure, but I’m not your girlfriend,” and gone off to retrieve Patrick from where he was about to make half of the boys who would someday be the starting offensive line on the varsity football team want to put his head through a wall. In retrospect that’s usually how it was, she went off and then orbited back, oblivious to the way she was magnetized, certain it was always just her own whim. She liked his pictures and stories and music, he was the only one who sometimes told her no. She’d loved Patrick of course, but in the way you loved your best friend, and maybe not even that. Love required a certain amount of recognized need, a sacrifice now and then, and Tessa had never really offered anything up.
Then she’d been in 2012 and she’d been hurt, more than she had ever been before, in every way imaginable, and she’d needed somewhere to go. For the longest time she had assumed she’d fallen short of her teleportation, that she hadn’t quite made it to the med bay. Then, as it got easier to think of that day, she remembered where she had sent herself, when she’d been stripped of most everything beyond instinct. Or rather, not where, but to who. Before she’d realized that, she’d sat on her mother’s living room floor where the glass had been cleared away, and Patrick had guided her fingers over the strings of the guitar so that she would have something to concentrate on other than the nightmare loop in the next room. She had realized she had no idea how he did this, not just the guitar playing, but this patience and strength that was much more personal than whatever power he did or didn’t have. There’d been a moment when she’d just finished cursing out a string and he’d smiled at her like she’d just said something charming instead of incredibly obscene and her flushed face hadn’t been entirely anger. Then he’d had to nearly get himself killed and started throwing around the word ”love” and she’d been closer to pure, unadulterated terror than she had ever even imagined she could be. Once she’d gone to see him, to make sure he would be okay, not-the-complex suddenly seemed like the place to be.
Except, now that it had finally come down to an effort, she realized she had never been good at staying away. Her father had said you knew someone was more than a “fleeting encounter” when they were the person who kept you interested even when they were not being particularly interesting, who registered even when you were caught up in something, who drew out the best in you (or that’s what she’d gathered). ”For something so complicated, it is actually rather simple,” he’d said, and she wanted to asking how exactly that made any sense. If someone was that important to you, why would you risk it? When she’d kissed Andrew, or any of the boys after him, it had been a game. If they’d pulled away she wouldn’t have felt rejection, just frustration, and would have tried a new angle. It wouldn’t have had anything to do with them as people. It wouldn’t have been someone who made her feel, now, that she was the one with “at best, some neat tricks.” Teleporting him away somewhere exciting, saying something so gross he had to laugh. The past two weeks had taught her something like humility, enough to make her wonder if all of that might not be cheap compared to what he’d done for her when she’d needed it. To care if that was true.
Footsteps, falling in a familiar rhythm, sounded on the stairs and she scowled at her own surprise. Idiot, you know he comes up here, she thought, and kicked the pile of burning debris in a frustrated reflex. She snatched the sparks flames back towards her with a small application of power, so that as her friend emerged onto the roof the fire blew backs towards her face and parted around it before dying down and going out.
“Don’t fuck the place up again,” Tessa said by way of greeting, leveling her right index finger at him. “Fucking the place up again includes playing emo music to the plants until they just uproot themselves.”