thepainted_lady: (Intrigued smile)
[ooc: Based on RP with [livejournal.com profile] offering_hope, who's sleeping here w/o permission but lots of love. >.>]

They'd only gone to bed an hour or two before, after the rubes had drifted back to town, laughing and satisfied, and the lights had flickered out one by one. Lydia had fallen asleep almost immediately, a skill that had escaped her all her life but one she'd picked up recently as her body grasped for some sort of relief, however sporadic.

She wasn't sure how long after Samuel followed, but he was asleep when she jerked awake, an instinct pulling her from the depths of dreamless slumber that was stronger than her tired body. There wasn't any real sound in the small room, at least not yet. Just his easy breathing, and for a moment she was tempted to sink back against his warmth and grab at a few precious more seconds.

His hand was curled against her hip, another incentive to stay, and for a second she let her eyes drift shut. Then the little sound came again, the snuffling that wasn't a cry but a seeking, and Lydia sighed. She could stay. He'd get up when the noise grew to enough to wake him, bring her over, or move to the kitchen and try not to wake her. But there was little point to it when she was already awake. He had so much more that needed doing during the day, while she had the luxury of napping if need be, and it would be selfish to take advantage of his willingness to help.

The snuffling grew to a whimper, and Lydia wriggled out from under Samuel's arm, slipping out of the bed and across to the crib against the wall. For a moment she just smiled down at Rebecca, fingers brushing lightly over her hair before she picked her up and took her to the rocker by the window, settling down there and baring one breast to offer to her.

It was still new, even after nearly two months. She'd given Amanda up too early, too young, to really experience this, to feel this, and it tugged at something deep inside her as her second daughter contentedly suckled away. The wistfulness twisted up with the tenderness, the loss with the joy, and she caught herself crying silent tears that she wiped away before they could fall on the baby's head.

She'd made mistakes, given up something more precious than she'd understood, and it was only now that she was truly realizing how much that had been. But somehow, some way, she'd managed to get a second chance, and a gift she'd never expected. She glanced at the bed and the man still sleeping there, then looked back down at the beautiful daughter they'd made. The stillness of the room seemed almost holy in that moment, and she brushed light fingers over the baby's head. Her lips curved in a smile in spite of the quiet tears, and somehow she felt that 2AM might become one of her favorite times of the day.
thepainted_lady: (It's not always that simple)
1. We both had lives before. We all have them, I guess. But for me, it's just that. Before. There's a strict line of demarcation there--my life before, and my life after. Again--I guess we can all say that--before we left our old lives, before we found this home, this family. But that's not it for me, not really. Yes, there was a renewal the moment I stepped through the gates, there was a feeling of coming home, of finding what I'd been looking for. But all of that faded into the background the next morning, because the moment life truly began again for me was the first time you touched my hand.

2. You're the only thing in my life I've ever depended on, and the only person I think I'll ever fully trust. I just wish that was enough.

3. Thank you for coming back for me. I'll make sure you never regret it. However it started, whatever we had to go through, it's all made me certain of one indisputable fact: I love you.

4. I would have given you anything. I did give you everything. There's part of me that still wishes I'd never woken up, because there's a pain that I can't seem to shake that I live with every day. There are days I can't breathe for it. But I'm not that girl anymore. I see you now, with all the blinders off. I may be alive, but you killed something precious that day. Things still hurt, but I'm stronger now, and I don't care what I feel--it's over.

5. I never wanted to let you down or hurt you, but I know I keep doing it again and again. All my best efforts seem to do nothing but backfire, when all I ever wanted was for you to be safe and loved and have a chance at everything I never did. I love you. I would do anything for you. And I hope some day you can forgive me.

6. Sometimes I wonder if things could have been different, but I'm glad you're happy now.

7. You're the most confusing person I've ever met. Normally I know exactly what someone wants from me, but no matter how hard I try, even though I can read you just fine, I can't figure you out. ...It's kind of exciting.

8. I don't think there are enough words to say, "thank you." Everything you've done, you didn't have to. I can't imagine how much we've turned your life upside down and what we've put you through, but I want you to know I'm grateful--to you and for you.

9. Sometimes I don't think it's fair to you, to be trying to build something with me, when I know I'm shattered into so many pieces I still feel them cutting at me all the time. There's so much you don't know, and that scares me. But you make me feel safe, and you make me smile, and you make me feel...hope for the first time in so long I can't remember. I'm terrified of falling for you, but I think it might be too late.

10. I didn't want to like you, but I couldn't help it. I didn't think I could forgive you, but it wasn't really that hard. I never thought I'd love you, but now I can't imagine how I ever couldn't.

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thepainted_lady: ([Amanda] Listen to me)
Happy birthday, sweetheart. Seventeen is a momentous year. I just want to say how glad I am to have you in my life again.

I love you,
Mom

[on the table are gifts: silver bangle bracelets, a "forever my daughter" ring, and a very colorful pair of cowboy rain boots.]
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Fixing tie)
Happy birthday, sweetheart.

[There's a little box on the table with this in it. It's probably more suited for father's day, admittedly, but she saw it and she didn't want to wait until June, and she got a little busy delivering your firstborn to do more shopping. She also told Mrs. Comey to make all your favorites all day? And a daughter seemed like a pretty good 50th birthday present, too.]
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Conspirators)
Lydia was normally a very patient, serene sort of person. She didn't get frazzled easily, she dealt well with the foibles of her family and could soothe ruffled feathers and the more...volatile personalities that surrounded her with soft touches and gentle smiles. They depended on her for it, without knowing they did, she sometimes thought, and she played her role of steadier influence to the somewhat frenetic energy of the carnival as Joseph had before her without a murmur. It suited her, and let her bury any of her own turmoil away in soothing routines and find strength in familiarity to bolster an innate fragility she let very few see.

But for the moment, she was done, and for the last couple of weeks had been riding an edge she couldn't quite seem to balance upon. Everything hurt. She was as liable to burst into tears as smile. The first couple of months of her third trimester had been filled with a sense of well-being, for the most part, but while she could capture moments of that here and there, it seemed to have disappeared in a wave of impatience. Also, the frequent Braxton Hicks contractions and cramping had her sending for Sarah, the midwife, enough the past couple of weeks that the poor woman finally just had her trailer moved next to Lydia and Samuel's for the duration.

Of course, after that, Lydia managed to figure out what the fake ones felt like. What? She hadn't been pregnant in 16 years! Your mind made this part foggy, she was sure. Otherwise no one would go through it again and the human race would die out.

With a sigh, she sat back in the chair under the canopy and watched the family going about the day's work. )
thepainted_lady: (*facepalm*)
I am so very, very done with this. I not going to make it 15 more days.

I'd really like to be able to see my feet again, k?

ETA: ...On the endearing side, she kicks every time I speak, like she's really excited to hear my voice, which is really sweet? Though I do wish she'd stop kicking so hard.
thepainted_lady: (Happy smile)
As of this week, the baby is developing irises in its eyes, and fingernails and hair! Even more exciting--when we go into the clinic this week, we might be able to hear its heartbeat for the first time!!!!!!
thepainted_lady: (Downcast)
Dear Gail,

We don’t talk, really. I mean, I’m not sure we’ve ever sat down and actually had a conversation, at least not a real one, deep and true. And yet, you’re family, part of this place, and of us. More than that, you’re a mother--a better one by far than I have known how to be. I watch you with Jennie and I...envy you, having her, having the chance to be with her. You make me realize that maybe I could have done things differently, if only I’d known this place existed.

Even now...you’re the one to have taken Amanda in. You’ve given her a home, a place to sleep, a feeling of stability that she doesn’t seem to get from me. You’re still more of a mother to her than I am, and I don’t know how I feel about that. I’m grateful. I’m jealous. I’m wistful. I wish I knew how to do it. You make it look so easy. I know it’s not.

I wish I had the nerve to actually talk to you about it, to ask you about it, but I just...feel lost, like a failure when I think of it, and I can’t seem to find the nerve to ask what should be the easiest questions in the world.

So....here’s this instead, a cop out, maybe, as a letter, a note slid under your door. I’d like to talk sometime, if you’re willing. I want to be a good mother to my daughter. You know her better than I do...

Can you help me?

Lydia

[complete list here.]
thepainted_lady: (Secret smile)
Barring complications, he or she will be a Pisces, like me.
thepainted_lady: (You need to listen)
[ooc: Samuel is [livejournal.com profile] offering_hope and used with love and permission]

The sun was hot, beating down on on her skin as Lydia stood outside the clinic on the dusty street in the little town. Her stomach had calmed down for the most part, but nerves were threatening to make it rebel again. The last year had brought so much change, the world that she'd known, which had gone along so smoothly for fourteen years tilted all askew again, and she knew that it could tilt again on a whole new axis in a heartbeat. For all she wanted it, craved it, even, it was near terrifying to think, and for a moment she wished she'd asked someone--anyone--to come with her. But she didn't want to get Samuel's hopes up, and Edgar wasn't here, and the others...she just didn't know who to ask. Besides, if she was wrong, if this was just some lingering bug she wasn't shaking, then how embarrassing that would wind up being. It would have involved admitting what was just a secret hope still, a quiet dream between her and Samuel, and she wasn't ready to have that exposed if she was getting ahead of herself. With a soft sigh, she swallowed back her fear, and reached for the door, stepping into the air conditioned, sterile smelling room, and tried to make her stomach relax as memories come flooding back.

* * *

He didn't come with her to the clinic for her first ultrasound, saying he needed to work, to get them money if she was going to keep "it." The words stung, and she could barely breathe with fear while she waited, but when she watched the tiny heartbeat on the monitor, her fear slipped away, replaced by something so pure she didn't think that "love" was the right word for it, because it didn't encompass enough. Rushing back to the motel they were shacked up at, she kept the picture clutched tight to her chest, eyes lighting up as she came inside, sure that as soon as Danny saw it, he'd feel what she felt, see what she saw. But he didn't even look at the image, just tossing it aside as he pushed her down on the bed, lips and hands hungry and heedless of the sore and sensitive places her changing body had developed. She tried to deceive herself that it was out of love, excitement about being a father, starting a family with her, but every touch told her the truth, and after he fell asleep she moved to pick up the image, cradling it close to her, and promising the growing life inside of her that she'd find them both a better place.

* * * )
thepainted_lady: (Deep in thought)
It seemed far too easy, far too fast, but she'd never had an iron problem, and the stomach flu wouldn't have gone on this long, so Lydia started counting down each queasy morning toward the week that would confirm the suspicion she was too afraid of jinxing to say aloud.
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Conspirators)
Highway run into the midnight sun
Wheels go round and round
You're on my mind
Restless hearts sleep alone tonight
Sending all my love along the wire
They say that the road
ain't no place to start a family
Right down the line it's been you and me
And loving a music man
ain't always what it's supposed to be

Oh, Boy
You stand by me
I'm forever yours
Faithfully

Circus life under the big top world
We all need the clowns to make us laugh
Through space and time
Always another show
Wondering where I am, lost without you
And being apart ain't easy on this love affair
Two strangers learn to fall in love again
I get the joy of rediscovering you

Oh girl
you stand by me!
I'm forever yours
Faithfully
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
oh oh oh oh oh oh
Faithfully
I'm still yours
I'm forever yours
Ever yours
Faithfully
thepainted_lady: ([Sylar] Laughing at dinner)
Either slipped into his trailer/or left on their kitchen table, in a brightly wrapped package, because somewhere in all the chaos they've gone through his must've gotten lost, and she well knows how he likes things to be:

The larger box, holds a sturdy leather toiletry case, suitable for traveling. In the smaller, is a 7-piece straight razor shaving kit, including an ebony handled razor and a pure badger shaving brush.

Note in Carnivale:

Happy birthday. I hope, whatever comes, that this will be a good memory you can hold on to. Know that you're always family, no matter what, no matter who you choose to be--you have a place in this world, and people who care about you. You don't have to be alone anymore.

Love,
Lydia


Note in their verse:

Happy birthday, Sylar. The first of many we'll spend together, I hope. I don't think anything could ever balance the second chance you've given me, but I hope you like these anyway. I've got breakfast waiting down on the beach, whenever you'd like to join me. ;-)

Love,
Lydia


Note in Four Quartets: (only the shaving kit, 'cause, well. she hasn't slept with him there? idk. lol)

Happy birthday and welcome to the family. I got the sense you might be missing something like this, and thought it would make a nice welcome and birthday gift at the same time. I hope you are settling in well, and look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you.

Lydia
thepainted_lady: (The things you've gone and told me)
[Mohinder is [livejournal.com profile] capableof_both and mine to use for purposes of this fic/verse. Samuel is [livejournal.com profile] offering_hope, Sylar is [livejournal.com profile] heroslayer and both are mentioned with permission. Edgar is not aimed at any particular muse, 'cause we don't have an Edgar in 'verse. :-D]

He was watching her again. He did that a lot, those dark eyes burning across the arid ground, boring into bared, painted skin like he could peel it back with a look and expose even more of her. What was he looking for, she wondered. Some proof of her perfidy, no doubt. That he didn't trust Samuel and trusted her even less she didn't need her ability to know, though neither of them had given him any reason for such virulent mistrust. Hadn't she vacated Sylar's bed and left it to him with nary an argument? Hadn't Samuel offered him a place, a home, a family, when he'd been lost and wandering, rejected for the things he'd done by even those who once claimed to be his closest friends? He'd killed. He'd tortured. He'd maimed. She knew what he was, what blackened his soul as surely as it soaked through others' here, and yet, there he sat in his bright linen, peeling an apple, watching her as if she were something less than him.

Why? What had she done to him, ever? Shared the bed of the man he loved? He couldn't say he'd not bedded anyone else but Sylar. She'd told Sylar no lies, done nothing but give him comfort when he was lost, something and someone to cling to, a haven from the storm. Was it because she belonged to someone else? Samuel knew where she was, what she'd done, had sent her to do it, even, to make the former killer at home. It hadn't been a hardship. Was that the good doctor's problem? Not that she'd gone to Sylar's bed, but that she'd done it at Samuel's direction, for purposes other than lust or love? Well, other than love. Even without his memory, Sylar remembered what to do in the bedroom, and she hadn't needed to pretend much of anything, though that was a secret she'd keep close to herself. Samuel's jealousy was the last thing they needed added to the mix.

An itching sensation crawled along her skin and she finally threw down the trowel from the ditch she'd been digging. Another pair of dark eyes snapped up, catching the movement, and then another, and another, and she knew full well that three others watched her progress across the stretch of ground that separated her from the Indian. She didn't stop, even so, not until she was enough into his space that Mohinder was forced to straighten to meet her, something vaguely like alarm in his eyes.

'What is your problem?' she asked, voice low, but hard. )
thepainted_lady: (Dreaming of something better)
Death )

Mile )

Paper )

Wine )

Teeth )

Electricity )

Ink )

Sex )

Heaven )

Kitten )

[ooc note: The more canonical drabbles don't refer to any specific Samuel, Edgar or Sylar. Where [livejournal.com profile] hearts_andminds RP/plot or other 'verse seems indicated, Samuel here is [livejournal.com profile] offering_hope and Edgar is [livejournal.com profile] right_handman.]
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Things you should know)
[ooc: AU 'verse based on spin-off from Heroes graphic novels "Bloodlines, part 1 & 2" - Joseph not aimed at any particular journal. Samuel is [livejournal.com profile] offering_hope].

Eastern Europe, Christmas, 2008

Lydia stood in the shadows of the trailer, stunned. She couldn't have heard Joseph right, couldn't have. Surely she must have been distracted by the horror of what he described to Arnold, about Coyote Sands, and misheard what he asked the time traveler to do, yes? And if she hadn't been? If she had heard him correctly? Something inside her heart seemed to constrict tightly, a fluttering, aching feeling that made it hard to breathe. There was nothing she could do. Arnold was already gone, and if he did what Joseph had asked...her whole world would change.

But Christmas morning dawned and the world was still the same. Lydia watched Joseph with speculative eyes, watched his darting looks at Samuel, the worry around his eyes, and she finally dared ask where Arnold was, a picture of innocence. Joseph didn't answer, not really, just saying something about work the time traveler had to do, but later he came with Samuel to her trailer asking them to use their new found ability to work together and find Arnold.

Samuel's fingers were warm on her skin, the pierce of the needle quickly familiar, and she reached out for the lost family member a little desperately, even as she tried to hold on to the presence of the man next to her.

"Arnold's not missing in the past," Lydia said, looking back over her shoulder at Joseph. "He's right here, in the present day."

Even as old as he was, even with the tumor, it was possible Arnold could still travel, she thought, once they had him back home. Joseph's words rang in her ears, praising her and swearing her to secrecy about Emile Danko. Or, well, not secrecy, but just asking her not to tell Samuel. He wasn't going to send Arnold back again. He apparently wasn't that cruel to someone so frail--just to family. His intentions came through loud and clear as his hands curled around her hands.

Couldn't he see that fate had been on Samuel's side? That something greater than he was had stepped in to stop him murderous intent? He'd sent Arnold back to murder a baby in his crib. Her mind flashed to Amanda, to her lost baby, the one she ached for every day, so helpless against the world, and the thought of her idol doing something like that, and to someone she...her heart twisted.

This Danko person had killed Arnold's son. She'd just told Joseph that, and again he was planning to put his own blood in the line of fire.

For a while she sat in her trailer, robe wrapped tight around her, torn between loyalty to the man who had saved her and the growing feelings that had taken root so many years before and blossomed more each year. Her idol's feet were made of clay, apparently, and that hurt. And Samuel...had done nothing to deserve such a fate.

Mind made up, the bitter feeling of betrayal burning inside of her, she made her way across the space that separated her trailer from Samuel's and knocked lightly. He had the right to know what Joseph was planning, and to protect himself, and she'd do whatever it took to help him.
thepainted_lady: (Trusting soul)
Lydia had missed the last fourteen birthdays with her daughter. To be sure, sometimes she'd managed to send cards, but she hadn't always been able to get away, to send them, and to send too much would risk them tracking back to her. And letting the family know about her past, to be able to make the effort, wasn't always easy. Trips to the post office would be noted, possibly questioned. She'd tried, but she knew it hadn't nearly been enough.

This year, she was determined to do better.

That Amanda was turning fifteen, such a painful year in Lydia's own past, she was sort of trying not to focus on. It was going to be a good day. She was still getting to know her daughter, and had been uncertain what, exactly, she'd like, but she had one idea for part of spending the day she hoped she would approve of, at least, if the gifts weren't quite...right.

All gaily wrapped in bright paper, she had several packages. Inside were: a hand-woven charm bracelet; a brightly colored, butterfly hoodie; and a smaller box containing an aquamarine belly button ring. She has a matching amethyst--her birthstone--one in another box...as a thought that, maybe, if Amanda wants...they could go into town and get piercings done at the same time.

She's let the right people know it's Amanda's birthday, and there will be a larger celebration later, but for now, she just wants to have some time that's just hers with the daughter she's spent too much time away from.
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] What comes next?)
Lydia stood in the bathroom door, eyeing the bed in the middle of the room with an analytical look, nibbling on her lower lip.

"Something the matter?" Samuel asked from behind her, breath warm over the back of her neck where her hair was still twisted up from the shower. One arm slid around her waist, and she leaned back against him, still regarding the bed, though her lips curved more in a smile at the solid feel of him there.

"Even if we could get it through the door, which, mind you, is doubtful, I don't think the bed would fit in either of our trailers."

She felt rather than heard the chuckle that rumbled through him, and slid her hand behind her to brush through the wet strands of his hair. "Were you thinking about redecorating?"

"No," she admitted, "But just...I didn't know they made beds that big..."

She knew she was probably revealing a lack of worldliness that she'd rather keep to herself, but she'd never been in a hotel this nice, and she knew well that it wasn't even a resort, really, wasn't anything luxurious by the world's standards. Nice, yes; comfortable, absolutely; meant for vacation, sure; decadent, not so much. But they had room service, and a fireplace in the room, and the tub was big enough for both of them, and that bed...

Teeth scraped the shell of her ear and Lydia's eyes flickered closed on an indrawn breath, momentarily blocking the bed from view.

"Well," Samuel's voice murmured at her ear making her shiver. "If we can't take it home with us, maybe we should make the most of it while we're here, hmm?"

Lydia turned in his arms to catch his lips with hers in answer, smiling a bit at the unfamiliar taste of toothpaste masking that piece that was just him underneath, the little domestic rituals still unfamiliar to them, and took a moment to revel in it, and the feel of everything flowing from him and into her, before sliding her fingers down to undo the towel at his waist as she flashed him a wicked smirk. His smirk echoed hers before he moved again, sweeping her off her feet and toward the vast expanse of the king size bed, and she decided she could get used to this vacation thing.
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Conspirators)
Their first day on the Olympic peninsula had been wonderful, Lydia thought. Getting away from the carnival wasn't something they got the chance to do. Truthfully, it wasn't something she wanted to do very often, but everyone needed a break, even from family and things one loved. She was pretty sure that any speculation that had been going around from the time they had been spending together was fairly confirmed, now. There wasn't really much privacy among the family, but if Samuel didn't mind, she certainly didn't. The only one liable to disapprove was Edgar and...much as she didn't want to hurt Edgar, ever, she was too happy to let it bring her down.

The weather was perfect, the hotel was gorgeous, the bed larger than both of theirs put together, and they'd made good use of it so far, as well as the rug in front of the fireplace, simply because Lydia had never done such a thing and the night had been cool enough to warrant turning it on.

Today was for the hot springs, though, the lure that had brought them here. The hotel had packed them a picnic lunch for them, and set them on the right trail. It was early enough in the season, that they hadn't seen anyone else setting out on the path that ran about two miles to the natural springs in the depth of the forest. Lydia sincerely hoped it stayed that way.

"It's really beautiful, isn't it?" she asked, casting Samuel a smiling glance as she breathed in the fresh scent of the old growth forest around them.

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Lydia

October 2011

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