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: ([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: ([Samuel] What comes next?)
[ooc: Samuel is [livejournal.com profile] offering_hope and used with permission and the very kind indulgence of his mun for my need for some fluff in the midst of an angsty week. <3]

Maybe I know somewhere deep in
my soul that love never lasts.
And we've got to find other ways
to make it alone or keep a straight face.
And I've always lived like this
keeping a comfortable, distance.
And up until now I swore to myself
that I'm content with loneliness,
'cause none of it was ever worth the risk.

Well, you are the only exception

And I'm on my way to believing
Oh, And I'm on my way to believing


There really was only so much you could do to make a trailer homey. Lydia sat in the middle of the sofa, with the cupboards and closet emptied all around her in neat little stacks on counters and tabletops and every furniture surface--because no way she could manage to get anything off the floor at this point--frowning and nibbling on her lower lip as she looked at it all critically.

It wasn't right. She huffed, sending a wisp of hair flying, and pushed it back impatiently out of her eyes. Even now, after she'd scrubbed out every single corner of the cabinets and gotten the dust bunnies out of the back of the closet, it just...didn't feel right to put things back in. Something wasn't right.

Samuel came in, looking down at a sheaf of papers in his hand and almost tripped over a stack of books, making Lydia look up with a wince.

"Sorry! I didn't expect you back for a bit..."

Staring around the room, Samuel took it in, then looked back at her, an expression she couldn't quite interpret between amusement and annoyance on his face. "Again?"

Lydia shrugged a bit, looking down, then back up at him. "The shelves need new paper."

'I see.' )
thepainted_lady: (Wistful)
Wednesdays in autumn were, on a rule, quiet around the carnival. The rubes' children had all gone back to school, and the rubes to work, and no one wanted a show when they had to all get up early the next morning. Summers were different. During the summer they could end up having a show every night, but in the autumns a sort of serenity settled over the carnival during the week. People slept in a little later, because there wasn’t so much to do. Chores were more leisurely, and people chatted while they tended to the daily needs, or went about the maintenance of rides and games to be ready for the coming weekend.

It was still unseasonably warm, but there was a bit of a breeze where Lydia sat under a tree and looked back at the towering steel and flapping pennants that looked somehow abandoned on this rolling plain. If she closed her eyes, reached out, she could feel just how unabandoned it was, with life and emotion and hopes and fears all tangling around inside the members of the family who moved through their day. She’d finished up her work for the day, and not wanting to confine herself to the stuffy interior of the trailer, and feeling more of an urge to commune with herself than the family, her feet and heart had led her here. Keeping her eyes closed, she drifted; hearing the soft buzz of insects, the trickle of the stream; feeling the warmth of the sun on her skin; smelling the distant smoke and meat that indicated Samuel or someone had fired up the grills for dinner. That made her smile, more than a little grateful that her appetite had finally returned.

Stretching her ability, she checked in on each loved one, sensing their mood, making sure there was nothing she was needed for at the moment. Everyone seemed content enough, so she pulled back into herself, stretching a little, and then stilling abruptly as a flutter went off in her abdomen.

It tickled a little, feeling like bubbles running around under the surface of her skin. )
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Mutual comfort)
[Co-written with [livejournal.com profile] offering_hope. Set up RP/fic for our AU verse "Four Quartets.". Edgar is not meant to refer to any particular Edgar.]

They'd had a good night, Lydia thought, making her way across the carnival grounds. Her sandals dangled from her fingers and she let her toes dig into the dirt, feeling the lingering warmth of the long set sun still seeping up into her skin from it. A tune from the ride that was closest to her booth was caught in her head, some pop number that kept their teen visitors happy, and she hummed it. Across the way she caught sight of Joseph, and waved. He returned it with a warm smile, and her eyes scanned on, searching for Samuel and Edgar. She was isolated from them, off with customers, every night, but a glass of wine curled up somewhere and talking seemed a nice way to finish up the evening.

A couple of people called out greetings which she returned, but she didn't pause, still on her search. When looking didn't seem to find either of them, she paused, closing her eyes and reached out with her other sense, feeling for them along the connections forged through years of family. She could find nearly anyone in the family, almost any time, and she smiled a bit as she brushed over their presences, on opposite ends of the carnival. Hesitating, deciding which way to go first, she left her senses out there, and the peace she'd been feeling dissipated in a ripple of darkness that seemed to hit her.

Hatred. Malevolence. Anger. They were all out there, wrapping around the carnival in some sort of emotional miasma and while she couldn't pinpoint it to an exact source, there was a clear desire to harm them. Frantic, she spun around, eyes snapping open, and looked to where Joseph had been, but he was gone. She stood there for a moment, caught, unsure, then ran to where he had been, hoping he hadn't wandered far.

She nearly crashed into Samuel instead. )
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: ([Edgar] Trust you with my life)
[ooc: The list.]

Dear Edgar,

Sometimes I struggle to find the right words to tell you what you mean to me, how you make me feel. Even now, with pen to paper, knowing I can rewrite this if need be...I find myself hesitating. Some of the words are so easy--best friend, family, love. They're words people use every day, and I think maybe it's their very simpleness that belies what they mean. I know...I know what you feel for me, what you want, and I know you think that I don't love you as much, or that I don't see you, don't feel you.

You're wrong.

I need you, Edgar. I need you the way I need air and water and sunlight. When you're not here, or when things aren't right between us, something inside me breaks, hurts, and you're the only person who can fix it. You think I see you as less than, somehow, or less important than them, but...they come and go, Edgar. You're my constant. You're my northern star. I don't know who I am when you're not around--it's like I'm not me, not fully. You're a part of me.

No one has ever made me feel as safe as you do. No one has ever made me feel as cherished, as special, as loved. You don't look at me and see a piece of flesh to be possessed, but a person to be respected and protected. You believe in me when no one else does, not even me. You make me feel like maybe I can do something, be something more than what I've been before. You're the one I trust with myself, my life, my daughter's life.

And I don't want to lose that. I don't want to do anything to jeopardize that. Because if I lost that...if I lost you...your friendship, your love, your respect, you in my life...I don't know what I'd do. I think I'd lose me.

You're not less than. You're not...unworthy. You're special, more special than you know. I love you. You're my best friend. You're my family. You're my home. You make me strong, complete. I wish I had more than words to make you see...

I'm damaged. I'm broken. You deserve so much better than someone like me. You deserve someone who doesn't need you to hold her together, someone capable of standing up for herself, someone you can build a life with. You deserve the best of everything, not someone who'd just...I would break us, Edgar. Everything that we have...it would disappear and I'd lose you, and I can't bear that. It's selfish, I know, to want you near, to bind you to me in any way when I should just set you free. But what you want...I don't stay away because you're not worthy, Edgar. Please never, ever think that. It's me. I don't deserve you, and I'm a coward--too afraid of what I might lose to risk what I might gain.

I just thought that you should know, at least this once, how much you mean to me, now and always.

Love always,
Lydia
thepainted_lady: (Secret smile)
Barring complications, he or she will be a Pisces, like me.
thepainted_lady: (The things I see...)


Contemplation is in Your Big Picture



It's likely that you have a lot to sort out right now, and your mind has already begun the process.
Things seem incredibly complicated at the present moment. You know you need to take a deep breath and slow down.

Whatever you are turning over will work itself out, and you trust yourself to come up with the right answers.
For now, you've pulled over from whatever journey you're on, but you'll be back on the road soon enough.


thepainted_lady: (The center cannot hold)
The crack of gunfire had ceased, and the earth had stopped shaking beneath their feet, but as cries started up from shell-shocked survivors stumbling upon wounded and dead loved ones, and blood soaked into the new ground they stood on, Lydia knew in her heart that the real horror was still to come.
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: ([Samuel] Mutual comfort)
Because Lydia Tweets and writes prompts from it A LOT, and it's such an AU 'verse, here's a better run down of the Four Quartets 'verse with Adam, Peter, Sylar, Melissa & Samuel.
thepainted_lady: ([Amanda] Listen to me)
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted


Dearest Amanda,

His name was Danny. )

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dreams to shame


I ran home )

And still I dream she'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather


I found a new home.  )

I had a dream my life would be
So different from the hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed
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: ([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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