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: ([Sylar] Empathy)
For the first time in her life, Lydia was learning what it was like for other people being around her. She'd spent years reading others with a touch, seeing into their souls as they were laid bare before her, all while keeping herself just a little apart, a bastion of reserve wrapped around her heart. Her secrets were her own, intimate and inviolate, and no one gained entrance to them unless she gave them permission, and then only to the extent she chose to share.

Now Sylar had her ability, had her perception, had her gift and had her number. She couldn't hide from him behind those carefully constructed walls, couldn't lie and pretend all was well--doubly so considering the man knew when anyone was lying to him even without her gift. She'd never known how much she relied on being the enigma, the mysterious one, the girl apart until he was there, in her soul and under her skin as much as she was used to being with others. It brought a breathless sort of intimacy to some things, easy to get lost in, but there were days she wished to hell he'd never acquired her skill.

Today was one of them. )
thepainted_lady: ([Edgar] The one who makes me smile)
Lydia knew he doubted her. She could feel it in the brush of her fingers over his skin, and when their lips met. He took her with a sort of desperation, each time they made love, as if convinced this time would be their last, as if he would wake and find her gone, back to Samuel, off to Sylar, away from him. It was her fault, she knew, her own careless affection and dangerous obsession he'd observed too well for too many years. She didn't know how to overcome the fear, overcome the doubt, the undercurrent of belief that he'd been her second choice. Words weren't doing the trick, assurances, tearful confessions, or clinging kisses he accepted, holding her close, but the doubt still lingered. He loved her, needed he, would never fail her, but she'd broken something somewhere, and she didn't know how to fix it.

Part of her said it would just take time. That he would see that she was here and not going anywhere the longer they were together. That, eventually, he'd see she was as committed to this as he. But part of her really wished she could share her ability with him so he could feel it and know now, and...Samuel's comment about how hard it must be for her just to have faith in people came back to worry at the back of her mind, poisoning things they had no business being near and she flinched away from it, because he had no place here in her life, not anymore.

Time might be the cure, but she was impatient. If words would not do, then she hoped actions would. She made her preparations carefully, up to and including handing Amanda a respectable amount of money and pushing her out the door and toward the Dave and Busters at the mall for the night. Amused, her daughter went, and Lydia went back to flitting around the apartment they'd tentatively settled into, wanting it perfect.

When Edgar came home, he stopped inside the door, blinking. The lights were low, with a candle here and there, but she'd been careful of those, not wanting to trigger any bad memories with fire for him. His favorite softer music was playing; his favorite food on the table; and she was wearing what she knew for a fact was his favorite of her dresses. She paid attention to him, specifically to him, even if he didn't think she did, and she was determined to show that.

It was clear he wasn't sure what the grand gesture was for, but he pulled her close for a kiss and Lydia nestled against his chest, arms winding around his neck, returning the kiss with a pleased sigh. Perfect love and perfect trust, and she tried to offer that up with each brush of her lips, something sacred to her, for him, for all the things he'd woken up in her and taught her it was all right to be, again. He must have sensed some of it, because he smiled against her lips before pulling back.

"What is it?" His fingers pushed her hair back in a softly tender gesture.

"I love you." She held his gaze, solemn, but with a smile curving her lips.

"I know," he agreed after a moment where the hesitation lasted a heartbeat too long for her mind's content.

"I love you," she repeated. "Now and forever." She shifted one hand to trail it along his, her fingers winding through his.

"I love you, too." He frowned a bit, as if not quite following why she was being so insistent about this.

"The answer is yes," she said, and he blinked, staring at her. "To the question you want to ask, but won't."

A slightly rueful smile tugged at his lips. "Got that, did you?"

"It's what I do, the way you run," she said, still solemn, because he hadn't reacted to her answer.

He returned the look, and then her words finally seemed to sink in. "Yes?"

"Yes." She repeated it softly, sliding her other hand to cradle his cheek.

"When?" He seemed a little dazed now, and she finally smiled.

"As soon as you want. I don't need anything fancy, and we...it's just the three of us now. Vegas isn't that far, even...I don't care how. I just want to be yours, and for everyone else to know it, too."

He stared at her, then smiled, hands moving to cup her face as he kissed her again. Dinner got cold, but neither of them minded, and for the first time since he'd come back for her, Lydia felt the kernel of doubt ease and dissolve as she held him close, and she smiled. The past was over, but hopefully, now, they could work on building a future.
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: ([Edgar] [Samuel] Like dogs with a bone)
[ooc: Samuel and Edgar not meant to be binding on any particular Samuel and Edgar, obviously, as this was just written for the purpose of the meme. Consider it Lydia's little fantasy. ;-)]

Tensions were running much too high. They had been escalating for a few weeks, since Joseph's death, and in the wake of Sylar's departure, they seemed near the breaking point. Edgar was still snarly, Samuel was withdrawn into some place she wasn't able to reach without concentrated effort, and he avoided letting her make it more than he used to. And the two of them...She'd been aware of the growing tension between them for months, years maybe. The subtle back and forth, waves of dominance and submission as Samuel's power grew and Edgar yielded, and she chose, more and more, fingers winding through Samuel's and letting him pull her away. It was to Edgar she turned with her confidences, though, and she thought he should know that meant something, but she felt him bristle, felt the waves of repressed resentment simmering toward a rebellion that would split the family apart.

Cut for adult-ish content. PG-13? Maybe. Idk. I suck at ratings )
thepainted_lady: (Caught)
They hadn't bound or drugged her, once they realized her power was nothing she could use to either attack or defend with, just left her in the barren cell, with it's bed and sink and a single chair, the too bright light-bulb hanging overhead. It wasn't turned off, night or day, and she'd lost all sense of how much time had passed. Her lips were parched dry in the air conditioned chill of the room, and no amount of water from the tap of the sink did any good. They'd taken her clothes, given her blue pajamas instead, and the feel of pants after so many years of nothing but skirts and dresses felt invasive instead of freeing. They weren't her things, this wasn't her place, and shut off in this room with its glass window out into an equally sterile hallway, she couldn't feel anything--she wasn't herself anymore, not in any way that mattered. Closing her eyes, she tried to pull the faces of her family to mind, but the whirl of energy and color of the carnival seemed like another world.

They wanted to find the carnival, wanted to find the others, thought they might be dangerous, and she was the map they sought to use, to show them what they needed to see to find what they desired most. They asked her about it, about them, about home, about her family, when they did come. She didn't answer. They held on to her, trying to make her tattoos move, forcing polluted ink into her skin that mottled there in ugly splotches before absorbing and fading away, soaking somewhere into her system and making her feel sick for hours afterwards. They tried more intimate contact, one's lips clinging to hers, hands on her while the other observed the patterns on her skin for any change, and cursed at her when there was none. Her gift, at least, she could keep from them, shutting down emotionally, cutting herself off from each touch, each dark intent that seemed to try and claw its way inside of her, wanting to imprint on her skin and into her soul. They were too ugly to see, too malignant to allow purchase, so she cut herself off from every touch, every shiver of dark emotion they tried to press into her.

Isolation had its own price, though, as the growing unreality stretched itself out. She wouldn't eat, ignoring the food, not even doing it the courtesy of a glance or pushing it away. She ignored them, too, eyes closing as she tried to send herself somewhere else, away from the needles they poked into her and the drugs that slid through her meant to reduce her resistance and open her consciousness back up to usefulness. They made her feel that way, yes, but they couldn't make her concentrate, couldn't make her focus to pull what they needed, and the images on her skin twisted into the things of nightmares when she screamed.

After a while, they left her alone, frustrated and angry, with a tube shoved down her throat regularly and a needle in her arm to make sure she stayed alive, though she heard them discussing leaving off such measures and letting her fade away completely. She wished they would, but she didn't have the will to fight them, either.

She drifted, not conscious, but not sleeping, for what could have been days or years, aching and bruised, some part of her curled up and crying while the rest of her remained pulled apart from the world. The warm touch on her arm was barely noted at first, but it stayed, it stroked over her skin slowly, gently, and in her weakened state, she couldn't block the frisson of mingled horror and compassion she felt along that simple touch. The straps at her wrist loosened, and she had the sense that she could move, if she tried, though she couldn't quite care enough to bring herself to dare try. Those at her ankles loosened as well, then fell away, and she felt warm arms slide around her, lifting her. A soft sound of protest escaped.

"Shh....it's all right. I'm going to get you out of here. I'm going to take you home," an accented voice murmured, and though she couldn't quite place the cadence, or find the will to open her eyes, she managed to shift enough to wrap her arms around his neck as he carried her, and somehow she believed him.
thepainted_lady: (Leading Sylar off/Temptress at work)
Lydia hated the dogs. It was a visceral sort of reaction, and took her by surprise, given she'd always liked animals before. Or maybe she just disliked their owners that intensely. She tried to push that aside, though. She knew enough of what Sandra's life must have been, given the lies Noah lived within, to surely not begrudge the woman her joy in a dog. Except for the fact that she had children and Lyle, at least, seemed like he could have benefited from a great deal more attention.

Not that she was someone to give mothering advice, she supposed, but she hadn't chosen a dog over Amanda.

The children she was ruminating over had escaped the tension filled room, off to a movie, and Lydia wished, desperately, she'd gone with them rather than playing adult with the grown ups. She wasn't going to contemplate that she was closer to the ages of those who'd fled than those she was sitting with, making strained conversation, but as Doug cooed something else to his little Princess -- for fuck's sake, it was a dog -- Lydia closed her eyes briefly and prayed for strength to anyone or anything listening. She'd taken a serial killer to bed and stroked the ego of a megalomaniac for years. She could deal with dog-obsessed non-specials.

Maybe. )
thepainted_lady: ([Edgar] Trust you with my life)
Things shouldn't have been this confusing, this turned around, but they were. The tattoo on her arm wasn't going away, wasn't fading, was still twisting back and forth when she looked at it--the image of her daughter's face, surrounded by flames. That she'd spoken to her hadn't changed things, hadn't made it fade, not yet, and the aching yearning Lydia thought she'd set aside years before was back with a vengeance. Every contact she had with Amanda made her want to see her, want to hold her more. She had to deny it for Samuel, brush it off, tell him it wasn't important, that she wasn't yearning for Amanda, that she meant nothing, but every day hurt more.

For a few days the trapped feeling had been growing. Her relationship--such as it was--with Sylar demanded a lot of her emotional resources. He was so broken, so torn, and she wasn't as used to sharing her space, especially given it hadn't been her idea. He was sweet, he needed help, he wasn't a hardship, but...but...she couldn't tell him about her fears, about Amanda, about the empty space inside of her that didn't seem like it would ever be filled. He had enough of his own.

Edgar had been so upset--was so upset--about Sylar's place in her life and her trailer, especially given that she was doing it at Samuel's instigation, that they hadn't spoken like they used to. He didn't stop by just to hang out, didn't seek her out, but she felt his eyes on her when she passed, felt his hurt, the betrayal she hadn't intended.

With a sigh, she took the first step, moving slowly across the carnival to his trailer, knocking lightly on his door. When he opened it, he just stared at her, not saying anything, and Lydia swallowed back the urge to just turn and run back to her own. She bit her lower lip, stepping up one step, looking up at her. He backed up to let her in, though he didn't say anything. Lydia moved in, not sure she could find the words, feeling a lump in her throat catching at tears in her eyes. She opened her mouth to try and say something, but nothing came.

It seemed to be enough, though, and she wasn't sure which one of them moved first, but she was in his arms, being held tight, as she buried her face in his chest. Then words weren't needed, and the world seemed to shift and right itself, and for the first time in weeks, she felt safe.
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Cut your heart out with a spoon)
"Don't worry, you'll meet her soon enough."

Worry wasn't really the primary emotion running through Lydia's veins as she watched the blond woman enter the carnival. It was something darker, something she couldn't quite put her finger on. The intensity of it took her by surprise, fingers curling into a fist, fingernails biting into her palms until they bled. The sketch had been good, but the woman was older now, though the softer colored lights of the carnival were as flattering to her as to anyone. But it was the look in her eyes that set Lydia's teeth on edge, looking around as if there were something wrong with their home, something beneath her about them all.

Pushing her hair back behind her ear, Lydia trailed along behind them, gaze assessing, taking apart each little piece of the other woman with a look, and still not seeing what the appeal was.

...Her steps faltered a bit, though, as she realized what she was doing, and she came to a stop, staring after the retreating figures.

"Who's that?" Amanda asked, coming up beside her.

"Samuel's brought her here," Lydia said, trying to ignore the painful twist inside of her stomach.

"Why?"

The words were simple ones, really, or should have been. She'd read it in his eyes, as the cold certainty that she could see him dead had settled in her stomach. But why? For Joseph? For Edgar? For the family? Was he truly a threat, or just grasping power he'd been denied all his life? When she'd told him his secret was safe with her, she'd still believed he could be something more. Part of her knew she was right. You didn't look into a man's soul as often as she had his without knowing him. But she could still deceive herself, it seemed.

"Mom? Why is she here? Who is she?"

The words came, from some hollow pit she couldn't quite feel from. "He loves her."

"Her?" She could feel Amanda's shock like some dim echo, recognizing that emotion if she was only starting to put a name to hers. "But I thought..."

"You were wrong." Lydia's voice came softly, but it felt like each word was a slice of a knife.

She felt the cut of the realization that had been growing for a while, now, and with it the sting of tears that burned off in the wave of something darker, something that must have shown on her face.

"Mom...?" The worry was easy enough to feel, as well, as she let herself focus on the emotions around her instead of her own. Maybe she couldn't name the feeling pressing down and choking her without admitting things she'd no intention of saying aloud, but she could recognize the secondary emotion it sparked welling up in a red wave.

"Samuel's going to be busy for a little while," she said quietly, breathing in the familiar scents of popcorn and caramel and fried delights around them. "I think it's time we had a family meeting."

Turning away from the sight of the couple lingering at the door of Samuel's trailer, she swung around and moved toward the family's gathering area. Apparently there were limits to her loyalty, after all.
thepainted_lady: (*amused*)
"Come on," Lydia said, watching her daughter as she was bent over a notebook, scowling. The homeschooling program of the children of the carnival was very loose, but there was some of it, and Amanda working with the teachers had been one condition of Lydia finally giving up fighting Samuel on her staying.

Amanda had not been exactly amused, but with Samuel and Lydia in agreement, there was really very little anyone would do to defy them. Even the teenager caught on to that, pretty fast.

"I have homework," she said now, not looking up, something of her resentment over school showing in a reverse determination to irritate Lydia.

Lydia just smiled. "It will wait. Come on."

Amanda looked up for a moment, then shrugged and shut her notebook, falling in to step beside her. Lydia paused just once, to get them both cotton candy, which made Amanda give her a suspicious look. "What's going on?"

"We're going in to town," Lydia said, ripping a piece of the spun sugar off. "I figured we could use the energy for the walk."

"And pure sugar was your idea?" Amanda still looked skeptical. "That's not very mom-like."

"It's not a day to be mom-like," Lydia said, glancing up at the sun in the sky, and flashing her daughter a mischievous smile.

"No?" Amanda asked, finally starting to smile.

"No."

"Did you tell Samuel where we were going?" Amanda asked, glancing back at the carnival.

"Nope," Lydia said.

"So we're both basically playing hooky."

"Yep." Lydia grinned. "It's a time honored tradition in the family. Or, well, it was for me."

"Aunt Carol..."

"...Never skipped a day of class and really disapproved when I did."

"But she's not here."

"Nope."

"And Samuel doesn't know we're gone...."

"Nope." He probably wouldn't have cared that they were leaving, honestly--but it was more fun to sneak off.

Amanda's smile grew. "What are we going to do, then?"

Lydia took another bite of the cotton candy, letting it melt on her tongue, turning it blue, then flashed her daughter a smile. "Anything we want." She glanced down the hill toward the town in the valley, then shot Amanda a challenging look. "Race you."

She heard the slight shout of protest as she took off, that she was being unfair, but she could hear her daughter's footsteps coming fast behind her, and the catch of her breath on a laugh, and she let herself laugh as well as they ran down the hill, trying not to slip and fall, and making their way to a few hours stolen freedom, together.
thepainted_lady: (Emerging from trailer watchful)
Pick a Lydia, I'll write you a fic/drabble. I don't promise to get them all done really quick, but I will get them all done. :-D If you write more than one character, let me know which you want with her for that drabble. :-)

1. Playful!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] slowlyburn
2. Murderous!Lydia
3. Flailing!Lydia
4. Incarcerated!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] doc_suresh
5. Deviant!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] keep_them_safe
6. Ill!Lydia
7. Intoxicated!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] snarky_blonde
8. Wildly Inappropriate!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] im_exhibita
9. Eloquent!Lydia
10. Cooking!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] notacompanyman
11. Over-protective!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] powered_otaku
12. Wanker!Lydia
13. Silly!Lydia
14. Romantic!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] right_handman
15. Silent-Treatment!Lydia
16. Bedtime!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] offering_hope
17. Jealous!Lydia - For Samuel, requested by [livejournal.com profile] humanmapquest
18. Inquisitive!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] coed_claire
19. Confused!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] shades_of_sylar
20. Sexy!Lydia
21. Angry!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] heroslayer
22. Dorky!Lydia
23. Working!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] coed_claire
24. Needs-a-Hug!Lydia - for [livejournal.com profile] right_handman
25. Choose-your-own!Lydia

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thepainted_lady: (Default)
Lydia

October 2011

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