thepainted_lady: (Intrigued smile)
[ooc: Based on RP with [ 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: (Lost without you)
"Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color." ~ W.S. Merwin

The pressing panic that had caught in her throat the day she had arrived here, ripped away from her family, away from her home, away from everything she'd known was back. She'd gone to work through the week only because at least it was at least something familiar, but as nice as Sarah was, she wasn't family, wasn't someone she could cling to, and Puck had a girlfriend now, and, anyway, she could hardly use him that way. As nice as their night had been, he was a seventeen year old boy, not someone she should find herself depending on. It wasn't fair to him.

The dance had been...lovely, but what she found on waking up the next morning...had not been. Since then, life had been a fog, and no matter how hard she tried to pierce it, she couldn't seem to get through. Just because he'd bid on her, wanted to see her, even just because he was from her world was no reason to rely on Noah Bennet. Back home he had...hunted them. He'd been the enemy for a long time. He was a...friend now, and she wasn't afraid of him anymore, but that didn't mean he wanted to be burdened with her problems. The rest of them were just acquaintances, really.

Samuel was gone.

Edgar hadn't spoken to her since...she'd made a fool of herself.

And now Amanda was gone, too. )
thepainted_lady: (Bathtime kisses)
"Passion makes the world go round. Love just makes it a safer place." -- Ice T

Passion was something she knew, and knew well. It was her stock in trade, in some ways, or at least the illusion of it, the lure of it. Every inch of skin bared, every look, every smile was meant to be an enticement into paying for more, and if that more wasn't exactly what they'd thought--well. They got to touch her, in some way, and she saw into their souls and gave them some insight into their dreams.

Some of them got more than that, true enough, on nights she didn't feel like being alone, and the family tended to turn a blind eye, no one minding too much what she did on her own time. That was passion. Edgar made sure no one got too rough and that they left when she wanted them to go. That was love, and never did she let the two meet for fear of ruining the one with the shadows of the other.

If she thought perhaps one day they would in Samuel...well, time had proven her so very wrong in that, and reminded her just how very off her own judgment could be, hadn't it?

Sylar had changed that, at least partly. What started out as passion had deepened into something else, despite her best efforts to keep it as the one thing she was good at, good for. It was terrifying, and it was thrilling, and it left her shaken to the core at first, but she'd come to depend on it, somewhere along the way. He was her shelter, the one place she felt safe, the one person she could cling to through life's storms, and if anyone else thought it strange that she'd found safety and home in the arms of a former serial killer turned vampire, well...that was their problem. Maybe, really, it was the only thing she could have done.

Only now there was another, and she was shaken again, maybe even more than before. Shaken and excited and pleased and breathless and all the things she never let herself feel, those little sparks that she remembered from long ago, before life intervened and steered her on a far more destructive course. Peter loved her. He'd said it, and she'd felt it, and she couldn't deny the answering warmth that heated inside her. She didn't know how he could, how someone like him could love someone like her. They might be living the same life now, but they'd come from worlds apart, and she felt it sometimes--moreso when Angela was around, no matter how nice she was to her. She wasn't the sort of girl men like him fell in love with. But he had. He was. He did.

And the more she thought about it, the more the trickle of warmth inside her grew until she was nearly burning with it, and recognized the answering feeling behind it. Peter loved her. And, it seemed she loved him, too. Who would have guessed that could happen, considering she'd pretty much just wanted to rip his throat out most days the whole first few weeks of their acquaintance? She had to give a wry smile, now, remembering.

Passion she understood. Love mingled with it was new. It explained some of the tentativeness of the last few months, though, the desperate wanting to make sure things worked out, that feelings weren't hurt, the possessiveness--things they'd put down to just blood had perhaps been sliding through to something else. It made her smile to think of it now, even as she shivered a little through the warmth with residual fear at the idea of the new level to their triad, wondering what change, if any it would bring. Balance had been so delicately and deliberately achieved...she didn't want to throw it out again.

But the warm glow wouldn't go away, and she was humming as she went about the new morning routine of getting Amanda up and fed and delivered to Edgar to be taken to school (though she insisted she could get there alone), before drifting upstairs and snuggling down in the big bed for the day. For the first time all week, sleep actually came easy, and she was smiling a little with the memory of the night before as she drifted off. Trusting in the best outcome was easier, for once, and despite the possible minefields, and the terrifying spinning her emotions were doing, she still
thepainted_lady: ([Edgar] Trust you with my life)
[ooc: Based on RP with [ profile] heroslayer and [ profile] hadtobeahero. Edgar is [ profile] watchesover_her and mine for purposes of the fic. :-D]

"Say that one more time, love. You’re a what?"

Lydia supposed that complete disbelief was better than some of the alternatives--namely incoherent rage--but she wasn’t ruling that one out when it had sunk in. Glancing down at the tea Edgar had gotten her when she’d arrived at his apartment, she stared in the depths wishing she had some ability to read leaves and see any possible way this was going to end well.

"A vampire."

At the silence from the other side of the table, Lydia glanced back up, meeting Edgar’s gaze that questioned if she had gone mad, or were playing some sort of joke, or had wandered into the realm of a world he hadn’t dreamed existed. She willed him to believe her, though was careful not to put any compulsion behind her words when she spoke. Not yet.

“I’m serious, Edgar. I know it sounds...crazy, but.” She took a breath. “Vampires are real. One found Sylar and turned him a while back. He...couldn’t stay in New York, and he came and found me. After a while, he made me one, too.”


Lydia blinked. It was a perfect question, really, one that gave her the opening she needed to defend Sylar without even having to be seeming to, but somehow she hadn’t expected it. )
thepainted_lady: ([Sylar] Swinging her around)
"Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real." ~ Iris Murdoch

She was going to die.

This wasn't exactly news, given it had happened once already, but the follow up was one she hadn't really considered, even though she'd seen proof of it in her trailer that night she didn't like to dwell on.

He wasn't.

The two sentences rolled around in her head as she stood in the kitchen mixing up batter for muffins because she couldn't stand to just sit staring out the window at the cold winter waves beating on the empty shoreline anymore. She was going to die. He wasn't. It could be strung together as one sentence and the horrible implications became all the more clear. She was going to die, and he wasn't.

After the cold reaches of the darkness she liked to dwell on even less than that night, she would have thought the contemplation of her own mortality would be the far more upsetting of those two propositions. He'd expected her to hate him for it, or feared she would grow to, but when she thought about it, all she felt was this ache that caught at her throat and twisted up around inside of her making it hard to breathe.

She was going to die, and he wasn't. Someday, someway, despite all of her promises, and no matter how hard she tried not to...she was going to leave him, just like everyone else had. Her own body would betray her, and him, and she'd simply...cease to be, and he'd be alone. The little fears and vanities that reared their heads in the back of her mind, the will-he-still-want-me-when-I'm-not-as-young-and-pretties and the how-could-he-stay-if-I-get-old-and-sick-at-the-ends, faded under the lines of pain at that.

She didn't want to leave him alone, didn't want to leave him to watch the centuries stretch out in front of him in a string of loss or loneliness. The fact that Claire might be there was hardly a consolation, and one she dismissed. The fact that he might fall in love what end? To lose love again, as well? That hurt, too, both personally, and for him.

She was crying again, as she had the night before, though it wasn't for the same reasons this time. The fear that had lingered wasn't really gone, but it wasn't at the forefront of her mind. Pain for him, for what he'd go through without her, for knowing that he had to live with that left her gasping a little for air, and clinging to the counter until her knuckles were white.

She was going to die, and he wasn't. That meant she had to find a way to make every day he did have with her count, so he'd never doubt in all those years to come that he'd been loved. No matter what anyone else had done, or would do, no matter what happened or what he faced after she was gone...she wanted him to know that and have that as a surety. For as long as she had, he'd be loved, he'd have a home. They'd have a life, and by god, it would be a good one. No regrets. No looking back. No doubts. No second-guessing. No more what-might-have-beens.

She wiped her tears and gave the batter a vicious punch with the spoon. She wasn't exactly sure where to start, but making muffins to rival Mrs. Comey's waffles seemed to be as good as anywhere, even if she was still figuring out the cooking things after years of not. If she was going to die, and he wasn't, she didn't want to waste any more of their precious time on tears.
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] What comes next?)
[ooc: Samuel is [ 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: (Girl in blue)
[ooc: Based on RP at [ profile] heroesreduxrpg. Peter is [ profile] tarnishedhero.]

A sign hangs crookedly off a building in the wasteland stretched out below. She shouldn't be here, perched on the balcony's edge like this. It's possible patrols still come through the ruined city, looking for people just like them. She's tucked up close to the crumbling brick, though, pressed in a nook between wall and parapet, and there isn't any wind blowing at her skirts to wave them like a flag to signal any searchers.

It's hard to believe there might be any. Looking's hard to believe there might be anyone else alive, at all. It's a lie, of course. Just behind her, behind the door she pressed shut against the heat of too many people in a room and too many hiccuping sobs, huddles a portion--too small--of her family. Out there, somewhere, goddess willing, more are with Edgar.

There are bars, restaurants, homes, families, schools, stores, goes on in the world. She knows. Just last week she was in a sleepy little town in Arkansas buying provisions for breakfast the next day.

But here it's stopped. Here there is nothing but the sound of the wind through buildings she'd like to call abandoned, but in which she knows people died. How many? More than was right, more than ever should have been allowed. Over there, across the bridge, the rest of the city tries to rebuild itself, but here...New York has fallen, devastated, lost.

Not forgotten, though, because no one will ever forget, never again...the man--Sylar--who blew up the City and exposed them all. The Linderman Act. A president determined to hunt them down. She looks down, twisting her fingers in her shawl. His brother was one of the ones who saved them. Saved her...took the bullet meant for her...and she can't quite work that out. How can the president hate them so much, when his own brother is one of them? Why would he, just because of one man? None of them have done anything to deserve the things they've done. The detention centers...

She closes her eyes, blocking out the devastation below, trying to block out the grief welling up inside, suppressing the images that attempt to flood her mind of what they must do there...what it must be like...what Samuel might be going through...It won't do any good to agonize over it, to cry about it. That won't get him out any faster. She can't help it, though. Inside, back behind that door, she has to be strong. Danielle is a great help with the physical needs of the children, but she's terrified for her husband and useless for anything else. Arnold's getting sicker. The children are all scared and asking for Samuel, wanting to go home. She's the one who has to be strong, to lead them until he gets back. She can't cry in there.

So she's out here instead, staring at a stupid sign that's barely hanging on to a building that once was a place where people came to learn, to be entertained, to spend a few hours. It twists there, swinging back and forth, and she imagines she can hear it, the creak of its chains, their stubborn refusal to give out, even after a blistering devastation. Slipping off the edge of the balcony, she sinks down to the flagstone floor, leaning back against the wall, and just listens to the silence below.

If that damn sign can still be there after five years, she can hang on, too. She can do this. She will do this. She'll hold them together, and she'll do what has to be done to bring him home. Everything's changed, but they can make it okay again.

She sits for a few minutes more, calming her breathing, drying her tears, and then she pushes to her feet, moving back to the door. Another breath, two, her forehead resting against it, and then she makes herself put a reassuring smile on her face as she moves back into the crowded room, brushing fingers through hair here, touching a shoulder there, reassuring the flock that their shepherd will be back soon, and she's here to take care of them until then.
thepainted_lady: (Carnival beauty)
Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game

The music was loud and the crowd was already drunk at noon, as Lydia made her way through the press of their too-hot bodies. She’d killed a girl heading this way and taken her clothes--her own far too ripped and bloody from her run through the woods--and boots (since she’d run off without any shoes) and felt like she fit in fairly well, though she was still occasioning quite a bit of comment.

Then again, women in leather miniskirts, corset tops and boots tended to do that anywhere. She felt a hand on her ass and let it pass. It was a grope, sure, but a quick sense from the touch...he wouldn’t take it farther if she complained. Not what she was looking for, then. She wanted her usual prey, but she needed a lot of them, or their kin. People the world wouldn’t miss, people she could use and still face herself in the morning.

Edgar had mentioned this place as somewhere to avoid, last time they passed through the area. She saw why when her attention was caught by the group in the corner.

Unfortunately for Edgar’s peace of mind, she had no intention of avoiding them today.

* * *

A half hour later, she was on the back of the bike of their leader, his blood singing in her veins--not enough to incapacitate him, but enough to give her compulsion an iron-clad hold. )
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Threatening)
[ooc: Based on RP with [ profile] heroslayer, [ profile] offering_hope and [ profile] hadtobeahero in AU/Vampire Diaries xover verse]

The cave floor was cold and hard, but she barely felt it. She’d shifted last night, mostly to stop the wracking sobs when she couldn’t take any more of them shaking her body. Exhaustion still weighed her limbs down from how far she’d run, and for the moment she had no idea where she was. Austria, perhaps. Maybe Switzerland, if she’d shifted directions. As fast as she was going, she could have made it to Italy. It wasn’t like anyone paid attention to the borders anymore, especially not for creatures like her.

She was shivering, but not from the cold. The cold she barely felt, whether from her own nature, or the fur she hid behind, letting it dull the sensation of having her heart ripped out of her.

All that hate. [Cut for long stream-of-consciousness and possible triggering material] )
thepainted_lady: (The center cannot hold)
[ooc: Sylar is [ profile] heroslayer and Peter is [ profile] hadtobeahero and both are used with love and permission. Based on RP with them and [ profile] offering_hope. John is [ profile] of_highdegree.]

Words wouldn't come. In truth, Lydia was afraid if she opened her mouth she'd start screaming again. The host of the Gasthaus had come running, pounding on the door, sure they were all being murdered in their sleep, and Sylar's assurances that she'd only had a nightmare had barely reassured the man when he'd seen how distraught she was. Only having seen them always happy together probably gave his conscience any ease to leave. If she started screaming again...?

A nightmare.

The word seemed too vague, too ephemeral for such a visceral experience. She was used to nightmares. Life had been a constant one for three years, a time when, honestly, sleep had been a semi-escape, but one from which she could be awakened at any time by searching hands wanting things that made her heat with shame for giving, sure she was damning them both to Hell, and God was going to punish her for the Devil living in her like he must. After waking life improved, sleep was less of a haven, and she got as little of it as necessary, as the monsters from her childhood returned in her dreams to torment her still. She learned some tricks, found some teas that helped, figured out if she were utterly exhausted physically, sometimes he didn't come...she lived her life to avoid the dreams as best she could.

Joseph told her she wasn't damned, and she tried to believe him. She stopped believing in God. Mostly.

Dreams of a bullet, of a kiss, of a cold place (that might have been Hell), a gasping return...they'd intermingled in the last year, and no wonder. She slept lightly, woke frequently, and mustered on as best she could. Sylar returned and she let him provide any comfort he could, even if it was to push her into oblivion, when she was too tired to dream, and that was a sweetness and no burden at all.

Last night...

No, to call it a nightmare was to call those other dreams some sort of unpleasant reveries. )
thepainted_lady: (Vamped out)
She's seen his eyes when he's hungry, though not her own. It isn't like there's usually a mirror on hand when they're hunting the streets, and she's careful to keep control when trolling the bars for a likely victim. Can't give the game away too early; can't send them running; can't frighten the lambs being led to a slaughter they think is a feast.

Flesh and sex: their want rolls off them, like it's rolled off men for as long as she can remember. They want her, and she wants what they can give her, and for the first few weeks she figures it's a fair enough trade. It always has been before. A moment's pleasure, the illusion of comfort, of caring, of connection, before it shatters and she's reminded such things aren't for her. It's different now. She has him, and she never lets it go that far, but she has other needs. Still, they're fulfilling those, sating a new hunger, and she's generous. She lets them die in ecstasy, clouding their minds from the pain, thinking they're only suffering the little death, not the permanent one she pulls from them.

She never lets them see her eyes. [Cut for potentially disturbing/triggering content] )
thepainted_lady: (Lost)
Sometimes she could almost believe that the bruises from the past had started to heal, but then their ache would flare up again at the most inconvenient time and remind her just how broken she really was.
thepainted_lady: (Capable of more than you think)
Joseph used to tuck her hair behind her ear in an avuncular gesture and tell her what a good, sweet girl she was, but when he'd follow it up by shooing her back out to fleece the johns and marks she entertained for him, Lydia was forced to wonder how accurate a picture of "good" he'd ever really embraced.
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: ([Vamp] Lure)
[ooc: Claire, Amanda and Edgar do not refer to any particular muses/are not binding on anyone. Sylar is [ profile] heroslayer and Peter is [ profile] hadtobeahero, and this prompt is a follow up to a RP with them.]

The sun was trying its best to crisp her skin. Even with the protection of her ring and the darkness of the sunglasses she hid behind, Lydia felt exposed. Before coming to the Park, she’d fed well and had several cups of coffee, speeding her heartbeat up uncomfortably and leaving her skin flushed and warm. All she could do, she’d done, but the sun’s light brought out the underlying pallor of her skin, and the cutting black vines winding around her, cruel thorns dripping crimson flowers like blood. There was no way they wouldn’t notice. Trying to cover them up would have been even more questionable, as if she had something to hide, and she wanted more than anything for them to think all was well.

As well as it could be, at least, when she’d been alive for months and let them think she was dead, buried in the dust that settled after Samuel’s betrayal.

With a sigh, she dragged her fingers through her hair, pushing it back, grateful it, at least, had remained unchanged, for the most part. A few more highlights, a bit more vibrant, perhaps, but she’d always had fun playing with it. They’d just think she had good shampoo. Her eyes might draw comment--the lights of the carnival had downplayed the shift in their color last night--but hopefully it wasn’t too noticeable.

They hadn’t warned Samuel of his impending doom, at least.

“Mom?” The slightly choked word skittered over her skin, breaking her reverie, and she froze for a moment, before turning, careful of how she moved, making sure not to spin too fast. The speedster standing next to her daughter would catch any differences there, and Peter had said sometimes they didn’t move like humans anymore.

“Amanda...” She stared at the girl for a long moment, before moving tentatively toward her. That was all it took, and her arms were full of her daughter--her living, breathing daughter--and all the little things she’d memorized about her were thrown up against her senses in dizzying detail. The smell of her shampoo, the warmth of her skin, the racing beating of her heart that Lydia’s only dimly echoed now, even with the stimulant.

Amanda was crying, an excess of emotion pouring out in salt water drops that were near scalding against Lydia’s skin. )
thepainted_lady: (Painted lady)
[ooc: Sylar is [ profile] heroslayer and used with much love and permission.]

She still had a reflection. That wasn’t particularly a surprise--he had one, after all. She could see it there in the corner of the mirror that caught the edge of the bed. At the moment, however, she was studying her own as intently as she’d been captured by the lights and music of the boardwalk. The dress she’d been wearing when he did it lay abandoned on the floor behind her, and she stared in the mirror at her naked image with a curious tilt of her head. Now and then she shifted, turning slowly, hands lifting her hair out of the way to see her back, before she twisted the other way. The loss of her tan had been coming along slowly, and its absence now she’d expected, though she’d never been this pale in her life. The vividness of her eyes, too--she’d noticed it in his. But the biggest change...the one to that which had defined her for so long...Perhaps she should have expected it. They came out of her, of who she was, roadmaps built on what was inside of her. If that had changed in a fundamental, too would they.

But she hadn’t expected it, and she continued to stand there, twisting slowly every now and then, staring at herself even as dawn broke and stretched toward noon and her body begged for sleep to finish recuperating from the changes it had undergone. Of all of them, though, she found these too fascinating to look away from.

The earthy ochre vines and leaves linking coral and yellow flowers all along her skin were gone, vanishing with the life that he’d taken with a snap of bone. Midnight vines encircled alabaster skin, instead, twisting their way around her neck, along her back, across her stomach, and trailing down her legs. Crimson roses bloomed amidst dangerous looking ebony thorns. Sharp beaked, shadowy ravens hunting the night, foretelling the future and protecting their secrets had replaced the swallows who once stood guard over her soul and pointed the way home. The butterfly remained, but its wings were honed to razor points from which fell rose petals reminiscent of droplets of blood. A woman stood where the mermaid had lounged, skirts swirling out like the fin once had to wrap around her arm. Nothing so clear as horns perched on her head or fangs extended from her blood red lips, but the cruel sensuality of her mouth hinted at pleasures far darker than the mermaid had dreamed.

Her fingertips lightly traced the new patterns, watching her reflection do the same. A shiver ran over her skin and settled deep in her stomach. For a moment, she closed her eyes, running a mental check, but her ability seemed to be working fine. The new tattoos functioned as the old ones had, though she felt their sharper, darker, bloodier edges feeding the hunger that had been growing inside since the first time he’d sliced his skin open for her. Interesting. She wasn’t sure, yet, how the two were linked, but she could feel the connection, see the outward manifestation of the inner change. A few months ago, it would have frightened her. Now she opened her eyes to find her lips curved into a smile mirroring that of the new woman decorating her arm.

Arms extended overhead as she stretched and finally tore her gaze away from the mirror, pivoting gracefully in the opposite direction, satisfied for now. The same little smile still on her lips, she practically prowled toward the bed where Sylar had been watching her, switching between concern and amusement.

"Done?" he asked.

"For now."

"You really should sleep," he pointed out, apparently attempting to be a responsible sire for a moment, as she put one knee on the bed on one side of him, then followed suit on the other, perching over him and reaching for the buttons of his shirt.

"In a bit." After all, having given the boardwalk and the beach and herself such a thorough examination and found things so enthralling, she really felt the need to do the same to him, even if it took until the sun set again.
thepainted_lady: ([Sylar] passionate kiss)
After everything she'd been through--they'd been through--Lydia couldn't be bothered to worry about particulars like whether or not Sylar could be considered "alive" anymore--not when everything he did to her reminded her that against all odds she still was.
thepainted_lady: (My only home)
"There is fate, but it only takes you so far because once you're there, it's up to you to make it happen." ~ Can't Hardly Wait

The smell of the sea air was familiar enough that she could almost lose it out here on the Boardwalk. Caramel apples, cotton candy, popcorn and deep fried treats wafted their scents in the air, drowning out the salty tang unless you searched for it.

She wasn't searching tonight.

Leaning against a lamppost, she munched on popcorn and watched the crowd milling about under the bright lights. She closed her eyes, reaching out with her senses, along the fragile bonds of connectivity she'd forged that grew a little stronger with each passing week. Amanda was in the arcade down the way. A rather handsome young man handed out the prizes there, and Lydia was willing to lay odds Amanda was trying to get his attention. She reached out a bit further, until she found Sylar down on the beach, lurking under the wooden slats that supported the pier that held a practical carnival all around her.

After ascertaining their whereabouts, Lydia drew those emotional tendrils back into herself, contained once more, though she kept her eyes closed. The sounds of girls screaming in joy on one ride, the music pounding from another, the call of the barkers reeling people in for games swept over her, and her fingers curled into a fist in the popcorn bag, her other hand near crushing it at the punch of pain that hit hard enough she couldn't breathe.

Sometimes it was more vicious than others. Tonight, she felt tears well, a wordless grief for everything lost, but it ebbed as she took a breath, then another and another, pushing past the tightness in her chest and the lump in her throat. Bad memories eased back, and she let the sense of home wrap around her instead, reveling in the sense of familiarity in a world gone upside down.

The warm arms that slid around her waist helped, and, with a sigh, she leaned back against Sylar's chest. )

Muse: Lydia
Fandom: Heroes
Words: 1360
Notes: Sylar is [ profile] heroslayer and used with love and permission.
thepainted_lady: ([Sylar] Visions of me and you)
Connecting to other people, feeling what they feel, is old hat for Lydia, but having someone return the favor, look into her, see her, connect to her, is something new and she's still not sure how she feels about it.
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: (Default)

October 2011

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