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: (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: ([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: (Softly pretty)
[ooc: This isn’t really verse specific, exactly, but loosely based on some RP-ideas she’s done here and there. Mostly, it’s a fic that needed to be written and not intended to dismantle those RPs, even for the sections aimed at each character. They aren’t aimed at a specific muse, if that makes sense? More at an idea of a relationship with the character in a post-canon world. Not me--or her--breaking off specific RPs. The fic has been in my head for a while, but I don’t want other muns coming and going, “OMG is Lydia leaving my muse!” because, no, she’s not. Even if maybe it might be healthiest for her to do so for a while. K? K. *<3’s you all*]

The smell of your skin lingers on me now
You're probably on your flight back to your home town
I need some shelter of my own protection, baby
To be with myself and center, clarity
Peace, Serenity

The first time he’d shown up at the carnival after everything had settled back into what she had started to think of as 'life after Samuel,' Lydia hadn’t really known what to make of him. )

The path that I'm walking
I must go alone
I must take the baby steps 'til I'm full grown, full grown
Fairytales don't always have a happy ending, do they?
And I foresee the dark ahead if I stay

He’d come back, like some prince on a dark horse. )

Like the little school mate in the school yard
We'll play jacks and Uno cards
I'll be your best friend and you'll be my Valentine
Yes you can hold my hand if you want to
'Cause I want to hold yours too
We'll be playmates and lovers and share our secret worlds
But it's time for me to go home
It's getting late, dark outside
I need to be with myself and center, clarity
Peace, Serenity

Sixteen years of denial and evasion melted in tears and relief at surviving the most terrifying day of their lives, as words bottled up too long came tumbling out, caught up in clothes discarded by frantic hands and all tangled between fevered limbs. )

I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has nothing to do with you
It's personal, myself and I
We've got some straightening out to do

And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
But I've got to get a move on with my life
It's time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry

She wanted him, wanted to lean on him, wanted to let him become her new Northern star, to lead her and her family through this murky new world, and make everything right in the world again. )
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: ([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 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,
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 [ profile] hearts_andminds RP/plot or other 'verse seems indicated, Samuel here is [ profile] offering_hope and Edgar is [ profile] right_handman.]
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'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: ([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: ([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: ([Edgar] Trust you with my life)
Let me be your shelter
Let me be your light
You're safe, No one will find you
Your fears are far behind you...
All I want is freedom,
A world with no more night
And you, always beside me,
To hold me and to hide me...
Then say you'll share with me
One love, one lifetime
Let me lead you from your solitude
Say you need me with you here, beside you...
Anywhere you go, let me go too
That's all I ask of you...

She saves the voicemail message, even though it might not be the wisest idea. Samuel knows of the phone, now, knows she has it--he could come looking, searching at any time, to see if she's keeping any more secrets from him. But she keeps it just the same, as if in defiance of the danger, however small a defiance it might be. It's something she can play in the night, in her trailer, when she's scared of what's to come, scared for Amanda, scared for all of them.

It gives her hope, even more than the text message exhorting her to keep on fighting. She's never been much of a fighter, doesn't know how to stand up to Samuel, truly, without bringing down his wrath. How can she hope to sway him from his course, when he's so determined and in possession of such power? He seems to grow stronger every day, and more bent on a path that leads to ruin, for all of them. Part of her knows she should just leave. Pack Amanda up and go--anywhere. They could go back to Carol, surely, if only for a little while. Amanda wouldn't go alone, but maybe, if Lydia promised to go with her, maybe then she would go.

And Carol would take them in.  She'd have to.  If Lydia had to tell her about what they both were, so be it...but then what?  How would she support them?  How would she survive out there?  If she leaves Amanda again, she has no doubt she'll find her way back here, back to Samuel's influence.  There's no assurance, even, he wouldn't come after them, should they go.  Joseph never held anyone to the family if they wished to leave, but Samuel...Samuel needs them in ways she cannot understand. He's unreasonable about it, about building the family, growing it, "helping" all those lost out there, but they aren't all lost, not really, and underneath his words something rings false. He isn't outright lying, she doesn't think, but he's driven more by power than altruism, and he won't listen to her, not anymore.

She curls up at night, and she tries to think of a way out, and she knows she can't do it alone.  Moreover, she figures out, finally, listening to the message for the upteenth time, hearing the echo of his voice and the way it calms her, even from so far away--she doesn't want to do it alone. She misses him with an ache she can't deny, like part of herself has been torn away. She has her daughter, the person she channeled all of her longing into, but that hole she's lived with for so long is still there. Amanda's here, but Edgar is gone, and that's wrong, somehow, above and beyond everything that Samuel has done or is planning.  It's wrong not to see his face, wrong not to hear his voice in the morning, wrong not to have his strength to lean on.

The laugh in her throat turns almost to a sob, because she realizes she misses what she never had almost as much as what she did, and so she plays the message again, and she tries to draw strength and hope from it, for gaining back what was lost and something so much more besides.

"Lydia, it's me. I don't know when; I don't know how. But I'll come back for both of you. I promise."*

Edgar has always kept his promises to her, and she softly promises herself that when he fulfills this one, she'll make a few of her own, and neither of them will ever have to be alone again.

[*Quote from "Slow Burn" - Part 10/ Edgar is [ profile] right_handman ]


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