Fallen Angel

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Fallen Angel

Post by Colibri on Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:26 pm

(( Fallen Angel by Three Days Grace ))

Colibri & Mouse



They had survived.

Through the nanoplague zombies and demonic, bladed spider-beings, and even from what seemed like a demon itself.

They had survived....

Colibri had survived....again.

Once everyone had gotten back to the ship and Mouse was busy putting away Marsyas' shell, Col made her way numbly back to her cabin. She needed a shower.

Had to be clean.

And not just from the blood and gore that usually came along with a horrendous event.

She felt dirty, disgusting. Like she could bleach every bit of her from the outside in and it still wouldn't be enough.

She felt like climbing into an autoclave.

Not having the mind to find one big enough to fit herself into, however, she decided a scalding hot shower would have to suffice.

The moment she was in her cabin, closing the door behind her only by habit and not even bothering to lock it, Colibri stripped herself of everything, leaving a trail of clothes and weapons on her way to the bathroom. She turned on the water, not even waiting for it to shift in temperature before stepping in and standing beneath the stream, letting the cold water fall over her pounding skull.

When it turned warm, she began to wash, scrubbing her skin and hair until she was raw, her motions becoming more and more desperate as she went. It wouldn't leave. It wouldn't leave. It wouldn't leave. Flashes of images of what happened invaded her mind one after the other.

Those horrible Gloams...again.

She'd left someone to die...again.

She was trapped in the dark.....

Again.

Violently shaking hands dropped the scrub brush that was so desperately trying to scrape away the dirt of her memories, and she collapsed to her knees at the bottom of the shower as she screamed.

Again and again her helplessness, frustration, hatred, loathing, and fear pushed themselves through her throat in hoarse, unintelligible sounds, hands gripping the sides of her head as if to tear the images away.

WHY WON'T THEY GO AWAY??!!

She had to be rid of them. She had to be rid of them now.

But how?!

The thoughts and emotions and images bored through her head, through her every being. There was no escape.

Col's screaming reduced to panicked breathing as a thought came to her.

No...there was a way.

She shook and slipped and stumbled her way out of the still-running shower, out of the bathroom, and toward her bed and the twin .44's hanging on the bedpost. She didn't even hear the door open behind her as she shakily pried one of the iron revolvers from its leather holster, hands still wet and slippery  fumbling with the now-too-heavy thing as she tried to get a proper grasp on it, her thumb trying and failing to pull the hammer back even as she whimpered and sobbed in her desperation. Finally, the hammer came back, the sandalwood grip rested sufficiently against the ball of her palm, and her mouth opened wide as the barrel came up to join it.

"Col, no!"

There was a flicker of motion, a blur of black and white shot through with motes of red, and suddenly Mouse was just there, her grey eyes wide and horrified. She grabbed Colibri, her slim fingers painfully tight on Col's wrist, and her little finger fell between hammer and cylinder, preventing that awful shot. Her skin was cool to the touch, but smooth and soft and dry, and her other hand rested on the soap-slicked curve of the small of Colibri's back. She'd found time to change, somehow, donning a black t-shirt that clung oddly and short black cotton shorts with the top rolled down, and her grey hair was piled atop her head.

Something was off about her, Col could see. She was still recognizably Mouse, but something about her was wrong.

Mouse froze, not wanting to spook Colibri more than she already had, and her thumb stroked the skin over Colibri's spine in small, slow, infinitely gentle motions. Plush coral lips pursed, and she whispered, "Shhhh, Col, baby...give me the gun, sweetie...this isn't the way..." She shook her head slowly for emphasis, and she rotated her wrist just slightly, trying to exert a little pressure on the pistol without seeming like she was trying to rip the gun from Colibri's hand. "Please..." she whispered again, "please don't go."

Col heard the click of the trigger, her features twitching in expectation of a much louder sound and the supersonic blast of the lead cradled in the weapon's cylinder. When it didn't come, however, she opened her eyes, frowning in confusion and fear, and only then realizing that there was a hand on hers, a body behind her.

Shaking, her hands loosened their grip, really only having the strength for that one moment, and the revolver slipped easily from her fingers. Her head turned to look at the other woman, her panicked expression now holding a confused wonder, as if asking why she was still alive, why she was still seeing those horrid images in her head.

Brows furrowed and head tilted as she turned more fully toward Mouse, studying her face, confused at the differences she saw there, and at the similarities that told her that this was, still, her friend. Tears welled in her already bloodshot eyes as she seemed to come to a decision, her features drawing back into a desperate sob as her shaking frame threw itself at the other, arms clinging to her friend with an iron grip as she wailed and sobbed against her shoulder and neck.

Mouse caught her with a strength that belied her soft, slim form and cradled the broken, traumatized, suicidal love of her life as gently as she could, dropping the discarded pistol to the bed as her arms came up. One arm wrapped around Col low on her back and the other lay up along her shoulder so that Mouse could stroke Colibri's short, dripping red locks, and her cheek lay against Col's hair before she turned her head enough to kiss the tip of Colibri's pointed ear lightly.

"Thaaaat's it, baby, get it all out." She cooed, her breath warm on Col's skin. Her earlier nervousness at coming down to see Colibri was forgotten, as were her sadness and self-loathing. All that mattered was Col, making sure Col was safe, making sure Col was- or would be- alright. She squeezed Colibri just tightly enough to make sure Col knew she was there, but otherwise she let Colibri's first series of wailing cries play out against her neck without so much as twitching save for the slow, gentle motions of her fingers in Col's hair and on her back.

When Colibri ran out of breath for a moment, in the space between one heart-wrenching cry and the next, Mouse whispered, "It's okay, I'm here, you're not alone." She kissed Col's cheek and then, in a single smooth motion, she bent and lifted Colibri up, her hand leaving Col's hair to support her back while her other arm settled behind Colibri's knees. She held the sobbing woman close to her, managing to keep Colibri's face buried in the hollow of her throat, and she crooned a steady stream of soothing, meaningless sounds as she carried Col back into the bathroom.

Colibri started a bit when she was scooped up, arms shifting their position and clinging tighter as if afraid to be dropped and looking a little concerned about being carried like that. However, it was short lived, and she returned to burying her face in the crook of Mouse's neck, her body still trembling from the sobbing, the fear, and now the cold of being in the cool air of her cabin with wet skin.

She allowed her friend to place her back under the shower's stream to rinse the remaining soap from her body, her arms hugging herself and her eyes averting in her shame. She felt ridiculous, stupid, weak. Having to be cared for like some helpless child.

Still, she made no objection as Mouse brought her back out of the bath and dried her off, even as she continued to cry and shake.

Mouse hummed softly as she carefully dried Colibri off and picked her up again, a tune from some operetta long since lost to the marches of time. She'd hummed it a thousand times before, and Col could have sung right along with her if she'd cared to. It was the song that Mouse always hummed when they were together-but-apart, if Mouse was reading and Col was cleaning her guns, if Mouse was cutting Col's hair, if they were waiting for something together but not actually talking. It was something of a touchstone for Mouse, and in a day full of absolute horror, it was a reassuring little touch of normalcy for Mouse.

Carrying Colibri to her bed, Mouse frowned, then shrugged and leaned back slightly, her small foot coming up to catch and push back the covers so that she could lay Colibri on the cool cotton sheets. She was deliberately acting as normally as possible, and not as if she'd walked in to find her best friend literally a centimeter from death. Inside, she was gibbering in abject terror but outside, her pretty, high-cheeked face was placid. She got Col into bed and stripped off her shirt, revealing the new black armband tattoo around her right bicep, which glittered as she climbed over Colibri to lay close beside her and pull the blankets up to cover them both.

Mouse reached up to wipe a tear from Col's cheek, and finally the nervousness of earlier showed in her gesture. Her hand moved in fits and starts and Colibri could feel it trembling as Mouse wiped away the single wet trail and then wrapped her arm around Colibri, urging her closer. "Col, baby, its okay." She said softly. "You're safe and sound and home again. No darkness, no monsters." She kissed Colibri's cheek, a feathery brush of soft lips before she let Col bury her face again if she desired. "Col, honey, say something, please, just to let me know that you're still in there."

Colibri gathered Mouse to her as soon as she had gotten comfortable next to the redhead, arms and legs both wrapping around her lithe form in a desperate cling as she gave another shuddering whimper.

Fingers clenched into fists and arms and shoulders shook when she was asked to speak. She didn't want to speak, didn't trust herself to speak. Gods, she didn't know what she would even say. There was so much in her head, and none of it she wanted to voice.

However, the strained tone in her friend's words urged something from her, and she opened her mouth to speak. Only for a sob to come out instead.

She tried again, managing to get an “I--,” before another sob cut her off. “I left--,” a short wail stopped her, this time, and her body trembled violently before finally crying out the phrase, “I left him to die!!”

Her uncontrolled weeping began anew, and she shook and clung and cried against the only one that had ever cared enough to stick with her, that had stayed alive despite Colibri's curse.

Mouse clung to Colibri nearly as tight as Colibri clung to her, and she stroked Colibri's spine and hair with a single-minded focus. As Col choked out her tortured admission, Mouse shook her head vehemently, and while her tone was still gentle, it was stating, not questioning or pleading.

"No, baby, you didn't." Mouse said simply. She pulled her head back enough to look Col in the eye. "I found you right then, remember? I was there." She kissed Colibri's forehead before continuing, "You were outmatched. You couldn't carry him, not and hold your guns. You were outnumbered seven to one, and we both know how worthless bullets are against the gloams." She glanced away from Colibri and her mouth twisted into a moue of discomfort, not liking what she was about to say.

"Baby, after I killed the gloams who were attacking you, I carried you out. Before I was there, you were blind, hurting, outnumbered, terrified, and holding two empty guns." Mouse's tone had hardened into something between chastising and explanatory. She had to make Colibri see that this wasn't her fault, or she'd just try to kill herself once Mouse wasn't there to stop her. "You couldn't have done anything, and once I was there, I wouldn't let you. Your safety came first. You can blame me, or the monsters, or the nanoplague, but you cannot blame yourself. Not for this."

Mouse kissed Col then, briefly and gently. "Honey, I love that you care about people." When she pulled back she smiled very slightly. "I love that you know- don't think but know- that you're more capable than the rest of humanity, but this was beyond even you. There was nothing you could have done."

Colibri shook her head against Mouse's neck, though even so her weeping had settled down to sobs and hiccups instead of the cracked wailing of before.

“Why?” She whispered, “Why is it all happening again?”

She thought she'd been rid of this, reduced it to nightmares and inconvenient memories, thought she'd left it light years behind her. But here it was again. History repeating itself, despite her attempts to escape it. Now she would have to deal with it all over again. Now the nightmares would be freshened anew.

Mouse stroked Colibri's hair, her back, the tips of her ears. They were old, tired hands at this, and Mouse's fingers had memorized the paths of Colibri's body long ago. They knew where the scars were, where the hurts old and new were, what to avoid, where to touch to pull a sigh or a laugh or a shiver, and where simply helped Colibri feel connected to something other than her demons. So Mouse caressed and stroked and rubbed and tried very hard to keep her own horror and fear at what she had almost been too late to stop from her face.

God, would it never end?

Starbringer had known about the nanoplague. She was part of the reason it was all happening again. If she had just told someone...

Mouse shook her head. "Shhhh, baby," she crooned, "its not happening again. You're not alone this time. No one is going to lock you away or hurt you or take everything away." Her voice was soft and light, and she spoke slowly and carefully, trying to be as soothing and reassuring as she could. She wasn't sure she was successful, she'd never been good with words, but she had to try, for Colibri.

Always, always, everything for Colibri.

Mouse's eyes were dry, but her throat tightened as Colibri sniffled and sobbed again. Somehow, the quiet, wretched sounds were worse than the wailing. At least crying and screaming seemed as though she was lashing out against life's unfairness, but this was too much like she'd been broken, and each time she was hurt, Mouse always faced the same fear; whether this time was the last time, the time she couldn't come back from.

Gods below, this time almost had been the last time.

Mouse swallowed convulsively and pulled Colibri in against her. "Don't be afraid, little hummingbird." She whispered. "You're safe."

Col gave another shuddering sob and clung even tighter to Mouse as she spoke those last words, as if she was afraid the other would disappear, or perhaps confirming that her friend was real and not just some image in one of her dreams that would leave once she awoke...despite how much she wished this was all just another horrible nightmare.

"No one's gonna harm you
Not while I'm around"


The song surprised Mouse as much as it must have surprised Colibri, and privately, Mouse wondered if Tanith were to blame. She knew the song, of course. One didn't while away six years of relative isolation with nothing but tech manuals, and collecting music had always been something of a hobby of Mouse's, the more outré the better, but until it came out of her mouth, Mouse had no idea what she was about to say.

"No one's gonna hurt you
No one's gonna dare"


Mouse didn't dare look to see how Colibri was reacting, but she held the other woman close, one arm wrapped around her to keep Colibri pressed against her, while her free hand slipped down to find Col's. Their earlier confrontation, her feelings and Colibri's feelings or lack thereof were immaterial right now. This wasn't about romance, or love, or sex. This was about closeness, about contact and the need for Colibri to know that she wasn't alone. Mouse would watch her words and actions later.

For now, she wrapped her fingers around her friends' and continued to sing.

"Others may desert you
Not to worry, whistle
I'll be there

Demons can charm you with a smile
For a while
But in time
Nothing can harm you
Not while I'm around"


Everything Colibri had been doing stopped when she heard the song humming forth from Mouse. Even her breath was held as she ceased any sound, trying to figure out if it really was her friend producing the beautiful sound.

After a moment, her breathing began again, and she relaxed slightly, turning her attention to the hand grasping hers, fingers fiddling with the skin of Mouse's knuckles where she could reach them.

Her brows furrowed, however, as she noticed something was missing.

The arm clinging around Mouse's torso released, fingers of that hand coming down to brush over her friend's unusually smooth wrist. She pushed back slightly, moving away just enough to move her gaze and fingers to the Russian's neck, stroking and pushing at the flesh there, her nose crinkling slightly in her confusion.

It was then that she took a longer look at Mouse's new face, the expression on her own warring with confusion, surprise, betrayal and wonder. “What happened to you?” The words were whispered, and held a tone as confused as she was.

Mouse broke off the song to turn her head. Looking Colibri in the eye, Mouse blushed slightly, and her expression was apprehensive as she replied, "I just...got a little help." She said falteringly. "We were both hurting so badly, and I wanted to be stronger, for-"

Mouse shook her head. "I suppose it doesn't matter." She averred. She tilted her head back so that Colibri could see the unbroken, pale flesh of Mouse's neck, with no scar or mark. Her free hand, the one behind Colibri's back, clenched into a fist hard enough to dig her nails into her palms until she tensed in pain for an instant. She hadn't even thought of what not having her scars would mean for Col. They were grim marks of how far they'd come. Mouse hated hers, but she hadn't considered what Col would think if she lost them while Colibri still had hers.

"This was a...well, I guess it was a side effect. I thought I'd always carry those reminders of what we were, but they're all gone now." Mouse said, sounding chagrined. "My face and body are the same story. Just little changes that came along with the other stuff, the speed and strength you saw already." She bit her lip, then asked, "What do you think?"

Colibri looked her friend over a little more fully, the hand at her neck drifting down to that space between chest and shoulder as she thought. “I...” she began, trying to tack down a solid thought in her mind. Col really didn't know what she thought about it. She liked it. She hated it. She envied it.

When she looked back up, she actually managed a very light smile. “I like it.” It was truthful.

A half truth.

A third truth.

But a truth all the same, and she nestled back against Mouse's body to hide how quickly the smile dropped away.

And as Colibri's thoughts turned inward, tears began to fall again.

She was disgusting. She was horrible. She was marred and ugly.

Useless.

Useless.

No matter how Mouse worked the story, she'd still left those two to the monsters in the dark. She'd had to be dragged away in order to survive at all. She'd had to be bathed like a fucking infant...She hated and envied her friend for something she should have been happy for.

She was horrible.

Disgusting.

Useless...

Mouse's spirits rose at the tentative little smile as Colibri touched her neck, but then she felt the tears start against her neck and shoulder again, and was immediately crushed. She squeezed her eyes tight against tears she had no hope of stopping and turned to face Colibri more fully.

"I'm sorry, malysh." Mouse whispered thickly. She pulled Col close, and Col could feel Mouse's hands trembling on her back. "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you, I didn't mean for any of this to happen, I'm...sorry."

There was no singing now. For all of Mouse's newfound power, for all of Colibri's preternatural skill and inhuman vitality, they were still two scarred, hurt, guilty young women, and Mouse clung to Colibri as she hadn't since they were children.

Somehow, Mouse kept her tears out of her voice, kept from sniffling too often or from shaking too violently, but that was all she could do. She wanted to comfort Col, wanted to be her strength again, so she did her best to keep Colibri from noticing her own reactions, and for several seconds, the room was silent except for the soft sounds of their crying.

"I'm not leaving you. Not ever." Mouse suddenly whispered fiercely. "I won't. I can't. Please," Mouse swallowed, and her voice softened, "please don't leave me either. Not like you were going to tonight. I..." Don't say it, she's going to hate you, "I need you."

Col's quiet crying was broken by another sob, but she nodded against Mouse's shoulder, unable or unwilling to speak. But the nod was an agreement, a promise, an acceptance.

Yes, she would stay. As long as Mouse was there, she would stay.
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Colibri

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