"If you’re gay, you can just tell me. I won’t judge."
…Nah, not worth it.
“You caught me.”
starlitxraven & sidescrollerss & ohfiendangelical
"If one more of you dickfucks tries to look up this skirt, I’m strangling you with my bare legs."
“I have, like, no interest in whatever sorcery you have going on down there.”
She has to think about that last bit—she has to think about how, in reality, it didn’t matter if she remembered everything or nothing because Zero was happy to have her. That was all that mattered to Zero—he had her back, she was safe in his arms and she wasn’t far away again, she wasn’t alone again. Abra quivers, looks back to her partner for a few long moments before sounding a small whimper. She shifts, turning on his lap and straddling the man as tiny hands brush over his jaw, his face. Bright eyes raise, meeting his own as teeth sink into her bottom lip.
”…We’re together now—”
She whispers this, thick lashes lowering for a few long moments before she brings her eyes back to meet Zero’s. He’s got such dark eyes—raven colored, heavy-lidded and clear.
“…We weren’t together months ago—but we are now…did you know that—?”
Zero smiles at her, leaning in to press a kiss to her lips. They’re always so soft and sweet, like she’d never even been down below. He always noticed that his lips felt dry and cracked all the time, even if he looked in a mirror or touched them and they seemed fine. He wondered if she felt the same, or if everything she suffered was different than how Hell had affected him personally.
It was amazing, how differently Hell could effect someone. To some people, the same places looked entirely different simply due to their own perceptions of things. Sometimes Zero thinks that the only reason he survived was because those in Hell perceived him as a greater threat than he really was.
“And we’re gonna stay together, now.”
She isn’t mad at him any longer—only somber and sad that she doesn’t understand once more. She thought she was beginning to piece together the fragments of herself that she didn’t understand—but it was a loss, wasn’t it? An angel—how could she be one of those beautiful, terrifying things? Abra falls back into his touch, hitching in a small breath as tiny hands raise to brush over Beau’s larger ones. He’s so much bigger than her—ages ago, it would lend her to feel insecure of her own size. But now she only feels warmth at being so protected by him.
She peers back towards her partner with a soft expression, digits curling before a small, sad smile flickers over her full mouth. She shifts, resting her cheek against his chest and looking down at her lap.
”…Can’t be—helped. It’s life now. Maybe it will—make more sense. Tomorrow.”
“Yeah. Yeah, maybe.”
Zero smiles back at her, willing to be so. He tells himself the same words over and over again, that these things take time, that it may not be as easy as he would like, but he keeps living on the belief that tomorrow will be better. Abra appears to have picked it up too, and he’s glad for that—she needs to think like that. He hopes she will more often.
“Don’t you worry about a thing. Before you know it, everything’s going to be making a lot more sense. Just take it a day at a time and remember that we love you—I love you—no matter what, okay? It doesn’t matter how long it’s taking for you to remember things. All that matters is that you’re here, and we have you again.”
She could cry. He always sounds so reasonable when he speaks to her, and she always feels so small and stupid even if he’s telling her she shouldn’t feel this way—she can’t seem to help it, can she? She is small and stupid—there’s nothing good about what she is now, a girl who can’t remember much of anything was a hopeless girl, how could she be Abra? She feels so lost within herself, quickly bowing her head at those words and rubbing a hand through her knotted hair.
“…Nothing to—ask. Those are the. Facts I guess. That’s what I am.”
Tears cloud her vision—she hitches in a sharp breath, feeling her digits begin to quiver as she pushes her hair back and quickly lowers her glossy eyes. It hurts so violently—she shakes her head, pulling in a small breath and attempting to rid herself of the sadness that tore into her.
Zero bites his tongue as he looks toward her, wishing that there was more he could do to make her feel better. He wishes he hadn’t let her go out into the woods that day, he wishes he had been paying closer attention. None of this would be happening if he had just kept her inside, told her he wanted to be with her. She wouldn’t be hurting and he wouldn’t be constantly at a loss.
“I’m sorry, Abra.”
He eases forward, making sure she isn’t going to grow panicky, and then slips his arms around her. Kissing the top of her head, he pets her hair and tries to exude comfort, hoping that this will help in some way, even if it isn’t much.
“I’d do anything if it would help you. I hope you know that, I really would.”
You never can tell if Abra is listening to any conversation. You could be having a conversation consisting of tiny little whispers with Abra across the room working on her own needlework—and quite suddenly, she would offer her own reflective input about the conversation or storm off because she heard something she didn’t like. Other times, she truly isn’t listening—lost in her own little world, feeling full flower petals with her tiny fingers and dropping hot wax on the palms of her hands. She’s listening now, though, even if it isn’t obvious—she’s peering back towards Zero after a few long moments, feeling herself grow terribly anxious because even if she does forgive him that doesn’t mean her problems will be resolved—it’s such a difficult thing, for her to try to piece together what she might have been, what she could have been.
She feels so hopeless and small, the words she’s reading not resonating well enough with her—what is she? Why did Zero tell her she was that so callously and carelessly? Abra finally looks to him, feeling upset and sad as her nails lightly scratch at bare arms. She quickly looks down.
…—I never knew what I was. Didn’t know I was—that.
Didn’t know and—I felt so. Dumb and stupid. I should know.”
“No, no. That’s not dumb and stupid. There’s a lot of things that we both forgot, it’s no different than any of the other things you’ve had to relearn. It doesn’t make you stupid at all. It just means you’re having a few setbacks. I didn’t realize that was one of the things you didn’t know. I would have approached it more carefully if I had known that. It shocked me at first.”
He’d remembered what he was when he got out—but, that was more natural. He’d been reminded at every turn. Even when her name was slipping away from him, he knew exactly what he was, he knew that he belonged down there. It was differnt for her. A lot of things are.
“If there’s—anything you want to ask me about all this, you can, you know? I didn’t mean to scare you off like that. I didn’t even realize I was being mean.”
She takes the yogurt reluctantly, frowning and looking towards her beau with a look of both disdain and agitation in her bright eyes. She hasn’t really been able to collect any thoughts about the appendages that were supposed to be rooted within her shoulder blades—she doesn’t know, she doesn’t understand. She feels so very lost all over again and she wishes it would all stop but for now she has to contend with her beau, and her heart hurts so badly and she sets the yogurt on top of her book and chews into her bottom lip.
”—I’m not going to. Forgive you I don’t even need your—permission to not eat it all because I’ll do it anyway and I don’t care.”
He had hurt her own hypersensitive feelings, really, feeling that his deadpan nature made her terribly insecure about her own species—it hurt her head so badly, and she can’t help but not feel like Abra all over again. It’s such a frustrating process, she wants to cry—she had been crying, but she doesn’t want to think about the frustrated tears that had been shed. It would only make her cry again.
“Bunny, I hadn’t meant to upset you. I thought I was being nice. Sometimes I’m bad at that, you know, being nice. I’m having to learn some stuff too, and that’s one of the big ones. I’ve been having to work on learning that even since before all of this happened, sometimes I can be very bad and there was a time when I wasn’t even apologetic about it. Sometimes I didn’t even know what I was doing was bad, that’s how clueless I was. And I’m a little better now, thankfully, but my point is that sometimes, on accident, I might say or do something that’ll upset you. Just like sometimes you might say or do things that upset me. But we both love each other, don’t we? And we never mean to hurt one another. The most we can do is apologize and forgive, and try to do better next time.”
He looks at her, a little helpless in the situation, and sets down the yogurt by her. He’s out of words for the moment, hoping to fuck none of that could be misconstrued badly. Biting his tongue, he falls into silence and peers around the room, that eerie feeling setting in, knowing that by leaving he would be showing terrible carelessness and that staying may be equally as damaging to the situation.
She’s rather complicit in her place now—settled on top of an old mattress directly before the rays of light streaming in from the window and slats that had gone loose, Abra has surrounded herself with various texts, scribbling in the books that really weren’t hers to scribble in (she would accept her punishment like a soldier) with William’s lock of hair tied in a bow at her feet.
She doesn’t pay any mind as Zero comes in—far too entrenched in her readings and childish stubbornness, Abra holds her silence, flipping through the pages of the book closest to her left knee and frowning to herself. She looks terribly distressed, hair gone awry and hunched form dressed in only a blouse and old pair of underwear.
Finally, she speaks.
”Did you eat the spiderwebs.”
Zero looks at her for a moment and lets out a breath, slightly concerned about the state of her but also knowing she most certainly wouldn’t take kindly to any sort of forced hair brushings or anything of the like. He takes a few steps forward and sits down, holding out the yogurt for her to take.
“I didn’t. I thought there may be more up here. And then you’d have the satisfaction of watching.”
If she really wants him to do it, he will. There have been things that he’s done that are far more gross, so this should be a walk in the park, if not a little uncomfortable and disgusting.
“Also, if you don’t want to eat, you only have to take five bites and I’ll finish the rest and will tell Liam you ate it all. But only this time, ‘cause I really want you to forgive me.”
“I’m assuming. Could be wrong. Probably am not.”
Another sip of his drink. Ah, and there are more questions—why would William give a prompt response? They’ve both got forever—he sees no point in rushing such things, finishing off his coffee before he’s shifting back to the coffee maker. He takes his time, pouring himself another mug before he’s looking back towards Zero.
“I suppose. She’s having a crisis because she didn’t know she was an angel and can’t remember anything, I’m guessing. She took a great deal of religious and folklore texts upstairs, so…I guess she’s either trying to cast a spell or do some introspective thinking. I don’t know. But she forgot to take her daily vitamins—I took the liberty of mashing them into yogurt for her. It’s in the fridge. Make sure she eats all of it.”
“You’re too kind,” Zero says flatly, stalking past William and opening the fridge. He rifles around, making sure that everything is out of place (as is his way), and then finds the yogurt. He salutes to the old man almost wearily, giving a small wave and calling thank you over his shoulder as he climbs the stairs to go to the attic.
The goddamn attic, where nothing good ever happens.
He knocks on the door before poking his head inside, peering around as he slowly steps in, as though he’s afraid of being caught and sent back to Hell for being up here at all. Zero tends to avoid the attic, having far too many bad memories of Abra’s sanctuary.
“I come bearing yogurt and hoping for forgiveness.”
Liam glances up from his reading, arching a brow in Zero’s general direction before he’s looking back down at his paper. He wouldn’t be opposed to Zero eating spiderwebs, it’s crafty punishment on Abra’s part and he won’t argue to her craftiness being acted out in reality. She deserves some acknowledgement.
Sounding a small yawn and lifting his steaming drink to his mouth, he takes a long drink, using up half an eternity to reply to Zero before he finally lowers his newspaper and folds it beneath his own arm.
“—She’s in the attic, I think. She took up a pair of scissors and a lock of my hair. I assume she’s making voodoo dolls.”
Zero (im)patiently waits for the man to get on with his answer, doing his best to stand still and anticipate it. He’s never been too good at that; when he asks a question, he wants and expects an immediate answer without so much as a beat between the end of the question and the response. This is like torture to him, but Liam lets him live here for free and hasn’t tried dissecting him, so he owes it to the man.
“You’re old and wise, do you suppose I should go and grovel now or wait? I’m assuming I should grovel now, but, apparently, I am often wrong in how to go about things.”