Everything I Can Never Have

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You can thank Flash for this. 

Or burn him at the stake for it. 

Either way, thanks to him, I’m posting a scene from my latest story/novel/thing. 

Well, actually it’s more of a short story spinoff thing. I was writing about the background of one of the characters in the story/novel/thing and one thing lead to another and I ended up writing a short story.

Which includes a sex scene at the end.

Also, yes Flash, that’s what I named you. Welcome to my blog. Don’t bother stalking it for new posts because you’ll only see one once every blue moon. Blame Year 12.

And no Daniel, you cannot toast marshmallows on Flash’s bonfire.

Let’s go.

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“I don’t love her…” grumbled Xavier. 

“Well you’re going to have to. You want to be a humanitarian, you need money. Which your parents won’t give to you if you refuse to marry her.”

“Oh I can marry her.” He rolled his eyes. “What’s a few more lies? Yes, I am interested in attending that gala. Of course I like that decor, put it all over our home. Yes, I love you and want and spend the rest of my life with you.”

Cassidy sighed. “You shouldn’t have let your parents meet her if you despise her so much.”

“Oh, I didn’t introduce her. She conveniently found a book that I left behind and went to my house to drop it off. When I got back from work, she had them eating out of her hand.”

She let out a long whistle. “She’s that good, huh?”

Xavier groaned. “Yeah, she’s everything they dreamed of. Well groomed, impeccable manners, and most importantly, our children will be physically perfect.”

“And boring as batshit. Here’s an idea, after she gives the Augustine line their precious offspring, set her up in the most public, most scandalous affair you can imagine. Mummy and Daddy will rush to remove her from the family portrait.”

“And tarnish the reputation of our children? Have them questioning their parentage? My parents have enough trouble keeping us in line already.” 

She stuck her tongue out at him. “You’re boring too.”

He ignored her. “Not to mention the bullying and psychological damage that years of name calling would cause. It would be less traumatic for them if she died.” 

Cassidy glanced around her apartment. “Since there’s no wood to knock on…” She tapped on the glass coffee table. Xavier rolled his eyes at her. “Would your wife even be interested in raising your children?” she asked, a slow smile spreading across her lips. “Maybe you’ll be needing a nanny. Think Mummy would recognise me?” 

Xavier shook his head, smiling. “Oh they’ve never forgotten you. And you’d never be able to remain civil and polite for so long. There’s also the fact that you hate children.”

“Not if I had to push them out of me, I wouldn’t. But I can deal with other people’s children fine. Just don’t make me give birth to one.”

“Isn’t that half the joy for women? Experiencing the miracle of birth?”

“This is why you need someone like me as a nanny. Otherwise your children are going to grow up stupid,” she told him. 

“I think the term is idealistic.” Xavier wasn’t at all put off by Cassidy’s insult.

“As I was saying…” Cassidy was ignoring him. “If I had a baby, I’d probably go under watch for post natal depression, knowing my parents’ history. And your soon to be fiancĂ© is probably the same.”

“You don’t know that,” Xavier said.

“You said it before; she’s an air headed snob, she’s probably never even heard of it. I bet that she’s never going to give you head.”

“Oh, the horror,” Xavier said dryly. “I don’t believe I can handle such a torturous fate!”

The doorbell rang. Before he could say anything, Cassidy threw a blanket over Xander’s head before answering it. Xander rolled his eyes and smiled. He could fall asleep like this, on Cassie’s couch. He was even beginning to drift off when she plopped herself next to him. “I come with unhealthy peasant food!” she announced, handing him plastic container filled with rice and a bright red sauce. “Don’t tell Mummy.”

“I eat this all the time, I’m not that sheltered,” he told her. “Now go put on the movie.”

“Whatever you say, your highness,” Cassidy rolled her eyes as she got up.

“Did Matthew have the pleasure of being called ‘your highness’?” he asked provocatively.

“Of course not, he’s an asshole,” she retorted. “The only reason I call you ‘your highness’ is because it makes you laugh, which is better than you being a poor little rich boy.” The opening credits started playing, and she went to go dim the lights. When old Zachary began his story, she finally returned with the bottle of wine. “I’ve got a feeling I’m going to need a lot of this,” she informed him, settling down with her curry. 

“You’ll enjoy it,” Xavier reassured her.

She did, much to Xavier’s satisfaction. It was so rare to find a movie that she could sit through without getting bored, though she did come up with a drinking game for it; drink every time the sextet plays, a magic birthmark appears, or you recognise an actor playing more than one character. By the end of it, the bottle was empty, and she was snuggled against him. “You’re so much more cuddly when you’re plastered,” Xavier informed her.

“Am not,” she mumbled, not making any attempt to move herself from her current position. “And so are you.”

He smiled in the dark. The only sound that could be heard was their steady breathing. It was peaceful.

“You’ve never done it before, have you?” she asked softly. There was no teasing in her voice this time.

“Of course not,” he replied. “Girls were terrifying in high school. And now that I’m considered old enough to carry on the lineage, I’m not allowed to get into any ‘scandals’. Not that I was before. Surely you know this?”

“Yeah,” she said. “I guess it only sank in when I saw you watch Chang and Sonmi.” She looked up at him, almost gentle. “You’re a romantic. The worst thing you can be in this world.”

Xavier rolled his eyes. “Pessimist.”

There was silence. “Have you ever wanted to?”

“Do what?”

“Don’t be so naive. You know what I’m talking about.”

He looked down at her. “Of course I have.”

“What stopped you?”

“.,.fear?” It sounded more like he was asking.

“Fear?”

“I don’t know!” he said impatiently. “It’s harder than you make it out be. The possibility that she’d laugh in your face is terrifying. And why would she even both with you? She’s beautiful and unattainable, and you’re just this scared guy she probably hates.”

“Why would she hate you?” She frowned. 

Xavier was about to respond, but he cut himself off. He searched desperately for a suitable answer. “You know how it is,” he said weakly. “Girls are proud…haughty…you know? And it’s a fucking private school too, so they’re worse.”

“…ah.” She went quiet again.

Xavier went on. “I’m not like you. I’m scared of what will happen if I do something I shouldn’t. I’m scared of messing up permanently, and losing everything I love as a result. And-” His lips were suddenly covered by her palm. He stared at her in shock, before the blood rushed to his face. 

She wouldn’t look away from him. “You shouldn’t think so much,” she informed him. “If you want something, you should take it. In that regard you should be more like your family.” She took her hand down from his face, and rested it on his shoulder. He was frozen, completely entranced. “Don’t be scared of me. If you don’t want something, tell me, and I’ll stop. And I won’t mind if you do.” She looked deep into his eyes, waiting for affirmation.

He swallowed, closing his eyes. Despite the pit in his stomach, the hammering of his heartbeat against his chest, there was a part of him that was screaming at him to accept. Despite that, the words of loyalty were on the tip of his tongue. I can’t do that to Annabelle…My family will kill me… “I…” 

“I don’t want anything from you,” Cassidy insisted. “I don’t care if you walk out of here and never contact me again. But…if I can help you this way…”

“How…how is this helping?”

This time, it was Cassidy going still. “I…I want to show you what it’s like. When…it doesn’t have to be a chore. And…” Another pause. “…I want your first time to be with me,” she admitted. 

Xavier opened his eyes. She was looking away from him, her long hair hiding her colourless face. She moved her hand from his shoulder and stood up, almost robotically, clearing the coffee table of the empty takeout containers and wine glasses. The lights came on, and she went to the kitchen, leaving Xavier alone. 

The sane part him turned to the door, listing to him all the reasons that this shouldn’t happen. What would they do if they knew? His parents saw her as a corrupting force, a gold digging hobo who would bring nothing but scandal. They’d destroy her if they knew that she…that he had let her…

He wasn’t ready for this. Truth be told, he wasn’t even sure he’d be ready on his wedding night. All of his weaknesses- his shyness, his complete lack of self confidence- would be on full display. He was terrified of looking foolish, and he knew that Annabelle would rip him to shreds if he did. He thought of Cassie’s teasing and bitter remarks. Would she be just as critical as a lover? He didn’t know. 

But he did know that he felt more like himself around Cassidy than he ever would with Annabelle.

He stood up. He wished that he was normal, that something like this would come easily to him. His voice came out a stammer. “Cassie…”

She didn’t respond. He walked over to the kitchen, where she was rinsing the pan of failed casserole. “I know you can hear me,” he told her. Cassidy said nothing, but she inclined her head slightly. Xavier breathed in. “I don’t know what to do,” he confessed.

“That’s fine,” she said. “You don’t have to make yourself do-” 

“No, I mean, I don’t know what to do,” he interrupted. “I mean…I don’t know what sort of things that I’m meant to do, or how I’m meant to touch you. But…” He nearly jumped when Cassidy suddenly looked over her shoulder, but he quickly regained control. He inhaled. “But…I want to. And I want…”

She turned her whole body away from the sink then. “Do you want me to show you?” she asked directly. She made no move to touch him, however.

So Xavier took a small step forward. When she wasn’t wearing heels, they stood eye to eye. He breathed in, averting his eyes. “Yes…I do,” he said, ignoring the discomfort in his stomach. “But…just so you know, I probably won’t be any good,” he added hurriedly.

Her lips curled into a small smile. “I wouldn’t expect you to be,” she told him. “But that’s okay.” She glanced downward, and raised her hand to the laces of her shirt. 

Xavier’s hand came over hers, stopping it. Before she could say anything, he cupped her face and pressed his lips against hers, losing himself in the warmth of her skin. She feels and smells like summer, he thought, before his hand found her neck and he lowered his head to nuzzle into the softness, planting kisses against the base of her throat. He could feel Cassidy sway slightly, before suddenly tightening her grip on his hand. He looked up at her, feeling the heat come back to his face, and any confidence he had gained from kissing her retreated to the back of his mind. 

She noticed his discomfort and smiled reassuringly. She leant in again, for another kiss, and Xavier was suddenly aware of his zipper being pulled down, and the warmth of her fingers searching around the fabric of his-

He let out a yelp, as if he was a scared little puppy instead of a grown man. He felt the blood rush to his face, praying that Cassidy wouldn’t laugh. Their eyes met, and his chest tightened, as he felt the urge to bolt. Her hand backed away, but he was still trembling from her touch. “May I?” she asked gently. When he didn’t answer, she released his hand and rested it against his face, waiting again.

Xavier took in another deep breath, and nodded. In case that wasn’t enough for her, he put his hands on her waist, pulling her towards him. His lips found her again, and she relaxed quickly. Her fingers traced the edge of his waistband, Xavier’s breaths becoming shorter and shorter the further her hand went. When she first stroked him, he couldn’t help but shudder, gripping onto her like a lifeline. Her hand kept going, and just when Xavier thought he’d fall apart, she stepped away from him, chuckling slightly as he groaned in frustration. Finally there was a trace of the Cassie he was used to. He didn’t stop her as she stripped off her shirt and her shorts, nor when she wrapped herself around him, drawing him to the kitchen bench where she hopped up and looked down at him with eyes almost black, though there was still that slither of silver at the edge.

Forgetting everything, forgetting his promises, forgetting his duty, Xavier crushed her against him, kissing her breasts through the thin fabric of her bra and cupping her mound with his hand. His fingers pushed aside the flimsy underwear, running one down the entrance of her sex. When she let out a sigh, he looked up, surprised. Cassidy looked just as shocked, though she instantly recovered, making her face as neutral as possible. “I’m the one who should do the teasing,” she murmured. She wouldn’t look at him.

Xavier felt like grinning, but then her hand was stroking him again, and the pit in his stomach returned. Her grip was tighter than before, but it definitely wasn’t unpleasant. “Does this feel good? Or do you want more than this?” she asked him, taking back control.

Her touch was so warm, so tantalising that it made Xavier ache. “Please…” he managed to speak.

“Do you want to?”

“…yes.” He took the hand that was rubbing him, hesitating. No matter what Cassie said, he couldn’t stop now; the line had already been crossed. He did his best to ignore his heart throbbing in his chest, as he held her by her hips and finally buried himself inside her, sealing away his soul.

Madness took over. He grabbed her legs, kissing her frantically as he drove into her again and again. All his fear had vanished. The threat of his family was gone. The only thing that existed was the skinny little homeless girl he met three years ago- who now writhed beneath him on the granite benchtop, calling out his name. 

It had never been that simple though, and from that moment on, there would be absolutely nothing that could’ve described what she meant to him. The moment he finally collapsed into her, her name spilling out from his lips, Xavier could’ve died then and died happy. Instead, they slid onto the kitchen floor, wrapped in each other’s embrace. Neither of them wanted to move, especially him. For that moment of time, he had everything that he could ever want, and everything that he would never be allowed to have.

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Dark Rooms and Butterflies

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Okay, time to get Life is Strange out of my system.

Namely, Episode 4. 

Daniel, what are your thoughts to the very last scene in the latest episode?

“…that sick fuck.”

Yeah…me too. 

Okay, from this point, we’re going to spoil everything, so if you haven’t seen the episode, take a deep breath, and back away. Mmkay?

Okay! Let’s go Daniel!

“…where?”

You know! Episode! Thoughts!

“You’re the English buff. You give your thoughts. I’ll just pop in every now and then as the obligatory fanservice guy.”

See? You’re better at this than you think. Ugh…fine.

Sooooooo, this episode’s major plot twists, along with my guesstimations.

  • The Dark Room Recap

This episode involves our favourite hipster and her BFF- whom she kills in another dimension by the way- friends once more after Chloe’s tantrum at the end of last episode, as they go on to investigate Rachel’s disappearance. Everything’s all butterflies and rainbows, including a crowning moment of awesome for Warren who punches Hipster Draco Malfoy in the face, when all of a sudden, BAM! Rape dungeon. 

More specifically, apocalypse bunker used as a rape dungeon. Either way, seedy shit is happening down there. Chloe finds out that Nathan/HDM receives his drug deliveries at an isolated barn on the outskirts of town, so she and Maxlock Holmes head out to investigate. After searching the barn, we it. Duct tape, creepy sex art, sedatives in the form of needle injection (squick), and the real kicker, photos. Of Rachel and Kate Marsh. That’s not all. In the midst of all these rape dungeon photos, there’s one photo taken at a garbage dump, with Rachel is lying on top of a freshly dug hole…

Yup. Rachel’s dead. At the very least, she’s dead in this universe. Which means Chloe is mad. So now it’s time to hunt down Nathan. After searching for him at the End Of The World party (worst attempt at ironic humour EVER), we get a text from him, telling us that he’s going to get rid of the evidence. Back to the dump site; oh good, Rachel’s still there. Still dead. Yay. Everything’s okay- BAM! MAX GETS SHOT WITH A SEDATIVE. BAM! CHLOE GETS SHOT WITH AN ACTUAL GUN. BAM! IT’S NOT NATHAN, IT’S *gasp* PROFESSOR SEXY! Or Mr Jefferson, if you prefer.

“…I find your tendency to want to jump the villain of every story hilarious.”

…I’m never gonna find love, am I Daniel?

“Hey, I never said you fell in love with them. I merely said that you wanted to get in their pants.”

Fair point.

Anyway, our last shot before the episode ends completely is back at the rape dungeon, where Mr Jefferson/Evil Hipster is filling an injection needle, while Max pleads in the background. Meanwhile, the world’s ending. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Now’s my favourite part. Predicting the future, ie. The finale episode. Let’s do this.

  • Jefferson’s Story

It’s obvious by this point that Jefferson has something to do with Nathan. He’s in his family’s bunker, using drugs that Nathan bought. Why? I refuse to believe that he’s a Malfoy, because that would be a lame way to justify how he has access to the bunker, so I’m thinking that Jefferson is blackmailing him in some way. Originally, I was thinking that Nathan was an accomplice, due to Chloe’s own drugging, but now I think that Jefferson may have found out about his mental health history and drug dealing, and blackmailed him into buying him drugs and letting him use his bunker. 

“Wait, I get the drug dealing but why the mental health thing? Doesn’t the school already know about that?”

I’m not entirely sure, Daniel. But I think that if it got out to the general public, who hate the Malfoys/Prescotts, then they would be in ruin. 

“Why? Because he suffers from mental ilness? The town’s not that shallow, is it?”

I actually saw it another way. There was a letter highlighting how his dad refused to support his son and help him receive therapy. I imagine that this would be more exploitable than just the mere knowledge that Nathan Prescott needs meds to function properly. Speaking of which, he’s not taking them. 

“Oh?”

There’s a full bottle of pills in his room. I’m betting you that he’s not taking them.

“Very well. I’ll bite. Explain.”

Okay. It seems that Nathan’s behaviour has been cooking for a while. I imagine that Jefferson was probably taunting him about him having to be on medication, so I’m going to take a gamble here and say that Nathan couldn’t handle it, and decided to try going off them. Or the illegal drugs he’s taking are clashing with the legal ones and are fucking with his brain. But I feel that if that were the case, then this sort of behaviour would’ve become apparent long before the events of the game, as neither the medication or the drug use have been taken up recently. Anyway, I think that Nathan’s deterioration allowed Jefferson to mould him into the perfect accomplice and scapegoat; his family owns the barn, Frank’s book proves that he purchased drugs and asked them to be delivered there, he’s obviously deranged- deranged enough that he’s being dragged along as an accomplice in all this-, he has photos of a drugged Chloe in his room, and he’s already a suspect in Rachel Amber’s murder. Remember? Rachel in the Dark Room, Rachel in the Dark Room.

“I like your theory.”

Thank you….but?

“…but you’re missing one thing. The photo of him standing over Rachel’s body. Your theory implies that he was dragged into this. So why’s he posing with her?”

That, I don’t really know. Maybe he didn’t know she was dead and was just being stupid. Or, maybe he was high on something and wasn’t lucid enough to realise that Rachel was actually dead, or that Jefferson was taking the photo. If that’s true, then it’s another piece of blackmail on Nathan’s back. But yeah…to be honest, I haven’t really accounted for it.

“Well I think that it holds up, though I reckon that the photo will end up being the primary item of blackmail, rather than the mental illness. But it would be an interesting explanation, and it would probably make Nathan more tragic.”

Okee, so that’s the relationship between HDM and Professor SexyEvil Hipster out of the way. Next on the agenda:

  • Escaping the rape dungeon

Like I said before, the world’s ending outside. Max is in the bunker with Jefferson, and if it weren’t for the fact that he’s a rapist who killed Chloe and Rachel, it’s probably the safest place for her right now. The main problem is disposing of the Evil Hipster. Unfortunately, she’s equipped with nothing but her time travelling abilities, which is going to make things difficult, especially since that injection appears to effect her abilities, though I don’t know if she’ll be completely incapacitated. Rewinding can give her more time to escape, but unless there’s a way for her to actually escape her restraints, it won’t be much use. Stopping time is the same, (although I can see that more useful in another scenario…) which leads me to believe that her latest ability is going to be equipped, if not a Rachel Amber ex-machina.

Like they say, if a gun appears on stage, at some point during the play, it must go off. Likewise, that photo we took with Warren at the party is probably going to help us change the past. Not only will we be able to get one step ahead of Jefferson, but we can stop Chloe from dying (again). The only problem I can foresee is that Max will go back to a new altered present, and if she’s not back in the rape dungeon/bunker, then she’s going to be stuck in the middle of a hurricane, while everyone dies around her. 

“Why can’t she die?”

Shhhhh. Because she’s the protagonist.

“Doesn’t stop you.”

I’m not a protagonist, I’m more like Scrappy Doo. You’re the one this story’s about, I’m just a disaster waiting to happen. Unfortunately. Anyway! That’s the idea that I have for how Batmax is going to escape. 

  • The Final Resolution

From that point on, it seems like a pretty crappy situation. You’d be stuck in an apocalyptic wasteland with Chloe, everyone you invested in emotionally would be dead, and Rachel’s probably not going to get justice, and neither will Kate. 

…unless.

“Hmm?”

…do you remember that episode of Doctor Who where Rose saves her dad and creates a time paradox? And as a result, those monsters come out to try and remedy the situation via mass murder?

“…oh no….”

Yup…I’m not just talking about saving Chloe. I’m talking about every little decision that Max made which changed the course of history. Everything’s been building up and is now the size of a hurricane. 

“…I hated that episode for a reason.”

Me too…you see where I’m going with this, right?

“…excuse me. I need to go man up.”

Daniel’s right, this fucking sucks. But remember that blue butterfly picture we took, right before Nathan shot Chloe and we discovered we can turn back time? Guess what, we have another Checkov’s gun here! Almost literally when you think about it.

“…YOU WENT THERE.”

…sorry. In all seriousness though, every problem we’ve encountered so far can be resolved if Nathan shoots Chloe before they happen. Nathan gets arrested for murder, because not even the MalfoysPrescotts can worm their way out of that. When he’s behind bars, he’s gonna start singing like a canary, leading the police to Jefferson and the rape dungeon. Kate can get help for what happened to her before she tries to jump off a roof, Rachel can finally rest in peace, the Prescotts can get thrown out of Arcadia thanks to the court of public opinion and the universe doesn’t have to correct itself by wiping out Arcadia Bay via tornado after Max’s meddling.

Unfortunately, it means that Chloe has to die. And that fucking sucks.

“Objection!”

Yes Phoenix Wright?”

“Hey, I want to be Edgeworth.”

No. You brought up the series, you have to be the title character. That’s how it rolls. 

“What if I speak in a posh accent?”

*posh voice* Too late. Make your point, Wright.

“Fine…aren’t there some cases where things can be evened out if something else is sacrificed in its place?”

I’ve never heard of that theory. 

“Are you sure? What about that Charon game you watched the other day?”

That crappy visual novel dungeon crawler?

“The very same. Remember? Protagonist kills themself so that a girl won’t have to die.”

Oh right. They probably changed the rules for convenience though. It’s Charon.

“Yes, because it’s obvious that all rules concerning time travel are proven fact.”

Fineeeee. But I don’t know enough about the rules of time travel to know if it works or not. 

“Okay…how about a less dubious source?”

There’s more?

“Year Walk. You remember that game better, don’t you?”

Ah yes, my first horror game. Oh!

“NOW do you get it?”

Uh huh. In Year Walk, the guy violated the rules of time and space, and as a result, he ended up killing his girlfriend. That was the price he had to pay for trying to meddle. But then Theo sent him the knife via the box, so that he could take his own life, as the watchers demanded that he make a sacrifice for his crime. 

“Hah. Suck it Edgeworth.”

You can find a lot of fanfiction where I do just that, sweet cheeks. Wait…so when you say sacrifice…

“Yup. Is it really out of the realm of possibility for Max to shove Chloe out of the way and take a bullet for her?”

Holy shit you’re right. WAAAAAAAAAIT.

“…you’re meant to say Hold it.”

Hold it! Would the sacrifice theory apply to Rachel Amber too? Maybe the reason she’s dead is because she meddled with time and was faced with having to sacrifice her best friend or herself. Just a few things I remembered; Rachel was perfect– maybe she had the same power Max did, and rewrote everything so that everyone loved her. And another thing; Rachel saved Chloe’s life, according to her. Who’s to say this wasn’t literal?

“…if that’s true, then Chloe is a frigging magnet for rogue time travellers.”

That’s an understatement. But then we have another matter on our hands. Namely, why did Jefferson leave Max alive, but shoot Chloe in the head? Before, I had assumed that for some reason, he decided that Max more rapeable than Chloe (ewwwwwww!), but now that I consider the theory that Rachel may have meddled with time, and the fact that Rachel ended up dead at Jefferson’s hands, what’s to say that he knows something about time travelling himself? Those are the only reasons why I can see him preserving Max while killing Chloe. As for why Rachel died, maybe he tried to sedate her over a long period and ended up overdosing her on whatever’s in those needles. 

“And on that note, I think we’ve covered everything.”

You sure?

“If we try and think about it anymore, we’ll explode. Max will escape the rape dungeon via photographic teleportation, and ultimately decide between sacrificing Aracadia Bay and sacrificing Chloe. Or herself. And it will be revealed that Rachel was also a time traveller who ultimately died because of meddling, and that Jefferson may also be involved somehow. Also, Jefferson is blackmailing Nathan with his drug addled brain. Those are your predictions, correct?”

..yeah.

“Then I don’t think you need to go further than this. And I want to catch on Lisa.”

Okaaaaaay, we’ll go watch NicoB. Just one thing. How do you know the plots of crappy yandere games better than I do?

“…I get bored when you’re working.”

Speckle Eye

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She was standing in the middle of the road, right outside my house. I froze the second I saw her. What was she doing here?

It was then that our eyes met. Even in daylight they seemed to glow. It was the first time that I’d seen the deep gash on the right side of her face instead of the left, I noted. Then she started walking directly towards me at approximately the pace of a charging cheetah and before I could run, she grabbed me. “Cat Madigan?” she demanded. I nodded my head rapidly. “Good.” She released me. She was only slightly taller than me, and even then she seemed to tower over me. “What do you know about me?” she continued, becoming more and more frightening by the minute. 

“Um…” I swallowed. “You’re…Kaya, right?”

“Indeed. Now, why have you been watching me?”

“Huh? Watching-ow!” She had grabbed me by the collar of my shirt. Oddly enough, this terrifying woman was less frightening to me than the shadows were. I had probably seen too much of her life to be afraid of her by this point.

“Answer me!” she snarled. 

At that point, I decided it would be a good idea to scream out for Daniel; if Kaya was here, then chances are, he was too. Before I could though, I heard a roaring sound, and I turned to Kaya. “Get off the road!” I yelled. I wrenched myself out of her grasp, grabbed her, and pulled us back onto the side path. The asshole in the sports car zoomed past seconds later, making no attempt to slow down not only for us, but for another car pulling out of the driveway. 

I looked back at Kaya and tried not to laugh. Her eyes were bugging out of her head, her jaw hung open. No, it was more than that, she was visibly shaking. “…you okay?” I asked tentatively.

“What the FUCK was that?” she screeched. That was it. I lost it. After failing to conceal the first snort of laughter, I just doubled over, giggling helplessly. 

She looked down at me, confused and irritated. “What are you doing?” she said suspiciously.

“Your face,” I crowed. “I’m sorry, I really am, but…” I just buckled over laughing. Kaya stared at me. “It’s okay,” I reassured her. “It was just a car, they come by all the time here. Don’t worry about it-”

Don’t worry about it?!” she shrieked. “That thing tried to maul us! Just because we were in its way! Didn’t you hear it growling at us? I knew you humans were murdering bastards, but…why are you still laughing?”

Tears were streaming down my face. I suddenly had a vision of a Hungry Hungry Hippo totting down the road like Pacman. Omnomnomnomnomnom… “Oh Christ, oh god…” My stomach was starting to hurt. 

Eventually, I managed to calm down. I looked up, and saw that the anger had faded from Kaya’s face. “Okay, I’m okay now,” I informed her. “Are you okay?”

She nodded. “You, on the other hand, are insane.” 

“Uh huh.” I grinned. “Well aware of that.” Kaya was quiet again. “Do you want to come inside?” I asked. She hesitated. “It’s okay,” I reassured her. “They…the humans can’t see you here.”

“That’s why-”

“No, I mean they literally can’t see you. You’re invisible.”

“…invisible?” I nodded. I held out my hand for her to take, but she just stared at it. “Okay…” I sighed, taking it away.

She stood there. “What…did that mean?” 

“What?”

“…you offered me your hand. What did you mean by that?”

“…it’s a gesture,” I said weakly.

“What kind of gesture?”

“…friends?” I didn’t know how that would go down with her. “Forget it, I didn’t mean anything by it. I’m sorry. Do you want to come inside?”

Silence. I took this moment to look at her face. There was no cruelty in her gaze, quite the opposite; she was scared. If you took away her scars, her mutant purple eyes, there was just a scared little girl.

Suddenly, she thrusted out her hand, holding it in front of me as I had done. She looked at me expectantly. 

Without question, I placed my hand over hers, and the claws closed around it.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“Why are they screaming at eachother?” Kaya asked, as my mother and father screamed at eachother while we quietly walked past them.

I shrugged. We ducked inside my room. “You’re lucky,” I told her. “It’s one of the cleaner days.”

Inside was Daniel. “There you are,” he said, walking over to Kaya. “Everyone at Helevia is having a heart attack right now, are you aware?”

“I’m fine,” she said. “Can you let them know I’m alright?” Daniel looked confused. “I’ll return soon. Unless you’d prefer to stay here with us.” She seemed oblivious to Daniel’s lack of interest or notice of me. I flushed and turned my head.

Daniel sighed. “I’ll go back. Will you be taking care of her from now on?” For the first time, he acknowledged my existence in this room.

“What do you mean?”

“Shadows follow her. That’s why Nereida sent me here to begin with. More often than not, I have to rescue her from them. But if she’s more comfortable with you…”

He can’t wait to be away from me. “If she wishes,” Kaya said mildly. “I cannot always be here however, and you seem more adept at this than I am.”

Daniel nodded. “I’ll see you then,” he said to her. He started walking towards my door.

“Goodbye,” I said softly after him.

I hadn’t expected him to reply. “Good day, Miss Madigan,” he said absently. Then he was gone.

“You don’t like him?” Kaya questioned me.

“It’s not that,” I told her. “I’m just…well, he doesn’t really like me.”

Kaya thought for a moment. “He was glad to have saved you,” she said to me. “He just doesn’t enjoy being in this world.”

“Why?” 

“Because no one sees him.” Kaya sighed. “Everyone one in my world but Nereida sees him as an animal. And in your world, everyone treats him as though he doesn’t exist. You as well.”

Guilt swelled up in my stomach. “I don’t know what’s real anymore,” I said in a whisper. “I’m…I’m the only one who can see you; no one else can. I’m…” I looked pleadingly at Kaya. “Please tell him I’m sorry. If he wants to speak with me, I’ll come with him and talk privately. It’s just…”

“-you don’t want everyone looking at you strangely,” Kaya finished. I flushed. “No, I understand. It’s obvious how this would look to other humans. And you shouldn’t be discriminated for talking to us. I’ll advise him on this. And what you said.”

“…thanks.”

We sat there quietly. I looked up at her. “Why have I been seeing you?” I asked.

Kaya frowned. “I came to this world to ask you this as well. Nereida tells me nothing.”

“What did she tell Daniel?”

“That a special girl needed saving.” I snorted at being called ‘special’. “And if he saved her, then she’d help him find his home.”

“…what good is that going to do?”

“Why do you say that?” Kaya’s eyes narrowed.

I looked down, suddenly afraid. “No one can see you guys,” I reminded her. “Even if Nereida finds out who he is, he won’t be able to go back. Not if they can’t see him.”

“Worst case scenario, he finds out what happened to his loved ones, and gains closure,” Kaya returned.

“…what would he do then?” 

“That’s up to him.”

“…I cannot imagine a fate worse than being invisible and alone.” 

“He won’t be alone.” I looked up to find Kaya staring at me. “You and him have the same eyes, you know.”

“We do?”

“Yes.” She gazed intently, holding my chin with her hand, careful not to claw me. “Millions of little lines, multicoloured dots. Blue, green, grey, gold, brown, olive. Scattered like a cluster of stars. You both have galaxies for eyes.” She turn turned from me and stared at her reflection in the mirror. “We only have the one colour. We’re so…dead. You humans are so full of life, so dynamic. Me and my mind, we’re all monsters. Not just me. We’re not all aware of it, but we are.”

“…no. You’re really not.” I took her hand and pushed myself against her chest, wrapping my arms around her. She froze, then after a few seconds, returned the hug.