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09 March 2009 @ 09:13 pm
[COMPLETE]  
WHO: Kiden (timestopping) and Laura (wristcutting).
WHERE: Their apartment.
WHEN: March 09th.
WARNINGS: Intense hugging.
SUMMARY: Aaaand Laura's back to her old self.

Kiden hopped across the living room, tugging her second shoe on, laces undone. She shouted a goodbye, not caring whether she was heard or not, and then stumbled out of the door as she leapt into No Time.

Laura's back—she repeated it over and over in her head, not quite able to believe it, wishing there wasn't so much doubt lingering in the back of her mind. There was no reason for Peter lie to her, but she'd spend the past week convinced that this was it, that Laura was gone and—

She was running without realising it, weaving between crowds of people in the street. She sprinted down the road until she reached the apartment block, not out of breath in the slightest, yet her heart was pounding against the inside of her chest. Kiden took the stairs two at a time, pulling herself up with the handrails, until she arrived on her floor, and skidded to a stop outside of her apartment.

Rummaging through her pockets, Kiden fished out of the key, and found that her hands were shaking too much; she dropped it, swore, and picked it up, trying again. Not sure if she'd closed the door behind her, Kiden made straight for her room—her and this Laura's room, she thought—sure that that's where Laura'd be. She dove through the door, and then froze, like everything around her.

There she was. Laura was really there. Kiden looked at her, and then couldn't take her eyes off her, even to reach out and speed up everything around her. Letting her breath out, Kiden eventually managed to uproot her feet, taking a few, slow steps around Laura, so that they were face to face. Feeling as if her eyes would begin to water, Kiden bit down against her lower lip, and yet felt her mouth splitting into a grin.

She took a final step, moving forward so that she was less than an inch away from her. Kiden couldn't say how long she stood there like that, but eventually she managed to bring a hand up, tapping Laura against the back of the hand.

The atmosphere faded, and then they were all in the same time stream. Not giving Laura the time to register her arrival, Kiden threw her arms around Laura's neck, pushing herself up on her tip-toes, trying to get as close as possible. This was Laura, this was—this was really her Laura, the one who remembered her, the one who really knew her.

She breathed in, remembering the feel of Laura against her—feeling that they had been apart for too long, because the whole of her ached to press up against Laura and stay there, until there was no distance between them at all. She nuzzled her face against Laura's shoulder, relieved beyond words, and happy, wholly.

“You're back,” she said, voice light, “You came back. I—shit, Laura, I thought you were gone for good.”

She moved back an little, and grabbed onto her shoulders, looking her in the eyes, before pulling herself back towards Laura. Face buried into her shoulder, Kiden grinned, and then felt herself began to shake, tears running down her face, reaching her lips before she could even press them back together.

“Please don't ever do that again.”
 
 
 
Laura Kinney.: city.wristcutting on March 9th, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
From the moment Laura woke up, she knew something was wrong.

The first thing she felt was the pounding between her temples, and the bleariness of her vision, which she had never felt while waking up before. As soon as she blinked it away and began to recollect herself, the smell of the room slammed into her - it was not the room she shared with Kiden. It was the room where Xavin and Karolina previously resided.

She stepped outside of it, feeling misplaced, detached from her surroundings - her sense of time was skewered, much to her discontentment. Curiously, she could smell Sarah in the apartment, sleeping in the other room, a bag with her belongings on the kitchen table. Kiden wasn't there. Not in their room, not in the entire apartment.

It was dark out. Laura's eyes darted towards the clock on the wall of their room. Late.

Why was Kiden not home?

"Laura?" Spider-Man called from behind her. She turned.

"Laura! Oh God, Kiden's gonna-- are you, uh, okay?"

Laura blinked. "Where is Kiden?"

He looked surprised. "She left a few days ago. You don't remember-?"

She stared at him. Kiden had left?

"Oh. I guess you don't. Oh my God--" Spider-Man's hand went up to cover his face. "I'm gonna call her back over here. So you should just - sit here--" he pointed at the bed - "and she'll be here soon, and she could explain this whole thing to you, because I'm not gonna. She'll be right back, okay? Okay."

With that, he was gone.

Laura looked over to the bed. She did not particularly feel like sitting on it. Instead, she focused on trying to gather as much information as she could based on her sense of smell alone; she could have, of course, asked Spider-Man for an explanation, despite his declaration that he would not provide her with one, but based on her acquaintance with him, she decided she would rather not.

Taking in the different scents in the room, there were things she could not quite make out, things that she could not remember. Laura found herself growing somewhat frustrated. She would have liked Kiden to return.

And so, she waited.

When Kiden came, she crashed into her out of nowhere, with no warning beforehand - Laura would never get accustomed to not being able to tell when and where she'd gone or come from - and suddenly Laura did not care for explanations much at all, because the way Kiden clang to her was almost desperate, and all she knew was that she needed to wrap her arms around her, to keep her close even though there was no need to; and she did not even have the chance to question Kiden's words before she began to cry.

When Kiden said "don't ever do that again", Laura wanted, inexplicably, to promise Kiden she would not, but she didn't - couldn't, without as much as knowing what had happened. So she quietly held on to her, one hand across Kiden's shoulders, the other resting against the back of her head, and waited for her crying to stop.
Kiden: ... // i ain't that badtimestopping on March 9th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
It wasn't as though Laura's arms around her were anything but comforting, but the way she held her, the way there was no hesitation behind her touch, pushed Kiden a little too far over the edge; and before she knew what had come over her, her tears turned into sobs. It was hard to breathe, impossible to speak, and her fingers clung to the back of Laura's shirt, as if the joints had suddenly become rigid.

She was inconsolable and ridiculous, no calmer for Laura being there. She sobbed and she wasn't sad, exactly; a latent sense of adrenaline was spurring it on, and fuck, just because she was crying from happiness didn't mean the process was in any way painless. She wondered, in between her own mismatched thoughts, exactly how crazy Laura thought she was right now.

After all, who was to say she had any idea of what the past week had been like. Kiden very much doubted that she remembered any of it.

Untangling her arms from around Laura's neck, Kiden traced her fingers across her shoulders, coming to rest against the collar of Laura's shirt. Kiden stared down at her hands as she spoke, quite sure it was the only way she could prevent herself bursting into tears for a second time.

“You've no idea what happened, do you?” she asked, voice quiet, “I woke up and you were—different. You were a kid, Laura.”

Edited at 2009-03-09 11:48 pm (UTC)
Laura Kinney.: stare.wristcutting on March 10th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
Kiden would not look at her. Her face was red and wet with tears, strands of hair had stuck to her cheeks, and the tightness in Laura's chest and the back of her throat that began to form with Kiden's sobs would not desist. She pushed the hair out of Kiden's face and behind her ear, not much thought behind it - Kiden looked like a mess. Laura did not like it.

What Kiden said was different by far from anything Laura had expected. It was not logical in the least, and she almost wanted to protest - but then, the City itself and their being brought there seemed to contradict common sense, and she was certain that Kiden did not understand the situation much better than she did.

So instead, she asked- "How long?"
Kiden: worried// it's kind of my faulttimestopping on March 10th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
Kiden leaned into Laura's touch on reflex, tilting her head towards Laura's hand, eyes closing. Her skin felt warmer where the contact was made, and Kiden managed to pull herself together a little. She brought her hands up to her face and wiped the tears away with a few flicks of her fingers, and then rubbed her sleeve across the bridge of her nose.

She glanced up at Laura, briefly, the tension in her body slowly relieving itself upon hearing her speak, before resting her forehead back against her shoulder.

“Since last Monday,” Kiden murmured, “You've been gone a week.”
Laura Kinney.: tower.wristcutting on March 10th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
Laura ground her teeth, feeling anger suddenly well up inside of her.

A week.

She was away from Kiden for a week. She did not remember a thing of it. And now Kiden was like this, and none of it was under Laura's control.

Kiden was hurt, and there was nothing she could've done, and there was nothing she could do to prevent it from happening. She could not even make that promise.

She wanted to speak, to say something to make Kiden feel better, but all the words in her mind seemed empty and pointless and wrong.

Laura remained silent, breathing through her nose.
Kiden: i have an idea!// amazinglytimestopping on March 10th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
Kiden began to ramble through Laura's silence, sure she was saying too much, but knowing, somehow, that it was best to get it all out in the open.

“Sarah's been here all week—you know, to look after you. Uh, the other you. The younger you, anyway,” Kiden said, moving away from Laura a little so that she could look her in the eyes as she spoke, “And you're not the only one it happened to. I freaked out—shit, of course I did—and posted on the comms. People were replaced with older and younger versions of themselves. Uh, you didn't know what was going on when you woke up—you ran all over the city, and it was Catwoman who found you.

“I—I'm sorry, Laura. I honestly didn't mean to leave the apartment like that. I was coming back, it's just that...” Kiden tried to explain herself, suddenly feeling infinitely guilty, voice reduced to a murmur, “It was hard for me to see you like that.”
Laura Kinney.wristcutting on March 10th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
Laura placed her hands on Kiden's waist, not wanting her to move farther away, as she took in everything she said.

A part of her wanted to remember that week where she was younger, so that she could know what she had done, what she had put Kiden and Sarah through. And, so selfishly that she angered herself, she wished she could have remembered the time she spent with Sarah.

Another part of her, looking at Kiden now, and hearing how weak her voice grew as she talked, thought it was for the best - but that was selfish, as well.

(Catwoman again. This was becoming a debt. She would have to repay her.)

Kiden kept trying to explain, and Laura found herself wondering why. Kiden did not leave until now, and that in itself was something to be grateful for; and she could not blame Kiden for wanting to be away from her, the way she must have been.

"I did not recognize you, did I?"

Edited at 2009-03-10 01:54 am (UTC)
Kiden: ... // i ain't that badtimestopping on March 10th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
Kiden wrapped her fingers around Laura's wrists and pulled her hands away from her waist. She held them like that, loosely, for a moment, before letting her hands slip down and take a hold of Laura's. Eyes downcast when faced with the question, Kiden idly drew circles across Laura's palms with her thumbs, and slowly shook her head.

“I—think I scared you, actually.”
Laura Kinney.: weapons.wristcutting on March 10th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
Laura paused, went over the words in her mind. Tried to think how a person like Kiden could seem scary, to her, when she was young; to X-23, the animal, the weapon, and not the other way around.

"Were you scared of me?"
Kiden: worried// it's kind of my faulttimestopping on March 10th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)
Letting go of Laura's hands, Kiden ran her own up Laura's arms, across her shoulders, and then cupped her face. Had she been scared? Of course. There was no two ways about it; however, it hadn't been what was in front of her that had scared her.

“I was scared you weren't coming back,” she explained.
Laura Kinney.: watching.wristcutting on March 10th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC)
It was not the reply Laura had expected.

Silently, she traced a similar path with her hands, coming to a stop at the sides of Kiden's neck.
Kiden: clockstopper// take iitimestopping on March 10th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Laura's hands against her skin made her eyes begin to water again, and so she pulled her closer, resting their foreheads together. She kept quiet until she was certain that speaking wouldn't cause her to start crying again, breath shallow, and her heart still pounding away behind her ribs.

“I missed you so much,” she whispered, eventually.
Laura Kinney.: grateful.wristcutting on March 10th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)
Laura felt the muscles in her arms twitch, aching to move, and there was no reason for her to hold back. She pulled Kiden into her arms, held her as tight as she knew how, felt her body shake against her.

"I would not leave you," Laura said, and it was the truth.

But it was not enough, and she knew that.
Kiden: plus Laura// :)timestopping on March 10th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC)
Kiden wanted to speak, to let Laura know that she understood, that she had every faith that she'd stay, so long as the choice was hers to make, but somehow, it was too difficult to find the words. She didn't nod, didn't even manage to wrap her arms around Laura until she'd had the time to absorb the feeling, to let herself simply lean against Laura's body.

Laura's arms were tight around her, and that made this whole thing alright. Moving her arms around Laura's waist, she rested her hand against the back of her shirt, as if trying to feel through the fabric, and did not want to move at all.
Laura Kinney.: home.wristcutting on March 10th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
Laura said nothing more, and remained still. She found the silence that hanged over them pleasant, warm, with Kiden pressed up against her, no movement, and no sound in the room save for their breathing.

She would not let go.

Months ago, she would have felt guilty for this, selfish, for this overcoming need to hold on to Kiden. She had hated herself for it. Now, she felt that there was nothing else that she could do, that there was nothing more natural or more important, and she needed to do it, wanted to do it.

There was nothing she wanted more than to be with Kiden. This, holding her in this silence and stillness, was the meaning of being alive. This was one of those moments when it became abundantly clear.

She would not leave her.