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23 November 2008 @ 11:22 pm
kiden and laura attempt to do something normal [COMPLETE]  
WHO: Kiden (timestopping) and Laura (wristcutting).
WHERE: The apartment, and then onto the shops.
WHEN: December 1st.
SUMMARY: Adorable bonding over shopping.

It was early evening when Kiden got back from her slightly-below-minimum-wage, under-the-table job, somewhat tired from working for the better part of the last three days (homicidal sprees throughout the city happily not interfering with her schedule) but altogether pleased to actually have a substantial amount of money for the first time in forever.

She unlocked the door to the apartment, kicked it open to make her presence known, only to find the living room empty. Throwing her jacket at the back of the sofa and missing, Kiden figured that Xavin was off doing whatever it was Skrulls did when they weren't rescuing kittens, and Molly was most likely out with her friend from the past. That just left Laura.

Stretching, she knocked on Laura's door as she walked past it. No response. Probably out on patrol, or waiting for her elsewhere. Kiden frowned—she'd made plans (in the back of her own head, at least), but they could always wait, she supposed. It was quiet in the apartment; she'd sleep for a while if Laura was out, until she decided to come home.

Pushing open her door open with the side of her shoulder, Kiden jumped, swore under her breath, and then smiled. There was Laura, sitting on her bed, for the third day in a row.

“Shit. That's kind of creepy, you know,” Kiden said, folding her arms, but didn't really mind. "You going to do that every time I leave the apartment?"

Laura'd been spending a lot of time in her room lately, especially since she'd gone and vanished into No Time for a month. Besides, back when they were in the MAC, Kiden had told her she could drop by any time, even while she was sleeping. She was just glad Laura was actually taking what she said to heart.

“Anyway, we're going out. Shopping,” Kiden stated, and then tugged the front of her shirt as if to clarify. “Clothes shopping.”
Laura Kinney.: curious.wristcutting on November 27th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
Laura stood up, shoving her hands into her pockets with a barely-there nod. For herself, she did not see a use for anything more than the one outfit she owned, and Kiden's clothes were not all that worn out and foul-smelling, she thought; but if Kiden saw the need for it, clearly it was a necessity.

She walked towards Kiden until she was standing beside her, and simply looked at her for a few moments before she spoke.

"Does it bother you?"
Kidentimestopping on November 27th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
“If it bothered me,” Kiden said over her shoulder as she walked out into the living area, “I would've put locks on my door. And, y'know, said something to you yesterday, or the day before that.”

She paused, turned back to her room, and rested her hands against the door frame as she leant back in, grinning at Laura.

“Honestly, it's kind of nice to have you here when I get back. Uh, even if sometimes it still makes me jump, heh.”

Kiden's experience with clothes shopping in the city thus far had consisted of stealing a pair of pants from some dodgy looking store she'd wandered across in No Time during her first week—the holes in her original, street-worn pants were reason enough to resort of theft—so needless to say, she was a little in the dark. So much for being spontaneous.

“So where do you want to go, Laura?” Kiden shouted to her as she fished around on the floor with her foot to scoop up her discarded jacket. “Somewhere that sells black, I'm guessing.”

Edited at 2008-11-27 10:06 pm (UTC)
Laura Kinney.: blank.wristcutting on November 28th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
Kiden said it was nice to have her there. Laura always returned home before Kiden to make sure she was safe, that the day she was left alone to deal with her father would not repeat itself. Nothing more. Regardless, Laura was glad.

She followed Kiden outside her room and watched as she put on her jacket. The way she moved had a certain grace to it, although fishing a clothing article from the floor and shrugging it on was decidedly not an action which would usually qualify as refined in any way. Reminiscent of a cat, perhaps.

"Buy your clothes wherever you see fit," she replied, still looking at her.
Kiden: hey!// suicide failtimestopping on November 28th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
Zipping up her jacket, Kiden began to laugh. Laura had a knack for getting the wrong end of the stick. Walking up to her, and making sure that she had her keys and money in her back pockets, Kiden reached up and tugged at the sleeves of Laura's shirt, this time.

“We're not going shopping for just me,” she said, still pinching the fabric between her fingers. “You need new clothes as well, Laura.”

Kiden started making her way out of the apartment backwards, pulling Laura along with her.

“Come on,” she said, making her best serious face, “I'm sure we'll find somewhere that sells shit in your uh, style.
Laura Kinney.: blank.wristcutting on November 28th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
"I don't need clothes. Your money would be wasted on me," Laura objected, but let herself get pulled along still. She had been wearing the same clothes for a month and a half, and she saw no reason for that to change now. She had been keeping them clean. No blood stains. Very few tears, as well. And Kiden's money was Kiden's - she had worked for it, and Laura could not allow it to be spent on her.
Kiden: plus Laura// :)timestopping on November 28th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC)
“Of course you need new clothes,” Kiden said, rolling her eyes, but having expected a reply along those lines. “What do you sleep in, anyway? Look, Laura, it's not a waste of my money if I'm spending it on you—and I'm pretty sure that if you put 'em in the washing machine one more time they're going to disintegrate.”

Kiden paused as she turned to open the front door, and then glanced curiously back at Laura.

“—hey, what do you wear while you're washing them, anyway?”

Giving it more thought than she first intended to, Kiden stepped out into the hallway. It'd take a hell of a lot more reasoning than she could come up with to convince Laura that it was actually alright for her to buy her stuff, and so she'd just drag her to the shops, and hope the clothes themselves would change Laura's mind.

Or she could just buy Laura things while she wasn't looking, and then she'd have to accept them.

Either way.

Edited at 2008-11-28 08:44 pm (UTC)
Laura Kinney.: glance.wristcutting on November 28th, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
"Clothes do not disintegrate, Kiden," was Laura's reply, Kiden's questions left unanswered. She knew Kiden was going to argue - Kiden usually argued, and more often than not Laura would end up submitting to her decisions. After all, Kiden made sense, on occasion. But this was not such an occasion.
Kiden: my art // my callingtimestopping on November 28th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
“Yeah, you say that now, Laura, but you'll be the only one crying when you go to the washing machine one morning and your clothes are a pile of... ashes, or whatever,” Kiden said, grinning nonetheless. “Now let's go!”


Once Kiden had found a store that she thought might actually be in her price range—mainly because she'd never heard of it before—she started leafing her way through the racks of jeans outside. Jeans were pretty generic, and she wasn't particularly bothered whether they were low cut, boot cut, skinny, or whatever the hell the latest trend was, so long as they actually fit. After a few minutes, she'd picked out a couple of pairs and slung them over her arm.

Turning to Laura, she smiled a little apprehensively. Finding something that Laura both liked and was willing to let her buy was going to be the difficult part.

“So, see anything you like?” Kiden asked, maybe a bit too hopefully.

Edited at 2008-11-28 09:47 pm (UTC)
Laura Kinney.: curious.wristcutting on November 29th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
Laura's eyes scanned her surroundings - the clothes, the people - with little interest. She did not reply; she did not as much as occupy herself with the question of which of those outfits would be suitable for wear. Not for her.
Kiden: oh // if that's how it istimestopping on November 29th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
Having earned no reply from Laura, Kiden made her way into the store, calling back to Laura as she passed the rows of shirts.

“Well, let me know when you find something you want,” she said with a wave.

She picked out two t-shirts and a jumper as she made her way to the changing room. “Changing room” was a little generous: it was more like a tiny bit of floor space cornered off from the rest of the store by means of a curtain. She held up what she'd picked out as she passed the cashier, who gave her a nod, before stepping behind the curtain and kicking off her shoes.

The jeans fit fine. She only bothered trying on one of the t-shirts, and the jumper looked like it was her size.

That'd have to do for now. She wasn't exactly rolling around in cash, and although not having to pay any rent until January helped, Kiden still had to save some money to buy Laura's clothes, no matter how stubborn she insisted on being for the matter.

But maybe that wasn't it, Kiden thought. Maybe she wasn't just being stubborn—it seemed that Laura genuinely couldn't see any valid reason for Kiden wanting to buy her clothes. She sighed as she handed over her crumpled money to the cashier, and took her new clothes in the plain white plastic bag.

Well, it wouldn't be Laura if things weren't going to be difficult. She could think of it as a challenge, having to think up some way to convince her that it she really did want to buy her things, and that they were friends and—

Kiden shook her head as she made her way back over to Laura.

This was going no where fast.
Laura Kinney.: curious.wristcutting on November 30th, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
Laura sat in the corner, near the entrance, and waited.

A large woman was leaving the shop, accompanied by a young boy who was carrying around a dozen bags, undoubtedly filled with an amount of clothes that far surpassed the necessary. A waste. There was a short, middle-aged woman with bleached hair who seemed to think a bright turquoise tube top was something that fit her. Laura did not share her views on the matter. But then, she never paid much attention to clothes.

Other than that, the shop was rather empty. Her eyes skimmed across the clothes - folded and stacked on the shelves, hanging on display; bright, almost irritatingly colorful fabric, except for one shirt - black and low-cut and long-sleeved with Victorian ruffles in the edges. Laura let her gaze rest on it for brief moment longer than the rest, until Kiden returned and Laura turned to look at her.

"Are you done here?"
Kidentimestopping on November 30th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
So much for shopping. Laura was sat in the corner, and Kiden doubted she'd browsed through anything. Still, before Laura'd turned to look at her, her eyes were fixed on something.

“Yeah, all done,” Kiden said, not really focused on Laura—she followed what she reckoned was Laura's line of vision moments before, until came across a rather interesting looking shirt. Black. That was definitely Laura; and the ruffles, yeah—Kiden could see that working.

Turning back to Laura, her face split into a grin. Kiden reached up and pulled it off the rack it was hanging on, and then waved it in front of Laura's face.

“You want this one? Really?” Kiden asked, peering over the hanger. “Come on! Try it on.”

With the shirt in one hand, Kiden lent over to grab Laura by the arm, and pulled her towards the dressing room.

Edited at 2008-11-30 08:17 pm (UTC)
Laura Kinney.: blank.wristcutting on November 30th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
For the first time, Laura did not allow herself to be moved by Kiden. She pulled away from her and stood planted in her place.

Kiden: oh yeah// that so?timestopping on November 30th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
Kiden frowned. Laura wouldn't budge. Still holding onto the shirt that she was determined to buy, Kiden folded her arms and did her very best to glare at Laura. Ten seconds into the process she stopped—there was no way that absolutely anyone, let alone her, was going to out-stare Laura. The realisation made her want to laugh, but Kiden managed to keep it toned down to a slight twitch of the lips.

Time for plan B.

Plan B was, as far as Kiden could work out, convincing Laura that she wanted her to get the shirt to make herself happy, and that offering to pay was an entirely selfish act. Laura couldn't say no to that. Well, so she hoped, anyway.

“Come on, Laura,” Kiden said gently, face softening, “I want you to have this shirt. So try it on for me, alright?"
Laura Kinney.: stare.wristcutting on November 30th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
Laura stared at Kiden, finding it increasingly difficult to hold on to her initial reluctance. She did not want the shirt - while it was the only thing out of the shop that she thought she'd be able to wear, it hardly mattered enough for her to ask Kiden for it. She did not want Kiden's money to be wasted on what she saw as nothing but useless luxuries, for her.

But if Kiden wanted it, that was something else entirely.

Kiden: hey!// suicide failtimestopping on November 30th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
Kiden tried not to break out into a victory smile just yet.

“'cause it'd look good on you,” Kiden explained, “and I won't be happy until you're wearing something, uh, decent.

Holding up the shirt, Kiden called out to the cashier, “She's going to try this on!” before turning back to Laura and adding, “Right?”
Laura Kinney.: curious.wristcutting on November 30th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
Slowly, Laura nodded, and held the shirt up in front of her after Kiden unceremoniously shoved it into her hands. She turned, shrugging off her coat and letting it fall down to the floor, took off her top with one sharp motion, then pulled the shirt on over her head. She straightened the front of the shirt, looking down at it with a rather blank look, then leaned down and tidily put her discarded clothes around her arm.
Kiden: oh // if that's how it istimestopping on November 30th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
Kiden had finally convinced Laura to try on the shirt—only Laura didn't seem to think that the use of the changing room was necessary. With her back to Kiden, Laura threw off her coat and shirt, and was wearing the new top before Kiden could remember how to speak up, to tell Laura that perhaps stripping off in the middle of the store wasn't the best of ideas—instead, she stood there like a dead-weight, staring at Laura's back.

Clearing her throat, Kiden stepped around so that she was facing her.

“See? It looks good! I'll uh—” Kiden began, and found herself trailing off. “I'll pay, alright? Yeah, alright.”

Muttering to herself, Kiden made her way over to the cashier. The tag had said—ten dollars? fifteen? she wasn't sure—but the woman behind the counter seemed to know, and rung up thirteen-fifty on the till.

Once she'd paid, Kiden turned back to Laura, suddenly feeling a little unsure of herself. She scratched the back of her head, messing up her hair.

“So, uh, you going to change back or—or do you just want to wear that home?”
Laura Kinney.: blank.wristcutting on November 30th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
"This is fine," Laura replied, seemingly oblivious to the change in Kiden's behavior, or just not caring for it. She looked at Kiden, as if she were going to say something else as well, but remained silent.
Kiden: ... // i ain't that badtimestopping on November 30th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
With the shopping done—or rather, at least made a dent in—Kiden decided it was best to quit while she was ahead and call it day. She held the door open for Laura as they left the store and began walking side-by-side down the street.

“Uh. I was thinking, y'know,” Kiden began after a few minutes of silence, having been too deep in thought to start up her usual stream of endless chatter, “since you're always hanging out in my room lately, why don't you just... move in?”

Kiden glanced at Laura briefly, but wasn't able to bring herself to make eye contact; instead, she stared down at the pavement as they walked, waiting for an answer.
Laura Kinney.: home.wristcutting on November 30th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
"Oh," Laura said, turning her head to study Kiden's profile while the other girl avoided her eyes. Kiden looked thoughtful, hesitant; it was unusual for her, and Laura was not sure what spurred this on. She kept on watching her with some curiosity, eyebrow slightly raised. And as they walked, Laura moved a little closer to Kiden, closing the gap between them both.

Kiden: plus Laura// :)timestopping on November 30th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
Kiden felt a wave of relief rush over her when Laura finally said okay. Smiling at her feet, Kiden took a few moments to internally compose herself—she wasn't sure why she was so nervous about Laura saying no in the first place, because at most she'd only ever be on the other side of the wall, but she was so happy she hadn't.

Eventually, Kiden settled for looking to Laura and saying “cool!”

Switching hands, so that she was now holding the shopping bag in the one furthest from Laura, Kiden slowly inched her free hand towards her. Still looking at Laura, she managed to catch her hand and wrapped her fingers around it, so that her fingertips were pressed against her palm. She stayed like that for a second or two, before finally sliding her hand all the way, doing her best to entwine their fingers.
Laura Kinney.: can't.wristcutting on December 1st, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
Kiden's smile and her hand around Laura's own caused a throbbing to awake in Laura's chest, pulsating against her bones; and she was happy, she realized, happier than she had ever been in her life. She had felt happiness before, with Kiden, and with Megan and Debbie before that, but it was not like this. Never like this. She could feel the pounding between her temples.

Her lips drew to a thin, straight line. Behind it, she clenched her teeth, hard enough to make a dull pain spread inside her mouth. She hated how all she wanted to do at that exact moment is hold onto Kiden and not let go. She hated how that was what she was doing, fingernails digging into the skin on Kiden's knuckles, and she hated how that was what she had been doing from the start, in some sort of disgusting co-dependency that she could not detach herself from.

Or maybe there had never been any co-dependency to begin with. It was all her. She could not let go.

And she could not stand it. Could not stand how every day was the same. With her still there, still with Kiden, and her inability to do any of the things which she knew must be done. And she dragged her claws across her skin, again and again and again, each day retracing the red crosses on her arms. As a punishment. As a remainder - of what she was, of why she could not have these things, any of them. Of why she had to leave.

And she still could not.

She felt nauseous.
Kiden: daddy// iluuuu : (timestopping on December 1st, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
Although Laura took her hand, Kiden couldn't help but feel as if she had done something very, very wrong. Laura's grip was too tight; she could feel Laura's nails digging into the back of her hand. It hurt—not enough to instinctively pull away, but the pain was slowly spreading.

Something in Laura's expression had changed. Kiden wanted to say something, but suddenly wasn't quite so sure how to speak to Laura. She was worried and yet so cut off from her.

After deliberating on the subject for long enough, Kiden ground to a halt and kept her grip tight on Laura's hand, so that she too would stop.

“Laura,” she asked quietly, cautiously, “Are you alright?”
Laura Kinney.wristcutting on December 1st, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
Laura came to a stop in front of Kiden, and only upon hearing her voice she became aware of the situation - of just how tight her grip on Kiden's hand was. It most likely hurt. She let her hand fall limp, swallowing back the bile in her throat.

"I'm fine."
Kiden: oh // if that's how it istimestopping on December 1st, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC)
Kiden squeezed Laura's hand to let her know that she was still there, but she wasn't about to push the subject further; it was difficult enough getting much of anything out of Laura at the best of times. She wasn't sure if she'd said or done something remiss, or whether she really ought not've forced the new clothes on Laura. Still, it seemed best to make light of the situation. To take Laura's mind off whatever it was.

“Heh,” Kiden began, starting to walk again, “if you didn't want to go shopping that badly you should've said something to me, y'know.”

Pausing briefly to smile at Laura, Kiden began to swing their arms in a half-circle as they made their way down the street.

“Let's go home,” Kiden said, still a little worried about Laura, but, above all, happy with the way things were, “We'll get Karolina to cook some of that weird vegan stuff. Or, y'know, get a take-away if it tastes too bad.”