amityville_sweetheart: (Nightmare Sleeping)
[personal profile] amityville_sweetheart
Here and now, there is fitful sleep. Very boring.

December eighth, two-thousand and five is quite the opposite.

Four days ago, Corrine Bertrand's boyfriend killed a vampire. Brutally. Now so far removed from the incident, she can't help but think that maybe the whole thing wasn't so bad. After all, vampires are minions of evil, right? Does it really matter if they're tortured a smeensy before their imminent doom? And even if it did matter, who on earth would it matter to?

And to complicate matters more, she really couldn't take that stance. If all accounts were to be listened to, Corrine's beloved father was a tyrannical, cold, homicidal psychopath with a disgusting love of power and dark arts. There was a great possibility that her father even sent a demon to kill her.


'The only difference between fiction and fact is something you can put your hands on', her brother Louis was fond of saying. So to Corrine, it was at best only a theory, yet to be proven or disproven. Enough to maim the memory of her papa, but not enough to wound her mortally.

And, beyond that... she still missed her father more than anything in the world. Sometimes she could find him on the battlefield, promising her success in all things if she only wanted it bad enough.  Sometimes she could find him at the bottom of a bottle, his blue eyes faded and restless and tired, torn between desire and obligation. Sometimes she could find him in Caleb's eyes, not the color or the correct shape, but something about the message inside of them... a longing for more than your worth, a fiery intellect, several guarded thoughts before careful words.

The last factor, not the least to be ignored; the demon she shared a bed with most nights of the week. Caleb. And if it was to be believed, Corrine herself was a holy vessel. Oh, it wasn't all like that, although she was sure several individuals probably thought she was kidding herself. But she was the very last person to ask about evil and good. If you asked her, it was a football field's length of gray, with two inches to each side, one for good and one for evil.

No one was asking her, though, and thank kittens for that. Caleb has no real family, few friends, and there's always so much going on at the JSA, it's been easy to keep him under watch. Evil? Not her call to make. But he's definitely crazy. Not the crazy she was used to with him, either, but a stark-raving, paranoid, talking-to-himself absolute nutbar.

Corrine lifts her head from under the blanket, staring blearily out her bedroom window. It's still snowing.

That last thought and the silence is actually what rouses her from half-sleep. It's the first multi-hour sleep she's had in a day or two, and she hadn't even noticed the lack of Caleb's presence beside her.

The Shining does Metropolis, she thinks bitterly as she pulls herself from bed.

There's no sounds of distress, and the cats are curled up on Caleb's side of the bed quietly. No ruckus of Caleb going crazy. Perhaps he passed out from exhaustion finally? Did he wander outside? Maybe he just went home. Which one, though? Oh, there was no use getting herself bent out of shape before she searched the apartment.

For all she knew, and she hoped this was the truth, he could be asleep on the couch. Finally.

Date: 2006-06-15 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He’s tired, but no time for sleep now. It’s too time consuming, and there’s entirely too little time for it. Too much to do. Too much for sleep.

Caleb puts his empty coffee mug down as his sixth sence feels Corrine stir. Minutes later she enters the room, but isn’t looking in his direction. Not realizing that his jerky motions and the purple semi-circles under both eyes aren’t that attractive, he comes in behind her, and affectionately slips his arms around her waist.

As he pulls her close, he quickly nibbles on the top of her right ear. “Having trouble sleeping?” he asks. Can’t say I blame you. Too much to do to be wasting time sleeping.

Date: 2006-06-15 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
At first she melts. It's reflex. And she's missed him so much, missed the old him and the old habits.

She lays her arms over his, lets her head tilt back against him, relaxes against his stance. And through the thin lid of her groggy eyes, she sees his face.

He's still sick. It's so obvious, but she's not pulling away. She can't yet, so she'll just give herself a few moments.

Date: 2006-06-15 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He just observes her for a time. “Love?”

Date: 2006-06-15 03:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Corrine stiffens up, pulling from his embrace and heading for the kitchen. "Have you eaten yet?" she asks, leaning down into the pots cabinet. "I can make us some eggs."

Date: 2006-06-16 04:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
“Food?” He says as though the thought hadn't occured to him in some time. He releases her, and begins searching his memory. “No, I … I still can’t hold it down.”

And who has time to eat, anyway? No, there’s simply too much to be done.

Date: 2006-06-16 04:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She huffs in frustration, throwing her eyes to the ceiling. If she could see such a thing, she'd probably be glaring directly at God.

"Of course." Her gaze falls back on Caleb, and she makes a motion with her hands like patting the air down on either side of her. "All right. Fine. Nifty. Shiny. We'll just, uh... um..."

Corrine looks about. She's got to set him to do something while she makes herself food, and preferrably that thing not be in the kitchen. Too much that's breakable or sharp. Something small that he can't possibly make dangerous or screw up or get frustrated with...

"Why don't you go... make the bed? It's got, uh... wrinkles in it... and it's, uh... it's very messy." She gives him a little helpful push in the direction of the bedroom.

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Date: 2006-06-19 03:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There seems to be an almost audible *snap*. Corrine's sure she heard it, at least, in the moment before she explodes.

None of it's in English. Some Latin, some French, some... something else that's absolutely unrecognizable. Maybe it's just angry gibbering, words caught between the sobs that are beginning to come out. She can't take this anymore and she feels like her entire being is going to explode in the middle of it. Her face is red and she's shaking when she finally stops screaming, stopping abruptly and taking a step back from him.

"I'm sorry," she mumbles under her breath and speeds off to the kitchen. The SoCo is in the second cabinet on the left and she's had a quick swig even before the cap hits the floor. She just needs a moment to compose herself. And she prays he won't finally flip his lid.

Date: 2006-06-19 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Caleb is taken back by her outburst, standing and carefully observing as she storms off into the kitchen. He carefully observes her taking her first shots as he tries to make sense of the whole thing.

Perhaps she’s unable to handle the truth I’ve revealed to her.

He runs his hand through his raven hair before finally ending the silence. “It wasn’t easy fro me to accept either,” he offers reassuringly.

Date: 2006-06-19 04:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She falls a bit sideways against the countertop, setting the bottle down shakily. She seems to be holding her breath for a few moments. Maybe she's mentally counting, maybe she's cursing. The feeling in her chest is warm, though, and in a few moments she raises her head, composed again.

"Baby. Listen to me. It-- it could make sense, but what about all the times the aliens have helped us ward off invasions? Sometimes from their own worlds? And to fight with us but somehow still be against us--?" Please, please let the logic get through.

Date: 2006-06-19 04:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He shakes his head as though he’s about to offer his rebuttal, but it never comes. Her words have indeed found the remnants of Caleb’s rational side.

He draws in breath and moves to speak, but he can’t find the words. What Corrine said – it’s so simple. Why didn’t said thought occur to him earlier?

Then he finally responds. “Then why are they still abducting people? Shouldn’t the JLA be capable of interdicting their operations somewhat more, uh … effectively?”

Date: 2006-06-19 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A sigh. If he really wanted to, he could run her in circles for hours with this. If logic and reason seem to be winning, though, she'll just have to stick with that. No other viable option.

"How credible is 'credible'?" she asks, taking a look at the book for herself. "I mean, how do you know it's not something else entirely than abductions? It could be-- oh, I don't know! Mole men, or other aliens besides the ones we know, or hell, maybe all these accounts are grandeur hallucinations. Or people who hate Kryptonians or Thanagarians so they just make it up that they were abducted.

"Or the JLA is just one team and can't do everything? Aren't those all distinct, rational possibilities?"

Date: 2006-06-19 05:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
“Uh, well, uh….” He’s trying to think of counter-arguments to offer, but she’s making just too much sense. In fact, the more he thinks about it, she’s probably right. What are the odds, right?

He lowers his head, and nods. “You’re, uh .. you’re probably right,” he admits, despite embarrassment.

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Date: 2006-06-20 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She's happy he conceeded that she'd been right, but the slide from one subject to another makes her pause. To look at him, the sanity seems to have settled for a moment. Their normal conversation wasn't usually impossible small talk; there was always some political debate or theological musing of some sort.

They'd agreed a while ago maybe it was best they didn't get into the "nature of good and evil" conversation... or maybe she'd just agreed and forgot to tell him. Either way. What does the crazy person think of God, huh?

"Well, first of all, defining good and evil as 'theologically based principles' is an insult to the concepts," she says casually, reaching into a bottom cabinet for the skillet. "It's much more than that. It's more primitive. It's got more guts than that. Good and evil was always there even before the first act of the world. Before theology, before religion, kittens-- before faith!

"Plus, comparing selfish and evil, and selfless and good gives the impression that either can be defined or confined to an act. Evil goes much deeper than an evil act. It goes as far back as the first evil thought, and maybe even any outward causes that initiated that line of thinking. And I'm not saying 'satan' or 'demons' or 'evil spirits'-- that would release people from all responsibility. But just that evil begets more evil when it comes to humanity."

Date: 2006-06-20 02:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He listens to Corrine philosophize as he enjoys another bite of his apple, his eyes constantly shifting from his sister to his lover, and then back again.

“No, love, I, uh .. I don’t believe you, uh …. truly understood my meaning. I was never meaning to suggest that something as pedestrian as an action could be defined as being either good or evil. Far from, in fact. I would suggest instead that it is truly motivation that should create a foundation for judgment.”

He holds his finger up to indicate that there is more coming as he takes another small bite of his apple. God does he love granny smiths. “A, uh … a person who’s motivations are as often as not self-centered would, under this model, adopt the label of ‘evil,’ whereas one who’s intentions were either benevolent or, at the very least a balanced amalgamation of the two, would be labeled ‘good.’”

And again his eyes shift breifly back to his sister.

Date: 2006-06-20 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"But that's not fair, either. They go even farther than intention. Intention is just... too widely justified in the eye of the right-- or wrong-- person. Evil acts can be committed with the best of 'intentions'. All intentions are are our designations of our actions-- what we say they are. Mostly because no one can know our intentions but... well, God.

"He alone sees into the hearts of man. Humans aren't priviledged enough for that. Intention is all based on the inner eye, so how can we begin to expect to judge evil or good against our fellow man if an inward classification is our basis?"

Date: 2006-06-20 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Amelia's laughing through most of Corrine's little ramble. It gets louder and more raucous as the blond keeps talking. Amelia drags herself from her chair, propping herself on the fridge for a moment her laughter is so intense. She calms herself and stands beside Corrine, mocking the last little bit.

"GAWD, I thought she'd never stop talking!" She sighs at her brother and crosses her arms over her chest. "You're screwing a Jesus freak? Is this the best you can do? Sad. Really."

Casually, she picks a piece of lint off of Corrine's sweater. "She's going to leave you like all the other women did. S'cuz you're boring and overrated, Cal. Trust me. I should know."

Date: 2006-06-20 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He intentionally averts his eyes to the table before him, but only just long enough to retain his composure. His eyes again focus on Corrine, as he tries to ignore Amelia’s hurtful words, and continue with the pleasant conversation he was having with his lover.

“Um, I, uh …” Ignore it, Caleb…

“Uh, right. Yes, then. Um, you see, um, this is precisely why it is so difficult to categorize abstracts like good and evil…” His eyes lock onto his sister: “It’s simply too subjective for there to be a simple reason.” Then back to Corrine. “Er, answer. A simple answer.”

Date: 2006-06-20 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He's getting antsy for some reason. His eyes aren't focusing enough, or maybe they're focusing too much on other things.

"Maybe 'reason' is a good word, too," Corrine pushes on. If she can keep him involved in the discussion, maybe she can distract him from whatever else is going on in his addled mind. "Why do we want an answer to good and evil? Because we feel like there has to be a reason for good and evil, and there doesn't. If there's a reason, maybe we can control it. But good and evil happen without purpose or direction millions of times every day. There isn't an answer because there isn't a reason or concrete logic."

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Date: 2006-06-21 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He doesn't need to with the tears; the edge of Corrine's shirt is dabbing them up. She does have her mother hen moments, especially when it comes to those she loves. It's a tenderness rarely seen by other people, but Caleb should know it well by now.

The Corrine everyone else sees is still in there somewhere... in the stiffness in her touch as she wipes the tears away. Part of her is hardened to pain like this, to other people's sense of guilt, but it's something else entirely when it's the man she loves.

"Then God is an unfair God," she whispers, but she tries to make it like a joke. "Maybe He doesn't even really get good and evil."

She takes his face in her hands and gives him a smile-- the first genuine one in days. "I burned someone alive, and I've never really felt bad about it. You're a good man who made a mistake, and agonizes over it every day. If either of us has sins to pay for, it's not you. You're sick because... because you almost died a few months ago. That does something to your brain. How could it not?"

Date: 2006-06-21 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Her joke is just what he needed to hear. His defeated demeanor changes the moment his laughter begins. It’s a short lived laugh, but it’s a heart felt one.

“Perhaps he overlooks your actions on account of who you are.” A smile. “An employee discount program, maybe?”

Date: 2006-06-21 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Then He's not a good employer, either. Or He just signs the paychecks. How else would someone as disgruntled as me get hired?" she asks, tickling him lightly on the ribs. Despite what a serious implication her words have, she's still very much joking.

"Or not get fired yet?"

Well, she was.

Date: 2006-06-21 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He runs his hand through his hair as he sits up, though he continues to beam his smile at Corrine.

“If, uh … if there’s one thing that my work history has taught me it’s that be it a movie theater, a college, a government agency, or a coffee shop, that every corporation has it’s disgruntled malcontents who get away with murder.” *a snicker.*

“No, uh … no pun intended, obviously.” He’s trying not to laugh, but he’s not doing so well. He’s laughing with her, though – not at her.

Date: 2006-06-21 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Oh, that's okay! Mock my... pain! My pain will be avenged!" And she dives onto him, tackling him to the ground and wrestling him so she can get a good tickle. If she pushes all of her body weight on him she might have a chance of overpowering him. It's all about the placements of the knees. It's a very, very small chance, but a chance nonetheless.

The attack doesn't last but a few seconds, though. There's something in his smile that makes her stop, and she backs off her pursuit a little to look and smile at him. The sanity is here, now, hopefully for a longer bit than normal. Hopefully, for good.

Date: 2006-06-21 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Her pins work better than she could have hoped for because Caleb is entirely too slow to react – and quite ticklish. He hasn’t even begun to try to defend himself when she stops, and beams her gorgeous smile at him.

He lays there, and just returns her gaze briefly before leaning up, and giving her a quick, soft kiss. “I love you, Corrine.”

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Date: 2006-12-07 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And that was it. That was always it.

She thought maybe a few times it might be wrong, wrong to go on for so long with someone this way. Not the crazy, she could deal with that if that's what needed to be done. But such passion, such unbridled passion, without the familiarity, the knowledge and feeling of another day... Wreckless, probably, but some things you can't just not do and somehow loving him was one of them.

He was so... warm. Nothing could hurt her when she was with him. Everything menial and stupid faded away and didn't matter. She didn't feel small and incapable, she felt raw and BIG and marvellous. Unstoppable. Invincible.

Then there were sometimes when she felt like she could break out of her skin, burst into oblivion, and she'd never care. Being so close to him, closer than two could ever be, and she felt perfect. For a few moments she could crawl into his skin, crawl into his soul, and she felt... holy. Closer to God than ever in her life.

It was the first thing that ever felt really right. Uncomplicated. Simple.

But she'd been right. Nothing stays beautiful forever. Time and change corrupt things, twist them so far from the origin until it's unrecognizable...

Sometimes it aches so bad in her heart her breath catches. The fear comes up from nowhere, screaming out from some far away bit of oblivion. Always when she's alone. Always when she's tired and weakest. She hides away from it, herself, everyone else, and usually... it stops on its own.

It isn't now, though. It packs her in from all sides and she can't move, she can hardly breathe. And now among the things that keep her awake at night is that... ripping in the sky, and the first sight of that horrible, expressionless mask. It stares at her in her sleep, and she watches one, two, three, four, five people drop and more. She's screaming incantations wildly and nothing happens.

Everyone's dead.


amityville_sweetheart: (Default)
Corrine Bertrand

October 2009

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