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Reanimated: » Games » Supernatural » The Road So Far » What goes around comes around: A Romulenna adventure

What goes around comes around: A Romulenna adventure

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I love you... I love you...

Those three little words, normally the most wanted word but not this time it was as if he just said goodbye to her.

“Wait, Rome. I don’t know what--" Lenna felt as if she was choking her flashlight was flickering because of Blair and her hands, no her entire body was shaking because of the deathly piece of metal in her hand. She tried to calm down, after all Rome had promised her that everything would be alright. But she could hit him.

She remembered the beautiful sparkling green eyes go dull. She couldn’t do that again, for nothing in the world.

...die if you don't pull that trigger...

Lenna remembered when she was drowning when Rome was the one saving her, when he shot two men without thinking for a moment what he was doing to them. He didn’t like killing but he shot two men.

For me!

Lenna straighten her back, took the gun with both hands, and pulled the trigger (while her eyes were closed), just as the water level rose to the top of the grate.

Lenna saw his fingers poking through the holes, struggling; she knelt, put the gun very careful down and pulled on the lock to check if the loud shot did its deed. The lock was still whole and as water rushed over her hands, suddenly she saw red. Blood! She'd hit him!

“No! Rome! You said it will be alright. Rome!”

Lenna stared at the water, not realizing she just picked up Rome’s gun again. Rome’s fingers went still and disappeared below the red water. In her mind she saw Rome’s eyes going dull.

Another one!

She wasn’t able to move and inch and it crossed her mind if she should just try running from Happy so Blair would kill her, because there was no way she would leave.

Not without Rome!

Taking the gun in both hands again, she aimed for the lock and fired until the clicking noise signalled her that there were no bullets left. It took another few seconds for her to move and open Rome’s prison. The body floated to the surface, face down.

"I'm all alone. Blair what are you doing now, he left me! Just kill me."



Last edited by Ariel Buttercup on Thu 03 Nov 2011, 10:06 pm; edited 3 times in total


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Drowning wasn't even painful or scary once you got past a certain point. There was, like, this sweet spot, where you felt more sleepy and wobbly than anything else.

His shoulder didn't even hurt anymore. Which was also awesome.

He just hoped Elenna would be okay...

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But Blair didn’t do anything he was staring at the whole scene and didn’t move, he even smiled a not crazy-ghost-smile. He looked happy. Lenna didn’t care what Blair did, she bend down and was about to put the gun back on the floor but her finger went automatic without her releasing to the safety thing somewhere in the back of her head she heard... Rome (it hurt as hell to think this name) telling her even when she thinks the magazine is empty she should never put a gun away while the safety is not off. She felt numb as she crawled closer to the lifeless body. Her face was wet and her vision blurry but she just couldn’t stop crying. There was no point when you know you shot again your brother, no matter if this was a brother by blood or by choice. With trembling hands she turned Rome around, his eyes were closed. She tried to pull him out but she couldn’t.

“You are heavy.”

Lenna pulled with all her strength that was left, but Rome kept floating in the muddy water, when suddenly the ground underneath her gave in and she was with Rome in the muddy hole.

“I bet you would have at least 5 kinky comments about this situation, but...” The girl couldn’t stop herself she was hugging Rome very tight. She remained for a moment like this when there was something odd about it.

Da dum da dum...

„A heartbeat.“

Lenna pushed, pulled and use all bit of strength left in her little body to pull Rome out of this mud. It wasn’t easy the sticky thick texture of the mud was holding on to Rome, but in the end she was lying next to him on the cold and wet basement floor. It took her a few seconds to catch her breath and force her body which was in pain from head to toe to move. She knew his heart was beating but he wasn’t waking up, and his shoulder was bleeding. She was trying to remember her first aid training she did an eternity ago in school, but she had no idea how she was suppose to check if he was breathing, but she was pretty sure he wasn’t breathing.

“I swear if you are just holding your breath to kiss me I so gonna kill you.”

Lenna pulled Rome’s head in the right position took a deep breath and lowered her lips to his. A tiny part of her wished he will start laughing and tell her to stop because this is gross, but he didn’t not even when she pressed her mouth on his, she had to admit she had kissed guys that were worse than Rome.

I bet he is a great kisser if he is a bit more alive.

She blew until she saw his chest rising. She did this a second time when he started coughing, water and mud and yucky stuff.

“Romeo!”


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Drowning was no freaking fun in reverse. Not only was he leaving that sweet spot of no pain, no nothing, but also he was, for what seemed like an eternity, trapped in a panicked stage of needing to breathe but being absolutely unable to. Water was pouring out his mouth, his nose, from his lungs, his stomach, as he retched and coughed on the floor. The stream was so steady he couldn't get a breath in edgewise, and his panicked fingers struggled to latch on to something, begging for help.

Elenna. His fingers found Elenna. She was behind him, apparently had rolled him onto his side, not that he had any clue whatsoever which way was up, and was pounding his back hard enough to leave bruises but helping to get the water out. One hand had reached up behind him and grabbed part of her shirt, unwilling to let go, clumsy though his fingers were with cold.

When he decided it was safe to breathe was when he relaxed, eyes closed, body completely slack, though his chest still heaved like a frightened rabbit. Slowly, ever so slowly, the black spots cleared away from his vision, and the pain in his chest and throat and head and eyeballs began to subside as oxygen once again flooded his system. Still, he kept breathing. For a long time he was heedless of any other pain, any other cold, and only grateful for air.

The water tasted disgusting, so he threw up again for good measure, and spit, trying to get the dirt-algae-trying-not-to-think-about-it taste from his mouth.

"I think I swallowed a bug," Rome said, surprising himself with how pitiful his voice sounded. He realized then, that he hadn't bothered opening his eyes. He could feel Elenna against him, behind him, he could faintly hear her talking to him, whatever. Still too early. Wanna go back to bed...

When Rome finally opened his eyes, he shot upright like he'd been caught four-feet-in-a-two-feet-rack.

The ghost was standing there. Watching them, and grinning, like a major creep.

He barreled backwards into Lenna, pushing her behind him and practically falling on her. Wow, he was more out of it than he thought. "Lenna, get the gun!" Rome choked out, blinking rapidly to clear his vision.

But the ghost didn't move.

"What do you want?" Rome demanded.

"You let her go," the ghost said slowly, as if it was...confused. "And you came back. I have never witnessed such...devotion."

"Maybe you never gave anyone else the chance to show it," Elenna snapped back, quietly irritated.

The ghost began to fade before their very eyes. "Thank you," it said, and was gone.

It had no sooner disappeared than Rome fell limp against Elenna's chest. The next thing he knew, he was on his back, blinking owlishly up at her. "How'd I get here?" he slurred. "And where'd you comeffrom?" He noticed she was soaking wet, and shivering. "You'kay?" he asked, even as he noticed he was also soaking wet, and not shivering, and somehow in the back of his mind that set off a red flag, but he ignored it.

"Rome, stop talking," Elenna said, and pulled off her sopping wet jacket, which she pressed roughly against his shoulder, where there was a great deal of pain, for no reason.

"Ow. Mean-bean," Rome told her with a pout. He coughed again, wetly, which only hurt his shoulder more. He tried to shove her hands away, but she was pinning him firmly and his limbs weren't working right. He was suddenly very tired, and beginning to feel warm.

"Rome!" a slap to his face. "Don't fall asleep, Rome!"

"Why you so mean?" Rome demanded. "Liked it better when you left..."

Then Rome remembered. Suddenly the fog cleared, and he knew: she wanted to leave. And he had to let her go. She would stay, just because he was injured and she was feeling guilty, and he'd rather crawl into a hole and die alone than have someone stay with him out of obligation.

"No!" he tried again. "I mean. I'll be okay. I'm okay. You can leave if you want to."

Not for the first time, and certainly not the last, Elenna told him to shut up.

((Please change it if I went too far, or you don't like something. And good luck getting our favorite moron home! Very Happy ))

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Seeing Rome in pain and babbling like that broke Lenna’s heart.

Why is he telling me to leave, wasn’t he the one calling me back?

Rome was falling unconscious for moment just to wake up again. Very carefully Lenna pushed Rome who was half lying on her down. The ghost was gone apparently somehow his job was to see true humanity or somehow true love of a family. Lenna got up still shivering, and she picked up Rome’s phone and some other belongings of him and her that were shattered around the basement. She was standing next to his gun, she knew it was safe but she Rome’s blood on her hands did not make it less scary. She picked it up and went quickly to Rome to put it back into the holster he was still wearing, the only place she felt safe to be around it.

“I will be back in just a minute, I can’t carry all our stuff and you to the car. Don’t go anywhere.”

Lenna looked sad at Rome who was lying on the floor on his right side just in case there was still water in his lungs. She run upstairs, picked up her stuff and run outside to the Ferrari, she pulled the key out of her bag and unlocked the car. Dumped everything in the trunk, and ran back downstairs or well more falling down the stairs because she tripped over her own feet and the wet jeans made moving a bit stiff.

“Rome! Wake up. I can’t carry you so you have to help me a little. And don’t dare to mention how muddy we are I don’t care about the seats, just buy new ones.”
Lenna poked Rome in the right shoulder and got a blurry response from him.

“Goddamit Romulus Remington, wake up. I just used a friggin gun for you. The least thing you can do is be as much awake to help me get you to the car!” Lenna sounded impatient, but she hoped Rome knew that she was just scared of the whole situation. Lenna pulled Rome into a sitting position and just this let her feel her exhaustion.

“I can never get you up the stairs. Rome please I need your help. You can sleep as soon you are in the car. Please Romeo.” Tear were running down her cheeks, tears of delayed shock, traumatic experience, exhaustion and frustration not knowing how to do something. She didn’t sounded angry anymore she was begging Rome to stay awake long enough to get him in the car, because when he wouldn’t help her they had to stay here.



Last edited by Ariel Buttercup on Thu 03 Nov 2011, 10:58 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Lenna left him. There it was. She walked away.

Again.

And he let her go.

Again.

Rome curled in on himself and tried not to care, tried not to cry. He wasn't sure if he succeeded. Everything was wet, everything was cold, everything hurt. But as much as he wanted to sit here pining away and rot here, he knew better. He had to get up and take care of himself, because no one else cared. He could make it to the car, he was sure he had left it outside, and from there, it was only a few hours to Tex's. He could go to ground there and--

“Rome! Wake up. I can’t carry you so you have to help me a little. And don’t dare to mention how muddy we are I don’t care about the seats, just buy new ones.”

"Where'd you come from?" Rome wondered, as Elenna materialized, as if by magic, in front of him. Excitement dared to stir in his chest, happiness, relief, the promise of safety, but he batted it back down. She wasn't going to leave him here, duh, but she still wasn't going to stay. Nothing would change that, she'd made it perfectly clear, no matter how much he wanted otherwise.

And what was she being so bossy about? He was getting up, wasn't he? He was...

Um. Oh. His eyes weren't even open. That would help.

Rome was having serious trouble connecting with his extremities, but somehow, with Elenna's help, he managed to haul himself to his feet. He felt immediately light-headed, but Elenna steadied him. He tried not to lean on her, but she only dug her tiny fingers into his side until he subnmitted to the totally embarassing situation of having her practically carry him up the stairs.

"Car's outside," he mumbled, fishing for his keys in his soaking pocket with fingers that didn't work. Suddenly, they were there, at the Ferrari. And Elenna had the key. "How..." Now the door was open, and she was manhandling him inside. On the passenger side. Wait, why wasn't he driving? Everything was going way too fast. And now, wait. She was wrestling him out of his wet clothes. Foul! "Hey," he tried, "you didn't even buy me dinner yet." He wasn't sure if he was trying to be funny or if he was actually hungry.

She was pouring water over his shoulder, and then packed it tightly with bandages and wrapped it up in a stupid makeshift bandage that pinned his arm against his chest in a way that was annoying. He was sure she was talking to him, but the words were blah blah blah and made no sense. But the voice was comforting, as much as he tried not to let it get to him.

And he was tired. But he knew he couldn't sleep. Well, why did she put a blanket around him? Talk about mixed signals. Whatever. He could take care of himself. He could--

"Rome, wake up. We're here."

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Lenna had no idea how she managed to get him up the stairs into the car and out of Happy. She drove to the next hotel she could find, the Knights Inn in Canyon.

"Rome, wake up. We're here."

Lenna bend over to the backseat were his closes were, she was looking for his credit card, she might had lost her because she hadn’t found it earlier.

“Rome I’m going inside to get us a room, stay here okay? Don’t go anywhere, don’t leave the car, I’ll be back in a minute.”

Lenna took his car key and her car key to make sure he couldn’t drive anywhere, and went in the lobby.

“Welcome at the Knights Inn in…”

“Yeah I know, just spare me all the formalities. I’m want a room for well at least 4 nights with two separated double beds and somewhere were I’m not disturbed I’m a very light sleeper.”

“Yes Miss. Do you need help with your luggage?”

“Um, no all I want is one of those luggage trolleys.”

“Yes Miss.” The receptionist took the credit card Lenna handed her. Luckily she didn’t ask anything because of the obviously not female name on it.

“I can give you the studio suite.”

“Thanks.”

Lenna took the key card and went back outside, where one of the luggage guys had pushed one of those trolleys to the Ferrari. On one side Lenna pilled all the bags and stuff and on the other side she managed to drag Rome out of the car seat and on the trolley, where he sat wrapped up in only a blanket.

The valet looked confused at the half sleeping Rome.

“Yeah I know it’s a great first anniversary. He got wasted last night and actually lost me. Don’t ask me how we ended up here; you would never believe the story. Here the car key if I find a single scratch on it you’ll be in a lot of trouble.”

Lenna handed the car boy the car key and a $20.

It is weirdly nice to have money for once.

Pushing with all her strength the trolley to the lift and up in their suite.

“Okay pretty is this not at all.”

Lenna dumped their stuff in one corner and pulled Rome to the shower. He was just in his boxer which where wet too.

“I can’t believe you make me do this Rome.” The bathroom war pretty large and the bathtub was large enough that they fitted both in.

I’m soooo glad you won’t remember any of this, this is embarrassing, well more for you because you won’t remember but still.

After all mud was gone and they smelled more human and less stinky yucky old water, and Rome had warmed up enough that at least now he was shivering, and Lenna was dressed enough; she poked Rome again to wake him up.

“Rome, wake up. You need to get changed I’m not dressing you in new boxers you are a big boy and can do that on your own. I won’t peak but leave the bathroom door open.” Lenna had left the bathroom and pulled off the covers of the beds for Rome, she was hoping that the bath in the end woke him up enough to get dressed. Maybe he could dress her but that was easier she was the size of a large doll, if she had to dress him it would be more like a giant getting dressed by a hobbit.


((Feel free to add, change or delete things you don't like.))

((I did edit a tiny bit, if that's okay. Love it!! --Maeg))


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Rome awoke in the bathroom. Alone. Again.

Oh. And naked. Hm. Okay.

There were clothes on the floor next to him. He managed boxers and lounge pants, but the t-shirt was beyond him. He sat there on the bathroom floor until Elenna knocked on the door.

"Rome? You all right? I'm coming in, Romeo."

He frowned up at her. "What's with the nickname? Who are you, and what did you do with Elenna?" It was a joke, kinda.

She frowned back at him, and offered him a hand. "Your bed's all warmed up, Rome, and I gotta check out that wound. Let's go." She hauled him to his feet and guided him to the bed closest to the bathroom, furthest from the door. The bed Elenna normally took. This was her bed. Why was he in her bed?

Why was she settling in next to him?

Didn't she want to leave?

Rome coughed and settled further into the blankets, but it didn’t help. He was still chilled to the bone, and, somehow, still unhappy. Why had she bothered saving him? She was just going to leave him again, and he wasn’t in the mood to deal with the...stress.

“Here, Rome, drink this,” she began.

He laughed sharply, which caused a wet cough to come up. “Yeah, right. Like I’m gonna fall for that one again.”

Elenna looked chagrined. “It’s just warm tea, Rome, mint flavored, actually. It’s good, and it’ll help warm you up, and there’s no magic in it. I promise. ”

“I don’t care, I don’t want it. Just get out. You saved me, great, thanks. I realize that doesn’t change anything, that I’m still a d!ck and you want to go be grown up. You proved your point. You can take care of yourself, so go. I won’t follow you.” High emotions combined with physical distress gave him a motormouth. “And I sure as hell don’t want to fall asleep with you there and wake up and you’re gone. Like, ever again. So go now.”

“Rome, I’m not leaving,” Elenna said, patiently, solemnly. She didn’t raise her voice, which, he realized, he had been trying to goad her into doing. She didn’t take the bait. In fact, she put her hand on his brow, feeling the heat radiating off it. “Rome, you’re sick. Even if you weren’t, I—I think we both learned our lessons. I’m not leaving.”

Rome pouted and didn’t reply. He looked away from her and at the TV.

“Here, come on, Rome, at least drink the tea. Come on, now, sit up.”

“Don’t wanna.”

“Who’s being the baby now? Romulus, up.”

More indifferent than anything, Rome helped her manhandle him into a half-sitting position. As he took the cup from her he realized for the first time that his hands were shaking. He tried not to let it show, tightening his grip on the cup and taking a large gulp.

“Ow, hot,” he said, spitting it back up.

“No don’t you are drinking it too fast, slow. Drink it slow.”

Nodding, Rome took the cup and settled back against the headboard, allowing Elenna to do her mother hen thing and tuck the blankets around him, which he certainly didn’t mind because he was finally warming up. The TV was on.

“Hey, I love this movie,” Rome said.

“What is it?” Elenna asked. She was fussing with his shoulder, probably trying to clean it out again. It was no use, but he didn’t bother telling her that.

The Princess Bride.”

“Rome,” she grinned, “I didn’t know you liked chick-flick movies.”

“What?” Rome sat up, defensively, and she used this opportunity to situate more pillows behind him before pushing him back down. “Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles.”

She laughed obligingly. “That sounds like our life a bit. We’ll watch it, okay?”

Rome nodded distantly. Then he swallowed hard. “And…after?” He shivered violently.

“After what?”

Better to be plain: “When are you leaving?”

Now Elenna’s eyes were shiny with almost-tears, and she grabbed his face until he was looking at her. “Rome. I’m not leaving you. I swear.”

“We’ll see,” Rome said, trying desperately not to care but secretly caring a lot. His eyes tracked back to the movie.

Elenna huffed a little, but went back to tending his shoulder.

“See?” he told her absently. “Bullets don’t kill people, holes in them do.” He was pretty sure he was trying to reassure her about the whole gun thing, but had sounded better in his head.

“That’s not funny, Rome.”

“I’m just saying you don’t need to be so scared of guns. I didn’t die.”

“But I thought you did.”

“Yeah, but that was the water's fault, not the bullet. It’s not that easy, just to, like, shoot, bang, and someone's dead. Most of the time, anyway. And I want to—I mean, I’ll teach you, if you want.”

Lenna looked at Rome’s shoulder thinking about his offer what it meant.

“Okay.” She couldn’t say more than just one word and even that was rather difficult. She felt like as if she was choking on it. To distract him from the terror and panic she felt she went back fussing over him.

“Try to rest, Rome.”

Rome creased his brow. “No.”

“Rome, you’ve got to sleep. You look terrible.”

You look terrible. And don’t try drugging me again, you don’t have to, you can just leave, I won’t stop you.”

He was baiting her again. But she refused to get angry. And that was driving him crazy. Since when had he turned into the cantankerous five-year-old while she had gone Buddha-sage?

“Okay, fine,” she said. “You don’t have to sleep. But you have to stay warm and rest. So come here.” She was on the bed next to him, against the headboard. She crawled under the covers with him, her skin warm against his. Without meaning to, his body relaxed immediately. There was a tiny arm around his shoulders, somehow defying the laws of physics to envelop him and, oddly enough, he felt safe. “C’mere, Rome, lean on me. We gotta get you warmed up.”

Rome chuckled, dropping his head onto her chest. Suddenly he was warm. Suddenly he was comfortable. Suddenly he felt safe. Suddenly, he realized that, even if he fell asleep, she couldn’t leave without him noticing. That was good. He could stay like this. “You know there’s about twelve pornos that start off like this.”

Elenna laughed. “Sorry to disappoint you, but porn number thirteen won’t be your favorite one. This is the porno without the sex, okay? What’s going on in this movie, anyway? Who’s the guy with the mask?”

“He’s Buttercup's true love, only she doesn’t know it’s him yet. She thinks he’s dead.”

“Okay.” Lenna looked skeptical at Rome, he really liked a movie about true love. That was a a little bit of a surprise.

“Lennie?” Rome licked his lips. His eyelids were drooping quickly. “If—um.” How to say this. “If you happen to stay, you know, and if I fall asleep, you—you’ll wake me up, right? If I, um, have a—nightmare?” He swallowed hard. “Please?”

There it was. She wanted his trust. So there was his heart, naked on a plate, served up with a side of major abandonment issues and post-traumatic-stress on top.

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Lenna looked with tears in her eyes at Rome’s head and had to restrain the urge to hug him as tight as possible, she just squeezed her arm tighter around him. “Yeah, Rome, I’ll be here. I’m not going anywhere. And I’ll wake you if you need me to.”

Rome nodded slightly, feeling his insides melting. There was silence except for the movie—and I will say to him, ‘Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.’—for a moment before he spoke again:

“You'll stay awake?”

Lenna smiled. “Yeah.”

Another pause. He had to be sure.

“All night?”

“All night! Just trust me Rome. Sleep. You are safe and I am safe. There is no need to worry about me, I’m with you so nothing bad can happen. Do you hear me, nothing bad can happen as long we look out for each other?”

Lenna pulled the covers a bit more up to make sure Rome was warm enough. Next to her on the nightstand was an entire pharmacy, everything she might needed for Rome. She would not leave him for a second alone.


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"Give me what I want and I'll go away."

Rome's blood went cold.

"Andre."

"Well, you certainly haven't bothered cleaning up the place since I was last here. Such a mess..."

"You get the hell out of here."

Andre laughed. "Or what? Since you were such a tough customer last time. I was almost embarrassed for you."

Rome shoved him.

"Rome, stop it!"

That sounded like Elenna's voice! But muffled, coming from far away, and tinny.

"Elenna? Where is she? You let her go, Andre, I swear to God..."

"Again, I find myself shaking in my fashionably overpriced sneakers. Oh, sorry, your fashionably overpriced sneakers, since, well, what's yours is mine, and mine is--"

"Let. Her. Go!"

"Rome, calm down! Rome, it's me, it's okay!"
"Rome, stop fighting me, you're okay! It's just a dream!"

Rome jolted awake, pain spiking through his...everywhere, at the violent movement. Ow.

But being awake didn't help. Now he was only more confused. And hot.

Well, duh.

No, heat hot. "Burning," he mumbled, tugging the blankets off of him. The light was bright and hurt his eyes. Someone was fussing over him, talking to him. "Leggo," he insisted, writhing around to find a cool spot on the bed, but there was none.

"Rome, you gotta lay still, you're gonna tear these stitches."

"Hot," he said. He kicked until his lounge pants came off.

"Okay, okay, I got it. Just lie still."

Now there was cool on his face, against his neck. "Mm," he said, but, "Bright."

"You want the light off?" A click, and the burning behind his closed eyelids went out.

Good. Safe.

No, not safe.

"Andre--" Rome sat up, knocking Elenna off-balance, but she took his shoulders and guided him back to the sweaty pillow.

"No, Rome, he's not here. Just a dream. Go back to sleep, Rome."

"He'll come back. If I sleep, he'll--"

"No, he won't, Romeo. Because I got watch, okay? I'll wake you up. It's okay. Just relax. Sleep."

Elenna? She was still here? He could maybe justify a few minutes shut-eye if she stood guard. Okay. That was okay.

"Don't let him get you," he warned, but he wasn't sure his mouth was working right.

"What? Rome, shh."

No, he had to say this. This was important. She was going to be stupid and brave, and he couldn't let that happen. "If he comes, you get out of here. You let him take me before you let him get you. Promise me, Lennie."

"Rome, he's not--"

"Promise." Rome blinked sluggishly at her, determined to get an answer before he dared sleep.

"Okay, whatever Rome, I promise. Now would you just go to sleep, please?"

Rome was snoring before she finished.

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Lenna pushed Rome back in the pillows and even though he said he was hot she made sure the covers are up to his chest. The TV was running in the background Lenna had no idea what was on, she was reading her book about the Scottish myth of fairies. She liked fairies and hadn’t decided yet if she believed they were real or just myth. So far she didn’t meet a hunter who told her he or she was hunting a fairy.

Maybe we will be one day the first hunters.

Rome was now snoring right next to her and she could feel his hot skin she considered the option of using her magic to lower the fever but she felt too weak to try it right now. He wrapped his arm protectively around her stomach and his breathing calmed down. He kept mumbling in his sleep, but he didn’t start fighting her. Every couple minutes she was checking Rome’s temperature which was slowly but steady rising.

This is not a good sign.

Lenna looked worried at the sleeping Rome. She needed to figure how to read the early signs of a nightmare. No matter if it was a normal nightmare or one of his visions. She did want to help him more than anything, but she just had no idea how. It took her so long to wake him up from his last nightmare.

“Everything is alright Rome. I’m safe, you are safe. Everything is alright.”

Lenna stroke soft over Rome’s hair. She wished she could really make him something the lets him sleep without dream. He looked so tired and she knew how much it costs him to take care of her. But it was weird this time it was turned around she was taking care of him and it wasn’t as bad as she expected, in a way it was nice. Lenna got pulled out of her thoughts when Rome’s grip got more violent.

“You can’t take her. Take your hands off her.”

“Rome stop, ouch, the only one who has me is you. Rome wake up you are just dreaming.”
Lenna was shaking Rome’s shoulder, he flinched because she forgot for a second that his left shoulder was the one she shot. “Let me go and wake up.”

Lenna felt helpless why was it so hard to wake him up. Lenna knew when she had a nightmare it was helping when someone was rubbing her back. With her left hand she was rubbing his back while she check with her other hand his temperature on his forehead. He woke up slowly and blinked sleepy at her. “Hey beautiful, it was just a nightmare Rome. Go back to sleep but please don’t misunderstand me as a Teddy bear and squeeze me.”

Rome mumbled something and Lenna used the moment of him being a bit awake.

“Hey you should take some of the antibiotics we have, you sound and feel like getting a major cold and also you… I, um I shot you and… I don’t want that your shoulder gets infected.” Lenna was holding two pills in her hand and a glass of water.


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Rome opened his mouth obediently and dry-swallowed the pills without opening his eyes. But this seemed to be a problem:

"Rome, you need to drink some water, too."

He shook his head, but that rattled his brains and he scrunched his face in pain.

"Rome, come on...Rome? Rome..."

"Rome..."

"Come on, Rome, catch up!"

"Rawson, wait! Wait, Raws, you're going too fast!"

They were kids, running at the beach. Rawson had always been more athletic than him. And even at the tender age of nine Rome knew what a beach babe was and they were all back by the water, and their dog Sassy was playing in the waves, and dad was building a sand castle and mom was drinking Piña Coladas and, God, running was stupid. They weren't even flying a kite!

"Come on, Romey, step it up. You don't want me to leave you behind again, do you?"

His side hurt. No, his shoulder hurt. Is this what having a heart attack felt like? And he was short on breath.

"Rawson, wait! Do you even know where you're going?"

Rawson stopped, then, and turned, and fixed him with an evil grin. "Anywhere to get away from you," he said, his voice suddenly twisted and low and loud.

Rome stopped, hurt. "What? Rawson, don't--"

Rawson turned and kept running.

And Rome tore after him.

Rawson was cresting a dune before him, running as if he would sprout wings and fly. When he reached the top of the sand dune, he did jump, but tumbled down the other side, laughing. Rome expected this to be a joke, the end of the line, for Rawson to laugh and throw sand at him and tell him he was just kidding and that he was a baby, but as Rome went to jump off the sand bank after his brother, he looked before he leaped, and with a cry at what he saw, fell backwards.

Hell.

Rome knew it instantly, as if it was a place he had seen before. He guessed he had, somehow. He recognized the smell: blood, sweat, feces, rotting meat, burning hair, vomit, sour milk, and sulfur. Bodies hung on meat hooks, children screamed, men and women wept. Andre was there, but with others, they smiled as they were slicing, dicing, carving, disemboweling.

He got there just in time to see Rawson falling, down, down, impossibly far, hit the ground with a sickening smack that echoed, and then they started in on him.
"No, don't!" Rome screamed, sitting bolt upright. "Let him go, please!"

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“Rome, stop yelling it is just a dream no matter what you dream. You are alright, we are safe. Wake up.”

Lenna tried to push him back down in the pillow but he was stronger and pushed her out of his way. He was running for the door and mumbling.

“Rome what the hell are you doing? Stay here!”

Lenna wasn’t sure if he was sleeping or awake. She took his hand to pull him back to bed, he got angry and hit her again. This time not in the face he punched her in the ribs and she fell backwards. She it took her for a second the breath, but she ignored the pain, blinked a couple of times so she wouldn't start crying and got back up.

“Rome please look at me! Don’t you see it’s me your Lennie? I don’t wanna hurt you, I wanna help you. You need to rest. Please!” Lenna was crying now, but more out of helplessness then out of pain. She was hugging Rome and felt for the first time that he was clenching his stomach for no real reason.

“Let me go, I have to help him.” Rome was trying to get rid of her so he could rush out of the hotel room.

“Verdammt noch mal Rome. You are not going anywhere.” Lenna pushed as much she could and managed to push Rome back on the bed, where he collapsed. Lenna had blood on her right hand and she saw that the bandage on Rome’s shoulder was bloody again.

“Great, and I was rather proud of those stitches.” Lenna stroke softly over Rome’s forehead, for the first time in the past 10 minutes he looked awake.

“Hey my boy, do I have to duck again or are we good? You busted your stitches and... “ Lenna stopped Rome was crying, real proper tears.

“Rome, no don’t it is alright I can fix your shoulder and I don’t care how often you hit me and I have to wrestle you back to bed. I’ll do it, okay? You wanna tell me about your nightmares?” Lenna spoke soft while she cleaned his shoulder again and fixed the stitches.


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"Elle, what are you doing with that gun?" The dream had changed, but Rome wasn't sure if this was an improvement or not.

"I have to stop you from killing any more people."

"Wait, Elle--" why had he called her that? "It's just nightmares. They're not real. I hit my face and got a bloody nose. I mean...they can’t be real. I can't have--I can't be...."

He was Nick.

Nick the werewolf, not the ghost. You know, you had to keep these freaks straight.

Elenna nodded slowly.

"So. There's no other choice?"

Tears were running down her cheeks as she shook her head. She stood and moved until she stood before him. The moment was surreal, like a very bad chick-flick movie.

"I love you, Elle," he whispered.

She pulled the trigger.

She fell with him to the floor, still holding the gun, and for a terrifying moment Rome thought she was going to turn the gun on herself. He saw reflected in her tearing eyes his own eyes, dark and lifeless.
Rome woke to a touch on his brow, only to find he was sobbing openly.

"Hey my boy, do I have to duck again or are we good? You busted your stitches and..."

Rome flinched. "Duck? What--" Rome gulped, burst into tears again as he remembered the fight back at the house. It played over and over again in his mind: 'Rawson did the best thing he could do by disappearing forever just so he wouldn't have to hear your whining--' and then, BAM! And he hit her! How could he?

"Lenna, I'm sorry, s-sorry," he blubbered, gripping her arm with all his strength, which, sadly, wasn't much. "Please don't shoot me, don't leave me, I'm sorry."

"Rome, I told you, I'm not leaving. I'll be right here, okay? It's okay, come on now, Rome, you're scaring me..."

Rome turned his face away from her, deeply ashamed. His face was hot, but from blush or fever he couldn't tell. "I'm sorry..." he moaned. He wanted the pain to stop. The pain in his shoulder, in his head, in his lungs, in his heart. "Please," was all he managed to gasp out before he knew no more.

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Lenna looked for a long time at Rome and her brain was working on full power but she couldn’t make out what to do to help him. On her shirt was some blood from his shoulder but she didn’t care. She curled up against his burning hot skin and held him. He was sweaty and in every other moment she wouldn’t have touched him but right now she hoped her being that close would somehow keep the nightmares away.

“I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying here with you forever.”

For a brief moment Lenna thought about calling someone for help but she knew that Rome didn’t want anyone else to see him like this. He trusted her and this trust made her heart skip a beat.

Rome could have everything. He could buy an island somewhere and live on it happily ever after and not have to take care of me, the little trouble-magnet. He could be happy.

“Rome? I know you are sleeping but I have to tell you this. I don’t think Raws left because of anything you did. I think he left you because of me. He hated me and knew you saw me as your pet. I don’t mind that you do, but he did. And I’m sorry he left.”

“Lennie,” it was just a whisper and Lenna wasn’t sure if it was the response to what she said or if he was dreaming again, but his body was relaxed she didn’t need to worry.

If only the worry would be that easily turned off. I always worry…

Suddenly she lifted her head to look at Rome. He had said this many times. He always worries, about…

He said he loves me.

When she was a little girl she had a puppy for a day, they got him from the shelter and she had picked him because she knew he would die and she didn’t want him to have his last day in the shelter. She convinced her mother that she doesn’t need to go to school this day and spend the last hours with the dying dog. He once had a very lovely owner but the old lady died recently. She made this day the best of the dog's days ever. And all she wanted was to know that the dog was happy when he died in her arms. Not that she compared Rome to an old dog, but this dog was the only one she ever took care of. Lenna lie her head back down on his good shoulder and went back to thinking. She felt as if her heart was glowing.

He enjoys taking care of me. He really does.

Rome groaned.

“I’m here Rome.”

Lenna pushed her thoughts away for a moment and did what calmed her down, remembering her mom singing it to her, when she was scared. Lenna sung quietly and shy, not knowing if Rome would appreciate her singing. She didn’t have her mother’s wonderful voice or sounded like the Beatles, but with each word she tried to let Rome hear that she loved him too and that he was right she did need someone to take care of her, to worry when she forgot the time sitting in a library, someone who knows all her silly little fears but never laughs about them. She wanted a big brother.

Lenna wasn’t sure how often she pushed Rome back to bed or how long they’ve been in the hotel, but it must have been for some time now. She remembered at least on sunrise but nothing expect the ill Rome mattered right now. She had just ordered another round of soup and a newspaper, this time potato soup, the chicken and the carrot tasted like feet. She felt Rome’s stomach clenching and this time she knew how to wake him up, she stroke his forehead. “Rome wake up I have soup. You need to eat a little bit, please.”

Lenna was rubbing her eyes, while she ate the rest of the soup still sitting next to Rome in the beds if she left him longer than a minute.

"Yeah potato soup is as gross as the other soups." Rome was sleeping but that didn't stop Lenna from talking to him. She compared the date of the newspaper the bought the morning after she ran away and the new one. It was three days ago, they were in this hotel for two days. Which meant Rome was sick since two and a half days. And Lenna wasn't sure she did the right thing not calling a doctor or taking him to a hospital. She wasn't really watching TV but it was running since they arrive at the hotel.


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Rome woke slowly. Like, actually, genuinely, gently awoke from dreamless sleep. Or unconsciousness. Whatever. Either way, it was pleasant. Or at least, you know, not horrible. He opened his eyes. The only light came from the TV, which shone on Lenna's pale face. She didn't look well. About as bad as he felt, actually, if you wanted to get technical. Her hand was resting on his head. It felt...comforting?

Rome smiled up at her, but she wasn't paying attention to him. She was watching whatever was on TV--re-runs of The A-Team--really? He hadn't pegged her as the type--and kept almost falling asleep, her head nodding before she would jerk it up again.

"You know you shouldn't try to stay awake for long periods at a time. I hear it's bad for you," he grinned, trying to look stronger than he felt. For the first time he realized he had his limbs around her like she was a giant teddy bear, his head in her lap, and that was more than a little embarrassing.

Lenna nearly fell off the bed in shock, he sounded so much like himself and not like the fever talking. "You're awake? How are you?"

"Umm...is 'ashamed of myself' enough of an answer?" he tried. He really needed to brush his teeth.

"Maybe you should go back to sleep? I can stay up a little while longer and make sure you don't have any nightmares." Lenna rubbed her eyes, trying to hide tears. She didn't know why she was close to tears but she was. He was telling her to leave him all those days, did he mean that for real?

"Hmm? Nahh, I-I'm okay. I think. Jesus, how long was I out?" Rome eased himself up onto an elbow, feeling cool where his sweat-wet skin lost contact with Elenna's.

Lenna smiled at him. "More or less three days. You had your awake moments when you were hallucinating."

"Really?" Rome asked, embarrassed, and felt his own forehead, but he was only warm with the heat of blush, not fever. This was mortifying. He didn't remember a thing. And there wasn't even a really great party at the other end of this hangover. "Man, I'm sorry, chica. What did--" For the first time, Rome looked at her. Really looked at her. He sat up, "You look like hell, baby." He knew of course, the second he said it, what he was going to get for that:

"It was my fault you nearly drowned and I shot you and normally you always take care of me so it was just fair that I did for once the job. And I'm looking fine, as fine as I can fighting you back to bed, because even with a fever of 104 you are stronger than me." Lenna stopped talking and not to yawn, which gave her a funny face. "I'm fine."

"I...uh." Rome rubbed a hand over his face. He curled his legs under him, feeling stiff. He realized he was only wearing his boxers, and Elenna was wearing only a tiny shirt and booty shorts. He felt ashamed, awkwardly, and this was an emotion he wasn't really used to dealing with. He wracked his brain, trying to remember the past few days, but nothing came. Maybe he remembered--no, that was embarrassing, forget that--and--no, that didn't even make sense. So, no, apparently there was a three-day gap in his recent existence. Nothing much beyond darkness and--well, he didn't remember any dreams. At least that was awesome. "Um. You know, thanks. You shouldn't--I'm sorry I, ah. Yeah. Made you go through that. Sorry. Um." He looked at his hands for a moment before looking up. "But yeah, anyway, you should totally go take a shower, chiquita. And then you can sleep. I-I'm good now."

Lenna looked skeptically at him. She was so used watching over him that she felt bad taking a shower now. She shook her head. "No. You go first. I want you to have as much hot water as you want." Lenna looked at the TV when she blurted out, "Rome, do you really want me to leave? I know I ran away, but that was a mistake. But if you want me to go I will go." It might have been the lack of sleep but she knew she wouldn't fight him anymore, she would just do whatever he told her to do. Lenna shivered a little under the warm covers.

Rome blinked owlishly. Had he heard that correctly? "Um. What? Lennie, baby, chica, you--" Rome struggled, shifted his weight, but his bedridden body didn't respond appropriately and-- "Whoa!" he cried as he slid off the bed, dragging a tangle of covers off with him. Luckily, he caught himself on his good arm and "Ow!" his tailbone.

"Rome!" she cried, lunging after him, and then he caught the look in her eyes--the deep concern, the all-consuming worry, the--

And then it hit him. She had been taking care of him for days. She. Had been looking after him. For three days. While he had been as helpless as a blind, anemic and quadrapegic kitten. And she hadn't left him. Of course she hadn't!

"Are you okay?" she pressed.

"Uh. Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine, I just--" It wasn't the other way around. It wasn't him looking after her, which was what he had been harping on and being an asshole about these past few days. Maybe, just maybe, you know, occasionally, maybe, she didn't need his help, and he even needed hers. And to see how wretched she looked for what she had done for him...well, it hurt worse than the bullet had. "Lennie, how could you think I wanted you to leave? How could you possibly think that?" The real question: What kind of huge d!ckhead have I been to make her think that? but of course he couldn't say that.

Now she was confused. "You said it over and over again. It was stupid what I said, I shouldn't have said that." Lenna slipped down from the bed to sit next to Rome and leaned her head against his good shoulder. "Rome, I don't wanna go, ever. And even in weak moments, if I run away I know you will find me no matter where I hide. I know you will always come looking for me, always. And I'm glad you do. Just sometimes I would like to make my own mistakes without you hovering over me." Without thinking, she pulled she covers closer around his shoulder to make sure he was warm enough. "It's is not your job to watch me, and I'm sorry I make it so difficult to keep an eye on me. I'll try to listen more to you, if you try to give me some space to maybe learn to rescue myself. I know no matter what, you are there as soon I call for your help. And do you...um remember right after we arrived here? About...what you...teach me?" Lenna was suddenly breathing fast.

Rome listened, open-mouthed, tears stinging his eyes, glad she wasn't looking at him as he struggled to get his emotions under control. He couldn't let her see him cry, that was absolutely not an option, here. "Uh. Yeah, chica, sorry. I'm sorry, you can't imagine how sorry I am. I. Yeah. Yes, of course. You're right, and I--" he latched onto the last bit. That was the easiest to deal with. "And yeah, I'll teach you how to shoot." He shifted and wrapped his arm around her. "When you're ready, okay?"

Lenna felt weird and scared and everything in her head told her to run and not fight when he promised her to teach her to shoot. She mumbled "But I don't know when I'm ready."

"I'll know," he said, reassuringly, although he really had no clue and figured he'd have to force her either way. "Now," he said. "Go take a shower. I'm serious, chica. Um. But hand me the phone first. And be back in time to get here when room service comes because I don't think I'm getting up off this floor." He grinned sheepishly, and, before he knew what he was doing, kissed her forehead. There was a moment of silence in which they both froze. Crap. How to avoid the awkwardness? "Gross!" He fake-spat. "Gross, chica, your hair tastes gross. Go shower, babe, I ain't asking, I'm telling," he laughed.

Lenna grinned when he kissed her, pretending not to notice his moment of panic. "A shower sounds good, you sure you are okay? I won't be long." Lenna looked at the laughing Rome, gosh, how much she had missed him. She got up and went to the little bathroom. Before she had closed the door she said loudly, "Don't you dare to order any kind of soup, that's all we had the last few days."

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The shower felt like heaven, she got out and smelled again like her usual vanilla scent. She looked on the bruise she was actually a bit proud of, while he was dreaming he must have been running from something, because yesterday Rome had grabbed her left arm and tried to rum with her. Not that it really worked they were tangled in the covers, but that didn’t matter the important part was what he said. “We have to run, I can’t let them get you. I don’t want to lose you.” She had an imprint of Rome’s hand on her arm.

The hot water had a side effect she got so tired. Dressed in one of Rome’s shirts and her underwear she stepped out of the bathroom, and fell over her own feet.

“Chica? Are you alright?” Rome had managed to get himself standing and pay the room service guy. There was a mountain of food sitting on the little table, which he was already eating as best he could one-handed.

“Ow, yeah fine, another bruise.” She managed to get up, but it didn’t looked very elegant, more like a drunken hippo.

“Oh coffee. ” Lenna was shaking and grinning like a maniac as she took Rome’s mug out of his hands.

“I had the last one three hours ago.” She was spilling more than that she actually drunk. Rome took the mug from her. “Maybe you should eat something first, and then it’s time for my trouble maker to sleep.”

“But I’m not tired.” Yawned Lenna.

“Right.”

She hadn’t realized that her normally New Yorker accent turned more and more into a German accent. Lenna sat down and moved to take the glass of apple juice but instead she knocked it over and it crashed to the floor.

Rome's arm shot forward, trying to catch the glass before it hit the ground, but Elenna's reaction made him stop cold: with a small yelp she dove backwards out of his way, falling off the chair in the process. It was almost like she was scared of him.

“I’m fine, nothing happened. Alles gut.” Lenna murmured, tried to cover that for a split of a second she thought he would hit her again, just like he did in Happy. She more crawled around the chair to pick up the broken glass, but Rome stopped her.

“Lennie, what the hell? Don’t! You'll just cut yourself, I got it.”

Lenna got up and was standing a little lost next to the chair she just fell, or more jumped down. She didn’t know what to do, and somehow it was as if something had changed in the last few seconds, but she couldn’t point out what it was.


((There is that a better ending for the post? Does your life-saver now get a hug and some attention? Razz))



Last edited by Ariel Buttercup on Fri 04 Nov 2011, 12:43 am; edited 1 time in total


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((Hoping this is worth the wait!))

For the first time in (apparently) three days, or (more likely) five days, when all of this crap began, Rome was experiencing the world clearly.

And, God, it sucked.

Okay, he knew Elenna had run herself ragged trying to look after his dumb ass, but now she was scared of him on top of all of that?

And yet she'd said she never wanted to leave him.

Congratulations, Rome chided himself, having hurt her both physically and mentally while somehow making her emotionally dependent on you, you have now officially achieved abusive asshole boyfriend status. And you're not even getting any sex out of this relationship.

You rock.


And now they were staring at each other, the broken glass on the ground, juice soaking into the carpet, neither of them moving to clean it, the silence and the stillness quickly growing awkward. Because he'd yelled at her again, gone all drill-sergeant on her and told her she couldn't even pick up broken glass without hurting herself--which, okay, was true right now, because she was three sheets to the wind and just as likely to fall asleep in it as pick it up safely--which was just what she told him not to do and he promised he wouldn't do and--

Some friend.

Some brother.


"Elenna," he began, quietly, not sure what he was going to say but knowing it was going to come and it was going to be honest and, frankly, scared of what he might say in such a vulnerable, open-hearted moment: "Lennie, sweetcheeks, I--"

Rome paused, suddenly choked with emotion. Like, tears. Romulus Remington, unable to talk because of tears!

Rome moved slowly forward, held out his hand, palm up, asking--begging--her to take it. She watched the limb intently, but not exactly fearfully, and took it. He squeezed her hand and, "You thought I was going to hit you again?" He tried to say it jokingly, like, Are you that retarded? Seriously? but his voice cracked, and it came out...wounded.

Elenna stiffened, pulled her hand away, and he let her. She looked like she was going to deny it, but then she looked down and nodded.

God, kill me now.

"Elenna. Look at me, please. I would never--"

Except you totally did.

"Lennie, I'm sorry. I was pissed off, and stupid. I shouldn't have done that, and, and I swear to you, I regret it more than I've ever regretted anything. I never want to hurt you again. In any way. I--" He had to pause again, to stop himself from crying, only to realize the waterworks had already started. God, when had he turned into a giant, handsomely masculine-looking girl? "Dammit, Lenna, I'd rather cut my own d!ck off than hurt you!"

She flinched at this sudden outburst, so he softened again.

"C'mere, please," he said, opening his arms. She looked at them suspiciously, not least of which probably because he still smelled like unwashed man. "Lennie, I just want you to trust me again. You--you're right, on all counts. I haven't been fair. I've been an ass. You're perfectly capable of looking after yourself and, hell, looking after me, which is a job I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I just want you to--I want us to look after each other, yeah? We don't got many other options, I guess, but I'd much rather be looking after you and knowing you got my back than facing this world alone, right? I mean, I, uh...I just, I dunno. I know I screwed it up, and I know it won't be easy, but, I--" This was getting embarrassing. Again. "I want you to trust me again. I want you to know how much I want you to let me look after you."

Now Elenna was crying.

Way to go, Ace.

But she fell into his arms, surprisingly, and he wrapped them around her, probably crushing her, trying to make her a part of him so they were somehow stuck together and could never be separated.

They stood there, crying, hugging, for a long moment, before,

"C'mere, chica, let's get you to bed. You need to rest."

Slowly, awkwardly, not coming untangled, Rome shuffled them to the (clean) bed, where they lay down. He settled Elenna in next to him, covered her in a blanket, and grabbed the TV remote. If she cared that he still smelled like week-old gym shorts, she made no mention, because she rolled over and cuddled up next to him. And it was so damn cute he half-expected fluffy pink bunnies to hop out of the corners of the room, feed him sugar-plums, and steal the last tattered shreds of his masculinity.

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((Hell yes that was worth waiting! Can I break reality? There is a song it is German partly and about Freedom and when I listened to it, it reminded me of Lenna and Rome. I’ll translate you the lyrics and send them as PM))





It was warm and safe and the most important part Rome was here, right next to her. Her tears had not yet dried away completely and she felt rather stupid.

How can I be scared of the one person I trust the most?

Lenna poked Rome just to make sure she wasn’t dreaming and he was still here. She didn’t bother to lift her head and move in any way she knew Rome would hear her.

“Pretty stupid of me being scared of you huh? And we always thought I’m the smart one of the two of us. I’m sorry.”

She was taking a deep breath to stop the tears.

“And I’m sorry I ran away, made you angry at Blair’s house, get you trapped by Blair and shot you. But at least I got you out of the hole, and got you breathing again, which by the way means I kissed you first and you have no memory of the kiss.” Lenna was more talking while she fell asleep than that she knew what she was saying.

“You do know that no one would believe me what a softy you are if I tell them.” Lenna was holding on to his shirt when she mumbled. “I’m not really scared of you, I promise! And I rather have you taking care of me then the other way around. Just don’t overdo the taking care, please. Oh and don’t tell the other what you wanna teach me, they don’t need to know. They just make a fuss out of it.” Lenna crinkled her nose, Rome was a bit smelly, but she would totally didn’t want him to go anywhere not even to shower.

“I do trust you, more then anyone. I mean I trusted you that much that I used a gun for you. And I would do it again, whenever I have to!”

Lenna’s slow breathing gave away that she was now finally sleeping. Having typical crazy Lenna dreams, but no matter what happened in them she knew that Rome would be there to help her as soon she needed him.


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"You better not tell anyone I'm a softy, you little witch," Rome teased, squeezing the sleeping Lenna tighter to him. "I have a reputation of stone cold masculinity to uphold."

That was funny, even to him. She snorted into his chest, but it might just as well have been a snore.

He grabbed the TV remote and flicked to something that would hold his attention. He'd had enough of sleeping for the week and didn't want to push his luck. He was feeling better, but not 100%, or, you know, remotely within spitting distance of it. It would be nice to get some more food, but he wasn't sure he wanted to move yet.

And, God, was that smell him?

Enough was enough. Wriggling slowly, carefully, gently so as not to wake Elenna (and favoring his injured shoulder, because bullet holes always took unnecessarily long to heal, and didn't like being frakked with) Rome got up and, standing, turned back to look at her. It was funny how perfectly they see-sawed. When he had a meltdown, she was tough as nails, only to turn into butter when he was feeling better. She was the brains, he was the brawn. How could she ever have been so moronic to leave? It was laughable now. They were such a perfect...complement to each other, it was kind of disgusting, in the way cute things were disgusting. Like yin and yang. It was stupid. He'd better stop thinking about it before...

Anyway. She'd be fine long enough for him to take a shower.

Rome left the bathroom door cracked, anyway.

The hot water felt amazing. Hell, getting naked felt amazing. Rome stripped off as many of the bandages as felt safe, wondering why she had had his arm wrapped against his chest when it was just a shoulder wound--did she think he wouldn't know better than to not move it? Had he tried to move it? He remembered about the blank three days. He could have thought he was a chicken and tried to fly for all he knew. He was probably lucky she hadn't tied him to the bed.

Or, you know, unlucky, he thought with a sleazy grin. Hur hur hur.

After the water ran cold, Rome toweled off, found a pair of boxers--luckily Lenna was still asleep--and tried to put himself back together. Phone. Where was his phone?

He found it in the pile with his stuff, on top of which lay his .44. The gun Elenna had used to save his life. And, okay, shoot a hole through his shoulder, but, hey, you win some, you lose some. His phone was off. Was it even working?

He turned it on: found, pleasantly, that it was working.

(12) Missed Calls.

(4) Voice Mail Messages.

(5) Messages.


Crap.

He flicked through the missed calls first: Georgie, Georgie, Aly, Tex, Aly, Georgie, Morrigan, Tex, Father Theo, Georgie, Danila, Tex. Yikes, looks like the team was really worried about them. Crap.

The voice mails and texts told a similar story--where the hell are you, Remington?--is Elenna with you?--call me, Rome--I'm worried now--what are you doing?--why won't you answer the phone?--call me back or we're coming after you--Major crap.

They were in trouble.

Worse yet, they had to come up with a better excuse than Elenna's motiveless mid-life crisis, Rome's asinine idiocy, and one routine salt-and-burn-gone-embarrassingly-wrong.

Rome stepped just outside the door, having slung his leather jacket over his shoulders for warmth since he hadn't bothered dressing beyond boxers.

"Hello?"

"Tex? Hey, it's Rome. I--"

"Rome? Is that you? Lord, boy, you had me worked up fit to bust! You get your ass back here cause I'mma gonna peel your butt like a grape and send you down the road talkin' to yourself, you stupid idgit, what'd you think you're trying to do, worry us all to death? You know better than to go radio silence without calling it in! Five days, child, I swear--"

"Good to hear from you too, Tex."

"Don't get smart with me, boy."

"Wouldn't know how."

"Where you at?"

"Uh." Rome peered around him. It was night, so the neon sign was clearly illuminated, telling him the hotel they were staying at at least. And they couldn't have gone far from Happy.... "Texas somewhere?" he tried.

"Dammit, boy, it's a good thing you're cute, 'cause you--"

"I ain't much good for anything else, I know, I know. Knight's Inn, somewhere in Northern Texas, I think. So we're close."

"Stay there, I'll send the Father after ya."

"Nah, Lennie's asleep. We'll get going as soon as she's awake. I promise."

"What the hell you been doin', anyway?"

"Uh. Long story. I'll tell you when we get there. See you soon, Tex!"

"Boy, don't you dare hang up on--"

Yeah. Man, this was gonna be tough. Crap.

Rome spent the next few hours putzing, mainly. He was trying to pack their stuff, get it ready for heading out as soon as Elenna said she could drive, because he also popped a few painkillers that he didn't feel safe driving under the influence of. He ate most of the remaining food, but it was cold and he couldn't wait to grab a warm burger on the road somewhere.

Elenna woke at the asscrack of dawn.

"Morning, sunshine," Rome grinned at her.

She peered at him groggily. "Rome?"

"In the flesh," he raised the one arm he could with a flourish. "And gettin' twitchy. I don't know about you, chica, but I never want to see this place again unless it's in my rearview mirror, right? Stuff's already packed, and I have coffee."

Elenna yawned and stretched, like a kitten. "Geez, where's the fire Rome?"

Rome laughed sheepishly. "Under our asses. Tex called."

"Oh."

"Yeah."

"Crap."

"Oh yeah."

With a sigh, Elenna heaved herself out of bed like she weighed two tons. They were on the road in half an hour, and in forty minutes, had hit Starbucks and drank them dry between the two of them. In another four hours, they were home. They watched with no little trepidation as the swarm descended. Rome was feeling claustrophobic already.

"Leave this to me, Lennie, baby, I got this."

Rome pulled himself from the car, making an effort to show exactly how much pain he was in while appearing to stronger than he felt. He flashed a weary, I'm-being-brave-but-don't-worry-it's-just-a-scratch smile. Because they were both pale, raccoon-eyed, and half-limping, the others threatened to overbear them to death. Secretly, he loved the attention.

Okay, not so secretly.

Tex dispensed with the formalities, settling for splashing him with salt and holy water before ushering them inside.

"What the hell happened to you?"

"It was rough, let me tell you. We tracked a ghoul to this kinky club, right? And before you know it, here I am sold into sexual slavery and Lennie here became a coke addict. We eventually overthrew our cruel masters, and brought down a drug cartel from the inside, but I had been dosed by a vampire sickness that made me have to have rare steak or die, so we went to this fancy steakhouse to wait it out, but not before--"

"The unicorns showed up?" Tex asked, sounding bored, or at least unimpressed.

"No, that was after the penguin dancing contest in Bizaroworld, Texie, keep up."

"Remington, you haven't been here five minutes and I'm sick of your sh*t." She folded her arms. Crap. That was almost as bad as the wooden spoon. That meant she was serious.

Rome wiped the grin off his face. "I'm sorry, Tex, sorry. I was totally just joking, Tex, really, sorry. We're okay, really we are. It was just rough, but, you know, routine salt and burn, we took care of it, but there were just some hangups, you know? But we're okay." He flashed her the please-don't-make-me-talk-I'm-too-tired-to-withstand-torture face.

"Rome." She was glaring daggers into him. Ouch. So much for mercy.

Rome sighed. Turned to look apologetically at Elenna, who had been sat on the couch next to him. Took her hand and squeezed it.

"Rome?"

He turned back to Tex, and pursed his lips, doing his best to look contrite. He glanced sidelong at Elenna before dropping his head and, "We totally had sex," he said.

There was a beat, then a chorus of laughter. That was funny no matter who you were.

Needless to say, Tex didn't bother asking him again.

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48 Hours Later...

"Rome, what are you--"

"Shh!"

"What? Why are you--"

"Shh! I'm hiding!"

"From what? What's wrong?"

Rome was crouched, rather ridiculously, behind the bar in Tex's living room. He was half-dressed, clad only in his X-Men lounge pants, no shoes, no shirt. His hair stuck out in stupid directions, he was pale and a little unsteady, and he was covered in bandages big and small, the crowning trophy being the shoulder wrap which was thick and heavy and pinned his arm entirely against his chest to prevent it from moving: he looked like he had escaped a sickbed.

Which, he totally had.

He'd woken from another nightmare after spending like, two whole days in bed, which he hadn't done since high school, and Tex had tried to make him sleep some more and he'd just had enough. Now he was hiding.

Rome grabbed Elenna by the wrist and tugged her down to hide beside him. "You won't tell on me, will you?"

Elenna frowned. "Not if you take it easy, I guess. Rome, you were shot remember! And it wasn't more than three weeks ago that Nick beat the crap out of you!"

"Yeah, I seem to remember a certain car crash involved in that scene, and a stupid little girl getting up and walking away like she was totally fine."

"You know what? Maybe I will tell Tex where you are!"

"No! No, Lennie, baby, please, wait, I have a plan! I need your help!"

He looked so desperate and pleading she of course couldn't do anything but smile and give in. "Okay, Rome, but you better take it easy."

"Of course! That's why I need your help. It's kind of...kind of a game."

Elenna brightened, again, like a sucker. She must have been as bored as he was. "Okay!"

"Here, help me up. Need to get stuff from the car."

"I know where we can hide!" Elenna told him excitedly as they crept outside to the Ferrari. It was cold to be half-dressed, and little stones bit into his bare feet, but they made quick work of grabbing their duffles and returning inside. "The library! No one would think to look for you in there!"

"Oh, gee, thanks," Rome laughed, as she led the way, carrying the duffles and pulling on his hand. "That's like, your favorite room, isn't it? That's perfect."

They made it to the library undiscovered, and found a sheltered corner to bunker down in. Rome actually wanted to hit the floor first thing, surprising himself by how tired he felt, but instead walked around the room, looking for the section he knew Elenna had cataloged and organized and marked Weapons Manuals. He selected a few promising volumes, as much as he could carry one-armed, and returned to where she was waiting, eagerly, cross-legged on the floor.

"What's in the bags, Rome? And what are those books?"

Rome was kind of glad he was sitting closest to the door, in case she bolted.

He set the books down in front of her, and unzipped the duffles.

Guns.

Elenna's eyes went from excited to terrified in about .12 seconds.

"Easy, easy," Rome told her, gentle, but firm. "We're just going to clean them." Distraction, that was the key. "Here, look, I think these books have manuals and diagrams and crap. Guns are kinda totally awesome on the inside. We're just gonna take them apart and take a look. Get to know them. 'Know thy enemy,' right, chiquita?" he winked.

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((lol I know we talked about it, but you still surprised me Razz))


Lenna was first very excited to play a game with Rome, after she was sure it didn’t include them naked which would have been possible. It was for a moment weird that he agreed to hide in the library, sure it was her favorite room, her safe place but his not really. There wasn’t even a radio to play with. He was looking for some books and she didn’t feel like standing or helping him. He seemed to be stable enough to get all books he wanted.

If he knows that there are no books with naked women?

Lenna giggled and waited excited and patiently for Rome to come back, to the comfiest corner of the room.

"What's in the bags, Rome? And what are those books?"

As soon the duffle was unzipped she felt like running, especially because he pretty much looked like that she had to help him. Lenna could hear him say something but she didn’t get what.

“Rome I think, I...”

He had grabbed her wrist and stopped her from getting up.

“Rome please.” She actually had tears in her eyes. “Can’t I just take the books and read them in my room?” She didn’t notice that she was sitting on the floor again and that he had let go of her wrist. Rome had handed her one of the books but whatever he said most of it was just babbling in the background. The memory of the now two times she shot at people she cares the most for paralyzed her. But the memories weren’t the worst. She wanted to move closer to Rome just because she knew he would never let anything happen to her, but there were the guns she wanted to get away from. Defeated she dropped her head and moved a couple of inches closer to Rome. There was nothing that would destroy her trust in him again, not even a pile of guns.

“We just clean them, promise?” asked Lenna sheepish.


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((OOC: I've never actually held a Desert Eagle before, so Wiki is my friend. I'm just treating it like any other handgun...sorry if I screw it up!))

"Absolutely, chica," he smiled reassuringly, and drew out his .44. "We'll start with this one. The Desert Eagle .44 Magnum. The one that by all rights should have blown my arm off, but the water dampened the shot I guess, so here I am. Push this little button on the side here--" the magazine clattered to the ground, "and the magazine comes out. I told you how to load one of these, right? Eight rounds in this one. But remember, just because the magazine's out, doesn't mean it's not loaded."

"I know, Rome," she snapped, somewhat irritated. "There could be one in the chamber."

"That's right. You'll have to pull the barrel back for me, though, handicapped as I am today...."

She narrowed her eyes skeptically at the weapon, and then at him.

"Come on," he said, more big brother than drill sergeant, but definitely not Mr. Rogers: if he treated her like a baby, she'd act like one. "Do you want to sit on my lap?" he teased.

He was surprised when she moved forward and sat in between his legs.

"Uh. Okay." To make this not awkward... "Good, I can help you a little better from this angle. So, slide the barrel back--" she did so, rather expertly for being a girl about these things, and, sure enough, a bullet fell out. "Awesome. Now it's empty. But you always treat it like it's loaded, so you never point it at anyone you don't want dead--I mean, uh, you know, under normal circumstances. Yeah."

Rome suddenly had an idea. "Ooh! Right! Cool! This is cool. This will be fun, no matter who you are, check this out...I think I have...Rawson must have....yes! We are going to shapeshift this mother."

"What?" Now Elenna's curiosity was piqued. "You can't--how can you do that? You're going to turn it into a crossbow or something?"

Rome laughed. "You'll see. But first we have to clean it, okay? Where's that little screwdriver....Here." He handed it to her. You're good at figuring this hardware crap out, so I'm gonna let you field-strip it without me telling you what to do."

"Field...strip?"

"Take it apart. Break it down until you can't take it apart any further. Then we clean each individual part."

Still she looked uncertain, holding the gun like it was a poisonous snake.

"I'll help you if you need me to, but look, I thought you were the smart one, huh?" he teased, gentle enough that she wouldn't snap, but by any means possible radiating that there's no crying in baseball!

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“I am the smart one.” She said a bit sullen, but actually smiling a tiny bit. Her hands were slightly shaking when she started to take the gun apart, very slowly.

“Can I break anything?” She looked shy at him.

“No.”

Lenna nodded and started unscrewing the little screws, in slow motion. All screws that were in his gun were on a small pile next to them. She looked expecting at Rome. “What now?”


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"Awesome. See, here, um," hoping she'd like seeing it in a book, Rome flicked through a few pages until he found what the Desert Eagle looked like on the inside. "There's the diagram. So the Eagle works a little different from most handguns. It has a gas-operated mechanism, like in a rifle, rather than your, like, blow-back design. And, well, anyway, you can read," he said, pointing to a small caption below the diagram in the book:

When a round is fired, gases are ported out through a small hole in the barrel near the breech. These travel forward through a small tube under the barrel, to a cylinder near the front of the barrel. The separate bolt carrier/slide has a small piston on the front that fits into this cylinder; when the gases reach the cylinder they push the piston rearward. The bolt carrier rides rearward on two rails on either side of the barrel, operating the mechanism.
She seemed glad to get a chance to read, if only to avoid the gun, but she looked back and forth between the physical pieces and the book, curious in spite of herself. Rome did a small victory dance inside his head.

"Now here comes the crappy part," Rome said, watching her face pale with a tiny bit of sadistic glee.

"But--" she began, assuming the worst, but he threw a towel at her face and pulled a bottle of cleaner from the bag. There was a small baggie of Q-tips as well as some pipe cleaners.

"Now we get to clean."

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