deep_red_bells: ([Expressive] Got my eye on you)

One.

The Watchers say some of us have a sense of who and what we are our entire lives. We dream about them, the other girls like us, we see them fight, we watch them die. That never happened for me until I was called. I wonder if it was because I was so close to Buffy’s age--if Willow’s spell hadn’t worked, and Faith had ever fallen, the legacy would never have passed to me. It would’ve gone to a younger potential, a girl who would have more years in her, to someone stronger, faster, lither. Funny to think of, isn’t it? Mid-twenties, and already a senior citizen, so far as the world of the Slayer was concerned.

Two.

It was as though ghosts were determined to haunt me everywhere I turned. There was Willow. There were the vampires. There was the girl. There was the girl’s unofficial Watcher--and that, well, that was the last face I expected to see. I’d always wondered what happened to him. Now, I knew. I pleaded with whatever shreds of humanity the witch had left in her to send him back, to let him change what had been an unfair fate for so many. It was no great surprise that she refused.

Three.

It’s been centuries, and I still can’t describe just how it felt to die. Memories can be such subjective things as it is; sometimes all I can remember is how much it hurt, while other times, I can only recall the sense of completion and the feeling of release. There is something in me--in all of us--that craves nothing more or less than an end.

Four.

Her visits usually went like this: for the first day, sometimes the first two days, if I were lucky, I couldn’t get enough of her attention, her voice, her smile, the scent of her perfume, her vivacious and child-like spirit. She would let me dig through her purse and put on her lipstick, then chase me about with a Kleenex in hand, laughing at how I‘d managed to smear the vibrant red mess all over my face. She’d make promises and I, being a child desperately craving a connection to her wayward mother, would believe them. Then, the arguments set in. Every Spanish curse word I ever knew, I think I learned while I was hiding in my room, listening to my mother and my grandmother, the two most stubborn and temperamental women I have ever met, try to outmatch each other in volume and venom.

 Five.

Watching that wasted ball of mud fade from view was like losing a limb. No, it was worse. I died to save that world, and to see what became of it…looking back on it, I think that was the exact moment I stopped caring. It was worse than losing a limb. It was cutting out one’s heart with a rusty implement and somehow living the rest of one’s life with an open wound and empty chest.

Epilogue.

Here is where the curtain should close. The actors should take their final bows, the stage should go dark, the audience should go home, and the door should be closed and locked behind them. I wish that I could tell you my own story would end so neatly. It won’t. It will end in fire and it will end in blood, as it was always meant to. When that will happen, no one can say, and for now, I can only let it fade into grayness and static, and wait. If I am honest with myself, I am not ready for it to end yet. When I think of the end, the pain is still the most vivid memory, but when that changes, the gray will fade to black, and I’ll feel it again. The release, the completion. Finished.
deep_red_bells: ([Expressive] Can't fight the moonlight)
The lighting inside of a salon was always over-bright and, in Baileigh’s opinion, intentionally unflattering. The reflection looking back at her looked tired and somewhat jaundiced with smudges of grey underneath each eye. She hadn’t bothered with makeup this morning, choosing an extra hour’s sleep over time spent on her appearance. She wondered for the hundredth time how her grandmother had managed to make time to get her hair done and always looked polished and together. She suspected it probably came down to experience.

Some of her earliest memories of her grandmother were of her patiently combing through the tangles in her unruly curls and neatly plaiting it into a tidy braid. And of course, no matter how tightly she’d twisted the locks together, they’d be an unruly mess again by the end of the day, but she’d never once lost patience, ever insisted they cut her hair to a convenient, manageable length.

As she’d grown up, Baileigh had figured out through trial and error how to manage it herself; the thickness, the curls, the coarse texture. She’d babied it, conditioned it, trimmed it, combed through it twisted lock by twisted lock with painstaking care. She’d started to twist it back when she went out to slay at night when, after Spike’s repeated warnings that it was a possibility, a vampire had fisted a hand in the strands and left her rather helpless to break his hold. She’d cursed it more often than she decided she loved it.

People ‘ooo’ed and ‘aaah’ed over it and lamented how much they wished they had hair like hers, to which she’d always replied they’d think twice if they had to deal with it. It was her most eye-catching, attractive, unique attribute. Everyone she’d ever been intimate with loved to toy with it, play with it. When people looked at her, they looked at her hair first, the rest of her second.

She surprised even herself when the first words she said to the stylist were “cut it off.”

There was a lot of protesting that bordered on downright refusal, but Baileigh stuck with her decision. No, she wouldn’t cut it off a few inches at a time. She’d change her mind. She didn’t want an out. She wanted to look in the mirror and see her face.

She needed a change.

Finally, after she refused to back down, the thick mass of curls was gathered at the back of her neck, secured with an elastic and sawed through with the blades of the scissors. What was left was trimmed neatly until nothing but a couple of inches and a wisp of baby bangs was left. When she stood up, she felt as though she’d never find her balance again. So much weight had been lifted off of her shoulders, her neck, that she tottered unsteadily and grabbed the arm of the hydraulic salon chair for support before turning to face the mirror. Her eyes seemed huge, all of the sudden, luminous and wide. Her ears didn’t stick out like she’d feared. Possibly they only ever had because they’d always had so much hair shoved behind them.

She would need a week or two before she could decide if she liked it. Regardless, it was just hair. One of the few things in life that was pretty much guaranteed to eventually come back.
deep_red_bells: ([F] Hopelessly I'll love you endlessly)

based off this image


She collects the symbols.

Things have changed in subtle ways over the years, after all. The types of ceremony. Religious beliefs that were lost, new trends that became popular, old customs that were remembered. She has a box full of jewelry, mostly rings, of course, made from a wide range of metals and gemstone adornments, whatever was the fashion. She’s kept a few other things. Strands of rope, wine glasses, dried vines that once held flowers twined into crowns. Sticks of incense, trinkets and gifts, wood carvings, pieces of tulle and silk and satin and cotton cut from dresses and clothing, lace garters, glass jars full of sand.

Sometimes it was necessary to keep up appearances, and sometimes they simply wanted to, for fun. Most of the time they didn’t bother with it, merely shed the old life and the names that went with it, and stepped into new roles, with new names and new rings. As husband and wife.

They know who they are, after all, in themselves, and to each other.

The rest is just symbols.


deep_red_bells: ([Appearance] Couch listening)
Word Association Game. There are 50 words under the cut. Have your muse put the first single word that comes to mind when they read each word on the list. Post all answers under a cut, please.

In which Baileigh is a smartass )
deep_red_bells: ([With] Claire)
Most men, Baileigh thought absently, glancing around the empty room that would be hers and Julian’s during the summer, bought cars. Cars, and motorcycles. And…gadget type things. Not houses. And yet the men she’d chosen to surround herself with seemed to enjoy buying houses.

As well as cars and motorcycles and gadget type things. And islands. And boats.

They were the Cullens. All of them, hell, herself included, factoring in her penchant for shoes and clothes shopping. Minus the stupid sparkling and vampirism and total lameness, they were the goddamn Cullens.

The paint and the border weren’t what she would‘ve chosen, but they were inoffensive enough that she wasn’t going to gut the room entirely. In fact, she was all for keeping it pretty basic. They could add things here and there over time. She slipped out of their room and moved to the one next to it, that would be their child’s, the nursery. She wondered if Adam would mind of they had an adjoining door put in…but they’d worry about that for next summer. She’d definitely want to paint in here…not pink, though. Maybe yellow if she could find the right shade.

They had a whole house that had to be furnished, after all, and she hadn’t a clue where to begin, had difficulty naming what was the biggest priority. Not that money was an issue, but it was a really big house. A really damn big house. That all of them, the whole adopted family, could live in, quite comfortably. And still have their own space.

It was going to be nice. The dogs already loved the yard. And everyone would be together and close. It was gonna be a lot of fun.

Assuming that nobody killed anyone. That was always a possibility when dealing with the Petrellis & Co.

Baileigh stepped out of the room just in time to see Claire hurtle down the hallway with a slightly horrified look on her face. “There’s still a giant fish on my wall,” she explained breathlessly. “Why is there still a giant fish on my wall?”

“Awwwwwww, they left Clarence!!” Baileigh squealed, grinning. “What, you don’t like Clarence?”

“No! Everywhere you move he watches you! It’s creepy!”

“And what are you doing that you don’t want him watching? Maybe we should leave him up to keep you honest.” Baileigh laughed at Claire’s look, then squealed and squirmed away when Claire dug her fingers ticklishly into her side. “Oh God stop it there’s a baby in there there’s a baby in there okay okay, we’ll go get Clarence off the wall. Or rather we’ll con one of the big strapping men into taking Clarence off the wall. Maybe we’ll stick him on the nursery wall. Baby Lazarey might get a kick out of him, you never know.”

“I am begging you not to inflict that thing on my Beanie,” Claire pouted up at her teasingly.

"I make no promises," Baileigh replied somberly, and cracked up laughing as Hiro came out of Claire's room looking equally horrified.

"Why is there a giant fish on the wall? It is very ugly!"

"Poor Clarence!" Baileigh sniffled dramatically and stuck her head into the bedroom. "I still love you, almighty Clarence! You see and know all!"

Yep. It was gonna be an interesting summer.

[ooc: Claire ([profile] girl_ofsecrets) is used with permission and love. Hiro ([profile] powered_otaku ) used with less permission but equal love. :P ]
deep_red_bells: ([Appearance] Scratched)
“I mean, really, they could’ve at least kept the monkeys on a leash. And what was up with the ice weasels? It wasn’t even cold enough. Too many people walking around completely naked, too, I mean, there are just some things that should really be left to the imagination. Y‘know?”

“Mm.” Claire flipped another picture over, and Baileigh was now very sure she hadn’t really seen a single one of them. In fact, it was only her sudden silence that made Claire look up and blink at her. “I’m--I spaced, sorry, what’d you say?”

“Yeah, I figured that out when the space aliens crashed landed in the caldera,” Baileigh quipped with a slight smile, shaking her head at Claire’s blank expression. “Not that I care, really? But oh my God, you so have not heard a word I’ve said.”

Claire heaved a sigh and lowered her head into her hands. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize, hon. You’ve had a crappy week. I just wish you’d tell me about it rather than pretend to be interested in anything I have to say.” Claire winced, the quick spasm followed by a stricken look, and Baileigh immediately felt bad for the comment--she really hadn’t meant to sound bitchy, but it had certainly came out like that. “Don’t apologize, that didn’t come out right--what I mean is, you, God, you’re all still doing this ‘whatever you do, don’t rain on the happy newlywed’s parade.’ My parade is just fine, and we have umbrellas. Don’t be dumb, Claire. You don’t have to tell me anything you don’t want to, I can respect boundaries, but honey--you are not okay.”

Claire bit her lower lip, chewed at the delicate skin for a moment before exhaling a breath. “No, I’m not okay.”

Which was a start. Baileigh gathered up the stack of pictures, shoved them back into her purse and grabbed her to-go cup of what was, unfortunately, not Starbucks coffee, but woefully decaffeinated Tazo tea. “Let’s take a walk.”

======================================

It was a hell of a story, and after Claire was done unburdening, a lot of things suddenly made sense. For once, Baileigh was glad that she didn‘t have much of a family to speak of. )

ooc: Claire is [profile] girl_ofsecrets and is used with much permission and love. :D
deep_red_bells: ([Appearance] Bruised and bloodied)

“Sometimes you find your destiny on the road you took to avoid it.” - The International

=================================

It wasn't her destiny. )
deep_red_bells: ([Appearance] Mussed)

What is one thing in your life that would completely shatter you if you lost?


When I woke up this morning, I hurt a little bit. Like little cramps on both sides of my abdomen. It's no big deal--apparently it's pretty normal. Something about the ligaments around the uterus stretching. No bleeding, no severe pain, so everything's okay.

Of course, it still scared me to death and I nearly went running to the emergency room and thank God I still have the presence of mind to realize that I'd know if something was really wrong, and to sit down and flip through my ever so handy dandy copy of What To Expect When You're Expecting for reassurance.

The thing is, I didn't want to be pregnant. I didn't want a kid. I didn't want to be a mother. I had a myriad of reasons why I'd be a bad one. It had been discussed and very, very firmly decided against.

And things happened, and now we're having a baby. And I'm terrified, terrified of losing it.

I'm terrified that there's no way I can keep a child safe, much less carry it and bring it safely into the world. I'm afraid that karma's gonna come back to bite us and that the baby's gonna suffer for our mistakes. I'm afraid that the Powers are gonna take it away to punish me for quitting. I've been so paranoid and so hyper-aware of my body and what's happening to it that every time I feel one of those little aches or a tugging or anything at all, even if I know it's something I know is totally normal I'll think No no no, please, I didn't mean it. Just let me keep it. I'll take care of it. I'll be good to it. I promise.

I didn't want it. But I can't lose it.

I just can't.

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deep_red_bells: (Default)
Baileigh Solis

December 2010

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