deep_red_bells: ([Expressive] Mommy & bb)

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” --Rajneesh

It didn't seem right, to have been confined to a bed for eighteen hours and yet feel as though she'd not only run a marathon but met a troop of UFC champs at the finish line who'd knocked her down proceeded to beat her with sticks. She'd sustained a lot of injuries since she'd been called as a Slayer, and thought she knew what pain was and what her limits concerning it were. After hours of hard labor without a drop of pain medication, she discovered she'd grossly underestimated what she was capable of getting through.

It hadn't been easy. She'd yelled. She'd cried as Julian combed his fingers through her hair or dabbed the sweat from her face and neck or rubbed her back, anything to try and soothe her. She'd sworn rapidly in Spanish, used every filthy and angry curse she knew and invented a few creative and colorful phrasings of her own--probably not fit behavior for a new mother, but she'd worry about censorship once she got through the labor. She'd lost count of the number of times she'd clutched Claire's hand hard enough to fracture the bones, despite the conscious effort she made to keep her strength in check. She'd been at the point where she didn't think she could do it anymore, that she didn't have it in her to ride through another contraction, before the pushing had even started. She must have even said it out loud, because everyone around her had begun the mantra of you can do this, Bee, you can do this. They didn't add that she really didn't have much choice, kindly, but she was more than aware of that fact all the same.

For months she'd counted every little kick and stretch and shift and movement of the little person growing in her belly. They'd listened to her heartbeat at every appointment, talked to her, named her, read her fairy tales and nursery rhymes, played Mozart and Beethoven for her. She'd thought they were already completely in love with her, but she realized how wrong she'd been when she heard the first beautiful, gasping cry of her daughter in a suddenly still and small room. It was terrifying, and joyful, and just like that, all of her uncertainty was gone. They took her away, and all Baileigh could think was No, she's crying, what are you doing, you can't take her away, you have to give her to me.

It was a little startling, the way the pieces fell into place, when they finally got her cleaned up, weighed, measured and thoroughly checked, and Cain carried the swaddled and now somewhat calmed newborn and settled her into Baileigh's arms. She was so small, she could barely feel the weight of her at all, but one look into those tiny, watery eyes, eyes the very distinctive shade of deep blue that belonged only to babies and kittens, and she thought Oh, well...of course, it all makes sense now. And if the world had shifted before, it was nothing compared to the way it moved now. The world didn't just revolve around little Irina Lazarey, the entire universe did, and woe betide anyone that tried to say differently.
deep_red_bells: ([Julian] All smiles)

ooc: backdated to before all TEH DRAMAZ, obviously. Julian Sark is [personal profile] elementof_risk and is used with permission and love that shines and brightly as the power of a thousand suns. Or something.

Every woman knew the sort of faces they were prone to make when they did their makeup. In Baileigh’s experience, those hideously odd contortions were a necessity. Here eyeliner and mascara never looked right unless she twisted her lips to the left just so while she applied it, and she had a tendency to poke the tip of her tongue out the corner of her lips while she painted her toenails.

Apparently men were just as prone to those look as well, except her husband’s expression was more akin to that of someone holding down the pin of a grenade, or dismantling an atomic bomb.

With a soccer ball sized belly wedged between her upper torso and her toes, she’d been rather neglectful of this particular vanity, and anyone that knew Baileigh knew she was incredibly picky about her feet. There wasn’t much point in having awesome shoes if the feet they were on weren’t pedicured. After she pouted about the chipped polish for long enough, Julian volunteered to repaint them for her.

It was sweet, and cozy, to curl up on the couch with her feet in his lap, but she hadn’t been able to stop giggling since he started painting. She’d never in her life seen someone so particular and fussy and focused on perfecting nail polish before. He shot her a glare every time she giggled and jostled her feet, which only made her laugh harder, arms wrapped around her stomach to minimize the motion’s effect on the baby. Something that should’ve taken all of five, ten minutes took much longer because he insisted on starting over every time she made him smudge the paint, despite her insistence that it was okay, she wasn‘t that particular.

She made an effort to press her lips together and look repentant when the top of the bottle met the glass lip with an irritated clack. “Do you to walk around like this, love,” he drawled, indicated her one finished foot, the other still bare, the cuticle stained pinkish from multiple polish removals.

“I’ll be good,” she promised, pulling her most innocent look, and smothering a grin behind her hand as he glared at her before going back to work.
deep_red_bells: ([Emote] Sad)

(continued from here)

Oh, we couldn't bring the columns down
Yeah we couldn't destroy a single one
And history books forgot about us
And the bible didn't mention us, not even once
You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first


It was like waking up into a whole new world.

She no longer had to fight against her nature, because all of the things that pulled her out into the night were gone. It was the first time in so many years that her life felt completely her own. Nothing was drawn to her, nothing crawled under her skin. There was nothing left of that life except the other girls who survived. After a few years, she even stopped looking over her shoulder.

She watched her child grow from a girl into a teenager into a woman. Bright and strong and beautiful. Happy and loved.

Time passed, but it never seemed to touch her. It takes years for it to really sink in. That she didn’t just look good for her age: she wasn’t aging. There were no lines on her face or grey hairs to complain about. She felt the time. It just didn’t show.

At her daughter’s graduation, she looked around at the faces of other mothers, some familiar to her, some not. Even factoring in the opportunities for Botox and lifts and nips and tucks, none of which she’d had or needed, she knew she didn’t look like she could’ve possibly been the parent of an eighteen year old girl. Neither of them did…but she knew that Julian never would, now, and had spent so much time accepting it, accepting the fact that she would have to age and grow old alone.

She was afraid to acknowledge it, or talk about it, or let any sort of hope in, so she ignored it, until it became an issue that could no longer be ignored.

Eventually a reset button was needed. New names and identities, a new place to live, and she became her daughter’s elder sister to the public eye rather than her mother. They adjusted their lives around her, so that they could remain in her life, close to her. Still she didn’t change. She poured over books, Watcher’s diaries, even though she knew it was pointless, there was no precedent. Slayers didn’t live this long. Twenty years, thirty, going on forty years after she’d been called--that didn’t happen. Four Decembers, that was a generous long life for one of her kind.

Time passed. She felt it, but not once did it show.

The same pearls she wore to her daughter’s graduation, she wore to her funeral. A little piece of her broke away and shattered, ground into powder, and couldn’t be repaired. The first piece, and sadly, it would not be the last. But it would prove to be the biggest piece, the hardest, the most painful break she would feel in what would come to be a long, long life.

She buried her child. The child that, when asked, she would have to pass off as her grandmother. They buried their child, their strong, beautiful, bright and brilliant child.

Time passed. Somehow, they kept moving with it.
deep_red_bells: ([Emote] Vulnerable)
I can't stay on your life support, there's a shortage in the switch,
I can't stay on your morphine, cause its making me itch
I've tried to call the nurse again, but she’s being a little bitch,
I think I'll get outta here
Where I can run just as fast as I can
To the middle of nowhere
To the middle of my frustrated fears
And I swear you're just like a pill
Instead of making me better
You keep making me ill


All she had to do was walk two blocks.

It was three A.M. and the leeches were still crawling. Hunting. There would be plenty of them still hungry, still searching for a victim, a meal, a kill. Or slinking back to their sunless underground caverns, sated and high from the feeding, from the slaughter.

She could find them. She could feel them out there, feel the itch crawling under her skin, the compulsion to hunt them and to kill them. Even more intense than usual, as though the stretch of time between her last hunt and now had sharpened her senses rather than dull them. She could almost smell the dust and the rot of the undead drifting on the wind...surely that was in her mind, as was the dull, muted foot fall on damp earth in the distance that kept time with the pounding of her heart.

Just two blocks. She could see them in her mind's eye, snarling in laughter as they wound their way through the cemetery. Maybe the wind blowing through her hair as she stood in the middle of the street and stared towards the west would catch her scent and carry it to them. Slayer. There were few scents more intoxicating and mouth-watering than that--and not just a Slayer, a Slayer carrying the purest and most innocent blood, a child, a baby. It would be irresistible. And she could obliterate so much of this in one smooth flurry of movement. Her fears would shatter with a few well placed kicks. The stress would melt away with every swipe of clawed fingers that she dodged. Her anger would vanish in a burst of ash and air, a wooden stake buried in a black and useless heart.

Except that the wind was blowing to the east, and carrying her scent away, and she had to protect that child.

It wasn't worth it. It wasn't worth the risk. It wasn't worth the cost.

It was three A.M. She turned on her heel and crossed the rest of the street, and unlocked her front door.

And went home.
deep_red_bells: ([Emote] Soft and awed)

It's so fast.

It didn't seem right, that such a tiny heart could beat that fast. The room was silent, save for the sound the Doppler makes, whooshwhooshwhooshwhoosh. Rising and falling so rapidly, with her own heartbeat pounding softly behind it. Save for her fingers tightening around Julian's, his clenching around hers in turn, neither of them moved. It seemed that he was as spellbound as she. Tears slipped from the corners of her eyes, dripped down her temple to soak into her hairline, but she couldn't name the emotion that kept producing them. It was as though what she was feeling was too big to be contained, but it stole her voice and her mind, froze her thoughts and her limbs, yet still had to escape from her somehow.

It' fast.

"One hundred and sixty beats per minute," the doctor murmured, carefully moved the transducer away before wiping the warm gel off of her skin. She wanted to cry, no, wait, not yet, just one more minute, please, but she couldn't yet find her voice. She inhaled deeply, suddenly in desperate need of the oxygen, unaware until then that she'd scarcely been breathing. The doctor's voice broke the spell, telling her things that she should expect in the coming weeks, asking her questions she mumbled the answers to, only half listening to him at all. Her mind was still on that sound...the rapid flutter, the rise and fall of the brand new life that they created together.

Just like that, it's real. It's all so very real.

deep_red_bells: ([Text] Little girl lost)
I need some sleep.
I can’t go on like this.
I try counting sheep,
But there’s one I always miss.
Everyone says I’m getting down too low
Everyone says: "You just gotta let it go"
"You just gotta let it go"
I just gotta let it go

It's always worse on bad days.

It's not an itch, not anymore. The itch you could deal with. There's more than one way to scratch a itch, and it might come back, and it can be so very annoying, but it can be managed.

The itch became a twitching, and then a tremor. As though electricity is pumping through your limbs. You can't be still. You certainly can't sleep. You pace, you wander. You try, desperately, to occupy your hands, because trying to take your mind off of it just isn't enough.

Being where you are helps, the slightest bit, but it does help. A freezing temperature is easier to resist than the warmer nights of Nevada, and of home. The temptation lessens and eases to the point where you're no longer climbing the walls.

Except on a bad day. It's always so much worse on the bad days. The house seems to shrink, and there's no way to get away from it. Too much inside, too much that you're so used to channeling into the hunt and the kill. You can't burn it off. You haven't learned another way how.
You realize what the hell of it is, when you curl up in front of the weapons cabinet and occupy your hands by toying with a sharp tipped, smooth handled wooden stake. If you'd waited just a few weeks, you would've had a reason. A good reason. An unborn baby to protect. It could've been a reason, instead of the only thing left keeping you behind the front door and out of the fray waiting on the other side. Instead of something you would resent if you weren’t so terrified of losing it. It would've been easier, because you might've still felt helpless and useless...

...but you certainly wouldn't feel like such a coward.

You need to let it go.

You just can't yet.
deep_red_bells: ([Text] It's a simple truth)

after this, this, this, this, this, and this

She was exhausted. Physically aching all over and craving sleep, mentally stretched as far as she can go without breaking. After the awkward moment when she has to ask where she can sleep, after she takes clothing and the toiletries that she's told are hers into a scantily furnished guest bedroom, she drifts off almost the moment her head nestles into the pillow.

She sleeps. For a while it's peaceful, warm, blessed sleep. And then she dreams.

Only they're not dreams.

They're nightmares.

Of blood and violence and creatures with yellow eyes and warped faces. Monsters that kill and bite into flesh and feed. A girl that fights, and fights, and fights until she dies. Flashes of graveyards, crosses and stone angels.

She wakes up sobbing because it's too much and it doesn't make sense. She locks herself in the bathroom, hides in the shower until the water goes icy. Wipes the fog from the mirror and stares at her blurred reflection and tries to make some sense of it. She doesn't know why, what compels her to pin up her hair and examine her body, but she does. She has freckles, tiny moles, one on her jaw, one between her breasts. She has scars. Most of them are old, pale and faded. There's a mark on her chin, barely visible, one on her knee with the clearly marks of stitches. There is one on her palm that is raised and oddly shaped. There are two on the back of her neck, just below her hairline. Two vertical lines, intersecting with a curved crescent. She lays a hand over them and remembers the monsters of her dreams. The ones with the warped faces and vicious yellow eyes, the ones that bite, and feed. She trembles, chilled from the cold water, confused, lost, because it doesn't make any sense. It doesn't make sense.

She re-wraps the towel around her and curls up on the bed, afraid to sleep, afraid to dream. Most of all, afraid that the reality she's forgotten may be too much to face.

deep_red_bells: ([Emote] Upset)

She never said nothin', there was nothin' she wrote
She's gone with the man in the long black coat

[continued from here]

Her breath fogs the air. It’s a struggle to keep walking. It’s so bright. And so loud. And her head hurts. And everything in her wants to sink to the sidewalk and clutch at her head and cover her ears and wait for the hurting to stop. But she keeps walking, palm flat against the brick building to her left for constant support, forcing herself to stay upright.

Nothing looks familiar. Nothing sounds or smells or feels familiar. She doesn’t remember walking this street or turning this corner or every laying eyes on this stretch of concrete sidewalk before. Her insides twist and she has to stop walking so that her stomach doesn’t heave, so that the pain doesn’t explode behind her eyes again. She pushes through it and propels herself forward. Something will have to look familiar eventually. She had to have gotten here somehow.

She follows the sidewalks when the pain subsides and she can function. She wanders. No one looks at her twice, and she’s too dazed to even think to ask for help. Eventually someone calls her name. She doesn’t turn because she doesn’t recognize it as hers.

A hand touches her arm. She doesn’t jerk away or scream, merely turns and looks into the wholly unfamiliar face of the its owner. Shock of red through dark hair. Dark eyes. Fair skin. Black coat. “Bee,” he keeps saying. “Bee. Baileigh. Bee.

She shakes her head slowly. Tears gather along her eyelids, like some part of her realizes that she’s broken, but she doesn‘t feel the sting of them. “I don’t…know.”

But he must know her…right? Why else would be have chased her down a crowded street? Why else would he still be talking, why else would he hold out his hand to take hers?

She takes it without thinking, without knowing to think, to mistrust, to even wonder who he is, and how he knows her name.

Baileigh. He tells her that her name is Baileigh, and when he speaks it, yes…yes, that’s her name. She knows it. And yet…

And yet even in knowing that, her name, her name…she doesn’t really remember who she is.

How can she know her name with such clarity, such certainty, and not know who she is?
deep_red_bells: ([Emote] Sad)

I grieve for you
You leave me
so hard to move on
Still loving whats gone
They say life carries on
Carries on and on and on and on


She had imagined the first time that she held May, Zee would be sitting across from her, grinning and glowing and thoroughly exhausted and happy to be that way. That she would gush over how beautiful she was and how wonderful Zee looked, and she would insist on taking her shopping and would proceed to spoil both mother and baby rotten, as much as one can spoil a newborn with adorable tiny clothing they won't even really be aware that they're wearing. Tommy would be beaming like a proud papa. They'd be so happy, the three of them, mother, father, and baby, a perfect picture, and she would be overjoyed for them.

Nothing ever happens how it should.

It isn't fair. It isn't fair that Tommy's face is shadowed with the grief he's fighting so hard to keep control of, because he has to be strong, for May. He should be allowed to grieve. No, to hell with that, he shouldn't have to. In a fair and just universe, he should never have to suffer like this. May should never have to grow up never knowing and bearing witness to the force of nature that is her mother...that was her mother. And oh, how that hurts. To use the past tense, was, not is, she will never be able to say is in connection to Ziyah again. How hard it is to realize that brilliant burst of technicolor life is snuffed out, is gone. Gone.

But hey...who said the universe was fair? No, it thinks nothing of taking a knife to the tapestry of a newborn baby's life, leaving those left behind struggling to stitch it back up into something beautiful, something close to what it deserves.

She's so tiny. Premature, of course, and Baileigh is strong and feels no weight at all. She cradles her carefully in her arms, stares down at her with as much awe as sadness. Zee is all over her, stamped clearly in those tiny, ruddy features. Her little fingers twitch as Baileigh's hair tickles them, then flex as though trying to grip and test this new texture. She wonders if May's realized yet that her mother's voice and scent and arms are absent, or if it truly will be years before she feels the sting of her loss. She hopes, with an intensity that surprises her, that it won't be hard for her. Let her have a good life, she thinks. Let her be happy.

As if on cue, May stirs, tiny face pinching, chin trembling as she begins to fuss. It's soft, only a whimper, not a cry, but it still cuts. "I know, baby," she whispers, shifting the tiny little body in her arms to her shoulder then swaying her weight from foot to foot, rocking her in her arms to calm her. "I know."

deep_red_bells: ([Julian] You were meant for me)

[ooc: backdated to yesterday, for obvious reason (Baileigh is so gonna kick the crap out of Knox kthnx) ;D Julian Sark (
[personal profile] elementof_risk) used with permission of his made-of-oh-so-much-awesome-and-win mun]

The sad thing was, she'd loved Nevada.

Not Searchlight, necessarily, which was a tiny little nothing of a town and nothing like Corpus, which, while not the biggest city, had at least had things to do and places to go. Not the Hellmouth simmering beneath the soil, not the shaky truces and peace that she and her fellow Slayers had been forced to work constantly to keep. Not even Vegas, as much as the bright neon lights and incredibly sinful nightlife had fascinated her, not even that had been the appeal. She'd loved the desert, and the heat, and the sunlight, and the colors that were splashed across the sky at sunset. She'd loved all of that, but it didn't love her back. It had rejected her from the start, pushed her away and replaced her with a doppelganger at the first opportunity. It wasn't home. It wouldn't let her make it home.

Fine then, fuck it. Channing could have the goddamned state, and the heat and the sunlight and the blazing colors of the desert sunsets. There were other places that the same sun poured down on that were just as beautiful and just as warm, places she could visit, places that might not love her back but would at least let her pass through in peace.

A house is not a home, and home, so the ancient cliche went, is where the heart is. In that sense, she was home. She was always home, because she was with Julian, and her heart was in his keeping. But Baileigh likes houses. She likes having a space that's her own, to do whatever she wishes with. She misses her dog, and her things, her photos, her books, her mementos and souvenirs. It wasn't just a place to keep stuff, it was a place to keep her memories, and a place to make more.

Texas still loved her, but it couldn't be what she needed anymore, which was the one and only thing she'd really discovered and resolved upon going back. It had let her go. It had moved on, and she needed to do the same. New York didn't love her, but really, did it really love anyone? If nothing else, at least the feeling was mutual.

And there were shoes. Lots and lots of shoes. It helped to find the silver linings on those little black rainclouds.

"I think we should get a place." It comes out in a rush, completely out of the blue, and she can't blame Julian at all for the look that he gives her. "We can't keep living in a hotel room." She winces a bit and backtracks, because really, he can live in a hotel room just fine, pretty much always had. "I can't live in a hotel room. And I miss Ruhun. I miss...all of my things. I miss having a place to keep them. We should just...get a place. Here. To live."

There's a pause, and she frowns down at her lap as Julian smooths her hair behind her ear. "You hate it here."

Which is true, and she doesn't plan to deny it. But home is where the heart it. Home is where your family is, and if your own family is gone, well, then family becomes the hodgepodge of people whose lives you've been thrown into, who've been thrown into yours. And isn't New York the place that takes you in when nowhere else will? Maybe it doesn't have to love her. Maybe acceptance, tolerance, maybe that could be enough.

"I do," she finally replies, shrugging a bit, curling up to rest her head on his shoulder and let herself be held. "But at least here, I know where I stand."

deep_red_bells: ([Expressive] Pouting)

It should be romantic. Pretty twinkling lights and hand holding and snuggling up close against the cold, but she can't stay on her feet for long enough to enjoy it and when she is on her feet she's clinging to the arms trying to hold her up and terrified wondering if the next fall is going to be the one that she kills someone. Or gets killed herself.

All because there are people watching.

People who chuckle under their breath in amusement every time she slips and lands on her now very frozen and sore butt and drags whoever is making the futile attempt to keep her upright down with her. Well, the chuckling might be in her head, or might not but she's sure they're laughing on the inside. But there are people. Watching. All of her coordination flies out the window, all the grace that comes so automatically in a fight she cannot apply to anything where her life isn't in danger and there's an audience watching.

It's fucking ridiculous.

“I told you I couldn‘t do this.” She’s fighting to keep the whine out of her voice, not that it matters, as her arms are folded rather stubbornly across her chest and there is a very sullen pout on her lips. Her face his burning and her eyes sting and that stupid little eight year old that just slipped by all effortlessly just giggled at her. Giggled.

Stupid locals and their stupid frozen tundra of a state and their stupid, stupid tree.

deep_red_bells: ([Slayer] Chosen)

Picture prompt

There is something terribly wrong with her.

There has to be. No one sane finds so much comfort and solace in a moonlit cemetery. No one in their right mind would prefer the company of marble slabs, old bones beneath the dirt, concrete angels in poses of eternal mourning and black-hearted creatures of the night to their flesh and blood friends and family.

There is something terribly wrong with her, because she does. Often.

They make very poor friends, those marble slabs, those bones, those angels, but the best listeners. Forever mute and sightless, they bear no witness to her battles with monsters, the flares of tempers and fury she will allow to be unleashed upon them, her tears of frustration, or pain. They cannot judge her, or blame her, or comfort her with false hopes and promises that everything will be all right. They don't ask her which cup is overflowing and threatening to drown her, merely let her pour and pour and pour.

The graveyards are her battlefield, her therapy couch, her safe house, her escape.

And just as much as all of this, they are also her prison, and those angels her ever vigilant wardens, until the night comes that they will watch her fall for the last time.

deep_red_bells: (OOC)

I formally invite all of you on my flist to join:

[profile] mad_muses 

Because God knows, there aren't enough prompt communities out there!

*goes back to getting used to the mod position*


deep_red_bells: (Default)
Baileigh Solis

December 2010



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