Scared Of The Dark


colette_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Scared of the Dark
Synopsis When Tasha discovered that Colette's been having trouble sleeping, she finds out just how long it's gone on for.
Date April 13, 2010

The Lighthouse

Most nights are cold, here at the Lighthouse, and most late nights are wound up and filled with the silence this tower affords. Usually around three or four in the morning, Tasha is alone is bed and doesn't realize it. Some times she feels the creak of the bed moving, other times she hears a door open and close, bu tit's those tiny movements in the night that could just be Colette getting up to find the bathroom, or go get something to drink.

The measure of time she's actually gone for often spans hours, in truth.

One creaking door opens into their small, shared bedroom at 3:34am according to the blue glow of the digital alarm clock by the bed. A sliver of light that is dimmed by Colette's intuitive and often times reflexive control of light cuts briefly across the bedroom floor before the light closes. Socked feet scoff over the hardwood floor, and the side of the bed creaks softly with a protesting of springs from Colette's slight weight being pressed down onto the mattress.

That she's crying is a subtle difference to most nights. But it's soft, personal, and restrained. Normally it's all under control by now, but tonight's not the best night for her, and there's a reason she's used to sleeping alone. Waking up crying is easier to do when no one is in the bed next to you.

Maybe that's why she faint smells of cigarettes too.

Tasha's hand had crept to the empty space on the bed, waking earlier to find herself alone but drifting off asleep again before the absence became something to worry over. Still close to the surface where sleep meets wakefulness, Tasha feels the shift of mattress beneath her. Pulling her arm out of the way before Colette presses down, she slides her hand over the girl's waist to curl closer, to warm her with her own heat.

A sound of wetness in the way Colette is breathing, a little spasm in the thin shoulders — these alert Tasha that something is wrong, and she curls closer. "Colette… baby… what is it?" she whispers, trying to keep the alarm that she feels stifled down in her throat and her chest, keeping her voice soft and hopefully soothing, though her heart begins to pound where she presses to Colette's back. Her lips press the back of Colette's head, and then she moves her hand to turn Colette so she can see her in the dim room.

Swallowing noisily, Colette flinches when she feels the contact of arms around her body. Tensing up and almost pulling away, Colette breaks down in a noisier, harsher sobbing sound. After nearly pulling away she turns around, snakes her arms around Tasha and brings her head down to the brunette's shoulder and just honestly sobs. It's a jarring experience to be woken by, and the noise is a pitiful one, a truly hurt and aching sound of sadness and pain.

Hiding her face in Tasha's shoulder, Colette curls up into a small ball, drawing flannel-covered legs up to herself and fingers curling at her shoulders. Green eyes are shut tight, nose pressed into the hollow of Tasha's throat; cheeks are warm and wet with tears. Even after being shot, even after being dragged down by a feral dog, Colette never cried like this.

The flinch away causes Tasha's eyes to well with tears, though it doesn't make sense if Colette was angry at her for Colette to come back to her — and they had gone to bed happily enough, or so she thought. But then Colette turns and Tasha envelopes her in her arms, hugging tightly — fiercely. Her hands run through Colette's short hair, and she cries in turn, though her tears run silently down her cheeks and she bites her lip to keep from whimpering herself.

It's her turn to be strong.

"Colette," she whispers, knocking her forehead down on Colette's crown lightly. "What happened? Did … did I do something? What can I do to help? Are you hurt?" It's an onslaught of questions that are probably too many to make sense of, and she bites her lip again, then kisses the top of the other's head. "Whose ass do I need to kick?"

Only that last bit finally gets thorugh to Colette, and her lips part in a weak smile and a hiccuped sob. Lips immediately find Tasha's neck, warm, soft and gentle. She plucks them across the front of her throat and then reaffirms the need for physical contact. Arms find their way around Tasha's waist, nose finds its way up into her jawline before Colette chokes out a soft sob again, tearfully pressing a kiss to Tasha's cheek. "I'm sorry…" she hoarsely breathes out, nosing against the side of Tahsa's head.

"I— I'm so sorry I didn't— I never— wanted you to— " she's terrified, from the sound of her voice, the crying is something fearful, a self-disrespecting keening noise of disappointment and shame. Licking at her lips, Colette brushes her nose against Tasha's chin, rises up to sit straight and finds Tasha's cheeks with both hands, planting a warm, soft and loving kiss on the younger girl's lips. "I love you," she breathes out, "I love you, I love you, I love you…" eyes fall shut and she pushes Tasha back against the bed in a confusing juxtaposition of emotions.

But there's no passion, just neediness. Colette curls up at Tasha's side, practically wrapping herself around the brown-eyed girl, nosing at her shoulder, then her neck, then weakly— and confusingly admitting, "I need to tell you something… and— and you can't ever tell anyone else."

The mix of words of love and salty kisses is a heady mix that confuses Tasha more while reassures her somewhere in the pit of her stomach — she didn't hurt Colette; she didn't do something wrong. But something is obviously very, very wrong and kisses and hugs aren't going to fix it. Her hands do their best to pet and soothe and calm, stroking Colette's arms and shoulders and face before she is pushed back again, only to be cuddled up against.

Her face contorted with knit brows and parted lips, she noses back at Colette, brushing the other's forehead with her cheek, her own cheek wet with tears that she isn't even sure are for.

"I won't tell anyone. We don't have to have any secrets, Colette, you know the worst about me… you know what my dad is and you know … you know what I said to him and my mom, and that I'm a coward and I wear ugly socks and I smoke. Well, not really anymore." The words are a babbling attempt to reassure Colette, and to gather some sense of normalcy — as if they've ever had any in the time they've known one another.

"I smoked your last cigarette…" is not the omission that Colette is so upset about making, but the bubbled laughter mixed with another hiccuped sob that she's struggling to control are elicited by the words. Nosing across Tasha's shoulder, Colette grows silent in trying to figure out how best to explain something she doesn't tell people for a reason. "I… I don't want you to hate me," Colette goes on to add, looking up to Tasha with wide, green eyes.

"I… I don't want to lose you or— or make you— I don't know." Swallowing nervously, Colette lifts a shaky hand up to Tasha's cheek, unconsciously raising the ambient level of light in the room so she can more clearly see that beautiful, brown eyed girl at her side, revealing her own tear-stained cheeks and running mascara.

She doesn't give time enough for Tasha to respond to that though, before she gives a small, weary shake of her head. "I… I have nightmares," she whispers, fingers stroking down Tasha's cheek. "I— I've had them since I was a little girl," and those last few sylables come out strained, as she almost breaks down again. "I have— it makes it hard to sleep, to stay— stay in bed. I get scared of the dark… scared of being alone in bed w— without the door locked." Colette hides her face against Tasha's shoulder again, letting out a small, strangled sound of embarrassment and emotion.

"I'm sorry," she whispers, "I'm so sorry…" as if it was her fault, and to this day she still thinks it was. She's quiet again, for a long, silent moment before she whispers into Tasha's throat, "My… sister and I— were— we were abused by our dad growing up a— and— and I still get scared and I— I'm so sorry."

The cigarette confession gets a snort — Tasha actually hasn't had one herself in days — the pack had been all but forgotten. But then there is talk of hate and leaving and Tasha's brows knit more fiercely, her heart breaking written across it as she stares into Colette's eyes, shaking her head in a wordless No.

The headshaking grows more vehement as the implications of Colette's words register and she pulls Colette into a fierce hug. "Wake me up," she breathes in the other's ear, lips grazing the skin below. "Wake me when you wake up. I'll sit with you. I could never hate you, Colette. I couldn't ever, and if anyone … if anyone ever left you because of that, they're … they're idiots." One hand traces that heart on Colette's cheek, unable yet to say the words that she's only said to one person besides her family.

Tasha's reaction eases Colette's heart a little, it contributes to the subsiding ot tears she was through crying years ago when she moved to New York. Leaning her head back enough to wipe at her cheeks, she leans in and presses her lips to Tasha's brow above her right eye, eyes closing at the feeling of Tasha's hand tracing that heart against her cheek. There's a soft sound in the back of Colette's throat, and she reaches up to take the hand, curl her fingers around it, and hold it as she continues.

"S'why I moved… moved from boston. 'Cause when my sister was old enough, she came and took me, and— and we were away from it all…" there's a tightness in Colette's throat, "my mom'n dad, they're— my mom passed away from cancer a few years ago, an'— and my dad's dead." Tasha doesn't need the how or the why weighing on her conscience.

"I wouldn't let anyone touch me… for a long time," Colette admits, wrapping her arms around Tasha tightly, "not— not for a really long time. 'Cause— cause of…" her head shakes slowly. "Sometimes at night, I— I think I can hear him coming into the room. I have— I have these— just these terrible dreams where he's standing over our bed, and he's hurting you and…" Colette's throat tightens and she buries her face in Tasha's shoulder again.

"I'm sorry…" it's an honest guilt, and an honest hurt that keeps Colette up at night. "It got worse… after I had this really bad dream, back— back when I was kidnapped. They— the people who grabbed me made me take Refrain and just— the dream I had was so real. Oh god it— some nights I'm just… I'm sorry if I've worried you."

Tasha's lower lip trembles and she presses it into a thin line to keep from sobbing as she listens, eyes wide and unblinking as they well again with tears that spill over and stream down her face and down her neck. Her hand tightens on the fingers she holds. She shakes her head when Colette murmurs him hurting Tasha in the dreams, and then her eyes squeeze shut when Colette apologizes.

Colette apologizes for worrying her — when Tasha's been so wrapped up in her own worries, she hadn't noticed her lover leaving the bed however many times a night.

"Don't," comes out sharper than she means, a reprimand when she doesn't mean it to be. "Don't apologize, Colette, please, please, don't apologize for … for having to deal with that and to see that in your dreams and don't apologize for worrying me when I'm…" Tasha brings her free hand to her face, covering her eyes and trying to hide the tears because she shouldn't be the one crying. She should be the strong one.

Even if her heart is breaking for the Colette of the past. And the Colette she'll never know, because that future was stolen by a sick man years ago.

Tasha brings the hand she holds to her lips, kissing the palm softly, and finally lifts her eyes again. "Please don't be sorry. Wake me up, let me hold you and help you and love you and make it go away."

Wrapping her arms around Tasha as if afraid she were about to turn to smoke and vanish, Colette rests her meager weight against the young woman, comforted by the touch of lips against her knuckles, comforted by the love so generously given by the girl at her side. Colette moves her hand, brushes a thumb over Tasha's lips and leans in to follow the motion with a small, needy kiss. "I love you so much…" Colette whispers in response to the way Tasha has about her, the manner in which she offers comfort and compassion and— even if indirectly stated— love.

Kissing Tasha's throat, Colette lifts a hand to rake fingers thorugh Tasha's hair, playing with dark, silken locks, running her nails lightly over the young woman's scalp. Silence is good, silence is thought provoking, and after revelatory moments like the ones ago, silence is necessary. But it's not to last forever, the silence, it precedes Colette's lips touching Tasha's jaw, her eyes finally opening to look at the brown-eyed girl in her arms.

"I've never told anyone about that… not anyone, ever." It's an issue of trust, with something that is the pinnacle of her vulnerability; Colette at her weakest and darkest. "I've… a couple'a years ago— when I got saved from a car accident, T— Tamara pulled me away by wrapping her arms around me an' draggin' me out of the path of a speeding car." Swallowing tightly, she presses her nose to Tasha's cheek.

"Ever since then… I ain't been afraid of people. I mean, being near me. I've been the way you know me, all— touchy." There's a faint hint of a smile of Colette's lips at the way she describes herself, affectionately pressing her lips to the corner of Tasha's jaw. "I've… I've only ever um— " Colette breathes out a hushed breath. "While… while we're bein' honest…"

Her lips pluck once at Tasha's cheek and she ;eans back slowly, brushing a palm over where she kissed. "A couple'a weeks… before we met each other, I was— I was really heartbroken and lonely. I— I was mixed up inside, and… and that was when I met Sable for the first time in a long time. We— " Colette awkwardly clears her throat, "we had a thing. A one— one night thing." It's the most delicate way of putting it. "But that's all it was and… and she's said stuff 'bout having… you know— feelings for me since," green eyes meet far darker ones at that, "but I told her. I told her it was too late… because you're the one for me. I just— God I'm rambling."

The calmer rambling of Colette's soothes Tasha, and the tears stop streaming, leaving her face tear-stained and gleaming in the faint light as she listens, nodding now and then wordlessly. Her fingertips trace down the side of Colette's face, from temple to chin and back up, before curling a lock of hair behind a delicate ear.

"I like you touchy," she interjects with a small smile — the words might sound suggestive and full of innuendo in another conversation, but here she means them with nothing but loving affection.

The confession regarding Sable is met with a slight furrow of her eyebrows in confusion for a moment, before Tasha nods, slowly. At the words "you're the one," her brows knit again into that look teen girls give when something is exceedingly touching and sweet, like golden retriever puppies or a romantic gesture from a secret admirer.

She's not mad.

"Awkwaaaard," she says quietly in the sing song voice, but she leans forward to kiss Colette's lips lightly. "I… she didn't make you feel … did she try to make you feel bad or guilty, because — I mean, you didn't know, and you didn't plan this, and it's not your fault. You need to be with who you think is right for you," Tasha whispers, trying to push away the fear rising in her, a delayed reaction to the words she's still registering.

"No," Colette says clearly, wrapping herself tighter around Tasha and resting one hand at the back of the younger girl's head. "She's been very sweet, just— a little puppy-struck," which makes sense as words in her head, it's like dumb-struck and puppy-love had a baby and it is a little dumb but still adorable all the same. Nosing at the side of Tasha's head, there's silence, and serious silence as she assesses the younger girl. "I let her down, and she gets it… she doesn't like it, but she gets it. I'm with you now, I don't want anyone else but you. She's a good, great friend… but you're the one I'm here with. You— you're the one I trust to tell— tell anything to."

Moving her head to the side, Colette places a kiss across Tasha's cheek, lips brushing away the track of salty tears, then repeats the process below the other eye. "I need you, 'cause I ain't very strong on my own and… and I'm still scared've the dark a little." It's a jovial way of saying she needs a hand to hold, and someone to hold on to.

"You're the one for me… and I'm not going to have anyone else. I don't need anyone else… I just— " Colette sits up looking down at Tasha where she balances her weight on her elbow, reaching down to stroke a hand over the brown-eyed girl's cheek. "I need you, and… and I'm— I'm sorry it took me this long to tell you what's wrong with me."

"You have that effect on people. Puppy-struck. I am too. A smitten kitten… as kitten as cat… as smitten as that…" song lyrics. "I can't say as I blame her… for wanting you." Tasha's words are soft, her lips curving into a soft smile that she then brushes against the corner of Colette's mouth.

"And there's nothing wrong with you. You are the strongest person I know — to have been through what you've been through… just because you're not all Rambo like Raith and just because you have bad dreams doesn't make you not brave. If anything… it makes you braver, because you're still … you're still wonderful, even after so much horrible has happened to you." Tasha pulls the other girl back against her, spooning from behind so she can tuck her knees behind the other's slightly longer legs, wrapping her arms tight around the other's waist, nestling her chin on Colette's shoulder.

"Promise me you'll wake me when you have bad dreams," she whispers. "I want to be sure that you wake up to … to something that makes you happy. To something that chases the bad away." Tasha swallows. "I want to be able to do that for you. I want to be there for you." As Doyle said, she just needs to be brave enough to be there.

On her side and with Tasha behind her, Colette hasn't felt this comforted by another person's presence in a long time. Not since the holidays, and even then it didn't quite feel like this. Reaching down for one of Tasha's hands, Colette lifts it up and presses a kiss to the knuckles there, cradling the hand against her chest, letting Tasha feel the gently beat of her heart. "I promise…" is all Colette need say about the request, and while in the short term it's going to mean many long, sleepless nights for Tasha, in the long term it's going to mean an end to those nightmares, and end to the years of waking up in a cold sweat.

Squeezing that hand over her heart, Colette realizes what a relief it is to have admitted the truth, to have opened up and told the terrible secrets of her youth to someone. Maybe now that she's let all those dark things out, they can finally go somewhere else. "Thank you…" Colette whispers, squeezing Tasha's arms to herself and snuggling back against her lover's warm embrace. Thank you isn't even word enough, not for a good night's sleep like she's going to get.

Thank you isn't appreciation enough for the things Tasha offers Colette, or the comfort that it brings, and the happiness that it gives. But she knows she'll have time to contemplate a better way to thank, a better way to show her love and appreciation. But tonight, though, tonight she's just going to sleep.

And sleep peacefully.

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