averita: (mary: yellow)
posted by [personal profile] averita at 12:17am on 05/04/2012 under ,
Title: Two Octobers
Author: [livejournal.com profile] averita
Summary: She dreams, strange, scattered dreams that taste like salt when she swallows them away.
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~1000
A/N: I'm pinch-hitting for the [livejournal.com profile] mary_mcdonnell Minor Character Month of Love, which gave me a chance to explore Rose Darko! She's one of my favorite characters so this was a fun opportunity. The first drabble is from a collection I wrote three years ago featuring various characters Mary has played. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] meryl_edan for the beta!
Disclaimer: None of it is mine. The last line in the third drabble is from "Mad World" by Tears for Fears.


1. She smokes too much these days, but she likes the burn of it in her chest, the shapes she can make when she purses her lips just right. Sometimes she inhales and holds it, watching the ember flare at the tip of the cigarette.

When she holds her breath like this her bones grow heavier and her head, lighter. Smoke curls inside her lungs and settles like another weight pinning her down. The sun is setting; reds and oranges dance before her tired, unfocused eyes.

She thinks this must be how he felt when he died. It must have been peaceful.


2. He mutters it, but loudly, and she pauses outside his room. She's long given up on restricting their language, but as often as the word is thrown around, it's been a long time since it's been directed at her. She wonders where it came from.

She wonders a lot of things: where her son goes at night, why he's stopped taking his pills. She wonders why he needs them in the first place; if it's her fault, somehow, though she knows it's not. She wonders why
him.

She's tired, and her head hurts. She'll talk to him in the morning.



3. She dreams, strange, scattered dreams that taste like salt when she swallows them away. Her throat is always tight. She doesn't speak much, and Eddie doesn't sleep, but she only knows this because they're still in a hotel room that smells like a hospital and he doesn't have an armchair.

She dreams of that girl, the one who waved, and thinks Donnie would have liked her. She dreams of houses that aren't hers, burning. She dreams of planes, the shaking, an oxygen mask and craters in a field. The dreams in which she's dying are the best she's ever had.


4. They don't talk in the morning. Instead a plane falls on their house, and no one can seem to tell them anything. She woke with her heart in her throat; it stopped pounding when Donnie's room turned up empty, but doesn't return to her chest until he shows up, covered in grass stains and smiling an odd smile.

Later, when the FAA has gone, she pulls him to her and he lets her. Her own smile is tremulous as she brushes his hair from his eyes. "Sometimes I sleep better outside," he says, and right now that's enough for her.



5. Bush wins, of course, despite Elizabeth and the campaign she threw herself into like the deep end of a pool.

Rose didn't vote. She thinks Eddie did, but he won't say one way or another, and dinner is tense. "This whole fucking world is going to hell," Elizabeth snaps, finally, and storms off. Rose doesn't move except to close her eyes, part of her waiting for the sarcastic, bitter laugh she knew so well, for tonight's variation of the word "fuck".

Sam picks the cheese off her pizza. Rose sips her wine, eyes still closed, ears ringing in the silence.


6. The election is in less than a month, but somehow these days she hears more about Jim goddamn Cunningham than Dukakis versus Bush. She's not sure if that says more about her or Kitty Farmer.

She's sick of Kitty, and would be amused if she weren't so worried when Donnie tells her where to shove it. But then there's another phone call, the fucking Antichrist, and a rabbit called Frank. When she sees Cunningham's house burning on TV, the words "
They Made Me Do It" flash before her eyes. She blames the leftovers as she tries not to be sick.


7. The house is already on the market by the time it's been repaired. Eddie's found a nice place with four bedrooms across town. It's a fifteen minute drive from the nearest golf course; she doesn't know why that feels important.

It falls to Rose to pack. (When Kitty Farmer shows up with garbage bags and yellow gloves, she finally gives in to the urge to slam the door in her face.) Upstairs smells like paint and fresh plaster. On the third day she collapses into the new corners of Donnie's bedroom and weeps.

It's December already. Sometimes she wears his coat.


8. "How does it feel to have a wacko for a son?" he asks, and she's only partly lying when she says it's wonderful. It's getting harder to live with the constant burn in her eyes, but it reminds her of those days almost eighteen years ago - those sleepless nights, the desire to know what he was thinking and make everything better.

She nearly cancels three times, but Samantha's glowing, and Eddie's voice is soothing on the phone. Donnie squeezes her hand. The next day he pulls her into a hug like he never wants to let go, and waves.



9. Eddie's fingers relax when he comes, leaving a dull throb in her hip. He kisses her shoulder as she shudders around him.

After, she lays her head over his heart and listens. Sometimes all she hears is pounding. The other day she met Elizabeth's boyfriend, and for a second it swallowed her, the thunder, a feeling like falling.

She feels brittle. She smiles more now, but it feels wrong, like it's just to stop the shaking. Her hip doesn't hurt anymore but she'll have bruises in the morning.

She dreams again, those strange, scattered dreams. Somehow they feel more real.


10. In her dream she is laughing. Elizabeth laughs with her; the sound is fresh, not bitter. Eddie's hand is warm on her back and she wants to kiss him, so she does, while Sam hides her face in his shoulder and pretends to gag.

Donnie is on the sofa, but when he looks up his eyes are young and amused. "I'm trying to read," he says, and holds up a book:
The Philosophy of Time Travel. Rose frowns, but she is happy, and laughing, and now Donnie is laughing too.

He is still laughing when the plane begins to shake.
Mood:: 'full' full

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