shelley_winters: (Curled up and watching)
[personal profile] shelley_winters
Shelley gets up as normal the next morning.

It takes effort. Her head still aches slightly, though painkillers should help with that, and she still coughs occasionally, and when she looks at herself in the mirror she's still paler than she should be. But she brushes her teeth, washes, dresses and heads for the stairs. She's going to work. She can't stay here all day again.

As she walks downstairs, Elan is already up and dressed. Peering out the window intently, Elan sat with a book lying forgotten in his lap. He did not acknowledge her presence except for a small cursory glance, and what may have been a nod -- maybe.

Shelley ignores him. She should always ignore him, nothing else ever turns out well. She waits until the kitchen door closes behind her to let herself cough, leaning against the edge of the table. A boil of the kettle, and a slice of bread hastily toasted, and she forces down a few mouthfuls of breakfast with a mug of coffee that makes her feel vaguely nauseous, before picking up her bag and heading back out to leave. She doesn't say a word as she passes Elan on the couch.

His eyes follow her as she walks down the street, but he says nothing.

~*~*~*~

The house is very clean, still smelling almost overpoweringly of cleaning chemicals when Shelley arrives home. Elan is sitting not far from where she left and his book is in the same place, having not moved from the table this morning. The small bandage on his hand looks fresh. He nods to her, if barely, but said nothing, gazing off towards the empty room.

Shelley pauses, seeing him, then continues into the kitchen. A soothing cup of tea later, and she emerges, paper in hand. She places it on the table in front of him.

"Tell me the numbers of what you want."

She picks up the phone and starts dialling. Elan did not even glance at the paper before commenting distantly.

"I am not particularly hungry, Lady Shelley."

"Tough," she says, not pausing. "You're not dying of starvation, that would be really inconvenient."

Irritably, he put down his book and rose from his seat walking away from her. He did not want to talk with her, or discuss anything with her. And that suits Shelley admirably.

"You're not getting a choice, then," she warns, listening to the dialling tone.

~*~*~*~

It's been quiet for a few days.

Not that it hadn't been before, but they had previously exchanged words here and there, even had short conversations, although those usually led to arguments. But the silence isn't oppressive, simply a lack of interaction. Elan barely even looks at her, except for rare time when she catches sight of him staring, expression bleak.

It helps, at first. It helps her remain calm and logical about the situation. It helps her keep to her determination that he is not going to intimidate her with his presence, she isn't going to live in terror, no matter what he did to her.

And then it brings the nagging, insistent worry of what will happen. He told her he would die, and he's just... it's almost as if he wants to, as if he's deliberately trying to die rather than accept his changed circumstances. And if he does...

With him alive, she has to live with someone who she hates. With him dead-

Well. With him dead she just has a dead person. Shelley swallows, feeling sick, face burrowing into her pillow. No. He might deserve it. No. The world would be better, she would be safer. No. Just... no.
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January 2008

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