shelley_winters: (Dishevelled)
Seven pm. Past time to have something to eat, really. She'd been distracted.

No, that's a lie. She just hadn't wanted to go back downstairs. But if she desn't eat, she'll get ill, and they're already suspicious at work, and if they send her home, she has to spend more time here. No, no. She has to remain in control. Then she has a chance, if-

I-

Don't-


That's if anything goes wrong. That's it.

So she slips down the stairs, a chilly glance flickering towards the dark head visible on the couch before she heads into the kitchen. Something easy.
shelley_winters: (Just a little darkness)
Shelley gets into the shower more or less on autopilot the next morning, before she remembers, and nearly slips over. Mechancally, she rises her hair and gets out. She has to get to work, no time to worry, she can do that later. Although she'd really rather find him gone.

Dressed and ready, she hesitates outside the study door. A tiny push, and she can hear his slow breathing. Not gone. Still here.

Oh god.




She'd been careful that morning, knowing she must look tired. Dabs of concealer under her eyes, a bit of blush to give her some colour. Traditional girl-things to try and look normal. And as per tradition, it doesn't fool Fallon at lunch in the least.

"Are you ill?"

"No." Damn it! Should have said yes...

"Boy troubles? It is, yes?"

"No!"

"Lack of boy troubles making you sad?"

"I have to go!"




"...And the reservation requires funding, god knows, but quite so much, Shelley?"

"Well, Mr. Mayor, you know what builders' estimates are like."

Mr. James Mayor, Mayor of Tackleford, twirls his pen thoughtfully. "Indeed, I do. We can hope that we will have an excess after all's said and done, but I don't know how we can justify it to the board."

Shelley doesn't take her eyes off the pen held between his fingers.

"You couldn't perhaps have a word, could you? Tell them to bring it down to a minimum, we are not asking for luxury-"

One hand goes to her side, and she blinks, almost flinching as his hand moves suddenly, in a stabbing-

No, no he's not, it's not, it's a pen - catches the light. Shining and is he closer?

"Are you quite all right-" (Lady) "-Shelley?"

She swallows. "Er. Yes. Talk to them. Shall I go? N-now?"

The Mayor looks perplexed. "If you think so."

"Good. Okay." She gets up. Turning her back on his is almost impossible, not starting to run even harder.




Drink of water, after wiping her eyes on some loo roll. It's fine. It's Mr. Mayor, he wouldn't hurt a fly.

He's waiting for her.

But she'll go and talk to those builders, and that's a distraction, and then there's filing to do. She'll be fine.

Until five-thirty, anyway. Fine.
shelley_winters: (Pale/Wary/Serious)
Shelley stares at her own front door, key half-raised towards the lock.

She doesn't want to go in.

She's scared to go into her own house. Because he's in there, he can make a space frightning, and she should really just either go in or go somewhere else. Where?

No, no, she has to go in. To her house. Right, right.

She fumbles with the key and turns it in the lock before she can panic again. Step forward, onto the mat, bang the door.

To hard. The windows rattle, a little.

God. She stands still.
shelley_winters: (Covered face with cloth/Crying)
An extra pair of glasses, a pair of sunglasses. Some more hairties. A t-shirt... no. It's one of her favourites, and it's bound to 'disappear' if she takes it back with her. A comb. He can't object to a comb, can he? No, it makes no difference what he'd want. A small vial of her favourite comforting perfume. Lip salve in case they get dry. Toothbrush.

How do you put home in a bag and take it away with you?

You can't.

Shelley sighs, sitting down on the edge of her her bed and sniffling back tears. It feels like such a short time that she was back, and now she has to go away again.
shelley_winters: (Pretty dress in metaphorical darkness)
Still no door.

The back gate at the pub, the cupboard under the stairs at home, the sidegate in the park. Nothing. Shelley sits morosely and not a little worriedly on a bench as night slowly falls around her. It has been a few days now, and it isn't like Ishamael to leave her out of his control for so long. Having him come and find her is not on her list of good things.

She gets up, and walks slowly along the path, keeping a hopeful eye out. A tramp she passes waves at something just over her right shoulder. A cool breeze blows a few drops of light rain over her face and she shivers.

This is not good.
shelley_winters: (Vulnerable)
Shelley shivers, chilly now she is out of the warm shower, and hurries dressing. Tucking the ends of a pair of loose pants into her shoes stops them tripping her. The shirt, however, she gives up on, and wraps the sash from her dress around her waist a few times to turn it into a kind of tunic. Rolling the sleeves up exposes the faded pink line running down her left forearm, and she eyes it for a moment. But it's either that or have them flopping over her hands constantly.

She stares into the mirror for a few minutes as she combs her hair out, almost glaring at her reflection before she notices the mark on one side of her neck, and drops the brush. One fingertip brushes it lightly, before dragging the neckline of the shirt to one side, revealing one or two others. Oh. She closes her eyes as her cheeks redden. Not good.

No. It's fine, they'll fade. Deliberately she ties the shirtstrings as tight as possible to hide all but one, then brushes her hair forward instead of putting it up. Fine.

The girl lips her lips nervously, then heads out of the bathroom. She can get through a few hours.
shelley_winters: (Pretty dress in metaphorical darkness)
Shelley tugs the neck of the shirt up again, irritated. His clothes are all far too big, the shirt she is wearing as a pyjama top almost as long as a tunic, falling down to her thighs. A pair of his socks - an attempt to keep her freezing feet warmer - flop pathetically against the floor as she walks out of the bathroom, hair soft and clinging with static to her cheeks from overbrushing.

She had stayed there as long as possible, but you can't ever hide forever. As she closes the door behind her, she grits her teeth, determined. There are couches in the other room, and that's where she's headed.

The girl doesn't look at Ishamael as she makes silently for the other door.
shelley_winters: (Dishevelled)
Shelley is shivering almost nonstop as they make their way back inside. The coat worked fine for a while, but the cold crept in eventually, faster after the snow soaked through her gloves and shoes, and she lost her hat in a furious duel to the-

Well, not to the death, apparently. It had felt a little like that at the time. She can hear her shoes squishing as she gets inside. Hear, but not feel. The cold has numbed her enough that she doesn't notice the wetness, thank goodness.

Clumsily, but no less fastidiously, she peels off the wet gloves to rub her icy hands together. Cold. Very cold.

The girl shudders, and begins peeling off her coat as soon as the door closes behind them. She suspects there is snow inside it.
shelley_winters: (Curled up and watching)
The place is very quiet.

Cold, too, since the climate control is off, and has been for a while. The lights are on now, but it still has that abandoned feeling that unlived-in houses often get. She can see snow outside the window where she sits. It's a very big room, and sitting with her back to the wall feels... safer. Safer than not, at any rate. With both Elan and Vashti off 'securing the perimeter,' or whatever vital things they have to do, the little house feels very empty.

Shelley sighs, arms wrapping around her knees to stave off the cold. At this rate, it doesn't look like she'll be going home for a long time.
shelley_winters: (Default)
It is several hours before Shelley gets bored of glaring at walls.

Not that she only glared. She walked about, examining the place, and mentally criticising the furnishings. Well, if he's determined to stick to monochrome, he should be prepared for that.

He still keeps knives in the drawers. She looks at one for a long while before carefully closing it again and stepping away to look out of the window instead.

But a long while after it had grown dark, her irritation is finally directed more specifically - namely at the fact that she is stuck in here. So the girl heads defiantly for the door, peering out before heading into the corridor to find her own room.
shelley_winters: (White dress)
It is a cold day, outside.

There is a fire in the drawing room that Shelley sits close by on one side of the Sha'rah board, lost in thought, game paused after her first few moves. Elan wasn't about, for some reason, but the room is warm, and there's a board where she can sit comfortably, that's what counts.

She has felt better since she has had some time to herself, and begun the exercise of Swords again. Slowly, life is regaining the slowness of before, as long as Ishamael keeps his distance.

It's lonely, but she prefers it that way.
shelley_winters: (Red and white)
Tiger in the Long Grass becomes Swallow in Flight.

Shelley readjusts her grip in the hilt of her practise sword, fingers already a little sore. It's been a very long time since she did - well, anything that counts as exercise. She was never strong, but it's a little worrying how hard this is. Earlier that week she had tried, and come over dizzy, but for now, although her breathing is a little too fast and her arms are starting to hurt, she feels all right.

Leaf on the Wind.

No, not right - it shakes and feels wrong, but as she tries again, it does the same. A small noise of discontent, and she moves on. She can look it up later.

Parting the Veil.
shelley_winters: (Curled up and watching)
Her room looks empty.

It almost makes her feel better, that it doesn't look familiar. Almost.

Shelley hadn't been able to make herself get onto the bed. She had curled up, wrapped in a duvet, but on the floor, and now sits crying. She hadn't been able to stop, even though her head aches and her throat is sore. There's nothing to make it stop. She can't.
shelley_winters: (looking away)
She hadn't actually bought a thing, Shelley realises vaguely as she steps out of the transport and onto the grass. The craft lifts again once she is clear, making the cool damp air vibrate slightly, and her skirts flap gently. The girl waves after a moment, up at the unseen pilot.

It had been... nice, walking through the town. Nobody paid her much attention, and she could go where she liked. It helped, she thinks. Sadly, she couldn't stay there forever - she is very definitely tired, and her feet hurt. She glances about with slight worry, wandering slowly up to the house. Having never approached from this direction before, it's tricky knowing exactly where to go.
shelley_winters: (Tea/Drinking/British)
The teaspoon makes a rhythmic clinking noise as the girl stirs slowly. Small splashes of hot tea cool on the table surface, and she either hasn't noticed or doesn't care. Her second clean dress that day is bunched up around her as she sits in the corner of the couch, bare feet tucked under her.

She takes a sip. At the edge of her vision, she can see the small spots of red that have appeared through the bandage around her arm. No more, though. No more.

The tea doesn't taste of anything, so she puts it down, moody. After a moment, a small finger begins to trace patterns on the tabletop from the wet patch.
shelley_winters: (Not yours)
Shelley doesn't move for a few minutes, the soft wind outside the windows roaring mutedly in her ears. Slowly, she pushes herself up on her elbow, dry-eyed and distracted. The blood soaking the front of her dress has cooled quickly, feeling sticky and horrible. The knife lies beside her, and with dizzying fascination she notes the faint line of red along the end of the blade.

The girl doesn't move again, cold and silent. More than anything, she feels sick.
shelley_winters: (Not yours)
Shelley feels distinctly odd.

The shower had felt cold, even though she turned up the heat until her skin reddened under the spray, and she could barely breathe for steam. She dressed herself - no Loira to fuss - and left her hair wet, feeling the cooling trickle of water down the back of her neck. She doesn't try to leave.

There are drawers here and there, tucked away. She opens the ones that he doesn't keep locked. Papers, combs, pencils. Drawer-like things. Apart from the knives he keeps in them all. Sometimes just a little one, sometimes fullsized-

(A gleam of metal as his left hand draws a knife from his black robes)

She steps back uncertainly, leaving the drawer gaping open, holding the blade loosely by the handle.

(Every piece of music must have its ending, Lady Shelley)

Slowly she sits down on the edge of the windowseat. They like to have things around if they want-

(-bring this on yourself--

-quite hers to trade to me.)


The girl blinks, swaying slightly until she rests her head sideways against the wall. The flat of the blade is icy cold on her palm. Idly she watches the point move as she traces her lifeline. Should probably be shorter, really, doesn't make much sense, having one so long. Waste.

She bites her lip as the sharp blade scratches through a few layers of skin, and her hand stills. Tiny dark droplets of blood well up along the white-scored line. Is that how it looks? Normally she's crying by now.

Her head feels stuffed, reactions and thoughts blotted to soft blank whiteness. Woolly. Like cotton wool, it's soft and covers you up. If you have lots. It sounds nice, about now, a warm blanket and Mum to tuck her in. But grownups don't get looked after, they don't need it.

She does. So, what...?

Dreamily she runs the blade up over her arm. It feels warm now, and with a small frown of concentration, she presses harder, not too hard.

(I hate you, I hate you I hate you I hate I hate hate, oh God...)

And that hurts. But she doesn't move, even when the first drop begins to roll down the side of her arm. Such a very little, after all.
shelley_winters: (Sillhouette)
Shaking, Shelley continues down the hall, stumbling occasionally as increasing rage slowly overtakes her. If he knew - but he does know, how can he live with himself, how can any of them believe they have the right to take up another person and-
Oh baby dont you know I suffer?
(Some find that very liberating.

Then why not Rahvin? He could always use another little sextoy.

Lanfear gave me to understand she was quite hers to trade to me.)

Oh baby can you hear me moan?
Because they can do anything they want, they are never powerless, everything is simple and easy (You little fool) if you're the one doing those things
You caught me under false pretenses
She misses a step and falls against the wall, breathing as if running a marathon, tears soaking her face. He dragged her away from everything, out of all the people, someone who hates him, and then if she does something she doesn't like he changes her as he wants he'll make her something else just because he can like Graendal just wiped away everything with a wave of her hand-
How long before you let me go?
(I love you)
You set my soul alight
And dressed her like painting a picture that never changes, oh God.
You set my soul alight
Oh God.
(You set my soul alight)
Lanfear killed Loira. Can't have that, have her getting in the way when I want to do something, I have to make her tell me all she knows, quick now,
Glaciers melting in the dead of night
(Don't lie to me, Shelley.) No, no.
And the superstars sucked into the supermassive
"No. No, no, no, no..."
(You set my soul alight)
Your history with baths is not particularly pristine.
Glaciers melting in the dead of night
"No! No!"
And the superstars sucked into the supermassive
Shaking in near-hysterical convulsions, the girl sobs violently in a curled heap of damp towel and thin, fever-hot limbs.
(black hole)
shelley_winters: (Naked)
Heat from the water soaks through her skin - real heat, not the strange almost burning of being healed. Shelley lies back reluctantly as he puts her gently down in the water, white foam thankfully covering the surface. One small hand grips the side tensely as the other splashes a moment, before bringing out the ridiculous scrap of gold-shimmering gauze, now sodden with water, and throwing it as hard as she can onto the floor.

It takes a shaky sigh as she turns her head away again before she glances back at Ishamael, noticing him more clearly than before. And more to the point, the fact that he is still here.
shelley_winters: (Sillhouette)
Graendal smiles absently whenever her gaze passes over the little girl, kneeling stiffly beside her chair, arms outstretched to hold an ornate gold tray. It is heavy, and she has been there for a few hours, but her face remains calm and content. She is happy to do whatever her Mistress asks, of course, no matter how much the position aches. The Chosen nods. So much better after that struggling and carrying on at first. A casual hand strokes the soft red hair, and the child's eyes light up with delighted adoration forced by the Compulsion flooding her mind, though she obediently doesn't move. Quite a sweet little thing, once tamed and cleaned up.

"Good girl."

Graendal had Healed the most disfiguring injuries on her body, though it is not a skill she is well talented in. But open cuts heal over and most of the bruising fading before she stops. The still-visible markings here and there are hidden easily enough from this distance by the thin gauze draped prettily over one shoulder, the elegant touches of makeup on her face and body, and the light sheen of oil scented with jasmine. There had been no need to waste more energy in removing deeper bruising, and they would fade in time.

And later on, she could begin breaking down the blocks on Shelley's mind to uncover the information that her memories must hold. A very welcome acquisition, and not just for such a fascinating association. The deep red of her hair on pale skin looks really very fetching against the curtains.
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