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Marmalade #14, Spiced Pear #2

Author: winebabe
Title: Smoke-Stung Eyes
Story: The Gemini Occurrence
Rating: PG
Flavor(s): Marmalade #14: seat belt; Spiced Pear #2: live & learn
Extra(s)/Topping(s): None.
Word Count: 1,721
Summary: 2026; Genevieve is determined to stop being such a baby.
Notes: Previously: The New Wolves Await. Genevieve Kessler-Downing/Devyn Lively. (Working full time and trying to do Camp NaNoWriMo is...so hard. I don't even feel like I remember how to write anymore.)

The sleeping pills can’t keep Genevieve from stirring in the early morning hours, and she finds herself opening her eyes before the sun has managed to find its way through the crack in the blinds. Devyn is fast asleep beside her, not-quite snoring, with his arms wrapped around the pillow beneath his head.

It’s isolating for some reason, and Genevieve folds her arms across her chest, suddenly overcome with the desire to cry. She feels so alone, awake in the bed while her companion sleeps, and in that moment, she misses her mother. She misses her childhood home, her own bed with the pastel pink comforter and her stuffed animals, and she misses waking up early in the morning and listening to her father walk down the hall, getting ready for work so much earlier than she and her mother needed to be awake.

Genevieve feels like a child again, sitting alone in her bedroom, waiting for a parent to wake up and check on her. She wants Devyn to wake up. She doesn’t want to be alone.

It doesn’t take long before she actually is crying, silently shaking with the bedcovers pulled up to her chin. It’s been nearly 8 years now, living without her mother, but Genevieve desperately misses her. She misses smelling her perfume around the house, listening to her sing along to her own records, hearing her moving about in the kitchen and sneaking up on her to catch her dancing. She misses her laugh, most of all, the unrestrained one that only Genevieve heard.

She doesn’t even have anything of hers. Her father kept it all, locked away inside their family home like the whole building was a shrine to Evette. The most Genevieve escaped with was a pair of opal earrings she stole from her mother’s jewelry box the night before she left to move in with Jude. She’s never even considered wearing them; she kept the earrings in a box in her bedroom, just in case. Just to have something of her mother’s.

If she could, Genevieve would have taken her mother’s pearls. She would have dug up all the flowers from the garden and replanted them in her own. She would have taken the razor blades from the edge of the bathtub and she would have let them rust on her dresser. She would have found her mother’s diary and burned it, watching the ashes fly up towards the stars, to make sure her father never read what her mother’s deepest secrets were. Of course, she would have burned the whole house down with her father inside if it meant her mother would still be alive. All the trinkets in the world couldn’t replace the woman herself.

Genevieve tries to remind herself that everything is temporary. Everyone dies, and one day, she will, too. She can’t change the past, and there’s nothing she’s lost that she can get back. All she can do is move forward. All she can do is move on.

It does nothing to change the way she feels, though, and she spends the morning wiping tears from her eyes as she waits for the sunrise. By the time Devyn finally does stir, her eyes are swollen from crying and she can’t even stand to have him look at her. He tries to talk to her but she just shakes her head at him, pushes him away.

Eventually, he stops trying, and Genevieve tells herself that he’s just like everyone else.

Genevieve makes Devyn stop at a gas station so she can buy a pack of cigarettes, Natural American Spirit brand in the lime green container because she thinks menthol will make it easier on her throat. She hasn’t smoked since she was in highschool, trying to impress older boys who smoked in the soccer field after class. She doesn’t even remember enjoying it, just that she’d coughed a lot the first time and everyone made fun of her. After that, she just did it to keep up appearances, carrying on with the hope of being able to at least blow smoke rings. She never learned, and when the boys lost interest, she got rid of her cigarettes.

For some reason, though, smoking is the only thing on her mind. She can’t drink in the car, just in case they get pulled over, and if she can’t have alcohol, she wants something to do.

“Cigarettes?” Devyn asks when she climbs back into the car, in the back seat by herself, and she won’t meet his eyes in the rearview mirror.

“Yep. Want one?” It’s an empty offer, and she pretends to ignore the way he screws up his face at it.

“No, thanks. I don’t smoke.”

Genevieve thinks it would be the perfect time to tease him about being uptight, but she doesn’t want to even open the opportunity for a conversation. Instead, she rolls down her window, puts a cigarette between her lips, and raises the pink lighter up behind a cupped hand. Inhaling the smoke is like instant relief, the smell reminding her of nights in the bar with Adelina, the way Johanna always smelled like vanilla perfume and an autumn bonfire, and it’s so familiar it brings tears to her eyes.

She lies down in the backseat, blowing the smoke up towards the ceiling, letting the tears run down her her cheeks. The saline stings her already-raw eyelids, but she can’t hold back. There’s too much sadness in her that wants to escape and she just lets it, tuning out the world, pretending that she’s alone in the car.

Genevieve smokes one cigarette after another, flicking the butts out the crack in the window, letting the ash fall onto the car’s floor. Devyn coughs a couple times, but it sounds like it’s for show, so she ignores him. If Jude ever caught her smoking, especially when he thought they were trying to get pregnant, he would have plucked the cigarette from her lips and burned her with it.

“Are you okay back there?” Devyn finally asks, and Genevieve can’t find the energy to speak right away. She doesn’t even realize the car has stopped moving until Devyn turns around in his seat to face her. “Genevieve.”

“I’m fine,” she says, moving her hand to let some ash fall onto the car floor. “Don’t worry about me.”

“Well, it’s too late,” Devyn says. “Should’ve told me that half an hour ago.”

“Ha, ha,” she replies, hoping the biting sarcasm will dissuade him from continuing. Instead, he just rests his chin on his hands and peers down at her. “What? Would you quit staring at me?”

“No,” he says, and very briefly, she expects him to make some comment about how beautiful she is. She braces for it, waiting for it to to follow, but instead he just sighs. “I know you’ve been crying,” he tells her, and it takes Genevieve a moment to recover from the shock of being completely wrong.

“It wasn’t a secret,” she mumbles, and Devyn sighs again.

“I’m supposed to be taking care of you.” He dips his head down, resting his forehead against his knuckles. “I don’t feel like I’m doing a very good job.”

“It’s not like that’s your fault!” Genevieve pushes herself up, still holding the cigarette between her pointer and middle fingers. Devyn lifts his head just in time to watch her take a drag and blow the smoke out through her nostrils. “I was born fucked up, honey,” she tells him in a scratchy voice, trying too hard to sound tough, damaged, different from the squeaky, shrill child she normally sounds like. She can tell by the look on his face, though, that the act falls flat, and she just brings the cigarette to her lips once again.

“I’ve had a lot of experience with girls like you,” Devyn says slowly, and Genevieve only blinks at him. She wants him to talk, and keep talking, because the more his mouth moves the less hers has to. The infantile protective side of her still thinks that if she can get him to say more about himself, she’ll hold the power. The more mysterious she is, the more powerful she is. “My sister is just like you. You both are scared little girls who simultaneously grew up too fast and never grew up at all.”

Genevieve wants to take offense to that, she really does, but she can’t muster up the anger. Instead, she can feel tears burning beneath her eyelids, welling up, and she has to look away. “I don’t need you to psychoanalyze me!”

“Can’t you see that I’m not?” Devyn replies, and finally, she manages to get him shouting back. “I don’t psychoanalyze anyone, anyway! I’m telling you what I see, as another person.”

They lock eyes for a moment, and then Genevieve looks at the heart in his wrist, glowing stubbornly, before looking down at her own. They look exactly the same, warm and luminous, nothing like the dark, cold, crystalline substance that used to command her attention.

“You think this means something?” he asks, tapping his heart with two fingers. “That we...have some kind of otherworldly connection?”

“I don’t know,” she says quietly. “I don’t know anything about it.”

“It has to mean something, doesn’t it?” he asks, and she nods. “And if it does, you can’t keep pushing me away. Not when I risked a whole hell of a lot to be here. Not when I’m helping you escape.”

Genevieve nods emphatically, wiping tears away with her hands balled into fists.

“This isn’t the end of the world.” Devyn smiles and turns to look out the window, squinting as the sun lights up his face. “It’s probably exactly the opposite.”

Genevieve pushes her cigarette out through a crack in the window and climbs over the middle console, into the passenger seat. It’s so much brighter up front, with the sun pouring in through the windshield, and she can barely look at Devyn without squinting her eyes so much they nearly shut entirely.

“Ready to go?” he asks, and Genevieve clicks her seat belt into place.

“Yes,” she says firmly, and Devyn laughs, reaching over the console to grab ahold of her hand.

“Onward to adventure,” he announces and turns the key in the ignition.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 6th, 2017 12:23 pm (UTC)
Aww, that was great! It's nice to see some of them together now, interacting and also how inevitably awkward it is, too.
Apr. 7th, 2017 06:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :) I'm bouncing all over the place but I'm having fun with it; it will be nice to see more of Devyn and Genevieve together, though, so I may have to make a point of writing more from that area of the story.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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