Of Mars And Moon: Heaven On Their Minds
by Cecily Hawkins
Disclaimer: This is a not-for-profit fanfic containing characters inspired by copyrighted characters. No damage is intended. This story may contain same-sex romantic and sexual relationships. This is number 9 in the series Of Mars And Moon. Each entry takes place in one day. The title and musical references here come from _Jesus Christ Superstar_. Thanks to Kerry for filling in at the Beta-Desk. :)
Shaye hummed along absently. Terry's apartment continued to yield a variety of entertainments. The Christian rock musical in the CD cabinet had certainly been an unexpected find. She tugged the neck of the oversized t-shirt she was wearing back up into place and wandered towards the television. She had her own clothes here, now, but Terry's were more comfortable, even if they didn't always fit quite right.
Shaye flopped onto the couch, wriggling her back up against the pillow that cushioned the hard arm and wall. The couch was only just long enough for her to sit at the end and stretch out her legs; if she were any taller she'd have to prop her feet on the opposite arm. She was just the right fit. This place was like that. Only a handful of days, and already she felt like she belonged here, could stay here forever. She couldn't, of course, she knew that. Terry was humoring her with the choice not to go to school, but she could see in the darker girl's eyes the expectation that Shaye would change her mind soon. Especially since they'd gone to the trouble of retrieving her school books on Wednesday...
o/' And we want you to sleep well tonight
Let the world turn without you tonight
If we try
We'll get by
So forget all about us tonight o/'
The street was dark and quiet when Terry killed the engine and lights. "You ready?"
Shaye peeked out the car window at her home. It seemed so small, now. "No problem," she assured them both. "It will only take me a minute." She opened the door and set a foot on the ground.
A light glimmered in the window.
"Shaye!" Terry hissed. "Someone's home!"
Shaye quietly wondered if Terry thought she was ignorant or just blind.
"I thought you said he was supposed to be at church!"
"I suppose he didn't go," she said calmly.
"Let's get out of here!"
Shaye sighed. "I'm not afraid of my father."
It took Terry an extra moment to respond to that - hesitant, perhaps, to admit that she was nervous where Shaye was not. "I am!" Terry reached for her, found her to be already to far away, and had to scramble up into the seats, over and out the passenger side. "Hon, your uncle tried to *kill* me, did you forget?"
Shaye whipped around. "You don't know that. He threatened you. That's all. The only one who actually hurt anybody was *me*."
"He had a gun."
"We don't even know it was loaded."
"It wasn't a good time to find out!"
There was a creaking sound as the door to the house opened, Father a dark silhouette in the light of the hallway.
"Shit," Terry whispered. "Shaye, come on, let's get out of here. You don't need anything from there, not really. We can't let them capture us."
"Capture?" Shaye snorted. "This isn't some cult movie. No one's going to get dragged off in chains." She began to walk away. "Just because they're not perfect doesn't make them all bad."
As if her hair had grown eyes, she could see Terry's stricken expression behind her. Saw herself through the other girl's eyes, walking into the gates of doom.
Friday meant another timecard, another visit to the offices. Terry snagged a bagel from a convenient tray in the hall. She didn't know exactly who had provided the food, or who it was intended for, but anything edible set out in a building full of programmers was surely fair
game. This building did provide a fair number of perks for its residents, from the handy hole-punches to the high-speed computer, even if you never did know when some student's robotics project might attack your foot.
She poked her head around Mimi's doorway and found the woman on the phone again. Terry slipped in quietly to wait, and within moments was rubbing her hands up and down her arms. Audrey, too, seemed to be suffering from the cold. The plant's leaves were turning black. Terry
glanced at Mimi, comfortable in a fuzzy blue sweater, who waved her distractedly to a seat. Obviously the phone call would take a few more minutes.
She thought back to Wednesday night.
Watching Shaye walk away from her had felt like watching a traffic accident take place and being powerless to stop it. Terry's heart had insisted that once out of sight, the blonde would never be seen again, except perhaps, ten years later, selling paper flowers on a street corner for the glory of the New Dawn.
Shaye had gone to her father without hesitation, as if she'd wanted all along to return. They had stood together for a few minutes, having a conversation not meant for Terry's ears, and then embraced as her heart broke. She had fully expected them both to retreat into the house and close the door behind them without even a goodbye.
But instead, only Shaye had gone inside. Her father had remained in the doorway, saying nothing. Terry had backed uneasily against her car and remained there under his scrutiny until at last Shaye emerged, carrying some bags, kissed her father on the cheek and... walked back to her.
Mimi hung up the phone. "Sorry about that."
"Not a problem, I've still got a little free time before class." She stood and handed over her timecard. "Is the air conditioning broken? I think the cold is making Audrey sick."
"That's exactly why it's cold in here. Flytraps need a dormancy period. They have to rest before they put on new growth in the spring." Mimi accepted the card and scribbled her signature.
"Oh." Terry thought. "But they can't stay dormant forever, right? I mean, it's not healthy for anyone to do nothing for too long..."
Mimi filed the timecard away. "Something on your mind?"
"I've got a friend who's stopped going to classes."
"Dropped out?" Mimi shrugged. "Rich parents supporting him? Or is he getting a job?"
"This friend was having family problems..."
"So you offered him a floor to crash on and now you don't know how to kick him out?" Mimi adjusted her glasses. "It's not your responsibility. Carpetbagging boyfriends are trouble. They get the idea that you'll always be there to support them and as long as you are, they will never improve."
"It's a she, not a he," Terry gruffed. "And I don't want to kick her out." Even if I never expected her to walk back to me, and her father to wave goodbye like he'd just married off his little girl. Even if I have no idea what I'm going to do with her now.
"Just a friend, then? Ask her to contribute to the rent. She'll make up her own mind how to deal with it."
Terry wondered if now was a good time to point out to her professional acquaintance that she instead of he did not mean the person was just a friend, even if it was true in this case. At that moment, however, Mimi's phone rang, and her small talk with Terry was abruptly de-prioritized. That conversation would have to wait for later.
o/' Sleep and I shall soothe you
Calm you and anoint you
Myrrh for your hot forehead
Oh, then you'll feel
Everything's all right
Yes everything's fine... o/'
Shaye remembered standing there in front of Father, whose backlit eyes she could hardly see.
"You came back," he began.
"Not to stay," she said softly. "I didn't think you'd be home."
"I suspected." No expression in his voice. "You are more important to me than one night's services."
But not more important than all of them. "I can't stay," she said again, the words tumbling over each other. "I don't want to be here anymore. I want a chance to find out what other things there are besides the church, and the church *isn't* all good, he shouldn't... Uncle shouldn't have done that. And you know it's happened before. He shouldn't have been in charge. I brought her there to help her, to help us, not to..." She took a quick gulping breath. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I can't be
what you want me to be. I need to leave."
"Shaye," and then the voice was tender. "I won't keep you here if you want to go. Only think of the New Dawn, sweetheart. There are bad times coming. I don't want you to be alone."
"I'm not alone," she whispered.
He laid a hand on her shoulder. "God is with you always. I want you to know that I am too. Even if you abandon your mission."
It was entirely natural and safe to rush into an embrace. "I'm not," she murmured, as she lay her cheek against his shirt. How long had it been since they'd held each other like this, since she'd smelled his aftershave and felt his arms around her? "She is my calling. I'm just going about it in another way."
His voice was warm. "Take what you need. Come home when you want to. I love you." The hug tightened. "You're growing so much like your mother."
And she knew how far apart they still were. I'm nothing like my mother, she wanted to say. I'm nothing like you and I wish you could see it. I wish I knew how to make you understand anything I say. But you're letting me go and I'll have to be content with that. Someday we can talk
about all this, and how we feel and why. Someday we can learn to communicate, but not now, not with Terry standing behind me afraid that I'll run away from her, and me, just a little, afraid of the same thing. "I have to get my books and stuff." Uncle and the church are not perfect.
Only God is perfect. And somehow, God will make this all work out.
With light steps, she ran to her room, ready to take what she could and leave again, this time with Father's blessing.
o/' And it's cool and the ointment's sweet
For the fire in your head and feet
Close your eyes
Close your eyes
Think of nothing tonight... o/'
Shaye yawned as the distant sound of the music faded away and fumbled around on the floor for the TV remote. She clicked over to the Cartoon Network and settled in for an episode of Sailor Moon, complete with girls in short-skirted uniforms and flute-playing aliens with pink hair. In today's episode the dark-haired girl was singing for a school festival. Shaye smiled, thinking of the snatches of song she occasionally heard from the shower before Terry remembered that someone might be listening.
A mermaid-like monster interrupted the song and scattered the girl's handwritten music sheets everywhere, which made her angry enough to blast the monster with a giant firebird, and the day was saved. Shaye could imagine Terry reacting similarly if someone damaged her precious
computer. Shaye herself always used the machine with great caution. Even if her friend would probably forgive her anyway, she would hate to turn into the fountain of wailing tears that the pigtailed Sailor Moon was.
She sighed and adjusted her position. It had been a beautiful week. No worries. No feeling like the apocalypse was coming and the weight of saving the world was on her shoulders. All of that was only what the church had wanted her to believe, after all. Surely they'd just made up these millenium disaster stories. There wasn't really any desperate rush to rescue people before the year ended. Let them worry themselves into a panic. She, Shaye, was free of it.
Of course, next week she would have to go back to school before Terry's patience ran out. She smiled. That was the only thing that could have made this week of lazy enjoyment better. If Terry had stayed home with her to share it.
The next show wouldn't begin for a few minutes, and Reboot's computer commentary didn't catch her interest as much as the teenage supergirls anyway. She swung her feet to the floor and hopped up, then wandered back into Terry's room, heading for the closet to find some pants to put on before Terry came home.
A box on the floor of the closet caught her eye. There was a picture of something on top of it, half-buried under cloth. She started to brush the clothing items aside before her peripheral vision caught up with her. A blush spread over her face as she recognised the silky panties for what they were. Still, she was curious, and tugged the sheet of paper out of the underwear's grasp. It was a color printout of two women gazing lovingly into each other's eyes. Well, that wasn't surprising, Terry had said she was gay. But what was it doing hidden in here? Shaye blinked, registering the importance of "hidden". From her? Probably.
Why is Terry hiding things from me?
Why does that bother me?
She stared at the picture in her hands, turning it this way and that as if answers might fall from it. What's the big deal? she wondered. Terry told me she's gay. Why is she trying to cover it up now? Doesn't she trust me?
I should put it back and walk away, she told herself, then grinned. Should. Because that's what a good girl would do. But I want to know what else she's hiding from me...
Stifling her conscience, she scooped out handfuls of panties and peeked at what they had concealed. More art - nothing pornographic, just lesbian-oriented, and a lot less silly than the romance novel covers she'd seen at school. Once the pictures were out of the way, her hand
fell upon the smooth neck of a bottle. She pulled it up. Some sort of foreign wine. Shaye made a face. Her training had been very specific about the evils of alcoholism, and for a moment she pictured Terry lying in an alley, filthy and bloated, with a bottle in a little brown bag at
her hand. But then... that was what the church said, and they obviously didn't know everything. She'd never seen Terry drink. She'd certainly never seen her *drunk*, or acting in the ways she'd been warned about. Maybe the church was wrong.
She replaced the wine and kept looking. The last item she uncovered was the most curious. It was a purple cylinder with a black base and a tapered tip, longer than her hand. The purple part was
transparent, containing batteries and parts Shaye could not identify. She turned it upside down and looked at the black base. It read "Waterproof Multi-Speed" and had arrows indicating the direction from low to high. Multi-speed what? She twisted futilely at the black part before figuring
out that only the very bottom was the adjustable dial.
With a buzz, the vibrator whirred to life.
Shaye was naive, but not stupid. Blood burned in her ears and she fumbled the object, letting it shake its way from her grasp to land in a pile of underwear. She had known, roughly, that such toys existed, but even as innocuous as it appeared, she hadn't quite expected the reality.
The purple vibrator continued to tremble into the floor, and she snatched at it to shut it off, yanking her hands away just as quickly. Images were flying into her mind, of using it, of *Terry* using it, and her hands had... oh, dear, Terry really hadn't wanted her finding this... She wrapped the item in underwear to prevent contaminating it any further with her skin, and returned it to the box, along with everything else she wasn't supposed to see.
Feeling incredibly silly, she went back to her borrowed room, to put on her own clothes.
"Hi, honey, I'm home!" Terry teased as she entered the apartment, and dodged the pillow that came flying her way. "Hey, careful, I might be breakable."
Shaye's head popped up over the sofa. "I doubt it," she winked, and flopped back into potato position.
Terry sighed and shrugged off her books. "We have got to get you out of the house before you grow roots."
"I'm sorry," she said hestitantly, not quite a cringe. "I'm ready to go back on Monday, I promise."
"No, I don't just mean about school. I mean *out*. Let's go out. To a movie. Be social." She waved a newspaper section swiped from a campus bench. "There has to be something playing."
Shaye brightened. "Message in a Bottle opens today."
"What's that?" Terry flipped to the listings as Shaye scurried around to her side. "Oh. It's got..."
"...Kevin Costner in it," Shaye finished.
"I was going to say, the girl from Princess Bride."
"You've never...?" she started incredulously, then shook her head. "I guess you wouldn't have. Okay, we rent that this weekend." Kevin Costner, she thought dismissively. Bad enough that Shaye's attention went right to a man, but he wasn't even cute. Cary Elwes made a much better
"What about dinner?"
"We can pick up fast food on the way."
"McDonald's?" Shaye asked eagerly.
Terry smiled. The blonde was such a little girl sometimes. "And if you're good, you can have an ice cream sundae."
Shaye stuck out her tongue with a thppt!
Dinner went well, Terry judged. Shaye seemed comfortable and relaxed, able to have fun and not intimidated by crowds. Hopefully her isolation period really was over, and she would be able to go on with her life again. The movie that followed wasn't really Terry's taste, but Shaye sniffled enthusiastically along with the audience, and watching her enraptured made the whole thing worth it.
As they were leaving the theater, Terry caught sight of Allan and Justine in leathers mounting motorcycles together. Were they dating? She thought a moment and found them almost frighteningly alike - attractive, intelligent, artistically gifted, vampirically pale and given to wearing
black, cold of skin and heart, or so they appeared. She didn't really know either all that well. They probably made a wonderful couple.
She watched Shaye dab the last tears from her eyes.
Certainly more of a couple than we are.
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