angel_gidget: (TV: Sam Winchester)
[personal profile] angel_gidget
Title: Reflections on Reflection
Fandom: Paranormalcy
Rating: PG-13
Word Count 1500
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary:  Lend usually sees himself pretty clearly... provided, of course, that he can see himself at all.
A/N: For [personal profile] aimmyarrowshigh. For getting me hooked on this crazy book in the first place.

When Lend looks in the mirror, he sees one of two things usually: his father's son or his mother's child.

He is, of course, both at the same time, but if it's morning and he's getting ready for school, and he's just doing a quick double-check to make sure he didn't accidently put the part of his hair on the wrong side or something--he sees the face he fashioned long ago to mirror his dad. He likes to think of it as his "default". It's the face that he's grown up with, the one that his subconscious has aged over the years: from baby, to boy, to teenager.

But if it's night, and it's just him, a lamp, and a sketchbook... that face dissolves away, and in it's place are his mother's features. Liquid solid. Barely visible to even Lend.

He's not truly self-concsious about it. Not like the guys at school who wear after-shave though they have nothing to shave. Or like the girls that stuff their faces in the cafeteria, and then leave for the bathroom like not-so-subtle clockwork. No.

More like the scar that his 3rd grade friend Sammy had across his arm. The burn scar that Sammy thought was so cool, but scared away all the other kids except for Lend. It was red and angry and strange-looking. Sammy showed it to Lend because he got the impression--somehow--that Lend would find it pretty cool too. And he did. But Sammy didn't need the hassle of other kids who didn't get it, so he wore sleeves. Even in the hottest summer.

Lend figures he's got it a little easier than that. He'll never get heatstroke from wearing a skin of his own concoction.

Sometimes, though, Lend wishes his real self were just easier to see. The light and the mirror only do so much. It's ironic that his own eyes can barely make out his own transparent jaw-line. He knows they'll be inaccurate, but he sketches the lines anyway. He hasn't managed it yet, but he'll know when he gets it right. The day he does, he'll show his father. Of all people, his dad deserves to know what he really looks like.

The invisibility thing mostly stopped being funny when he was ten. He was cheating at a game of hide-and-seek when he stepped into the street, and a passing car glanced him, tossing him onto the sidewalk with a sickening crunch. He'd screamed, but was too panicked to do anything else. Instead, he just laid there while the gray-haired woman in the car got out and looked around, sniffing in confusion at the headlight of her car. The other children in the yard just stood and stared in curiosity. Lend's dad rushed down the front steps, eyes running all over the yard, trying to find him, before realizing, and ushering all the kids to go home and assuring the woman that her car was fine. it was only after everybody was gone, that Lend could wear his "default", and his dad finally ran to him, and picked him up, rushing him to the doctor. A couple stitches. A cast on his arm. Some tissue damage, and a promise to himself to never ever be without one of his faces again. A promise he kept for about a year.

Back in his room, with mirror and lamp, he tries a hand at the sketch once more. He kind of likes the way he looks, that is, the way he really looks. He likes that he can see his mom in himself. His mom is the most beautiful woman in the whole world. Of course, he can't actually tell anyone that. His dad is supposed to be a widower. They always go with the story of widower. Stacy says it's because he's just not angry enough to pass for a divorcee, but whatever. it doesn't matter. Dad's never wanted anyone else, and Lend has always understood that completely.

Something jars inside of him when Evie corrects him on his sketch inside of a cold containment cell. Tells him his drawing of his own jaw is a little off. That his hair--his real hair--has a little more wave. He's reminded once more that someone on this earth can see him, someone who isn't his mother, someone who can sit and talk with him for hours on end, just talking, no threat of dissolving or need to convey prophesy or wisdom of the ages. A girl in ridiculous pink boots who joyfully storms into his space like a whirlwind on a rolling office chair.

A lifetime from that moment, when they are both alone his his room, she tells him to take it off. He grins, and cracks the joke begging to be made, but ultimately, he complies. Pigment fades. Features shift. Like breathing. Perfectly manicured nails gently scratch his neck, sifting through hair that he knows doesn't feel like anyone else's, doesn't feel normal. He finds himself occasionally worrying for a moment, because he knows how much Evie likes normal. Obsesses over it, fantasizes about it, and for just a moment, he thinks of putting on someone's face before reminding himself that this is Evie. And that Evie doesn't give a damn. Evie sees through him in more ways than one. It becomes easier to remember that when he opens his eyes, staring right into that inimitable gray.

There's something inside of Evie that radiates the need to be held. The way her shoulders will slump, pulling close to her herself, hiding under long blonde hair. The way she curves her body around him, making it clear once more that she knows exactly where every part of him is...

It's strange to know that when he wraps his arms around her, she can see his own arms clearer than he can. Strange and wonderful. He wasn't really sure that transparent deltoids could make any girl feel safe. Yet, it's there. It's in the way she exhales and her muscles relax and her smile brightens. Her jokes become sillier, and her fingers stop itching to have that tazer in hand.

It's she who becomes like water when he kisses her. Her toes begin to curl and the rest of her moves like a wave, moving smoothly and thoughtlessly against him. One hand tangles in his hair again, and another skims in a curve down his back, resting at the base of his spine. When he feels her press down, he takes a breath and answers her request, tentatively circling his hips into hers. She smiles and Lend finds himself smiling back. But he watches those shoulders, and how they curl inward again, and he pulls her closer, holding her tighter. Because she needs to know he loves her, that this warmth is real and not some twisted faerie thing that will leave her wanting more and wanting it all gone in the same breath.

Slowly, gradually, the intense make-out fades into teasing kisses. The urgency simmers, carefully and purposefully, into light touches. Brushes against a cheek. A hand on a hip. Not too fast. Not all at once. It' important. Lend knows better than to try to explain it, but he's sure Evie would resort to an Easton Heights reference if she could.

When the clock reads some ridiculous hour, and Evie's fallen into a drowsy sort of chattering, he blinks a moment and realizes that she is describing him. How she sees him. He's heard all the water puns--and all the H.G. Wells references--but Evie's words aren't like that. She's describing shimmering air and clear shadows. Refracted light and prisms of sinew and smooth skin. But not like... it's all in that straightforward Evie sort of way. Like she's describing something obvious and fantastic at the same time. Lend swallows, catching the sight of those gray eyes that he can never, never fabricate.

He's flirted with her, complimented her, drawn her, even asked her to that simultaneously ridiculous and awesome high school prom... but he doesn't really have any way of conveying how he sees her right then.

Smiling at him in that flimsy pink baby-tee rucked up over her stomach, long blonde hair spread across unfluffed pillows, her hands and arms relaxed, not defensive in the least, with head tilted at that funny angle, both her eyebrows raised ('cause she still--for the live of her--can't raise just one).

He kisses her, hugs her, and makes plans with her for tomorrow, and the weekend to follow.

When he wakes the next morning, she's gone, and he hears the puttering in the kitchen that implies he's the only one still in bed. But before heading off to breakfast, he reaches for the sketchbook near the edge of the side-table.

He begins to sketch, ever so lightly, carefully shading. He barely uses the mirror at all. When he's finished, he sees his own image clearly.

As if for the first time.



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