Family Ties.

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by PunkPrince, May 5, 2015.

  1. "Get dressed and get out."

    Marilyn didn't have time to react before the bundle of her clothes hit her in the back of the head. They were what she usually wore for her nightly "work." She pulled herself to her feet and grabbed her bag from the floor, the one that held her money. Her entire body hurt. All she wanted now was to go home. He'd scratched her up pretty bad, and definitely hadn't been gentle. It hurt just to stand up. This guy had been into some rough shit, and safe words had been useless. He hadn't stopped, she remembered that much. She tended to disassociate during sex work. But he'd paid her. And she wasn't dead.

    Slipping away into the apartment bathroom, she dressed herself again, not bothering to clean up her bleeding back. She was comforted by the pocketknife that rested in her against her thigh in the pocket of her shorts, and then attempted to scramble from the apartment, but was stopped by the man she had just serviced as he pinned her against the wall. "We should do this again sometime," he purred, running a hand up her thigh. Her vision was blurred and she felt dizzy. She caught a glimpse of a syringe on the nightstand. He'd shot her full of something. Some kind of drug. Fuck. That explained why she felt so sick. She had to get out of here. Get home. If you could even call it home.
    "Next time," Marilyn purred to him, using the same sultry persona she had for this. Naturally she wasn't into this stuff at all. "Not tonight." Then she left as quickly as she could, trying not to stumble and hurt herself.

    She had to get back to Tammie. Her girlfriend. They were both prositutes, and they both hated it. Marilyn didn't like having to have sex with people she didn't know just so she could have enough money to survive, and she wasn't crazy about her girlfriend having sex with anybody other than her either, but they'd both just accepted that it was either doing that, or starving. Occasionally one of them managed to find work doing some sort of odd job, but those opportunities were rare and never seemed to pay well.

    Neither one of them had had a steady job for a while, and being transgender women made it even more difficult for them to find work. Marilyn had been kicked out by her parents at the age of eighteen, and with no job, had been forced to resort to prostitution almost immediately. Tammie had been another story. She had worked as a waitress until shortly after her mother's death, something that had completely shattered her. She'd had nobody to turn to to help her with her grief, it had affected her job performance, and she'd been fired pretty quickly. Having no other way to make money, she'd had to resort to selling herself for money.

    Marilyn hated this. She hated fucking for money. Her family had cut her off, both her parents and extended family. Before she'd been kicked out she had been close to her younger cousins, but hadn't been allowed to see them since. Maybe they'd forgotten about her. Maybe it was better if they had. She gazed around the dark street. Where was she again? Where did she live? She felt like she was going to vomit.

    Tammie had just returned to the motel. She turned the knob that was meant to lock the door. It didn't do anything. The lock was broken. It always had been. The action was simply a force of habit. She looked around. It was empty. Marilyn hadn't come back yet. She'd be back soon, hopefully. One of them always wound up staying out a bit later than the other.

    They lived in a motel room, as they had for as long as they'd known one another. It was a pretty crappy place, but it was an okay size at least. More like an apartment than a motel room, but that was mostly because of the small improvements the women had made to it to make it more homey, a more comfortable place to live in. It wasn't exactly their dream home–far from it, actually, but it was what they had.

    Tammie sat down on the edge of the bed she had shared with Marilyn for the past several years. Her body hurt. Luckily her clients hadn't been as bad as Marilyn's, at least not tonight. No scratches or bruises really. Her body was just completely exhausted. She undid the front of her black corset and fell back onto the bed topless. Still wearing her black sheer tights and her miniskirt. She could probably fall asleep like this.

    Her mind had begun to drift off when a knock at the door pulled her out of it. Not Marilyn. Marilyn didn't knock. She stood up and grabbed a black tank top, pulling it on over her bare breasts, and then slipped into a pair of flannel pajama pants. She crept toward the door and looked through the peephole, hesitant to open the door to just anyone. Anything bad could happen if she did.

    She was surprised by what she saw. Two kids. They looked harmless. No way they were at the right place. It had to be a mistake. She hesitated and then slowly pulled open the door. "Um, hi," she greeted, still a bit confused. "Can I help you with something?" She glanced over the two, peering down the road in hopes of seeing Marilyn. Where was she? Had something bad happened to her? Oh god, she hoped not.
    • Love Love x 1

  2. [BCOLOR=transparent]There was something disgustingly comical about how quickly your life could go to hell. It seemed like just last night Addison and Aiden had been opening their birthday presents, oohing and ahhing over both the exciting and the lame as they grinned at their parents. And now, here they were, completely terrified and entirely alone. It was like the universe was playing some sick game, and they were the butt of it’s jokes.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Their mother had went first; Smoke inhalation, the authorities said - whatever that meant. Addison imagined it was a horrible death, choking and gasping and clawing for air. Their father, on the other hand, had pulled through. “Don’t worry, your daddy is going to be just fine.” They’d told them, but the twins knew the truth: He was already gone, or at least, he wasn't the man they remembered. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]His kind eyes and gentle smile were replaced by something different, something entirely empty. He was listless, and he didn't speak or even acknowledge them; He just went through the motions of the daily chores, and then spent the rest of his waking moments sitting in a chair, staring blankly at the wall. It was frightening, and the two siblings had tried desperately to get him to acknowledge them, but it was to no avail. Aiden would climb up into his father’s lap, and curl up there like he did as a small child, but even then he received not even the slightest sign that he’d been noticed. It hurt, to feel ignored and thrown aside by someone you loved so dearly. And it had hurt more, when they found him a few weeks later, surrounded by empty bottles of pills.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]It was then, at that moment, that the full force of their situation had hit Addison square in the chest; And it was then, at that moment, that she realized just how badly their world was falling down around them. She’d turned, and practically thrown herself into her brother’s arms, unable to contain the tears she’d been holding back for weeks. Because now, it wasn't just their parents who were being taken away from them, it was each other - and the mere thought of being without her brother was more terrifying than the most gruesome death she could imagine. And so, they took action.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]They’d blocked the door to their father’s room with anything they could find - shoving chairs, dressers, and other items of furniture against it to indulge some childish fear that if they didn't he would rise back up and chase after them. Then they’d taken their backpacks - those backpacks that just a month ago had been carried to a field-trip by the children they no longer were - and stuffed them with nearly everything they owned. It wasn't much after the fire, a few changes of clothing, their favorite teddy bears, toothbrushes, and a few old photos - and they ran.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]They ran, and there were many times they wished they hadn't. The people they’d met, the places they’d been, the things they’d done, the things that had been done to them - it was something neither Addison nor Aiden were willing to talk about, not even to each other. They were injured, hungry, tired, cold, and violated - and they’d each dealt with it in their own ways. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Aiden had withdrawn into himself, most days refusing to so much as speak without his sister’s prodding, and simply bearing with every bad thing that befell them. He seemed completely resigned to their situation, and did little to prevent injury on his own part, though he was always quick to jump to his sister’s rescue. Tears welled up in his eyes on a regular basis, leading Addison to worry greatly.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]She, on the other hand, externalized her pain - trying to force it onto others. She was slow to cry, but quick to lash out, allowing her temper to explode at the slightest provocation. It was if she was angry at the world and everyone in it, and though Aiden didn't want to admit it, there were times when she scared him. There were times they both scared each other, with their erratic versions of grief. But they hoped, that in the end the added pain would all be worth it, because they hadn't just blindly ran away - they’d ran towards a destination, a goal, a person they thought could be their savior and keep them together.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]It was the photos that had given them the idea. Hidden deep within the garage - the only part of their house untouched by the flames - they’d found it. A small photo album - a small photo album they didn't think they were meant to see. Within it, they found a picture of someone they’d almost forgot - of someone who had become little more than a phantom in the back of their minds - their cousin Alexander. It was that photo that had brought all the memories rushing back, and it was that photo that Addison clutched tightly in her hand as she knocked on the motel door, Aiden huddled behind her.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Their time on the run had harbored a new fear in them, a deep fear of people, and it had felt like an eternity for Addison to get up her courage to take the last few steps to the motel door and gently rap her hand against it. It had taken even more courage to stand there, waiting for the door to be opened, and when it finally was - Addison could practically feel the courage draining right out of her. The person who stood before her was a woman, a woman she didn't know, and she came to the horrible realization that this might be the wrong place. This might be the wrong place and they would have to go back, back to searching and hiding and living on the streets - and she didn't know if she or her brother were capable of it.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]She was tempted to turn and run, in some futile attempt to distance herself from the idea, from the very possibility of yet another failure. A comforting hand on her shoulder, Aiden’s, caught her by surprise and put the feeling to rest, however. She took a deep breath, attempting to calm her nerves and stall her trembling, as she raised her eyes up to meet Tammie’s. “I… we…” She began, her words stilted, and shaky. There was a pause, before she spoke again, this time with a forced confidence. “We’re l-looking for our cousin! Our cousin Alexander! We… we heard that he might be here, and we’d just like to know if that was true! I… I a-aplogize if it isn't, and we won’t… won’t waste anymore of your t-time…” The feigned bravery trickled out of her voice as she completed her sentence, and she reached back to squeeze her brother’s hand, staring straight at Tammie with a look that could only be described as desperation. [/BCOLOR]
  3. Tammie stiffened slightly as the boy spoke. Alex. The name Marilyn's parents had given her. Neither of them used it. Marilyn preferred to forget that it had ever been her name. Tammie didn't like to think about her birth name, Carter, either. But these kids might know Marilyn. They were looking for their cousin. Marilyn had had cousins that she was quite close to before her family had abandoned her. She hadn't seen them since. Tammie had never met them. She was quiet for a moment and then pulled the door the rest of the way open.

    "I might know him..." She cringed at the use of the male pronoun. It felt wrong to use it, and she felt a wave of guilt wash over her. "Alex Havanna? I'm his girlfriend. He doesn't–I mean she doesn't go by..." She had no idea how to explain any of this to these kids, so she stopped trying to. "If that's who you're looking for, they're out right now." She reverted to the more neutral pronoun. "But should be back soon." Tammie hoped she was right. Marilyn was almost always back soon after she was.

    "You two look like you're freezing." The poor kids didn't even have decent coats. They looked to have been on their own for quite a while, and she was worried about what might happen to them if she left them. "Do you want to come in and wait? You'll freeze if you wait out here. I can't offer you much, but at least it's warm in here. This really isn't the best neighborhood to be out at night in."

    It really wasn't. The streets were riddled with crime. Thieves, rapists, murderers. It's the reason they had gotten the motel room so cheap. Every day that she and Tammie returned to the motel still alive was another day that they had beaten the odds. She hoped Marilyn was okay. She was pretty good at defending herself, but she could still get hurt.

    Tammie stepped aside to let the children into the room. They weren't old enough to be on their own. They looked to be maybe twelve or thirteen, if that. How had they wound up in this shit neighborhood? She realized she hadn't bothered to introduce herself. "My name is Tammie, by the way."
    • Love Love x 1
  4. A look of obvious relief fell over the children's face as Tammie spoke Alex's full name. Addison had withheld it on purpose - a safety measure she only started making as she realized how sleazy some people were, especially those you found in shitty motels such as the ones they'd been searching around. To some, it seemed that two children showing up at their door was the same as two children giving them an invitation to abuse them. The fact that all the searching might finally be over, that they had actually found Alex - well, it was too wonderful to be real. "Y-Yes!" She exclaimed, nodding her head eagerly. "That's him! Alex Havanna!" She couldn't help but smile, squeezing Aiden's hand even tighter, to the point that he let out a pained gasp, and pulled his arm away from her grasp.

    Quickly though, this relief faded, and turned into something else entirely - a feeling of suspicion, worry, distrust. What if this woman was lying? It was a possibility, wasn't it? After all, her words had come across seeming strange and forced. 'He doesn't, she doesn't', it was as if she didn't even truly know who they were talking about. Addison was sure her distrust was written across her face, and glanced back at her brother, to see if he felt the same. His expression wasn't entirely readable, but the characteristic tap-tap-tapping of his fingers against his leg assured her that he too was unsure of the current situation.

    Still, they had little choice in the matter. If there was even the slightest chance that Alex lived here, well, they had to take it. Besides, they were probably just being paranoid; It seemed everything scared them anymore. "Ah, yes," Addison nodded. "We'll wait inside, if th-that's alright." She paused. "We can take care of ourselves, though."

    She felt the need to add it, in a sort of last-ditch effort assert the fact that they couldn't simply be taken advantage of, that they would know if she was going to try anything - no matter what that might be. She waited for her brother to back her up, taking a step back and grinding her own foot on his when he didn't.
    Aiden jumped slightly, and glanced down at his foot, before back up to Addison, and finally to Tammie. "Uh, y-yeah!" He exclaimed, much louder than he should have. "So don't try to pull anything!"

    Addison shook her head at her brother's response, it was so forced, so... painfully lacking in tact. She tried not to dwell on it, or what the woman must have thought of them, grabbing Aiden's hand and walking inside of the motel room.

    Once inside, both children stood there awkwardly, hugging their arms and staying pressed closely against each other. They'd positioned themselves in an area where they felt most safe, where they weren't cornered, but weren't too far from the door, nor too close. Tammie might have known their cousin's name, but they were unwilling to let their guard down until they saw him, until they were sure everyone here was who they said they were.

    "I'm Addison." Addison said, after Tammie introduced herself. "You can call me Addy though, if you want. I don't mind, most people do..."
    There was a long, uncomfortable pause, as Aiden stood there in silence - his eyes trained on the ground. Addison glanced over, and stared at him for a few moments, before finally going to elbow him in the stomach.

    Aiden winced, and put a hand to his stomach, scowling slightly. "H-Hey! What was that for, I-" He glanced up at Addison, who nodded her head towards Tammie, and then understood. "Oh! I mean, um, oh! Uh, yeah! My name! I'm um, I'm A-Aiden! Her brother!" He paused. "We're twins, uh, twelve years old. Not that that matters." He grinned nervously, and glanced back over at his sister, looking for confirmation that he had not only said the right thing, but that he hadn't said too much.
    She nodded in return.
  5. "It's nice to meet you," she said as the children introduced themselves and stepped inside. "Alex talks about you a lot. Don't worry, I won't hurt you." She paused. "Even if I wanted to I couldn't. I don't have the energy to." Her night of work had left her exhausted, and it had been a while since she had eaten properly. She knew these kids didn't trust her. Why should they? She was a stranger to them, and god knows how long they had been out there.

    She looked up as she heard the door open. A blur raced past her and half a second later she heard the bathroom door slam. She was slightly concerned but also relieved that Marilyn seemed to have returned unharmed. She gave a sideways glance to the kids and then headed back toward the bathroom door. She knocked lightly on it as she heard Marilyn retching on the other end. "Are you all right, Kitten?" she asked, using the nickname she had given Marilyn ages ago. The only response she got was a small whimper from Marilyn.

    Tammie slipped into the bathroom and found Marilyn resting her forehead on the edge of the toilet seat. Tammie knelt down next to her. "You all right? What happened?" She tore a piece of toilet paper from the roll and wiped Marilyn's mouth, taking lipstick off with it. She noticed the scratches on her back. "You're bleeding." She moved to clean the blood off Marilyn's back, and Marilyn pushed her hand away. "I'm okay," she said, looking up. "I think the last guy drugged me. I'm okay. I just need a minute." Marilyn pulled herself to her feet. "I hate this."

    Tammie gently took Marilyn by the arm. "You have visitors."
    "Tell Devin to go home. I'll call him later."
    "It's not Devin. I...don't think we can send them home."
    Marilyn sighed and pushed her hair back away from her face. She didn't want any visitors. Nobody ever came to visit her aside from her brother, and it didn't make sense for anyone else to show up looking for her. She gave Tammie a puzzled look before following her out of the bathroom.

    It took a moment for her to notice the twins off to the side of the room. She froze and then shook her head. No way it was who she thought it was. They had to have forgotten her by now. It had been years. But who else could it be? Nobody ever came to visit her, especially not someone she didn't know. She stared at them for a moment and then spoke.

    "Aiden? Addison? Is that you?" Maybe it was just a side effect of whatever drug she was on. That made sense. She was hallucinating.
  6. "I hope it's nice to meet you too." Aiden and Addison said, in unison. They paused for a moment, exchanging a glance. It'd been weeks since they'd done that, said the same thing at the same exact time, and though neither would ever admit it - as they wanted to be their own person - they'd missed it a bit. There had always been something slightly comforting about having someone that knew so much about you, who was so much like you, that you both thought and said the same exact thing at the same exact moment.
    "We'll see though." Addison added, allowing her gaze to return back to Tammie.

    There was yet another pause, as she allowed what Tammy had just said to sink in. She wouldn't hurt them? Like everyone didn't say that. There was something about the way she said it though, how she brought out she couldn't if she wanted to. She sort of liked that. Not that she would let her guard down, it just made her feel a tiny bit more at ease. And Alex talked about them a lot? She doubted that.
    "Really?" She asked, a tinge of bitterness in her voice. "I find that hard to believe."
    "He didn't visit." Aiden mumbled, backing her up. Though, his statement sounded more like a question than anything, lacking in the angry undertones his sister's comment had held.

    They may have continued speaking, if it weren't for the fact that the door suddenly flew open and someone raced past them to the bathroom. The sudden noise, and entrance of a new person, caused both Aiden and Addison to jump back in surprise. They automatically grabbed for each other's hands, clasping them tight as they watched Tammie head over to the bathroom herself. It took them a moment to calm down and realize that whoever was here was not some random intruder, but was very much allowed to just run in without knocking. When they finally did, though, they both leaned forward, straining to hear what was going on in the other room without moving from their spot. They could make out the sound of someone throwing up, and later what sounded like Tammie and the mystery individual having a conversation, though they were unable to make out any words.

    Finally, the stranger was revealed, and what they saw made no sense. Was that... Alex? They knew their names, and they looked like him... But, no, it couldn't be. Alex was a boy, and the person standing in front of them looked to be anything but. And... what were they wearing?
    Both twins fell silent, and simply gaped for what, in their minds, seemed like hours.

    "I... I'm confused..." Aiden stammered out after a few more seconds of shocked silence, leaning forward slightly as if he believed a closer look would reveal the answers he was looking for. Of course, it didn't.

    Addison was silent for a few more moments, glancing back and forth between the stranger and the crumpled up photo in her hand.
    "What's going on?!" She demanded finally, holding the photo of her cousin out towards the two women to try and illustrate her confusion. "You said Alex was here! I don't understand!"
  7. Marilyn shrank back involuntarily at the sound of her old name and Addison snapping at her. It wasn't her cousin's fault, they didn't know her by any other name, but she still hated the name. The last time anybody had used it was the day her parents had kicked her out. They hadn't exactly used it in a friendly way, either. To hear it now stung her. She stared at them for a couple of seconds, not sure how to explain anything, and what few words she did have were trapped in her throat.

    "I need to sit down," she said quietly, mostly to herself. She sat down on the edge of the bed, afraid that she might fall over if she didn't. She was grateful when Tammie followed and took a seat next to her. It calmed her nerves a bit. "I..." she started to say, but cut off. She felt Tammie place a hand over her own and let out a shaky sigh before continuing.

    "It's me..." she said, not making eye contact with either twin, but taking the photo from her cousin's hand. A small smile formed on her lips as she looked at it. So long ago. She held it for a moment longer and then passed it back. "I'm sorry. I'm a transgender woman. I knew...I knew years ago I wasn't supposed to be a boy, I just never said anything to anybody...I honestly don't know how nobody ever noticed anything. I don't think I did a very good job at being a boy." She stumbled over her words as she spoke, and she could feel herself trembling. She really hadn't done a good job. She had been too feminine, and around fifteen or so she had stopped letting her parents cut her hair. It had been a bit past her shoulders when she had left.

    "And then when I finally said anything my parents and everyone else cut me off, and kicked me out, which was why I could never talk to you or visit with you. I wanted to! I sent you letters and things. I tried going to your house once or twice. After the last time I was afraid of what would happen to me if I kept trying. I shouldn't have stopped." She felt like such a coward admitting this to them. "My parents said I couldn't come back until I acted like a man, and I figured it was either stay and kill myself or leave and try to be who I knew I was. I'm sorry. I missed you two. Please don't hate me."
  8. The woman shrunk back, as if she'd just been slapped in the face. Neither Aiden nor Addison could figure out why. Had it been something they said? Or was it they themselves? Did their mere presence upset her? Maybe she wanted them to leave? They wouldn't have entirely blamed her, especially not Aiden, who felt Addison was being a bit demanding with her questions. Still, both children were desperate for answers, and wouldn't have so much as budged even if it asked.

    When the answers finally did come though, they helped clear up little for the two. If anything, they only made them more confused.
    This female, this most definitely not-a-male individual, was their cousin - their Alex. How was that even possible? What was it even supposed to mean? It didn't make sense. They'd admit it, in the grand scheme of things they'd really never known Alex all that well; After all, they had been very young when he left. Still, if there was one thing they were sure about, it was that Alex was - or at least, had been - a boy. How was it possible, to not be meant to be a boy, when you were born a boy? Not only had neither child ever felt the slightest bit uncomfortable with their gender, they'd lived generally sheltered lives, and situations such as the one their cousin was in had never been explained to them - making it near impossible for them to wrap their minds around what they were being told.

    "But... but you're a boy... you've... always been a boy..." Aiden had began, though he spoke so softly he was barely audible, and difficult to understand. He fell silent within the minute, allowing his head to drop even lower as he stared at the ground.

    And then, she had continued, this woman - Was that what they should call their cousin? Her? Or, him? They didn't know. - and they learned just how badly their parents had tried to keep them apart. Aiden had whimpered slightly as she told this part of the story, the mere idea of his parents doing something like this upsetting him. They were gone now, and he wanted to think nothing but the best of them - but this, this brought up feelings of anger and betrayal he hadn't anticipated. He didn't understand why Alex did what he did, or even what he was, but he had missed him - he had missed him and felt abandoned.

    "We... we never got a-any letters or anything..." He spoke up once again, having talked more in the span of a few minutes than he had become accustomed to speaking during the entire day. "I just figured you didn't want to see us anymore, or... or something like that. I don't... don't think I hate you, but I still don't... don't understand what's happening." He allowed his gaze to rise up from the floor, and meet his cousin's for a split second, before promptly returning it to it's usual place at his feet.

    Addison, on the other hand, had yet to speak. She'd been staring straight at Marilyn this whole time, her fists clenched so tightly it threatened to crumple the picture beyond recognition. She didn't understand what Alex had done, or why he did it, and in the heat of the moment she wasn't entirely sure she wanted to - she didn't even want to accept this person as her cousin.

    "No! This... this isn't how it's supposed to be!" She exclaimed, squeezing her eyes shut in an attempt to force away the tears she felt welling there. "We were supposed to find you, and... and you were supposed to be you! Everything was going to be alright then! But you're not you! You're... you're not... and... this wasn't the way it was going to go! You ruined it! It was all set up and you ruined it!"

    It was a cruel, ignorant thing to say, and somewhere deep down Addison knew it; But if she was being completely honest, she didn't care in the slightest. The entire time they'd been out on the streets she'd been planning, imaging in her head just how their reunion with Alex was going to down, just how perfect things would be once they were together again. It'd been an unrealistic fantasy, a happy ending that made no sense in the story of their life, but she'd clung to it. She'd clung to it, because it had felt like the only thing she had left to cling onto. And now Alex - no, this stranger - had destroyed everything. They'd taken her fantasy and shattered it to pieces.
    #8 Cwolf0615, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  9. Marilyn kept her gaze locked on the floor as Aiden spoke. He didn't understand. She'd figured he wouldn't. "No," she said softly. "I was never a boy. Imagine it like if you were so easily mistaken for a girl that you had to pretend to be one. I pretended for eighteen years. I tried so hard to snap out of it and I just always wound up sad again. I had a bunch of makeup and women's clothes in my closet that I threw out. I just collected it back up again. If I could be normal I would be. I could never just abandon you. I wanted to see you. I love you. I thought about you every day. I missed you. A lot."

    And then Addison yelled at her and Marilyn put her hands over her face. She was going to start crying. Tammie pulled Marilyn closer to her and glared at the girl, using all her self restraint to keep from yelling at her. She knew Marilyn wouldn't want her yelling at her cousin, even if she was saying such awful things to her. Marilyn looked up, tears streaming down her face, mixing with her eye makeup and turning black. She reached for a tissue and dabbed at her eyes before looking back at Addison.

    "Please don't be mad at me. Please," she whimpered. "I didn't mean to ruin anything. I..."
    "Would you rather have her dead?" Tammie snapped, rather out of character for her usual timid nature. "Because that's the only second option." She glared at the girl, but didn't say anything more as Marilyn looked toward her.

    "I'm still me," Marilyn said, so quietly that it was barely more than a whisper. "I'm the same person, just a different gender. I promise." She was quiet for several seconds. "Do you think this was easy for me? Do you think I wanted my whole family to cut me off? Do you think I wanted to end up in this shitty motel? The only good thing I got out of this was her," she pointed at Tammie. "I don't exactly live a life of sunshine and rainbows. I don't have money to eat, no one will hire me, I'm having sex with strangers for money, I'm shot full of...of something! I didn't leave because I wanted to. I left because I was forced to."

    She kept her eyes trained on the floor, only looking up when Tammie tapped her shoulder. "You're bleeding everywhere. At least let me clean it. If it gets infected we're really gonna be screwed."

    Marilyn sighed and started to unzip her corset. At the confused look on Tammie's face, she said, "What? It goes down my whole back. And it's not like anybody's seeing anything they haven't seen before. I'm just as flat as I was the last time they saw me." She shrugged and slipped out of the corset, taking the breast forms out of it before letting it slip to the floor. She was right. She still had a boy's chest. She was skinnier than she had been when the twins had last seen her, almost underweight. Her back was covered in bleeding scratches, not that the twins could see since she was facing them.
    #9 PunkPrince, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  10. Aiden was still having a hard time fully processing the situation, but he was at least beginning to understand how it must have felt. "A girl?" He asked. "But... I'm not a girl, I wouldn't want to be a girl, I'm a boy, I..." He paused, and then nodded slightly, as he finally began to make the connection. "Oh, that's how you felt, wasn't it? Except... the other way around." How it could be possible, for a boy to feel like that, like he wasn't a boy, he still couldn't wrap his head around it; Maybe that would never change, but he took a bit of comfort in understanding the emotions his cousin must have gone through. He never would have guessed Alex felt that way, being so young last time they'd seen each other, and it all came as quite the shock.

    He frowned slightly as his cousin began to cry; He didn't want him to cry, and he really wished Addison wouldn't have said something like that.
    Addison, on the other hand, had yet to open her eyes - and was still simply standing there with her fists clenched tightly. Though she couldn't see, she imagined that her cousin was crying, due to the sounds she heard. She hadn't anticipated how upset Alex would get, and she wasn't really mad at him, but he just didn't seem to understand how wrong this all was! Once they found him, everything was going to be okay. But this wasn't okay, none of it was, and the longer she stood there, the more a new worry began to pound in at the back of her mind - were her and Aiden going to end up like this? Stuck in some shitty motel, with no food, or money, doing... doing things like that just to get by?

    She barely responded to Tammie's angry comment, nor Alex's whimpering, though she did shrink away ever so slightly. Aiden, on the other hand, immediately jumped to his sister's rescue. She was in the wrong, and he knew that, but that didn't mean he wouldn't protect her - she was upset, and he just wanted everyone to calm down. Their reunion was supposed to be happy, and this was turning out to be anything but.
    "H-Hey!" He stammered, stepping forward and wrapping his arms around Addison's shoulders. "Don't... don't be too mad at her, please? She doesn't mean anything bad by it, she's just upset is all. And Alex, she doesn't hate you, really. This is all just a lot. Isn't that right, Addy?" He hugged Addison tighter, glancing back and forth between his sister and cousin.

    Addison was silent for a few more moments, before nodding slightly. Her brother's touch comforted her, and she finally allowed her fists to uncurl, opening her eyes and staring straight at her cousin. "I... don't hate you. Maybe. Sort of."

    "There, see? It's alright." Aiden said. "So we can... stop fighting, and... crying, can't we?"

    There was a pause, as both twins watched Marilyn remove her corset, a small hint of curiosity flickering across their faces. "What happened?" They asked, almost in unison.
    "Why are you bleeding?" Addison added.
  11. Marilyn looked up and gave a small nod as Aiden began to understand, or at least he seemed to be starting to. Addison said that she didn't hate her, or at lease maybe she didn't, and Marilyn kept her gaze on the floor. Her eyes had grown dull, and her entire body felt completely numb and empty. She wiped at her eyes again. When the twins continued using her old name, she at first stayed completely silent, but eventually said in a very small voice, "My name is Marilyn," without looking up at either one of them.

    Tammie knelt behind her, dotting her back with small amounts of neosporin and liquid bandage. It stung, but for the most part she kept quiet. It would sting a lot more if it got infected, and then who knows what could happen to her? When the twins asked why she was bleeding, she simply answered, "People are rough with me sometimes."

    She felt a sharp pain as Tammie touched her back again and she let out a yelp before Tammie pulled her hand away and apologized. "I'm sorry! I guess it's fine for now. Cleaner than it was." Marilyn turned to look at her.
    "Thank you," she said softly before Tammie tossed her an oversized t-shirt.
    "Here," Tammie said. "Put a shirt on. It shouldn't sting for much longer but this shouldn't bother you too much since its big on you."

    She looked up at her cousins. Part of her wanted to hug them and never let go. Part of her was too scared to even try. This wasn't how she had hoped their meeting again would happen either. She hated that they had to see her living the way she was. She wished she had never had to leave. She'd missed them. The only family she had left aside from Devin, and now they might really hate her. She didn't want them to hate her.

    "Why are you out here?" She asked. "Why aren't you at home safe where you belong?"
  12. "Marilyn? You changed your name, too?" Addison started. "But, Alex is-" She was going to continue, to start talking about how she could have just switched to a girl version of Alexander if it mattered to her that much, but stopped herself at the last second; There'd been many times her and Aiden had changed their names for no reason other than petty childhood arguments, and at the time it had seemed so terribly important for those new names to be accepted. If they had been capable of feeling so strongly for such a stupid reason, well, she'd at least let Alex - no, Marilyn - have her new name. "Actually, nevermind, um... Marilyn."

    The name felt so foreign on her tongue when used in connection to her cousin, whom she'd always known as Alex. She cast a quick glance over at her brother, to try and tell him to try the name out himself, and he seemed to understand, as a second later he was doing the same. "Marilyn, huh?" Aiden asked, before saying the name a few more times. "Marilyn... Marilyn... Mariilllyyynnn..." He drew the word out the last time, as if carefully testing each and every individual sound, and then nodded. "It's nice. I mean, it's weird to call you that... but, it sounds pretty, at least."
    He was still a bit freaked out by the whole situation, as was Addison, but he was trying to be understanding and not make things more uncomfortable than they already were.

    Neither child knew how to respond to Marilyn's statement about people being rough with her sometimes. What were you supposed to say to that, anyways? We're very sorry our family abandoned you and you're stuck selling yourself on the street? They doubted that would go down well. They did cringe slightly when she yelped, however, not only due to their own jumpiness, but also because they didn't like seeing their cousin in pain.

    And then came the dreaded question. The question they'd both known was coming, but had wanted to pretend wasn't. "Why are you out here? Why aren't you at home safe where you belong?"

    There was a painfully long silence, as the twins silently debated what to say, keeping their eyes averted away from the two women. Aiden had pulled his arms away from his sister, and was instead clutching tightly at his shirt, wringing it in his hands as he fidgeted from foot to foot. Addison was tugging on her own hair, pulling strands down into her face until it was almost entirely covered. They hadn't spoken about their parents since they'd ran away from home, preferring to instead pretend as if they'd never existed. Even when speaking of happy memories to cheer themselves up, they simply deleted their parents from the narratives, acting as if they hadn't been a part of their lives in the first place. Mom and Dad, two words they had previously used so often, now seemed taboo - not just impossible to say, but wrong to so much as mention.

    Aiden was the first to speak up, though his speech came out cracked, and strained. "M-Mom..." He started, taking a deep breath as he did so.
    The pained sound in her brother's voice was enough to snap Addison out of her daze. "Mom died." She interrupted, the forced confidence from earlier returning to her voice. "Mom died, and me and Aiden, well... I guess we weren't enough without Mom, because Dad decided he didn't want us anymore. So we left."

    She'd been prepared to fall down on her hands and knees and beg to be allowed to stay less than an hour earlier, but now, with everything that had just happened, she had yet to get up the courage to so much as mention to Marilyn that they were hoping to stay with her.
    #12 Cwolf0615, May 6, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  13. Addison ended her comment on Marilyn's name, and Marilyn was glad. She didn't have to justify anything that way. She had never liked her old name much, and she disliked the feminine forms of it even more. And even if she had liked them, it was the name her parents had given her. They'd kicked her from their lives. Why should she keep the name they'd given her? Honestly, the only reason she didn't change her last name too was to keep some connection to Devin. He seemed to be the only one who still really cared what happened to her.

    She knew it was strange for them to use a new name for her. Devin had messed up several times before he had fully gotten the hang of using it instead of Alex. She laughed softly as she listened to Aiden repeating the name. "Thank you," she said softly when he said it sounded nice. "I thought it did too. That's why I picked it." She paused. "I used Moxie for a while too, when I was really little, before I settled on it. My parents got mad at me when I used it so nobody really called me that aside from Devin when nobody else was around." She shrugged.

    When Addison finally did answer her question, Marilyn was shocked and more than a bit sad. She had never been all that close with her aunt and uncle, but she felt bad for her cousins. Marilyn hadn't lost her parents in that sense. She'd figured that they might react to her the way that they did. In the end, she had lost people who hadn't respected her, hadn't cared for her well being. She hadn't lost parents that had loved her. She could only imagine how her cousins felt.

    She wanted to hug them, but restrained herself, afraid of how they might react. "Oh my god," she said softly. "I'm so sorry. you need somewhere to stay? You can stay here if you want to. I know it's not ideal, and we don't have much of anything, but..." She glanced around, her eyes landing on the couch. "The couch folds out. You'd have to share, but it's something." She looked over at Tammie, who nodded.

    "She's right, you know," Tammie said. "You're more than welcome to stay here."
  14. "You're welcome." Aiden had nodded in reply. "You picked a nice name, even if it is different from your old one."
    "Moxie isn't bad, either." Addison added. "It's shorter, though. I like them both."
    It was strange enough thinking of Alex as Marilyn, and even stranger to think she'd already tried to change her name back when they'd known her.

    Things felt awkward after their confession. Though the information they gave was brief, it had been difficult to even share that much, and they were worried Marilyn would reject them all together. What if she didn't believe them? What if she got upset and said they couldn't stay? Worse, what if she tried to force them to go back? She could just call the police and get them sent away, couldn't she? Addison was starting to regret snapping at her earlier, with every second that passed - she should have been nicer, than Marilyn would probably have been more likely to react as they wanted.

    She did though, she responded just as they had been hoping, and Addison felt stupid for worrying otherwise. Sure, things were entirely different, but that didn't mean her cousin had simply turned cruel over night. She had always trusted her back when she was Alex, running her for help with all sorts of things - whether it was a scraped knee, broken toy, or questions about how the world worked. It seemed things were at least partly the same.

    Both twins gave a small relieved smile in response, though they still seemed a bit force, simply because of the sensitive subject they'd just discussed.
    "Really?" Addison asked. "You'll... you'll let us? You mean it?"
    "That's actually why we came..." Aiden added, nodding slightly.
    "We were scared we'd get split up.." Addison continued. "Because, in the movies and books and stuff... that's the sort of stuff that happens to kids who don't have anyone to take care of them... you know? And... I've never been away from Aiden for an entire day, let alone weeks and months and years... I don't think I'd be able to do it..."
    "Me neither." Aiden agreed. "I'd rather die than have to be away from Addy..."
    "But we figured..." Addison went on. "That... if we could find you... then... then maybe it could be okay..."
    "Worse than before," Aiden finished. "But better than now... so... it'd be okay..."
    • Love Love x 1
  15. "I mean it," Marilyn said. She didn't want her cousins to be split up, and she certainly didn't want to lose them again, so soon after they had come back into her life. "You can stay." She just hoped she could manage to stay safe for them and somehow manage to feed them. She and Tammie could hardly feed themselves. Shoplifting was a common activity for both of them, and it was almost always food. They paid for it when they could, but sometimes they just didn't have the money. "I want you to stay. I missed you. A lot. I don't want to lose you again."

    The thought of the twins being separated scared her. Marilyn had always been with her brother when she was younger, and it had been an incredibly rare occurrence to see one without the other. Even now, being without him felt strange. He had come back from film school for a while just to take care of her, and she had always felt guilty for troubling her twin so much. But she did miss him. They talked of course, while he was away. They talked every day. But it wasn't the same as being with him. She didn't know what she would do if she found herself completely ripped from him. It would crush her.

    Marilyn yawned. She was completely exhausted. She stood up and stumbled toward the bathroom to change out of her shorts and take the rest of her makeup off. "I'll be back," she mumbled as she slipped into the bathroom. Tammie looked back toward the twins. "You can stay," she told them again, and then looked at Addison. "You didn't have to yell at her," she said softly. "She's missed you. She didn't want to upset you. She talks about you all the time. I've probably heard every story she has about you two at least ten times."

    She had. Marilyn had talked about the twins so often, and it was so obvious how fond of them she was. Just as Marilyn had heard nearly every story Tammie had of her mother before her death, Tammie had heard every story Marilyn had about the twins before she'd had to leave them. She got up and wandered over to the couch, pulling it out for the twins. "Here," she said. She dug around under the bed for a couple seconds before tossing them an old moth eaten blanket. She'd found it at a thrift store for two dollars several years ago, and it had never really been used much. "I'm sorry it's not all that nice looking," she apologized. "But it'll keep you warm at least."

    The bathroom door opened and Marilyn returned again. Her makeup was gone aside from a small amount of eyeliner that she couldn't get off no matter how much she scrubbed at it. She looked more like a boy without the makeup. She knew that. But she couldn't sleep in the makeup–she'd break out if she did. She gave her cousins a tired smile as she re-entered the room.
    • Love Love x 1
  16. "Well, thank you." Aiden nodded.
    "Yeah, thanks." Addison added.
    "We really missed you too." Aiden continued. "Me and Addy."
    It was true, they really had, even if Addison still wasn't all that eager to admit it. They'd loved their cousin, and her visits were always an exciting occasion on their part. They'd admit, in the last few years they hadn't thought about her as much as they used to - the photo had brought all the memories rushing back, though. They were good memories, and they were more than grateful that she was willing to let them stay with her. They didn't know what they would have done if she had tried to send them away.

    Both twins felt a bit awkward once Marilyn had left. Maybe it was that Tammie was still largely a stranger to them, or maybe it was because they couldn't help but shake the silly feeling she didn't quite want them there, but they didn't like being alone with her - even if their cousin was just in the other room. The words she directed to Addison a few moments later only did more to make them feel uncomfortable, Addison especially.
    She glanced away, directing her attention to the ground, and scowling. "Well... well she didn't have to be like... like that!" She exclaimed, shaking her head. Her voice was shrill, her tone defensive, and once again everything came out sounding entirely wrong; The statement seemed cruel, and ignorant, though that hadn't been her intention at all - she was simply feeling flustered, and somewhat threatened. "I didn't even yell at her! You're wrong! I just... just... she did kind of mess it up!"

    She stood there staring silently at her own feet until Tammie pulled the couch out for them, at which point she walked over, and went to sit down. She pulled her legs up under herself indian-style, and leaned her head against her hands, her scowl from earlier never having left her face. Aiden frowned a bit, and walked over, opening his backpack and pulling out a teddy bear and setting it down on the couch. He then grabbed Addison's backpack, and tugged on it until she held her arms up, and allowed him to slide it off, after which he opened it, and pulled out another teddy bear, going to set it down in her arms. They were both beat-up, and were near identical, the only difference being the color of the bows around their necks. Finally, he went to sit down next to her, hugging his own teddy bear tightly. Both siblings had begun to feel they were a bit too old for something as childish as carrying around teddy bears. After the events of the year, however, neither really cared anymore. Any object of comfort was welcome, no matter how foolish it made them look.

    "Thanks." Aiden nodded, when Tammie threw the blanket to them, going to smooth it over his lap.
    "It's good. Right, Addy?"
    Addison kept her eyes down, though she nodded slightly. "Yeah... it's good. Better an old blanket than no blanket."

    Finally, Marilyn returned, which allowed both twins to feel as if they could once again relax slightly. They glanced over, a look of slight confusion passing over their faces once again. It was strange, seeing her without her makeup. It was like she was a boy again, and they found it confusing, the way she seemed, to them, to almost switch back and forth between genders.
  17. Marilyn made no mention of her boyish appearance as she reappeared, though it was clear that she was more uncomfortable than she had previously been. The only sound she made was a small sigh as she settled next to Tammie on the edge of the bed. Tammie looked over at her. Aside from being obviously uncomfortable at being seen without her makeup, the other woman was clearly completely drained and exhausted, her usually alert gaze dull and unfocused.

    Marilyn looked up, noticing the looks on the twin's faces almost immediately. "Do you have to look at me like that?" she asked. "I know what I look like. I wish I didn't look the way I do." If they looked at her this way now she could only imagine what would happen tomorrow morning. The light but noticeable stubble that grew on her face was bound to have returned by then.

    Tammie gently rubbed the other woman's shoulders before giving her a peck on the cheek. She hated to see Marilyn so upset. "Are you all right?" she asked gently. Marilyn was silent for a couple of seconds and then in a voice hardly more than a whisper answered, "I'm just tired." She paused. "I'm going to bed," she said after a moment. She stood up and walked over to the twins each of them a hug, each time quickly recoiling as though she had been burned. She wasn't sure if they wanted her to hug them, not after finding out that she was the way she was.

    "Sorry," she said quietly, not sure if the apology was for the hug or for the way their reunion had played out. "I love you both. Good night."

    Eventually Marilyn had buried herself under the sheets with Tammie next to her. Tammie gave a final, slightly wary glance at the twins before deciding that maybe she too should get some sleep.

    And for a while, she actually made an attempt to fall asleep, dozing off once or twice, but always waking again. She heard Marilyn whimper beside her and lifted her head. "You okay, Kitten?" Marilyn's response was so quiet that Tammie almost missed it.
    "Addy hates me," Marilyn choked out, and Tammie could tell that she was trying to keep from sobbing and waking the twins, if they had even fallen asleep at all.

    Tammie sighed and drew the other woman closer to her. "She doesn't hate you," Tammue promised, gently running her fingers through Marilyn's hair. "She's just shocked. It'll be okay, I promise. Give her time, she'll come around. She just needs a bit of time to adjust."

    Marilyn didn't say anything after that, and apart from a quiet, shaky sigh, made no more sound at all. Tammie kissed her girlfriend's forehead. "Get some rest," she said. "I love you." Eventually both women fell asleep curled up together, Tammie hoping that what she had said to Marilyn had been right.
    • Love Love x 1
  18. Aiden hadn't even realized he was staring, and quickly averted his gaze at Marilyn's request. "Ah, uh... my bad." He said.
    Addison allowed her gaze to linger on her cousin for another moment, before she too averted her gaze, glancing over at Aiden instead. "It's just, well... it's weird."
    "We're just not used to it yet." Aiden nodded, attempting to simultaneously back his sister up, and keep her statement from coming across as offensive. "I'm sorry. We'll try not to make you feel uncomfortable."

    When Marilyn walked over and hugged her, Addison shrunk away, holding her hands up in a somewhat defensive position even after her cousin had backed away. It was part instinctive, as she'd come to shy away from touch since she'd made a run for it, and part stubbornness; She wasn't ready to let her cousin back in, especially not after everything that had happened. Though there was a part of her that desperately wanted to open back up, and accept Marilyn, it was outweighed by the part that wanted to do nothing other than shove her away. Hugging was a privilege now reserved only for her brother, to anyone else, it was off-limits.

    Aiden, on the other hand, had a very different reaction. Though he remained largely still, for fear of making things more awkward then they already were, he really wanted to hug his cousin back - and for a split second, it seemed like he would, as he moved his arms upwards to embrace Marilyn, only to let them quickly fall back to his sides. He'd felt somewhat starved for affection since their mother's death. He'd gone from being doted on, to being ignored, and then later left nearly all alone, all within a few weeks.

    He still had his sister, but she had never been the especially affectionate of the two, and the events of the past few months had only seemed to draw her farther away from such things. Though it'd always been that way to an extent beforehand, it seemed in recent times they'd fallen into two very distinct roles, him of the comforter, and Addison of the protector. While he spent his time hugging and reassuring, making sure his sister knew everything would be okay, she was more cold emotionally, and spent her time with a protective arm around her brother - ensuring that he, and everyone around them, knew that if they so much as attempted to lay a finger on her brother she'd fight tooth and nail.

    He sighed slightly as he watched Marilyn walk back over to the bed, and got as comfortable as he could on the couch, nodding at her. "Um... goodnight, see you in the morning."
    Addison only gave a small nod, and got comfortable herself, still feeling annoyed over the attempt at a hug Marilyn had made.

    The twins didn't fall asleep at first, and rather laid curled up to next each other, whispering about the days events. Their voices were incredibly soft, too quiet to really be heard from the bed, and even if one did happen to eavesdrop what they heard would be nothing more than what seemed to be an argument comprised of half-finished sentences.

    "But, it just-" Addison started.
    "I know, but you know-" Aiden interrupted, only to again be interrupted by his sister.
    "I just don't think that-"
    "But we don't really have anything else."
    "And I get that, but I didn't expect-"
    "We'll just have to dea-"
    "Alright, but if I want-"
    "Yes, yes, if you really can't stand it we'll leave. Just-"
    "Give it a chance, yeah, I will."

    Finally though, after as little as half an hour, the two fell silent and drifted off to sleep. The day had left them both feeling drained, both physically and emotionally, and it'd been a while since they'd slept in an actual room, with an actual adult they felt could give them some form of protection. Though the situation was less than ideal in their minds, especially Addison's, it was nice to feel safe enough to sleep without one eye open.
    #18 Cwolf0615, May 24, 2015
    Last edited: May 28, 2015