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TITLE: .and all will come to darkness.
AUTHOR: Danielle (Aelane)
ORIGINAL STORY: .and all will come to darkness. By Alejandra
RATING: Strong R
PAIRING: Elijah/Viggo, Christine (Exene)/Viggo
SUMMARY: There are two kinds of light -- the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures. James Thurber
NOTES: Beta'd by Kiltsandlollies and Kia
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. I do not know the actors characterized in this story and do not purport to know any of the intimate details of their lives or sexuality. This is a re-written story for the LOTRIPS Remix Challenge and based upon and inspired by a story written by Alejandra.
When Christine awakes, she marks the first moments of the anniversary of the day she left Viggo by stretching out in her empty bed, wiggling toes and fingers into corners she can't quite reach. Not that the bed is always empty; indeed, sometimes it's even the Man himself she wakes up to, bleary-eyed and dry-mouthed, cursing herself for falling back in so easily. But it's never easy, she reminds herself, because there is still love, a history and a child.
On this morning of the anniversary, however, she pushes those thoughts aside and remembers to focus on herself. Today is the day for reviving old childhood fancies-of just getting out her notebook (red spiral with 70 pages, 57 of which are filled) and reminding herself of the critical distinction between Christine and Exene, and particularly of Christine before Viggo, before Los Angeles.
Two more pages are filled before she's out of the bed and into the shower, a smile already in place. She touches her breasts, lifting them and squeezing her dark nipples, thinking for a moment of bringing herself off quickly but just as quickly deciding not to. Viggo liked the shower-liked to press her against the wall and use his mouth and fingers, and those are the images that flash up immediately like some black and white silent film. With that, she makes the quick and simple decision that tonight she will lie in bed and stroke herself, let her mind go and give herself that simple pleasure she enjoyed as a teenager.
Instead, she washes her body slowly, using many of the bottles that line her shallow ledge-scented vanilla, rose, sandalwood-Viggo would laugh whenever she brought something new home. It became a joke during their marriage: punk rock meets country club. It made her laugh then, but when wouldn't she tip her head back and laugh with abandon at something he said. It's not funny to her now; it became sort of a denial of who she was when he insisted that he liked the smell of musk and sex and Exene in black leather and eyeliner. Almost like when he was framing her-posing her for a photograph and then becoming peevish if she didn't meet his mental image. She has a camera too, she liked to remind him-and still likes to remind him sometimes, sending pictures of her bare skin-self-portraits in which she is scrubbed clean, moments before she becomes the performer, moments in which she is still Henry's mother.
In the kitchen, she taps her fingers against the tile while waiting for the automatic to drip a sufficient amount of caffeine so that she feels up to talking, to make the call she's been dreading-knowing that the lines across the Pacific will crack and Viggo will sound alternately as close as next door and as far away as the moon. They'll talk about the split-about Henry, about why she's still burning in LA when she'd rather be anywhere else. Anywhere where she can be Christine and Exene together. Where she can be mother and ex and friend and lover without the need for remembering this day.
She's willing to admit that she embraced the artist's lifestyle much more than Viggo ever did. She loved the attention-the pressure and the craziness-but it couldn't be sustained. Besides, it was his life, not hers, and she couldn't maintain the enthusiasm for both of them. She would find herself standing alone in nightclubs that became passť by the time the ice melted in her first drink; Viggo too irritated to be surrounded by the glittering masses who wanted to feed off the artiste--the image that never was attached to her. She didn't resent him, but then even in those moments, she had the vague realization that it wasn't her life. It was theirs. Exene and Viggo's. But not Christine's and only not because it was Hollywood, with a capital H and the shining sign visible from everywhere in case you forgot.
She thinks-thought-- that Viggo, for all of his cool protestations, loved it. Loved being barefoot when every man in the room was just as concerned about their Guccis as the women were. Doesn't think but knows-and knew-that he enjoyed the young that came with that life. The pretty boys and girls with their blank stares and their talk of art-like these boys he talks of now. These actors. Then and now she doesn't care if he fucks them, just can't stand to hear the talk of how their art is more pure because it happened five minutes ago and with a sophisticated yet wide-eyed innocence.
Then there were moments when she couldn't hear herself think at all because all she could hear was Viggo thinking. He's that sort of man-untamed, wonderful-so achingly wonderful that he encompassed everything: mind, body and soul-until she didn't know where he ended and she began. And it was just time to go. Maybe her music and writing didn't seem like much of an alternative to that life, but to her it was much, much more.
So, back in her room, as she pulls out the clothes from the back of her closet-the things that Exene doesn't wear in public-the long skirt and peasant shirt, all real and not some manufactured retro cool shit that you see now. This is the outfit she came out to this godless town in. The skirt that Viggo slid up to her waist at 2 in morning in Haight Ashbury when they stopped on what he called the Quest for Redemption and Salvation before they climbed back into the rented car and made their way down the coast and stopped to see the Hollywood sign for the first time.
She likes to think it surprised him when she left. With two suitcases, her hair tied back in a bandana and a hug and a kiss to Henry, she surprised herself. That morning had begun just like this one does-stretching out in an empty bed, wondering where Viggo had spent the night, and then accepting that she didn't really care. Her day will carry on as it did then-two suitcases and a bandana, straight to a dive in San Francisco where she can be both known and anonymous, her choice. Only on this day, her choice.
But first she has to make the call. Her bags are by the door; the keys in her hand-the hand not hovering over the receiver. It's then, in a moment she'll denote forever in her notebook as Divine, Fed Ex is at her door with an envelope. She recognizes immediately Viggo's handwriting on the label and nearly drops it-this isn't the way it's supposed to happen. She thanks the messenger and closes the door, sliding down to sit against it. It crosses her mind that she could simply set it down, make the call as per the script and then walk out.
The moment she accepts the package, though, she knows the script has changed. In a way, she's glad. In her mind, she already unpacking the beat up cases and calling up a few people to come 'round. She's planning the menu and composing a shopping list by the time she pulls the tab. When a photograph of a boy smoking in the snow with the air of sophisticated innocence and the word homesick scrawled across the bottom tumbles out, she's laughing-tipping her head back and laughing till she cries. Crying until the room is dark and her bones ache from resting on the floor for so long.
She leaves for San Francisco then, taking the picture with her. She thinks maybe she'll bury it somewhere along the way. Maybe she'll call Viggo from a phone booth in Haight Ashbury and ask him to paint a picture of them at 2 in the morning. Maybe she'll bring herself off to a quick release in the shower.
She knows, though, that she'll never be making this trip again.
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