sandandwater: (smell the flowers)
Lady Nuala,

It was certainly a pleasant surprise to find your letter waiting amongst my more pedestrian mail. I must apologize for the lack of communication on my part; I too have been rather preoccupied with my own pursuits to the exclusion of all else. Tunnel vision, an artist’s drive, a relentless muse—whatever you wish to call it, I’ve fallen victim to the pull. Your missive has been a gentle reminder that a world does exist outside of my glassmaker’s studio. Thank you.

How is it that women, the so-called weaker sex, seem to be the planners and maintainers and the men find themselves in a position to indulge in other means of occupying their hands if not their minds? They might not all take to being the warriors you know but I’ve yet to meet a man who doesn’t, in some way or another, have interests outside of maintaining the status quo. It’s almost as if many of them think tasks will keep after themselves.

If I sound cynical it’s likely due to the fact that I, too, am surrounded mostly by men. Being a gaffer has long been the province of those more masculine, which makes my activity here in Venice all the more trying. Now, of course, they have taken to treating me like ‘one of the boys’ and there are days when I am not sure if that’s the better alternative. On the other hand, my glasswork is coming along nicely. I think I have sufficiently impressed the inspiration for one of my pieces.

As you can see, I am quite willing (eager even!) to write to you. I’ll be even more glad to see you in person once time permits. Until then, I hope that all remains well with you.

Yours, in the name of feminine confidentiality,

Pippa Kerr
sandandwater: (pippa loves ro)

The friendship came first.


He asked her to dance in the middle of an empty bar, the band packing up their instruments and the jukebox unplugged. Still, he asked and took her in his arms. The tune he hummed under his breath became the foundation of the song he wrote for her.


He wanted her to make a present for his sister, trusting her talent and skill without even seeing any of her work.


Their first date ended with smiles and a promise of more. Even if he didn’t try to so much as kiss her good night.


She drunk-dialed him and made a complete fool of herself, or so she thought. He didn’t mind her middle of the night confession in the least.


That first kiss made her feel weak in the knees. So did every one thereafter.


He told her his secrets and left it up to her if she wanted to take the chance of seeing where things could go.


She told him her secrets and he refused to judge her for them.


He adored her puppy.


When they made love, where and how and why, it was always about trust and honesty and not a little fun.
sandandwater: (groggy)
Summer 2009

She didn’t scream this time. The tightness squeezing her chest made it impossible to draw the breath needed and the swollen lump of her heart was lodged (or so it felt) so far into her throat that she wouldn’t be able to cry out in any case. She didn’t cry either. Her eyes were wide with shock and fear, but dry as she shifted her panicked gaze from one focal point to another.

Meaningful movement of limbs tangled in sweat-soaked sheets took a bit longer. By the time she was able to untangle herself from the damp cotton and sit up, Pippa had found the ability to breathe again. Breathe and shake, trembling as she recalled the too-vivid, too-real sights and sounds of the nightmare.

The nightmare. It was always the same. Never ending, never changing, always filled with the same terror and helplessness and always, always his voice. A sick, twisted narration for her suffering punctuated by the laughter of a monster. She’d been trapped, strapped to the table in his dirty, dank, filth-filled apartment. Tied down and screaming, begging for no more. An end, only he never listened. No, he continued on with his little project. His stack of presents for an Irish singer: first it was her hair and that was humiliating but painless, then her finger and oh, how she screamed. It never stopped there, the events of reality and sick fantasy twisting until Larch had managed to use those rusted-dull garden sheers to cut away every last digit, right hand and left.

On the good nights, that was when she’d wake up.

Tonight hadn’t been a good night. Pippa retched and gagged as she shut her eyes against another onslaught of images she’d woken up from. Things worse than being slowly dismembered, Larch hadn’t managed to do what he wanted to the redhead, no, but he made sure to share with her the grizzly fate of all the women before her. In sleep, her tortured thoughts turned on themselves and rewrote his narrative, applied it to her and let her feel what her fate could have been. Should have been, but wasn’t.

Because of Rory. She was alive because of the relentless way he’d refused to accept her disappearance. Because he’d urged his brother to search for her by means inhuman and incomprehensible to her. Because he and his brothers…she was sitting in her moonlit room in Venice because three very brave, bold and self-sacrificing men came to her rescue. Men she repaid by rejecting, avoiding and leaving. That realization was even more painful to bear than anything the madman had inflicted.

The dry heaving stopped and the tears began, hot and silent they coursed down her face, wetting her cheeks and chin, newly dampening her nightgown. She pushed them away; all of them, anyone who wanted to help her. Rory, most of all, most importantly of all. The only one who could help at times like these. Comfort and reassure her. Make her feel safe and whole. She ran away from him, from that, because she was scared. She was still scared and now, here, without anyone to protect her.

When she moved next, it was almost instinctive. Her hand reached for the phone on the bedside table, pressed the buttons in the dark. She didn’t need to see in order to call up something so deeply ingrained in memory. If she’d been awake and calm, she likely would have ignored the impulse to call him, or would have at least hung up before the call had connected. But tonight, tonight she sniffed back fresh tears and as soon as she heard the line pick up, be it voicemail or Rory himself, she let out the heartfelt truth:

“Oh, Ro…I wish you were here.”

Pippa Kerr//Last Call//630 words
sandandwater: (looking down)
February 15, 2009


I know that your album is set for release this month and I’m sure you’re caught up in a frenzy of activity and celebration because of this. I’m writing because I wanted to tell you that despite everything else, above all else, I am so very proud of you. The rest of the band as well, but mostly you. I always knew you had it within you to do this, Ro. Always.

I once told Mike not to count on Breaker Street being a regular act at Last Call for long because unlike so many other bands that came through those doors you six had “it”. You had the drive, the talent, the raw want and need. Anyone that’s ever heard you perform as a group could see that. And when Robbie Fellowes agreed to come listen to you—on what I thought was an indulgent whim because of my nattering—I knew you wouldn’t be walking away from that meeting without everything you’ve always deserved.

Of course, I didn’t know then that I’d have to nudge and convince, poke and prod you into accepting that offer or into believing in yourself as much as I did. Still do. I always will. You’re so very talented, gifted and gracious about it. I hope you never lose sight of that, of who you are. Don’t let fame change you, don’t let the publicists force you to be someone you aren’t, make it about the music. Isn’t that what you always told me? It was about the music and the audience, making that connection. Baby, you’re going to be so connected you won’t know what’s hit you and neither will they.

I debated for a while whether or not I should write this let alone send it but I finally decided that the things I wanted to say, needed to tell you, were worth putting into print and worth sharing with you. You deserve to know that I wish you well, that I think the world of you and want nothing but the best for all of you. Give Junie, Nil, Sascha, Dave and Kreske my regards.

Mi manchi*,


P.S. I’ve held on to this bracelet for the better part of a year, I bought it intending to give it to you as a gift at your first wrap party. I hope you’ll still accept it in the spirit in which I give it. No strings attached, no promises made. It’s just me wanting you to remember that your Believer Girl does.

ooc: * I miss you
sandandwater: (marcello's muse)
Posted some three or four months into Pippa's return to Venice.

[Filtered to Rory, Cait, Tadhg, Zippy, Aryn, Smecker, Bobby Barnes]

My friend Marcello, he’s someone I’ve known for a long while and we lost touch when I left Venice the first time. We’ve since reconnected and it’s as if we picked up right where we left off. Old jokes are still funny; we enjoy each other’s company as much now as we did back then…we’re slowly catching up on the details of each other’s lives. It’s…nice, actually.

He’s a photographer. A very gifted photographer. He sees the world through a camera lens, sees light and color, contrast and depth…thinks in macro and micro. He always amazes me with the way he can turn the ordinary into something extraordinary. I’ve been letting him photograph me lately. In the evenings when natural light is horrible and I’m dead tired from working with Alessandro all day, after I’ve had one glass of wine too many in an attempt to relax and unwind. After we’ve laughed too much, cried too little and probably not eaten enough to call it dinner.

Marcello is great at getting me to step outside my comfort zone. Convincing me that I want to do things I would never consider acceptable. He has a knack for getting me to trust him, his vision, the art. He’s also very, very skilled at reassuring me, giving me back the confidence I’d lost. He has a way of knowing what I need to hear, how I need to feel. He can make me feel beautiful.

My scars aren’t things to be covered up. My hand isn’t something to hide. Stretch marks, burns, freckles, moles…my big, ugly feet—he loves them all. Proof of life, that’s what he called them the other day. Points of interest uniquely my own. I didn’t really believe him at the time and I think it shows in some of the shots, the look on my face at times—I’m only humoring him. But others…if I step outside myself and look at them objectively, as pieces of art, the way he intends them to be seen and not as if I am looking at myself in the mirror—I can almost see what he means. I understand what he wants from me. And I can see that I’ve given it to him.

I can be beautiful. I don’t have to hide. I don’t need to be ashamed.

There is truth in nakedness, an honesty there. Vulnerability. Strength.

Photographs, not dial-up friendly and by American standards one is likely deemed not safe for work )

You might think I’m being disingenuous here, keeping this filtered to the handful of people I am sharing these with, but I’m not. I trust you. I know you. I’m comfortable enough with you seeing these images and knowing you aren’t going to look at them as anything other than what they are. One man’s art.

Besides, can any of you just imagine if James Potter saw a semi-nude portrait of me? I’m sure no one wants to listen to that little beast share his thoughts and perversions on the fact that Pippa Kerr has breasts.
sandandwater: ([short] to the side)


Peace be with you, my red-haired darling. Good-bye.

Those were the last words he’d said to her. All he could say once she told him that she was moving back to Venice and she wasn’t planning to return. That she was leaving him in order to try and make sense of the chaos her life had become. To reclaim the things so suddenly lost to her.

I love you.

That was what she wanted to tell him even if he might not believe it.

Mr. Beaker

She hugged the Doberman tightly, squeezed him until the pup whumped and whined at the way she was pushing the air from his lungs. Pippa kissed his head, his snout, rubbed his back once more and forced herself to stand. It broke her heart to leave Mr. Beaker behind but she honestly believed it the kinder thing to do for him.

Be a good puppy for Mike, Mr. Beaker. No making messes, don’t eat anything that isn’t doggy food and no loud barking in the house.

He tilted his head and gave Pippa a confused woof and an excited wag of his tail.


More hugs, more tears. Promises extracted and made. She’d call. He’d follow her lists of instructions about the dog. She’d take care of herself and he’d not work too hard. She’d find the time to drink good Italian wines for him and he’d call Rory Stone if Mr. Beaker became too much to handle. She’d stop crying and he wouldn’t ask how the Irishman could let her go.


Everything necessary had been packed in two suitcases and a carry-on. Things that were important to her had been packed away and sent to storage. Furniture had been draped in white cloths and everything else had been sold or given away. Pippa flipped the switch to shut off the custom light fixture in the bedroom. She ran a hand around the basin in the master bath. The little bits of herself she was leaving behind—the real estate agent was thrilled with that. Real selling points, the woman had assured her.

Pippa left her keys in the lockbox hanging on the door.

New York

She flew out of Newark’s international airport, not JFK. It was more modern, less crowded and seemed less New York to her than the famed major hub. Somehow this was fitting in Pippa’s mind. She’d said farewell to the city as she’d taken the ferry from Staten, the subway through Manhattan and then finally hailed a cab to the airport. She kept the window closed during the plane’s ascent, her last memories of ‘home’ would not be an impersonal aerial view.


Phillipa! Mia Bella! Come here and let me see you.

She made it from the airport to the bus and then to the gondola all on her own. But once she’d arrived at the address belonging to Signore Evangelisti, Pippa was welcomed. She hadn’t seen him in three years and she’d been surprised at what a difference a short time-span could have on an old man. His eyes were still bright and his embrace still strong though and that’s all that mattered. She cried. He held her. They both laughed.

Later, they would talk of many things but for now Pippa was content to just be back.

Pippa Kerr//553
sandandwater: (hot stuff)
Notes: This piece takes place some months down the road from now. I'll be moving around in Pippa's timeline a bit as I tackle her leaving Rory and her time spent in Venice as she attempts to heal emotionally from events of this past August.

Sketching was not her strong suit. It wasn’t even particularly necessary with her chosen craft in most instances. She preferred to work more organically and to be as fluid with her creations as the material she shaped lent itself to be. Molten glass could be controlled and molded, but the process was delicate and time consuming when one was limited to centrifugal force and the very air in their own lungs. It became easier when other tools were added. Steel, water, blocks and casts made of metal with melting points far higher than sand flux.

This, however, needed to be precise. So Pippa sat, charcoal in one hand, gum eraser in the other and large pad of thickly woven sketch paper propped against the angled surface of the drafting table. The sketch would serve as a detailed reference, a quick visual to accompany the one in her mind, used to move into the next step of the process. From this drawing she’d create an inverted three-dimensional likeness out of dampened sand—a mold to cast her sculpture. When she thought of her intended piece, she saw it in the final stage, the way it would look when she showed it to the world. What she was doing on paper and in sand was a deconstruction of sorts, forcing her to mentally work backwards in order to move forward. It had to be perfect.

When she returned to the glass studio in Venice, Pippa wanted to give up the traditional glass blowing altogether in favor of working with casts and molds. Alessandro had a fit, argued. The Signore wouldn’t hear of it. Forbid it, in fact. It wasn’t that it was a lesser art form, it did require its own set of skills and talent but the old Italian gaffer was set in his ways and his beliefs. It was easier, she told him. Easier than trying to compensate for a now deformed hand, the missing finger and the deadened nerves. What she didn’t tell him was that it was easier than facing the memories of what she’d be able to do and being forced to compare them to what she was now capable of—and finding herself lacking. She was his prize student, la stella brillante—the brilliant star. She would not confine herself to less than she was capable of and that was final.

Except for this piece. All ready figured out were the ingredient sums: she’d tallied how much silica she’d need to mix the flux, the sodium dioxide and the lime too (to set the opacity of the material once cooled), and worked out which compounds she needed to achieve the perfect shades and hues to color the glass—gold mostly and in chloride form to get the rich and brilliant reds she imagined—required. She’d done the math and worked the chemistry. Numbers were easy; the execution would prove the challenge. She had to create it. Was driven to it, occupied by the image in her mind to the point of total distraction.

She found herself slipping her fingers into the sugar bowl at breakfast, imaging the delicate white crystals were the more durable granules of sand she could sculpt into a mold for casting. Salty silica instead of the sweet cane coating her fingers with a sticky grit. Pippa had laughed then, it seemed fitting really. Her muse craved gooey confections the way she craved the ability to pull his image out of the page, press it into wet sand, morph it into glass.

In the shower, she’d use the steam and the bar of soap against tempered doors to outline a nearly life-sized image, trying to get a feel for the enormity of what she was undertaking. It would be heavy, unwieldy at times, maybe even impossible without careful planning and the use of hands other than her own. She was grateful to have Alessandro’s studio at her disposal, his students to command and instruct. They’d have no part in the creation but they would lift, turn, carry the piece for her. These things she’d consider as hot water washed away his face just as she’d ended their romance in a torrent of hot tears.

Making her bed, pillows and blankets became construction material as Pippa debated what the base would look like. Sheets wrapped around pillows and bed posts, piled, folded, draped to give form to ideas. It had to be sturdy of course, able to withstand the weight and the stress but also compliment if not actually become part of the piece. Metal she thought then discarded. No, that wouldn’t do—not for him. Stone. Granite. Granite and glass, one supporting the other, entwined and enmeshed. The rock would be the foundation; the glass would run down the thin columns and flow over the angled base, softening it, bringing it to life with color and warmth. Out of the two would emerge her sculpture, not resting atop of it but growing out of the base—the way their relationship should have been.

Every day it was the same for her, this routine of moving through the necessities of life all the while moving closer to completing the only thing that compelled her to keep going in the first place. Her need for perfection made the process painfully slow despite the sense of urgency that pushed her forward. A relentless drive and constant hunger for something that would not be sated kept Pippa in an artistic fugue. Alessandro worried over what would happen when she reached her goal. Pippa kept working.

Pippa Kerr//927
sandandwater: (thinking)
Rock beats scissors, scissors trump paper, paper conquers rock and seven days in some psycho’s keep wipes out twenty-six years of living. Pippa snorted as she played with the things on her desk. If she were to be fair (Fair? What about this has been fair?) it was more accurate to say that seven days destroyed seven years. That’s how long she’d been working at the person she was until recently.

Cut the paper in two with the scissors and watch it slip off the rock.

Seven years of being her own person, doing what she liked and not answering to anyone. Making glass, working in a bar, living on her own—the things she wanted for herself and a life she had taken pride in living. Well, the glass was gone; she shattered it all in a fit of rage and frustration. She couldn’t make any more of it, not now. Pippa refused to try again after that first failed attempt. And now she wasn’t even working at the bar.

Wedge the tips of the scissors under the rock and flip the piece of obsidian into the trash can.

When she had asked Mike, her boss and the bar’s owner, if they could talk, he didn’t seem the least bit surprised when she expressed feelings of unease and disquiet about being back at Last Call. He didn’t even seem phased when she sighed and admitted with some hesitation that she didn’t think she’d be back after her upcoming vacation. It was too hard. Too much of what happened occurred here and since then too much else had changed. Mike hugged her, told her he understood and made her promise to stay in touch. If she ever needed anything…call him.

Twirl the scissors around an index finger before dropping them into a drawer.

Quitting had been easier than she’d thought. It was also less climatic than one would assume. There was no sense of elation or even regret. She was indifferent, if anything. Leaving the bar hadn’t solved anything for her. Maybe it wasn’t a big enough change or maybe she was becoming impatient with the status quo that her life had become these last few months. Maybe she should make the harder choices now, the ones with the real consequences.

This wasn’t a childish game she was playing.

Pippa Kerr//389
sandandwater: ([short hair] broken & deceived)
“There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.” - George Eliot

Fight or flight. The path of least resistance. Letting the past dictate her future. These were all topics of discussion from Pippa’s ongoing therapy sessions, subjects that beat home the fact that she wasn’t really making any progress. She’s stalled herself at ‘functioning’ and has stopped trying to move past the idea of simply getting by. What was it that was stopping her? Fear.

Fear of what?

Memories. Flashbacks. Remembering.

But it’s already happened, you’ve survived and you know the outcome even if the memories are unpleasant. You know you managed to survive. We’re supposed to fear the unknown, not what we are already familiar with, right?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Start small. What’s one small thing that still scares you? One little trigger you keep avoiding?



His music.

That must make things very…

Difficult, yes.

Pick one song. I want you to listen to it. Don’t turn it off. See what happens.

I’ll try.

You try.

She was standing in his living room, in front of the stereo, CD in hand. The jewel case was open, the stereo on and the tray open and waiting. Still, Pippa couldn’t quite do it. She knew the song. Knew the track. Knew that it was exactly three minutes and forty-six seconds long. She could recall a lot in three minutes and forty-six seconds.

Pippa licked her lips but resisted the urge to wipe the sweat she could feel across the back of her neck. Tried to ignore the shadowy twinge of pain that shot along her left hand, culminating in a dull throb where her fifth knuckle ended in a stub of mottled flesh instead of an elegant pinky finger. Blinking back tears, she twitched at the sound of an open palm striking her bare flesh, wrinkled her nose at the foul smell of decay. She didn’t even have to play the music to remember.

She couldn’t do this. Not today, not now. Fight or flight. She wanted to choose flight. Wanted to drop the disc on the carpeted floor and run from the room. Run for the safety of his arms. If you can’t do this, how can you be certain he’ll even be there to hold you? Isn’t he worth fighting for? And isn’t his music part of him? Part of what you love? Pippa closed the jewel case and turned off the stereo.

Maybe she wasn’t ready to face the music on her own, confront the memories alone. Rory wanted her to talk to him about things, wanted to help her. She only had to listen to one song, all the way through. Her shrink never said she had to play the CD. Just listen to the song. Now the question was, could she ask Rory to do this for her and would she be able to explain why she needed this from him?

The musician was in his bedroom; Pippa could hear him fiddling with an arrangement at his keyboard, sometimes switching to one of his guitars to test some little element or another. She stood in the doorway, watching Rory, trying to find the courage to interrupt. Pippa didn’t have to search long; the fey had been aware of her presence and eventually turned to smile at her when she remained silent.

“Ro…can I ask you something?” Her voice was small and hesitant, almost childish in the uncertainty it carried. That alone was enough to bring him to her side, concern turning his bright grin into something more soothing as he nodded. Pippa wound her arms about his waist before continuing, “Will you hold me, rock me…like you used to? Sing to me? I’d like to hear my song.”

Her song. Believer Girl, Rory’d written the tune for her and turned it into something for the band’s set list months ago. She both loved and loathed the melody, the lyrics. When that monster, John Larch, held her captive and systematically stripped her of everything but fear and the promise of death, he’d played that song over and over…without knowing the significance it held. She hasn’t been able to listen to it since.

But now, if she could be in the one place where she felt safest, if she could just listen to the words and the warm, rich sound of Rory’s voice…hear the song stripped as bare as she’d been…maybe it would help. Maybe she could heal. Maybe she could fight.

“Please sing to me Ro…”

Pippa Kerr//Last Call//738
sandandwater: (pippa loves ro)
6.5.4. TEN things you love about your significant other

One—The way he stirs his ice cream into a soupy-milkshake before eating it, as long as it isn’t some sort of chunky flavored thing.

Two—He’s such a beautifully talented man. He sings, composes music, writes the lyrics himself and he plays the guitar as well as the piano/keyboard.

Three—He’s so very gentle with me when I need him to be.

Four—He’ll watch The Muppets with me.

Five—The fact that he is quite emotionally attached to his favorite leather jacket.

Six—He has an amazing sense of humor.

Seven—He doesn’t mind that I call him ‘baby’.

Eight—Just being in his arms makes me feel safe from every bad thing in the world.

Nine—The look on his face when I ask if I can drive his motorcycle.

Ten—The way he looks at me right before he gives me a kiss.
sandandwater: (tears on my face)
picture prompts: pregnancy test and phone call

Just call him. Tell him you need to see him.

Pippa sighed. There were many things troubling her of late and did she really want to blindside Rory with the latest? Then again, hadn’t she and her therapist been discussing the fact that she needs to open up to the people in her life if she wants them to better understand her? So…

She dialed his cell phone felt relief wash over her when she was automatically directed to the voicemail system. If his phone was off, he was likely on his bike en route somewhere. Maybe it would be easier this way, just talk. Talk and not have to worry about him asking questions, making comments or otherwise interrupting her train of thought. She could put it all out there and let him decide how to handle it. Something else the shrink said she needed to be better about doing.

“Hi, Ro. It’s Pippa. Of course it’s Pippa, who else calls you Ro? Um…look, I know I told you nothing was wrong earlier and that I didn’t want to talk. I just—Okay, there was—is, and I didn’t know how to bring it up, that’s all.

“Um…God.” There was a heavy sigh, “I still don’t. But I’m going to and I’m just going to talk so forgive me if I ramble and don’t make too much sense, I’m pretty sure you’ll call me later anyway—probably to tell me I’m crazy and you don’t want anything else to do with me but well, that’s just not anything I can help, I guess.”

Nervous, she definitely sounded nervous as her voice trembled, cracked intermittently through her next words. “If I seemed out of sorts the last few days, more than I have been, there’s a reason for that. You see I’m late. Late. And I never am, you know. Like clockwork, always on time…every month…part of the joy of having an IUD and not having to remember to take a pill every day and it is actually easy to forget because I don’t have to think about it…didn’t, but then I realized...

“Okay, I really am rambling. Sorry.” She took a few deep breaths and forced herself to calm down. “I realized how off I was and then I thought…oh, God…it occurred to me that I could be pregnant.” There was a pause, a painful one as she wiped away a stray tear. “I’m not. I promise you, I’m not. So very, very not.”

Okay, so she couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.

“I took one those stupid home pregnancy tests and it was negative but I wasn’t going to trust that it was right so I made an appointment for a blood test with my doctor’s office and no, not pregnant. She thinks it’s just stress and weight loss and well…hell, doesn’t that make more sense anyway, given everything?” Laughter of the nervous, embarrassed sort. “I told her that was great news.

“Then I came home and cried. Aren’t I just the most idiot thing ever? I cried about it. I don’t know why. I was terrified that she was going to tell me I was pregnant. I spent the last two days wondering what in the world I was going to say to you if I was. Afraid of what you’d say or want me to do and all I could think about was the last time and I couldn’t, I can’t…I didn’t want to go through that again, Ro. I didn’t. And I know, I know you aren’t Edward and I know you wouldn’t have been hurtful or hateful about it but I was still scared…that I’d somehow end up losing you over this for being an irresponsible little twit.”

Pippa was quiet again,save for the sound of her breath and a sniffle or two, the rustle of tissue again skin as she dabbed at more tears. “I wanted to talk to you about this earlier, I did, but I didn’t think I could do so without falling apart. Hah…like I’m doing such a great job of keeping it together right now, right? I am such a screwed up mess, Ro. I don’t know what to think or feel and part of me really wanted her to tell me that the test was positive. Insane, I know. This is the worst possible time to even think about something like that.

“And we’ve never even really discussed it, or anything close to it and here I am…a stupid, sobbing mess over not being pregnant when I should be relieved. I should be so happy that I’m not, and I’m not. Why aren’t I? I don’t even want children. I haven’t wanted them…I’m not fit to be anyone’s mother, I think I proved that already. I had a baby and I gave her away without even looking at her. Who does that? Who does that…

“Oh, Ro…I don’t even know why I’m telling you all of this except that I guess I just need to know. I need to know that you’d have still loved me and that you’d have still wanted to be with me. I need to know that you wouldn’t have been mad me.”

She hung her head, shook it as she silently chastised herself for putting all of this on him, and over the phone. “I’m sorry, Rory. I keep having to say this to you lately, don’t I? You know what, just…just delete this and forget about it, okay? We both know I shouldn’t make phone calls when I’m upset. Or drinking or…maybe I should just…I’m just going to go. Call me if you want to, I don’t care how late it is.”

Pippa Kerr//Last Call//950
sandandwater: (hot stuff)
Pushing herself, testing boundaries and the limits of what she could do, Pippa had been trying to find out she felt capable of these days. Besides trying to calm and stifle her anxiety she’d been going to lunch with friends, shopping with Cait, taking Mr. Beaker to the park on her own and now she was attempting something else altogether. She was back in her glass studio.

Pippa fired up the furnace and while waiting for the heat in the glory hole to reach the correct temperature, she prepared the rest of her work area. She wiped down the marver and then covered the surface in the coloring agents she had wanted to work with today. Pippa filled her water bucket, lined up her jacks and files along the workbench, selected her pontils then began to wander the rest of her shop.

She moved between the shelves lined with various pieces, occasionally touching her fingers to a vase, a set of glass pens she’d fashioned in a burst of whimsy, a lampshade. There were bowls and platters, beads and jewelry. The more interesting pieces were the small sculptures, things that were more abstract and fluid, seemingly living little works of art. Resting on a table was a solid piece of flame-red glass, about two feet tall at its highest point, a base for a work in progress. It was something for Ro, a present.

Pippa eventually went back to the lit furnace, opened the door and pulled on her tinted, mirrored sunglasses. She checked the temperature of the melt by visual inspection and the feel of the blast on her skin. The liquid glass was a searing yellow-white sea inside the furnace and just about ready for a first gather. She stood back and reached for a pontil, fingers closing around the cool steel rod with practiced ease. The familiar weight felt good as she lifted it. Welcome and natural as she brought her left hand up to close around the rod about a foot behind her right hand. She smiled. She could still do this.

Pippa continued to smile as she stepped a bit closer, angled the pontil and lowered it to the melt. Then her face faltered. Instead of merely skimming the surface of the molten glass while rotating the rod, she felt the tip grow heavy and unbalanced as it sank, dipping below the surface to submerge itself in the liquid glass. She swore. It was something a novice would do, not the mistake of a skilled master. Not her.

Angry, she withdrew the rod and threw it aside. Dangerous, yes, but she was alone in the studio and not worried about the risks of injury to anyone else. She took a steadying breath and grabbed a second pontil, repeated her grip and moved a bit more slowly. Control. She just had to exercise control. It happened again. The rod, while in motion, became unbalanced in her faulty grip. She couldn’t do this. She. Could. Not. Do. This.

It was one more thing Larch had destroyed, ruined, stolen from her. Pippa felt ill, nauseous, as she pulled the pontil from the melt, shaky as she set it down atop the steel marver. Furious as she flung her glasses from her face, she swore again, then screamed. You can’t do this. You can’t do this…The mantra beat through her head; pounded at her temples and blinded her to what she was doing as she moved across the studio. She threw the first object her hands closed around, a vase. Shattered, she reached for the next and the next, dropping some, throwing others, letting them all break against the floor.

As she continued between the shelves, glass crunching and being ground beneath her heels, Pippa systematically emptied one after the other. If she couldn’t make glass, she didn’t want the reminders of what she had been capable of here to mock her. She was so engrossed in what she was doing that she didn’t hear the studio’s heavy fire door open. The sounds of shattering glass masked his footfalls on the concrete floor. The blood pounding in her ears kept her from hearing his somewhat aghast, “What are you doing, sweet?” And her rage caused her to forget that she had asked him to meet her here, to keep her company and to serve as a second pair of hands if need be.

It wasn’t until he raised his voice and called “Pippa!” sharply that she realized she wasn’t alone. Realized that someone had witnessed her tantrum, her unseemly fit. How much had he seen? She stood stock-still for a very long moment and then the anger was back, as heated and dangerous as the molten glass in the furnace. How dare he? Pippa whirled to face him, grabbed the piece of red glass off the table and flung it with as much anger and hatred as she could muster.

Rory caught it. He caught it. The scream that had been building in her chest died and she simply stared at him, her chest rising and falling with the pounding of her heart.
sandandwater: (Default)

1. Edward telling me that he did not, in fact, love me.
2. My mother refusing to call me anything other than "disgraceful whore" and variants thereof.
3. The Signore asking me to stay in Venice and the look on his face when I said no.
4. That entire week in August.
5. The look on Ro's face every time I've burst into tears lately.
6. The way Aryn looked at me at lunch after seeing my hand.
7. Waking up in Alessandro's arms that morning.
8. That I had her.
9. His face.
10. The last phone call from Nana.
sandandwater: ([short hair] smiling bw)
1. “Dabo Kolo is the name of the restaurant, Ro…and of an amazing dessert.” Pippa laughs as she tugs him down the sidewalk, both of her hands clasping one of his. “And this time, you are writing your name on the ceiling. Just stand on the bar, that’s what I did…” She loves finding quirky little ethnic restaurants where the food is as excellent as the ambiance.

2. “I made popcorn and rice krispie treats, I couldn’t make up my mind about salty or sweet so there’s both. And you can choose, Muppets Take Manhattan or Roman Holiday.” She holds up the DVD cases, well aware that there isn’t much of a choice here for him, they are two of her favorite movies.

3. His arm is around her waist, her cheek pressed to his chest as they move in time to the music, something slow and while they are both capable of more complicated dance steps, the simple swaying box-step suits Pippa and Rory for the time being. It is a chance to catch their breath as well as an excuse to touch more of each other in a public setting.

4. Laughter, panicked screams and then more laughing. “Stop that! Oh, my word, Ro, you are going to knock us both into the water if you don’t stop that!” In a rowboat at Central Park, cliché as it might be, she enjoys the manufactured romance of the setting—when her boyfriend isn’t clowning around and threatening to capsize the small vessel.

5. Sitting in the back of a quiet bar, she’s playing with the melting candle wax from the lone light source at their table. Having slipped her feet out of her shoes, they are resting bare in his lap. Both of them are nursing drinks, their quiet conversation the real intoxicant here.

6. She’s lying on the floor of his living room; the youngest member of his band is laying on Pippa in turn. Both of them are giggling like schoolgirls and even though she knows Rory can hear them, she’s glad he’s pretending otherwise at the moment. Double dates when three of the four are close friends and the fourth is odd-man-out…“I’m sure he’s not always so dreadfully dull, Sascha.” More laughter. “Oh, no! That’s even worse than being a bore! My sympathies…no! Of course I am not speaking from experience!”

Rory can’t keep from sniggering at that.

7. Far outside the city on back roads, no traffic and gorgeous weather, she's content. Sitting on the back of his bike, arms looped around his middle and her body pressed against his back, Pippa doesn’t mind the fact that they can’t talk over the roar of the wind or through the thickness of their helmets. They don’t have a destination in mind, he’ll pull over to the shoulder at some point and they’ll decide if they want to head back to his place or hers. Maybe she’ll suggest they keep going north for a while.

8. She stops in front of another large window display, something’s caught her eye and he’s stopped with her, trying to guess what it is that she’s falling in love with this time. “That is the most disgustingly vulgar color combination I have ever seen.”

Or not.

He laughs and asks where she’d wear it and gets a playful swat to his gut for his efforts.

9. Making dinner together, he’s once again proving that he does know his way around kitchen basics. She’s enjoying the game of pinching things from the cutting board as he slices the vegetables. If things eventually devolve into a food fight where he’s dropping ice cubes down her back and she’s showering him with cold water from the sink’s spray nozzle…

10. Lying on her stomach, pillow tucked under her chin, Pippa’s head is turned to watch their shadows on the far wall as she continues to offer thoughts and observations, laughter and murmurs of pleasure. “That has nothing to do with the band, Ro…it better not!”

His lips keep teasing the back of her knee, tongue tracing idle patterns on sensitive skin, his hand tucked between her thighs. “Mmm…no? I was thinking about…” His other hand caresses the curve of her ass, fingers pressing into soft flesh, “This…you. Mmm…a lot of this.”

So, maybe it wasn’t much of a date, but she has come home from the gig with the lead singer. Again.
sandandwater: ([short hair] head on)
ooc: takes place not too long after this thread.

Pippa was aware of the soft cotton against her bare skin, the give of the mattress she was laying on…the warmth of the body next to her. The rich and woody smell that was distinctly Rory and the familiar outline of his silhouette in the dimly lit room caused her to inhale sharply, and then wince at the stab of pain that permeated her side.

“Ro…?” Barely a whisper, unsteady and confused, Pippa’s voice cut through the darkened room. “Ro?”

She was disoriented and sore, unaware of where she was exactly or how she came to be there. Didn’t know about the hours of worried and at times frenzied activities employed to keep her alive, to jump start the healing process in her abused and broken body. Right now, none of it even mattered, not as her eyes began to focus and her senses told her that no, this wasn’t a dream or hallucination. Wherever here was, Rory was beside her and sleeping, his arm draped possessively over her midsection though as she shifted she realized he had propped his limb against a pillow; an attempt at keeping the weight off of her tender body.

Pippa puzzled at this for a moment then murmured his name again, confusion ebbing into relief. She was with Ro…warm and dry and…a pass of her hand over her chest confirmed that she was wearing something, a nightshirt belonging to someone else maybe—it certainly wasn’t one of her own. Another pass and something else caught her attention: bandages. Her hand was wrapped in gauze and there was…something inserted into the back of her hand, taped in place.

“Ro…?” She swallowed; found her voice a little steadier. A bit stronger if still a whisper, “Ro?”

Her right hand continued to play over her left, across the bandage to the plastic tubing that led away from her body and up…oh, an IV. She recognized what it was, furrowed her brow and tried to fathom the whys and hows of it even as her hand wandered back to the gauze again. To her fingers…her…fingers…

Thumb, index, middle, ring…Pippa jerked her hand away with a start as she brushed over the wadded mass of gauze, the tender side of her left hand. A flash of pain brought it all back vividly.

Wire cutters, Rory’s music, Larch’s laughter…her screaming…



sandandwater: (Default)

October 2009

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