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06 December 2007 @ 06:32 pm
Fic: My Dissolved Life  
Title: My Dissolved Life
Pairing: JM/HL
Rating: PG-13 for some language.
Notes: I don't know where this came from, but here it is. We may have to beg to differ on certain things. Don't analyze the pictures too hard - they were just a general sort of starting-point for this fic, and I thought it might be nice to have multi-media, but they're not meant to be perfectly accurate to the story. Anyway, enjoy!



She has been distant for months, but it is when he sees the pictures that he knows. Something is wrong.

It is as if the sparkling, effervescent little girl she used to be in those photos has withered. She had always been all dark curls and dimples and the occasional freckle on a shoulderblade or collar-bone. Now she is movie-star blonde and too glamorous for her own good, blood-red lipstick like a wound against her mouth.

More startling are her eyes. She had always meant it when she smiled, and you could tell, from the flash of teeth and the playful tug at the corner of her mouth, but mainly from the spark in her eyes, that she was happy in a way he knew he never would be.

These days she smiles too hard, her teeth determined and clenched like weapons against who knows what danger and hurt she sees out there. The corners of her mouth sag and her eyes... her eyes are empty and stare through the camera-lense, beyond it, to something no one can name.

That night, he makes a decision. That night, he knows he has to try to make things right.

----------------

He is picking nervously at the glazed ham that craft service put out for lunch, and she is lounging irreverently across the couch, one leg over the arm-rest, puffing on a cigarette. Above her, the sign glares, THANK YOU FOR NOT SMOKING. She flicks the ash down to the carpet and watches it burn a plastic-y, black crater into the synthetic material.

So, he tries, How've you been?

Just peachy, she says, her very voice a warning. Don't come any closer.

You don't... you don't look happy these days, he tells her, his fork tearing bits from the meat. Suddenly, he doesn't feel so hungry anymore.

She is uncharacteristically indifferent as she takes another drag from her cigarette. So?

I've seen the pictures, he says. You look... he tries to chose his words carefully, but settles instead on the unpleasant truth. You look like something in you has died.

Maybe it has, she says, and in her bitterness, there is a hint, just a taste, of that same fragile sadness that he would never associate with anyone but her.

Well, what... is there anything - ? He is, as always, at a loss for words when it comes to her.

She sighs and her eyes slip closed, and when she speaks, it is the old Jennifer, the glitter-winds, big-dreams, swollen-heart-on-her-sleeves Jennifer. Just wait it out. A sigh escapes her lips, mingled with cigarette smoke like decay and regret. It will pass. In time.

As he leaves, he hears her murmur.

I won't always be this way.

----------------

Two months later, she is just the same, and he decides that it is time to resort to other measures.

He asks her to grab "a quick bite" after filming. She opens her mouth to decline, but somehow she must sense the desperation in him, the hidden conviction that this is necessary, because she closes her mouth and just nods. They take his motorcycle, "because it is more practical". Her grip is loose and indifferent. He pulls her arms tighter around him, and is reminded of a day more than two years ago, in the (fake) snow, on another bike, in another story of heartache. Had it really been that long since he had seen her smile?

She begins to catch on when he turns onto Highway 405, taking them out of Studio City and to she knows not where, and although she yells in his ear the entire way, he doesn't stop. They both know she's stuck with him, for better or worse. He has the vague thought that those words remind him of a pact he made long ago, but can't seem to remember.

It is nearly nightfall when they reach Santa Monica.

Her fists are hard against his back. He barely manages to catch the bike when she dismounts and knocks against it. Well, that's rather a gentle word. 'Throws herself from him' would be more appropriate.

"What the hell do you think you're doing, Laurie?" She's never called him by his last name before. He was always Hugh, and she was always, always Jennifer. "Is this some kind of twisted joke? I don't appreciate whatever game you're trying to - "

He lifts her and carries her over his shoulder, and she screams loud and hard, pounding her hands into anything solid. The world is spinning, and up is down, and she can't tell what is Hugh and what is palm tree or lifeguard stand, but she lashes out against anything and everything. "Let me go!" she shrieks. "Fuck you, you bastard. Put me down!" She claws at him with her perfect French-tip manicure. She feels her nails break, and a satisfying dampness against her fingertips.

He walks down the long, deserted beach, his face a mask of concentration and willpower. He didn't think it would be this easy, but he never imagined it would be this hard. There is a steady dripping down his back, and he knows it is from Jennifer's ferocious resistance. "I hate you!" she screams at him. "Just go back to where you came from and leave me alone!" She bites into his side just as his feet reach the place where the water drows the sand, but he does not cry out.

One moment she is kicking and fighting against his hard, warm body, and the next she is suspended in air. She has just a single breath to be surprised before she falls into the dark, roiling waves.

She pushes, tangled in her clothes, with no idea of which way up is. Air, air. The surf buffetts her on all sides, and her lungs swell in protest. Sand and rocks scrape away at her soft skin, water pushes its way up her nose, burning as it does so, and a trail of bubbles escape her lips. And after a long, long time in the pulsing, raw violence, she let go.

The sound of water rushing against the shore is like a heartbeat, and Jennifer feels safer than she has in the last twenty-odd years, since she left her mother's womb. Once she stops fighting, the water cradles her carefully. Hush, the ocean whispers against the sand, against her skin. I know. It's okay. I've got you.

She opens her eyes for the first time. Gazing wide-eyed into the blurry darkness, she can see everything. Everything, and nothing at all, and somehow that nothing is everything, and she feels tiny and powerless and finally, finally, alive.

When her dark head slips silently above the surface, Hugh releases a sigh of relief because he can tell, although it's dark and her hair is plastered across her face, that something has changed. He had feared, for a moment... but no.

"He left," she says, everything about her completely still in the swirling ocean. "He left," as if only realizing what those words mean now. Two shining, silver tracks of tears fall from her eyes, though she is silent and does not sob. Hugh holds her to him, pushing thick locks of mermaid hair, dark and full of sand and kelp, back from her pale, stricken face, and he lets her cry all of her remorse and pain and longing into the ocean. Glimmering, her tears fall into the dark sea and mingle with those companion waters, and when he presses his lips to hers, it is all he can taste - salt and sea and tears.

The moon is just beginning to rise as he carries her across the sand, dripping and clinging to his neck like a child, like he is the last comfort in the world left to her. She shivers weakly against him, and even though it's dangerous and technically illegal, he climbs on behind her, keeping her in the circle of his arms.

By the time the stars are out, they are long gone.

That night, she bandages the deep rents she tore in him and kisses the bruises, and he trails his fingers over her every scrape. They fall asleep in each others' arms, too tired to wash the sand and sea from themselves (or at least, that's the excuse they'll make later). 
 
 
 
[not your late-night booty call]: jmo - cuterainbowjumpsuit on December 13th, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
That was really amazing and beautiful. I love it! ♥
♥ bella in wonderlandink_cat on December 20th, 2007 07:22 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! :)
beebee_159 on December 13th, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
Hey there stranger,
I have to say, there are few good RPF writer's out there...and you are most certainly one of them!!!

I loved every word you wrote...=D

BeeBee
♥ bella in wonderlandink_cat on December 20th, 2007 07:24 am (UTC)
Eeeeek. I'm glad! Thanks! Wow. So I guess I'm well and truly in the fandom now? ;) For so long I was nervous that people would take one look at anything I wrote and go, "... No."

:D Thanks a ton.
bloody-hellsmaramyanet on December 14th, 2007 02:46 am (UTC)
Beautiful! Absolutely gorgeous, there’s this poetry to your words and the image you slowly paint. I hope you write more and soon.
♥ bella in wonderlandink_cat on December 20th, 2007 07:25 am (UTC)
*glows* Thank you!

Now that school's out and finals are over, I can get back to the really important thing in life: fandom!

;)
Pennmillpennmill on December 14th, 2007 07:27 am (UTC)
Very nice! I hope they post more of your story soon. I posted chapter 10 of my story over a week ago and they still haven't posted it. But I hope yours comes up soon--I really like it!
♥ bella in wonderlandink_cat on December 20th, 2007 07:27 am (UTC)
That's actually the end of this one. I'm a one-shot kind of person, I just do bits and pieces.

I actually e-mailed the mods (but I don't think the comm. email gets checked very often), but my story was posted after I commented on one of their personal journals. I was only worried because my backup version of the story got erased, and if they rejected the post, I wouldn't have it at all anymore. :o

Thanks! I saw that yours got posted today. :) Yay!
(Deleted comment)
♥ bella in wonderlandink_cat on December 20th, 2007 07:30 am (UTC)
Thanks so much!

I don't really do smut. I don't know why, but I think it's partially because I view relationships as more emotional and romantic than lust!sex!fornication! like a lot of writers do. :)

I've tried to read smut and I've tried to write smut, but neither really appeal to me, and I'm awful at trying to write naughty scenes. :P

It definitely was! Thanks for catching that. It's just that Jen and Cameron can become so entagled in my mind at times.

Thanks! :)
dil_deal: H/J laugh b/wdil_deal on December 14th, 2007 09:16 am (UTC)
Wonderful, gorgeous, bittersweet, amazing, one of the bests. Thank you.
♥ bella in wonderlandink_cat on December 20th, 2007 07:31 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for your lovely little comment.

My pleasure. :)
Marguerite: hugh/jen starsflybutterfly24 on December 14th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
Beautiful!♥
♥ bella in wonderlandink_cat on December 20th, 2007 07:32 am (UTC)
♥ Thanks!

I like actually knowing people in this community now. It makes the reviews even better. :D
(Deleted comment)
♥ bella in wonderlandink_cat on December 20th, 2007 07:32 am (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you liked it.

Love your username.
marashavit on December 18th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
It's marvelous.

And i'ts absolutely beautiful.

As shallow as it is of me (and it is), I have an unfortunate tendency to need an M rating on my fics in order to truly give into them. To truly love them. There are very very few non-smut fics out there that I cherish.
And I fell completely for this one.

Again, it's absolutly beautiful.
And being deeply, deeply in love with Jennifer Morrison as I am, the subject is painfully familiar to me. I'm still struggling with this - how did you put it? (perfectly) - 'movie-star blonde and too glamorous for her own good, blood-red lipstick like a wound against her mouth' new her. And your fic deals with that brilliantly. Just brilliantly. (I'm actually almost jealous.)

Spectacular work.
♥ bella in wonderlandink_cat on December 20th, 2007 07:38 am (UTC)
Wow, thank you very much.

Aw, yay. I'm glad that mine was the mold-breaking exception. I think it's because I'm a closet romantic that I focus much, much more on the emotions. I don't know, it just doesn't seem right to me to write OR read smut, as odd as that is. Maybe because the emotional fics have a more long-lasting nature, whereas smut describes a single sexual encounter? I'm not really sure. I'm probably the opposite. All the fics I love are emotional, very few are smutty.

I don't think I like the new Jen. :/ I miss the old Jennifer.

Almost, but not quite? ;)

Thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
marashavit on December 22nd, 2007 08:20 am (UTC)
I miss her terribly as well.
Re-watching season 1 episodes is such a surreal experience for me these days. even most of season 2.
I want both my old Cam and my old Jennifer back.
(But oh well. that's what DVDs are for.)

Regarding smut - I have to disagree. That is, I do partially agree about single sexual encounter, though I do tend to involuntarily love them as well. (shoot me). But there are many, many, many many fics out there that are both M rated and very emotionally-aware. That applies to one shots as well as some very, vey long fics.
Hell, there are even RPF's (in this comm:)) that match the criterion. Beebee's 'We Can't Help It' is without a doubt one of them. Have you read it? it's so beautifully poetic. And 'Anything For The Show' has that element as well. And so many others that aren't here.

I completely respect your approach. And I completely understand that some people just don't see smut as their cup of tea. But non the less, smut *can* be for closet romantics.:) It can, it really really can.
aninwa: so called artworkaninwa on December 23rd, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC)
i'm officially one of your biggest fans now...
you write so beautifully :D i never really a big fan of RPFs, but this one has moved me and put tears in my eyes...

regarding the old and new jen, i think she has come to the part where she just "let go" and "move on". at least that's what i see in the recent pics.. *cheers* :D
shippercrazed: hameron flowersshippercrazed on January 3rd, 2008 09:34 am (UTC)
Wow. Beautiful writing.
hugh_the_manhugh_the_man on January 7th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
What an amazing story. I truly enjoyed the simple beauty of the words you use and the introspective of both Hugh and Jennifer.


As far as the pictures go, I guess Jennifer decided to make quite a drastic change in her life and time will only tell whether it is fot the better.

Congratulations once more on this lovely fic and hopefully you'll be posting some more wonderful things soon.
NMnm42 on January 12th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)
WOW...that pretty much describes how I sit here, mouth gape and perpetually find myself re-reading this over and over and over again. Its beautiful in every sense, and I truly like that. True for me as well, Im quite like marashavit, I also find my self liking and becoming completely biased based on the smut factor.

But in all other regards, there are few non-smut ones that I love truly. Yours is in that list. It truly was amazing.

And I agree with the whole old Cam/Jen...I want em' back =[
in the back of a red VW microbusmass_hipgnosis on October 23rd, 2008 08:10 am (UTC)
This fic has been selected for houseofrecs. The rec post will appear today, Thursday, October 23rd.
naika7: JMonaika7 on October 23rd, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
"They both know she's stuck with him, for better or worse."

This was so beautiful! Very new and refreshing, thank you.