Fetch: True Colors

Photoshop manipulation by The Real Cie
Lifetimes Past Version 10

With her body asleep on her son's couch, Pepper entered the Dreamlands. She walked from the Enchanted Wood to Gerry's home in the Karthian Hills. She looked dejectedly out the picture window overlooking the vast rocky panorama beyond the homestead.
This place had once been full of joy and happiness, but now everything was falling apart. Pepper's life in the waking world was far from enviable, and her misery was clearly bleeding into her dream existence. She was disabled, her savings were gone, and she now depended on charity from her family. 
Pepper was also on the brink of a breakup with the only man whom she would ever have ended her vow of celibacy for, a man whom she still loved with all her heart and soul. He still loved her as well, but as time and bad fortune had crushed her heart, body, and mind, and her will to fight had dissipated. The fires had died inside her, not only her passion for romance but for everything else as well.
"This is how it ends," she whispered into the afternoon shadows. "Not with a bang, but a whimper."
"We can still turn this around."
Gerry stepped in from the balcony. She hadn't seen him in the shadows. He looked gaunt and transparent, a shadow of the neurotic, energetic little Fetch she had fallen in love with close to five years ago. The great dark wings on his back had become spare from molting, and his ribs showed under his black t-shirt. His face, once merely angular, was now cadaverous. Pepper was startled by her beloved's sickly appearance.
"I don't see how, Gerry," Pepper countered softly. "Look at yourself. You're wasting away to nothing. You should go to the Heavens and let them heal you. Forget this place. There's nothing more you can do here."
"There's something I never told you, Love. My energy levels were always dependent on you. I didn't want to say so because I didn't want you to have that pressure. Besides, it seems kind of parasitic."
"I never noticed you tapping into my energy. Obviously, it didn't have any sort of detrimental effect, so why worry about it?"
"Well, yer correct there. It's sort of like how your phone takes energy to charge its battery without depleting the item it's plugged into, like yer computer or the charger in yer car. The engine battery don't get drained or nothin' by yer phone being there. It works kinda like that."
"Just to be clear, Gerry, you haven't done this to me. You were something beyond wonderful, and you made my life ever so much better. But circumstances outside of us conspired to destroy everything. I don't think I can ever get back those feelings of hope and love and acceptance that I had at the beginning of our relationship. Too much has happened since then."
"Pepper, Love, sometimes you’ve gotta just remember that initial spark of passion that brought you to the project in the first place. It has a tendency to dim down, but that don’t mean it’s gone forever. You just might have to look for it, that's all."
"Is our relationship a project now?" Pepper inquired with a tearful laugh. She was mostly teasing, but Gerry was not.
"Always was," he responded. "Anything worth doing is a project. You seem to have this belief that my relationship with Paul is completely effortless. Well, my love, nothing could be further from the truth. Me brother is me best mate, and he and I resonate, but there are times when he is the most pig-headed son of a jackal that I have ever known and I am quite sure that he is a changeling. Paulie and me, we've had to make compromises to keep our friendship tight. If we hadn't, we might well have ended up like that pair in that rather popular British alt-rock act, or like the two blokes from Credence Clearwater. 'Cause if you want the truth, we're both stubborn arseholes, but me friendship with me brother is more important than being right all the time. It can be the same for us, y'know, only hopefully with lots more cuddling and kissing and, y'know, some of the undercover stuff, that is, if you want."
"Well, you know the covers never stay on very long," Pepper said with a soft chuckle, gathering Gerry into her lap. "These damn endocrine problems of mine make me way too hot to be undercover. Gerry, I don't understand you. Why didn't you take the out that I was giving you? Why would a cute little thing like you want to be in a relationship with a bloated pig like me?"
"See, this is what you always do!" Gerry snapped, angrily rubbing the tears from his eyes. "Whenever we start to heal things between us, you just can't help but try and sabotage any good thing that's being offered to you. You've got me all bloody twisted up inside 'cause I always do me best to bring out yer true colors, but, to be honest, I ain't even sure no more what your true colors are! Are your true colors the beautiful rainbow I see shining from you when we're workin' on a story together and yer full of hope, and yer laughing and smiling, and when you look at me I feel like I'm all wrapped up in love and trust and happiness; or are your true colors the muddy, bloody, raging river of wrath that flows from you when yer filled with self-loathing and would question me devotion even if I ripped me fuckin' heart out and handed it to you on a silver platter?"
"Well, I'm an ugly, bloated, crippled wretch who nobody in their right mind would want."
"And I'm a weird-lookin' gnome with a funny nose and wonky teeth."
"My endocrine system is a trash fire."
"I'm dead."
Pepper gawped at Gerry in shock as his face contorted into a smug smirk, knowing her well enough to realize that she was lost for a comeback.
"This is not a contest, Gerry! That was a dirty play."
"Put me in the penalty box, then. I'll play as dirty as I must in order to finally make you realize that I love you and it's gonna be a hard fight for you to push me off. I did not spend feckin' thousands of years tryin' to get you back to me only to lose you because yer bein' a stubborn, pig-headed arsehole. Maybe I oughta be askin' the Universe what the hell I done to deserve for both me platonic soul mate and me true love to be stubborn, pig-headed, disorganized, self-deprecating, self-sabotaging blighters who put me at sixes and sevens constantly."
"I don't know, but I'm glad you did it," Pepper said softly as she held Gerry in her lap and stroked his wings, which were once again full and glossy. "You're looking better, Sweetheart. You have color in your cheeks again, and you don't look like a skeleton anymore."
"Told you me well-being was dependent on you, Love," Gerry sighed, nestling his face against Pepper's shoulder. "Now, are you ready to get out there and keep fighting? We've still got lots to do, and I ain't ready to give up on us yet."

Gem Moondreamer
Rose LeMort
The Real Cie

Prompts Used:

1 comment:

  1. I am LOVING this.
    And relationships are indeed work. Always.


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