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Mirror, Mirror, on the wall

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1 Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:14 pm

The tension that plagued the first short stretch of the trip had all but entirely dissolved as the day wore on. Cael fell into his own comfort zone driving, occasionally tapping out a rhythm on the steering wheel or cutting on the radio just long enough for it to irritate him and be cut back off. Jean sat silently secluded in the front seat, forehead planted against the window with his eyes glued on the landscape. 

Even the couple in the back of the van had found their groove - taking turns being one another's pillow as they dozed off and on. The soft cadence of their breathing only broken by the occasional groggy exchange. 

I almost feel guilty about having lied about their tea being nothing stronger than basic herbs, a sedative having found its way inside. Almost guilty. But not. The ease it'd afforded the rest of the day made it entirely worth it. 

The pages of my journal have been filling up over the past hundred or so miles. Observations about how the valerian's mixed with the passionflower filling more than a dozen on it's own. I'd even managed to remember to leave several pages blank so I can address any potential 'hangover' the herbs might leave with Marnin and Ljuba, though I never quite figured out how to address it when it came time to ask. Something tells me the blind man won't be ecstatic that I dosed him without his explicit consent. He seems like the explicit consent sort. 

I'd made my own tea, steeped and stored for the morning, and tucked myself into my blankets for the night. Despite intending to wait for Cael to have found a spot to park, I doze off to the steady hum of the engine and sway of the road. 

~~~

I wake up before everyone else - as I tend to do - and go about my morning routine. Having been stored beneath the driver's seat, the thermos my tea is in still feels warm to the touch as I tug it out and open it up, rubbing at my eyes in the dim dawn-light. Jean is still asleep in the front seat, looking rather uncomfortable, and Cael has taken up what was left of the floor in the back with his blankets and sprawled-out sleeping position.

It's cold, but not uncomfortably so, as I remove my blankets and crawl up into the driver's seat. It's the easiest door to get to without stepping on or over anyone, and I make it my spot as I start the process of undressing. It's still something I haven't gotten used to - sleeping dressed - and it's time consuming as I try to wiggle out of my stockings without knocking over my thermos or disturbing anyone or any thing. The cool air against my legs, too, only makes me question the logic of waking up so warm to threaten it with the cold snow outside. 

The tea's warming presence has already started settling in the pit of my stomach, though. It's tickling high spreads out through my limbs as I maneuver out of my dress and slip, folding them haphazardly and setting them on my shoes and stockings in the gap between the seats. 

Finishing the last of my tea, I tuck the thermos neatly in with my clothes and carefully open the driver's door, inhaling sharply at the cold air that whips over me. The cool washes over the warmth left from the tea, and it radiates up my spine in the most exquisite way, a smile spreading across my lips as I slip out of the narrow gap in the door - to avoid it's inherent creaking, of course - and shut it quietly behind me. 

The ice burns at the bottom of my feet as I hurry around the van, stopping mid-stride as I spin back to look at the van longingly. I forgot my blanket. Crap. Too late now. Going back will undoubtedly wake someone up, and the sun's already threatening to rise. The sun, and the calming rush of chemicals that seem to ease around my skull. Fuck it

I continue several yards out into the snow, my feet sinking in past my ankles with each step until I come upon a fallen tree, eager for the perch as I crawl up and take my seat. Won't be long, now. Legs curled underneath me, elbows on my knees, and my back stretching in an infinite arch as my head lolls around my shoulders. Eyes closing, I inhale deeply, for when they open, it won't be the morning sky they see.

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2 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:51 pm

*Cael*

It's a slow process, coaxing myself into consciousness under the warmth of my covers. Stretching lazily, I open my eyes slowly as I tilt my head up to peek at Ljuba and Marnin still snoozing comfortably in the back of the van.

It's a few more minutes before I lift my head to see Jean before I realize that Teagan is missing. Frowning lightly, I sit up slowly to look around in confusion. That's when I see the crack of the driver door not being closed completely.

"Ugh," I groan under my breath as I pull my boots toward me to put them on. Damn woman is gonna get herself killed, sitting outside in the wilds. I'm sure I'm not as quiet as she was when I climb up into the front seat to get out of the driver's side.

"Fuck me, it's cold," I complain to myself as I rub my arms vigorously, taking care not to get snow in my untied boots as I head toward where Teagan is sitting on a fallen tree... naked. Fucking naked. I stop in the snow, staring at her in mild shock.

"What a fucking weirdo," I groan once I've regained my composure. Trudging the rest of the way to the tree, I pause next to her to examine the vacant expression on her face. High as a fucking kite, naturally. She doesn't even blink when I wave my hand in front of her face.

Hesitating, I bite my lip lightly as I look her over appreciatively. She's fucking nuts, sitting out here in the cold, but damn does she have a nice body. Sighing, I look around the vacant landscape for any onlookers or potential threats before taking a seat on the tree beside her.

Unlike her, however, I'm not high enough to be oblivious to the cold, so I remove a small piece of bleached driftwood from my pocket and toss it into the snow a few feet in front of me. With a snap of my fingers, a fire roars up in the bluish-purple flames that are a token of the sodium soaked wood. Fortunately, it lacks the toxicity of burning actual driftwood, but it still looks cool and burns hot, which is all I really care about at the moment.

Now, we wait.

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3 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:05 pm

It's like trying to remember a dream. A drugged-out, fever-induced dream that leaves my body sore and tense as I hunch over my lap gasping for breath. Back arched and arms outstretched, I'm gulping in air as my fingers run through my hair so my arms can tangle in it's length. 

Snow. Cold. Shivering. The abrasiveness of the weather almost wipes the memories of my dream from my mind as I let my legs fall over the either edge of the tree, and I shove my hair back so I can wrap my arms across my chest for warmth. 

That's when I see him. Perched boredly beside me, watching me like I'm some sort of spectacle. I'm too cold to startle, but that doesn't stop me from staring back at him with wide eyes. 

"What?" I frown, "What are you looking at?"

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4 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:46 pm

"Specifically?" I ask, raising an eyebrow as my gaze falls back down to her goosebumped skin and very erect nips. Clearing my throat, I think better of giving her the rest of the answer, and simply shrug instead.

"A freezing woman?" I offer before shrugging off my coat and offering it to her. "What are you doing out here anyway? Was the trip that good, or is there some method to the madness here?"

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5 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:47 pm

"It's purer." I say simply, taking his coat as I drape it across my front and twist my leg over the tree to face the burning wood. "When did you light a fire..?"

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6 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:52 pm

"About twenty minutes ago?" I say, bobbing my head side to side as I estimate how long it had been based on how much the snow has melted around the self-sustaining fire. "I don't know, honestly. The sun is quite a bit higher than it was, though. And Marn came out to go pee quite awhile ago, so it's been a little while."

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7 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:54 pm

"And you've just been sitting here..?" I ask, looking over at him curiously as I lift his jacket from my front so I can shrug my arms into it, letting it hang from my shoulders as I kick at the snow with my toes.

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8 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:28 pm

"Someone has to look out for you," I shrug. "Naked girl, stoned off her rocker and sitting out in the snow on the side of a dangerous highway? If I were a bastard, I'd pick you off myself."

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9 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:30 pm

"You wish." I cut him a look, grinning a bit as I slide off of the tree and rub my hands together. 

"I don't think you could take me."

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10 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:38 pm

"I've been staring at your tits for twenty minutes and you had no idea," I scoff, shaking my head at her. "You wouldn't even know I was there to take me."

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11 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:43 pm

I narrow my eyes at him, glancing down at my chest before tugging the coat closed across it as I shrug.

"Just because you've looked at me naked doesn't mean anything." I retort, turning to step around the fire as I start the tedious trek back to the van. "I knew you were there."

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12 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:47 pm

"Really?" I ask as I get up to follow her. My coat isn't quite long enough to cover the bottom half of her ass, something that makes the walk back much more pleasant. "Soo," I smirk, pulling my sweater down over my hands to protect my fingers from the cold. "Does that mean you saw me rubbing my dick through my jeans?"

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13 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:57 pm

I stop cold as I spin to face him, my jaw slack and eyes wide as I gawk at him.

"What!?"

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14 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:01 pm

"See?!" I grin, pointing at her accusingly as I catch up enough to flick the lapel of my leather coat. "You had no idea I was there. Otherwise you'd know I was throwing pieces of bark in the fire and singing, not jerking it to your fantastic breasts and very exposed cooch. Also fantastic, by the way - not that I was looking."

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15 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:15 pm

I have trouble not grinning as I look up at him as he passes me, my hands digging into the pockets of the coat as I pull it around my front in an attempt to cover my bottom. 

"That's almost as flattering as a prostitute wanting to do business with me," I say, skipping up alongside him as I try to hit the misshapen footprints I'd left earlier, "Fantastic. What a divine word!"

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16 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:18 pm

"You're very spiritual, aren't you?" I laugh as I move around to the driver side to open the door and grab Teagan's clothes. "So is that what all that was about? Some divine meditation or something?"

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17 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:22 pm

"Sort of-" I nod, coming around behind him as I bounce in place, eager to crawl into the warm van as he seems to linger in the door digging out my clothes. 

"Pops used to call 'em vision quests, but that sounds so stupid. They're more like dreams."

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18 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:25 pm

"What do you see?" I ask curiously, handing her the warmed bundle of clothes. "In these dreams?"

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19 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:28 pm

My shoulders sag a bit as he turns to hand me the clothes, still blocking my entry into the van as I hug them to my front. 

"It varies. Couple mornings back, I saw those three traveling with us." I shrug, rising onto my toes to try and spare my feet the cold. "This morning, I saw storms. I- I don't know what it means, I need to sit with it for a bit. Can I get in, now?"

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20 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:33 pm

"Oh, right, sorry," I say, stepping back to let her climb into the van as I glance at her feet. I wince a bit at the redness there. "There's some cream in the glovebox to help with frostbite. Numbs it a bit."

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21 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:40 pm

"It'll be fine," I call back, crawling over his seat as I slip between the seats and drop my clothes onto my blanket, trying my best not to knock into Jean before settling into my spot from earlier. 

Marnin and Ljuba are both awake, the scarred woman flushing a bit as she peers at me from over the edge of her blanket tiredly. I can't figure out why until I feel a gust of wind filter through the door Cael shuts behind him against my rear.

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22 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:45 pm

"Were you guys..?" Marnin asks with a bit of a frown that confuses me until I notice the fantastic view as I look back at him.

"No," I say, feigning disgust before I reach back to swat Teagan's ass. "Put your pants on, woman! You'll give the blind guy a stiffy."

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23 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:49 pm

I scoff as I swat back at him, dropping my clothes in my lap before I twist back to reach around and pinch at Cael's arms.

"Shut up, I will not!" I argue, retreating quickly back behind his seat as I pull my bag up to find a change of clothes. "I was doing a morning ritual - I do it every morning. It's just easier when we're not sleeping in a van full of people."

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24 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:55 pm

"So you were sitting in the snow without any clothes with Cael..?" Marnin asks, raising a bemused eyebrow.

"She wasn't with me," I say, rolling my eyes as I start the van up and turn the heat up. "I was just keeping an eye on her."

"Oh, I bet," Marnin grins before blushing at Teagan. "Sorry, I'm just teasing."

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25 Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:58 pm

"I don't see the big deal," I shake my head, huffing softly to myself as I hear Jean stir. Perfect. Everyone's awake now.

"You're naked, Teagan," Ljuba says softly, reaching up to tuck the blankets under her chin as she looks at me. 

"SO!?" I retort, my voice louder than intended as I blush a bit and adjust Cael's jacket over my front. "Ahem- So? People are naked. Naked's normal."

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