shallowness: Five panels featuring pictures of different female characters based on my interests at the time. (see Kitty read)
[personal profile] shallowness
Title: Birthday Girl
Author: shallowness
Fandom: Push
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairing: Nick/Cassie
Word count: 1,057
Summary: Cassie gets ahead of herself

Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine, and I make no profit from this fan-written fiction.
Author's Note: Some self-indulgence involved here. With thanks to [personal profile] aphrodite_mine for betaing. All idiocies are mine.


Birthday Girl: shallowness


It’s two years and four and a half months since they tried to exchange the syringe for her mom and Division screwed them over, and two years four months since they injected Kira’s cousin, Trey, with the serum and he survived. It’s eleven months since Kira left, ten months since Nick gave up smoking again and stopped reeking of booze. In all that time, Cassie hasn’t seen Kira return. They’re still working on rescuing Cassie’s mom and she doesn’t know exactly how long it will be before they do, but, today, in this time zone, it’s her birthday.

She opens Nick’s door while she’s knocking it. He responds automatically, sitting up, narrowing his eyes and groaning as he looks her over, like it would be okay for her to burst in and wake him if she was bleeding from the ears, but regular old excitement is bad. She hears the thud of the gun he Moved drop back to the floor to her left.

“I’ve come for my present,” she explains.

He lies back in his bed, his arm covering his eyes.

“Who says you’re getting one?”

“Do you want me to get the picture to show you?”

“This early in the morning? No.”

She ignores his snark. “So, where is it?”

“What are you? Six?” Like he’s been deaf every time she’s said her age, which she knows is a habit she should break, but no-one ever gets it right.

Cassie taps her bare feet as heavily as possible – she came straight from her bed this morning and is wearing nothing bar her PJs. She knows it’s incredibly early, the light peeking in through the corners of the window is as much man-made as daylight, but she’s had this vision for two weeks now, and it’s rare for her simply to want the future she’s already seen to happen.

“Nick,” she says evenly. “Where is it?” The fingers of his right hand point to the bedside table and she rushes to it. There’s a fancy little paper bag that she hastily empties. A classy-looking black jewelry box slips out. She can barely breathe, although it’s caused by a Watcher’s version of anticipation. She flips open the box.

“Do you like it?” His voice is marinated with laughter. She spins around, noticing that he’s sitting up now, a hundred per cent awake.

“It’s a hair band,” she says, voice controlled.

“Practical, huh?” Her hair’s been longer, but it’s still past shoulder length. “It’s rainbow colored, because I wasn’t sure what color would go with your hair long term—“

“No, it’s rainbow colored because I wasn’t sure what color my hair would be long term when I bought it. This is the hair band that I thought I lost.” She’s not sure whether she’s mad or amused. “Where’s my present?”

“Who says—“

“Do you really want to see the picture? I know this isn’t my present, so quit being a jerk and—“

“I switched them last night, after you’d gone to sleep. It just came to me,” he tells her and Moves something from a chair. She walks towards it, catching the chain in her hand, her mood transforming. It’s more beautiful in her hands than it was in her mind, the stone used for the petals as delicate a hue as a real lotus flower’s. That and the weight tell her it was expensive, and Nick hasn’t asked her to spot him for cash for a long time.

She’s smiling, beaming, an excited girl who’s just received a beautiful necklace on her birthday, from a guy who—well, he’s the person she’s closest to now.

“Thank you,” she tells Nick, looking directly at him. There’s no teasing in his face, just pleasure, and maybe because she doesn’t want to stand there just looking – although she could, she could explore that unguarded look on his face – she says, “Put it on for me.”

She makes it an order by coming to sit on the bed, setting the first ‘present’ aside to catch her hair up in her hand, holding her necklace over her shoulder for him. Nick seems slow to take it from her, but then she feels the weight transfer away and lets go. She quickly picks up the band and ties her hair up anyhow, all that matters is that it’s up, and then she lowers her hands to the crumpled bed linen. Closing her eyes for her moment, she hears him breathing, the rustle of the bedding as he moves. She’s grateful that her bare feet are planted on the floor, because she feels a touch of dizziness. She opens her eyes and clutches some of the material in her hands, as Nick brings the gold chain over her face, the lotus flower feeling cold when it comes to lie on her skin. Maybe the room is hot.

Nick fumbles with the catch, some of his knuckles resting on her back as he tries to close the chain. She knows her breathing is becoming shallower, faster. She should say something, but what?

“Done,” he says, and the catch drops onto her skin, his hands lifting away and she feels the loss of that touch, even as one of her hands comes up to trace the flower. She hears him move away, still under the bed clothes, so she twists herself to face him.

“Thank you. Again.”

“You’re welcome,” he says, but she can’t read his voice or his face, or maybe she could if she tried, if she pushed harder, because she knew this gift was coming, but she’s shied away from what it means – the flower, the expense, the symbolism.

“Of course, it doesn’t mean I’m letting you off for making me breakfast.”

“It’s going to be Do Everything Cassie Wants Day, I can see. Know that I’ll remember this on my birthday,” Nick grouches, and she’s relieved to keep it light for now. She needs it light today, another day on the way to images she’s seen, but hasn’t drawn.

“Fine, go get dressed. I’ll make your heart attack special, Cass.”

“Yeah, yeah. It’s not like you won’t be making some for yourself.” She gets off the bed.

“Happy birthday, Cassie,” he says as she walks away. She tosses him a look over her shoulder and they share a smile.


Fin.

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shallowness: Five panels featuring pictures of different female characters based on my interests at the time. (Default)
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