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19 January 2008 @ 12:01 am
Challenge fic: Something Here Inside  
Author: eponinesghost (EppieG)
Title:  Something Here Inside
Pairing: Tracey/Kelly
Rating: PG-13-ish language
Notes/Summary:  Written in response to the "Apologies" challenge .... (A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away).  
Tracey/Kelly established relationship. Can be read as a continuation of 
 If Ever I Fall, albeit a significant time later ...

With all due respect for Sir Elton, Tracey Kibre begged to differ.  "Sorry" wasn't even close to being the hardest word. In the top three maybe, definitely top five material.  Being argumentative was a talent she had been born with and had honed into a sharp skill over her lifetime. She actually got paid for it. She was so good at it that she rarely noticed that sometimes her toughest opponent was the other voice inside her head.  Didn't matter. Either way she won those -- if they ever reached a resolution.
Right now, lost in an all too familiar tussle with herself, she could think of a few words that she'd put above the titular song subject.
"Please" for instance.  It was at least as strenuous as "sorry."
Not one prone to ever ask for help, it had mostly languished in her vocabulary's attic.  Now she was contemplating rooting around for it, dusting it off.  Life had a way of resuscitating all forms of "just in case" storage.
This particular situation required everything to be in working order. No stone left unturned. As she rolled the words around inside her head, arranging them in rough draft form, she wished for all the world for a Dorothy Gale to show up with an all-purpose oil can.  Damn, she was rusty.
She had to be honest. Above all else.  Sincerity was a must. Anything less would be digging deeper, not out.  But the words themselves would be important too, possibly even critical.  "Critical" ... that was certainly a double-edged sword wasn't it?  She'd already used the sharp side, now she had to find a way to minimize the scarring.
Maybe if she practiced out loud. That worked for court.  Pacing behind the sofa, she cleared her throat.
"Please ... can we please go back and pretend that I wasn't a complete ass earlier?"
Almost before the phrase formed she was shaking her head.  Too flippant, even if it were her most fervent hope. She rubbed her hands together absently, trying to somehow summon the perfect plea.  Finally clasping her fingers together, she tried again.
"What can I do to make it up to you?  Please tell me ... whatever it is ..."  
Growling in frustration Tracey clenched her fists before running her fingers roughly through her hair.  That wouldn't work!  Wasn't fair.  That was throwing the burden back, asking for too easy an absolution. As badly as she wanted it, she knew that receiving it without the proper effort would make it all .... wrong.
There was another word she had some issues with.  Only when and if it applied to her, of course.  It flowed like fine wine when she was directing it toward someone else.  Using it now, no ... owning it now ... that might be the most transparent way to show the magnitude of her remorse.
Raw and direct.  "I was wrong.  I was so wrong."  
She prowled back and forth over the same stretch of carpet she'd been wearing out since the door had slammed shut -- rattling the pictures and causing the security chain to swing in a mesmerizing manner while she'd watched, stunned.  Once it had stilled, she hadn't stopped moving.  Her mind desperately racing.
Now she was practically chanting.  "It was me, I was wrong.  Completely wrong.  So fucking wrong."   With each stride she became more emphatic.  "I'm sorry.  I was wrong."  Her voice stronger, infused with more and more emotion as she let the words reflect the true depth of their meaning.
"I was wrong.  I'm so sorry.  I don't know what I was thinking, saying ... but I know I'm so damn sorry.  Please ..."
The last word tapered off into a whisper as she saw and heard the door knob turning.   One hand dropped to the back of the sofa to steady her as she froze in place, anxious and elated.  Her breathing sounding unnaturally loud as everything switched to slow motion.  Every cell in her body seemed to be screaming at her to rush forward, yank the door open ... but she couldn't manage one simple step.
This tortured defiance of her will was only magnified when Kelly finally faced her.
Kelly's jaw was set, her cheeks flushed.  Although the tell-tale signs of serious crying remained evident, Tracey could tell that the gorgeous blue was unnaturally bright with still unshed pain.  At that observation, she felt the sting of a thousand cuts prick her own eyes, threatening to blur her focus in more ways than one.
What she couldn't see, couldn't read, was that everything she'd agonized over ... every realization she'd uncovered ... was written plainly on her face.   She missed the slight softening of Kelly's expression, was barely aware of the catch in her breath as she came closer and closer to where Tracey had become overwhelmed and motionless. 
When it seemed that Kelly was about to speak ... to release her ... Tracey miraculously gained some dexterity and was able to signal with her hand for silence.  Pleading with her eyes for time to recover her speech. To go first.  She swallowed reflexively, trying to relieve the tightness of her throat, to calm the tremor that promised to shake her apart.
"... I'm  .... "   Her mouth moved soundlessly then, though the mantra she had clung to still echoed through her mind.  Exhaling without air, she forced herself to try again.  " ... I ... " 
Unbidden her fingers found their way to Kelly's temple, her thumb wiping away the last trace of a tear. The gentleness of her touch belying the fierce struggle within.  "Kelly ... I ... "   Her voice was soft but sure, so sure.  "... love you."
The impact was immediate.  Crushed in Kelly's arms, her legs weak with relief, held up only by the strength of this embrace, she continued, her lips brushing the soft damp skin of Kelly's cheek. "I'm so damned sorry."   Alternately kissing as she spoke.  Feeling Kelly's hand and breath in her hair.  "I love you."
Tracey marveled as she repeated them again and again, effortlessly.  This was right.
And they were the easiest three words she'd ever meant.
the end
thanks for reading!

"They ... asked me how I knew ...
My true love was true
Oh ... I of course replied ...
Something here inside ... cannot be denied"

                   ~ Smoke Gets In Your Eyes ~ 
                         -- The Platters
Current Mood: nostalgic
shayshaych_03 on January 19th, 2008 09:16 am (UTC)
oh lovely :) i particularly liked this line: At that observation, she felt the sting of a thousand cuts prick her own eyes, threatening to blur her focus in more ways than one.

so telling, so visceral.

it's lovely to see this pairing after so long :) thank you :)
eponinesghost: morningeponinesghost on January 19th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
Visceral ... I like that.

Thank you so much for the feedback. It has been a long time, hasn't it?
darandkerry: Tracey & Kellydarandkerry on January 19th, 2008 11:49 am (UTC)
Oh how I've missed these two. :)

Amazing insight into Tracey's inner turmoil. You painted her so perfectly, the thoughts and mannerisms so very typically her. And finally, the apology - every single word written beautifully, flawlessly. Thanks for sharing.
eponinesghost: ebayeponinesghost on January 19th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
Me too!

Thank you. It's an effort sometimes to get into her head ;)
fluffytime: TBJ - Kellyjoran on January 19th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, how wonderful it is to hear Tracey's voice in your words. I loved her agonizing. And Kelly, tear-stained and defiant and gentle.

Those are our girls!

Thank you for such a gift. :)
eponinesghost: redeponinesghost on January 19th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)

I get the feeling she agonizes quite dramatically. Hee. And rarely.

And Kelly ... poor Kelly ... who doesn't get to say anything in this story. LOL (Good for her for slamming the door nice and hard, though.)

Tracey and I both had some unfinished business. Thank YOU for keeping the light on ...
tudinous on January 21st, 2008 05:02 am (UTC)
Even after so long, you still unerringly write the Tracy in my imagination. Glad you're back!

tudinous on January 21st, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
Please pardon the breaking of convention with the misspelling of Tracey's name.
eponinesghosteponinesghost on January 21st, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC)
But of course. Anything for you.
eponinesghost: ebayeponinesghost on January 21st, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
It's weird how we share her, huh? ;) As long as she visits every so often, I'm good.

Thank you. Just pretend I'm like one of those little dogs who gets mysteriously lost on the family vacation clear across the other side of the country ... and then just as mysteriously turns back up at home years later ... a little worse for wear ;)
Angelina Ballerina: Bebe - OMFGgreenovalfruit on January 25th, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC)



Excuse me, I'll be back when I'm alive again. Eppie lives. OHMYGOD!
eponinesghost: redeponinesghost on January 25th, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)
:: nudges you with my toe ::

Should I get some cold water?
Angelina Ballerina: T/K - Partner/Hiddengreenovalfruit on January 27th, 2008 10:15 am (UTC)
Okay, am alive. But the cold water could be put to good use anyway (I just reread the 'series' from Worthy to this one)

Eep!!!! I'm so glad to read something new of yours! Hee! And here I was, thinking you'd abandoned us completely (though, to be fair, it's not as if this community is all that active anymore - you still don't use your journal! :P)

That was lovely. Very Tracey. And I think somehow my world made just a little more sense because she said it back *bounces*

Oh and btw, I am totally convinced you're a famous author in disguise. Just so you know. I mean, you hang out with Georgia and and and... okay, that and your writing is my only basis for the conspiracy theory but STILL! Famous author.

*jumps on you* So glad to see my Eppie again!
eponinesghosteponinesghost on January 27th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
:: laughing as you pounce :: Okay, okay, okay!

Trying to regain my dignified facade, here. Abandoned is such a strong word ... and close enough to true to make me feel guilty ;)

Sorry to rain on your conspiracy parade baby doll, but SO NOT FAMOUS. Haven't seen Fin around for a while either, but then again she does have a real life as an author!

Just do this for fun and escape and FEEDBACK. And I do use my journal, sometimes. For rough drafts and such. When and if they get finished, I post them over here. And brace myself for the bouncing and such ;)
Angelina Ballerina: A/O - *kiss*/Loveygreenovalfruit on January 27th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
Mah! Someone always rains on my conspiracy parade. Except for my cat. He's obviously an assassin working for the government by night, which is why he's not home at 3:18 am. When I question him, he just gives me this looks like "Thaaaat's right." Treacherous little bastard.

WELL I STILL THINK YOU'RE FABULOUS AND BRILLIANT, if not a famous author. Whatever it is you do, I assume you are famous for it. Um, sound engineering? Olson twin? Oh oh, I know! ... No, I was bluffing. I don't know.

Sorry, the whole reclusive genius thing always makes me wonder.

Well, I have more feedback for you - LOVE FOR EPPIE! MUCH LOVE!!! *dances*
eponinesghost: ebayeponinesghost on February 3rd, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
Hey ... after you read the next story I posted, I'll let you in on a little secret ;)
Angelina Ballerina: Stitch - Fun/iStitchgreenovalfruit on February 3rd, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
I'd bounce all over you but I just ate a bowl of cheerios and I'm not that brave. Now I have a treat for when I get back from babysitting (BAH 6:30 in the morning TOO EARLY!)