Becky Bloom awakes with a start in the middle of the night, having had a nightmare about her friends deceased boyfriend Guillmero, and the fight they’d been in that lead to his death. Luckily, her boyfriend Jareth is there to comfort her. 1,530 words.
The world of Shadow Oaks is owned by TheStalkerBunny on tumblr. It is a brilliant piece of work and I recommend reading more about it HERE.
depictions of PTSD and mental illness, mentions of violence and death
Becky awoke with a start, screaming and throwing out her arms and legs at the weight that held her tight in an effort to break free from it.
Jareth also awoke with a start, as he tumbled out of the bed and hit the floor with a loud thump that knocked over the empty cups on Becky’s nightstand.
‘Becky?!’ he exclaimed, scrambling to climb back into bed as Becky let out a panicked cry and looked around. ‘Baby! Baby, shh— Shh….’
Becky felt Jareth’s arms wrap around her again and she managed to stop screaming; instead hyperventilating and biting at her wrist.
‘Baby— Baby, stop!’ Jareth exclaimed, holding her tight and pulling her arm from her mouth. ‘Baby, it’s okay! You were dreaming! You were dreaming…. Shh….’
Becky took a deep breath. And another. And then let them both out. Slowly, with Jareth’s arms around her and his voice in her ear, she felt herself calming down.
‘Shh,’ Jareth breathed, rocking her back and forth in a comforting motion. ‘It’s okay. You were having a bad dream. I’m here. Nothing’s going to hurt you.’
Becky swallowed, trying to push down the lump in her throat as she sniffled and wiped her eyes. ‘A bad dream,’ she echoed, quietly. ‘A bad dream. A bad dream….’
A bad dream.
A bad dream.
A bad dream about Guillmero.
Becky let out a whimper, and shivered.
‘Shhshh,’ Jareth pressed a kiss into Becky’s cheek. ‘You’re okay. I’m here. I’m here.’
‘Shh, I know. It’s okay.’
‘He said there were more!’ Becky felt herself give a sob. ‘Guillmero said there was— More! He said they were going to come. And they’re going to hurt us.’
‘I won’t let them,’ Jareth promised. ‘I won’t let anyone touch you.’
‘He broke my wrist!’ Becky cried, raising her wrist back to her mouth and pressing her teeth against the skin. ‘He broke my wrist!’
‘I can still feel it!’
‘I can feel it!’
‘I can’t keep everyone safe!’ Becky sobbed. ‘I’m trying! I’m trying!’
‘I’m trying to keep everyone safe! But nobody will listen to me!’
‘They won’t listen!’
‘I’m not crazy!’ Becky exclaimed, gripping Jareth’s arm tightly. ‘I’m not crazy. I’ve been right every time. Every time I’ve said something was going to happen, it happened. Every time I’ve seen something, other people saw it too. I’m not crazy!’
‘You’re not crazy,’ Jareth comforted, kissing Becky again. ‘I believe you.’
‘You— Believe me?’ Becky sniffed, wiping her nose on her blanket and feeling her panic begin to ebb as Jareth’s warm breath hung on her cheek.
Jareth believed her?
Jareth… believed her.
‘I believe you,’ he repeated softly. ‘I do. I promise, I do.’
‘You believe me?’
‘You… believe me,’ Becky let out a sigh, and melted into Jareth’s arms; her entire body relaxing as her adrenaline faded. ‘Thank you.’
Another kiss, and Jareth’s tight grip on Becky loosened so he could settle down comfortably with her. ‘It’s going to be okay. I promise.’
‘It’s not though, is it?’ Becky sighed, pressing into Jareth as he pulled the blanket back over them. ‘Hastur said it’s going to get worse.’
‘—Hastur said it was going to get worse and worse. And that if nobody stopped it, everyone would get hurt.’
‘He also said it wasn’t your job to stop it.’
‘But nobody else will!’ Becky cried, sitting back up straight and turning to Jareth with tears in her eyes.
For a moment, she and Jareth stared at each other….
Then, there was a low gurgle from inside Becky’s pile of pillows, and one of them wiggled loose so it could sit in her lap and purr.
‘Mimi, sorry,’ Becky sighed, bending over to kiss her mimic. ‘I didn’t mean to wake you.’
Mimi’s chirp was echoed by a groan at the window, and Becky looked up to see Don staring in at her.
‘I’ll let him in,’ Jareth mumbled, easing himself out of bed and heading to meet Don and open the window.
He caught the creature as it slipped forward, stopping it before it flopped onto the floor, and then re-closed the window and carried Don over to the bed; placing it in Becky’s lap beside Mimi.
‘There,’ Jareth said, gently. ‘Now it’s a double date.’
Becky let out a weak, half-hearted chuckle as Don and Mimi began to purr and groom each other…. Then she sighed, feeling heavy and tired.
‘Three people,’ she whispered. ‘Jareth, I… I’ve killed three people.’
‘Two,’ Jareth corrected, carefully. ‘Romero didn’t die.’
‘Only because Adam stopped me,’ Becky mumbled. ‘I would have killed him, if he didn’t stop me.’
‘What… am I?’ Becky asked, looking to her hands. ‘I killed Guillmero. I killed him. And it wasn’t an accident this time. I did it on purpose. And I… I don’t regret it.’
‘You… don’t?’ Jareth asked, slowly. ‘Are you sure? If you’re having nightmares about it, don’t you think that means you might? Even just a little?’
‘No,’ Becky answered, simply, scrunching her nose up in disgust. ‘I don’t regret it. He was hurting people. Even after being given a second chance not to do those things and to walk away, he still went out of his way to hurt everyone. And he used magic on you. And he tried to do the same to Benny. And Angelo. And he was going to hurt Jezzibeth. If I had to, I’d kill him again to protect you all.’
‘Becky…’ Jareth tried off with a sigh.
‘I’m scared,’ Becky admitted, quietly. ‘I’m really scared that I’m able to kill people. Even when its in self-defence.’
Jareth was quiet, chewing anxiously on his lip as he was clearly deep in thought.
‘But, like. This is… this is my town,’ said Becky. ‘And I… I owe it to everyone to protect it. After all the harm I’ve done.’
‘Baby girl, you haven’t done any harm—‘
‘—I have,’ Becky pushed. ‘I’ve hurt a lot of people. You know I have. Especially when I was dating Mattel… but… I think I want to make a choice, now. I think I want to protect everyone, instead of treating them like my enemies… you know?’
‘Yeah, I do,’ Jareth gave a weak smile, and pulled Becky close. ‘That’s a very brave choice.’
‘I’m… sorry,’ Becky leant into Jareth’s embrace. ‘I sound ridiculous.’
‘You’re allowed to sound ridiculous.’
‘I promise I’m trying not to have another breakdown.’
‘Baby, you can have as many breakdowns as you need to have,’ Jareth told her. ‘You’re protecting the whole world.’
‘I dunno about the world,’ Becky gave a nervous chuckle. ‘Just… the town.‘
‘Same thing, isn’t it?’ Jareth half-joked, slowly leaning back until he’d managed to pull Becky back down onto the pillows. ‘Hey. How about tomorrow we head into Warm Waters? We go to that spa place you really like, and we relax? And you can have some time off from saving the world.’
‘I’d like that,’ Becky admitted. ‘Time off from saving the world…. Is that something I can do?’
‘Why not?’ Jareth asked. ‘If nothing bad’s happening right now, there’s no point in worrying. Save the worry for when it’s needed.’
‘I… think I need to worry about it, a little bit,’ Becky mumbled. Then, she rolled to look at her clock. ‘Hm… how about… I can only worry about saving the world… from… what’s the time now— Twelve until two?’
‘What?’ Jareth looked taken aback. ‘What like… two hours a day? Dedicated to worrying?’
‘Yeah!’ Becky felt her confidence growing. ‘So I can get out all the worry and stress at once, and then not think about it for the rest of the day!’
‘You think that will… work?’
‘I dunno, but it’s worth a shot!’ Becky decided. ‘But I can’t worry too much on Wednesdays. Cos that’s when Dad and I hang out. But if I only worry from twelve until two every other day, that leaves me more time to focus on important stuff.’
‘Yeah, like being hot and taking selfies.’
The sudden loud laugh that escaped Jareth made both mimics on Becky’s lap jump, and the pair quickly retreated under the bed.
‘Ooh, sorry!’ Jareth chuckled after them, before hooking an arm around Becky’s hips and pulling her close. ‘Oh, baby girl…’
Becky gave her own quiet giggle. ‘Being a bimbo is a very important job, you know. If I don’t wear the booty jorts, who will?’
‘Babe—’ Jareth cut off in a snicker, burying his face into his pillow, and she could tell he was starting to drift off again.
How do you put up with me? she thought to herself, easing into a more comfortable position and pressing into Jareth’s chest. ‘Night, Jareth.’
‘Night, baby girl.’
Becky let out a long, relaxed sigh as she closed her eyes….
And then, her ear twitched.
There was a sound by her door.
A creak, right outside her room.
And very light, very careful footsteps crept down the hall….
Becky couldn’t tell which parent it was.
Or how much they’d heard.
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