Lies Told Between Shadows. Author: top_hatted_girl
Candice/Eden, Candice/Adam. Some other implied Candice pairings. Summary:
Sometimes it is the people lurking in the shadows who surprise us most. And sometimes we have to learn to expect the worst. Written for the psych_30
prompt 'Addiction.' Warnings:
Semi-explicit f/f sex, implied bondage, and mild violence. Spoilers:
Through 1x11. Disclaimer:
I neither own this nor obtain any sort of revenue from it.
Candice could make herself into whatever someone wanted to see.
And there were so many someones who wanted to see her. Not her, of course, but what she could become for them. The faces she could place in front of her own.
So they would invite her into their bed, but she was never really involved. She was always moaning as someone else, whimpering in another voice than her own.
This is fulfillment, she would think, as they- whoever they were; they were anybody and everybody- whispered sweet, empty syllables into her ear. This is what I am meant to do. I love this.
Candice could make herself say whatever she wanted to hear.
Candice was a lie.
She loved going out in the field. She loved watching the target until she knew the people they surrounded themselves with as well as if she was them, and then she loved becoming those people, walking into the target’s apartment, smiling with someone else’s face. Sometimes, if her partner wasn’t too busy, she could take the target back to their bedroom and get in a good screw before she had to press a gun under their chin and hiss at them to stand up.
And she adored the looks on their shocked little faces, still smeared with lipstick or lube or whatever she decided to costume herself with. And she loved their tears.
And she didn’t mind that it wasn’t ever her they were making love to. She loved seeing them happy because she, in a roundabout way, made them happy, and that was enough. Even though she knew it would never be her own lips they touched, her own face they loved, she kept coming to them. She craved their placation so deeply that the mere thought of one sigh of relief, one murmured I-love-you, made her ache.
She had been called a slut once. She liked the name; it was nonchalant, and grimy, and covered in the filth of secrets. And she could be it in so many different ways.
She was a pretty black woman with a moan like knives for Isaac Mendez when they brought him in. She was a handsome teenager for Elle Bishop’s first kiss. (“But it doesn’t count,” Elle pouted. “I know you’re a girl.” But they kissed anyway, and Candice almost didn’t mind the lightning.) She was a brown-eyed Japanese princess on those visits to the cell of Adam Monroe, who fucked like he was still at war and kissed like a tragedy. She wasn’t anything for Hana Gitelman, who she would have loved to spread against a wall and hammer into, but whose steely eyes threatened her otherwise. She was an older woman with a Southern accent the one time she kissed Mr. Bennet (he tasted bitter, like disaster). And there was one person for whom she was almost herself, a person with short brown hair and enormous eyes and lips like a child’s. Eden. Sarah. Heaven and hell in a tiny human body.
Candice and Eden were never partners. But Candice’s curiosity, as it so often did, got the better of her. She had to find out what Eden could do.
“Hello,” she said with a smile the first time they passed in the hallway.
“Hello,” Eden answered. She was bizarrely quiet, a tiny voice from a tiny face that seemed dwarfed by her vast, consuming eyes.
“I’m Candice. You’re Sarah, right?” She extended a hand brashly. Eden didn’t take it, still watching Candice intently. Candice’s arm remained in the air. Her smile widened, eyes frowning. “What? I don’t bite, I swear.”
“I’m Eden,” she replied finally. “My name is Eden.”
Candice raised her hands in the air in mock surrender. “Alright, alright. Eden. So what exactly do you do?”
“What do you do?”
Candice’s smile curled viciously around her face. Everything rippled around her and she was Eden, staring back with an identical, sullen expression. “I asked you first.” Surprise flickered in Eden’s eyes.
“Stop that.” Something changed in the air around them, a glimmer, a spark. Candice found herself rapidly changing out of Eden’s form and back into the one she was already using. A tiny inkling of a smile was forming on Eden’s lips.
Candice grinned back.
Something else was changing in the air.
“Kensei,” Candice said in the voice of another, raising trembling hands that were not hers to touch Adam’s face in reverence.
He looked down at her, his face cruel, like a bird of prey. “You betrayed me, Yaeko.” His voice was low, growling. “I’m going to make you pay.” He gripped a handful of her hair and yanked her head back, exposing her neck. She gasped with false fear as he lowered his mouth down over her throat and kissed it, teeth scratching at the skin. Her hands crawled around his head and grasped the back of his neck, pulling him closer.
Without warning, Adam looked up and let go, smiling slightly and bitterly. He sat back on his haunches, looking at his hands. “You can go now, Candice.”
She changed back effortlessly, a bit disappointed. Adam was an odd one; she couldn’t read him, couldn’t tell exactly what it was he wanted. A puzzle. Though that was part of his charm.
She walked towards the door and asked over her shoulder, “See you later?”
He laughed. “Possibly.”
She left, closing the door behind her.
Eden was standing outside, leaning against the wall with her arms folded. “What?” Candice asked angrily.
Eden looked at her with amusement and asked, “Is this your job?”
Candice looked down, brushing something invisible off her sleeve. “It’s not in the description, if that’s what you mean.”
“You just do it for recreational purposes.”
“For fun. Because you want to.”
She shrugged. “I like to know that I can make people happy. That I can make them like me. Don’t you? Doesn’t everybody?”
Eden started to turn away, smiling and bobbing her head towards Candice. “Most people don’t have to resort to seducing them first.” She walked away down the hallway. Candice glared after her.
They did a lot of walking away from one another.
Eden could make people do things they didn’t want to do. “Stop standing so close to me,” she hissed at Candice as they stood by a desk in Bennet’s office. Candice stepped away, smirking to hide her reluctance.
“Come on,” she said silkily. “We hardly know each other. Don’t you want to know who I am?” She reached out and ran a finger through Eden’s hair.
“No,” Eden snarled, “I frankly don’t.”
“Touchy,” Candice grumbled, pulling away. “Ever tried persuading yourself some manners?”
“Ever been the same person for more than a few minutes?” She bent forward over the desk to grab a paper in one hand.
Candice watched her fingers move for a moment, then grabbed them, pulling Eden so close their noses almost touched. “Listen, you little bitch. Don’t ever say that to me again.”
“Or what? You’ll pretend to be my dead daddy? You can’t do a thing to me.”
“I could do this,” Candice breathed, and she tilted her head forward and caught Eden’s lips in hers. Eden’s eyes flickered shut. Candice breathed deeply, gasping for the air between those lips. She reached to grip Eden’s face and pulled her closer. Their faces rubbed together, lipstick smearing, hair falling in each other’s face.
Finally, finally, something different. Finally. What a beautiful word.
Candice liked to walk down the streets of the city and pretend to be people she wasn’t. She liked to have different faces, to disappear into someone else’s skin. Tonight, she walked among the crowd in the rainy night and whistled to herself, a tall man with thick black hair. A woman hailing a taxi shot her a look of bashful lust; she winked back and kept walking.
“Hey,” someone said, falling into step with her.
She turned to see Eden, smiling at her. “Hello,” she said with surprise. “How did you-”
“I followed you home from work. Who’s this guy?” She nodded at Candice, who was wearing a thick brown trench coat and an expensive watch.
“I don’t know. Whoever I want him to be.”
As they turned the corner and stood waiting for the light to turn green, Eden’s hand wandered up her collar to touch her neck. “Whoever you want, huh?”
“Whoever you want,” Candice whispered. Her heart was pounding; it was shocking that Eden couldn’t already hear it.
Eden leaned to murmur in her ear. “I want you.”
Candice stared at her.
“Come home with me tonight.”
And who was she to argue?
They didn’t speak to each other. That was Eden’s one rule- no words, no sounds, just darkness and heat and pressure. Candice’s body moved like liquid, constantly changing, her lips brushing Eden’s ear lightly one moment and biting her neck the next.
Eden didn’t have to say a word, because Candice knew almost inherently what Eden wanted.
Was that close to love?
Eden, sitting upright in the chair, moaned and spread her legs a little further apart. Candice pulled her head away from Eden’s and watched her for a moment, hands teasing her thighs. Skin flushed, head thrown back over the chair’s edge- she was a masterpiece of a person. Candice bit her lip and leaned into Eden’s writhing frame.
The next morning in the kitchen, the rope burns encircling Eden’s wrists looked like tattoos. Candice smiled and looked back down at her coffee. It was satisfying to know that she could leave a mark, to know that she didn’t always disappear in the light of day.
“I bet I can guess what you really look like,” Eden whispered once between kisses.
“Bet you can’t,” Candice murmured back.
“I bet you have black hair.”
“Ooh, tricky one there, detective,” she laughed into Eden’s mouth, the back of her hand brushing Eden’s face.
“And it’s short like mine,” Eden said, looking at Candice intently as their mouths moved apart for a moment. “You taste like someone with short hair.” Candice laughed again, a little too loudly. “Someone who’s never had a boyfriend. You’re probably not very pretty,” she added.
Candice stared. “Pretty is relative,” she managed to say, smirking. “From where I see it, everyone’s pretty ugly.” Eden’s eyes held Candice’s and refused to break away. The depths of her irises exhilarated her and made her feel cheap at the same time. “What?” She pushed away.
“Why do you like this so much?” Eden’s voice was almost too soft to hear. It was almost funny, seeing so much calculation in eyes that looked so young. “Pretending.”
“Are you calling me a whore?” It hurt to say, which was strange. That word had always been effortless before. “You think I need this? Listen, if I wanted to, I could stop in a second.”
A little smile twisted the corners of Eden’s lips upward. “You sound like a drug addict,” she said quietly. “That’s funny.”
Candice looked away angrily, glaring at the wall. “I’m going.” She turned, punctuating it with a dramatic click of her heel, and started to walk away.
“You’ll be back,” Eden called after her.
“I bet you’ve said that before,” Candice shot back.
“What if I have?” Her voice ended in laughter.
Candice half-smiled and kept walking.
“Once upon a time,” Eden said, “there was a girl.”
“Two girls,” Candice added, lying naked next to her. “There were two.”
“Two. And they were strange. They didn’t live in the places where other people lived, didn’t speak the same language. No one ever spoke to them and they never spoke to anyone else.” She moved her hand along Candice’s jaw. “So they made up their own language, one that only they knew. And then they never had to be lonely anymore.”
She leaned down to kiss Candice, who found herself changing underneath Eden’s lips. She was a man, a woman, a child, weak, strong, crippled, perfect, all in one moment. And then she was herself for an instant, the person she really was. It didn’t last, but Eden smiled, recognizing the emotion in her shudder. “It’s okay,” she said soothingly.
It didn’t last.
The day she found out Eden was dead, she was driving somewhere. She didn’t remember where, but that wasn’t important. Someone called her, probably Bennet, and told her that Eden had shot herself in the head.
She held the phone next to her face and said nothing for a long moment. When her lips finally formed words, they wouldn’t come out of her throat. “Oh.”
“She prevented Sylar from taking her power. She saved many lives.”
“Oh. I’ll- be there later.”
“It’s ten-thirty at night, Candice.”
“I-” She looked at the car’s clock. “Then never mind.” She pressed the button to hang up and dropped the phone on the seat beside her. The sun was setting in drab and melancholy colors, but she didn’t cry. She just clutched the steering wheel a little more tightly on the long way home.
Candice didn’t sleep that night. She sat up for hours with every light in her apartment turned on as bright as she could make them.
The next day Candice came into Adam’s cell. She didn’t say anything, but she didn’t change into anything either. She just stood in the threshold, staring at the floor.
Adam raised an eyebrow, sitting on his cot. “Yes?” he asked expectantly.
“I don’t think I need this anymore,” she mumbled, face absent of its usual smile.
Adam sighed, reached over, and picked up his glass of water. “Well, then perhaps you should stop.”
She looked up, eyes hard. “You think it’s that easy?”
He shrugged, bringing the glass to his lips. “I don’t know. That other girl certainly seemed to think so.”
She wasn’t a girl, you fuck. She was more than any word you can use to describe her.
“Perhaps, Candice, there is a time to let go. You just have to decide what you’re going to let go of.”
She stared at him, trying to see Eden.
But Eden was dead.
And this is what Candice loved.
(What did I love? What did I love? Which did I love the most?)
In an instant, she was someone else, smiling once again and leaning over Adam to kiss his mouth. Human nature, she thought as his arms wrapped around her. It’s my nature, and I can’t help it. Eden. Sarah. Whoever you were, whoever I was- I’m sorry.
Candice could make herself into whatever someone wanted to see.
“I want to see you,” Eden had whispered in the street, with the rain coming down around them and between them and inside the depth of her eyes.
She kissed Adam even harder.
Candice could make herself forget.