// david ramirez - shoeboxes.
and i stumble upon old shoeboxes filled with old ghosts.
why did i hang onto your pictures? why did i hang onto that dress?
cause it kills me to see you, but it kills me not to
it kills me to remember and it kills me to forget.
Because it keeps happening! I mean, what if you ever come face t’ face with someone you know or, I dunno, one of our friends? What if it was an order, and you didn’t know who you were supposed t’ take down until you stared them right in the eyes? What’re you gonna do then? Not shoot? Let them run away and fake their death for ‘em? She scoffs, I don’t think it’s ever gonna happen like that, despite the person I know you are. They wouldn’t let you do it like that. She can’t help thinking that, when it comes down to it, survival is the first instinct, and the first instinct is to look out for one’s self in dire situations. Rae knows what she’d do if she had to take down someone she knew, but the point of her argument isn’t herself - it’s everything that’s wrong with Riley being in Nexus. This doesn’t feel like a fight over why she wants to join the Rogues anymore; it feels like an argument set in the future about who’s right, whose side is the correct one. The Rogues may have questionable tactics, but at least they’re not wrong. Her jaw sets, and she narrows her eyes, shifting on her feet and crossing her arms. Of course, I remember. Rae remembers that night - duh, who doesn’t? She remembers feeling weak, feeling powerless, feeling like she suddenly didn’t have any idea in the world of what to do. And, then, there was that gun and that guy - Remy something or other - and darkness and shattered glass. I can’t forget that, she bites out. It was the night she killed another human being to survive - that’s not something easily forgotten.
She scoffs and rolls her eyes, When I know the decision I’m going to make, it only takes me a few hours to know that it’s the one I actually want. I don’t waste time pondering if I know that I won’t change my mind. Her tone is sharp like a knife, and it’s taking effort for her to keep it that way because she’s never snapped at Riley like this before. She’s never let her voice go over the moderately-miffed level of irritation because, well, their worst fight up until this point hasn’t been this bad. But, right now, this serrated edge is what she wants to use, and she knows she won’t regret it just as she knows that she isn’t sorry for making this choice. It’ll probably hurt later, but in the end, she’s not an indecisive person and she doesn’t turn around and try to find her way back. I know that, Riley, jeez! But all I knew was that the Rogues were dangerous, that they bombed airports and fucked shit up for you and your coworkers. I didn’t bother lookin’ for more information because all I let myself see was how you saw them, and, hell, it was a nice view, so I stuck with it. But, opportunity came t’ me, and I was told things that just changed my whole outlook. And it makes sense t’ me. It’s the first thing that’s made sense t’ me since I met you, honestly. It’s the closest thing in her heart that means “I love you”, right now, but she can’t say that because Rae’s not sure she means it right now. This is what she wants to do, and Riley’s not seeing her through. That… opposition makes her heart want to close itself off; it makes her hands want to drive a hole into the nearest wall because she can never create enough pain in the environment around her to get rid of the equal amount inside. They’re standing on opposite sides of the countertop, but that’s not all they’re separated by.
Well, maybe I shouldn’t have opened this door, either. She doesn’t specify what “this” is, but it’s the first sentence that comes to her mind as a comeback. Maybe she means it, maybe she doesn’t. Maybe she’s just not meant for this life, and this is the right choice after all. Lots of maybes - the only concrete thing she sees is already melting into the marble stone. Rae can hear Riley’s order, but she hesitates to move; for some odd, odd reason, she wants to see the explosion, she wants to hear her wife yell because, at this point, it’s easier to let go. She needs a reason to not smile anymore. Alright, she responds without flinching when the door just vanishes. She hears the clattering of keys and thinks that someone’s keyring just vanished off of the coffee table. It’s a nice sound like the finalization of… something. Something good or bad, Rae’s not sure. Right now, it’s bad. Later, though, it could turn into a different mindset - something great, something free and brilliant, something absolutely liberating and settling. Maybe she’ll find a way to grin with a different quirk of her lips. A little muscle pops in her cheek as she tightens her jaw and strides in another direction, not the one Riley probably wants her to go - which is out the door. Instead, she storms to their bedroom, silent, footsteps light and quick but still heavy; tendrils of darkness are already swirling around her, reaching for her duffel bag in the bottom of their closet and other things she’s got stored away in their drawers and dressers. Rae doesn’t move an arm to get her belongings, but her fingers twitch and her mind is multitasking, snatching her clothes off of the hangers in the closet and her socks and underwear out of her and Riley’s shared dresser. The articles of clothing are messily shoved into her duffel bag, and when she’s done, she grabs the handles, hefting it over her shoulder. As she passes the bathroom, she pauses for a moment, letting her tendrils reach inside the room and come out with her toothbrush, contacts case, and other necessities that she kept on the bathroom counter. Those go into her duffel bag as well.
Rae steps back into the living room/kitchen area, ignoring Riley as she fast walks to the coffee table, and grabs her textbooks stacked there; she’s glad that they haven’t vanished otherwise she’d have to stop her movement. For a moment, she pauses in her step, shoving her books into the space on top of her haphazardly thrown clothes, and glances bitterly at the wedding band on her finger. Rae tugs it off and pushes it into her pocket as deep as she can, the muscles in her jaw tensing with the anger that fills her bones; she’d try and pry the other ring off of her right hand, but it has never come before so she’d be forced to ask Riley. And, as far as Rae’s concerned right now, she isn’t saying another word to Riley. Turning on her heel, she takes her dignity and drags it out an over the threshold, feeling another spike of irritation because her exit would make a lot more impact if there was a door to slam and crack. The only sound that follows her is the thundering stomps of her sneakers as she purposely brings down each foot to convey just how pissed she is, just how her body is seething with a lust for destruction and rage. If she could, she’d probably ruin the staircase, but instead, Rae just runs down the steps, making sure that she keeps stomping her way on. She’s completely gone by the time her shoes hit the open concrete, disappearing in a whirl of dark vapor that swallows her up whole.
Riley’s hurt. Although that is the biggest understatement ever told, she is and it makes things worse that her own wife doesn’t believe in her because if there was anyone that has ever kept her running it’s her. It’s Rae and it’s always been Rae and she hopes it would always be her; that’s why they got married, but now it’s not and who knows if it’s ever going to be her again. How could her own wife speak as if she knows nothing about her; how could she talk like they’ve never even shared a word, much less a bed every night?
It’s how they are! She yells out because she doesn’t see them differently than anyone else, except maybe their equally twisted members and yet Rae’s making her out to be the enemy, blaming her when Rae is the grown up completely capable of creating her own opinions, then again given her current one, Riley isn’t so sure she’s capable of making good decisions, but her opinions are hers alone. The fact is that they’re nothing but terrorists and for Rae to so eagerly take them up after just thinking about it for only a couple of hours makes Riley doubt what else she had done. If she’s willing to join Rogue and leave her after only some time of letting it mull over, how long did it take her to decide she wanted to marry her? How long did it take her to decide that she loved her? Where those rushed decisions as well—are they just as blatantly wrong as this one is and since it made Riley happy, she wasn’t able to see it as it is? Is Riley just another mistake in her life of bad decisions?
When she makes their relationship on the same level as this, Riley’s answer is given. She lets out a small sob and covers her mouth because there it is. She was as much a bad decision as this one and maybe Riley should have been aware, maybe she should have thought it over because look where she is now. She hangs her head because the person she loves more than anything in the world is making the worst decision she could ever make in her life and in turn she finds out she’s equally shares that title, or did, until she gave it up.
When she hears the footsteps, she automatically regrets it, but finds Rae going into their bedroom instead. She sighs, although remains where she is, clutching at the counter because it’s the only thing keeping her standing at the moment, she thinks. Rae, she whispers, although she’s too far from the bedroom that her voice couldn’t travel that far. She regains composure, or at least is trying to, but it isn’t bringing back the furniture. Wait, she can only whisper again, but Rae’s set on leaving and Riley can’t stop her from leaving; she can’t stop her doing anything. She can only hope that an example of the worst decision of her life will shed enough light to show her what will happen when you make bad decisions. When she can no longer hear her footsteps, her lower lip quivers and everything just hits her and she starts crying again. The tension built up in her body just lets go as she releases a cry and lets it go as things start disappearing and reappearing in a radius around her, her apartment not the only victim of her power.
Sophia was only about 26 or something when Riley invited her to the zoo and the two rode together in Riley’s car with the windows down and the music turned up. She was 30 now and the five years since then they’ve gone anywhere together felt closer to fifty years. Sophia never realized how much more she relaxed she felt around Riley until now as they were heading to a restaurant of Sophia’s choice for Riley’s birthday. Somewhere in the back of her mind she remembered Riley liking cheesecake. Sophia could only hope that Riley would at least like the other foods on the menu if it turned out that her memory failed her.
The car pulled to a stop in the parking lot of the Cheesecake Factory. Sophia waved her “jazz hands” in a perky, yet controlled, manner, as she usually did whenever she got excited. “Ta da! I tried to make it a good surprise but I don’t know if I actually succeeded. It’s not too late for me to turn the car around and go somewhere else.” She stuck her keys back in the ignition to prove her point.
Riley was excited to find out where Sophia was taking her. She probably couldn’t choose much of anything because all her favorites were shared with a certain someone and… well, she shouldn’t ruin her day just because of her. Riley had plenty birthdays without her and could deal with have plenty more after. Just the thought almost made her break out in tears and she was sure Sophia would notice that and so she just took deep breathes and allowed her to get lost in whatever was on the radio although it was very hard to get Rae out of her head. Once they had arrived out and Riley found out where they were, she grinned over at Sopha.
"What? Are you kiddin’? It’s fine. Honestly." She quickly got out of the car and walked over to Sophia happy to spend her day with her. Or at least part of it. While she had other friends she could have spent it with for some reason it felt nicer to spend it with Sophia. She felt better. "This is gonna be great," she said, wrapping her arm over Sophia and pulling her close. Riley was touchy, there was no hiding that, but she had missed her friend and probably needed this closeness and intimacy more than she did at the moment. "Thank you so much."
Yeah, I’m hearin’ myself, she snaps out, rolling her eyes so hard she thinks she sees the back of her skull for a nanosecond, I’m not worried about that- Rae snorts, I’m not in trouble. I mean, good enough that that sounds exactly like what’d happen t’ you at Nexus if you hesitated! What’re they gonna do when you try t’ look away the next time you shoot a gun? Huh? I bet they’d think about firin’ you then realize you know too much already and might wanna publicize somethin’ classified outta spite. Her tone is sharp and bitter, and she’s let out the beginning of the disdain she harbors for Nexus. Rae shuts her lips and draws them into a thin line as she listens - well, half-tunes out, really - to Riley’s shouting. She keeps her head down low and keeps boring holes into the countertop; she’s starting to get bored of looking at the surface, but looking at Riley is worse.
Geez, she mutters, Listen t’ yourself. How many hours did you spend in the armory shootin’ at dummies ‘till you stopped thinkin’ about them as people and more as targets? It’s a low jab, but she’s concerned that her wife isn’t the person who cares about what happens on the field anymore. Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t. Maybe she just raises her arm and fires when she feels like the situation requires it, Rae thinks, it just becomes an action that she doesn’t think about. She stands, her bolt leveling the stool and knocking it over; she leaves it sitting there on the kitchen floor and, instead, focuses her attention on Riley, putting as much anger in her voice as she can because it’s just pure bullshit that something so similar could happen yet Riley still can’t understand. Yeah, I said I didn’t want a part of this, but people change! I mean, Jesus Christ, you changed. Years ago, I probably would’ve laughed and said you were the nicest person in the world and wouldn’t willingly shoot a whole bunch of people t’ death if someone stuck a gun in your hand. That’s the person I thought you were. Now, it’s like Nexus just sticks you in a fuckin’ brainwashing machine the moment you walk into your office. If, I dunno, whenever, one day, Jon gathers everyone around and says, hey guys, we need t’ get rid of ‘em, what’re you gonna do? It’s gonna happen sometime, y’know, and it’s freakin’ hilarious that Jon’s still hirin’ fire to work against fire. I’ve got not clue how you can just stand by and be who you are while your coworkers and everyone you have coffee breaks with and turn in paperwork to - while the whole lot of ‘em rage hell and openly persecute the danger that is you and every other posthuman in Nexus!
Rae rolls her eyes again and raises her shoulders in a shrug, It’s logic, Riley. I’ve tried t’ reason with myself that you’re doin’ what’s right because, I dunno, you think it’s right so I should support you as your wife. That’s the vow I made! But, after having a few hours t’ think about it… I like this path better, okay? I can’t go on just lyin’ t’ myself and givin’ myself excuses that it’s okay as long as you think it’s okay. I quit Nexus because I knew I had to get the hell outta there before I turned into some self-hatin’ wacko; I wasn’t comfortable with fightin’ for humans since, I mean, I kept turnin’ the TV on and reading online articles that were just hatred after hatred after hatred. And, I wasn’t comfortable fighting against my own kind. Yeah, maybe you’re just roundin’ up the bad ones - the criminals or whatever, but maybe there’s a reason they have t’ act like that. Maybe they’re just lookin’ t’ stomp down this twisted oppression that’s taken over society and made victims of us all.
Her hands press against the counter, trying to literally push the countertop forward in anger, but it’s not like she can destroy something rooted in stone. Which, right now, her and Riley aren’t. You think I wanted you t’ stay in Nexus? Obviously I don’t, I mean, if you wanted t’ quit at any point and, I dunno, look for somethin’ else or even, maybe, just maybe, try goin’ back t’ school and just… anythin’ else but this. I would’ve supported you, we could’ve taken out loans. I mean, Jesus Christ, Riley! It’s- yeah, you’re the main provider here, obviously, but that doesn’t mean we’re completely incapable of payin’ off debts for a few years in the future! Everyone ends up doin’ it at some point, and hell knows that a whole bunch of med students always end up with their knees in debt. I’d have never told you straight out t’ quit your job, clearly, but I mean, it’d have been a great improvement! She can’t make herself fight those arguments because, well, she never was meant to be a lawyer or a politician or a free-thinker; Rae’s never really existed in a world where she’s the one taking charge because she likes to flow with the current and follow examples set ahead of her. Honestly, besides, like, assaulting Viv’s college boyfriend and thinking about climbing a Ferris Wheel on that one trip to Disneyland, this is the most she’s strayed away from living a risk-free, non-adventurous, codependent life. Needless to say, she’s not taking to independent thought all too well. Her foundation is falling through, and there’s no way to make Riley see things the way she’s been seeing them. Rae just needs something to hold on to, something to grab and spin her back on her track of anger because if she doesn’t, then her spark will die out and she’ll end up looking stupid.
There. That’s it. Her brow furrows, and she starts up again, Everything you do is for me? I don’t think I remember asking you to kill for me! She shouts but her voice cracks as she reaches the last word, and she coughs. Jesus fuckin’ Christ- Rae puts her body into movement and irritably kicks the fallen stool, flinching as it clangs against the kitchen cabinets. Sure, she’ll take out her anger on the furniture.
It’s ugly. The feeling in her stomach makes it churn and churn as if something toxic had settled in there, as if she was rotting from the inside out. Wherever Rae went, she doesn’t know. All she knows is that the person standing in front of her isn’t the woman she married. It can’t be. Later she’ll have to come to terms with yes, that was the woman she married and fell in love with. For right now, the only way she can keep sane is by believing otherwise. Although the feeling to throw up just from the sour taste in her mouth and the rancidness of the whole situation was enough to make her unsteady.
I’ve never… Riley eyebrows wrinkle together and she turns her head slightly away, feeling that sense of hate aimed at her. Is this what Rae wanted all along. You know how much it killed me to do that, how can you say I’m capable of doing something like that? The things she’s shared with her wife are things she’s never shared with anyone and yet there she is waving it about and more importantly rubbing it in her face. She opens her mouth, then closes it. Her wife is gone. There’s no sense to reason, no reason to explain. Rae knew the situation Riley was under when she made those decisions. She knew and the fact that she disregarded the life or death and chance situation she was put under and the distraught that came from it made it even worse. He’s not fightin’ fire with fire. He’s showing everyone that we’re not all like the post-humans you see on the tv—like the terrorists you wanna be a part of! They created a blackout and killed people! That almost killed me. Don’t you remember?
She sniffled and wiped at her eyes. Really, you’re going decide something that will affect you for the rest of your life after thinking about it for only a couple of hours? Riley didn’t understand why they couldn’t have talked about it, then maybe took a couple of more days to think about it before deciding. They’re not you, Rae. They’re not you, She repeated it in a whisper because she knew it was a lost cause. She saw herself as someone oppressed, at someone at the bottom of the barrel when she wasn’t. And yet she wanted to be that and Riley didn’t understand. I asked you! She leaned forward, moving her hands down to the counter. I asked you. If you wanted to just run away and leave this—all of it and you said no! You had the chance. Now you’re just trying to find it again and it’s gone, Rae. The chance you’re looking for is gone. Not every open door is a good one. Rae needs to understand that this isn’t a good idea. She’s only making things worse for herself. She could stop it before it began but once she started, there was no going back. Riley’s pleading for her to realize, to wake up from this existential crisis and realize everything is going to be okay. Because honestly was being in Rogue so important to her that she was willing to throw Riley away for it?
Riley’s pained expression contours further before smoothing down to one of anger. She drops her head, and looks down at her hands, gripping the counter and it’s all too familiar this feeling and she feels a hint of deja vu. She doesn’t even flinch at the kicking of a stool. She stifles some sobs as she can’t help the tears spilling out and down onto the counter. How could she just throw that in her face? Get out. She spoke brokenly through her sobs. When it was clear Rae hadn’t budged, probably from not hearing her clearly, she gripped the counter tighter, her fingertips melting into the marble. I said get out! She screamed, the door suddenly vanished, along with other things in the room. Breathing heavily she picked up her head to look at Rae. Obviously, you’ve already made your choice. You chose them. So if you ever loved me at all, you would leave now. Please.
by Interviewer from AfterEllen.com
Caution: Spoilers ahead for Season 2 of Heroes. Do not read if you have not watched!
Name: Riley Hicks
On-Screen personality: Charming, Kind, Loyal, Out-going. I don’t really need to explain or go into depth about this.
Off-screen personality: Off screen she’s more down to earth and humble in a sense that the “fame” hasn’t gotten to her and if she were honest, she hates it. She hates the constant eye on her and it drives her crazy, like almost literally. She does very few interviews or photoshoots, doesn’t go to any of the Cons and her interaction with the fans could be better, which have led people to thinking she’s a bitch, although the fans from when she did theater defend her and say that she is nothing like that. However, when she does do interviews, she primarily speaks out about her role and the lgbt community and if that’s not the topic of focus in the interview she’ll rarely agree to do it. And these interviews can turn a bit scholarly because Riley does well to educate herself even after her University career (she has a Bachelor’s in political science). Her interaction with fans is limited to letter writing, and meeting at charity events (usually ones about bullying and/or dealing with lgbt issues). While she hasn’t stated her sexuality she did say in an interview (concerning what she liked about television), “messing up (air quotes) and getting to do a kiss all over again.” And everyone knows the only people she’s ever kissed on television were women. Promptly after that she did get a publicist though.
The role they originally auditioned for: She didn’t seek out an audition; a producer (who had been a fan of her work in theater) asked for her to come in and audition for Riley (who had similarities to a character she was currently playing—sociable, flirty, etc) and Riley auditioned and had difficulties producing the southern accent they wanted, but she was given a vocal coach because they thought besides that she could fit the role well.
Favorite genre/s to act in: Musical (in Theater)
Twitter/Instagram/etc screen name: None—used to have an Twitter but deleted it after she got the role on Heroes. She has recently gotten a publicist who urges her to create herself on some social media to interact with fans and put herself out there and show she is isn’t icy or arrogant, but Riley disagrees, saying the people can believe whatever they want. “I know who I am.”
Well it is just lettuce and chicken, not sure anyone could really screw that up. Christina smiles, Darlin’, it had been quite some time since she had been called that. Riley was probably the only person who could get away with calling her that. I don’t normally come at this time. I’m not one for socializing normally so I come during the wee hours or late at night.
You’d be surprised at what people could screw up. She laughs softly. People could screw up just about anything without even setting their mind to it, unfortunately. Oh, I usually don’t come late at night. If I ever get the urge to exercise at that time I usually just go for a run. Work tends t’ keep me too busy, unfortunately. She moves up in the line, ordering, then waiting for her new friend.
"Find The Light"- David Ramirez
Don’t be, you didn’t pull the trigger. She pressed her lips together and concentrated on Riley instead of Jacob. From her response it sounded like her and Rae were no longer together. For some reason she was a little sad about that. She had never liked Rae, she was a strawberry blonde pain in the ass but she and Riley had been good together. Not that she had any faith to give but she had hoped they would have made it. Hmm, the chicken pesto panini is good and so are the salads.
Riley can’t say anything to that, mostly because she didn’t want to say anything and even if she could, what would she say? They definitely weren’t on the same boat. Rae was still alive. For the time being. Hm, alright. I think I’ll get a salad. Let’s hope they’re as good as you say there are, darlin’… She crosses her arms as they wait in line. D’ya come t’ this place often? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you here.