Author's Note: What an unlikely pairing :) In fact, what an unlikely story. *shrugs* ah well...
FEEDBACK: Would be adored. Let me have it, I can take it ;)
Never Were There Such Devoted Sisters
"Nina. Nina, are you awake?"
Hazy shapes swam into focus. Grey. Technology. Machinery. Dim lighting. The voice again.
Was the voice talking to her?
"I'm..." her voice was croaky, her throat dry.
A woman moved close to the side of...whatever it was she was lying on. Red-brown hair, shiny, in a neat bob. Blue eyes, shading to grey. A hand on her shoulder. Helping her lean forward a little. Lifting a cup to her lips. She sipped gratefully at the icy water.
"You're Nina. I'm Anna. Do you remember?"
"I...no. I can't...anything...there's nothing."
Fear gripped her. She could feel panic beginning to well up inside. What was happening? The other woman's quiet calm was reassuring.
"Where?" she mumbled.
"Mishima labs. You don't remember anything?"
"No, what's happening to me?"
The eyes on her. Strange sensation. Like she should know...something. Something about those eyes. Familiarity, but nothing more. She struggled to sit up. The hands helped her into a sitting position. She could see more of the room now.
"I know you." A blank statement, still confused.
"Yes, you do."
She looked at the linoleum covered floor. The room was impersonal, cold in both senses. She shivered.
"I'm cold. Anna?"
Again familiarity, but no detail. Trying to remember was like reaching into a dark, empty nothingness: it threatened to swallow her. It was frightening. She pushed herself off of what seemed to be some sort of examination table. It had a clear lid, some sort of plastic, that would form a kind of cocoon over the table if it was pulled down.
"Why am I here?"
"It's complicated. You were, well, you were cryogenically frozen."
She looked down at her legs. The skin was deathly pale and turning blue with cold. She looked up into Anna's face. Her skin had the same dead pallor. It looked wrong; although she couldn't have said why. Tentatively, she reached up and ran her fingers over Anna's cheek.
"So pale," she murmured.
"It's a side effect of the cryosleep." she grabbed Nina's wrist, pulled her hand away.
"You were frozen too? But you remember, you know me."
"Yes. There have been...complications."
Nina pushed herself onto her feet, her muscles gradually feeling more under her control.
"Please, where are my clothes?"
Anna pointed to a locker, not meeting her eyes. Nina dressed quickly. She rubbed her hands together, feeling the pins and needles prickle as the blood began to circulate in her icy skin.
"We should leave." Anna finally looked up as she spoke. Again Nina felt something thrill through her as their eyes met, but she couldn't identify what she should feel. There were no memories to flesh out the vague recognition.
"I don't know where to go."
"Come with me."
The apartment was apparently hers. Anna had taken the key from the clear plastic bag of personal belongings that had been in the locker with her clothes. It was labelled "Williams, Nina", but the words didn't feel like they belonged to her, any more than did the keys, wallet and knives that the bag contained. Small, incredibly sharp knives that glistened as she turned them over in her hands. She put the bag and its contents down on a low coffee table and looked around the room. It offered no clues for her, nothing seemed to spark much of an association. There was a photograph on the window ledge, opposite. She picked it up absently. It was of a young man, smiling happily into the lens. He seemed to be at a party. She could not identify him. She put it down carefully and turned away. The room was all in neutrals: a haven of calm beige and cream with a natural wood floor and a fireplace just waiting for a roaring fire to be built and lit. It didn't feel like home. An open door to her left revealed a sliver of kitchen, similarly decorated. To the right, another door, closed. She assumed that the bedroom would be that way. Anna was still standing just inside the front door; shifting uncomfortably.
"I should go."
Nina felt the panic swelling again.
"No! Please stay, at least for a moment. I...you...I know you."
"I believe we established that some time ago."
Nina was determined not to cry. Could feel tears brimming.
"Help me to remember. Please." Her voice was low, but she could hear the quaver of uncertainty and pain as she spoke.
She didn't wait to see how Anna responded. She flung herself onto the dark leather couch and curled up. She could feel hot tears on her cheeks. She made no sound, but her body was wracked by her silent sobbing.
A hand on her back. Gently soothing. Helping her sit up. Rest against the warmth of another person. Her only link to the unknown world around her. Anna held her while she cried. Didn't move, or speak, or try to make her stop. She was just there, with her, supporting her while the fear and the pain flowed out. Gradually she quieted. Head nestled against Anna's chest, enfolded in her arms. As the sobs subsided into trembling, Anna moved. Lifted Nina's head. Gently brushed the strands of blonde hair from Nina's eyes and carefully dried the tears that were still brimming around the bright blue eyes, gazing at her so trustingly. At that moment, she almost wished that Nina would not remember: that those eyes would never again look at her filled only with hatred and contempt. She stood. Removed her coat and threw it over a chair.
"I won't be long," she said and headed for the kitchen.
Nina rubbed her arms, still chilled. She slipped off her boots and pulled her legs up. Cuddled herself into the corner of the couch, wrapped her arms around her knees. Her eyes explored the room again. She felt like a visitor in the house of an acquaintance. Like she should be on her best behaviour. A weak smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. Like she shouldn't have her feet on the furniture. She turned as she heard Anna return. She had two steaming mugs.
"Coffee," she stated as she held one out to Nina. "With lots of milk. Luckily the cleaners have kept your kitchen stocked with that at least, but there's nothing to eat."
Nina held the warm mug gratefully. Sipped slowly, savouring the hot liquid. The coffee finally seemed to break through the chill that gripped her.
"No wood for a fire," Anna observed, "but I did sort the central heating control."
Anna sat down next to Nina, who shifted over to lean on her again. She put her arm around her shoulders and they sat in silence sipping the coffee. After a while, Nina put her empty cup on the floor and snuggled back into Anna's arms.
She opened her eyes, and for a moment she didn't know where she was. Then she realised. She still didn't know where she was, but it was apparently her apartment. She shifted slightly in a warm embrace. Anna was still here, half underneath her, arms wrapped around her. They had fallen asleep together on the couch. She held still, just gazing at the face that she knew she should know. The red lips, the auburn hair. Anna sighed and slowly opened her eyes. Nina looked at her for a moment longer, then tentatively, she kissed her. Those red lips were so soft against her own. Warm and secure in Anna's embrace, like they belonged together. Then Anna pushed her away.
Nina looked confused and lost.
"I...we...should be...I'm sorry." she mumbled.
She didn't think she could possibly have any tears left, but once again she could feel them spilling down her cheeks.
"Don't cry." Anna brushed the tears away. "I didn't mean to make you cry."
She kissed Nina's cheek tenderly, tasting the salt of her tears. Nina pulled back. Looked deep into her eyes again. Pulled Anna towards her, and kissed her. Less tentatively. This was how it should be, she was certain. Tasting those lips, caressing them gently with her tongue as she felt Anna relax, her mouth opening, accepting and returning Nina's kiss. Her arms crept around Nina again, as she felt her sister's lips move down to her neck. She twined her fingers in the blonde hair as those lips worshipped the deadly pale skin of her throat with kisses, as her eager fingers tugged at the waistband of her jeans, freeing the t-shirt. She gasped against as her sister's fingers gently explored her stomach, moving up under her shirt towards her breasts. She smiled to herself and caught the hands, stopping their exploration. She stood, led Nina through to the bedroom. Slowly she undressed Nina. Pushed her gently back onto the bed. Felt her watching as she stripped.
Nina's skin was soft and warm under her hands. Her nipples hard under her tongue. She could feel her sister's body arching, moving with need beneath her. She knew that sooner or later Nina would know who she was and remember this moment. She kissed her way down the flat, muscled stomach, stopping to explore the indentation of her navel. She would remember this moment with loathing and disgust. It brought a smile to Anna's face as she heard the low, involuntary moan as her questing mouth moved lower. Reveled in the trembling as she gently licked the moist lips of her sister's sex. As she slipped her fingers inside and felt Nina's hips rise to meet her thrust, she knew that one day these memories would fill Nina not with pleasure but hatred. The knowledge spurred her on, her sister's climax would be Anna's triumph.
Warm and safe in Anna's arms, Nina nuzzled against her lover's neck. She rolled them over slightly, brushed a hand up Anna's side to her breast and kissed her hungrily. Anna pulled back.
"There's somewhere we should go." she said quietly. "It may help you to remember."
Nina was puzzled.
Anna nodded and sat up. She dressed quickly and stood in the doorway waiting for Nina to do the same. Confused, Nina pulled on her clothes and followed as Anna led her out into the living room. Anna handed Nina her coat before pulling on her own and leading her sister back out onto the snowy streets.
On the way to wherever it was they were going, Anna stopped and bought a small bunch of flowers. She hadn't spoken, and Nina didn't want to break the silence. It was the last vestige of certainty that she could cling to.
They stopped at a cemetery. Anna approached a grave and placed the flowers by the head stone. A head stone that Nina recognised. She knew...
She dropped to her knees, crying out as the memories flooded back. Pain and horror filled her. Anna leaned over her, concerned. Nina pushed her away, and Anna stumbled back and fell to the ground. Nina screamed at her. She hardly knew what she was saying, the anger and pain and hatred were too much. She hit out, but Anna was prepared and rocked with the blow. Nina had to get away from her. Blinded by tears, she stumbled away. Anna sat up, brushing snow from her coat and a smile spread slowly over her face.
Nina was back.
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