Title: Tones of Destruction
Summary: The re-individualisation of Ultra, by the guidance of Neon.
Warnings: Violence, femslash.
A/N: Everyone’s been busy humanising secondary characters, I thought I’d try the opposite direction. Um, sorry.
I think I hate her. I think I hate her, I know I love her and I need to have her.
I used to be normal.
I think I was. Normal. Compared to everyone else, another blank face in the crowd, another worker in the faceless masses. I don’t know if I was happy like that, but I was secure. Comfortable. Safe.
She never was. I think she was born to be a nightmare, an electro tear across a blank, normal society. She found me, in some low stifling club where the music was screaming and the people were louder, she danced and drank and she found me, somehow among the millions, and she tore me up and left me bleeding ultra blue. There’s still a mark on my left arm, a scar deep into the muscle, a jagged cut that happened in the bathroom of the same crushing club where she rescued me.
That’s how she named me. My arm was bleeding beneath those dark purple lights, and she just laughed, called me Ultra and dragged me off, spots of glowing blue dripping behind me like a trail I could follow back to safety.
They washed away in the rain, and she bandaged up my arm with rough fingers and a mock-tender kiss.
Snarl, move on. That’s what she taught me, to be the biggest fucking bitch out there so no one can be as bad as you, let everyone else think you’re terrible and psychopathic and the worst scum alive, because then you don’t disappoint, and everyone goes off happy.
She likes to pretend she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, but I know she would rather kill herself than ever be ignored, thought of as normal. She has tried, even; I’ve seen her in the mornings when she is emptying her own stomach then goes back to make her mark on the world, once again. So damn unique, in every way; she thinks, I lie.
Bitch, I say. Slut cunt fucking bitch cock tease, I say. I’m not sure she hears me, I don’t say it out loud and she ignores me, blanks me a hundred times over and I feel like I’m back in the faceless masses, blank and dead and lifeless. I raise trembling fingers to my face just to check I still have my features, my perfectly dreadful features.
(The first time she gave me acid I thought my face had dropped off. It didn’t feel much different, the freaking out came when I thought she was the hallucination and the faceless me was real, the blank crowds was real. Maybe I wasn’t freaking out. Maybe my body was temporarily coming out of shock.)
Look in the mirror and hate myself, move on.
Don’t say anything.
I look in the mirror and rearrange my face, take away my lips, give myself cheeks. Paint it all away and hide behind electric yellow, violent pink, neon orange.
Neon neon neon neon neon neon.
I tell her she’s fucking crazy, just the once, and she says so am I. I don’t tell her again.
She never asked my name, my real, normal name. It just became Neon and Ultra, like it had always meant to be that way. I never thought she might have another name (a family, a history), and in time I forgot my old one, like a childhood dream that got buried away behind real life.
She’s become my childhood monster, bright and loud and ohgod like the complete essence of the UltraNeon we’re meant to be. Sometimes she says I complete her. Sometimes I scream that I hate her.
We didn’t move into together. She had a place (almost too real) and I ended up living in the second bedroom, my real life (faceless blank) having cracked apart at the very centre and spreading to every single part of the comfortable world I was in. No house, no job, no family. Nothing left but Neon, and that’s all she wanted. It was all I wanted.
I would say it became a routine with the two of us, but nothing was ever predictable with her. Join a band, go to the zoo, hold a corner shop at knifepoint, play on the swings, go shopping, get drunk get laid get lost. The most normal thing for us was screaming until we spat blood and collapsed together on someone’s bed, already asleep, already back in love.
I never used to like fighting, but she provoked until I was conditioned and she just smiled at me when I tore up her room, a sadistic trainer with her favourite god-awful puppy.
Time passed in nothing more than half hours; each time I looked at the clock another thirty minutes of existence had slipped by. I wanted to stop it but didn’t know how, so instead that night I smashed every clock in the house and left the glass across the carpet for Neon to cut her feet on.
She didn’t say a word about it. We left it there and talked about getting a pet.
Normality became a vague, distant word; one of those like quintessential, or asphyxiation, that you knew about but never came into contact with. (Or maybe I did, I just never knew it. Words are just words, and feelings are everything.) Maybe I stopped thinking while I was with her, or she wiped my memory every night with every drop of blood that splattered from my lips. Thoughts were vague, inconsistent, strange. I didn’t know if I had always been like this, and Neon just saw it before I did.
Or if Neon gave it to me.
She kept plenty for herself, either way, and some small part of me remained the rational one. Some small, precious part of me clutched at my logic and intelligence and secretly kept it safe, while all normality was burnt in a ray of electric orange.
Life’s more fun when you don’t make your bed.
The room is warm, hot heavy stifling like the first night of my life. It’s dark and musky, Neon’s bedroom at a long forgotten hour and we are laying in her bed, throats still blood raw but it feels numb, far away like the other end of a tunnel. Maybe we’ve screamed off our nerve endings, nothing would surprise me.
She rolls over and faces me, or I turn my head to stare at her, we find ourselves looking at each other. No words, no fights, no colour. One of my hands reaches out to brush a darkened bruise on her shoulder and she doesn’t flinch, her fingers stretch out to grasp roughly my hip, but then she relaxes. Delicate. For an instant, I see a girl with a family and a childhood and a real life, in tones of greyscale and sepia.
She kisses me, and for a moment the world feels like all the colour has been drained from it so it may explode in front of my eyes.
My fingers are in another girl’s cunt and it doesn’t feel like either of us want to do this anymore. She’s pushing back against me, her face choking in the pillow and she smells of sweat, of the heat and of the clothes she couldn’t be bothered to peel off her body. She smells electric, violent, neon.
I feel almost sick.
I pull my hand away and wipe it across the bedclothes in a lazy sweep. She rolls over and doesn’t even look at me now, her eyes closed, her hand pushes away the sheet roughly then rolls up her skirt, her fingers diving straight into where I’ve just taken mine out of. She doesn’t care who does it, I realise. She doesn’t care who’s watching, as I just sit there, feeling sick and staring without any reason, any want.
Eventually I stand up shaking and find my way out of her room, to the bathroom where I fall to my knees in front of the toilet and begin throwing up. I hear a long cry from her room. I retch again.
She comes stumbling to the door with her skirt still pushed up around her waist, her lipstick smudged. There’s a line of it across the seat where I’ve laid my head, and I try to wipe it off but my hands are chained to the floor. She doesn’t speak. I don’t move. Silently she comes over to me, the room swaying around her with each step, she grabs a cloth from over the sink and kneels down next to me, grabbing my chin with one hand and cleaning me up with the other. Great, vicious strokes across my face that remove the pink lines and leave me with smarting red streaks.
She doesn’t speak, and I don’t move.
Maybe it calms down for a moment after that, maybe the fighting stops in an instant and the clouds clear and Neon smiles and my life is beautiful again. Beautiful, blank, colourless. It’s only for a moment, and I faint dead on the cold bathroom tiles when it’s over, as I became so scared my life was about to change.
I’m not safe. I’m not comfortable, and I’m not secure.
But I’m happy.