posted on 17-Oct-2002 2:07:15 AM by A Rose Is True Blue
Title: Chained to Fate
Author: Erin/A Rose Is True Blue -AngelBrunette10⊕aol.com
Category: AU (don't worry, it's CC too *wink*)
Summary: This was a challenge...and I promise you'll get to read the challenge!
Dedication: Meagz! Hehe, if she hadn't of made the challenge, this fic would have never happened, so all thanks goes to her. *big* By the by, she made the wonderful banner (scroll down to look at it) so go and nominate her!!

CHALLENGE: Ok, so I was watching part of the Joy Luck Club (great movie, btw... must see), and it struck me how greatly the story was plotted. For those of you who haven't seen this masterpiece of a movie, it is basically the storytelling of four women's lives, and the lives of their daughters. These four women are originally friends from Church who gather each week to play mahjong.

Now, obviously, the storyline from the Joy Luck Club to this challenge would be drastically different, due to the women of the movie/book being Chinese.

My challenge is this story be about four very different, but very close women who each posess traumatic experiences, whether it be of family problems or love problems. Liz Parker, Maria Deluca, Isabel Evans, and Tess Harding (or, if you have a serious, uncurable beef with Tess... you could make it Serena). Somehow they've become friends, and their families are close. There's two different ways you could go about telling the story though... you can either make these four women the daughters of another four women, OR you can make them have four children of their own. Either way, I would like each of the women's stories to evolve from their previous experiences to their child's experiences.

What kind of lives you want to give the character's are up to you. They can be anything you want. Perhaps one had a mother who slept around, and that influenced her to be unfaithful in her future relationships. Or maybe one of them was sexually molested when they were younger, causing her to turn within herself and be very standoffish as she grew older. Feel free to keep an alien side to the story. It might even give Isabel or Tess a special story of their own, how hard it was to be a secret alien as a child.

The main thing I would like to see from this story is it being based on these four women's lives, their children's lives, and the way they've all dealt with their difficulties. I would prefer any of the couplings to be CC, but it's all up to the author.


Okay, so if I haven't covered anything, let me know!


1-2-4
Prologue

The rays from the sun proved to be little light against the gray clouds in the sky. The wind seemed to be light that day, but still it chilled her bones, gaining no warmth from the sun. She hurried over to a huge tree, its low branches curved, acting as graceful stepping stones. Carefully, she climbed her way up, settling herself up high. Closing her eyes she inhaled a breath, and exhaled, counting the number of times she did each.

Her legs dangled beneath her, lifeless until she began to swing them back and forth. She clung to the branch, afraid of falling, yet continued to swing. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Her left shoe was beginning to loosen, the shoelaces untied. Back and forth. Back and forth. It dangled from her foot, and she bent to reach it and slide it back towards her heel. Instead, the shoe surged forward off of her foot, onto the ground. It seemed a lifetime before it fell onto a pile of orange leaves softly.

Would she land so softly if she slid off the branch? Would the leaves protect her from the ground like they had her shoe? Would she be safe? Did she want to be safe? Leaning forward carefully, she untied her other shoelace and pulled it off of her right foot. Her left foot was already cold from the missing warmth of the shoe, and it felt numb. The cold air nipped at her toes, and she let the shoe fall from her hand, hitting the same pile of leaves. It joined it's brother, looking so comfortable on the ground, urging her to join them.

She tore her head away from the sight, gazing at the building ahead. The white walls, boring, plain. Like her. She was nothing extraordinary, and she never would be. Looking down again the leaves looked so inviting. Once more, she closed her eyes and bit her lip until the metallic taste got to her. Opening her eyes, she slid off of the branch, her hands holding her. If she just let go, she'd fall, and be with the leaves. One hand was gone, only one more to go. Why couldn't she do it?

"What are you doing?"

Her hair whipped her face as she gazed at the intruder. "Joining the leaves." The girl blinked, and nodded. "Okay."

Looking back down, she noticed two other girls sitting on the same tree as her, each on a different level of branches. The leaves no longer looked alluring to her, but cold, and uninviting. They hid her shoes from view. Sighing, she pulled herself back up, with little difficulty. The girl was still looking at her.

"I'm Liz, who are you?"

"Me?" The girl shrugged. "I'm no one." Tears were in her eyes but she wasn't turning her head away from Liz's view. Liz looked down, before meeting the girl's gaze. Liz had been no one for so long, it was hard to think that there was someone else who was the same as her. She shivered, and wrapped her arms around herself. There was an ache inside of her that seemed to have partially filled. She wasn't alone. Liz had someone who knew how she felt. Looking back towards the girl, she swallowed, "Me too."

For awhile they sat in silence. "I'm Maria." She snapped a branch off of the tree, and played with the dead leaves, dropping them onto the ground. When the branch was gone, all that remained were the four twigs connected to the branch. She looked at them, then towards Liz, and the two girls a ways down the tree. She broke the four off, and slowly slid one into her pocket. Turning to Liz hesitantly, she handed one to her, watching and waiting to see what she'd do with it.

"Thank you." Liz replied, holding the twig tightly in her hand. She looked up at Maria again, and tilted her head. It was too cold for her to smile, her face frozen in place so she simply stared. Could it be possible that she had made a friend in the place she was forced to consider home? Maria started to descend, but stopped gazing back up at Liz. She gazed down at the two girls, then back at Liz. Liz put the twig in the pocket of her sweater, and began to start her climb as well.

Why she followed Maria was something Liz didn't think about until she was out of the tree and in her bed later that night. At the moment, it seemed like the most obvious thing for her and Maria to be together. For so long she was told she was alone, and would always be alone. Yet, when Maria had appeared Liz had felt happy for the first time, and being alone was the last thing in Liz's mind. Suddenly Maria stopped, and looked towards Liz, tears in her green eyes. They were only a branch above one of the girls. Her blonde curls were in tangles, and her eyes closed. Immediately, Liz reached into her pocket to check that the twig Maria had given her was still there. A comfort spread through her, giving her the strength to take one more step down.

Eyes opened to reveal a blue so cold, dark, and full of pain. She immediately backed away from Maria and Liz as they sat down. Tears filled Maria's eyes at the thought of someone being scared of her. Liz gripped Maria's hand suddenly. "This is Maria. I'm Liz." Maria's lip quivered, and she pulled out one of the three twigs she had in her pocket. She offered it to the girl against the tree. The girl like them. The girl who was soon to become apart of a family. A shaky hand reached out to take the twig. Once it was in her own hand, she whispered, "Tess." A tear rolled down her cheek, which she brushed away. "I'm Tess."

A silence fell over the three, and Liz couldn't help but feel comfortable. None of them felt the need to speak, for what else could they say that they hadn't already felt? Lightning fell across the sky, and whistles were immediately blown, a signal for the kids to regroup and head back inside. Instead of heading in, all that sat in the tree remained.

Maria was the one who began to climb down again, Liz instantly following her. She stopped and looked back to Tess. "We've got to make one more stop." She said softly. Tess nodded, and pulled the hood of her jacket over her blonde curls and her face, masking herself from the world. She slowly made her way down the tree, stopping only once, and that was to gaze down towards the
ground.

There was a single branch left before the ground and it was big enough to seat four grown men. The girl who sat upon it, was hidden by the shadows from the branches above. She jumped when Maria gently placed one foot onto to the branch. Maria edged back, bumping into Liz, who had just placed herself upon the branch. Tess dangled from one above, freezing at the movement. She turned to look at the girls below her, immediately feeling the fear of the one who had not yet been initiated into their family. She let go, falling onto the branch, closest to Liz, who grabbed for her hand as soon as she had landed.

From here, Liz could see one of her shoelaces sticking out from the pile of leaves, her shoes already deep into the orange mass on the ground. Her feet were numb, yet she didn't seem to notice or care. As her eyes rose from the grown, they met brown ones like her own. She felt like a mirror was placed in front of her and the eyes she looked at were her own. There was pain, hurt, fear, loneliness, and yet one thing that Liz did not carry herself; courage. Then, tears clouded the emotions, Liz not knowing whether it was her own or the other girl's, all she knew was that she had finally found the one thing she had craved for all of her life, a family.

She carefully moved towards the girl, wrapping her arms around her. Immediately the girl tensed, but soon relaxed and Liz felt arms encircle her. The two cried together, opening their arms for Maria and Tess to join them. They never noticed the rain pounding against the tree, shaking the branches
violently. They never noticed the sound of the thunder. They never noticed the shouts from the building, their home.

What they did notice was the name carved into the tree with care. And it was then, as Maria passed the final twig to her, that Isabel became a member of their family. Four, united and together, in a lonely place where the darkness and cold within them would be brightened with the warmth they would give to each other.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 19-Nov-2002 12:40:24 AM ]
posted on 17-Oct-2002 8:29:24 PM by A Rose Is True Blue
Shameless little bump. Hehe, you guys rock. *shy*
posted on 6-Nov-2002 11:36:14 PM by A Rose Is True Blue
Update: I have Chapter 1 written, but my computer crashed earlier and it took me awhile to get it fixed, and search through my files for the part....so it's coming soon! *happy*
posted on 10-Nov-2002 1:06:35 AM by A Rose Is True Blue
Okay. YES! LOL, got the Chapter all ready for you...guys so, thanks so much for the feedback. *big* Here's the first Chapter...


Chapter 1

Her breathing was uneven, a tension soon appearing over the phone. She clenched it tightly in her hand, wishing to slam it down with all the force she had in her. Instead, she clenched her jaw, and closed her eyes tightly, bringing her breathing back to an even rhythm. "It's fine."

"I'll make it up to you. I promise."

Promise. Such a strong word coming from someone who had made a million and one promises, and broken all of them. He had promised to be there tonight. Opening her eyes, she caught the gaze of her mother. She turned her back to her and looked towards the wall, hiding the tears in her eyes from sight. "I know."

"My word is my bond."

Is it? How many bonds had he broken with her then? Twenty? Thirty? Fourty? Tears spilled down her cheeks. She could no longer hold them back. She put the phone to her chest, so he wouldn't have to listen to her cry. She'd be damned to let him know he had hurt her.

"Darling?"

"I have to go."

"I'll see you tonight?" She paused. Did she want to see him? She narrowed her eyes. "I think I have plans later." Before he could speak, she put the phone down on the table, and brushed past her mother, who picked up the phone harshly. "You can't keep doing this to her!"

The voice that had once been so gentle and soft turned harsh and bitter. "What do you want from me?"

"Do you have an hour?"

"Lovely, Isabel, that you seem to find our marriage a comedy." Isabel flinched at the sound of her husband's voice.

"Our marriage is between you and I, Alex. Don't you dare punish Daphne for our problems." Isabel heard a sharp intake of breath from the other end and she quickly spoke before the connection would end. "For two months, she's been reminding you of the date. Two months, Alex, and she even wrote it down for you. What I fail to see is how you can...abuse your relationship with Daphne-"

"Abuse?!?! Don't you think that's a bit extreme? I have to work, Isabel! If I don't work, I'll lose my job. If I lose my job, we'll have no money to pay the bills. If we don't pay the bills we lose everything. I'm pretty sure Daphne is old enough to understand."

"You're right, Alex. She is old enough to understand. But when will you be old enough to understand her?" Isabel sighed, and bit her lip. She took the phone away from her ear, and gently pushed the the OFF button, ending the conversation. She flinched when the door was slammed above her. A shaky hand reached out, and ran through her hair. Isabel clenched the phone tightly, her knuckles turning white. She put the phone down on the charger and glanced at the stairs. Slowly, she made her way up to her daughter's room.

Spinning, laughing, dancing, to her favorite song
A little girl, with nothing wrong
Is all alone


It seemed hours that she stood in front of the door, fingering the design on the wall next to it. One fist reached out, and knocked softly. She heard Daphne sigh, and the door was pulled open. Catching the sight of her mother, Daphne groaned, "Please, not the 'He really does love you' speech or I think I'll throw up."

Eyes wide open, always hoping for the song
And she'll sing her song to anyone that comes along


"Lose the tone young lady, and no, that's not why I'm up here." Isabel snapped, meeting her daughter's stunned stare. Daphne opened the door wider for Isabel, allowing her to enter.

Fragile as a leaf in Autumn, just falling to the ground
Without a sound


"Thank you by the way, for allowing me to be in your presence." Isabel replied, standing by Daphne's desk, motioning for her to sit down. She fingered Daphne's golden brown hair, and sighed at her daughter's appearance. She looked the spitting image of Isabel when she was Daphne's age, with a touch of Alex thrown in. She had his piercing blue eyes, always full of life, and sparkle...something he had seemed to have lost awhile ago.

Crooked, little smile on her face
Tells a tale of grace that's all alone


"Mom?" Daphne questioned, handing her the curling iron. "We have to leave in two hours, and I still have to do my makeup." Isabel nodded, taking the curling iron. She divided Daphne's hair into sections, leaving a patch of hair down. She brushed it for minutes, and then picked a strand out. Holding the curling iron in her right hand, Isabel began to wind Daphne's hair in the metal, creating tiny ringlets.

"Wow...never thought I'd live to see the day." Daphne stated, dryly. "Whenever Dad blows off my plays, you're always convincing me it's not because he doesn't love me...oh wait, you're going to tell me in the car right?"

Fragile as a leaf in Autumn, just falling to the ground
Without a sound


"Daphne, your father-" Isabel was cut off as Daphne let out a throaty laugh, "Let me see if I remember it. Daphne, your father does love you. He's doing something that can change the world of technology...something important. He does it to try to make us proud of him. Your father loves his work, and he's just trying to do what he thinks is best for us. Tell me, did I leave anything out?"

Isabel bit her lip, tears in her eyes, "Oh, I wish you were young again. You used to understand so much without questions." She looked into the mirror, and lightly rubbed her hand against Daphne's cheek. Daphne pulled away and looked to the ground. Isabel felt like she had been slapped. She let another section of Daphne's hair down, and began to curl the hairs there as well.

"Is Dad OCD?" Daphne asked suddenly. Isabel raised one eyebrow and looked at her daughter, "No, why would you think that?"

"The counselor at school told me that most parents who stayed at work as much as Dad did...usually had an Obsesive Compulsive Disorder or that he just doesn't want to come home-"

"That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Your father is perfectly fine as is our marriage. Personally, I think your counselor has no idea what she's talking about." Isabel replied, feeling the lies pour out of her like she was the start of a huge river. She felt Daphne stiffen in her seat.

"You know I hate that." Daphne stated firmly, "I hate it when you or Dad lies to me."

Spinning, laughing, to her favorite song
Well she's a little girl, with nothing wrong


"Daphne, I'm not-" The curling iron was yanked out of Isabel's hand. "Just get out."

"Please, Daphne, talk to me." Isabel pleaded, taking a step towards her daughter who immediately recoiled. She stopped in her tracks and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, "Okay, I'll be downstairs when you want to leave."

"Fine." Daphne snapped, meeting Isabel's gaze. She turned her head, averting her gaze, and looked to the ground. "I said fine. You can leave now."

Tears welled in Isabel's eyes and she nodded, opening the door and walking out. She hurried down the stairs, running into the kitchen. Opening the refrigerator door, Isabel searched for something, anything to numb the pain inside of her. Alcohol was what she prefered most...but it seemed as if it was all gone. Slamming the door shut, Isabel slid to the ground, bringing her hands up to wipe the tears from her cheeks and shield her face from the rest of the world, as if the rest of the world was watching her at that moment.

And she's all alone
A little girl with nothing wrong, and she's all alone




(The song is All Alone by Norah Jones)

Read and Review *wink*
posted on 10-Nov-2002 6:24:08 PM by A Rose Is True Blue
Thanks for the feedback guys! *big* Just bumping to the first page, so people can see I updated.

Erin
posted on 15-Nov-2002 11:04:57 PM by A Rose Is True Blue
Hey guys. I'm working on Chapter 3, and as soon as I finish it, I'll post Chapter 2. I want to be at least a Chapter ahead of everyone! *big*

Erin

By the way, the feedback has been awesome. Thanks guys, you all rock! *hugs*
posted on 19-Nov-2002 12:38:32 AM by A Rose Is True Blue
*Warning content in bold writing is rough NC-17, and I suggest that if rape bothers you in anyway shape or form, do not read the bold writing*

Chapter 2

The car came to a stop in the school parking lot, neither of the two occupants moving. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to yell at you." Daphne apologized softly. She looked down at her hands and then back at her mother, "I just...I wish you and Dad wouldn't treat me like I'm not going to understand anything. I'm fifteen Mom, I know you and Dad are fighting, I know you aren't happy. I hear you two, and I hear you crying."

Isabel turned to her daughter, and took her image in. She smiled softly at the innocence and purity in her daughter's face. Innocence; such a funny word. When was someone no longer innocent? Once they had sex? Once, they started to rebel from their parent's ways? When had she lost her own innocence? "I never meant to lie to you, or hurt you."

Daphne nodded, "Okay." Silence invaded the car again, and Daphne reached for the door handle. She stopped and turned back towards Isabel, "Mom, why do you and Dad fight so much? Is it because of me?"

Isabel's eyes widened, "Is that what you've been thinking? That your dad and I have been fighting over you?" At Daphne's nod, Isabel felt tears come to her eyes, "No...it's not you at all. It's never you. Do you understand me?"

"So then what is it?"

How was it that five simple words could be so complicated? Isabel sighed, and looked into the rearview mirror, watching as parents left their cars, walking with their kids, smiles on their faces. She pasted on onto her own face and turned to Daphne. "Sweetie, tonight's your big night. Let's talk later, okay?"

Daphne shrugged. How did she know that her mother would say that? Isabel Whitman had sugar coated everything when it came to her daughter since day one, and Daphne was sick of it. She rolled her eyes and opened her door quickly, shutting just as fast, adding a slam. She looked through the window to meet her mother's eyes. How was it, that two people with so much in common, understood nothing about the other?

From across the parking lot, Daphne heard her voice called and she turned quickly, stalking away from the car, and the broken person within it.

***

Millions of eyes watched her, yet one pair was not there that should be. She felt the tears come to her eyes, but Daphne held them back. No, her Father hadn't come tonight, one of the biggest nights of her life, but her Mother had. She stepped back from the edge of the curtain and waited for her cue. Across from her, her teacher gave her a smile and a wink. Daphne closed her eyes tightly, and took a deep breath of air before crossing the stage, into the view of many.

"What say you, Hermia? be advis'd, fair maid:
To you your father should be as a god;
One that compos'd your beauties: yea, and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax,
By him imprinted, and within his power
To leave the figure, or disfigure it.
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman."


Daphne smiled and raised an eyebrow. This was what she loved, the feel of being someone else. Up on stage she wasn't Daphne Lynn Whitman, but she was Hermia, a character from one of her favorite plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakesphere, a play her father had read to her when she was young and had stuck with her throughout the years.

"So is Lysander." Daphne sat swiftly in the chair behind her, crossing her legs in a graceful fashion.

"In himself he is:
But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice,
The other must be held the worthier."


For some reason, Daphne's eyes met her mother's in the crowd, and with their eyes connected, she stated firmly, "I would my father look'd but with my eyes."

"Rather your eyes must with his judgment look."

Damn, she always forgot this line. There was a silence on stage, and Daphne could hear her heart beating faster and faster. She knew this! She had read the play over, and over, and over. She heard a small whisper from the crowd say, "I do entreat...", and a small blush grew over Daphne's cheeks. If not for the drama that had encurred that night, she might have remembered her lines. A rage of anger came from Daphne. She was angry at her mother for not telling her the truth, angry at her father for not loving her, and angry at herself for putting up with it.

"I do entreat your grace to pardon me.
I know not by what power I am made bold,
Nor how it may concern my modesty
In such a presence here to plead my thoughts:
But I beseech your grace that I may know
The worst that may befall me in this case
If I refuse to wed Demetrius."


She stood swiftly, moving towards Gabe, a Sophmore in her Drama Class playing the role of Theseus. He gave her a tiny smirk as if reminding her she had forgotten a line, while he, had not.

"Either to die the death, or to abjure
For ever the society of men.
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires,
Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice,
You can endure the livery of a nun;
For aye to be shady cloister mew'd,
To live a barren sister all your life,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold, fruitless moon.
Thrice-blessed they that master so their blood
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage:
But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd
Than that which, withering on the virgin thorn,
Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness."


That single smirk sent another wave of anger through Daphne. Did everyone she cross think they were better than her? Her father was too good to come to the opening night of her play...her favorite play. Her mother was too good to tell her a single thing about her parent's marriage. And now, she couldn't even enjoy this night, a night she had looked forward to for so long.

"So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up
Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke
My soul consents not to give sovereignty."


***

"Is that your daughter?" Isabel turned sharply at the voice and recognized the woman who spoke from a PTA meeting. She smiled slightly and turned to watch Daphne, pride glowing on her face.

"She looks lovely. My son plays Theseus. I swear...I must have gone over his lines with him sixty eight times. All worth it though, watching him up there-" Isabel blocked her out. Her face was turning red, and her stomach felt ready to explode. She started to crumble the paper in her hands, and closed her eyes. Sixty eight. Why did that number cause her such pain? Such heartache?

She inhaled deeply, then exhaled. Sixty eight, sixty eight, sixty eight...

***

"Fourty two, fourty three, fourty four, fourty five, fourty six, fourty seven, fourty eight, fourty nine, fifty, fifty one, fifty two-"

"Izzy? Can I come in?"

The voice was slurred, yet she understood the words. She bit her lip lightly and placed her brush on her bed, hopping down from it quickly. A small hand reached out to open the door, and she stepped back, tucking her hair behind her ear. He kneeled down in front of her, placing a large hand on her cheek, "Brushing your hair?"

Isabel grinned, and nodded, pointing to the brush on her bed. "I got to fifty two, Paul!"

"Well look at you!" He poked her stomach with his finger, tickling her ribs. Isabel laughed lightly. "You're already nine years old and look at how smart and pretty you are! How bout I tuck you in, and finish brushing your hair for you? Sound good?"

Isabel was hesitant. Her mom always tucked her in. "Okay, but are you sure Mommy's okay with that? She always tucks me in."

His eyes darkened for a moment before going light once again. "You bet. Your mommy had a rough night, and she's pretty tired so she asked me to tuck you in. That allright with you?"

Isabel nodded, and hopped onto her bed. It sunk down as Paul sat behind her. She scrunched her nose up at the smell of his breath. She may be nine, but she wasn't stupid. She knew he had had something to drink. She knew the smell of alcohol well, for her Mom had spilled some all over Isabel's teddy bear on accident.

"Now, you were at fifty two?" Paul asked, stroking her hair with the brush, "Fifty three, fifty four, fifty five, fifty six, fifty seven, fifty eight, fifty nine, sixty, sixty one, sixty two, sixty three, sixty four, sixty five, sixty six, sixty seven, sixty eight-" Paul stopped counting and the brush fell from his hand onto the bed. Soon his hand was in Isabel's hair, running through it lightly. He moved it to one side and leant his head down, placing a small kiss on her neck.

Isabel froze, and closed her eyes tightly, tears wanting to spill down. She moved away from Paul, sliding back up towards the headboard. She waited for him to leave, but he didn't. He swung her around and crushed his lips to hers, causing her to cry out. "Mommy!" She yelled, before a large hand covered her mouth. Her eyes widened in fright and she knew that at this one moment, her life would be changed for the rest of her life.

"Shh...be a good little girl and be quiet." Paul hissed, glancing back towards the closed door. He unbuckled his belt, and let his pants fall to the ground. Isabel could no longer hold back the tears as he threw her legs apart, and swiftly entered, breaking through her barrier.

It seemed to last a week, but in reality the suffering, the pain, was only ten minutes. Paul relieved himself on Isabel's nightgown, a satisfied look on his face. He stood up, pulled his pants back on, and walked to the door. Isabel sighed in relief, but froze once again as he turned and walked back to her. Bending down, Paul picked up the fallen brush and handed it to her, "We stopped at sixty eight."




Chapter 2 posted, and Chapter 3 soon


edited to say that all of the Shakesphere quotes were taken from: http://www.allshakespeare.com/plays/midsummer/1-1.php



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 19-Nov-2002 12:42:41 AM ]