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24 June 2011 @ 08:53 pm
fic: sounds of a playground fading  

sounds of a playground fading
rating: r
pairing: justin/alex
summary: She occasionally likes to think that the actual indifference itself surpasses even the effort to be indifferent
a/n: my first ship ever when I didn't know about shipping was Julian/Anne from The Famous Five. Kindly re-direct all posts to the ninth circle of hell
disclaimer: disclaimed. graphic source

"Robotic Engineering?"

She's sprawled on his bed, just out of the reach of his body looking at these huge, incomprehensible books lying across his bed and it's familiar and lame and Justin and makes her feel like someone deliberately crossed wires inside her chest. Like they connected the live wire to the neutral wire (or is it the earth wire? Who the fuck is supposed to tell her these utterly useless things when he's gone?)

He doesn't look up from his perusal of 'How to Be the King of Losers' or 'How to Be an Utter Asshole and Leave Your Kid Sister Behind' or whatever the hell he's reading these days. And she's started thinking in terms like 'perusal', obviously she desperately needs a dork detox once he leaves and stops contaminating her, "Yeah. Minor in micro economics, I think. Or maybe I should just take up quantum mechanics as an extra or even nuclear physics for…"

She gives him a nice, friendly, bone-crushingly hard punch on his shoulder and has the satisfaction of seeing him wince (yeah, it hurts a lot more when it happens on the inside; just a side note), "Could you be any lamer. At least you won't have to worry about extra-curriculars. Your lameness will probably knock all other competitors out of the water. Do you think they hold house-keeping competitions? You could win that-- with your disturbing love for dolls."

"Ha ha, they're action figures," he says in a monotone, "you're still here? Shouldn't you be preparing for the 'par-tay of the year' or something?"

"A farewell party?" She scoffs, "are you out of your mind."

He turns a page and doesn't look at her and it's damn annoying, just like every single thing about him, "I'm not delusional. I meant the after-leaving, The Justin's Finally Gone party."

"Oh, that," and it feels like déjà vu, like something she's heard before and didn't like a lot in the first place; this whole JustinandAlex and fighting and insulting thing they've always done. They're nothing if not a cliché. "I'm waiting to estimate the magnitude of celebration, you know. Increasing in direct proportion to the distance of your college from here. When you finally choose."

He looks at her then, and she wishes he hadn't because his eyes are sort of crinkled in the way she lo...athes and it makes something in her chest slam hard against her ribcage (yeah, she knows 'something' has a more commonly known name, your point?) "Alex," and his voice is all quiet and serious like this is important or something. Fuck him, it's not. He's going away, and he's always been her annoying older brother with all those morals and shtick so she's glad here, "I can't help it if there aren't any good colleges around here. I've already chosen. You know that."

"Yeah?" She twirls her hair in one of her fingers, it's practiced, except he's her brother so he doesn't fit into the specific category it was originally practiced for, but when she thinks about it (rarely) he's the person she uses it most on; "I must've been too busy doing my homework to listen. College will be so interesting-- that's a whole new bunch of people for you to bore for the next four years-- you won't lose the touch. At least till they initiate a Nobel in the category."

"You can say it, you know," he has that smug look on his face which always makes her want to pull his hair out and wrestle with him in the mud, anything to get that look of condescending superiority off, like he knows more, sees more, is more, "you're gonna miss me."
She scoffs again and changes it into a cough mid-way because her cross-wired, messed-up emotions are messing up her acting abilities too and yeah, it sucks, like a lot, "Whatever floats your boat, Russo. Keep up those illusions about me because it's unlikely any other girl'd ever live up to them."
He just looks at her some more (take a picture, lasts longer) and she wants him to say it, not just look it. Say that she's his sister so technically (it's all semantics, that's what their world ultimately comes down to. Or maybe shared blood. She's not sure which) she's not a girlNot the real kind anyway. Not the kind who you'd go behind bike sheds with and carry on under-the-table rendezvous with in the library. And just the thought is revolting, because Justin and girls isn't a phrase ever heard together. When she bothers at all (rarely), she thinks that all that Justin probably knows about bra-clasps is from late-night, supposedly secret meetings with her laundry basket. As if she wouldn't find out about any potential blackmail material related to him; like, good luck.

"Would you finger a girl under the library table?" It's abrupt (and no, not what she wanted to say, she was thinking more along the lines of 'don't die cuz mom won't be there to feed you').

But...there'll be college girls there. Gorgeous and fun and…college girls. She's just a high school kid. (And yes, she's also his sister, she was going to get to that point). And yeah, it's Justin-- his name is practically the dictionary antithesis to dateable-- but they're...college girls and they probably have this 'thing' for nerds and (he was her nerd, before those other girls even started to notice that his hair fell a certain way. Even Harper).

"What," his mouth drops open (and he's so not ready for college, loser), "Alex."

"Of course you wouldn't." She mutters, her dark hair covering her face. So what if she's blushing, there's a first for everything. But she won't let him know that because losing to Justin isn't something she's very good at, "It's fun, dangerous, hot and the sanctity of the library as a shrine of yours has to be maintained and blah, blah blah…"

"Maybe," he cuts in, his own color rising as he stares at a fixed point in his book (which has been upside down since the past half hour when she entered, maybe she'll let him know in another hour). Seriously, this wouldn't even make it to the final cut of even the lowest grade movies, it's so ridiculous and overdone.

"What?" he didn't just.

"I said maybe. Maybe I would."

She'd have laughed at any other time at his red face. But she's wearing her skimpiest nightdress (that she'd specially brought for…something. There must've been a reason, she remembers she'd invented a pretty good one) and the door is locked (and she tries to think of any other scenario in which her mother would have allowed her to stay in a locked room with a boy, except it's not a boy, it's him and anyway there's that whole sibling thing. Yeah, that), and him doing that to college girls

"Have you…" he clears his throat, his gaze becoming more fixed "um…have you, you know…was your question out of a sense of vicarious inquisitiveness about college life or are you asking through a belated remembrance of your own experiences in the…field."

She decodes it (he doesn't know it, but she's fluent in Justin-speak), "I haven't been fingered in a library if that's what you're asking."

"Good," he begins in his stern big-brother tone which usually makes her want to break something (mostly his face, because he can't see), "because I do not want my little sister…"
She stands up abruptly, and material of her nightdress (or a very noticeable lack thereof) skims over her thighs and she calls it a victory as he stares for a few beats more than normal. That word's used so many times, she isn't sure she even knows what it means anymore.

"Mom should stop letting you walk around the house practically naked," he says. (The expression's fine, the half-sprawled attitude of boredom is perfect, now only to work on the shaking hands, they're ruining the shot); "you're not a kid anymore."

Yeah. Right. Like he's noticed. "But it's all family. It's not like they're going to suddenly get 'urges' no matter how I'm dressed. Or not. I could take this off right now and you wouldn't even react."

There's this game she's been playing since…forever. It has something to do with her and him and the edge and pushing too far and she's never won because he's freaking perfect and he never goes over the edge, no matter how many times she messes up and tries so hard. And once, just once she'd like to see him act his age. And do something crazy because. Just, because. Like an eighteen year old, over-hormonal guy with no thoughts of morality and ethics. 

"So now if I mess up…" she stops abruptly because her voice threatens to give way and she's damned if she's going to cry in front of him. She's Alex Russo, she doesn't cry. Not over her stupid brother.

(She occasionally likes to think that the actual indifference itself surpasses even the effort to be indifferent.)

"Alex," he pulls her towards him, sighing and when she thinks about it (rarely) they touch a lot, not that it matters, because they're...yeah, that, "I'm just going to college, not Mars. It's not like we won't be family anymore. You'll always be the annoying, charming, bratty, scheming little sister and--"

She deliberately lets her hair fall over his face and gives him a full view down her shirt (and that was the edge, make no mistake about it), "Promise?"

He doesn't answer, she takes it as her second victory. (Seriously what is she winning here?) And this is normal because he's always been there and so she's obviously irritated by a change in an order that wasn't broken. (He was the first one to teach her that she could need and want without being needed or wanted in return and sometimes she thinks she hates him for it).

"Do you love me?" It's hatefully needy and whiny and she thinks she'd like a wand and a turn-back-time spell just about now.

"It's late," he says, "go back to bed."

"Do you?"

He's looking at his watch with a sort of comical horror (which is hilarious and not funny at all), "It's one. I have an interview tomorrow morning. God, Alex, get out. I need to finish this."

Maybe she should take that as a no but she's going to take it as a yes anyway.

And she should have told him that it really wasn't that difficult. They have love between them, even if it comes couched in revoltingly beautiful terms like unconditional and familial, except he seems to have forgotten that, and maybe she won't remind him today. Maybe this isn't the time for useless, soul-exhausting questions. Maybe someday when she's in his room with a locked door and a seductive dress and no parents/siblings sleeping next door. Or maybe someday in a library somewhere far away, where she'd have to giggle and bite her lip because of the whole 'Keep Silent' thing. Or maybe just--whenever he looks, actually looks at her.

That's definitely not normal, but normal has never been a part of her two hundred and fifty word vocabulary anyway, and when she turns back to look at him, white knuckled, staring blankly ahead; she thinks that maybe the only real difference between them is that he's the better actor.

And he's holding his book upside down, his hand shaking slightly, and if she thinks about it (rarely), maybe it's kind of sad that he's still the better actor.

Lizzie: black swan gifxx_pinkstar on June 25th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
I loved this <3 I love Justin/Alex - I've actually been on a WOWP marathon the last few days so it's really weird that this came up, but it's amazing!
youcallitwinter: youcallitwinter on June 25th, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC)
Even weirder because I haven't seen Wizards in about six months! But a marathon's a good idea, I'm gonna do that when I have time, thanks :D