Okay, so here's my first installation for the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge.
The first day is "One Symbolic Haircut"
Title: New Beginnings
Fandom: Original (stories based around my own characters)
Rating: Lame (G probably)
Summary: Old feelings are stirred up when Phoenix arrives
One Symbolic Haircut
"All the things she said, all the things she said, running through my head, running through my head!" sang the girl with the short black hair on the television. She was dressed in denim hot pants with a white skinny t-shirt that showed her navel. She thought she was beautiful, one of the most beautiful humans she'd ever seen. She turned her head away to look at her housemate who was sitting next to her on the sofa: male, which was a poor start already, shaggy red hair in uncontrollable curls, and far too tall to pull off an outfit like that girl on the television.
It was his decision to watch this show "100 Most Annoying Songs" and she had objected at first, but found herself laughing along with everyone else. Despite living with the same group of people for three years, she still never felt she fit in with them. She wanted to watch documentaries about nature, they wanted to watch documentaries about celebrities and music. She would spend hours taking care of a single patch of flowers in the garden, while they would spend hours trying to defeat each other on "Mortal Kombat". She was friends with all of them, close to Mark and Tammy, and seen as the adult of them all (though she was one of the youngest and most childish). But she was different, an outsider, and they recognised and accepted her for it, but she never told them why. The truth was so strange they'd never believe it.
A different world, a different way of living, a different kind of people.
Faeries. Sprites. Imps. Pixies.
Her old world was far more concerned with nature than technology, though they had plenty of it. She remembered her days of riding on the back of Penny's motorbike, and listening to Jailo freestyle in the local coffee house. But it wasn't something they relied on. What was the point of technology if they didn't have a world to enjoy it in? It was a life she enjoyed and a world she missed so dearly that she would still cry over it.
So she kept the memories, never letting go, and kept what she had left from her world: her hair, her wings, and the rest of her name.
She turned her head again to the other side of the room, where the rest of her housemates were. Mark, Tammy, David and Gaby. And... her. Phoenix.
Phoenix still didn't fit the look of the girl she saw on the programme. Blue hair, loose t-shirt, and typical Pixie facial features. She disliked her from the moment she saw her, hated the fact she was even there. Another Pixie. Worse than that, a Pixie here to tell her that the Guardians had pardoned her, and she was here to take her back. Phoenix arrived a few days ago, with every intention of taking her back straight away, however it didn't quite work out that way. She, too, was shocked by how little regard everyone had for their environment, and so decided to stay for a few days to help Jez look after the garden before they left.
But how dare she? How dare she come and just assume that she would want to go back, and just assume that she needed help cleaning up? How dare she even turn up without warning and expect her to be ready?
The others had no idea at all, they just thought she was someone new who needed to stay for a few days. They didn't know Jezebel would be leaving too, or why.
"I'm going to bed," she said suddenly, and got up to leave while everyone watched, surprised.
"You okay, babe?"
"Yeah, I'm just tired and going to bed. It's late."
"It's 9 o'clock..." Alex said, questioningly.
"Yeah and I've been up since forever. I'm going to bed," she stated, firmly, and left. She heard Gaby tell Alex to leave her alone for a minute and then go and talk to her. And then heard Mark grumble that he was her friend and therefore he should go. She reached the top of the stairs before she could hear Gaby's reply, but guessed it'd be something about how the last thing she needed was a depressed goth kid trying to cheer her up.
A tap on the door. "Jez?" followed on. "You okay in there?" It was Alex after all, not Mark. She was a little relieved; the last thing she wanted was a depressed goth kid try to cheer her up. She got up from her bed and let him in, but turned around without even an acknowledgment of his existence and returned to lying down on top of her duvet.
Alex made sure that her door was closed and then locked before he spoke again, "What's going on, hun? You've been acting weird since Phoenix got here. Do you know her or something?"
"She seems really attached to you, she's always trying to talk to you and help you. Or is that the problem?"
He sighed, ran his hand through his unruly hair, got his hand stuck in a few knots, and after giving up sat on the floor by her bed. He stole a glance up to see that she was staring only at the ceiling. She refused to look at him, just in case it gave anything away. But it was getting difficult to hide anything. If she didn't close her eyes and pretend to be asleep then tears would escape and he wouldn't leave her alone. In some ways though, she wanted him to ask. She wanted to stop bottling up and suppressing all those memories that she had been for so long.
"Do you guys think I fit in?" It was her turn to steal a glance, but Alex wasn't looking at her. He was looking down, fidgeting with his ring.
"We all love you. We think you're great, crazy, but so great. But you don't tell us anything. You know everything about us. You know why Gaby took us in-"
"That's not true, none of us know why you're here." She kicked him in the back, and he yelped. "So I don't fit in?" She didn't want to do this after all, she just wanted to turn and stare at the wall until Phoenix took her away. He didn't have to know why. But she only got as far as turning away, because as she did Alex got up and joined her on the bed, wrapping his arm around her in a close hug. She didn't know what to do, he'd never hugged her like this before, but it was the best feeling in the world. She remembered this from when Penny found her and took her home to his group.
The feeling that she finally belonged, that where she came from didn't matter, and they wanted her anyway. Alex didn't care about what happened, he felt she belonged with them. "Phoenix is here to take me home."
"Home? Wait, you have a home?" He loosened his hold and turned her to face him.
"Sort of. I hav- it's not so much a home, I don't think I'll be going back to a house, I don't really know what to expect... I... I need to show you something." She rolled over again to face away from him, and protested when he tried to stop her, "no I need to show you like this," and she sat up, peeling off her t-shirt in the process, revealing a pair of beautiful, exotic butterfly wings, in all shades of purple. They were in perfect proportion to her back, both wings with tails that curled at the tips, and despite their spectacular look, they failed to gain any kind of reaction from Alex. This was somewhat of a surprise, and she looked over her shoulder to see what was going on. Alex was looking, and not covering his eyes in order to avoid seeing a naked lady like she suspected, but he didn't look too impressed. In fact, he looked as if seeing a girl with wings like hers was an everyday occurrence.
"You think this is news to me?" Her jaw dropped. She thought no one knew about this, she'd made damn sure no one knew about this. Alex was right, she never told them about herself, never told them about her past, just kept herself to herself, acted crazy and tended the garden. "I've lived with you for 3 years, you think I've never accidentally walked in on you in the shower?"
"I walked straight out again! But I saw your wings, and, I dunno, just didn't tell you I knew. I figured if you wanted to tell me about something like this then you would. And you know, it's a pretty strange thing so I guessed you didn't want anyone to know." Jezebel felt as if her heart had stopped mid beat. She honesty had no idea what to do or say, but she suddenly felt so relieved. Someone knew. He knew before he hugged her. So he accepted her, and her past, what he knew of it. She did belong.
"I want to stay here. I can't go back. It won't work, I'm a different person. I might still be a Pixie-"
"Yes, a Pixie... but I belong here now, don't I?"
"I for one would be pretty pissed off if you left. You're our girl, not, wherever it was you came from."
Jezebel realised what she had to do now. That feeling of belonging was for now, not what had come before. It was time to let go.
"Hey, can you do me a favour?" she asked Alex, who nodded in response, sitting up. "Can you raid Tammy's bedroom, and find me a pair of denim hot pants, and a white skinny t-shirt?" She tried not to laugh at the stunned look on his face. She guessed her wanting those clothes was more of a shock than anything else about her. But he left without saying a word, closing the door behind him.
Smiling at herself, she searched through her bedside cabinet until she found a pair of scissors. They weren't the best for this job, but they'd do.
When Alex returned to her bedroom with the clothes, he drew a sharp intake of breath. Jez's knee length hair was all gone, and in its place, and short, spiky haircut, still red, in a similar style of the girl on that programme. "Wow. That looks... just, not bad for a DIY haircut."
"Gimme those clothes." She was still smiling, the happiest she'd been in so long. Those memories would be just that, memories, she didn't need to hold on to anything anymore. Alex turned his back as she changed into the outfit he had retrieved for her, grinning when he turned back to see her.
"Fantastic," he pulled her into another hug, squeezing her tight, "I think I like you better with short hair, now it won't get in my face when I go anywhere near you!"
"Shut up, let's go back downstairs. I can't wait to see their faces. What do you think Phoenix will say?"
"What does it matter? You're not going back." He laughed at her and let go of his hold, but still held her arm to lead her out. "You look like a lesbian you know."
She blinked, and decided that one more piece of information couldn't hurt, "I am a lesbian."
Once again, Alex barely reacted, "Oh, I knew that too, this is just the first time you've looked like one."