Closed RP We Need To Talk

This RP is currently closed.

His gentle touch on her side made her smile. He was one of the most gentle people she knew when he was outside that mask. One of the most patient. One of the kindest. He might have been full of anger and had a darkness to him that made most criminals shudder, but to her, he was just… hers. He had always been, and would always be, hers.

As they walked back inside, she simply pressed her face into his neck, breathed him in, and fed him all the warmth that she had to give. Mint and coffee and cigarettes surrounded her, drenching her in that scent that was so reassuring. There was no place else she’d rather be in the entire world. There was no one else she wanted to belong to. And with that, she realized something else.

She felt no guilt anymore for loving him and being happy. At some point, she didn’t know when, nor would she be able to place it if she tried to recall it, she had made some kind of peace. Not peace with Obsidian. But peace with Alice. Alice would have loved Todd. She would have loved him and had been so happy for her. She would have encouraged this, and Sam knew. She knew that Alice would have wanted her happy.

She could be happy.

It was like a shackle around her heart fell away. A weight that she had forced on herself disappeared. This had been her choice, to feel guilty, to feel undeserving of happiness. That had never been Alice. It never would have been Alice. It was always Sam imposing this guilt on herself. Now, it was gone, and she felt so wholly free and at ease that she almost started to cry again. Her arms instinctively held Todd closer and she breathed out in a small shudder, as if shaking off the last of the guilt.

She could be happy.

They walked into her apartment. The smell of the slow cooker on the balcony filled the room with the smell of ribs, pork steaks, and chili, and there were various other dishes lining the counter, things that were ready to be consumed already. Covered trays of cheese curds, toasted ravioli, and a hotdish that she’d had to look the recipe up for. Todd had mentioned once that his favorite food was midwestern food, and she was hoping she had done as much of it justice as possible. It wasn’t her specialty, not like Mexican food was, but she was confident enough in her skills and the recipes she’d followed to be hopeful.

Todd settled them down on her couch, and the comfortable red fabric was immediately welcome against her sore body. She had to admit, the hike might have killed her. But she had been so determined to make the day good for him that she hadn’t even considered her own well-being. She looked up at him, at those sharp cheekbones, that broken nose, and those blue eyes that looked at her so gently.

She could be happy.

Her smile became a happy grin, her teeth flashing in the brightest expression she’d had in weeks. Everything was going to be okay, as long as they had each other. As long as they could curl into one another and support each other. As long as they could hold onto one another every time a storm rolled through. Everything would be fine.

With a bit of a sheepish look and a bit of a blush, she asked, “Can you… say it one more time. I promise I won’t keep asking you to repeat it. I just… one more time?”
Todd felt Sam relax in his arms. The tension of the last fifteen minutes – the last three days – the last two months all left her, and it took his tension with it. He realized that this was what he’d been grieving, this sense of ease, this release of weight. He hadn’t thought he’d ever feel… like this again. Felt relaxed.

Felt happy.

He pushed through the door, well aware that it wouldn’t be locked. The smell of all the food she’d made – made for after their hike. Right now, it was an afterthought. There was no hunger under his skin, none he could notice under this feeling he hadn’t let himself have in… a long time. He tried to remember the last time he felt relief, like this. Thought back to Adeyn, to Nat, to Summer. Longer, farther back. To Arlo.

Had he ever been happy? Like this? Even with Arlo, there was always something to hide. Now, with Sam, he didn’t have… anything. It wasn’t hard to think of something he might be hiding from her, but the secret that came to mind wasn’t his.

She knew. That was more than he could say about anyone alive, besides –

Besides someone he wasn’t going to allow into his thoughts and ruin the moment.

He settled on the couch, and left her room to settle in next to him. He was still careful, not because she was fragile (God, he knew she wasn’t), but because she was injured. It could be weeks before her ribs mended completely, and while her leg might take less time, it was still going to be tender.

His face melted into a smile when she asked. It wasn’t a grin – but his grins weren’t meant for people. Even her. She wasn’t like him. But she was his, and for once, the mine wasn’t tinged with red, with the taste of cinnamon.

“I love you, Samantha Walsh.”

He let the silence settle as he gently brushed her lips with his. He gave her the kiss, and let her take more, if she wanted it. He waited until she wanted to pull away, and then let the soft smile grow slightly into a smirk.

“So… a wendigo, huh?”

Those words filled her with a sense of… everything. There was no other way to describe it. He was everything, and he was giving himself to her, in almost every way possible. He was giving her his truest self, his deepest secret, and his heart. She melted inside when his lips found hers, and it took everything in her not to deepen the kiss until she was in his lap. Instead, she angled her mouth against his to make it last, to pull him in close. Her hands wove through his curls, but she eventually pulled back with a soft sigh.

The moment lasted just a touch longer as she looked into his eyes and watched his smile quirk up and widen slightly. It was time to talk, and the first question was the most obvious question. She settled into the couch, curling into his side and resting her head against his chest. “A wendigo. Right. I guess I should explain that.”

She pulled back just far enough to look up at him. And with a tilt of her head, she started to talk. She gestured with her free hand, the one that wasn’t tucked against his back, as she addressed his question. “I did a lot of research right after I put together that you… eat people. I spent a few days in the library, and eventually the idea of a wendigo came up. They’re, uh, they become what they are when they initially willingly consume human flesh. Then it becomes something they have to do. But they’re known for a never-ending appetite as well. They’re basically avatars of hunger, and lore says they represent addictions as well.”

Sam had started to go, and it was like she couldn’t stop, or maybe wasn’t paying attention to how much she was talking. “They’re like the perfect predators of humans. Stronger, faster, and they’re known for voice mimicry at least, and I assume the shapeshifting is just the natural conclusion for that. Wendigo aren’t born either, they’re made. Oh, and also they supposedly have hearts made of ice, and you’re always so cold. It’s like no matter how much you wear or how hot the heater is, you’re just never warm, you know?”

She took a bit of a pause to breathe, to think. What else had there been? She knew she’d have to address his family, but she didn’t want to do that quite yet. He was bound to ask a question that would spark that answer, but for now, she would keep rambling about wendigos. “There’s a lot of lore about what they do, but not much on what they actually are. Like, yeah, all the lore says they’re humans possessed by a spirit or outright monsters. But that’s all most of it says. It also seems to specifically be a Native American thing, a curse, which tracks.“

She paused, debating whether she should tell him the last part. She swallowed and reached for his hand with her free one, lacing her fingers through his. She held tight, looking at their hands, her smile turning a touch sad. “There’s, uhm. There’s a lot of lore of them eating their families. Specifically children and spouses. Like, the real stories, the stories that are true, people who claimed to be wendigos. They’re all about starvation and what seems like psychotic breaks that led them to eating their own families. But none of those stories are like you. I looked into them extensively.”

She paused and then looked back up at him, her eyes shining like she was trying not to cry. “But the biggest trait is the eating people and addictions and starvation. And well, you do smoke, and now would be a good time to mention if you do any kind of drugs. And the starvation, well. I love you, but you almost weigh the same as me. I can count your bones sometimes, in your face and arms and shoulders. And even right now, when you’ve so recently eaten, I am sure I could count your ribs under these clothes.”

Her hand on his back moved up, toward his shoulders, resting in the middle of his narrow back. She looked at him softly, her eyes slightly faded and unfocused. Then she snapped back to attention and blushed, her now more dense soft brown freckles highlighted against her flushed cheeks. “I didn’t mean to ramble. Sorry.”
“I love it when you do that.” He kissed her hairline, this time – not the overcautious kiss of someone who doesn’t want to risk her seeing teeth, but someone who wanted to leave her lips free to talk. “You know a lot about monsters. I’d love to hear more, sometime.”

Sometime when it was just them and her thoughts. She’d listened to him rant and ramble so often about predators and ecosystems, zoos and conservation, cars and trucks and customer service – it was th least he could do in return. And her information was good. He’d found the wendigo in his own research, too, and knew most of the lore, but had written off the lack of overlap due to a lot of factors. He had some thoughts – but he’d come back to them. Circle back to wendigo as a part of heritage. He didn’t think he’d like the answer to it, knowing his mother’s maiden name.

“I appreciate you taking the whole ‘eating people’ thing in stride, Sammy. I know it’s a lot, and I know you’ve known for a while, but – thank you. It’s still a lot. Especially with… everything.” He didn’t address eating families or drugs yet. His face was soft, and he stroked an errant curl away from her brow. But the worry wasn’t completely gone from behind his eyes. “But – other predators? How are you handling them? I saw how you looked at Nahual. And, with how you talked about Obsidian…”

He trailed off, and his eyes unfocused a little. Was it possible she’d cut Ethan some slack, with all of this? Sure, it was more personal. Sure, she didn’t know Obsidian was a man named Ethan, much less that Ethan’s last name was also Walsh. That– that wasn’t Todd’s secret to tell. That was something Ethan would have to fix himself, if he wanted it fixed. But maybe, just maybe, Todd could be the first step to forgiving her brother for being what he was, doing what he did. What he had done.