Title: "Asleep In My Arms"

Author: carpesomediem


Fandom: The Haunting

Characters: Theo/Nell

Rating: G

Warnings/Spoilers: Dreamworks owns... I just... borrowed...

Summary: The aftermath of escaping Hill House.

"Come on!" Theo hollered at Nell. "I don't care if we have to sit on the freezing pavement; my ass is not spending another minute inside that house." She saw the look of confusion on her friend's face and added. "Even if the danger is over."

"What are we going to do?" Nell asked calmly. There was something about her that had Theo enthralled. For the first time in her life, Theo actually saw herself with someone for more of an emotional attachment than the occasion fuck.

"Hopefully?" she talked to herself, reaching inside the passenger window and into the glove box. "Yes!" In her hands was a spare pair of keys to the small, red convertible parked in the driveway. "I was thinking we could spend the night in the car, by the gates, and wait until the Dudley's come in the morning."

"What about Dr. Marrow?" Nell glanced at him thoughtfully. Despite the fact that he had put her through hell in that house, her kindness was still in tact. Theo would have none of that, at least, not now.

"He can take care of himself," Theo cast a look at Nell making her understood that there was no changing her opinion of him at the moment. David Marrow had brought Nell there, Theo thought. He put her life in danger. He put all of our lives in danger. There's no way in hell I'm helping him. No way in fucking hell.

Without another word Theo started the engine and backed out of the driveway onto the main road. A few minutes later the two women sat, nerves fried, in front of the large iron gates that stared down ominously at them.

"So?" Nell broke the uneasy silence. "What do we do now?"

"We wait." Theo looked in the mirror and began to compose herself. The last encounter with Hugh Crain had left her hair mangled and her arm bloody.

"You're still bleeding," Nell pointed out.

"Oh well, what can a girl do?" she replied sarcastically. "That's another outfit gone to hell thanks to Hill House."

"Let me clean it up." Without hesitation Nell positioned herself so she faced Theo and smiled emphatically. She took off the jacket Theo had cast on her as they scurried out the front doors and tore off a sleeve of her white pajamas.

"I'll be fine," Theo argued, not use to genuine human contact. There was something about Eleanor Vance that had Theo transfixed. It wasn't easy for someone to just burst into her life and in such a short time become a big part of it. Theo wasn't quite ready to give into the indulgence of meeting someone she could picture herself with in the long run. Not yet anyway. "Oww? that hurts."

"There." Nell smiled quite satisfied with the mock bandage. "That should be good until morning. Then we'll take you to see a doctor."

"I think you're the one that needs to see a doctor," Theo joked. "You were acting a bit strange in there."

"I know," Nell shook her head profoundly. "I know. I just? I really don't know what happened in there."

"That makes two of us dear." Theo laid her head back against the leather headrest proceeding to lay the seat back as far as it would go.

It was sometime past midnight when another prolonged period of silence filled the air. Theo was busy figuring out what was going on inside her head. She was trying to sort out the feelings, the strong yearning she had, to be with this woman. It wasn't that Nell didn't know Theo was interested. On the contrary, even a blind woman would know if Theo was that intent on flirting with someone she just met.

When Theo arrived at Hill House she made her intentions to Nell known straight away with an impromptu striptease that lead to an anxiety-filled conversation about love lives. Theo had been taken immediately by the young woman.

Nell, on the other hand, didn't know what to think of Theo. It had been a rarity for anyone to be interested in her so the sort of flirtations being thrown at her came as a surprise. In time, Theo grew on her, in more ways than one.

"Are you going back to Boston?" Theo inquired looking over at Nell. Nell's cheeks were flushed as Theo began to study her worn-torn frame and she suddenly felt self-conscious.

"I really wish you wouldn't do that." Nell shook her head.

"Do what?" Theo turned onto her side and cast a lecherous smile her way. "Oh, that." She was teasing now and the serious look on Nell's face suddenly made her quiet. "I'm sorry, I can't help it. Does it really bother you?"

"Not really," Nell confessed. "I'm just not used to it, that's all."

"Well, I'll stop if you want me to." Theo threw her hands in the air to signify what a hard task that would be. Nell grinned. "You never answered my question."

"I know," she replied sheepishly. Looking out the window she gazed up at the night sky. She wondered what it would be like to try and hear the buoys in the harbor from New York. "I don't know if I'm going back to Boston. I don't have much to go back to." The tone in her voice changed when she asked, "What type of place do you have?"

"Me?" Theo seemed surprised by the question. "I have a loft; it's near the top of skyscraper. On the good days? well, I'm not up much on the good days." Sitting up she leaned her back against the door and wish she hadn't, her back was killing her.

"That's an awful lot of room for one person." Theo got the hint.

"Do you want to come and live with me Nell?" Theo couldn't believe she had said that. What in God's name was she thinking? "I mean, I don't exactly live the lifestyle you're accustomed to. I don't do much during the day and during the night, well, let's just say I'm the life of the party if you know what I mean."

"I try to know what you mean. I just have trouble figuring it out most of the time," Nell finally met Theo's eyes. There was something about those hazel eyes that made her feel safe. Perhaps, she thought, that's what brought her out of her stupor in the house before Hugh Crain nearly crushed her tiny body into the stone wall sculpture that became his prison.

"What I'm trying to say," Theo tried sounding smart for a change. "My boundaries, they aren't well-defined Nell." Theo carefully went over what she was about to say and then just came out and said it. "But they could be. If you wanted them to."

There was softness and tender part of Theo, Nell had rarely seen in the few days she'd known her. This was the Theo she liked. This was the Theo she felt safe with. This is the Theo she wanted to be with.

"I do."

Theo nodded and lay back down.

Nell was satisfied with herself. For the first time in her life she had chosen a path that she thought was right for her rather than what her tired, old mother had dictated. With that she fell asleep for the first time in her life, with a smile on her face.

Theo, meanwhile, had begun to piece together the radical changes that her life would now have to take. Partying, drinking till dawn, and late night fuck-sessions were out of the question. She wanted to be faithful, for the first time in her life, to Nell. And she would.

As they both drifted off into their slumber, each thought of what would come when they reached New York City in a couple day's time. Unbeknownst to one another, they both dreamt of falling asleep in each other's arms.


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