ice speed record

Photo by Kerstin Langenberger

“I see the glaciers calving, retreating dozens to hundreds of meters every year. I see the pack ice disappearing in record speed. Yes, I have seen bears in good shape – but I have also seen dead and starving polar bears. Bears walking on the shores, looking for food, bears trying to hunt reindeer, eating birds’ eggs, moss and seaweed. And I realized that the fat bears are nearly exclusively males which stay on the pack ice all year long. The females, on the other hand, which den on land to give birth to their young, are often slim. With the pack ice retreating further and further north every year, they tend to be stuck on land where there’s not much food.”  -  Kerstin Langenberger

of course i did it for you

A/N: I suppose this is kind of a continuation for “of course i’m doing it for you”? Regardless, I hope you enjoy! (changing writing style a bit, going to present tense and second person)

—-

The second after Danny turns off the camera, everyone is quickly rushed out of dorm 307 by Perry. She’s whispering things that you can only heart bits and pieces of while LaF sits with you at the edge of your bed. The two of you don’t say anything, but hold eye contact until Perry is back.

There’s a strange silence for a little while. It’s not awkward, but you can tell that someone wants to say something, anything. It’s sort of…a tense silence.

“As much as I want to sit here and drown in my sorrows,” you begin, not moving from your place, “I know that if I do, it’ll kill me.”

Perry joins you and LaF on the bed, and a tiny smile makes its way onto your cheeks as they clutch each others’ hands so tightly without a second thought. You had always known that they were ridiculously and helplessly in love with each other, but neither one was willing to admit it. It was familiar.

“Can at least one of you stay with me?” you ask, and dammit, your voice is cracking again. You’ve cried enough for a lifetime, don’t you get a break?

LaF lets go of Perry’s hand and reaches for yours. You look down at your hand intertwined with theirs, just tracing the outline of their pale, bloodied fingers in your darker ones. They run their thumb across the back of your palm, and you just watch the movement until the constriction in your chest subsides.

“I think we can both stay with you, if you’d like,” Perry says. You can’t help but notice that she has two sides of her motherly nature; the side that hurriedly fusses over cuts and bruises and scrambles for ice packs at record speed, and the side that speaks in a calm, low, and gentle voice and looks at you with eyes that expressed the greatest of concern.

You were grateful that she knew the difference between when each side was needed, because right now, you really needed the quiet.

“I’d like that,” you reply. “Why don’t we all get cleaned up, yeah?”

LaF nods, blood still running down their shirt and fingers. You shakily stand up, and Perry rushes to your side to steady you. She isn’t injured; LaF took the blunt of all of it and beat the life out of anyone who tried to hurt Perry. 

“I’m gonna head back to our dorm and get a shower, then I’ll bring us back some clothes okay?” LaF says quietly, and Perry nods. They lock eyes for a few moments, and finally LaF leans up and kisses Perry. When the two of them break apart, LaF takes in a shaky breath and nods at you, then walks out of the room.

After hours of feeling nothing, you feel a rush in your chest at the love between the two of them, and it’s really nice to have that around you.

Perry holds your arm as the two of you walk into your bathroom, where all of Carmilla’s stuff is still sitting. You try not to think anything of it as Perry grabs a washcloth and starts cleaning your face. As you get a whiff of the soap Carm uses, you close your eyes and will yourself not to cry again.

Fifteen minutes later, you’re in bed again, and LaF and Perr are on either side of you. All three of you have changed into pajamas, and LaF has their laptop on their lap.

“What would be best for you right now?” they ask you, looking at you with black, tired, bloodshot eyes. 

You take a deep breath and sigh, leaning back a bit so LaF almost hides the view of Carmilla’s bed. 

“Can we just listen to sad music for a little bit?” you ask, chuckling to yourself. Carm would have rolled her eyes and said that sad music was ridiculous and pointless. But you know that she would’ve sat next to you and listened to all of the songs with you without judging you anyways.

“I’ve got the perfect playlist,” LaF says, and you look at them, confused. You didn’t peg them as the type of person to sit in their room and listen to sad songs.

They pull up a playlist, and you recognize a few of the songs. “All I Want” by Kodaline starts to play, and you lean on LaF’s shoulder.

You listen the lyrics intently, and your heart begins to ache again. You instantly wish you could go back to the feeling you had a few minutes ago, to some version of peace. 

Perry clutches your hand tightly, and for the first time in a while, you see her eyes filling with tears. 

“I’m so sorry, Laura,” she says quietly. You clutch her hand tightly back, and you collapse into LaF’s shoulder while she leans on yours. The tears you had been dreading and avoiding crept on you, slipping down your cheeks seemingly out of nowhere.

No one spoke as the emotions finally hit all of you individually after such a nonstop night. 

—–

LaFontaine

When you wake up, it’s still nighttime or early morning, and the playlist is still playing from your laptop. Burn With You by Lea Michele was on right then, and you sigh, turning it off and gently setting it down on the ground.

Somewhere within the night, Perry and Laura had gone from sitting up to lying down, and both of their faces had pained expressions on them.

You stand up slowly so as not to wake either one of them, and it takes you a moment to unravel yourself from Laura’s iron grip on your arm and hand.

Your phone lights up with a notification from an unknown number, and you look at it as you head to the door. You need a walk, anything to clear your head of what’s happened in the last few days.

How’s Laura? - Danny

And how are you and Perry? - Danny

You sigh, and you finally notice the time. 4:53 AM.

Good timing. Laura and Perry are asleep, but judging by the hour or so before we fell asleep, we’re all a little rough. 

You start walking, and you aren’t sure to where. Your phone vibrates once again.

Yeah…um, Kirsch is still pretty out of it, and I haven’t slept yet tonight. Betty and them…they seem okay. I don’t think they really get it.

You round a corner in the dimly lit hallways, finding the silence and darkness to be odd in contrast to how it normally was. You suppose that you’d never really been awake at this time to know what 5 AM Silas University was like.

Yeah. Thanks for checking on us. Try to sleep?

The next thing you know, you’re sitting at the top of the stairwell, looking down into the darkness. There's no light at the bottom of the stairs, and it’s rather eerie. Then again, you’d prefer the dark over the light.

No problem. I’ll try. Uh…night, LaF.

Night, Danny.

For a few minutes, there’s a looming silence over you and the dorm building. You just sit there, staring into this darkness, hoping Perry and Laura would stay asleep long enough for you to get back. Out of habit, you reach up and comb your hair back with your fingers, and you cringe at how much it hurts to move them. You must’ve hit those vampires pretty hard.

Something stirs at the bottom of the stairwell, and you perk up. The tiredness that had been weighing on your eyelids dissipates, and your heart rate begins to pick up. You were known for your blind bravery, but you were not as brave when you were alone.

The sound returns, and as you listen intently, you can make out very slow and labored footsteps.

For some reason, you feel anger rising in you. Who was sneaking back in at 5 in the morning after last night? There shouldn’t have been any regular Friday night parties or anything like that…you feel like the world should have stopped for you guys.

“Who’s there?” you call out, louder than you meant to. Your voice is raspy and strained, and you swallow hurriedly to take away the dryness of it.

There is no response at first, just more slow footsteps. The lack of response heightens your fear, and you inch backwards.

“I said, who’s there?” you call out once again, and this time, someone responds.

“LaF? Is that you?”

You have to rub your eyes, pinch your arm, and slap your face before you convince yourself that you aren’t dreaming, and that you really did just hear that voice.

“I could really use your help,” the voice calls up the stairwell. Shaking, you stand up and search the wall, fumbling for a lightswitch. You find one finally and flip it on. 

It takes you a moment, but you gather the courage to look down the stairs and see who’s standing there. You were right in your suspicions but you still can’t believe that this isn’t a dream.

She stares up at you, and you take her in silently. There’s hardly anything left of her shirt, and her pants are torn in several places. She’s barefoot, and her hair is a mess, completely unlike the curly black hair you’re used to seeing. Her body is covered in scratches, bruises, blood, and dirt.

When you finally meet her gaze, you notice that the usual seductive or mischevious look is missing. Instead, it’s replaced by the brokenness that you’d seen in Laura, Perry, and even yourself. It’s strange to see your snarky, seductive, snappy friend look so small.

She’s struggling to hold herself up even with the rail to hold onto, and you snap out of your trance when you realize her arms are shaking. You rush down the stairs and being face to face with her, so close to her, you still can’t believe that any of this is real. Nevertheless, you put her arm over your shoulders and help her up the stairs. 

When you reach the top, she leans on the wall, out of breath from a usually simple task. You keep a grip on her, and you’re surprised when she grips onto you, too.

Before you know what’s happening, she’s pulled you in to a surprisingly strong hug for as little strength as she had left. You don’t react right away, but soon enough you wrap your arms around her, too, and let the silence come over you both.

When you pull away to start walking again, you both pretend that it’s only the dusty hallways making your eyes well up.

Dorm 307 is soon right in front of you, and the door is cracked. You listen for a second, and all you can hear is the slow breathing of Perry and Laura.

You speak for the first time since you walked down the stairs.

“Do you want me to wake her?”

She thinks for a second, then nods. We both knew that any sleep Laura was going to get tonight was going to be fitful and almost pointless, and it would probably result in her crying over a dream she had.

“After this, text Danny?” she asks, and you nod, a smile coming to your face as you realize that maybe she doesn’t hate the ridiculously tall redhead as much as she lets on.

The two of you walk into the room, careful not to let the door squeak. You guide her over to her bed, where Laura had placed the yellow pillow earlier on. 

“I’ll wake them,” you say, walking over to the bed where Perry and Laura still slept.

You gently shake their shoulders, and Perry is the first to wake up. She sits up and looks across the room, and for a moment it doesn’t register. When it does, her eyes go wide and a hand flies up to her mouth to stifle a gasp. You can tell it’s taking her everything not to jump out of bed right that instant.

“Laura, wake up,” you whisper, and the tiny woman shakes her head, her eyebrows scrunching up in an effort to stay asleep. You smile again, and the sensation feels weird on your cheeks. 

“Trust me, you want to wake up for this.”

Your words seem to get through to her, for she slowly opens her eyes. You help her sit up, and she looks at you confused.

“Look up,” you whisper, and she does.

It took three hours for her to accept that Carmilla was dead, but it takes less than three seconds for her to jump out of bed and into Carmilla’s arms.

Carmilla

Everything in your body hurts and you know that you wouldn’t have made it up those stairs had it not been for LaF being there. You had no strength left to use, but the second you saw Laura’s eyes again, you stood up and caught her as she quite literally jumped into your arms. She wrapped her arms and legs around your body with strength you weren’t aware she possessed.

That brings you to now. It takes a few seconds for it to set in that she’s in your arms again, and you clutch her even tighter.

Both of you are crying and whispering the same three words over and over. You’d missed the chance before and thought you’d have lost it forever, and you were not going to waste a second before finally saying it now.

Laura pulls her head back and looks you in the eyes, and the next thing you know she’s kissing you. Your hand reaches up to her soaking cheek, and your thumb gently strokes the tears away. 

“You stupid, stupid vampire…” she mutters, each word catching in her throat as her fingers dig into your back. “You jumped into the light, you saw Ell, you were crying, I thought you were doing it for -”

The words were all too familiar, and you cut her off.

“Don’t be an idiot,” you say, brushing a piece of hair our of her face, “of course I did it for you.”

“I love you, Carmilla,” she responds, the words seemingly falling from her lips.

You sniffle, tears coming to your eyes once again.

“I love you too, Laura.”

A strangled sound comes from the other side of the room, and suddenly LaF and Perry are hugging you both as tightly as they can. As if on cue, Danny walks into the room, and she joins the sob-fest that is the group hug you were trapped in.

The Carmilla that arrived at Silas this term would have practically thrown up at so much human emotion in one place, but you know that you aren’t her anymore. 

Instead, you allow yourself to admit that you love these people, and you allow yourself to be loved too.

===

A/N: This was a very long oneshot, but I think I’m happy with it. Let me know how you feel in my ask or something! :)