Dreamland | A Prayer to Saint Christopher Sept 18, 2022 12:32:20 GMT -5 Johnny Bacchus, Tatiana, and 2 more like this
Post by Lissie Hope on Sept 18, 2022 12:32:20 GMT -5
Disclaimer: Congratulations to whoever comes out with the win! Love you three writers, and whatever comes from this match, hopefully you use that momentum to close out this year fucking strong! I had a corresponding shoot concept brewing but my brain and my heart and my fingertips aren't in alignment right now, and I couldn't put it all together (compounded with my work/sleep schedule, which has been more conducive to the OTHER hobby/obsession I discovered this summer, and less so to this one) and this incomplete piece is the result. For those who like my CD, the story of Johnny and Lissie, I truly hope you enjoy this development - we're very proud of this! For those that don't, the x is on the corner.
Love you all. Hopefully my brain gets there soon. I'm not going anywhere - I'm just trying to recharge.
Love you all. Hopefully my brain gets there soon. I'm not going anywhere - I'm just trying to recharge.
August 27th, 2022
When they entered the hotel room, Johnny threw his jacket over a chair in the corner. “Thank god,” he said with relief, “I can finally get comfortable.”
“I’m sorry you weren’t before,” Lissie answered, watching him flop down on the bed. He took the moment to enjoy the sensation of laying down on his stomach and shuttering his eyelids. “I appreciate you coming with me.” Without opening them, he kicked his shoes off before rolling over and looking at Lissie, who was watching his reflection in the mirror.
She took a wipe to her eyes, wiping off the overdone makeup, smearing the colors over her skin. The comfortable bathrobe hung from a hook behind her, and she couldn’t wait to get out of the tight bridesmaids dress, and the heels that dug into her feet. As she struggled to reach the zipper in the small of her back, Johnny quickly came to her aid, his warm breath hovering over her exposed neck.
“Thanks,” she uttered through a clenched jaw, arching her neck towards him.
“My pleasure,” he said, planting a soft kiss on her shoulder before he unzipped the back. His hand lingered on the zipper at its base before letting go, exiting the bathroom once more as he undid the buttons of his shirt. “I know how annoying women’s clothing can be.”
“It takes so long to look like this, and almost no time at all to get out of it,” she joked, pulling the door half shut. She slid out of the dress, hanging it back up to preserve the bodice, standing exposed in the bathroom. She peaked back out to the bedroom, noticing Johnny flipping through the channels, but he had put his sunglasses back on. With a smile, Lissie wrapped herself into her bathrobe, grabbing her hairbrush on the way out.
He lay on the bed, his dress shirt now unbuttoned and laying untucked and open to expose his undershirt. His belt and pants were lazily undone. He’d already found the channel with Big Brother and left it on after a moment of hesitation. “I almost went with Sopranos reruns,” he joked.
Lissie reached over and grabbed the remote from Johnny’s hand, pressing the mute button to his surprise. “Not tonight,” she said. “I just want to chill out with you. It was a really long day - and we’re here now. In Greece!” she said, her cadence rising with excitement hanging onto every word.
“The food was fantastic,” he affirmed, “Incredible view, too. Picturesque, even.”
“I can’t wait to see how the photos came out,” she said. “I thought we looked pretty good.”
“You looked fantastic,” he said affectionately as he gave her shoulder a squeeze and gave a coy wink, “Y’know it’s bad etiquette to look better than the bride.”
“You’re too sweet, babe,” she said, her cheeks blushing. “I didn’t realize Atara and I were that close – I had no idea she was even going to ask me to be in her wedding party.”
“About time she did something decent,” he said wryly, his eyes immediately drifting away.
“I’m surprised you managed to hide your disdain until after the reception,” she joked. “I was worried when I saw you grab your third glass.”
“If I weren’t with you, I’d have needed a lot more to deal with those people. Atara and Raven deserve each other – and of course, that slug Angelo was there.”
“I hate that this industry makes our circles overlap,” she said, her expression changing. “He’s someone who has breached the trust of so many others, and I don’t understand how he keeps getting away with it. But hey, I didn’t make the guest list. I won’t be able to dictate my own if I’m always the bridesmaid, you know.”
He frowned and looked back at her. He turned on the bed to fully face her, placing a hand gently on her side. “Why do you think that?”
“I’m just trying to navigate the world without placing my own expectations on anyone else,” she admitted. “It takes a lot for someone to earn my trust. For someone who’s been burned so many times, by so many different people – even I’m aware of how unfair that is. And more often than not,” she said, her voice trailing off. “I sabotage it before it ever gets to that point.” A pause. “Hence… the perpetual bridesmaid.”
“Tiger,” he started gently, “You’re Lissie fucking Hope. You’re the catch of every sailor’s dream.” His voice rose, impassioned and almost incredulous. “How could you not find someone? Of course it isn’t easy – and of course it hurts. Life’s so full of fucking pain and bad outcomes happening to good people. And it’s not fair. And it doesn’t make sense. But…”
His voice trailed off just as it peaked. He paused, looking away before he looked back at her. “You’re still Lissie fucking Hope. You’re needy and bratty and spontaneous and kinda ditzy. You self-sabotage, and you’re insecure. I’ve also totally seen you sniff your fingers to check your deodorant.”
“Wow,” she began to interrupt, peaking down at her own arm. “Who needs enemies when -”
“But you’re perfect,” he continued. “And anyone perfect deserves someone who’ll treat them perfectly. With all the patience and support and consideration someone like you needs.”
The tears began to form in the corner of her eyes. When her head slumped towards the floor, Johnny cupped her cheeks and lifted her chin up to look in her eyes.
“You make me feel validated,” Lissie said, pressing her lips on the inside of his palm. “And I love that. I appreciate that. But there’s a catch-22 about dreams, Sailor,” she said. “Lissie fuckin’ Hope… is a dream. You… are a dream. And the pageantry of an Action Wrestling main-event, the stroll down that metal catwalk - the prize at the end of it - it's all a dream. And I used to dare to dream, remember? I was the Dreamer, before." Her voice began to crack. "But eventually,” their eyes met again, and the intensity in hers burned like the Dreamland fire of 1904. “...I'm afraid if we eventually wake up.”
"life could be a dream,
Their eyes held one another’s for what felt like a ceaseless pause. Johnny blinked first and broke the gaze, turning and sitting up so his legs hung off the end of the bed. He let out a long sigh as he looked down at the carpet. “I wonder that all the time,” he quietly admitted, “It still doesn’t feel real.”
“Why not?” Lissie lifted Johnny’s chin with the tip of her finger. She leaned in and gave him a kiss, his hands coming up to her face. He looked into her eyes before having to break the gaze once more.
“Because of conversations like this?” he offered hesitantly, “Because I can put it off in the back of my mind, but when you acknowledge it, it makes me nervous? Tiger, I’m not putting you on a pedestal or anything, but you’ll always be something more to me. And yet, here I am – it just doesn’t feel real. Feels too good to be true.”
“Seems like a fairytale,” Lissie said with a smile, her eyes darting lighting up and darting around the room as she remembered back to the wedding ceremony. “Two people, two ships sailing through the storm, until they reconvene after all the bullshit they’ve been through. There was a lot of love in that room today - and it felt nice to be in the middle of it.” She reached down and grabbed his hands. “With you. Thank you for coming with me. You didn’t have to.”
“Of course I did,” I said with a shrug, “I know how much it meant to you.”
“I wouldn’t ever want you to feel like you’re expected to do something you didn’t want to do. I know you don’t, like... like– any of those people.”
“Lissie,” he said firmly before pausing. Then he took her hand and stood up. “C’mere.”
She rose and followed him as he walked her over to the window, looking out on their view of Greece.
“This is why I’m here,” he said quietly as he wrapped his arms around her waist, “Because you want to be here, and I want to be here with you. The two of us.”
“Starting our own fairytale?”
He rested his chin on her shoulder, giving her waist a squeeze. “Who wants a fairytale when you can have a reality?”
She turned to look at him, his arms still around her waist and her hands coming to his chest. “Lissie, if this is a dream, I don’t wanna wake up,” he said, “But if I have to? I wanna wake up next to you anyway.”
Lissie was awash with emotions as he held her in his arms. She felt like she could levitate, like she was defying all logic. “But you know how I am, Jay,” her voice trailed off with a tinge of doubt. “You know everything I bring to the table. All the good - and all the ugly. All the promise... and all the failure. That doesn’t scare you? That doesn’t make you want to turn and run?”
“Sometimes,” he confessed with a shrug, “But I also know who you are. I want you to be happy – and I believe in you.”
HEAVEN & HELL is on EARTH
Lissie shook off the painful memory. “What changed? Why do you see me differently now than you did last year?”
“Nothing,” Johnny said, “I always believed in you. You just showed me that trust was well placed.”
“Sometimes I trust too easily,” she admitted. “Too naively.” She paused, digging her fingernails into the palms of his hands with a squeeze.
“Do you trust me?”
“With my whole heart.”
Their lips came together effortlessly and gently, holding close in a moment that seemed to last forever. With their chests together, she could feel their hearts beat in unison, and when they parted, Johnny let out a low, ragged breath.
“Hey,” Lissie said, breaking the silence. “It’s been hurt for so long. Action Wrestling has kept it black for so long,” she grabbed his hand and moved it to her chest, sliding it under her bathrobe, and he could feel her heartbeat reverberating under his palm. “And I’ve been trying to heal it. But I don't think I can without you.”
His eyes went from her face to his hand on the bathrobe, his nervousness palpable and hand trembling on her chest. "And you've been so patient with me," she said, leaning over and kissed his neck, feeling his body quiver. Leaning back, she eased his nervousness when she released his fingertips and moved her hand to the sash of her robe.
“You sure?” he asked.
She smiled and nodded her head affirmatively, before letting the robe fall to the floor.