Precious Things – Chapter 50

You know, i thought i should post this since we’re mostly having old stuff today. This is tomorrow’s update a little early. So … uh.. yeah.
Dev rocks my world. I request that everyone send love to her for all the amazing work she puts in on this site. That would make me happy, if everyone’s comments could contain a bit of love for Dev.

Disclaimer: References to Violence, Tom Lynch and the Invigilators own SON, along with the Nubbin.

*******************************

She takes a step back and fumbles in her bag, pulling something out and thrusting it in her pocket.

She still hasn’t said anything, but I know she saw.

I can see it in her eyes.

She lifts her hand and cups my cheek. Gentle.

Her thumb strokes up and down as I feel more numb than I’ve ever felt before. I can’t even cry. I just stand here, breathing in and out.

“I’ll be right back,” she says.

“We need to get to class.” Hollow. I sound hollow.

“In a bit. I need to do something.”

I look at her. I can’t think straight enough to understand what’s going on. She takes a step closer, so were right there, next to each other. She kisses me ever so softly on the forehead.

“I’ll be right back, baby.”

And she’s out the door.

So, now she knows. I sit on the bench, still numb on the inside, burning with pain on the outside.

She didn’t take it too badly. She didn’t recoil away from me. She doesn’t seem disgusted with me. She’s my Ashley, she… She was okay, I think. Maybe not. Maybe that’s why she left, maybe it’s too much. No, her bag is still here.

The door swings back and in she comes. Her eyes bore into mine once again. I try to see if I can read any disgust there, but I can’t.

She kneels in front of me, pressing her forehead to mine. Her hands capture my own, and our fingers lightly tangle. Our breathing synchronises, and for a few moments, I let this be everything.

“Come on,” she whispers.

I don’t want to go back to class.

“We have to go back to class,” I whisper lifelessly.

“It’s okay, baby,” she whispers. “It’s okay. Come on.”

We’re not going back to class. I can tell that from her voice, her urging me to get up. She picks up her own bag and mine. One of them goes on her back, the other dangles from her hand. Her free hand takes my own and very carefully, very gently, eases me to a standing position.

She laces our fingers together, firmly, and doesn’t let go. She manoeuvres us out the door, not a bad skill given she’s literally got her hands full.

We walk down the corridor, the empty corridor, towards the doors to the outside of the school. It’s dark and cool in here, and bright and light out there. I feel so strange.

I can barely think now. All I know is that Ashley’s here and she’s got my hand and, somehow, it’s going to be okay.

I can find Strong Spencer. I can find her and get through the next few days. Ashley and I’ll see each other at school. It will be okay. We’ll find a way.

She’s here. And it’s going to be okay.

We walk outside, and I follow her out to the gate. We stand on the curb, hand-in-hand, for maybe a minute. We’re silent, but the warm pressure of her fingers around mine is all I need for the moment.

Then her father pulls up to the curb. He doesn’t say anything, but I think I see them exchange a look. He gives me a smile, and then he says, “Hey, Spencer.”

I bite my lip and nod at him. I can’t talk. It’s all gone from me. I haven’t said a thing except for ‘We have to go back to class’ since we got to the changing room.

Ashley helps me into the back seat and then goes around the other side. I feel odd, like I’m being chauffeured, but I don’t say anything. She takes my hand again, and I briefly wonder where we’re going. I assume her house.

I’m going to get in so much trouble for skipping school.

How could I be in more trouble than I am now?

I … I just don’t care any more.

But we don’t go to her house. Raife drives us into town and stops in front of a white building there. I look out at it.

It’s a doctors’ surgery. It’s Cathy’s work.

Ashley squeezes my hand.

“It’s okay,” she whispers. “It’s okay.”

She comes around and helps me out of the car. She leaves my bag behind, though, and hers.

Leaning into the front window, she says something to her Dad, and then steps back. We watch him drive away.

Inside, Ashley doesn’t let go of my hand. She just squeezes gently as we approach the counter.

“Ashley!” the middle-aged lady there says happily. “Aren’t you supposed to be in school, young lady?”

“Yeah, something came up,” my girl says evenly. “Can you tell Cathy I’m here?”

“She’s with a patient, but I’ll let her know.”

Ashley smiles at the lady, and then we find two seats. She’s still holding my hand. Across the way, I see a man sporting an incredibly bad comb-over stare at our entwined fingers.

I couldn’t give a damn.

It doesn’t take long for Cathy to emerge behind another middle-aged lady. She smiles and waves them off, then looks over to us. Angling her head in the direction of the hall she just came from, she indicates for us to come.

Getting to my feet hurts. Everything hurts though, so why should that be different?

We get to Cathy’s office and she closes the door, turning to look at Ashley quizzically.

“Your father rang, said it was important. Are you okay?”

I look at Ashley and she looks at me. I can’t talk.

She’s my everything and she’s chosen a path for us to walk down. I don’t know where it’s going, but I’ll be damned if I can see another way. Cathy sits in her chair at her desk, watching us carefully.

I start to shake. I don’t know if I can do this.

Ashley brings her hands up to cup my cheeks.

“I love you, and I’m going to take care of you. It’s going to be okay.”

Somehow we end up with me facing her, and her facing Cathy. She must know I can’t move because she unbuttons my cardigan for me and takes it off, never once taking her eyes from mine.

I feel her lift my blouse and singlets out from my skirt again, more fully this time. She unbuttons my blouse and I start to shake harder. Hand on the back of my neck, she strokes.

I shake harder.

When she pulls up my shirts, I hear Cathy gasp.

It’s then that the first tear falls from my face. A solitary, laden drop that slides down my cheek and onto my chin, heading south. I look at Ashley, and realise that I’m not the only one crying.

She drops my shirt and I lean forward pressing my head into her shoulder.

Her hand strokes my hair and she whispers, “It’s going to be okay. I promise, it’s going to be okay.”

60 Comments

  1. SS
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.21am | Permalink

    it’s going to be okay

  2. gilmar
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.22am | Permalink

    oh my clom, i LOVE protective ashley, that was so freaking sweet. Ashley to the rescue!

    *sigh*

    Thank you

  3. Bookthief
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.24am | Permalink

    I wonder what’s going to happen to Spencer’s grandfather. Not that he doesn’t deserve to be sent to jail but I’m just wondering how Spencer will feel since he is the only family member she has left.

  4. clomle4
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.26am | Permalink

    Did you people not read my author’s note, or did you just forget it by the time you got to the bottom?

  5. Bookthief
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.28am | Permalink

    Um, pretend this an edit. WE Love Dev! Without her there would be no penguins…or awesomely edited Clom fics.

    [Or awesomely written Dev fics…]

  6. tinkerbell22185
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.29am | Permalink

    ashley is so sweet. great chapter clom!

    and much love to dev for everything she does!

  7. Lady Esmeralda
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.30am | Permalink

    Wow! All the updates today have been amazing! Thanks so much for your hard work, Dev. Also for the great beta job. Clomle, I loved this. Poor Spencer. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was hoping they’d go to Cathy. I love Raife for getting them and Cathy for being so compassionate and helpful. So sad for them all though. I had to read this twice to process it. Poor Spencer, but at least her secret’s out and she’s got 3 people that’ll help her. I’m interested to see if Raife’s making a visit to the police station while they’re at Cathys. Also I hope he’s able to pull strings to get Spencer excused from classes. Oh about the emancipation, in the last post, I know at 16-17 you can but you have to have a parent/guardian sign off. In this case, I don’t know what they’d do, but yeah I think Spencer’s more than old enough by now.

  8. Itsjustme
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.33am | Permalink

    I love protective Ashley, but not as much as we love the wonderful and brilliant Dev.

  9. gilmar
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.34am | Permalink

    oh… something i forgot to say… dev… you rock… seriously, not just besides you write kick ass stories, but also for helping clom with her story, that must be a massive job… i hope you’re getting paid, at least with brownies.

    Feel free to update your new story whenever you want… no pressure you know…

    =)

  10. SS
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.43am | Permalink

    Yeah, write like that and I’m NOT supposed to go numb? lol Plus, I was really excited about being first (God, I needs ta get a life…)

    Dear Dev, I do appreciate your efforts very much. Thanks for putting this site together and bringing joy, happiness (and belt beatings) into my life. I hope you have a fabulous holiday! *wink*

  11. pseudonym
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.46am | Permalink

    Crazy Australians and their made up words. I actually had to look up ‘singlet’ on Wikipedia.

    Oh, and Dev is awesome. She is the cheese to my macaroni.

  12. smurfturkey
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.49am | Permalink

    it gives me shivers. Ashley loves her so much and Spencer trusts her with everything.gah i love them together
    thank god Devs around to help bring us this wonderful writing

  13. Sunnymuffins
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 4.34am | Permalink

    I have been lurking, I know, it’s an evil horror that must be stopped, but damn it all I love this freaking story. And I love Dev, too. And I hate that stupid Grandfather because fricken A belt-buckles hurt like a mofo.

    …<3 Dev.

  14. iocaste
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 4.50am | Permalink

    Poor baby! That freaking sick bastard is gonna pay!
    At least Ashley’s parents know. They know and everything will be alright… :(

  15. mapleleaf
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 4.54am | Permalink

    Much love to Dev and to you, too, for both writing such amazing stories.

  16. Lindsey
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.00am | Permalink

    Gah, I love how perfect Ashley is. Even though it’s GOT to be killing her on the inside and I’m sure she’s just boiling with rage and her heart is breaking, she kept her calm and knew exactly what to do, instead of upsetting Spence with hysterics or causing a scene. I’m sure she’ll wait until she’s alone for that.

    Poor Spence, not even being able to say anything, but I was so glad she wasn’t fighting it either, that she trusted Ashley completely and knew she wouldn’t have her do something that would be worse.

    Oh, and I love Raife and Cathy. They’re so … perfect, it all was.

  17. Mel
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.13am | Permalink

    Dev = best beta-er ever!

    I like Ashley and her family in this one. Spencer too of course. But Ashley usually has a sucky family but this one makes me jealous :)

  18. .ashes.rising.
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.27am | Permalink

    Clom- I <3 this chapter. and you. and ashley.

    Dev- I <3 you also. Just as much as protective ashley.

  19. Melxgibs
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.45am | Permalink

    I love how everyone came together to help spencer without asking her questions or pressuring her. and i love how ashley handled the situation.

    Thank you to both clom and dev for this amazing story. It is beautifully written and put together and is the first thing i look at when i wake up.

  20. iocaste
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.53am | Permalink

    We love you Dev!!! :)

  21. Posted 30 June 2008 at 6.42am | Permalink

    Clom and Dev you are gods and I love you and your amazing minds! You made my horrible day of sitting in the hospital ICU waiting room, waiting to see if my cousin might die, a little better. From the bottom of my heart I thank you.
    I love this Ashley. She is just what Spencer needs, and did the right thing by taking Spencer to Cathy. Everything will be okay and Ashley will be there for Ashley.
    Looking forward to the next update!

  22. Kitiny
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 6.45am | Permalink

    Aw, fuck, I’m tearing.

  23. Katie
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 7.04am | Permalink

    That was so perfect. Ashley knew just what to do. I am so glad Ashleys family were there to help aswell. Amazing update. I have a feeling its going to get better for Spencer now. Thankyou for such a great update i really loved it!

  24. Fred
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 9.00am | Permalink

    Obviously i want Spencer safer and not subjected to this kind of torture, however is it the way you write that ..even though i hate what Spencer’s grandfather did i still don’t want him locked away.

    Anyway..

    The beta who is Dev can only be described as Dev-o-licious

  25. Tegan21
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 9.01am | Permalink

    Thank You GOD! or Clomle!
    I feel hope!

    And Dev.. My awesome mommy.. here’s for you..

    Hey Dev, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind! Hey Dev! Hey Dev!

    * does incredible silly dance and falls face first on the carpet *

  26. Ros
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 9.08am | Permalink

    Aw. So sad, but in a good way. Because now it IS going to be okay. Finally. Great update.

    And, Dev for president. :)

  27. Mandikus
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 9.56am | Permalink

    Wow that was some powerful stuff. I feel so sad right now. I don’t think there is anything else that you could have put into this update! It was absolutely perfect. I am in such awe.

    Dev, you are super dooper bloody fantastically amazing and you are a fantabulous author and beta. BOOYEAH

    I think that Clom and Dev together make an amazing pair. Imagine if you two had kids, and they had both of your powers combined OHHHH you guys could take over the world

  28. DeeJay
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 10.29am | Permalink

    I LOVE YOU ASHLEY!
    I love you Dev!
    I love you Clom!
    I love you epic fic PT!

  29. boote
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 10.43am | Permalink

    Clomle, you had me crying in this one.

  30. Crystal
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 11.19am | Permalink

    “I love you, and I’m going to take care of you. It’s going to be okay.”

    so sweet…. hate that it was said in situation like THIS but so glad to hear ash say it. im sure spencer was glad to hear her say it too.

    oh, and isn’t dev that cool ass beta/writer that i’ve heard about???? i could’ve swore i heard about her before. :)

  31. Lovesfool
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 11.27am | Permalink

    I love Ashley. Errr, i mean Dev… and Ashley .. and Dev. gah!

    I LOVE EVERYONE oN THIS SITE INCLUDING SPASHLEY!!!!! :D

    So yeah, anyways, I love how protective Ashley is being and how Spencer trusts her without any hesitation whatsoever.

    Thanks Dev and Sez :)

  32. seriesaddict
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 11.38am | Permalink

    Thank God for Ashley! She is amazing. She handled the situation wonderfully..she didn’t freak out..she didn’t ask questions..she just took care of Spencer in the best way! Ashley reassured her that it was going to be OK. She hold her hand and that was enough to make Spencer feel safe!

    I’m so glad she took Spencer to Cathy’s. The way Ashley unbuttoned Spencer’s cardigan was so sweet and heartbreaking at the same time!

    I love Ashley’s family too! No questions just support! I wonder what their next move will be. For sure they will take Spencer home with them and Cathy will call her Grandfather to let him know that she will spend the night or something. I don’t know how he will handle the whole situation..He’s been caught..what he did is not a secret anymore. Despite the beating though, I’m sure Spencer will try to defend him or something. She’s sweet like that!

    Wonderful chapter Clom! And about Dev, I think she knows how much I appreciate her work here and her awesome fics. I’m always poking her to get new updates..she should block my account cause I annoy her very very often;) So thanks Dev for your amazing beta job and this wonderful website:)

    *runs to check for “if it takes forever” updates*

  33. Goober24
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 1.37pm | Permalink

    Wow…that made me wanna cry “(

    That was a very awesome update, and I’m glad Ash is there to take care of spence….and yay for Cathy being a nurse!!!!

    Oh and Dev awesome job at beta-ing…you friggin rock!!! “D

  34. Sarah
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 1.52pm | Permalink

    Aww, that was. Sad.

  35. yellowbird
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 2.01pm | Permalink

    Dev, I love you, and I’m going to take care of you.

    [I already have a MrsDev who does that very nicely but I appreciate the thought – Dev]

  36. Laine
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 2.14pm | Permalink

    My Heart breaks for them both. I can’t imagine how hard that would be on them. That’s stuff no one should have to deal with. EVER! I’m curious to see how gramps is handled now. Can’t wait til next update.

    Dev, you rock my socks and one day i wanna grow up and be just like you. Super fan fic writer and beta machine extraordonaire. *dreamy sigh*

  37. hot 4 yo mama
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 2.28pm | Permalink

    I will allow for Dev to ride on my ela elevator again. You two drive a hard bargain.

    This is wonderful. Not like, wonderful whats going on, but it’s wonderfully written. Ya do good wurk Sez..

  38. lilcam2525
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 2.46pm | Permalink

    Dear Dev,

    I would like to take this time to explain my daily routine. I get up, turn on Baby (my laptop’s name, I was drunk forgive me) sign into my dial-up (ugghhh) Click on this page from my favorites, read/cry/smile/sweat, type in a comment, dial up disconnects before it can post, I curse, then go about my day. You rock, like a lot (Florida public school education right there.) If you don’t mind, I might stalk you but it would be limited since said dial up connection blows. Again, you rock. (Psst, I’m stealing wireless from the front of someone’s house..)

    Dear Spencer and Ashley,

    Awww!

    Dear Clom,

    Holy hell that was bitter sweet.

  39. jmh
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.00pm | Permalink

    Amazing update as always, clom :)

  40. Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.07pm | Permalink

    First i;m going to say …I love Dev :)and I love your fics too ….back to this update im so glad Ashley did the right thing and got Spence the help that she needs….great update as always Sez

  41. Jada
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 3.43pm | Permalink

    “Oh Devvy
    You went over Clomle’s update
    So that we could have one posthaste”

    Song to the tune of “Oh Margie”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRe9hraQrRk

    Much love to Dev and Clom! Yay :D

  42. Zimmy
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 4.08pm | Permalink

    *tears tears tears tears tears tears*

  43. jbs10
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 4.15pm | Permalink

    You’ve made me cry.

  44. ballgirl10
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 4.34pm | Permalink

    That was really well written. Kudo’s to Ashley for being so calm and in control and knowing that is what Spencer really needs. Raife and Cathy are incredible.

    Clom and Dev you both work so well together. Clom the incredible writing, Dev the great betaing, and both of you are great for the amazing turn around time. I so look forward to the daily updates. Thank you both so much.

  45. Saartje77
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 4.55pm | Permalink

    Wow that was just amazing, just like you 2 are. The 2 of you are the gods of fan fiction & should be praised & worshiped at least 4 times a day.

    [4! Sweet… someone tell the redhead that]

  46. Payne N. Uranus
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.03pm | Permalink

    Fuck, my eyes are leaking. Guh, thanks, just what I needed, red eyes and a stuffy nose, THANKS.

    Okay, I still loved it. Doesn’t mean I like it, though.

    Dev, I already made a glowing T-shirt commending your excellent talents. What more love do you need from me?

    [Naked gyrating love]

  47. Payne N. Uranus
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.08pm | Permalink

    Not again…

    [That wasn’t dev the first time. That was the dev bot. You blew her fuse by the way. You break it you bought it!]

  48. Payne N. Uranus
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.11pm | Permalink

    Um. How bout a trade? I have a sister? She’s got a collection of wigs and color-contacts?

    [So you keep saying. Why are you insistent on selling your sister? Or giving her away? Are you coveting her wig collection?]

  49. Payne N. Uranus
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.17pm | Permalink

    You really need to stop doing that, where you call me out on all my secrets. It’s making me feel very exposed.

    Look, it’s out of self-preservation! I have no money…and she keeps saying she’s worth a lot. I’d like to test that theory is all.

    [that’s lovely but Dev and I don’t want your sister. We both have women we love and adore and are quite happy with. Maybe you could sell her to the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints. I hear they’re always lookin’ for women. – Plus I think they have a compound in Colorado]

  50. Payne N. Uranus
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.26pm | Permalink

    It’s not like she’s gonna be a sex slave…she could be maid? Everyone loves maids! Look at the card game! No, wait, you don’t WANT the…old maid…in the card… Hm. I don’t know…my sis doesn’t really get along well with others…especially when she’s expected to share. I’ll try e-Bay. I think I remember hearing that James Blunt did that with his sister, and she’s married now.

    [Perhaps she could become a hermit. Does your sister know you badmouth her on lesbian fan fic sites? Does your sister know you FREQUENT lesbian fan fic sites? Does your sister know you’re so gay that Ellen uses you for deodorant?]

  51. SpashLuva
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.40pm | Permalink

    Awww, that made me want to cry too.

    Dev, thank you for all the hard work you put into this site. Forgive me for not commenting on AMAOS, but I did enjoy it the first time I read it.

  52. Payne N. Uranus
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.41pm | Permalink

    I thought something weird was up with my hair this morning… Well, lady(/ies), let’s just say that if she did, I wouldn’t be on here right now doing it. I should probably exercise some restraint, though, huh… for my well-being, I guess.

    [No no no, Addiction to Sez is … mandatory. See “Ask Dr. Sez” latest update for more detail.]

  53. SpashLuva
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.47pm | Permalink

    PS. How sad is it that Spencer thought Ashley would be disgusted by her? What does it take for her to really believe that she is loved? Her grandfather has completely taken away her self-esteem.

  54. Payne N. Uranus
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 5.50pm | Permalink

    It’s this site, isn’t it? Dev’s done something so that we can’t close the page. And your writing is laced with Essence of Sez, so we don’t notice. I’m onto you.

    Done and doner, I need to research my newest ailment.

  55. spashleyforcutie
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 9.35pm | Permalink

    God dangit I started tearing up at the end there. That was such a sad chapter. And oh Spencer! Ashley would never be disgusted by you. I nearly cried when she thought that. :(

    Dev, you work wonders.

  56. evilgiraffe
    Posted 30 June 2008 at 10.10pm | Permalink

    I love how Ashley took care of her, never letting go of her hand, being totally calm and taking charge when Spencer needed her to, it was all so sweet and beautifully written as always. And thank you Dev for your wonderful beta skills, and of course for your fics, which I am only getting started on and loving. There is just so much ficcy goodness on this site I can’t keep up!

  57. L
    Posted 3 July 2008 at 2.39pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad Ash stepped in and helped her. So glad.

  58. peanut
    Posted 27 July 2009 at 5.05pm | Permalink

    I guess I only commented once to this fic, which is a shame, I know.
    And even though I’m kinda late for it, I’ll just say I love ya dev!!!, anyway ^_^

    I know I’ve told you how much I LOVE this story.
    I read it for like the 50th time now and it never gets old.
    This part just makes me cry every fucking time, it’s so intense …
    *sighs … wipes tears*
    Thank you, guys.

  59. Keshia
    Posted 16 December 2010 at 4.20pm | Permalink

    This actually made me cry. It was… beautiful, for lack of better words. Actually, I think the best word out there for this story is beautiful. :)

  60. April
    Posted 18 December 2010 at 6.50am | Permalink

    Ashley, you are Spencer’s hero.

    “It’s then that the first tear falls from my face. A solitary, laden drop that slides down my cheek and onto my chin, heading south. I look at Ashley, and realise that I’m not the only one crying.”
    –this part makes me wanna cry with them…

    I love this chapter. I love this story. So beautiful.

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