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MSP 2012: Photographs by marie-berry MSP 2012: Photographs by marie-berry
Quentin showed her a set of photographs, arranged lovingly on the kitchen table. He had taken them while she was asleep.

“Y'know, it's kinda creepy to take pictures of people while they're sleeping,” Ellie said to him, flopping down in a chair. It wobbled as she swung her feet back and forth. “Next thing you're going to do is mention how delicious my blood smells.”

“How did I know you were going to make a Twilight reference?” he asked. He ran his fingers through her hair until they caught on knots and tangles caused by her impromptu nap.

“Well, it's either that or some comment about how innocent I am when I'm asleep,” she said, nose wrinkling with a grin. “And I think that has passed into 'mom humor' territory. Very passe now. I'm more hip than that. Get me a bowl of cereal?”

“Lucky Charms or Cocoa Krispies?”

He never could say no to her.

A hint of laughter snuck into Ellie's voice. “Are you willing to pick out the marshmallows for me?”

“Cocoa Krispies it is, then,” he said. The cereal was poured into a small, pink bowl adorned with smiling kitties. They had picked it up at the Japanese portion of Epcot on their trip to Disney World the year before.

The toaster beeped out the first bar of the Spongebob theme. Quentin ate toast smeared with strawberry jam.

Quentin was a hobbyist photographer—nothing professional. He was too level-headed, too methodical, to live on the unsteady paychecks that the life of an artist provides. Weekends were filled with trips to the countryside, or the farmer's market, or downtown where the city was falling apart but beautiful. There he would snap photographs of sunflowers or apple carts or old graffiti or hungry-looking children. This was the first time he had taken pictures of her.

“You could have waited,” she told him. “Maybe let me put on some cuter pajamas? Something racy? I could be your very own Victoria Secret model! I just need to starve myself for a week to get that perfect 'anorexic waif' look.”

He swallowed another bite of toast. “It's not the same. ”

“Oh, so you need a genuine anorexic waif then?”

“No, Elle,” he answered. “I didn't mean that. I mean … I don't know what I mean, really.”

“Pft, you don't have to know what you mean,” Ellie answered with a dismissive wave of her hand. “You're an artiste. They never know what they mean—adds to the mystery of their artistic genius.”

He cracked a smile. “I'm not an artist.”

“Sure you are! You've got a super expensive camera, a peacoat, and a taste for Earl Grey tea! Come on. The only thing that could make you more of an artist is a house by the sea. Maybe in Maine?”

“I think you're thinking of Stephen King,” Quentin countered. “And he is anything but an artist.”

“Come on, he did lots of artistic things! Like … Phantoms?” she suggested.

“That was Koontz,” he corrected.

“Aw. What about that movie with the big dog? … Beethoven?” she said. Her spoon scraped the bottom of the bowl, and she took that as a sign to slurp the remnants of her cereal—not much more than chocolate milk at this point—down with a contented sigh.

Her boyfriend's gaze flattened. “Now you're just messing with me.”

Ellie's smile gave everything away. “Maybe.”

He shook his head as he abandoned his seat and the crusts of his toast. Quentin roamed the kitchen and grazed on other things, like Little Debbies and orange juice straight from the carton.

“You've got me off topic,” he said, still peering into the artificial light of the refrigerator. He contemplated finishing the bag of pepperoni they had bought the day before. Instead, he gestured with it emphatically. “I mean, sometimes... You ever been in a moment and just wanted to hang onto it forever? Everything is just … it's perfect. Really perfect. And you know that at any moment, something, somewhere is going to ruin it. Your cell phone rings. A cloud blocks out the sun for a second. You realize that tomorrow, you're going to have to go grocery shopping again because I'm going to eat all of this delicious pepperoni. Things like that.”

She tried so hard to keep smiling. Really, the joke was funny. But she kept trying to summon the courage; the same fearlessness she always tried to summon when she revisited this day through her time travels. Ellie couldn't. Not yet. The moment passed.

“I just … I saw you there, and I thought 'my God, she's beautiful and she's mine,'” he confessed. “And you … well. I never thought I'd end up with a girl like you, Ellie. You're everything I wanted. This... that picture, that was the first time it really hit home. I love you.”

“I love you too, Q,” she told him.

They continued talking, just like they always did; they had the same conversation they did every May 25th, 2009, at 1:52 PM. Like always, he left the table at 2:14 and slipped on his shoes, citing he had a maternity photoshoot at the park.

She knew he would die at 2:57—a heroic but unlucky bystander in a bank robbery gone terribly awry. But how could you tell someone that?


This is my entry for Round 1 of #Senshi-Pageant, starring my character Sailor Kairos. I hope you liked it! :]

Also, Kairos' bedroom is based on *kennasaur's guest room, where I sleep when I go to visit her. It is the most adorable room in the entire world.
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kennasaur Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I sleep just like that, leg sticking out and all. xD Also, DOMO!!

It started all happy and I was loving the characters and then... things got really depressing really fast. D: Loved every bit of it, though!
marie-berry Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist

Aww, I am glad. I think. XD Yay, Chronos has a mortal nemesis now and she's a big dork!! XD
Hanyou-Tenshiko Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
;A; That ending is SO SAD AND JUST AUGH. POOR THING. Beautiful picture and wonderful story!
marie-berry Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awww, thank you so much! I really appreciate it. :D
MTToto Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
Shit, I didn't expect that dramatic ending. :icondarkrageplz:

OMG that drawing is really pretty, I like you soft lining! ^^ .and the story is well written, as far as I am able to rate this.. ^^; :blush: And well, wow. I am still surprised and impressed by the ending. Man. ;^;
marie-berry Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha I wanted the ending to sneak up on you, like a ninja! :D

OMG, this means so much to me, especially coming from you! You are such an amazing artist!! ._. I keep meaning to comment on your entry but I am so shy, I'll definitely have to be brave and do it now!!
MTToto Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012
It totally worked, the ninja-ending!! It gave me a half heart attack! °^°;
Oh and welcome. Don't be shy, I am nothing special or... Dunno.. There is no reason to be shy!! °///° (And thx for your words.. *0* :blushes: --> gets shy, too.....)
KonekoTsukino Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
Love, love, love it!
I feel like I have been given a secret look into their relationship. It's so great!!
marie-berry Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awwww, thank you so much hon!! ^^
KonekoTsukino Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012
You're welcome ^^
WanderingKotka Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
That lyric you used in that first picture of her makes about 10x more sense now. Not that it didn't before . . . just, you know, more sense now. The short snippet that goes with this picture is note-perfect. It starts out so sweet and domestic and then slowly that feeling of "not all is right with this world" seeps in . . .

(Also, DOMO! Those sleeping pics are so darned cute and that sunflower-themed room so bright and cheerful.)
marie-berry Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Man, that reminds me, I wanted to add more lyrics from that song to this entry, too... I might have to edit for that. D:

I'm so glad you like the scene! It is supposed to be "civilian form" this time and I wanted to do that but also establish ... more of Kairos/Ellis' back story. :] I hope the time traveling is the "not right" bit you're referencing? I wanted to make it kind of subtle but at the same time get the point across that she's revisiting this moment over and over and over again. Seems to be a current theme I'm using in my writing... hmmmmm.

(CONFESSION: I own that Domo. And the room looks eerily like *kennasaur's guest room, the room I always sleep in when I visit her. OOPS. XD I should probably mention that in the artist comments too... but her guest room is the cutest room at her place, and that is hard to do because all of the rooms of her place are super adorable. D: )
WanderingKotka Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Do eet! I also must go listen to this song now. Youtube, HO!

The time-travelling is what I meant . . . I sort of got the sense a few lines early that this scene wasn't all that it looked like and that Ellis was holding something back. (I had forgotten she was your twisted time-jumper until the end of this. Shame on me!) It was interesting reading it because the feeling went from lightly unsettling to "Oh. Oh no. Nononono." And yes, what is with that? Are you secretly a time-skipper too?

(Somehow, this being modelled on *kennasaur's guest room does not surprise me at all. I do not know why, it just makes sense. Also, +5 Life Points for owning a Domo. c: )
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Submitted on
August 13, 2012
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