Day 29: The Secrets We Keep

She Just Wanted to Be Heard
Day 29: The Secrets We Keep
Part of Story Arc 1: Counterclockwise
A "The Ring/Ringu" Fanfic
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)

Chapters: 29 of 100
Rating: Overall Rating Sup13+ (adult theme; horror elements that might be too scary for children under 13; bad language)
Dates: Begun September 2006. Some material is based on previously written stories from 2003-2005. This chapter was written in March 2009.
Word Count: 3,890
Summary: After some sexy airport shenanigans with her British boyfriend, Danica Kirkland comes home from England and is confused to find that her brother has barely slept for four days.
Warning: Contains spoilers for the entire Ringu and The Ring series. This chapter also contains a sex scene that borders on Adult rated territory.
Beta Thanks: Thanks to Sammie for beta'ing this chapter!
Fanfic Challenges: Fits [info]50_darkfics Prompt #29 Guilt and [info]Coclaim100 Prompt #29 Thunder.
Author's Notes: I think most people can figure out the British slang on their own, but one word may confuse the non-British: that's "Phwoar!" Phwoar (also spelled Fwoar) is a slang exclamation one would utter when they see something that turns them on sexually.
A sparkler bomb is created when one tapes a huge bunch of sparklers together and then lights them all at once. Do not try this at home. ;)
Danicalifragilisticexpialidocious = Of course, a play on the song "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from the movie Mary Poppins.
For a while now, I've wanted to make some changes to Svetlana's speech. In a past chapter, she was talking about how she knew three languages, and something about it made me realize that she should be speaking in broken English. So, I went back and edited all of Svet's dialogue from past chapters. The speech quirk will also be reflected in this and future chapters. For those of you who have been reading for a while, I hope it won't be too jarring. I've been told it actually adds to Svet's personality. For the most part, she just drops the occasional word and screws some up; nothing too incredibly different. This is how she sounds in my head. Now you all can hear her too. ;)


        "Was that thunder I heard just now?"

        The blond Brit grinned to himself. His girl was afraid something would keep her from going home for her visit with her family. Danica had been worrying about that for days now. Maybe even weeks. "Oh, you don't really think God would do that?"

        She looked up from the overpriced airport goods she'd been idly gazing over and put her hand in his. "Do what?"

        Colin Owens met her eyes. "Dare send down rain to keep your flight from taking off."

        Danica lightly swung their joined hands, bouncing on her heels with nervous energy. "You're right. He wouldn't dare do that."

        Chuckling, Colin gave her a kiss on the temple. "Get a girl like Danica Kirkland teed off? Even I know not to do that. And I'm far from omniscient."

        "Damn straight."

        "What, that I'm not all knowing?"

        Danica laughed and kissed his mouth. "That it's not a good idea to piss me off. Especially when I'm about to see my family for the first time in three months."

        "Oh, no. Keeping you from going home after you've been looking forward to it and talking about it and planning for it..."

        Shaking her head, she laughed again. "Yeah, yeah."

        Colin kept on talking. "...for the last three months... well, that would make you spit tacks." He took Danica in his arms, holding her loosely about the waist. The other travelers passed them on their way to their own destinations, but the two young lovers didn't notice anyone but each other. Colin did, however, see how close they were coming to the checkpoint in their slow meandering to the gate, where they'd have to part. "If these security people think terrorists are a fright..."

        "Oh, really?" Danica put her arms around his neck and snickered into a long, involved kiss. "You make it sound like I've been planning for this trip since Christmas."

        "Well, haven't you?"

        "Christmas was the last time I went home," she replied with mirth.

        "What's your point, love?"

        They both laughed into another kiss. "Technically, it's only been two and a half months," she protested.

        "Get technical, then." They pressed their lips together once again.

        He looked over her shoulder. "We've reached your checkpoint. I can't follow you beyond here."

        Danica let out a small groan. "I can't wait to see everyone again, but... I wish you could come with me." Pouting slightly, she kept her arm around Colin's shoulders, alternating her gaze between him and the looming checkpoint. "I want you to meet my family."

        "Oh, sure, darling, I'll just pop off and buy a ticket to America. How much can they be?" he said with a thin, sarcastic smile.

        Rolling her eyes, Danica sighed and laid her head on his shoulder, looking up at him. "How 'bout you get in my carry-on bag? I'll tell you when it's safe to breathe."

        He chuckled. "Sounds like loads of fun."

        Danica moaned under her breath. "I wanna go, but I don't wanna gooooo..."

        Bringing her hand to his mouth, Colin kissed her fingers near a sizable diamond ring she was wearing. "You know I'll be right there with you. You can call me any time."

        "I just wish..." She admired the ring. "...that you could be sitting next to me when I tell them."

        "So wait, and don't tell them yet."

        "No... no, I already kept it a secret over my entire last visit. I can't put it off any longer."

        "I know, you were just bursting with the tasty little tidbit." They embraced each other again. "How much time do we have?"

        "I should make my way to the gate in about half an hour."

        "Hmmmm... what should we do with our time, then?"

        Danica, smirking, leaned in close. "How about one for the road?"

        "At the airport?" Colin asked, grinning mischievously. "Join the Mile High Club? No, that's not right... would it be the Foot High Club, then?"

        Danica smiled at his joke. "We can do it in the bathroom. The stall doors lock," she whispered.

        "Right here, in the loo?" he questioned teasingly.

        "Oh, you don't want one to go on?"

        "Of course I do. Don't be silly." Now he leaned in closer. "That noise you heard? It wasn't thunder. It was my sex drive revving up at the thought of you." When he growled the word 'revving,' Colin gave her bottom a discreet, quick squeeze. Danica squealed and jumped in his arms.

        "You sex maniac," she laughed, and smacked his chest. "Come on, let's hurry."

        Danica scurried into the women's bathroom to check things out before coming to get him, taking Colin by the hand and saying, "I think it's empty." Her skin tingled with anticipation.

        They eyed each other hungrily as they snuck toward a back stall. Danica tore her gaze away from him long enough to bend over and check to see if there were any feet visible under the doors of the nearby stalls. Colin gave her bottom a good, healthy smack.

        She squealed saucily and straightened up. "You are intruding upon my person, Mr. Owens."

        "Is that a problem, Miss Kirkland?"

        Danica pushed open the door of the handicapped stall (because it was the biggest) and practically threw in her carry-on suitcase; it teetered along on its wheels and rebounded off the wall. "What do you think?"

        Colin removed his blazer, tossing it over the wall of the modest cubicle. "Considering you propositioned me, I would think not."

        "That's what I like about you; you're so bright." Grinning at him, Danica lifted her long, paisley-patterned skirt to give him a great view of her baby blue panties, and waggled it back and forth like a can-can dancer. Because the door had swung nearly closed on its own, she kicked it open with a backward sweep of her leg and backed into the stall, with Colin following eagerly right after.

        "Phwoar!" he growled at her.

        As soon as the lock slid home, he turned and pulled her to him. They kissed passionately, open-mouthed, her up-ended skirt crumpled between them. At first, his hands squeezed her bottom, but soon moved to cup her breasts, thumbs rubbing aggressively over rising flesh through the fabric. Danica moaned quietly. Colin kissed her neck until she was panting, dark hair falling out of its clip and slinking over his face, the clip hanging by a clump of hair he'd uprooted when he ran his fingers through it. He squeezed his hand between her legs and snaked his fingers along the baby blue fabric.

        Danica mewled for him. "Uhh... Colin!"

        He pressed his fingers in hard and stroked. "You get these good and wet for me, 'kay love?" His finger made quick circles. She huffed out a moan. "I want your scent all over them. They're staying with me."

        "Uh... ah... okay, baby..."

        Giving her another half minute of attention, Colin then hooked his fingers into the waistband of her underwear and tugged down on it. Danica, eyes half-closed, brought her legs closer together for a moment so he could slide her panties to her ankles. She stepped out of them and they kissed again, Danica placing one leg up on the toilet seat. He stepped in close.

        "I love you, Colin," she said as they both scrambled for his pants zipper. Danica wrapped her legs around his waist, his hands going back to her bottom to help her up.

        "Love you too, pet," he replied breathlessly, and pressed into her.

        The women who came into the bathroom for the next few minutes usually left giggling or with mouths agape at the noises they heard coming from the last stall. Already wound up, it didn't take long for the two lovers to finish, rumpled clothes clutched in each other's grip.

        Colin panted with his head down, sweat running from his hairline. Grinning, Danica said, "You okay? I didn't hurt you, did I?"

        He chuckled, and looked up into her green eyes. "You wear me out, love."

        Her brow creased at just how hard he was panting. "No, really, Col, are you alright?" She felt his forehead for fever. "You getting sick again?"

        "No no, I'm fine." He tapped the outside of her thighs with his open palms. "Come on then, down now."

        A woman in a wheelchair waited just outside the door with a cross expression upon her face. After leaning over as far as she could to see under the stall's door, she rapped on it with her fist. "Time to come out. That stall isn't for you; I can see you standing there."

        Danica and Colin both had to laugh. "Sorry!" He retrieved and put on his tan blazer, and then, before she could, bent over and scooped up her panties, stuffing them in his pocket with a smirk. "Something to remember you by."

        "Oh? What do I get?" Danica asked, grabbing the handle of her suitcase and hooking her other arm into his.

        "My undying love."

        As they exited the stall, still panting a bit, Danica tried to fix her hair with one hand. The lady in the wheelchair frowned at them. "Pervy," she said as they passed.

        Colin, smiling at her like he was plotting something, spouted off, "You know these Yanks, ma'am. They come here and act like they own the place. Before her, I was a churchgoing, upstanding citizen. Now I'm grabbing a knee trembler wherever I can get it."

        Danica giggled with a hand to her mouth. "You do remember who colonized who, right?"

        "If memory serves me, I just colonized your scanties."

        Looking after the impetuous youths, the woman shook her head.

        They stared again at the checkpoint with a sigh. "I should get going..."

        "Yeah."

        Rolling her eyes, Danica groaned, "With the time difference, I figure I'll get there before I left."

        "Give or take."

        "The jetlag is totally going to suck."

        Colin agreed with a nod. "I'll send you a video over the phone of the next sparkler bomb Nigel and I set off. That should wake you up right quick."

        She snickered, fully aware of the puerile activities that took place whenever he and his cousin got together. "Bomb go boom; it pretty."

        "Sparkler sparkly." They laughed into another kiss.

        After a minute of hugging and kissing, they finally parted. He held her hand, twisting the engagement ring he'd given her just a little back and forth across her finger, until she'd walked too far for him to hold it anymore. Danica's eyes welled up with tears when their fingers no longer touched.

        "It's only a week, love."

        "I'll miss you."

        "Miss you too."

        Danica struck a provocative pose, a hand behind her head and a leg cocked outward, lips parted just slightly. "Take good care of my underwear."

        Colin grinned. "Phwoar."

        After she'd disappeared through the checkpoint with one final wave, he winced, cracked his knuckles, and winced again when it didn't help.

*****

        Disorienting. That's what it was. Beckett couldn't remember going to sleep, and here he was waking up in the clothes he'd been wearing the day before.

        Disorienting.

        He sat up in bed and looked around, discovering that he was still wearing his shoes, even. They were caked with mud. Beckett had been sleeping on top of the covers, a couple of his school books open at the end of the bed, with the window wide open. And he had little memory of what had happened. It was all very bewildering.

        Trying to make sense of it, Beckett recalled, I was doing my homework, and I must've fallen asleep. But didn't I wake up and try to make a phone call?

        Sometimes, we are not alone in here.

        Faulken. What do you mean?

        Cryptic as always, his spirit guide simply replied, Sometimes, we are not ourselves.

        Please explain. Beckett waited. Faulken?

        There came one last reply. The videotape. Then the guide was silent.

        The videotape. Beckett knew something strange had happened when he touched that cursed tape. What exactly, he wasn't sure.

        The longer he sat thinking about it, the more certain Beckett became that he had made a phone call. He searched for his phone, found it in one of his pockets, and checked to see whom he had last called.

        Jasmine. Beckett had wanted to talk to her last night, but when he remembered, it was too late to call. Isn't that how it went?

        Why couldn't he remember this phone call?

        Beckett started to dial her number until he saw the time. 5:47AM. Too early for it.

        Faulken, what the hell happened last night?

        He gazed at his muddy shoes again, and the open window. Beckett's heart began to beat fast in his chest at the thought of what he might have done.

        I can become people like you.

        Charlotte calls it possession.


*****

        Quinn's lower jaw bobbed up and down, his mouth making a smacking sound, as Jodie shook him as hard as she could. "Quinn, would you get out of bed already? Your parents are almost here to pick us up!"

        "Uhhh ngh."

        "Quinn!"

        He batted at her hands. "Ung nuuuh."

        "Come on, your sister's coming in on a plane in an hour. We've got to be there!" Jodie yanked on his covers, pulling him so far over that he teetered on falling out of bed.

        "Alrigh Jo-eeey, mm up, lemme lone."

        Lying next to him, Svetlana sat up and shoved on his hip with her foot until he did fall out of bed. Quinn went over with a whooping sound, eyes going wide. "You two already wake me up; not fair you get five extra minutes."

        Jodie had to laugh at Svetlana, sitting there with her hair sticking in five directions, half of it in her exhausted, annoyed, sleepy-eyed face. "You tell 'im, Svet."

        With no time now for a shower, Quinn and Svetlana made themselves as presentable as possible in record time, finishing just before Mr. and Mrs. Kirkland arrived. Steven Kirkland looked at them curiously with a furrowed brow. "Why are you two so tired? You look like you just rolled out of bed."

        Quinn shrugged. "We pulled an all-nighter," he lied. "Got lots of tests and projects due before Spring Break."

        "Quinn, you knew your sister was coming in today," his mother scolded.

        "I have a project to finish," he replied, and shrugged again.

        "Well..." Steven jerked his thumb at the door behind him. "...you can sleep in the car. Let's roll."

        The ride to the airport proved awkward for Jodie, who sat to the left of the sleeping couple in one of the mini-van's back seats. With Quinn and Svet leaning on each other, dead to the world but breathing softly beside her nonetheless, it was almost like being alone with Quinn's parents. Dahlia Kirkland checked her son's reflection in the rearview mirror every few minutes with a concerned expression.

        "They were up all night, huh?" she asked Jodie in passing, although Jodie knew just from the inflection in her voice that she was worried. Just the other day, Quinn's had gone by his parents' house and been an exhausted wreck, and here he was again, an exhausted wreck. Of course the woman found it troubling.

        "Yeah," was Jodie's only reply. She didn't know what else to say, the truth being so unbelievable.

        "They've been doing that a lot lately."

        "Well, you know how college is."

        Steven cut in with, "I think we can remember back that far," and they all chuckled.

        Quinn's mom didn't lose that creased, worried browline, though, and it made Jodie feel guilty that she didn't have anything to say that would quiet the nice woman's fears.

        Once they all became quiet again, Jodie sighed to herself in relief; the more questions Mrs. Kirkland asked and the more she had to lie to her, the guiltier Jodie would feel. Without that anxiety breathing down her neck, she could take the time just to watch the world pass by the window and notice all the little things people rarely noticed unless it was quiet. Like how sweet and helpless Quinn looked while he was sleeping. With Svetlana's head on his shoulder and his head leaning on hers, they formed a sea of blond hair made more golden by the sunlight glinting off its waves. Jodie smiled to herself, and her heart felt warm at the thought that even if Quinn married another girl, she would still feel this love for him. Perhaps the thought should make her sad, but Jodie couldn't explain it. He'd been her first love. She surmised that maybe most girls felt that way about the first boy they'd ever truly loved, who had loved them back, who had taken their virginity and given them their first stuffed bear for Valentine's Day.

        Then Jodie looked forward into the front seat, noticing that Mr. Kirkland had his hand on the center console, and Mrs. Kirkland had draped her hand over his; he was softy rubbing the backs of her fingers with his thumb. That image was the one that made her feel sad. It was wonderful for Quinn, that his parents were still in love after so many years together. But it just reminded Jodie of how different her own situation was with her parents. She loved her mom, but sometimes it could be painful to have a mother who jumped from boyfriend to boyfriend and a father who wasn't much of a presence in her life. Seeing two parents still in love after 25 years of marriage made Jodie wistful to know what it felt like, to have that stability.

        As they pulled into the airport's main parking garage, Mr. Kirkland began to snicker to himself. He checked the rearview mirror, saw that there was no one coming in behind him, and said, "We're just about here. It's time to wake the sleeping beauties. Brace yourselves, girls." Then he simultaneously let out a comical scream and stepped on the brakes. "Ahhh, oh my God, we're gonna crash!"

        Quinn and Svetlana were both tossed up against their seatbelts, their heads lolling forward. Svetlana came awake with wide eyes and a startled gasp, jumping in her seat, but Quinn's eyes went even wider, and he let out his own squeaky, comical scream of surprise. Jodie couldn't help but giggle. She actually laughed out loud when Quinn pedaled his hands at the air as he tried to get his bearings.

        "Wha, who, what's happening?!" he babbled, looking all around.

        Even Dahlia giggled behind her hand. "Steven..."

        "What?" he replied with a smirky grin.

        Quinn opened and closed his eyes several times, rubbing them. He finally realized that his father had played one of his jokes on them. "Daaaad..." he whined. "That's not funny."

        Once Jodie had gotten started, she couldn't stop; Quinn caught her giggling and shot her a look so fatigued and frustrated that the laughter died in her throat. She instantly felt horrible.

        By the time Quinn turned his head forward again, the expression was gone. He was getting good at hiding what he was going through from his parents. "And I was actually having a good dream."

        Quinn and Svetlana were grumpy and sullen-faced all the way in to the terminal. But once he saw Danica walk through the checkpoint in her long skirt and Guns n' Roses T-shirt, and that smile of pure joy spread across her face at the sight of her family, Quinn was hit with such a warm feeling of nostalgia and love that he held his homemade sign up under his chin and proudly waved it back and forth. The words on the sign may have been simple - just 'WELCOME HOME DANICA!' - but Quinn felt every word with such enthusiasm that he seemed absolutely giddy with the knowledge that his other half was finally home.

        Jodie just about sighed with relief when she saw the happy smile on Quinn's face. The sun was starting to come out.

        Everyone grinned and waved at the approaching girl. As Steven was the first person she came to, Danica dropped her carry-on beside her and threw her arms around his neck. "Daddy!"

        He kissed the side of her head with a loud "Mwa!" sound. "Welcome home, Sweetness."

        Next, her mother got the same big, homesick hug, something Danica didn't even realize she was feeling until she saw them all again. Turning to Jodie, she opened up her arms and squealed. "Jodester!"

        Jodie imitated the position, arms wide. "Danister!" They both gave the other a kiss on each cheek as a joke, hamming it up for the sake of the others. "Just like the French do!" Jodie cried, and then they hugged for real, squeezing each other tight.

        "I missed you," Danica said into Jodie's ear. They rocked back and forth a couple of times before releasing each other with ecstatic grins.

        Because she'd only met Svetlana once that past Christmas, Danica didn't feel like she knew her very well, but she still gave her a polite, warm hug. "Welcome home, Danica," Svetlana said. With her accent, the name was pronounced much slower than everyone else said it, with each syllable over-accentuated; it came out almost as 'DA-nee-kah,' where the others said simply 'Danih-kah.' Danica couldn't help but giggle.

        Just as she was turning to her brother, he dramatically threw his arms open and cried, "Danicalifragilisticexpialidocious!"

        "Come 'ere you," she laughed, and yanked him into a long, clingy hug. "Oh, I missed you so much," Danica said, patting his back.

        Dahlia and Steven watched them, her eyes getting misty. "Aww," she cooed at her twin children, and how hard it could be on them to live apart.

        When Danica tried to let go, Quinn clung to her a bit too long. "Okay, we can hug some more," she conceded with a small laugh. A few more seconds of back patting and he finally let her out of the embrace. Quinn, embarrassed, looked anywhere but in her eyes, but she wasn't having it. Danica held his face in her hands and ran her thumbs over the bags under his eyes.

        "Quit it, will ya?" he responded, trying to pass it off with a laugh.

        "Quinn... you look exhausted. Haven't you been sleeping?" she asked. It was a rhetorical question; she knew he hadn't just from looking at him. "I'm the one who's supposed to be jetlagged here."

        "Later," Quinn mumbled at her. He darted his eyes in their parents' direction twice, indicating that there was a story there, but he didn't want to talk about it in front of them. In that moment, Danica got that jittery feeling she'd had back at the airport in London, as if she'd just heard thunder rumbling outside, but this time, it felt more like the moment between spotting a lightning strike and waiting for the loud crash, not knowing just how bad it was going to be. Would it be a small, rolling growl, or a sudden crash that jarred your insides and made the windows shake in their frames? She could tell just from the look in her brother's eyes and the way his skin seemed to shake from the inside, like every moment he anticipated something bad would happen, that something intense was keeping him up at night.

        "Quinny..." she started to say with concern, but then he spotted the diamond ring on her finger. His eyes widened a bit; he looked confused and elated at the same time. Danica quickly snapped her arms down, trying to hide the ring in the folds of her skirt.

        They had a silent conversation with their eyes. Is that an engagement ring?!

        Not yet. Later. I'll tell everyone later. You keep my secret and I'll keep yours. Okay?


        Clearing his throat, Quinn took Danica's arm. "That carry-on can't be your only bag. If I know my sister at all, there's a very large trunk full of clothes waiting for us at baggage claim..."

        "Just a regular size suitcase."

        "By the time this week is over, you'll be taking back two. Mark my words. Mom said something about shopping."

        Dahlia nodded. "Lots and lots of shopping."

        As they trooped in the direction of baggage claim, Jodie hung back a little, taking in the scene before her. She couldn't have been more glad to have Danica home. Dealing with Quinn and Svetlana's problem practically by herself had been harrowing. (Darcy hadn't been much help so far, at least not in Jodie's eyes.) Now there would be two brains on the job.

        A sliver of light peered over the horizon.


it won't stop

The Ringu series is (c) 1998 The Ring/The Spiral Production Group. It is based on the novels by Koji Suzuki. My fanfic is more based on ideas presented in the films, which were created by director Hideo Nakata and screenwriter Hiroshi Takahashi.
The motion picture The Ring is (c) 2002 DreamWorks Pictures. The title "She Just Wanted to Be Heard" comes from a line of dialogue spoken by Rachel Keller in this movie. The motion picture The Ring Two is (c) 2005 DreamWorks Pictures. This fanfic is heavily inspired by ideas presented in the American movies, which were directed by Gore Verbinski and Hideo Nakata and written by Ehren Kruger.
I do not know if the prequel, The Ring 3, will have any bearing on this story or not until I see it.
Everything else is (c) Demented Stuff.


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there really is a tape