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~The Ending~ (Content warning)


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Old 06-11-2003, 06:02   #1
setsuna22 setsuna22 is offline
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~The Ending~ (Content warning)

~ Las Vegas, Nevada ~

Yulia Volkova ran her fingers through the last spike, gelling it into place as she smiled at herself in the mirror. It was her last night of vacation, on her twenty-first birthday, and her last chance to get wild before she started to produce her fifth record. She smoothed down the front of her jeans and adjusted her black tube top. She was so tired of dealing with what people rated as her "competition." Lena Katina and her sang different things, and were totally different people. Why, every week they were in the tabloids together, Yulia didn't know. Maybe people in the rest of the world had more time than she did in Russia? She shrugged and opened the door to the Venetian Hotel. It was her last night of freedom and she was going to do everything she could to experience it to the fullest. She started at eight o’ clock when the first vodka shot was placed into her hand.

Yulia groaned as she rolled over in the huge bed, using pillows to smother out the light, as she tasted stale alcohol in her mouth. She grimaced and stretched, trying to burrow down back into the blankets. She paused when her hand brushed something very soft, and full. A breast. The breast groaned and rolled over. "Oh Fuck! How drunk was I last night?" She dragged her spiked head up from under the snowy white pillows and groaned again as she got visual confirmation—red tight corkscrew corks fanned out above the sleeve of the thick comforter. Not good. Her manager was going to have a heart attack. She pictured the headlines now. "Yulia Volkova breaks another innocent heart." God... not what she needed.

The girl's even breathing stopped as two pale beautiful arms pushed from under the blankets. And then the paused silence as she tired to remember where she was. Yulia knew that train of thought only too well. What country? Whose bed? And finally, who is that damn woman next to me? Yulia stumbled from the bed in desperate need of a cigarette and a reality check. She fumbled at her bedside dresser as she opened the drawer and rummaged. Pausing when she noticed a white piece of paper with her name scrawled across it in English. OH GOD!

She pulled the small sheet of paper out from under the bible in order to read the rest of the document. Scrawled in Russian across the bottom were two names: Hers, and Lena Katina. The top of the certificate read: Marriage License and Certificate. OH FUCK! Her head shot up and looked at the person sitting up in bed. The infamous Lena Katina herself staring blankly down at a large platinum ring on her finger. Yulia glanced down and saw the same matching ring. OH FUCK!

"What the hell are you doing here?" Yulia spat at her ex-singing partner and lover. Never in a million years would she have expected to run into Lena. Of all places while she was on vacation in Las Vegas.

"I am on vacation. Beeta insisted upon it." Lena replied coldly as she drew the sheets up over her silken body and pulled out of the bed in search of her clothing.

"You’re still with Beeta?"

"You’re still with Ivan, why wouldn't I be with Beeta?"

Yulia shrugged, more or less trying to make conversation than to make sense of this insanity. Yulia gaped as Lena dropped the sheet around her waist and pulled the black form fitting t-shirt on over her breasts and down over her smooth taunt stomach. Her head flashed up.

"What?"

"Nothing. I was just wondering what the hell happened last night."

Lena bent down and picked up one of the 12 bottles of various alcohols littering the immaculate hotel room floor. "Well I would think it’s clear that this" she paused holding up the empty bottle “and sex happened. God Yulia, did you lose your trail of thinking over the years or are you really that co-dependant on alcohol now?" she asked, quoting tabloids from the England sun.

"No more than you are with you obsessive compulsive disorders." Yulia shot back as Lena pulled on the long matching black skirt over her slim hips, leaving Yulia light headed.

Lena snorted rudely in response to Yulia's remark. " Right now we have bigger problems to worry about Yulia. If this isn’t out to the press yet, Ivan and Betta are going to hit the fucking roof. And if they haven't leaked it to the press, we have to find out who has the information and buy their silence or else we’re just going straight back to our Tatu days and frankly I am over the school girl uniforms." She flipped open her cell phone and began dialing Beeta, the ring flashing on her finger, as Yulia stared for a few seconds stunned by the cold reaction from her past lover, and even in some ways upset over it. As she too picked up the hotel room phone to call Ivan, she was greeted by his “bimbo of the night”. Even worse. Ivan hated being disturbed when he was "entertaining." A second later his voice came on the line and twenty seconds later it was screaming.

Hearing his voice from across the room, "Tell Ivan I say hello." Lena said sweetly as she went into the bathroom to freshen up while waiting for Beeta to arrive.

Yulia pressed her forehead against the plated glass. God. It had been almost two full years since she last saw or even thought about Lena. She had gone on with her life—producing her first album within months of the break-up. Lena had done the same; they had always had their releases within a month of each other, and for some reason no one knew why. But, no matter how hard she had tried to forget the auburn haired woman, she never really did. She was the first and only person outside of her own family that she had ever truly loved. And now after two years of recovering from trying to forget the serious, playful spirit that was her sanity, her sense of reasoning. Trying to forget the soft curves, pale skin, and the temptress body. She remembered the first nameless face in the string of girls that never filled the void left by Lena.

She had been in France at the time. The girl had dark shoulder length hair and was beautiful. Yulia had met her in a bar, and had to get drunk before she even asked the girl to her room. After it was over Yulia had locked herself in the bathroom and cried for the first time in months, since the break-up. She had felt numb and continued to live numb for two years. The only thing that made her feel alive anymore was music, which consumed her.

Now she felt as if the old scar had been ripped open again, and bled anew. Who was she kidding? She would never recover from loving Lena Katina. She had been crushed by her once, and had almost died from grief. She couldn't let herself go through this again. She couldn't take it. Not again.

In the bathroom, Lena stared into the mirror, seeing herself two years ago.

~ Flashback ~

"What is the big damn deal Lena, it never bothered you before!" Lena closed her eyes and swallowed. It had always bothered her. She hated their open relationship. She trusted Yulia with all her heart; it was always the bastards and bitches of the world that she had feared. That one day when Yulia would walk in the door with some stranger, claiming that she loved him or her and was leaving Lena.

"It did." Lena resounded shortly feeling the pressure tighten in her chest. There was a growl of exasperation as Yulia put her hands on Lena's shoulders and forced her to look into her eyes.

"Then I'll stop. Happy?"

Lena shook her head. "I don't want it because of me. I want you to stop because you love me enough not to be with anyone else."

Yulia gave a scream of frustration and stood up. "What do you want from me Lena? Tell me! I can't read your mind; I can't understand you when you close yourself off to me! Ivan is the same way. I don't know what the fuck people expect me to do anymore! I'm not some fucking seventh wonder of the world! I'm tired of this shit! People expecting things from me and I can't give it to them! I can only do what I can do Lena. So tell me, what the fuck do you want?”

Lena closed her eyes trying to regain her composure as Yulia snapped. Pressure had been mounting over the past several weeks as they began to finish the second album for Tatu. Ivan had wanted to change the image and both Lena and Yulia had pushed, trying to get more of a say in what they wanted. It had backfired; everything was out of control. The bookings had doubled, the time in the studio, the expectations. The pressure had been pruning them both to the brink, but Yulia was struggling the most, hating to be under any type of control, and being pushed to a place where even Lena's words or reasoning had stopped calming her down.

It was then that it had started to take a toll on their personal relationship. Yulia never slept. Lena struggled to eat. And both were grinding on each other’s nerves—but neither one said anything to the other. They simply went on smiling at the cameras as things cracked underneath. Then, as Yulia began spending more and more time with a girl named Amara, Lena started to become jealous. Although they had always had a trusting open relationship before, with things so out of wack now, emotions were raging in both girls until finally, they snapped.

Yulia had sworn that nothing sexual had happened, that her and Amara were just friends, but Lena was beyond reasoning, and it started an explosion of arguments, which continued just as they did now.

"I just want to be happy Yulia."

Her voice was so remorseful Yulia almost lost her breath. She interpreted it wrong. "Fine. It's finished then! God, I'm free at last. Maybe I will go fuck Amara to celebrate." Yulia added, just to be spiteful wanting to hurt Lena as much as she did her.

Lena was too stunned to move. It was the end. What had just happened? As Yulia walked out the door, Lena had too much self-preservation in her pride to follow her. If Yulia didn't want her anymore then she would learn how to survive alone—somehow.

~ End flashback ~
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Old 06-11-2003, 06:03   #2
setsuna22 setsuna22 is offline
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Lena wiped the water from her face as she heard the doorbell ring. She buried her emotions just as she had trained herself to do all those years ago. This was just another day. She would deal with it like she had the day Yulia left.

When Lena came out of the bathroom Ivan was sitting on the sofa with Beeta. Both of them seemed too calm.

"Lena." Ivan smiled as she leaned over and gave her father-like figure a hug.

She had not seen him since the break-up and the Tatu team had split, Beeta going with Lena and Ivan with Yulia. "It is good to see you." She smiled back half-heartedly and stood up.

"We have a lot to discuss. Yulia come sit down." Everyone was surprised when Yulia did so obediently; too tired to argue over anything.

"What has happened, you being in the same city at the same time, is not accident and it was I who arranged it."

"What?" both Lena and Yulia screamed jumping up from their chairs.

"What the hell for?" Yulia snapped watching as Lena retreated away from the group behind the couch her arms hugging around herself as she looked at Beeta in disgust.

"Because this needs to end. Both of you are self destructive with out the other. Yulia you drink even more than I do, and have more woman in and out of your hotel room, it’s like a damned revolving door."

Yulia flushed and rounded on Ivan. "I'm not fifteen anymore Ivan. I can damn well do what I want with my life when I want!"

Ivan laughed. "I never could control either of you. You always did what you wanted when you wanted to. But Beeta and I have been with you both for almost eight years and we are not going to allow you to destroy yourselves."

"I'M NOT DESTROYING MYSELF!" Lena screamed, finally breaking under the crimination. "I have my life in control damn it! I was happy!"

Beeta snorted. "Lena, you barely live. You go on tour, you produce, you go home, and you start all over again. You are becoming so reclusive most people would think you were dead if you didn't come out with a new CD."

"So you planned this, to get us drunk and married to each other, in hopes of us just magically falling back into love?" Lena asked, her voice becoming as cold as ice.

Ivan and Beeta sighed. "No that wasn’t the plan, the plan was to get you two together again and force you to talk about what happened. What took place between you needs to be resolved. So even if you don't get back together, then at least you both have some closure."

Lena stood up brittle, she was shaking so hard with anger she was trembling. "I DON’T NEED TO RELIVE THAT PART OF HELL THANK YOU! I HAVE WHAT I WANT AND I HAVE THE LIFE I WANT. I DON'T LOVE YULIA. IT DIED A LONG TIME AGO. AND HOW DARE YOU THINK YOU CAN DO THIS TO ME WHEN I WAS ENGAGED!” She turned on Beeta. “YOU ARE FUCKING FIRED! AND I DON’T WANT TO SEE ANY OF YOU AGAIN. JUST STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!”

She grabbed her bag, walked out and slammed the door to the room. Partially running down the hallway, Lena managed to turn the corner before she broke into a sob. She wanted Yulia so badly she could taste it. But not like this. Never like this. Never again.

Yulia thudded onto the couch barely able to breath. Her chest was so tight, blocking off the oxygen, she felt as if she were going to pass out. Ivan and Beeta remained silent. Yulia looked more constricted as if someone was physically choking her.

"Who is she?" Yulia finally managed to push out between her pale bloodless lips. Beeta looked at Ivan who nodded.

"His name is Mark Wahlberg." Beeta said shortly. "He is an American actor."

Yulia felt her legs begin to tremble as she buried her face in her hands. She knew Lena would someday find someone new but to find out this way was...

"How long have they been together?"

Beeta rose from her chair and went to the bar to pour Yulia a glass of water.

"Off and on for five months."

Yulia nodded dully and stared at her feet. The words barely choking from her throat, "Does she love him?"

There was a long pause when Beeta handed Yulia the glass and sat down next to Ivan again.

She looked at Beeta. "Does she?” Yulia begged imploring again.

"No. She doesn’t care one way or the other. I think Mark is simply infatuated with her. They hardly know each other. He hasn’t even been to Lena's apartment or house. They always meet at some restaurant or club for lunch or dinner and then Mark makes her pose for a picture with the paparazzi."

Yulia's blue eyes shot to Ivan's. "I want to see the pictures Ivan."

Ivan didn't even deny the fact that he had hidden the pictures from Yulia. If he hadn't, God knows what would have happened. With Lena gone, Yulia goes into uncontrollable fits of rage that last hours, until she gets drunk or until her voice becomes too horse to scream anymore. And the longer they were separated, the more Yulia continued to slip.

He cracked open his suit case and brought out several glossy magazine photos. Yulia jerked them from his fingers as she light up a cigarette; another habit that had started a few months after Lena had left. Yulia's fingers crunched the paper as she read the article "A new world for Lena Katina." There were two pictures, one of Lena and Mark coming out of the theater, with Lena looking stunning in a staples black evening gown and her hair piled on top of her head.

Yulia saw red when she looked at the next photo, of Mark kissing Lena passionately. She threw the pictures onto the floor and ground a booted foot onto Mark’s pretty face. She paused and looked closer at the picture.

“Oh, my God. He’s Marky Mark?” Yulia looked at Beeta in horror

“He doesn’t talk about it.” Beeta said with a laugh.

Ivan rolled his eyes. “He’s a ‘Serious Actor’ now.” He said doing the Nixon quotations with his hands in total disgust.

"Why doesn’t she wear an engagement ring?"

Beeta smiled a little smug. "Because he keeps saying he can’t find the right one. But if you ask me I think Mark is broker than broke and is hoping to get Lena to buy it for herself. He is a first class bastard. A gay looking one at that—or so my first impression of him was."

Yulia took another drag of the cigarette and let it out in a slow compressed breath of air between her lips. Her head was spinning as she sat down on the chair. Clutching her fingers into her wild hair.

"The question Yulia," Ivan said gently, "is do you still love Lena? Enough to try and win her back?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lena haphazardly shoved clothes into her expensive suitcase, not even bothering to look at what she was putting in it. She couldn't deal with this. She had tried so hard for two years to move on and recover. But Lena could never recover from the one person who knew her inside out. She closed her eyes as a single tear forced it's way from her eyes. She had to go home. She just needed to think. A divorce could be arranged in a few weeks and Mark would never know. God, she didn't even care what Mark thought she knew about his past just as he did about hers. He would just have to deal with it. The phone on the bedside table rang and Lena picked it up.

"Privet?"

"Lena?" Mark's soft voice shot down the line and Lena sighed. Not good timing.

"What is it Mark?"

"I’m in LA tonight, do you think you could come to town for a photo shoot?"

Lena sighed it was always a photo shoot, why not ever a movie? "I can't Mark, I’ve had too much to deal with today, and I leave for Russia at 5:00."

"But Lena I promised!" There was a plaintive whine to his voice that grated on her nerves.

"Nyet. I can't Mark. I'm sorry." she hung up the phone as he began to plead again. God! Would this day of hell never end?

Beeta came in through the door. Lena didn't look her in the eye as she un-ceremoniously dumped her clothes into another suitcase.

"Lena?"

"Don't fucking talk to me!" Lena said, her voice quivering with emotion.

"Well," Beeta went on "at least you have learned to express some emotion."

"Go to hell!" Lena felt her cheeks flush in anger as she went into the bathroom and gathered her toothbrush and hairbrush.

"Lena, you and Yulia are going home on the same plane. Ivan and I traded seats with Yulia and you, and you’re sitting with her."

Lena threw her brush against a wall, denting the delicate plaster molding. "I am not some fucking teenager anymore, I refuse to do this shit any longer; Tatu is dead!"

Beeta took a breath, "The tabloids in Russia know. Lena if you don't go home together, anything you and Yulia did as solo artists to accredit yourselves is going to be destroyed."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yulia buckled her seat belt and stared out the window. God, she had never been so nervous in her life. Ivan was in the front, leaning over the isle, looking out the door, awaiting Lena and Beeta. The plane was supposed to take off in less than five minutes.

Yulia pulled out a compact mirror and checked her reflection; pushing a stray lock of hair into place and making sure her lipstick was straight. She snapped the compact shut and shifted in her seat. She looked up when a shadow fell over her and Yulia felt her breath catch. Lena wore her long auburn tresses in two neat braids that ended down over her shoulders and a white tank top and black work out pants with white stripes down the side; she looked like she did two years ago when they flew to Japan. She wanted to tell her how amazing she looked, instead Lena just raised an eyebrow as Yulia stared, and then settled into the chair. Putting pillow behind her head she clicked her seat belt shut and promptly closed her eyes. Yulia looked at Lena and sighed. Well this was going to be a good trip. The plane started to lift off into the air and soon they were leaving the bright lights of Vegas behind.

After a quick lay over in L.A long enough to get fuel they were back in the air.

~ Four hours into the flight ~

Yulia was nudged out of her sleep, and she looked down in surprise, as Lena's head dropped onto her shoulder; the weight of her head a once familiar pressure. Some of the long twisted curls dragged into her face as she breathed evenly, Yulia gently brushed them away and shivered as she looked into the face that owned her soul. She couldn't help herself as her hands brushed down Lena's shoulder and to her hip where she pulled Lena a little closer. Yulia pressed her forehead against Lena and closed her eyes. Feeling her breathing even to match hers. When she opened her eyes again dark stormy-gray orbs stared back at her. Neither one pulled away or reacted. Lena's hand moved to Yulia's hands were it rested on her hip and pushed to the waistband of her pants. As her dark eyes fluttered shut and she kissed Yulia.

Yulia felt as if she were in a dream world as she swallowed a soft moan returning the mind-blowing kiss. Her mind was in chaos. Thankful. In wonderment at the fact that it was really happening again after two years, that burning need and that fire that lived in Lena burned through her body again.

No one was awake on the almost empty plane but them, as Lena tilted back in her chair spreading her legs wider as she tangled her fingers through the dark hair of Yulia's head pulling her closer, the familiar gentle hands stroked her face and neck, and down the smooth line of her back. Yulia shoved the armrest out of the way as her hand lifted the edge of Lena's shirt and rubbed across the smooth expanse of her pale stomach. Her mouth broke away from Lena’s and kissed her sensitive skin. Her stomach muscles clenching under Yulia's tan fingers. The contrast so differed; it made Yulia's heart pound. They were supposed to fit together like this.

Lena pushed back further in the chair, her legs straining against the floor as Yulia's hand slid into the pants and stroked the material of her tiny black briefs. Lena gave a deep gasp; the one Yulia knew so well; the one that always drove her wild. Something darkened in her eyes as she rose up and kissed Lena fully on the mouth, her tongue pushing into Lena's mouth and swallowing the next gasps. Lena's finger nails bit savagely into Yulia's bare shoulders as she teased her. Her thumb stroking at the edge of the black panties, pushing under the fabric, connecting with skin only to withdraw and start again. Lena gave another moan and pushed Yulia's hand. Her dark eyes opening to meet Yulia's, pleading, as she couldn't take anymore.

Yulia slid her hand between the materials, running her fingers back and forth, feeling the heat gather upon them as Lena was lifted off the seat, straining. Yulia practically straddled Lena's waist, making no noise whatsoever as she clamped a hand over Lena's mouth and, in Russian, whispered harshly into Yulia's ear.

"I can’t take it anymore, please."

Yulia didn't say anything as she drew her hands across Lena's pants, almost trailing across the waistband. Lena dug her nails deeper into Yulia, almost drawing blood. Her head was buried into the cushion of the chair while her head frantically moved from side to side. Lena dragged Yulia closed biting her neck.

"Yulika! Please!"

When Lena called her by her nickname—the one only Lena called her—it pushed her sanity over the edge as she slipped a hand under Lena's hips and, with her other fingers, slid into her body. Yulia almost lost control, feeling the tightness clench around her. Lena's hips jerked twice and she buried her head against Yulia's neck, strangling her screams. Yulia's hand jerked back in ecstasy, feeling as if she were in some dream world as she watched Lena, her eyes becoming glazed over and her features softening; Yulia drove her mindless.

"Oh God, Lena." Yulia breathed against her face. While one hand braced her hip, the other tangled into Lena's hair, twisting to cause Lena's body to tremble. In response her hips rocked against Yulia's who pinned her to the seat. She was beyond caring about the noise that they made or what their future was. She felt emotions blind her as her legs clenched and Yulia bit down on her neck as she erupted, her body jerking against Yulia.

Both of them felt alive. For the first time in two years, they had been brought back from the dead. Lena's hands circled Yulia's waist as the last long earth-shattering tremor broke her barriers down. Lena gasped against Yulia's neck as she combed her fingers through her long hair. The fire that had been with them two years ago was burning—stronger this time. Yulia didn't move as she pressed against Lena. Neither of them knew if this all-consuming fire would take them over and destroy their lives, but then again "living" the way they had been for these past two years was no longer an option.
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Old 06-11-2003, 06:03   #3
setsuna22 setsuna22 is offline
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When they arrived at the airport in Moscow everything changed. Lena became stiff and quiet as Yulia tried to hug her.

The crew gave each girl a few minutes in the bathroom to freshen up. Yulia sat down to wait for Lena. Upon standing, she bumped Lena's bag off the seat and a bottle of pills went rolling across the floor. Yulia picked them up and stared at the brown and white prescription bottle. Her hands clenched around it.

"She has been having a lot of problems with nerves lately." Beeta said quietly coming up beside Yulia and taking the bottle gently from her grasp, placing it back in the bag.

"How long has she been on the pills?" Yulia croaked.

"Only about three months. Before that it was worse. She went to Odessa and stayed in the country house for two weeks before I found her. She didn't even tell anyone where she was going, she just left."

Yulia paled. Lena had never been irresponsible. She was always the dependable silent-rock type.

"Is she going to be okay?"

Beeta gave Yulia a gentle smile.

"She will be."

The conversation went silent as Lena came out of the bathroom.

Leaving the airport was hell as Lena and Yulia walked out side by side. Not holding hands but smiling and waving to the cameras that clicked and flashed madly as they passed by. Russia's favorite girls where back together.

Lena slid into the limo and, feeling as if her smile was going to crack, sat down and grabbed the remote; Yulia followed. Ivan and Beeta settled themselves into their seats while Lena flipped on the TV and gasped in horror. It was a live feed? They were filming Lena and Yulia as the left the airport. God, didn't five million people in this city have better things to do than worry about the ex-Tatu. Ivan was grinning as Lena flipped through the stations and found herself on 6 out of 11. She flipped off the TV in disgust and sat back, feeling too closed in as Yulia's warm body press against hers. She closed her eyes and pressed her forehead against the glass of the window. God, last night had been a mistake. The only thing it had done was drag up a past that was better off left buried.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I don’t know what you want from me" Lena replied coldly as they sat in the apartment.

She hated being here. She hated this room. Why Yulia had even kept it, she didn't know. The apartment obviously hadn't been used since they both walked out, but it had been cleaned and tended to nonetheless, as if waiting two years for its occupants to return.

Yulia took another drag of her cigarette and inhaled—it was her third one in five minutes.
Lena leaned across the table and yanked the tobacco-filled-stick from the corner of her gloss-covered mouth. Stabbing the embers out on the table in front of her.

"If you keep this shit up you’re going to kill yourself."

Yulia didn't reply.

"Lets get one thing straight, if I am going to live in this apartment with you until the divorce can be arranged and the media storm dies down, there will be no smoking in the apartment."

Yulia felt her temperature rise with annoyance.

"What, we’re married a day and already you’re dictating to me? Ahh yes, now I remember why I left!"

Lena paled, reacting as if Yulia had slapped her. The moment she said the words, Yulia had regretted them. The look of defiance that had been in Lena's face moments before was replaced with pure hurt—even through she tried to disguise it. Yulia knew Lena's reactions all to well as her breathing became shallow and her eyes closed, breathing to control her emotions as she always had. Yulia reached out to touch Lena's hand. She jerked back as if she had been scalded.

"Don't touch me." Her words were brittle as if they would break any minute. She stalked down the hall slamming the door behind her as she went. Yulia stared at the floor, wanting to sink into it.

Lena popped the white lid off the bottle and put two small white tablets into her mouth, taking several swallows of water to wash them down. Setting the glass down she walked across the room to the long windows. She pressed her forehead against the glass, as a tear strayed down her face. She didn't know how to deal with the weight compressing her heart. She had been living. She would have been okay… if she hadn’t had seen Yulia again.

Both Lena and Yulia spent cold sleepless nights in their expensive beds. When Lena did not emerge from the spare guest bedroom by 1:00 AM, Yulia finally gave up and climbed in between the sheets of her own bed.

By 6:00 both girls were up. Even though Lena was still in the other room, Yulia heard the water turn on for a good forty five minutes, and the soft drone of a blow dryer shortly after. Yulia had taken a quick shower, dressed, and then went to sit on the living room couch, to wait for Lena.

The rain pelted heavily upon the windows that framed the front of their apartment, casting long gray shadows across the floor. When Lena emerged from her room it was close to 8:00. Ivan was going to pick them up in less than ten minutes.

"We need to talk."

Lena didn't respond as she yanked the refrigerator door open angrily and took out a jug of orange juice.

"Lena?"

" I heard you Yulia." Lena snapped slamming the jug down on the counter making the contents of the jug explodes within itself.

"I always hear you. I don't have five minutes when I'm NOT hearing you."

Yulia got up, pushing her hands into the front of her jean pockets. "Why are you acting like such a bitch? I just want to talk to you."

"Because Yulia there is nothing to talk about!" She left the juice sitting on the counter, not even bothering to put it away before she went to the door and yanked off her new denim jacket, shoving her arms into the sleeves." Can we please go down stairs so we can get this fucking over with?" She opened the door and started down the hallway, not even waiting for a response.

Counting to 10 and then to 20, Yulia put the juice back in the refrigerator and gathered her purse and keys, following Lena out into the hallway. The stairs were slippery with the wet shoes that people had been tromping in and out with all morning. They started to head down the stairs when Lena and Yulia cell phones started to ring simultaneously. They eyed one another wearily and took out their phones. It was Ivan and Beeta on a three-way call. Before either could say "Hello" Ivan's voice shot down the line.

"Girls I'm going to have to cancel the meeting for today, I got a call from Universal and I can't miss their meeting, and Beeta is coming with me. So, we will have to do it later tonight or in the morning."

"Tonight!" Both Yulia and Lena said at once. There was a long pause on the other end of the phone.

"Okay then. See you tonight." The phone line went dead.

"I'm going back to my room." Lena went walking around Yulia and headed back up the long fight of stairs.

"Lena?" The voice was pleading.

"What Yulia?" Lena asked her voice no longer hostile but, simply weary.

"Can we please talk?"

Lena nodded once and turned around heading up to the apartment. Yulia moved to climb up the next step when her heavy soled boot slid under her, on the rubber-coated stair. Her scream knocked terror into Lena as she turned around and watched as Yulia fell and plummeted down the flight of stairs.

Lena couldn't breath.

She watched as the old doctor prodded and poked at Yulia. She looked so small, in the huge king size bed, amid the huge pillows and blankets. Lena closed her eyes and remembered the first terrifying seconds after her fall. She had run down the stairs to floor next to where Yulia lay, un-moving. And for a few seconds then, her life stopped around her, until she noticed that Yulia was breathing.

Lena watched from the other side of the bed as the doctor lifted one of Yulia's silken limbs from under the sheet and slowly inspected her from ankle to thigh. Her eyes lingered at the top of Yulia's hipbone, on a tattoo she had never see before.

She muttered an excuse incoherently to the doctor and made her way out of the room to where Ivan and Beeta were waiting in the living room. Ivan and Beeta looked at her in alarm. Her dark hair hung limp and almost straight around her face, her gray eyes almost black.

"When did she get it?"

Ivan sighed and got up from the couch, rubbing the kink from his neck, trying to stall for time.

"When, Ivan?" Lena pressed again.

"Two days after you and she had the argument."

Lena closed her eyes and took a ragged breath. Yulia had still loved her then. But what about now? God, why had she shut her out last night and this morning? She had wanted to talk.

"Were you with her Ivan?"
He nodded his head, glancing out the window. He remembered that day more than perfectly.

~ Flashback ~

The tattoo parlor wasn’t like the place Yulia had gotten her other two. It was in a dark old building with ratty stools and pictures of sample tattoos taped to the wall.

"Yulia, are you sure you want to do this?"

Yulia ignored him. She hadn't wanted to bring Ivan. This was something she had wanted to do by herself; she had wanted to deal with her pain in a physical way. She had to find a way to release some of the pressure in her body or she was going to break down.

The man sitting behind the desk looked up from his TV. Yulia pulled a piece of paper from her pocket and threw it in front of him.

"Can you do this?"

The man slowly unfolded the notebook paper and looked at the Arabic letters. Arched and simple.

"What does it mean?"

"Does it matter?" Yulia asked tersely.

"It does if you want me to do it." The man replied more than a little curious to why this girl was coming to this place.

" It's my wife's name alright! Lena Katina Volkova."

The man's eyes widened but he merely nodded and stood up, motioning for Yulia to follow. Who was he to judge a person's motives? Ivan moved to follow too but Yulia shook her head.

"Wait here Ivan." Her voice frightened him by the lack of emotion, lack of warmth. He was so used to her playful, smart-ass personality that it was frightening to see her this restrained. Back in the next room, Yulia pulled her jeans down over her hips and turned onto her side. The droning and buzzing of the tattoo machine whirled in her ears as she closed her eyes, and the familiar burning sensation etched into her skin. It was raw and painful but at least Yulia was feeling again.

~ End flashback ~
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Old 06-11-2003, 06:04   #4
setsuna22 setsuna22 is offline
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Ivan turned around, finally facing Lena.

"After she got the tattoo she refused anyone from talking about you, or even mentioning your name. But, for months when she thought no one saw, she mourned you Lena. Two days ago, back in Vegas, was the first day I have seen the old Yulia in almost two years."

Lena didn't say anything as she sagged against the wall, as if the past two days had been pressing on her so hard that her body had finally just, physically, given out from under her.

"Do you still love her Lena?”

"Yes." the response was barely a whisper, so strained Ivan almost didn't know if he heard it. Ivan watched as the ice exterior melted away from Lena Katina.

~ The dream/memory of Yulia and Amara ~

Yulia listlessly pushed the clothes around on the rack. She wanted to pick out something for Lena. But nothing seemed right anymore. The tours and arguments had driven a wedge between them and Yulia wondered if Lena would even accept anything from her.
Amara came out of the dressing room in a short black dress.

"What do you think?"

Yulia looked her over still distracted. "It's great."

Some of the Amara's excitement was sucked from the air. "What’s wrong Yulia?"

Yulia shoved another hanger down the rod, almost violently.

"Lena and I had another fight last night."

"About what."

"Everything... nothing. It’s just that anything sets her off anymore. I'm the same way. It’s all this fucked up booking. Last night Lena was feeling sick and wanted to stay home from the Universal dinner party but Ivan told her we had to go so we went and when we got home—things just blew up I still don't even know what happened! I slept in the spare bedroom.”

"Again?"

Yulia only nodded, forcing herself to swallow the huge lump in her throat. God, She missed Lena. For two months, constant arguments had sent her into another room, or even to Amara's apartment. Things weren't supposed to be this way—she was married for Christ’s sake. She felt a pair of arms slide around her. She jumped as Amara's lips slowly brushed over hers. Yulia sighed and closed her eyes, seeing only what she wanted to see: Lena. The kiss continued for several seconds until a thought filtered into her mind—it didn't smell like lavender—the skin didn't feel like silk. She shoved the body away from her. What the hell was she doing?

"What the fuck was that Amara!" Yulia screamed.

Amara took a step towards Yulia who backed away. "I love you Yulia. I always have, and Lena that bitch doesn’t give a fuck!"

Yulia wanted to punch Amara. "She's my wife! I love her and only her! I gave her my heart when I was 15. My God, I was so fucking stupid, and Lena she saw this! She knew!"

Yulia felt as if she were seeing something, the full picture, for the first time.

"Please Yulia." Amara begged, "I love you."

"You don't love anything but yourself and what I can do or buy for you. If you gave a shit about me, you would know I would NEVER leave or give up Lena."

~ End ~

Lena watched as she saw Yulia thrash on the bed. She loved Yulia so much it almost killed her. She never imagined it would be deeper than it was two years ago. She held Yulia's hand.

"I love you Yule, It can never be like it was before—but I love you."

On the bed Yulia kept her eyes closed, feeling the tears gather under her eyelids. It could never be the same. Lena loved her—but not in the way she wanted her to. She almost sobbed. She refused to be selfish. She wouldn’t keep Lena tied to her like this, not when she didn't love her like Yulia did her. She felt destroyed—again. But she couldn’t let Lena be unhappy.

The silence said it all.

It was the next day and Yulia was sitting in bed, her body still bruised and her arm swollen from where it was twisted. Lena didn't understand any of this, what had changed? Why was Yulia behaving like this? She hadn't looked Lena in the eyes and, when Lena had gone to reach out for her she had drawn back abruptly.

"What's wrong?"

Yulia closed her eyes, her fingers twisting into the fabric of the quilt.

" I don't want to be with you anymore." Yulia managed to choke out, her tone flat as she finally meet Lena's gaze. Despite the hours of sleep, dark smudges stained below her eyes made her appear pale. Her eyes were dead.

Lena couldn't move. She was a statue as ice froze her veins, thickening and hardening, so she couldn't feel a heart beat. What was happening? It didn't make sense.

"Why?" Lena asked, her tone barely a whisper.

"I love you Lena, but things can never go back to the way they were—we’re both…different now. I don't want either of us to waste anymore of each other’s lives than we already have."

All Lena could do was stare. Oh god this wasn’t happening. It was final Yulia didn't want her. She closed her eyes. It was over. The two years she had spent alone was what she was going to be living like for the rest of her life. Lena didn't say another word as she got out of the chair and left the room thinking only one thing over and over in her head. "Yulia doesn’t love me anymore."

~ Two weeks later ~

Yulia sat behind the desk with her lawyer, Ivan sitting on the other side, as she held the pen clenched in her hand. She looked down at the papers before her that contained the terms of divorce. She couldn't bring herself to look at Lena who sat across the table from her. It hurt too much to breath. She closed her eyes and touched the pen to the paper telling herself she had to let Lena go—she couldn't keep her in a loveless marriage even though it would kill her to let her go. She sighed. On the papers, her pen leaked the blackness that was her signature—it might as well have been her blood. She dropped the pen and pushed the papers back to her lawyer.

All of them remained blank faced as she stared at the table in front of her. Repressing the urge to cry out and tell them that it was all just a big mistake, that she didn't want a divorce, and that Lena couldn't leave her; she remained silent;

Lena's lawyer handed her a pen. She could see the hands holding the pen as she read. Yulia made the mistake of looking up. Lena wasn’t reading she was looking at her. There was no expression in her blank silver eyes—no hate—no love—nothing. Lena's didn't hesitate as she signed her name in a beautiful cursive scrawl across the bottom of the page, below Yulia's.

It was done.

Ivan sighed as he stared out the window from the bed. Beeta curled up against him.
“Ivan, it’s over. There is nothing else we can do.” Ivan gave a grunt of reply. Beeta knew his unapproachable attitude; they had been married for ten years after all. It was one of the only things the press hadn’t been able to find out about Ivan or Beeta, who they were romantically involved with. That’s because there was no one—or so they thought. It was common for an assistant to meet with the Producer or Manager of Tatu.

“They both love each other, we know that. They are just too stupid to see that.” Ivan muttered as he ran a hand agitatedly through his short brown locks.

“There is nothing we can do except be there for them Ivan.”

He nodded once lost in thought. Trying in vein to stop the two people he loved most in life, maybe even more than Beeta, from destroying themselves. Besides being married to each other they had long ago agreed that Yulia and Lena came first in their hearts—even above themselves.

“How did we ever get this far? You touch my hand and start the car, and for the first time in my life I’m crying…”

Lena’s voice filled the empty apartment as Yulia took another swallow of the fiery liquid. The last resort. The one thing that made her feel something other than numbs. Yulia sat drunk on the bedroom floor, the huge photo album propped up in her lap. The album was filled with pictures of Lena and her. From their first concert to the Polaroids taken the day before the final fight. All neat and perfectly mounted. If only their life had stayed that way instead of decaying. No doubt Lena would be at her apartment across the city with her movie star boyfriend Yulia thought savagely. That wasn’t fair. Maybe she would go pay Lena a little visit just for old times sake. Half drunk, half insane with jealously, Yulia tugged on a jacket and stumbled from the door.

"I told you Mark I don't want to talk about it. It's over."

Lena was frustrated; as she talked to Mark on her cell phone she haphazardly threw things into bag, packing. She needed to escape and get away from Moscow for a while. For the first time in two years she was taking a break and she wasn’t going to think about her career or most of all, not think about the bad direction her life had gone in. She couldn't stand to be in the city that had meant so much to her and Yulia. It was at Eurovision that things had started to crack, when they had gone outside themselves and done something for their country.

"Lena, are you listening to me?" Mark's voice grated on her nerves, she couldn't deal with this anymore.

"No Mark, I'm not!" She clicked the mobile phone shut with annoyance and turned it off before she turned back to her packing. She pushed clothes around on the bed, knocking a small jewelry case over in the process. Lena paused and became very still when she picked up the gold band in her thumb and forefinger. Her wedding ring. Her fist closed around it. She had only taken it off the day before yesterday but already the slight tan line she had was fading. She pushed the ring back onto her finger. She couldn't live with out it. Not yet. Maybe not ever. There was a loud pounding at the front door that jolted Lena from her trail of thoughts.

"What the hell?"

Still wondering whom it could be, she went down the stairs to the front door. The knocking continued and only persisted to get louder.

"Knock it the fuck off!" She yelled as she jerked the door open

"What the hell is your problem can't you—?” She gasped. Yulia was standing before her soaking wet, her sodden coat wrapped around her tiny frame making her look even smaller. She was shivering and her lips were blue. In her left hand were the remains of a half empty vodka bottle.

"Oh my god, Yulia! What are you doing here?" Yulia didn't reply as she walked into the apartment swaying slightly.

"Where is the bastard?" Her speech was slurred as she looked around the almost sterile apartment.

"Who the hell are you talking about?"

"Marky fucking Mark!" Yulia spat as she started through the kitchen and into the living room, stopping several times to yank a linen or coat closet open.

"Ohh Marky... come out..."

Lena closed her eyes feeling like a knife had been budged into her chest.

"God, not again. Please God." She begged to herself as she followed Yulia. She couldn’t go on like this.

"Lena?"

She stopped when she heard the sane un-drunk Yulia. She looked her ex-lover in the eye trying not to show how much it hurt her to even breath when she was around. As quick as the sober moment came, it passed and Yulia fell into Lena's arms with a drunken shrill-giggle locking her hands around her neck.

"Lena, you’re mine."

Lena felt her heart beginning to fray. "No I'm not Yulia. We’re divorced. I don't belong to anyone." The words were hallow, not anything that she was proud of.

"Yes you are!" Yulia squeezed Lena's shoulders, hurting her in her drunken stupor.

"I'm not yours Yulia!" Lena was almost sobbing now "You don't even know me—how can you love me?"

A burning look came into Yulia's eyes as she pulled Lena roughly against her, her tone starting harsh in Lena's ear, almost a growl.

" I know you Lena. I have known you and learned everything about you from that first moment we met. I know you’re romantic and funny. That you hate people who are jackasses, and you hate white chocolate. I know that you once loved me..." Her tone dropped to a soft whisper, Yulia's vocals strained. "Just like I loved you, and still love you. That is what makes you mine."

Lena felt the salt of her tears burning her sensitive skin as they coated her face and dripped onto Yulia's bare shoulders. Why! Why did she have to tell her this drunk? Lena wished so badly for Yulia’s words to be true. While in her heart she knew that when morning came this night would be nothing more than a regret for Yulia. But, she had to take her last moments. The last hours she would ever get to be with Yulia and not be something she remembered as a fucked up past.

Carefully Lena helped a swaying Yulia to her room. By the time she had reached the end of her bed Yulia's lips were blue and her teeth were chattering.

"We have to get you out of these wet clothes."

Yulia grinned. "Wow. It's been a while since you have been that eager."

Lena ignored her as she started to undo the buttons on Yulia's jacket, whose own fingers were too frozen and stiff to do it.

"Lena?"

She didn't reply as she helped Yulia shrug out of the coat.

"Lena?"
Yulia reached out to catch Lena's hand. She jerked back as if she had been scalded, but Yulia was too fast as she reached out and grabbed her hand, staring at the small gold band.

"Let me go." Lena's voice was strained.

Yulia tried to comprehend what this meant, her head still clouded with the alcohol stupor. Why was she still wearing the ring? They had been divorced for two weeks. She looked at Lena's bowed head and felt a sharp pain tear into the pit of her stomach. "She still loves me."

"Let me go." Lena's voice was soft, almost pleading. There was another long silence as things began to connect in Yulia's brain.

"Please Yulia, for God's sake just let me go."

"No."

Lena lifted her head and stared at Yulia.

"I know you still love me. I am not letting you go. Not now, not ever." As she spoke her hands clenched harder around Lena's who gave a soft squeeze back. They had lost two years of their life not living and they had almost lost their second chance. Both took a deep shuttering breath, as they were able to breath in each other’s arms for the first time in two years. Their mouths slowly melted together and everything but this kiss, slid into the forgotten past.
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:03   #5
amikana amikana is offline
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setsuna! that's phenomenal, absolutely *phenomenal*

i love your work, as always

amikana
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Old 06-11-2003, 09:17   #6
marmalou marmalou is offline
The best
 
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setsuna this is wonderfull.
Thanks for the great story's you write.
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Old 06-11-2003, 10:09   #7
teaparty teaparty is offline
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omg.....speechless....just speechless....
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Old 06-11-2003, 16:39   #8
parrish122 parrish122 is offline
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Wow....you had me hooked from the very first.

Absolutely wonderful. Don't ever doubt that you have talent.

Parrish
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Old 06-11-2003, 19:46   #9
iluvjulia84 iluvjulia84 is offline
Julia...Dayuuuuum!!
 
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Wow this is absolutely AMAZING!
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Old 06-11-2003, 20:27   #10
volvovolkova volvovolkova is offline
BLaH!!!
 
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OMG!

LOVE iT!
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Old 07-11-2003, 05:15   #11
guesshoo guesshoo is offline
keep 'em guessing
 
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absolutely amazing!
keep up the good work!
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Old 07-11-2003, 05:56   #12
rivierakid rivierakid is offline
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Wow...Just plain *wow*.

That was simply amazing. You are an incredibly talented writer. Keep up the good work! You rock!
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