Artificial Heart

The atmosphere in the apartment was tense, at best. When it was clear that Delia’s extended visit was turning into a, more or less, permanent situation, her sister’s attitude towards her had deteriorated fast. At least, that’s what the younger sibling attributed her shortened temper to. This past week alone had been motivation enough for Delia to grow serious about finding a job. Anything to get her out of her sister’s hair -- not for her sake, but for Yana’s.

Having applied to numerous positions, the young woman deflated when a steady stream of rejections and white noise began to filter in through her email. Shutting her laptop, she pushed it away, nibbling her nails as she sat, staring into space. The longer she was underfoot the less tolerant Yana would be. She knew this, and still all she wanted to do was be around her.

Turning when she heard the door unlock, she smoothed her hair down, rising as her sister walked into the room. The smile on her face was genuine, if apprehensive. “Hey, sis. H-how was your d-day?”

@Yana Novik

A professional and a workaholic in her own right, it was only under specific circumstances that Yana would fight tooth and nail to slip out of work on time. Hell, it was even less common these days - enjoying her evenings away from home with so many people stacked inside the apartment. Truly, at this point she was just waiting for the office to leave her some sort of passive aggressive note about the terms of her lease.

At least they were all in the same boat, sans Delia of course, a nasty little landmine of an issue that she did all she could to handle with grace. Regardless, having so many Were's in such a small space with a single human on the full moon made her even more on edge - hoping to find Cordelia out for the time being when she came home to change for the drive out to shift. Hoping, but not holding her breath.

Opening the door, she shot her sister a cold and clinical look, pursing her lips and trying to navigate around her barely existent temper. The beast was eager, the woman was tired - no one was truly winning this evening. "It was fine. Any job interviews today?" She shrugged out of her coat and blazer in turn, stepping out of her shoes and moving to carry them by the heels as she cut across the living room and for her bedroom. It seemed Isolde and Nolan were already out for the evening - good, less to worry about that way.

Leaving the door ajar so she could make out whatever response Cordelia called back, grabbing jeans and a simple cotton shirt from her closet and deftly moving down the buttons of her blouse. There was no immediate time crunch, but the quicker she got out the happier she would be with herself.

Delia flinched at the question, well acquainted with Yana’s distaste for failure. It wasn’t for lack of trying, which honestly, just made things worse. There was a type of simple incorrigibility that came with pure, unadulterated laziness, but somehow ineptitude seemed like more of an inconvenience. She could work hard, but it still wasn’t getting her anywhere.

Yana put her things down, movements smooth as she slipped out of her shoes and jacket. “N-no.” Her voice was as soft as she could get it while still being audible. “I h-haven’t gotten a-any good f-feedback.” Keeping her distance, she followed her sister, hanging by the door of her bedroom until she could muster the courage to push it open.

I was t-thinking...m-maybe we could g-go over my r-resume together tonight? I-I could m-make us dinner.”

I haven't gotten any good feedback.

It was a far cry from her usual calm, cool, and collected demeanor - but that was enough to make Yana snort. The understatement of the century it felt like, the nature of the sort of feedback that Cordelia Novik tended to receive. Quiet, reserved, pleasant but otherwise entirely forgettable. A beautiful floral arrangement on someone's coffee table, a lovely addition to the room that you forgot the details of once you left for the evening.

Deftly working the buttons of her shirt, she kept her back to the door - sensing her sister at the other side as she grabbed a t-shirt from her dresser, a rare choice in attire. Sliding it over her head and stepping out of her dress pants as the door was nudged open, a hard and accusatory glare over her shoulder as she unfolded a pair of simple black leggings. "Do you not have any sense of privacy?"

Regardless, she made no move to try to shy away - pulling the leggings on and setting her heels down in their designated spot on the floor of her closet. Moving to pull up her hair in a lazy and sloppy fashion atop her head, a brief glance in the mirror directly across from her bed. "I'm going out - maybe Nolan or Isolde will be back soon. Maybe you can see if either of them want to eat spaghetti and talk about your personal strengths." More bite than normal, birthed from the agitation of the beast, the cheetah that urged for the road and the trip out to North Glenn.

Privacy had never been a highly valued commodity in the Novik sisters’ lives. Still, Delia flinched anyway, backing up a step, though she left the door open. Her sibling was in a foul mood, and somehow, Cordelia felt like it was all her fault.

Yana was unceremonious in her dismissal, brushing past Cordelia without so much as a glance her way. The younger woman recoiled, curling in on herself like a flower wilting from the cold. Her sister grabbed her things, shutting the door with enough force to shake the pictures on the walls. Hugging herself, Delia fought the tears that pricked at the corners of her eyes, moving back to the couch, suddenly very much alone.

Hours passed. Unable to sleep, Delia paced the floor of the apartment, anxious in her solitude. It wasn’t like Yana to stay out all night. Texting her, Cordelia began to methodically chew her bottom lip as she waited for a reply that never came.

By morning she was a mess of stiff limbs and tangled hair atop her sister’s bed. Curled around a pillow, she slept restlessly, having drifted off waiting for her sister to come back home.

Full moon's, from her personal experience, tended to have a polarizing effect where Were was concerned. Some people approached the monthly right as if it were a phantom looming at every turn, some unavoidable ill that came knocking and they succumbed to time and time again. Those people were typically new in her experience, naive and overly dramatic, juvenile and primitive all at once in their understanding of the gift that they had been so luckily presented with.

Needless to say, she was of the other camp - being Were was being drafted into something truly special. It was the closest thing to a goddamn Hogwarts acceptance letter that anyone could hope to receive. With that in mind, she made a point to enjoy her shifts, as much as was possible. Typically traveling out to North Glenn or occasionally the outskirts of Red Rock. A fast and graceful predator that roamed freely and was not afraid to embrace beast with open arms.

With that in mind, by the time that the sun was eking it's way up higher into the sky, the woman looked like she had just survived a natural disaster of sorts. At odds with the everyday suit of armor that was tailored business attire and fine perfume, smelling of sweat and dirt and pine. Clothing dirty and grass stained from where she had abandoned them during her shift, damp with rain - her shirt inside out still from the rush she had made to arrive back at the apartment before Cordelia awoke.

Dirt under her nails and along her forearms and streaking her cheek, tousled hair as she made a quiet show of slipping out of her sneakers and setting down her keys just inside the apartment. Startled when she was not immediately greeted with the sight of Cordelia curled up on the couch, but not outright irate, at least until she got further into the apartment and turned into her bedroom. Sneering at the sight of her sister curled up in her bed - things touching things without her permission.

A part of her recognized that the wise thing to do would be to shower and change before confronting Cordelia. Still riding a feral wave however, she dropped her sneakers with a clatter on the hardwood and lifted her chin high. "What the fuck are you doing in my room?"

Delia jolted awake. Hair a mess, vision fuzzy, she blinked at the figure looming before her. Furrowing her brow, she rubbed at her eyes, the image making her think she was still in a dream. Yana glared down at her, face severe, looking like she’d been dragged through the woods by her ankle. Concern immediately replaced any fear or guilt the younger woman felt having been caught invading her sister’s personal space.

Yana, a-are you a-alright?” Getting up, she stepped closer to her, arm outstretched. “W-what happened t-to you?” Her mood didn’t appear to have improved, but Delia stayed, ready to brave the storm of her sister’s wrath to get to the bottom of where she’d been all night.

Cordelia loomed closer and Yana inched back - less out of any fear or hesitation in the face of altercation and more so to avoid the risk of physical contact. Yes, definitely should have waited to confront her - but the thought was too little too late as she dreamed of a scalding shower and the comfort of her bed. A bed that was now disarray thanks for the younger Novik and her seemingly endless nosing around and pining.

"Alright. I'm tired and I don't feel like having to argue with you and your incessant attempts to trail at my feet, Cordelia." Pinching at the bridge of her nose and breathing in deeply before she reopened her eyes to stare down her sister. "Get out of my room."

That wasn’t an answer. Though Yana was frequently harsh, she very rarely lied straight to her face. Cordelia’s frown deepened. What was her sister trying to hide? A raucous one night stand? That didn’t exactly seem like Yana’s style, but seeing this mess in front of her was an image Delia never imagined she’d be faced with either. Anything was possible, she supposed.

Despite the warning bells that went off in the back of her mind, Cordelia stayed where she was, a mark of defiance on its own. “I was so w-w-worried about you. Y-you were out all n-night and w-weren’t picking up your phone. N-nolan and I-isolde where gone t-t-too. W-were you w-w-with them?”

At her heart of hearts, Yana knew for a fact that Cordelia was not stupid, knew it as well as she knew how to breathe. But in moments such as these, where Cordelia prattled on and loomed overhead like someone's lonely grandmother she began to wonder if perhaps she had taken more than her fair share of the good genetics.

It was with a deep breath that she moved then, taking a firm grip on her sisters up arm and tugging her a bit closer as she dipped her head and lowered her voice. "We all met up for drinks and then ended up naked in the woods together talking about your catastrophic resume failures, Cordelia." The sarcasm was abundant, regardless the words were meant to be enough to shut down this surprisingly invasive line of questioning that Cordelia Novik had set her mind to.

It was then that Yana began to pull her, forcibly removing her from her bedroom and grabbing the handle of the door with her free hand just as she shoved her into the hall with ease. "Leave me alone Cordelia. My room. My bed. My apartment. None of your business." Terse as she slammed the door then and locked it immediately.

Truthfully it was the elephant in the room, the fact that there was a countdown on how long she might be able to live with Cordelia before her sister's suspicion became too much. Deciding for the time being to not worry about it as she trailed her clothes behind her on the way to the attached bathroom and ran the water to as hot as she could stand it.

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