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Gravity

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Priestly CM, Aranovitz KL, Nawaz-Majad R, Mooreland AK. Activity of JeRT kinesin on regulation of neuronal microtubules. Exp Cell. 2017 Oct 2;158(3):948-53.

 

I didn’t do it on my own. No one does, in academia, I’m learning. It took a whole slew of people, not least of whom was Andy. And months of revisions, and countless hours in front of the computer, and sleepless nights. It was a busy year. Many more to follow, I'm told. 

 

She’s in Paris when the journal comes in the mail. She’s been sending me texts from the shows, surreptitious snaps she’s taken with her phone. Valentino, whom Mom loves. Miu Miu, which she hates. Or used to. I don’t really know any more, with my mother. She’s full of surprises these days.

 

I send her a photo back: the article. Print too small to read. She FaceTimes me less than five minutes later from the women’s room, eyes bugged out and grinning, doing that whisper-shriek thing she does when she gets excited. 

 

“Mom’s gonna be pissed if you miss it,” I tell her.

 

She laughs. “Those days are over, Cass.” She’d skipped two days of shows for the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, a long ramble down the Champs-Elysees. 

 

“You’re having fun.” It’s not a question.

 

Her eyes are shining. “Yeah,” she says. “But I’m sorry I’m not there to celebrate. I’m proud of you.”

 

I shrug. “When you get back,” I say. 

 

“How’s Caroline?” She’d gotten an early flu and had to stay back, this year. 

 

“Sick. Grumpy.” I want to tell her what I’ve found in my mother’s house. It was stashed in a desk drawer behind her personalized stationery. I swear I wasn’t snooping—I was looking for the spare key to Caroline’s apartment. 

 

A little black velvet box. Gold trim. Of fucking course I opened it. 

 

It isn’t one of Mom’s old ones. I know all of those. She’s got them stashed in her armoire, three enormous diamonds with yellow gold bands that she never wears. No, this one is smaller. A princess cut, or something like it, with a halo of tinier diamonds around it. No ornamentation on the platinum band. Andy likes sparkle, not extravagance. I was so shocked I almost dropped it. 

 

I wonder how long it’s been back there, tucked away, waiting. I wonder when she’ll ask. If she’ll ask. She’s always been weird about Andy. 

 

I think she will, though.

 

I don’t tell her, of course. That would mean a fate worse than death, knowing my mom. Although she does sort of owe me for the Cell thing.

 

“I should go.” There’s a noise from somewhere offscreen, and maybe someone else has entered the bathroom. The screen goes dark for a second: bad connection.

 

“Okay, okay,” I say. She’s going to hang up, but I’m jubilant about the article. I’m excited about the ring, too, okay? And I want to say something. “ Andy.”

 

Andy blinks back to the screen. “Yeah.”

 

“She’s stupid about stuff sometimes,” I say.

 

“What?” Her brow furrows in confusion.

 

“She didn’t tell us she loved us until we were, like, eight,” I say, feeling my heart pounding a little in my chest. If my mother knew I was saying this, she’d kill me.

 

Andy’s cheeks turn pink. “Okay,” she says.

 

“I’m just saying, I hope you know,” I say. “She really does. Love you.” Now I’m blushing, too.

 

The grin on Andy’s face is so wide it threatens to split her face in half. “God, Cassidy. You’re so embarrassing. Shut up.”

 

“You shut up,” I say, feeling like a twelve-year-old again. Then: “But seriously. Don’t let her get away with it.”

 

Andy shakes her head, still grinning. “I won’t. Don’t worry.”

 

“Okay. I’m hanging up.”

 

“Bye, Cass,” she says. “See you when we get home.”



***

 

Gravity

Vienna Teng

 

Hey love,

Is that the name you're meant to have...

for me to call.

Look love,

they've given up believing,

they've turned aside our stories of the gentle fall

But don't you believe them.

Don't you drink their poison too.

These are the scars that words have carved

on me.

Hey love,

that's the name we've long held back

from the core of truth

So don't turn away now...

I am turning in revolution.

These are the scars that silence carved

on me.

This is the same place.

No, not the same place

This is the same place, love.

No, not the same place we've been before.

Hey love,

I am a constant satellite

of your blazing sun.

My love,

I obey your law of gravity.

This is the fate you've carved on me...

Your law of gravity...

This is the fate you've carved on me...

On me