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Fanfic: Waking from a Nightmare

Chapter 1: The beginning of the end

"You stupid bitch," Lloyd's harsh voice slurred as he zipped up his pants and looked at Micki. She was naked, curled up on the bed covered only by a thin sheet.

"The next time I say that I want to fuck you, I hope you are more willing. You're better when you're not fighting me."

He turned away from Micki and walked out of the room, leaving her curled up on the bed sobbing and sore from Lloyd's recent attack.

The smell of alcohol still permeated the room from when Lloyd had thrown the bottle against the wall in a fit of rage.

He had come home early and had caught Micki wrapping a present. Christmas was months away yet, but she wanted to get Ryan's present wrapped up so that it could be shipped out with Jack's in plenty of time for the holidays. Plus, Ryan's gift had been found quite by chance, so when Micki had it, she figured she may as well wrap it up and keep it in good shape.

She had gotten him another copy of Green Lantern #3 and was sure that he would love it, since he had to trade his only copy a few years back.

She wished desperately to spend Christmas at the shop the way she used to, but Lloyd had convinced her that Christmas was best spent with their families.

Micki had a horrible relationship with her stuck-up, verbally abusive parents, but Lloyd liked them and insisted that they at least stop in to say hello on Christmas.

When he had come in and found her wrapping a gift that could only be for Ryan, he went ballistic, accusing her of being whore and having an affair with Ryan.

Now, more than ever, Micki wanted nothing more than to be back in her old bed at the shop.

Lloyd had been drinking again, and he was an angry drunk.

Micki lay sobbing, the pillow beneath her head wet with tears. A scenario that had replayed itself several times in the past few months.

She felt so far removed from the strange but cheerful life she had led at the shop for so many years.

When she and Lloyd had gotten back together, it had come as a shock to everyone, even her. Ryan hadn't been at all happy about it (which was no great surprise to Micki), and Jack had cautioned her about moving too quickly with him.

But, as time passed, she and Lloyd had started dating and it wasn't long before he had asked her to marry him.

The first few months went surprisingly well. She had kept working at the shop during the day and went to home to Lloyd after closing up the shop.

Her relationship with Ryan after the wedding had been slightly strained, particularly since he had never really liked Lloyd. But as time passed she and Ryan finally started to resume the usual, playful relationship they had once shared.

Things were going very well, and Micki was thrilled that she had been able to balance the two lives that had once stood opposite of one another.

That's when things started to change. One night, Lloyd came home and said that the firm offered him a transfer, which he had accepted on the spot.

She protested as gently as possible, asking why he had not thought to ask her about it, but Lloyd was too busy gushing about his place in the firm.

"You're my wife, so where I go, you go," he had stated bluntly, unconcerned about Micki's life at the shop or her happiness.

When she had told Ryan and Jack, they looked upset by the news. Ryan looked devastated, telling her how much they needed her there. It was a terrible time.

And now, here she was, hundreds of miles away from her old life. A life she wished, more than anything, she had back.

Shortly after moving, she wrote and phoned all the time, asking how things were at the shop. She missed them; especially Ryan.

A few times since their move, Micki had awoken in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, terrified from the recurring nightmare of the cursed coin of Ziocles.

Back at the shop, she remembered how Ryan used to rush in and hold her. Tell her that everything was all right. He always knew when something was wrong, and he always knew how to soothe her back to sleep.

Not like Lloyd, who had told her to "keep it down" since he had to be up early the next morning.

Micki stood, and moved unsteadily to the bathroom to survey the stinging bruise that was quickly darkening across her cheek. She hoped she could cover this one with foundation.


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