"Stop wriggling and keep your eyes shut!"
Liv's giggles erupted to fill the little clinic, her eyes squeezing more tightly closed at her sister's insistence. She had no idea what she was doing here; all Lucy had told her was that it was all for their birthday - upcoming on Tuesday, May 1st - and that she'd really appreciate it when it was all over. What 'it' had turned out to be was lying on her back in what seemed to be a holistic healing centre while a male elven sort gently massaged her temples and chuckled at the banter between the sisters.
"All right, all right, I'm keeping my eyes shut," she conceded finally, forcing herself to relax. "It's not like I'm going to be able to see anything if I open them, anyway -"
"Liv. Behave yourself, or you'll spoil the surprise."
Lucy grinned to herself, unseen by her sister. As soon as she'd gotten her head around just what was possible here in Rhy'Din, she'd been planning this little trip, and she knew her sister well enough to appreciate that Liv would have a minor fit if she knew in advance what was being planned. Hence the birthday surprise. Liv might hate celebrating the turn of every year, but Lucy's little plans and schemes this year might change her mind.
Hopefully, Johnny had taken the hint she'd laid on with a trowel and actually gone to Shining Star Glassworks to find that precious little frog she'd pointed him toward. Even if he hadn't, Lucy was hoping that Liv might actually be too bowled over by this present to mind the loss too much. How did you explain to your ex-boyfriend, your twin's current boyfriend, how very important one tiny little glass figurine was?
"Oh, by the way ..." Lucy looked up as Liv spoke, watching as her sister's hand unclenched from the edge of the treatment bed and waved toward her bag. "I brought your present with me. I didn't think you'd want to put up with me moping on Tuesday."
"Don't you want to watch me open it?" Lucy asked, but she was already rummaging through her twin's satchel, only too excited to open a present. Liv's birthday presents were always something special, which meant anything bought here in Rhy'Din was going to be doubly so.
"Oh, no." Liv laughed again, apologising when the elven man leaning over her gently set her head straight on the pillow once again. "I can imagine. Besides, it'll be good for you to restrain yourself."
"Restrain myself?" Lucy's eyes narrowed with eager suspicion as she withdrew from the bag a plain envelope, signed with her own name. "Hmm ... something small then. Maybe an I.O.U. ..."
"Just open it, you'll never guess what it is."
Liv sounded entirely too gleeful as she spoke, evidently filled with confidence about her gift decision this year. She didn't know quite what the point of her massage was, unless Johnny and Lucy had been comparing notes about her inability to relax, but it was enjoyable. The room was scented with cinnamon, one of her favourite smells, and the fingers that moved gently over her skin were soft and firm.
She had thought that perhaps he was doing something else to begin with, but the ache behind her eyes had receded soon enough, and she put it down to a headache of sorts, turning her attention to listening to what her sister was up to. She heard the envelope open, heard the familiar snort of laughter at the sight of the birthday card, and then ...
"Oh, my f*cking god!"
Liv burst out laughing as Lucy exclaimed in shocked amazement, staring at the tickets in her hand. She couldn't believe what she was looking at, her gaze dancing between the tickets trembling in her fingers and her sister giggling away to herself with her eyes still firmly shut.
"This is ... how the hell ... just ... how?" she demanded finally, lunging toward the bed to thump down beside Liv, wrapping her fingers tightly around those of her sister. "The Clash ... February 1980 ... I'm going to see The Clash the year after London Calling? How the hell did you do that?"
Liv's grin was wide and wicked as she pictured her sister's gobsmacked face, linking her finger's with Lucy's fondly. "Easy," she beamed cheerfully. "I asked Lelah to pull a few strings for me and then went looking for the right portal to get you to Hanley on the right night. The world is your oyster when you have a studio executive for a friend and employer, you know."
"Oh, har, har," Lucy rolled her eyes, utterly amazed and exhilarated by her sister's gift. Suddenly her present didn't seem half so good, in her eyes. "I owe you a seriously massive meal tonight. Something wildly expensive that'll make you so horny Johnny won't get any sleep for at least three days."
As Liv's face turned crimson with that familiar embarrassed blush, the healer caught Lucy's eye, nodding with a smile. He was done, and unsurprisingly, was rather eager to see the reaction of the shyer twin to her own birthday surprise. He hadn't been aware that this was all for such an occasion, but the company of the Broderick twins for a few hours was entertainment enough in itself. He'd actually found himself genuinely pleased to have been involved.
Lucy's grin widened in delight, her precious tickets carefully stowed back in her birthday card, inside its envelope, before she tugged on her sister's hand. "Right, you, up you get," she told Liv firmly. "Eyes still closed."
"Oh, is it over already?" Liv was a little disappointed, actually. She'd been enjoying the relaxing little interlude. Drawn up onto her feet by her elder twin, she staggered a little, fighting the urge to open her eyes, and let Lucy gently manoeuvre her from the bed.
Coming to stand behind her sister, Lucy drew Liv to a halt in front of a full length mirror, deceptively placed so as to seem closer than it actually was. She squeezed Liv's shoulders gently. "All right. Open your eyes."
The softer pair of Broderick browns opened slowly, blinking for a moment as Liv focused her gaze on the reflection of herself and her sister right in front of her. She stared for a long moment, not entirely sure what it was she was supposed to be seeing - after all, she was only short-sighted, and obviously the mirror was close enough to let her see in focus without her glasses.
"What am I looking at, exactly?" she asked finally, meeting her grinning twin's gaze in their reflection. "Lucy?"
Reflected gleefully in the mirror, Lucy was swinging her sister's glasses back and forth on one finger, showing a worrying lack of respect for the only thing that kept Olivia from being as blind as a bat. Before Liv could object, however, Lucy had snapped the plastic frame in half, popping the glass lenses out to crack against the hardwood floor.
"What the hell are you doing?" Liv gasped, her expression suddenly stricken as she stared at her sister's reflection. "Lucy, I need those -"
"No, you don't." Keeping her sister from turning to glare at her, Lucy took Liv's hands. "You can focus to what, about two feet in front of you? How far away do you think the mirror is?"
Liv rolled her eyes, scowling at Lucy in their reflection. "Well, obviously it's less than two feet away, isn't it?" she said in exasperation, rolling her eyes when her twin's grin just got bigger.
"Guess again, Livvie."
At a nod, the elven healer changed the timbre of the light in the room, and suddenly the forced perspective that deceived Liv's eyes was lifted. The mirror was not as close as she had thought; it was, in fact, on the other side of the room, a good six feet away from her. And every detail was in perfect focus.
Lucy watched as Liv's jaw dropped very slowly, enjoying the look on her little sister's face as the full import of what had been done sank in. Not a massage, not even a temporary fix ... "Welcome to 20/20 vision, Olivia."
"Oh my goodness ..." Liv's hand reached toward the glass of the mirror, utterly failing to make contact even at the longest stretch of her hand. She turned her head to look at Lucy in shocked wonder. "How did you ...?"
"Easy." Lucy chuckled as she turned her sister's words around on her. "When you have all kinds of doctors for friends and colleagues, the world is your oyster."
There was a long moment of perfect stillness, as Liv examined her sister's face for the first time in years without the benefit or limitation of lenses in front of her eyes. Then, with a loud squeal of delight, she flung her arms around Lucy's neck, hugging her tightly as she danced around. Whatever else it might be, this was definitely going to be a birthday to remember.