Before the events of Humpdays.
Aria woke up and got out of bed, stretching and yawning. She walked over to the vanity and started brushing her snow white hair. She smiled at her reflection in the mirror.
There was a time when looking at her own reflection made her want to retch in disgust or throw something at the face staring back. There was she couldn't even walk into a town and not feel alienated by someone.
But now? The past was the past, her pain all but gone. There will always be people who hate her, she knew, and some would stare at her with a mixture of fear and contempt, like she was some wild animal, but they only saw what lay on the surface. They only care about what was, not what is. It made Aria kinda sorry for them.
She finished brushing her hair and laid the brush down on the vanity's counter. One of her hair strands was causing a fuss again, dangling apart from the others, but she didn't mind. She thought it just looked cuter that way.
Aria giggled at the thought. "Since when did I start caring about how I looked to others?"
Aria stood up and started to get dressed. She didn't have much in the way of clothing, preferring instead to spend her money on more practical items... or sweets, depending on her mood, but she was sorta proud of her simple leather combat vest and purple pants. She never wore shoes, and for a reason, though she'd never tell. She finished the ensemble with a blood red scarf, looked at herself in the mirror again and smiled. "And perfect. All that's left is to check the date to see if I have anything important to do today."
She looked at the calendar...
... and Aria's heart, which the moment before was a flutter with her usual bubbly cheer, dropped to the pit of her stomach.
It was that day.
The anniversary of the day she murdered that child.
Aria shook her head and smiled, looking at her face in the vanity. "You're fine. Everything is fine. The past is the past. That was what you were not who you are. Alright, Aria? Now, go out there and show the world you aren't ashamed!"
She took in a deep breath and opened the door, stepping out of the room and walking into the kitchen, her nose luring her there with the smell of baked goods.
Sitting on one of the stools was David Blake, sometimes referred to as Concussion (when his bad side is in charge), or Serenity (when the good side is in command). When Serenity, they were a couple, and that's what they were today.
Aria noted to herself that times change a lot in the course of three hundred years... back then she never imagined she'd be dating someone.
David looked up at her and smiled. "Morning, sunshine. Hope you slept well."
Aria blushed a little, her emotions a little out of control at the moment. "Y-yes... I-I-I'm fine..."
She felt something roll down her cheek from her eye. Something warm and wet. David's face changed from a smile to one of concern. "Aria... you're crying."
"N-no I'm not... I am not crying... why on earth would I be crying?" Aria started making excuses, trying to hide her emotions. "I have a home, a family, a b-b-boyfriend..." The tears became harder and harder to hold back, more and more of them escaping from her welled up eyes.
"Aria, is something wrong?"
"N-n-nothing's wrong! My life is great! Just... great... Ohgodpleaseexcuseme..." Aria practically ran out of the kitchen, unable to hold back the tears in front of her boyfriend any longer. She went into her room and shut her door, then ran over to her bed and collapsed on top of it, sobbing silently into the sheets.
David watched as Aria ran from him, and asked himself why she would do that. Concussion, laughing in the back of his mind, finally spoke up. "Awwww, she's so adorable when she's crying..."
"Shut up, you."
"Come on, admit it. You think so too."
"I don't have to admit anything to you."
"That doesn't sound like a denial."
"I thought I said shut up."
David walked after her, and opened the door to her room. He expected her to yell at him to get out, but no such verbal assault came. Only the sounds of muffled sobbing.
He slowly walked up to her and sat next to her. He didn't read her mind, as that would seem like an invasion of privacy and would probably make the situation worse. He cleared his throat, then placed his hand on top of Aria's snow white head.
"You don't sound okay. You want to talk about it?"
"Well, then. How about you tell me what's wrong?" David smiled at her, even though she couldn't really see it since her face was still in the covers.
Aria pulled herself away from the covers, her face wet and red, a little dribble of snot coming out of her nose. Aria noticed this and ran over to a nearby tissue box, and wiped her face as clean as best she could. Once done, she walked back over to David and sat down next to him, a sad look she had worn many times in the past adorning her face.
"So... tell me what happened, Aria."
Aria inhaled sharply, as if to gather her courage. "Well, when I woke up everything was fine... I got myself ready for the day, brushed my hair, got dressed, and was about to set my schedule for the day when I noticed the date..."
David blinked, suddenly feeling like it was his fault. When women usually bring up dates on the calendar, it usually involved a birthday or an anniversary. Did he forget to celebrate her birthday? Was it the anniversary of the day they first met? His head started reeling. He bit his lip and finally asked.
"And what's so special about the date?"
"It's the anniversary of the day I murdered that little boy." Aria said, tears welling up in her eyes again.
David couldn't help but feel relieved it wasn't his fault, but those feelings quickly vanished when he saw just how badly this was eating Aria up inside. "Aria..."
"I promised myself that that was the past. That I could finally move on from that and live my life free of guilt." Aria's tears started rolling down her face again. "I said I put the past behind me... but here I am, crying my eyes out over it. God... I'm so pathetic."
"Now, Aria..." David placed his hand on top of Aria's head. "Calm down. You know what I think? I honestly think you aren't sad about that."
Aria blinked and stared at him. "Huh?"
"I think you're happy. Happy to be given a second chance. A chance to make things right. And besides... you've done a lot of good since you've come here to Angel Falls. You made lots of friends, all of whom look to you whenever they need your help... and you never disappoint them." He gave Aria a hug. "You are a wonderful girl, Aria. And you should never forget that."
Aria looked at David for a moment, and smiled. "Thanks."
"No problem. Now, how about you come out of your bedroom and have some cinnamon rolls?"
"OKAY!!" Aria's face lit up. David smiled. Aria was back to her bubbly cheerful self.
However, while he knew today's crisis had been averted... he felt something would need to be done. He wasn't sure what, but he knew.
All characters have been used with permission.
owns Aria Kahner.
owns David Blake/Serenity/Concussion
This story takes place in