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On Love and Aerodynamics
Sat Dec 9, 2006 14:46 (XFF:

She frowned at the introduction of this new concept: the idea of Soradrelle lusting after anyone made her stomach clench in hard knots. How could he? Worse, she was rather sure it was her sometime nemesis, Tira, and that just made her even angrier. The scarred-cheek blonde with the shorn hair looked like a man, now, but had that stopped Soradrelle from – no, she wasn’t going to think about that. Unclenching small fists, surreptitiously checking the meat of her palms for the blood-filled halfmoons her nails left behind, Mia forced a smile and angled desperately for a response. This had all seemed so much easier when the first few words had tumbled out of her mouth. Now, fear had churned her guts to an acid bath, and she was worried that she would mis-step, drop her hand of cards before the game was won.

Why had she asked that question today? She had not meant to let anything that led her down this avenue slip by the portcullis of her lips, but no sooner had she decided that than oops – she had begun. Scrabbling at the sides of her banded white gown, Mia sought for the pockets that her Novice whites had had, and came up empty. Eighteen months as an Accepted had not broken all the habits of four years, but they came close. Sora was blushing, now, a pink stain high on his cheeks, but she pretended it was not there. Perhaps he was busy thinking of loves lost and past, or of Tira, or…what had those other girls’ names been? She couldn’t recall, but she just knew it was going to keep her up late tonight.

His bright eyes inquired why as he finally turned back to meet her gaze, and it was her turn to look down, look away, look at anything but him. If pink crept up her cheeks, she thought she hid it admirably: he didn’t grin in acknowledgment or reach for her forehead, to feel it for some phantom fever. For the first time in years, she felt his frame stiffen as she laced her arm through his: had he guessed? So soon? Panic’s small wings beat ineffectually at her heart, and she stole a glimpse of his face. Her heartbeat raced along under the rounded collar of her gown, and she cast quick glances in both directions as she tugged him out of the wooded corner of the Gardens. She had no idea why she didn’t want to be spied, standing in the Gardens with Sora today, but her primary urge was to find some secret, sacred little hole and hide in it until she had all the answers.

Hide. Secret. Yes, she could do that: tugging on Sora’s arm, she led him, silently and quickly, toward the Garden’s rear coping, a wide wall that was topped with spikes but covered with rambling, thick ivy, leafy growth that showed signs of having been climbed a hundred times or more. It wasn’t escape she wanted now – Mietatte would be happy to never leave the Tower’s walls again – but quiet, and privacy. She stood briefly on her toes, but saw no heads amongst the green leaves: they were as alone as they could be, here in the Tower. She had grown used to the prying eyes and wagging tongues over time, but she was almost certain that anyone who appeared now would walk away wearing the imprint of her Great Serpent ring on their cheek, if not the mark of her dainty slipper on their white-clad bottom.

“I want to know,” she signed, her mouth defiantly still, her fingers flashing between words, “what being in love feels like.” She thought she knew – oh Light, she was sure she knew – but it couldn’t help to hear it from him. In response, he seized the book from atop her hip, and opened it to a diagram explaining the principles of lift. She blinked at it in incomprehension for a moment, and then glanced up at him, her brows knitted on her smooth white forehead. What was he trying to say here, that something bore up the heart and minimized the distance between two people? She grinned down at the diagram: his fingers interrupted her thoughts.

“It’s confusing,” he signed, “like this diagram!” She only shook her head, examining the picture as if it could steal the color from her cheeks. A part of her wanted to explain the diagram, but she had tried before: Sora had no interest in the mechanics of wings. She did, though: she wanted to know how birds flew, and where the sun set, and what a star was made of. Turning the page, she found him a simpler diagram, but his body language remained tense: how much less subtle did she have to be? If he made her ask – if he made the words “kiss me because I love you” – leave her lips, then she didn’t know what she’d do. In her daydreams, she had only had to ask once to have him see her as someone new. Mia sighed: why couldn’t life be the way she wanted it?

“What does,” she signed, then paused, and only regained control of her fingers before they rushed onward to shame her. He cast a pointed glance in her direction, his fingers making an automatic drawing gesture – a motion that meant that she should continue her thought. “What does,” she signed again, that traitorous pink creeping back up her face from below her collar, “what does it feel like to have someone who loves you kiss you?” There, it was out: if he could infer the emotions running under the question, the horrible tension, the deep and angst-ridden fear, the longing from so many years, he had to do so from the clinical and precise movements of her hands. Had she said too much?

Could she continue?

  • And Hard QuestionsAccepted Soradrelle, Sat Dec 9 14:44
    Soradrelle lounged comfortably with his back against the tree Mietatte was perched in. Climbing trees was very well and good, but it was difficult to study in them - something Mietatte seemed slow to ... more
    • On Love and Aerodynamics — Accepted Mietatte, Sat Dec 9 14:46
      • Back to the BasicsAccepted Soradrelle, Sat Dec 9 14:50
        They walked for a few moments, Soradrelle uncomfortable, until he finally schooled himself to stillness. He was Accepted. He was an heir of the Da'shain. He was not the confused Tinker-Novice who had ... more
        • Spreading WingsAccepted Mietatte, Sat Dec 9 14:52
          The one composed of two. She fastened on that, a small and dreamy smile touching her lips. Yes, that was an apt description of the way she wanted to feel: she wanted to feel as though she belonged.... more
          • Taking FlightAccepted Soradrelle, Sat Dec 9 15:02
            Soradrelle fled from Mietatte’s bush as if the Dark One himself were after him. Perhaps he was - Soradrelle had resisted the temptation presented to him in the form of his friend and student,... more
            • We'll Fly AwayAccepted Mietatte, Tue Dec 12 15:55
              Regression: it was what it was called when the world crashed on your head and you retreated to the first safe place you could think of. In Mietatte’s case, it was underneath her bed. She guessed she... more
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