The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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06.16.2012 , 07:57 PM |
Sorry for always writing about the same character...she's just fun to write. And this idea has been kicking around in my head for awhile! No spoilers, set toward the end of chapter 1 of the class story.
Ever since we left Taris I'd been encouraging Corso to find another job. So I don't know why I was so shaken when he told me he'd found one.
"Okay," I said. I was sitting on a chair on the bridge, my legs up on the console, reading. I couldn't look at him. "When are you leaving?"
"Whenever we can get there. It's at a ranch back on Ord Mantell."
"Sounds nice," I said. I sounded dispassionate, nonchalant. I stared hard at the words I'd been reading, though I wasn't really processing what I was seeing.
"You really want me to leave?" he asked me. "Be honest."
He sounded a little bit hurt, a little sad. It took all of my strength not to cry out that I didn't want him to leave, that I was horribly saddened by the thought of losing him.
This is the right thing to do,
I reminded myself. I couldn't keep him here, selfishly, just because I liked him. It was too dangerous. If I really cared about him, I'd encourage him to go somewhere safe. Even if it broke my heart.
"It would be best if you did," I said. I tried to make my voice sound light, but I knew he thought I wanted him to leave because I wasn't interested in him. It made my whole body ache to know I'd made him think that. But I felt less guilty about that than I did about constantly putting him in harm's way.
He left me alone, staring out the window, unable to even cry.
On the last day before we arrived on Ord Mantell, I shut myself in my room. I thought about taking sleeping pills and just sleeping until I felt better. Mostly I just lay on my bed and stared at the ceiling, hoping I had the strength to go through with this.
Someone knocked on my door. I opened it and saw Risha standing in the hall.
"Hey," she said. "You wanna talk?"
I shrugged. Maybe it would help. I let her into my room and shut the door again. We sat on my bed like schoolgirls, though much more subdued.
"What happened? Did you guys break up?" Risha had a nice, soothing voice. I liked her.
"What, me and Corso?" I shook my head. "We were never even together."
"Really?" She looked surprised. "Guess we still don't know each other that well. But you like him, right?"
I nodded. "Yeah, because I'm an idiot." I flopped down on the bed. "It's so
. I'm not the kind of girl a guy like that wants."
"Why? Because you were a...ah..." Risha considered for a moment. "'Lady of the night', I guess?"
"That's a nice way to put it."
"It's not as big a deal as you think it is. I don't think he's not the type to judge that sort of thing." She looked at me, her eyes narrowed in thought. "But that's not really why you want him to leave."
I sighed. "I don't want him to leave. But it's the right thing to do. I can't keep him here, in danger, just because I'm attracted to him. It's wrong. It's better for him to be safe."
For a moment we were silent. "I understand," Risha said. "It must be killing you though."
I shrugged. "Whatever. I'll get over it."
"I wonder." Risha seemed to hesitate a little. "Do you think this was how your mom felt? Leaving you behind?"
I shot up. "I'm
like her. This is completely different."
But as soon as I said it, I realized I was wrong. I was
like my mother. She'd abandoned me because she thought that she was pursuing something bigger and more important than her bonds to other people. She was so sure that she was doing the right thing and that relationships with anybody else had no part in it. And now I was doing it. I was sending away the person I cared about the most, and I was doing it because I thought it was right.
I had to stop this. I had to stop myself from making the biggest mistake I ever would. I stood up, before I knew what I was doing, and walked into the hallway. Maybe it was already too late. But at least I wouldn't let it end this way, with him thinking I didn't care. I ran into the crew quarters, where he was packing, and stood breathless in the doorway.
"I don't want you to leave," I blurted out.
Corso looked up at me, surprised. "What?"
"You told me to be honest, so I am. I don't want you to leave." My heart was racing, and I knew I was going to keep talking. Sometimes when I got started, I couldn't stop.
"I thought I was doing the right thing," I continued. "I wanted you to be safe. I thought it was selfish of me to ask you to stay when being with me was so dangerous. Maybe that
the right thing to do. But I don't think I care anymore." I swallowed; my mouth was dry. "If you leave now, I'll regret it forever. Everywhere I go, I'll look for you. I'll never stop looking for you."
I paused, wondering if he was going to say something, but he was just looking at me. I knew he had been waiting to hear this from me, so I barreled on.
"If you don't want to be with me, then I understand. I know I'm not a respectable girl. I'm not the kind of girl you probably ever thought of being with. So if you want to leave, you can leave, and at least I told you how I feel." I took a deep breath, and somehow my heart pounded even faster. "But if you do want to be with me, then please don't go. Please stay with me."
For a moment, the only sound was the humming of the ship's engines.
I tried to think of something to say, to break the awkward tension in the room. All I could do was meet Corso's eyes for the first time in days. He stepped closer to me and touched my face, and for the first time he said my name: "Ayang..."
"Are you going to stay?" I whispered.
"Yeah. I'm going to stay."
We kissed, me grinning like an idiot. I threw my arms around him, and we held onto each other like we were both drowning. We stumbled into the hall toward my room, kissing with wild abandon. I opened my door and saw Risha still sitting on my bed.
"You better leave," I said.
She rolled her eyes. "Ugh, you two." She gave me a conspiratorial smile as she left my room.
I smiled back.
I didn't think I would ever stop smiling.
Ayang was basically like "OH LOOK AT HOW NOBLE AND SELFLESS I AM" for the first bit of the class story...she changed a lot because of her relationships with Corso and Risha, who's like a sister to her. By the end she feels like putting family before the greater good is the best thing to do.
I love this character, I can't quit writing her...sorry! D:
Latula // Elaeys // Raima // Jaea // Macara // Meulin // Damarra // Kanaaya
"We will snatch purpose from the jaws of futility...are you ready to wreak some havoc?"