roc_on: (m ~ méiyǒu)
Beila Guxiao ⁜ Chi ([personal profile] roc_on) wrote2015-08-10 06:25 pm

differences must be / reconciled, not only / reconcilable

Beila goes home. Chali's not going to be home until late. She gives Ranyi an abbreviated version of the official story. She writes. She goes to bed.

In the morning she sends Dao a message:

Are you mad at me?
thinklikethis: (⑥ guilty parts)

[personal profile] thinklikethis 2015-08-11 01:37 am (UTC)(link)
In midafternoon (not an astonishing amount of time for Dao to have taken to answer a message), he answers: Not exactly.
thinklikethis: (⑬ what shall we use)

[personal profile] thinklikethis 2015-08-11 01:42 am (UTC)(link)
Almost immediately: I don't know. It's complicated.

A few seconds after that: Mad at myself mostly.
thinklikethis: (⑧ to this wreck)

[personal profile] thinklikethis 2015-08-11 01:43 am (UTC)(link)
Not in the next minute or so.
thinklikethis: (⑫ you make me nervous)

[personal profile] thinklikethis 2015-08-11 01:44 am (UTC)(link)
Half a minute or so, and:

Even if it's not nice?
fiery_delights: (⑩ coming here to dream)

[personal profile] fiery_delights 2015-08-11 01:51 am (UTC)(link)
I'm probably in better condition to teach than I was yesterday. We can try it if you want.
fiery_delights: (⑧ lock me up)

[personal profile] fiery_delights 2015-08-11 01:53 am (UTC)(link)
Jun does, actually, look a lot better than he did last time they attempted a lesson.

Edited 2015-08-11 01:53 (UTC)
fiery_delights: (④ if you don't like it)

[personal profile] fiery_delights 2015-08-11 01:59 am (UTC)(link)
"I'm all right," he shrugs. "Not to say that I don't have some stuff to deal with now, but I can deal with it in my own time, it's not such an... active situation anymore. How about you, are you okay?"
fiery_delights: (⑦ whip's gonna crack)

[personal profile] fiery_delights 2015-08-11 02:03 am (UTC)(link)
He nods. "Well, I finally tracked down that mirror. How do you feel about working on wings?"
fiery_delights: (② never know what hit you)

[personal profile] fiery_delights 2015-08-11 02:04 am (UTC)(link)
He smiles, and gestures to the enormous mirror that now covers one wall of the practice room.
fiery_delights: (⑧ lock me up)

[personal profile] fiery_delights 2015-08-11 02:08 am (UTC)(link)
The mirror does a good job of showing her all the small asymmetries and imperfections. But yes, those are some recognizable flaming wings she's got there, if a little small and wobbly.

"Pretty good," says Jun. "Try it again."
fiery_delights: (③ i want it to roar)

[personal profile] fiery_delights 2015-08-11 02:11 am (UTC)(link)
Jun offers tips on how to improve her results. Progress is slow but, with the mirror, very noticeable.
fiery_delights: (⑤ let the show begin)

[personal profile] fiery_delights 2015-08-11 02:18 am (UTC)(link)
So pretty!

A few times during the lesson, Jun demonstrates the kind of wings it is possible to achieve - the broad graceful sweeps of flame he uses in his shows are one thing, and they're pretty enough, but when he puts in visible concentration and effort he can produce something with individual feathers.

"That one's not show-ready yet. Can't have people thinking these things take work."
fiery_delights: (⑦ whip's gonna crack)

[personal profile] fiery_delights 2015-08-11 02:25 am (UTC)(link)
"From plumage that beauteous? It'll be a while. If you keep practicing, though, something like this—" he makes a casual gesture and flares out a wing in the simpler silhouette style with a stylized feathery jaggedness along its lower edge, very sleek and birdlike "—shouldn't be too far beyond you."
thinklikethis: (⑭ these ain't my hands)

[personal profile] thinklikethis 2015-08-11 04:08 pm (UTC)(link)
The next day passes with no word from Dao, until the late evening, when Beila receives a long message from him.
Hi. So. You asked about the complicated feelings.

I'm not mad at you because I... sort of get why you made the decision you did, and it makes sense from where you were coming from.

If I'd helped him get out of town earlier none of this would've happened, and if I hadn't thought I could convince you he was okay I wouldn't have asked him to let you into his house, and if I'd been able to convince you he was okay then you wouldn't have told Jun to kill him, so that's at least three ways his death is my fault, which is why I'm mad at myself.

I get that you don't believe me or Jun about him, but if I hadn't already been sure about him before, I would be now. He could've fought you off and ran. He let Jun kill him because he didn't want to hurt anyone. That is not a still-a-serial-killer thing to do.

I hate this. I hate that I got him killed because I thought you'd believe me and then couldn't get you to. It's like I thought that just because I was right, it had to be obvious I was right, but that isn't how it works. And I hate that I can't talk to anybody about it. I mean I'm writing this but...

I knew him. Not for long, but better than I've known almost anybody else in my life. He was... I don't know if I think there's such a thing as a bad person, but if there is, he wasn't one. He was just somebody who made bad choices because he felt like there wasn't anything else he could do. If I had a much shittier life and never made any friends I could've been him. If he hadn't died or had to flee the city, I think we could've been best friends. And now he's dead, pretty much because of me. And I have to go to school and pretend nothing's wrong because there's no way I could handle it if I had to explain why I'm so wrecked all the time. At least I don't have any other friends at school so there's nobody to ask me if I'm okay.

And I can tell you how I'm feeling but I can't really... hang out with you and be sad about him. Like, even though I'm not mad at you and don't really blame you, you're still not the right person to go to with my sad feelings about my dead friend. Maybe I'll go cry on Jun; he seemed like he got it.

I probably won't want to hang out with you much until I can go, like, at least an hour without wanting to cry about Sora, which I really can't right now.
thinklikethis: (⑥ guilty parts)

[personal profile] thinklikethis 2015-08-11 04:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, I guess I don't completely agree with you.
thinklikethis: (⑬ what shall we use)

[personal profile] thinklikethis 2015-08-11 05:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't know which is worse, the part where he'd be alive if you'd trusted me more, or the part where he'd be alive if I'd trusted you less.

Two seconds later: I already regret saying that I'm sorry
thinklikethis: (⑮ all those horrible things)

[personal profile] thinklikethis 2015-08-11 05:33 pm (UTC)(link)

I love you too.