|Between the Dream and Letting Go
Author: Annwyd PM
Fighting back tears one morning as she works to rebuild Celestial Being, Feldt dreams and remembers.Rated: Fiction K - English - Feldt & Lockon - Words: 965 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Published: 08-05-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5279835
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Feldt had made a promise to herself that was inside her head a promise to those who had gone ahead to where her letters likely wouldn't reach them for some time: she would not cry anymore. She was done being able to do nothing but weep when she lost. Instead she would smile, and she would do her part to protect who and what she had left.
Once she had made that resolve, it wasn't so hard to keep to it most of the time--at least when she was awake. Sometimes, while she slept, her mind and body betrayed her promise, and she'd wake with tears in her eyes. When she drifted in the place between sleep and waking, she never remembered that she wasn't supposed to cry. She had to wake fully for that to happen.
It was the same way this time: she was awake enough to know why she was crying, but not awake enough to stop it. The slowly rising light of artificial morning made a golden haze through her tears. But something was different: this time, she was sure someone was almost there with her.
It was definitely almost. The half-logic of this half-dream state saw no problem with that. He sat at her side and stroked her hair with faint and unreal hands in faint and unreal gloves, and Feldt calmly accepted who it was. "Lockon," she murmured, and the tears thickened around her eyelashes.
"Things have been tough for you lately," he said. "It'll get better."
He was speaking of her future, but she thought of the past instead.
The Meisters would not launch for another hour, and Lockon was not on the beach as he had often been before. Instead Feldt found him farther into the interior of the island, standing at the edge of a shallow stretch of pond. She hugged Haro close and watched from behind a tree, still remembering the way his hand had rested on her head, wondering what she would say to him if he saw her here.
He turned after a little while, and then he caught sight of her. She was a little nervous, but somehow it was better than if he hadn't noticed her at all. Sure enough, he gestured for her to come over. "Hey, Feldt," he said as she approached. "What's up?"
When she'd first begun working on the Ptolemaios, he had been the one to teach her that this expression had nothing to do with the current orientation of gravity. But that had been a long time ago now, and Feldt was intelligent enough that she had managed to learn most other common idioms by doing her own research. Christina had helped with the rest. Feldt could converse with most people fairly well now.
"Haro has identified all the flowers on this island," she said, holding Haro out as she mentioned him. "He's also found more flat stones than normal."
Lockon took Haro, but instead of holding onto him, he set him down on the ground for now. "Then there's only one thing to do! Did you save any of them?"
Bewildered but trusting, Feldt nodded. She took out a handful of small stones from a pocket and carefully poured them into Lockon's outstretched hand.
He settled all but one of the stones in a neat pile on the ground, then turned so that he could keep an eye on her while still watching the pond as well. "Watch this," he said. With a precise flick of one hand, he sent the one stone he'd held onto flying out across the pond. It arced down into the water, then, impossibly, arced back up, as if it were bouncing. It did this once more before finally sinking into the shallow waters.
Feldt watched, wide-eyed but not too shaken. It seemed impossible for gravity to bend so carelessly here on the surface of the earth. But if anyone could defy gravity with just a twist of their wrist, it would surely be Lockon.
"I'll show you how," he said, "if you just watch closely. I bet you can get one of these to skip as many as four times." She must have looked skeptical, because he laughed. "It's true! I can do that much on my best tries."
"I know," Feldt said quietly.
He paused. "Hmm?"
She tried to explain. "You wouldn't ask me to do something you couldn't do. You're fair as well as kind."
"Hey, hey, you shouldn't get too carried away there," he said. "Just watch this one more time, and then you can try yourself."
There were still tears in her eyes. He tried to brush them away with his fingers, but his hand wasn't real or solid enough. The tears remained. "I'm sorry, Feldt," he said.
"Don't apologize," she whispered. His touch wasn't real, but it still made her feel safer than anything else did.
"Even though I wasn't very fair to you?" His voice was too sad, too apologetic. She didn't want him to feel like he had to sound that way to her.
"You were always fair."
"Hey, Feldt." She could hear his smile in his voice, but she couldn't hear what kind of smile it was. She hoped it was a happy one, a proud one. That would be much better than him being sad about her. "You'll still live on, right?"
"I will live on," she murmured. Then she finally finished waking up, and she opened her eyes enough to blink away the tears. The room was empty except for her. "The rest of us will all live on."