This game is awesome. I've known this for over two years now. Why am I just writing fiction for it now?
Wrote this intending to dump my brain-goo on paper, and was surprised when it came out reasonably pretty-looking. Mostly. Also, I love Sasha. And Milla. And their entire stinkin' relationship. (also, am I the only one who wishes I had hair like Milla's?)
I don't own Psychonauts. Considering what I've written for other fandoms, I think this could be considered a good thing.
Agent Milla Vodello was many things, Agent Sasha Nein realized one night, years after the Whispering Rock incident.
Some of these were obvious to him, and to many others. For one thign, she was nice. The first day he met her, just finished with his training and newly recruited as a Psychonaut, this was what he noticed about her first (after, of course, he noticed the obnoxious pinks and oranges that made up her dress). She'd clapped her hands together, which made her bracelets jingle and chime, and exclaimed, "You must be Sasha Nein! Oh, I've heard so much about you, darling!"
To which he'd responded with a stiff "Have you, really?"
She'd ignored the tone of his voice (or perhaps she simply didn't notice it), and replied, "Oh, yes! And I must say, I'm so excited to work with you! I can't wait!"
Their first mission together had gone relatively well, as far as first missions go. He'd gotten a broken foot, and she'd gotten a horrible gash on her shoulder, but they'd caught their guy. By the end of the whole thing, he'd already established a few things about Milla. She wasn't subtle, if her fashion choices were anything to go by; she wasn't anything he'd expected her to be; and she was the first person to have ever called him 'darling,' in his life. She had his curiosity piqued, if only because he didn't know what else to think of her, at the time.
She was proud of her looks. Not that she was vain or pompous- she'd simply learned to love what she had. Milla had invited Sasha into her mind once. After he'd closed his eyes for a moment and stopped hyperventilating, he'd finally noticed her visage on an overhead TV screen. When he asked her what the meaning of this was, she answered, "I'm simply doing what I always should have! How could hair this fabulous not be on TV?"
Though Sasha would never have admitted it in so many words, he couldn't help but agree with her.
Milla was beautiful. All jest aside, Milla and Sasha were certainly not the only people to notice this. Sasha, specifically, was not the only one who noticed her smooth gait, or the way her hips swung as she practiced it. He was not the only one to notice the way her hair swayed as she danced, or the way her full lips were always in a smile, or the way her green eyes sparkled. Sasha also noticed how she often drew many a male eye, and how she harmlessly returned flirtations that had not-so-harmlessly been thrown her way. What made him almost lose control to anger was not just those stares or the flirtations, but that he was angry about them at all.
Milla was vulnerable. Intelligent and strong, yes, but just as vulnerable as the rest of them. In the beginning, she wasn't a full-time Psychonaut, because when she wasn't saving the world with Sasha, she worked as a nurse in an orphanage. Oftentimes, she returned to Headquarters with pictures and stories about how Suzy lost her first tooth or about how Little Joe had read out loud or some such thing. Sasha had to wonder if she didn't think of them as her own.
Then the orphanage burned down. Milla returned with groceries just in time to see the big, comfortable building engulfed in flames, and finally collapse into a heap of fiery debris. The Psychonauts, including Sasha and Ford at the time, came to her the day after. After the firemen and ambulances and policemen came too late. After they managed to drag Milla away from the debris and treat the burns on her hands.
That was the first time Sasha had ever seen her without a smile on her face, and the first time he'd ever seen her cry. Milla didn't seem to stop crying, either- not for the next few days as funerals were held and intense therapy was undertaken. It was around seven months before she could go on another mission, and throughout this time, Sasha felt compelled to be beside her as often as he could. He told himself that she was his partner who had been with him for years now through good and bad times, that a new partner would take too much getting used to for him to be of any service, that she was his friend and confidante.
Any one of them had to fit- there couldn't be another reason behind it, because things would get far too complicated, and they already were. He found that he had to stop thinking about it.
Milla didn't frown or cry much now, years later- she still wore her bright colors and dangly earrings and her dazzling smile. Still, Sasha knew the pain was still there. The pain of losing someone was one that never left, just like he knew the scars her gloves concealed wouldn't. Knowing that she's vulnerable to be affected by them, but still strong enough to live with them, awakened a whole new level of respect that no one else had earned from hijm.
Milla was empathetic. Not to say that she was an actual psychic empath, but she was very capable of putting herself in peoples' situations, and of understanding what they were going though. Shortly before the deaths of her many children, he allowed her into his mind. Normally she didn't mind grays and blacks, but he felt her astral projection reel a bit in his mind before she found the memory vaults. He'd expected her to gush over and smother him, but she didn't. She simply left his mind, looked up at him with large eyes, and hugged him. Though he'd felt uncomfortable letting anyone see those vaults, her hug made him feel better, and he didn't know why.
Milla was different from anyone else Sasha had ever met in his life. She wore bangles that got in the way but still looked good, high-heeled boots, and dresses that looked like horrible accidents that might have occurred in the old Tiffany Lamp factory he used to work in. She loved to party, loved to dance, and seemed like the sort of woman one might only see once in his life. Yet, she was serious about her work, and serious about her relationships- once Milla was in someone's life, she was there to stay, whether anyone liked it or not. She was all sorts of things that shouldn't have been mentioned in the same sentence, and mixed them all beautifully. She was everything good about life in the shape of a beautiful woman.
Still, there was one thing she was not, and it bothered Sasha to no end. So, one sleepless night, a morning of restless pacing, one pack of cigarettes, one trip to the jeweler, one candlelit dinner and one teary kiss later, he did what many will say he should have done a long time ago. And so, after so long and so many rocky areas in their lives, Agent Milla Vodello was finally his fiancée.
Did any of you want to vomit after reading that? I did- the rot in my teeth was particularly putrid. My sister seemed to love it, though- she actually squee'd at the end of it, and my sister is not the squeeing type.
Reviews of all sorts are encouraged, whether they be sung praises, constructive criticism, or scalding flames. Thanks for your time!