Originally written for 31_days on LJ. The theme was - March 29, the quiet moments while the city's still dark


She lived in a quiet yet infinitely complex world. She couldn't speak, much less scream, her thoughts and made due with expressing herself with a variety of expressions and gestures. The subtlest of motions revealed infinite expressions from joy to sadness for those clever enough to watch. Even though she could hear, she preferred to listen to the glint in the communicator's eyes or the sway of his hands for the full story. She didn't want her understanding of the message to be perverted by all those pretty words.

That was Chane's world. And since it was her world, Claire was willing to live in it to the best of his abilities. He watched her eyes to tell him her levels of satisfaction. The slant of her eyebrows spoke of either humor or rage depending on their angles. The quickness of her step whispered secrets about her disposition. The lightness of her touch helped guide him along as they strolled.

Though he quickly became adept at reading her, it took him much longer to become proficient in her language. Claire's manner was much too broad. Delicate emotions were trampled under expansive hand movements. Extreme emotions blended together in expressions that spoke as much of anger as they did of love. But Chane was patient. Eventually, he took the absence of her bewildered stare as a sign that he was improving. He began to crave her approval and, eventually, he toned down his approach.

It was all a challenge. And Claire loved a challenge. It was no surprise, then, that he loved to follow her about at night. It was a sort of game. It wasn't so much about winning or losing as it was about proving that he could understand her. Still, he questioned his instincts. Did he understand that gesture correctly? Was that a smile or a grimace? Why had she run so far ahead? Was it something he had done? He could never know for certain. Still, he gladly followed behind her as they traded glances and touches in the slowly glistening streets.

He could only know if had improved during dawn's forgiving light. Some mornings, he had to make due with a silent sigh and a hug. On other mornings, she met him with an exuberant grab and a kiss on the lips. However, most mornings only elicited a smile and a kiss on the cheek.

He was not progressing with this language as swiftly as he did through all the other challenges in his life. But, for Chane, he was willing to struggle and learn.