Characters: Falis, Alita
: Caught between envy and admiration.
: None
Author's Note
: This takes place during that scene in the OVA when Alita is staring at Falis while she's sleeping. And also, for the record, I just prefer to refer to the two girls as what they were called before the soul switch; it's less confusing. Falis might be referred to in dialogue or thoughts as "Alita" and Alita might be referred to as "Milano", but in anything else, they will most likely be called by their real names.
: I don't own Murder Princess.

Alita Forland, these days better known as Milano Entolasia, though she seemed to everyone as the Princess of Forland to be just another sweet but vapid girl of noble birth, is more given to introspection than most people might guess. She's had many hours of solitude in which to be left alone to think in her long life (to her, seventeen and a half years is long indeed) and when the hours grow long and terribly silent, Alita knows of nothing to do but think.

Today, in the bronze half-light of early morning, Alita, in a maid's uniform to go with the new body she inhabits, kneels by the bed that until so very recently was hers, and stares at the one who sleeps in it.

Falis is utterly graceless when not engaged in battle. This is no graceful girl; in sleep, she does not have her feline movements, the aggressive, sensual swish of the hips that so characterizes her walk and what, Alita thinks, is primarily why Alita seems so sexually intimidating. And in sleep, long legs and arms splayed as she lies on her back, utterly unthreatening, Falis could be just any other peasant girl who even in sleep is inelegant.

Alita does not know whether to envy her or admire her, so she does both.

Falis is… Falis is everything Alita is not, and wishes she could be. Falis is she who is utterly without inhibition, without shame or self-consciousness. When she wants to do something, she does it without a second thought, fearing neither for her safety nor her dignity. Alita looks at her and sees someone utterly unspoiled in that regard, someone who has no fear for what others think of her.

In the entirety of her life, Alita has not had that confidence. As a princess she has always had to uphold the dignity of her family, and in doing so she has thoroughly inhibited herself and practiced self-denial to the point that she has on more than occasion gone without sleep for more than two days at a time greeting dignitaries from distant lands who might arrive in the late hours of the night.

There is a long, slender sword leaning against a chair in the corner of the commodious bedchamber. Alita flicks her eyes to it momentarily before coming back to studying her new friend's face, and bites back a sigh.

Falis can fight. And fight well, better than anyone Alita has ever seen, except perhaps her brother. She dances as she fights, turns the act of battle into a thing of terrible beauty, an art. When she come back down from her high, white dress splattered with crimson blood, she looks more beautiful than even the stained glass depictions of angels.

Alita frowns. This body she looks at is hers. It ought to be as familiar to her as the halls of the palace; the sight of it ought to bore her. But it doesn't. The way Falis wears her body, it's as though she looks upon a thrilling stranger, a warlike queen of old. Even the construction of the face seems completely different; eyes that were once soft are now hard as rubies, gleaming ferociously with a wicked light.

Alita never knew she could look like that.

It's… remarkable.