A/N Here's a short sixth chapter. I'm hoping everything goes well.
~Sigur Ros in Samskeyti
~Samus's Point of View~
Clarity came easiest to Samus when she woke up from a long sleep- not often about what happened the day before, but what to do with the day ahead. It brought her a surge of confidence, and she liked confidence.
Of course, when she woke up yesterday morning, she immediately knew not everything was clear, and she buckled a considerable amount. She didn't know what to make of the discussion her and Zelda had as each other in the field near Cadence, and it had showed then. After that, it was all a blur. She remembered not talking to Falcon on the drive back. She remembered him understanding. She remembered taking half the vial as soon as they got home. After that, she presumed she slept hard, and she wondered where she woke up.
Waking up at midnight was not uncommon for Samus. She liked the night. Often she would leave her ship and walk through the forest. Sometimes she would even leave her gun at home and be someone who wasn't so closely correlated with violence and loneliness. It was nice to be a free spirit every now and again. She always enjoyed this, even before the tournament, before Junction City and before the mind-consuming sort-of relationship she had with Zelda. The night air was perhaps her favorite thing, the untraceable way it felt and the way it could clear everything from her mind and give her peace.
Samus didn't move but was able to deduce that she was in her room at the mansion. The hardwood floor was definitely the same kind that popped up through the rest of the building, and it was the last place she remembered being. Of course, she knew it was her room because it was completely and utterly empty. After all, she didn't stay here, but thankfully no one had taken this space over for her. Her eyes darted over to the barren walls that were as lonely as she was. Not an ounce of decoration or anything linked to Samus in here, just the nighttime shadow of herself and her bed.
That was fitting enough, Samus noted. After all, she was just as much of a shadow as the walls were. Sometimes she was okay with that; sometimes she knew it was wrong. Right now, the very possibility of her being a shadow seemed implausible. She was linked to at least four people who knew what happened and been a part of making everything all right.
That reminded her…
With a lazy kick, she wrestled the bedding off of her, still feeling heavily tired but unable to sleep. She could already feel the twitchiness that bugged her every time she had overslept, where she couldn't stand to be in bed for another moment. As the blankets eventually fell to the ground, she saw a sight that made her smile, just a little bit.
Pants. Hallelujah. A pair of pants on a pair of legs that were definitely hers. Everything was back to normal.
Not quite everything, though.
Samus knew she was going to have to figure out what to do with Zelda. She was hoping to rely on that waking clarity of which she could take advantage. She wanted to trust Zelda, to be able to mean something to her, but she wasn't sure where it would end up.
Samus relied on certainty to a fault.
Accept that you're human and you'll screw up...
Had she screwed up as well? She knew Zelda had, but she felt less animosity towards her than she had before. It had been wrong of Zelda to go through the box she had locked away, but a part of her really wanted to believe that the princess did it because she cared so much it clouded her judgment. She only had one person that truly seemed to care, and that was Peach, but even then she knew it wasn't the same. The confusion that seemed to cloud Zelda during that action seemed achingly familiar to Samus.
Did Zelda really mean everything? Did she really care that much? It seemed insane to Samus, because she still didn't feel as though she earned any of that.
… but make up for that by loving her like no one else.
It seemed Zelda was knowledgeable about romance as well.
Samus decided that she could probably think this over on a nice nighttime jog. Weigh the pros and cons, the consequences and the potential future, and see if this was truly the time for her bravery and her care. She all but rolled out of bed and onto the floor, slumping to her knees as she gathered her bearings. She needed clothes. Clothes, clothes, clothes, where were they. Shoes… she could use those too. Samus drew the line at jogging in bare feet; not quite the logic she wanted. Already she felt somewhat normal, being in her own skin, her own life, and her own choices.
She began to prop herself up onto her feet when she saw it. A small slip of paper that was rolled around as if it was around someone's finger and had fallen off during sleep. Curious, Samus picked it up off the floor and brought it over near the window to catch some of the starlight as it poured through the window, making it just bright enough to see and read.
It was handwritten on both sides, so she looked at the one with bigger handwriting on it. In jubilant, cheerful and cursive writing, it read:
"Come on in!
"This coupon guarantees you to two free meals of your choice at Dahlia's Diner!
"87 Dahlia Court, Cadence, JC! 10 miles out of Junction City! I look forward to seeing you!
"Truly yours, Dahlia."
Samus's eyes widened as she remembered the diner across the street from the crew in Cadence. She had barely noticed it, but apparently Zelda had. She looked below at the signature that had signed off of the gift certificate. Zelda Harnikan.
She emitted a little gasp.
She turned it around to see what it said on the back. The message ran through her mind for a minute, because she had no idea what to make of it.
All it said was:
What could possibly fill in that blank that Zelda had left? Samus ran through the obvious ones, but if it was so obvious, why would Zelda write it here? And what had gone unsaid so much that she couldn't say it here?
Then it hit Samus. Of course, she realized. How could she have been so stupid?This time it was her turn to talk.
Samus decided that she didn't need that nighttime jog after all. She had an answer she could take a chance on, just this once. Maybe a chance would be good for her. She was willing to talk and willing to listen. There were no guarantees that everything would be perfect or work out, but the idea of taking a chance was something Samus was every bit willing to do. Zelda deserved that much; she had taken a chance for her.
Maybe change wasn't such a bad idea. Maybe.
She smiled and quietly made her way out of the room.
Paint your own picture, write your own song and tell your own tale together.
A/N Total Word Count, Not Counting Authors' Notes: Approximately 18,600. 1,400 under the limit. I will give it a few touch-ups and edits but I will not be adding anything further, it would seem. I'm pretty confident in this piece; I took many chances myself and ventured to change from how I usually did things.
I hope no one is dissatisfied with this ending; I wanted to capture the middle ground between a happy ending and a sad one; that uncomfortable space of chance within a sky of possibility. A rather beautiful place, if you ask me. I think it's just right.
Thanks have to be made. I have had a score of brilliant reviewers from the wonderful Reviewers' Lounge Too. They've really changed my writing life in ways that go far beyond the praise for my piecePlay. Simply put, I'm not the same as when I started. Isn't that brilliant?
Of course, thanks to those from the SSB section that reviewed on their time.
Two reviewers stick out to me in particular as being the ones that have consistently helped shape this story into what it is now. First isTune4Toons,a dear friend who is also entering this contest and looks to do well. She's been a reliable reviewer, the first to do so, whether jumping first in line through the Review Tag or on her own free will. She's given plenty of friendly advice but also tons of support and reassurance, which really made me confident that this piece could be something brilliant, which I think it is. Check out her entry,Trains to Seas,and give your verdict! We're in a playful rivalry for the contest, but honestly I'd love to see her beat me.
Second off was one I honestly didn't expect; a certaintfcvli,or as I call her due to not being remember what orders those letters are in, Kate. She provides feedback that really challenges me, which I goddamn needed for this story. I'm glad she found the flaws before you did and that she embarrassed me a little before everyone else could, and still be reliable for support and advice. Also a huge help was her expert grammar advice (SPAG, as she calls it), which reveals to me that I really need to check myself in that area, haha. Really, I could practically consider her a beta author for Samskeyti, because on her own she's done as much as Byoshi would for me. The craziest part is; she's not even from this section! She presides mainly in Sherlock, where you can find her incredible Post-Reichenbach take,Transfigured Night.You won't be disappointed in a read!
You can expect a chapter of commentary on my working on this that explains piece by piece my process. It's interesting to hear a writer's thoughts on their own piece, and there was so much arranging and puzzle-planning that went on in this piece that it would make an interesting story, I believe. If you like the ambiguity (which certainly helps) then you can totally avoid it and not miss anything. I just figured that I ramble about my works so much to other people that I need a place for it. :P
Thanks to everybody who reviewed and who read; you've been a great help! I'd ask you to wish me luck, but I make my own luck.
P.S. I heard that line "You make your own luck" about Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight after watching it for the first time- I know, how sad. I was like "Hey, that's my line! Like, three years before I ever coined it, haha…"
P.S.P.S. Haha, get it,coined it…I'll go away now.