themidnightson: (Irrate // Direct)
[personal profile] themidnightson
Edward was sitting on a bench outside Milliways. Even as much as he might want to try to make himself relaxed, it's not as easy to slip back into. His posture is too rigid, too still for calm, fingers pressed just too much against his legs. Before him, where his affixed gaze, all too black eyed still, rested, is the Lake-Ocean, and the setting sun.



Behind him is the Bar, and his Door, leading back to Bella's bedroom.

Presently, he's trying to count to ten minutes without running back to make sure she's real.
That all of this, every thought and image and assumption of reality is not a creation of insanity.

Date: 2010-10-31 06:39 pm (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (What is this life?)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
It's been a long time since Kate's seen his face. It's not for lack of attention -- ever since running across him that night in the bar he hasn't been too far from her thoughts. She looks for him on nights when she's sober enough to scan the crowds, and since the afternoon Alice stumbled in by accident...


Her breath catches when she sees him. She squints hard at his profile against the setting sun and the glimmering water, making sure he isn't some apparition of her imagination.

Watching to see if he'll move.

(Heart plummeting when it doesn't look like he will.)

She deviates from her course, coming off the beaten path to cut her way to him. She doesn't know what to say. Doesn't know what she could say that won't come out paltry or trite. Not understanding yet that there's nothing she needs to say that he hasn't already heard.

Date: 2010-11-01 01:05 am (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Concerned)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
She sits down next to him, silent as a spectre, hands in her pockets and eyes on his face.

"...Hi."

It's ridiculously not enough. Testing the water to see if he'll react.

Date: 2010-11-01 02:20 am (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Wide Eyes)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
She had almost given up hope at that point, preparing herself for another long, silent sit. Maybe he hasn't been back yet, and by somehow being here she can keep him here until Alice comes back.

But then he shifts -- it's so slight, she almost misses it -- and it fills her with something akin to hope.

She's too stunned to speak for another half minute.


"I heard--" She wets her too-dry lips, "--about what happened."

Date: 2010-11-04 11:35 pm (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (My whole world just died in my arms)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
She could fill a book with the things she does not know. This is something she's forced herself to acknowledge, more so since losing Doc than at any other time. There are hundreds of fleeting thoughts, words of sympathy and commiseration; she briefly considers the words I understand, and just as quickly throws them aside. How could she?

Grief, loss, heartbreak, emptiness -- concepts she knows intimately and yet still she can't begin to empathize. She has her vices -- whiskey, bourbon, vodka ... chocolate -- but for Edward, is there escape? Release?

Distantly, it occurs to her that he's hearing all of this in the cacophony of voices invading his mind that he can never completely ward off, and she feels pressured to say something.

But there isn't anything she can say.

(Instead, she fills herself to the brim, overflowing, from the tight bud of sorrow in her heart to the inexplicable shame, as if this is all somehow her fault.)

Date: 2010-11-11 04:09 am (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Desperado)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
The sunset is past its apex.








"I hear you like playin' piano."

Date: 2010-11-11 04:51 am (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Farmhouse Bunkhouse Windmill - Home)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
She doesn't look at him, but rather drops her gaze to her knees.



"I can sing. It ain't much, mind you. But, my daddy used t'make me sing at home, when he'd get out his violin at night. He'd play in the parlor for the boys -- the hands that worked our property. He always used t'say, 'Music heals the soul.' Sometimes I can't even draw his image t'mind without a melody."

She smiles wanly, and at length she raises her chin to meet his eyes.

"It helps. Sometimes." And, even quieter yet: "Would you play?"

Date: 2010-11-12 11:15 pm (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (What is this life?)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
There is a long, long pause.





















"I ain't doin' this for Jasper."

Her voice comes soft and firm, like the wind through the reeds.

"I'm doin' it 'cuz I want to."

Date: 2010-11-13 08:16 pm (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (This skin I'm in)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
He isn't brushing her off. He isn't miring himself in silence.

That's more than a start; it's enough.

"Beethoven," she smiles thinly. "Vivaldi; Brahms; Paganini. Everything. You ever heard Sally Goodin? Or Cattle in the Cain? We'd have parties in the fall after harvestin', and I'd dance for hours while he played."

Date: 2010-11-16 11:37 pm (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Desperado)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
She reflects quietly.





"They'd let you into their world."

Every melody a gateway to a thought, a vision, an experience without any other means of expression.

Date: 2010-11-19 08:42 pm (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Remnants)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
And, by so doing, hazard stepping into my world as well?


She thinks of the little music box in her room -- the bronze grasshopper that plays the Kreutzer Sonata on its wings.

She thinks of when she was small, the smell of pinewood sharp in her nostrils as she leans against the doorjamb, sneaking glances through the crack in the door to her father's study on nights when he'd play in private.

(She thinks of blood, so much blood, dust sticking to the soles of his boots mottled where his spilled life formed the bond, lifeless fingertips still calloused from gut strings.)

She thinks of France.





And she closes her eyes.

(And breathes.)

Date: 2010-11-19 09:42 pm (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Desperado)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
She feels the slight shift of his gaze.

She cracks her eyes open to watch the last of the fire die from the sky, ripples of gold on the lake. There are a hundred questions dancing on her tongue; and there are a hundred more waiting in the wings.




And there is nothing. Nothing but the steady beat

thump-thump thump-thump thump-thump thump-thump


that reminds her she's still here.


"They... reminded you. You're not the only one. Who makes music."




That's what life is.

Date: 2010-11-19 10:01 pm (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Sad)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
Lips slightly parted, those soft words hit her like a stone.

She turns at length, soulful eyes meeting the black maw -- but there is color there, like ripened wheat swaying in and out of the moonlight -- of his penetrating gaze.

She moistens her lips, and nods once so slowly it's hardly movement at all.



Cautious, her fingers just barely graze his elbow. She wouldn't dare more than that.


"Would you play?"

Would you let go?

Date: 2010-11-19 10:33 pm (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Leave yourself behind - Letting go)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
And he catches her in that moment where she gathers regret, replacing it instead with the shock of the words, the request, the uttering she hadn't anticipated.

She knows this isn't easy.

She knows this isn't nearly enough.

But he's putting in effort when he doesn't have to, and she, in all her bumbling mortality, appreciates that beyond words or thoughts. She smiles wanly.


"S'a deal."

Date: 2010-11-19 10:49 pm (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Smiling)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
She nods once in concession, remembering what it was like to gather up her skirts and curtsy at moments like these, and stands in her weathered work slacks and boots.

She waits for him, and then begins the trek back to the bar in comfortable silence.


What needs to be said can wait; it can come when and how it's natural.

Date: 2010-11-19 11:29 pm (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Desperado)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
She shucks off the shackles of the cold air outside, embracing the warmth of the bar.

Just as his eyes wander to his door, hers linger down the hall where the infirmary lurks just out of sight, and scans the room.

"You all right with all these people?" she asks quietly.

Date: 2010-11-22 01:18 am (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (What is this life?)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
He doesn't need to.

"All right, then."

She makes the first move toward the piano. She's small -- petite, even -- with tiny wrists and big blue eyes like a china doll's. When she's vulnerable she looks like you could break her to pieces with the tip of a feather. But she not only can be the brave one, she always will be.

She touches the polished surface and looks at Edward with a tentative smile.

Date: 2010-11-22 11:47 pm (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Looking down Feeling Red)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
She doesn't share the bench with him. She doesn't stand beside him. She doesn't even stand within his peripheral.

It's a private thing. Personal. Emotional. She understands that well enough -- as well as she can, anyway. Same as when her daddy would polish his violin; it seemed to her such a menial task, but he did it with a tenderness that bordered on reverence, something she didn't understand until he was gone and she started polishing the instrument in his absence.

She stands along the side of the piano a few paces from the keyboard, well inside his field of vision or outside of it depending on where he chooses to focus.

And gives him time to think. To reacquaint himself.


To say hello.

Date: 2010-11-27 01:02 am (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Remnants)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
She watches the courtship, the dance in pianississimo, with the sort of anticipation one reserves for the awkward first waltz of a newly declared lady.

She flicks her eyes to his face.

There's only one song. There could only ever be one. And yet, she pauses. She considers. She gives it thought.

(She thinks of home.)

(She thinks of heartbreak.)

(She thinks of death.)



((It's all the same.))



"Ah," she clears her throat, swallows hard (chokes back emotion, bites down on pain). "Most'a what I know accompanies fiddle. 'Less, of course, y'wanted a lively tune -- but I reckon the mood's not right."

She wets her lips.

"See if y'can follow this, perhaps?"


It's tearing open a fresh scab and salving it within the same motion. She sings quietly.

Date: 2010-11-27 05:09 am (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Searching)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
Her voice grows softer -- surprised, awed -- and then louder, to give him a worthy accompaniment.

He's gifted, truly.




But does he enjoy it? Her eyes linger on his face, rather than on his hands.

Date: 2010-11-27 05:42 am (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Cold My Heart Is)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
Someday, she should like to know his story. Stories. Present, past. Lives lived through an hourglass that never empties its charge.

And will you never cut the cloth
Or drink the light to be
And can you never swear a year
To anyone but we?



Today is not that day.

He is simply Edward.



She closes her eyes.




And suddenly she changes the tune.

She might even smile as she does so.

Date: 2010-11-27 06:26 am (UTC)
ikissdhimbck: (Lean on me)
From: [personal profile] ikissdhimbck
He is unflappable, and this is partly why she likes him so.

She can't fathom the depth of his experience, the years he's stretched on, the trials -- victories and defeats, new and old -- kept within his memory.

But, for a moment, she can at least stand beside him.



But, by long absence your truth has been tried,
Still to your accents I listen with pride,
Blessed as I was when I sat by your side.
Long, long ago, long ago.

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