Summary:Lucent and Varanim talk for the first time after his return.

XP:L1, V1


< Day Thirty-Seven | Sol Invictus Logs | An Hour of Clockwork >

Lucent As Varanim returns to the cascade from one of her usual outings she finds Lucent, sat on a little cliff no more than nine feet above the road, waiting for her, one knee propped against him, one leg hanging on nothing. "Afternoon!"

Varanim Varanim, who is up past her bedtime, breaks off in the middle of a cavernous yawn to eye him suspiciously. "That's what the sun tells me."

Varanim "We need to have some sort of talk now, don't we."

Lucent makes a little stair of discs and walks down, handling beautiful crystalline flowers to Varanim. "Yes."

Varanim takes them, raising her eyebrows. "Here, or would you prefer we shout at each other in the Cascade?"

Lucent "Here. The cascade is far too public." He says as a bovine-powered cart trots about, the farmers above it not taking their eyes out of them. "You like the flowers? The sisters made them to me. Made of crystallized heartbreak." He nods. "It made me think of you."

Varanim "Only you could say that with a straight face, and make it work." She folds herself onto a rock, looking at him. "Go on."

Lucent "Thanks! I was trying to be subtle about how you defiled my soul and ripped my dignity as a sentient being to shreds." He nods, letting the bouquet on her hands, but taking one flower in his hands, twirling it and bringing it to his nostrils to bask on the scent of heartbreak. "Did it work?"

Varanim "Yes, perfectly." Her eyes are unreadable. "I did a bad thing to you, but I'm still not sure what I should have done instead."

Lucent "NOT do it, for instance. That would work."

Varanim "Maybe you've forgotten, but I was trying to walk away from that conversation without doing something drastic."

Lucent "Good job!" He gives her thumbs-up. With the flower.

Varanim "Trying, that is, until you ordered me around like a doll. What did you think would happen, when you did that?"

Lucent "... you are assuming I was THINKING! I was desperate! It... I lashed out on instinct!"

Lucent "I was sorry. I was saying I was sorry RIGHT AFTER I did it."

Varanim "If I said I was sorry now, would it change what happened? Wait, rhetorical question. I am, and it doesn't."

Lucent "You cannot possibly think this is fair."

Varanim "Of course not. No force on earth, and certainly none at my command, can give you back the five months that one of your ties to this world was missing without replacement."

Lucent "It was MORE THAN THAT." He snaps, eyes moist. "You have no idea..."

Lucent "You."

Lucent "You were EVERYTHING."

Varanim lowers her head and is quiet for a minute. "I shouldn't be," she says finally.

Lucent "I'm not REAL. I'm a CONSTRUCT! A FABRICATION! Spend a few hours cobbling corpus on your workshop and you'll get ME. Something with a goddamned artificial personality and a clear purpose. 'Hold the door!' 'Find and kill all the blue-eyed people!' 'Stop the Lacuna!' Lucent is not me, his' is not my life, not the people I..."

Lucent was in tears, his voice starting to break into sobs. "You took from me the ONE THING I had. For myself."

Lucent "The ONE THING that made my life worth it!"

Varanim "One of the reasons I hate relationships," she says after a long and heavy silence, "is that sooner or later you run into something which is absolutely vital to say but for which there aren't any words."

Varanim "Like the absurdity of you not being real, the impossibility of trying to duplicate you in a few hours or centuries, or the way I feel when you say that the most important thing in the world to you is one that's already gone down the hole."

Lucent "Stupid..." He sighs, falling to his knees before her, reaching to hold her soulsteel hand. "You're so STUPID."

Varanim "Yes." She cradles his face for a moment in her other hand, then fumbles for a moment in her bag before dropping a scroll in his lap. "Here," she says, her voice strangely rough.

Lucent picks the scroll, wiping his face on the back of his gauntlet and blinking a few times before trying to read it

Varanim The unrolled chart is densely written, nearly unreadble between Varanim's messy handwriting and system of notation. It looks like some kind of geneaology, with four family lines underlined at the bottom, and a vigorously circled name back near the beginning. And at the very top, the names at least are recognizable--Lucent's children.

Lucent "You... you looked for them?"

Varanim shrugs, looking away. "I know enough dead people to at least check, don't I?"

Lucent holds it to his chest. Probably smudging the paint a bit. "Why?"

Varanim "Because even if that sort of thing doesn't matter to me, it does to you."

Lucent "Stupid. How can you have spent so long trying to convince me of something you didn't even believe in yourself? How could you have spent so long trying to convince me you're not damned if you will go and believe that...?" He reaches for her hands, both of them, looking up to her. "You are not gone. You are not tainted. Stupid."

Varanim looks back at him finally, blinking a little too rapidly. "There are parts of me, and you know most of them now, that can't belong to you or anyone else because they're already signed away. You deserve an entire person, and that is factually not me. I don't..." she clears her throat. "I don't know how to explain that so you'll understand it, if five months without me didn't work."

Lucent "Five months of darkness. Of nothing. Five months before I remembered..." He got up, still holding her hands, pulling her up, pulling her to him. "... before I remembered you. That there was more in my life than void. Than my duty to return to the void..."

Varanim "There's some really hilarious irony involved in telling me that there's more to life than the void, but I think I hear what you're saying." She looks at him seriously, face inches from his. "And here's what I'm trying to say: I love you. It may not be enough, but it's true."

Lucent "It is everything."

Lucent holds Varanim almost painfully tight, planting a kiss on her lips. "It is why I am still alive."

< Day Thirty-Seven | Sol Invictus Logs | An Hour of Clockwork >

Page last modified on November 29, 2009, at 02:20 AM