November 9, 2016

In Which Nato Understands

January 13, 1203

"Didn't your mother ever teach you that it's rude to barge into someone else's bedroom?"

Not that Aspen, from the looks of her, had any intention of actually going to bed. She was fully dressed, hair still pinned at the side, and not hint of fatigue in her voice or face. Nato would take that, at least, for a break from her borrowed maladies.

As for his reply, he'd take a different approach. "This isn't your bedroom. This is a guest bedroom--and not even your guest bedroom, I might add. You weren't going to spend the night here, but you said you were tired, so Yvanette took pity on you and Sevvie will spend the night in Sir Neilor's study."

"So I'm to believe you were looking for Yvanette and Sevvie, then?"

"Don't be stupid. Your idiot brother figured you'd heard about some ill servant, so he sent me off to find you--because apparently his sweetheart has it in her head that he pays you more attention than he does her."

"And apparently he doesn't know about your fits, if he'll send you in his stead."

"And I have half a mind to tell him if he'll leave me alone! I have problems of my own, you know; I don't have to take on yours as well."

"Good. I never wanted you to."





Good. He'd never asked to know about Aspen's powers. He'd barely had anything to do with her before he'd found out, and his life had been that much easier. Why the hell had he gotten involved in the first place?

Oh. Right. "Why do you keep doing this?"

Scowling, Aspen's crossed-arm hold on her own chest tightened. "It feels worse not to."

Bullshit. People like Nato and Aspen didn't live in a world where worse existed. It couldn't exist, not without a better to compare it to. There was bad, and there was different bad, but there was no worse. Aspen was kidding herself if she thought there was.

But, she did this to herself. She could have claimed a land of better if she wanted to. "What, morally? Do you really think--"

"No! Not morally! Morals are incidental!" Her arms had dropped to her sides, fists clenched to the point of redness. "If I don't use my powers, then they use me. If I see an injury, or an illness, I'll take it--because it's better. If I don't use my powers, then the things they'll take for me are the invisible things. And you have no idea how many invisible things there are. And you can't lie in bed and wait them out, or bind them for a few weeks and hope they heal. How can you cure them if you can't see them?"

Invisible. Invisible, until they weren't.

Pain that no one saw. Screams that no one heard. Prayers to gods that were dead or indifferent or had never existed at all.

He understood, now. Or, he thought he did.


"Shut up, Nato. You get it. You're the only one who knows who gets it.

"You said I didn't have to live like you did. Well, this is me doing that."



Van said...

Wow. Fuck this planet. Fuck racism, sexism, nationalism, homophobia, transphobia, fear-mongering, Islamophobia, bullying, climate change denial, voter intimidation, FPTP systems, the electoral college, all of it. Fuck it all. I'd tell the world to go to hell, but too late, we already fucking live there.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. I just hope those tiny fingers aren't strong enough to press the nuke-launching buttons. If they are, it was nice knowing you all.

Ann said...

I'm so with you on that. This is so fucking wrong, so terrifying. We're fucked. And I thought I had it bad before...

So, Aspen takes on mental illnesses as well, huh? Damn, that I never considered that! But yeah, I would take illnesses of the body over anything mental as well, any day. I think I would go mad in her place. It's a good thing she understood that it was coming from outside!
But how will she deal with that all her life?

Van said...

The world is a scary, scary place. :S

Yep. :( Not that physical illness is GOOD, especially chronic ones, but mental illness is still so misunderstood even now--never mind back in the day. :(