Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Small Victories and WiPpet Wednesday (featuring the complete opposite of a victory)

I started Ready, Set, WRITE! on Monday on little more than a whim, and so far - fingers crossed - it's started out successfully.  I've no idea how long it'll last, mind, but I did finally manage to finish J is for Jonathan yesterday, so that was a massive relief.

It's not even a long story (~2,000 total - long for Blogging From A-Z but hardly insurmountable when not suffering from Gross Eye Syndrome, heh), but the longer it took to write the harder it got to write.  No longer having it loitering around on my HabitRPG To-Dos is great.

Not that today is going so well so far, but I have at least mowed the lawn!  It's no longer reaching my knees!  (Yeah, it really was as bad as it sounds; blame work.)

WiPpet Wednesday


It's that time of the week again (not that it feels like five minutes since last week!) - time for the ever-brilliant K. L. Schwengel's weekly bloghop where participants share snippets of their Works in Progress, with a twist: each excerpt is somehow related to the date.  If you've curious, want to find out more or read everyone else's excerpts (I recommend you do, they're all incredibly talented), you can find it over here.

This week's snippet is 18 paragraphs for the 10th June 2015: 10 + 6 = 16; 2 + 0 + 1 = 3; 5 - 3 = 2, therefore 16 + 2 = 18.  (Wheee, convoluted.)

So far, Fayth's trip to return RQ to Kaeder Pynes and his home has been uneventful, but it was never bound to remain that way, was it?  And it's even worse when your peace is ruined by something you've brought about yourself...

(*cough* Sorry for the wall of text...)

When Fayth asked if the Rose Queen had any name other than his title, the answer made him wonder if he was going deaf, or if someone had been distinctly prescient when they’d named their child. “Argue?”
The Rose Queen sighed and looked away, leaning back against the cabin door frame. Fayth was sure he’d seen him roll his eyes. “RQ. An abbreviation. For Rose Queen.”
“You don’t have an actual name?” He’d asked, but the Rose Queen—RQ, he supposed he’d have to get used to now—didn’t meet his gaze, and didn’t answer.
Still, it worked well enough. Fayth quickly became accustomed to muttering the letters as he leant on the door frame, arms folded, to check up on his passenger, and the Rose Queen answered to it readily. He alternated his time between sitting in the cockpit and staying in his room, slowly making his way through the collection of books and out-of-date magazines Fayth had accumulated for his guest, and the fact that they were heavily skewed towards what Fayth expected a stereotypically sheltered, slightly traumatised woman would want to read didn’t seem to faze him. If anything he seemed more taken with the magazines depicting rich fabrics and clothes Fayth would neither be caught dead in, nor could ever afford, than he did with the others in the motley and dog-eared collection.
Sometimes they even talked, when RQ allowed Fayth to enter his room and sit beside him on the always-immaculate bed. Fayth rapidly learned that RQ was both educated and intelligent—God knew he’d met enough men who were either one or the other, but rarely both, in his line of work—and that his genuine laugh, although rare, was as beautiful as he was. He showed Fayth things he’d found in the magazines and they discussed his past and the events following his theft, but never in detail. Sometimes they just sat in silence in the cockpit and watched the way the slipspace colours crested the window in a multi-hued wash. Fayth liked those times. He could watch RQ from the corner of his eye, and tried not to smile at the wonder on his face.
What Fayth most enjoyed was the way RQ gradually opened up to him. The way his tentative smiles became stronger. How he began to volunteer opinions rather than wait until he was asked. Fayth wasn’t quite sure where the man in the habitat who’d been so prepared to stand up for himself had gone—and if he was brutally honest he’d been more interested in meeting him—but this one was sweet enough and surprisingly close to the mental image of the female Rose Queen he’d had at the start of the job. And it wasn’t like there wasn’t the occasional tantalising flash of fire that had turned his fears about the journey into a hope...
RQ asked questions in return: about Fayth’s life, his job, the sheer extent of his freedom across the galaxy. Each answer made his eyes widen until Fayth wondered if his chaotic life really was as fascinating as RQ seemed to find it; but then, of course it’d sound fascinating to a man who hadn’t left the safety of the ship he was born on until he’d been stolen. It was a common story, and not one Fayth had ever felt inclined to succumb to.
That was probably how the mistake arose in the first place, when he thought about it. Who wouldn’t feel flattered at being the object of such rapt attention? It was so easy to take it the wrong way, so easy to think of the wide-eyed interest as being something more—
Well, RQ disabused him of that notion pretty quickly.
They’d been talking easily, sat side by side on RQ’s bunk so close their arms occasionally brushed, close enough Fayth could breathe in the man’s faintly sweet smell. RQ nodded at something Fayth had said, his lips seductively pink and parted, and Fayth couldn’t help himself. RQ’s cheek was so soft beneath his fingers, so warm against his skin; his lips tasted just as sweet as he’d so often dreamed.
And his fist hit harder than Fayth had ever imagined. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?!”
That. Hurt. How could such a delicate man have such a right hook on him? It took a moment for his jaw to work, and that was only after he was sure it wasn’t broken. “I—You—I thought—”
“Leave, please.” RQ turned away, his voice as tight and controlled as the set of his shoulders.
It was Fayth’s ship; he could argue the matter. He didn’t have to leave on the orders of some man he’d only known two weeks.
He padded silently into the corridor, sliding the door shut behind him.
In his own bunk, arms behind his head and eyes fixed on the ceiling without seeing it, he found himself struggling with guilt. Guilt! What use did he have for guilt? He misappropriated other people’s belongings for third parties for a living... belongings that didn’t often have wide, shocked eyes and expressions of soul-clawing betrayal.
He’d been so sure. It was hard not to believe that every fleeting touch, every warm word, had been indicative of a deeper interest. Was that how RQ had ended up being assaulted? Some guy couldn’t tell the difference between his innocent speech and a come-on?
Fayth flung himself over and snarled at the stars beyond his window like the whole mess wasn’t all his own fault.

9 comments:

  1. >.< Stomach churning for both of them. Oh, how icky. Good for RQ for hitting and good for Fayth for getting gone. But wow. Ouch. Ouchie ouch. So bad. That kind of boundary-breach just can't be brushed under the rug.

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  2. Love what you had to say about intelligence and education. :)
    And so sad what RQ's been through

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  3. Oh, my heart hurts for them both. I love how you wrote that. I'm glad RQ stood up for himself because Fayth was absolutely wrong to assume. I'm glad he recognized his own fault, too. Even so, I do feel bad that he misread. I'm just glad that instead of trying to argue he did the right thing.

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  4. There is so much good going on in this excerpt. I love your style and the Fayth's voice. The punch was awesome. And this "What use did he have for guilt? He misappropriated other people’s belongings for third parties for a living..." oh, that made me more than giggle.

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  5. You do know I'm going to just be another voice in the chorus of "love this", hun... Yes, yes, yes! Loved it. Love the build up, the interplay, the blow and the reeling afterward....

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  6. Watching these two interact and learn about each other is a real treat. I love that RQ smells faintly sweet, and loves the rich fabrics and textures....

    And that Fayth has maybe learned a thing or two about build and strength, and about going around kissing people without being sure that you're reading their signals properly (especially since they don't share a cultural reference...).

    I do think he has a reason for guilt - but maybe not to eat himself up over it. Make restitution, and keep your hands and lips to yourself, Fayth, unless you're INVITED....

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  7. Just when things seemed to be going so well...POW - right in the kisser! Guess Fayth is going to have to go over how he interprets/misinterprets signals.

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  8. I loved the snippet... But, I kind of wish I hadn't known it was going to end badly before it happened. The event had impact, but I feel it could have been more if the mistake hadn't been telegraphed. And I like that everyone basically handled it properly instead of continuing the error. (And of course, part of me hopes that RQ's reaction wasn't out of disinterest, but something more).

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  9. ......YOU GUUUUYS. *sigh* Okay, that was very good. I'm just exasperated on their behalf. Love RQ's reaction - and I love Fayth's reaction to said reaction. Heh.

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Comments always welcome!