Fic: Turns

Aug. 2nd, 2010 09:35 pm
dolevalan: (15 min)
[personal profile] dolevalan
Title: Turns
Fandom/original: original
Rating: G
A/N: For [ profile] rougen's prompt, "insomnia." Done in 15 minutes.

Katiya didn’t know Yuri well, but she could tell that living in the halls was bad for him.

She sympathized.

He’d given up his card games, mainly, when he realized his attempts to form bonds with people in either hall were doomed to failure. He and Clara had been fighting on and off for weeks. And though he tried to keep up his affable, charming demeanor, Katiya could see cracks in the facade.

The night that she realized how bad it had gotten, however, was a night she couldn’t sleep.

Ever since childhood, she’d been restless on nights that sleep wouldn’t come. Now, between the situation with her mother, her father, and her brother, she had more than enough to keep her mind occupied. She’d pace the hall, barefoot, letting things turn over and over in her head the way she’d seen Harold worry a stone.

(She hadn’t asked him about that stone yet, but she would someday.)

The sound caught her attention long before it would have caught a human’s ear. A steady flick of stiff paper – playing cards, she had little doubt. It was coming from Yuri’s room.

As she got closer, she could tell it wasn’t a game of solitaire, not in the traditional sense. The cards were moving too fast for the dealer to be paying attention to what they were.

She hesitated. Katiya had felt, now more than ever, that she was intruding with everyone but her own pack. Her efforts to help, to be supportive, seemed to offend more than ease as often as not.

It was a shame. She liked Yuri; he was sort of her cousin, after all, and beyond that, she and Clara were becoming friends of a sort. If she could help him –

The cards stopped. Katiya paused, animal-still. She could smell that he was drinking, though his movements sounded too smooth to be drunk.

And then there was nothing. No movement, no sound, for an achingly long moment.

Sorrow seemed to hit her in a wave. She wasn’t sure if it was author power that let her feel it, or something more basic and primal, but it was like heat pouring out of an oven. She took an involuntary step backward.

He swept the cards across the surface of the table, maybe piling them together again.

And abruptly, she realized that he hadn’t been playing a game. There were, after all, other uses for cards.

She left him with his whiskey and the future hanging over his head. Katiya wanted to be a friend to Yuri, but whatever he had seen, she got the feeling she didn’t want to know.
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January 2012


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