Side A – Yasgrid
Yasgrid tasted blood in her mouth and knew that couldn’t be a good sign. Her thoughts was only somewhat adjacent to coherency though so she left working out why tasting blood might be bad for a latter time.
Not that it seemed like she was going to have many later times to work with. Kyra’s fighting stance and fierce scowl suggested that one of the knives she held was going to finish the work the other had started when she stabbed Yasgrid.
“You don’t want to do this,” Yasgrid said. Endings wasn’t incapable of harming regular people, but Yasgrid found the idea distasteful.
It was an odd thought to have as she stared at her own impending demise but also somewhat comforting.
She wasn’t completely horrible.
With the number of Troubled Spirits which slept within her, Yasgrid hadn’t been sure of that anymore.
“You’re right,” Kyra said. “I don’t.”
That didn’t stop her from moving though.
The first sweep of her blade was oddly slow.
And poorly aimed.
It was almost like she didn’t have any intention of hitting Yasgrid with it.
Which was probably true since it didn’t come anywhere near Yasgrid.
It just traced a path in the air in front of Kyra like it was cutting through an absolute torrent of water.
The other blade struck outwards as the first completed its swing. It too passed in an arc in front of Kyra’s body, claiming the space and shield the first blade as they both moved to the side of Kyra’s body.
As the came together, Kyra’s scowl intensified. It looked like she was pulling them through hardening stone from the effort her expression betrayed.
With each inch the blades glided over each other, Kyra’s movement became more labored.
Whatever she was doing, Yasgrid began to worry that the effort would fail.
Again, a thought which struck her as odd, considering the end result of the dagger work could easily be some kind of magical strike designed to pierce even Endings best defenses.
Sparks began to flicker from the place where the blades were closest and Kyra flinched.
Sweat ran down her forehead and an animal growl rose from her lips.
It was going to be one hell of a hit when it landed Yasgrid decided.
If it landed. The effort seemed to be costing Kyra more than she could pay.
What was so hard about dragging two knives against other? Yasgrid wondered.
And why were they throwing up more sparks?
The volume of the sparks began to flag as the knives momentum came to a halt.
Whatever spell Kyra was trying to cast wasn’t going to succeed.
Yasgrid offered her a smile.
It was ok.
Somethings were really hard.
And somethings didn’t work out.
Like Yasgrid’s plan.
She hadn’t intended for it to end up like this, but she knew Kayelle would have a better time on her end. As would the other Fate Dancers.
She’d been just annoying enough. She’d drawn in the Troubles she needed to.
She’d put up more of a fight than she ever thought she could.
Darkness reached up to claim Yasgrid and carry her down into its painless, eternal embrace but before it could, as her smile faded, she caught one last glimpse of Kyra’s face and heard the feral cry that tore free from the Fate Dancer’s lips.
The knives moved at last and the sparks burst into light.
Side B – Nia
Nia wanted to take Osdora’s hand. Or give her a hug. Or something. A gesture to take away the long distant hurt that seemed so fresh in Osdora’s eyes.
“The problem didn’t start right away,” Osdora said. “Or I didn’t see it starting. At first we were still drunk on the intimacy we’d experienced. It started falling apart the next morning I think.”
She paused a moment, the memories rolling over her as they doubtlessly had countless times before.
“I’d been in such a hurry to prove that I loved Gossma and the next day, I knew I had,” Osdora said. “I’d gone as far as I could go. Given everything I had. The problem was it had been everything. All at once. No filter, no choice. She knew everything about me, but it wasn’t because I’d spent the time to show it to her. I hadn’t been willing to put in the effort and take the risk to build a relationship with her. I wanted it to be done and complete. A strike of the drum and we’d be perfect together.”
“But that’s not how life is. Or it’s not how I am at least,” Osdora said. “A relationship isn’t a stagnant thing. It’s something you keep building every day through the choices you make. It’s always a risk, and part of creating love is being willing to take that risk.”
Nia glanced at Margrada who nodded. Some of Osdora’s words were a little too resonant in Nia’s heart.
“After the drum, there wasn’t any risk with Gossma though. I didn’t have to try to show her who I was, or become a better version of myself chasing after who she deserved to be with. I wanted so much for the relationship to be safe and cast in stone that I tried to have it all at once in a single night rather than building it through a long web of shared experiences and being courageous enough to be vulnerable.”
“What about her?” Margrada asked.
“The same, I think,” Osdora said. “We didn’t get into a fight or go through a messy break up anything. We just drifted apart. I felt bad because I didn’t have anything to share with her, and I knew everything she would want to share with me. It felt like we’d been shoved so close that there wasn’t anything we needed to talk about, so we just didn’t talk. No talking, no spending time together and eventually we just weren’t a part of each other’s lives.”
“Do you still love her?” Nia asked.
“What you’re asking is am I still fond of her,” Osdora said. “And the answer to that is, yes, of course. Gossma’s a beautiful person, inside and out. Was I ever really in love with her though, or was I just in love with who I imagined her to be? I don’t think I can answer that because I never got to meet the person she would have chosen to be just for me.”