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Thread: [M] Sniped Through the Heart (Iwazuma x Hannelorian)

  1. #141
    I Forgot My Title....
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    Seeing Anke eye her as Regina forced perhaps Osnen's most unphotogenic smile left Regina with weak legs, but she couldn't entirely fathom precisely why that was. Anke had gone from her unhappy self to wearing a more proper smile once again, and it had Regina feeling a lot better than a few minutes prior. Anke was back to herself...or at least the herself that Regina knew and was finding she preferred. Anke pulled Regina close for a moment, giving her another compliment that left her face darkening as she tried to comprehend what Anke possibly saw in a smile only a mother could love that outclassed the dress she'd tried on for her. Regina was quick learning to just not think about why what made Anke happy did so, but to instead simply accept it.

    That being said, her particularly suggestive comment swept the smile away from her face, leaving Regina looking more flustered than thankful. "I...er..." Regina was aware of innuendos and their use, but for Anke to drop them on her so casually...Regina didn't know how to respond. "Let's just...go back to my room." Regina followed Anke, who was already making her own way back in that direction. She followed a short distance behind, wondering just what Anke was thinking. Was she serious, or merely...teasing her? Regina figured the latter, but the former...the way Anke looked at her sometimes, Regina simply could not be sure. She caught herself in her own head for a minute, only refocusing once the familiar silver door came back into view.

    Once she stepped into the safety of her own room, Regina looked down at their food, musing to herself for a moment before shrugging her shoulders. It seemed like there were more important matters anyways. Regina sat down on her bed, folding her arms and continuing to stare down at the floor. "Sometimes I wish I could be more like you. So unafraid of what will happen if I ever act differently." Regina shook her head. "I have too much riding on everything. Too much reputation. Too many orders. Too many expectations. I know what will happen if I fail." Regina sighed softly, wondering just what she was doing. Unloading her own worries and qualms. So unlike her. But perhaps it was part of what was needed. Regina looked over to Anke. "You declared your affection...so easily. On national television. And I don't know if I can even have-" Regina sighed, cutting off her own sentence. "I want to...I want to be...right for you. I don't know enough about being a proper...well." Regina was shaking a bit as she struggled to voice her own thoughts. "Please show me what I can do...to make you happy."
    Karma is the best.

  2. #142
    The Grey Lady
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    "Even have what?" Anke asked as she moved to sit herself on Regina's bed. "Feelings? Affections?" Anke smiled softly and patted the space beside her, waiting for Regina to seat herself. "Sex?" Anke was genuinely curious about all of it. But there were things that had to be said, had to be done first. "I'm used to talking on national television." Anke thought for a moment, trying to compare it to something. "Think of it like firing a gun... or... hitting 'middle C' on a piano." That one felt right, something in there for the both of them. "You just do it. It doesn't take any thought, you just... do it. Because you've done it so many times it's... like a reflex." Anke was now staring at Regina, but in a thoughtful almost contemplative way.

    "Feelings... aren't easy. Not for you, not for me, not for anyone." Anke was doing her best to give Regina information that she might find either useful for reassuring. "Sure, admitting my feelings on national television wasn't the plan. Not by a long shot." Anke shook her head and let her smile fade briefly. "I was doing what I was told to do, by Llewelyn. He prompted the interviewer, he knew what questions to ask, and he knew I'd have to answer, because that is my superior had ordered me to do." A part of Anke felt disgust with herself for putting it that way. "But... every word was true. Every last one."

    Anke now nodded and looked down at her lap. "Feelings, I don't think are supposed to be easy. I think they teach us who we really are. They offer us windows into ourselves, to see what's important, what's not. Teach us that happiness is a rare reward, but something we all deserve." Anke took Regina's human hand into her own, and raised it up to Anke's cheek, pressing it there with her own palm. "There's no... play book here. You... being happy, make me happy... you talking about your feelings... smiling, even if it just for my benefit." Anke smiled again and let Regina's hand go.

    "You can touch me, explore me... I'm not going to break. You aren't going to hurt me. But only if you're ready. I'm not demanding anything from you, Regina."

    Anke laid back on the bed, extending a hand upward to reach for Regina's and ultimately pull her back down alongside her on the bed. "I want you to do what you want. I want to know the real Regina. Not the person you wish you could be. But the person you truly are. If you can love me, you can have everything. I'd give it all to you. Gladly. But I can't force you, or make you... you have to feel it."
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

  3. #143
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    Anke was quick to get right to crux of the hole in Regina's thoughts, questioning exactly what she was going to say before she cut off. At the word 'sex', Regina recoiled slightly, still not used to such words...thoughts...considerations aimed at her. "I've never really thought about..." Regina paused for a moment, the word feeling unusual on her own lips. "...sex." Indeed, to Regina, sex didn't seem to carry too much value. It was, for the most part, entertainment amidst the soldiers and humanity in general. Something to provide excitement and enjoyment between one another. Regina, at least until quite recently, didn't need such distractions, or even think about them as daily options. Sure, one or two daring soldiers had tried early on to offer, but Regina's cold indifference had all but silenced any attraction most people had towards the silent sniper. Regina had never had to contend with others actively seeking relations with her, or indeed, Regina considering ever reciprocating them.

    And here Anke was, staring her in the eye and suggesting Regina do whatever she wanted with her. But what did Regina even want in the first place? She wasn't sure she was even in a position to answer that question with honesty. She was still adrift in an uncharted sea, no clue on what direction to go beyond the voice and visage of Anke de Heer acting as a true north. Regina thought for what felt like an eternity, thinking about everything Anke had to say. "Speaking is not my strong suit. Especially in front of others." Regina wouldn't necessarily say she had stage fright, but what she did lack was charisma. She didn't have that winning smile, lyrical voice. Didn't have that perfect influx that led listeners along, hanging off of her every word. Anke had that. She'd seen as much in the interview...which she was just learning Llewelyn orchestrated. What benefit is there to having her announce her feelings live...? Something for the citizenry to focus on? The people did love their celebrity drama, and even with a grand total of zero press conferences, scheduled live appearances, or interviews, Regina was still a celebrity. It was honestly a surprise she hadn't been called on to do just that before.

    But this wasn't about that. This was about the here and now. Regina watched as Anke gingerly took her human hand and pressed it to her cheek. Something she deserved..."What do you do when you don't really know how to just...feel?" Regina was asking a question she sincerely doubted Anke-or anyone-really knew how to answer. Regina was a case she was convinced not another soul could possibly understand how to go through. She was...her. And no amount of media attention or sniper training would ever get someone to understand what she had forced herself to do for so long. Never had Regina been allowed to just do...what she wanted. And Anke just wanted her to be happy...if she could be happy. Regina let her hand drop, watching Anke for a moment before shaking her head. What did she want? What could she do with Anke? What would make her happy? What would show Anke exactly what Regina was feeling?

    After a moment, Regina took Anke's hand, expecting to tug her back up, but instead was pulled down to lie down on the bed. She stared up at the ceiling, thinking hard for a moment. The moment when Anke had been happiest...and the moment she had come closest to actually feeling...

    Regina turned to her side, staring at Anke intently for a moment as she considered exactly how she wanted to go about everything. There was so much confusion and doubt swirling about her that she couldn't get rid of. Eventually, she leaned in, burying her head in Anke's shoulder. After a moment, she shifted upwards, placing her lips softly on Anke's cheek for a brief, tense moment. She gave the slightest bit of pressure, then pulled away. "I want...I want you to kiss me. Just the two of us this time. If something bad happens, the only person who has to know about it is me." What had ruined it so much last time was that one soldier...maybe if there were no interruptions, she'd get a slightly better idea of how to explore these strange feelings that she wasn't used to, but very much wanted to learn more about. If Regina was anything, she was an avid learner...and not exploring this and finding out exactly what was happening with her would burn in the pit of her stomach forevermore.
    Karma is the best.

  4. #144
    The Grey Lady
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    "When you don't know how to just... feel?" Anke wasn't prepared for that question, but she should have been. Could she teach Regina how to feel? Possibly, possibly not. It was one of those things that was far easier said than done. But even so, perhaps the solution was entirely different, and perhaps Regina had already reached that conclusion. Perhaps it was not a question of teaching her how to feel, but rather to do everything in her power to make her feel. To introduce her to something, and perhaps to simply love her was enough.

    "You should just surrender to yourself..." But before Anke could really complete whatever notion she had been brewing, there was the gentle feeling of Regina pressing against her, burying her head in Anke's shoulder and then finally placing the most tentative kiss one could have imagined upon her cheek. The sudden action was a surprise, but a welcome one. Anke smiled softly and nodded her head, biting down on her lower lip for a moment. What followed was a simple request, simply to kiss Regina. That was something Anke could do, and for the first time perhaps do so in a relaxed way, it was after all, only the two of them and they would not be interrupted.

    "Okay." Was all Anke said, now turned to face Regina. Anke's eyes were soft, hopeful, if not glinting ever so slightly. Slowly, slowly, Anke drew her head closer to Regina's, and she moved a free hand, her fingertips resting beneath Regina's chin, raising her head just a bit. Anke made no sudden movements, everything was slow, drawn out and ever so deliberate, perfectly thought out and intended, hopefully, to keep Regina at ease. The same fingers that pushed Regina's chin gently up now moving around to rest on Regina's cheek, stroking it ever so softly. And then in a moment, Anke had moved in completely and pressed her lips to Regina's, softly at first, gently, but with all the warmth, patience and desire she could muster. And then she parted them just a few centimeters. "Okay." Anke said once more.

    And then Anke pushed in and kissed Regina again, this time with a little more force, a little more passion. The same hand that had caressed her partner's cheek now moving to rest on Regina's back, pushing her a little, or rather pulling her in as the pair met in a kiss. A tongue so carefully parting Regina's lips.

    For Anke, there was both the desire to be gentle, and the desire to give in to her own feelings, her own passion and drive. But this wasn't just about Anke, it was about Regina. The slow and methodical pace, the well time actions leading to a build up in process. It was easy to get lost in that moment, to get lost in a kiss. A time when Anke stopped thinking and let all of her concerns and worries just drift out of consciousness, leaving her perfectly present and leaving the both of them so vulnerable in this moment. It was just the two of them.
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

  5. #145
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    Regina had a very slightly better idea of what to expect than last time, now that she had the faintest bit of experience in intimacy from the last time Anke had sprung it on her. But this was still...different somehow. There was nobody around to witness what Regina was going to practice, no worry that she might get barged in on. No fear of someone destroying the moment and causing Regina to lash out. It was just...them. Regina's request was met with acceptance, but when Anke drew closer, Regina felt a pang of apprehension run through her. She was never this vulnerable. As Anke tilted her head up, Regina's eyes grew wide with worry and concern. She didn't know what would happen. The last time, she'd nearly lost control, were it not for the voice of Lyse guiding her along. This time....well, she didn't know anymore. She'd found she'd lost control of a lot in her life the last week or so, and she'd been winging it as well as she could in a ploy to feign confidence and control. But with Anke...maybe she didn't have to do that. Anke was just as strong and confident as she was, and...maybe it was okay. Just being unsure for once.

    And then Anke's lips met hers, and all thought ceased.

    The soft feeling of Anke's lips had Regina seize for a brief moment, but no voice came to her rescue this time. It was just Regina...and Anke. Regina's thoughts scrambled to try and keep up with the sensation, and ultimately settled on the idea that perhaps it wasn't so bad after all. There were no words needed between them, just the sensation of the two of them close to one another. The closeness and intimacy that Regina had shunned for so long...felt just a bit better. Anke was someone she trusted, and she could feel more than just the sensation of skin on skin. She wasn't sure how to put it...but Anke felt like she was trying to convey how she felt through the kiss. And it made her cheeks burn white-hot. Anke truly did care about her, in a way she couldn't fully remember ever feeling. And in the quiet solitude of her room, Regina was free to seek the understanding she desired without anything in the way.

    When Anke's lips pulled away, Regina opened her eyes, looking at the blonde with a mixture of confusion, need, and a hint of desire. Regina heard her whispered repeat of that simple 'okay', and nodded once, her amber eyes never leaving Anke's. She wasn't sure what that nod was supposed to say...just that she wanted Anke to know everything was alright. And then she was back, kissing her again with more passion, more desire. A soft sigh escaped Regina as her body relaxed just a bit more, accepting the gentle touch of her partner pulling her closer. Regina, unsure of what to do with her hands, draped them over Anke's back, wanting to touch her, wanting to show her approval. It felt...right. And 'right' was not a feeling she was used to. She began to return Anke's kiss, feeling the slightest pangs of need, of hunger, beginning to boil in her. She wasn't sure she understood, but it was quickly becoming apparent she didn't need to. Just follow Anke's lead. She felt her tongue gently slip past Regina's lips; Regina's cheeks burned bright as her own tongue shyly and nervously met Anke's, as though afraid of the intruder and testing to see if it was safe. She would have never caught herself dead like this before. The amount Anke had changed her...and so quickly. Regina's hands wandered along Anke's back, simply wanting to feel in the moment. That was the entire point, right? To feel...
    Karma is the best.

  6. #146
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    Anke could feel her breath leave her body suddenly as Regina's hands found their way to her back, and instinctively her back arched inward, pushing her even closer to Regina. It was a return of that spark the last time they had kissed so publicly. That hunger that Anke felt coming from Regina, that genuine desire was flooding back. And Anke was giving in to every last second of it, feeling all of her nerve endings lighting up in a row from her head to her toes which had begun to curl ever so softly. Their tongues met in the safety of their mouthes and like two acquaintances took their time to get to know one another, figuring out the rhythm and movement of a partner.

    But Regina wasn't the only one hungry, Anke too longed for more and more, like a ravenous wolf so eager to consume a fresh source of food. Regina was giving in, slowly, she seemingly had turned off her mind and just allowed herself to be, to do as her body desired, and it was now clear for the first time perhaps, that she desired Anke, genuinely. But Anke, however, had to take her time, force herself to slow down, resist the urge to push too far. Anke allowed one of her hands to move back and remove the tie from her hair, allowing her platinum locks to flow freely of their own accord. Moving their bodies, forcing Regina to her back as Anke straddled her and leaned in to kiss her just as she had been. Leaning down, resting over Regina, until they naturally came to a break for air.

    "Congratulations, I believe we call that one desire." Anke smirked that signature smirk, that look that displayed exactly how proud she was, how satisfied in that moment with the outcome. She was triumphant. Anke had found herself sitting up, still atop Regina, and with a few deft movements of her perfect fingers, those long and slender pianist's fingers she had withdrawn her top, resting there now exposed, save for the bra she wore, which was of the black and lacy variety, a surprise of her own for Regina. But she was on display, her scars, her bruises, everything. There was no shame on her face, no surprise, nothing. "If you want more, you're going to have to work your way up to it." Anke pulled herself back down, or rather let herself lower back down, her hair now spilling over her shoulders, the scent of her shampoo, a mess of lilac and other wild flowers revealing itself.

    Anke's hands once again free took Regina's human and placed it on her stomach, letting the skin beneath her fingers. "You are capable of so much more than you've let yourself believe, than what you've let them tell you... and you are beautiful." Anke's words were kind and soft, she let herself roll off of Regina and back to the bed, now looking at the ceiling. Knowing she had to take her time still. "They say that everything happens for a reason... and our fates are just so intertwined... it would be foolish to ignore the signs we've been given, and not embrace one another so fully, so completely. That we don't just project an image of love and affection, but we feel it deeply within us, and we embody that image."
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

  7. #147
    I Forgot My Title....
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    Regina did not have words to tell her just how she was doing, but by the way Anke's body reacted to her touch, Regina had the idea that perhaps she was doing something right. By the way her back arched and the fervor she was putting into her kisses, Regina believed what she was doing the right thing, hitting the right buttons. Regina felt herself being pushed back into the bed; truly, vulnerable was the right word to describe how she felt. Vulnerable because Anke was seeing her at her most emotional. Vulnerable because Anke could do whatever she wanted with her. As Anke's lips broke away from her, Regina saw the cascade of blonde that fell down her shoulders, saw the burning desire in Anke's eyes. It was quite the sight to behold; Regina couldn't look away even as Anke sat up straight to lift her shirt off her body. Her body was scarred and marked, badges of battles past that she wore to this day. Regina's eyes were drawn to the exposed skin, her eyes inspecting every blemish, every reminder that the world is cruel.

    When Anke rolled off of her, Regina sat up in bed, knowing what Anke meant by 'work your way up to it'. She was placing control back in Regina's hands, though she wasn't inherently certain she was up to the task. Her own hands betrayed her, and a complex swirl of desires and emotions battled it out deep within. As she looked at her own hand, considering her options, Anke grabbed it, gently placing it on Anke's stomach to feel her body. Regina stared at the hand, glancing to Anke for a moment and studying her face. Regina shook her head. "I'm not the beautiful one here." She spoke matter-of-factly, as though there was simply no room for debate on the matter. Regina moved to placed her head on Anke's stomach, placing her lips wherever she spotted a bruise or a scar. She meticulously made sure each and every spot had received a gentle kiss before Regina sat back up, looking Anke in the eye. "You have shown me...so much. In just a short time. I'm not the one responsible for that..." Regina sat back down in her spot for a moment. Maybe she was killing the moment, or maybe she was just taking a moment to truly consider what she was doing.

    She turned back to Anke, laying down on her side to regard her fully once again. She took in Anke's scent, closing her eyes and simply absorbing herself in the moment. She knew a lot of soldiers would likely kill to be in her position right now-and probably a few strange ones wished to be in Anke's spot. Regina didn't fully get it, but...she was the one who had won the rights. She sighed softly, edging closer to Anke as she spoke poetic about fate and their need to take advantage of it. "So much talk of love..." Regina eyed Anke quietly, taking in her words at face value. "Are you saying...?" Regina was curious as to Anke's own feelings. Her own were in turmoil, and she was unable to make full sense of many of them. She knew this much: She wanted to be by Anke's side. She had become very important to her, and she was not about to allow anything to come between them. Her metallic hand traced along Anke's stomach now, the cool metal gently traveling along bare skin. It came to Regina's attention that she was now the overdressed one; her hand drifted to her left side, clutching it tightly as her own shirt's fabric clung to her body. She wasn't sure if she was ready for something like that. To show Anke her greatest shame, her worst imperfections. Yet Anke had done it so easily..."How did you..." Regina tried to ask, but her words fumbled in her mouth. "Do that." She mimed the motion of pulling her shirt over her head. "I'm sure it couldn't have been too easy." She knew she was speaking vaguely, but the words just wouldn't come to her mouth. She stared down at her own shirt, feeling a wave of embarrassment come over her. Anke was so much stronger than her...
    Karma is the best.

  8. #148
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    The feeling of Regina's lips on her body, commemorating, paying tribute to each and every mark she could find was intoxicating. Anke could feel her breathe turn rapid for a moment, only alleviated by forced deep breaths inward. It was piercing passion, a touch so desperately longed for and welcomed. The kind of feeling that was electric and could make you forget who you were, or what you were doing, all that existed was a growing sensation of pleasure and peace. And then, it was gone. But Anke's body was still reeling, her legs bending, her back arching inward and away from the bed, the mess of her hair finding resting spots along her shoulders and collarbones.

    The world of thought came crashing back down, but Anke was not displeased with this. "I haven't shown you anything that you don't already know... I'm simply helping you rediscover what you'd lost or forgotten." Anke was quick to point out, or contradict Regina. "I don't believe you've never had these kinds of feelings.. or emotions before... but certainly where you can't really remember them. Don't give me too much credit." Anke nodded softly, staring rather comfortably at Regina, her hand moving beneath her check as a sort of makeshift pillow.

    However, the most intriguing queries were yet to come, what was Anke really saying? "What am I trying to say?" Anke spoke aloud and paused for a moment to allow her thoughts to come to some sort of conclusion, some kind of definitive answer but it was hard to say. "I suppose I don't know. It's a complicated swirling mess, isn't it? I have these incredibly powerful feelings for you. The kind that defy words. The kind that have no explanation. We are two heavenly bodies drawn together, I cannot deny that." Anke had a clever way of using more words than necessary, it was her own way of sorting out the answer as she spoke through it. "A finer point would be, am I falling in love? Yes. I suppose that I am. But it's been so long... it's hard to remember. Or perhaps I am now being shown that I never had love like others. And this is new."

    To admit that Anke may have misunderstood her own emotions in the past, or in the present was a painful act. Anke had loved her last partner, of course she had. But in so many more ways she simply used him to meet her own needs and then cast him aside when he had fulfilled his purpose. Perhaps that was a different kind of love, a different flavor of love. The kind that was only meant to be supporting for a set period of time, and what she felt now was something different, something greater. But it had been so short a time... but in a way these two women had spent the greater part of two years circling one another, even if not consciously.

    "I've always thought of my life as a... piano concerto." For now, Anke was beginning to wax poetic, philosophically almost. "A piece of music designed for a solo instrument, the piano in this case, and accompanied by an orchestra, an ensemble, other supporting players... Where I am the central figure, and the others move around me, but they move for me. They support me, shape me, but in the end... without me there is nothing. An orchestra without purpose, without music." Anke sighed, and let out a small huff, trying to be... understood. "But lately... I feel like you're the pianist and I'm the violinist. Like I'm here to be the one supporting you, and to be more than I have been. Perhaps I've underestimated the role of the orchestra."

    Anke shook her head. "That's silly, I know. But it's how I feel. And I've never in my life been more okay with that, than I am right now." Anke was learning in her own way not to be selfish, or self centered. Anke was discovering that she wasn't the center of the universe and she didn't need to be. Regina had taught her that.

    "As for this." Anke motioned to the top half of her body in response to the second query Regina had posed. "It's unfortunately very easy for me." Anke sighed again. "Maybe not unfortunately, that might be the wrong word." It was the wrong word. It had always been the wrong word. Anke created her own fortune. "I'm used to using my body to get what I want. I don't... sell myself or anything... but it's never hurt." Anke was confronted for the first time in a long time with her true nature, and she didn't like it. "But the scars... the imperfections, they don't bother me at all. That was a harder lesson to learn." Another sigh.

    "They aren't bad. They aren't reminders of my pain or my suffering. They're instead reminders of what I've survived. And without these scars... well, I don't know who I would be today. Or if I'd even be here. So in that way, they are beautiful. They are all parts of me, and at the end of the day... someone will either accept me for who I am as a whole. All of me. Or they won't. And if they won't, or this is too much... well then that is their loss isn't it? My life is not measured by what I was anymore. My life is measured by what and who I am. You... don't have to take anything off, if you aren't ready."

    Anke knew how uncertain Regina felt, how afraid she was to show all of her self, or her most vulnerable parts because Regina did not accept them, at least not entirely anyway. "I'm not scared. I won't think of you as some sort of monster or robot... or Terminator. All of this." Anke motioned gently to the metal on Regina's body. "Just another part, like anything else. It's become you, but it doesn't define you, Regina. Your soul does that... your spirit. Your personality. Who cares if you've had a few pieces replaced? I'm no more my hands, than I am my brain. Hands are tools." Anke hoped she was speaking clearly, but she wasn't sure anymore. This whole night she had just been rambling.
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

  9. #149
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    Anke actually had a point regarding Regina's emotions. There was a good chance she had felt these emotions before, but her memories were lost and adrift, her mind unable to recall the way she felt when. Regina closed her eyes, fighting through those hazy recollections she still had of those few scenes Anke had brought back to the forefront. Did she have a smile on her face? Was she happy in that moment before the house collapsed? Regina strained her brain for a moment, then sighed, shaking her head. It was no use. It wasn't coming back. Not yet. Instead, Regina listened to Anke speak poetically on the nature of her life. Anke admitted she was...falling for Regina. Regina shook her head, unsure how to react. Did Regina love Anke? She couldn't be sure. She didn't know what 'love' felt like. But it seemed...Anke couldn't remember either. She was just guessing, supposing. Just like her...but much more expressive. Regina remained quiet yet again, letting the words sink in. Anke was falling...for her. Regina just didn't get it. Why? How?

    Anke had moved on, using flowery language to describe her own life. Anke, of course, used an orchestra as her metaphor. Regina scoffed. Somehow, that seemed typical. However, Regina listened quietly, believing she was making sense of what Anke had to say. She felt like her life had been like she was the main character, that everything in her life was there to shape her existence...but now...she felt like she was there to...help...Regina? Regina frowned, staring up at the ceiling as she considered what Anke had to say. "Why do you have to be the supporting piece?" Regina asked quietly, not looking over at Anke. "I've...never been the type to want help. I want to handle everything myself. If I can't do things on my own, then I have failed in what I've set out to do..." Regina spoke quietly, but tried to pull it back to the idea of the orchestra. "Why can't we both be centerpieces? Like...dueling pianos or something." Regina vaguely recalled a show she had been to...a hazy memory getting a bit of focus as she spoke. She was...young. It was her first time in Urlachen in either a long time, or her entire short life to that point. They'd gone to a big orchestral hall, and two pianos had been set up. The performers, two men...one dressed in white, the other black...they'd played their own separate pieces, but in the end combined to play something they could only accomplish with four hands...or each other.

    "Something where we play our own tunes, but it gets better when we...work together." Regina tried to play out the orchestra metaphor to its conclusion, hoping her own flimsy language was enough for Anke to understand. Why did they have to exist where one was lesser than the other? Why couldn't they just...support each other? Regina was loathe to accept help, but with Anke...it was different. Her support felt like an extension of her own arm, almost. Her own mechanical arm....

    At Anke's mentioning of her own body, Regina looked back over to Anke, showing Regina her body again as she explained how she drew strength from it, didn't care what others thought. How she'd used her own natural advantages to her benefit. Regina listened to her speak of her scars, how they shaped who she was today..."My scars, my...imperfections..." Regina shivered at the word, her arms drawing invariably tighter to herself. "They are a reminder that I wasn't good enough on my own. I...I had to be saved from my own demise, and then..." Another shiver. "Even with the surgeries, with my..." Regina shrugged her metal arm and shook her head. Her expression was quickly shifting to one of fear without her noticing. "They couldn't fix...everything. A constant reminder of what will happen if I'm ever...not good enough again." Regina turned to look Anke in the eye one more time. "It's not your opinion..." This was a confrontation of her deepest-seeded beliefs. She wasn't sure what Anke was going to say. "It's mine. Mine and...theirs." Regina shook her head. "I know...they can't see, but...knowing I'd be showing proof of my complacency and imperfection to someone, I..." Regina's hands gripped into fists. Why couldn't she just finish her sentences? Why couldn't she confront what was in front of her? "...I'm not ready..." Regina tugged on her shirt, burying her face in her pillow. "I'm not good enough...for that. For you. You can do better. Find someone who isn't...." Isn't afraid. The word stuck in Regina's head. Emotions were so painful to contend with...
    Last edited by Iwazuma; 11-25-2023 at 12:47 AM.
    Karma is the best.

  10. #150
    The Grey Lady
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    Dueling Pianos, it was an interesting point, and an even more interesting metaphor given its origin. The thought of it made Anke smile. The theory was well met, that they should both be able to play a central figure, or the main character in their own lives. In each other's lives. It also fit in nicely with the fact that Regina was not one to ask for help. She was the kind of woman who had to do everything on their own, anything less would simply be... unacceptable. The thought however, was still enough to prompt some kind of response from Anke as she lay there.

    "Perhaps then, we change it to a symphony, and we simply play different instruments." This was a more acceptable solution to Anke, as Anke would not tolerate the notion of another pianist, even in her life she had looked down on others. They weren't good enough, they hadn't tried hard enough, their dedication was lacking, they weren't serious. Anke did not share the spotlight well, she thought highly of herself and her craft. Other pianists may as well be self-taught amateurs. "I think there's only room enough for one pianist in this relationship." Relationship, that word was accurate indeed. "Besides. You're more of... an Organist."

    The Pipe Organ was not dissimilar to the piano. They both relied on keys to produce notes. However, a Pipe Organ was a truly massive instrument, built into locations. The Pipe Organ relied on wind rising up through the pipes, and a complicated network of 'stops' to produce different ranges of sounds. A piano was simply a piano. An Organ could mimic almost any instrument. A piano was played with the hands, the Organ was played with the hands and the feet, often with multiple key decks. An organ was more akin to a computer. In short, complicated. Organs were complicated, and Organists were creatures of a rare and extreme talent. Regina was complicated.

    "Scars should not be reminders of a failure to act, to be good enough on your own." Anke shook her head and produced a 'tut tut' sound from her lips. "No one is perfect, not even you. Perfection is an aspiration, an eternal goal that is just beyond grasp. The idea of perfection propels us, compels us, even... to do better, to be better. But missing perfection is not equivalent with failure." Anke had spent her entire life chasing perfection, and what had it gotten her? Nothing, some scars, a few missing organs, but it also had given her so much. A career, a future, a hope. "Regina, your body sustained massive injury, the kind you can't wrap in a cast and let time heal..." Another sigh escaped from her.

    "When they gave you new limbs, they didn't fix anything escape physical injury. It kept you alive and gave you hope for living and a purpose. But it can't fix anything. Only you can do that... and as for not being ready. That's okay." Anke stopped long enough to smile and nod reassuringly. "I'll be here when you are. And you don't get to decide who is enough for me and who isn't. I do, and you're worth it."
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

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