“It’s late. Shouldn’t you be asleep?” Dev and Atrophy :3
For your listening pleasure and the inspirational song for this prompt, I suggest one listen to “Someone Else’s Story”, from Chess in Concert.
She couldn’t sleep, which was a common enough occurrence.
Her body hung in a delicate balance between life and death, caught in an endless cycle of pain that she had caused by choice and now couldn’t end. It was the curse of an experiment she had agreed to…all for what? Recognition? The self-satisfaction of knowing she was right?
Cecile propped herself up on the front step of the little condominium she had..ah..borrowed from its previous inhabitant. Here she can look up at the India sky, trying to pick a few stars from the tatters of cloud and black patches of night that passed overhead.
“It’s late. Shouldn’t you be asleep?”
Cecile turned her head to the doorway behind her, to the shadowy figure in long, colorful robes. He would advance, step by careful step, ever so formal and stiff and deliberate in his every action…!
He would stop behind her, not quite sitting down, yet. Though he acted like he didn’t really care, he was conscious of his own appearance and the state of his clothing.
Fire raced through her veins instead of blood. It burned and itched in a way she could neither really describe nor relieve.
So she would shake her head. She never really had a reason or a desire to lie to this man.
She had done it to herself…tried to give herself a power she was never meant to have. She’d become the first Synthetic superhuman, with dire consequences. A life of anguish in return for her attempts to reach godhood.
Ah…but despite the state of her heart, her mind..despite herself, he would only look at her with kindness. Perhaps a touch of sadness, too.
“You should sleep, Dev,” Cecile would answer. She would then curl herself a little tighter, tearing her gaze from him in hopes he would go back inside.
She was afraid of him never really caring for her. She was afraid he would never stop.
But Dev wouldn’t leave.
That wouldn’t be like him.
Instead, he would sit down beside her, the wooden porch step creaking under their combined weight. And he would look at her with his great, flickering eyes..so old, set in such a young face..!
He would find her hand, covered in black gloves, and he would hold it in his brown, sunkissed ones. His hands had wiped tears from the faces of orphans, helped them get dressed, served them meals, picked up their messes, carried sleeping children to bed…
…His hands dealt only kindness, and they were open to the weak and defenseless.
Did he think of her in that way?
It would take a moment, but Cecile would finally, slowly, give into his stubborn kindness. She would rest her head on his chest, and they would search for stars together. He wouldn’t touch her bare skin - if he touched her, her Synthetic abilities would cause him much pain - but he would hold her very gently, as if she were something easily broken.
Or perhaps as if she were something incredibly precious.
She would…and he would…
…If he were actually there, of course.
Cecile’s hand groped at empty air.
The fire burned in her veins, and its scorching heat made her skin warm and her vision cloudy. She was propped up on the front stop of a little condominium she had borrowed from an absentee owner, the India sky over her head, and her body burned with the recurring fever that had plagued her ever since she agreed to become the world’s first Synth.
And she was utterly, entirely alone.
Cecile’s eyelids flickered dangerously. Sleep, a troubled, hazy sleep, tugged at her senses. It hardly offered peace, but it promised relief from the relentless pain, the throb of her head and the fire in her joints and the stabs that any light source made to her eyes.
It promised another feverish dream..one of love and care and gentleness she’d come to realize was never hers..could never be hers.
So she curled herself on the wooden railing, holding her head precariously in a cupped palm. Cecile could dream…and were she capable of prayers, she would pray that Dev would return to her.
Even if he only ever would come in a dream.