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you might want me, I might want you - Idiot Control Now
bees on pie, burning rubber tires
mellowcandle
mellowcandle
you might want me, I might want you
I'm not "officially" posting this. It's a first draft not going anywhere else because it needs serious work, but it's one of those few times I wish I had a beta to really work through the problem areas with me. Because there are a lot of them. The tone, the narration, the flow, the ending especially, just everything. But I said I would post something by tomorrow.

Title: Surrender
Series: ToA
Prompt: Guy/Nat, snow day



What started as a simple morning walk around the square had turned into a boys-versus-girls snowball fight.

It was all Guy’s doing; he’d admit that. But he couldn’t help himself. As Natalia walked in front of him, her hips swaying back and forth, her perky round backside made the perfect target.

She was in the middle of saying something, as she usually was, when he stooped down and scooped up a handful of snow. He formed the snow into loose ball, gave it a gentle toss, and watched it splatter across her royal posterior.

Immediately she whirled around to face him, hands on hips, indignant. “How dare you assault my person?”

“Luke did it.” Even if she were foolish enough to believe that, his grin gave him away.

“Nice try,” she replied, and prepared to retaliate with a snowball of her own. However, Guy could duck faster than Natalia could throw, and Luke ended up with something wet and cold in his face.

“Hey!” Luke barely got the word out before a second snowball hit him smack in the nose. “Anise, what the hell?”

Anise shrugged. “It looked like fun,” she said, “and I didn’t want to be left out.”

This was all the cue Florian needed. His aim wasn’t as good as Anise’s, or maybe it was the best of all, because his snowball landed right above Tear’s left breast.

Tear let out a surprised gasp, but Luke was laughing. “Good shot, kid!” Florian beamed proudly as Luke gave him a high-five. Which earned Luke another snowball to the face. “Seriously, what the hell? I’m the only one who hasn’t thrown one.”

“Then bring it,” Anise said, “if you think you can.”

Guy stood between Luke and Florian, one eyebrow raised with amused defiance. “Is that a formal declaration of war?”

Likewise Natalia was standing between Tear and Anise, her arms folded and her chin high. “It is indeed,” the princess answered with all the authority and severity her position afforded.

And so it began.

The girls took the first advantage, joining hands and running toward the nearest hedge. It offered the time and coverage they needed to amass a small arsenal, and soon a barrage of snowballs was flying.

Exposed, the boys were left to dodge and contemplate their few options. There was low stone wall across the square, and while they weren’t thrilled to admit they were beaten to this strategy by women, it wasn’t the time for chauvinistic pride. Luke put Florian in charge of making snowballs as fast as he could, leaving Guy and Luke to focus on power and aim.

It was an evenly matched battle—though Luke took more snowballs to the face than anyone—and Guy knew that if they were to win, another tack was necessary.

Almost halfway between their base and the girls’ hedge was a large tree, which offered an excellent sniper-style spot for the person who reached it first.

“Cover me, men,” Guy said. “I’m going closer.”

He sidled up to the tree in record time, then made a rookie error and took his eyes off the prize, instead choosing to look back at his teammates and give them a thumbs up. Behind him came a soft yet slushy tread, and he turned around just in time for Natalia to shove a handful of cold, wet snow down the front of his shirt.

He yelped a very unmanly yelp, and she ran away, her laughter ringing in the winter air.

Again he was faster than she was, but just as he caught up to her, she slipped on an exposed patch of ice. Without thinking, he looped his arms around her waist and pulled her backward, taking the brunt of the fall himself. The snow offered enough cushion to make their tumble awkward but relatively painless.

She was still giggling as she rolled away from him. “I brought you down!” she declared, her eyes dancing with victory. “Do you surrender?”

For the first time, his silver tongue failed him. It was tangled up, the cleverness knocked out of him. No quick lines came to his lips; no charming rejoinders were locked and loaded. No jokes, nothing easy or familiar.

All he could do was look at her.

Her eyes were shining with amusement, and her smile rivaled the morning sun in brightness and warmth. Her cheeks were flushed from exertion and the cold and maybe from falling on top of him. Snowflakes sparkled like diamonds in her eyelashes and glittered in the golden waves of her hair.

She was like a winter fairy. A snow princess.

That she was beautiful was not a new revelation. It was an objective, observable fact. He’d known her too many years to pretend he’d never noticed before, and wouldn’t indulge in clichés like he was seeing her for the first time.

What was new was this reaction to her, this sudden impulse to kiss her.

It came out of nowhere, and now it was everywhere, refusing to shut up, making his heart pound and his mouth dry, making it hard to breathe.

One word fought its way through the tangle. “Natalia.”

“Guy.” She mimicked his serious tone, drawing out his name in that slightly impatient way she had. But then her giggles subsided, her smile faded, and she was looking back at him, curious and questioning.

There were too many variables. What if it was terrible? She couldn’t be, but he might be really bad at it. It might ruin their friendship, and he couldn’t risk that. Besides, if he tried, would she even let him? If he did so much as lean forward, would she meet him in the middle?

The possibility of it all hung unspoken in that still, silent space between them.

And, somehow, the space was shrinking.

“Natalia, help!” Anise’s voice was as shrill as an alarm clock. “We’re getting creamed! Where are you?”

Natalia jumped up like she had a spring beneath her. “I’m coming,” she called back, brushing snow from her skirt, “and I’ve got a prisoner!”

The moment was gone, the spell broken, and Guy’s tongue finally unknotted. “No, I caught you,” he said. Bringing back the joke and the game made their teasing natural and comfortable again, and restored the illusion that their superficial type of flirting wasn’t indicative of anything deeper. “So that makes you my prisoner.”

She seemed stunned by this, and presented her back to him with a haughty toss of her hair. “I don’t recall that at all.”

“Yeah. Yeah, I did,” he answered, a slow grin spreading across his face. “Do you surrender?”

She huffed, but when she glanced at him over her shoulder, her eyes flashed, burning a hole through that illusion once more. “Never.”







Totally unrelated, I told D I wanted one of these tomorrow:


Photobucket

"Okay, so far, our ideal party consists of beer, fights to the death, cupcakes, blood pudding, blood, touch football, mating, charades, and yes, horse hunting."

Tags: , , ,
Current Mood: determined determined
Current Music: love is just a word--ingram hill

14 pathetic excuses or justify your existence
Comments
cal_reflector From: cal_reflector Date: April 9th, 2010 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Overall (and I've been your beta a few times), you are banging your head against the wall over nothing: I'm concerned that you are reaching for some Perfect Piece on a High Pedestal and so focused on reaching that goal that the process of writing
(and rewriting) becomes a burden rather than a joy. If you have fun writing it, it WILL be good. The story is fine. The character voices are good, their behaviors are convincing.

That said, if I were to oblige and enable your unhealthy obsession with perfectionism: I feel that you seem... stuck in some mold. The details change, but the mechanisms employed to achieve the Moment of Realization of Love are repeated, piece to piece. The Yotsubato piece comes to mind, substitute Asagi for Guy. The specific imagery (Guy's POV of all of Natalia's feature) is superior however.

I feel you need to break out and write something different. Something you've never done before, or haven't done in a long time. It's the only way I know of how to keep myself engaged, my way of breaking off the rust that accumulates between every binge of writing.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: April 9th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I told myself that I would retire this trope after this. I've used it three times in three different fandoms, and even though you're my only crossover reader who would notice, I knew this had to be the last time. I just couldn't come up with anything else to do. (I've noticed this with published authors, too, that they have their favorite wells, and once I can predict the author's pattern, I quit reading them and move on to someone else.)

I have gotten much more comfortable with Natalia's voice. I need to focus on fleshing out the others.

Maybe I should tackle one of my AUish ideas. I generally hate AUs, but at least it would be different.
cal_reflector From: cal_reflector Date: April 9th, 2010 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Re comfort: I can relate; it takes me a while before I feel like I've "mastered" a character's personality and voice, at which point they start writing themselves. Your Kaho comes to mind.

I think you should continue to write Natalia, just try putting her in new situations; situations she hasn't found herself in before.

The AU may is a good idea. It allows you to take your favorite characters and put them in an entirely new world/setting, and do so without altering what makes them who they are. I shared a similar aversion to AU, but the few I wrote were both extremely enjoyable and well received. Good luck!
cal_reflector From: cal_reflector Date: April 9th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Also, try writing something longer. You've been doing one-shots for a long time now. Maybe time to delve into something longer. The deep, engrossing kind of satisfaction you get from working with and fleshing out character and plot requires more room. 10,000 to 20,000 words?

Plus, satisfactory short stories are just really hard to write; something is always sacrificed, truncated. Like instant noodles or merely 5 minutes to get drunk.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: April 9th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Some good points and ideas. I should do something more in depth. I just worry about starting something I can't finish again. I got so burned out on my other multichapter stories, and then the more people ganged up on me about not finishing them, the more I didn't want to finish them, because they did become a burden instead of something fun.

I just need to find that definitive idea that can be expanded beyond a thousand words....
cal_reflector From: cal_reflector Date: April 9th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I've started quite a few Long Fics, and some even got quite far before I gave up. The one that's going past 100,000 words despite multi-month gap between updates is because it has more than 1500 reviews.

So I think for the long, long fics, it's luck whether we get enough quality feedback to fuel the motivation. Hit and miss. But I've also finished a few medium length fics too; typically 5 chapters. Those were some of my best writing, and manageable.

Happy birthday? Would you like me to write you a story? What's your craving?
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: April 10th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
For me the problem is coming up with a sustainable idea, outlining it, and then having the drive to actually do it. Everyone in my family is always telling me I should write ("Just come up with an idea and write it!"), but they don't get how very, very difficult I find it. Some people dash 5000 words off like they're buttering toast. For me, every word is a struggle. And starting something else when I couldn't even finish the others feels like setting myself up to fail.


Thanks, and if you want. You know what I like.
cal_reflector From: cal_reflector Date: April 10th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can relate to the feeling, setting up to fail. But if we view "not finishing" as failure, I don't think we'll get far (or have fun) as writers. It's a struggle for me to, to take my victories in smaller chunks (finish one paragraph, one dialogue, one scene, one chapter...) if you know what I mean.

Have fun writing in the now. Finish a paragraph and read it and think, "Pretty good, though I say so myself!" Not, "1 paragraph down. 35 more to go."

Writing is like, like... sex, you know? If all we focused on were the end/objective, who'd have sex? All about enjoying the process, every step of the way.

You like several things, a few of which I'm decent at writing. I've also written stuff you refuse to admit you secretly crave enjoy. Can you be more specific? Name a few and I'll pick one, as is our usual practice.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: April 11th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Writing is like, like... sex, you know?

Haha, and sometimes you're tired and not into it at all, but you kinda feel obligated. Yep, that's actually a perfect analogy.
cal_reflector From: cal_reflector Date: April 11th, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Almost done with your fic.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: April 11th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Looking forward to it!
cal_reflector From: cal_reflector Date: April 11th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Up.
blushingsigh From: blushingsigh Date: April 9th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BB :D!
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: April 9th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you sweetie! ♥
14 pathetic excuses or justify your existence