Seeing Stars

Seeing Stars

Postby brainy_kevin » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:16 am

Upon Divinewargod's request I started this fanfic about Erik and Isolda and more recently decided to publish it on the forums. This is not only the first fanfic I've posted to the Missing Stars forums, but the first fanfic I've written ever. Reading this will make abundantly clear that I am most definitely not a writer, although I did emerge with a newfound respect for writers in general. It took quite a bit of work to end up even with this; I can only imagine what writers who write things that are actually good must go through. Nevertheless, it is what it is, and here it is.

Seeing Stars:

I stared at Isolda: she was hardly the type to make an offer like this as a joke, but I had thought that she also wasn't the type of person to ask to go out with someone she barely knows. While we had talked before, it never reached the point of me expressing any personal interest in her or her club, right? If I had no interest in her then, then did she have an interest in me? These were important issues to consider, but her question demanded a response now.

“Stargazing, you say?” I replied, none too suavely.

“Indeed. You would show up at 23:00 in the gardens. I would bring all the equipment.” Her voice sounded through the now almost entirely empty classroom, pleasantly French, although a touch flat and toneless.

“Stargazing... with only you there?” Dammit. My brain was still several minutes behind in the conversation. Isolda frowned and stood in puzzled thought for a minute; finally shaking her head: “No, you would be there too of course.” Ah, silly me. So, my options for the evening were either to agree to some late-night private stargazing with Isolda or to finish my physics homework that should have been completed long ago. Homework was clearly the responsible choice.

“Yeah, astronomy sounds great. I'll see you then.”

Isolda clapped her hands and looked unusually pleased for a moment. “Oh, excellent! As I said, 23:00 in the gardens. Do not forget!” Certainly not.

The conversation now apparently being over, she returned to intently studying her book, our talk having ended as abruptly as it had started. Although she had returned to the world of comparative evolutionary biology, my thoughts lay in pondering this new development. Isolda was certainly the type to suppose that everyone else is as fascinated by her interests as she is, so an invitation to go stargazing might have been only that. Still, it was at least possible that she was interested in me as more than a potential astronomer. Interesting to think about, but could we ever have a real relationship? Does Isolda think that we have chemistry together; what would she have to say?

“No, we don't have chemistry together. But we do have anatomy, calculus, and physical education together.” Yes, that's exactly what she would say. Thank you imaginary Isolda, you're just as helpful as the real thing.

The sun had long since set and the lights had long since gone out by the time I arrived at the garden, although it was nearly an hour before the scheduled time. The stargazing event, or date, or whatever it was wasn't an enormously pressing issue for me but there was nothing else to do that night except physics homework, so taking a stroll beforehand was eminently practical. With a deep yawn I took a look around: in fact, the gardens at night were much the same as the gardens during the day, except darker and colder.

“What a miserable time to be awake and outside” was what first popped into my head, but there was no need to entertain this sort of thinking so with a sigh the thought was banished to the vapors of my brain from whence it arose. Looking at stars, eh? After staring up at the sky for a few minutes whatever attraction this held for Isolda, Jeanne, and all the others remained far from obvious. Although it wasn't as bad as it had first appeared; the stars were quite pretty at this time of night and the garden was pleasant enough if you were willing to ignore the tiredness and the cold.

Craning my neck up to look at the stars made my neck stiff: an enticing patch of grass beneath a tree several meters off the path beckoned. Walking over and lying beneath the tree made looking up at the stars somewhat more bearable. With my eyes closed for just a well-deserved moment and the breeze blowing only lightly, it was clear that really, this stargazing deal wasn't so bad once you got past the cold, and the *yawn*...tiredness...

Dammit! Well, that was entirely predicable. After flinging my eyes open and looking around, the following observations leaped out at me: It was still quite dark out. Alright, that was a start, but how long had I dozed off? With a groan I pushed myself off the ground and stretched. Time to check my watch: dammit, not good. Not good at all. With only a very slim hope I headed off towards the corner of the gardens where we had agreed to meet. After a few minutes of walking... nobody. Well, that had been a bit too much to expect anyway, so it was probably now time to head back to my room. Dammit. Now, time to figure out how to explain this to Isolda when next we meet. Say that I forgot? In fact, she would almost certainly believe that, but it would be nice to think that such an approach is beneath me.

The scene's melancholy very appropriately matched my own feelings, with the only sounds being the wind blowing, the birds wailing, and... something else? Something coming from about a dozen meters off the path, in a grove of trees... it seems Isolda hadn't gone home after all. Well, time to apologize. While approaching where Isolda had presumably set up her astronomy camp, I could hear her talking to herself. Which was hardly unexpected, as she probably had thrown herself into stargazing and had forgotten entirely that I was ever going to have been there. In fact, she was talking quite animatedly with herself.

“...and what if he hates me and only ever said he would come because he wanted to be polite and...” Ah, dammit. How long had she been worrying about this? Now it seemed it would have been better if she actually had gone back to the dorms. After walking up behind her and gently touching my hand to her shoulder she jumped slightly and turned around.

“Isolda, it's me. I'm sorry that I'm late. In fact, I'm extremely sorry that I'm extremely late. And uh, I don't hate you.” That idiotic phrasing was the very antithesis of diplomacy, but Isolda's worried expression became calmer. Directness has its benefits at times, perhaps.

“So, uh, what are we going to be looking at tonight?” Isolda started smiling, even if not especially widely, and digging through her astronomy bag. “Well, Venus is especially bright tonight so of course we will begin by taking observations of it, and after that...”

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