Post by Kender Bard on Mar 16, 2011 0:58:59 GMT -5
Filly's mind brushed against his as she started to deny him entrance. ~I'd like to be al-~
But she cut herself off and, a little more slowly, let her mind touch his again. There was a sense of... surprise?
She waited a long few moments before telling him, ~Come in, Brad.~ She smoothed her wings and dress and scrubbed hastily at her eyes, hoping she could look more like she had been roused from a nap rather than her brooding. What is he doing here? Perhaps he needed medicine or Delilah did. A headache or an upset stomach.
Brad was left wondering at her surprise before she spoke to allow him in. Why should she be surprised? Had he done something to make her think he didn't want to be her friend? He remembered that before, she'd said she didn't think she could take it with grace if he left her lonely again. Was her being upset his fault after all?
Crawford stepped into the room and shut the door quietly before turning to face her, his expression one of concern and confusion. "Filly, have I done something to upset you?"
Post by Kender Bard on Mar 16, 2011 1:30:45 GMT -5
Of all the things he could have said, she hadn't been expecting that and her stunned surprise managed to conceal her emotions better than any fabricated attempt on her own part. "What? No, of course not..." She rose, as though she would go to him, then stopped short, catching herself. She hovered between settling back down on the edge of the bed and continuing what she was going to do and wound up just standing in a tense manner, doing neither.
"Why would you say that?" she asked him, as confused as he was.
"We haven't talked at all like we used to since I got back," Crawford said slowly, even more confused that she was surprised now. "You were surprised that I was the one at the door. You won't come to me now. I haven't been trying to avoid you and I can't think of anything I've done, but...." He spread his hands and walked toward her. "You've been upset. And if it were a fight with Schuldig or Harmony, we'd all know it. So...that's the only reason I can think of. That I've done something again, but this time I can't look back and figure it out."
Post by Kender Bard on Mar 16, 2011 2:19:43 GMT -5
"You haven't done anything, Brad," Filly told him gently. She reached out to him but only enough to brush her fingertips against his hand before she drew back. She focused on her shielding, putting them up tightly, shutting out the tiny hum of pain that had begun to build from her. "I know you haven't been avoiding me. I've been going out of my way to avoid you. You're happier than I've ever seen you. Nothing could possibly compel me to ruin that joy by laying my seemingly endless amount of emotional burdens at your feet. You're my- ... You've been- ..."
She looked at him in a sort of helpless way, rapidly blinking. Softer, she said, "I cherish you too much to do that. I don't want to weigh you down with my pain. I'd rather enjoy watching your happiness with Delilah. Everything about us is complicated. What you have with her seems... Simple. Better. I don't want to have to wade through any awkward emotional barriers just to cry on your shoulder and I sure as hell don't want to force you through that. I'm a mess and you're now finally getting to be un-messed."
"What awkward emotional barriers?" Crawford asked, baffled. "And what's complicated? We've been lovers, yes, and now we aren't, but that doesn't mean everything has to stop." He reached for her hand, trying to take it in his own. "Filly, I want a friend, not a spectator. Yes, I love Delilah. Yes, I can finally say now that I'm happy. You are not going to ruin that by confiding in me when you're upset. Delilah and I aren't made of glass. Our relationship isn't going to shatter because one of our friends needs one of us."
Post by Kender Bard on Mar 16, 2011 3:32:00 GMT -5
Filly swallowed hard and allowed him to take her hand. "It's difficult for me. I didn't think it would be. Forces and stars, I really didn't. I know you're not made of glass but I can't help but feel that I would... Taint things. Or something, I don't know. It was easier before, when we both had problems, not just me. And... That sounds awful of me."
She pulled her hand free. "I would tell you the way I can best-" she touched her Mind sign "-but there's so much hurt in me right now from other things that I'd drown you in it if I tried."
She hesitantly reached for his hand again. "I've... missed you so much. I didn't know how much until I tried to push you away. I thought, with Delilah here now, and being everything I've ever wanted in a friend, that I would be all right. But nobody makes me feel as... secure as you do." She brought her other hand up and swiped at her eyes. "Stars! Brad, you managed to comfort me when I thought I was going to die and that was before we even were really friends!"
Crawford squeezed her hand gently. "Then tell me what the matter is," he murmured. "I want to be able to offer whatever comfort and security I can. And I don't want to see you make the same mistake of withdrawing from people that I did."
Post by Kender Bard on Mar 16, 2011 4:03:28 GMT -5
Filly stood wavering for a few moments before suddenly hugging, clinging really, desperately to him. ~I will never...~ She began inching down her shields a little. Not all at once--that would have been painful for them both. But it was still a steady stream of misery.
She retold the story similarly to what she had told Nagi, though she didn't bother to blunt any of her words and told the story more plainly to him. And even as she did, almost overriding the anguish was shame as she concluded, ~And I know that it's such a stupid, stupid thing to obsess over and to be so upset about, but I can't help it. Schuldig's right, I AM 'baby crazy.' Nobody should be this torn up over as... inconsequential a thing as an unnecessary child. And I kept pushing the issue, and pushing it, and now I should be relieved that the matter is taken out of my hands, but instead I just feel like something important has been stripped out of me.~
She lay her head against his shoulder. At least she hadn't cried very much. She was still too spent from the day before. But if she had to tell this story one more time to anyone she was going to need to sleep for a week. ~I don't want to be upset over this. I could... turn it off. But I already know what a dangerous road that is. And you do too.~
~I do,~ Crawford acknowledged as he held her. ~And it caused me years more pain than if I had just let myself hurt and grieve to begin with. But Filly, even if you and Schuldig could never agree to have another child, it's still something that's important to you. Of course you're going to be torn up over it. Let yourself be.~
Post by Kender Bard on Mar 16, 2011 13:19:00 GMT -5
~I will~ she agreed. ~I'm not looking forward to telling him, though. What is he supposed to say or feel? Either he'll be guilty, angry at Efil or something, or he'll be relieved and I don't have the strength to put up with any of those.~
"Though who knows," she mumbled. "Maybe he'll just... Accept things in a graceful, agreeable manner. Trying to guess with him is futile at best. But I don't want to wind up fighting with him. Not after the effort he put into trying to make me happy."
~He actually proposed~ she added with the faintest trace of amusement.
Post by Kender Bard on Mar 16, 2011 14:15:19 GMT -5
"He bought me candy and flowers and asked me to marry him," Filly laughed quietly. "At first I thought he was joking. Then I worried about just how silly the whole idea is. But... He talked me into considering it a little more and, well, I agreed. To a very small one of course. For next year in the summer. I was going to surprise everyone but, well, it seems fitting to tell you first."
She lifted her head. "You're my best friend, Brad. I'm sorry for trying to push you away."
Post by Kender Bard on Mar 16, 2011 23:47:05 GMT -5
"No," Filly told him. "That really was the heart of the matter. What about you? Was there anything I can do for you? Delilah mentioned backrubs to me." She smiled a little. "Did you want me to start doing that again, or would you rather I simply taught Delilah?"