Erm. Anyway. Consider this a remix/retelling of that other Linali-centric one shot of mine. A different way of it happening, or something along those lines, 'cause it's pretty much about the same thing.
Title: Good Little Girls Don't (the wicked she may be rendition)
Length: approx. 959 words, one shot
Character/Pairing: Linali-centric, mentions of her family
Prompts: Written for 31_days at lj, February 3, 2007: the wicked daughter.
Disclaimer: Not mine. (Why do I even have this thing? It's always the same. skdjgk.)
Warnings: Spoilers for chapter 21, vague references to later chapters.
Summary: Linali hasn’t always been the good daughter, the innocent child. Not always, she believes-knows-thinks. Not always.
Though wicked she may be, wicked still she is not.
So the story goes, at least.
(Or does it?)
Good Little Girls Don’t
(the wicked she may be rendition)
Good little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice.
Linali sees them sometimes on Sunday mornings while heading to church. Little girls in pinafores and long dresses or Sunday frills and lace, clutching their mother’s or father’s hands and tugging at the big bow ribbons, the tails of which hung down from their hats.
Her father would then beam and her mother would bend down, straighten her lacy little dress, and hold up her chin with a slight chuck. Such a pretty little girl, she’d say, so much like the other rainbow-colored butterflies around them.
Linali would smile, and allows them to twirl her around in little whirls of sunshine.
Good little girls don’t hurt the ones they love.
She loves her family. She loves them.
She would never bring any harm to them. Ever.
(But ever and forever just don’t mean enough, just don’t really mean a thing, are as empty as the words they are.
As empty as the truth.)
Good little girls don’t cause any trouble, especially not for their parents.
And she doesn’t. She doesn’t. She holds their hands as she walks along the sidewalk, she looks both ways to make sure nothing’s tearing down the street, she goes shopping with them on Mondays and dances in the market to make them smile. She doesn’t cause any trouble – on the contrary, she brings them joy.
But in the end, this proves that she’s a wicked child all the same, because she ended up bringing them the ultimate kind of trouble, didn’t she?
She hadn’t meant to do that. She hadn’t meant to cause any of it at all. How was she supposed to know that the one time she didn’t heed her mother’s warning and instead stepped out into the street too soon, something was going to hurtle towards her at breakneck speed? How was she supposed to know that her parents would jump in the way to protect her?
How was she supposed to know?
(Of course she knew, of course they would, they were her parents what else would they have done - )
She ended up getting them killed.
(The policemen said they were such unnatural deaths, what little was left of their flattened bodies and the stars that tattooed their skins, but then the official reports made no note of the irregularities and said that they suffered mortal wounds from the carriage’s wheels. But even when she understands what this means years later, she still thinks she’s to blame.)
Linali never tells anyone about it because it is her burden to bear, hers and hers alone. Her secret, her shame. And no one’s ever blamed her – who would blame a little girl for her parents’ deaths? – and no one’s ever known.
Her brother hugs her tightly that night, but she does not feel the warmth from it. She doesn’t feel anything, hasn’t felt anything at all that day – is that possible? Is that right?
Horrible, her mind screams at her over and over, and she takes it without protest, without a single cry at all.
Good little girls are seen and not heard.
Seen, yes; she’s there for the world to see as she sits on the pew in stony silence, listening to the sermons and the sayings, the writs for the dead.
Heard, no. Linali says nothing. Never not a single word that entire time. Watches the caskets being lowered, watches time fly into the ground before her very eyes. Even her brother sheds a tear, but she…she does nothing.
She thinks she might’ve forgotten something – (how) to grieve – (a reason) to cry –
Good children might be seen and not heard, but this time, she thinks the silence is telling of something else entirely, something much less to be proud of.
(She knows she’s forgotten to cry – to cry – )
That thought alone makes her want to burst into tears, except she can’t. She can’t.
Adults passing by the pew who give their respects and hushed apologies comment on how she’s such a strong little girl, how she’s taking this so well, and it makes her want to scream.
(But she has no voice left, so it doesn’t really matter, does it?)
Good little girls do as they’re told.
Linali goes with the man in black and silver, a gleaming cross emblazoned on his chest, and only cries a little – just a little – as her brother and everything she once knew disappears from her line of sight. She only cries that much.
(Because good little girls don’t take a stranger’s hand – )
This – is penance. This, she deserves. Because wicked little children are punished for their transgressions. Always.
And this is that punishment, she believes, as she wears the Innocence and is sent hurtling towards the sun, sent behind to burn in its rays.
She only hopes it will atone for all that she's done, sins of the devil and everything else.
She only hopes without really hoping at all.
Because there’s no such thing as hope any more in this. No such thing.
And when the Dark Boots give her their power and she alone stands at the top of the world, able to help any loved one of hers at all, she asks, “but who do I even have left now to protect?”
She knows the answer.
(And that’s how her story ends.)
I usually don’t revisit things I’ve written once ever again, so this is a change. It’s just that the theme beckoned to me and told me to write D.G-M, so who was I to argue with that. Except…compared to the other fic of mine, I don’t really like this one. Or even not compared to that one. Bah.
And I can make stories about any character dark and depressing, and so. Haha. Uhm. Yeah. I wish I could write happy funny stuff. Sigh.
Thanks to Rika for the emergency beta’ing. And comments and all that jazz are great. :D