[TheNoir] Schmetterling by Vanir Wagner & Ethera
- From: VanirEWagner@xxxxxxx
- To: thenoir@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 16:09:49 EDT
Everything that he could possibly check had been checked. If it didn't work, he fixed it and, if it did work, it worked better. No, there was nothing left to do and Vanir knew it was high time he went back to his quarters. With a weary sigh, he climbed to his feet and headed for the exit. He knew he had to talk to Ethera but he still felt a bit off kilter, no matter what he and Lillian spoke about. When he first stepped into the cabin, the lights were dimmed. He thought he'd won a reprieve and that Ethera was asleep. Then he heard her moving about in her sleeping area and knew there was no escape. He sat down on the couch and ran his fingers through his hair, trying to figure out what he should say. He heard the swishing of soft materials but didn't look up. He couldn't. Didn't want to. Small bare feet with dark green material floating around their ankles. She was standing right in front of him. "I know you say it keeps you awake but I've brought you a cup of coffee. You said it comforts you when you're tired." He looked up at her. It was the same pair of aquamarine eyes but the face...Gott im Himmel, you tempt me. She's beautiful. "I...yes, thank you, liebling," he said quietly, still using the endearment by habit as he accepted the mug from her. Taking a sip, he had to smile. It was good, very good. "Well made, Ethera, just sweet enough. Ach, sit down. You make me nervous just standing there." "You were already nervous when you came in," Ethera noted as she gracefully sat, carefully not touching him. "True," he said with a weak chuckle. He took another sip of the coffee then let out a sigh. "Ethera, I owe you an apology. I ran away from you without an explanation." Ethera looked at his long indigo lashes, his bright yellow eyes barely visible, downcast as they were. His emotions were always very deep but she'd never sensed so many of them at once and never conflicting so mightily. She was pleased with her transformation but he, apparently, had expected it. It frightened him. "You are afraid of me," she said simply. "No, I am afraid of me, Ethera--of how I have reacted to this," Vanir said, vaguely indicating her appearance, still unable to look up. "I displease you then," she said softly. At the quaver in her voice, his head jerked up. He saw the slight flush on her cheeks then the fact that her mouth was trembling slightly made his heart stick in his throat. He carefully set the coffee mug down on the table then reached to tilt up her face. "Please don't cry. I hate when women cry," he said as he thumbed away a tear from her cheek. "Ethera, mein liebes, listen to me. You are beautiful. Believe me, I find you even more beautiful than Allea and that is what I reacted to." "Mr. Wagner, I don't understand," Ethera told him. Vanir shook his head. The honorific was part of the problem. "I will try to explain but it is hard for me. But first, my name is Vanir. You do not have to call me 'mister'." "It's a very nice name. What does it mean?" she asked curiously. "It comes from ancient Earth mythology, the name of an elder race of gods of fertility and magic. I think my very religious father was having a joke," he told her. "Ethera, I talked to Dr. Adarah, to Anais. She explained to me that what happened is normal for your race. I wasn't aware of that and is not why I took you away from Xid." "I know that but you certainly were very angry then," she said with an impish smile. "Quite." He let go of her hands to sip the coffee then took a look at her. His heart fluttered in his chest. He didn't know if she was doing it on purpose or if it was just something that happened naturally but he could feel a warmth emanating from her. Of course, maybe it's just you, you fool. "Ethera, you were once my student and, to me, a child. To think of you as I did when I first saw you this way..." There it was again, the fear and anxiety. No, remember what she said. Gott arbeitet in den geheimnisvollen Weisen. "In my culture, to think of a child that way...well, it's wrong to put it mildly. A particularly loathsome sin if you ask me." He had been teaching her beliefs all along but one of the things Ethera did while the others were off ship was to study further. She understood that, to many Humans, his beliefs were outmoded and quaint. She knew that didn't mean he felt them any less strongly. She admired his steadfastness in those beliefs,even if she wasn't sure she shared them. "And now?" Ethera asked him. It's definitely me, he realized. Even her voice makes me feel as though I'm lying in the sun. He swallowed very carefully and looked up at her. "Now, I think I would very much enjoy getting to know the woman my little schmetterling has become."
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