2012-03-09: With Eyes Wide Open


Jill_icon.jpg SophieD_icon.jpg

Summary: To see with new eyes, to feel the pain and joy of something given only to be taken away.

Date: March 9, 2012

Log Title: With Eyes Wide Open

Rating: G

Romania - Tower - Top Floor

Grandeur is one word that can be used to describe the rectangular room. A large crystal and gold chandelier hangs from the middle of the high ceiling with long white tapered candles that always stay lit without ever needing to be replaced. Four smaller chandeliers hang from each corner to provide more light and accent the larger one. The high ceiling is nothing shy of magnificent, with gilded molding to accent to the white designs and intricate patterns that almost give it layers.

The walls are all white with golden trip and design which accents the ceiling. A large mirror with a grandiose gilded frame sits above a magnificent marble fireplace that is always lit with a comforting fire, which provides the perfect amount of warmth. Two large couches sit around a marble topped tabled and a few chairs sit on the sides of the couches to be pulled up around the table. On the mantle of the fireplace is a clock that doesn't seem to work, a few small statues and candelabras.

Across from the large fireplace are two large glass doors that lead out to a balcony which hangs over a large water fall. Looking down it's easy to tell the tower is high up in the air and there is at least five hundred feet between the balcony and bottom of the waterfall. The red moon can be seen in the night sky shining down on the tower as it seems to be perpetually night.

Along one side wall two mirrors hang with gilded frames and in front of each is table a with lit candelabra in the center to help provide the brightness in the room. In between the mirrors is large painting of an old fashioned, pale looking male with dark hair and a pale face that hangs over an elegant lit fireplace. On the opposite wall it is covered will books from floor to ceiling along with a small rolling ladder attached to the shelves to reach the harder to find books. It seems like almost any book you wish to read is there.

Two large doors sit on each side of the large fireplace with mirrors set into their doors. One door leads to the hallway where the bed chambers are and the other to the bathroom. The bathroom has a large circular tub built into the floor with many taps around it that provide bubbles, scents and water in the perfect temperature. Golden lamps hang from the walls and there are fluffy towels off to the sides.


It's the middle of the night; not surprising, here in the tower, where night seems to persist as a permanent state of being. On the top floor, all is quiet; and in the common room, there seems to be little going on. Perhaps there is nobody even present; at least, not at first glance. The wind outside picks up briefly, causing something to move out on the balcony, catching the eye; it turns out to be Sophie, the blond haired girl, who is standing at the edge of the balcony, resting her hands on the railing and facing out into the open air. She's dressed in a black evening gown chased with white embroidery; but absent is both her blindfold, and her cane.

Enter Jill, the blonde girl barefoot and looking vaguely ill at ease. Aside from her sluggish pace and downcast face, the most remarkable thing about her is that she's wearing clothes *not* from the 18th century. Indeed, fashionably pre-distressed blue jeans and a forest green V-neck t-shirt with a short black leather jacket scream Hot Topic more than high society. A gust of wind ripples through the large room from the open balcony doors, causing the flames in the fireplace to gutter noisily but not die. They never die. "Who left the-" Jill starts to protest, only to find the room empty. She brushes hair from her eyes and finally catches sight of a figure outside. "Sophie? H-hey, that's not safe. You shouldn't be out there alone." Jill pauses, hand on the frame of the balcony's glass doors. "Come on back inside, okay?"

"I wanted to see," Sophie replies. She stands where she is a moment longer, before she turns and walks back across the balcony towards Jill. With the blindfold missing, her eyes can be seen once she gets close enough; clear, deep blue eyes, that fix on Jill's features, like any other person's would. "I… I had to see just… just how far I could see," she explains, as she hugs her arms about her chest. "While I still can, I mean. I needed to remember how big the world is."

"What… what you do mean?" Jill asks, brows furrowed. She tugs the jacket tighter around herself with one hand, the other reaching out to touch Sophie's upper arm and move down to take the other girl's hand. "You shouldn't be out here, especially without your cane. C'mon. C'mon back inside." She starts to pull Sophie back toward the large common room, leading her as she's been so used to doing. Then Jill stops suddenly. Their eyes meet and the look of concern transitions slowly to confusion. "Sophie?"

Sophie meets Jill's eyes evenly, before looking the other girl over, and then turning to gaze back out over the balcony; she allows herself to move only a few steps, before coming to a halt once more. "I mean, I can see," she replies, turning her gaze back to Jill. "He… at dinner, when Kalindi and I went. He gave me back my sight. Healed the wound that cost me my eyes, when I was a child… even the scar is gone. I can see, Jill." She pauses, and her cheeks color as she blushes softly. "You… are Jill, right? I'm sure you have Jill's voice."

"Umm," says Jill intelligently. Her hand drops away from Sophie's, staring slack-jawed at her. "Y-yeah," she finally manages, glancing away once she realizes she's staring. "It's me. Jill." The ex-goo girl fidgets; hand tentatively reaches out again to touch Sophie's shoulder but stops short and falls to her side again. "He really did that for you?" Jill looks past Sophie to the balcony and its nighttime vista of stars and forest canopy far below. "I… I don't know what to say. Congratulations?" The smile and half-laugh are relieved but still uncertain. "Are you okay?"

Sophie shrugs her shoulders lightly. "No," she replies, with a faltering voice. "No, I'm not. He only did it to tempt me, to… to try to weaken me, make me not want to go home. And it only lasts for two days." She bows her head, and looks away, focusing on a spot somewhere off to the side. "So in a bit over a day, I'll be blind again. And I'll have to… get used to it, all over again. I was talking to Rashmi earlier, and I thought I was strong enough to just… just give it up." She looks up, and now her eyes are glistening with moisture. "How do you give up this?" she asks, gesturing out at the world beyond the tower.

Jill's gaze follows Sophie's hand to landscape below and the stars above. The girl exhales softly and her eyes fall to look at her bare feet instead. "I don't know," she admits after a pause. She starts to lean on the railing, but a glance down at the precipitous drop and the surprisingly muted sound of the waterfall far below make her look up to the blood red moon. "I have no idea what it's like. For you."

"And I'm glad you don't," she replies. "I would prefer that you never know what it's like to be blind, Jill." She pauses, and shrugs her shoulders lightly. "It's not that it's terrible; it isn't the end of the world, it's just… it is a big change. I usually try to downplay it, and I did earlier with Rashmi, too. And normally, that is exactly how I feel about it, but… I don't want you to have to give up something that is important." She sighs softly, and reaches up to brushes her fingers through her hair. "So… you've been to dinner with him already, right? With Dracula? …Did he give you anything?"

Listening in silence, eyes fixed on the moon, Jill nods quietly at something Sophie says but doesn't reply until she's addressed directly. "No," the girl answers quickly, her face averted. "No, he didn't give me anything." She finally reaches out to touch Sophie's shoulder gently, forcing a smile that still faintly looks sad as she meets Sophie's eyes again. "We just… talked for a while. Him and his son. It wasn't really eventful or anything."

Sophie nods her head slowly. Jill would feel some of the tension leave Sophie's muscles under the amicable hand on her shoulder, and she looks up again to face Jill. "He gave Kalindi and Rashmi gifts as well," she replies. "I… We asked him what would happen to those of us that his son did not choose to marry." She pauses, and shrugs her shoulders lightly. "He wouldn't answer. He told us to ask you."

Jill tenses as if she's just been bitten by something. Her mouth opens to respond but there's no voice behind it. She looks away and lets her hand drop. "He… umm… he said he hadn't decided yet," she hedges, folding her arms across herself and tucking her hands under her armpits. It's not even particularly cold out. "What did he give to Rashmi? And Kalindi? Something they wanted?"

Sophie nods her head slowly. "He gave Rashmi her long hair back, and he gave Kalindi a book of sorcery to tempt her with. That’s the point of it, Jill… temptation. It's to throw us off balance, to break down our resistance and rob us of the desire to leave." She blushes softly, and shakes her head. "I tried to tell him I didn't want this… maybe that's why he gave it to me. Maybe he knew I didn't want it just… just because it'd be the one thing I'd find truly hard to resist. Honestly, of the four of us, you're the best off." She sighs heavily, and leans against the wall behind her. "He hasn't decided? Well, at least he doesn't plan to drink all our blood. Yet," she mumbles.

"Rashmi got her hair back," Jill says quietly, a smile flitting on her face for a brief moment before dying away again. She exhales a long, slow breath through her nose and looks up at the moon once more. "Don't…" she starts to say but trails off. When she continues again, it's with a different thought. "Don't worry about it, okay? It's… it'll all be fine." Turning away from the balcony railing, the blonde girl smiles, bright and cheerful and reassuring. "I won't let anything happen to you, got it? I know it's hard but stay strong, as best you can. You'll get to go home and everything will be okay again."

Sophie shrugs her shoulders lightly. "And I'll be blind again," she replies, with a heavy tone of voice. "Two days of sight and I haven't seen the sun, Jill. And I won't… I still won't." She looks up, gazing at the moon, and sighs. "I'm sorry if I've upset you, Jill. …Maybe Dracula thought you were too strong to break down with a gift. I don't know. …But he did produce a pretty special violin when you asked for one earlier, I think?"

Jill nods distractedly, brushing windblown strands of hair from her face. "He did. Actually, Evelyn asked for it first and… she gave it back before I could see it. But I have it now. It's in my room right now but I haven't even played it yet. It's kind of…" She makes a soft, amused sound. "It's kind of intimidating." The girl fidgets, curling her toes against the stone of the balcony's floor. "You… you could come see it, if you wanted to. I could try playing it for you."

Sophie nods her head quickly. "Yes, please," she replies. "I would love to hear you play, Jill." She straightens her skirt, before moving back towards the door. "Actually, I should ask for a flute. I wonder how a flute and a violin would sound together? …I'd need sheet music in Braille, though, I don't… I don't remember how to read it normally."

"S-Sophie, wait," Jill interrupts, lifting a hand to stop the other girl from going. She pads up quietly on bare feet, tugging at the leather jacket awkwardly for a moment. Carefully, but with a visible need and intensity, she opens her arms to hug Sophie tightly and not let go for a moment. "I mean it. Everything's gonna be okay," she mumbles into the shoulder of the fancy evening dress. "So, just… y'know." Almost reluctantly, Jill lets go and takes a half-step back. "Keep calm and carry on, and stuff. Do your best and… and I'll do mine too, okay?"

Sophie pauses, and turns to find herself drawn into a tight embrace. She returns the gesture in kind, wrapping her arms around Jill and squeezing back. "And you," she whispers. "Everything will be fine. …Even… even when I lose my sight again, it will be fine, Jill. I will be fine. I will." she sucks in a deep breath, and bobs her head. "I know that you are all here for me, and… and we're all here for you, too. We're all here for each other… and that's our biggest strength." She bobs her head once. "We can't be defeated so long as we remember that, right?"

Jill nods back, slowly at first but picking up intensity. "We're all here for each other," she repeats. She looks about to say something more but doesn't. Instead she holds out an open hand to Sophie, a bit awkwardly. "Do… do you mind if I hold your hand anyway? Even if you don't need me to? Or do you wanna… fly solo for a bit?"

Sophie reaches out to take Jill's hand, and bobs her head. "We can hold hands," she affirms. "It doesn't have to be to lead me around… I can find my way at the moment. I always could, it's just easier with help, when you're blind. But there's other reasons to hold hands, too." She smiles pleasantly; one of the tears that's been lingering in the corner of her eye finally drops, leaving a glistening trail on her cheek that she quickly wipes away again. "Let's… go inside? I am quite excited to hear you play."

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