[identity profile] jholloway.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] writing_shadows

Candles give the sitting room a yellow glow, reflecting warmly from the floorboards. Peter Cavendish has spread out a blanket so he can be comfortable. Brae is sterilizing her equipment, mixing inks in little pots, plugging the gun in. Peter doesn't like using electricity much -- it isn't reliable for him -- but he has power right now and he indulges himself by putting one of his few CDs in the player and pushing the button. The CD came from a bin near the front of the store. He watched a girl with a pretty hat buy it and then he bought it too because he wanted to hear what she heard. It was £12.95 and that seemed like a lot but he paid anyway, with exact change.

Hello -- hello
Calling a Karl Projectorinski to the front
of the cathedral. You have won.
Dear sir, may I congratulate you first

Oh, what an honour...

He starts to undress as he walks back into the warm circle, unwrapping the bandages that cover his seams, his bolts like two bright coins just below the heavy curve of his jaw. Muscle ripples under skin, the heavy Y in the center of his chest tugging oddly.

He sits, wrapping his mismatched forearms around his knees. They're doing the back today. Left arm is done already. The branches cradle the swirl and lines on the back of his left hand. Five lines: Des, Jake, Oppenheimer, Nathan. Cav. He grunts. Brae double-checks her preparations and starts work.

The hand is broken, rehealed, broken. Haywalk is a tough teacher. It's been good, he muses. The giant Titan has the mind of a child, but he knows more then Cavendish, who knows he was made to be a genius. Knows more about his body. It doesn't fight him. He doesn't hate it. He doesn't realize what it is: just dead meat, bone, gut and staples. And in not knowing that is strength. The first time you see a 300-pound man jump unto the roof of a two-storey building from standing, it's awe-inspiring. The twelfth time, it's just embarrassing that you can't. Torn nails, deep cuts, bruises all over his tanned hide. Haywalk said to let them stay.

Brae's tattoo gun buzzes, her hands careful and soft. Precise. She's only one body. Why is she so different? It hurts, but he ignores it.

Inch by inch, the outlines spread across his back. The colour will come later, the two shades of brown she's chosen for the bare branches of the tree. Green is later. Green is for some later achievement. And he looks at his battered hands and the branches spread and a little blood seeps and in his arms he feels muscles knot and twitch and in the place where a man would have his soul he feels some soft brightness fading away and something else resting there, hard and clean and strong and he lifts his head and smiles his grim little smile.

Outside the cars are beepin'
Out a song just in your honour
And though they do not know it
All mankind are now your brothers

And thus the cathedral has spoken
Wishin' well to all our sinners...

And the needle hurts like a bastard and he laughs at the pain, the bearable but sharp pain, in his back -- his back -- and the tree crosses a stitchline to link arm to body, detachable maybe but forever one, one new thing. And he rolls his heavy shoulders and Brae nudges him to hold still, so he sinks back down and silently thanks the big man in the ridiculous hat. His fellow Titan.



Date: 2010-04-23 07:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lslaw.livejournal.com

I need to work out how Haywalk is going to react, emotionally, to being a teacher; plus, now I owe you a story.


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