So Liana Mir and I are doing our little ficlet prompting thing we do again.
I’m going to post a few things that spawned from there over the next few days (one a day so not to spam, even though I wrote most of them the same day.
This was out of the prompt for “Malina, insomnia.”
“I’m not keeping you awake, am I?”
Malina stilled, her foot still mid-step, wincing as she did. She sighed, shaking her head as she changed direction, veering off her intended path into the kitchen for the one that took her over to where her brother was on the couch. She should have known that even if he wasn’t awake, he’d know she was up and moving the moment she got out of bed. Most of the time she tried not to move around at night, but she’d given up on sleep. Again.
“It’s not you,” she said, sitting down beside him and allowing herself to take on his ability. “Though I might need you to get through work tomorrow.”
He snorted. “You know it doesn’t work that way. You don’t retain the energy the way I do. You can’t use it to keep you awake for days—and you wouldn’t want to.”
“Then why do you do it?” She asked, leaning her head against his arm. “You need your rest, too.”
“Not in the same way. I don’t… I don’t think I’ve ever really functioned like that. I remember being unable to sleep when Enadar needed the nightlight on, and I might have been showing signs of what I am even back then.”
Malina closed her eyes, wishing there was a way to will away pain and guilt, that she could take them from him somehow. “Why are you so stubborn about seeing yourself as evil when I’m not and Enadar isn’t?”
“Why are you awake if not because of me?” Alik countered. “This is the third night in a row where you haven’t gotten any sleep.”
“I have insomnia. You know that has no rhyme or reason.”
Alik gave her a look, and Malina caved. “Fine. I… It… You know it’s been a year now, right? Or almost. I…”
“You’re afraid of reliving the crash in your nightmares again.”
She shuddered, curling herself closer to him and his safety. “Yes.”
He put his arm around her, and she started twisting the fabric of his shirt in her fingers until he caught them and made them stop. “Ice is a fragile thing. Too fragile, sometimes, for any real existence. It can be broken, it melts easily in the sun and becomes as nothing… and yet ice can be hard and stubborn and unyielding—”
“I’m a mirror, not ice.”
“I never said this story was about you.”