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 sitting eyes wide open, [ cora ]
Jenny DuNyl
 Posted: Mar 8 2017, 08:53 AM
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    AND I DON'T WANT TO FIT WHEREVER
    Jenny DuNyl & Cora Sterling
    warnings ( ffr obsessive relationships, violent thoughts, self depreciation, parental neglect / abuse, self harm, suicidal ideation )
    wearing

If she had thought that it would have caused Jenny to see Cora Sterling again, she's certain Claire wouldn't have asked her to do this.

Granted, it probably would have happened anyway.

They can't seem to get away from each other, after all.

***

Someone had needed piano accompaniment, and their usual pianist had gotten sick just a week before some important recital, some audition, some form of application. Jenny isn't entirely certain of the details, admittedly wasn't listening too well after the initial handshake except to gather that she was supposed to play for one of Claire's students, that she was going to smile and nod and say yes, okay, sure. Even when Claire took her aside and asked are you sure? you don't have to...

no, no, Claire, it's fine

yes, okay, sure


Claire likes it when she picks up an instrument. When she was younger she went through several: cello and piano and violin and bass and ukelele and guitar and...

well,

only a few of them stuck, anyway. They don't have a piano in their apartment, so it's been a while since she's practiced that and Jenny wonders but doesn't ask why Claire didn't think to find someone who actually cared about this sort of thing. But, no matter. She's aware that she's fairly good at this sort of thing, can read music fairly easily and can pick up notes and sounds like apparently few can. It's like riding a bike, apparently, to her, it's hard to forget. These things just fall open in her hands. Even if she doesn't care, she supposes someone like her would be best for a whatever only a week or so away.

(no, no, Claire, it's fine... yes, okay, sure and keep smiling and keep smiling even though Claire is one of two people who sees straight through you like you're nothing but glass... no matter, she doesn't call you on it)

She thinks anyone else could do it better if they tried, though

(it's only music, and her father's voice is always there when she plays whatever instrument she was practicing at the time, just a waste of time

Claire likes it when she plays, though...

so did...)

her fingers stumble at the thought, hitting a key all wrong and making a nasty sound that has her gritting her teeth. She flattens her hands across the keys, takes a breath and stretches her back and looks around. The girl she had been doing this left just an hour ago to get to some of her classes, and since Jenny only had to work this afternoon and didn't feel like driving home only to come back later, she'd stuck around the empty room with permission. Someone else had reserved it after that, though, and she already plans on making a beeline for a library once they come in.

She checks her watch. She still has time, plenty of it, and rests herself for a minute. A drink of water, stretching her fingers out, cracking her knuckles before she flips to the beginning of the music again to start over.

her fingers falter again

that nasty sound comes again

this time because she looks up and sees a figure in the doorway, jumps from the fear of not knowing how long they've been there


she stops fast, doesn't see who it is yet (probably doesn't even consider it because why would she be here?) and turns too fast to shove her bottle of water into her bag and stand, "Sorry, I thought I had the room for another--"

(why would she be...)

Jenny's usual smile drops out when she finally realizes that it's Cora Sterling in the doorway, her heart seems to fall into her stomach, her look turns exhausted and cold and she's on edge, disliking that if anyone were to hear her it had to be... (why would she be...)

"What? Do you go to school here now or something?"

--------------------
[ 5'1", scrawny | stepford smiler / violent intrusive thoughts | "it's pronounced like 'denial'" | aesthetic ]

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Cora Sterling
 Posted: Mar 23 2017, 07:58 PM
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#dissociation #self-harm mention












She hasn't been watching long. She heard music and peeked in, and when she saw Jenny's curls, she couldn't make herself leave.

She shrugs in response.

***

That morning, Cora wakes up. She stiffly walks into the kitchen. She eats a piece of toast. She doesn't speak to anyone. It's not unusual. She doesn't feel anything today. She's woken up in the middle of the fog and spends god knows how long laying on her bed staring up at the ceiling. She opens her notebook and stares at blank pages, taps a starfield of ink dots in the margin while she tries to think and fails to.

She's too far away to think about cutting, at least. Maybe that's better.

***

Cora's still far away during her short shift at work. She doesn't mess anything up, but she isn't there. She forgets tips on the tables. No one notices. She's not any quieter than usual.

***

She's far away when Regulus picks her up from work. I need to stop by UMM! he chirps, and Cora nods. He wanders off, or she does, she can't tell. She walks through unfamiliar hallways staring up at unfamiliar ceilings. She's barely here anymore, barely has been since her failed semester. Most days that would make her feel inadequate.

She's too far away for that.

She hears music coming from a room and follows it. She peeks her head in and sees Jenny. She's far away, so far away, and barely realizes she's still standing there when a sour note plays, when Jenny turns around.

What, Jenny snaps, and Cora only shrugs.

--------------------
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Jenny DuNyl
 Posted: Mar 24 2017, 10:15 AM
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The silence only builds pressure in Jenny's chest, makes her feel more miserable being here. Embarrassed to be caught. Ashamed that it was Cora who did it, Cora who heard her, Cora of all people who was here. It made her feel unsteady

she'd thought this place would be safe.

Jenny forces herself to sit down, tap absently at a few of the keys.

"Then leave me alone," she says, finally, when she feels like she has her voice under control.

--------------------
[ 5'1", scrawny | stepford smiler / violent intrusive thoughts | "it's pronounced like 'denial'" | aesthetic ]

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Cora Sterling
 Posted: Mar 26 2017, 06:42 PM
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Cora stares at Jenny like she didn't hear her.

"You still play well," she says after a moment.

And if she thinks anything at all she thinks she should leave. She can't. She can't will her body to move that much, to tear itself away from this.

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Jenny DuNyl
 Posted: Mar 27 2017, 06:32 PM
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That only tightens Jenny's jaw further

makes angry, hot tears burn behind her eyes while she struggles to hold them in. "Yeah?" she says, trying to keep everything else in. "Well, whatever." And sits back down to the keys, trying to be determined to ignore Cora if she wasn't going to leave

only succeeding in pressing a few keys

randomly

beats apart.

--------------------
[ 5'1", scrawny | stepford smiler / violent intrusive thoughts | "it's pronounced like 'denial'" | aesthetic ]

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Cora Sterling
 Posted: Mar 28 2017, 11:51 AM
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Cora stands and listens silently, inexpressive, doll-like. She says nothing, but her presence is heavy, a pressure in the air that at least she can feel, far away as she is.

But being around Jenny always sharpens things, makes them seem more real. Cora isn't there, but she's getting closer by the moment. She tries to fight that, tries to stay away. She doesn't want to be there, doesn't want to be more than a passenger in a body in a room.

She listens to each individual note, trying to figure out how they're connected.

When they were younger she wanted Jenny to teach her the piano.

She pulls her cardigan tighter around herself and breathes out, a soft, soft sigh.

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Jenny DuNyl
 Posted: Mar 29 2017, 05:44 PM
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Things go on like this for some time.

Jenny taps keys: one, beat, another, beat, another, beat

so on and so forth. A few minutes of this, trying to ignore Cora's presence here while being far too aware of it at the same time. Waiting for her to leave, the sound of the door closing again away from her never happens, and finally she looks up again. "Well?"

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[ 5'1", scrawny | stepford smiler / violent intrusive thoughts | "it's pronounced like 'denial'" | aesthetic ]

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Cora Sterling
 Posted: Apr 7 2017, 01:38 PM
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"Well what," Cora responds. It takes her too long, like she forgot she was in the room to be talked to, like she was sure Jenny was asking someone else.


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Jenny DuNyl
 Posted: Apr 7 2017, 04:07 PM
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This time, when Jenny slams on the keys all wrong, it's purposeful. Cora's too far away to see her face (too far away for her hands to reach and that's good she tells herself), and so the sound makes up to show her frustration.

"Well what are you still doing here?"

--------------------
[ 5'1", scrawny | stepford smiler / violent intrusive thoughts | "it's pronounced like 'denial'" | aesthetic ]

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Cora Sterling
 Posted: Apr 8 2017, 10:12 AM
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Cora cringes a little bit at the noise and it's more of a reaction than she's felt all day. Something in her stomach curdles. Not much, but enough.

She's not awake by any stretch of the imagination, but groggy, perhaps.

Cora shrugs even though Jenny won't see it. "Listening."

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Jenny DuNyl
 Posted: Apr 8 2017, 08:11 PM
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"I don't want you to listen to me." She slams another sour note. "I don't want you to be here."

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Cora Sterling
 Posted: Apr 8 2017, 08:15 PM
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"Didn't want you to slam the door in my face," Cora says.

She's surprised by how much bitterness is in her voice and it jars her, brings her still closer to earth. She furrows her brow lightly.

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Jenny DuNyl
 Posted: Apr 8 2017, 09:05 PM
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"Fuck you," Jenny says back, only she sounds more exhausted now, worn out, like she's ready to give in. She sits back on the bench, hands away from the keys on either side of her. She stares at the ceiling. "I'm not playing you anything."

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[ 5'1", scrawny | stepford smiler / violent intrusive thoughts | "it's pronounced like 'denial'" | aesthetic ]

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Cora Sterling
 Posted: Apr 10 2017, 07:39 PM
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#self-harm implied








"That's fine," Cora says.

And she's close enough now that she reaches her hand under her cardigan. She watches Jenny, the way the artificial light touches her hair. It's not as pretty as the sunlight.

Very few things are prettier than Jenny's hair in the sunlight.

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Jenny DuNyl
 Posted: Apr 11 2017, 08:19 AM
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She sees this

the way Cora's arm moves under her sleeves like that. Knows what's underneath there, can suspect what Cora's doing with them. It makes a new heat fill her chest, an itch in her own hands to pull Cora's arms out, make her stop. Makes her want to ask, is this how you're going to punish me? is that it?

It's not fucking right. It's not fucking fair.

She prods at the keys a bit more, to calm herself. (Is this how you're going to control me? she wonders as her fingers automatically start playing a simple tune, molasses slow, barely recognizable, "Claire du Lune".)

--------------------
[ 5'1", scrawny | stepford smiler / violent intrusive thoughts | "it's pronounced like 'denial'" | aesthetic ]

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