So Many Dreams

The past, sometimes. And the present, too. These are the stories - fragments of dreams - outside of Rii's actual journal.

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The Past Rii and Kii Kalira: Chocolates and Roses February 880
Posted on 10 Sep 2012 01:39
It was a stupid holiday, Rii Kalira decided. Well, she had always known it was, but it had never really affected her before. They had been too young for it to matter, this St. Valentione’s Day. People gave them chocolate, and Kii gave chocolate back, and Rii thought it was stupid, and let Kii give enough for both of them, and ate her chocolate, and that was that.

It was a good arrangement. It was failing this year.

All their trouble started with the roses, two of them, fresh-cut on the edge of bloom, the deep velvet red of blood. They were accompanied by a letter, only one, addressed to Kii Kalira.

There was a rose each for her and for her sister, the sender had written, just a token of his admiration. He was wondering if Kii would please meet with him at sunset by the Bomingo Round fountain. Alone. Please. He would be waiting. He loved he desperately.

Rii didn’t bother finishing it. With a snort, she crumpled up the letter and tossed it unceremoniously on the floor. He didn’t even sign his name anywhere.

“Well?” she asked, hands on her hips, and stomped on the letter for good measure.

Kii tilted her head. “Mmm?”

“About that!” Arms flailing, Rii glowered at the offending ball of parchment. “What are you going to do about that? Are you actually planning to go?”

“Mm?” Kii asked again. “Shouldn’t I? He said he’d be waiting. It wouldn’t be very polite to just—”

“I’ll tell you what’s not polite!” The older twin gave a small hop of annoyance, her hands balled into fists, and raged around their room, kicking the letter as if it was all its fault. “What’s not polite is calling you out somewhere without even asking, and then guilt-tripping you just like that. What if you were busy? What if you didn’t want to see him? Who is he, anyway? And besides, why does he want to meet when it’s dark? With no one else around? He can’t have good intentions!”

“Rii…” Kii sighed, as she always did when her sister went into one of those kinds of moods . “I can take care of myself, you know. I won’t let him do anything I don’t want to. And besides,” she ventured, carefully watching Rii’s reactions, “even if he is a little presumptuous, isn’t it best to try these things out?”

“NO.” Rii stopped in her tracks. “No, no, absolutely not! He’d probably start thinking he can go out with you and kiss you and… and other stuff!”

“Other stuff? What kind of other stuff?”

Rii flushed. “I-it’s not like I know!”

And maybe she shouldn’t laugh, but Kii couldn’t help herself. At her sister’s bemused expression, she offered a smile. “All right. Will you come with me? You can protect me from all those horrible things.”

“Well, maybe I will.”


It was a little past sundown before they reached Bomingo Round. Kii had insisted on looking nice to the point where Rii complained suspiciously that maybe she was trying to encourage him; then Rii had insisted on matching with her. Now, dressed in white against the backdrop of night, the two sisters approached, each carrying her rose.

A tarutaru waited at the fountain, wearing clothing unfittingly formal, fiddling with his tie and gloves and buttons and a package in his hands, and peering nervously in the wrong direction. They were almost on top of him before he noticed, as their shadows fell over him. He squeaked as he spun to face them, paling when he saw not one twin, but two.

“M-m-miss Kii Kalira!” he said to Rii, bowing profusely and speaking as quickly as nature would allow. “I… I wasn’taru sure if you forgotaru poor little me waiting here. N-no disrepectaru meant, of course! You wouldn’taru have forgotten me! I prepared for this day for so long! I even wrotaru you a speech! Ahem! My dearestaru Kii Kalira—”

“Strike one,” Rii announced with a small nod.

The tarutaru froze and stared in confusion.

“Well,” she added helpfully, “and two and three and four, although you fixed one of them, at least. Kinda. But I’ll let you off the hook with just one so far, since you made all of them at once. Oh, actually, five, too. Didn’t notice that one at first.”

“M-miss Kii Kalira?”

“One!” Rii held up a finger. “Kii Kalira is that one, over there. I’m Rii Kalira. How can you even claim to be in love with her if you can’t even tell?”

The tarutaru squeaked again and turned to Kii before Rii’s call stopped him.

“Hey, I’m not done yet.” She summoned the most severest glare she could. “Two!” she said, holding up two fingers. “How dare you imply Kii would forget things? And then you tried to fix it by thinking you were too important for Kii to forget?”

“I… I didn’taru mean to—”

“Of course not,” Rii said, as if she didn’t believe a word of it. “Moving on! Four! You actually wrote a speech? A speech? How much sincerity can you get from that? Sheesh!”

The poor tarutaru was edging as far from Rii as he could now. In a tiny, terrified voice, he asked, “Wh-whataru is five?”

Five,” Rii said, taking a step closer and looming over him. “You haven’t even told us who you are yet. How would I know you’re not some weirdo prison escapee out to do all sorts of unsavory things?”

“I… I would never…”

“I can explain that one.” Both turned to the new voice, and Kii looked from one to the other in amusement. “He is miss Shirara’s brother, I think?” She waited for the nod of confirmation. “I’ve mentioned her before, Rii – the friend I usually help at the Rhinostery. This is Shirahu-Birahu.”

“Well, fine.” Rii crossed her arms and sulked. “He still coulda said. Hey, kid, didn’t I already tell you not to assume Kii would remember unimportant people like you?”


“Fine, fine.” With a sigh, Rii stepped back and took a seat at the edge of the fountain. “Go say your speech, then. You’ve only got two strikes left before you’re out, though.”

Shirahu-Birahu gulped and turned to Kii, staring at her with round, fearful eyes. “M-m-my dearestaru Kii Kalira! I couldn’taru help but notice how beautiful you became, with your—”

“Oi.” Rii frowned. “What do you mean, ‘became’? Kii was always beautiful! If that’s all you came to say…”

“N-no! Of course not!”

“Well.” Rii gave a nod. “Strike two.”

The tarutaru began to speak faster. “With your eyes of purestaru gold and your lips of softaru coral and your hair like whitaru snow—”

Rii frowned again. “I thought we talked about this already.”

“We… we…” Shirahu-Birahu threw a beseeching glance at Kii.

“Just skip over this part,” she suggested.

There was a mumbling of something about ears and tails and black tips before he looked up with a stricken expression. “But I wrotaru a poem about Kii Kalira’s beauty!”

“Fine, say it.” Rii rolled her eyes.

“Oh, thank you, thank you!” For a moment, Shirahu-Birahu beamed. “Ahem! Kii Kalira, you are the cutest cataru I can ever recall calling my companion! You are keen and kind, and… and…”

The stricken look was back.

“What, forgot the rest?” Rii rolled her eyes again. “Whatever, it’s probably even worse. What kinda poem is that, anyway?”

“It’s a perfectly good poem!” the taru insisted. “It uses the poetic device of alliteration!”

“Yeah, and nothing else.” Rii waved a hand flippantly. “Just get on with it.”

“Next is… next is…”

“Oh, I give up.” Rii stood, stretched, and grabbed Kii’s arm. “Unless you have something important to say, we’re going home.”

“Waitaru!” In a jumble of words came, “Will you come over for dinner?”

“No,” Rii growled at the same time as Kii’s “Yes”.

The sisters looked at each other.

“No,” Rii repeated. “No, no, no. We’re not going.”

“I’m going to go.” Kii offered a placating smile. “Nothing’s going to happen. And I want to see Miss Shirara again.”

“G-greataru!” Shirahu-Birahu declared, and wondered if maybe this was all a horrible idea instead. (read more…)

The Past Lokh Kalira and Ruri: A Gift for a Heart May 864
Posted on 10 Sep 2012 01:32
He asked her the day he gave her the bow, and Lokh thought that maybe she had always known he would. It seemed the right time, certainly. She wondered how long she had been waiting now, and how long he had.

“So, uh, congratulations!” Ruri fumbled through his greetings as soon as he saw her, and Lokh laughed, a happy sound. Small and strong, she felt radiant that day, and saw herself beautiful reflected in his eyes.

“Thank you!” She waited.

“I… I heard about your new position. Congratulations! I mean, I said that already. And of course I heard about it, you knew that already. You send the letter after all. And, uh… congratulations, it sounds amazing…?”

Lokh laughed again. “You don’t have any idea what it is, do you?”

Ruri gave an embarrassed chuckle as he ran his fingers through unruly black hair, a nervous habit that amused Lokh to pick out. “Not… really.” Another chuckle, and he flashed her a faux cheerful grin. “Nope, not a clue! Care to enlighten me?”

“No.” Lokh grinned back, and hooked her arm through his, leading him to her home. It was a familiar path they walked every afternoon, from the shop stand he had set up near the gates of Windurst Waters, through the scenery of the town that was still beautiful despite the devastation done to it, and finally to her house in the woods before he returned to his room, alone. Children milled around at a distance, too tentative for their young ages from the residue of war, and Ruri tempted them with toys, tiny trinkets of wood and metal that sang and hopped and twinkled. They were starting to get used to him; he had been there for years.

“To be honest,” Lokh continued as they walked, “I’ve already told you as much as I’m allowed. It’s a bit of a secret, see. But,” she smiled as he stopped to hand out a tiny rarab carved of snow-white wood and took the chance to poke his arm, “I can’t imagine you’d have that much trouble figuring it out.”

“You over exaggerate my abilities, Miss Lokh Kalira!”

“Oh?” Lokh smirked. “I guess you’ll never find out, then.”

“How cruel!”

They stopped in front of the Rarab Tail Hostelry, a few rooms still remaining, its majority being rebuilt.

“One moment, please.” Ruri unlinked his arm, flourishing a dramatic bow. “If you don’t mind, there’s something I need to get from my room.”

Lokh tilted her head, stretching and settling against a wall of the building. “Sure, I’ll wait here.”

“No need, no need.” Ruri all but pushed her onto the path again. “I mean, I wouldn’t dream of keeping a lady waiting like that. No,” he sighed dramatically, “you must go without my company! I will catch up as soon as I can.”

Lokh arched an eyebrow. Now, this was something different. A present? She didn’t know. She didn’t wonder too hard, however. Let him have his little secrets, then, and they could both see her delight when he unveils his surprises.

“Don’t take too long, Mr. Escort.”


She didn’t have to wait long, not at all, before a hand covered her eyes, rough and calloused and surprisingly gentle.

The bow was held before her when he shifted to face her and took away his hand.

“It’s beautiful!”

Lokh stared; she couldn’t do much more than stare. “Beautiful” was an understatement. It was the best bow she had ever owned – presumably, it was for her to own, at least – and certainly the most ornate she had ever seen. Supple and strong, it spoke its craftsmanship without sacrificing functionality for splendor.

“Well,” Ruri laughed when she was done staring, though her eyes flickered back to the bow every few seconds, “I was going to ask if you like it, but I think I got my answer.”

“Of course I do!” Lokh took the bow carefully, her fingers running lightly up and down its length, tracing over the designs. “It’s wonderful. It’s perfect.”

Ruri laughed again. “If I weren’t the one who made it, I think I’d be raging with jealousy now.”

“Well then,” Lokh nodded sagely, “it’s probably a good thing you were.”

The rest of the walk suddenly seemed too short for what they had to say. Both shortened their stride, coming almost to a standstill again.

“By the way,” came an off-handed remark, sounding strangely choked, “I’m thinking I’ll settle down in Bastok soon.”

Lokh did stop this time, a stone’s throw away from the path to her home. “Bastok? Why?”

Ruri glanced at her for a moment, then looked away. “The guilds, mainly. The ones both there and San d’Oria. They’re not too far from each other, compared to Windurst with either of them.” He tried a smile, but faltered before he managed to even lift his head. “And besides, Bastok was where my family settled. I can’t say I feel too comfortable anywhere else.”

“What about—” Lokh opened her mouth, and closed it again. What about me? was not a question she could ask. “—the things here?”

“I’ve learned all I can from the boneworking guild.” Ruri gave a small shrug, almost imperceptible. “I’m not as good at it as I’ve hoped. And I’m abysmal at weaving.”

“I don’t mean that!” Lokh frowned, her hands on her hips, and circled around him to face him. “What about Windurst? Don’t you like it here? What kept you here for so long, then?”

Ruri tried to turn, only to find her following, always in front of him. He shrugged again, helplessly. “Shouldn’t you know the answer to that, Lokh Kalira? Tell me, who else is leaving Windurst?”

“Then,” Lokh took a step towards him, her voice almost a whisper, “why don’t you tell me something besides the fact that you’re going?”

Time seemed to stop, and even nature fell silent as Ruri closed the distance between them. “Something like where I’ll be living in case a certain mithra beauty happened to drop by?”

When a bird’s chirp broke the silence, Lokh smiled, holding out her hand as she danced away. “Oh, something like that. Speaking of which, how would you like to… drop by?” (read more…)

Letter: From Lokh Kalira to Rii Kalira Winter 886
Posted on 10 Sep 2012 01:30
My darling little kitten,

It's been almost a year, hasn't it? How are you getting along with that Elvaan boy of yours? He seemed nice enough, I suppose. Very obliging.

Of course, that's not what I wanted to tell you.

Happy Doll Festival, sweet. Mommy will be praying for you.

Lots of love,
Lokh Kalira (read more…)

Category: Excelsior


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