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Finely Woven

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i.

His father's sense of events is so much simpler; stunted, Wintrow thinks to himself. To the end he thinks of Vivacia as a hunk of wood, a possession to be owned. 'You've already lost her,' Kyle insists to Wintrow, and the first time Kennit compliments the ship and a flush stains her cheeks, the little voice of envy inside Wintrow tells him his father was right.

In the future he will stop to consider that his perception of events were just as stunted at the time.

ii.

Vivacia was young, painfully so. Though she rode with the memories of three lifetimes within her, there was still so much she could not understand. Kennit was still so far out of reach, and his fever dreams did nothing but confuse her further. There was no real bond between them, but Kennit's lack of defences were constructing a primative bridge across the broad gap.

Her bond with Wintrow was finely-woven, complex for all it's subtlty. The finer the weave, the more impressive the result; and perhaps the key was to be so tightly tied together that it took a conscious effort to recognise the bond. The running of the ship was handled well now by pirates who knew all the tricks that came with their trade, and so Vivacia could focus on the links she had with Wintrow, follow the paths into his mind and contemplate him with almost no distraction. She was attempting slowly to understand the process of his thoughts, trying to use him to analyse Kennit's mind in turn.

What she did not realise was that in taking Kennit's memories and imaginings with her, she was leaving part of him behind in Wintrow's mind also.

iii.

Captain Kennit had always been a man who made educated assumptions, but he could not fathom this time how he felt he knew so much about the boy-priest who gave away nothing carelessly.

iv.

Wintrow is glad Vivacia is not a flesh-and-blood woman stood in front of him, because her words alone are like a forceful smack in the face when she chooses them well enough. She has three generations of his (their?) family behind her who can assist her by their thoughts when she is grasping for the correct phrasing. He is disgusted by a job he himself offered to do, on a gamble; he is confused by things he does not understand lurking in his mind, and he is beginning to realise that though there is always a right and a wrong way, sometimes there are no winning possiblities. It is a lesson that makes him bitter, and his bitterness bleeds over into the belief that Kennit will die, he must.

If there had been time to stop and consider the irony, Vivacia might have learned something from it; accepting that Kennit would die was just as bad as persuading him death was little more than change, and nothing to fear.

v.

Though he had courted the ship with compliments and smirks, when Kennit's thoughts were disconnected from himself and dispersing in different directions, she became a mother, rather than a lover. She took hold of him in a firm, loving embrace and gently laid out the limits of what he could not and should not do. She was saving him from overstepping himself, but she could not do more.

Kennit could sense another prescence, familiar to him. Almost too familiar. It was not unlike being confronted with himself, albeit himself from a long time before, and it unnerved him but his mother refused to let go. She would stand beside him through this encounter, but because she loved him she would not let him run from it.

A perfect connection was made, the overlaps of times and events with different names and different faces, but the same thoughts and feelings. Kennit could feel inside him a challenge, a reason to live on. He could change his own fate by changing the boy's present. Wintrow's life would not become a repeat of his own, trailing down the same path as him right up until this point.

vi.

Wintrow was always surprising Kennit; his thought processes from living at the monastery were so unique compared to the world Kennit himself had fought through. The boy had an ability to change the shape of the future through simple words, to make Kennit stop and think, and marvel over the simplicity of it all. Through Vivacia, he had a sense inside that he had done the same for Wintrow, and even Etta had played a part. So every time Wintrow opened his eyes to something, he challenged the boy in return, for the greater good of it all. It was a stirring venture that brought feelings to light Kennit had let diminish and slumber for so long.

vii.

Wintrow could not have believed he would doze off at such a time; after having such a bold exchange with Kennit and rushing off to procure him a meal, the warmth of the bubbling water and the comfort of familiar smells had lulled him into light dreams. The images that danced inside his mind were foreign, and yet altogether too familiar. He could sense life, people he knew. Not family, but close. He tentatively stepped out across the bridge, groping for the emotions he did not understand. Lust was an unfamiliar concept, but it began to swim around him like a sweet perfume, drawing him into its grasp. It began to take on a voice of it's own, speaking no particular words, just encouraging him ever onwards until the haziness of his dream began to take shape into a real place.

He could feel heat, such an intense heat that it would have burned if it had not been so enticing. Fuzzy murmurs became real sounds, flesh meeting roughly, grunts of concentration, noises that accompanied a stretch for breath. Wintrow took one more step and found himself inside a body not his own. He could not help but look out of the open eyes but he could not focus on who lay beneath him. The sensations were too strong, far more important. He was enveloped by everything Kennit was feeling until it became his own and he could not divide between the two of them. Kennit was causing this, this combined hunger and satisfaction that competed against one another constantly, refusing to let the other win. More, more, he wanted to say, but his voice had no place here. He could feel the sweat on Kennit's brow like it was his own, and through Kennit, smell the very scent of need. When the competing ended, it was sudden, and the reverie slotted itself into place so completely that it threw Wintrow straight out of the dream and back into his own body. A deep flush suffused across his cheeks as he realised what it was he had just taken part in. He did not know if he wanted Kennit to have been aware of it too, or not.

viii.

Alone at her end of the ship, Vivacia smiled to herself; the gap had been bridged, and now the three of them could finally fulfil all possibilities offered to them when they were combined together.