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Knit and Purl

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There are some days, no matter how hard you try, you cannot shut out the Light. Before you piloted a moon with the intent of blowing yourself up, you counted that as a blessing. Your knowledge and connection to something grander was to be lauded, not cursed. Here, in the dim stillness of the meteor, it’s something more akin to an extremely persistent annoyance. It’s days like this one, where the hallways are just a little too long and the corners smell a little too much like apple martinis that you curl up in your bed, your hair and sheets tangled cocooned around you. You are not moving today. Your head is full of the future, how uncertain it is, how far away three years is, the psychological effects of living with six other people for that time, the ramifications of the Earth’s death, you all’s slim chances of survival, how you can do nothing about that now. Or for a while. You’re being forced to play by the rules of the universe for once, and Skaia herself is making sure you know it. It’s unbearable.

You curl up tighter, shifting so even more of your body is underneath the heavy blankets. It’s just the right amount of warm underneath them, and you think you would be fine if you never moved. There is a knock at the door. You curse the timing of your internal monologue. You ask who it is, expecting it to be Dave to come to bother you with one of his half hour rants again.

It’s Kanaya. That, you don’t expect, but then you remember that you had offered to teach Kanaya to knit. She’d mentioned that trolls had a similar equivalent on Alternia, but she’d been intrigued by your dedication to the practice. You don’t want Kanaya to see you like this, laying in bed this late in the day. Night? Time is tricky, and you suppose that that only adds to the feeling of helplessness you are fighting.

You want to kick Kanaya out, make her come back another day when you aren’t feeling quite as...stuck. But alas, you always makes exceptions for Kanaya. Kanaya opens the door and pauses, clearly not expecting to see you looking quite this pathetic.

“What’s wrong? My somewhat lacking understanding of human culture does not include inhabiting your sleeping platforms in quite this manner during this portion of your circadian rhythms.”

“I have had atypical sleeping habits for quite a while, even before this game nonsense started. This is a special occasion, however.”

“Oh?”

“I’m feeling, you might say, ‘like crap.’”

“Oh. Would you prefer I come back at a different time, when you are not so entangled in the sleeping sheets?”

“No. I think some company would be nice. And I did promise to teach you to knit.”

Kanaya nods and makes her way over to the bed. You pull yourself into a somewhat upright position, the first time you’ve moved in...a while. It helps, a little. You pull needles and yarn out of your sylladex, trying not to stare at the needles, a different pair than you used as wands, with a certain amount of deserved resentment. You pull yourself away from those thoughts with a considerable amount of effort and begin teaching Kanaya to knit. She’s a fast learner, xenobiology and cultural differences considered, and some time later the two of you have managed to get a few shaky, but still there, rows of knitting.

You slump against Kanaya as she continues to endeavor to make her scarf-like object perfect. She always works too hard, but you don’t mind. She’s beautiful while she works, and you are so tired.

You wake up, and Kanaya has a decent scarf in her hands.

“Rose?” she asks softly.

“Mmm. Looks good, ‘naya,” you reply, your head still hazy with sleep.

“I think you are just flattering me, but I will take the compliment anyway since this human knitting is much harder than it looks and I have spent a very long time making this.”

“It does look good. You’ve made a truly impressive amount of progress for your first time.” You look at her, noticing the way your head is dimmer and more bearable now.

“Thank you. Shall I come again tomorrow? If I did not overly burden you today?” She asks, a hint of a green blush visible on her cheeks.

“Of course. You are always welcome.” And the strange thing is, you mean it too. Usually you would want to be alone when you are in one of your moods like today’s, but Kanaya is different.

She comes back the day after, and the day after that, and on the fourth day when the Light feels dim enough for you to venture out into the common room, you suggest that the two of you continue Kanaya’s lessons there.

By the end of the week, Kanaya has progressed onto more complicated patterns and circular stitches. You hold nothing but admiration for her, and deem her proficient enough for you to work on your own projects while she practices. You alchemize some silky green yarn, the exact shade of her sign, and set to work. You knit her a poncho, and thank her for sitting with you in bed. The implications of that wording escape you until the words are already in the open, and it is a Freudian slip that Dave would be proud of. You blush, and she does too, the both of you frozen until you throw your arms around her, holding her tight. The two of you stand there for a long moment, before you pull away and search her face for something. You don’t know what you’re searching for, but it all clicks when she kisses you. It’s something the two of you have done before, but never in such a casual manner. You love it.

She pulls away and wraps her arms around you for another hug.

“Thank you for teaching me to knit, Rose. I love spending time with you so much. You never need to thank me for that.”

Your eyes are watering, a little, and you kiss her again.

After that, knitting is a tradition between the two of you. The proliferation of knitted gifts and projects left lying around in the common spaces becomes somewhat of an annoyance to the other inhabitants of the meteor, but the two of you don’t mind. Now, when the Light comes back pressing questions of the future into your brain, you pester Kanaya, and she comes and sits side by side in your bed with you, knitting. The both of you are silent, but there is something harmonious in the air between the two of you, guiding your hands as they move the yarn and the needles back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.