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Hunger

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You're pretty sure the baker at the market saw you stealing and only let you get away out of pity, but you don't care. You can usually make the little money you were given (or more often, stole) at the end of a job last until the start of the next, but things didn't work out so good this time. As it stands you haven't eaten in three days, and now you have food and that's all you can really care about in this moment. You tear off big pieces of bread with your teeth and hardly chew before you swallow, and for a few brief moments it's the best thing in the world. You're still hungry when you finish, but less hungry than before, and "less hungry" is all you can dare to hope for in this world. Besides, you'll have bigger problems if you don't get back to looking for work again as soon as you can. Puberty must be setting in because lately you're starting to look less "cute orphan" and more "juvenile delinquent", and that little bit of pity is going dry up fast.


There's a small makeup mirror in the back of the wagon, and while getting dressed in the morning you notice that you can't see your ribs anymore. You briefly wonder when that happened, but there's no question as to how. Things have been going well for you and your show lately, so well you're actually considering hiring on help, and you guess it must show. You angle the mirror to consider your new shape for a few moments longer, in particular noticing how bottom heavy you're starting to look, like a pear. You don't dwell on it for long though, because it's definitely for the best, no question about it. You look good, you'd take new curves over going hungry any day of the week, and besides, who trusts a skinny chef? Things are going well for you and you haven't been able to say that and mean it in a long time. 


Forty people are dead. You were horrified, at first, but now you mostly just feel sick and numb. You're alone now, have been for some time, and you can't blame him. You'd abandon yourself too if you could. You've been hiding out, unsure about what you next move should be. Where do you go from this point? You don't touch food until your body's insistent need overpowers your own fear and disgust. You don't want to even think about food, you can't, every time you do you just see people choking on their own blood. But your stomach is insistent that it has other plans. Reluctantly, you eat a few bites of an apple. It makes your skin crawl, you swear you taste garlic in your nervous bile, and it's not long before you panic and vomit it right back up. Part of you is disgusted by the waste, but mostly you find yourself relieved that it's not inside you anymore. If you looked, you'd notice you're starting to be able to see your ribs again. You don't care.


Your teammates are asleep. Of course they're asleep, its two in the morning. Even most of the elves on the moon are probably meditating right now, like you ought to be. It's two in the morning and you're disgusted with your own existence. You bake cookies, working quickly and recklessly, transmuting ingredients several times over until you can't remember what they started as. You never let anyone eat your cooking if you want them to stay alive. This includes yourself. You burn the roof of your mouth eating your cookies before they can cool. They're delicious, as always, and you wonder how many times you'll need to do this before you finally fuck up again. It's bound to happen eventually. You feel nauseous, but it might just be from eating half a tray of cookies. Who knows? Once you start feeling really sick you throw the rest out, and curl up in bed to see if you'll die in your sleep this time. You're too much of a coward to do anything more committed. 


You're making hot chocolate. You can make a goddamn hot chocolate. The good kind, the kind you make in a saucepan, not the kind from a packet. You have standards thank you very much. Your hands are shaking but you're going to fucking do this. You are not going to puke half way through and give up again. You've done that enough times already. And ok, you do puke half way through, but you manage to do it in the sink and far away from the pan and that has to count for something. You steady yourself for a moment and make yourself go back to stirring before the milk scalds. You allow yourself to feel a little proud of yourself, just a little, because you hadn't gotten quite this far yet and if you didn't hang on to small victories you wouldn't have made it nearly this far. You actually manage to pour some into a mug before the idea of serving it makes your stomach lurch again. You remind yourself that your boyfriend is already dead and can't die again, because when you tell yourself what happened was never your fault it still feels like a lie. He tests it with your salt shaker because you're too nervous to, and kisses you when it comes up clear, and you ignore the part of you saying it's a fluke and kiss him back. The hot chocolate tastes burnt but you both drink it anyways.