roesslyng: (SSSS - Incantation)
[personal profile] roesslyng
Title: Try again, and again, and again
Fandom: Stand Still Stay Silent
Characters/Pairing: Lalli/Niko
Rating: 0+
Length: 1.1k
Summary: An awkward start to an awkward something. It's weird, but then again, so is Niko.
Other: Just some first kiss fluffy nonsense. Some day I'll write these two properly.



Try again, and again, and again

Tap.

There it was again.

Tap, tap, tap. Rest. Tap. Rest. Tap, tap. tap.

That was how he knew Niko was there. That tapping at the edges of his mind, soft, barely-there.

Lalli roused himself and let Niko in.

How long had it been since the first time that weird mage tumbled into his life? Lalli tried to remember. Couldn't. A few months. No, longer than that. A year? It was too hard to keep track, too hard to count. It was easier to count the number of times that they saw each other. Because they couldn't see each other every night. Not often at all. There was too little time. Too many things they had to do. And the distance was too far.

Even in dreams, it was a long way from Kajaani to Keuruu.

"I'll come by whenever I can," Niko had promised one time, one of the earlier times. "But you've got to understand, I can't always -"

"Okay," Lalli had said. That was all. And that was enough. Time and difference were things he understood. It was weird enough that they could see each other at all. So he didn't expect him to come.

They didn't talk about how dangerous it was out there. There was that, too.

Lalli went to the edge of his mind.

There he was on the other side. Lalli opened himself and let him in. And there Niko was, dressed in his weird clothes, blue and red-trimmed, and greeting him in his weird way, grasping his hands and squeezing them. And he smiled his usual smile, which was the weirdest part of all, because Lalli had never met someone who smiled so much, not in his entire life.

"I'm glad to see you," Niko said.

To that, Lalli only nodded, and closed his mind again, and didn't let go of his hands. He just held them for one second. Two seconds. Then he let go, and turned to lead the way, waving him along. "Come sit with me."

Lalli took him to a dry place, a grassy roll of ground that he had shaped in his mind as soon as he'd realized that he would need something more comfortable than the boards and the mossy stones of his swamp.

This was better. They could sit side by side, or back to back, just relaxing in the warmth of one another and the scent of trees and earth and grass and water.

Their moments together were rare. They were... good. Lalli liked to hold on to them, savouring them one by one like a handful of raspberries. Enjoy it slowly. Make it last.

When they finally sat together, Niko unlaced his gloves and pulled them off, talking the entire time in his usual light tone, his relaxed words. And Lalli unlaced his own gloves, and listened, and let the voice wash over him, let the words slide in one ear and out the other.

"It was rough out there, so I was stuck in Kajaani for a while. And then they had me running the Pielinen route again, so I was held up there. But now they've got me carrying to Keuruu again, so I think - if I'm fast - well, you know."

Lalli sought his hand. Let his fingertips brush against it. Didn't look down, didn't look at their hands, and didn't look at him, either. He just touched, brushing his fingers over Niko's knuckles, surprised at how exposed that small amount of contact made him feel. "Fine," he said, and that meant he knew what Niko was telling him. There wasn't anything either of them could do about it. So two words were enough, and if this weird mage had any brains at all, he'd get it. "Don't go too fast." Don't put yourself in danger for something that isn't even work.

Those fingers twined in his own. Linked. Squeezed a little, but not too much. "I won't," Niko said. "I just - um."

"What?"

"I really, really missed you."

There was a note in his voice that Lalli couldn't place. He sounded... what? Nervous? Why? It didn't make sense. Was it because of this whole thing? The hand-holding thing. It was weird – Lalli didn't know much about friends, but he did know that friends didn't normally link hands like this, or sit so closely together like this, or rest their head on each other's shoulders. It was weird.

But Niko was weird, too.

An okay kind of weird, though. Not a bad kind of weird. Even if Lalli didn't understand him. "I'm not going to forget about you just because you're gone," he said.

There was a soft sound he didn't understand. It was like a stifled laugh, and was followed by, "I guess you're right." Then a pause. And then - "Hey, Lalli?"

Lalli tilted his head to show that he was listening. Instead of words, he felt fingertips touch his cheek.

He turned his head.

The touch had made him expect something. But what he didn't expect was the kiss. Lalli froze for a moment, unsure what to do. But it was soft, and Niko's hand was warm on his cheek, and after a second he found himself awkwardly kissing back, hesitant and light and unsure.

When they parted, he could feel his cheeks heating. But he wasn't the only one.

"Sorry," Niko murmured, red in the face, red all the way to his ears. "I just - um. Sorry."

"It's okay," Lalli said, because it was. He shifted to look at him properly.

"Really?"

"Yeah." A pause. "Is it always like that?"

"Like what?"

"...It wasn't very good." Lalli saw Niko's eyes widen. He tried to think of a way to explain. "You were rushing. I guess."

"Oh, well..." A relieved smile washed over Niko's lips. "I can do better than that."

"Show me." That was what he always said to him. When Niko talked about magic that Lalli had never heard of. When he talked about how he travelled through the dream world on his courier route. When he talked about any weird thing that Lalli didn't understand. Show me, Lalli demanded. Tell me.

Those warm hands cupped his face. Their lips met again. It was good. Better than the first one.

It was as satisfying as the other times Niko had showed him things. Explained things to him. It was just like that.

Lalli sighed against his mouth, content.

Date: 2017-05-01 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
*huggles fic* This is so lovely! I do relish the way you write Lalli, like I like your concept of Lalli's (or any mage's haven). The imagery of it effectively being Lalli is so very delicious and quite seldomly neglected. So, I do adore phrases like "Lalli opening himself to let Niko in" very very much.
And once again I have the urge to draw Niko... If you#re okay with it *and* I can come up with something good. You have created a very compelling character there.
May I ask a question? Why did you make Niko half-Sami? Is it because you wanted to include some other ethnicity into your fanon? Or is there something about Sami culture that particularely interests you?


On a further note: There are two mistakes which seem to have slipped your eye.

"and let the voice wash over him, let the words slide in one ear and other the other."

"But what he didn't expect the kiss."

~ Talimee

Date: 2017-05-01 03:55 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Alright, since I cannot find an edit-button:

"The imagery of it effectively being Lalli is so very delicious and quite seldomly neglected." I meant, ofc, that the concept is quite often neglected by writers (myself included) who see a haven only as a place to stay, like a flat or something.

Date: 2017-05-01 04:07 pm (UTC)
yuuago: (SSSS - Niko)
From: [personal profile] yuuago
Haaa, thanks for pointing out those errors, I'll fix them tonight when I'm on my main computer. (When I stare at something too long, the mistakes become invisible. >< )

Anyway, it makes me so happy that you would be interested in drawing Niko again! Of course it's okay. <3

As for why he's half-Saami... Oh, well, it's a mix of things. It was actually someone else's suggestion at first, and initially I wasn't too sure about it, because the folklore/culture research would be challenging (there is so much vague/incorrect information out there). But I do find Saami culture interesting, it's something I like reading about, even though I am not very knowledgeable at all on the subject.

And also, I really wish that Saami people had been included in actual SSSS canon in some way. Not necessarily in the main cast (though imagine if that were the case, it would be cool, especially if one of the characters were a Noaidi. The magic...!) but even just some kind of mention somewhere, an offhand note on the info pages, it would have opened up cool worldbuilding possibilities.... And considering some of the populated parts of the known world overlap with present-day Sapmi, it wouldn't have been a stretch at all.

So, since we don't get that in canon, welllll I might as well make up that kind of story when I'm playing with my dolls, so to speak. xD And that's how I ended up with a whole bunch of Saami characters to play with.

Date: 2017-05-01 11:57 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Don't beat yourself up because of the mistakes - everyone gets blind to those after staring onto the same text for too long. =)

And I am very glad that you're ok with me giving Niko another try. I have to admit that I am not very happy with the first pic I did. I will try to do better next time. ^^; Do you have any specific ideas you would like to see?

(Half-rant about the representation of minorities ahead. Hopefully, you'd still want to talk to me after that. ^^; )

Regarding the representation of minorities in Minna's comic I have never questioned her decision on how or what she shows in comic. And it angers me when people act as if she has some kind of obligation to insert token representatives of cultural minorities into her comic. But Minna has shown more than once that she supports what the fans make of her world. She doesn't see her view of the S4-world as sacrosanct and that is more than one can say about other authors.
It is interesting when fans pick up ideas from other cultures and insert them into the fanon and experiment with other forms of magic or just world- or society-building.
Atm, we see most intel through the eyes of Icelandic skalds who might not even know that Sami and Finnish culture are different. (If Sami culture still exists after 3 generations and 90-95% of the original population dead.) And many info pages are still about establishing the worldbuilding for the most pressing matters in story. Maybe Minna will have more opportunity to branch out in later adventures of the crew when the groundwork has been done ...

Date: 2017-05-02 12:28 am (UTC)
yuuago: (SSSS - Niko)
From: [personal profile] yuuago
Aha, fixed now! And thank you again. ^^

Hmmm I don't have any particular ideas of what I'd like to see, no. Illustrations of anything is always a winner. Magic is always nice too. But I really do not know. xD

:Va I hope you don't think the things I've been writing are because of some representation issue. Since I'm not Saami, it isn't my place to have a particular opinion on this. I see it as just "This is a Nordic culture that could have been included, and it wasn't, and that's disappointing because I would've liked to see it". That's all.

Re: Icelandic skalds, yeah, I generally take a similar approach - basically that Iceland and most of the other major population centres don't know that Saami people are still there, or if they do, then they don't care, because the numbers are so small. (It's actually come up a couple of times in fics that I've written xD "Ugh, those city people, they're so clueless, they have no idea what goes on here") Hell, my writings might give the impression that there is a large amount of Saami people in Kajaani in this worldbuilding I'm doing, but no, it's only one family there. And a few other pockets of population in other similarly hard-to-reach places.

Date: 2017-05-02 12:56 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
"Illustrations of anything is always a winner. Magic is always nice too."

I had thought of magic as well, but I really have no idea how Saami-magic is supposed to look like other than Niko playing the drum. I think the best bet will be to reread the stories where he features and look for somthing that triggers my drawing-fingers.
Btw, I am not blind, am I? There is no seperate tag for Niko, is there? Only the OC-tag? (Oh noes! I have to sieve through all your OC-fics? How horrible! XD )

"I hope you don't think the things I've been writing are because of some representation issue."

Tbh, half hoping, half fearing. It is so hard to tell with North-Americans. =/ But I am relieved that we appear to be on the same level about this. ^^

~ Tali

Date: 2017-05-02 01:47 am (UTC)
yuuago: (Tistow - Veeti - Magic)
From: [personal profile] yuuago
Here is where I confess that one of the reasons I decided to make him half-Saami is because when it comes to the magic, it gives me the freedom of pulling from canon-typical Finnish stuff too ;) Conveniently, there are a lot of similarities. So I'm basically handwaving it as la-la-la, these types of magic are at least partly compatible (unlike Icelandic vs Finnish magic. Or Finnish vs Slavic, for that matter, which I plan to include with a certain character eventually). I'm spinning it as, someone who has the potential for both Finnish and Saami magic can take a role as both Noita and Noaidi, except for some very specific things. (For example I still don't understand the differences between Saami vs Finnish soul dualism, and I'm trying to avoid touching it much until I do. It's possible that someone like Niko wouldn't have a luonto.)

...Which is a longwinded way of saying "idk man, you can't go wrong with glowy blue eyes" xD But poking around for something that inspires you is a GREAT idea and probably the best approach.

It's hard to read the tags on the entries, so it's easy to miss! There is the original character tag for all OCs, and there is also Niko's tag for him specifically. And also on the tag page you can see the list of everybody if you scroll through the ones starting with C-.

...Aaanyway, rule of thumb: if I'm writing something, it's because I like it/find it interesting/think it's cool, not because I feel obligated to put it in there. Or something. :Va

Date: 2017-05-04 11:33 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
"There is the original character tag for all OCs, and there is also Niko's tag for him specifically. And also on the tag page you can see the list of everybody if you scroll through the ones starting with C-"

I feel so stupid now. XD
But in my defense: As soon as I had written the last reply I saw the nico-tag under the fic. It's just that I hadn't realized so far that there is a tag-page which has more in it than the tags on the left side of the blog. ^^; Well, we live and learn, as some other folks told us.

"if I'm writing something, it's because I like it/find it interesting/think it's cool"

And that is as it should be. ^^ Last June's uproar in the comments just left me very shaken and ... well, let's not dwell on that. u__u

On the positive side! I have an idea for Niko. Sadly, it has no Lalli and no Magic in it. But a fur-parka. Everything is nicer with a fur-parka, right?

Date: 2017-05-04 12:20 pm (UTC)
yuuago: (SSSS - Niko)
From: [personal profile] yuuago
Yep, now you know~ Dreamwidth is kind of tricky to navigate if you aren't used to using it, anyway. ;V

Hmmm last summer's wank was a different but related issue, I think. But yeah, let's not dwell on that. ;p

Anyway! That idea sounds good to me. *_* And I'd like to say again that I'm so happy you'd even think about drawing him. I never really expect any of my OC-related stuff to appeal to anybody other than me, since it's usually so niche and self-indulgent. xD

I'd love to hear from you

Feel free to talk to me! It's very appreciated. You can comment logged-in or anonymous.
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