roesslyng: (SSSS - Incantation)
[personal profile] roesslyng
Title: Let me see through your eyes
Fandom: Stand Still Stay Silent
Characters/Pairing: Emil & Lalli
Rating: 0+
Length: 870 words
Summary: Sometimes, Lalli seems to see things that Emil can't. But what?
Other: Written for IdleLeaves for Trick or Treat exchange. [Original post]

Let me see through your eyes

Magic, Emil knew, did not exist.

At least, he thought it didn't. Had thought it didn't.

Before embarking on this disaster of a journey, Emil had been absolutely, completely sure that he knew how the world worked, especially when it came to magic and spirits and other silly superstitions.

He was beginning to change his mind.

There were just too many things that he couldn't account for. Too many incidents that couldn't be explained away. It had been a few weeks since they'd run for their lives from - something. And the more he tried to ignore it, the more the memory of it kept swirling around in his head.

Emil had decided to write it all down on the bottom of one of the vocabulary sheets that Tuuri had made for him. Anything. Everything. Whatever came to mind.

The voices in the radio and the way Lalli's song cleared them out, or made them disappear, or - whatever it was.

The "spirits" that they had encountered in Copenhagen, or ghosts, or whatever they were. The ones that Emil couldn't see, and couldn't explain either.

That way Lalli had of sometimes looking at nothing, his head turning sharply toward something, eyes darting. It was as if he could see and hear things that Emil couldn't.

Those things. And other things. There were so many, many other little things that Emil couldn't make any sense of.

If only I could actually ask him about this, Emil thought, frowning as he stared at his list of Suspicious Incidents And Unexplained Phenomena. Everything would be clearer if I could just get him to explain it. What does he see?

Once, he had considered asking Tuuri about it. He dismissed the idea almost immediately. It would be embarrassing to bring up the subject when he wasn't really sure of what he actually felt. But Lalli - well. Lalli was different. He could talk to Lalli.

If only that not-so-little language problem weren't such a problem.

Emil bit his lip. Underlined "spirits". Stared at it for a moment and thought hard. There really wasn't any explanation, was there?

The air in the room seemed to shift. He had a sudden, creeping feeling that he was being watched. Emil turned his head.

Lalli was staring at him. A moment ago, he had been reading through his own small stack of vocabulary sheets. Now they sat abandoned in front of him, and instead, he was looking over at Emil, his pale eyes curious.

Well, Emil thought. Maybe it's worth a try anyway. "Hey," he said, smiling and gesturing for him to come over. "I have a question."

Even if the words weren't understood, the meaning was clear enough. Lalli rose and went to him. He rested a hand on Emil's shoulder and peered down at the sheet and the notes.

Okay, Emil thought. How should I do this? Try it in Finnish? "Uh...."

The words weren't coming to him. Not that they ever did. Finnish was, after all, impossible. Fine, Emil thought. Swedish. It was a good civilized language, and Lalli was getting better with it over time, anyway.

Best to keep the question short, too.

Emil thought quickly, and then wrote the question down in Swedish, speaking it as clearly as possible while he did. "What are spirits?" he asked, underlining the word. Then, beneath that, he wrote spirits in Finnish, copying it out from the word list at the top of the sheet, just in case.

Then he looked at Lalli, and waited.

Lalli blinked, tilting his head. He read he read the sentence over. It looked like he understood. Probably.

He opened his mouth as if to speak. Then, seeming to think better of it, plucked the pencil from Emil's fingers, took hold of the page, and flipped it over.

As Emil watched, Lalli drew.

His lines were not delicate. They were bold, sharp, and harsh. Lalli didn't sketch, or even really draw; as he raked the pencil across the page in his fisted hand, the strange shapes that he put down were more like an impression poured directly from his mind onto the paper.

Wide, gaping mouths. Long arms and thin, spindly fingers. Wide eyes.

Emil stared.

When Lalli finally set the pencil down and slid the paper over to him, Emil hesitated for a moment before picking it up. The dark, sharp scribblings were hardly realistic, but as he looked at it, he felt as if the image could reach down through him, plunge its fingers inside him and grip him by the insides.

He looked from the drawing to Lalli. "This is what you see?" he asked, unsure if he would understand the question, but hoping the meaning would get through, at least.

Lalli nodded. Tapped the sheet. "Spirits," he said carefully, as if it wasn't obvious. Then he patted Emil on the head, and returned to his seat.

As Lalli took up the stack of study sheets that he'd abandoned, Emil stared at the drawing, and tried not to feel ill.

Maybe, Emil thought as he turned the page over and stared at the vocabulary words in a desperate attempt to get his mind off the drawing, it was a good thing that he couldn't possibly believe all this nonsense about magic and spirits and so on.

The idea that it could have anything to do with reality, the thought that this could be what Lalli saw every day, was entirely too unsettling.
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