Mermaids

Mermaids

Fandom: Rule of Rose

Summary: Diana and Jennifer are forced into a tentative partnership when the airship experiences mechanical difficulties.

Note: The first several updates are from an abandoned RP between myself (“Jennifer”) and DemandingDuchess (“Diana”) on Tumblr. I’ve removed and replaced “Diana’s” contributions with my own in order to keep the story flowing. I’m merely copying and pasting my own segments over here, as I feel that they’re mine and I can do whatever the hell I want with them. My regards to Diana, and also my apologies for my inexperience.

Part 1: Airship

With yet another mechanical groan, the airship lurched to the side again, and would perhaps have toppled her backwards onto the floor if she hadn’t made a desperate grab for the railing. Hands clenched tight around the cold steel bar that ran the length of the corridor, she felt the sweets she’d eaten a short while earlier begin to churn threateningly in her stomach; she was dimly aware that she was sweating despite the chill in the air.

Resting her forehead against the filthy glass, she stared miserably out of the window into the surrounding darkness and waited for the nausea to pass. She knew she didn’t have much time, a fact that only seemed to make her stomach more volatile.

When finally the candy’s urge to revisit had subsided, she almost had to physically pull herself away from the window. Exhaustion had joined fear and confusion on the emotional carousel she’d been trapped on since she’d left the relative safety of the bus, and she was finding it increasingly difficult to keep moving.

But I have to find a butterfly, she reminded herself, rubbing tiredly at her eyes. A beautiful… butterfly. Up here in space. Even her thoughts had become sluggish and reluctant. Her mind, it seemed, was still having trouble accepting this nightmarish new reality.

Since the first class guest sector featured virtually no identifiable markings or signs for her to assess her path, she found herself wandering hallways that were at once familiar and unknown. Jiggling doorknobs – most of them locked – and hitting dead ends, she slowly made her way through the tangle of empty corridors, hoping without much conviction that she’d somehow just stumble upon the required “gift”. She tried not to give too much thought to the fact that she was trapped on an airship – that she might not be able to find any kind of insect, let alone a butterfly, let alone a beautiful one. Most of all, she tried not to think about what the children

(What Diana)

might do if she failed to meet their demands. It seemed an entirely obvious, incontrovertible truth that the results would be – at best – unpleasant, and it was certainly not something she wished to dwell on.

She continued down the hallway, focusing wholly on her task, occasionally finding doors that would open, yielding more sweets and other trinkets, but never anything even remotely related to a butterfly.

This is hopeless, she thought bitterly. They’ve deliberately set me up to fail their little test.

Another door, another scone, another marble. Another minute gone with her nowhere nearer to completing her goal. Another minute closer to another punishment.

Sadly, for the unlucky girl, she had become much too involved in her own inner conflicts to pay attention to her trajectory. Upon rounding yet another entirely indistinguishable corner into yet another identical hallway, she realized far too late that this one did in fact differ from the others she’d previously explored: It was not empty.

Without even realizing it, she’d nearly walked into Diana.

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