|Help Search Members Calendar Shoutbox|
|Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )||Resend Validation Email|
Elsa had been an object of his affection for a long time. He'd never forget that sweet innocence of her sending him a picture of her in her sweater when he was clearly looking for nudes. He thought about that a lot -- it was so unexpected and just so unabashedly her. Elsa made him feel good; Elsa was unlike any girl he had ever been with.
Why he kept sabotaging shit with her was too fucked up for him to self-analyze. He did enough of that and it all pointed back to him being worthless without his fame so he tried to think about something else.
What he wanted to focus on at the moment was the fact that Elsa had agreed to meet with him. Even after their disaster meetings that were mostly awkward burst of dialogue punctuated by long periods of uncomfortable silence, she was alright with meeting him to help him with a card trick.
Sticking close to the rabbit pen where Mittens was happily munching away on leafy lettuce, Wolfgang shuffled the trick card deck he wanted to test out. From the direction of the larger animal cages, he saw Elsa hesitantly approach him.
"Hey, I'm over here," he called, waving her over, probably unnecessarily. "You put Baldr to bed?" he asked. Her bear was always a safe topic to bring up.
Elsa may have been inexperienced in love and romance, but she wasn't stupid. Wolfgang had been asking her to meet with him, and so far she hadn't really agreed to it. But this, of course, she would have to attend, or risk messing things up for his routine. Although, she had a brief thought that any spec. girl could easily stand in for her--but then there was the thought she didn't want to admit, that she did actually miss him and want to see him.
She just didn't know if she could.
She had never been hurt the way Wolfgang had hurt her. Her friends had warned her, but she brushed it off, sure that if she hadn't found someone to love up till then, someone like the former baseball player wouldn't be the one for her.
How wrong she had been.
So she girded herself, saying goodnight to Baldr, and emerged into the main part of the animals' tent. She smiled nervously when Wolfgang called out and waved her over, her hands clasped in front of her. "Yep," she said with a nod, answering when she reached the rabbit hutch. "He's all tucked in." The words felt plastic and fake in her mouth. She liked talking about her bear, and she usually loved talking about him to Wolfgang, but right now, small talk to distract from something bigger, it just felt wrong.
"Is Mittens in this act?"
"No. Just me and you -- if you want to be. I could get a spec girl but I don't know. I kinda thought we'd do something together before all that shit happened," he said, looking down at his hands.
"Either way I just need to get used to the tick." Wolfgang held out the deck to her in one hand, all in a neat pile. "Pick three cards from a different spot in the deck, okay?"
She pulled at the sleeves of her sweater and nodded again. "It's fine. I mean, we'll see, right? Um..." she glanced over at the rabbits, but Mittens had apparently left them on their own. "I'm just more used to performing with a bear, I mean." She didn't want him to think she was trying to get out of this, even though a part of her wanted. She just wanted to warn him the same thing she had in the past: that if they did go through with it, she might not be the best assistant, as she was really only comfortable on stage with Baldr, not in a situation where there would be a great deal of attention on her. More importantly, on how she looked. On the scars that ripped through one side of her face.
She turned away and ruffled her hair, sliding it over one eye before looking back at Wolfgang. She sighed, as if she was preparing for a taunting task and said, "Okay!" before picking her three cards.
They would have to see That really summed up the state of their current relationship. They would have to wait and see.
Elsa swept her hair so that it was covering half of her face. The half he knew she had the scars. It seemed stupid to ask her not to do that because he knew what her whole face looked like and he thought she was beautiful. So he didn't say anything and instead focused entirely on his trick.
"Put them back in the deck," he said, holding the deck out again. "The more random the better."
He waited for Elsa to stick the cards back in the deck. He was looking away as she made her decision. He shuffled the deck again and then dropped it with a dramatic flair. The whole stack of cards scattered on the ground. Only the three that she had picked were supposed to fall out of the deck.
"Godfuckingdammit," Wolfgang swore as he bent to pick up the cards.
Or, that's how things had seemed. She wondered if he took anything seriously, at all. He seemed sober enough now, and he was having them practice, so that had to mean something. But then again, his job actually mattered. If he messed up too much there, he would be demoted back to being a worker, or he might even have his contract revoked. In her time at the circus Elsa had known a few people to seemingly disappear after a few bungled acts, with barely a mention of them since.
She didn't want Wolfgang to disappear, even if she might have said as much in the past few months.
Elsa had no idea that Wolfgang wanted to push her hair back out of her eyes. He had told her that he didn't mind her scars before, even told her they made her interesting, more unique. Part of her never fully believed him, and now she would be more likely to believe it had all just been part of his efforts to woo her.
Still, they had this act to do. She followed his instructions and took half a step back, to give him space to do the actual trick part. When the cards scattered on the ground instead, she gasped "Oh!" before crouching down to help him gather them all back up. "I'm guessing that wasn't the trick, right?" she asked, more sensitive than sarcastic.
Nothing good came from thinking about that shit too much and besides, he had been waiting for Elsa to be able to be in the same space with him for a while. He couldn't fuck this interaction up.
"No. That wasn't supposed to fucking happen at all. Just the the three cards you picked were supposed to fucking fall out. I would be the only fucking one to fuck up a trick deck," Wolfgang said, already worked up into a rant, as he took the cards Elsa had picked up.
"I'm sorry," he said, not sure if he meant for everything or just that he was cursing so much around her.
She gathered as many of the cards together as she could and tidied the stack. She held it out to the magician, a gentle smile on her face. "It's okay, that's why we're practicing," she said, trying to remain optimistic. The trick wasn't her idea, and either was doing it together, but she would be a good sport. Everything else aside, she didn't want Wolfgang to fail.
"Should we try again?" she asked after a moment, part of her wishing he would say no, that he was just going to do this with a Spec. Girl like his other tricks. She was surprised by it, but she couldn't deny that it hurt her to be around him now. She couldn't stop herself from thinking about how things were before, or how it had crushed her when she had learned about his indiscretions. She wasn't angry anymore, but she was sad, and she felt much more like being alone than having company, and the company being Wolfgang only made it harder.
It was hard to be reminded of how much he hurt her. And it was hard to be reminded of how much he hadn't wanted to hurt her. It was no excuse; she had just been too important. Stakes were so high with her that he crumbled inward and created a whirlwind around himself.
"Nah, I'll just-- figure this out later," he said as he shoved the cards into his pocket. "You'll be too busy to do this with me anyway... so it's like there's not point to practice anything with you."
Wolfgang rolled his eyes at his choice of words. He was never good with making anything he said gentle. Even when he meant well, his words came out harsh and borderline aggressive.
"I didn't mean for that to sound so shitty," he said. "I'm sorry everything got so fucked up." Wolfgang added, once again unsure what he was applying that to; now or then.
“It's okay!” she hurried to say. She hadn't expected the trick to go right on their first try, and she certainly didn't think that was necessarily either of their faults. But when he went on to apologize for everything being messed up, her heart sank.
She delayed, twisting her hands together before she finally said, “I know,” softly. And she did know. But that didn't mean that it was easy to forgive him. He had been her first boyfriend, and she had trusted him despite so many warnings not to. He had been a lot of firsts for her, and most recently he had been the first man to break her heart. She thought that perhaps they simply weren't meant to be together–that made the most sense to her, after all. They came from such different worlds, and the ways they felt things and handled things were so different–
Yet Wolfgang seemed to want to make amends and regain her trust. She didn't understand why, really. There was a part of her that still felt–something–for him, but if she forgave him, and he hurt her again, she did not know what she would do.
"You're right though. I mean, the trick would probably go better with a spec. girl," she said, a bit sheepishly. "I don't want to ruin your act or anything." She smiled at him, shyly. She wasn't unwilling to be a part of his act, but it would probably be better for everyone if he used a girl with more experience with that sort of thing. All Elsa really knew was her act with Baldr, and she thought maybe it was too late to learn something new, now.
He knew he didn't want Elsa to feel as if he wanted to replace her. He just wanted what was most comfortable for her and maybe being around him like this didn't make her --
Wolfgang didn't want to say goodbye to her and mean it. He couldn't just say this was it, there was no more trying. She was some virgin he had fucked and now they were done. The bear trainer had been more than that; he just hadn't made her feel like that. He hadn't acted like it either.
"You're not the problem," he said, "You wouldn't ruin my act. You never ruined anything," Wolfgang said, quietly.
And yet, though she had barely even admitted it to herself, let alone anyone else, there was a part of her that put at least some of the blame on herself. She couldn't keep herself from thinking, particularly when she saw the type of girl Wolfgang tended to be with–or saw Wolfgang talking with the type of girls he tended to be with–that she hadn't been enough for him. She was quiet and reserved, not outgoing or a party girl. She didn't wear silky low-cut shirts or micro-shorts, and she rarely drank, much less got very drunk or did any drugs. And of course she could never forget those marks that tore across her face.
She sighed and took Wolfgang's hand. She wanted him to know that at least she didn't hate him anymore; she wasn't just trying to back out of the act because she couldn't even be around him. “Wolfgang–” she started, unsure of herself, “It's okay.” She sounded resigned to the fact. She accepted that Wolfgang was who he was, and that she wasn't the girl he wanted.
The bear trainer wasn't them. That's what he -- well, loved about Elsa.
He was surprised to feel her hand in his. Wolfgang almost opened his mouth to stop her from saying anything, he was sure whatever she said was going to be saying she really just didn't want to be around him anymore.
She was going to say what he wouldn't and didn't want to. They weren't going to work and she didn't want them to work --and he never proved to her that he could make them work.
For once, Wolfgang shut his mouth and listened. He didn't have to listen to much but for what little Elsa had said, it made him pause and think. It was okay -- that wasn't nearly as negative as he had expected.
"It's okay," he repeated, leaning toward her.
He pulled her forward by her hand, just enough to bend down to kiss her. Nothing forced and nothing that said he wanted anything from her. He kissed her like he had when he wanted her to trust him.
She wasn't wholly surprised when he kissed her, but that didn't mean she didn't take in a small gasp when he did. Surprising herself, she closed her eyes and even relaxed, just slightly. When the kiss ended, she was still holding his hand. She felt flushed and confused. She looked at the ground, then their hands, then over her shoulder at the rabbit hutch. Eventually she said, “I think–it's getting late. And–” she paused, weighing her words, “– the trick will probably work better if we're rested." She smiled at him, and lingered for a moment, still holding his hand. When she finally dropped it, she lingered just a second longer before half-muttering, “Thank you,” before she left the tent.
Finally she let go of his hand and he closed it into a fist, just to feel her warmth for a little longer. He smirked and turned away when he heard the small 'thanks' from her before she left.
Taking his time to gather up his show stuff, Wolfgang ran their conversation over again. He thought of everything they had said to each other -- how awkward they had been but, toward the end there had been a mutual agreement and it felt like something had changed for the better. For once.