Universe: The Nothing Children
Characters: Demide - Ko'mied - Sayan
Summary: Demide and Ko'mied are 4th year Provisionals, and a chance meeting in the practice studio introduces them to the possibility of incredible things.
A/N: The Ma'mon are just my favorite thing in The Nothing Children. The concept is a creation entirely of TNC, though the characters of Ko'mied and Demide both have foundations elsewhere in the former COLOR Universe canon. This flashback was something I needed to write, just to satisfy my own curiosity about how they met and how to describe their individual talents outside of Silios' perspective. I'm still trying to figure out whether I want to include a few different flashbacks like this (in 3rd person) within the story.
Anyway, enjoy if you wish!
“Did you hear that?” Ko’mied grabbed the strap of Demide’s bag to detain him for a moment as they walked down the hall.
Slightly annoyed at his friend already, Demide sighed. “No. What did you hear?”
“There’s someone still in the studio.”
Demide yawned and stretched his arms over his head. It was time for dinner and sleeping, and certainly not poking around in supposedly empty practice studios. “So? It’s someone else’s business. Are you coming to eat with me or not?”
“It’s a girl,” Ko’mied said simply, face close to the glass and peeking in.
His interest piqued for the moment, Demide put off the thought of food. “Is she cute?”
“I know her. She just got in. Sayan, you know? She’s about my age.”
“I don’t know her.” Demide sniffed back a sneer and thought about leaving again. Ko'mied was four years his senior, but they'd started in the same cycle. It was tiring to Demide, sometimes, that his friend acted like the child more often.
“Sure you do. The skinny girl with the curly hair. Quiet. Always scowling. Like you.” Ko’mied knew Demide would ignore his comment, but threw it in regardless.
“It rings a bell. Can she dance?” It was all he really cared about. Whether or not she was cute had been more of a smokescreen concern to break the ice. Ko’mied and Demide became friends simply because they were already at the head of the Provisional line in Fier Class, with similar skillsets. A girl their age could have been little more than a distraction, if she didn’t have the potential to keep up.
“She’s trying right now. Look.” Ko’mied moved over and beckoned him to peek in. As uncomfortable as Demide was with watching others practice so sneakily, he read the giddy smile on Ko’mied’s face and couldn’t help humoring his friend.
She was barefoot. Her left ankle was taped and her hair was thrown up in a messy bun on top of her head. Demide didn’t expect much, sizing up her physique immediately as too weak, the way she held her limbs as ungraceful.
Grace apparently wasn’t what she was going for. The girl spun on the ball of her right foot quickly enough to make Demide lose his breath for a moment, stopping after a full three rotations. Without hesitation she switched her weight to the left foot and plunged into a half-kneel, bowing over her left knee and extending the right leg out completely.
It was an unpolished move, but that was obviously why she was there. She kept doing it, sometimes stopping mid-spin to try it again and again. Ko’mied made Demide move over, and together they peered into the studio to watch her. Despite her skill level, speed and persistence were obviously standard in her repertoire. It was like Demide had told Ko’mied during an increasingly characteristic moment of insight: everyone above average has something unique, something to trade on. When people say they haven’t found their natural talent, that’s probably because it isn’t there. Or when they can’t concentrate on one talent, that’s because they don’t have that unique thing.
Demide was about to suggest that they leave and simply try to track her down at practice the next day, but when she dipped into the next kneel her ankle gave out. She threw one hand back to catch her fall, and dropped messily to the studio floor. Her leg bent in front of her, she winced and held onto her ankle with both hands.
Ko’mied had already pushed the door open. “Are you okay?” He cried.
She nearly sprang to her feet, but couldn’t manage it just at that moment. Demide hovered near the doorway, watching her regard Ko’mied with shock that superseded the pain. “Whoa, damnit! Who are you?”
While far from the natural charm he would perfect over the next decade, Ko’mied was already the sort to extend his hand and simply smile. “I’m sorry. We couldn’t help being captivated, watching you.”
Leave me out of this! Demide wanted to shout, and he actually shifted his weight onto the foot that still remained in the hallway. His instinct told him to bolt. Just then, though, the girl’s eyes fell on him as she reached up. Instead of taking Ko’mied’s hand primly, though, she grabbed him under the elbow, using the leverage as it was meant to be taken. Something rooted Demide in place immediately, then. She was young but there was just something about her. She wasn’t cute and she wasn’t particularly any one thing or another, except for…
“Sure. Okay. That’s creepy,” she said, thanking him with a sneer but staying on the floor. “I’m fine. I’ll stay down here for now. This ankle’s just weak. It’s not my dominant. I’m trying to change that.” She let go of his arm and her body went gracefully slack. She slumped over her crossed legs and then pulled the offending ankle out again, glaring at it as if it were strategically out to sabotage her.
“What’s your name?” Ko’mied asked.
“Sayan. You never told me yours.”
“Ko’mied. How old are you?”
“You ask a lot of questions for someone who came barging in on my private practice time!” She barked. Demide felt an affinity for her at that point, and came one step into the studio.
“Sorry. I’m just confident.” Ko’mied knelt next to her, still grinning. “I like meeting new people.”
“I’m 17.” Sayan let out a heavy breath and blew it up at her hair disinterestedly. Then, she looked up from under her severe brow and right at Demide, like she knew just where he was without checking. “And I know who you are.”
“How about me?” Ko’mied asked, still trying to weasel his way into her good graces.
“Be quiet,” she said. Unbelievably, Ko’mied obeyed. He didn’t even question it; it was simply like, in that moment, both of them knew what needed to be done. What needed to be done was whatever Sayan said. She turned her attention back to Demide. “You’re Demide. You’re 14 and you were a Provisional four years ago. Right?”
“Yeah,” he said, looking anywhere but at her. Something about her was just too much for a long day.
An almost sinister smirk broke out on her flushed, sweat-slick face. “I was hoping we’d get a chance to meet. You’re good, too.” She turned to Ko’mied finally and poked him in the shoulder. “Not as good as him, but good.”
“Hey!” He grabbed at the spot. “I’m older than you.”
“Doesn’t mean you’re my se’uru.”
“I’ve been Colora longer than you!”
“Doesn’t mean you’re my se’uru.”
Ko’mied was only pouting, and Demide knew it. He cracked a laugh, and Sayan’s attention flashed back over to him. “I apologize you had to see me like this. I’m not at my best right now.”
“I didn’t say anything.”
“Nah, but you were thinking it. What sort of dancer am I if I can’t even get something like that right?”
“It’s not your dominant foot, you said. That’s still pretty good, then. Your speed… your control of your speed. I like it.” Demide looked at her impassively, and as their eyes searched one another he knew that Sayan was sizing him up just as brutally as he was her. “You can cheat strength with speed, if you learn how.”
“That’s what I’m trying to do. You’re strong, though. I’m behind you in the concert lines. Both of you. That’s probably why you never see me. Our formations never intersect. But since I joined a few months ago I’ve been watching. You’re the best on the Provisional front line but you’re very different.”
It was obvious, just looking at them, but it went beyond that. Ko’mied’s height could have been a disadvantage, but he’d learned how to move with such fluidity that his hips – the center of his considerable gravity – had already become a subject of great interest to the Fier Class choreographers. He was imprecise, sometimes, and moved on rhythm before he moved on muscle memory. But his body was mysteriously slave to the whims of music. Using only the sheer determination to make something work, he tended to succeed. Demide, on the other hand, was all technique, all grace, all the science of dance, already. His sense of timing was so innate that Ko’mied sometimes liked to turn the music on and off randomly during their extra rehearsals, just to see how he kept up. Soon, he would begin changing the song and watching in awe as Demide kept up the moves of the first without breaking stride.
Ko’mied and Demide liked to think of themselves as polar opposites in dance – the physical and mental pinnacles, respectively. While their friendship was occasionally thorny with annoyance and incompatibility, they recognized that together they represented a level of skill otherwise unseen in the Fier Class Provisionals. Ko’mied was finally ready to duel for a Suna’vyu seat. He’d asked Demide to do the same. They’d both waited four years, but both knew they could win.
They’d been completely sure there wasn’t room for a third pinnacle. But Demide glanced at Ko’mied, and they both looked down at Sayan, and knew she wasn’t ready to wait four years for her chance at a seat. She was pressing her thumbs into the weak tendons in her ankle and enjoying the pain, willing them to get stronger. And they would. Nothing had the power to resist her orders.
She would become a first year Suna’vyu. From there, the three of them would be prepared with an agreement. They would forge a dynasty together, and rule for generations. Politics were of no concern. The only goal was to be the best. As with all things.