Girl Talk

May 15th, 2019
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  1. The first thing Alita notices when she ducks through the low door to Koyomi’s room is the mess. Piles of books are stacked precariously, reaching all the way to the roof in the bedside corner. Small mechanical knick-knacks cover any surface level enough to hold them. And Alita can barely see the worn floorboards through the piles of bright clothes discarded over the ground. Koyomi though somehow manages to find islands of clear space as stepping-stones in the sea of mess around her, and with a final skip on to the surprisingly tidy bed she turns to Alita and enthusiastically gestures her in.
  3. “Come on! Don’t worry about the mess! I’ll clean it up later.”
  5. Alita moves through the clutter somewhat gingerly, trying her best to avoid stumbling over anything important-looking. Eventually she makes it across with only a couple of cracked trinkets under her feet and moves up to the bed with Koyomi. The sheets are soft, with the smell of fresh cotton a comfort to Alita as she stretches out across the bed. The two girls lie in silence for a moment, simply enjoying the cozy space around them. Though Alita would cringe at the sight of her own room like this, it suits Koyomi well. It’s very;- her. The serenity of the moment is suddenly broken by Koyomi, who sits up, cross-legged and addresses to question hanging over them both.
  7. “So. How was it?”
  9. The bluntness is to be expected by now, but Alita still swallows as she tries to find her words. Sitting up to match the girl before her buys her a few more seconds, though Koyomi’s stare seems to bore straight in to Alita’s soul. Alita tries the first set of words which seem coherent.
  11. “It was- nice. He’s really sweet.” As the words die Alita feels the inadequacy of them. Koyomi’s extended eye roll is less than surprising.
  13. “That’s probably the least useful description anyone has ever given of their partner.” The sarcasm feels deserved. Alita smiles sheepishly and bows her head.
  15. “Yeah that kinda sucked, huh?”
  17. Koyomi’s face softens and she gently takes Alita’s hand. Alita’s shoulders relax as she feels the awkwardness permeating her body settle down a little.
  19. “Tell me how it felt. What you felt.”
  21. The words, though curious, are kind and genuine. Alita takes a deep breath before trying to weave her scattered feelings in to a meaningful ribbon once more.
  23. “Well, we were watching a film- one of the rare ones he found in the Heap. We were so close together, lying there under the blankets. It was perfect.” Koyomi’s smile shows her approval, and Alita finds herself mirroring it. With a nod of her heads making her twin braids bounce, Koyomi urges Alita on. “He started touching me and it just felt so- good and so- right. I just never wanted him to stop. And kissing him- It was like I had this heat in me! I couldn’t get close enough to him. Things got heavier and- ”
  25. Her toes curl at the vividness of the memory and an involuntary shiver runs over her body. Alita realises with a start that Koyomi has gone bright red. She feels the heat rush to her own cheeks as she stumbles over her last word and trails off. Koyomi fills the silence first, though Alita hears just a tinge of unevenness in her usually steady voice.
  27. “That sounds intense. And amazing.” She cocks her head, seeming to take a moment to think on her next words before pressing on. “So did you… y’know…”
  29. It takes Alita a moment to realise what Koyomi is asking. When it hits her, the blood pounds harder in her ears and she swears she couldn’t be any more red if she tried. Her words pour out, spilling over one another in a torrent.
  31. “No! I mean, not that I didn’t want to. It’s just- I don’t even know if this body can do that.”
  33. There is a tinge of sadness to Alita’s words which surprises even herself. Koyomi nods, sympathy clear on her face.
  35. “Have you talked to anyone about it? I’m sure someone in this junkyard knows about nanotech.”
  37. Alita runs over the list of people in her mind.
  39. “I could ask Ido. He’s probably the most knowl-” Koyomi cuts Alita off with an emphatic shake of her head before she can finish the thought.
  41. “There’s no way Ido would help you even if he knew. My dad still pretends that me and Tanji never did anything more than hold hands.” Alita nods slowly and looks dejectedly down at her lap. A second later, a soft hum from Koyomi causes her to glance up, and she sees a focused frown across her friend’s face.
  43. “What about Gehard? She helped you with the colour change, right?”
  45. Alita feels the suggestion take root in her mind. Outside of Ido, no one else in Iron City has examined the Berserker as closely as Gehard. Koyomi’s grin returns in full force as Alita mulls over it.
  47. “That’s a good idea.”
  49. While Alita thinks, Koyomi takes her other hand and looks at her with the same laser-like focus as before.
  51. “You have to tell me how it goes though. Promise?”
  53. Alita laughs bashfully and squeezes her friend’s hands as she responds.
  55. “I promise! And hey, Koyomi?”
  57. “What?”
  59. “It’s nice to have a friend here.” Alita’s words feel like a confession; her spirit soars at Koyomi’s firm response.
  61. “Any time, Alita.”
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