Head Bowed
Katherine Hana Li spin_kick_snap
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Outside Room 504, Tuesday Afternoon
This was weeks and weeks overdue. And yet standing in front of Minako's door, all Kathy wanted to do was chicken out and run away. Again. Even harder than confessing to Professor Starsmore that she'd stolen his letter was apologizing to one of her dearest friends. Not even because of how angry Minako still was--and had every right to be--but because of how very hurt and disappointed she'd been. Kathy could deal with anger. It was scary, sure, but manageable. Hurt and profound disappointment that she had caused? There was no easy walking away from that.

But there was no easy walking away from a friendship, either. And even if Minako couldn't forgive her, at least Kathy had tried.

Which, admittedly, would be pretty cold comfort if Minako couldn't forgive her. Especially since she wouldn't be able to blame her for it, either.

Quickly, before Kathy could talk herself into waiting--again--she knocked on the door. And when Minako opened it, she shoved two brightly-decorated bags at her, one gold, filled with the mochi Kathy had baked herself for Dr. Lecter's final yesterday, and one red, filled with gyoza she'd ordered from a dumpling place in Baltimore.

As soon as her hands were free, Kathy was clapping them together in front of her chest and bowing, deeply. She wasn't entirely sure that the customs were the same in Japan as they were in Korea (or very Korean immigrant households), but she figured it was probably close enough for Minako to figure out she was saying she was very sorry.

"Words can't express how sorry I am," she said quietly. "Both for what happened and for putting this off for so long. You deserve better, as a friend and as a wronged party. I was nervous, I was guilty, I was scared, but none of those things really matter. You were--are?--my friend and I owed you the courtesy of a good, comprehensive apology weeks ago. I might be more sorry for the wait than I am for what happened." Her hair fell into her face and Kathy paused to brush it away. "You don't have to forgive me. You don't have to do anything at all. But I want you to know how much I miss our friendship, I miss talking to you and laughing with you and running around with you. These past few weeks have been lonelier for not having you in them. I'm sorry I wasn't here to help you make Minako for Prom Queen posters and for everything else I've missed in your life since March."

She drew in a long and shaky breath, blinking back tears. "And I'm sorry for March, too. I'm sorry for stealing your pen, and--oh god--I'm so sorry for the things I said. I was hurtful and cruel and I took the trust you were offering me and I spit on it and I'm sorry. I can't even say it wasn't me--it was, it was the very worst of me and it's something I have to work long and hard to make better. Sorry isn't enough for that, wouldn't be enough even if I'd said it the very next day, but know I will remember what I said to you for as long as I live. It's a goad in my heart to spur me to do better, be better, be the kind of hero--of person--I want to be and failed so miserably."

Aware that she was about to start babbling apologies over and over again, Kathy finally stopped talking, but didn't straighten up. Not until Minako said something or did something, even if it was just to close the door again.

[Door and Minako modded with permission!]

beautifulsenshi

2015-04-21 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Minako just stood there, blinking, letting Kathy get it all out. Because yeah, she was totally owed an apology, but Kathy had been sick and recovering and possession was totally bad for your health, so Minako hadn't put much thought into it beyond "Either she'll come around or she won't."

Admittedly, for most other offenses she'd have been checking up on Kathy to make sure she didn't need to go back to the clinic and nevermind the apology, but this had hurt and so sent her to hiding in her room.

Betrayal was never something she had dealt with well. (Minako OR Venus)

"Well, you might as well come in," she said, stepping out of the way and going to put the bags of food on the unused desk. "--and stop bowing, you're making me feel like I should do the formal acceptance in Japanese, and I totally failed that part of culture class in sixth grade."

spin_kick_snap

2015-04-21 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

"I wouldn't understand it anyway," Kathy said, straightening up and following Minako into her room. "So probably for the best we keep it to English."

And then she stood there, looking rather awkward, unsure if she should sit, or stay standing, or where she should sit if she should...

beautifulsenshi

2015-04-22 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)

Minako flopped down on her bed, laying on her stomach and looking at Kathy. "Here's what I don't get," she said. "Why did you think the pen was going to let you be a better hero?"

Edited at 2015-04-22 12:30 am (UTC)

spin_kick_snap

2015-04-22 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)

"Your pen wasn't going to be able to do anything for me directly," Kathy explained, shame-faced. She was going to sit at the empty desk because this was not an explanation she really felt she could get through standing. "Your pen was the other half of Gaunt's price to get my mirror working again. So I stole it to give it to him. By that point, I wasn't sure if it was possible for me to go on without the mirror anymore. I needed it more than I needed to eat, sleep, or drink. When it stopped working, I was..." she shrugged. "Bereft?"

She'd been a junkie without a fix, really. And she'd needed her fix very, very badly.

"The only reason it was still there by the time you got to my room was because it was yours. Anyone else, and it would have been long gone in Gaunt's possession already. But...knowing what it meant to you...and what you meant for me...I couldn't quite make myself give it to him."

She looked at Minako and added softly, "But it was only really a matter of time before I would have."

beautifulsenshi

2015-04-22 06:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

"A mirror?" Color Minako dubious. "I'm guessing it was enchanted or something?"

spin_kick_snap

2015-04-22 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

"It supposedly showed me different possible futures," Kathy said, looking at her hands. "All the things I ever wanted to do, all the things I ever thought might be possible--it showed me succeeding at them. It promised to show me how, even. Getting into the college of my dreams with a full academic scholarship. Being listened to and respected. Boys I have a crush on liking me back. All sorts of things."

Her voice dropped a little. "Standing up to my dad."

Minako deserved that much honestly.

beautifulsenshi

2015-04-22 09:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yeah, Minako was going to pick up a pillow and throw it at Kathy. "You're a doofus," she said bluntly. "You're smart enough to go to college, you don't need a mirror to tell you that. And True Love will show up when it shows up! You can't rush stuff like that!"

"I mean, I get wanting to stand up to your parents? But there's no surefire way of doing that and succeeding, ever. Anyone who tells you otherwise? They're full of it."

"Heroes don't take the easy way, okay? I mean, there's no reason to make it extra-hard on yourself, but no one can know what's right for you to do except for you."

spin_kick_snap

2015-04-23 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Kathy caught the pillow and held onto it. "Yeah," she said. "I know. It was just so seductive. A quick glance and it was like I was hooked. Even before I made the deal with Gaunt, it was all I could think about. It got into my head. It was like every positive affirmation I'd ever wanted, all with a handy how-to guide. Looking in the mirror felt good. Like a warm hug from someone you love. The visions it showed me became less and less realistic, but by that point, it didn't matter. I was already..." She shrugged. ""Ensnared, I guess.

Edited at 2015-04-23 07:08 am (UTC)