January 18, 2021, 06:56:01 PM

Author Topic:  I've still got a lot of fight left in me (Zhenya)  (Read 113 times)

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Nastya Tikhomirova [ Artist ]
103 Posts  •  22  •  "Don't have time!"  •  She/her  •  played by Kita
I've still got a lot of fight left in me (Zhenya)
« on: November 15, 2020, 05:35:34 PM »
16th November 2003

It had been a bit of a different start to the day to say the least. Nastya didn’t really want to admit it but it had been quite nice, even if it was a bit disorientating at first to wake up on the sofa instead of in her bed. As she adjusted to her surroundings she had quickly remembered what had happened though earlier that night. She had sat up looking around the living room for the clock, and saw that it was already 7am. She was late! Nastya had sprinted through the corridors and up the stairs into her room, changing her clothes from pyjamas to training gear within a minute, before hastily sweeping her hair back into a ponytail, missing a few wispy bits. She had grabbed her bag, before running down the stairs again, using the floo network to get to the school for once instead of walking as she usually did.

She had considered herself lucky that she was first supposed to be on beams with Veronika, instead of flying in the arena, and therefore she hadn’t needed to waste time to stop by the locker to retrieve her broom. As she dumped her bag in the changing room, for a few seconds at the very least, it had felt so much like a normal day of training before everything happened. It really was quite nice, and it had made her almost glad she was late. And then it dawned on her, what if her mother had left breakfast on the kitchen side and she hadn’t seen it and therefore, hadn’t eaten it? Would her mother be angry? Surely, not. It was Alyona’s fault she was late, she could have woken her. Nastya was not angry with her mother though, in fact she was secretly grateful, for she had been provided with the perfect opportunity to miss breakfast so that she could have lunch with Zhenya properly.

Anastasiya ran to the beam room and burst through the doors, panting slightly as she looked up to see Veronika there with a bemused look on her face. She was about to blurt out a string of apologies when her new coach told her that she hadn’t been expecting her so soon, and that she'd been told that Nastya would be a little late that day. Nastya was surprised, wondering if that was her mother’s doing. Instead of apologising, Nastya smiled, grateful her mother would do that, if indeed it had been Alyona. However, Nastya felt that she now had to work even harder to make up for it though. It wouldn’t do to be anything less than perfect for the gala. She was slightly tired thanks to her nightmare cutting out an hour of sleep, but she still had enough restful sleep to get through the day without issues, she was sure. After all, her mother had turned out to be a very comfortable pillow.

By the end of the session with Veronika, Nastya had made pleasing progress and was still at full energy. By the time she had finished working with Andrey in the arena however, Nastya was back to where she started the night before; tired, aching and sore all over. The uncomfortable feeling in her muscles made her happy though, as it meant she was working enough for the gala performances. In reality, Nastya was most certainly pushing herself far too hard, but no one had seemed to notice (or if they had, they hadn’t stopped her yet).

It was now quickly approaching lunch time though. She was nervous to see her younger distant cousin, but also excited. Lunch was often the most interesting part of her day: she could count on the mystery roulette of which family member was going to be glancing at her throughout lunch every time she paused for a break to entertain her. But this was different, she was genuinely going to be happy to see Zhenya. It was going to be nice to get away from the school again, nice to be away from her mother and her coaches, even if she did love them all very much. The attention they gave her was becoming a little bit suffocating. She had most certainly appreciated it at first, but the shifty glances she kept receiving when she sat with them, was beginning to make her constantly paranoid that they’d say something bad to Alyona and she’d get in trouble. Meeting Zhenya was going to be like a breath of fresh air, a sense of freedom. Nastya could choose what she wanted to eat, and probably with minimal judgement and no reprisal. There were no posters of her either in Dottrar Vik to stare at her judgmentally while she ate which was even more perfect.

She took her time changing into a tight turtleneck jumper and tight jeans that she thanked Merlin she had luckily packed the day before. As she glanced in the mirror in the changing room she frowned as she saw how unhealthily thin she still looked, even though she had managed to slowly gain some weight back. She had, unfortunately, forgotten a coat in her mad rush though. Nastya scrunched up her face in thought, deciding that her national team jacket would have to do. As she put it on though, she felt a small flicker of nerves. She wondered if perhaps she’d have unwanted recognition if she wore it… then again, it was only until she got to the restaurant, then she could take it off again. At least she had a spare scarf floating in her bag for some reason, that could help partially cover it up.

She made her way to the office, throwing down the floo powder for the second time that day. As she stepped out into the slightly more familiar streets of the Swedish town, Nastya brushed off any excess powder from her jacket. Just as she did last time, Anastasiya made a speedy beeline for the coast with a wide grin on her face. It was just as beautiful as the last time she was there. She strolled along to the restaurant, a small smile on her face remaining the entire time. The encounter with her mother that night had kept her in a good mood, and she hoped it would last throughout the meeting. She was determined not to cry this time, she didn’t want  to worry Zhenya any more than she needed to.

As she stepped into the restaurant, she spotted Zhenya in the corner and she waved to her with a bright smile. “Zhenya!” She called out, as she rushed over to the younger witch with her arms wide. “It is so good to see you!” Nastya added with a genuine smile, as she wrapped her arms around her distant cousin tightly in a hug. “I’m glad we could meet again.” She said warmly, as she let go and started to remove her scarf and jacket.

@Zhenya Shishkina

Zhenya Shishkina [ Drakonya Krov ]
95 Posts  •  16  •  played by Inga
Re: I've still got a lot of fight left in me (Zhenya)
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2020, 03:19:50 PM »
Zhenya didn’t really know if she was looking forward to meeting Nastya when she made her way through Döttrar Vik. The girl had, of course, agreed to meet with even the shadow of a doubt but she felt quite tense as she wondered what to expect. The last meeting with her distant cousin had disturbed the girl so much that she had not even dared to write to Nastya again for a while. She felt that she could not possibly handle this.

The junior artistic flyer was struggling with her own life enough already – school was a pure horror to her and with her training and the artistic flying club to run she was more than busy. Nonetheless she still found enough time to worry about what was going on back home in Rybinsk. She had tried to dismiss these thoughts for a while after her last meeting with Nastya but then her distant cousin had written to her again and Zhenya felt like everything was beginning anew.

While she was anticipating the senior artistic flyer’s letters nervously, eager to get information, she felt that her heartbeat quickened and her fingers trembled each time she unfolded the parchment. News from Nastya rarely meant good news, after all. However, her very last letter from two days ago had been soothing – to some degree at least. Nastya’s handwriting had been neat, there had been no crossings out; it seemed to Zhenya that her distant cousin’s state of mind had been noticeably better than before and that had given her some hope that their meeting might not be a total disaster.

Still, Zhenya was pretty wary as she entered the Nøkken. The girl greeted the owner with a small smile and went to the same booth they had shared the previous time after looking around carefully to make sure that Nastya hadn’t arrived before her and taken a seat elsewhere. Zhenya was wearing a black sweater and a coat over her dark green training catsuit and had tied up her hair into a messy ponytail, looking probably even younger than she was now. She didn’t mind though. In fact, she simply had no time to worry about it as she had rushed from her own training to meet Nastya and would see some members of the artistic flying club after her visit in Döttrar Vik.

As she got out of her coat and waited for Nastya to arrive, Zhenya wondered what she’d hear this time and if she should ask any questions at all. It felt risky to ask the older athlete anything as the student clearly did not want her older relative to break down in front of her again. She didn’t think she’d be able to pull herself together then. Zhenya as an emotional mess lately and she felt quite certain that she’d cry along should Nastya sob again.

The door swung open and Zhenya got to her feet automatically. She only noticed that she had held her breath when Nastya was already there, wrapping her into a hug and exhaled loudly then. The other artistic flyer seemed overall okay, her smile did not look forced but she was quite thin and not exactly the way she had looked before all these horrible things had happened.

“Hey Nastya,” Zhenya said timidly, as she wrapped her arms around her distant cousin. She was surprised to see her not wearing a coat but a light team jacket. Truth be told, Zhenya had been happy to enter the restaurant as she had been freezing on her way there despite the warmer clothing.

“It’s good to see you, too,” she said, slowly relaxing a little. Taking a seat again, she looked at Nastya carefully. “So how are you?” she asked, narrowing her eyes slightly. “I want an honest reply,” she added, blushing slightly and feeling rather anxious again. She knew, though, that she would not be satisfied with only some evasive comments from her distant cousin. No matter how much she was dreading to hear her news, the girl felt she needed to know the truth.

Nastya Tikhomirova [ Artist ]
103 Posts  •  22  •  "Don't have time!"  •  She/her  •  played by Kita
Re: I've still got a lot of fight left in me (Zhenya)
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2020, 04:59:14 PM »
As Nastya took off her jacket, she immediately felt a chill as she placed it down on the seat beside her. Now she really regretted not remembering to bring a coat in her mad rush that morning. Even inside the restaurant her jumper was clearly not enough to keep the willowy athlete warm. Anastasiya shivered as she wrapped her scarf around her shoulders to act like a shawl, in order to help keep herself warm. Taking Zhenya’s lead, Nastya sank down in the booth, sighing slightly as her aching muscles relaxed.

Nastya smiled to herself as Zhenya asked her how she was, slightly shaking her head as she gazed down at the table. She should have known that question was coming. She should have prepared an answer so that she wasn’t floundering in her head for a way to answer her younger distant cousin. Nastya opened her mouth, about to reply instinctively that she was fine, when Zhenya told her that she wanted an honest answer and so she promptly shut it again. She gave a tired sigh, trying to think about what she could possibly say, what she could begin with.

“I’m okay?” Nastya eventually replied, though she wasn’t entirely sure of her answer. She looked up at Zhenya, and nodded her head, offering a tentative smile. “Yeah... I’m okay.” She added, more confidently, her smile growing slightly. “I’m better than I was, anyway. Had you asked me a week ago, I don’t think I’d have been able to say that.” Nastya admitted truthfully and sincerely. “This last month was… not very easy to get through at all.” The athlete half-laughed at herself, as she realised just how much she still sounded like a riddle, just like in her letters. Zhenya deserved better than that. “I have a lot to tell you. I just… I don’t know where to begin. And… I don’t know what you’ll want to know.” She bowed her head, suddenly feeling her heart begin to race a little bit, as she worried what Zhenya would ask her. Nastya wasn’t even sure if she was willing to be an open book just yet, and felt it was better to merely answer what she’d been asked than elaborate too far.

“Maybe we should order drinks first?” Nastya offered, cupping her hands and blowing warm air into them, as she realised she’d be far more comfortable talking about all the family’s problems with a nice, warm drink. Rubbing her hands together, Nastya made eye contact with the owner and smiled to beckon her over. “Hi, one coffee please.” Nastya stated warmly with an appreciative smile, some colour rising in her cheeks as she prayed that the owner did not remember the last time she had been there. She waited for Zhenya to order her drink as well, nodding slightly as the owner moved away.

“Now then,” Nastya sighed as she gazed at Zhenya. “I promise I won’t hide anything from you. Where would you like me to start?”

Zhenya Shishkina [ Drakonya Krov ]
95 Posts  •  16  •  played by Inga
Re: I've still got a lot of fight left in me (Zhenya)
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2021, 02:09:25 PM »
Zhenya couldn’t help but be more observant with Nastya than she usually was. She narrowed her eyes slightly as she observed how her distant cousin took off her jacket, the corners of her lips twitching ever so slightly when she saw just how thin the fellow athlete was. She didn’t comment, though, knowing that Nastya would probably not appreciate it and she felt that she knew too little to say anything anyway.

Nastya took some time to reply to how she was and Zhenya frowned. Realising that she was frowning, Zhenya tried to relax her features and opted for an encouraging little smile. “I’m glad,” she commented on the senior artistic flyer’s statement that she was okay and better than she had been.

“I hope you’ll tell me all about what has happened since we last saw each other,” Zhenya said quietly, hoping to sound encouraging rather than pressuring. It was hard to tell what Nastya needed and why her distant cousin chose to confide in her out of all people. However, Zhenya both appreciated and dreaded it at the same time. She had to know what was going on. Yet, she feared that she would not like any of the information she’d get.

Drinks sounded like a good idea but Zhenya still remembered Nastya mentioning ‘unsupervised lunch’ and that, combined with Nastya’s general appearance, seemed to her that she ought to order some food as well. She frowned again when the older athlete just ordered a simple coffee, only just refraining from shaking her head.

“I’d like a black tea, please,” she ordered and then glanced at Nastya. “And do you have some kind of assorted starter that my cousin and I could share, maybe?” She was hopeful that the owner would come up with a nice plate of various things, some of which might actually appeal to the senior artistic flyer as well. She had a brief discussion with the restaurant owner and thought that the plate that the woman described sounded rather nice.

“I’m hungry and you look like you could use a bite yourself,” Zhenya muttered apologetically although she wasn’t actually hungry at all. If it encouraged her distant cousin to have some food herself, though, she’d eat whatever they were served.

Nastya said she promised not to hide anything from her and seemed to want her to decide what they’d talk about. Zhenya shrugged, feeling strangely insecure. “You said this last month was rough and that you have a lot to tell me…” her voice trailed off. She had intended to ask her relative to just tell her everything in a chronological order but that did not seem like a good plan now somehow. “How is Aglaya recovering?” She, therefore, asked, thinking that it was fair to inquire after the elder sister after having asked Nastya how she was doing herself. “And do you have any new information on the... stalker?” She had paused to look around, making sure that nobody was listening in before she had said the last word of her question in a voice that was barely louder than a faint whisper.

Nastya Tikhomirova [ Artist ]
103 Posts  •  22  •  "Don't have time!"  •  She/her  •  played by Kita
Re: I've still got a lot of fight left in me (Zhenya)
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2021, 04:02:35 PM »
Nastya smiled slightly as Zhenya said that she was glad. She wondered if her distant cousin knew that she appreciated her, really and truly appreciated being able to confide in her. Zhenya was so sweet. 

“I will,” Anastasiya replied with another small smile and a nod as the junior artistic flyer said she hoped she’d tell her all that had happened. “I promise I will.” Nastya added. She was not lying, but Zhenya would have to fight more than she should need to in order to get the information she so clearly sought from the senior athlete. Despite Nastya being in a fairly good mood, she was still rather detached in order to cope with what had been a stressful few weeks.

She failed to hide her surprise, glancing between Zhenya and the restaurant owner as the younger witch asked about a starter they could share. Nastya shifted in her seat, suddenly extremely uncomfortable, though she gave a tight lipped smile to the owner as she described some kind of dish or another. Nastya wasn’t listening. She tried to keep her breathing under control, to not show she was bothered by this, that Zhenya had removed all her perceived control and it was frightening for reasons she could not explain.

“That’s alright,” Nastya offered, keeping her voice as soft as she could despite wanting to be quite sharp with her distant cousin. “I had quite a big breakfast so a light starter is great,” she lied, with a small smile to complete her deception.

“Yes. It was…” Nastya muttered, tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear as she listened to Zhenya’s questions. It was no surprise that she asked after Aglaya. Anastasiya nodded, acknowledging the question, whilst taking the time to think about her response and hoping that Zhenya appreciated it. “What did I last tell you…” she muttered, mainly to herself than to Zhenya, trying to remember all she had told her distant cousin; which parts of what she had said were lies, which parts were the truth, and the other parts she had omitted. She shut her eyes briefly, hoping to not cause a headache. Lying was exhausting.

“Well, I… uh… I don’t really know.” She eventually responded with a sheepish shrug, feeling useless that she didn’t actually really know up to date information on her own elder sister. “I saw her a few days ago, and she couldn’t really move her arm that much,” she explained a little defensively. “That’s to be expected though. I think Mama is doing physiotherapy with her.” She finished, sighing as she realised it probably still sounded that she was being deceitful when she really didn’t know. “Beyond taking Bronislav for walks occasionally, I haven’t really had time to check in with her every single day. The gala is taking up a lot of my time.” This was true, for the most part. It was taking up a lot of her thoughts and energy, though it probably didn’t have to take up as much time as she had made for it, but that was what happened when Nastya had been constantly worrying about it.

She paused, as the owner came with their drinks, and stated that their shared starter would be with them in a few minutes. “Thank you very much,” Nastya smiled warmly, waiting for her to leave before turning her attention back to Zhenya. Her second question was surprisingly much easier to answer. “Actually, I have no new news on them. If anything has changed there, then no one has informed me of it. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or not…”