True Name of The Lament
May Then My Name — 2324
There was no dearth of proximity with Ioan.
May Then My Name did not suffer for a dearth of eir attention, either. The two collaborated each day with the focus of unrecognized starchild and fully-realized chronicler alike; they both were wholly invested in their work, their favorite jobs in the world, but neither in quite the right project or for quite the right reasons.
What she did lack was touch; touch as Ioan now struggled against. She felt the question in the abstinence of eir posture, hips carefully tucked a ways apart from hers, hands dutifully shoved under an armpit and pillow behind her. She heard the anxiety in eir breath, the jagged tempo of wakefulness only succumbing to the steady rhythm of sleep long after it otherwise might. She smelled the anticipation in eir unclothed body’s odor, an involuntary impulse brought on by eir old and virgin mind.
Ey was not shy with eir nakedness — for ey slept in only boxers — nor she with hers; her fur rendered comfortable what might otherwise be prurient. But May Then My Name was built to love; even these short few weeks together, even this Bălan who had never taken someone up into eir arms in the night, did not inhibit her inviting interest, her buoyant banter, her solemn sensuality.
Only some months ago had True Name coaxed her Ioan’s way; this she knew came with baggage. She had long since absolved herself of that work, but she was no less susceptible to her down-tree’s talent than Ioan to hers. That is the finesse of charisma; despite that May Then My Name knew True Name’s intentions were ulterior, she could not deny the value Ioan’s company had to her after so long without, to her work by eir anchoring presence and particular expertise. And, after all, was it really so wrong to fall in love with someone if it also meant that it benefited True Name? Should Ioan and May Then My Name be denied their latent affection for one another only to thwart her?
So she reached out to em and suggested that they collaborate; she requested that they cohabitate to streamline their work; she asked that ey permit her to share eir bed with em to soothe her restless nerves. She, like any self-respecting Odist, took up as much space in eir life as ey would allow, and perhaps a smidge more, if only to keep em on the backpedal for teasing’s sake.
It is allowed to want a thing and to work toward that end, she thought one nervous night.
So there she laid, her back to eir front, a handspan apart from em. She tucked herself bonelessly in a pathetic little ball, turned her muzzle just high enough that she could steal a peek at em without further tilting her head, covered herself with her paws in as unintentional a posture as she could muster, nudged under that blanket she never suggested doubling, coaxed em closer with little sounds of comfort, until at last ey wrapped an arm around her collar and pulled her against eir chest.
She was nothing if not an actor.