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Nov 16, 2018 5:58 PM
ballet!serg and duck!imrainai vs the story of gold crown town
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Serafin takes a deep breath, lets it out in a long sigh as the smile fades from his face, and walks over to Lampy's perch in the corner next to the broom closet. He leans on the wall next to her and stares meditatively down into her cheerful flame.

"Sorry," he murmurs. "I know I say that a lot. I just—I wish—"

He struggles with words for a moment longer, then falls silent.

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There's a very faint, muffled giggle from the direction of the broom closet.

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what

A brief hiss of indrawn breath, not unlike a shocked gasp, and then he yanks open the closet door.

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"Oh wow! You're really mad!"

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He takes a deep breath, over the course of which he becomes if anything considerably more furious.

"What the hell d'you think you're doing?"

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"I wanted to see if you were really in love with Duck, or if you've just been stringing her along this whole time."

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He snarls.

"Of all the idiotic—! Don't you dare spy on me again, understand?"

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"I'll never do it again! Are you going to let me go this time?"

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He stands over her, breathing loudly, with a deadly glare, and doesn't answer for a long moment.

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...and then he steps back.

"This time," he mutters, still angrily but perhaps with less murder. "Get lost."

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"OK! Bye!"

And she runs off, completely unfazed.

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Serafin sits down with his back against the wall next to Lampy and spends a few minutes just breathing.

He—didn't mean to get that angry. He's not sure he likes that he got that angry. But—Lampy is so important—that was private, what he was saying to her, how dare anyone spy on that—no, he's just getting angry all over again. Calming down like this isn't working.

He gets up and dances until he can think about it without wanting to kill someone. Then he carefully gathers up Lampy and takes her home.

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Lilie reports that Serafin is the sort of person who gets swept up in his anger, and that he's probably a dangerous criminal in the making. Duck mostly neglects to update on this, because it's Lilie and because she already knows that Serafin is the sort of person where anger heart shards feel at home.

Tryouts day arrives. Mytho chooses to try out only for Coppelius, because, apparently, he thinks the role is interesting. Fakir doesn't try out for either of the major roles, which leaves Serafin cast as Franz more or less by default - there are other contenders, but no serious ones. Rue is, unsurprisingly, cast as Swanhilda. Duck is told during normal practice that she may be allowed to be one of the townspeople with everyone else if she can be very focused during class.

Rehearsals start happening three times a week. 

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Rehearsals are really nice. They give him something to focus on; he'd be practicing this much anyway but now he has something to practice for.

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Duck would not normally be practicing this much, but she really wants to be allowed to participate in the performance, so she dutifully shows up to every single practice. Besides, Rue and Mytho and Serafin are always there, and Rue and Mytho and Serafin are all her friends.

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"Well, that's all very exciting for them, I'm sure, but I can't help feeling that there's some other plot thread that we should be paying attention to at this particular moment. I wonder what's become of the Prince? You've returned quite a few heart shards to him by now, haven't you. Are you quite sure they all agree with him?"

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"...you've been practicing a lot, lately."

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"Yes. I need to learn Coppelius's role."

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"It's that important to you?"

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"Yes."

 

"...Fakir? Coppelius wants to give the doll a human heart, doesn't he?"

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"That's right."

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"Is it wrong of him, to want that?"

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Huh.

He should be concerned about this. He is concerned about this. Mytho's never asked him about ethics before, not on his own initiative. And it is wrong, of course, so there must be some way to get him to see -

"Yes, it is. Coppelius should have left things the way they were, not tried to change them. Everyone would have been happier that way."

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"Oh," says Mytho, and that should be the end of it.

It isn't.

The next day, during formal rehearsal, he finds himself standing near Serafin, during one of the scenes when neither is on stage.

"Serafin? Do you think it's wrong for Coppelius to want to give the doll a heart?"

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"Huh," says Serafin. "I mean... I don't really know what makes things right or wrong. But I think... he couldn't ask her, when she was just a doll, if she wanted a heart or not. He was doing it for himself, not for her. I think... people get to decide where their hearts should be. Which I guess means, if he was going to give her a heart, he definitely shouldn't have tried to steal somebody else's."

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