I have longed for those moments when your beats shake the ground. My heart quakes as I yearn to join in and let it fill my soul with your sweet presence.
— The Living Mountain (Act 2, Scene 1)
Linsan sat on a rock as she watched the fire flickering in the makeshift ring they had made. The Glasscoaster sat only a few yards way, the side reflecting the light as she listened to the bubbling of a tea pot nestled in the coals.
Brook sat on a log near Miska with her hands in her lap. They weren't touching nor were they moving away from each other. Her dress, stained and torn, fluttered in the breeze as she stared into the flame with red-rimmed eyes. Occasionally, she sniffed and rubbed her ruby nose.
Miska sat on the ground closer to the flames. She wasn't bothered by the heat as she occasionally reached into the flames to adjust a log or stir the coals with a stick. Her loose blonde hair fluttered in the breeze and she had a foot propped up on a rock only inches away from the flame.
The pot whistled and sputtered into the flames. The water splashed onto an iron pot that cooked their dinner and sizzled loudly before disappearing in a wisp of steam.
Miska reached over and plucked the pot out. She grabbed Brook's mug and filled it up until the tea leaves on the bottom floated just below the edge. The top was almost black with the handful of leaves that would seep into the strong flavor Brook craved.
Miska set the pot aside.
Brook sniffed. “S-Sorry about that.”
Linsan gave her a comforting smile. “We all have our low points in our lives.”
Brook glared at her.
Holding up her hands, Linsan shook her head emphatically. “I swear, that isn't a line! I don't know a single play or song that uses those words.”
“I swear,” Linsan said with a little doubt.
A smirk. Brook shook her head and looked away. “Thank you for trying.”
Miska leaned over to look at Linsan. “Plays and songs really are your life, aren't they?”
“They are. From the day I was born, my family was about the music. Making it, creating it, and performing it. Before the fire destroyed everything, there wasn't an day that we didn't have some music. My mother was famous across the entire country and she would have dad and I play her opposites to practice. Though, I could never sing like her and dad used his instruments to play her duets.”
“… but you are a far better dancer than she ever was,” Brook said. “I've seen you.”
Linsan blushed. “T-Thank you.”
Miska looked back at Brook. “You can dance too though.”
“Not as well as her.”
Brook pulled back and shook her head. “W-What? No. I can't do that.”
Miska pushed herself up to her feet. “Please?”
Brook blushed. “I'm not good. Ask Linsan.”
“I don't want her to dance for me. I want you to dance for me.” Miska stepped back and then forward. “With me? Dance with me. Right here and now.”
“W-With?” Brook looked shocked.
Miska smiled. “Please, my queen? This is something that you and Linsan share. I have been listening for days to your beats shaking the ground and my heart. Every hour you were practicing in the village, I could feel it through my soles. Please, I want to see the woman who make the sounds that moved me.”
Brook blushed hotly, then she glanced at Linsan. There was question in her gaze.
“Those aren't lines from a play.”
Brook scoffed. “Do you mind?”
Linsan grinned. She shook her head. “No, Brook, I told you. I would be there for as long you need me, but I'll stand aside when—”
Holding up a finger, Brook shook her head. “No. No more lines from plays from you. Not tonight.”
Linsan leaned back and lifted her case. “How about I just shut up and play something?”
Brook's expression softened. “You really don't mind?”
Linsan answered by opening her case and pulling out her violin. It only took her a moment and get everything situated.
Miska pulled Brook to her feet. “Come one, dance with me.”
Brook giggled nervously. She pushed her hair behind her ears and then held up her hands.
Miska stood close. With a smile, she slipped her hands around Brook's waist. “Now, my queen, dance with me?”
With a frightened look, Brook looked surprise but then she lowered her hand to Miska's shoulders. It took her a moment but then she relaxed perceptually.
Linsan rested her bow on the strings for just a heartbeat before starting a ballad.
Miska smiled and guided Brook by her hips as they swayed in time with the music. There was a grace in her movements, something more than a dancer.
Brook followed, mostly by letting Miska guide her. They slowly danced around the fire as the smoke and wind followed after them. Their footsteps were soft as whispers with the song coming from Linsan's violin.
Linsan stood up, to move herself, but she made no effort to approach the two women. They were lost in each other's eyes and bodies, swaying with more than music in their minds.
She watched them and wondered why she didn't feel any jealousy. She knew hundreds of plays and songs that focused on the rage and frustration that came from a lover stolen away, but to Linsan, it didn't feel like she was losing a lover but seeing a friend grow.
It may have been the same question she asked herself about love. Just as there was no bitter fangs of jealousy or the impotent rage, neither was there the brilliance outpouring from her heart or the song that refused to fade.
And still no talking cat trying to guide her through adventures of the heart.
She decided it didn't matter. Brook was happy. Miska was happy. They found each other and still remained friends with Linsan. That, she decided, was more important than trying to force an emotion that wasn't there.
With a smile of her own, she spun and danced with herself as her two friends fell further in love.