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Title: And Whisper Some Silver Reply
Author: [livejournal.com profile] letterstonorah
Characters/Pairings: Kara/Lee in a pretty shippy way, Kara POV
Word Count: 4400 words
Rating: R
Warnings: depictions of abuse, potentially triggering for depictions of sexual violence (read summary)
Summary: In the aftermath of her rape, Kara becomes friends with the new kid at school, Lee. Takes place senior year of high school. 

This is unbetaed so probably crawling with mistakes and awkward sentences. Sorry about that. I read it aloud with my boo, and I think we caught most of the errors and clunky prose. 

The title is a lyric from the song "The Guilty Ones" from the musical Spring Awakening.

ETA: This fic contains a very frank portrayal of rape; nothing too graphic, I hope, but it's certainly there. 





   And Whisper Some Silver Reply
   
“The eternal silence of these infinite spaces alarms me.” Blaise Pascal



When the guy fraks her, Kara murmurs rather than speaks her protest, whispers rather than wails it. She has not yet fallen in love with volume. The power of noise is still foreign to her. For now, she’s content to be soundless. The quiet becomes her sanctuary.

The boy looks at her as he forces himself in, and Kara squeezes her eyes shut. Kara imagines floating in the infinite blackness between galaxies. There, in the vastness of dark matter and space, she is nothing and everything.

#

Silence is not the same as consent. No is no whether whispered or screamed.

Kara knows this, knows it more than she knows that the rate of change of a curve at a point is its derivative, that a2 plus b2 equals c2, that helium becomes liquid at a temperature so cold she shivers thinking about it.

Yet she feels like she’s failed herself, that her voice is crippled, that her words should mean more than they do.

Here is the fact of the matter: Kara said no, and nothing changed, nothing stopped. He kept on going, business as usual.


#

The man lives on her street. He is a year older than her and a dropout. For the last year and a half, they’ve gotten drunk behind the high school during her free period. He feels her up and she lets him. Then he wants more, and she wants less, and the next day she has the types of scars no one can see.

When she returns home, her clothing in disarray, her hair disheveled, hickies on her neck, her mother beats her up. She says, “Gods, Kara, you’re such a slut.” Socrata hits her until Kara doesn’t feel it anymore, the blows numb and far away. She does not cry out. She does not say, “stop it”. Why would she? She has said it for years. The words mean nothing. All that matters is fists and brute strength and muscles. One day, not today, Kara will punch her mother hard enough that the woman blacks out.

#

Kara doesn’t hide the bruises under long sleeves, doesn’t conceal the cut above her eye with foundation. The blemishes and scars become extensions of her being, as one with her body as her eyelashes and fingernails.

She wakes up Tuesday morning and wears the most revealing tank top she owns, her shortest pair of jean shorts. The outfit won’t pass the dress code check at her high school, but for the ten minutes it takes for a teacher to report her and send her to the headmistress’s office, Kara will flaunt her broken skin, her variegated flesh.

She laces up her boots and ties them tight. She’s already missed her bus and will need to traipse through the muddy field off of Niklaus Road to make it to school on time. That’s not something she usually worries about—punctuality—but she’s got an advanced chem test. Her score will likely determine her place in the class, which will in turn decide what financial aid she gets.

Spring carries on mockingly around her. The cool winds taunt. The beautiful flowers tease. Caprica City in April is a joke that Kara doesn’t get.

#

The new kid arrives, and he’s sullen and angry. Kara sees him at his red locker, shoving textbooks into the empty space. He wears jeans and a t-shirt, brown shoes. His hair is cut short, like the guys who live on the base, leaving his face open and exposed. Blue eyes stare at her from across the hall, menacing. Kara watches him, doesn’t look away.

She’s never lost a staring contest, isn’t about to start now. She crooks her eyebrow at him, lets him know that this is her school, and she doesn’t like new people in her territory.

He smiles and shrugs, finally turns.

“Hey, you,” Kara shouts, loud enough that passersby stop to have a look.

“Me?” the new kid asks.

“You,” she says.

He slams his locker shut and walks over to her. For a boy her age, he’s broad and well-muscled, toned arms peeking out from the sleeves of his shirt.

“What is it?” he asks.

“What’s your name?”

“Lee,” he says, offering his hand.

Kara doesn’t take it. “I’m Kara,” she says. “What year are you?”

“A senior,” says Lee.

“Me, too,” says Kara, smiling, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear. “Damn that sucks. Transfering in the middle of your last year?”

“Tell me about it,” says Lee. He rolls his eyes dramatically, relaxes a bit. He leans his shoulder against the locker, crosses one leg over the other. “My mom has this thing about starting over. She thinks moving magically erases the past. You’d think by now, the fourth move, she’d get that it doesn’t.”

“Moms, as a rule, suck,” says Kara.

He laughs brightly, the sulleness of before quickly fading into something warmer, more alive.

“Looks like you were on the wrong end of a fight,” says Lee, his eyes roaming the skin of her arms and legs.

Kara shrugs, turns to her locker, and spins the combination of her lock until it clicks open. “I get into a lot of fights,” she says, and it’s true.

“I can’t imagine anyone wanting to hurt you,” says Lee, switching his backpack from one shoulder to the other. His face is too earnest, too kind, and Kara almost doesn’t buy it.

“That’s because you don’t really know me,” Kara says. “I make a lot of people pretty mad.”

“Well, most people are stupid, so I figure that’s probably a good thing. Hell, my dad’s pissed at me because I don’t want to go to the Fleet Academy.”

“Your dad military?” Kara asks.

“Yep. Pretty hardcore, too. Some people have religion—he has the Fleet. But it’s more like a cult if you ask me.”

“My mom is in the service, too. I was actually thinking about joining up, either enlisting or going to the Academy.”

Lee makes a face, visibly taken aback by her words. “Why would you do that when you actually have a choice? I don’t get why anybody would willingly join the military. I’ve got my eyes set on Caprica University, or maybe Thessaly.”

Kara snorts because this guy obviously thinks he’s got it all figured out. “Well, I’m not completely sure yet,” Kara says. “I like to keep my options open. The Academy is free, though, and that might be all I can afford.”

It’s not a fact that embarrasses her. She’s proud of where she comes from. The last thing she wants to be is some rich asshole who thinks he’s something special because he can pay to go to any school he wants so he can sit around and talk about morals or philosophy or whatever.

“Of course,” Lee says, blushing, bowing his head. “You should go wherever you want. It’s all about making the best of your surroundings. I just meant it’s not for me.”

“Yeah,” says Kara, not really sure what else to say. She gets her notebook and a few pens and pencils, some folders, then pushes the door of her locker shut.

“So,” Lee says, “let me know if you need me to beat anybody up on your behalf.” He smiles, his tone light and joking. He puts his fists up, jabs the air a few times.

“I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time,” Kara says, a note of finality in her voice. “Bye, Lee. Good luck with your first day.”

She walks away, the warning bell ringing just as she arrives to the door for her first period class. Mr. Kelvin takes a look at her and shakes his head, lets his glasses drop disapprovingly down the bridge of his nose.

“Seriously, Kara?” he asks, looking her up and down, taking in her skimpy outfit.

“Laundry day,” she says, keeping her head high. She hunches her shoulders up just a bit so the tips of her fingers don’t fall below the hem of her shorts—the measurement teachers use to see if bottoms are dress code compliant.

“You can take the test,” Mr. Kelvin says, “but after you’re done you go straight to the headmistress. You’re a distraction dressed like this, Kara.”

She stares at him, challenging him, wanting to break his smug nose into two separate pieces. Kara is not a distraction. She is a person and a body. This is the way she looks, so what? She is proud of her long, muscled limbs, her curves, her broad shoulders, her round ass, her big lips.

“Fine,” Kara says, deciding the fight isn’t worth it. She finds her desk and taps her mechanical pencil against the wood, leans forward onto her forearms, her chin resting on her hands. The rest of the students fill the row of desks, they the only color in the otherwise dreary room. Closed blinds, and stupid, cliché posters.

She flips through the pages of the exam quickly, working out all the problems with ease. It’s stoichiometry and reaction kinetics. These are the things that come easily to her. Numbers and chemicals and atoms, the stuff life is made of. It’s people she can’t get a handle on—the way they trick and morph without warning. They act according to will rather than the laws of science, and that’s frakking disturbing.

The clock on the wall shows that only twenty minutes have passed, and Kara is the only one finished. She stalls, checks over her answers a few times, neatens up her work.

When she tires of waiting for everyone else, she raises her hand. Mr. Kelvin comes and takes her test. “Have fun in the office,” he says, dismissing her.

The secretary rolls his eyes when Kara walks through the door. They’ve done this a hundred times before. He gestures for her to sit, makes a call into the headmistress.

The only thing different now is when Kara walks over to the waiting area, there’s already someone sitting in one of the chairs. It’s the boy from this morning, Lee, his elbows on his knees, his face in his palm.

“Fancy meeting you here,” he says, smiling when he looks up.

“It’s kind of my home away from home,” says Kara, smiling, too. She can’t really help it around this guy. There’s a hardness to him she likes. Despite his gelled hair, his wrinkleless trousers, he’s a little frayed around the edges. It’s hard to see at first but apparent when he starts talking. He’s moody and opinionated and maybe a little bit frightened at how fiercely he feels everything, and Kara knows what it’s like to be afraid of yourself.

“And what about you?” she asks. “What are you doing here?”

“Schedule is all messed up,” he says. “I’m in freshman physics, freshman algebra, freshman English, freshman—well, you get it.”

He’s cute, really cute, kind of boyish, but chiseled, too. Kara wonders if he’s a top or a bottom, if he’s the type to beg for it or demand it.

A throb of longing pulsates through her as she imagines what he’d look like on top of her, his chest and his abs perfectly cut, moving and bending as he’d pump in and out of her.

“You should’ve just gone with all the freshman classes,” says Kara.

“Trust me, I thought about it,” Lee says. “I’ve had a lot of hard days in a row. It’d be pretty tempting to just skate by in the easiest classes.”

Kara smiles, takes the seat next to him, throws her legs onto the coffee table in front of the row of chairs. “So, Lee, turns out you’re not as much of a blowhard as I thought.”

“What, don’t you like blowhards?” asks Lee, his demeanor easy and kind.

“Hate ‘em,” she says.

“Well, tell that to whoever left all of those,” says Lee, pointing to the purpled marks on her neck.

Kara takes her palm and rubs her skin, feeling the marred flesh.

“Sorry,” he says. “I didn’t mean that.”

“You did mean it,” says Kara, “might as well own it.”

“Kara—”

“Got to go,” she says, standing. Looks like this school day is getting cut short. The secretary doesn’t even bother to stop her as she heads out the office, pushes through the double doors of the school’s main entrance.

#

The walk home is loud: ravens chirp menacingly, cars barrel down the highway, and a Spring wind swooshes, cold on her skin. Around her lies Caprica City, a mess of streets and fields and buildings and causeways. Thousands of years ago it was nothing, and thousands of years into the future it will be nothing again.

She wants to scream, wants her voice to be heard through the ages. At some distant point years from now, she wants an archaelogist to come to the exact place where she’s standing and dig. He won’t find Kara’s bones or her things, but he’ll slice his shovel into the mud-clay earth and hear the shrill call of her battle cry.

#

Kara knocks on the boy’s door, and his mother answers.

“Yeah?”

“Is Joshua home?” Kara asks, stuffing her hands into the pockets of her shorts, shifting from foot to foot.

“Joshua!” the woman yells, leaving the frame of the door.

In seconds, he’s standing there in front of Kara, wearing sweatpants and no shirt. “I was just on my way to the school,” he says, “for your free period. What, do you want to get started early?” He reaches his hand out, strokes it against Kara’s cheek. She doesn’t stop him, just shivers before stiffening.

“No,” says Kara, letting his fingers linger on her skin. “I came because I want an apology.”

He laughs, big and loud, the kind where his whole body gets in on it, shaking and convulsing. “An apology?”

“Yeah,” says Kara.

“For what? For going for it?”

She turns away, can’t bring herself to look at him any longer.

“Don’t tell me you’re going to make a big deal about yesterday,” he says.

“I just—,” Kara says, “I just want you to know that I hate you, okay?”

He’s still smiling, laughing at her. “Okay, Kara. Whatever you say.”

She turns and leaves, refusing to stand anything but tall. “You look good, Kara,” he calls after her, and by the time she makes it to the end of the walkway, her face is wet with tears.

#

At school, she and Lee become something like friends. Kara guesses that’s the word. The concept isn’t really a familiar one. She has lovers, and she has enemies. That’s it. She’s seventeen and pretty sure that she’s done with the world, that she’s just going through the motions. She fraks who she wants to frak, does her schoolwork, reads. Planning hurts too much. Better to live in the now. Counting on the future just gets you slammed.

Lee, though, Lee is all about what’s next. It excites and terrifies her. He can go on forever about all he hopes to accomplish, all he wants to change about the worlds. Kara watches him as he gesticulates wildly, his jaw beautiful as it moves with his words. She wants to bite along his neck where his vein pumps up when he’s excited, wants to lick his Adam’s apple.

“So I got in,” Lee says at lunch, taking a large bite out of a hoagie.

“Got in?”

“To University of Caprica,” he says, smiling. “Can you believe it?”

“I can believe it,” she says, nodding, playing with her plate of noodles.

“Well, don’t sound so excited.”

“Okay,” says Kara.

“Gods, what’s with you?”

“I just can’t today, Lee. Sorry.” She says it, but she really isn’t—sorry, that is. She couldn’t care less. She can’t think much past the meaningless of her words, the way whole sentences catch in her throat, like she’s choking but the air just won’t come.

“You can’t what?” Lee asks.

“Fake it with you. I’m having a shitty day, and I’m in a foul mood.” She takes a bite of noodles, swallows some chocolate milk before slamming down the carton.

“Well, talk to me. What’s wrong? Is there anything I can do?” He folds his sandwich back neatly into the foil, placing it into a paper sack.

“You’re free for the rest of lunch, right?” Kara asks.

“Yeah, why?”

“Come with me,” Kara says, standing. She takes her tray and clears off the trash, puts it on the conveyer belt.

She leads Lee to the back entrance in stairwell B, the one that lets out to a never-used smoking porch.

“What’s this?” Lee asks.

Kara didn’t come here to talk, though. She presses him against the brick wall of the building’s exterior, lets her hands rest against his chest. She stands on her tippy-toes, leans up and kisses him hard.

He doesn’t ask questions, wraps his arms around her waist and pulls her tight. She brings her knee up, curls it so it’s resting against his hip. Her skirt rides up, exposing her thighs, and she presses herself into Lee. She can feel him through her damp underwear, and he’s grinding himself against her.

Kara slips her hands under his shirt, slides her fingers along his back, her short nails digging into him hard.

Then it’s over. He breaks the kiss, pulls back. “Kara, what’s wrong?” he asks. “What’s this all about?”

She doesn’t answer, doesn’t have time for his questions. The bell rings, and she goes back inside. She doesn’t talk to Lee for three days.

#

He taps on her window one night, his fingers loud and persistent against the glass. Kara opens it up for him, rubs the sleep from her eyes. She’s wearing nothing but a long t-shirt, and she’s sure her hair is a mess. She went to sleep with it still wet from her shower, not bothering to put it into a braid.

“What the frak, Lee?” she asks, whispering. She turns to make sure her bedroom door is closed. The last thing she needs is her mother hearing any of this.

“Come on,” he says, “the eclipse.”

She’d forgotten.

“Frak that,” says Kara. “I’m tired.” She moves to shut the window but Lee reaches his hand underneath.

“Are you really going to miss this?” he asks.

“I’m really going to miss this,” says Kara.

“Let me come in, then? I did come all the way here.”

Kara rolls her eyes but opens the window wider. She stretches and turns on the lamp on her bedside table.

Once inside, Lee takes a seat on her bed, bouncing on the flimsy mattress. He’s been to her house before but never into her room. “Nice,” he says, looking around. It’s not much. A dark wood chest of drawers, a couple of posters, ugly carpeted floor.

Kara shrugs, sits cross-legged on the bed and holds a pillow to her stomach. “So is this the part where I tell you who I have a crush on?” Kara asks.

He laughs quietly, reaches his hand out and places it on her knee, lets it sit there. His eyes glance downward to the space between her legs, her panties clearly visible, and Kara blushes before pushing the pillow down to cover herself. “I wasn’t exactly expecting company,” she says.

“Trust me, I don’t mind,” says Lee.

Kara laughs, covering her mouth with her palm to stifle the sound.

For the first time in a long while, she wants to shout, wants to sing, wants to laugh as loudly as she can and wake up all the neighbors. The quiet is oppressive, holding her back, and she longs for the bustle of downtown streets, of noisy hallways at school.

“You know, I do trust you,” she says, flopping back onto her pillow. She’s tired, and it feels so good to lie down. Lee scoots over and lies next to her, his head propped in his hand.

“Prove it,” he says.

“Prove it?”

“Yeah,” he says, not backing down. “If you really trust me, prove it.”

“Like how?”

“Tell me a secret, or show me an embarrassing picture of yourself, or give me a page from your diary. Frak, I don’t know.”

Kara lets her eyes fall shut, breathes in and out, the air in her room now stained with the smell of Lee.

“What if I want to tell you something, but every time I try I can’t get the words to come out? It’s like I’m programmed to keep it hidden or something, and I can’t override it.”

“Then that’s fine,” Lee says. “One day maybe you’ll figure it out.”

Kara only barely makes out his words, sleep already taking her. She turns to her side, fumbles to turn off the lamp. Lee stays the whole night, throws his arm around her waist and pulls her into him.

Socrata wakes them up screaming, whips a belt across Kara’s face while Lee looks on. All Kara can think is—it’s one less secret she’ll have to find the words to tell him.

#

In the hallway at school, Lee grabs her hand.

“Seriously, Lee?” Kara asks.

“Seriously,” he says.

“I’m not the kind of girl who holds hands.”

She’s the kind of girl who fraks guys silly. She’s the kind of girl men think they can do whatever they want with.

“Well, I’m the kind of guy who likes holding a girl’s hand,” says Lee, “so do it for me?” he asks, “please?”

“Whatever,” she says, but she doesn’t let go.

#

One night they go to the playground at Kara’s old grammar school, take turns pushing each other on the swing set. It’s summer now, the heat welcome and magical. Kara feels like she’s in another world. Under the stars, the yellow plastic of the slide is like technicolor in its brightness. Lee’s eyes are the bluest things she’s ever seen. Gone is the monochrome of winter in spring, with its gray skies and cold, unforgiving winds. Now all Kara feels is the warm breeze playing with her, floating through her hair and over her skin.

Lee grips her waist, pushing her higher then higher on the swing, her legs pumping out to match his movements.

Soon, she’s flying, alone in space, one with the stars.

“This is so much fun,” she yells, before howling to the moon. It’s the loudest she’s ever been. It’s a banshee scream. It penetrates the darkness, the sound carrying for miles.

#

They both decide to go to the Academy, trying to convince themselves they’re not doing it for each other.

#

Lee’s family invites Kara over for dinner the day of their graduation. She assures him that she’s going to come, smiles politely at his mother, father, and brother at the matriculation ceremony.

She’s almost out the door, her hair pinned up, her dress on. Then she catches her reflection in the mirror.

“What are you playing at?” she says to herself.

She thinks of those opera singers—the ones who sing so high they crack glass. Kara wishes she could do that, wishes she could break the mirror with the sheer force of her voice.

But she can’t. She settles for using her fist. The skin over her knuckles starts to bleed, and shards of glass embed in her skin.

She doesn’t make it to Lee’s for dinner, doesn’t answer her phone when he calls. She’s thought for so long that it’s just a matter of saying aloud the words she knows to be true, but now Kara understands it’s that the right words don’t exist at all. What possible configuration of letters and sounds could convey her simultaneous rage and despair? It’s colors and sounds and textures. Metal rubbing against metal. Crushing bones. A bath that’s gone lukewarm.

She just wants to mutter over and over again, “It’s not fair. It’s not fair. It’s not fair.”

#

Lee figures it out, and Kara doesn’t know if she’s relieved or heartbroken. She wanted to say it, wanted to find the words herself, wanted to hear her voice splitting the infinite quiet.

“How did you know?” she asks.

Lee’s at her place, a buffer between she and her mom. He helps her pack for the Academy, folding her clothes and setting them into neat piles, separating them by function.

“Truthfully,” he says, “it’s not that uncommon. When a girl has a secret, it’s the first thing I guess. I don’t know. The worlds suck.”

“That’s frakked up,” Kara says, her voice breaking a little. She can’t bear to look at him, and so she doesn’t. She focuses on the booklet of things to bring, things to leave at home.

She hears Lee walking toward her around the bed. He grabs her chin, lifts her face up, his blue eyes on hers. “I’m sorry you had to go through that, Kara. You shouldn’t have had to. Nobody should, but you especially—of all the wrongs done in the world, that’s the one I want to undo the most.”

Her face feels like it’s breaking into a thousand shards of bone, and she averts her eyes. “I’m mostly over it,” she says, “but yeah. I wish it didn’t happen.”

She drops her head to his shoulder, rests against him. “I wish I knew the words to make it better,” says Lee, wrapping his arms around her, his grip almost painful against her back.

“Good luck with that,” says Kara.

After they finish packing, they lie together on Kara’s twin bed. Their hands wander each other’s bodies freely. Their foreheads rest against each other, and they’re eye to eye. Kara wants to say something—maybe “I love you” or “thank you for being the best friend I’ve ever had” or “ I want you” or “I need you” or “you are so beautiful” or “when I whisper when I’m next to you, it sounds louder than the temple bells.”

Instead, she studies the pink of Lee’s lips, watches the pulse on his neck pump rhythmically. Even in the quiet, she can hear the steady sound of her own breathing.

Date: 2012-02-13 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] koolaidmom11.livejournal.com
Oh! I loved this. It was so emotional and so sad. Even meeting Kara in high school can't prevent the damage.

Poor Kara...loved the dynamic

Date: 2012-02-13 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] letterstonorah.livejournal.com
Glad that you liked it. Yes, it's a very sad, dark fic. Sometimes, it is what it is. Bad shit happens to people at every age, and it's a terrible shame :( Hopefully, I didn't victimize Kara too much. I think she's a very strong person.

Thank you so much for commenting, my dear! You are the best.

Date: 2012-02-13 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
For all the darkness of this, the writing is gorgeous. Kara's trauma feels real, and so does her gradual recovery. I love the last few lines!

Date: 2012-02-13 06:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] letterstonorah.livejournal.com
Thank you, Em! I'm glad you liked the writing! This was the first time in a while -- since my first fic, I guess -- where I really wanted to dive into Kara's POV. She's my beautiful, ragey, strong, sad Pontius Pilot, and I hope I did her voice justice. I appreciate your comment so much, and I'm glad the development of her character felt real to you!

Date: 2012-02-13 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
That was really lovely. Sad and dark but that's true of the characters no matter where you plop them down. And Kara having Lee helps.

Date: 2012-02-13 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] letterstonorah.livejournal.com
Thank you, dearest. I hope that even though it was quite dark, Kara was in a mostly good place by the end. She, at the very least, isn't alone. Your comment was lovely. Thank you again.

Date: 2012-02-13 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
Well, I enjoy the dark. (I mean, there's some really sick stuff that will likely stay unwritten tucked away in my head.) ;)

Date: 2012-02-13 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] letterstonorah.livejournal.com
lol, oh gods...there are so many fics that i will never write because i don't want people to think i'm a crazy psychopath, so i totally understand.

Date: 2012-02-14 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
I actually have one outlined that I'm not even sure how to write... *shakes head at self*

Date: 2012-02-13 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] onlyariana.livejournal.com
Nice. I love them a little younger like this. I feel like Lee. It isn't an uncommon secret and knowing that's so is really crappy but it's true.

Date: 2012-02-13 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] letterstonorah.livejournal.com
Yes, there's something very endearing about teenage!pilots. They've still been through a lot, but I feel like the way you look at the world at that age can be very different. You're still trying to work out how you feel about everything. Thank you so much for your comment, love.

Date: 2012-02-13 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shah-of-blah.livejournal.com
Oh gosh, this just blew me away. Kara's so young here, it's almost painful. She hasn't learned how to make herself heard yet. But she's so defiant at the same time--showing off her bruises at school, confronting her rapist (I can't even fathom the guts it takes to do that!). And I love how proud she is, despite the fact that everyone and everything seems determined to beat her down. She's smart and capable and she knows it, and she knows who she is. I just love it.

Date: 2012-02-13 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] letterstonorah.livejournal.com
Oh *blushes*. My dear, this is the sweetest comment. Thank you so very much.

Yes, this is Kara as a child, going through so much that she shouldn't have to go through.

Even though she experiences something traumatic, I wanted to show how strong she was, how strong all women who survive rape are.

*hugs* Thank you so much again for your feedback.

Date: 2012-02-14 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kl-shipper1.livejournal.com
This was so beautiful! There was sadness and darkness all throughout, but Kara managed to rise above it with Lee's help, and I really love how you wrote that. And that last scene, especially the very end, was just lovely!

Date: 2012-02-14 02:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] letterstonorah.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much, dearest. While this fic is about Kara suffering through something traumatic, it's also about her learning her amazing resilience and strength. So yes, it's sad, but I'm glad you also got the positivity as well. I appreciate your comment so much! Thank you again, lovely.

Date: 2012-02-14 03:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mserrada.livejournal.com
So much trapped emotion and need. I wish Kara had had this Lee in her life in canon and even earlier.

Really liked your use of sound, and especially her inability to vocalize all that's happened to her and what she feels. Very effective.

Did want more of a reaction from Lee when her mom hits here. He's a senior and he did what? Watched? Maybe I missed something. I didn't necessarily want Lee to rescue Kara, so much as stand up for her.

Very moving and the 'unbetadness' of it isn't obvious ;)

Date: 2012-02-14 05:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] letterstonorah.livejournal.com
Yay, so glad this piece was emotionally resonating!

Re: voice, sound, speaking, etc. I felt like it could've potentially been very cliche. The silencing of women through sexual trauma is not an unusual exploration, but I hope that I made it uniquely Kara and put a slightly different spin on it. Sometimes, our voices are not powerful, and that's sad and disempowering.

We don't get Lee's reaction at all to the abuse in the fic. It's from Kara's POV, and she doesn't give us anything to go on -- only a brief summary of the event. I honestly don't know how he would react, though. 17 or 18 is still an awfully young age to know what to do in those situations. I was planning on writing a sequel to this from Lee's POV. It would take place while they're at the Academy but would delve into the past explored in this fic.

Anyway, I'm blathering. Your feedback is so dear to me. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Means the worlds to me.

Date: 2012-02-14 06:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pocochina.livejournal.com
This is perfect Kara. Such a survivor.

Date: 2012-02-14 08:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] letterstonorah.livejournal.com
Thank you! Yes, Kara is the strongest, even when she has every right to give up. That is why she is my boo. nora/kara the otp to end all otp's.

Date: 2012-02-14 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] helikedmyshoes.livejournal.com
This has really stayed with me since I read it yesterday morning. I know I've said this before but I just adore your language. It is so visceral without being over the top and just- it really makes the subject matter that much more striking.

And what harsh subject matter it is. I think you had a great handle on Kara here- the world keeps trying to break her and she keeps pushing back. I really like that Lee is there to support and love her and watching their relationship develop in such an organic way was beautiful. I think my favorite scene is when he sneaks into her room and they fall asleep together. And then of course Socrata has to ruin it by being a psycho. The last scene is lovely too. They've reached a place together and there is so much hope for them. Great work.

Date: 2012-02-15 04:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] letterstonorah.livejournal.com
What a delightful comment, love. I especially love hearing that you liked the writing. I approach prose like one might approach a painting, I guess? I do like to get all the sounds and the rhythms and the images exactly right, and I'm so glad that it makes the content of the story more emotionally resonating and striking.

I don't -- I don't know what to say. Sometimes comments just make me feel so happy and touched, and this is one of those comments. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your feedback.
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