22. Tell us about one scene between your characters that you've never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.
Like most writers, I expect, I have scenes that come to me in snippets that I don't get around to writing down: sometimes just not right away, sometimes never. Maybe they won't make a complete story on their own; maybe they represent a direction for a character or story that I eventually decided not to take; sometimes I just plain forget. In that spirit, here is a moment that I've played with from time to time that's never really fit into any particular continuity; it might fit into the bleaker version of the post-Confessional universe that culminated in the story Painkiller, but usually these days I prefer to take a less depressing tack when I write a Paine/Nooj future. Still, I do like the idea that this captures something about the CS4 and what their relationship could be. Note that this is a fragment, not terribly polished, and I make no promises that it won't work its way into a story someday.
"Tell me." Paine leaned back in her chair and looked at Gippal. "Why is it that you never did ask to sleep with me?"
Gippal grinned and cocked his head. "Because you aren't my type?"
Paine tipped her head sideways, mimicking his position almost exactly. "I'm breathing, aren't I?"
A guffaw came from the kitchen before Gippal could make his indignant response, and he and Paine turned at the same time to see Baralai, holding a dishtowel to his mouth, eyes crinkled with mirth. "I'm sorry," he said. "But you must admit, Gippal, that she has something of a point."
"All right, fine." Gippal looked back at Paine, his face relaxing back into a smile. "What if I told you it's because I'm not your type?"
"I'd say that's true enough." Paine shrugged. "But I'd also say that never stopped you before. So, what is it?"
The smile faded, and Gippal exchanged a glance with Baralai, who nodded. "All right," he said. "I'll tell you the truth. But you aren't going to like it." He gripped the back of the chair and fixed his good eye on Paine. "It's because I think Nooj would probably kill me if I tried."
"Oh." Paine sat back in her chair, trying not to bite her lip, hiding the wash of emotions that hit her all at once: surprise, anger, disappointment, frustration. Nooj had his chance, and he'd given it up; how dare he still try to control her from this distance?
And... I never really figured out where to take the idea from there. I'm not even sure it has anywhere to go. But this exact conversation has come into my mind several different times over the years, and it feels good to finally get it down into type.
30 Days of Writing: Complete list of questions
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