For the prompt "dressing up".
part 5 of Threshold
The airstrike was a complete success.
Amidst his fellows, Ffamran avoided contempt by sporting their joy. Their parade was informal. Ffamran could not wave at those feminine faces he recognised. If this was the route to heaven, it was too glorious for Ffamran's preference.
In the absence of reason, his mates ruled Ffamran's unusual silence as intoxication.
Persuaded to rest awhile in his bunk, Ffamran regretted his imposed lethargy. If he shuddered once or twice, he ignored the sensation. His skin formed gooseflesh, but he could not chafe his arms. The thread of his pilot's uniform was stiff with newness.
One shoulder proves sufficient to bear his weight against the courtyard wall. Ffamran swings a heel through the scattered glass left after Cid's voided attempt at avoidance, the window five floors up left empty, hungry. Ffamran will not look up, will not imagine; vertigo has ever struck him weak at the knees.
The housemoogle sweeping ignores Ffamran's presence, even when an unwary kick sends a shard his way, tinkling. On the other hand, the housemistress glares at the hindrance, ignoring how the spread of her own vast supervisory skirt prevents the moogle from sweeping the shards she shadows. In return, Ffamran ignores her, if politely; he willingly shifts his position when the moogle's broom approaches. The moogle winks up at him, rolls his eyes at the housemistress on the sly. Without thinking, Ffamran purses his lips in a united conspiracy against overlords. The expression slides into an undirected smirk, dissipates into vague disquiet as the moogle moves on. industrious.
He is tired of playing this role with the servants, pretending correlation, understanding. None to be had within these walls.
Within this house, nothing for him but tiredness. Old conversations hang unfinished on the walls like works of art or madness. Without the walls, the words could disappear. It surely would not take so much provocation to have Cid riled enough to start knocking down walls instead of windows. A capsule of one man's universe, defiance of the lesson every man must learn. Ffamran cannot be the center of anyone's universe but his own.
He stands alone despite the company, grinding to glitter the shards of his latest attempt to play sympathetic shoulder to his father's madness. Of course there was no shoulder for him in return. He wonders why he strives so to prove valued, to ever put himself in the centre of concerns not his own. The bullseye on a dartboard begs for nothing but to be hit.
In a fog of gin and indecision, he dressed for his latest role. His clothing suggested expense, preference, if not an escape from fashion. He was surprised that he could pass so successfully unnoticed yet he could not take exception to the interest he failed, again, to generate.
He departed through a storm. Whether nature's current manifestation was malicious or a welcome cloak, he withheld his judgement. After a fortnight of sun striking full across his face and hands, his white shirt only made him appear the swarthier.
Mirrors did not lie. Ffamran was content to name himself a stranger.
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