I have a history with fanfiction. Like the story below, it's short. But I tell you, I've brought readers to tears with this stuff.
So, like, happy Crastmurse or something. Here's a one-shat story about Sona and Arcade Sona to cheer you up for the season.
Sona lands gently on her feet, let down by an invisible contraption of pulleys and tackles. A wisp of magic passes her etwahl to her. She stands before a stage much like the one she performed in long ago as the newest champion of the League. It was a large space in which the deck thrust out candidly into the audience. From her vantage point, she cannot see the stage's deck over its edge. In a time long past, the acoustics awed her. Here and now it brings awful uncertainty. Unsettling her senses to no end, the scene is muted and smothered of its entire color native to her memory. Everything is awash with blanked white. Only the darker shades of the pastel lamps about the room provide its architecture with definition. The most discomforting aspect of this equal parts resplendent and desolate space is the stillness of the air. The maven plucks a note, but no ambient tone from Sona's presence could muster any echo or vibration off of this egg white facade. Her long twin tails lay unmoving along her back, as does her flowing blue robe, still as the room around her. Only her etwahl retains its mystic breeziness, floating alongside her in anticipation.
The instrument plucks a pair of experimental notes, which the maven regards in silence. Sona eyes the room with intense expectancy, sweeping her gaze up and around, trying to establish a thought between trepidation and wonder. Her stepping forward primes a silent switch somewhere, as the sound of frenzied clicking springs from the stage above. Sona walks across to the edge of it and climbs a set of steps onto the deck.
Along the way, the jumble of sound she followed unraveled on its own accord. She hears buttons assaulted by fingers and the tiniest hint of buzzing electricity. Finally, an airy wailing sort of tune faded across the strange orchestra of technology. It paints a monotone feeling of fighting spirit and adventure. It bangs and trudges on in spite of the still whiteness encroaching upon it.
With these observations behind her, Sona steps up onto the stage proper. Sitting terribly alone, caught in an intense state of focus was a woman of the same personage as herself. The doppelganger’s back is turned so that our Sona sees the other's flowing blue twin tails rest fitfully over her shoulders. Bobbing her shoulders to and fro like a feline's tail, she dances her hands across a gleaming metal console fitted squarely with different apparatuses. The device houses an electronic piano, a sextuplet of colorful buttons and a pair of large joysticks to flank them. The other Sona deftly slaps and plucks at them rhythmically. A small box radiates bright flashing colors in front of her, vividly resembling someone else's vision. The image is a maze of mud brick buildings. With a gun at the ready, the other Sona swiftly pulls her soldier persona along, killing one faceless enemy after the other without pause or notice of her visitor.
Our Sona is visibly hit with shock. Her brow rises, but her temperance, practiced over her entire youth, stays her hand and body. All she does is watch while her mind ruminates over a knotted kite string of questions. She remembers touring in Zaun one day and finding a building filled with these same boxes and consoles. It was called an "arcade", like the fun places on the Demacian boardwalks. The games to be found in the Zaunite arcade caught her fancy once, but only once.
The noises stop in a jarring halt. The other Sona turns around, guiding the console with her as it floats on silent magic. Her dress hosts a fulgent neon rainbow of color. Her twin tails are alive with electric tones of blue. Our Sona's eyes drifted into hers and saw what might happen if she were to have taken up those games back then. Verily, there is a hungry, restless motion in her eyes that no amount of caffeine or any drug can account for.
Arcade Sona looks upon her robed self with more visible intrigue. However, it lasts only seconds before her expression turns into slight annoyance. Clearly she is being held up from something important. Fingers dash hurriedly to the synth piano keys and tap two notes of universal inquiry. These notes carry like a glass prism held up to the light. The sound is very alien to her but the message is a gruff 'what?’
Stepping forward, our Sona offers a smile and a wave of her hand. Her gesture is met with a tilt of the head and a doubtful eyebrow. Arcade Sona looks about the stage nervously, and then quietly retreats back into her activity in forced indifference. She chooses this torture over that of trying to communicate with the robed stranger. Our Sona's smile deflates like jam spilled from its masonry.
She is also presented with the option of exploring the white auditorium by herself, but her heart compels her to pursue this enigma further. Her feet lazily part from the white stage deck as a warming chord floats her toward Arcade Sona. Rapid clicking and the tiny din of artificial battle resumes. Any notion of fear had long since been erased from her mind. The motion of her head, prodding over Arcade Sona's shoulder, gives away her almost childish curiosity in this colorful yet lonely woman's world. Lonely isn't quite the right word, however. She hears voices, terse voices of young men; crackling on and off constantly as the soldiers fight on the desert terrain. They groan in frustration, fire curses and nonsense at eachother, and offer words of sportsmanlike encouragement. Combined with the confusion already at hand, the sights and sounds nearly cause Sona to fall forward from lightheadedness.
Sona notices her counterpart at the controls. She makes no effort to form any expression of the face. A rigid clutch holds her body captive, yet the entirety of it looks relaxed and at ease. Her breath is caught as well. It is forcedly controlled, practiced like meditation. Sona makes a hard blink. She knows this feeling in her gut. It tells of ambition. She is making a statement, or at least trying to, through the barrel of an imaginary gun. This thought is nearly lost to Sona's coming migraine.
And then the source of it abruptly stops. The screen turns gray. "Noxus wins!" proclaims an announcer. Tired players exchange last laughs and cries of suppressed rage. "**** you scrub!" "You Zaunite **** eater!" "That was such a sweet kill dude! Join our guild!" "Stop using that overpowered gun and fight me one on one!" Arcade Sona takes a deep breath, her body heaving in oxygen silently. It was release for both of them, for each her own way. Smiling with bright enthusiasm, Sona tries to make it known to her companion that she did a good job; even though she has almost no knowledge of what that job exactly is. Her head leans closer, almost to the point of being able to rest her chin on Arcade Sona's shoulder. The scent of her body lingers of iron and perfume and sweat. The gamer blinks and sinks her eyes to her instruments. Hands recede, falling back to her waist like an ebbing tide. She takes a glance at her observer and furrows her brow. The tension stays fast, but so does Sona stand her ground. They both hold as such.
Just in time, the voices too leave them alone save for one. A young man coughs loudly and adjusts something near his arm. "Dude that sucks." he says with a loud chipper. "Like, who the hell cares if we lost anyway? You totally outplayed them." At the first sound of his voice, Arcade Sona breaks her glare and slowly committs to staring tiredly at the screen. She puts a hand up to her mouth to simply lay it there. Her eyes are still creased. "You still there bro? Did something happen to your mic man?" His tone is slightly peeved, carrying no wheight of concequence. "Dude, like, type something."
Arcade Sona lifts her hand to sigh out a trio of soft, sad chords. The man responds quickly, without pause of thought. "What? What's that music, mang? ****, my stream chat just started yelling at...HAHAHA! Oh my god! Look at what this guy's typing!" A flurry of clicking can be heard from the other side as the man begins typing in retort. "**** you man, this guy's good!" His voice dips lower. "He's like 200 Elo higher than me. **** you son. Enjoy your ban." Arcade Sona's eyes turn up to her other self, suddenly devoid of all malice. "Yeah, it must be really late where you live. Holy ****, you're up late. See you later dawg. GG."
Everything is silenced. The screen goes black, and the buzzing of the game dies quickly. Inquisitively, Sona leans to the side, intent on bringing Arcade Sona back to life. The latter only turns her head away and gently grips the left side of her instrument panel with both hands. Her breathing is heavier now, and each breath grows more audible. It is a well known fact that a tree does not talk with words, nor does a shining star. One may hear the rustling of leaves or be guided by a piercing light in the night sky. We know them to be there and it is comforting to behold. Just to behold. So it came to shock Sona when a whispering sob, so quiet that no human ear could hear it, traveled to hers.
"I'm so alone."
She turns to Sona and topples forward in despair, whispering in tears before her voice breaks. "Don't you understand me? Can you...? Who else can?" Sona instinctively catches the woman, wrestling with doubt and disbelief. She so desperately wanted her to stop talking. It stood against everything she accomplished with music. Her head was lost in frustration, in compassion, in absurdity. What right had she to say she is alone? She screamed internally, shutting her eyes and grasping her tightly around the waist, pressing her head against Arcade Sona's heaving breast.
'What right have you to say that!? You're wrong! They do care about you! Stop! Stop defeating yourself! I shan't go through this again! Oh happy etwahl! Your gentle guidance leaves me!? We need your voice! Show her that I can love like others can! Show her how I feel pain! Why do your strings fall silent!? Help me resolve this discord! You never fail to quell longing hearts of others! Speak comfort to me!'
Her rambling continued as the space around her began to feel excessively warm. Sona's hold on her own thoughts, and on her counterpart, went limp. Cloth enveloped her body, darkness shrouded her sight, and silence seized her ears. Sona slowly woke up with a bundle of her bed sheets in her arms, laying on her right side. The velvet curtains immediately next to her bed hid away the winter frost encroaching on the window. The bed she rests in is vast and circular, made for at least a couple. Sona always insisted against sleeping in large beds. Tonight, she was reminded why. As her head rested on the middle of three pillows, she looked at the empty spaces that flanked her at both sides. They were awfully vacant. Two spaces for two bodies: a family bed. At this season under the rolling calendar, she struggles to sleep at all. There is the Snowdown to look forward to next morrow, and the Lunar Revel after. Her etwahl gives her great comfort during these times. But it cannot offer bodily warmth.
These nights are too cold even for lullabies. Sona's eyes dampen the pillow, not making any effort to play her etwahl. Nobody's here to play with. Hazy, fragmented memories of Lestara occupy her until morning light.