Seraphina had always loved when the train moved. Since she was a little girl, she had counted down until the circus moved off again, and she could watch the world go by. The only time she had begun to hate the moving of life, was when it took her far away from...
She was sitting on top of the train when it began to move. It wasn't until the speed had picked up that she slipped down on to the edge of the train, and made her way inside.
During travel, except for practise for those who could in the confines of the carriages, people mainly played games, or sang. Or drank. Or... well. Filled the time in whatever pleasurable way they could find. Sera made her way through the carriages, avoiding those people who had decided to open a bottle despite the early hour. It was habit, and the circus usually travelled mainly at night, but their next show was over a days travel and so they had left early, to give themselves time to get there. Her room was near the engine, where no one really went. The last car held Sinestro, and was by far the most luxurious. She was happy with hers though. She had hung black from the roof, and filled her bed with dark, blood-like red sheets and pillows. It looked expensive, but she had just bought material with her savings, and sewed everything herself. If there was one thing her mother had taught her, it was sewing. Any other 'lady-like' behaviours had been lost on her.
She sank down on her bed and ran her fingers through her hair.
"I saw you watching the show." The voice was deep, dark, but somehow amused. She span round and found herself only inches away from piercing dark eyes.
"Yes... So what?" She managed to pull some of her confidence, some of her arrogance, back, fearing it would be devoured by those eyes.
"Feisty one, aren't you?"
"I don't like being sneaked up on."
"You and me both, hot stuff."
That was it. All her confidence gone.
"Wha-what?" She stuttered.
A fire lit between them, and twisted in strong, practised hands.
"You know how to handle flames, don't you?" Sera watched the fire and nodded, slowly. "I knew it when I saw you watching. Here, hold it." The stick was tossed to her, and she caught it; well practised after years of living with fire. "Let me look at you properly."
Dark eyes roaming and the smell of smoke, cinnamon, apples and wood, surrounding her.
"Do you know who I am?" Sera asked, holding the fire and wishing she could find the strength to turn around and face the other fire eater.
"I can guess." In her ear, so close that she felt the breath tickle the hairs on the back of her neck. A shiver, and a chuckle. "You are delightful, for a Wiseacre girl."
"And you're not so bad for a Sinestro serf." Sera found herself saying. Another soft chuckle, and then the fire suddenly revealed dark eyes again.
"Tell me your name."
"Tell me yours."
"I asked first."
"You didn't ask."
"Fine then, feisty one. Please, tell me your name?"
"Seraphina." Repeated back as though every syllable was a sigh, an exhale of air. Soft, confusing, consuming. "You should go home little Phoenix. Your Admiral will be worried."
"He's not my Admiral." Sera scowled.
"No? Are you not his girl?"
"No. My parents work for him but I'm not allowed. Not yet."
"But you're all grown! And you'd draw such crowds with your face..." Another scowl. "Oh, you don't agree?"
"I want to draw crowds with my skills, not my face."
Another chuckle, this one darker.
"Oh you're delightful. I would have you visit again if... well. I'm sure you'd be in trouble just for watching. Go home, Seraphina. And don't let Wiseacre or Sinestro find out you've been here."
The fire was doused, and Sera was left in near darkness. She scowled and huffed, shoving her hands in to her pockets. A throaty laugh came from next to her, and then soft lips were pressed to her cheek.
"Goodbye, little Phoenix."
Seraphina gasped as she woke up, tangled in a mass of sheets. WHY? Why did she have to revisit that first meeting over and over? It tortured her to remember how things had been. She rolled out of bed and realised that the windows showed the setting sun. She growled, and grabbed a bottle of Jack, and went to find Jim. He was one of the few people she allowed to get close to her, and right now she needed someone who wouldn't wonder why she was in so bad of a mood.
Knocking and then entering his carriage, she was surprised to see he was accompanied by Desdemona, the aerialist. They seemed almost... cosy. After the dream it was not what she had been expecting.
"Drink?" She muttered, pointing at the bottle and trying to not look at the other girl.
"You look... well you look like shit." Jim responded, moving aside to let her in.
"Nice to see you too." She flopped down and glanced at Des again. They'd never spoken much. Just casual greetings. Maybe a few 'how are you's?' or 'well done's'. That sort of thing. But then Sera never really spoke to anyone. Just Jim, Sinestro, sometimes Mary...
"Erm, I guess I'll go." Des murmured, standing.
"No, stay, please!" Jim hurried, nudging Sera discreetly under the table. She glared at him but shrugged. If Jim liked this girl, she should really give her a chance.
"Sure, fine. Grab a glass." Des smiled and sat back down, glancing nervously at Sera.
"She won't bite." Jim assured Des. Sera scoffed in amusement. "Okay, not unless she's provoked."
"Shut up and drink."
They each took a tumbler full of the amber liquid and drank. There was silence for a while.
"So..." Des started, and then stopped, unsure of where to go.
"Another dream?" Jim asked, looking pointedly at Sera. She glared at him, and at Des. "I'll take that as a yes."
"Dream?" Des asked. Jim shrugged, and glanced at Sera.
"I remember stuff, I drink, and don't talk about it. Pretty much how this goes right Jim?" Sera muttered, staring at the amber liquid in her hand.
"Yeah, pretty much," he replied apologetically, but who he was apologising to Sera wasn't sure.
"Okay." Des murmured. There was an uncomfortable silence. "I guess... well done for the last show. Jim told me about the claws; I can't wait to see them in action."
"They'll be all the rage. Might keep Sinestro off my back for a while." Sera shrugged. She was proud though, not that she liked to admit it.
"Good luck with that." Des murmured, a small smile on her lips, and Sera actually chuckled dryly for a moment.
Jim grinned and poured everyone more drink.