[in sum]: before luna meets amber.
note(s): inspired by portions of the ocean by t&s; a prequel in luna's pov to "i'm with stupid"; in the dreaming!au, which i made an actual tag for (a.k.a. you'll be seeing more of this).
"stop crying to the ocean
stop crying over me
stop worrying over nothing
stop worrying over me"
stop crying over me
stop worrying over nothing
stop worrying over me"
there are some things that make luna feel as if her own heart beats choke her while she's still alive; cruel and unusual torture. things like the worries her brash parents make her feel, things like the vacant look in her sister's eyes. horrible things.
these things aren't anyone's fault. they just are, they just happen. they are the cards luna's been given in the game of life. according to luna, it's all good because there are other things she can tide them over with. like singing, like dancing, like acting. it gets her away and pays the rent that her parents gamble away. it pays for school activities both for her and her sister that her parents can't bother to scrounge up even if she tells them that it's very important or if she tells them a month in advance. then there are things like dying her hair. she once left the formula in for too long and ended up with orange blonde hair. originally intending for a softer brown, luna decides she likes this bright color instead because it's so much sunnier than her current situation. the color represents what she wants to be.
the theatre she works at is more like a seedy bar. but it has a large stage and the troupe there is passionate about what they do. she feels bad about lying about her age to start there, but luna has a feeling that the director knows the truth. why else would she go to those lengths, covering her hair with anything in the approximate range of black she can get her hands on. and then there was the time when luna's bag broke -- the bag that was hiding her high school uniform and father's shoe shine, spilling out all her secrets in one fell swoop.
and so even though luna only gets parts like chorus or only gets to be understudy, she's more than happy to land a part. she's even happy when, having not sold enough tickets, the owner of the theatre allows her to earn her wages by cleaning the place. she manages to be happy alright because if she had more, then her parents would gamble away more, she would lose more, and she would be so much more fearful.
the one time luna's allowed to play the lead part due to her being an under study, luna invites her sister. jinyoung says she'll come no matter what, but when night time rolls around and the curtains draw back, there is no one for her in the section she's roped off. she tries to tell herself it doesn't matter. there's not really many in the audience anyway. but it still hurts. because jinyoung has her piano and luna has her voice and luna has never missed one of jinyoung's concerts.
luna trudges home, her feet and body feeling somewhat heavier than normal. she has yet to wipe her stage make-up from her face. even her face feels heavy. she walks in to a largely dark home.
"i'm home" she says weakly, assuming no one is home.
then she hears a clatter. a bedroom door opens and there is her sister, hair looking wild and her eyes rimmed red and puffy. her voice is warbling when she doles out her excuse.
"i'm so sorry. i fell asleep and..."
luna doesn't hear the rest. ...fell asleep ...on her most important day.
"doesn't matter" luna says gruffly. she tries hard to keep the hurt out of her voice. her sister has never been the strongest one. since birth, she had been the perpetual sick child. "you didn't miss much."
"sunyoung..." her sister starts to say.
but luna turns, eyes cold, and tells her, "it's luna."
her sister starts crying silently. usually, luna would surrender at this point, hugging her and telling her that it's really okay. but this time, it's not okay. so, luna, tired of everything, silently slips into the bathroom to wash away the heaviness. when she comes out, something just feels off. she should be a little happier, a little forgiving, but there's a chill in the air and a tingle down her spine as well as something she can't quite explain to an outsider.
"jinyoung" luna whispers and races to her sister's room.
jinyoung is on the floor, shivering, mumbling nonsense. luna rushes to her side, picking her up into a sitting position.
"you're burning" luna tells her.
but jinyoung keeps whispering, "i'm sorry, i'm sorry, i'm sorry".
luna almost cries because she can't take jinyoung to a hospital. if her records are found, the debt collectors would be on their small apartment in a flash. she runs to the nearest pharmacy and describes her sister's symptoms. she forces her voice not to shake but her knees almost buckle when the pharmacists tells her it's just a fever, just a body ache, the flu perhaps. luna buys the medication prescribed and runs home, praying her legs support her, at least until she gets the drugs into jinyoung's mouth.
two hours of sponging jinyoung's forehead pays off. jinyoung sleeps peacefully and some time around three or four in the morning, luna nods off as well.
when she wakes the next morning, luna quickly realizes that jinyoung can't go to school. luna busies herself with making porridge for jinyoung, calling jinyoung's school which is separate from luna's, and getting dressed. she briefly contemplates missing school herself, but quickly dismisses the idea when she thinks about how lenient her teacher has been about her part-time work. if she were to work as a musical actor and miss school, the teacher would probably call in her parents. and if it got to be a major issue...then, there would be problems. how could luna tell anyone that she had been the only one taking care of the both of them?
by the time luna reaches school, the gates have already closed. she's late. luna kicks the locked gate for good measure and curses the school for being so old-fashioned. instead of loitering around and waiting for a proctor to scold her, luna jogs to the back side of the gym. it's where the gate is the weakest and she pulls on the bottom portion until she can squeeze through underneath. when she finally gets in, she runs to homeroom.
there's a weird aura in the air when luna arrives. she can tell it's not the same, boring homeroom. there's something special going on. so when she skids in, late and disheveled, she doesn't really care about the teacher's scolding. she wants to know what that spark in the air is. she looks around. everyone seems to be stealing glances at one thing. one person, actually.
the smile blossoms on her face spontaneously. luna doesn't really know why herself. but there are warm, brown eyes searching her face and constantly flickering to her hair. luna vaguely remembers that she's forgotten to blacken her hair today, but that she hasn't had a chance to shower because of jinyoung yesterday. luna spies the tan skin and foreign features that make up the new girl's face. she sees the girl's closely cropped haircut and finds herself wishing she had the same feline face to suit such a hairdo.
her mouth, before her brain really registers anything, says "hi, what's your name?" and she swears that her heart sighs something like relief when she hears the low and serious voice say, "amber."