lukon_idein: (Roy "Studying")
[personal profile] lukon_idein
Well, according to lj stats, it has been 11 weeks since I last posted! Yoiks. I didn't go into the field this summer - stayed in town to finish my thesis. Have so far made a good deal of progress, though the end of August is hurtling down a wormhole and straight at my head. Must brace myself for impact. Or just finish writing. That would make me happy, and is not an unreasonable goal, really. Hooray for some things. Financial crisis has only been partially averted - much hangs on pending job application. *crosses fingers* Diverting my anxiety with fic has only been partially successful. :P

Further personal updates for those devoted friends whom I don't deserve...

Got a new roomie this summer. She is very nice and all, which is great. Haven't lived with a girl for a while though, so I've been looking at everything in place with a more critical eye - guys don't care if there is dust on the corners in the baseboards or a bit of grime on the shower doors. Suddenly I feel like a TOTAL slob! Granted, I have been sneaking by with a "good enough" mentality for most of my "adult" life, so I am not surprised, just a bit... embarrassed? On a random note, she is from Korea, and my last roommate was from Spain and they BOTH use rubber gloves when they do the dishes. As far as I know, none of my American friends bother with this precaution. Are we just lazy? Apathetic? Stupid? Neglectful of our skin? Dunno. It does make me feel slightly inadequate, though. (Self-conscious much?)

So I have been wildly stressed out most of the summer with pending decision of whether to stay here for PhD, apply to other programs, or give up the idea altogether. I am leaning toward applying elsewhere, since my program doesn't have anyone specializing in the area I'm interested in. If I do, it would mean I'm committing myself to an attempt to become a professor, which somehow terrifies me. My normal modus operandi is to follow the path of least resistance, but this would take effort, and lots of work and probably quite a few disappointments. It won't be easy, and easy it what I do best. Wish there was some miracle drug that could stiffen my resolve and thicken my skin. Am feeling like an emotional basket case these days, so any sort of stress pretty much knocks me on my ass. It is particularly frustrating when I know that so many other people in this world have real problems to contend with and mine are of my own making, born of laziness, fear and apathy. Huh. Therapy central or what?? UGH. Sorry folks!

In other news, I got to go home and see family for a long weekend. Yippee. It is always nice to be reminded that there is life beyond this isolated backwater town. (Have I mentioned that someone actually called this place "the armpit of the universe" in the commentary to the Saiyuki Movie? One of the actors had lived here during part of his childhood. He had my sympathy. It really is one of my favorite commentary tracks EVER.) Several of my friends have broken free of the vortex and escaped this summer. I am happy for them, but sad for me. I will really miss them. The transience of grad school friends is a continual downer, but on the other hand, it means I have a widespread network of friends and acquaintances all over the place. Which is kinda cool. Must...look...on...bright side.... :P

And finally, I did manage to scrape together a wee bit of fic. YAY. Haven't been able to finish any sort of fic lately - have a couple of pieces started but can't seem to bring it home, as it were. Not sure what that means. Plot seems to be defeating me a lot - seems overwhelming to have to follow ideas all the way through the path they need to follow. And back to the stress thing, can't seem to handle dealing with character's emotional issues when my own are taking over my brain. But I tried this little piece, which was an attempt to work on characterization a little bit. Two characters points of view about each other. I still can't seem to get back to Gundam Wing - sniff,sniff - I miss Trowa, but I can't seem to communicate with him right now. I think of him as very practical and problem-solving, which is NOT where my head is now. Somehow I keep coming back to Gwendal, who is not overtly pessimistic, but his determination to subdue all of his own emotions seems to resonate with me. Ah well. One of these days I *will* write my Trowa/Quatre stuck-in-an-elevator fic (inspired by my GIGANTIC elevator at work). In the meantime we get some introspection from the wonderful world of KKM.

Title: Juxtaposition 1
Author: Lukoni
Fandom: Kyo Kara Maoh!
Characters: Gwendal, Gegenhuber (no pairings)
Word Count: 750
Summary: Two men reflect on each other’s influence on their lives.
Rating: G
Warnings: Introspection. Mild angst?
Spoilers: Some for issues with the boxes and their keys and all that.
Notes: Just experimenting with characterization here, so no real plot. No beta, so all mistakes are completely mine. Feedback, criticism and typo notifications welcome and appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Juxtaposition 1.

Side A. Respect.

Gegenhuber was a passionate man. His emotions burned through him like wildfire when he was young and he’d had a hard time containing them. He used to tease his cousin Gwendal for being so stolid and dull. In the war Gegenhuber had set his hatred free, and reveled in his own righteousness. He saw only weakness in his reserved cousin who stilled loved his half-human brother in spite of the boy’s wicked taint.

But Gegenhuber is older now. And when he looks back he sees what he could not see then. Gwendal fought the humans, it is true, mistrusted them for sure, yet he could understand their motivations and, as a result, often predict their actions. It made him a great general. But his hate had been reserved for Dan Hiri Weller. For marrying Gwendal’s mother and taking his father’s place, for his careless disregard for Mazoku traditions, for abandoning his family. By hating Weller as an individual he was already according the humans a higher status than the other Mazoku who hated them as a faceless herd of lesser beings. He gave them all equality by hating the one.

It was a hatred mixed with respect. And that is what Gegenhuber affords his cousin now. Respect. He is filled with it whenever he sees the steady, responsible Lord von Voltaire who gave him a second chance when he had committed such crimes against his own people, against the lord’s own family. Gegenhuber is still a passionate man, and his passion for his human wife did not start with this new Maoh, half-human himself, and full of love and peace, the boy who is changing the world. His love started before that thanks to a reserved Mazoku noble, who loved his own family quietly and beyond reason. Even a brother whom everyone reviled and even the cousin who nearly got that brother killed. The judge who, instead of executing him, sent him out into the world of humans to see what he had already learned. Humans could be cruel and dangerous and frightening and frightened and kind and beautiful. Just like Mazoku. Gegenhuber will always respect Gwendal for being able to see that in a time of such blind hatred, and for always tempering his discipline and judgment with love.

Side B. Reproach.

Every time Gwendal sees his cousin he feels it like a pinpoint stab in heart. His responsibility and his failure. The eyepatch reproaches him every time, since Gegenhuber never will. Gwendal keeps a list of failures in his mind. Failure to stop the war, failure to protect Conrart, failure to make his mother happy when she was so lonely for her wayward husband. And on top of it all, the one that he is confronted with so frequently these days, his half-blind cousin.

His role as head of the family is to protect them always. His father had believed that and so does Gwendal. It is the order of things. He is not always successful, but he has always done his best. But never before had any of his family been hurt because of him. By his actions, yes, or failure to act, perhaps. By words and deeds. But Gegenhuber had lost his eye – he had such beautiful eyes, so terrifying in battle – because the humans had been trying to find the key. The key that was Gwendal. Not something he could hold or give or take, but what he was. He had no control over this thing that he was, against his will and outside his knowledge. And he can’t help think how he had been in the very same prison only weeks afterward, that he should have been there sooner to save his cousin, even if that means the box would have opened and spilled its evil across the land. All that matters is that he is responsible for the scarred face that will be the only one Eru ever knows. Personally responsible in a way he had never been before, responsible by his very existence.

And the patch mocks him every time it comes before him. Laughing at his helplessness in the face of Shinou’s puppet show, winking at his shame, reproaching him for his uselessness. He dreads seeing Gegenhuber some days, when ghosts of the past have been battering his self-confidence and wearying his soul. But other days he is stronger, can look his cousin in the eye, and sometimes he thinks he can almost see forgiveness there.

on 2009-08-16 04:30 am (UTC)
ext_3548: (KKMKnits)
Posted by [identity profile]
This is truly wonderful, and insightful, and a marvelous portrait of two men who are so similar and yet so different. Of course, to me Gwendal is no minor character, but truly you've given both him and his cousin your own respect, for which I thank you!

on 2009-08-17 03:17 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Thank you so much!!! I am thrilled that you liked it so much! I don't get much feedback on my KKM stuff which makes what I do get all the more precious.

Hehe - I don't really consider Gwendal a lesser character, since he is my absolute favorite, but if you go by fandom popularity, pretty much everyone who is not Wolfram, Yuuri or Conrad is practically insignificant! :P

Thanks for taking the time to respond to this!!! *big hug*

on 2009-08-17 03:19 am (UTC)
ext_3548: (KKM Seme by Patchouli)
Posted by [identity profile]
I don't know that I've seen your other KKM work, but if it's as good as this, I certainly want to read it (especially if Gwendal's in it). He's my favorite too!

on 2009-08-18 04:02 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Ah-ha... I checked, and it appears you have read at least 2 of my 4 other stories, since you provided lovely feedback for them. The twisted Stoffel/Gwendal one (Skeleton in the Closet ( and the fuck-or-die one with Gunter and Gwendal (Forbidden Magic ( So thank you for your continued support of my slightly twisted view of Gwendal-y goodness!! :)

on 2009-08-20 10:38 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
you ARE awesome!!!

on 2009-08-21 05:14 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Awwwwwww! Thanks a million, sweetheart!


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