winona smile

Fic: Dancing Lessons from God (Winona - gen)

Title: Dancing Lessons from God
Author: igrockspock
Characters: Winona
Rating: PG
Word count: 400ish
Summary: She'll learn how to be happy in space if it kills her.
Notesinspired by this icon from taraljc's awesome icon post in where_no_woman. Thank you for making these! And also for boosette, who is trapped the library tonight. Title from the Kurt Vonnegut quote "strange travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God."

The uniform is tighter than she imagined, the fabric scratchier. Every five minutes, she drags her finger beneath the collar, rubbing where the stitches itch against her neck -- if none of her commanding officers are looking, that is. Luckily, she is not much worth noticing. Yet.

The corridors are tighter than she thought they would be. She feels like she spends all day counting the stripes on people's sleeves so she'll know who she has to get out of the way for. Then she realizes that's everyone, so she springs out of the way almost as soon as she hears footsteps coming toward her in the corridor. Sometimes that means she teeters precariously against the edges of walkways and stairways, but none of the lieutenants or commanders or lieutenant commanders seem to notice her sacrifice.

Everything is noisy. Her bunk, the top in a column of 3, is right underneath the coolant circulation pipes in the ceiling. She hears it whoosh and whirl all night, and after long days, she thinks macabre thoughts about the consequences of an ill-timed coolant leak.

Getting lost on a ship this small should be impossible. It's not. She confuses the astrophysics lab with the mycology lab and the hydroponics bay with bowling alley, so she spends a week being late to meetings and getting more demerits than she ever did in the Academy.

Late one night, she stands in front of the hot, buzzing lights of the hydro bay after everyone else is gone. Raising one arm, she smiles as widely as she can and snaps a holophoto for her mother in Iowa. It shouldn't feel like a gesture of defiance, but it does.

She transmits the photo to her mom with half of her weekly data allowance. "Quit worrying! I really am happy!" it lies. She doesn't tell anyone that the picture is for herself as much as it is for her mother. After she sends it, she loads a copy into the personal data station next to her bed so she can look at it at night. She isn't the woman in that photo yet, but she will be. She'll figure out how to be happy here if it kills her.
Oh, Winnie, honey. (I WANT TO GIVE HER A HUG OMG.)

And also omg ♥
Thank you! I really like writing about her when she's just herself and has nothing to do with Jim or George or anything else sad yet.
I want to give her a hug too. What I love about this especially is how I can see her son in her, as you describe her -- it feels right and true to me. Lovely work, as always!
Thank you! I'm glad you can see Jim - I didn't do that consciously, but I'm glad it's there!
Rock on, Winona. Those stars will be yours yet. (At least for awhile.)
At least for awhile.

Aw. Sad. But also true. I thought about ending this with her seeing the photo after the Narada attack, maybe surprising her on her mom's fridge in Iowa. But then I decided I'd rather write about her independent of all her later tragedies.
This is all kinds of awesome. Usually everyone's super excited to be out in space, and I like this new perspective: she's trying to get used to it, it's what she's put in years of effort for, but she's not quite there yet.
Thank you! She looked so young and fresh in the icon, so I was intrigued by writing a younger version of her, and then I started wondering how hard it would be to get used to life on a starship. I'm glad you liked it!
Oh, I like the emotion here. I think we have all gone through the loneliness and out-of-place feeling when in a new situation.
Thank you! I'm glad it came off as realistically human - I was afraid people wouldn't believe she'd ever been uncomfortable in space.
Cannot quite articulate why I love this as much as I do so this will have to suffice as an expression of my reaction: ♥

i like that. the uniforms bit was definitely hilarious--i bet she wouldn't like that all up on her neck.

awww, it's sad, but it's made better knowing that she does, in some way, make it.

wonderful work! :)
Thank you! I debated writing some other section making it clear that it works out for her, but I figured we already knew that from seeing her having a baby in outer space.
Oh, I love this! She'll settle in, we know she will and she does too, but this reaction is so human -- like being a freshman in the first few weeks of college, when the whirlwind's died down enough for the homesickness and dislocation to settle in. Nicely done.
Thank you! I contemplated some kind of coda where she saw the photo on her fridge in Iowa after the Narada incident, but I thought it would be better for us just to know it's out there, waiting for her.
I love this. It's so warm and real and genuine, and bittersweet to boot. Great stuff, ♥
I think the thing I love most about your Winona is her determination: she's decided she's going to be happy in space, so she damn well will be. (And it's great that she doesn't need George to be a catalyst for that decision; this is something she wants for herself.)
Thank you! I really enjoyed writing about her without George or her family or big emotional baggage for once.