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Title: The Carnival is Over
Rating: PG
Original/Fandom: Original
Word Count: 727
Pairings (if any): Steven/Mary Anne
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/etc): none
Summary: Nell, Steven and Mary Anne decide to visit one of Nell's regular folk clubs.

It was after their dinner, which Mary Anne told Nell had revived her much more than her long sleep had done, that Nell suggested that the two of them accompany her to one of her folk nights. She had been wavering back and forth between wanting desperate to go out to it and to see her friends and acquaintances, and feeling so tired and unsure of herself that all she felt like all she wanted to do was to curl up under a blanket with a cup of tea, a book and a record.

However when Mary Anne, quite unexpectedly considering her previous apparent apathy towards Nell and Steven's music discussion, said it would be a marvellous idea, Nell felt more prepared to steel herself up to face the room full of both familiar and strange faces.

Nell remembered her first visit to a folk club at the beginning of her friendship with Rosemary. She had been shocked at how the shy girl had gained a sort of serene confidence within seconds of picking up a guitar. The way she would sit there at the front of the stage, her feet dangling from the tall stool and her incredibly long red hair falling across her face. That was in the days before Rose started styling her hair in increasingly elaborate ways and before Nell was able to act on her inner desire to dye her hair from its natural red to its current blonde colouring. In those days people would comment that Nell and Rose must be sisters or at the very least cousins. Others would merely assume that to be the case without even questioning it. On the whole, most people who did not know them were, more often than not, extremely shocked to discover that they were not related in the slightest.

They reached the folk club at quarter to six. The sky was pitch black, the sun having set some time before half past four. Nell hated the fact that at this time of year the slow creeping in of the evenings was sped up by dragging the clocks back by a full hour. A purported extra hour in bed did not make up for the sun being completely gone by the time she left lectures or the library. Even the fifteen minute walk round the corner to this place, her nearest cafe and folk club, became an expedition that involved waving through darkness and dodging cars with blindingly bright headlamps. It could be exhilarating on some nights. Others, like this one, where the air was cold and damp and the moon was blurred behind a sheet of mist which did not reach the ground in any visible way, she was left feeling anxious and out of breath. The only reason she had been able to persuade herself to come out that night had been because Mary Anne and Steven had both wanted to come with her.

They each ordered cups of tea upstairs, Nell asking for peppermint, Mary Anne for camomile and Steven requesting, "Just normal tea for me please, mate."

Then it was down the rickety stairs, Nell praying as always that she would not trip down and end up in a broken, bleeding and badly burned heap at the foot of the stairs.

Several of the intended singers and musicians were taking it in turns to perform last minute sound checks with microphones pointed at both them and their instruments, which on the whole were acoustic guitars but Nell did spot one banjo player among the bunch. He'd let her have a go on his banjo a few weeks before, teaching her few chords before rushing off to the pub with his mates. He waved at her and she waved back, hoping desperately that she would remember his name in case he came over to talk to her.

One of the other performers Nell knew by sight but not by name. He had golden blonde hair that had apparently been cut into a Beatles moptop some weeks before but was now starting to grow out of it and look a little scruffy.

"I know him a little," Steven said, pointing towards the bloke Nell was staring openly at. After receiving a questioning look from Nell, he admitted, if a trifle reluctantly, "He's not a bad bloke, especially considering he's a folkie."

This entry was originally posted at http://alicia-h.dreamwidth.org/42607.html
Child of the nineties
Harks back to earlier times
Sounds of the sixties

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