Next to Godliness
Title: Next to Godliness Claim: FFVII Prompt: 1.43 Clean Rating: PG Warnings: None Note: I didn't see an example header anywhere. Please let me know if I got it wrong.
"Will, what are you doing?" Ifalna asked from the doorway.
"Washing the dishes?" I thought it was obvious. I was elbow-deep in water and the front of my shirt was soaking wet, after all.
"Why are you wiping the lasagna pan clean with your hands?" she specified, stepping up beside me.
I shrugged. "I don't like getting the sponge dirty. Sauces never seem to come out."
She picked up the sponge and gently took the pot out of my hands. "Civilized people use the sponges to clean things, instead of worrying that they sponges stay clean." In seconds, she'd cleaned and rinsed the pot and handed it to me.
I blinked, then picked up the dishtowel. "It's easier to clean my hands than the sponge."
She started on the dinner dishes. "You have the strangest ideas about efficiency. Most people would just buy a new sponge."
"I like to get my hands dirty."
"Mmm," she said, and I thought that would be the end of it. She rinsed the dishes in silence and then perched on the counter. "Dirty hands, hm?"
"Let's not have this conversation again," I told her as I stacked the dishes in the cabinet.
"We wouldn't have to if you listened to the Planet."
"It wouldn't be the planet. It would be listening to you. I don't hear the Planet, remember?" I placed the glasses in neat rows.
"The Planet speaks to you through me," she said, but her voice was frustrated. We'd been through this half a dozen times since she arrived a week before.
I shook my head. "From what I can tell, you're a smart woman. You know why I don't believe you."
"I do. I just... I don't know what else to do. You don't know what it's like to hear it all the time, wearing at me. I'm not good at this. I'm not a religious leader. I don't want to speak for the Planet. It just won't let me do anything else."
I watched her fidget while she spoke, picking at her fingernails. She was sincere. She believed everything she said, I was sure of that. But the idea that the planet might be talking to someone was just too much for me to consider. She might as well ask me to believe in all the old gods, too.
"I'll tell you what," I said, taking her hands to stop her from fidgeting -- it was starting to drive me to distraction. "If you can find some way to prove that the planet talks to you, or to make it talk to me, then I'll do as you ask."
She nodded and smiled at me a little too fiercely to be beautiful. "I'll do it. I'll find it. And then you'll understand." She held my hands tightly for a minute and then stepped out the back door, perhaps seeking new orders.
I hoped encouraging her wasn't a bad idea. I just hated to see her look so sad.