thedeadparrot (thedeadparrot) wrote,

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Title: The Masks We Wear
Fandom: Carnivàle
Disclaimer: This does not belong to me in any way, shape or form. It's Dan Knauf's sandbox. I merely play in it.
Pairing: some minor Ben/Sofie
Summary: The things you find...
Notes: May be kind of spoilery for the next episode, if you're the type who even avoids the previews. It's pure speculation for one scene in the next episode. Randomly spit out this weak, with minor (really minor) editing. 705 words.

Sofie doesn't know what she thought when she opened the drawer. She remembers the horror, though, the utter and complete shock.

She's not sure why she was looking in the first place, probably looking for a duster. Something stupid, not this.

It's not everyday that you find a mask of Ben Hawkins' face in the hallway of a kind preacher that has probably never met Ben before in his life.

It was a good mask, perfectly rendered. Sofie's always liked Ben's face, even though she's rarely seen it look anything besides sad and resigned. She didn't touch it at first, almost afraid that she was seeing things again, positive that her fingers would pass through it like smoke, or that it would come alive in her hands and say something in her mother's voice.

It didn't. The white clay was smooth under her fingers, except for the crack, the one that split one eyebrow, passed over the bridge of his nose, and crossed under his right eye. Sofie traced that crack, admiring how neatly it had broken in two. She wanted to know why it was broken, who broke it.

Ben Hawkins was never someone Sofie fully understood. He had a story, everyone has a story, but Sofie always figured that Ben's story was not his to tell. It probably still isn't. But this mask was a part of it, his story. Sofie knew that, but it only raised more questions.

Carefully, she picked it up, trying to get a better look at it in the features, to make sure it was really Ben and not just a trick of the light. It wasn't.

She could hear quiet footsteps approaching, and something told her that she should just put the mask away. She should pretend that nothing had happened.

She didn't. It wasn't as if she had done anything wrong.

Fortunately, it was Brother Justin, and not the other man, Stroud, or even Iris. Brother Justin was the only person she felt safe around, the only one she could talk to, despite Iris' attempts.

"How are you, my dear," he said with a smile, one that surprisingly enough, made Sofie feel uncomfortable. The uncertainty came flooding back, but at this point it was too late, she was still holding the mask.

"What are you doing with this," she asked quietly. Something twisted in her stomach, discomfort and nervousness.

Brother Justin's eyes darkened, almost turning black. He was still Brother Justin, still the same gentle man with the good heart, but there was something different about him. something accusing. "You know him, don't you," he said, voice surprisingly low. Sofie resisted the urge to fidget.

"Yes," she replied, unable to meet his eyes. She stared at the floor instead, inspecting her bare feet.

"Who is he," Brother Justin asked. He was standing close to her now, she could feel his eyes boring into her.

She opened her mouth to tell the truth, that Ben was someone she had cared about, maybe even loved, that Ben was the only person in the carnival that had ever truly understood her. That he was the only person she was sorry to leave behind.

But something stopped her, caught the words before they left her mouth. It would be a betrayal on some level to tell Brother Justin about Ben. She didn't know why, but she knew that.

"He's no one," she said, the lie tasting bitter on her tongue. "I didn't even know him that well."

Justin nodded, a mild frown creasing his face. Sofie tensed for a moment, sure that he could tell, that she was lying. But Brother Justin just said, "Good. He is dangerous. I would hate for you to be involved with someone like him."

He was smiling again, and Sofie smiled back. She wasn't sure she completely believed what he was saying, but she believed that he believed it, and that was enough. Carefully, she placed the mask back into the drawer and slid it gently closed. "I have to go check on Reverend Balthus," she murmured and walked away, without another glance at Brother Justin or the drawer. Something's wrong, she thought. And Ben's involved.

Sofie wasn't sure how she felt about that.

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