sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
Sholio ([personal profile] sholio) wrote2011-04-29 01:08 pm
Entry tags:

Three Weeks for DW: Original fic commentfest!

In the vein of the other commentfests going on for [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw, I wanted to try my own hand at hosting one. :) And no one seems to be running one just for original (i.e. non-fannish) fic, so ... let's try it!

Prompts:

- Prompts should include a character or characters, and a prompt or situation. For example: A robot, a ghost, and a werewolf walk into a bar or Two dogs discussing their owners or Kady, a female astronaut: "There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio"

- When leaving prompts, you can use completely generic characters ("two guys on a bus"), supply details about them ("Jimmy Wu, a young Marine from Kentucky who just got married") or use original characters that you've already created (as long as you're okay with other people writing about them).

- You can either post your fill as a comment to the prompt, or post it in your own journal and link to it. Please put your title, rating, and any warnings in the subject line.

- Any subject matter and rating is fine, but please include a rating for your story (using any rating system you like) and, at your own discretion, it would be appreciated if you'd label for commonly triggery/disturbing subject matter, such as character death and non-consensual sex. (If you don't wish to spoil the story, you can also use a generic label such as "Dark" or "Contains potentially triggering content".) This is not required, but would be appreciated as a courtesy.

- Prompts may be filled more than once, and you can also fill your own prompts.

- Prompt fills should be posted only at DW for three weeks from the date you post it, as described here, and then can be posted anywhere.

Questions? Feel free to ask! I haven't tried something like this before, so I'm totally open to suggestions and comments. :)
trobadora: (be cute and exit)

[personal profile] trobadora 2011-04-29 10:00 pm (UTC)(link)
My question: How are you so awesome? :D

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kriadydragon: (Doctor 4)

The Fun of intergalactic Language Barriers (G)

[personal profile] kriadydragon 2011-04-30 03:10 am (UTC)(link)
It took the pressing of several buttons, the shifting of four gears-sticks and application to the forward and vertical breaks to get the hover truck to make a gentle decent. Even for a Bardasian that was a feat, and Viscreel and been blessed with six upper limbs rather than his family's hereditary four. By the Seven Saints of Mik'th, he couldn't even begin to imagine how the two-legged fleshies managed it.

Speak of the z'virk devils, it looked like it was a two-legged fleshy he was picking up - soft on the outside, skeleton on the inside, but one of the pink Earth fleshies instead of the blue fleshies that know one knew where they came from. Thank the Saints. It would have been all kinds of awkward stopping for a blue one. Hard to say no to a blue one. Sometimes they were okay with it, sometimes they jumped at you and tore you limb from limb if they were in mating season.

The hover truck kicked up a spray of fine red Mars dust as it coasted gently over the ground toward the hitchhiker. By the time the truck arrived, the dust had settled enough not to spray the Earth fleshy - barth'ck, Viscreel was good! He flipped the red switch and the passenger door hissed open.

The fleshy clamored inside, encumbered by it's bulky oxygen pack. If a planet had sentience like the Ers'xxth of Rck'th believed, then Mars had been a spoiled child about Earth fleshies' attempts to teraform it. The atmosphere was so-so, enough for Viscreel's kind to breathe easily while the fleshy's kind required breathing masks.

Viscreel's fleshy passenger settled itself - herself according to her pheromone scent - with the bulky pack in her lap.

"Thks," she said.

Viscreel blinked his multi-faceted eyes at her. "Eh?"

"I's thk."

"Eh?"

"I. Said. Thanks."

"Oh! Why'c did int youa sayth stho?"

"Wht?"

"Why. Di-d. Not. You... ne-ever. Mi-ind."

The fleshy just shrugged, thank goodness. By the saints, fleshy words were hard to understand, let alone say, always putting a cramp in Viscreel's probiscis. One of these days he was going to have to stop being so stingy and buy a translator.

"Wa-are. Tu-oo?" Viscreel enunciated as carefully as he could.

"Wrusit-ee."

"Eh?"

"Waru sit-ee."

"Ah. O-kay."

They sat in silence, the female fleshy doing something to the short red mess of fur on the top of her head, making it even more messy. Viscreel supposed it must be the latest style with female fleshies. Personally, Viscreel didn't get the appeal of doing anything with it. Fur was so weird.

Viscreel clicked on his music player and the soothing shrieks and trills of Vaca M'ree filled the cab. It was a short lived pleasure when the fleshy cringed, hands over her ears. Viscreel did the polite thing and turned the music off. It was a sin to ignore a guest's needs.

"S'reee," he said.

"Um... what?"

"Su-aw-ree?"

The fleshies fur over her eyes lifted. "Oh. S'kay." She then pulled something from the pocket of her pack, one of those human music rectangles with the nubs that they put in their ears.

Bardasian hearing was three times that of a fleshy's and, by the Saints, why did the fleshies think their caterwauling could be called music?

Okay, not really fair considering how fleshies handled Bardasian music. Fair play and all that.

They reached Waru City in an hour, passing through the long tunnel into the crater like a nest of high-rises and transport tubs. He left the fleshy at the nearest transport tube station. They didn't try to say anything. It was for the best. Viscreel moved on to the nearest diner, one that just happened to be having a special on Fekooshin beetles - his favorite.

His waitress was a red-skinned Geloshian, their language even worse than the fleshies', and it was an hour and a half before Viscreel was brought the correct Meal.

Next supply run, he was getting a translator.
black_raven: (Default)

[personal profile] black_raven 2011-04-29 09:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I am Sharpes_Hussy from LJ and have friended you..........
:-)
although I am poor at prompts, although can always dream up WHUMP scenarios which involve Sheppard.....
>:-)
pitseleh: i've had this icon for over seven years. (ugh.)

[personal profile] pitseleh 2011-04-29 09:55 pm (UTC)(link)
This sounds fun; why not.

Anything with worldbuilding or taking place in a secondary world. Have them doing something that they would think perfectly normal, but would be less familiar to the reader.

(G)

[personal profile] pippin 2011-04-30 05:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Aphes likes to consider before she writes anything with the good stuff. A poem comes to mind -- her mother's favourite. She dips her pen into the pot of royal blue ink and begins to write out the poem on her left arm. There is no need to rush today, so she practices her calligraphy.

Her lines are still a little squiggly -- but no one will know. By the time she dips the pen back into the ink, the words are disappearing. One by one, the letters inelegantly drawn on her skin fade away. She feels the ink seeping into her veins and capillaries. The geasa and spirits trapped within her body murmur.

She knows that she doesn't have to be so careful or exact with her inking. Most of her friends write the same things every morning. But Aphes likes to think that she can differentiate between the different sounds the geasa and spirits make. She likes to think that they make happy and appreciative sounds when she feeds them something new, especially with the good ink. Aphes can't afford it very often. Most of her friends don't think the geasa spirits notice any difference.

Aphes only gets through half the poem before her geasa and spirits become quiet again. She writes one last thing -- her command and obligation memorials -- and then puts away her ink and pen.
Edited 2011-04-30 17:24 (UTC)

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"hearth" (PG)

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pitseleh: cowboy beep boop. (movies = potc + god loves you.)

[personal profile] pitseleh 2011-04-29 09:56 pm (UTC)(link)
The problems inherent in being a wizard. Said wizard character explains this to however many other characters you like while gardening.
kriadydragon: (Default)

Somone Has To (G)

[personal profile] kriadydragon 2011-04-29 11:05 pm (UTC)(link)
"It's the assumptions, you see," Glendow said, fingers half buried in the soil. He had a trowel and a spade but nothing beat the feel of cool, soft soil on your hands. "That anything you want is yours with only the snap of your fingers." Some could accuse him of being a whimsical sort, under the impression that to touch soil was to be one with nature. Absolute rubbish, of course. It really was the feel he liked.

"Isn't it?" the young reporter asked. Or was he an apprentice doing a report? Glendow was hounded by both too often to keep them straight.

"Course not," Glendow said, and didn't care if there was a bit of bite to the words. He took a bulb from his basket, plopped it into the hole and covered it. "We've got rules, we've got regulations. We're not bleeding gods. We might know a trick or two for bringing some poor dying sap back from the brink of the grave but do it wrong and it's the bleeding zombie incursion of eighty-six all over again."

The young reporter/apprentice shuddered then jotted something down in his little notebook; maybe a word for word quote, maybe an embellishment. Definitely an embellishment. Reporters/apprentices loved embellishments. It made their subject matter more grand and important than it really was.

"Magic isn't instant gratification," Glendow pressed on. "I do enjoy lighting a candle with only a word, but that's a candle." He pulled away dirt and was about to plop another bulb in when he suddenly found it fascinating.

"Take this bulb," he said. "I drop it in the ground, and with a word I could have it fully grown in two seconds. It would be bright and lovely and heartbreaking to behold. Then two seconds later, it'd be dead. It's why you don't see wizards cheat at the annual Spring Solstice Flower Judging. Too many witnesses and not enough time."

The reporter/apprentice jotted it down, probably with embellishments.

"But people, they don't understand that," Glendow said, still studying the bulb. "They can't wrap their heads around why a wizard can't simply march up to that sorcerer or that dark lord and smite him where he stands. And they get all snotty about it, doubting and accusing and plain not listening only to go sniveling back when the sorcerer or dark lord defeats their army again."

"Then why do it at all, sir?" the young man asked. "The magic and fighting dark lords and bringing folk back from the brink?"

Glendow dropped the bulb into the hole. "Because someone has to." And covered it with cool, soft soil.

The End

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kriadydragon: (Default)

[personal profile] kriadydragon 2011-04-29 09:57 pm (UTC)(link)
A dragon with a thing for cars and, uh-oh, one of his cars just got boosted.

Re: The Lamborghini Affair, G

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dragonscrawl: (Default)

Watch Exposure, G

[personal profile] dragonscrawl 2011-04-30 10:37 pm (UTC)(link)
His hand jerked back, as if the watch had physically burned him. How strange, I thought, even as the metal of the watch warmed from my own body heat. It wasn’t as if there was any way for the watch to have actually burned him, unless...

Cautiously, frightened of my own guess as to why Chris had reacted as he had, I asked, “What’s wrong?”

As I watched, the faint strain on his young face vanished. I wondered if he’d done so on purpose, if he’d only just realized the expression he’d worn after the shock of picking up more than he’d thought from my watch. With a mental shake, I dismissed the idea. I was wrong about Chris; he didn’t pick up anything out of the ordinary from my watch. He couldn’t have power like that, power that had to be bound for everyone’s safety.

“Nothing,” Chris said quickly. For a moment, I relaxed, feeling sure that I really had been mistaken. Then he added, “But he broke your heart when he left.”

My hand closed tightly over the watch. I’d never told anyone about how I’d ended up with the watch. There was no way for Chris to have learned about it other than to have read the part of my past that was bound up in the watch in that oh so brief moment when he’d touched it. Which meant he did have psychic abilities and that he’d have to go into bound service for everyone’s good.

I slipped the watch into her pocket. “You should go home.” I couldn’t tell him what I was about to do, since it would mean being torn away from his family. He’d survive, of that I was sure, because he had always seemed able to bounce back from the things life had thrown in his way. “It’s getting late, and your parents will worry.”

He looked at me silently. There was something uncomfortable about the look in his eyes that made me unable to look directly at him. He didn’t say anything to me before he left, hands firmly in his pockets as if to avoid contact with anything else.

The nearest Center wasn’t close enough that I could just go there to report Chris’ abilities in person. Nothing stopped me from placing a phone call. By the time I had gotten through to the Center, I had made my peace with what I was doing. Better Chris be somewhere that could keep him from turning his abilities to things that would harm others than from staying here. After all, there was nothing stopping Chris from developing more abilities that the one I had witnessed, some of which could easily turn deadly.

“Yes,” I said once I had another human voice on the other end of the line, “I’d like to report a rogue psychic.”

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"traces"

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pitseleh: cowboy beep boop. (comic = bats + he's batman.)

[personal profile] pitseleh 2011-04-29 09:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Heists always go better when there aren't dragons around to complicate things.
ailelie: (Default)

Book of All Hours (SFW)

[personal profile] ailelie 2011-05-01 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
"You didn't think to mention this before now?" Reuben asked, barely shutting the vault doors in time to avoid the stream of air-blurring fire emitted toward his person.

Finn scratched at his, leaving a smudge of soot. "I didn't think it'd be important. 'Sides, Leslie's always had a deft hand with the lizards."

"Well, Leslie decided to take a holiday." Reuben rubbed his temples, flashes of their plan, the target, and giant, fire-breathing guardian sparking in his mind. "All right. Obviously. We need a new plan." He tapped the scry stone he wore as an earring.

Twyla's presence bloomed in his head like ink through water. Trouble?

Of the draconian nature, he confirmed. "What kind of lizard was it?"

Finn looked down. He picked at a loose thread, and then sighed. "Draconis regis."

Reuben closed his eyes and relayed that to Twyla. One of the smart ones, Twyla said. You'll need a light and clever soul good with riddles and music.

Let me guess, like Leslie? Dear Finn didn't think the information important when he brought us the opportunity due to her talents.

Les would be best, but I bet you Piper could do it, too.

Reuben laughed, defeated. Get Hank to port her here immediately. Use the scry as a landing point. Reuben broke contact with his stone and settled back against the wall. "We need to talk."

Finn stopped fidgeting with shirt hem. "I thought Leslie'd be here."

"Not about that. Dragons aren't common security anymore. Too costly. Especially the intelligent ones. You can only afford those if you've got something a bit more important than money needing guarded." Finn scratched at his neck again, this time hard enough to leave marks. "Why're we really here?" Reuben asked.

Finn fidgeted, but then finally met Reuben's eyes. "It's just a book," he said, a little desperately.

Reuben groaned. There wasn't a book made that wasn't the source or end of some trouble. "What's it called?"

"Um, the, um." He tugged on shirt threads again. "The Book of All Hours?"

Piper arrived a moment later in a shimmer of light. "Boss, you okay?" she asked.

Reuben choked back his laughter. He gestured to Finn. "This idiot wants us to steal the Book of All Hours."

"The...?" Piper trailed off, clearly confused. Reuben forgot sometimes how young she was, especially since she looked at least twice his own age.

"Ask Twyla," he said, sobering. "She'll tell you." While Piper dutifully tapped her scry stone, Reuben pushed off the wall and kicked Finn's leg. "You best be glad Leslie's not here. She'd have killed you."

Finn rubbed his calf with his other foot. "I know."

Reuben once again rubbed at his head, trying to formulate a new plan. "Why?" he asked.

"A disaster is coming," Finn said. "Cataclysmic." His voice sounded more even and confident. "Seers and prophecy are certain of that much, but no one can figure out the specifics. We've looked everywhere."

"Hence the Book. Kingdoms have warred over--"

"I know," Finn interrupted, looking immediately contrite. "Sorry, but I know. That's why it has to be stolen."

"Of course."

Rue, you can't seriously be considering this! Twyla's voice pounded against him like a headache. He touched his scry, lessening the pain somewhat, but not completely. Twyla was too angry to grant him that.

This is our only chance this month to steal it. Besides, don't you remember the blessed jewelry? We have a buyer we can't be disappointing. Reuben turned to Piper. "You know what to do?"

Piper smiled, the corners of her eyes crinkling. "I've got the gist."

"Fantastic." Reuben held his hand near the stone of the vault doors. They were warm, like they'd been out in sunlight all day, but no longer hot. Opening the doors was easier this time, the stone more amenable to his commands.

Piper, already humming a jaunty song from her people's custom, was first through the door. The lack of screams or flames clued Reuben in that it was his and Finn's turn to get their job done. He motioned to Finn, and they slipped through the doors.

Re: Book of All Hours (SFW)

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kriadydragon: (Default)

[personal profile] kriadydragon 2011-04-29 09:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Gentlemen werewolf in the age of steam and intellect.
sashataakheru: (Default)

The Lunar Society, FRT/gen?

[personal profile] sashataakheru 2011-04-30 03:50 am (UTC)(link)
Based on the rl historical Lunar Society that I have become quite enamoured with. I may have borrowed the Georgian steampunk 'verse (and Cassius) I wrote for last year's NaNo for this as well.

---

They were known as the Lunar Society because they met every month under the full moon. As the leading scientists and thinkers of the time, everyone just assumed they were meeting to debate science and religion, and that the full moon merely leant them enough light to get home at night.

It was a very useful cover, as no one really knew what they really did. Their group was no more than thirteen, and they met at various locations around Birmingham before the moonrise. They would prepare with a feast and a ritual they'd created some time ago that seemed to put them into the right frame of mind for transformation. They were very careful to cover their tracks, as if it ever got out that there were werewolves amongst them, they would be run out of town faster than Dissenters.

Lord Cassius Hansen, third Baron Albion, was one of the founding members. He'd been a werewolf as long as he could remember, and it seemed every Baron was inflicted with the curse upon inheriting the title. It didn't particularly matter, though. He was a great magician and a scientist and he prided himself in how well he could control the wolf inside him. He had never killed a human, only errant sheep and anything else he needed to survive. He was a wolf, after all, not a savage mindless killer. He had done his best to instill these same attributes in the rest of the Lunar Society. They were all respectable gentleman after all, and it would do no good if they went about killing people just because they were werewolves.

In his initial experiments in controlling the wolf when transformed, he was surprised at how civil the beast was. All the lore talked of mindless vicious killers, but the beast had proved to be nothing of the sort. Their minds were often present together, even when not transformed, and together, Lord Albion found they worked very well, and borrowing the wolf's senses did make it easier to get home safe again after their monthly meetings.

The Lunar Society never admitted anyone who was not a werewolf. This was to preserve their secret. They had some American werewolves over, and they had gone to London to visit the Royal Society to hear some of the latest scientific discoveries. They all had an eminently grand time, and there were many discussions at the pubs later as they debated the significance of what they'd heard.

He had encouraged the other members to experiment with this as well, and when they transformed, they didn't always run off around the countryside looking for things to kill. Why, sometimes they sat about the fire as a sheep carcass roasted above the flames, and they talked about the nature of the universe. Sure, they ate with their mouths and made a bit of a mess everywhere, but they were wolves, after all. Table manners were a little harder to keep to when you couldn't hold cutlery in your paws.

That they could even talk had been a remarkable discovery, too. It certainly made things much more interesting, as of course if you could talk, then you were of course perfectly human. The sight of a group of werewolves sitting around a fireplace talking about religion was a strange sight, but they didn't care. If anyone annoyed them, well, they were werewolves after all...

(G)

[personal profile] pippin 2011-04-30 06:28 pm (UTC)(link)
When none of the regulars from the Flying Laser-Mounted Velociraptors Division are in by nine, Elisabeth starts passing the envelopes around.

Re: (G)

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pitseleh: cowboy beep boop. (comic = bats + candlejack!)

[personal profile] pitseleh 2011-04-29 10:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Dragons gossip behind the mountain about princes they've eaten.
lunabee34: (Default)

[personal profile] lunabee34 2011-04-30 04:20 am (UTC)(link)
This isn't a novella by Ursula K. Le Guin. Nobody leaves her baby face up in the sun to die of heat stroke. All the children have shoes. There is no Earth That Was in this story, only Earth That Is and Earth That Sends and everybody's read those old tales anyway. They are wise and to be heeded and as true as the prince who turns beastly and must wed a maiden fair who loves him despite his horns and his tail.

Emma forgets what true gravity feels like. She forgets what the sunset does to water, gilding it gold and blooding it red as the stars wink in overhead. Her childhood is recycled air and cold starshine refracted through portholes. It is plastic. It is small. It is safe.

When they touch dirt, Emma cannot bear the smell of growing things--all the wild fertility of this new world disagrees with her. It is green and virulent and her nose runs and runs. Many people are sick, coughing and wheezing, eyes watering. Some of the babies die. Some of the old people die. Emma does not die.

She hears the grownups talking in her mother's tent late at night. This world is not what was expected. This world is not what Marni signed up for, nor Mirri nor Jertu nor Timothy nor Ben.

This world is green and loud and overwhelming, and they have no place else to go--just time to bide, years to wait.

Emma snuggles down into her bedding and clutches her stuffed almost-bear tightly. She coughs into her pillow and coughs into her pillow, and when finally the ships come, Emma is so old that she cannot remember a time when this world was not in her lungs, when she did not cough at the green and hack away at the air's thickness.

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kayim: (BSG: Kara & Sam Tattoos)

Honeymoon, G

[personal profile] kayim 2011-05-01 07:29 am (UTC)(link)
"Are you sure, honey?" Jareth isn't quite as convinced as his new wife about her choice of honeymoon destinations. They're limited to only a single time and place – something that he is constantly embarrassed about, despite her protestations that she doesn't mind – and he's left it to her to make the decision when and where. "I can afford a little further back than that if you prefer."

Shanen shakes her head and leans over to kiss her husband on the cheek. "I know you can, but this is when I want to go. It'll be perfect."

Even before this, Jareth was incapable of saying No to her, so how could he refuse her request now? He looks at her beautiful blue eyes and the hope that shines in them and knows he is lost. "I'll book it tonight," he tells her, watching as her face lights up. "We can go in the morning."

*

They can't take anything with them – their chronotags have only recently been upgraded to the Mark II, which means they're lucky they can even wear clothes to jump – but they aren't planning on staying long, so it doesn't matter.

It's no longer strictly necessary for them to hold hands when they jump as the Mark II 'tags are linked together, but they like to. Jareth smiles one more time at Shanen before activating the jump and they are both flung into the timestream.

Colours and sounds swirl around them, so loud and bright that they can barely distinguish one from another. Some people grow to enjoy the chaos of a jump, but neither of the newlyweds have jumped enough for the familiarity to sink in. Instead, they cling to each other, eyes pressed closed against the barrage of light, and wait.

*

The landing is more gentle than it could have been. Shanen stays on her feet and Jareth only stumbles a little. They may not be experts at jumping, but they prepared themselves enough that they won't make fools of themselves.

They look around, regaining their bearings and reassuring themselves that they are in the right place. It's early in the afternoon and they are in the middle of a courtyard. They both recognise where they are but it's Shanen who breaks the silence first.

"It's just like I remembered it." Her voice is filled with so much love that Jareth accepts that this was the right destination choice.

He looks at his watch. "It's almost time," he tells her. "You'll be here any minute."

There's a group of tall trees off to one side of the courtyard which will provide them a perfect viewpoint without allowing them to be seen. Still holding hands – no longer due to a fear of being separated in the timestream – they tuck themselves close together to watch.

"Here you come," Jareth whispers.

From the East side of the courtyard, Shanen walks towards the wooden bench and sits down. This isn't the Shanen who is crouched behind a tree with her husband, but a younger Shanen, in the middle of her college education, seeking a break from her studies. Her hair is longer than it is now and Jareth recalls how much he used to love wrapping his fingers into it.

"Maybe I should grow my hair again."

"I love it as it is now," Jareth replies, planting a soft kiss on her temple. "But shhhhh."

Shanen is reading through one of her text books – something on Quantum Anthropology, if she remembers correctly – and doesn't notice Jareth walking towards her. From behind the tree, they can just make out his words as he asks to sit next to her, but they can't hear her reply. It doesn't matter though, they both recall the conversation clearly.

"You tried to impress me with your knowledge of the Bourne Field Studies that had just been published, but you got all of it wrong."

"I had no idea what I was talking about," Jareth confesses now. "But you were impressed anyway."

For ten more minutes, the newlyweds watch as their younger selves begin their journey together, getting to know each other, learning how perfectly in tune they were, until the chronotags gave a soft beep.

"Time to go, sweetheart."

"Just one more moment," Shanen begs. "It's almost time."

Jareth glances at his 'tag. He can't afford much more time, but Shanen is right, as always. They can't leave yet.

On the bench, Shanen finally lays down her textbook, as Jareth scoots closer. Behind the tree, Jareth feels his wife hold her breath, waiting just as patiently as she had the first time.

As they kiss for the first time, Jareth and Shanen kiss for the hundredth time, just as sweetly as that first one had been.

"I've always loved you, Jareth."

"And I you, my Shanen."

They hold hands once more and return back to their new lives together.

Re: Honeymoon, G

[personal profile] ailelie - 2011-05-01 14:49 (UTC) - Expand
pitseleh: cowboy beep boop. (comics = ironman + furry friends)

This is a bit rambly and I never quite got into space. PG at best?

[personal profile] pitseleh 2011-04-30 01:40 am (UTC)(link)
He kept a deerstalker cap on at all times to hide his ears. Seeing as he was at least seven foot and pale as milk and hair as bright as buttercups, it didn't really work. Still, Gnothil had to hand it to him. The kid had spunk. Not a lot of elves came to this part of town.

He had been standing in the produce isle for long enough that Gnothil had turned back to her magazine, mouthing an article about the pros and cons of mithrilade hover-boards over humanish ones. Apparently dwarvish boards were faster, but human riders had a more difficult time with them. Gnothil figured she could probably manage to rework a dwarvish board to fit her frame, but--

"Excuse me, miss?"

Oh Eloai, the elf is talking now.

Have you ever heard an elf talk? How they manage to form words is beyond Gnothil. It's not that they have thick accents, since Humanish is derived from Elvish anyway, so the vowels all come from the same place anyway. It's that their voices sound like songbirds and the falling spring rain if they aren't careful. This jackass, whoever he was, obviously doesn't talk to humans very often. His voice barely sounded like a voice at all. It just sounded like a Friday.

Gnothil can barely make out the words.

The elf says something like: "Hello. I was wondering if you have any organic tomatoes that are perhaps easily freeze-dried? I am looking due to the fact that I require them as I have a launch date in the nearer future."

Yeah, this guy had spoken in Humanish maybe three times before, maximum. Obviously he knew the language, but he was having trouble wrapping his head around the syntax. Some folks, having never seen anything so unearthly and beautiful as an elf, get all tongue-tied and shit. Gnothil has worked with them in the Pheanth Foreign Legion during the last war. If there's anything that'll rattle that whole elfin perfection bullshit, it's seeing ones get her stomach torn open by a plasma cannon.

Gnothil shakes her head. She doesn't like to think about Eoliael, these days.

"Uh, what?" Gnothil says. "The one in the third isle are organic and come freeze-dried. We get a bunch of spelunkers in this quarter."

Elfin smiles are like a tun of bricks to the face, if those bricks are made out of endorphins and prozeral. This guy beams. Kittens and fucking rainbows. "I know! That is why I came here originally."

Asking direct questions (like, where are the fucking freeze-dried tomatoes, lady? Like an elf'd ever lower themselves to swearing, though) is considered rude in elfin culture. Gnothil resists the urge to roll her eyes. The elf just keeps beaming and thanks her in high Elvish (chock full of vowels like you wouldn't believe) and wanders off to buy his fucking tomatoes. Gnothil goes back to her magazine.

Gnothil thinks she could rework a mithrilade board to fit her frame. She'd have to buy some stronger engines...
Edited (I KEEP NOTICING MISTAKES SORRY.) 2011-04-30 01:52 (UTC)

(G)

[personal profile] pippin - 2011-05-01 05:02 (UTC) - Expand

Again for the Second Time (PG for swearing)

[personal profile] linziday 2011-04-30 04:19 am (UTC)(link)
Jay grabbed her arm. "Look, just wait a minute. I thought—"

She whirled, wrenching her arm free. "Stop it," she hissed, eyes darting furtively to the coffee house patrons around them. "Stop it, stop it, STOP. IT."

Jay stumbled back, eyes wide. Crap. He didn't... he wouldn't... Christ! He'd seen enough Afterschool Specials to know what girls thought when strange guys grabbed them and demanded to talk, even if it was in the middle of a crowded Bean Me Up college cafe at 2 in the afternoon.

"I'm- I'm sorry," Jay stammered. He swiped his travel mug from the service counter beside them and turned toward the door.

But he couldn't make himself move.

Couldn't make himself walk away from her.

Jay took a deep breath and turned back. Apologies and half-formed explanations and bad pickup lines flitted through his head. *I'm sorry but you look so familiar. Have we met before? Maybe it's fate. Ha, ha.*

He didn't get the chance.

"We can't do this. Not this time," she said, her voice low and furious and quivering just the slightest bit. "You don't remember and I'm not... I'm not going to get into this. It wasn't exactly *fun* for me, okay? The end wasn't... I'm not doing that again. Not this time. I need a break."

Her eyes flicked to his and for a split second he felt it again, the same electricity that ran up his spine when they'd seen each other in line.

She pulled her eyes away and threw her coffee — still steaming — into the trash. The tingle lasted right up until she walked out the door.

"oh death"

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Re: "oh death"

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Re: "oh death"

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Re: "oh death"

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Allie's Secrets; PG-13

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kriadydragon: (Default)

[personal profile] kriadydragon 2011-04-30 01:08 am (UTC)(link)
Okay, I'm kind of combining this one with your above request for a fantasy world in future times.

----------------------

"Oh you have got to be kidding me," Krissa said, ripping both hands through her black thatch of spiky hair. "You have got to be flippin' kidding me! A half dragon!"

Lyle shrugged his bared, flesh-colored shoulders, rustling his midnight blue wings. Not just wings, but also a tail twitching nervously from where it was coiled on the bed. He looked abashed, even a little scared, but right now, it wasn't doing squat to cool Krissa's temper.

"Why the hell didn't you tell me!" Krissa snapped, and took small pleasure in the way Lyle flinched. She wasn't usually the type of captain who enjoyed watching her crew squirm, but when it came to her crew keeping vital information from her, then she would make them squirm until they were a writhing pile of flesh and bone on the floor.

One of her crew being a half-dragon was vital information.

"I'm sorry, Okay?" Lyle said lamely. "But - I just - I didn't know how you'd, you know, take it</>." He looked up at her, half-cringing, half-imploring. "You know?"

And, okay, Krissa couldn't argue that. Not really. Not entirely. Times may have changed but views on dragon-kind, for the most part, haven't. Sure you had your human/dragon colonies on planets like Axiam and Saturn Two that've worked out pretty well thus far, but you also had your dragon slayers, wanna-be star knights with something to prove, and the more ancient races still baring a couple of grudges. Races like Elves, three of which who happened to share space with Lyle.

Krissa huffed a frustrated breath, still annoyed but now because Lyle had put her in a bad spot. She hated secrets, but neither could she fault Lyle for keeping this one. She also couldn't stop herself from being mildly impressed. Lyle had hid his lineage well, his wings strapped down tight against his body using a complicated harness, his tail wrapped around his waist, and all of it kept out of sight using layers of clothes and a long-coat, making the kid look bigger than he actually was. Had Lyle not passed out forcing Krissa to carry him to his cabin to rest, she might have never found out.

Without his coat and clothes, dressed in only his trousers, Lyle looked helpless and pathetic. He was a lean kid, but lean going on skinny. Not a surprise with the rations cut down to mostly vegetables. Dragons needed meat to survive, even half-human, half-dragons.

"I don't like secrets, Lyle," Krissa said coolly.

Lyle seemed to shrink into himself, not contrite but resigned to his fate.

"I know," he said quietly.

Krissa rolled her eyes. "But, considering the circumstances, I'll let this one slide. But just this one."

It was like flipping a switch, Lyle perking up, sitting up and fanning his wings a little. Krissa half-expected him to start wagging his tail. Lords, he was such a pup!

"It's also to stay between us. If Elium, Alsum and Jya find out, they won't hesitate to skin you alive."

Lyle gave a sickly laugh. "Yeah, kind of par for the course between me and elves."

Krissa chuffed and shook her head. It was a good thing she liked the kid, and wasn't the kind of captain to boot someone off just because of what species they were, or Lyle would have been hauled by his tail to the nearest escape pod. DNA didn't matter. The kind of being they were did, and Lyle had risked his life three times, now, having their backs.

Krissa handed Lyle his harness. "Get dressed," she said. She didn't like that he would have to continue to hide - his secret wouldn't last forever - but they would cross that space gate when they came to it. For now, for Lyle's own safety, his lineage would have to stay hidden.

"we'll be making planet fall in ten," she said. "Titan 4. They have a really mean steak buffet in Titan city, and I want you packed with meat until you can't take it anymore."

Lyle stiffened his spine and saluted her. "Yes, ma'am."

Krissa rolled her eyes and shook her head for the second time. Lords, the people she hired for her crew...

The End

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[personal profile] kriadydragon - 2011-04-30 03:36 (UTC) - Expand
kriadydragon: (Doctor 4)

[personal profile] kriadydragon 2011-04-30 01:13 am (UTC)(link)
A secret society you would least suspect would actually manage to take over the world.
snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)

[personal profile] snowynight 2011-04-30 04:23 am (UTC)(link)
Listen.

Every wonder why so many people put up films of their embarrassment on America's Funniest Video? Just because of the scanty chance of prize money?

Wrong.

If you reverse the videoes and watched them with a certain pair of lens, you would see sublime messages recorded in them. AFV was just a tool to let them mind control the states.

And now they find something better.

You Tube.

Have you watched your You Tube video today?

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writerjc: (Default)

[personal profile] writerjc 2011-04-30 03:35 am (UTC)(link)
A pair of glasses with a past. No one who finds them is ever able to keep them for long.

G

[personal profile] pippin 2011-04-30 04:53 pm (UTC)(link)
You see things you shouldn't see.

Which is not to say that you see things that aren't really there. They are really there. They are always really there.

And they are always -- always -- angry when you see them.

Re: G

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Re: G

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Re: G

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snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)

[personal profile] snowynight 2011-04-30 04:18 am (UTC)(link)
A vampire and an android walk a post-apocalyptic world
ailelie: (Default)

Just an average day (safe-for-work)

[personal profile] ailelie 2011-04-30 11:03 pm (UTC)(link)
"Just hold still a second." Greg blew out the sand from Ava's circuitry and tried again to re-attach her nerve endings. "Why'd they make you able to feel anyway?"

She looked back at him, her neck twisting like an owl's. "Efficiency. Instead of programming me with every possible danger, they gave me the ability to identify danger. For that, all modes of sensory input are necessary."

"Got it." He reattached the circuit and Ava sighed. He closed the panel in her back. A fairy wing tattoo on her back hid the seams perfectly.

"Also, some humans preferred artificial company and desired a mate who could process stimuli and produce the correct reactions." Ava pulled her dress back up over her shoulders.

"Sick."

"Did you never engage in physical intimacy with humans?" she asked.

"Yeah, but leastwise I was human once." He coughed. Damn dust. He hated the feeling of his in his throat and chest; it made him think of that 1990s TV show with the vampires and the big poofs of dust when they died. He wasn't ready to die yet.

"You need sustenance."

"No shit."

Ava tilted her head. With her eyes closed and lips pulled in an almost smile she looked like she was remembering a favorite song. "There are rabbits near here. I could catch some for you." She was gone as soon as he nodded.

It was embarrassing using an android to do his chores like humans used to, but his strength was barely enough to travel each night. Besides, he kept Ava operational. He earned his keep.

They found a town by sunrise. The dust was less thick there; the humans had put up a good fight at least. Ava scanned the houses finding one with a basement for him. Before she used to tell him about the houses and towns; who'd lived there and how long they'd managed to survive. He told her he didn't care. Unless there was something for him to eat, he didn't care.

Gregory made a nest of pillows and blankets in the selected basement, waiting for the usual lethargy to claim him.

Ava waited outside, basking in the large, red sun. She bunched her dress beneath her head, spread out on the long-dead lawn, and soaked up the sun.

[personal profile] linziday 2011-04-30 04:20 am (UTC)(link)
A society starts.
kriadydragon: (Default)

You can't Top Free (G)

[personal profile] kriadydragon 2011-04-30 09:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Jimb didn't think anyone was taking this seriously. Correction, he knew for a fact no one was taking this seriously because the Earth wimbles didn't take anything seriously, the tree dwarves hated the hill dwarves, the Gnims had the attention span of a gnat and the gnomes kept trying to build stuff out of other stuff.

None of them cared for things like peaceful coexistence, law and order, thou shalt not kill, steal, usurp authority from appointed electives and poke people in the eye. They simply wanted to be, and wanted to "be" right this second before any form of peace and order had a chance to be established.

But when the gnomes started throwing together catapults out of wood and chewing gum for the dwarves, Jimb had had enough. It was time to break out the big guns.

"Listen, listen everyone!" But of course, they weren't listening. "Listen! If you follow these rules..." he sighed. "Then free honey beer for everyone!"

The assembly erupted in cheers, the gnomes stopped building the catapults, and peace and order was established.

The End

[personal profile] slashedsilver 2011-04-30 04:26 am (UTC)(link)
Twisting time, and having to live with the consequences.
nathanialroyale: (Sad Angel)

[personal profile] nathanialroyale 2011-05-01 09:18 am (UTC)(link)
(Possible Trigger worthy?)

Maybe her mother did not deserve the peace, but Jay did, he deserved a childhood where he wasn’t going to be abused, where he would grow up loved. So many consequences, so many changes, James wasn’t an evil sadistic man like she had thought, like he had become. He had been pushed, shoved off the edge and fell into the abyss where his mind shattered made him into the cold heartless son of a bitch that ruled the deserts now. Mallie’s step father, the husband of her mother and the father of her brother, a man that though he was a vampire had been a good man until her mother sunk her claws into him.

If she made it so he knew it wasn’t his fault, if James knew the genocide of his people the Le'lis was not his fault would he gain back his sanity? Would he not be the man that would destroy his son for life? She had to take the chance; she had to try to help him become the man he was before, Emile Durand. A vampiric painter who had loved an Elven man but then had met a beautiful mysterious woman who told him she could win him a kingdom with his bare hands. And now he was broken and seething, and had defiled and destroyed. No, she would undo all of it, even though she knew the ironies.

If James was not the man he would become then Jay would not be the same boy, he would not be the brother she knew. He would be playful and lovely, not sarcastic and bitter; and there would be no reason for mother to sleep with that traveling actor. Nilec would not have the need or want to be with a man that did not hurt her and she would not sleep with Dor’hiss which would lead to ...

I won’t exist in this time line. But for Jay, for Emile, isn’t it worth that chance? I will be waiting for when I begin to fade, I will only exist until mother makes the choice not to sleep with my father, and then I will begin to fade from existence. Oh Jay, it’s worth it, if only to know that you will be happy, that you won’t be so angry, and maybe that you can love Joscelin when you two must marry. Bring peace between the two kingdoms and be happy... I never saw myself as an altruist, I’m pretty selfish actually, but I guess this is my one selfless act. And I won’t disappear immediately, so I’ll live with what I have done, until I cease to be.

[personal profile] slashedsilver 2011-04-30 04:27 am (UTC)(link)
Having to communicate entirely by touch.
smw: A woman sits at a typewriter, pages flying, a plug in the back of her awesomely big-curly hair. (Confuse)

[personal profile] smw 2011-05-02 01:05 am (UTC)(link)
(A strange response to an excellent prompt. I hope you don't mind it being something so science fictional!)

---

The oxygen readout on the top left of her goggles reads three hours, forty-five minutes, six seconds; ticking down. The rest is darkness.

Well, not the rest; but the phosphorescence of the planetoid's marine life is negligible. Currents that issue from the mouths of the caverns beneath are a cold whispering on her stomach and legs, and the heat the surface picked up from the sun during its three weeks pointed that direction is a steady pressure from above; these she ignores as she holds position, waiting for Man o’ War to show her the way to go. It comes a moment later: the heat and fizz of his touch on her left shoulder. She moves with strong sweeps of her arm in that direction, feeling the touch slide along her back, flicking playfully at the knob of her ankle before water eddies against her when he pulls ahead to scout. Besides leading her to their goal, he’ll also keep her from boiling in one of the hot spouts which the planetoid's core spits from time to time. She’s motivated to follow his lead.

Her hand-flipper brushes a solid object, lights flashing on the forward edge to warn her, and she stills, uncertain a moment; but Man o War’s touch sparks across her knuckles, so she takes hold of the protuberance – rock – and drags herself forward, breathing washes of canned air through her mask, deep, as if she can scent out their goal. You get a taste for it, once you've been in the business long enough. A bit like blood. A bit like watching a bank account filling up, up, up, and all the nice things you can do with that.

Even muffled by her helmet she recognizes the rain stick tilting sound it really makes, and she gasps excitement as she plunges her hand deep – yes, she knows the solid feel of them, their cold, the way the discs tumble against each other. It’s one of the old emp’s tax collector ships, and her hull all full of minted gold, knocked out of space by some pirates a century back who couldn’t keep straight where their prey ended up. Man o’ War must have already melted part of the hull to give her access; she tucks her head, conscious now of ragged, acid-blanched edges. She frees the recovery bag from its slot on her pack, shoveling in coins with the broad flat edge of the flipper, watching the contact warning lights flash off metal. It takes an hour, but at last the glints are dull, and she realizes she is scooping detritus now, not anything of value. With a grunt of irritation she paws closed the pack zip, cussing as always the clumsiness of the swim gear even though it’s barely a handicap now, and clips her harness onto the hook-up.

One button push, and the floodlights come on, burning energy fast but letting her manipulate the controls to back out of the hull without tearing the gold-bloated bag. She catches a glimpse of the galaxy ship she's raided, the CES who-the-hell-cares, so long as it can be burst open for all its valuable freight. Crashes like this were prime, and she gives Man o’ War a victory fistpump when she sees him trailing at the edge of the floods’ glare. He can’t see it, but it makes her feel the accomplishment. Free of the dead ship, really dead now that they've busted a hole in it, she palms the ascent, flicks off the floods, and enjoys the ride back up. It's calibrated so her lungs don't burst, and she appreciates that, feeling the aching pressure of deep sea – even on a little rock like this, it's intense, knowing what's outside the suit – get replaced with the pressure of momentum. There is a flicker-storm of touch across her arms and she grins, knowing Man o’ War is right there with her, maybe celebrating in his own way.

She feels when they surface because the bag bobs hard upwards before settling again; on darkside, there’s no light on this planetoid, and their own boat is running dark to avoid the kind of attention that killed the CES ship. She hits the signal flare, a burst of red, and the ship’s floods come on for a moment. It looks like a hulking porcelain-scaled Moby Dick swallowing down herself and a gullet-full of seawater as it sweeps them up into the holds. She glances back, and there’s the glint and filaments of Man o’ War right beside her. The floods shut down soon as the pilots know they’ve got their target, doors still closing behind her, and she waits impatiently for the signal that she can divest herself of her equipment.

There; the room fills up with a fizzy, industrial light that makes it seem dingy and grey and huge, but also a lot like home. They flash the green go-light to indicate the atmosphere is livable, and she pops the seal on her helmet and breaths a great thankful wash of honest salty air. She gives the observation deck a big thumbs-up and a bigger grin, then unclips herself from the bag and flops over into the water. Man o’ War’s filaments receive her. The first time she did this, got introduced to Man o War and surrounded by those glass noodle appendages, she screamed like a panicked horse, sure she would die. The inoculation had felt like this, little tingles in her hair follicles – before it began to burn. Except that had been one puncture wound, and she had figured it must not have worked, that she’d been a fool, just like she’d thought ever since she signed the release, got the jab, and nearly died for a week running.

Except it hadn’t gone to burning, and she was fine, and she is still fine, here in the water beside Man o’ War. Shucking the flippers, she brushes her hands across his semi-transparent mantle, presenting her palm at last to one of his tendrils. The crew can’t assess the haul until she maneuvers the bag out of this room, for the same reason that she takes a moment now – of the humans aboard, only she has been inoculated, so she’s the only one can talk to Man o’ War. He gets lonely, he’s admitted to her. On his home planet the collectives speak among themselves often and are social creatures, maybe more social than human beings – her kind are only one person to a body rather than millions, after all.

So even though they can’t chat on the job, she takes a moment now. He laces tendrils around her fingers, touching a rhythm of electricity to palm and finger-pads that make language, one she has learned painstakingly – sometimes with literal pain, her own teacher having been a rather cantankerous collective.

A good find, Man o’ War tells her, I delight that we will all feed well.

She twitches out words in the same ‘tongue’, letting the muscles of her palm and fingers jump, fine motor control for which she has had to pass a test just to be eligible for this job. It isn’t good to offend a collective, and the wrong series of movements can do that. Captain is generous with the distro. Anything else down there?

Microbes, nematodes, water spouts. He gives a wriggle that she interprets as a rueful chuckle. We’ll burn fuel getting to the next thing good as this.

This planetoid has been a good vacation spot anyway, she says, good weather except for the boiling on sunside, and only a little too much arsenic in the air.

We like it! The collective wriggles in a different way, no rue in this laugh. We don’t care about your silly air. Go join your equally delicate brethren now.

She frees herself, kicking back, cheerful; the gold in the sack makes satisfying clinks as she maneuvers it towards the loading belt that lifts it from the water. She glances down into the water, thinking like a stupid Earthie who’s never met another species to shout something down to her partner. But of course he can’t hear, can only read the electric signals of her muscles, taste the chemicals in the water. Well, he can’t have missed her satisfaction and happiness with their work together; an hour left on the oxygen tanks means they have done real good time, better than the last outing, and that sort of efficiency means a promotion soon. I delight that we will all feed well, Man o’ War has said; and though the collectives’ language of touch and impulse makes no distinction between the ‘we’ of a collective and the ‘we’ of you and I, she fancies he meant her to be included in that delight.

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[personal profile] slashedsilver 2011-04-30 04:29 am (UTC)(link)
A dark alleyway, and how things are never quite what they seem...
yoshitsune: text: oh dear i really ought to do something but i am already in my pyjamas (blossom lake)

[personal profile] yoshitsune 2011-04-30 04:56 am (UTC)(link)
a birthday celebration steeped in culture
pitseleh: cowboy beep boop. (comics = lil' dcu + holy fangirls batman)

I used characters that I made a long time ago because they fit to the prompt. Hope that's okay! (G)

[personal profile] pitseleh 2011-04-30 10:40 pm (UTC)(link)
If he could count, he'd know the year, or how old he was exactly. He's not quite an adult, yet, though his voice his changed; Ashere knows soon he will no longer be a tenor. His days are counted by the food he eats, not by any numbers he does not understand.

"Wake the fuck up," Jaspe says. "You're such a heretic."

"Don't say that," Ashere says very softly, rolling off the two grubby blankets that make his and Sachere's beddings. There haven't been heretical burnings in over a dozen hundred years (he thinks), but Ianes told stories about them last night, and the memory stayed with him until he slept.

But Jaspe only rolls her eyes. "Whatever. We're going to be late."

Ashere nods. He always forgets his birthday until the day before, and even then, he never remembers. But Larent always tells him. Larent remembers the life he stole. She always remember's her dead son's birthday.

As is safe, Ashere and Jaspe hold hands in the streets. They smell the dust kicked up, and the coughs and sobs of a thousand tired peasants. Ils is a shortcut of a sector to sneak through, these days. Ianes, who's old enough to remember the times before the famine years, likes to talk about how Ils used to be bursting with life. It's the part of Southsea nearest to the plumfields, where everyone sells their produce from day in to day out. Or was, when the earth still gave up its bounty.

Ashere tries not to think of plums. Yesterday he had dried meel and broth. That should be enough. He would think that eating less would make him shorter, but he is already nearly taller than Jaspe. He shakes his head and keeps on trudging towards Omerish.

"Did you hear?" Jaspe whispers to Ashere, the hot air tickling his ears. "Ianes says he might get cut!"

Ashere nods, smiling. It is a great honor. "He was always such a nice singer. Larent must want to preserve him."

Jaspe nods with pride. "When we're both older, we'll sing with each other forever." Jaspe has plans for the future. Ashere smiles along with her, thinking of the songs they'll make.

"Do you think Larent would cut me, some day?" Ashere's voice is sheepish, and Jaspe rolls her eyes in response.

Playfully, she pushes his shoulder with the hand not clasped in Ashere. Omerish is one of the safer sectors of Southsea, but Larent and Ianes both say it's best to be careful, and they know everything. "You're not a good enough singer. You're a better acrobat."

Ashere sighs. "I know."

Omerish is the cleanest sector of Southsea with a trade attached to it. In the famine years, Omerish thrives on donations, mostly from the rich. Ianes says before the famine years, it was even prettier, since anyone could afford to donate to its sprawling temples and bright blue scaffolds. Ashere doesn't believe him. He can't think of a nicer place than this that isn't the sea herself.

"Larent says she has a deal with a priest in..." Jaspe struggles to remember the name. Ashere can think of it, having a better mind for sounds than Jaspe, but he doesn't say; correcting Jaspe will only get you hit. "In Noveril's Order. I think it's that way." She points, and Ashere follows, having little choice, their hands still firmly clasped in one another's grasp. It's summer, and Ashere imagines they are stuck together forever with the combined sweat of their palms.

Noveril's Order of preists is somewhat heretical, which Ashere thinks is why Larent likes it. They have a habit of letting men sing-- even uncut men-- at their formal functions, and have a lighter blue shade for their robes than what is considered just. When Ashere asks why, the preist who meets them at the door answers with a smile. "Why waste so much dye, making are robes as blue as a stormy sky? The Lords love us all the same."

Ashere has heard grumblings otherwise, but he knows enough not to say.

The priest leads them down a cluttered corridor, ending in a heavy looking door. "Do you have any offerings, for this humble man's commemoration of birth?"

Jaspe nods, and tears a piece of fabric from her hose. Ashere does the same, piling the dusty scraps in the priest's outstretched hands. It's the sort of offering that would be shameful usually, and get them turned out of the temple, but Noveril's Order cannot be so picky, Ashere imagines. That, and there's famine, and Larent has probably said something in advance. She's a matron of their arts, Ashere heard. That has to count for something.

So the priest nods and smiles and puts the strips of fabric into a long box, and takes out a key and opens the door. Inside (or rather, outside) is a word Ashere can't quite remember. Luckily, the priest supplies it, before leaving them and closing the door behind them. "This is Priest Enien Aneril Enien's peristylium. She will join you shortly, and begin the commemoration ceremony."

"Enien," Jaspe clicks her tongue, clearly impressed. Finally, she lets go of Ashere's hand. He finds after all this time, his hand feels strangely light. "She's a full priest, I guess. You got lucky she was presiding today."

"Maybe it's a..." Ashere struggles to remember the words Larent always uses, and this time, much to his own personal joy, he finds he can recall them. "Maybe it's an auspicious omen." He grins, and for once, Jaspe grins back.

"I would not say so." A voice echoes faintly through the peristylium, and Ashere can just see a priest emerging from below the blue scaffolding and shadows. She must be a Priest Enien. Ashere palms his temple in reverence, and steps forward, bending knee. She looks down at him, nodding, and places her palm on his head. "I see today is a commemoration of your birth?"

Ashere says yes. Jaspe, as witness, vouches likewise.

"You could have at least washed before coming here." Priest Enien Aneril Enien takes out her inks and papers, not bothering to wait for a reply, which is lucky, Ashere thinks, because he couldn't rightly supply one. Washing would be hard, with clean water scarce. But saying so much would be an empty excuse, to a high lady of The Lords such as she.

She smears her palm on Ashere's forehead, his cheeks, his chin, his nose. He strips down to his night things, and watches as the priest chants his name, his age (which, he notes, is now a full dozen) and his place of birth, tapping his eyes and ears with her fingertips. This gives Ashere the shivers, it always does.

Then she takes out her inks and chalks and begins to paint him. He gets smears of white around his eyes and eyebrows, and wonders if it will make him look like an owl. Owl face is auspicious, Sachere says, but Ashere thinks he was lying since owl face is what he got last year, and his luck was terrible. Preist Enien paints his neck with swirling lines, and puts a dab of ink on both his ears.

She tsks. "You are a delightfully ugly child."

Ashere nods.

Before he knows it, the ceremony is over, she turns him to the reflection pool and he studies his features, newly enhanced by the ink lines and dashes of color scattered around his lanky frame.

"Do you call this judgement just?"

"I do," Ashere says. He palms his temple once more, and walks away. They do not speak to anyone, upon leaving the temple. To do so would be unjust, as their purpose is now only to leave, their need finished. Afterwards, Jaspe and Ashere trudge through the streets, and Ashere can already feel the sweat beginning to make his ink marks run.

"Did she give me owl face?" Ashere says. He wasn't quite able to tell in the mirky water that made up their reflection pool.

"I don't think so. I don't think she gave you any animal face." She twists her head, trying to get a better view of Ashere's face. "We'll have to find someone to read it to us."

Ashere nods. "I'm glad I didn't get monster face." The years where he did were always awful.

Jaspe whistles low in understanding, and in a rare act of kindness, puts her arm round his shoulder. It doesn't last long, because the summer sun makes them both uncomfortable liquid quick, but it was nice while it lasted, and Ashere supposes he can appreciate the sentiment.

"Thanks for taking me."

"Well, somebody had to witness, and it couldn't be that fool Sachere."

Ashere doesn't mind the years where Larent sends Sachere along with him, but he can see the logic in it, if Jaspe argues it. So Ashere nods, and they clasp hands once more.

Flower Tea (SFW)

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