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a feeling of unease || erin wright (a classmate), mrs. wright (her mother), mr rogham (a high school guidance counselor), & rhaegan sartain (yes, i did have to stop and find names for all these people just so i could write a fucking snip) || east coast

Erin's mom took one look at the slight, fierce-looking teen that had evidently been chosen to be her daughter's peer tutor, excused them both, and drew Erin aside to whisper, "Are you sure you're all right?"

Erin looked confused at first, and then shook her head. "It's fine, mom. Rhaegan's way smart. She gets A's in everything."

Her mother still looked dubious. Mr. Rogham chimed in. "Are there any questions you'd like to ask me?" His smile was as stiff and unconvincing as the one Mrs. Wright suddenly plastered on. The counselor sees what you do there, Mom. Erin thought. This was both hideously embarrassing and deliciously thrilling, in a small, secret way.

"Oh, no, no questions. I was just reminding Erin that she's to be taking advantage of this opportunity to get her grade point average up, instead of socializing."

"Absolutely. They'll be meeting right here in the study lab..." Mr. Rogham got up and led Mrs. Wright away, leaving Erin and Rhaegan to look across the table at each other. Erin gave Rhaegan an uncertain smile, and sat down. The other girl threw her books down, tossed her hair back, flexed her wings, spun a chair around and sat down, bracelets and necklaces jingling. Her expression was deadly serious and a little weird. Rhaegan Sartain didn't even pretend to be human. She was one of those madly exotic beings that Erin didn't dare look at too hard, when she passed by in the hall, and yet found her eyes drawn anyway.

"So your maidre doesn't like me, huh?" Rhaegan asked. Her voice was a dry, raspy purr. It sounded older than the rest of her.

"Uh, well, um...okay, no she doesn't. You heard her, didn't you? I'm sorry about that. She's not that bad a person, honest, it's just because she's afraid you'll kill me or talk me into having orgies every night followed by secret abortions or something." Erin said, cursing the automatic defense even as she offered it, hating the way her equally automatic winning smile came to the rescue. No, no, NO, this was not she wanted to say, this was not how she wanted this to go, why the Hell didn't real life have a control/alt/delete sequence--

"Oh, that. No, we had to stop that, it was interfering with band practice." Rhaegan said, opening her physics text. "So now we only hold orgies every alternate Thursday and Saturday. Black Mass is on Sunday, and all abortions are scheduled for the second Tuesday of the month. They're just not in demand that much due to all the gay sex, so please make sure you save any and all fetuses for the next Black Mass. We keep running short and having to substitute shaved cats."

"monkey paw" || leo, rhae, erin || east coast

"What's 'the dingos?'" Erin whispered in the space Leo left when he went to the kitchen to grab something to drink. At least she'd learned to wait to ask her questions, learned to let Rhaegan screen them first before she blurted the first thing that came into her head.

Rhaegan started to answer in her typical dry and sarcastic way, "An Australian wild dog," but then she made a face and tried again without prompting, which was better; maybe she didn't think Erin was stupid after all. "...Hard to explain. I know what he means when he says it, but it's more a feeling than words."

"Like what kind of feeling?" Erin pressed, from her belly-down place on the floor, her chin propped on her hand, elbows planted on either side of her book and notebooks, idly chewing the end of her pencil. Her bare feet waving slowly like kelp in the tide, somewhere above her head. "Glad, mad, bad, sad?"

"Bad, I guess. Something prowling in the dark with teeth. That's not one of us."

"...Scary." This with a grin. "Can I ask him?"

Rhaegan considered it, and then shrugged. "Go 'head."

Erin dropped the pencil, slid and scrambled around to cross-legged sitting position, and shoved her hair back over her shoulders. "Hey, Leo?" she called.

"Yeah?" answered the voice in the kitchen.

"What's dingos? I mean, not what they ARE. I know what they ARE--what do they mean?"

He padded to the doorway and leaned there, sucking down a dark purple-red drink with a straw, and she wanted to ask about that too, but decided that maybe she shouldn't, not so much because of the answer she might get, but because that wouldn't be a question she'd ask anybody else, unless she was thirsty, or wanted a taste, and she wasn't and she didn't, she already had a glass of apple cider down on the floor with her. Besides, Leo was already looking at her with that same really hard, strange, light-eyed stare out of a darkly tanned face that his sister had, and Erin still couldn't figure out if it was good or bad, or a look that every mostly-drakthos had.

"Dingos," he said flatly, "are bad news." He paused to sip again, and Erin didn't know whether to smile or not, or maybe just say 'duh.' Then to her relief, he started talking again. "There was a baby, her name was Azaria, and her parents took her camping. She disappeared, and her mother swore it was dingoes. Nobody believed her, and she went to jail, and her husband was judged an accessory. Then somebody found the baby's clothes in a dingo lair, and that's how the truth came out. It had been dingoes all along."

Pause. Sip.

"The world's full of dingoes. History's full of dingoes. So's the future. Most people aren't so lucky as Azaria's parents. Most people that get bit or eaten by dingoes, nobody realizes. And people that go on about conspiracies and stuff, half the time they don't get it--that it's just dingoes doing what dingoes do. There's nothing to fight and nobody to blame. That's the scary part. That's the part nobody wants to deal with. That's what I see a lot of the time. Just the dingoes."

Erin shuddered and brushed away the chill. "But if you can see the...the dingoes, can't you sometimes do things--point them out, change something?"

"Not usually. Things go all monkey paw."

Erin looked at Rhaegan, who was re-braiding a plait. "I don't get it."

"Se non sequitur, Leo." Rhaegan said in the absent sort of way that suggested that this particular situation came up a lot.

"Uh, like, there was this guy, that wished for money, and then his son got killed in an industrial accident, and that got him the money, and then his wife wished to have him back, and then he came to the door, and the guy remembered at the last minute that his kid was in bad shape from that accident and used his last wish to wish him back to the grave. Anything I change mostly goes wrong and there's this great big dingo dog-pile on somebody else."

Erin didn't know what else to say.

"You suck at telling stories." Rhaegan informed him, finishing her plait and flipping it back into the rest of her hair.

"Fuck you too." Leo retorted. "Maybe I'll perform the opera next time, just for you."

playing with the sun || lucian || somewhere in space.

Hydrogen and helium, oxygen and carbon, nitrogen and silicon.

He'd watched it since it started, and continued to watch in fascination as it continued. Only half finished, and another five billion years to completion, before it burned out. Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita.

Right now it was still the only immediate thing that compared to him and his kin, those few like himself that would dare cup that burning ball in their hands. There was the momentary stunning flare as one eclipsed the other, a deadly pause, and then, reluctantly, he let it go.

Magnesium and neon. Iron and sulfur.

So many of the elements tied to current popular mortal notions, Heaven and Hell could be found in the same place--the heart of Sol. Helios was where it all began, and where it would all eventually end. The life of this system measured out to the beat of this ancient explosion. When it ended, he would go. Difficile est longum subito deponere amorem.

He was light himself, but he could never resist fire.

Just then, it occurred to him that there was a yet a bit of it captured in his bed at home, though hidden in the dark. Sol had never burned like this one. He idly wondered if it were jealous, and then threw back his head and laughed at this mad imagery, practically howled with amusement, all the way back down.

iced coffee || leo || east coast

Leo woke up convinced that his skull had grown into the vinyl cushioned bench he'd fallen asleep on, the wood and bone petrified into stone. He nearly drifted off to sleep again, nearly believed the reassurance that he was okay, that the reality of the nurse's office around him would stave off any further incident, but it hadn't worked in the first place, had it? Terror of dreaming again (the very bad dreams, horror and death and suffocation and burning--history--or future history's big disasters didn't leave him easily. They knew he couldn't do anything about it. They laughed. Fucking dingos. ) drove him to keep struggling to keep his eyes open, to raise his arm, so heavy, to clutch the arm of his chair and push up and away, ignoring the crunch and force it took to wrench his head off the cushion and take it with him (he'd leave it behind, but it seemed to contain his consciousness, unfortunately. If only he could move to his left foot or something, leave his brain behind.).

The act of getting up was both too easy and too difficult; cool air echoed through the empty space behind his ears so convincingly, that Leo gingerly felt around the back of his head in order to make sure it was still there. He felt his own sweat-soaked curls brush his fingers, before he dared to look down at the hollow warm space he'd just vacated.

Ten minutes later, he'd escaped the school and was in front of the partially recovered and re-opened remains of a local convenience store, gulping down an iced coffee until his brain ached from the freeze, instead of the effort to keep from slumping back out of synch with the rest of the world.

The buzz kicked in only a few minutes later. Just in time for sixth period. Leo grinned a very wide and fangy grin as he tossed the cup in the trash and headed back to school.

"well, that's inevitable." || huan mac lugh (another of the mac lugh brats, and designated sucker keeper of tirnanog's fidei defensoran), rin and tiun || tirnanog.

Huan Mac Lugh had started out the evening as stoic as ever, but they picked up on his condition midway through the third bottle. They tagged him by telepathy, to be polite.

"I am not drunk," he retorted softly, with a flick. "I do not get drunk, nil hea."

Midway through the fifth bottle, his tales of what it was to be a leader among Fidei Defensoran began to become less like bragging, and more like tales of despair. This cumulated with a tale that they would never hear the end of, because he finally gave it up with a cry of "It's terrible! I might well go unseelie for it, tá!"

"The way you're going about it, well, it's inevitable." Rin informed him dryly.

"Don't say that. I think it's too big a word to be using at me right now...." Huan slurred. Tiun reached for him and he jerked away, hissing, and his eyes were gold, the pupils were slitted, and so was his tongue. "What are ye doing?"

"Ye wanted to be held."

"Nil hea, I'm a man grown, I never need to be held."

"And he's an empath, and you're drunk, and sad, and we can tell ye want holding."

"I'm not drunk, I'm not. But ye can hold me if you're all that dead set on it."

Tiun laughed and did so, patting him kindly on the back.

"I do feel very odd, though. Is this what it's like to be drunk?"

"Could say that. Ye are drunk, Mac Lugh." Rin informed him.

"Can't be. Never been drunk a day in m'life. Can't be poisoned, either." Huan boasted. "What vintage is this? I may want to try it again."

"It's from Veridis; she gave us to try. It's flavored with mushrooms, shrew's blossom, and pear."

Huan's expression suddenly grew very funny. "Mushroom, ye say?"


"Can't have mushroom, it's a geas!"

"Thought you couldn't be poisoned?"

Huan suddenly pushed Tiun away. "Never said it would poison me, said it was a geas! And you're the ones what brought it on me, tá!"

"Are you implying that we're a curse?" Tiun scowled.

"Maybe you're just allergic to mushrooms." Rin added, reasonably. "At least you're not ill. Just intoxicated."

Huan made a face. "Alright, maybe it's not a real geas." he admitted.

"Looks like he needs to be held again." Tiun snickered.

"You're not to be holdin' me! I'm your commander, ye know!"

Rin and Tiun collapsed into laughter.

"he's a very atypical teenage boy" || lucian & a long-suffering history teacher || east coast

She had been expecting Alainn, Lucian thought, and that gave him something else to be amused about. At least he thought that was the reason for her reaction. He was fairly certain that he'd dressed appropriately for this sort of thing--he'd switched from priest's cossack to an appropriately paternal sort of dress: slacks, and sweater vest, mostly rendered in muted shades of charcoal, a white shirt and dark red tie, and his hair freshly trimmed, crisp, and already starting to curl again. That was the quite respectable and ordinary uniform for fathers, wasn't it? He'd double-checked and decided the feathers weren't overtly visible, unless one went looking for them; then they might appear, shimmering faintly like a mirage, a suggestion. It was not unreasonable to expect to see the hint of feathers, when their adopted son were so obviously endowed. So yes, it must be that she was expecting Alainn, and not the Most Illustrious of his designated guardians instead.

"Markkas tells me you phoned him. There was a problem with Aurelio today?"

"I don't know how much he's told you, or how involved you are, but at this point there is almost always a problem with Aurelio, Mister..."

"Sartain." Lucian happily volunteered, filled in the space quite competently, flashing the ring as he straightened his tie, all beaming benevolence. Of course his husband's name held more weight here than his own, and he could watch the teacher fill in the blanks and catch the shift in tone, more pitying now, for men left to a herculean task for which they had evidently been judged the disadvantaged sex.

"Before I begin, may I say, his sister has been a pleasure to teach--there have been a few incidents, as you may be aware, but overall she is extremely gifted and eager to learn, and she seems to think the world of you both. You've done very well with her."

Lucian smiled a little wider. "Why, thank you."

"Boys, however, can be challenging, especially at this age. Having been one yourself, at some point, I'm sure you understand?"

"Absolutely." Lucian continued beaming, although he'd never been a boy as far as he could remember. "Although I daresay he is a very atypical teenage boy."

"Yes, there is that. I'm sure he's still experiencing a great deal of emotional turmoil."

"Mmhm." Lucian nodded agreeably. "He sees and feels a great deal more than one expected, at his age. I must say, I do enjoy discussing his take on the homework you assign him."

"You do?" She blinked. "I--"

"Absolutely. I've been helping him, as you recommended several weeks ago, and what a marvelous idea! The assignment on the Revolutionary War, for example. Why, the questions you asked were the fodder of many hours of lively discussion. Well done."

"Well, I--" She was blushing now, and raised a hand in protest. He took it and bowed over it politely, his lips just brushing the back of her hand in salute.

"May I say it's been a pleasure meeting the face behind the genius? I now realize that missing Parent/Teacher Night was a terrible oversight on my part. I've never seen any other teachers raise such passion in Aurelio in any other subject. May I ask you how you arrive at your choices for your syllabus, and about your goals?" He glanced around, frowning at the austere classroom. "Possibly over a glass of scotch?"

"Mr. Sartain, I--"

"Ah, forgive me, that seemed terribly forward, didn't it?" Lucian said, with a great show of flustered embarrassment. "I assure you, I meant no flirtation. My husband would be rather distressed if that were the case, nil hea?" This, with a wink, and another coincidental flash of wedding band, and the lady laughed, of course, the gent wasn't flirting, he was perfectly safe, and wasn't that a shame?

Date: 2008-07-09 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*amused as hell*

Date: 2008-08-28 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i like this particular batch, myself. =D it's nice to have them mostly give me happy/amusing/lighter stuff.

Date: 2008-07-09 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Erin, I can understand very very well. It's uncomfortable to chew on your feet in public when you happen to stick them in your mouth.
These were wonderful.
Disquieting that Leo has the family curse, so to speak. He speaks in metaphor and sees that which is hidden. Lucian needs to teach him the fine control that Mark use to possess.
Lucian is being so bad here. *laughing*

Date: 2008-08-28 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i like her, yeah. she's very human, and i like having that, for balance at least. there's at least one more teen in their little high school crew that has yet to show. or pick a name, for that matter.

thanks! =)

yeah, leo's kinda screwed. am not surprised really all things considered. i think rhae got off light.

he's absolutely awful. *shakes head*

Date: 2008-07-09 03:45 am (UTC)
ext_12410: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
lucian is so smoove with aurelio's teacher. heee. huan and the twins just made me snicker - "what are you doing?" "you wanted to be held."

Date: 2008-08-28 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
the funny thing is, i think he's genuinely that fond of people. they're all very fascinating. so all his flattery is actually fairly sincere, if not a bit over-the-top....until he gets bored, or has a cracked day.

i think huan regrets being such a good knight. he didn't want to be in charge in the first place. tirnanog just has this thing where logically, they promote the best example to be in charge. the twins keep managing to get into just enough trouble that nobody wants them to be in charge. =D

Date: 2008-07-09 04:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Bwahah. *snicker* I can't even point to any particular one.

Date: 2008-08-28 05:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-07-09 06:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe it's because I have moments where I talk like that, too, but people like Leo make perfect sense to me. o.O I don't understand why other people don't.

I wub Rhaegan and Leo and Lucian so much. I'd hug them if I thought they wouldn't eat me/be put off. Or something. xD

That was a good thing to read before bed. <3

Date: 2008-08-28 06:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*nodnod!* and folks that are around him a lot, say, like adam and his sister understand him okay, a lot of it has to do with being around him enough to know what his contexts and references are.

hee. rhae and leo probably wouldn't mind hugs, honestly. i'm sure considering some of the really speshul days they have, hugs would be really NICE. =D

aw, good. <3

Date: 2008-07-09 11:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*laughing at Rhaegan* Shaved cats. XD

Also, much love for the bad old man. <3 I shouldn't like him because he is so very bad but cannot help it. :D

Date: 2008-08-28 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*snerk* she's very inventive when it comes to her alleged devil-worshipping ritual activities.

see, this is exactly the problem. he keeps being distressingly loveable. *solemn*


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