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"it's all a tissue of lies, actually." || mark & lucian || east coast

Mark stood before the mirror, and for one fanciful second, he thought maybe the mirror was not; perhaps it was a sideways standing pool of quicksilver. He impulsively reached for it, touched it, half-expecting to see ripples. He was relieved when he found that he could not, in fact, step through like some sort of strange, pinstriped and shadowy Alice. He had already been through the looking glass a time or two more than he cared to, thank you very much. Frankly, he was amazed he didn't meet himself coming and going. It was one hell of a commute. His head filled with laughter and the flash of teeth.

"Did you say something, Alainn? I missed it; I apologize." Lucian murmured from behind the yellowed Pre-Collapse tabloid he was reading.

Mark continued to watch himself in the mirror, raised a hand to trace the line of jaw and chin. "Me abair nil, Lainnir-me." He watched his mouth move, framing the words. I said nothing. He started tying his tie. "You really ought to stop calling me that."

"Hmm?"

"I'm not beautiful anymore. Unless you like your men on the wrong side of death warmed over."

"Nonsense. You're still quite beautiful."

Mark adjusted his tie just so, as he raised a brow, and watched one corner of his mouth rise also, in a sardonic curl that was almost a smile. "Don't you ever get tired of all your lies?"

"Do you have any idea what would happen if I ever did?" Was the absent reply. "Words. Facts. Truths. How many things in this world, once spoken, are now agreed upon heresy, approved by committee? It's all a tissue of lies, actually. Why should I not slip in a few more that I like best? You are beautiful."

Mark shook his head at him. "And of course the rest of the universe will see it your way, simply because you say so."

Lucian merely looked at him over the paper as if any other option was positively outrageous, nay, unthinkable.

Mark shook his head again. "Ridiculous old pigeon. I'm going to work now."




serendipity, or "things exploding at just the right time." || kyria and anakin skywalker. || in another universe far, far away.

"What are you doing? That isn't going to work, ye know." She said, peering. "I said ye should have tried converting the explorer-craft. I know it's not as sweet a ride as the executive's pod, but you can't get it to launch from here."

"I wondered where you were." Ani replied, flat on his back, half under the pod's console. "I haven't had to scratch my nose for at least half an hour." A pause, while he blew away a floating red feather. "What happened to optimism, or "the glass is half full?"

"I think that falls under my daughter-in-law's jurisdiction, tá? I only get to do things after all hope is gone." She grinned. "So have you lost all hope yet?"

"Are you sure you're one of the good guys? Hey, I think someone got blown out of an airlock, maybe you should go cheer them on. Oh, and take a step to the left. I could use the light."

Kyria took that step and the light she bore with her shifted accordingly. "...Ani, you are not at home, and this is not an A-5 model, this is an A-8E. Ye can't get to the launch mech through the aft portal coils without a shunt--"

"You were saying?" Ani grinned triumphantly.

"That still works here too? Ye cheater."

"Pedantic. And why not? All your gifts still work."

She ignored that. "Ye still can't unlock the bay, from here."

"And you can?"

"Not from here, nil hea." She repeated firmly. "Hold on." She flounced away, went to the rear of the luxury craft, and out the hatch.

The explosion was startlingly immediate and impressive, enough to send the entire ship listing a few degrees. She dropped back down through the hatch while Ani was still scrambling for his seat.

"That was quick." A pause, while the alarms drowned out any other words, while the emergency evacuation sequence was activated, and the pod went live, vibrating as the launch mech unlocked, and the bay doors opened. As he guided the pod through, through the bloody scarlet flashes that painted everything the color of Kyria's wings, he asked, "So what did you do?"

"Something learned from my brother-in-law." Kyria preened. "Some call it coincidence. I prefer to call it serendipity, or "things exploding at just the right time."

There was another shudder once they were clear, and he shot her a look over his shoulder. "So did you by any chance chart the trajectories of all the wreckage like he would've done, too?"

"Nil hea. You're on your own now."

"Amateur."




"mikkel is a dead man" || the ot3.14 || alfheim

Pietrov at least had the kindness to wait for the Jarl Ambassador to leave before he turned to Ceraan. "Mikkel is a dead man."

"Nil hea." Ceraan retorted. "I am not finished with him yet. He still tastes good to me, and you still like to play with him, and he is ours and the Rabbit-King's. Sartain will wait."

Izzy sneezed, and ran out his tongue in a panting grin, while Pietrov rolled over, propped himself on his elbows and grinned also, sans tongue, and with somewhat fewer pointed teeth involved. "He will? Does he know this? Who will make him wait?"

"The Rabbit-King. That is his purpose, tá? He may not be khert, but he is clever, and he knows our ways. Mikkel will not die today, and you know this too, and that is why you think it is funny." Ceraan said reasonably. "Now stop trying to raise my wings, go away, and tend to your people, stupid sidhe. It is time for me to sleep."

"There will be no sleep for you, dragon." Pietrov told him, while Izzy affectionately licked Ceraan's shoulder. "Ri-me's going to call for you very soon, tá."

Ceraan grunted and pushed Izzy's face away. "When?"

"Hey, Ceraan-dude, you got a minute?"

"Now." Pietrov said brightly. "We will miss you very much?"

Ceraan hissed irritably and made a point of cuffing his stupid sidhe-and-deahman very soundly with a wing while climbing out of bed. It was a very good thing that they were so very pretty and strong and good to eat; he put up with a great deal of trouble in order to keep them.




"dear loki, please stop with the funny" || akhil & grace || the great howling desert?

The sidhe regarded her for a moment with his head tilted. Then finally, he raised his chin and folded his arms. "Nil hea." He said.

"No? I gave you my name and everything. Why not?"

"Because you are evil." He declared. "I do not think it wise to give my name to evil things."

"Now you wait a minute. All we did was talk a little. You don't know me!"

"I do not need to know you. You are a woman. A strange woman. All such women are evil." He intoned solemnly. "It's best not to know evil things."

"...What?"

"I will explain! The strange women I knew first gave me this large and troublesome family, and then a strange new woman from that annoying other family talked me to my death so she could marry one of my grandchildren! And then I finally make my way back, and look at this mess! Paradise is ruined, and most of my family is dead, and this, because of another wicked, shining woman! And here you are, yet another! This is a bad omen."

"Oh please. I'm sure you met women that didn't bring you any evil."

"Perhaps. But very few that I have ever noticed. I am taking no chances." He did not unfold his arms. "To be fair, I will not use the name you gave me, it will be as if you never gave it. After all, it is best not to take the name of evil into one's mouth. I pity myself for knowing this name."

Grace didn't know what to say to this. She stood there with her mouth open.

He eyed her suspiciously. "Are you breathing evil upon me?"

"NO! I just--I don't know what to say! You're crazy!"

He grinned. "AH! So it is possible to make you be quiet."

Grace couldn't help herself, she smacked the annoying sidhe--not particularly hard or in any sort of vulnerable place, just on his shoulder. He stared at her for a moment, bemused. He had light hazel eyes.

"Hmph." He said finally, reaching a foregone conclusion. "You are much too violent to be a good woman. Definitely evil."

"I am not violent! You're driving me crazy! If I were this terrible violent evil person, I could've killed that manticore myself!"

"I said you were evil, not powerful. You are also ungrateful--thank you for reminding me. I am grieved. I killed a rare and innocent beast to save you, though you are probably evil, and then you call me, Akhil A'Drakon, crazy. And then you struck me."

"....I'm not talking to you anymore." At least he'd given her his name, she supposed that was something. It didn't feel like a victory, though. And she couldn't quite figure out if he was teasing, or saying things he honestly thought in a teasing way, and she couldn't stop reacting, and that was even more infuriating.

He smiled again, and Grace remembered that he'd wanted her to shut up, and the right thing to do would be to start talking to him as much as possible, no matter how infuriating he was. "Or maybe I'll just keep--what?" because the sidhe had stopped grinning, was unfolding his arms, and was looking right past her. She turned and saw what he saw; the sun was setting and cast her shadow hard and black behind her. And then turned back around quickly, and caught his hand just as he started to raise it. "Wait! No! Nil hea! It's okay! It's just 'Sat!"

He didn't look entirely convinced, so she didn't let go, she simply side-stepped until she was between him and the huge black thing that had risen out of her shadow and materialized into something that only vaguely resembled a wolf, though no one that'd ever seen him, as far as Grace could remember, had ever called him anything else.

"He just kinda shows up sometimes and follows me around, even though I keep trying to tell him to stay home. He's my father's."

"...I see."

She looked up at the monster. She looked back at the sidhe. "I know what this looks like. But I'm not evil!"

"Of course you're not." Akhil sighed; but he lowered his hand. Then he walked away.

Grace scowled at his back for a moment, before she followed. 'Sat shook himself all over and then trailed her as her shadow originally might have, panting. Grace began composing short angry letters in her head as she walked. "Dear Loki, Please stop with the funny. I am a GOOD girl, not like my father. So please Go Away. Go away and bother HIM, and take your stupid wolf with you. No love, Grace."




[singing off-key] "It's the end of the world as we know it...." || the bros sartain || east coast

His little brother wasn't supposed to be here, perched in his dusty living room ( a once-living room, now dead, a museuem, or a mausoleum, and the plants creeping up the walls, more time had passed within than without, apparently, and there was so much work to do). Little brother was as uncomfortable in Mark's nest as Mark was in his. But he had yet to reclaim this room from the recent upheaval, so what was yet another dose of surreality here? Mice squeaked and scurried, dashed for cover. If not for the lack of the proper scent of age, Mark would've been convinced he'd been out for a hundred years, not merely a few days, or weeks, or hours. That, and the fact that a crooked corner of the room encompassing the doorway he was standing in was completely unchanged, sheltered by some random quirk of physics and geometry, like a patch of wildflowers untouched by a brushfire. It was warm in this corner, or at least room temperature still; if the edging of frost here and there was any indication, the living room had suffered a cold snap and was just beginning to thaw. There was thick layer of heavily dew-drenched moss on his coffee table. This was distressing.

More distressing than his brother perched on the head of a vintage chair, his feet resting on the cushion. He was still wearing the same clothes he often wore, faded jeans and a slightly weathered and slightly too-small anime t-shirt, and he still needed a haircut. Today he also looked like he also needed a month of good hunting, and a great deal of sleep, his face had faded to the shade of pale burned ashes that Mark was all too familiar with, from looking in his own reflection.

"I can't stay here." Adavidarian said.

"You're dead now, Braither-min." Mark sighed. "I shouldn't be speaking to you."

"But you are. That's because you're dead too."

Mark shrugged. "Lainnir-me. He brought me to life again."

"Now I finally get it--what happened to you. You've been dead all this time, haven't you? You were mated to the Lan an Firrin and he must've died and then he came back, like I do, but it didn't matter, that death--"

"--Yes. You're very fucking clever, now enough, already."

"So you're undead. Inbetween. Like me. I can't die. Even this isn't going to kill me, is it?"

"I believe not, no. I'm sorry." And he meant it. At least he still could die properly if he wanted to--if there weren't so many things to hold him here. At least, he thought he could, anyway. Perhaps that was just a strangely comforting lie.

Adavidarian gave a crooked smile. "Death--we're doing it wrong."

Mark offered a smile back. "Yes."

"My children?"

"Are mine also, of course. I will see to them. Rhaegan is a reditael born."

There was a moment's silence.

"Thank you." Adavidarian said, finally, nodding.

"Nil abair, Braither-min." Mark lowered his eyes then, searching for the next thing he would say; when he raised his eyes again, it was not due to words found but the pressure to find them suddenly lifting, if not the hurt, and he knew even as he looked again that Adavidarian would be gone. He could still hear him though, the last echos of his brother's singing, in that annoying, slightly off-key way he had that always used to set Mark's teeth on edge.

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.




cracked concrete pillars || stone & vasya || east coast (w.c. philly)

Stone squinted against the setting sun, as he led the way through the imposing near-ruin that reclined along the bank of the river. He gave Vasya's hand a tug--"Are you sure you wanna come?" --and then shrugging off the look she gave him. "Alright then, babe, whatever." Down and further down, in his own curious mix of caution and recklessness, of awkwardness and grace. "Anyways, like I was sayin', this's the Waterworks. Uh, well it was the Aquarium when I was here. An' then it was an ice-skatin' rink for a while..."

Down to a hall of concrete-reinforced brick arches and columns, and old pipe. And there, he shone light. Pressed into the cracked concrete, the mark of his hand. He spread his hand over it again, noted that the print was smaller, told himself it was only due to the way concrete shrank when it dried. Still there, though.




a rainy day at the beach || jia mac lugh || tirnanog (pre-collapse)

It was by no natural inclination of her own that she walked the beach--it was rocky, and the air slowly leeched away all the heat of the forge that she carried with her. Whatever it was that had called her here was likely hidden by rain and fog. She drew a gleaming brass far-sight from her pocá, raised it to her eye. She saw through it all, and the heart of the trouble.

The sea was less a deterrent than the cold. She was a skilled swimmer, and reached the ship quickly, climbed it even faster, silent, throwing slippery wet coils over the figurehead, and no one saw until she was standing before them on two legs, silent and dripping, her long black hair streaming water. She did not shiver. The men on board did not expect her--foolish, but nothing new; it was not the first time she had heard men in the dark call on things they would deny by the light of day.

They all panicked at first, made warding gestures--and then fell abruptly silent at their captain's command. He bowed politely and offered a gift--a wine skin full of grog, still warm. She drank, and pressed it against her belly, clutching the precious warmth to her with grave-cold hands for a moment, before she raised one, a gesture meant to point the way safely out of her world and back to theirs.

At least one had known to call her, snake's daughter that she was. The mermaid was far less kind, when it came to trespassers.
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