" This famous linguist once said that of all the phrases in the English language, of all the endless combinations of words in all of history, that "cellar door" is the most beautiful. "
title: kickbackcharacters: lakshmibai, minhonotes: written too; xHe's practising his shots, and the falchion is unwieldy in his hands. He was not quite ready for the kickback. The ugly butt of the weapon into his shoulders. The difference between military weapons and what common muck could get their hands on could sometimes be nothing more than the sheer firepower these weapons had. ( Different again to the pistols she had grown up with, with their one shot and desperately packed in gunpowder she had carried into battlefields.But the roar of them, that remains the same ). But it's more than watching a newly trained soldier pretending that he wasn't punching the same bruise over and over again and wondering why it wasn't working. She's watching a boy try to do the job of a man. He does it well, and he will be a fine one when he's grown (or, at least, a very carefully moulded one). But for the moment, he is not one yet, and he has a stiff spine pride with the weight of pretending he's grown, that makes him difficult at times to approach. She can often think of him in terms of a wounded animal. All bite and barely covered wounds. He might just bite the hand that is trying to feed him, he's certainly bitten others. The difference being, with a glance at the back of Devi's head where she's seeing to the training of another man, is she's used to such things. The trick is timing, in the approach, and a disregard of as to when she started thinking of even children as wolves to be tamed. That part of her had been immolated by the pyre of her husband and son. He can't afford that softness, neither can she. Instead, she takes his grip on his gun. Her battle worn fingers over his and turns his wrist up. Setting his palm where it would take more weight. Shoves the butt of the gun against his shoulder lower, to where it would set less against bones that could snap under that constant pressure, to solid muscle that would absorb the shock. He jerks, rebuffing of the instructions, of the help. That stubborn look on his face and she sighs, stepping away. He would listen when he wanted too. Stubborn brats, all of them. Again, she says, arms loose over her chest. Tap, tap, tap, finger against opposing upper arm. Watching his stance, his brace. This time, when the racket of merciless bits of metal and thick smell of gun smoke fill the empty tunnels where they train, his hiss of pain is audible. She knows how sore that point must be, and she waits for him to turn back to her. Gun held loose across his chest, gingerly off the point on his shoulder. The only words she can spare: don't fight against it, fight with it. He's watching, less wounded animal, more cub tracing its parents movements this time around. With the others, he will practise hunting. With her, he says nothing at all as she steps forward and adjusts his stance, his placement of the weapon, the laxness she jerks his arm into. With it, or it will break you. Once he's got it, furative glance up to her ( or barely, very soon he will out grow her, it didn't matter, she had practised the art of looking down on others the way only a ruler can ) She meets his gaze, and flicks her fingers. Again. Takes the step back, arms crossing loose across her chest as she waits for him to do as he is instructed. It still hurts, though half as much as his pride does from the grimace on his face. He lines down the sights, fingers curling more steadily. Watches him check over to make sure he'd done as she said. He fires, and she knows before he's pulled the trigger that he's got the shot now. When he turns back to her, she nods. He doesn't look for praise, and she's already moving on.
title: "there is something dangerous to the boredom of teenage girls"characters: angel the siren, jade ellsworthnotes: vague au where Jade is the only person Angel is allowed to see in her control core on Pandora. written too; Jade laughed, head tilted back, the ginger strands of catching at the edge of her face. All golden as they catch the artificial light.'Again - 'The walls shimmered, dancing intricate patterns, layers of hexagons, that ebbed like water. The flicker of unnatural purple light. They are in Angel's room. They are never in Angel's room. They are where Jade's imagination and Angel's horrifying, monstrous, and Jade insisted -- beautiful abilities can take them. This time it's a beach. Today they have begun to truly apart reality now. They have stopped asking for only imitations of reality, today they break it utterly. The sand is a many toned purple, the sky is gradient green, the leaves are glossy veined vermillion. It is a vomitous riot of colour, technicolour puke like when Jade had smuggled them in a bottle of something green and sweet and burning. The world looked like that morning after, vibrantly jarring. ( Jade liked drinking more than she did, she'd found once the pair of them were flushed in the face. Not that it was bad - but what was drinking, smoking, to eridium? One was a muted buzz to the crackling raw power in her veins. But she liked seeing her happy, and the drinking made the laughter easier, more about what they weren't supposed to do, than what they were actually doing ). The world they made, this time, would be hard on hung over eyes, the light so jarring as it washed over them. Things are wrong of course, she's desperately tweaking the littlest details. The flickers of quartz in the sand that turned it a softer shade, The way the light refracted over the broad shiny leaves and bounced to reflect on rocks. Each adjustment as tender as Rodin's thumb print on a sculpture. Jade would appreciate it, she knows, if she called attention to it. Jade never withdrew, was never terrified of her marks. Instead she snatched her faintly glowing hand and held it tight. Not scared of what lay under skin. As the sunset floods light, never rising, never sinking, stay there in an eternity of twilight sprawling she lets Jade turn to watch it unfurl. The room they are is only this by this long, this by this wide. Finite. Small. But the beach spreads out in a sickle shape, curling to mimic the moon that would rise if she let it. It's all in her control, the only thing that is. She wonders at the sort of person she is, that she likes constructing this sort of trap for the happiness of another. This false world, all lies. But Jade turns back to her, her finger's threaded through Angel's. Squeezing it tightly with a rushing excitement. She doesn't know the difference, she doesn't control it, she only sees an unreal world and a way to forget everything. That there are walls the other side of it doesn't stop them. 'C'mon, lets see what's in the ocean.'Angel opens her mouth to correct her, whatever I want it to be. She's said it before, and Jade shakes her head quickly dismiss it before the words even surface. 'We've talked about this. You're not going to think about it, you're just going to do whatever comes to your mind as quickly as you think of it.' She hesitates, pausing. Nose scrunched up. 'But no giant spiderants this time, okay?'She can't help it, she laughs, a guilty duck of her head. 'You asked to see what I saw on the echonet.''Okay, I heretofore ban anything about Pandora.' It's said with all the pomp of a royal decree. 'Why does Jack have you look at that place anyway?'That, Angel knows, but that Angel will not say, instead she shrugs her shoulders, a soft rise and fall that means siren stuff, or Jack stuff. Both, in this case. Besides, there wasn't words for the pull she felt to the planet, how she kept going back to it, no matter how she tried to pull away, direct her gaze and her mind elsewhere. Nothing there but misery. Something must of crossed her face, because Jade hesitated before adding; 'You're really hung up on it, aren't you?'Another shrug, clearing her throat. 'It doesn't matter. I look at a lot of planets.' Jade swings their joined hands, back and forth. 'Yeah, you're a regular satellite.''When I tune in I get 415 channels, best coverage this this side of Eden-5.' It's not the best joke, but they both laugh for the sake of easing tension, and this time, Angel doesn't pull back. She does the one thing Jade allows her to do, she doesn't think any further. 'C'mon, I downloaded an entire study on Paleolithic creatures before Promethea's fourth flash freeze.''Oh? What were they like?''Covered in spines. Huge teeth.''Angel!'
title: merciescharacters: jasper khezek, corvo attanonotes: written to; x"Gentleman callers" she had called them. Bottle Street thugs, is what she means and they were as clever as any foot soldier was, whether that battlefield was an open plain or back alleys. He'd fought long enough to know that they were all the same when it came to following orders without thought. He might hate them less if he weren't so much the same. Just following orders, just doing what was asked. What was the other option? Thinking about what was left otherwise? Better to move, to keep moving, to never look back. So he doesn't blame them, not really. Nor is he sure what he expects to find. He knows he's not what they are expecting to find. Death stalking, all glinting mask and the shimmer of the ever beckoning void. All phantom, all omen. But in turn, he finds what is left of this rotten city. Those strong enough to have survived it, and those who had survived by luck. As he goes to the door, and with a flick of all powerful from his fingers that flings the door of it's hinges and sends them sprawling over the rain sodden streets, he doesn't find particularly worth adversaries. He finds the scared, the desperate. He finds a boy with red eyes, white hair sticking out from a bowler hat that goes rolling away from them. Landing in the curb, sadly speckled with mud and other, worse things from these streets. It is not much, he doesn't truly pause in his reaction, he just glances up at the boy. Seeing not a fighter, not even a thug, and nothing that would be considered a gentleman from the world Corvo had lived in. Just a boy, a boy's scared eyes, wide and nervous as death encroached in the flick out of a blade. Not for him this time, when the man he had knocked the right, moved up, launching at him. He takes a direct turn to deal with the sudden attack, forgetting all else to the welcome hum of violence.The rest after that is a blur. Fights are not long drawn out affairs they make them out to be in the poems. They are not beautiful, ornate things. They are five seconds, and the misstep of whoever flinches the wrong way first. It ends with the first men spilling intestines over the street, the second with a blade plunged up between ribs straight into heart. With a jerking, snagging gesture, tugging to pull the blade free of muscles. He -- all death, all merciless -- turned back to the boy then. The last one left, just - a boy. The other two men grown, with a man's reaction to violence. But this boy, with his skin whiter than a weeper, scrambled back, desperately reaching for the bottle that had been knocked out of his hand. His senses turned sharp from being soaked this far in void, he doesn't need to read the label to read the stench of pure alcohol, highly flammable, and as dangerous as fire could always be. Maybe if someone burned the bodies, instead of letting them pile high, this sickness might have been curbed in the days when an Empress smiled. Doesn't matter now. The boy drags himself backwards on his side, foot kicking under him to get away and Corvo -- stands. Blade turning over in his right hand, blood trickled over it and in an all too human gestures, he transfers it to the other, so he might wipe it off. Like sweaty palms before an important event. It is still there in the creases of his skin. 'Boy, should you not be tending someone?' He creaks the words, rasping and metallic echoed behind the mask. ( His mother was one of the first to die. he nursed her, even when she cursed him by his noble father's name. )'Go away, assassin.' Stubborn, prideful, not the snarling of brutes, but the pride of the young with nothing else to loose. Corvo's head tilts. The mask gives nothing else away, save to shift in the light, and the blade passes back to his dominant hand, less likely to loose his grip now it was not so slick. 'Quiet.' Should he kill him? No doubt, it would the bigger mercy to them both. No boy to run back to his master, no eyes to report him, the mad old woman upstairs watching with empty eyes and a hungry mouth, would be pleased. Reward him better. Sated goddess at her alter, hungry for the blood of any who was willing to spill it for her. But he looks at the boy again and taking a step ( and rightfully so, the boy flinches to even the slightest movement ), he kicks a blade towards him, which there's no hesitation in how he takes it up immediately. 'Next time, don't let go of your weapon, even when it hurts.'He sheathes his own then, a flick as quick as a butterfly beats its wings. It's snapped back together, and clipped back to his belt, and in a flash of magic that leaves the boy gasping in something like fear, something like awe, he's gone. Or at least, to his company he is. It's a small thing, But he watches to make sure he scrambles his way back to Slackjaw. Spouting off about spirits that walked, and the old women that commanded them. It's a small thing, but most would say, there isn't much but the small things left.
title: toxicitycharacters: jessamine kaldwin, corvo attanonotes: what dumb married ppl. She has a million ideas, a million times a day. He appreciates that about her. Her mind has always seemed so infinite to him. He doesn't know if this is a good one or not. He doesn't like anything that makes him unable to do his job. He doesn't like not being unable to think clearly, it makes him vulnerable. Which excusable in him, sometimes, if he must. It's inexcusable when it makes her vulnerable. So what she's really asking him to do is trust her. If he'll let himself go a little, for her.He'd do anything for her, of course. So in that case, it never really was a question at all. Fugue is the only time when they are not beset with people, when for one shirt night, they are themselves with no one else. Or that is the myth they indulge in. It is a pleasing pretence, and he finds himself weak to it more often than not. Because it's hard not to be weak, when she leans back, smoke curling from a long elegant pipe that settles in her fingers with an expertise that says he might never have been interested in it outside of now, but she certainly has been. The air is sickly sweet with the smell of whatever it is. It's filtering through his head already. Or maybe that's her, because he needs to tell her that none of this is necessary to inthrall him, she does that enough already. But he can't pretend his head is not muggy as is. Because she's stripped down, and insisted he not be so stiff in his coat. The windows are closed and they are not in any of the royal palaces that they had put around they would be, for Fugue. They are in a small estate that no one but she, he and the spymaster himself knew about. It was as close to forgetting as they ever got. 'Corvo,' her voice is rich as the smoke that curls from her mouth in a thick haze. It must be the smoke talking, such is the want to draw it down as it leaves from her mouth. 'Are you going to stand there all night?''I'd prefer not to.' He steps forward from where he had just been watching. Always watching her, how his duty might pain him if he did not love her. How it pained him in that he did. Granted, there was never any real choice but to love her. He expected no less of himself than utter fulfillment of his duty. 'Then come, I'd much rather you here.' She goes to draw another breath, and this time he catches her hand, stilling her and for a second, meeting her eyes, they're still. What foolish eternities they make, with just a glance. The rumours would never cease. She ends it first this time, tugging her fingers in his. 'Are you going to be my tired protector? Scared of some smoke?'He doesn't answer. Rather he turns his head as he turns the curl of her fingers. Angling to catch the end of the pipe and drawing a deep breath for himself. One, just the one. Breathing it only in so far before he lets it go. Tilting his head up to exhale, and she -- sharp actions that begot ruling, has no interest in mercy. Spirits knows how she manages it, for how he feels when it hits him. His edges go dull. Old injuries that never forget him as much as he wished them to leave him be, fade. He feels for the first since he took up a blade, painless. But she - she knows too much of her head. Knows him too well, in that second where he's vulnerable ( because she willed him to be so, because she looked at him, and he was undone ) catches his throat in the scrape of her teeth, pushed up all sudden, dragging lips and mouth and the heated draw on rough skin. More potent than the smoke, as toxic to blood as it as well. He snatches at her then, and he hears her not recoil, but shudder with the giggles that she's too languid to even fully form. All to her plan as he gets a hand under her hair, pooling in the inky black mess of it. His head is swimming, her hair swirls around his fingers like the sea-women sailors spoke of. She turns up, all expectant, pupils gone wide and in the distorted numbness that takes hold, there's something to her warmth that is indescribable. He is no poet, never had the inclination, but oh he wants to be, right now. 'Jessamine. We're being foolish.' He cant help it, even as he says it, he grins. Wider than he ever remembers doing normally. 'Corvo.' says it again, it's still worse than the smoke, no, it is the smoke. The way his name trickles out of her mouth like it. 'Come to me.'It's never a question between them, no matter what she asked, he always would.
title: we drank, oblivious / creation is a longer kind of drowningcharacters: lakshmi bai, daryl dixon, dishonored auwarnings: unreality, drowning, water based death, madnessafter six feet, all quiet is death quiet / six feet down / this far down / he doesn’t have a voice / dead men don't. / he’s a hunter slow, quiet, low, on his knees, crawling through the river-filth / ( his prey is oracle irony in rotten, writhing, burning flesh, his pray is Gods, his pray is things no man dares but he never cared about dares, he only did )he sets his bait well: him, open mouthed, waiting to drown / as he lowers himself down, down, down, and she drags her fingers over his lips, her thumb calloused in wars / centuries old and still fresh / bait taken, trap unleashed and she shivers / fair / she takes his voice, he takes her sight / and together they rock together in holy quiet / he binds her eyes in riverweeds and sea grass / lets her trace him in numb-blind infinities / her thumb that catches across the curve of his mouth / the sulk below his lip that is rock pool deep where he hides his secrets / where he pulls his expressions that are only grimaces and never pleasures / except where no one can see / ( that he makes sure she can’t, does that mean they are all hers? ) / he’s asking her if he’s going to drown / if he’s mad / she says yes, both, both / fingers framed to temple / he is drowning and mad, haven’t he heard them whisper? / a man that talks to grass-bottomed puddles like they’ll answer him / looking for an embrace in the shallow waters that lap at his ankles like lovers’ hand in hand / encroaching. / sweeping him off his feet and / down, down, down / there is depths here my love, love enough to be depths, depths enough to drown / drowning men don’t need to talk, ( she opens her mouth against his, and the water rushes to sand, and between them, the shore crashes to life, out of shivering cold death, life, she rocks, life, she bleeds, life, he tastes and so too he knows how to devour and she's so hazy on the birth of continents after the centuries but she thinks that it must have always been like this ) / they have better uses / their lungs are becoming new homes / their lungs are becoming a place for salt and brine and fish that are dull and shimmering, small enough to make rivers out of arteries inside of him / and she finds her home in there / that space expanding between bones like bird build bowers between tree branches / she builds her palace in his drowning / there love, if she kisses him it is not in life saving breath / it’s in siren pulled damp / and it is quiet, quiet, quiet / six feet deep, so quiet, he can forget and she can make sure he never does anything but remember / that she thinks, is better than speech / and he, her ragged hunter, her drowning bower / does not have the words to refuse her anymore.( these waters will never give back what they have taken )