edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
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Master List of Elizabeth Culmer's Fiction
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FANFICTION:

General Disclaimer: These stories are based on characters and situations created and owned by other people and corporations. I make no money from this borrowing of intellectual property, and intend no copyright or trademark infringement.

Organization: This list is organized primarily by fandom; within each fandom, it's arranged first by associated story cycles and then by writing date. Word counts and writing dates are approximations.

Content/Warning Policy: 1) I am not consistent about warnings! I use them when I remember, for a few relatively broad categories of potentially problematic content, but if something is off-page, non-explicit, or generally backgrounded, I probably won't think to note it in the metadata. Read at your own risk! 2) The things I try to warn for are explicit sex, rape, murder, torture, cannibalism, incest, depression/suicide, familial dysfunction, and occasionally also societal dysfunction (aka dystopia). Sometimes I just slap a general content warning on all my fic for a given fandom and don't label each individual fic. I also don't generally warn for violence, unless the violence in a fic is dramatically out-of-step with the violence in its source canon. 3) I don't use any content rating system unless I'm posting to a site or community that requires or encourages ratings, because I find movie-style ratings counter-intuitive when applied to written fiction, and not particularly useful for anything other than denoting the presence of explicit sex, which I already note in the metadata.

Quality Rating System: I've marked my favorite stories with asterisks, on a scale of 1 to 4. The more asterisks, the more I like the story. This doesn't necessarily mean that stories without asterisks are bad, just that I don't like them as much. Also, I am not claiming to be an arbiter of taste; you may love stories I dislike, and vice versa. I am just providing a heads-up about the ones that I think are best written and/or most interesting.

Where To Read: What I post on my journal tends to be the equivalent of a beta draft. If I have cross-posted a story literally anywhere else (except Tumblr; fic content there is just a mirror of fic content here), read the version that isn't on my journal. Versions on AO3 are definitive. If there is no AO3 version, read the ff.net version. If there is no ff.net version, read the FictionAlley version (only applicable for HP fic). Failing that, read the journal version, because that's the only one there is.

Harry Potter Fanfiction

Naruto Fanfiction

Angel Sanctuary Fanfiction

Chronicles of Narnia Fanfiction

Homestuck Fanfiction

Minor Fandom Fanfiction
(currently includes BtVS/A:tS, Daredevil (MCU), The Dark Is Rising, FF7: Mercverse AU, Inception, and Star Trek: AOS)

Miscellaneous Fanfiction
(Currently includes: American Gods, An Ash-Blonde Witch, Arthurian Mythology, Avengers (MCU), Batman, the Bible, the Black Jewels series, the Bourne trilogy, Captain America (MCU), Charlotte's Web, Code Geass, the Darkangel trilogy, Death Note, Discworld, Doctor Who, Enchanted Forest Chronicles, The Girl with the Silver Eyes, Glee, Gormenghast, Guardians of the Galaxy (MCU), Hamilton, Hexwood, The Homeward Bounders, Howl's Moving Castle, Labyrinth, Lord of the Rings, Lucifer (comics), Mad Max: Fury Road, Merlin, the Oz books, Ranma 1/2, Rise of the Guardians, Sailor Moon, Saiyuki, Seaward, Shakespeare, Star Wars, Tam Lin (Pamela Dean), White Collar, Wolf Hall, X-Men, and Yu-Gi-Oh!)

Crossover Fanfiction
(I do not cross-list crossovers and fusions under their component fandoms; this is the only place to find them. Currently includes: the Anita Blake series, ASoIaF, Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Black Jewels series, BtVS, Cardcaptor Sakura, Chronicles of Narnia, the Darkangel trilogy, The Dark Is Rising, Discworld, Doctor Who, Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Ender's Game, Gundam Wing, Harry Potter, Hikaru no Go, Homestuck, Inception, the Indiana Jones movies, Leverage, Lucifer (comics), MCU (various), Merlin, Naruto, the Oz books, Sandman, Stargate: SG-1, Star Trek: AOS, Vorkosigan Saga, Welcome to Night Vale, and a couple other things that only appear in memes rather than actual fic.)

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ORIGINAL FICTION:

These stories are all mine! *grin* I use the same warning policy and quality rating system as for my fanfiction.

All Original Fiction

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My various bingo cards: Cotton Candy Bingo, Round One (Blackout!); Cotton Candy Bingo, Round Two; Daredevil Bingo; Genprompt Bingo; Domestic AU Prompt List
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
For [personal profile] othercat, for the Fic DVD Commentary Meme.

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The Law of Conservation of Mangrit: It starts out ironically, of course, but by the time Dave's wearing a corset and a swanky evening dress and Terezi's in a three-piece suit, Jade wants nothing more than to get them both into bed as soon as possible. (15,300 words)

Note: This is the fic that for a very long time was known only as "untitled Jade/Dave/Terezi crossdressing porn." And by a very long time, I mean I started writing it back in August 2012. (Yes, really.) That means it's based on canon that has since been drastically altered.

I think the best way to handle that issue is to say that "The Law of Conservation of Mangrit" is a retroactive AU based on the Game Over timeline, with the assumption that the actual Game Over events didn't spin so irretrievably out of control and the players were therefore able to win without Terezi using John to retcon anything. So Davesprite and John lived through all three years of the Yellow Yard and the meteor road trip was miserable for everyone involved. As for why Terezi is blind again, I assume she burned her sight out heroically saving somebody from something -- because of narrative echoes and significant choices and stuff -- and this time even if anyone offered to heal her, she said no.

Thank you to MadameHardy and missvgc for beta reading!

Some further background information! I started writing this fic because of the following kinkmeme prompt: I'd like to see a character of your choosing present as a different gender than they identify as, because they and their partner(s) think it's hot. I'm not really looking for trans!fic here (though that's awesome!), and I don't want them being shamed over either their gender identity or their play. So, for example:

Maybe sometimes Roxy likes to put on a suit and fedora and peg Dirk until he begs her to let him come.

Maybe John thinks it's really hot for Karkat to wear falsies and lacy underthings while he fucks his nook and calls him his loving wife.

Maybe Nepeta likes to switch between presenting as male or female between sexual encounters, and Terezi loves never knowing what she's going to get in the sack.

Would love to see focus on details like how the character dresses/gets ready to present a different gender (possibly with partner helping them?) as well as how that plays out in sexy times (i.e. gendered behavior re: topping, if that'd be a thing for your characters, or how non-hermaphroditic characters make up for having only male or female genitals, etc.).


By the time I finished, nearly three years had passed and I felt I'd veered too far from the prompt to post this as a response, but that was the inspiration.


The Law of Conservation of Mangrit, with commentary )

I hope that was of some interest. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Snagged from various places:

Pick any story I've written, or, in the case of my longer, chaptered works, any chapter from any story I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

(The phrasing is unclear as to whether we're discussing whole stories or just story sections, but hey, pick what you want! You can find all my fic via this link. The majority of those stories are also available here on AO3.)

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Cardcaptor Uhura, for [personal profile] rosaxx50

The Law of Conservation of Mangrit, for [personal profile] othercat

The Courting Dance, chapter 7, for [tumblr.com profile] bluejayfic

The Way of the Apartment Manager, chapter 11, for [personal profile] wistfulmemory

The Guardian in Spite of Herself, chapter 16, for [personal profile] jjhunter
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Summary: Rose buys Jade a bonsai azalea, just because. Part of the Leaf and Letter AU.

Note: This ficlet was written in response to the prompt: i brought you home flowers just for the hell of it, no it doesn't matter that we've been together for three years and i've never done this before, they are pretty (and so are you i love you), from [tumblr.com profile] snogfairy's wholesome domestic prompts list. (1,000 words exactly)

[ETA: the AO3 crosspost is now up!]

Sweets to the Sweet )

Yes, I know the title is from a funeral speech. Rose is very committed to her aesthetic. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Courtesy of [tumblr.com profile] snogfairy:

wholesome domestic prompts

-i brought you home flowers just for the hell of it, no it doesn't matter that we've been together for three years and i've never done this before, they are pretty (and so are you i love you)

-we, the blankets, and the pet have tangled into an irreversible knot on the couch and if no one comes save us this might be our end

-we wanted to cook but now we are dramatically singing a duet with kitchen utensils in our hands, this is quality PerformanceTM

-i've had a horrible week and you just brought me home my favourite treat

-no, when i said i wanted you to help clean the house i did NOT mean you should do it wearing only, exclusively stockings, you insolent FOOL

-one of us has to get out of bed to make pancakes and it’s not going to be me ok just go and bring me nourishment

-it's been TEN YEARS and you STILL don't know how to properly tidy up the dishes!!!! these plates go here, but these almost identical ones go there, is it that hard??!? what, no, they look nothing alike!

-you can't go to work because i need cuddles

-i'm sick but no don't worry about me, go to work, no really i can handle myself, love, it's.... ok that sounds wonderful i'm giving up pls stay

-we have guests over... do you really think it's an appropriate time to affectionately grab my butt and kiss my neck... in front of the entire table.... ok

-"i know we both don't believe in marriage but let's get married for tax benefits"... "listen i know i said that but if you don't even try to be romantic about proposing so help me god. try. again."

-sometimes i just can't stop kissing your stupid face
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
[personal profile] mme_hardy said: Calliope/Roxy, having a cuddlepile on Earth C after all the fireworks have died down. Basically, what we can do now that we don't have to do anything.

Note: This ficlet was written in response to the [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo square soft. It is also a [community profile] genprompt_bingo fill for the square monsoon.

This is tangential at best to Madame Hardy's prompt (and also only tangentially fluffy), but it's the only version of this thought that was willing to coalesce into a fic with a beginning, a middle, and an end, so I am declaring victory and getting out rather than letting this project devour me alive. *wry* (700 words)

[ETA: the slightly revised final version is now up on AO3!]

I Am the One Who Lives with the Ocean )

I have noticed, over the years, that I have a tendency to get kind of experimental (in both structure and phrasing) when dealing with water imagery. I am not sure why that is.

Possibly I should try doing something similar with other imagery sets.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
So I got a [community profile] genprompt_bingo card. :)

I make absolutely no guarantees whatsoever about getting any of these done, and if so, how soon, but hey. I like having prompts I can poke at when I have no inspiration for anything... and since these fills only need to be 100 words long, they are VERY low-pressure. *wry*


my card )

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ETA: Prompts in BOLD have been filled. Also, here is a list of story links! :)

1. Transition State - 400 words, April 2017, Star Trek: TNG/The Sandman, science and magic
2. Written on the Skin - 250 words, April 2017, The Darkangel, grooming (brushing / braiding hair, painting nails, etc.)
3. Camouflage the Question - 1,500 words, April 2017, Sailor Moon, it was a decoy / feint / distraction
4. Whose Allegiance Is Ruled by Expedience - 1,600 words, May 2017, Naruto, butcher / baker / candlestick-maker: tradesman
5. Into the Rift - 200 words, May 2017, Chronicles of Narnia/Harry Potter, trust

6. I Am the One Who Lives with the Ocean - 700 words, June 2017, Homestuck, monsoon
7. The Test of Gold - 200 words, June 2017, Chronicles of Narnia/Harry Potter, extraordinary
8. A Good Idea at the Time - 300 words, June 2017, Chronicles of Narnia/Harry Potter, northern / southern lights
9. A Bit of Hot Water - 4,350 words, July 2017, Enchanted Forest Chronicles, pipes and beer
10. How Easy All Can See - 1,200 words, July 2017, Chronicles of Narnia, heart on sleeve

11. Queen of the Night - 1,225 words, July 2017, Chronicles of Narnia, midnight
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
[tumblr.com profile] madamehardy said: Ooh! Homestuck, Dirk, Roxy, cuddle. It's the post-Sburb world, and there are too many people all the time, and only Dirk and Roxy want to flee screaming to a (pair of) faraway mountains. Bring back the blissful solitude of the post-apocalypse.

Note: Not compliant with the credits snapchats, because reasons. :) (2,700 words)

[ETA: The slightly revised final version is now up on AO3!]

Some Little Talk a While of Me and Thee )

It's still a little disjointed, I think, but whatever. I win. \o/
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
The fic I am currently writing (a Cotton Candy Bingo fill/prompt ficlet for [tumblr.com profile] madamehardy) has been intensely frustrating -- not because the words won't come, but because I have spent several days flailing around trying to find where the story needs to start. See, every time I pick the wrong place, it unravels into interminable internal monologues, when it really needs to be about friendship and human connection. (...And running off to be hermits on neighboring mountains, but still; friendship!)

I finally got the main scene to start working when I unearthed a pesterlog from after an acre of internal monologue and copypasted it to be a sort of mini-prologue instead, but today I realized I still had about a zillion paragraphs of stuff that needed to get on the page but currently had no plausible way there except via more acres of internal monologue (not to mention the ending was going to feel weird and unbalanced unless it went back to pesterlogs, which... would be structurally kind of missing the point?) so I have had to back up yet again and tack on an opening scene with my POV character talking to some others in person and thereby show (rather than tell) some of the stuff that kept creeping into the interminable monologues.

*headdesk*

I hate writing. I hate it passionately.

(Don't listen to me; I love it to pieces.)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Last set of fills, until the next ficathon rolls around. :)

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23. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Inception, Ariadne / or & any, minotaur, written 1/4/17 [AO3 version]

no morality by instinct (200 words exactly)

At the heart of every person's mind is a guardian, territorial and feral, that exacts repayment in blood and pain for all attempted intrusions; they can be evaded, confused, and with time and practice soothed to sleep, but they are never truly tamed; even the people a dreamer loves and trusts the most can still be ripped apart if they grow careless and startle the beast awake.

"Like a minotaur, a proper flesh-eater both maddened and cunning, sent to humble those who grow too proud of their power and cleverness and forget to observe the proper rituals," Eames says with a careless smile, "and you a combination of Daedalus and your own lovely namesake, both to build the maze that traps the monster and to spin the thread that guides us safely through."

"Ah, the benefits of a classical education," Ariadne says wryly, watching the slow and suspicious patrol of the squirrels and songbirds that populate the wilderness she's built in Eames's mind, and wonders whether, when Arthur begins testing her rough-draft maze for flaws, she'll have time to shoot herself awake before she learns what it feels like to die sliced apart by a thousand tiny claws and beaks.

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24. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Any, any, stealing the sun, written 1/8/17 [AO3 version]

years of drought and famine (225 words)

The clouds are thin in the first years, translucent veils that drape in narrow, scattered bands across the sky: the world's victory sari, people call them, and marvel at the way they seem to catch faint fire at sunset or sunrise, kindling Solstar's white to color within their refracted folds, or to reflect Oceanus's blue-green shine like a dream of verdant growth. But gradually they grow thicker and more frequent, and eventually begin to blot out Solstar's light for hours at a time: an ill-omen, people say now, and wonder in whispers whether perhaps the white witch of the mere cursed the world in her death-throes, or whether the Aeriel was corrupted in her victory; wait, say others, the world was not born in a day, nor can its rebirth be easy; all changes are terrifying even when they bring prosperity and joy at the end of the shift; but patience and trust come hard after generations of the world's slow fall and there are mutterings against the work of Crystalglass, words that might grow into deeds without a countersign, and soon.

And then, at last, in the midst of a daylight darkness, there comes a thing unseen for generations: wrapped in the lowering gloom of oppressive clouds and the fear of the stolen sun, the sky breathes rain once more unto the thirsty earth.

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Note: Darkangel Trilogy, obviously. :)

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25. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Mad Max: Fury Road, any, chasing the sun, written 1/10/17 [AO3 version]

truth, like the sun (175 words)

They say if you drive west fast enough, the sun never sets; drive west fast enough and a single day lasts forever. The true metal, the true V8, they race across the sky in a blaze of glory too bright to look upon with pitiful fleshy eyes, and they will never die; this is Valhalla, the promise and the dream, where everything is caught in an eternity of perfect, howling speed and chrome.

"Flashy and hollow, just like the rest of Joe's lies, and easily turned around if the people here weren't too cowed and beaten down to think," Angharad says when Furiosa relates this bit of warboy lore, words dragged halting and unfamiliar between her teeth like a slow fuel leak she can already tell will leave her stranded and weaponless one of these endless days; "What if you drive east to meet the sun as a partner, instead of west to capture it?" and Furiosa sits in gear-ground silence for the rest of her watch rather than admit she's never thought to ask the question.

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26. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Any, any, treason, written 1/10/17 [AO3 version]

the treason of pity (250 words)

"If I had it all to do over again," the Dolorosa says to her kismesis as they lie, sweaty, blood-streaked, and sated, in the little nest of torn sailcloth that serves as both pile and bedding ground for the slaves in Mindfang's crew, "I'd tell my son to aim for the Empress instead of the people; she is the Empire, after all, its incarnation as well as its creator; any attack on its power and order is an attack on her, and vice versa. Instead of making ourselves into a threat to put down, we could have shown her how the highbloods have already stolen control out from under her nose -- high treason on a scale to beggar belief -- and tried to set up something better in the wake of the resulting bloodbath; she admires strength and daring, after all, and surely after helping her regain power in practice as well as in theory, we would have convinced her that letting such qualities flourish among lowbloods does not automatically equal chaos."

"If you had it all to do over again, you'd do exactly the same as before," the Demoness says, a thread of weary resignation laced through her habitual scorn, "because I'd go back too, a thousand thousand times if necessary, until I nudged you back onto the path; my master only accepts the timeline that leads to his victory, and as we both know, there are punishments worse than death; do not seek more of them than are already your share."

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Note: This will make much more sense if read in combination with The Time-Traveler's Kismesis: Counterthesis.

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27. ) For [livejournal.com profile] lignota: Any, any, following smoke and remembering fire, written 1/12/17 [AO3 version]

the seat containing of unweary'd flame (Meet Adoration to My Household Gods) (200 words exactly)

Magic in this world, Susan reflected, was maddening compared to the magic she'd learned in Narnia; if that had been plucking ripe apples from low-hanging boughs in a well-tended orchard, this was wading through thorns and interminable flies in search of stray raspberries not yet discovered by birds or bears, or befriending some higher, older powers in hope of borrowing the bounty of their own hoards.

Still, she fought best from a distance, whether with weapons or words, and as bows were too conspicuous and handguns both too noisy and too illegal (not to mention of limited utility at best against vampires and demons), magic seemed the most immediately useful replacement.

Susan squeezed another drop of blood from her pricked fingertip, repeated once again in halting Greek (blast Peter for laughing when he realized she would have to learn multiple new languages and writing systems to master her new field), "Hestia, queen of hearth and home, strike this spark for your daughter," and smiled when the nest of kindling in her saucer breathed a sigh of smoke; it was no clear, bright flame to strike foes or summon aid, but all things would come with time, and work, and faith.

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Note: Part of my One Equal Temper of Heroic Hearts series, which crosses Narnia and BtVS. The halves of the title come from the Orphic Hymn to Hestia (#84, Taylor's translation) and Tennyson's 'Ulysses,' respectively.

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28. ) For anonymous: Any, any, tears of flowers, written 1/12/17 [AO3 version]

unwanted blessings (500 words exactly)

"The traditional blessing is for roses and jewels to fall from a poor but kind girl's lips with every word she speaks, but the fairy I met said that made it hard to hold actual conversations and tended to wreck local economies, not to mention the roses prickle something awful on the tongue," Morwen's new roommate, Rosamund, said when their conversation turned to their respective reasons for attending Stokey's Academy.

"Magic does have consequences," Morwen agreed. "Is that why you decided to become a sorceress? To see if you could unpick other traditional causes and effects?"

"Not exactly," Rosamund said with a frustrated scowl. "You see, the fairy still blessed me. She just blessed me to cry flowers instead of speak them, since she said if I was upset enough for tears, that's when I'd actually need flowers to cheer me up. It's a complete nuisance. The flowers are mostly violets and cherry blossom, which thankfully don't prickle, but the petals feel like tissue paper and slugs on my eyeballs, they get absolutely everywhere, and I can't even turn them into a garland or bouquet because they don't have any stems."

"Ugh." Morwen grimaced in sympathy and refilled Rosamund's teacup with the last of her aunt's best company blend that she'd brought with her from home. "That sounds like she was so proud of noticing the problems with the old spell, she didn't bother to make sure her new spell was actually any better."

"Yes, exactly," Rosamund said, and gulped the tea down like water. "That's not the worst part, though. After she cast the flower spell, the fairy said she wouldn't bother trying to make an endless gold spell that wasn't subject to abuse. Instead, she told me that my family already had everything we needed. That sounds nice, right?"

"In a vaguely moralistic and uplifting way," Morwen agreed.

"Very 'be content with your lot and beware the dangers of ambition,' yes," Rosamund said. "But it did sound nice... until we realized it was a spell too, and it was keeping our farm from ever turning a profit."

"How so?"

"If we already had everything we needed, what reason was there for anything to ever change? So nothing does. Everything's frozen the way it was when I met the fairy. We can't clear new fields. We can't rotate crops. We can't even buy a new goat without one of our old goats magically dying for no reason, which means the blessing is actually more of a curse." Rosamund clutched her teacup with white-knuckled fingers and said, so fiercely that Morwen almost expected her eyes to burst into flame, "I came here to learn how to break it. Then I am going to find that fairy, if I have to chase her to the ends of the earth, and I am going to give her a piece of my mind."

"I'll hold her down for you," Morwen promised, and gently pried the teacup from Rosamund's work-roughened hands before it shattered.

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Note: Enchanted Forest Chronicles. This one got a little out of hand. Oops? Also, Stokey's Academy is a bit of headcanon I made up when I was giving Morwen backstory for various other fics; it is glancingly mentioned in The Affairs of Dragons and serves as the main setting for A Splash of Color.

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29. ) For [livejournal.com profile] lizzie_marie_23: Narnia/Harry Potter, Edmund ~ or / Ginny, hidden corners of the world, written 1/12/17 [AO3 version]

the gate of iron and emerald (375 words)

"This is why you missed the first minute of the battle and left us without our best distance fighter," Edmund said flatly as he continued to inspect his mail shirt for damaged links; "Because you tripped and fell down a hole."

Ginny twirled her wand between her fingers (the way Lucy sometimes spun daggers) and said, in a tone that implied she was attempting forbearance despite great provocation, because despite everything she was fond of him and so forgave his foibles, "Because while I was scouting for ambushes -- it's only chance that the attack came from the west instead of the east, besides which I can't believe you missed a half-dozen giants in land this flat -- I found a locked iron door in an emerald frame in the back wall of this cave, which is so ridiculously out of place that it might as well be screaming it's magical, even without the runes I can't read carved over the lintel, and I was in the middle of testing to see if opening it would be dangerous -- it shouldn't be, by the way, unless you're actually as useless as you act when you're trying to convince people you're young and ignorant, in which case I want a raise since bodyguarding that kind of idiot definitely deserves hazard pay -- but anyway, stop looking at me like I'm a particularly squishable beetle and let's go see what's on the other side."

"I feel that Susan would tell us that interfering with strange magics is a terrible idea, and counsel us instead to both employ caution and remember our mission," Edmund said, pro forma, but this journey to Harfang for truce negotiations had several days' flexibility built in to account for the general disarray of Ettinsmoor after Peter's latest summer war, and he could never live with himself if he turned down a chance to explore one of the hidden corners of the world, thus blatantly presented as both invitation and challenge; and so he motioned his other bodyguard (a grizzled She-Wolf by the name of Skadi) to alert the rest of the party to this turn of events and followed Ginny into the narrow cleft in the earth, to meet what fate awaited them beyond the mysterious door.

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Note: A loose sequel to By Its Cover.

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30. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Beauty and the Beast (Disney or fairy tale; f/f genderswap), Beauty (or Belle)/Beast, roses in the snow, written 1/14/17

the heart that is soonest awake to the flowers (300 words exactly)

Beauty walked the garden paths beside Lady Falcon-in-Flight's massive form, one hand on her spear (as always, for the spells that bound the castle were fraying with age and sometimes spun off monsters) and the other extended to rest lightly on her lady's shoulder: soft fur layered thickly over hard muscle that could drive a body tirelessly for days on end until a chosen quarry was brought to bay -- now twitching restless and unfulfilled as her lady fought to leash a beast's instinct and appetite into a pale mimicry of human form and function, just as she gifted Beauty with garlands and gold instead of the fragile heart Beauty yearned to cradle in her hands and guard from every wound.

"You should hunt, as your body aches to do," Beauty said, as she had each morning since the new moon; "Bring me back a stag or boar, hard-won with your own strength: for blood on snow suits midwinter better than soft, spell-wrought flowers that seek to make all seasons equally a lie."

Her lady tensed, and Beauty bit her lip in expectation of yet another refusal... but this day her lady sighed (a hot, metallic gust of air, like opening the door to her eldest sister's smithy), turned her great head to fix her golden, slit-pupiled eyes on Beauty's own, and said in her rumbling voice, "If you wish a kill, you may make it yourself, but you are right that this body needs to run; I will be your hound and horse together, if you will be my mistress and guide me with a firm hand lest I lose myself to bloodlust; and perhaps when we return we might search the garden until we find amidst the ice a rose that, like you, has remembered its birthright of thorns."

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You know, I think these ficlets could count for [community profile] snowflake_challenge Day 7: create a fanwork, if I wanted to make this post multipurpose.

...I believe I will. :)

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Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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