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.

-----

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."

-----

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.

-----

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. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
If I get one more three-sentence ficlet done, I will have written exactly thirty fills for this year's ficathon. (I use 'this year' loosely; I mean the ficathon that started in December 2016.) I really want this, just for nice round number reasons (I get weird about stuff like that sometimes), but I am kind of... really, really blank on inspiration for any of the remaining prompts.

Well, I have the ones I like best collected into a list, and presumably I will figure out something to do with one of them tomorrow, at which point I will post my last eight fills to both Dreamwidth and Tumblr, and then gradually get them up on AO3. And then I will be free to focus on other stuff again.

Yeah. I'll write something on Saturday and we'll go from there. :)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
As always, here is the link to the current ficathon. Come and play! :)

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17. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Star Trek: AOS, Gaila/Uhura, code, written 12/6/16 [AO3 version]

systems analysis (225 words)

The code Gaila writes is designed to help complicated chunks of metal and ceramic machinery (i.e., starships) meet their design specs in the most efficient ways (i.e., not explode by accident), and the code Nyota writes is designed to help complicated chunks of biological machinery (i.e., people) talk to each other so they don't explode their own starships by accident either (and only explode other people's starships as an absolute last resort); which is to say, there's a certain amount of overlap despite most people's apparent confusion at hearing an engineer and a linguist swap technical advice along with innuendo and bilingual puns over lunch.

But this isn't what Gaila says when classmates ask her, in vaguely pitying tones, whether it's hard living with someone whose specialty is such a soft and fuzzy branch of science it might as well be in the humanities (which isn't even true, but engineers can be awfully blinkered, Gaila's learned). Instead, she just smiles and says, "Every person is like a new code problem, and I like hacking -- I'll try hacking you if you have a few hours to spare, and I bet even a brute-force attack on your firewalls will be pretty fun for both of us! -- but Nyota tells me her own variables and commands without forcing me to guess, and that's worth a lot."

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18. ) For [livejournal.com profile] reeby10: Any, any, for the glory, written 12/6/16

the ethics of duty (150 words)

"For the glory of Calormen, the glory of Tash!" Rabadash cries as he wheels around to face the unexpected reinforcements now pouring over the ridge and down into the meadow at Anvard's feet. Ilgamuth opens his mouth to echo the exhortation, but finds his voice caught stillborn in his chest by conscience: however glory may be defined, by the analyses of philosophers or the aphorisms of poets, he is sure this grubby piece of selfishness and revenge meets none of the criteria.

Nonetheless, an oath is an oath unto death, and although the shame of doing naught to stop this folly will weigh on him forever, to stand aside and leave his sworn brothers' backs unguarded would only compound his errors; in order to tally the cost of this day, they must first survive; and so he draws his sword and follows his prince into battle once again.

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Note: This snippet may or may not end up in "A Change of Season" whenever I finally get around to writing that story; until then, it can stand alone as a minor gap-filler for HHB, but it has more layers if you read it in conjunction with the rest of my Out of Season series.

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19. ) For [livejournal.com profile] runespoor7: Homestuck, Rose Lalonde or Rose/Kanaya, Rose being a huge nerd., written 12/6/16 [AO3 version]

truly an eloquent turn of phrase (225 words)

"I had a dozen sets of these when I was twelve," Rose says as she busily arranges magnetic words on the refrigerator door, "which I mostly used to write and annotate dreadfully pretentious drivel -- the annotations being a passive-aggressive response to the messages of praise and encouragement my mother used to leave beside my creations -- but I dare say I have a better muse these days; perhaps you'd do me the honor of judging whether my literary endeavors have likewise improved."

"Violets are purple, roses are gay, leaves embrace flowers, let's be a bouquet?" Kanaya reads, her tone hovering somewhere between sarcasm and utter bemusement; "I have an intense suspicion that I'm missing a potentially-mocking cultural reference, though as matespritship proposals go, I admit this is oddly charming, in much the same way that a concussed purrbeast wiggler incites tender pity; how could I possibly refuse?"

Rose presses a hand to her forehead and fakes a swoon into Kanaya's arms; "My goodness, darling, don't say such romantic things or I might be quite overcome with passion -- flowers are delicate, you know," she gets out in her most overwrought fake British accent before she can't keep a lid on her giggles any longer and tugs her girlfriend (or fiancée? Kanaya might have been joking, but Rose finds herself surprisingly taken with that idea) down to cuddle on their kitchen floor.

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20. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Inception, Mal & or / any, all that we see or seem, written 12/7/16 [AO3 version]

and, in parting from you now (200 words exactly)

"Hello, Mal," a voice says as she dies, and suddenly the pain is... not gone, precisely, but held aside for a moment, long enough for a conversation and a choice: to move on to wherever souls go when their mortal bodies shatter, or to step sideways and serve as consultant and artist for a world she's seen flickering at the edges of her own, magic curled warily around newfangled science, irrationality woven for its own sake according to its own rules.

Dom still lives; she sees him screaming silently down from the hotel window, eyes wild and hand outstretched as if he could reel back time with only his fingers and his fear; he will eat his own heart with guilt and grief.

"You will play the role that is given to you," the Dream King warns, "and it may not be as his protector," but the choice is no choice at all, and he pays her the respect of assuming she knows her own mind and hushes the raven at his shoulder when it opens its beak to attempt dissuasion; and so Mal takes her new lord's colorless hand and gives the whole of herself over to dreams forever.

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21. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Inception/Sandman crossover, Ariadne & Morpheus or Daniel, forgive us our trespasses, written 12/7/16 [AO3 version]

for thine is the kingdom (300 words exactly)

"Do you mind that we grab pieces of your realm and twist them around for mercenary purposes?" Ariadne asks as she and the pale stranger sit on the tattered, rose-gold edge of a cloud and watch a flock of bats with paint rollers slap a Van Gogh sunset across the scaffolded sky; "I mean, we love your world -- I've never met anyone in dreamwork who wasn't at least halfway addicted to creating a dozen new impossible things on each new job, no matter how down-to-earth they try to present themselves -- but even so, it seems rude and I'm sorry that I can't honestly promise I'd stop if you asked."

"You tell stories, which are always and ever their own justification," the pale stranger says; "I will make the same bargain with you that I have made with all those in your trade: so long as you bring no dreams physically into the waking world--" ("I don't think the PASIV works that way," Ariadne says) "--or humans physically into my realm--" ("I really don't think the PASIV works that way," Ariadne says, before adding, sotto voce, "more's the pity") "--then I have no immediate quarrel with you, and will inform you before taking hostile action should you ever infringe on the natural operation of my realm and the minds temporarily under my care; do you accept those terms?"

"I do, and thank you, your majesty," Ariadne says, and as the dream world fades around her, washed away by the warmth of morning light across her pillow, the scent of Yusuf frying eggs in the kitchen, and the sound of Arthur and Eames arguing cheerfully over their next job options, she hopes her training will let her remember more than a melancholy smile and a fading sense of absolution when she wakes.

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22. ) For [livejournal.com profile] runespoor7: Naruto, Naruto/Sasuke/Sakura, I think we deserve a soft epilogue, my love. We are good people and we've suffered enough, written 12/8/16 [AO3 version]

a soft epilogue (200 words exactly)

Naruto and Sasuke grab Sakura before she completely exhausts her chakra, and whisk her away to... she's not sure where, really, just that it's warm and clean and has the most comfortable bed she's ever encountered in her life (though that may be mostly the exhaustion talking -- or the two bodies wrapped around her like living blankets).

"We should set an alarm for--" she starts to say through a jaw-cracking yawn, but can't make herself finish the thought; there are a thousand and one things still to do now that the world hasn't ended after all, and on any other day she'd ration out the minimum amount of sleep before diving right back in to work, but right now all she wants is to stay here forever with the people she loves and trusts most in the entire universe -- and who love and trust her in return.

"Never mind, go back to sleep," Sakura manages in response to Naruto's questioning noise and Sasuke's vague grope toward whatever weapon he has hidden under his pillow, and lets herself sink into the whirlpool of dreams, safe in the certainty that finally, finally, they've reached a chance to build a kinder life, together.

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More in a few days, probably. :)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
As always, here is the link to the current ficathon. Come and play! :)

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11. ) For [livejournal.com profile] celeste9: X-Men comics, Emma/Scott, rough edges, written 12/2/16 [AO3 version]

at the broken places (150 words)

Emma's jagged edges don't quite match up to Scott's own wounds; what shattered her, he might have survived with fewer scars, and the blows that tore him to shreds over the years might have found less purchase in her mind and heart. Some days he hates the way they miss each other's more idiosyncratic tripwires and scrape each other raw, the way he lost the ability to just be with a lover somewhere between Apocalypse and Jean's last death and therefore can't help Emma learn that alchemy of warmth and grace.

Other days, he thinks maybe they're stronger because of those flaws; you get back from a relationship what you put in, after all, and if he and Emma haven't yet learned comfort, they haven't learned complacency either, and Scott will trade almost anything up to his soul (...and maybe even that) to keep from losing another person he loves.

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12. ) For [livejournal.com profile] celeste9: BtVS, Buffy/Faith, liberated, written 12/2/16 [AO3 version]

won't take this lying down (175 words)

"Y'know, B, the nineteenth century's not your best look," Faith said, interrupting Buffy's sulk over the news that Spike had come back to life and neither he nor Angel had seen fit to pass on news of this development; "Say it with me: 'I'm a liberated modern woman and I don't need no fuckin' man.'"

Buffy rolled her eyes and shot back, "Yes, Faith, I am in fact aware that it's the twenty-first century, and it's not like I was even holding out for--" only to squeak in shock as Faith leaned forward and pressed a kiss to Buffy's mouth (with tongue! uninvited! ...but pretty smooth actually) until Buffy's body gave up waiting for input from her brain and started to respond enthusiastically on its own.

Then Faith pulled back (the cheater, not finishing what she started), murmured, "I didn't say you might not need a fuckin' woman, though; look me up once you reboot," and sauntered off like she hadn't just upended Buffy's self-image and reframed years of their prior interactions.

Oh, this meant war.

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13. ) For [livejournal.com profile] iawenbemerry: X-Men (preferably movieverse but doesn't have to be), Scott/Jean, the moments no one else sees, written 12/2/16 [AO3 version]

the golden age of the barefoot time (275 words)

Scott and Jean have a standing monthly weekend date -- sometimes adjusted on account of crises, but always kept -- where they leave the mansion for a full twenty-four hours, disappearing from one evening to the next.

The general consensus among the students is that they go out for a fancy dinner, and maybe sex (opinions are split between super vanilla and super kinky) in a swanky hotel down in the city where they can be sure no mutant senses (noses, ears, brains) will disturb their privacy; a few hold out for more cerebral things like visits to museums and other cultural interest spots (on the theory that thinking of teachers and sex in the same sentence is gross and also, seriously, Scott and Jean are just that boring); and one or two have even suggested that the Professor lends out two of his best and brightest to the CIA on timeshare in order to keep the school under the rest of the government's radar.

Jean takes great delight in recounting these theories to Scott, who then takes equal delight in planting new rumors, both of them secure in the knowledge that nobody will ever guess they use their jealously guarded days of freedom to beat each other over the head with feather pillows, eat dessert for dinner and then again for breakfast, rent all the children's movies they never got to see, spend hours petting cats at animal shelters, and generally indulge in the idyllic, archetypal childhoods that they both lost too soon, and which they will give their lives to make sure their own students can hold on to as long as they possibly can.

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14. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Narnia, Jadis/Susan, pomegranates, written 12/4/16 [AO3 version]

the iron queens (350 words)

A light kindled, impossibly, in the eternal cold and dark of Narnia after the end, and the tattered remnants of she who had once been Jadis (for no witch ever truly dies, especially not one who has tasted the apple of immortality, and the Lion had known this when he shut the stable door) drifted toward the blue-white fire, compelled by the circle and the ancient rite she herself had carved into the flesh of this world at its birth; "You," she snarled as she coalesced, and saw the shape of her summoner.

"Me," agreed Susan Pevensie, who had dared to steal Jadis's throne and think herself a queen, standing untouched by the killing cold despite the sheerness of her silk dress; "I have come under my own power and in my own name, not that of the Lion, to offer you a chance at redemption -- for those who turn away from warmth and light need not be cast forever into darkness, nor do I think love of the Lion a necessity to love of life or the ability to be and do good in the world -- and therefore I have brought a taste of summer to break the walls of this your prison and offer you a thread you may grasp to follow me back into the myriad worlds," she said, and her hands, when she held them out across the bounds of her protective circle, were filled with a red like blood, or rubies, but this fruit was no apple with its all-or-nothing absolutes: a pomegranate, rather, which spoke of bargains and balance, a personal interest on the part of the one who offered to the one who ate, and perhaps even the chance at a throne shared rather than claimed by force and held armed against all comers; Jadis had dreamed of such impossibilities once.

The juice of the apple had been bitter as gall and cool as the first snow of winter; this, bursting slow and rich across Jadis's tongue, solidifying her body with its memory of summer sun and flower-laden winds, was sweet.

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15. ) For anonymous: Inception, Arthur/Ariadne, stargazing, written 12/5/16 [AO3 version]

written on the arched sky (275 words)

Their latest job involved a maze in a planetarium ("Why a planetarium?" Ariadne had asked, to which Eames had smiled annoyingly and said, "A memory of first loves fumbling illicitly in the dark, sweetheart, makes an excellent atmosphere for digging out any current sexual indiscretions -- and don't ask me how I know the mark brought her boy here while she was meant to be running the projector; a man needs a few secrets, after all.") and Arthur had insisted on being the dreamer once he'd heard the rough draft of Eames and Ariadne's extraction plan.

When she slipped into the dream maze to see if it needed any last minute adjustments and saw the star projections Arthur had imagined, which he was sliding smoothly around the domed projection field as a narrator explained the reason different stars were visible in different seasons or at different latitudes, Ariadne realized why; "I could never hold all that steady enough to convince somebody who knows what it ought to look like; how are you managing?" she asked as she wrapped her arms around his waist; "Are there some illicit planetarium escapades in your past that I should know about?"

Arthur tugged her around until they were face to face, the glow of the projector striking gleams from his hair and casting his face in an otherworldly light, and said, halfway between wry and anticipatory, "It's possible there might have been, but let me make a suggestion: we have a subjective half hour before the dose runs out; instead of making me relive my embarrassing youth, wouldn't you rather try topping the memory?"

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16. ) For [livejournal.com profile] mermaids_feet: Homestuck, Any, Frogs, written 12/5/16 [AO3 version]

questionably intelligent design (150 words)

"You know," Jade said with a slightly distracted air as they watched Bilious Slick junior arrow toward its destiny, "I'm still not sure why it's frogs all the way down; I mean, yeah, they lay a lot of eggs and there's the metamorphosis symbolism, and they look very pretty in those big globes with the lily pads, but there must be better animals from a self-defense and general toughness standpoint, not to mention ones that take a more active interest in raising their young, which you'd think might be relevant from a universe-propagation standpoint -- and you don't even have to sacrifice the 'lays lots of eggs' factor very much to get those benefits."

"I confess zoology of the non-cryptid type was never my strong point," Rose said, "but you sound like you have a specific alternate animal in mind; why not enlighten us as to its name?"

"Well, I was thinking maybe alligators."

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More to follow at some point, probably. :)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
As always, here is the link to the current ficathon. Come make and fill prompts! The more people who play, the more fun for everyone (and the more chance you'll find fandoms that interest you). :D

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5. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Any, any, siren song, written 11/30/16 [AO3 version]

madly, deeply (150 words)

Foggy wonders, sometimes, if he was born with wax in his metaphorical ears, something that keeps him from hearing the siren songs that rule his best friends' lives: justice, vengeance, unvarnished truth, a million other shades of poison. He doesn't feel it's a flaw -- anyone who claims to welcome the disasters and heartache that Matt and Karen's respective obsessions lead them into is both crazy and lying -- but now and then he looks at his normal ambitions and modestly comfortable life and wonders if he's missing some kind of high (personal, social, whatever) along with the obvious lows, because his friends have made it abundantly clear that some vital spark in their hearts will wither and die unless they're free to dive headfirst into the treacherous waters they love.

He just wishes he could teach them to find joy on the steady shore (in safety, with him) instead.

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6. ) For [livejournal.com profile] deceivepolyps: great (misfire prompt), written 11/30/16 [AO3 version]

on the internet, nobody can do your emotional labor for you (200 words)

"Jaaaaaade," Dave drawled as he leaned against the back of the sofa, draping his arms over Jade's shoulders and resting his chin on her head, "I demand clarification of your response to my dinner invitation extravaganza; what do you mean by just writing 'great' without any context; don't you know you're not supposed to leave your words naked; they need punctuation and emojis to create the illusion of tone save me from having to do hard emotional interpretation labor; I'm no good at emotional labor, Jade, have pity."

"Nobody's good at emotional labor when they start out, but I learned how to interpret your writing without punctuation and emojis," Jade said cheerfully, a faint green light beginning to limn her form in warning of imminent teleportation; "Suck it up and deal, mister, or Karkat and I will go on our own private dinner date extravaganza while you loll around in abject despair over your inability to take words at face value."

"Great," Dave said into the minor rush of air that accompanied her departure, "real smooth, genius; you oughta borrow Jane's fedora for that move," and resigned himself to Karkat's inevitable laughter when Jade pulled the story out over dessert.

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7. ) For [livejournal.com profile] recessivejean: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Cimorene (& anyone), unnecessarily complicated walk in the woods, written 11/30/16 [AO3 version]

a real magic (225 words)

"Mendanbar, I don't mean to interrupt, but the forest does know I'm only a member of the royal family by marriage, and therefore unable to handle big problems by waving my hands and wishing very hard, right?"

Mendanbar glanced briefly up from the accounts he was reviewing (under orders from Cimorene, which he had protested mostly for show; he was perfectly well aware they were important, and anyway reviewing accounts someone else had drawn up was much less frustrating than trying to create them himself), smiled, returned to his papers... and then looked back properly at the train of princesses, knights, talking animals, and various other complications that had somehow found his wife on what was meant to be a short walk to see the spiral dance of levitating boulders that an artistically inclined witch had spelled into place two hundred years ago, and had then followed her back to the castle (incidentally tramping mud all through the corridors; Willin was going to pitch a fit).

"I think the forest may be throwing problems at you because it knows you have the common sense to solve them instead of waving your hands and wishing them away," Mendanbar said, wryly, as he rose to help sort out the inevitable chaos, "but I'll have a word with the sword tomorrow and we'll see if that helps."

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8. ) For [livejournal.com profile] celeste9: MCU, Clint/Natasha/Laura, whatever works, written 11/30/16 [AO3 version]

just as long as we're together (225 words)

"I am so sorry, Nat," Laura said as she stared at the charred ruins of the turkey; "I wanted to give you a perfect introduction to American holiday traditions, but apparently I should have spent more time bugging my mom in the kitchen than bugging my dad in the garage when I was a kid, since apparently cooking is not nearly as close to engineering as baking is."

Clint dropped a cheer-up kiss on her forehead and heaved the useless, smoking avian corpse into the sink; "The pie's still fine," he said, "and there's always takeout Chinese, which is actually more traditional in my family than any fancy home-cooked meal."

Natasha's kiss landed on Laura's nose, then slid teasingly down just to the corner of her mouth before Nat pulled back with a smile and said, "I've eaten turkey -- my trainers were very thorough about cultural details -- and while I appreciate the effort, I have to say I'd prefer egg rolls."

Laura sighed and let her husband and lover pull her toward the basket of takeout menus that sat in mocking splendor at the end of her kitchen counter; probably this disaster had always been inevitable, and if nothing else she'd have a funny story to tell someday (in carefully redacted form), but in the meantime, she had an argument over appropriate spice levels to mediate.

-----

Note: Yes, I know that one is four sentences. Shush.

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9. ) For [livejournal.com profile] mermaids_feet: Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton/Any, Bachelor AU, written 12/1/16 [AO3 version]

would smell as sweet (125 words)

"I'm not supposed to warn you, Alex, but I care too much to make you be gracious extemporaneously," Angelica murmured into Alexander's ear, the wild curls of her hair disguising the movement of her lips from the ever-present cameras; "I'm going to give John Church my last rose tonight instead of you -- and don't try to change my mind, because I have something so much better in store for you."

For once wordless, Alexander could only hope she correctly interpreted the code of his eyelashes as he blinked away his disappointment and confusion.

He shouldn't have worried; they were in sync as always, though equally as always, Angelica managed to surprise him when she said, between another series of kisses, "Let me tell you about my sister Eliza."

-----

Note: The Bachelorette is functionally the same idea, right...? :)

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10. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Any, any, sunlight and shadow, written 12/2/16 [AO3 version]

under a bushel (125 words)

Eliza would say she's spent her life in shadows, effortless outshined by first Angelica and then Alexander as they stride forth in the strength of their convictions. They try to convince her otherwise, tell her again and again that she's the sun itself that brings light into their worlds and lets them flourish unafraid, but the sun, she thinks, should be bold and free and effortlessly visible in the world, not happily veiled and distracted by the curtains and concerns of her domestic life.

When they die, first Alexander and then Angelica, Eliza clothes herself in black, but instead of dousing her light she throws open all her windows and doors and begins to shine for the world as she always shone in their eyes.

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Eventually I will get these up on AO3.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Two of these are actually from the previous iteration of the ficathon, which I apparently neglected to ever post to my journal. Oops?

Anyway, here is the link to the current ficathon if you want to play too. :D

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25. ) For [personal profile] syrena_of_the_lake: Any, any, everything outside us is mad as the mist and snow, written 1/18/16

battle magic (250 words)

"The trouble with magic," Edith said, studying the penciled reports of King Feyraud's current position with an absent frown, "and by 'trouble' I mean the reason it's so inefficient, is that it has no system. Every magician has a different center, which means there isn't any way to generalize from one to another. And that means people who try to turn magic into a rational field of study or practice end up writing treatises of rather dodgy philosophy and dictionaries of ingredients and spells that won't work for anyone but their creators, instead of something useful like a maths textbook or an engineering manual. So yes, I know some battle magic, but that doesn't mean anything in practical terms since none of what I've read will work for me. Especially not Jadis's spells."

"That is very interesting and I'd love to hear more once we're back at Cair Paravel," Mary said, "but at the moment I only need to know if you can do something both large and subtle enough with your shadows to keep the Sarovencian sentries from noticing the raiding party I plan to lead across the river this evening."

Edith lifted her eyes from her contemplation of the map. "Oh, is that all? I can't do it from here, but if I'm with the party, that shouldn't be a problem. It might even be fun." Her hand dropped to the stone knife at her belt, and Mary felt a moment of sympathy for the unsuspecting Sarovencians as her sister smiled.

-----

Note: This wound up as a tiny installment in As the Morning and the Night, my genderswapped Pevensies AU. King Feyraud of Sarovence is an OC ruler of a mountain country near Archenland who has a tenuous blood relation to the old Narnian royal family; he attempts to claim Narnia by conquest both in this AU and in my normal timeline.

I consider this ficlet non-canonical (for the AU) in its fine details, but I intend to rework it into a proper story someday.


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26. ) For [livejournal.com profile] killing_kurare: Any, Any, You must have made some kind of mistake // I asked for death, but instead I'm awake, written 2/29/16 [AO3 version]

the seer and the light (150 words)

She rises out of the Green Sun, shedding plasma in her wake, and for a moment everything is gloriously, impossibly clear: all the paths of fortune laid out in terrible, shining simplicity to the end of all possible universes. Then it occurs to Rose that sight implies someone to do the seeing, just as paths imply someone to travel them, which implies that she exists, which implies that she isn't done, and her enlightenment begins to fade.

She buries that thought with practiced skill, but buried isn't quite the same as gone and she retains just enough memory of future choices to know that she'll chase that taste of oblivion in other ways -- the same way she's spent her whole life chasing the void where her mother's love should be -- and despite the ruin down that road, she already knows she won't manage to (won't want to) make herself stop.

-----

Note: Homestuck, obviously. :)

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1. ) For [livejournal.com profile] notoriousreign: MCU, Laura Barton/Clint Barton, vacation, written 11/29/16 [AO3 version]

to get away from it all (175 words)

Once Laura got Clint past the urge to rehang the door of their very swanky hotel suite, and made him call in a tip to SHIELD about the suspicious behavior of the front desk clerk and two of the cleaning staff instead of pursuing the people himself, he settled fairly well into relaxation: his only stipulation that she try either scuba diving or surfing before they headed back north.

"I never really appreciated how fun doing nothing could be, before," he said, breath tickling along the curve of her ear as she lounged on a beach towel and basked in the sun and the pressure of his strong, callused fingers rubbing sunblock into her shoulders and down the hollow of her spine; "Maybe I just needed the right beautiful woman as my partner and mission coordinator."

"I'm telling Nat you said that, and getting Maria to record the resulting carnage," Laura murmured sleepily into the cradle of her folded arms, and smiled to herself at a job well done when Clint stopped his massage to laugh.

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2. ) For [livejournal.com profile] hanorganaas: Star Wars, Han/Leia, Passionate, written 11/29/16 [AO3 version]

the ruling passion conquers reason still (175 words)

They never stop loving each other; that's not the problem.

It is, however, a symptom of the problem, because the same passion that fuels their connection -- that makes them fight the whole galaxy when it would keep them apart -- drives them in all things, and what they want (besides each other's embrace, and Luke safe, and Vader and the Emperor dead) is fundamentally incompatible; Han will chew off his own legs to win freedom for himself while Leia will bind her entire self into service to win freedom for everyone else, and neither is willing to give in any more than they could possibly let go.

They love each other from a distance, then -- a comet swinging around a sun to spell glory or disaster, a meteor shower burning up in the atmosphere of the planet it can't escape, a pair of unstable stars perturbing each other into massive solar flares -- and each takes comfort knowing the other is out somewhere in the void, burning with a flame as unquenchable as their own.

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3. ) For [livejournal.com profile] adamas: Daredevil; Ensemble or Matt Murdock/Any; teaching how to see without sight, written 11/30/16 [AO3 version]

absence makes (275 words)

After Karen banged and tripped her way across what felt like miles of treacherous floor and furniture, Matt guided her (both of them still laughing) to his couch and said, "Maybe we should start with something simpler, or at least something that keeps you in one place and doesn't split your focus so much."

"Oh?" Karen said, and immediately wanted to kick herself for the breathless inanity of the word and her tone of voice, and then wanted to kick herself again for the way the jump in her heartbeat and the flush of heat across her cheeks (just kissing the edge of Matt's old mask, pulled low over her eyes) might have given Matt the idea that she was upset at him instead of mildly annoyed at herself and how much this was turning her on.

"Yeah, just, I'm going to hold my hand near some part of your body so you can feel the heat and air displacement -- because nobody's ever completely still -- and see if you can reach out and touch my hand with your own: no guessing," Matt said, sliding one hand through the loose tendrils of her hair as he spoke, in a slow, tender gesture of farewell before he shifted his weight off the couch and left Karen's skin tingling at the suddenly untenable lack of his touch... and she wondered, not for the first time but with more force than ever before, how he could possibly stand to live this way -- all his nerves raw, exposed, and hungry -- because despite the blackness that (temporarily, voluntarily) shrouded her world, she had never been more conscious of his body in her life.

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4. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Star Trek TOS or AOS, T'Pring/Uhura, a logical arrangement, written 11/30/16 [AO3 version]

no diplomacy like candor (250 words)

"He must contribute his genes toward the continuation of our species; he requires an advocate to navigate our people's internal politics in his name and that of his family; and he needs my control to lean on when his own fails, as I am sure you can attest it has done at inopportune moments," T'Pring said, somehow managing to make Spock and Nyota's shared bed and cabin look like a throne in an audience chamber, a domain entirely within her own control rather than someone else's home she had entered without invitation.

"All logical arguments," Nyota said, and left the implicit 'so far as they go, which isn't very' hanging in the tone of her voice, the position of her eyebrows, and the faint roughness at the end of the final word as if she'd been about to lead into another phrase.

T'Pring smiled, as shocking and unexpected as rain in the desert, and said, "A most elegant turn of phrase and a true display of cross-species linguistic mastery, though if you had spoken so to me in another world, I might have challenged you to kal-if-fee for your presumption at standing between me and my betrothed; in this one, however, necessity and loss have taught me the art of compromise, and I think that any person Spock would choose to bind himself to is one I might equally choose for myself, for mind, for soul, and for body -- and most particularly, in matters of the body, for your talented tongue."

-----

Note: I went with AOS. :)

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Part two coming tomorrow, maybe...
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Finished my Not the IRS paid skills training (...for now).

2. Made two political activism phone calls. Granted, this only involved leaving messages on answering machines, but still. I dislike calling strangers on the phone as myself. Making phone calls as Employee of Company X is a different issue. That's a role; it's impersonal. I can also make phone calls to schedule appointments (both medical and job interviews), because again, those are roles with a set script and I've been through that scenario dozens of times before so I know, viscerally, that everything will be fine. Politics is an inherently higher-emotion thing, plus there's unfamiliarity, so making these calls is a more spoon-intensive proposition. I will probably try to make another one or two on Friday, though, because one does what one can and what I have to give right now is time rather than money.

more items under the cut )

15. Wrote one fill (to get away from it all, MCU, Laura Barton/Clint Barton) for this year's Three Sentence Ficathon before heading out to my tax course tonight. This is the first proper piece of fiction I've written since the NFE at the very beginning of September.

(Let me clarify that. I consider my tiny comment!ficlets from an October meme response more of a meta post with examples than any kind of functional story, and the few hundred words I've attempted toward a Cotton Candy Bingo prompt fill haven't gone much of anywhere since I got that prompt in August, so. Like I said, the first proper writing I've done in nearly two months.)

I burned out pretty badly earlier this year, creatively speaking. Actually, I probably burned out in late 2015, but I kept walking on broken legs for quite some time. Eventually, though, I realized that attempting to shove through was doing me more harm than good, and (with gritted teeth and a bunch of lectures on how this wasn't being irresponsible and lazy and useless) gave myself permission to take a fucking break until writing no longer felt like a dreaded chore.

Writing started to feel thinkable again a couple weeks ago, but until today I'd only managed some speculative outlining for Yuletide and the Daredevil Secret Santa exchange (which is going to be a bitch and a half, because my recipient wants big, emotional, tropey genre romance fics and what I am capable of writing is... not that *wince*) and the aforementioned unproductive noodling for the CCB prompt fill. So it feels really good to dip my toe back into the pool.

I am not sure how many more prompt fills I'll manage for this iteration of the ficathon, but what the hell, anything beyond that first one is gravy. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)



(If clicking the picture fails to work, here is the plaintext link: http://caramelsilver.livejournal.com/151259.html. Go forth and have fun!)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
The ficathon itself seems to have petered out, as these things do, but I bookmarked a bouquet of prompts while I was busy with other things and have been filling some now that I have a little breathing space. Only one of these six breaks the three-sentence limit -- yay progress? -- and another is also a double drabble because why not.

As ever, here is the link to the ficathon if you want to play too. :D

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19. ) For anonymous: Sailor Moon, Rei Hino, A favorite gemstone of hers had been ruby, written 12/31/15 [AO3 version]

more precious than rubies (125 words)

Rei wondered sometimes, in the quiet watches of the night when she tended the fire and tried to empty her mind of both fear and fury, if any of her childhood likes and dislikes had truly been her own. Rubies, for instance -- her mother had owned a set of ruby teardrop earrings, blood-red stones that flashed with splintered light as if fire burned in their hearts, which Rei had loved to hold up to her own ears and pretend she was a princess; had her love for their color been spontaneous or simply a shadow of lives long lost and yet to come?

She wore her own rubies now, but the gem to which she gave her heart was silver; and that choice, she knew, was real.

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20. ) For anonymous: BtVS, Buffy Summers, coloring with a box of crayons and coloring books, written 1/13/16 [AO3 version]

no friend like a sister (300 words)

Buffy buys a coloring book one month after they move to Cleveland, one month after it becomes obvious that she hasn't escaped her unwanted and ill-fitting role as general and president of this slapdash whatever that swallowed her friendships and turned them into a bureaucracy, and starts hiding it inside the notebook she uses to look like she's being productive during meetings; instead, she brings smiling Disney princesses to life with highlighters, watching bright colors bloom into emptiness while she pays just enough attention to ask a question now and then, smile at Xander's jokes, and remind Willow to breathe.

Dawn's the one who catches her -- sneaks behind Buffy's chair on her way back from the kitchen and raises her eyebrows when Buffy doesn't shuffle pages fast enough -- and Buffy winds herself tighter and tighter through the rest of the day until her whole body feels like an electric guitar string, ready to scream at the slightest touch; but nobody comes to confront her and ask if she's feeling all right, if she's lost it, if she truly understands her responsibility she has to help make a better world for all the Slayers called at her orders.

The next day, Dawn breaks into a discussion of real estate and says, "Listen, we've been arguing about all this for weeks and it's stupid; I say if we want to start a school, we should hire people who know how the charter school business works and let the rest of us split up and do what we're actually good at, whether that's magic or translation or, you know, killing vampires and assorted other menaces; and on that note, Buffy and I are moving to Rome as of next Tuesday," and Buffy doesn't think she's ever loved her sister more.

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21. ) For [livejournal.com profile] samueljames: Star Trek AOS, Gaila/Jim Kirk, she likes making him blush, written 1/14/16 [AO3 version]

but compliments leave us baffled (250 words)

Gaila doesn't make Jim blush for the same reason she embarrasses most other Terrans -- that's a pointed quid pro quo for their blatant species chauvinism, and while Jim's far from perfect, he at least understands that humans are more than the crude stereotypes that other species have enlisted them to play in their own deep-brain livewire taboos -- but she still adores the ipoltu-petal flush that seeps over his cheeks and ears and the way he tries so hard to pretend he's not affected by her words, that other people's opinions can't touch him for ill or for good.

And all she has to do is point out when he's been kind.

Gaila tucks her chin over Jim's shoulder while he and his doctor roommate sit bickering amiably at a dive bar just outside Academy grounds and drawls, in one of the intonations Terrans use to imply sexual gossip, "I heard the most interesting rumor this morning..." -- a calibrated pause, just long enough for his mind to race through all the things she might bring up, both welcome and otherwise -- "that you stayed late to help Ahch Ngirzha clean up his lab space and redo his whole experiment after that sulfuric acid spill yesterday; that was very considerate of you!" she finishes in a completely different tone of voice, and drops a kiss on the tip of Jim's nose to keep herself from laughing as an echo of her favorite flower blooms across his face.

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22. ) For [livejournal.com profile] betonyb: Hamilton, Eliza/Alexander, Genderswap AU, written 1/15/16 [AO3 version]

thank you for all your service (175 words)

"Elijah Schuyler; it's a pleasure to meet you at last," he says, and, spurred to uncharacteristic daring by the sparkling challenge in the most enchanting eyes he's ever see, drops a kiss to the hand of his elder sister's newest and dearest friend, who has become such a comfort and fixture in Angelica's letters since the evacuation of New York.

"I am sorry it has taken a most grievous and costly war to bring us into the same circles, Lieutenant Schuyler," Alexandra Hamilton says, the gleam in her eyes belying the sober cadence of her voice, "but I confess that in person you live up to all your sister's praise and I must therefore count our meeting nearly as great a blessing for myself as the liberty you are helping to win for our country will be for us all."

Elijah fights down a blush at such an extravagant compliment, and thinks he could happily spend the rest of his life helping this woman receive the respect and admiration that she (like Angelica) self-evidently deserves.

-----

Note: I have no idea how a female Hamilton ends up in America, let alone in a position to mix socially with the Schuyler family and get invited to one of Washington's winter balls. Let's just call it fate. *handwaves briskly*

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23. ) For anonymous: Any, any, There are no cities, no cities to love; It's not the city, it's the weather we love!, written 1/16/16 [AO3 version]

walk off the edge of my own life (275 words)

"Okay, okay, truth," Karen said, shoving herself upright on Foggy's couch and slashing her hand through the air in a barely controlled gesture he had to remind himself not to flinch at; "So, imagine a city -- any city, really, but let's go with Manhattan -- and then, you take all the people and move them to, I don't know, California, and you build them a new city; and at the same time you move a million and a half different people into Manhattan so it's not empty anymore, right, and here's the question: which one do you think is the original city?"

"Oh, boo hiss, don't answer her -- we're too drunk for philosophy, and how is that even meant to be embarrassing?" Foggy complained from the depths of his armchair.

"It's a fair question," Matt said slowly, imagining all the people he tried so hard to protect uprooted and adrift in a strange land, trying to recreate New York, and then imagining a sea of strangers equally adrift in the maze of concrete and steel he'd engraved into his bones, learning to love their new home, "and I think... I think a city isn't only the people or only the buildings and streets, so the answer is neither; but both new cities will carry the ideals and mistakes of the old city into the future, just like we carry our pasts with us no matter how hard we try to escape."

He knocked back his shot of whiskey even though the rules didn't require him to, and pretended he couldn't hear the sudden hitch in Karen's breath or Foggy's aborted attempt to stand and give him a hug.

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24. ) For anonymous: Sailor Moon, Makoto Kino, A favorite couple of animals of hers had been horses and tropical fish, written 1/17/16 [AO3 version]

habitat (200 words exactly)

"Thanks for coming with me this afternoon, Mako-chan, even though weird ice cream isn't your thing," Usagi said in a slightly guilty tone as she and Makoto exited Namjatown (Usagi with several takeout orders of gyoza stuffed into her shopping bag) -- and then, brightening, added, "Oh wait, I remember you said once that you used to keep tropical fish; we should visit the aquarium and see what kinds they have, since we're already here and it's only fair to do something you like as well as something I like!"

Makoto glanced reflexively upward toward the roof of the mall, thought about the difference between the untamed ocean and tiny glass tanks made to isolate and display their inhabitants, thought about her frantic efforts to create a balanced ecology in the artificial coral reef she'd had to sell when her parents died (and how many fish had perished from her ignorance), and shook her head.

"Let's go to my place instead, so I can show you one of my nature documentary collection and make you something to go with your gyoza," she said, and thanked fate once again for sending Usagi to rescue her from the tank of her own isolation.

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More to follow, possibly...
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Random thought:

I try, when possible, to consolidate my three-sentence ficlets on AO3. (Except the Narnia ones, because of Reasons.*) I do this by fandom, but sometimes the definition of a fandom gets blurry.

Case in point: the MCU.

I have a 'story' very creatively titled Three Sentence Ficlets (Captain America). That is not a completely accurate title/classification, since one of them includes Darcy Lewis from the Thor movies, but it's workable for now.

The thing is, in the currently running round of the Three Sentence Ficathon, I have written three MCU ficlets, but only one of them could fit into that collection -- and it's as much a Jessica Jones ficlet as anything else. The other two are Guardians of the Galaxy and Daredevil, respectively, neither of which has any connection to Captain America aside from being set in the same universe.

I think it would make sense to rename that 'story' to "Three Sentence Ficlets (MCU)" and just tack on the other relevant fandoms in the metadata. On the other hand, I dislike** sprawling multi-fandom messes, which is one reason I don't make a "Three Sentence Ficlets from X Month/Year" collection each time [livejournal.com profile] caramelsilver or [personal profile] rthstewart runs another round. On the third hand, does it really count as a sprawling mess if canon itself is like that already? And on the fourth hand, why do I even care so much?

...

Screw it, I'll decide tomorrow.

-----

*Most of my Narnia fiction is part of a single shared timeline, and it's easier for me to keep that organized if all the components are completely separate.

**When I say I dislike multi-fandom collections, I mean I dislike them as a means of organizing my own work. Other people are of course free to organize their work in whatever way seems best to them! I just have... hmm... certain things that I like to arrange just so. This one is probably related to my equally pointless and fussy need to maintain a relatively stable average chapter length for each multi-chapter story, which has not been on display much recently but is definitely still a thing that exists.)

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Elizabeth Culmer

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