Archive | April 2012

Multiverse pairings for fun

Stolen from [personal profile] d_generate_girl:

Give me Prompts!

I will write at least a drabble for any fandom/pairing/scenario you want(*). Crossovers welcome, porn welcome, non-porn also welcome, any and all sources you know we share. My verses, fan verses, your verses if I know them and you want me to play. This is a non-canon fun fest here, folks.

(*) as always, we know I get bored after a while and stop writing. But I’ll try to get one/person at least.

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On Buying Books

I’ve been thinking.

In the last, say, six years, I’ve bought books:

* Because a friend lent me the first book and I don’t want to wait for them to finish the next in a series.

* Because a friend lent me the first few and I want to re-read the series.

* Because I met the author on livejournal and she was cool

* Because I met the author on Twitter and she was cool

* Because I met the author in person and she was cool

(The “she” in the last three examples is specific; they were all female).

* Because the cover intrigued me.

What about you?

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Returned Paradox

For ellenmillion‘s Prompts.

When Silver Hawk’s daughter was born forty weeks to the day after Paradox Maverick died, we tried not to hope.

People come back. We’d always known that, or at least we’d always heard it. There were whispers, rumours. Hints in the old books, if it was RitualView who was doing the reading, RitualView who could really read those things.

(Not like me. Me, I hit things.)

And Paradox’s death had already been littered with strangeness. First the death itself – not a clean death, not a fall the way Game Alpha had gone down, or Detonator Two, but a sparklie death, of all things, falling into a quadrillion tiny shards of silver.

We’d swept her up and waited, but there was no mind there, no soul, as far as we could tell. So we mourned her, buried her, and tried to move on.

But the first day of the funeral, and every day for three weeks, a casserole showed up at our doorstep. Mac and cheese. I never knew there were that many kinds of mac and cheese. At the door to our lair, mind you. No attacks. No poison, just a casserole full of tasty goodness when none of us felt like making food.

And the weirder stuff. The paper that printed the obit burned down. Little silver trinkets kept showing up all over town. We got e-mails from nobody, e-mails that sounded like they had to be from Paradox.

CanoJade locked himself in his room and wouldn’t come out for three weeks. RitualView locked herself in the library. And then we found out Silver Hawk was pregnant.

Not mine. Not Cano’s. Not Barrage Scorpion’s. As far as Hawk was telling, the baby wasn’t anyone but hers. Her right, of course. But it made it all a bit more mysterious. And we were sort of up to our eyeballs in mystery.

When Marciana was born, we tried to put all that behind us. Of course, we were also looking at the calender, and back at Marce, and back at the calendar. Thinking about Paradox. Thinking about the stories of those who came back.

It was hard not to look at this tiny thing, small enough for me to hold her in my hands, and not look for signs of Paradox Maverick. It was hard not to think every time she smiled, “Pari had dimples like that. She hated them.” It was hard not to hope.

It didn’t get any easier as she got older. Everything she said, everything she did. Her first words – “get ‘em,” practically Pardox’s catchphrase. Her first steps. And her first birthday.

On her birthday, we ate mac and cheese. On that first birthday, and then on every birthday. It was easier to celebrate that than it was to celebrate Paradox’s death – but doing it that way just made it easier to forget Paradox was really gone, and easier to think of Marciana as a returned Paradox.

Returned paradox. That should have told us what we needed to know. Peri had never been predictable. She’d never been regulatable. She’d never been within normal parameters.

But we were blinded by hope and by love, and we held Marciana close to us, hoping to see our Maverick in her features, or hear her in the girl’s voice. We kept looking, kept holding on (and kept eating mac and cheese), year after year, birthday after birthday. Even when Marciana began to get angry with it, began to mold herself into an agent of the most regimented order in rebellion. Even when we should have known better. Even when it was too late.

If we hadn’t been so focused on Marciana, if we hadn’t been blind to any other possibilities, we might have remembered that our side wasn’t the only one to suffer losses in that fight. And we might have remembered, too, that our side wasn’t the only one to bench a warrior to maternity leave nine months later.

Our Paradox Maverick came back to us, all right. If only we’d been thinking about exactly how she’d do so.

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I return, Signal Boost – @rix_scaedu, #promptcall

We’ve returned from vacation to find our internets really, really spotty.

But while I’m at work… rix-scaedu has opened her late-April Prompt Request~~

And my Giraffe Call for April is at $50! Thanks, Friendly Anon! $20 more and I will write an additional two stories for two random prompters!!

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Barganin, Acceptance, Grief, a story of Faerie Apoc for the April Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] kc_obrien‘s Prompt

Yevgeny Bartrev had been any number of things. He had been a bastard, a conniver, a distrusted cad, a playboy, a liar, and a thief, among other things. He had been a gentleman, a veteran, a businessman, and a pillar, albeit crooked, of the community. One thing he had never been was poorly-prepared.

Ellehemaei were slow to age, long-lived, and hard to kill, but, as Yevgeny had known, that did not mean they were immortal. They could succumb to disease, they could be poisoned, and they could be killed. He had left, therefore, detailed contingency plans in place for his death. Many of those, he had left as triggered commands in Tyrus’s mind. Those commands had allowed Tyrus, newly released from Keeping and reeling with it, to function in the days immediately after Yevgeny’s death. They ended at the side of his grave, tossing the first handful of dirt in to clatter dryly on the coffin.

The Ellehemaei funeral had been days earlier, a quick, quiet affair with about fifty fae from the surrounding areas saying their prayers and paying their respects. Today’s ceremony was for Yevgeny’s human associates, the burial for the human authorities. But that didn’t stop the Ellehemaei from attending this ceremony, of course, nor had it been intended to.

And it didn’t stop the vultures. Nothing Tyrus had been able to do had stopped them, only put them off, delayed them. “My master left orders…” had held for a while. He was out of orders, now. For the first time in just over five decades, he had no orders, and no-one telling him what to do.

Those around him wanted to change that. One was coming over now, Iman Fournier, a Grigori who had been close with Yevgeny through the time Tyrus had served him. “How are you managing?”

“I survive.” He put on a false smile. Iman did not appreciate insubordination. “Mr. Bartrev left me enough to allow me time to get back on my feet.” Evvy had left him more than that, but nobody needed to know the extent of his inheritance.

“About that. I spoke to Yevgeny before his death, and he mentioned he’d considered passing you to me on his death. He wanted you to be well-cared-for and protected. It’s a dangerous world out there, which he has sheltered you from for all these years. I could protect you, in turn, for Yevgeny’s sake.”

Liar. His Evvy had planned everything. He smiled for Iman, however. “It’s a kind offer. Give me some time to consider it?”

“Please do. I’ll come call in a week. You must have a great deal of moving to take care of.”

None at all, as a matter of fact. “Thank you. You’re too kind.”

Iman was barely gone when “Valdez,” an Argentinian Daeva, made its pitch. Pleasure, education, wealth. It was amusing, that they thought so little of his Evvy. That they thought he was so easily bought, and didn’t think about what he really needed.

Others called, over the next weeks. He saw them all, mostly in the little cottage on the side of the grounds that Yevgeny had used as a guest house. He didn’t invite any of them into the main house, not at first. Let them think he was living here. Let them think the main house was on the market.

Iman Fournier was the most insistent. “You’ll need to move on, Tyrus. You’ll need to take a new Keeper. You’re young, and others will assume Yevgeny confided in you. You’re going to need protection. You can’t put it off too long, or someone will push you into it.”

The thing was, Iman was right. Yevgeny Bartrev had been an incredibly influential man, and an incredibly wealthy man. People would want to know how much of that he had taken to his grave, and how much he had entrusted in his young lover. People – old, powerful, rich people – would be pounding on Tyrus’ door for decades to come. That was a long time to stay behind one’s threshold and hide.

“There is something,” he told Valdez, “that you could do for me. And I’d be willing to return the favor, of course.” He knew what Valdez liked, because his Evvy had. He could arrange for the Daeva’s most obscure pleasures to continue to be met… and all he asked in return was a phone number.

Phone number led to a meeting in a seedy downtown bar. And over cheap whiskey and bad vodka, he laid out his offer.

“I need protection,” he told the woman, the Ellehemaei. Half-breed like him, she was nearly as old as his former master had been. She might not have status, but she had power.

“Can you afford me, kid?” Lucrezia’s smile was sharp but not unkind. “I don’t come cheap.”

“I’m aware. I wasn’t looking to contract you on a short-term basis.”

She hisses over her drink, her shoulders tightening. “Kid, you seem like a nice sort, and Valdez spoke well of you, but you really can’t afford me for that.”

“You misunderstand, I apologize. I’m offering to Belong to you, not the other way around.” He gulped his drink down. “You protect me, and in doing so, gain access to everything my former master left me. With provisions of course, to protect me, and to protect certain of his assets.”

The woman – Valdez had hired her as a bodyguard on more than one occasion – stared at him over her drink. “You’re serious.”

“I am.”

“Why me?”

Tyrus didn’t smile. He stared at his drink, hoping he was making the right decision. “You’re strong enough to take it. Me. But you didn’t come acting like it was your right.”

She stared back at him, and then, wordless, lifted her drink. “Cheers. Let’s go back to my place, and we can talk.”

He held up his drink. “Let’s go back to mine… while it’s still mine.”

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Spring, a story of Fairy Town for the Giraffe Call

For flofx‘s Prompt. Fairy Town does not yet have a landing page.

“Right down this alleyway, kids.” Anton Barren led his students between the looming buildings, past the garbage cans, around the sleeping bum. They followed, heedless of the danger, curious as to the adventure. “Here. Lilah, you go first.” He opened an old, rusty, creaking gate and, starting to worry, the youngest of his students stepped through.

There were times that the walls between worlds were thinner, the doorways easier to find. The iron gate normally led to a strip club; you had to twist the handle just right to step between lands instead. Anton ushered his kids through, then closed the door behind them.

“Mr. Barren?” Fade asked first, breaking his untouchable facade. Anton didn’t blame him. They were standing in knee-deep lush, green grass. With pink flowers.

“Is this the otherworld?” Anya asked, before Anton could answer.

“That’s a grandma-story.” Lilah was his complainer. She was very good at her role.

“This is an other world, yes. This way, I wanted to show you something.”

“How do we get home?”

“In due time, Lilah, in due time. First: observe.”

“Totally a bio field trip.” Despite that, Fade was staring. Again, Anton didn’t blame him. “Are those…”

“Deer. Or at least, the spirit, the idea of deer. And rabbits.”

“And kittens?” Anya hurried forward. “Mr. Barren, there’s kittens.”

“Stay back here, please.” He couldn’t catch them, if they got too far.

“What are they doing? Dancing?” Fade couldn’t remain apathetic; he was leaning forward like the others.

“This is how they celebrate. The turning of the season, the coming of the spring. They celebrate surviving the long cold winter. They dance.” Anton couldn’t see them. He had sacrificed that long, long ago. But in the eyes of his students, he could see the memory of the sight, the deer frolicking in complex patterns, the rabbits weaving in and out of the pattern, the bobcats tracing them, waiting.

“They’re glad it’s spring.” Anya flopped into the grass, her chin on her hands. “That’s so sweet.”

“They’re glad they didn’t die.” Lilah fell silent. “And they’re looking at us.”

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No Parades

For [personal profile] kay_brooke‘s Prompt and stonetalker‘s Prompt

Names from Fourteen Minutes

When the Irvill won the war against the redacted, they did not celebrate. They didn’t even mention it. They cleaned up, swept up, imprisoned the few remaining redacted, and razed the redacted city to the ground, planting fast-growing vines over every inch of the land to further obscure the ruins.

The Irvill had survived horrors at the hands of their ancient enemy, been enslaved, tortured, and suppressed for generations. They could have, some said should have, been throwing parties, marching in parades, singing songs about their victory. But to do so, the Wise argued, would have been to give the redacted power that they did not deserve. Worse, it would entrench in memory the atrocities that had been done to them, making them forever a nation of victims.

The Wise were called thus for a reason, and so they were heeded. The few surviving redacted were imprisoned, enslaved, or executed, banned from ever speaking of their home nation, banned from ever mentioning that redacted had existed. All mentioned of redacted were stricken from the records of the city, back to the oldest books, the best-made statues. In a generation, the Wise declared, it would be as if the redacted had never existed.

Within the city-state of Irvya, this worked fairly well. The Wise had a wide reach, having been the only government the redacted had allowed the Irvill. While they worked on replacing themselves with a secular, elected council, they could still censor everything they wished to, and they did, with a broad and liberal hand.

But they had no such control of the other city-states of the Aniorg peninsula… indeed, having been a vassal-state for more than three centuries, they hardly knew the other city-states existed until their envoys came knocking on their gates. The Wise could negotiate, and did; they could sign treaties, and did. They could broker trade, and did so with glee. But they could not convince the other city-states to stop talking about redacted.

It became a bone of contention, and from the bone, a monster was grown. The Noremintim were the first: their envoy laughed at the wise.

“You cannot make a nation go away by saying so,” the envoy declared.

“We have made them go away,” the Wisdom who was negotiating the treaty declared, “and we say they never were.”

War followed quickly. The Irvill had learned much from their former masters, and more from destroying them. This battle was quick, sharp, and nearly painless, a scalpel rather than a sword. The Noremintim, wishing to keep their own name, learned quickly to forget about the redacted.

They had not been expecting the attack. The Euserglio had some idea, and thus gave the Irvill a bit more trouble. The Damiendan managed to stay quiet about the redacted for almost two decades, until their new, young king said something unwise.

There was almost no-one alive in Irvya who could remember the redacted when the armies of the Wise finished conquering the Aniorg peninsula.

The leader of their army, a Wisdom who had been a youth when they had won their freedom, sat in a chair in the highest tower in the land, overlooking what they had conquered. He was dying, of age and a lifetime of war and old injuries. But he had been born a slave, and he was dying an Emperor.

“All for want of a parade,” he whispered, and died.

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For wyld_dandelyon‘s Prompt.

Addergoole has a landing page here.

The thing was, Fuchsia liked her Keeper. She’d liked Pepper, in a sort of awkward way all around, even before he’d tricked her into becoming his Kept and turned out to be even shorter than she’d thought, a tiny pixie of a guy, which was sort of unfortunate in any school and really unfortunate in Addergoole.

Most of the time, Pepper was a pretty awesome guy. He was teaching her about Fae stuff, and helping her figure out the magic, but more than that, she just liked talking to him. For having grown up in totally different places, in totally different ways, they seemed to have a lot in common. If they could have just been friends, or even friends-and-maybe-lovers, well, that would have been great. And maybe she could have helped him with his mess a little easier.

But as it was, every time she tried to talk to him about it, she got another order.

“I don’t want to talk about it” wasn’t quite an order, that’s what she got the first morning. So she waited a few days, feeling her way around the edges of it, but she’d say something innocent, like “I like your hair today,” and he’d explode, or, worse yet, cry.

Fuchsia hadn’t seen a guy cry since she was five and she’d punched a boy on the playground for making fun of her name. She didn’t know what to do with it with Pepper. She tried making fun of him for it, but that just made him yell at her and tell her to shut up.

Fuchsia did not like being ordered to silence.

Poking him, or shaking him, or even trying to walk away and give him his space, none of those worked either. “He doesn’t act like any boy I know,” she complained to their mutual Mentor. “I don’t know what to do.” Professor Valerian smirked. “Have you tried treating him like a girl?

“No…” It gave her food for thought. The next time Pepper blew up over something innocent – she tried to brush his hair, missing physical contact with him – she asked him “what’s wrong?” and hugged his shoulders.

That didn’t work either. He curled up away from her. “Don’t ask me that.”

“Maybe your friends…?” She knew he had friends, even if they weren’t very good ones. They sat together at meals, at least.

“No! No, don’t tell them! Don’t ask them, either.”

“Okay, okay.” She tried, over the next few days, a couple other lines of attack. Every time she tried, she got another order. Everything she asked made him angry. Just shutting up and hugging him, that worked sometimes. She did a lot of that.

But he was still having bad dreams, and he was still jumpy about the weirdest things. And she couldn’t tell anyone. She certainly couldn’t tell Mendosa; he’d forbidden her to even think about him near the school psychiatrist. And she still didn’t know what was wrong.

“Don’t ask that. Don’t talk about that.” She was getting so many orders, pretty soon, he was going to end up ordering her not to breathe. And he was miserable and twitchy, and the hugging was working less and less often. She had to do something.

Don’t talk about that. Don’t ask about that. She chewed over it for days, looping around every order in her mind while she waited for an opportunity. Finally, she caught Wix, the closest thing Pepper had to a best bud, at lunch before Pepper showed up.

“Have you talked to Pepper about it?” she asked, putting as much emphasis on “it” as she dared, and hoping that there was an “it” for Wix to know about.

“About Jayline, you mean?”

“Jayline?” She knew the woman, a giant slab of muscle with a blue-jay hairdo, with a group of cronies in place of friends.

“Pep didn’t tell you? She Kept him last year… she’s a real hard case.”

“Jayline?” Burgundy plopped down in her seat next to Wix. “Did he talk to Mendosa like we told him? That bitch is good at leaving brain-booby-traps.”

Fuchsia couldn’t have spoken if she wanted to. She was feeling guilty having gone this far. Pepper clearly didn’t want his friends to know. She shouldn’t have said as much as she had.

“Here he comes now. Don’t worry, Foo, we’ll take care of it.” Burgundy stood back up, grabbing Wix and dragging him along. While Fuchsia watched, fighting against wave after wave of bond-panic, his friends picked Pepper up by his arms – he was a pixie, he weighed almost as little as Fuchsia herself did – and carried him out the door.

Uncomfortable hours later, he slipped into their shared room, looking drained and pale. “Foo…” His wings were drooping. Even his hair was drooping. But he wasn’t yelling.

Silently promising herself that she was going to lace Jayline’s food with poison Ivy, Fuchsia hugged her Keeper, and kept on hugging him. When he whispered “thank you,” she thought maybe everything was going to be okay.

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Goals Post, for accountability

By Next Wednesday: Kai/Rozen e-book finished and up for purchasing
By 29th: Kailani xmas e-book finished and up for purchasing
By March 7th 8th: Shahin xmas e-book finished and up for purchasing

By March 14th: Jamian xmas e-book finished and up for purchasing
By March 14th: Alder by Post page on (finished 2/21)

By March 21st: 4 chapters of edits done on Book One (10,11,12, Int)
By March 28th: 4 6 chapters of edits done on Book One (13, Int, 14, Int)10,11,12, Int, 13, Int)
By April 4th: 4 6 chapters of edits done on Book One (14, int, 15, Int, Ext, Bonus)
By April 11th: 4 sections edits done on Book One (Descript, Questions)
By April 18th: formatting done on Book One.


Also to do at some point:
Jan Giraffe Call E-book
Jan Giraffe Call Podcast

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Harvest, a story of Vas’ World for the April Giraffe Call.

For Eseme‘s Prompt and YSabetWordsmith‘s Prompt.

Vas’ World has a landing page here.

This story takes place after Vinting Love (LJ) and after Greetings (LJ), in two separate times

Thanks to @inventrix for the names and @dahob and Sky for some of the morphemes!

Caliber and Armanie’s wedding was the first major celebration in their new colony.

By necessity it was a short party, but his new wine flowed by the bucketful, no-one caring that it hadn’t had time to age, not even Caliber. They feasted as much as they could manage, sang old songs they could barely remember, and chased the bride and groom to their house with raucous and crass jokes and more than their fair share of hooting and hollering.

When they sobered up, cleaned up, and got back to their normal routines, such as they were, a day or two later, the thing people remembered (aside from the mess, and that was soon enough forgotten), was that it had felt good to let go, to relax. To unwind. To party.

“We don’t have time to do that all the time. To have weekend bashes like we used to, back at university,” Dietrich sighed. “Or the cocktail parties after-hours.”

“Who says we have to do it all the time?” Lorika perched on the fence Dietrich and Rostislav were putting up, confident in her position as team mascot. “Why not once in a while, you know, seasonally?”

“Seasonally?” Rostislav pondered the concept while lifting the small woman off their work. “Lor, we need more pegs.”

“On it.”

There was always work to be done, but there was always time for talking, too. Rostislav and Dietrich mentioned the idea to Caliber and Armanie, Niles and Girda. Lorika passed it on to Aoife and Joris, and so on through their tiny colony. Niles remembered, from his ancient cultures studies, harvest festivals, celebrations, as he put it, “that we have enough food to live through the winter.”

They didn’t know if they had a winter coming, not really. They weren’t nearly where they’d planned on ending up. But they had a harvest coming, and a festival in the planning would make it come quicker.

The village of purple people were very friendly, for a certain definition of the word “friendly.” Andon was beginning to feel very confined, very boxed in. He couldn’t even wander out to water the bushes without someone, even if it was often a small child, trailing after him.

But today, he was up to his elbows in chattering small children, and they all seemed to be trying to tell him the same thing. “Slow down, slow down, ableang, ableang.. Tell me, abbryous, what?”

Ezra was only a xenolinquist by hobby. They hadn’t thought they’d need one on this mission, after all, so they had do with what he and Suki could hash together between them. Luckily, the villager’s language seemed far more human than most species they’d encountered.

“Fesetexams!” they insisted.

“Fesetexams. Fesetexams?” He repeated the word back to them. It wasn’t one they’d used before. The smallest, a tiny pale-skinned probably-a-boy with wildly curly pink hair, mimed eating, eating, and then a massively full stomach. Either that, or pregnancy. They seemed to carry their babies much the same as human women. Ezra was trying hard not to think about that. Fesetexams seemed safer. “Ah! Festival! What sort of festival? Sort, sort? Lopfen? Kind?”

The small child mimed eating more. “An eating festival. Fesetexams. Fesetexams-ah-vodefjur.” The children around him nodded happily at him.

Trying hard not to think To serve humans is a cookbook; they had yet to encounter a race that wanted to eat humanity except their own, Ezra let the children lead him to the village square.

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