Tangible Schizophrenia


Causality Epilogue: Premise

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Arthur/Lancelot, Beatrix/Elle, Gawain/Galahad, Guinevere/Tristan.
Feedback: Good lines, bad lines, etc.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: Modern-day AU. Crossover with Kill Bill; spoilers for both volumes.
Summary: Two weeks later.


Guinevere clicked the remote and watched the credits zip to black, then stretched all her cramped muscles. Thanks to Arthur’s good taste in furniture, she didn’t have very many, but a marathon movie night always exacted some punishment. “It’s nice to do this with someone that doesn’t spend the whole time doing mysterious paperwork.”

Tristan rolled over so the side of his face nestled against her belly and gave her a look that she read as quizzical. A couple weeks ago, she probably would’ve just called it blank, but she was learning.

“Arthur had some kind of job. Or business. Or some arrangement going on with Merlin’s bankers—I’ve just started digging into that. Anyway, I’d spend an evening dragging him away from his damn office, only to have him work all through the movie.” She crossed her arms over her breasts and pouted at the annoying memory. Then she remembered her age, remembered the current situation, and grinned. “Seems Lancelot’s got a better way to persuade him.”

“I don’t think they made it upstairs.” One side of Tristan’s mouth quirked up as he glanced towards the stairs, which did seem to have more than their fair share of shadows. “I suppose we should be grateful for Galahad’s minor obsession with sound systems.”

She traced his half-smile with a fingertip, then tousled up his hair. Let him pull her down and then twisted so she still ended up sprawled on top. It was good to be a teenager; as sexy as Arthur and Lancelot going at it was, it was still vaguely weird to see someone Arthur’s age having a grope-fest on a couch. Or maybe that was just the slight father-daughter thing he and she had going. At any rate, it didn’t feel silly to do this with Tristan. “Good thing Gawain dragged him and Dagonet out for the night. I didn’t feel like listening to Galahad bitch.”

Tristan merely added the other half to his smile and pulled Guinevere down. His hand slid over her side and up her back, moving with a different kind of reassurance than usual. Curious and now a little warm in her cheeks and between her legs, she lifted her head to get a look at his eyes.

“Is that offer still open?” he asked, tone all innocence.

“You think you would mind working for a girl?” She bit the inside of her mouth to keep her voice from sounding hesitant.

Fingers feathered across the nape of her neck, tickling all kinds of pleasant sensations out of her. “Woman,” Tristan corrected. “It seems that Arthur wouldn’t.”

“Oh, that. He’d be working with me—his mother’s from a…ah…family of high rank among my people.” Guinevere folded her hands over Tristan’s chest and let her head loll back into his hands. When lips grazed over her throat, jaw, mouth, she murmured and stretched her fingers out so they just started to slide between the buttons of his shirt. “So you’re all staying with him?”

“The others are. And I’ll always hold loyalty to him. But…is the offer open?” He kissed the corner of her lips.

Before he could lean back, Guinevere turned her head and caught his mouth. Then she assented. He stroked his hand down her spine and curved fingers up her skirt, asking something else. And—possibly with a touch of glee—she assented to that as well.

* * *

From her seat on the swing, Beatrix had a clear view of the sunset: reds and oranges stabbed and retracted from a background of brilliant lavender, while fluorescent pink clouds seemed to bleed across the sky. She tightened her fingers around the chains that held up the swing till she could feel them grind against her sword calluses.

A pattering of sand called her attention back to what was right in front of her a moment before a laughing, burbling B. B. fell into her lap. “Hey, Mommy. What are you looking at?”

“Just the sun, honey.” And Beatrix didn’t wince when she used that endearment. But when she took her baby’s hand and got off the swing, she did glance over her shoulder before she could help herself. Then she straightened her shoulders and carefully led B. B. out of the playground.

“Time for lessons?” her rising sun chirped. Still small, but unlike the one in the sky, B. B. was growing fast and strong.

Beatrix nodded and moved so she was behind B. B., ready to catch her baby for as long as she was allowed to. “Yes, it is, babe. Now, remember what you learned last time—don’t go any faster than you can hear. Close your eyes, take a deep breath…good…now take a step. Keep your eyes closed. Go slow. Be careful. You can go faster once you’ve got this down.”

* * *

Elle lounged in the back booth of the café and delicately sipped at her expresso, careful to pull her cuffs out of the way. New clothes, new hairstyle, and Bill’s sword resting safely beneath her freshly-manicured nails. She felt more like herself than she had in days.

“But not quite.” The all-encompassing blackness beyond her promised to be cold and hollow and lonely, without even the spark of decent opposition. Goddamn B, the woman probably hadn’t even realized half of what she’d done, and she’d still managed to fuck up everything. Everything.

What Elle was banking on was the dubious finality of that. To hell with Arthur, Bill, all the others—she and B were what was left, and she, for one, was going to uphold herself. B could go off and humble her backassed self into domesticity, but that urge was always going to be crawling beneath her skin…and when it got too much, Elle would be there waiting, and all recovered from her hospital jaunt. They hadn’t had their last fight by any means; that damn bitch had just put it off by going from snake to stick. And Elle didn’t fight sticks.

She fought the Bride. No one else deserved it.

“Here’s to us, honey.” She raised the cup, then drained it. Elle set it on its saucer—fingers still a little twitchy from detox—and took up her Hanzo. With exquisite care, she side-stepped all the corpses and walked out the door.


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