|Dreams in the Sky
Author: Guede Mazaka
Cat was bored. Drowning in ennui despite the fact that she was lying on perfectly dry, irritably springy soft grass. She'd never realized just how bored she could get till she found herself wishing that some idiot fledging ten times younger would come round and challenge her. Even a two-second deathduel would be better than this…boredom.
Lords above and below, the language itself was boring. English needed more synonyms. Or she needed to go somewhere that had a different default language.
ssshaaateer rishhh kouuuriiiiin
"You'll have to do better than that, I'm afraid," she snorted, letting her magic uncurl just enough to prod at the Underworld presence in her mind. "Why would you bring me here? To this pathetic excuse for a multiverse nexus?"
Approximating a huff of indignation, it twisted things--
--and the sky blanked out, flattening to an empty screen. Well, not quite. There were images floating up…
* * *
Waterfall: PotC, PG-13, for fabu.
"Will, lad, wouldn' y'be a bit old for thi-"
"Quiet!" Will hissed under his breath, keeping his hand firmly over Jack's mouth as he dragged the both of them down into the bushes. "Now shut up and actually look."
Throwing a disdainful look back over Will's fingers, Jack nevertheless did as the younger man commanded, inching forward to peer over the hillock's edge.
Below, Elizabeth sleepily murmured as she shifted, nuzzling deeper into Anamaria's belly. Apparently ticklish there, the other woman giggled drowsily, then half-heartedly smacked at Elizabeth's-barely-trouser-clad bottom.
"Right 'dorable when they're quiet," Jack said. At least, that had been what he'd meant to say. About the last third of his remark, heretofore-unnoticed footsteps turned into stumbling commodore. "Ow!"
More than a little annoyed now, Will forewent the explanation and instead jumped straight to accepting his apology. Which, after a moment, James enthusiastically let Will commandeer. Sighing, Jack rolled around back to cover Will's flank. Turner really was scatterbrained, sometimes.
* * *
Crosscurrent: PotC, G, for oleander9999
James opened his mouth, closed it, and then set his jaw. "Will. You can't-"
"It's…it's…" Damnation. Where were all those fancy speeches now? Why couldn't he say something? "It's better to have loved and lost than-"
"Don't tell me that." Clenching his hands in his hair, Will seemed about to burst with anger, like a broken forge. "I've heard it a thousand times. And it's not true."
"How do you know?" James snapped, more than a little frustrated. "Damn it, Turner--"
"if I don't know, then how do you?" Will challenged
James bit down on his lip, feeling the blood seep out into his mouth. "I do because I didn't love. And then I did. And after that, I lost it."
At that, Will glanced up, clearly taken aback. "Commodore, I'm sorry. I know you loved Elizabeth-"
"I wasn't referring to her!" Choking on aggravation and grief, James could not speak. His face burned red and white, and finally, he simply turned and headed for the door. "I told you to call me James," he muttered, stride jolting as he left.
* * *
Designated Pirate: PotC, PG-13, for penm
"What's wrong with it?"
Shrinking behind the overstuffed, over-embroidered chair, Will desperately tried to disappear. Unfortunately, it failed to work: spinning lopsidedly about, Norrington pointed an accusing finger. "Turner, you promised me an honest answer. What's wrong with mine?"
Damn it, why did Will always end up with the oddities? Just as he'd been able to predict Jack's reactions with some accuracy, Elizabeth got to be the one to haul off the blissfully unconscious captain. 'James shouldn't be too hard to handle,' she'd said. Oh, yes. Precisely.
"Will…oh!" Stalking forward in a weave pattern, Norrington overbalanced a turn and flopped onto the chair. Clawing up the back, he blearily glowered down at the blacksmith. "Tell me."
"It's the feathers on mine, all right?" Will snapped back, goaded beyond politeness. "He likes big ones, and yours are tiny. Just a stupid white ruffle along the brim."
"Ah." Absorbing that, Norrington somehow toppled the chair in such a way that it ended up on one side, and he and Will ended up tangled together on the other. "Thank you, William. I shall intend to-to-oh, bugger it."
Blinking up, Will thought about saying something. Except there was a tongue in his mouth, and a lovely ass filling his cupped hands, and-hell. Pirate.
Knocking off that ridiculous wig, he rolled James over and commenced attacking the buttons.
* * *
Last Step: 'Mexico,' FDTD-verse, PG, for juniper200
"I cannot believe I got talked into doing this," Seth muttered. A warm, albeit skinny, body pressed up against his back, and Sands' voice curled into his ear like a snake tongue.
"Come on, Gecko. The faster you get this done, the faster we get back to El. Who, I might add, found another church for us to stay in. He tells me the confessional's rather nice."
Stupid fucker. Stupid blush that Seth just knew was blooming in his cheeks. "All right, fine."
He shook off the other man, then walked forward a few steps and halted, uncomfortably fidgeting with the fading bruises around one wrist. "So. Hi. Seth Gecko. We've never met, obviously, but from what I hear, you…um…kicked some massive ass down here. And you kept El in one piece, which was good." He paused, struggling for the words. "Sorry about what happened to you. But I'm sure you're in heaven, and I'd just like to let you know that I'm keeping your husband in good company down here in…er…well, it's not quite hell. Whatever. See ya, Carolina."
"Beautiful," Sands drawled sarcastically. "Okay, fuckmook, now you're completely initiated. So let's go get screwed into the altar."
* * *
Mark of the Beast: 'Mexico,' Restraint-verse, PG, for ldhenson
Coming up behind Sands, El frowned. "What are you doing?"
"Well…" Still poking at the back of his hand, the American held it up for El to look. "Is it gone?"
"What-" El briefly closed his eyes, remembering the small flame, hardly enough to flicker, and the rage that had ignited afterward. He crouched down behind Sands, reaching around to cradle the hand and rub a thumb over its knuckles. "Yes. The burn's healed."
"Oh." Sands immediately relaxed back into El's chest, tucking himself under El's chin. "That's too…I didn't mind it, actually. Was sort of like your scar."
Smelling the other man's hair, El nuzzled down to nibble along a fragile ear. "You don't want my scars."
"Do too." Over the leather brace, thin fingers skated to curl around the worn edges. "Wouldn't recognize you without them."
* * *
Chorus: 'Mexico,' Trio-verse, PG-13, for permetaform
Swiping at her forehead, Carolina ignores the drying stickiness on her skin, the hot trickle of stinging sweatsaltother into her eyes. She has to concentrate, lest the needle slip. She has to squint and peer at her fingers, working in a morass of cloth and flesh all painted the same violent shade.
Nearly unconscious, El groans and tries to shift. But before the movement becomes more than a twitch, Sands brings down all his weight onto that recalcitrant limb, holding it still for the sutures. He does not have to avert his gaze from some gaping, hellish wound, but in many ways, being blind is even worse. He cannot run from the stench without suffocating, he cannot avoid the small hurt gasps without ripping holes in his eardrums. He cannot help but feel the slip and squelch of body-warm fluid beneath his restraining hands.
Carolina begins to mutter a prayer. It's more like a demanding chant than a plea to God, but it seems to calm El. He grits out the words along with her as best he can, fighting lassitude and blood loss. Soon after, Sands joins in as well, speaking perfect Spanish that he almost never uses.
Together, they weave voices against the dark, holding it at bay.
* * *
The Shaman's Breakfast: 'Mexico,' FDTD-verse, PG-13, for elefwin
Sitting down beside the humped-up blankets, El poked the heap. Listened for the cursing, then shoved a hand down till he could grab long hair. Then he yanked.
"Ow! Fuckmook!" Sands came up spitting, wildly lashing in every direction. On the other side of the bed, another yelp sounded, and Seth emerged, hair rumpled and shirt missing half its buttons. "What? There's nobody around, you jangling shitwit. What?"
"Food," Seth observed, crawling over to El. Mind still smudged by sleep, Gecko made the mistake of trying to snitch a bit of El's favorite.
Casually clamping a hand over the tattoos, the mariachi wrenched Seth around to lie over his lap. El manipulated his spoon till he could eat one-handedly--though as dish and spoon were held by the same five fingers, he came dangerously close to spilling steaming beans on himself.
"Idiotic skullfuckee," Sands snorted to the gasping Seth, bumping his head against El's elbow. Rubbed his cheek up the arm to flicker his tongue along El's jaw. Mewed questioningly.
Letting go of Seth to steady the plate, El eyed the begging man nuzzling his throat, briefly debating with himself. But then Sands wrapped eggshell hands over his thigh, kneading it. Giving up, El dipped up some beef and fed it to the American. A tentative mouth touched the scar on the back of his hand, then swiped round the side of his palm. Shaking his head at himself, the mariachi scooped into the beans, then watched Seth lick the spoon clean.
It was a good morning.
* * *
Rich and Poor Alike: 'Mexico,' NC-17, for lasergirl69
Fifty pesos didn't buy much.
Hard rough fuck against an already soiled wall, Lorenzo's legs splayed wide because he didn't dare bump El with his knees. A mouth full of dagger teeth, ripping into Lorenzo's throat, A mouth rarely tender, always enigmatic despite the blood painting its lips, never straying above the gnaw marks on the jaw. Gasping and shifting, Lorenzo tried his best to go with it, to let himself fall into the act and forget the purpose.
He succeeded all too well, swallowed up in fierce thrusts and harsh groans, bucking till the beast is satiated and falls away from his limp form. Straining for dry air to quench his lungs' screaming, he slid down the wall into his sweat-sodden jeans. Someone else's name still ringing in his ears, Lorenzo didn't watch the boots walk off, didn't notice the door shutting. He was too distracted by something else.
Knowing the taste of death, never too expensive to be bought.
* * *
Candle and Flame: 'Mexico,' PG-13, for bwinter
//Can't you stop?// Growling low under his breath, Lorenzo glowered at his half-conscious friend. //Why the hell do you drink so much, anyway?//
Fideo shrugged, downing another gulp. //What else can I do?//
//El and I--//
Sudden heat filled Fideo's eyes, and to Lorenzo's shock, his friend tossed the bottle into the wall, where it splintered and sprinkled glass shards onto the ground. Fideo stepped forward till their breaths mingled, sour and fresh. //He's strong. You're young. I'm neither.//
//You're not dead either//, Lorenzo hissed, falling to knees and ripping pants open. //I'll prove it to you.//
* * *
Idly scratching at the floor with his cane, Sands tossed down another tequila shot. "Righty-o, Trevelyan. I see your explosions, and I raise you gun-sucking."
"Gun-sucking," the other man repeated. "Ever tried that on a moving train?"
"You think there are working trains in Mexico?" Sands snorted, jiggling his leg. Which, mercifully, didn't jingle. Swear to the Virgin's whoring sisters, if El ever tried to make him wear that kind of clothing again, he'd-try to withhold sex. Goddamn smoke-scented mariachi. "Anyway, old DeSoto. Might as well be a steam engine, considering how big its ass is. Bloody pool table."
"Your blood, or someone else's?" Alec drawled, sounding like he was prissily examining his nails. "Hanging from a bungee cord."
Fuck, but Sands missed being able to roll his eyes. Maybe he could roll the stickass Brit's instead. "Oh, please. That's so late 90s. Getting a good, thorough skullfucking-" he held up a hand "-and I mean literally. Like, El goes in and just strokes my head from inside-out, voodoo-style."
Silence. Smirking, Sands leaned back and mentally prodded the mariachi. Time to go.
"Yes, Alec?" James warily asked. Beside him, El was giving the same look to a slightly-drunk Sands.
Draping himself over the barstool, Alec gazed up from under half-lidded eyes. "James," he purred, "Have you ever been to a Mexican graveyard? Sands assures me that they're quite fun at night."
* * *
Quench: Goldeneye, R, for javelle
It's funny, really.
They're supposed to be fighting the enemy. But the enemy are all dead, and neither James' nor Alec's blood has gone down.
Alec has the upper hand first, slamming his partner into the still-sticky concrete wall. Scrapes raw new red over the dull gray, then finds himself licking it as James twists out, under, tearing open their clothing as he pins Alec. But 006 is a double-0 for a reason, and he only allows a brief, furious bout of groping before he turns the tables. Lashes James across the temple, roughly kisses that dazed face till it clears. Ready to fight once more.
They wrestle against each other, rubbing flesh against flesh till it chafes and gives. Still too wound up, the two of them have no tender afterglow, no mutual bathing of wounds. They tear themselves apart, flinging on clothes as Alec turns to the console, as James wires the bombs. A blink later, they've thrown themselves out and down, falling past the breaking glass to the dubious safety of the ground.
Behind, in the room, dust resettles. Just taking one last breather before the explosion.
* * *
Reboot: Matrix, PG-13, for fangirl_lizzie
In retrospect, it wasn't all that surprising. Neo had been a hacker, after all; he knew how hard it was to truly wipe out information. Especially that which had been released into the Matrix, where there were a thousand little fringe crannies. Machines were machines, and while they might be efficient at vacuuming clean the main spread, even they found it hard to fit into the sharp corners, to root out every speck of dust.
What really threw a wrench in his works, however, was just who had managed to make it to this…afterlife. Bad term, but he was too exhausted to summon up a better one. Besides, linguistics had never been his strong suit. He created, changed and destroyed language-he didn't have to pay attention to its syntax rules.
"Well, well. We meet again, Mr. Anderson."
"Stop calling me that," Neo snapped, grabbing at a shoulder.
Except his hand fell through and in, and Christ, but that felt good. Same to Smith, if Neo was any judge of facial expressions. Considering that, Neo felt for Trinity, and found her. And found a kink of hers that, due to their too-short time, he hadn't known about.
Smith was twitching, trying to flinch away and meld toward. Irresponsibly amused, Neo made the choice for the other man. Stepped forward and stroked in another hand, fingering the code. Eased even closer, and finally, he knew whether that mouth was as sweet as its words were mocking.
* * *
Swan Dive: Cowboy Bebop, PG, for permetaform
In the dim light of half-power, Faye shines like a moonbeam rainbow. All pearl and slick, delicate curves and arches wondrously graceful.
As he watches her, tugging the blankets a little higher on her pale thigh, Jet thinks that he's done running for the pot of gold. He tells himself his place is on the solid ground, maybe looking up, but never leaping off the cliffs in hopes of soaring. He reminds himself of all the crashes he's seen, all the graves filled with shattered Icaruses. He deliberately brings up Spike's face, that two-colored gaze always too solemn for real apathy. Real like Jet's.
And then she murmurs sleepily, catching his hand and pulling it down under her pillow. His fingers touch gun and card deck, and his eyes skim pale girlish face and tough woman's body.
Jet sighs, telling himself all these things. And then he lies down next to Faye, nestling close.
* * *
Ame (soul): Brotherhood of the Wolf, G, for kyouichi
What Thomas sees, what his rêves are, Grégoire does not know. Nor does he intend to guess, though the small whimpers and restless limbs of the other man invite it.
What Mani sees, Grégoire suspects but does not need to ask. It will be wise and practical, and that is all he wishes from his longtime companion.
What Grégoire sees, drifting under the influence of Mani's medicine, is something beyond description. Cold eyes, gleaming moonstone with a white-hot heart. Pride and arrogance falling far below, masking itself in long streaming hair so he cannot discover the face. Not until the last second.
Which is when he gasps and wakes, rubbing fiercely at his eyes. But the sly, supposing image of the Morangias heir-the wolfish one, not the vixen-remains fixed in his gaze.
* * *
A Strange Liquor: Brotherhood of the Wolf, PG, for dahnte
For all her occult airs and masked secrets, Sylvia did not know everything.
It was a rural land, far from urban sophistication, and so the aristocrats were greatly limited in their amusements. But, living in fear and worry, they did not forgo the softer pleasures of life. So Grégoire was far from surprised when he met the eldest Morangias child outside of the brothel, staggering drunk despite his still-impeccable clothing.
"Chévalier…" was all Jean-François managed before falling heavily onto Grégoire's arm.
"You're not yourself," Grégoire sighed, slipping arms under to support the other man. A twisted smile on his face, Jean-François nodded.
"No." Leant in till the warm alcohol breath stroked over Grégoire's face. "I'm not. You're not; I hardly expected a man of your background to be satisfied with our…provincial entertainment." Slanted a smoking sly glance at him, then slumped. "But then, is anyone truly as cultured as they seem? What does your Enlightenment say to that?"
Grégoire opened his mouth, but abrupt hot softness closed it for him. Eyes half-lidded, Jean-François languidly smirked as he drew back from the kiss, then dropped his head onto Grégoire's shoulder. "Bonne nuit, Chévalier."
"Bonne nuit." Suddenly tired, Grégoire swallowed down his resignation and began to drag the two of them off, looking for a servant. A horse. Anything to get away from this place.
* * *
"Very interesting." Cat made rude gestures from several cultures. "And what are you suggesting? I need sex?"
kriiiiish xiiiaan tiana rhikarssssh
"Because in the end, every single one of them has either been killed by me for various reasons, or were killed by my enemies due to their association with me." A little exasperated, she reached out for the nearest bush and methodically began snapping off flowers. "I've grown tired of burying people."
Cat flicked the blossoms, then rippled the magic. Just a little, since dimensional waves were so beautiful, but not enough to seriously affect any realities. "On the other hand, I do see your point about watching. This does make a nice viewing point." Resettled herself, as her right calf had cramped. "What's the next show?"