smoke.

Jun. 16th, 2009 10:37 pm
from_the_west: ([mac lugh] lilimin-deamhan's child)
[personal profile] from_the_west
second request of three. lilimin and stone.

****

He was apart from the others, glinting gold, but darkly, as if doing his best to mask the light; alone, and longing for company, which seemed a strange contradiction, when he could simply leave the darkened bedroom he was standing in and satisfy that longing in a thousand different places. She spotted him as she flew over anyway, dimmed and hiding or no, due to his very loud and persistent strangeness, and she was still curious about him.

It was hot. He'd left all his windows open.

She glided in for a silent landing, and then stood taller. Her talons and some of her feathers fell away, and her hair ripped down her back, her clothes only vestigial in this heat. Her approach was just as silent on bare feet; She smelled dry dead leaves and paper burning, and saw the bright orange spark that marked the end of his cigarette, shining brighter than his aura, for once. He was sitting on the edge of his bed, his back to her, bare arms and mostly bare shoulders hunched forward slightly under a close-fitting white sleeveless white cutin shirt and his suspenders. She heard the rustle of turning pages.

He raised his head and the cigarette, inhaled, blew. Slowly let it fall, and the smoke swirled sluggishly around him.

"Hey, Mina." He said, though he never turned around. A book lay open in his lap. Handwritten, she saw--a leather-bound journal--no, a ledger of sorts. He quickly closed it before she could get a better look at what was written there, tied it up and tucked it away in his space; the afterimage was imprinted in his aura for a moment, a small rectangle outlined in green and red and black before it faded into the rest.

"You saw me coming?" She asked, because it was always good and useful to know who saw her and under what circumstances.

He gestured at his cigarette with his free hand, and the smoke twined around his fingers in a friendly fashion before it dispersed. "Not really. I jus' know what to look for now. The air gave you away."

She leaned closer, curious, and he grinned a little and held up the cigarette for her to try. "Careful." He said. "Or you'll choke."

The first inhale sent her back across the room, coughing and spluttering, her eyes full of stinging tears an instant before she lost all control of her corporeal form and simply collapsed into stray feathers, moonlight on mist, and shadow.

"Aw, hey." He said, apologetically. "Are you okay?"

She found an owl's shape first, and screeched at him indignantly, her feathers all fluffed.

"I'm real sorry, babe." He said, but the grin was creeping back again.

She didn't believe him. The feathers remained fluffed and she pecked at him when he crouched down and offered an arm to perch on. He fell backwards, trying to get away.

"Aw, c'mon! I am sorry. I said I was sorry." He spread his hands, and the smoke from his cigarette swirled into a bouquet of flowers. "Look, I got a stash of whiskey over here. You wanna drink? Come on, Mina. Come have a drink."

He got up and walked away, and she shifted again, still ruffled, and stalked after him. "Nil hea, I do not want to drink it from a glass. You drink it."

"I dunno. That don't seem too polite, a gentleman drinkin' while a lady watches." He spoke out of the corner of his mouth, smoking even as he poured. "It ain't a trick glass, if that's what you're thinking."

"Nil hea. That is not what I'm thinking. I will drink it later." She declared, shaking the irritation from her feathers and out of her hair. "From your aura and your sweat and the sound of your begging."

He blinked and spilled the whiskey, then started to swear at it, as if it were entirely the misbegotten beverage's fault it'd jumped the glass.

She smiled. Her only regret was that she hadn't waited until he was in mid-swallow.

***

The men and women of Gaia hadn't given him nearly enough attention, she decided. He certainly seemed to try to keep the same cool reserve here that he'd maintained so far, but the shell cracked far too easily at the least touch. He was too eager, too hungry, his defenses so easily overwhelmed it startled her every time--he could even be shocked--and that was the most fascinating thing by far, that this would be where he appeared most vulnerable, after all the things he must have seen.

And oh, he was sweet.

She ended mostly with him reduced to breathing in ragged gasps, and her name reduced to an occasional inarticulate syllable in between them, vibrating harshly in his throat, for his head was forced back by her fists tangled mostly in his aura rather than his hair as she straddled him, and when he did manage to raise his head enough to look at her, his eyes were like a drowning man's, but his thoughts said he didn't care if he ever saw land again.

She let him up, then, and let him roll her over, to see what he might do. He simply stared down at her for a while, while he recovered his breath, and he wiped at the sweat slowly dripping from the end of his nose with the back of his arm. Then he kissed her, very gently, starting at her forehead, her nose, her eyelids, first the left, then the right. Her mouth. And then he kissed her chin. Then her throat, and collarbone. Traced her nipples with lips and tongue, and then continued slowly downward, without saying a word or making a sound, just his breath on her skin, in a new place every time, and the kisses that followed.

She watched him wonderingly.

***

The mistake she'd made was not so much in asking about the thin angry scar that slanted across chest and belly, but questioning the answer.

He was flushed red enough, before she asked; now his ears turned positively purple. "I...uh, well. Truth be told, I kinda...fell on my own sword." He confessed ashamedly.

She considered this a moment, her fingers still lightly tracing the seam.

"It's near hopeless to lie to me. If you didn't really wish to say, you should have simply said it t'weren't none of my concern." She explained. "As that is truth, it isn't."

He went still. Then he carefully removed her hand.

"I fell on my own sword." He repeated, very softly and freezing-hard at once. She looked at him, feathers rising against implied threat and the violent plunge of air pressure; before she could say or do anything else, he broke the tension by suddenly sliding away from beneath her and getting up, pausing only to take up his clothes. He didn't say anything else. There was a faint, faraway rumble of thunder.

She considered the possible significance of this behavior also, while laying on crumpled sweaty sheets with half her feathers plastered uncomfortably against her skin, until the itching became well-nigh unbearable. Then she frowned and got up, almost absently, to shake her wings out.

***

She supposed that should have been taken as a dismissal, but he hadn't actually dismissed her, so there was room to do what she did next--peer at him from out of the shadows.

He was standing in front of the open window, smoking, wearing pants and undershirt again, although he just let the suspenders hang. And his aura had gone back to that same dark glinting.

"Perhaps the storm will break and it will get cooler again." She suggested, wary and waiting to see what he'd do.

"Ain't so bad." He shrugged. "Got hotter in the city some nights. The asphalt and tar an' brick an' stone...the wet in the air too, it'd soak it all up, all the day long. It'd get hotter an' hotter an' the buildin's would block all the breeze, if there was any. Eventually the day would end, but by then it was too late. Everythin' would be radiatin' the heat it'd picked up all day--sometimes it'd even get hotter for a while after the sun went down. Sometimes, people would fall out of windows, from leanin' too far. We'd joke about it not bein' safe to walk on the sidewalks, 'cause of stark naked people fallin' from the sky instead of rain." He puffed and exhaled, sent senseless shapes curling into the night--things she didn't recognize. "Sometimes it'd feel too hot to even run any games. We'd do what we had to, an' after that we'd just hang out on street corners an' smoke an' talk about the old days."

He felt so lonely. Why wouldn't he leave his rooms? There were plenty of other people in this house, and all over the Isle--and she was here. She understood loneliness--she who was not one particular thing, but something of all of them and not enough of any of them; but even she had Aly, and she didn't understand how a Freyresson could know this trouble. Sympathy sent her from the shadows to cross the room to him, to rest her chin on his shoulder and arms around his waist; she forgot again, briefly and her hand came to rest where that old scar was, under his undershirt--she started to move it, but his free hand came down and held her hand there, against his belly.

"There's taverns here. And places where people play games."

"Nah, I'm alright, babe. Just restless, y'know?"

There was restless, and there was what he was. Tense and agitated, wound, and like something was building, looking for release. Her eyes crossed slightly, watching the colors, and she wondered if she shouldn't let him go, in case he exploded, but when the release came it was strange and sideways, in a stream of words that still didn't entirely explain.

"...Can't say anything against 'em. They're my friends, y'know? Good friends. Always happy to see me. Had a name for me, an' always remembered it. They kept me real." And then another moment, and he added, with a choked laugh. "Fuckin' Gaia. They probably forgot me already."

And then she felt him start to move, start to end the moment, maybe even send her on her way, and it made her sad. Why choose this, when they could be company for each other?

Lilimin reached up and put out his cigarette between two fingers, and laid it aside. Then she replaced his cigarette with her mouth. This, these moments, these little revelations, they never lasted, nil hea? Afterwards, maybe in the morning, his walls back in place, it would all seem unreal. She needed to try him again. Perhaps she'd seen him wrong; perhaps she'd only been dreaming.

Date: 2009-06-17 02:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] youraugustine.livejournal.com
Air and earth and never the twain should meet.

Not without both eyes open. Cold night air, and sullen spring earth, not yet willing to give up aught, and too needy.

Date: 2009-06-17 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] from-the-west.livejournal.com
*rambles* i suspect his ducking out had as much to do with internal group issues as well as the bigger-world-wwii-related issues, so he expected relief once back in faerie--and nooo, he finds that he's lost and uncomfortable, still a misfit in a whole 'nuther set of ways, and after spending nearly a century of being part of a pack, that really hit him hard. (and no doubt fed into his being incredibly stubborn about coming back the second time. because he needed the extra negative reinforcement. -_-;)

and well. nothing good comes of simultaneously denying cupid's whaling harpoon while clinging to it with both hands.

[...can't guess. who's icon?]

Date: 2009-06-17 02:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] youraugustine.livejournal.com
(Aeliss. I don't know WHY she's taken such an interest, but since I have such a terrible bead on her as an adult anyway, I am not protesting.)

Date: 2009-06-17 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] from-the-west.livejournal.com
...oh. okay, wires crossed. for some reason i had this one pegged as young aeliss. *headdesk*

Date: 2009-06-17 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] youraugustine.livejournal.com
Ahhh - tis Candace, from BoA. *considers* Not an entirely startling wires-cross, given that.

Date: 2009-06-17 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] from-the-west.livejournal.com
*chuckle* true. but yeah, but at more than a passing glance, it doesn't hold up at all. i kept wobbling towards torah. but the keywords didn't work for torah.

Date: 2009-06-17 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sparkindarkness.livejournal.com
*pokes them* inteeeeerrreeeessssting. With the exception of Aly, most of the Lugh kids seem to regard Stone as a greater power. Is so?


Poor Stone, he has all these little chinks and damages and the Lughs will poke. it is known *pats Stone* and most of them don't think anywhere like down average lines

Date: 2009-06-17 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] from-the-west.livejournal.com
*ponders* to various degrees, most of them, yeah, and i think a lot of their caution has to do with his apparent lack-of-control. even they're bound to be more nervy of the guy that's not even aware of the gun in his hand, as opposed to the trained cop with the gun safely holstered.

in lilimin's case, it's probably more "differently powered." also, she's still fairly young, (as is he, even tho it's funny how he registers older in some ways from the outside.), and accustomed to dealing with her siblings--he's similar enough in key ways that she thinks that if she's not intending any harm, that it's highly unlikely she's actually capable of harming or hurting him, and it would not occur to her otherwise, whereas she's not sure that he wouldn't try to squish her, because he's so odd and reacts to things so unexpectedly.

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