once more, with feeling


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Post Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: once more, with feeling

Understood. Agreed. She’d not doubted—this, sudden in knowing. That in all her watching and wary, she had trusted he would. New to her. But the garden had opened. Some deep understanding now surface.

Struck, as she struck. No hesitate. No remorse. And the pain bloomed quiet in her—like moss and vine—but she’d not shown greater wounds. Good. Good that he do this, this way. Had need of this, she did. Tempering of her steel.

But not your death.

This, she’d too known. For death he wore, and were she to be snakefood or rot she would have been by now. Even had she called her bonds to her, she knew not the working of time and paths between garden and rest. Too late, if he meant to do that which his being promised in being. But he had not—his body said. And body could lie, yes, but did not seem his way.

He looked at her—at him in her. For sure, now, his power not harm him—this small watching, there in the hind mind. Knew better than to seek his eyes, undo his caution and her watch. Knew better, but a little…sad. What must it look like, face and eyes clear? Death drive crowing, that; she would not look. Listened.

His words, he gave. She took.

Use our word to call me back.

This, she could do. And he went—to burn the soul from her.

For she did not relish pain. Drew no pleasure from it, though take it she could—bounds of her breaking. Would not suffer herself. But that pain be necessary—she understood. Tempering of steel, sharpen of blade. Need the forge, the strike, the burning. That she would accept. Markless. Healing.

She walked round the edges, the pain echoing through her like hammer ringing as he worked his violence. Those that turned, to the climb, to the edge—those she sent herself. Fed her own forgefire. Felt their deaths locking in her body. Burning clean. Her face changed not, but for the watching.

Watching as he did what she’d once been made to. For what she sometimes dreamed—that place before her knowing. When she could have been…perfect.

She could have been that.

But this a dangerous thing, perhaps. To lock death into soul. Easy to not know the edge of the pain, the edge of the unmaking. Easy to think the growing darkness would always grow, always come screaming again and again. But she’d tested herself, all those times alone—balance, death drive and lifeblood. Knew when to say—

“Mongoose.”

And no softness, her saying, but as he had—demanding, commanding, and absolute. Cut through the lull in the screaming, the point where she knew no more screaming would come. The pit quiet once more. Locked down. Broken into bearing.

His mark, set into the new steel of her—as it chosen. He’d not see it, perhaps. But she could offer some balance there, too. Should he need it, she would tell. She had thought a way. He had done her service. Even kindness, if such word was not soft-boned thing.

She would return what she could.
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Posting Elemental
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Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:10 pm

Re: once more, with feeling

Hooves kicked, teeth ripped, he played. It was as the spikes in his shoulders tore out one of their throats, gouged across the spine as the flesh rotted and peeled away, that she spoke.

Their word, his word that he had given her, explained for her. Spoken as he had spoken it; the same tone, the same inflection. It was new, she would have to mimic it.

He lifted his gaze, let his eyes skitter over her; hard to do, after drinking in the details of her shape in these shadow-versions that had come from her.

Enough of this. Enough delays. She had granted him quite a lot, and he had granted her at least as much. If this was meant, then so was the rest.

He climbed from the pit, muscles rippling as he pawed his way out, and stepped closer, just as he had so many times before. He didn't stop this time, but kept walking, kept his gaze locked on the shape of her.

I have marked your stone, played in your pit, he said, and there was a new note in his voice, an unforgiving darkness that would devour her whole. You've welcomed it, for it is meant. I am a part of what came from you, and that is meant. And you will be mine; that is also meant.

He wasn't asking.
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Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:01 pm

Re: once more, with feeling

He came in hunger earned. All intent—his lines heady, heavy, meaning dripped in darkness of her. He came, words like locks. He came, body saying—mine, mine, mine.

She heard that more than his words. One and same. She knew that which wanted.

Turned. Not away, just to side. In his path, still, steady as stone. Clear, at edge of darkness. New silence. Clearer, here. He would hear. Or she her small power send.

She bared her neck. Her mane, bound in gold. This gold, this steel, this untouched—this the sign of her. Sanguine had set these on her, pretty little chains. New life—meant. But she was the pit, too. She should remember. “Your death…set here,” said she. “Will lock. Will hold.”

That, she offer. He bore her darkness. She bear his. Death, so close—to skin, to flesh, to the blood that beat. If she slipped, if she careless, if she were not strong and watchful and all he thought she was, then the mark would eat. Living balance. His will. Her will. All would know.
Mine.

She had no words for this. But he had understood so far. Would he know this—what she’d meant this to be. The bounds of what she could do, what she could give.

A mortal, imperfect thing—but all she was.
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Posting Elemental
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Post Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:17 pm

Re: once more, with feeling

She had barely turned and he was there, the spikes on his face digging in at the base of her neck; below the hairline, just above the withers, and a small jerk of his head had the front edge of her shoulder blade chipping. More than a cut, more than mere surface damage, a fragment of floating scapula adding the extra layer of discomfort.

Impossible to forget his mark, that way.

He felt something, a small shifting in his head, his claiming and her acceptance. The bonds began to set, the connection established. Nothing like empathy, nothing more than an awareness of one another, but enough.

The bonds weren't settled in full, yet. She hadn't agreed to joining with his circle, may not even be granted that small and partial immunity yet. Eventually, however, it could be that she hold as much safety with him as his bonded claimed. Or perhaps not; he wouldn't risk those vibrant eyes until he was certain, one way or another.

That was later, had yet to come, and of no concern to him right now.

Right now her blood dripped down his cheek, traced his chin as it mingled with the dark not-quite-blood of what had been in the pit. And he spoke, his words a growl of possession.

Your choice, your consent is my balance.

It kept him from true evil, a line he constantly danced. Her choices would keep him in balance of that line, yet it would not always be her choice. She had indicated her neck, yes, but rather or not she'd meant that exact location was less than unimportant for him. Her choice on where, for the most part, but his choice on how to mark her, on how deep to rip her flesh.

If she sent him now, bearing his mark, he would return. He wouldn't have, before. There were boundaries for sending him away, a requirement that he must first have refused to heed the word between them that kept him in balance. If she had her gift strike out at him without using that all-stop, if she sent him without first speaking of her reason, he would return angry. It would not be pleasant for her to bear his anger.

An abuse of the powers granted her, just as failing to heed the word they shared would be an abuse of his own advantages over her. They had to stay in balance to avoid disaster.

He had to stay in balance just to understand her. The words she used had struck poorly, at first: Your death...set here. Too close to a threat, too near the words to tell him that he would be the one to die in this place. A flash in his eyes before she continued, before understanding came: Will lock. Will hold. Lock the wound, hold his effects at bay, rather than countering them, rather than falling to them. Balance. Always, between them, it came back to the balance.

So ironic that her steps were always so lightly balanced, swift and deadly.
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Post Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:43 pm

Re: once more, with feeling

So, had not understood. Pity—but expected. All must be expected, with him. Eyes pushed to limit.

And so she watched its happening before it happened and decided—this, I will allow. Hot tear of flesh, rake of bone. Hiss like a snake between her teeth, but no more. She’d not screamed with breaking. Noise not her habit, and not grown to be.

This, to be allowed. If just to show—choice and consent, and her making of them.

He stood, blood on his face—knew by its drip on stone and not by looking up. Level of eyes stay low, and distance drawn. The edge of striking, enough for the speed of her to move beyond tooth and spine. Perhaps. But all to be expected. Nothing sure.

Already, poison ate. Small, dying death of nerve—the bone scraping the clean lines of her move, her eyes misted red-pain black-pain, but clear still. Watchful, still. Time for this: flick jaw, tongue—loose and
bite. The spell shattered in her teeth, swept through.

Would heal, purify—meant to, as Sive said. Would clean blood, knit flesh, set bone—limits, yes, but this within them. Lifted the haze and heavy, stopped the spread. But before the reverse, she held.
Lock.

The panacea, the poison, warring in that mark. She spoke to her little death round her leg.
Draw it from me.

So it would. Swim up leg and shoulder, put mouth to gouge wet with life. Swallow what was there—her power, his hunger, a healing not her own. What do, then? Curious, to see.

Drunk, and did not die. Did not crumble in ash like leaf nor freeze like mouse. Drunk and turned dark as the eating mark, dark as shadows spill blood, dark their hide and darker still. Dark, dark, and glinting—yet. Glinting steel, glinting seal. Glinting some thing changed. Joined, and changed.

Enough. It returned to her scars, stilled there as it had been and was now more.

She let the hold go. Let the spell wash—anchor the bone, grow the flesh. Draw her hide together and new, as it had been before. Had been, and hiding beneath the smallest seed of promise she’d made. His poison, locked in her mind and will. Ever watching.

This, she would tell. “Your mark, locked, beneath skin. Known to me, known to you.” Needed clear words, this one—clear as she could make. Needed many things, it seemed. “This…my choice.”

She’d been weapon, blade—as that, marked; as that, broken. She was not Warrior to bear such scars. She would not claim to be. Blades were marked, blades were owned. She was that no longer. Weapons could not choose.

Watched, what he may do to all this. Watched, what she would allow.
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Posting Elemental
Posting Elemental

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Post Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:26 pm

Re: once more, with feeling

Good, he answered, and blew a snort at the fine hairs trailing from the end of the ties that bound her hair. They had thought the same, then, the two of them; his reason for placing it at the base of her neck, near enough to the shoulder to chip the bone. She could hide it easily with the tail of her hair, without undoing the utilitarian construction.

He approved, but Caustic was not the sort to give active praise. He also wasn't the sort to speak more than he had to; again, in that manner, she suited him. Her thoughts were more complete this time; an effort for his sake, perhaps. Or for the sake of her own growth. It didn't matter, really. He would manage even were she mute; although it may require some learning on his end, to become proficient.

If she could learn, then so could he. Balance.

My mark is for you, he told her, and circled around her, letting his gaze bounce off the shield of reflective waters. It is not for the sake of others.

He came to a stop before her, angled just slightly so that his gaze couldn't quite pass her shoulder, the place that bore his poison hidden beneath her skin. Mine, he thought, and a new kind of hunger stirred in him.

But she had to place her mark on him, to lock something - his mane, most likely. How hilarious if she held it to the swirling shape of flames upon his neck, shining gold mimicking the fiery markings on his legs. It was sleek now, brushing just the faintest touch upon the sides of his neck, but she could lock it however she liked. To lock his tail would be harder - unless she only held the bottom part.

He would feed it, this hold of hers. She held his mark, he was sure of that; he would hold hers. Transfer the ties, a drain to his energy, his focus, perhaps. If ever he forgot, the lock would loosen; a symbol, between them, of troubles to be fixed.

But words were difficult for her, too new after the making of this place, and he had to keep such notions short.

Now your mark on me, a lock you have me hold, he said, and he bore a bottomless patience as he waited to see if she understood. If you do this, you will agree to bond, to be in my circle. He would bear her mark for everyone to see; only fitting, as he had marked her stone, killed in her pit, touched her flesh. But if he did so, if her mark upon him, the sign of her power with him was for everyone to know, he would have her in the deepest sense there was.

His gaze fell to the deep black gift upon her leg, tainted with his poisons, and considered for a moment the elegant contrast to her dusky gray coat. Better than it had been, now that it held a part of them both.

He waited with the patience of a coiled snake.
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