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You recognize him immediately. Instantly. “…Elijah? Elijah!”

And you throw yourself at him, and he catches you and holds you almost painfully tightly, spinning with momentum and you’re laughing in spite of the tears in your eyes, clinging to him equally tightly, until he stops, sets you down those scant inches on your feet and you just stare at each other, drinking in the sight—you’re lost in eyes the color of the night until he says, “You look strange, dressed as a man.”

And you laugh, laugh again, your heart swelling almost to bursting with twenty years’ worth of love overwhelming a hundred of separation.

interdimensional: (Default)

You turn around and put the torc and brooch on the glass-top table with a clack and he’s crouched down beneath this massive glassware cabinet, peering around inside with it. “Recognize anything?”

It squints and shakes its head; he shrugs and motions you over. Bottles of whiskey, scotch, cognac and various others you don’t recognize in different languages sit there, faintly dusty and gleaming. After a moment, his long fingers pull out a pair of tall slender ones and passes one to Bel.

“That’s a mild one, if you want to try.”

It nods, a grin spreading over its face that makes you snort. Silly.

You watch him as he pours the drinks and ice with cut-crystal glasses from the cabinet; he’s so... ethereal, almost, so... amazing and beautiful, like a different creature altogether... the little contented smile on his face, like he’s taking joy in just doing mundane tasks...

[‘Maybe he still has it, after all, that joie de vivre... he just doesn’t notice it or something...’]

Then he turns and puts one in your hand with a smile and tells you, “Try it.”

You do, and it’s... different, different from what you’re used to but still creating a pleasant warmth somewhere in your stomach like the feeling of fire—

Fire. Oh-so-carefully, just nudging it, just nudging it gently, ever closer to that fringe of hair... and then it lights, and it’s so difficult to keep a straight face; and and he (Jay) and he (Emory) don’t look any wiser and he (Levi) has this tiny little flicker in his eyes and he (Chesh) has this knowing, amused smile on his face that hasn’t left and it (Bel) just bites its lip—

The leather is cool at first in this... lounge, you guess, but very swiftly it warms up as you sit there and gently swill your drink, Chesh sitting adjacent on a couch with it beside him with a tall glass of something faintly fizzy and sipping it slowly...

He sighs softly and leans his head back, groaning faintly and closing his eyes. “Never again... no, that’s not strictly true, you made it quite memorable, Loki, and I’m always glad to help out a friend, but... that atmosphere is something I haven’t tasted for a while now.”

“Drink,” you say. “That tastes better.”

He laughs, laughs and doesn’t move, though a smile tugs at his lips. “That it does... and you? What’s your impression of modern formality, if not exactly high-class society?”

“Don’t care for it at all. ...I must say the clothes are nice, though.”

He chuckles and you grin into your drink. “True... perhaps next time I’ll take you to a gentleman's club or something, those involve nice clothes and drinks... like we’re doing now...”

“Are we? You’re not.”

He opens his eyes and sits up properly and winks. “I’m a touch slow tonight.”

“We all are.”

His tail twitches slightly as he drinks, your eyes catching the slow, back and forth movement. Bel has a sleepy smile on its face, half-sleepy and almost half-drunken, holding the glass with both hands. He pets its head and it leans up into the touch, crooning, “Kitty... Cheshy kitty...” His smile widens.

That’s the first time it’s called him something other than his full name.’

I know.’

Huh. Must be drunk.

“...you haven’t known it all that long, have you?” you ask, taking another sip.

“Mmm... no, not quite a year... why?”

“Mm-mmm, just wondering...” Doesn’t take that long to fall in love, huh...? ...what am I thinking anyway, ha...

The drink is cool and slightly bitter on your tongue, and it’s dark, the only light coming from a low lamp somewhere off to the side, catching off his fingernails (painted) and your glasses and the liquid and its eyes...

“...You’re weird, you know,” you say, almost not quite sure why you’re saying it.

“Mm?” he raises an eyebrow over the rim of the glass. “So are you.”

You can’t help but grin. “Aren’t we all? But really, you are, kind of.”

“How so?”

“Something... about you. Like a star or something, or a sun, or a planet... you radiate this... feeling... ...obviously the alcohol is inhibiting my words.”

All he does is wink. “Aura, my dear.”

Surprisingly it doesn’t bristle at the joke, the pet name; just leans back and drinks before setting the glass down with a light clack on the table and snuggles up against his side, closing its eyes as he wraps an arm around it, holding it close.

Close. So... close... Memories of cuddled up close to someone in the dark come to mind, first one somewhere else, followed by one of her...

Close. Being... close. Warm. Safe. Loved...

“...Loki?”

“Mm?”

“Are you all right?”

You snap out of your trance and he’s looking at you with gentle concern, his hand running slowly up and down its back, protecting and soothing. You grin. “Yeah, I’m fine. ...cute.”

He blinks, nonplussed by the remark; you merely shake your head. Better not to meddle. I’m all right like this. Not wanting anything.

“You’re sure I don’t owe you anything for the clothes?”

“Mhm, of course~ Think of it as a gift if you like, or just a helping favor...”

“I could afford it, though.”

His eyes glimmer. “So can I.”

You snort faintly. “What are we even talking about, again?”

“Such a short memory~”

“Nah, it depends. Like fire, depending on the fuel.”

“Fire... it suits you, you know.”

“Don’t I know it.”

His smile becomes rather lopsided. “Wish I’d thought of that, before... fire on people’s hair...”

“Never be afraid,” you whisper (why whisper?). “No regrets, no second thoughts. Trickster’s creed. Plan it thoroughly, cover it up, don’t get caught. Look after yourself first. But no regrets. Pointless.”

“Not a bad way to live,” he says, eyes closing as the ice in his glass clinks. You find yourself grinning wider.

“Not at all...”

It’s fallen asleep against the sofa, and he smiles, gently running his fingers through its heavy bangs.

“You really love it, don’t you,” you say, not really as a question, eyes not really focused on anything in the space between him and the liquor you’re swirling slowly.

“Mhm, I do.”

You raise your eyes from gold and ice and meet his gaze. “What’s that like?” And just like that, all those familiar questions, the ones that have gone through her head so many times come trickling to the surface: ‘What’s it like, to love? To be that devoted to someone, to feel that strongly about them, to care about them so much? To feel that swelling in your soul and that pounding in your heart, is it really as amazing as they say?’

“It’s... a really big feeling,” he says, still combing through its hair. “It varies from person to person, of course, but it’s... sometimes it’s quiet, sometimes it’s bold... sometimes it doesn’t really show on the surface but it’s still there...”

“Hmmm... hm.”

“Hm?”

You lean back in the leather with an elbow on the armrest. “...odd, that.”

“Rather, I suppose...” As it nuzzles him in its sleep his smile becomes tender, almost amazingly so, remarkably so, the love and care almost overflowing from his eyes... What IS that feeling? I don’t... really... get it... Isn’t it enough to just live...? Live for yourself... like I have...

“...you’re happy?” His eyes dart back to yours and even though you’re sure he knows what you mean you find yourself explaining anyway. “Loving it. Being that vulnerable and close... having to look after someone else as well...”

His expression changes to sympathy, understanding; he can tell how you’re struggling and while your pride stings just slightly at that you’re more grateful that he just gets what you’re grappling with.

“Mhm, I am. It’s... caring for someone and looking after them and being close... all of that is being returned and while in theory, to someone looking in, it might seem like a burden or something close to it, while you’re experiencing it, it’s... not. Things like worry and anxiety... it’s just care and ultimately... I suppose what true love is is absolute selflessness: being able to do anything for someone and putting them before you because their happiness matters more than yours, and if they’re happy, you are by extension...”

For a moment you’re silent, digesting this information. A line floats to mind, from her: ‘If you truly love someone, you have to be able to let them go, forever. Otherwise you don’t love them enough.’

That’s out of context. Plus the girl in the story didn’t have to.

That was ambiguous. She did, for a certain amount of time, sure.

“...well. Given that I’m pretty much the epitome of selfishness, that’s not going to happen to me anytime soon.” Almost apologetically you grin; he nods but raises an eyebrow.

“You’re not nearly as selfish as you might think.”

“Maybe I just want to think I’m selfish, then?” You eye him over the rim of the glass.

“That’s certainly a viable explanation.”

You make a noncommittal noise and take another sip. Getting attached to someone like that, boxing myself in, cutting off potential routes... well, I guess if I loved them, that wouldn’t matter, or I’d love someone with the same attitude. ...or maybe not, what am I thinking.

You look back up at them, at the tender smile on his lips and the content in its sleeping expression. But they look so happy...

“...say, Chesh.”

“Mm?” He looks back up and you’re almost not sure why you said that.

“...is it okay if I call you that?”

He smiles. “Everyone does. It’s fine.”

“...’Kay... ...you... do you think... I don’t know. I’ll ever find a... purpose for being here or something...”

“I would’ve thought you’d say, ‘Do you think I’ll ever find love,’” he smiles, putting his chin on his hand. “Ultimately, it is you alone who determine your purpose. Ultimately, everything boils down to you yourself. This you can understand, yes?”

“Yes...”

“So. While I cannot answer the question for you, strictly speaking, I also trust you and believe in you and have faith in you; if you wish to accomplish something, or simply even wish for it, I do think you will.” He finishes with a wide, closed-eye smile, so much that it makes your face flush. Why does HE have faith in me of all people...?

“...th-thanks.”

“You’re welcome~”

You cover up the blush with a hasty swig. The alcohol’s going to my head.

interdimensional: (Default)

He carefully creeps out of bed and to the bathroom. He washes his face not in cold water, but warm, for once, trying to preserve that feeling from the dream. He looks up at the face looking back at him in the mirror and tilts his head; the face mimics and almost unconsciously he smiles. His reflection smiles back, and it’s a nice smile, he decides; a nice expression.

He goes back to washing his face.

Music singing in his soul...

~

When you wake some time later, no, a little while later, you’re alone in the bed and you blink in surprise. But then you look up and sit up you see the door open, the door behind the door, leading into a long corridor through which morning sunlight is beginning to stream and—

The sound makes you freeze and tilt your head, trying to catch it—the sound of music.

High and light and chords rippling gently through the air, quietly, so you can barely catch it; you slip out of bed and blink the sleep from your eyes and head closer for a better hear.

It’s music, alright. He’s playing music.

Almost feeling like you’re intruding on a dream, invading the perfect peace, the harmony of the moment, you slowly tiptoe down the soft carpet, the music getting gradually louder with every step. It’s not piano, not the odd plinking, ringing notes from before—it’s rising and falling, vibrating strings, causing waves of green and blue and soft, peachy orange to go through your mind, making you gasp. Sound has color? Or is it merely the emotions that you’re reading—emotions—color?

You shake your head, trying to clear the sudden confused muddle. It doesn’t matter right now.

The door is open, the other side from which these beautiful sounds are coming; hesitantly you peer around it to see—

He’s standing there in a pillar of light, with this serene expression on his face—eyes closed, an oh-so-soft smile on his lips, his fingers moving so smoothly on the strings, pressing and releasing and he holds the bow (is that what it’s called? You’re not sure) so precisely, like it’s become second nature, like it’s supposed to be held... And one moment when his eyes flare open he looks exhilarated, enthralled, enraptured...

And still the beautiful music, high and light and singing and it’s not perfect, not exactly; he misses a note here and there and you can catch the minuscule shifting of his mood as he notices and corrects it, pausing and going back, over the little bits until they are perfect, and then back again to the start, with a tiny shuddering breath and half-opening his eyes, and the song’s beautiful, slow and careful and delicate, simple while still being pretty, and—

And then just like that it’s over, with one final low note rippling through the air and you slowly break out of your trance, from drinking in it all in. He stands there, still and holding the violin and his eyes are almost closed; but they’re unseeing, and you’re not sure what he’s thinking, now—all the gentle waves of emotion have gone flat, but slowly building up to something you can’t tell—

He swallows, and slowly puts the instrument down. And then he stands there, looking at it and steps back, and slowly sinks to his knees on the plush carpet, and carefully puts his hands in his lap. Excessively he blinks, rapidly and quickly and you hear him sniff, slightly; and even though he smiles a few tears tumble down his cheeks and splash onto his bare knees.

“...Cheshire?”

Your voice breaks the silence and he looks up, and he smiles, with eyes closed and widely, as though there isn’t salty water dripping off his chin. “Good morning, Bel. I’m alright, d-don’t worry about me—” He cuts himself off to gasp slightly and you don’t miss the stutter, just dash across the room to throw your arms around his neck; he hugs you back, at first slowly and then tighter, burying his face in your shoulder.

“I’m alright,” he gasps, nuzzling you. “Just... just a little overwhelmed...”

And the feeling’s not sad, from him, exactly, just... replaying, riding on those beautiful waves of music being made by his own fingers—

“I can play, Bel,” he whispers, “I can play.”

“I know,” you say, hugging him. “I heard.”

“I can still play...”

“You always could.”

He draws back and he smiles again, brushing away the wet from the corners of his eyes and his cheeks and you kiss him gently, a kiss that he returns before pulling away with another gasp to press another to your lips, and another, and then that fervent energy overtakes him and he stands, heads to the bookshelves and pulls out more thin, dusty volumes, adding them to the several already spread out on the table. He moves with quick, almost excited movements, and you watch, drinking in the sudden spikes in his emotional state.

“...Aren’t you going to eat breakfast?” you ask eventually, sitting there and watching him flip through pages and books and blow dust off of everything.

“Later,” he says, and there is definite excitement in his voice. “Breakfast can wait.”

You frown. “No, it can’t. You need to eat.”

He looks up from a page full of bars and notes and his face does something almost akin to a pout. It makes you giggle. “Be-el, ple-ease? Can’t I put it off for an hour or so?”

“It’ll turn into five hours. You need food and sugar.” Though you smile your voice is stern. “If you take twenty minutes to eat, then you can spend all of the time before lunch here doing what you want. Now come on. Food and sugar.”

Loki - Duel

Mar. 4th, 2012 12:20 pm
interdimensional: (Default)

“Hit me with everything you’ve got.”

“Everything?” You raise an eyebrow skeptically, but he just nods.

“Everything. Mindbolts too. Don’t be afraid to use force; if it gets truly dangerous I’ll teleport.”

You find yourself grinning; oh, he wants to play rough, does he? “Alright. Everything.”

He smiles, claps his gloved hands together once, and pulls the gloves off, tucking them into a pocket. “Come on, see if you can stop me,” he says, and the distance between you is about twenty feet; not too far, which is good considering you’re not all that skilled at long-distance. He closes his eyes briefly, and when he opens reopens them, that mesmerizing pattern is there, what she’s dubbed mystic eyes and the rest have adopted.

“See if you can stop me.” A glow of runelight appears around your fingers as you grin.

He smiles, and assumes a relaxed posture but you can see the slight bending of his knees. He doesn’t blink, watching you. For a moment you don’t blink either, a long moment of just watching before you smile and take a step back.

He blinks. You grin and in that instant a mindbolt flies at him head-on before it fizzles out of existence before it reaches him and he ducks, reaches behind and grabs a rope of Naudr where you had it about to wrap around him and crushes it between his fingers; by that time you’re rushing forward in a barrage of runes, combinations flung from your hands that he dodges or neutralizes but you just cast Kaen at yourself and dart forward in wildfire form, only to be stopped a foot later with a freezing drenching like buckets of Logr but you were expecting this, so one of the runes he previously tossed aside comes back at him and he sees it in the nick of time and it misses by an inch before he catches it and somehow turns it into something else with just a squeeze of his fingers and sends it flying back and you shatter it with Tyr as it passes over your head but as you step forward you’re frozen again in a pentacle of blue and he’s advancing with something forming in his hand, like a thorn or a needle, long and sharp and crackling but you don’t even stop, just cast the Ur-Hagall combination that got you out last time; but apparently he was expecting that because nothing happens, so you raise an eyebrow and instead do Ur-Hagall-Thuris-Bjarkan; the web flickers and you push with almost half your strength and it blows apart into fragments and he looks slightly surprised at that and the magic he’d been gathering vanishes and you grin and dart forward again.

There’s only a few feet between you now and you keep switching, moving your fingers from rune to rune as fast as you can, casting them down into the snow and using others to hide them and this is it now, it’s close combat and you don’t hold back. Feint, dodge, duck, parry—you can’t tell what it is in his hand but every blow you block sends a jarring pain up your arm and you let him drive you back in a shower of sparks, blue and purple and orange flying like fireworks every which way in your vision and all you catch is this blaze of light—but then he’s in place and you get out a cantrip between your teeth and vanish into flame, flitting away backwards and as he glances around for you—and spots you almost instantly—your own web flares up around him, an intricate net of runes that he can’t escape from, wrapping around his legs and slithering upward in seconds, binding his wrists together behind his back as you touch down lightly back on the snow and smirk and he hisses, slightly, which only makes you smirk wider.

“Had enough yet, Kitty?”

He tries to loosen his wrists but you merely tighten the bonds and he flinches, glaring at you juuust a bit, and you summon a new rune to your hand, just as a precaution as you approach.

“Now what, hmm?”

His lips move and something cold and sharp bats the rune out of your hand; you only have to turn your head slightly to see whatever it is and destroy it, but when you turn back you see his fingers move behind back just as you realize you should’ve immobilized them too and this snap comes and this explosion of multi-colored light blinds you momentarily but it’s all he needs and a surprisingly gentle hand pushes you squarely in the middle of your chest and that’s it, it’s all over and there’s cold, wet snow seeping into your hair and the back of your shirt and a light, light finger on your throat.

You blink rapidly to clear your eyes and he’s leaning over you and smiling angelically and the sight is more than a little strange and you’re really not quite sure what to say. Even less so when he leans in and his eyes are still absolutely entrancing.

“Give in?” he asks, and you blink.

Then you sigh good-naturedly and brush his hand away from your throat and sit up from the snow. “Yeah, yeah, you win. You win, I lose.” He blinks in slight confusion but you grin and shake snow out of your hair. “Stupid mistake, huh?”

“What, my hands?”

“Yeah, just goes to show I’m out of practice. Not that you use them as much as I do, but still. ...surprised it took ya that long to break out, though.”

“It was a potent combination; it took me a few moments to figure out what you’d done.” Finally the confusion vanishes from his face into a smile and he reaches out a hand to help you up; for a moment you stare at it before taking it and letting him pull you to your feet.

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July 2012

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