Cheshire, flash 2

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.

Loki – ‘Good Enough For Now’

Odin…” You’re pressed against each other and you feel hard muscles and rough scars and scratchy, his beard is rough beneath your hands and you half want to yank it just to see what’ll happen and his one eye is like fire staring at you, blazing gray-blue and your fingers wander beneath his eyepatch, lift and brush away and he lets, and you just know you’re the only one other than Frigg who he lets do that, you brush it away and he opens his hollow eye and you see the emptiness there and that hurts, somehow, even though he did it willingly; like he went and became this, became the All-father without your permission, without your input and against your will but you couldn’t stop him if you tried, but the image kind of hurts nonetheless, a shudder wanting to run down your spine at the thought of him plucking his eye out, handing it over for knowledge—that’s always been his weak point, wisdom, knowledge, knowing—he’s such a huge sucker for it and you want to smack him, because there’s more to that in the world, doesn’t he realize that? Doesn’t he?

…You’re an idiot,” you say, glaring at him. You’re completely breaking up the moment and probably doing the equivalent of a cold shower but you really don’t care right now, that just makes it all the more satisfying. “A complete, absolute, total fool. And I think you should know, because nobody else is going to tell you.”

He blinks, and the intense look fades from his eye and he looks… slightly confused, and then wryly amused, rueful, and you know he knows; and he knows you know he knows and you know that, you both know you’re telling the truth and you’re both aware of that, and you’re also aware of the fact that it’s going to change absolutely nothing and that makes this rough, breaking feeling just tear through your chest like a silent, suppressed sob, because why, this—all so limited and trapped and fate and you’re so frustrated, so angry, bitter and jaded and fed up with this, why not try to change it, why keep conforming, why keep perpetuating this whole thing—

You jerk away, away from him, roll off the bed and pick up your clothes with choppy motions, yanking them on angrily, furious suddenly for no reason whatsoever and yet all the reason in the world—

…Loki—wait.”

You glance at him—glare—sharply over your shoulder. Waiting. Listening.

…Stay.”

Why should I?” you snap. “What reason have you given me? Why do I put up with you? Give me one, give me one good reason I should put up with your miserable, pathetic, worthless presence.” And it’s all in your own head, he didn’t actually do anything this time—he knows nothing of your random mood swing—

…Because we’re brothers.” And the unspoken, lingering in the air: ‘I love you.’

And that makes you want to sneer. ‘Oh, do you?’

Oh, are we now? That’s the only thing you can come up with? A shame, I thought you were better than that.”

You turn away, start walking away, but before you reach the door there’s his hand on your shoulder that you itch to slap away but you just remain still. Silent.

…please.”

…I hate you, you know that? You never play fair.” But you know you don’t mean it, you really don’t, deep down—because he’s right, you’re brothers sworn in blood to each other and that means so much…

…I know.”

…damn it to Hel, Odin—! You—you’re—”

I know.”

…I hate you… I really hate you sometimes.”

I know.”

Say something else, can’t you—?!”

…Loki.” Breath gusts over your neck, making you shiver.

Stop that.”

…I’m sorry.”

…mm. All right. Good enough for now. But I still hate you, understand?”

Understood.”

Cheshire, flash 1

Leaning forward, fingers gently on his chest, lean up and kiss him.

Just softly. Just gently. Because this is—

And then pull away, and he raises an eyebrow. Grey-silver. “You’re not the first student to do that.”

Breathlessly, pink and yet almost joking, serious and playful at the same time. “I don’t care.”

Roll eyes, smile a bit, wrap an arm around your waist, pull you close into a kiss again.

[Just affection, really. Not romantic. But you don’t care.]

Belial – Fabrics

Silk. Satin. Lace. Velvet. Nylon, cotton, polyester, netting. Stockings and gloves and garters, lacy and delicate and held up by flimsy, clinging belts. High heels, platforms, ties wrapping around leg, ribbons around limbs and hair and glittering clips; stiff, sheeny material in skirts, spread out over walls. More lace, in heavy petticoats and ballroom skirts and ridiculously long dresses. Gowns made of gauze and fluttery, offering peeks of things hidden underneath.

Skin.

Pale and creamy, long legs and slender fingers and willowy body, burgundy hair and blue-gray eyes and pink lips. Beautiful face adorned by make-up, lipstick and mascara and eyeshadow, liner and blush and unrecognizable yet still knowing, blue lighting and elaborate costumes and beautiful.

So beautiful.

So beautiful…

Fabrics. Clothing.

It turns you on. So much.

Just the sight of him, in stockings wrapping around those smooth legs, feet in high, high heels, white and silk painted with flowers and diamond-shaped cutouts, deep red dress barely brushing the tops of his thighs, advancing on you with a smirk, that confident, knowing, almost predatory smirk, the one that says, I know what you’re thinking. I know what this does to you. And it pleases me. So I’m going to tease you to within an inch of your life.

And you want it. Oh, you want it.

He leans over you, golden bangles around his wrists, a blazing ribbon tied tightly around his neck, hints of make-up on his face and still the smirk, fingers just barely brushing under your chin, giving you a tantalizing view down his chest through the collar of the dress.

A few teasing remarks, a wink and a single grip on your jaw and then he’s gone, dancing away in those heels like he was born for it; fabrics flutter and tail waves and you want.

When he dresses like that—lets you dress him like that—it’s irresistible. Oh, yes, you do it for the art—for the photographs, but it’s impossible. He’s too beautiful. How it’s possible for a person to be so singularly beautiful you don’t know. It’s not like it matters how. He just is.

Silk. Tight, tight silk. Shiny and smooth over his skin, expression of bliss on his face, bliss as you pin him to the wall and—

“Now Bel, show some restraint! I can see your dirty thoughts from a mile away~”

And he knows he likes it. You’re the one with the costume fetish but oh, he likes it. When you call him beautiful, tell him how gorgeous he looks, whisper in his ear how he’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen—he loves it.

And then you switch to murmuring how he entrances you, holds you spellbound, and badly you want him, want to ravish him; how much you love him, want to see him splayed out beneath you, breathing hard and flushed, moaning at your every touch and still clothed in beautiful fabrics like icing on the cake.

If he’s in a playful mood he’ll laugh; laugh and say it’ll be you beneath him, unable to resist for long enough. If he’s not, he’ll blush, sweetly and innocently and pretend your words don’t turn him on—but either way the result will be the same: the two of you together, you and him and together and hot, joined in a perfect union of sliding flesh and voice in exhales and soft cries, lips and mouths and teeth and tongue and burning like a fever and it’s all so perfect and beautiful—

…His tongue slides over your skin, hot and wet and gliding up your throat, his eyes watching you keenly as he kisses your neck, kisses it before biting, hard, just hard enough in that way that he knows, just hard enough not to draw blood and hard enough to make you moan, his tail flicking against you and hand sliding down over your hot, sweaty skin, down, downdowndown—

So. Beautiful.

Loki – Like This

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.

Jervin – Wings

It stills gets to you, sometimes.

Sure, it’s kind of neat, having wings; a lot of times you like to just lie in bed and play with them, run your fingers through silvery, fluffy-ish feathers (but not too deep; if there’s one thing you weren’t expecting was touching the skin underneath them to be a giant turn-on), appreciating the sensations.

And then there’s the fact that you’re learning to fly, which is also pretty neat, even though you’ve never had any particular desire to before you died. But you know a lot of people would be envious of you (the flying part, not the dead part, although being dead like this isn’t so bad; it’s actually pretty great), and you want to learn, figuring there’s no point to having wings if you can’t fly.

And they like your wings, like messing with them and raking fingers through your feathers when you let them out during sex (that’s another thing you haven’t figured out, that’s weird—where the heck do they go when you make them vanish?), which is an enormous turn-on and that turns you into a shuddering vocal puddle of goo, but somehow you keep wondering if it’s a good idea, if it emphasizes and brings up the distance between you, of two years spent as an angel wandering around with no memory whatsoever, if it reminds them—reminds him—of your death.

So it gets to you, sometimes.

Waking up in the middle of the night, sitting up and feeling things attached to your back, shoulders, moving as you do and muscles in tandem and it feels so wrong, like they shouldn’t be there, they should be gone and the only they’re there is because you’re an angel, now (and it’s not like you ever gave much thought to the afterlife even though you were fighting for your life on a regular basis); so you make them disappear. Always. Vanish away into some space inside your back, but that’s only creepier—it doesn’t make sense, but at least you can’t feel them like that.

You can’t keep them hidden away inside forever, but at least they’re out of sight. Out of sight, out of mind, isn’t that how the saying goes? Something like that. You don’t remember.

You have a hard time remembering things, sometimes; your memory’s returned, yes, but you still forget things often. Things like having wings, even though you wear your halo around your neck. It’s become almost—almost—like another piece of jewelry now, another one of those necklaces.

I didn’t want to die… and life’s good—death’s good—right now, but sometimes it just feels like… ‘Hey, Jervin, doofus, you’re dead.’

I never said I was smart, I never said I was good with remembering things or realizing things or feelings or anything—

Soft. Silvery. Attached to your back, spreading out behind you—

So very wrong.

Belial – Playing Music (Again)

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.”