Yukou. His father named him Yukou. He's not sure how he feels about his courtesy name yet. He was excited to receive it, as excited as he was to receive his clarity bell, the sign of being a true Jiang disciple. He wants to feel happy about his name, because his father gave it to him and it's a good name, but he knows his father's feelings are complicated and that makes his own feelings twist up in a tangled sympathetic knot.
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“I wouldn't have let him name you, it would have been something stupid and awful. He always picked terrible names, Rulan? Really? That poor boy is going to wear that for the rest of his life now. I should have let Jiejie pick it but with her current condition...”
Aunt Yanli is pregnant again, but this time she's sicker than usual, and weaker. His father travels to Koi Tower a lot now, to check up on her. She couldn't come for his naming ceremony, but sent his cousin with a small gift in the form of a book of poems. 'He wrote them.' was all her note said.
He. They never said his name, the person his father and aunt missed so much. He, him, that bastard, that fool, our precious idiot. There were a lot of things they called the Yiling Patriarch, Wei Wuxian, but almost never his name.
Yuan thinks about names, about the shape of them and how they bind and shape the people wearing them. His father is Sect leader Jiang, Jiang Wanyin, Sandu Shenshou. Jiang Cheng, to all the people that matter. Uncle to a few, Father to one. His mother named him Yuan, Hope, because he was her hope and she had hope for him. His father named him Yukou, Endless Brilliance, and he tugs at it like a new robe he has to grow into. He thinks he knows why his father picked it, but he's not completely sure and he doesn't want to ask just yet. It feels like something that will make his father sad to talk about, and Yuan tries not to make his father talk about the sad things that often.
He wonders what his uncle would have named him, if he'd been given the chance. Rulan isn't a bad name, no matter how his father grumbles. To stand tall and proud as an orchid among the peonies? Yuan thinks if his uncle was alive, if he was as strong and loyal and kind as he must have been, then he would make sure Jin Ling and all his siblings walked through life on a flowering path. It seems like the sort of thing his father's lost brother would do, or try to do, from all the stories.
His mother named him Hope, and his father named him Endless Brilliance. He doesn't know what the world will name him yet, if he'll ever do something to earn a title among the Cultivation World's elite, but he knows it will reflect all the other things his mother, father, aunt and lost uncle have given him. The man they're all raising him to be, with their presence and their absence.
Jiang Yuan. Jiang Yukou. The heir of Yunmeng Jiang.
|Subject:||PORN. Questionable porn|
Jiang Cheng doesn't really like the idea of going through puberty again, but he needs those years to set things in motion. Wei Wuxian is dumped in his room when they're six, and Jiang Cheng makes sure that doesn't change. They sleep in the same bed, he makes sure they build up a habit of doing each other's hair and helping each other dress and despite his nature Wei Ying gets calmer for it. Steadier. They hug a lot, and Wei Ying never does learn to keep his hands to himself but he looks like a proper disciple and the ribbon binding his braid is purple.
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“If they won't adopt you, you'll marry in. You'll marry me.”
He doesn't make it a secret. It's a promise, from the time they're small. Something for Wei Ying to cling to, to hope for. Jiang Cheng outstrips him in every way, races ahead in his Cultivaton and studies and watches his brother shine at the presence of a challenge. Jiang Cheng is cheating but it's fine.
When the spring dreams start, Jiang Cheng makes sure they still share a bed, more often than not. He's trained his body in two lifetimes now to endure a lot of things, he can train it to do this to. To take the anonymous, pleasant effects of his dreams and add the sensations of his brother's hair, the husk of his whispers, the rough calluses of his hands.
Some part of him still expects Wei Ying to be shameless, as loud and disgusting and perverse as he was in that other life with that other man. He's not though. He's shy, and hesitant, and when Jiang Cheng kisses him it's sweet. They spend a lot of time just kissing under the blankets, fitting themselves together in a warm nest of robes. Jiang Cheng watches his brother peak for the first time right against his hip through four layers of cloth. It seems to take forever for him to stop trembling and twitching afterwards. Then he goes even more lazy and boneless and smiles so bright and wondrous, like Jiang Cheng did something special. It's easy to grind himself against his brother's thigh, when he can stare at that smile.
They're discrete, because they aren't married yet and his parents still think they won't be, that they can put off making Wei Wuxian official forever somehow, but Jiang Cheng has a mission and only a few years to get it done. During the day he trains and teaches and works the disciples and makes Wei Ying work out newer, better, better defenses. At night he makes sure Wei Ying knows he is loved. That he is loved by Jiang Cheng.
He's not sure how much of the utterly terrible behavior between Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian started with Wei Wuxian, but he's very certain by the time they reach sixteen that the perverted Lan took liberties and broke rules however he liked because his Wei Ying never goes around sobbing about abuses after the fact! Or needs help healing questionable bruises. Or....
He takes care of his brother. Sometimes with hands, sometimes with his mouth, sometimes they just kiss and writhe until they need new trousers. He doesn't leave bruises, even when he has to pin Wei Ying down. He keeps his bites light, sharp little nips that fade by morning. Sometimes he takes their hair ribbons, when Mother is on a Night Hunt and Father is away, and ties Wei Ying's wrists to his ankles and wraps another around his shaft and sack and then he tortures him until he cries. Until the only thing he can say is Jiang Cheng's name and 'please' and 'I'm sorry'. He kisses and strokes all over Wei Ying as gently as possible. He takes the flushed red head in his mouth and sinks down on it until he gags, and works the rest with his hand. He discovers Wei Ying can come dry this way, heaving like a seizure, and keeps going until his brother passes out. In the morning he gets woken up by his own release pouring itself into that smiling mouth.
“Are you ever gonna fuck me?”
“After we're married.”
“And if I get adopted?”
“Then if you want me to.”
“You don't want to?”
The thing about routine, is it's easy to fall into, and easier to build off of. Outside, in public, they have to be Sect Heir and Ward. At night, in their room, they can just... be. Wei Ying is a lot freer with his worries when Jiang Cheng reassures him about them, instead of brushing them away. He tucks his arm under his head and looks at the boy who will become the man he spent two decades and more hating and loving to madness.
“I want you to be happy, I want you to be HERE. By my side. Like you promised.”
Sasuke got used to his 'teacher' during the long weeks of his recovery from the Sand Demon. The priest was also convalescing, at least officially and according to the screeching nurse medi-nin. Point of fact he was often puttering around aiding the other patients instead of resting in his own cot, and Sasuke got told by Shizune herself to 'keep the bastard out of the way'.
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'Liam's' grin was as fanged as Naruto's and just dared Sasuke to try.
Something about how the man moved, even in obvious pain, nagged at the genin. The deliberate way he handled himself around trained and paranoid killer spies was... not the same way the people in the civilian sectors did.
The keen edge of his chakra, the scent of exploding tags, the hard calluses on his hands that Sasuke had felt every time Itachi deigned to hold his hand... Sasuke had not been handed off to some scholar to rot and let the family shame die in history. He'd been given a secret wrapped in a puzzle and if he couldn't see beneath the beneath enough to figure the man out, he didn't deserve the cheat that was the Sharingan.
Closing up the shop for the night, Liam double checked his wards, then turned inwards, just for a moment, to check the strength of his walls. He could feel the scratching, like nails and teeth against the stone he was daily reinforcing with iron bars.
They would crumble to a lightsaber, but the traitor had to *find* him first and Liam would bear any number of skull splitting migraines to keep that from happening. He had made himself a home here, and he had people to take care of. They may not be a pair of toe-headed terrors with their mother's stubborn and their father's charm, but the children of Leaf were precious in their own ways. Their own beautiful, brief ways.
Sasuke and Naruto... He had to snort at the irony. Him, teaching another lone-wolf about the truths of revenge and honor. About family. He was tempted to hunt down his past just to put it in a deep grave but his present was enough trouble.
At some point he was going to have to stop flirting with the former ANBU and let him down gently, before the guy got too close and too... close. Vincent might be a cod blooded killer for his village, but he was still far too nice for a briar-patch like Liam to tangle with.
They tried the shock collars but they never worked, not on him. He is the lightening.
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It's not something he advertises when they escape to 'normality' and Kindoku high. He doesn't have to. Certain assholes find him anyway and they make life particularly annoying.
He has no interest in sullying himself with anyone's blood he doesn't *have* to, but some people don't really get the 'fuck off' message. Even backed up by a gang of very violently inclined teenagers and their not-quite-government-approved enhancements.
Government funded, but not officially approved.
The guard dogs come out in force after the dragon's kid takes *offense* to his notions of cleaning up the campus.
It's the wolf that really pisses him off though. Cats and dogs and birds you know? The wolf won't get off his *back*, always trailing after him and itching for a fight like a dog trying to hump his fucking leg. It's enough to set Zell off and he thought he got the guy *settled* in his place.
Leon can smell the blood on the wind. Someone, somewhere is going to die and he's going to be blamed. Then it'll be a matter of time before they all end up in chains or dead. it doesn't matter how clean they try and keep themselves, with people like the wolf on their tales things will just *happen*.
The best he can do is stockpile fucking batteries and hope they're stupid enough to come after him on a rainy day on a rooftop.
(7:33:06 PM) quezacoatle: It's Haikada's job to keep these two idiots of his safe and happy, and that's hard enough with Aji throwing himself at anythign that looks like a half decent *fight*, he doesn't need Seiko getting *ideas* from his inherant disbelief in his own self worth. Micromanaging them is *easier* after they've negotiated how they each wants to be pinned down and held tight by the others.
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(7:35:50 PM) tripoverhercats: For his part, some times he *doesn't* want to make decisions. Sometimes he just wants someone *else* to do that
(7:38:23 PM) quezacoatle: That's when Aji gets a *mad* smile and tells everyone in sight that he's going to haul Kada off to 'train' and Seiko packs *things* in his haling pack and they all go out to a place the other two have picked out and deliberately *not* shown Kada before and they *sit* on him, Seiko uses Kido if Kada's in a mood to fight, and they don't give him a choice about anything that happens.
(7:39:12 PM) tripoverhercats: today you do what we tell you to! YOu've had that twitch in your eye all week!
(7:42:53 PM) quezacoatle: "First we're going to feed you, and you're going to *eat*, because you're going to need the energy." -leans in and presses a quick kiss to Kada's lips, the Kido chains straining a little- "Then we're going to *play*."
(7:45:27 PM) tripoverhercats: and Haikada will growl and put on enough resistance to make sure they;re serious about holding him before lettin them start taking him apart
(7:51:00 PM) quezacoatle: Aji whistles at the spread. "You've been reading the weird books again haven't you?"
"Fruit is healthy. And fruit juice tastes good on salty skin."
(7:51:58 PM) tripoverhercats: Aji finds books without too many pictures to be daunting! People seeing him read them might start getting the idea that he's smart!
(7:56:01 PM) quezacoatle: -holds an orange slice to kada's lips- "Just relax, you know we'll take care of you."
(7:57:37 PM) tripoverhercats: "I had two meetings today you know." *grumbles but the line of his shoulders is not nearly as stiff as it would be if he was *angry*
(8:02:15 PM) quezacoatle: "We know. I told them you were kidnapped they'd have to reschedule." -grins and rifles curiously through Seiko's bag-
"Did I give you the impression we'd be *done* today?"
"Huh... uh, I can send a few letters if we have to I guess."
(8:06:49 PM) tripoverhercats: *takes a bite of the orange so it has to dribble a little* ""Write too much and Zaraki's going to make you the official secretary of eleventh."
(8:09:25 PM) quezacoatle: -hums and leans in to lick up the sticky juice- "Oh how terrible."
"Hey! That's a legitimate threat!"
(8:11:59 PM) tripoverhercats: "Have to get you a acalander and a day planner. Maybe a nice potted plant.
(8:12:54 PM) quezacoatle: "Okay, Sei, shut him up already, he's making my balls shrivel!"
-laughs quietly and takes Kada's mouth in deep kiss-
(8:15:26 PM) tripoverhercats: *kisses back with a low hum and he can feel some of the weight on him lift a bit and hmm, maybe he is a little over tense...
(8:20:16 PM) quezacoatle: -drapes himself comfortably over the prone form, reaching for the fruit plate and another orange-
-blinks and pulls the large smooth egg shaped thing out of Sei's bag with a beffudled look-
(8:21:50 PM) tripoverhercats: it doesn't look like an edible egg!
(8:22:10 PM) tripoverhercats: and there's no art work on it...
(8:23:41 PM) quezacoatle: -pulls back from the kiss to hold another slice of orange up- "Your brother is impatient to play, 'kada."
(8:25:44 PM) tripoverhercats: "He's always impatient. Wait is a curse in his vocabulary."
(8:28:58 PM) quezacoatle: "I suppose I *could* provide a show with dinner..." -holds the orange up and with his other hand pulls out his hair tie-
(8:29:58 PM) tripoverhercats: *growls a little and snaps his teeth at the orange, since he cant reach Sei at the moment.
The ground is covered in thick grass and fallen cherry petals which makes it much more pleasant than the alleyways and streets they grew up in. The wide tree Seiko used to anchor his Kido chains and keep Haikada in a mostly comfortable seated position has smooth bark. Making sure that at least *most* of the orange goes in his captive's mouth, Seiko carefully twines his hair tie around Haikada's scarf so it won't get lost.
Licking his hand clean daintily from the fruit juice, he tilts his head to the side to watch 'Kada's reaction and sweep the heavy mass of brown mane over his shoulder.
Pulp and juice are messy, but sweet, and the dark dilated look in 'Kada's eyes is all the permission Seiko needs to lean in and clean him up. Sweeping kitten licks across the smooth skin. Kada's lap is warm and broad enough to cradle Seiko's ass neatly, even through their hakama.
"That's your idea of a show? Letting your hair down? Half the time we have to put it up for you." Aji mutters from his pawing, but there's a grin in it. Sei huffs a sigh over the wet flesh beneath his nose.
"So impatient your brother." he murmurs. While Kada grumbles around his chewing, Seiko sits up and starts disrobing languidly. He's only wearing his outer robe and pants, tabi and sandals long abandoned for the grass. He gave up on the notion of underwear long ago when he was faced with the baffling choices between male and female.
Sometimes he wonders of there *shouldn't* be a way to pick and choose your anatomy at will to fit the moment, despite the realities against it.
Standing to step out of the puddle of black cotton, he braces himself against the tree, careful not to touch at *all* because the distance drags all Kada's attention to how very far apart they are. Seiko gets to decide how and when and where and if at all his brother gets to feel him. This close, Kada has an unmatched view of Seiko's soft small prick and the surrounding curls. Before the man fixates too much, he settles back down on his heels, straddling the growing hardness in his brother's pants through all that stifling fabric.
"You're quiet over there Aji." Seiko murmurs, picking up an apple and slicing a bite sized piece off with one of his sleeve knives.
"Why are you trying to ruin the moment?" Kada asks, with just a glint of humor before Seiko shoves the apple slice in his mouth, speared to the knife. He arches a brow at the older man's aplomb, but he can still see the tension in his arms, the distance *behind* his eyes that means he's not yet ready to bend.
He wants to though. Kada is a man that almost always *wants* to bend, when he doesn't *need* to, he simply doesn't allow himself. Something inside him refuses to let him give in that much without a struggle. Every time Seiko and Aji have to break him down at least a bit, though they've figured out a few ways to make the process quicker.
Neither are comfortable giving *commands*. Seiko simply moves around them, he takes the part of himself that is *always* held under their leash and buries it under the fact that they need the other parts of him more. Aji takes a more direct approach, attacking Kada's resistance full on with force until the older man is groaning and twisting on his need.
It takes most of the apple, and Seiko cleaning up the dribbled mess of the apple, and Aji rambling and wandering over to play with Seiko's naked body while he cleans up the apple, for Kada to get with the program. Aji leaves suckled bruises along Seiko's throat and raised red welts down his rib cage. He twists and pinches the small pink nipples until they puff and swell, earning thin high whimpers for the effort.
Kada *growls* around the apple slices but he eats and when Seiko reaches for the smoked fish he snarls but he eats. Aji rewards him by wrapping hanks of long hair around his hard fist and yanking. Seiko has to arch, has to stretch and gasp while his throat goes tight. Air becomes a precious thing, an *irrelevant* thing with the bright dangerous light in Kada's eyes. He can feel the collar's edges raising new bruises just from this.
"See what you could have if you weren't so *considerate* 'Kada? Now you're just going to get whatever I decide to leave over for you." Aji's nails scratch at the thin white skin beneath Seiko's bellybutton, and the knife trembles in the brunet's hand.
Seiko's still soft, but that won't last. It can't, under their combined attention, ever, no matter how distinctly female he feels at the time. He stabs the tree as his vision goes spotty because he hates cutting them when they haven't begged for it. Aji takes over his mouth, spicy wet heat forcibly sweeping through and laying claim. Seiko realizes he's got breath again when he gasps at a strong pinch to his inner thigh.
Kada looks distinctly murderous as he glares at them. He also looks like he wants to murder them with his cock so that's fine.
Aji releases him to start stripping. The food can wait for Kada to earn his hands back it seems. Smiling Seiko makes himself comfortable as he watches that hard, sculpted body revealed. Aji looks like the brawler that he is. Everything about him is dark and taught, muscle strung along bone and wrapped in a sheath of dusky gold. Their zanpaktou are set next to the tree, out of the way but within reach and Seiko can feel his blade's amusement with him. It does so approve of a weapon being wielded by the *worthy*...
"Seiko, you're *thinking* damn it. Who gave you permission to do that huh?" Aji grumbles, getting a snort from their prisoner.
"I can't help it," Seiko murmurs, head tilting downward in submission that *feels* false, feels like a *goad* and something to be *punished* for. "I'm *empty*."
It's true, though not as true as it used to be. He has his brother's love to fill him. He has the collar and cuffs to *remind* him. He has their scents and sounds and bruises to hold the loneliness at bay. Soon one or the other will be *inside* him and there will be no room for anything *else*. Anything weak or unworthy, anything *less*.
Until then however, his brain latches onto all the spaces where they *could* be and refuses to stop pondering the methods to *fix* it.
//All good weapons ache to be *used*. Only then do we have *purpose*.// His blade gives form to the ideas that he struggles to express. It is the sensible one in this relationship after all.
'One day', says the other voice. 'One or both are going to put you down little mad dog. You court your murderers here.'
Grinning brightly behind the curtain of his hair, Seiko basks in that sharp truth. The fire of it warms his marrow.
"Aji..." Kada's tone is that dark warning that brings Seiko to attention.
"Shut it 'Kada, you're gonna sit there and be happy if I give you my sloppy seconds here." A callused hot hand grips Sei's nape and he goes loose. Now it feels right to hang his head, it's *necessary* because they're taking him in hand. He barely blinks as Aji kneels down and looks him over thumb rubbing in idle circles over the thudding pulse in his throat. "I need to take care of my girl yeah?"
Seiko blinks, an internal dissonance making him pause. Her pause. They... they don't talk very much about this. They don't treat him as a female without the clothes to disguise basic *facts*. He's not... he can't *hide* that there are female bits *missing* when he's naked. It's true that sometimes he doesn't *want* to have a penis, that it feels *wrong* to have them touch him there, but the conflict is entirely between his body and his brain it has nothing to do with *them*...
So caught up in trying to figure out who they are at the moment, Seiko completely misses Aji's actions until the penis in question is caught and... caged?
The thing about Seiko, right, is that he doesn't like to come out and *say* what he needs. He doesn't like to say *anything* if he can help it. My Little Brother can go whole *weeks* without uttering a sound and you might say that's not so bad, a quiet kid is a nice change, but it's not *natural*. At first I didn't think the scrawny kid covered in bruises and mud even knew *how* to talk. We never did get him to tell us his birth-name, if he knew it, and I may not be the brains of our group but I'm pretty sure he didn't spring up from a cabbage patch.
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The first thing I ever heard him *say* actually was 'It's that way', when we got ourselves lost one time down a series of dark back allies. 'Kada knew where we were and where we were going of course, guy could track the East Wind on a snowy day, but still. No way the kid could know that, and it was dark and cold and all of us were a bit hungry back then. It was important to know the way 'home'.
So Seiko only says things when they're important. He just doesn't *always* say them even then. I love him, month long silences and all, it just bugs me that I never know he's missing something until it's already eaten a hole in him. I always feel a thousand miles ahead of him, when I'm trying to stay right at his side.
Haikada doesn't make it any easier. I swear that guy has Sei figured out like any other ball-in-a-cage puzzle and then I'll turn around and find we're both hanging upside-down but Kada's got his spine twisted so he can *kinda* see the point...
Okay so obviously metaphors and whatnot aren't my thing. I'm the guy who hits things and then sets them on fire alright? I'm not *supposed* to do the heavy thinking. Haikada figures out where we're going, Sei plots how to get there and I smash anything in the way. It works. I am good with the smash and burn. I have even figures out how to burn water, and certain metals, although I've been told not to do that unless i have no other options because it's a bit damaging on the landscape and we get in trouble with Yamakage and the Council of Nobles or whatever those big rich dicks call themselves.
I'm pretty sure Seiko used to be one of those guys. Or, well obviously not cause he was a kid, but one of the kids of those guys. Even back at the start; ragged, starving and smaller than a whisper, he had those cold calculating eyes and no second thoughts about bleeding someone dry. If he couldn't get the reach and leverage to slit their bellies that is.
Most guys on the streets, they save killing for a last resort yeah? It's messy, and they haven't practiced, and all they want is money or food or not to be on the damned streets. Especially lone guys, gangs, they run by different rules, but even then it's odd to hear one guy in a gang going out and just hunting humans like a picky cattle butcher. Seiko wasn't on the streets because he had to be, or at least because he had no other option than to be, he was out there by *choice* and he was *murdering* people. Carefully, mindfully, professionally. Well as professionally as a kid like him could which was a damned sight beyond the rest of us. Of course, some of us have this thing called 'respect' for life, that the rich-dicks just *don't*. So yeah. Pretty sure the little guy came from a bad bad place with all the comforts of privilege and none of the necessities of family.
I used to wonder what he lost, ending up in the gutter like Kada and me. If he missed all those books he liked reading and the fancy clean clothes and shoes with socks... Warm socks are a miracle in the winter.
|Subject:||Marvel hurts me. |
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|Subject:||Marvel are bastard whores. |
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|Subject:||Damn you Marvel more. |
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|Subject:||Marvel you bastards break my heart. |
Winter Soldier broke me, so I'm working on fix-it.
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CrazyCakes!Sephiroth is hard to write. This is a missing scene from the old KH RP Trips and I had going.
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|Subject:||Does anyone remember Mercenary!Verse?|
Crossover snippet thing...
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When Smoker is twenty, he's an officer on Marine Captain Edward Tully's Man Of War. He's got experience, but not enough, and he's already gotten in trouble for his unorthodox handling of prisoners.
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He's not especially liked, and he's not hated, but he knows his idea of Justice isn't going to make him all that popular with his peers.
Tully is his superior, and he respects that. Tully is also an *ass* and doesn't know when he's clearly outmatched. Smoker knows as soon as the Red-Haired Jolly Roger is spotted, they aren't going to win this encounter. Shanks the Red *is* known for letting Marines go who don't press their luck, but Tully is the kind of testosterone soaked Alpha's Alpha who can't comprehend the idea of loosing, or that discretion can be the better part of valor.
The captain orders a close range canon volley, and Smoker's sharp eyes pick out a tiny body peering over the railing of the massive galleon at them.
When the canon smoke clears the galleon is consuming them in her shadow, and Shanks himself is glaring down, a small child cringing into his pant leg. That's all Smoker remembers before falling into a comforting, encompassing blackness.
He wakes to the smells of rum, cinnamon and sweaty sailors. The creak and sway of the ship is muted, probably due to it's immense size. The cells, and he can see they are in some form of brig, are solid iron and Adam Wood. Not Seastone, which tells him there either isn't much concern of Fruit users on this crew, or there's a special place for them.
All the officers are in the brig, the rest of the crew, and the captain, are conspicuously missing. Since Shanks isn't the kind to worry about ransom and the Marines wouldn't pay anyway, he lays his belli on the majority of the crew being back on the Man Of War, probably tugged along behind Shank's vessel like an errant toy, and the captain filling the belly of a seaking.
He hopes the seaking gets indigestion.
The cinnamon and rum smells come from a cart that a small child is pushing. Smoker thinks it's the same one he saw before. It's hard to tell if it's a boy or a girl, they're at that age of androgeny, when clothes and hair styles make all the difference, and this one's hair is a length to be either, while their clothes are shapeless shorts and an oversized shirt that could hide anything. There's a layer of suspicious white bandages around the child's throat, and a more suspicious lack of ears or tail. Carefully, wary of the distance between the brig inhabitents and the cell doors, the child takes trays of bread and rum from the cart and pushes them one by one through small gaps on the floor.
Smoker finds himself murmuring a thanks when it's his turn, and a whispered promise. 'I'll get you out with us, if I can. I'll rescue you.'
The child looks so shocked, so surprised, that Smoker opens his mouth to repeat himself, before the kid goes into a silent, strange seizure. It takes a long minute for the panic to fade after that, as it dawns on him that this kid, this child who can't yet be even *ten*, is laughing at him.
That's the day Smoker always remembers when he reads one of Kesha's letters. The light of mirth in wide gray eyes, the rapturous, strangely shy smile, and the polite apology after. Despite the circumstances for himself, Smoker had made Kesha happy, and that feeling stayed with him. It made him believe that he could, somehow, make Justice work to.
Ace never worried about Luffy, not really, he knew his brother was strong, and more than that, Luffy was Lucky. When Ace looks back, he wonders if worrying more would have showed he cared more. It's an odd thought to have, neither brother has ever been good at second guessing themselves, but it's a thought that comes nonetheless in the dark of his prison cell.
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He doesn't want Luffy to ever have doubted what he meant to him. He wants to know that he did right as an older brother.
He knows he failed Kesha, and even if he's been forgiven a thousand times over he's never really forgiven himself.
The dark cell gives him lots of time to think, since he can't do much else. No one comes to talk to him, not even to gloat. He's given food and water by a dark dressed man he remembers being an agent of some kind, who doesn't speak and looks right through him with dead gold eyes. He tries to sleep, and can't tell the difference between nightmares and memories.
Kesha was barely five when Shanks brought him to meet Luffy and Ace and called them brothers. Ace was only seven, and Luffy four. They hadn't really known what to do with each other, but they'd become fast friends, since there was no one else to play with. It didn't take too long, especially when they got out of the adults watchful eyes, to figure out that Kesha was the odd one out, and probably always would be. He was pretty, and shy, he didn't want to fight or do anything to get in trouble, and he wore a black metal collar that sparked every time someone tried to take it off. In short, Kesha was a wimp and a crybaby. On top of all that, he'd already lost his ears.
Ace and Luffy were rough and tumble little Alpha D's in the making, and while they considered Kesha their sibling because Shanks said so, they didn't really like him much. They picked on him and teased him in the name of making him tougher, and when he cried they ignored him and ran off to do their own things. It was typical kid stuff, until Grandpa Garp came to visit.
Grandpa always wanted them to become Marines. He would train with them, scare them and beat them and tell them what it meant to be strong and noble and Just. Ace hated him and Luffy loved and feared him, but Kesha was downright terrified. Then when Gramps sailed back to base, Kesha went missing. No one really noticed for a while, they were too busy being happy the scary old man was gone to wonder about the shy little crybaby. When dinner came and went and no one could find him, Dadan tore up the whole island searching.
Garp came back two weeks later, right as Shanks was coming into port looking like murder. Ace had never seen Shanks angry before, it would stick with him forever as one of the most terrifying things in the world. Gramps dragged Kesha out from his ship like a beaten dog, listless and cringing and sobbing, and shoved him at Shanks hard enough to make him stumble and fall.
'If you can't teach him to stay out of things that don't concern him, and off ships that don't want him, don't go getting your drawers twisted when someone feeds him to a seaking.'
Kesha and Shanks sailed out that day, and they didn't come back for weeks. When they did, Ace tried to pretend nothing had ever happened, that they'd never been worried, that they hadn't cared. It seemed better that way. If they forgot about it, maybe it hadn't happened at all. Kesha was quieter, even more shy, but they let him tag along on their adventures and they tried not to pick on him too much, because even his crying was quiet now and that made it kind of scary.
Luffy was five and Ace was eight and Kesha was just turning six when they made up their minds they were going to be pirates. Well, Ace and Luffy were, of course. The greatest pirates. Each a captain. They were going to race each other for One Piece and the winner would be Pirate King! Ace remembered that day like Teach's fist in his gut.
'I think... I'll be a Marine.'
'What?! You can't be a Marine! They're the bad guys! They put a collar on you and took your ears!'
'Well... I don't remember that. I mean... Maybe it was someone else. The Marines protect people. They're needed. I... I think that's okay...'
'They're evil! They kill pirates and stomp on dreams and work for the Nobles!'
'Not all of them! Some... some are nice...'
'You're so weak you would think that! Weak and stupid! What pirate captain wants a weak stupid crybaby on their crew anyway? You'll just end up dead! You should give up and stay here behind Dadan's skirts and be a *girl*!'
Kesha would never be a Marine though. He'd never even try, because after he ran away crying, after they played and yelled and Luffy and Ace wrestled and bit each other over who was meaner, after they went in for dinner and Dadan scrubbed out both their mouths and tanned their bottoms, Kesha still hadn't come home. He didn't come home that night because he was trying to take off the thick black slave collar, and the electrical jolts kept shocking him unconscious. He didn't come home because he couldn't walk, or move, or think from the pain.
They all went searching for him after it got dark.
They found him by following the screaming.
Ace shudders at the memory, glad for once that the seastone cuts off his fire. Kesha got the collar off that night, but the electrical burns ruined his throat. He'd never speak again. He nearly died from the onset fever and infection. The next time Shanks pulled into port, he took Kesha back to the ship with him. Kesha didn't come back again.
Luffy and Ace always asked about him, when Shanks came to town. Every time Shanks would laugh and shake his head and say Kesha was off training, or having an adventure, or learning to command a ship. By the time Ace was ten they'd met Sabo, and Ace had another brother. A brother who shared their dreams and love for adventure. A brother who wanted to be a pirate. A brother who sacrificed that dream, to keep Ace and Luffy safe. Another brother he lost, to a Noble's execution squad.
Ace had three brothers, and he failed two of them.
Alone, in the dark, waiting for the Admirals to drag him out for his own execution, he finds himself praying that Luffy, Luffy at least he did right by. Luffy will be happy, and strong. Luffy will be the Pirate King.
He thinks, as long as Luffy is alive, he can die with a smile.
Kesha watches them and smiles into his rum, because they're happy and that makes him happy.
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Kesha writes letters and fills them with empty observations and meaningless praises because there's nothing he can say that they can know.
Kesha cleans up their messes, quietly, unobserved, because they don't know how ugly life is yet and he doesn't want them to ever find out.
Kesha smiles when they run into each other not-quite-on-purpose, listens to their stories and etches every second into his heart.
Kesha smiles when they leave, they always leave first, and waits for the shadows to bury all the evidence.
Kesha watches them, and drinks to forget what he sees.
Kesha cleans up their messes, and drinks to forget the smell, the slippery stick of drying blood, the way some of them float and bloat in the water.
Kesha smiles and greets them with hugs and laughter and more rum because they;ll be leaving again, happy, joyful, content with a life of easy adventure.
Kesha smiles and drinks when they leave, trying to convince himself they'll come back. They always come back. They need him.
Kesha knows it's the other way around. He needs them. He hates them because he needs them and he hates them because they don't need him and he hates that he loves them too much to hate them enough to stop.
Kesha writes letters, but he stopped saying anything long ago, because he knew he wouldn't get anything back.
Kesha is useful. He is loved. His life has meaning and purpose. His life is an empty string of days following one terrible ugly episode to another on a chain that can not be broken on a road that ends in death and misery, and those he loves and needs sacrificed for a world that will never know or appreciate them for who they are as opposed to what they stand for.
Kesha is surrounded by nakama.
Kesha has family that would die for him.
Kesha is alone, silent, forgotten and taken for granted.
Kesha can see, but he can not feel, and the emptiness wars with the knowledge until he is like a festering wound.
Kesha knows better than to show it.
Kesha knows it will go away. Eventually. Everything does. Everyone does. He will, one day, go away.
Kesha smiles and drinks and waits. He loves, and hates, and hates that he loves.
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|Subject:||Extremis doesn't understand. |
Uh... yeah I just wanted whumpage. AU whumpage.
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Cut because I have some kind of screenshot bug and these are awful. And now in color.
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The dog is Barbas. He talks. The horses are pretty pack mules.
|Subject:||Strange AU Wrong-fic Pron|
Uhm... yes. Tony Stark has a messed up kid okay? Okay. And I am a messed up author.
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( It's a week after his birthday and he feels like hell. )
So here's some of my current adventure. Due to a mix up in my visa, I have to make the 'Japan-run', which I have to pay for, and until I do so I won't be able to 'officially' work or earn money. Now, this shouldn't be much of a problem, it just means that I have to dish out a lot of money I wasn't expecting to very soon to Christmas and with no actual way to recoup that money for a while. So Christmas isn't happening. At least, I'm not buying anyone anything. Sorry. I will try and get cards out, those I bought a while ago so I might as well.
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What this also means is that I'm having some difficulty getting my furniture moving reimbursed, or my flight reimbursed, because without a visa I can't set up a bank account and the school doesn't like handing out that much cash. Which is reasonable, I guess, but a major pain in the ass. As well as they haven't moved my things into my actual apartment yet because the guys who would be doing it are in the process of moving things from the fifth floor of the school to the fourth floor. But hopefully sometime this week.
Sometime this week I should get my ID number and jet off to Japan, and because of this, I don't have my cat back yet. See I left a lot of stuff in Deagu with friends because I didn't trust the movers, and I left my cat there. I can't actually afford to go all the way to Daegu to pick everything back up, I can afford to meet my friends in Seoul and make it a few trips meeting in the middle to transfer everything, but we have to match our schedules.
All in all it's a clusterfuck. My parents of course want me to come home, but even if I could afford to, I'd need time to sell my furniture and try to get Ace through her shots and everything.... it's not really the option I want to take at the moment. Happy fricken Holidays.