Of Dying Dreams

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Revision, Dec 12, 2013.

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  1. As the evening faded into night, Aodh found himself kneeling high upon a clifftop. Around him, the winter kissed woods glistened in harsh moonlight. Winterlights danced around him, going on their blinking insectoid business. Below, nestled in the curve of a valley, a village was celebrating. Tonight, the shortest night of the year, they would reaffirm the strength of the veil that kept their world separate from those beyond.

    Aodh smiled. It was an old tradition, and he doubted many in the town below still believed in half of what they were doing. Belief or no, the ritual was enough to strengthen the veil and keep the village safe. Only those of real strength would be able to pass between worlds after this night. Tonight, though. Tonight the veil was at its thinnest. Dreams would come to those below with unusual clarity when they slept, guiding them with messages about the forthcoming year. And then, with the rising sun, the magics of the night before would take hold and the veil would be at its strongest.

    Aodh leaned forward, resting his forearm on a knee. His other knee was pressed into the fallen leaves of the clifftop. Long silver hair was pulled back in a braid that kept it out of the way. Otherwise, he was in simple black clothes, suited more to travel than to station. In the moonlight, he glowed like the frost on the trees. No mortal looking would see him, though, at least not as anything more than a perceived figment of the imagination. So he took his time, watching the lights dance below and contemplating whether he would go join in the festivities. It would be easy enough to don mortal form, to traipse about and celebrate with the reckless abandon that came with short, mortal lives. It was tempting, but it never went well. And so he remained on the clifftop.
  2. I will find the source. I will fix the problem.

    It wasn't a promise. It was a fact. It had to be cold, hard fact because if he allowed himself to believe that there was even just the slightest of doubts about his competence, it would only invite bad luck upon him.

    Emerald green eyes stared blankly ahead, long dark lashes fluttering ever so slightly from a breeze with no realistic source. There was always a cold, damp, wandering wind in The Tunnel. If it had been anyone else traversing the long, endless, seamless expanse of pitch black, that someone would have felt incredibly unnerved, if not by the wind, then by the whispering. But as it was, Ink Nightshade was far from uncomfortable in The Tunnel. The dark and the dank and the disembodied voices were staples in his life as a prince of Grimscape after all.

    And princely he was as he sat tall on his steed. A lantern swung haphazardly from a coal black shepherd's hook that seemed to sprout up from the very back of his mount. The tidbit of light had his pale skin glowing in the darkness like a speck of hope in a dire situation, and atop his wild, wavy raven hair sparkled a crown, ebony and pockmarked not from misuse but from the material from which it was fashioned.

    Tonight, he was not wearing his formal attire. Tonight, he began his journey. And although he'd much rather be dressed as the famous Sherlock Holmes in order to really get into his role as detective, he was instead wearing a simple outfit of the Modern Earth sort.

    Soon, The Tunnel reached an end and Ink's steed slowed its jittery movements to a stop, bending its stilt-like legs of shadow and who knows what else like the scissor ribs of an old joke boxing glove in a wind up box. "Return now," Ink ordered, though not without a kind tone to his already soft voice. The beast made a noise of discontent and the young prince chuckled softly. "I will be fine on my own."

    He turned away then to face the door before him. It was made of leaves and small patches of snow glistened under the soft light of the lantern. It was not often that he ventured into the waking world and he had to admit at least to himself that he was nervous. But with a deep breath and slow exhale, Ink placed both hands on the door and pushed.

    The leaves gave way, clinging to his hands and wrists and face and hair as if begging him to think twice about what he was doing. The crown upon his head poofed away in a swirl of dark smoke. He pushed and inched further forward, fingertips searching for the exit to no avail. It felt as though this mass of wet foliage would never end! And then quite suddenly his head popped through to the other side and Ink tumbled out into the waking world with an elegant "OOF!"
  3. Aodh’s mind wandered as he watched the ritual below. Though he was not quite close enough to distinguish individual forms, he could imagine their joy, their interactions. Usually, this would have been a mere imagining to be cast aside. Tonight, it brought him a touch of sorrow. He had to admit that he felt lonely. It hadn’t been so before. He’d travelled the worlds, revelling in freedom and solitude. But lately, the realization that he wanted more was bothering him, weighing the fae man down.

    His hand went to pick up a fallen leave that held a light dusting of snow. Each flake within was nestled against its neighbor. Where there was not snow, frost branched out in intricate formations like frozen lightning. Keen night vision and the swollen full moon allowed him to study it easily before replacing it on the ground.

    Off in the distance, he could hear the calls of woodland creatures. Their howls and night song were far, no threat. In fact, the only creatures near were burrowing rodents, other small ground dwelling things, and the winterlights. Perhaps this relative stillness was what allowed him to overhear the small stumbling noises followed by the yelp.

    Quickly, he rose to his feet, turning to face back the direction the noise had come from. Aodh frowned and reached to his belt. A long, elegant saber depended from a frog belt. A gloved hand closed around the hilt of the sword, long fingers elegantly wrapping around the faerie wrought metal. Aodh moved slowly, edging toward the source of the noise. It would not do to be seen full on. While mortals would most likely not notice him, there was still witchblood in the world and a witch might perceive him through the glamour he’d cast.

    As he edged around a large oak, it was not a witch he saw at all. No, there was no feel of witch’s magic and this power had a dark edge to it. Aodh paused, soft rustling of footsteps in leaves fading as he did so. He was behind the other man, perhaps twenty feet away. Several trees stood between them, some upright, some fallen. He simply stood there for a moment, hand on hilt as he watched the other man’s form in the distance. Maybe the he other had not noticed him; perhaps he should just leave.
  4. For a few seconds, he lay there on his back, limbs spread out like a starfish, wishing upon a star that no one had witnessed that embarrassing tumble. Thoughts strayed quickly to a recent memory. A warm smile graced his lips as iceskates and falling snow drifted before his mind's eye. There was something else 'falling' at that time, wasn't there? Absentmindedly, the fingers on his left hand curled in toward his palm so that his thumb could run along the bumpy texture of the jewel encrusted ring on the second last digit.

    I should have followed...

    Something tickled his nose. It was soft, tiny, and cold. Eyelids fluttered open and the young Nightshade was greeted by a most beautiful sight. Snow had begun to fall, much like it had That Night. Through the waning canopy overhead and the jumble of barren branches, he could see the night sky in all of its glory. Deep blue and speckled with countless stars. What Ink wouldn't give to be one of those brilliant lights, to be wrapped in the soft blanket of night but never sleep.

    It was then that he noticed the lights floating around him. They'd gathered, most likely because of curiosity. That's what Ink would have done at least. "Hello," he whispered as he sat up. He was unaware that there was a leaf stuck in his wild hair. The lights around him flickered in response and he smiled sweetly at them. "Such pretty winterlights you are. Don't worry about me. You can go back to your dancing."

    Climbing back to his feet, Ink bent over to dust off his knees, but at that very moment that his hands touched jeans, he heard it.


    Oh~ They were quiet, indeed, the epitome of a someone or something that had spent many years perfecting the art. But with no ill intent stinking up the air, he could only assume that it was a curious someone and he knew just how to escape. Slowly, his gaze lifted to the moon. And he waited.

    A second ticked by. Another. And then a dark cloud began to drift across the moon, snuffing out its heavenly rays of silver light. The winterlights quivered and drifted away. The forest was blanketed in an oily black.

    Where had he gone?

    He certainly wasn't standing where he was a moment ago...
  5. Aodh watched the other stand, took note of the gathering winterlights. How curious. Definitely not a normal human out there, then. And if that hadn't been enough to remove doubt, suddenly there was darkness, suddenly the man before him was gone! Aodh tensed, hand tightening. A few inches of the sword blade shown softly as it was limbered. Aodh listened, strained his hearing til the night became a symphony of sound. Glancing around, he slowly moved into the clearing.

    The falling snow caught in his hair, on his clothes, causing him to glitter with every step in the faint glow of the sword blade. He inhaled the cool air, then paused. There, a scent, a half of a memory. Both were gone too quickly to identify, but they left the fae man’s heart racing and thudding in his ears, drowning out his hearing in a rush of heated blood. It took precious seconds for him to calm himself, to resume listening.

    He needed to find whoever this person had been. If they’d seen him, he needed to stop them from alerting whoever they reported to. Worse yet was the thought that it might have been a particularly gifted witch blooded individual who’d raced back to town to alert all and sundry of the strange sidhe in the woods. And he couldn’t forget this strange darkness, only now clearing and allowing him to see around him clearly once more. Snow continued to fall, gathering intensity til the wet flakes were powdering the ground in a soft hiss of noise. It clung to the trees thickly, held the peeking moonlight aloft in the air, froze the entire forest in a strange glow.

    Dammit, he needed to find the intruder and quickly. If he didn’t, he’d never track the other through this. Not for the first time in his life, he wished he was one of those who were good at tracking through sensing power. His own capacity for such was limited to within about ten yards unless there was some major display of ability. Still, it might be worth it to try.

    Tendrils of sense swept out, spread through the clearing light cobwebs, feeling, touching, hoping for contact with something out of the ordinary. It was possible the man was here, invisible. It was possible he could be caught and stopped now. Ignoring the residue of whatever magic the man’d used before, Aodh stood, sensed, hoped.
  6. The evanescence of his spell left trees popping back into existence one by one, taking turns with the bushes and the snowy ground that still favored a faint outline of trampled leaves. Now it was Ink's turn to stand watch from a safe distance. And watch he did, sparkling green eyes catching snowflakes in the act of snuggling down in soft blond locks and hugging against straight, haughty shoulders.

    An elf.

    Moths fluttered inside his chest as again, that sweet memory resurfaced to the front of his thoughts. The quietest of shaky breaths was taken as he continued to watch the back of his mystery stalker, to watch his every movement from the way he shifted his weight to the way his back flexed and moved under fabric.

    There was something awfully familiar about this man, Ink thought, but it had to be coincidence. It couldn't possibly be that man...could it? But then again, if the heat stirring inside was any indication...

    The young prince considered. If he revealed himself, how would he be greeted? An elf was no local, so what was it doing here? There was only one way to find out, he'd decided. But before he could even lift a foot to step forward, he felt it.

    He felt it.

    Something invisible, intangible was sneaking closer and closer. But as it did so, it grew weaker, as though it were too little butter over too much toast. Like this, it wouldn't be able to reach him.

    So he leaned closer.

    Now, humans could only dream of being able to see magic, to sense it. But the supernatural was gifted, at least enough to be able to feel such tendrils of sense as these ones. To Ink, they existed visually, and these specific tendrils were like silver veins that sparkled majestically regardless of light or lack thereof.

    Perhaps this was a foolish thing he was doing. Maybe it would lead to trouble. And even knowing full well the consequences of exposing his otherworldly nature, something told him deep in the recesses of his mind that it was okay. So he reached out with his own coal black tendrils of sense, inching toward the silver.

    They met with a spark and a tingle raced its way up the prince's spine and back down again. Slowly, tenderly, these sixth sense branches slid along each other and silver and black coiled together, feeling each other out as though communicating through an act of embrace.

    And then Ink's heart nearly leaped into his throat!

    It couldn't be... It just couldn't! Stepping out into the clearing, he was an impossibly dark spot on a moonlit circle of glowing snow. Only his pale complexion depicted him as one of the living, rather than a mere shadow.

    "Let me see your face," he whispered, but the silence of the forest allowed it to carry to the other's ears.
  7. Sweet wine crept through his body, the feeling of the energy and magic of the other, overtaking his senses and flooding him with memories of half forgotten dreams, anger, harsh words and teasing looks. The feel of a body pressed to his and the touch of lips in a brutal kiss. It couldn’t be! The rush of sensation overtook him for a moment and his eyes fell closed as he breathed deep of the chill air. His hand fell away from his sword, resting lightly at his side. His eyes opened.

    “Let me see your face,” came the words of the other, and the sweet warmth that had been gathering in him was suddenly shot through with electricity. A night. A single night, a single kiss, touches on a frozen floor, skates, lips, the smell of skin and eyes as vivid as gems. Aodh remembered. How could he not? It was a memory that he’d carried with him since that night. And now five words brought it perfectly into focus.

    He turned. His movement caused the snow falling around him to drift in strange patterns for a moment before resuming it’s downward motion. By now, his body heat was beginning to melt some of the snow hitting his skin, dotting it with shimmering drops.

    For a moment, Aodh just watched Ink and tried to master his feelings, which were a violent storm by now. His want of the other battled with anger and sorrow that Ink had never followed and also with a strange feeling that it was silly of him to have ever expected the other to be there, as though he was entitled to the presence of the man. And then… then there was joy. Joy and unexpected excitement as though someone had handed him a gift-wrapped box and bid him look within.

    Before he could stop himself, he’d moved from his stance and closed much of the distance between them. A few feet from the other, he paused, one foot halfway off the ground. Eyes closed once more and his fingers curled as he fought the urges trying to rule his body. Foolish. How little willpower did he have around this man?

    Slowly, the fae regained his composure. When he spoke, his voice was collected, his eyes calm. He could not quite hide the upward twitch at the corners of his lips as a smile tried to form.

    “Hello, again. It has been some time.”
  8. Tha-thump. Tha-thump. His heart was singing, pulsing lyrics through his veins and filling his ears with a melody. Anticipation sang all through his body from head to toe. Twitching fingers and a nervous lick of his lips were telltale signs for the man now walking toward him. Eyelids fluttered as snowflakes clung to each other in clumps, blinking away the unfortunate ones that found themselves trapped in long lashes. His nose was cold, his pale cheeks rosy in hue. He kept licking his lips as the fae man drew closer, trying his best to erase the feel of that bold kiss. And when it became too much to bear, Ink turned his gem gaze downward, to the side like a scolded pup.

    He should have followed.

    Guilt inched its way into the young Nightshade's heart, latching onto his happiness and bleeding it dry like the worst sort of vampire. But then... Oh, but then that sweet honey-toned voice caressed his ears and lifted his gaze back up with an unseen hand, shooing away his guilt for just a moment so that he could look fondly upon this man who was ever present in his thoughts.

    "Hello," he said, matching that cool, calm expression with a warm smile. "It has, hasn't it?" A little sniffle was followed by a wiggle of his nose in an attempt to bring some feeling back to it. Just like the man before him, snow was melting as it landed upon him and quickly his hair was growing not just damp, but uncomfortably soaked. Droplets of water trickled down his nape, tickling all the way down his back and making him feel the cold all the more.

    "What are you doing here?" Maybe it was a blunt question. It was definitely the wrong one to ask first. But Ink had to know if it was just pure coincidence or if... No, he shouldn't let his heart think like that.

    And still, the ring felt warm next to the skin of his finger.
  9. That smile would be his undoing, he knew this. Oh gods of summer and winter, how he wanted… He drew in a breath. The chill in the air was nearly forgotten, but he was growing uncomfortably damp. He could see the small indicators that his friend was chilled, though, something that made him put his own discomfort aside.

    “I’m here watching the ceremony. Or was,” he said, voice matter of fact. But emotion bled into it, turning it warm, almost gentle. The next words, however, were almost chiding. “Until I was distracted by a rather clumsy thief.” His hands went to his neck, undoing the clasp of his cloak. The garment was swung with a flourish as Aodh closed the rest of the distance, draping the warm cloak around Ink.

    “It will be the last time I can approach this village til sometime in spring without a great deal of effort. I just wanted to see it once before the veil strengthens fully.” His hands remained on the edge of the cloak as he studied Ink carefully. “Why are you here?” Was that hope in his voice? Hope perhaps that the other had finally followed?

    But really, why should he expect that? For all he knew, the other had just been playing, teasing, had never meant to catch the heart of the fae. He certainly hadn’t reacted the way Aodh had hoped when they’d kissed. No. Not at all. Perhaps that made it all the more foolish that his hand released the cloak, the fingers of one hand gently brushing a few melting snowflakes from Ink’s cheek.
  10. Ink had no idea what ceremony this man was talking about, but he did know that being so close to him again was very satisfying. Satisfying on an embarrassing level. "Oh?" he voiced, sounding just as far away as his attention was to the conversation at the moment. He was busy, you see. Busy letting his emerald gaze wander all over the fae man's face in search of that grumpiness he'd seen so much of on the last they'd met. And yet there wasn't a trace of it, just a smile that thought itself cleverly disguised.

    Even as those subtly curved lips spoke of thieves and clumsiness, Ink could only nod and hum in reply because this man before him was so very dazzling, especially as he found himself being wrapped in a warm cloak and gazing softly upon the tenderness those eyes betrayed to him.

    The prince's heart was aflutter in his chest.

    But short-lived was his moment of giddiness that left him tight-lipped because then there was mention of a veil and that could only bring about the prince's thoughts to his reasons for being there in the first place. "I'm here because I'm tracking something," he muttered and a hand lifted to clutch at the cloak and keep it closed. It was unlike this fae man to be so generous as to give up his warmth for the sake of someone like Ink, at least if his behaviour when last they'd met was anything to go off of. So why risk the cold and the wet now?

    A curious man this one had grown into during their time apart and Ink would be lying if he said he wasn't thoroughly captivated and feeling utterly nosy. He'd wanted to know so much more about the other even back when they'd been skating, even back when they'd...

    Warmth rose to his cheeks anew at the memory of being so suddenly and quite passionately kissed by the person standing in front of him. And the fae's tender caress upon his cheek did nothing to help settle his trembling heart, but only served purpose to draw a highly embarrassing and barely-there sound of liking from his throat while his eyelids fluttered shut and he bite softly his lower lip. He could not help it. The man's touch was happiness and sunshine and heat and everything sweet in the world.

    This "thief" was beyond glad that they'd met like this again.

    Swallowing the lump in his throat, Ink willed himself to regain a little of his composure and with a breathy sigh, he opened his eyes again and offered the fae man a playful grin. This was more like his usual self and if he kept acting so strangely, he would have to answer other, more embarrassing questions and he'd much rather not. "And what's with you calling me a thief? If I recall correctly, when we parted you said to keep the ring." The grin grew and he cocked his head to the side as if to challenge the man to argue otherwise.

    The snow had begun to dwindle and a sweet, crisp freshness filled the air around them, mixing with the smell of damp hair and clothes and maybe a few other pheromones that Ink wasn't ready to admit existed between them. "My name is Ink, not thief."
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