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Title: oh, I wish
Original, gen, PG
Warnings: references to violence; implied rape
Prompt: Author's Choice, Author's Choice, wishing well


She hears the wind whisper, be careful what you wish for and it's already too late.

No takebacks.

.

She wished that no one she loved would ever die. She's lost her brother and her daughter and her mother -- all she has left are her sister and her father, and legends of a well that hears what the heart wants and grants it, should the wisher prove worthy.

She is worthy, by however the well measures, and when it is far too late, she is glad that her heart wanted the living to stay alive more than the dead to return from their rest.

.

Her sister is taken by bandits and survives, but not unscathed.

Her father is thrown from a horse and stands, though his neck is twisted.

.

She goes back to the well and she wishes to undo what has been done. "This isn't what I meant!" she rages, her sister sobbing at home and her father in hiding.

The wind laughs and she is not worthy this time.



Title: No more water but fire next time
Fandom: Marvel movies
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: depression, Winter Soldier’s canon backstory, violence
Pairings: implied Steve/Bucky, maybe
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 560
Point of view: third
Prompt: any. any. You're what keeps me believing the world's not gone dead.


He's spent so long drowning that he lets himself go blank when he surfaces, staring and staring, shoved to his knees, dragged to a van, and it's not until his perfect hearing catches Natasha's little gasps of pain that he blinks and comes back.

He’s spent so long barely living that he’d forgotten he’s alive.

He’s alive. They thawed him and put him to work, aliens and mad scientists and spies and bad guys, Cap, do what you do best, what you were made for.

Because he was, wasn’t he. Made for this. Cooked up in a lab.

He’s alive. breathe in, hold it, breathe out. breathe in, hold it, breathe out. that’s it, stevie, you can do this. breathe in, hold it, breathe out.

So is Bucky. Somehow. Bucky is alive and doesn’t know who either of them is, and – and –

Hill breaks them out, takes them to Fury, and he gets platitudes and apologies and half-assed lies, and he burns down Hydra for the second time (for the same man), and Bucky beats the shit out of him and he beats the shit out of Bucky, trying not to scream I’m sorry the whole time, and then he falls.

He hits the water and he’s gone.

.

He surfaces to medics shouting at each other. He goes back under.

.

He’s alive. So is Bucky.

He has to heal. Has to duck the media and the authorities. Has to come up with a plan.

What he tells his friends and what he hoards in his heart are different things.

Captain America has done his duty. Steve Rogers, though, fell down on the job and he’s finally standing back up, getting back in the ring.

Steve Rogers has been drowning for over 70 years but he’s surfaced, now. He’s finally surfaced. He’s alive.

There is only one thing left for Steve Rogers to do.

.

Sam doesn’t say anything the first time Steve executes a blubbering Hydra operative, already on his knees with his hands behind his head. Sam flinches, though, and doesn’t look at Steve for almost five hours.

Sam doesn’t say anything the second, third, or fourth time, either, because the blubbering Hydra operatives were all involved in the Winter Soldier project somehow.

Sam does speak up the first time Steve points his gun at a Hydra operative begging for her life who had nothing to do with the Winter Soldier project.

Steve listens to Sam’s argument. Then he pulls the trigger.

.

Sam goes home and Steve misses him for a little while. But he’s got his mission. He’s breathing and the world’s in color, and he’s not going through the motions because there’s nothing else to do.

He’s doing this for Bucky. There’s nothing else he’d rather do, except be by Bucky’s side.

.

None of Steve’s childhood scars made it onto his new body. None of his new wounds scar.

His lungs don’t stutter and hitch anymore. He can take a full breath and hold it, never have to worry about his lungs failing.

He almost drowned, when he was a kid. Bucky saved him.

Bucky saves him every time.

.

He’s spent more time drowning than he’s spent breathing air.

But he’s not drowning anymore. He’s alive. So is Bucky.

And when he finally catches up, when Bucky lets him catch up, they’ll face the world together, alive and alive and alive.




Title: of thieves and hoards
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: fantasy AU but set in the modern-day; references to violence/death
Pairings: Sophie/Nate, Hardison/Parker/Eliot
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1360
Point of view: third
Prompt: Leverage, any, Reminder: When Parker asks for us to steal a unicorn, DON'T.

Follows this

"So, uh, hey," Hardison says, wringing his hands, "you remember when I promised to help Parker steal anything?"

Eliot sighs without looking up. "Yes, Hardison," he says. "I remember."

"Well, her birthday is coming up, and I can't think of anything else to get her, so..."

Sophie and Nate have been gone for eight months, and Eliot's been keeping his mage and elemental safe, no matter how crazy Parker's schemes are. (And, honestly, they're safer than some of Nate's, even though Nate had always made sure his were physically possible for a dragon, two mages, an elemental, and a shifter.)

"What do you want to get her, Hardison?" Eliot asks patiently. He lets only a little growl flavor the words.

He knows he shouldn't be surprised when Hardison admits, "A unicorn." He is anyway.

.

After the second time everyone split up and got back together, Parker had suggested stealing a unicorn.

"Oh, I'm sorry, sweetie," Sophie had said, reaching out to pat Parker's arm, "but unicorns are impossible to find unless they want to be found."

In all of Eliot's memory, he's only ever come across a unicorn once. He was dying in the desert, back in his first life, and the unicorn had knelt beside him and healed him with a touch of her golden horn. She'd risen and the very air sang around her as a pool of water appeared at her feet, a pool of clean water for him to drink.

Eliot never told anyone how he survived the betrayal that killed his whole pack. He knew, though, that there as a tiny golden mark at the spot where she touched him.

“But I want a unicorn,” Parker said, pouting and crossing her arms. When even Nate and Hardison, though, had said it couldn’t be done, Parker finally let it go.

.

A dragon, a technomage, an illusionist, an air elemental, and a shifter band together to rob the rich in vengeance for the poor –

“They’ll write songs about us someday,” Sophie had mused once, as she individually shifted each of her human fingernails into her dragonclaws so she could paint them.

There are already songs about Eliot. He doesn’t mention them.

.

Since his pack died, his brothers united by the flag on their uniforms and the blood they shed and the secrets they shared, Eliot had worked alone. He trusted Nate about as much as he could trust anyone; before long, though, as all their scents mingled, as Parker fell asleep curled up next to him and Hardison chattered on about impulse magic, as Sophie asked his opinion on the safety of various kingdoms, as Nate relied on him to protect them all –

It hurt when he learned that Sophie conned them all. He gave her a second chance, though. That, more than anything else, showed him how much these people changed him.

.

There are things Eliot never says. There are shapes he once swore he would never take again.

In the desert, before the unicorn – Eliot was dying as a shadowhound, just like his pack. They were in a country they shouldn’t have been in, on a mission that wasn’t recorded, and when things went bad, there was no rescue. Eliot was meant to die with his brothers. The unicorn chose to save him and no one else. He hates himself for it, and he still doesn’t know why.

His favorite shape has always been the puma, quick and quiet. He knows, though, that the shadowhound, his first, will always be his most powerful.

While Nate was getting their blackmailer out of the warehouse, as Moreau’s pack of killers and monsters lined themselves up – vampires and wolf shifters, an elf and centaur, and three battle mages.

Eliot’s pack had been assembled because each of them was unique. Three of them could shift between human and shadowhound but nothing else; two of them could assume forms for only a little while, but with Eliot’s help, they learned the shadowhound.

Just like unicorns, shadowhounds are rare. Eliot was born one and shifted into other forms as easy as breathing. He nearly twenty years without wearing his birth shape.

In the killbox, he melted into the shadows and howled.

.

Another name for shadowhound is hellhound.

.

“And how do you expect to get her a unicorn?” Eliot asks, looking away from his book.

“Please help me,” Hardison begs, trying his best to give Eliot sadface puppy eyes (as Parker calls them). “Eliot, you’re my only hope.”

Eliot sighs. The golden spot where he was once gutshot tingles whenever he gets close to a unicorn’s territory; it has tingled four times in twenty years.

“I’ll think about it,” he tells Hardison, looking down at his book.

.

At midnight, Eliot leaves their bed. Parker is curled up and floating just off the blanket; Hardison is spread out and taking up too much space. There are layers of protection spells seeped into the wall and floor, and only one of them or Sophie and Nate can enter the door and live. Eliot had made sure to tell them all that as explicitly as he could because this is his den.

He looks back at them, his two mates, and then he shifts, melts into the shadows, and heads west.

.

There are fewer unicorns in the world than there were once. Magic is not lesser, but the world is smaller than it was. Some of the ancient species took on human form and never returned, their blood slowly diluting as it mingled with humans.

Sophie is not the only dragon Eliot has met, but she is the only one that can resume dragon form when she wants.

“You are touched by the light, yet within you dwell shadows,” Eliot hears as he steps into the moonlight. He lowers himself to the dirt, holding back a whine. “Do not fear, little hound,” the voice continues, coming from everywhere at once. “I see what my kin saw.”

Eliot shifts into his human form, daring to glance up. The unicorn in the desert was golden; this one is blood-red. “I have a boon to ask, my lord,” Eliot murmurs, lowering his gaze.

The unicorn laughs. “I am no longer a lord,” he says. “But I will listen.”

.

On Parker’s birthday, before she heads downstairs to where Hardison is trying (and failing) to make her favorite foods, Eliot says, “You know that you can’t steal a unicorn, right? They belong to themselves.”

Parker looks at him for a moment before nodding and saying seriously, “I know. I just wanna meet one, once.” She shrugs.

Eliot doesn’t know how old she is. Hardison’s almost thirty; Eliot himself is nearing 40, though his body doesn’t quite show it. He hasn’t slowed down at all and knows he never will. Whether that’s his own magic or the unicorn’s gift, he’s not sure.

There is much the world owes Parker. It’s a debt that will never paid. But Eliot can give her this.

“Tonight,” he says. “Me, you, and Hardison. We’ll meet some unicorns.”

She’s an air elemental. He really should have expected the resultant explosion.

.

Even though they are both powerful and the best thieves in the world, Parker and Hardison will never be able to find their way back to the unicorn’s glen. The red unicorn, a silver one, and a tiny little ebony one with a glowing white horn wait for them.

Parker’s speechless. Hardison’s not. The little one nudges at Hardison’s hip, babbling in something Eliot can hear but the other two can’t, and the silver unicorn laughs delightedly.

This isn’t a favor that the red unicorn will call in one day. Just like the golden unicorn once gave him, it is a gift, and Eliot, as sincere as he can be, says, “Thank you.”

He watches Parker gently wrap her arms around the silver unicorn, burying her face in that silk mane, while Hardison chatters at the baby. This is his pack. He knows that one day, he will die for them.

“Are you happy, little hound?” the red unicorn asks, standing beside him as they watch their families.

“I am,” Eliot answers, laughing as the little unicorn knocks Hardison onto his ass.




Title: Eternal
Original, PG
100 words
Any, any + any, forever's not long enough


"You knew," the wind whispers as the last of all living things kneels on ground long barren.

“You think that makes it easier?” she asks, hands buried in the deadened dirt. Even roaches are gone, have been for – oh, she lost count at somewhere around five thousand twelve epochs.

“Of course it doesn’t,” the wind says. “Nothing would.”

She asked for this, ages beyond counting ago. She asked one thing and it was granted. She was so young. Such a fool. To live forever – to outlive everything, even the sun.

“Shall we go walking?” the wind asks.

There’s nothing else.



Title: to ride the sun
Fandom: Greek myth
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: none
Rating: PG
Pairings: none
Wordcount: 100
Point of view: third
Prompt: Classical Mythology, author's choice, "Wheee!"


It began a good idea, as many things do. He found his father, convinced his father that he was his father, and then made one simple request: to prove his love, Father must grant him leave to drive the chariot of the sun across the sky.

It is a simple thing. And Father’s guilt was great, for he granted his leave, though apprehension was plain upon his face.

Never in his life had Phaeton held so much power in his hands. Faster, he urged the horses. And faster still. He laughed his way across the sky, the sun following him.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
maldeluxx
Mar. 4th, 2015 03:18 pm (UTC)
Eternel... now that is bone-chilling. But then, there's the wind so there's at least someone to talk to, however real :-/
tigriswolf
Mar. 4th, 2015 05:36 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I really don't think immortality would be a good thing.

Thanks for reading!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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tigriswolf
questioning in order to create

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