[X-men: Legacy] The Time Has Come


Stale cigar smoke. Bitter beer. Earth. The coppery tang of blood that soap can’t touch.

She inhales deeply as iron strong arms wrap around her and hug her. Not too tightly but close. She can hear a heart beating alongside hers; strong, maybe a little slower than in the past, but still there. Tired. But still there.

When he releases her, she gives a small smile. barely there. “I’ll keep an eye on them,” she promises, not needing to state just who “they” are.

He doesn’t say anything in return, doesn’t have to. It’s been long enough that they understand each other without having to say much at all. Time will do that to you. Time marches on but, eventually, it takes you with it.

He doesn’t say anything, doesn’t even say goodbye. Just utters a grunted huff, the edges of a rueful smile pulling at the corners of his mouth. No…not just rueful.

Proud. Sad. Determined.

Reaching out he puts a hard, rough, calloused hand against Betsy’s cheek for a moment before letting it drop to her shoulder and giving it a squeeze that would crack the bones of a less hardy person.

Then the old bastard shoulders his pack and heads off down the drive. He hops into the old ’68 mustang, roars it to life, and is gone.

It’s hard to say goodbye. Maybe that’s why they don’t say it. For them, can it ever really be goodbye, though? Or will they just end up side-by-side again when the world has turned enough times?

Who knows? In either case, goodbyes are hard. That’s why they don’t say them. Time will do that to you.

Time marches on and, eventually, it takes you with it.

(Graphic credit: Imgur, by ManWhoLovesSuperheroes)

[X-men: Legacy] The Feline and the Charmer: Mardi Gras Moon


Betsy giggles as she pulls the pink plastic baby from its cakey cocoon. 

“Well! Look at dat, chere,” Julien chuckles to the feral girl as she pulls the treasure from her slice of king cake.  “And wit’ your firs’ King Cake, too.”

She sets the baby down on the side of her plate and licks her fingers.

“Now you know dat findin’ de bebe comes wit’ a whole host of responsibilities as well as the luck, righ’?”

“Oh, like what?” Betsy ripostes smilingly. 

“Ohhh, well!” The Guild Prince sidles up to his feline-esque companion, close but not touching her yet. “Some people say dat whoever finds it will end up with a little’un by end o’ year, especially if you a woman.”

Betsy fairly screws up her face at that. “Yeahhhh….no litters for this feral, thanks. Even if they would turn out as beautiful as you.”

“Oh, Lor’, no!” Jules agrees, still smiling, and those ebony and ruby eyes glimmer in the lights that glimmer off the French Quarter. “There are other responsibilities, tho’.”

Betsy looks up at him, her own eyes melding to a shimmery gold. “Tell me.”

“In our househol’, the finder owes the baker a kiss,” he says with a completely straight face.

“Oh, so I should go find Henri then?” the feral girl quips mischievously.

“He would be righ’ surprised at you, I’d say. Especially since he didn’ make dis one,” Jules assures her with that self-confident smile. “I did.”

Betsy arches an eyebrow in surprise. “You?”

“Well, I couldn’ let my lovely Elizabet’s first Mardi Gras be anytin’ but the most’ special, could I?” Julien Boudreaux smiles fit to be tied at his girlfriend’s surprise.

Betsy’s cheeks pinken deeply at that and her eyes become molten, like gold heated in a forge. Stepping towards the tall Cajun, she rises up on her tiptoes, even in six-inch heels, slender hands reaching up to draw his face down towards hers. “It’s been amazing, Nawlins,” she purrs through wine-dark lips. “The parties, the parades, the food…but you…you are by far the best thing about tonight.”

Julien meets Betsy more than willingly, hands reaching out to grasp her waist and pull her close to him, lips meeting lips and a contented (and simultaneously hungry) sigh rumbling in his strong chest. That rumble lights a warmth in Betsy’s belly that sits low and heavy, her form flushing in his grasp in the warm New Orleans evening.

The music and ruckus of the French Quarter float up to meet them, the party going strong down in the streets. But here on this little rooftop oasis that Julien has concocted, they are as alone as they could possibly wish to be. Betsy has felt no silent, hidden presence watching them; Belladonna has in fact warned her people off the two teenagers for the night. Let them have their fun. Tomorrow the streets will be quiet, the church bells ringing in Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. But, for now…

Leaving the cake behind, Betsy draws Julien under an ivy, flower, and curtain strewn bower, letting the gossamer and heady scents envelope and hide them from the world for a while. After all, why go into Lent with no “sins” to confess?

Furyan Flame


Inspired by “The Chronicles of Riddick”, starring Vin Diesel.

My life–such as it was–was over. Until the day that I met the Furyan.

They had spread across the great expanse like a wave of darkness, leaving destruction in their wake, blinking out planets and stars like so many candles snuffed in a breath.  You know the story: if they could not convert you, they would kill you.

My race was not eradicated. No, we were converted, whether we chose to be or not.

The Necromongers needed us.

My people, we were of a particular mind. By that, I mean, we were of a Great Mind. Our minds are moon and stars above that of many other species. We are Connected. We can communicate telepathically, even across thousands of light years, and can even carry the thoughts of others with us across the expanse. We can see into the minds of others, reading the impressions left upon their cerebral cortex. Thoughts, experiences, memories.

They called Him (quietly) the Holy Half-Dead, but, if anyone was half-dead, it was us. Where we had been artists and philosophers, oracles and orators, now we were communicators and weapons. We had become the Quasi-Dead.

Most of the time we didn’t know one moment from the other, always lingering on the edge of life and death. That is, until we were required to touch minds. Rip into them was a more accurate description.

My life had been over for a hundred years. Until I touched the Furyan’s mind. Such rage was there. Fierce, undying, ever-burning rage and desire for freedom. We cried out the only thing this latest Lord-Marshall could possibly do to stand under this creature’s fire.

“Kill the Riddick! Kill the Riddick! KILL THE RIDDICK!”

It was as if his mind fed back into mine, opening me, shattering me, filling me with this fire. It burned through my mind, lighting the dark corners of death where I had been kept for so long. And, somewhere in the dark and the dead, I prayed to the stars.

Let them not kill Riddick. Let the Furyan prevail. Let the fire burn.

cor053

BloPoMo Day 9, Part 2: Facts, Fiction, and the Truth of Them


Methos glanced at the address in his hand as his cab pulled up to Bulfinch Street in New York City. Woodland Luxury Apartments. Yep, this was the place. He paid the cabbie, shouldered his bag, and made his way through the great iron gates.

A smiling man in uniform greeted him at the door. “Good day, sir, and welcome to Woodland.”

The old man nodded in reply. “I’m here to see Miss White.”

“Of course. Please, just step into the lobby and the attendant will call her for you,” the doorman directed, still with a large smile.

Nodding again, Methos stepped through the open door in the sumptuous, old-fashioned lobby. Following the doorman’s directions, he spoke to the person at the security desk.

“It’ll be just a moment or two, sir,” the guard said, hanging up the phone.

Methos declined to sit and just waited near the staircase, glancing around. As he stood there, someone came tromping down the stairs and bumped shoulders with the old immortal as they passed.

“Hey! Watch it!” It was out of Methos’ mouth before he could suppress it. Blast it all; didn’t he usually try to avoid confrontation?

The man who had bumped into him paused in the midst of pulling a battered old trench coat over his shoulders. He turned and glanced at Methos, a cigarette clenched between his teeth, his eyes narrowing slightly as he finished pulling on the coat.

Methos didn’t feel threatened, more like the man was trying to recognize him. The man leaned towards him as though to speak but, instead, he sniffed the air around Methos.

“Heh,” he finally grunted. “Didn’t think I’d ever see you again.” With that and nothing more, the man turned and strode out the door.

Methos barely had time to be nonplussed, for a voice rang out halfway up the stairs. “Adam! Adam Pierson, is that really you?”

He glanced up to see a woman coming down the stairs towards him. As long as he could remember, the only way to describe her was “lips red as a rose, hair black as ebony, and skin white as snow”.

“Well, don’t just stand there like a hobo waiting for a handout, come on.” She smiled and led him up the stairs and down more than a few halls. “My office is this way. Welcome to Fabletown, by the way.” She smiled over her shoulder at him.

Let’s just say Methos was more than happy to follow form, so to say.

Once they were in her office, she closed the door behind them and Methos proceeded with gaping.

“This isn’t an office….it’s…Ali Baba’s cave!” he gasped, as they stepped into the yawning space that Miss Snow White called her office.

“Close,” she laughed in reply.

“Ooooo, Miss White, do we have a visitor?” Methos suddenly found himself face-to-face with, of all things, a flying monkey.

“Yes, Bufkin. This is my friend Adam Pierson,” Snow introduced Methos by his “mundy” name.

“Call me Methos,” he rather stuttered.

“Oh, lovely to meet you,” Bufkin grinned. “I’ll rustle up some tea for us all if that’s all right, Miss White.”

“That would be wonderful, Bufkin, thank you. Where’s Boy Blue?”

“Out to lunch!” the monkey threw over his shoulder as he flew down the corridor.

Methos let out a low whistle as he glanced around Snow’s office. “Impressive. I never thought…”

“You just thought I was insane, didn’t you?” Snow said, chuckling. “A girl who claims to be the Snow White and to run a community of fairytales and fables.”

“Well…I’ve never been much for fables. After all, I was one.” Methos smirked, sitting in one of the leather chairs across from her handsome desk. “Oh, speaking of your citizens, I passed someone on the stairs. Rough looking guy, trench coat…?”

Snow nodded knowingly. “Bigby. Bigby Wolf. He’s our Sherriff. Don’t worry, he’s that way with everyone.”

“You mean, he sniffs everyone he passes?”

Snow cocked her head to the side and raised an eyebrow questioningly. “No…not necessarily. He did that?”

“Yeah, rather strange. He spoke like we’d met before but, honestly, I think I’d remember. He’s too much like another person I know,” Methos added

“Perhaps you have met before, just not while he looked like that,” Snow suggested, lifting teacups off the tray that Bufkin had just brought.

“What did he look like before?”

“Try the largest wolf you’ve ever seen and then multiply that by about 20,” Bufkin laughed, setting the teapot down. “And he huffs and he puffs…”

“Wait, wait! Big…by Wolf. He is the…”

“…Big Bad Wolf, yes,” Snow supplied, “So you have met before?” She reached for the teapot.

“No, allow me.” Methos took it from her and did the honors of the tea service as he spoke. He shook his head in disbelief as he did, smiling in spite of himself. “Long, long ago, when I lived alone in the woods, I came across a wolf in my cattle pen one morning. Sugar and cream? A huge thing, it held a bull down with one paw while it tore its throat out. One lump or two? Naturally, I tried to kill it but…”

The door crashed open as Methos hurtled through it. It was unusual for his small herd to be so restless, especially out here away from everything. But something had those animals spooked, because they were lowing up a storm.

His Ivanhoe drawn, he hurried to the cattle pen. It was probably thieves; couldn’t let an honest man live his life without butting into it and making things difficult.

“All I wanted was to be left…alone?” Methos felt something die quietly in his brain. There, in the cattle pen, was the single largest creature he had ever seen. A wolf. No, a leviathan. It held a bellowing animal down with one paw, staring at it for a moment before neatly snapping its neck in two, nearly severing the head.

Damn it. That was his only breeding steer and eventually starving to death was not a happy prospect. Methos lost no time moving against the wolf. As he leapt from the fence, sword held high, the wolf suddenly turned on him with a snarl.

When next he could think, all that filled his mind was the arm that the wolf had seized him by and flung him a hundred feet, crashing into a tree.

The arm was completely shredded, forever useless; if he had been mortal, that is. Methos heard the beast approach, the bull in his maw. The wolf just looked down at him from its towering height and sniffed at the man.

Methos was keenly aware that one of his ribs was lodged in a lung; he was dying, sure as the sun rose. He struggled to look up at the wolf and, he was just delirious, to be sure, but he was certain that he heard the wolf mutter around the bull in his mouth.

Later, when he would reflect on it, Methos would almost swear the animal said, as he died, “Idiot.”

“….needless to say, that was a battle I lost. I always wondered by he didn’t finish killing me.” Methos shook his head and chuckled ruefully as he handed Snow the cup.

Snow smiled, cradling the saucer. “We can tell what you are, almost like we would tell each other. It’s a different feeling entirely, like a different consciousness, but it’s there. You Immortals are as much a fable as we are, in a way. And Bigby never forgets a scent.”

The old man shrugged as he prepared his own dish of tea. “Lucky me, I guess.”

The two took their tea in quiet for a while before Bufkin started up. “So…Methos…you’re Immortal?”

The old man almost guffawed at the winged monkey’s attempt at small talk. “Yes.”

“Bufkin might be quite interested in what you’ve brought us, Methos. Shall we show him?” Snow suggested mischievously.

“Ooo, ooo! What is it?” The monkey perched on the back of her chair excitedly.

Turning to his bag, Methos opened it and pulled out a rather large, heavy book, setting it on Snow’s desk with a respectable thump. “Welcome to my world, Bufkin.”

The monkey’s eyes widened. As the Fabletown librarian, he had a fondness for books and knew where each and every book and document in the Fabletown offices and library were filed.

“Bufkin, this is Methos’ Chronicle; it’s his life story,” Snow began.

“Kept since writing was invented so I hope you’ve brushed up on your hieroglyphics and Ancient Greek,” the ancient finished.

“Methos needs somewhere safe to keep it; the Immortals are in more danger from Mundanes than we are, Bufkin. And he is the oldest of them all, if what he tells me is true.”

“And where else to hide something you don’t want found…”

“…than with people who don’t exist. Got it!” Bufkin flapped up over the desk and settled on the edge, next to the great book. “Let’s see, where shall I put it? History, Memoirs, or Languages?” he asked himself more than anyone else.

“Wherever you like, Bufkin. You’ll be the only one who remembers where it is anyway,” Snow offered.

“Yeah, that’s true,” the monkey agreed. After a few moments, he figured a way to heft the book and then flapped off into the depths of the library.

Snow smiled gently when he was gone. “We will take excellent care of it, Methos. The proof you exist is safe here.”

The Immortal nodded but, before he could say anything, the office door banged open and there was Bigby. “Snow!”

She sighed. “Don’t you knock, Bigby?”

He ignored the question as he strode up to her desk. “Just got word from Wheyland up at the Farm, Colin’s run off again.”

Snow sighed. “That pain of a pig. OK, let me know when he shows up, because you know he will.”

“Always does,” Bigby grunted. Then he looked down at Methos. “How’s the arm?”

Methos looked confused but then recollection flashed behind his eyes. “Just fine, thanks. Mended perfectly, now that you mention it.”

“Yeah, would figure it did,” Bigby muttered around his cigarette. “So what are you anyway? Cuz you’re not a fable.”

“Well, he is…of sorts,” Snow offered, “Among his own kind.”

“And that would be?” When they both hesitated, he pulled the cigarette out of his mouth, exhaling heavily, “If I’m gonna protect this place, I need to know what’s going on. What are you, bub?”

“Immortal,” Methos replied.

“But not like us, huh?”

“No, not quite. From what Snow has told me, your immortality hinges on how much you are believed in, right?”

A grunt in reply.

“Well…our Immortality hinges in whether or not our head stays attached to our shoulders.” Methos’s mouth curled sardonically.

“Well, then, Methos. From what you’ve told me…I guess the three of us are going to be around for quite a time, huh?” Snow snickered, leaning back in her chair.

Bigby sort of grunted again and then turned towards the door. “Well, enjoy your tea, ladies. Some of us have business to attend to.” With that, he was gone again.

Snow sighed in annoyance, pinching the bridge of her nose. “And that’s when he’s polite. You have no idea…”

Methos raised an eyebrow, smiling in that infuriatingly superior way he had. “Oh, don’t I? Let me tell you about a guy named Logan. But they also called him the Wolverine…”

A Sorting Hat Rhyme


So I am guilty of exactly ONE piece of Harry Potter fanfiction from several years ago (not including the online Hogwarts forum roleplay game that I ran for a short amount of time), and I will say that I worked very hard on the Sorting Hat rhyme for the beginning of the story. Hope you like it.

Welcome to Hogwarts,

First years of all.

We welcome all,

Witches tall and small.

Wizards bold or quiet as mice.

You’ll learn your lessons here

In a quick trice.

Now I am brought here

To Sort you, you see,

Into Gryffindor, Hufflepuff,

Or Ravenclaw tree.

Or perhaps into Slytherin,

Sly as a snake.

Here’s hoping that you all

Will very well take

To the House you belong in,

Made so long ago

By witches and wizards

Of the very best, you know.

Gryffindor, brave and strong

As a beast.

Ravenclaw’s intelligence when

All else has ceased.

Hufflepuffs work away to

Achieve the best marks.

Slytherins plot and plan.

In them, resourcefulness is art.

So step forward now

No need to be shy.

I am the Sorting Hat!

You’ll go where

Say I.

The Sorting Hat by liquidscissors on Deviantart.com

Fan-fiction: The Daughter of the King


Author’s Note: Based on the television show Forever, starring Ioan Gruffud,. This is written from the perspective of a female character as she rides in an ambulance towards the end of the episode “The King of Colombus Circle”.

“Courage. You are the daughter of a king.”

The daughter of a king. I certainly didn’t feel like the daughter of a king. I was lying in the back of an ambulance, the klaxons whirring and whining overhead, drilling into my temples, my blood leaking out onto the gurney. And he sat over me, reminding me that I was the daughter of a king.

A dead king.

A king who was assassinated. By an assassin who had now come for me. And for my son.

My son!

My baby!

There I lay, shot and bleeding. Soon, I would be dead. The dead daughter of a dead king. Soon, my son would be as I had been: an orphan. Shuffled back and forth through the system all his life. My precious, beautiful, black-haired baby boy.

I felt the tears on my face but I couldn’t tell if they were hot or cool, whether the world was loud or quiet. All I could feel was the weight of fear on my chest.

I couldn’t leave my boy an orphan. I couldn’t let him grow up like I had: shuffled between foster, group homes, and CPS facilities all his life until he aged out, never cared for, never loved. I thought I had found love, once, in the arms of his father. A man with a wife and family of his own, but I convinced myself that he loved me. He didn’t.

But he gave me my son. And I loved him. My son who would soon be motherless.

No. I couldn’t let my son grow up like I had: wondering every day where he came from, why he was given up, why no one loves him. I couldn’t let him go through that.

I could not die.

I would not die!

He held my hand, that man from the police, with the lilting British accent. The man who had told this Cinderella that she was a princess. He told me to have courage, that I was a king’s daughter.

And the world slipped to the left, darkness flipping over my head.

= = =

When I woke again, I saw my son. He was in the Queen’s arms. She smiled and, seeing me awake, came over to the side of the bed.

“I hope you do not mind me holding him,” she said, “It’s just that he looks so much like his grandfather.”

Grandfather. Father. Gone. But I had not been forgotten. My son would not be forgotten. He would be raised with a family, with love. A grandmother and a mother who adore him.

Princess or not, I would give him a legacy.