Tag Archives: ;drabble

Summer sleeps very late one morning, and when she finally appears, she moves stiffly. She spends most of the day on the couch, wearing even looser clothing than usual and occasionally whimpering. Helios actually fetches Ace, staring at him with half-flattened ears until the boy comes with him.


Ace enjoys watching Helios, the peculiar thing.

He comes and goes as he pleases; watches Diesel with narrowed eyes from where he’s perched comfortably, even flitted around the dense pooch for a little amusement.

But never did he give Ace the time of day like he did that particular morning.

So, with furrowed eyebrows, he follows the kitty past the threshold of his own home and into Summer’s, where he finds the lass curled into her couch, face contorted in obvious discomfort.

It takes him a moment to process what’s happening; he thinks back to Echo, and all the times he’s found her (and Allison) curled up in this position, what foods and drinks they best sought comfort in…

He didn’t want to assume she was on her period; maybe that would anger her in such a state of discomfort. But, maybe she has cramps. And he doesn’t want to come off as careless and retreat back to his apartment, so the lad straightens up and goes to retrieve the jacket he left there the night before.

“I’m getting you a hot water bottle from Rite Aid. Do you want me to pick up anything else?”

It takes her a moment to be able to speak, as it feels like something twists in her middle. She squeezes her eyes shut and makes a garbled sort of sound. “There’s a heating pad under my bathroom sink, but it’s so hot already … can you just bring me some water?”

It’s not like Ace to actually be solicitous; she can’t quite decide if she should take advantage of it or not. Another twist in her guts takes the choice away from her; all she can do is moan and grind her teeth together. She doesn’t want him to leave, though. Anything that will take her mind off what her body is doing is awesome.

When he brings her the water, she gulps down two painkillers and flops back against the pillows, clutching at her middle and breathing hard. It’s not that it’s excruciatingly painful, really, so much as the pain is constant and the cramps make her feel /really/ strange, which she hates.

Helios, having fetched someone with hands, lies down on the floor with his belly up and looks smug. Which is standard for a no-balls kitty.

Summer makes too much pasta and brings a share over for Ace.


Ace allows her to do so, turning his head slightly to nod at the girl in a greeting from where he sat on his bed, cross-legged, laptop set just beyond his knees.

He peered over at her through the thick rim of the glasses he never bothered to wear, eyes landing on the tupperware she carried in both hands.

A smile. The type that is reserved for her, because she knows how forgetful he is, how he’ll remember to pick up a huge bag of dog chow for Diesel but could go the whole day without even a morsel of food.

He literally swallows the dish whole and places it on her coffee table whilst her and Helios are enjoying their shower, a post-it-note that read ‘Compliments to the chef x’ in bubbly handwriting awaiting its original owner’s return.

The shower has to be colder than usual, because she hadn’t known before then that Ace wore glasses. What they do to his usual good looks has to be seen to be believed. So she has three choices — something with batteries (and she’s not sure where she put it), calling Brendan, or a cool shower. The first two … would have involved closing the apartment door. She’s reluctant to do that, and doesn’t really want to think about why.

But she’s fine leaving it open while she showers; Diesel will notice any strangers coming up. Not that there’s any real difference between him walking in on her in the shower, and him walking in on her masturbating, except in her mind. Again, not looking at that too closely.

After all, she loves Brendan. She’s not interested in Ace.



“I only need a minute. I’m taking Summer home with me to recover. For a couple months.”

“And if you could just read this. I don’t want to leave her alone too long.”

[she hands him an envelope, and turns to go]

[the outer page is slightly stiff letterhead, ‘from the Desk of Winter Rainault’ all formal at the top]


Summer begged me to get this to you. I told her I’d try, but I couldn’t promise her you would actually read it. Any of it. I don’t know what’s in hers, but I thought you should know: it wasn’t you. Whatever’s going on, what happened with you was just the last tiny thing that broke her. She won’t talk about the other thing yet. If you know anything about it, whatever it is, I’d really appreciate it if you let me know.

If it’s not a problem, I’d also appreciate it if you could just swing by her apartment a couple times and make sure everything is all right. I’m asking a lot from someone who I barely know and who hates my sister, but you’re the only person I’ve met in this town and you seem trustworthy enough.


[the inner page is a lighter, pastel, girlish kind of paper. it smells of gardenias, and a piece of lapis lazuli is enclosed]

Corasson meyo,

I have no right. I never had any right.

I was wrong. I’m sorry. [tearblots]-ay such horrible things, and I can’t fix this. I can’t fix this now.

I wanted to save you from yourself. I was wrong. The person that I see when I look at you, I wanted everyone to be able to see that person. I love you, [tearblots]l always love you.

Please remember that, after you’ve pushed away everything about me. Please remember I loved you, I believed in you, and be strong.


“Isaac, I didn’t mean it as a joke. I swear, I wasn’t thinking, it just came out. I was wrong.”

“I was so wrong. I love you, I do, I know you can’t return my feelings but I didn’t want to hurt you. I didn’t set out to hurt you. Just please talk to me again? Please?”

“It hurts so much to watch you be like that. I’m selfish, I know, it just hurts so much, and I can’t help you, you won’t let me in.”

“I would do a n y t h i n g to make this right.”

some nights

she climbs on her bike at ten at night and runs away. Hell is other people. Hell is herself. So she runs away, as fast as she can, careering down sidewalks and into the woods, hated phone chained to her hip. If she sees anyone else she doesn’t see them; she keeps going, into the dimness under the leaves, where only the moonlight reaches. Away from herself.

some nights

she goes out bowling with friends. There’s no couples, it’s just a mob of people who all happen to be going in the same direction right now, their lives all coinciding here. They don’t ask, who is going home with whom later, they just all pile in as few cars as possible and take over three lanes at the alley and change each other’s nicknames on the boards as often as possible. It never matters who wins; it only matters how hard they laugh while they play. But she’s still alone, with them.

some nights

she sprawls on his floor, A Dance With Dragons propping her head while they catch up on Game of Thrones. She gets pride of speech because she’s read all the books; she knows all the spoilers and isn’t afraid to ruin it for people who are obnoxious. They throw imaginary tomatoes at Joffrey and cry for all the Stark children, talk about how weird the Lannisters are and if they would sleep with Tyrion or not. Sometimes the talk turns more serious, about female representation and who is supposed to be the real hero and whether Dany is a good person.

some nights

she’s alone with him, laughing so hard she’s practically crying at how badly she fails at Mario Kart and the way if he says lean she does and that makes her drive off the road. She watches the way his fingers wrap around the controller and tries not to think about the way they might feel against her bare skin; watches him talk and tries not to admire his mouth. It’s odd how lonely she can be right there with a person she trusts.

some nights

she’s at her computer, headset on, bent forward in concentration because even with a team of her friends, who are so familiar with each other they don’t have to talk about strategy anymore, she still has to pay attention to healing and not get too lost in the discussion of market trends and whether it’s worth crafting the next level of gear. They’ve gamed together in different MMOs for years now; they know who runs off ahead of the tank and who likes to throw the AoEs without regard to controls on the field.

Summer had only been gone for a few days. Barely even forty-eight hours. Not even long enough to ask one of the boys to look in on the cats. She stopped at the top of the stairs, bag of holding slung over one shoulder, and frowned. The emotion in the hall was thick, like tomato soup fog. Heavy. She had the sense that if she touched metal she’d get a shock; the emotional atmosphere was so charged.

What the actual frack had happened while she was gone?

Red String of Fate [ooooooohhhhh *waves arms*]

6. Our muses are destined to be each other’s eternal rebounds

oh god. *dies of giggle*

It was a stupid argument. It was /always/ a stupid argument, and it never mattered, because it would happen over and over. And every time, she would end up at Percival’s door, mead in hand, eyes red.

He never really asked what happened. She didn’t think it was because he didn’t care, but, well, he didn’t care about that. It didn’t matter; what mattered was her. She never asked him, when he showed up on her doorstep in the same manner.

They would sit together, and drink, and talk about anything other than what had brought them together. Most times, it ended up with the two of them in bed together, and in the morning they would look at each other, and away, and not say anything.

What was there to say? They weren’t ‘in love’, the way they both kept looking to be. It was more than that. And less than that. It was a home, a safe place, where the expectations were different and nobody needed to impress anyone else.

She’s just crying. Helplessly, hopelessly; tears sliding without pause down the skin. They make little sounds when they fall, on hair, on cloth, on wood.

Something is /wrong/, something is broken. She doesn’t even know what it is. It’s not physical, but it might as well be, for how much pain there is. How does one person even contain that much pain?

They don’t, she doesn’t, so she cries. Silently, brokenly. It’s worse for that she doesn’t even know /why/.

She could be alone, or not. She’s too tangled in the ache to know, too caught up inside her own mind, reaching out, yearning for other knowledge. To help, to heal, to find the person whose pain this is and make it right.

Who helps those who help others? She’s lost, crying. Emptily, achingly. The sort of tears that do nothing but draw others after, and bring no relief.

There is no relief. Not for her.

Not ever.

No one will come. She is always, only, ever, alone.

Summer could not have said how long she lay across Mordred’s unmoving chest and wept. Long and long, for certain, and somehow not so long, for the sun was just setting when she raised her head at last, empty and hollowed. With gentle hand she smoothed the curls at his brow, mouth trembling.

“I said I would go even to the gates of Annwn to have you back, cariad, and so I will do,” she whispered. She forebore to kiss him again; that for when he breathed again, smiled again. Rather, she laid his limbs straight, tucked about him that dark cloak to hide the wound, and rose to her feet. “Someone else served her that justice which I would have, so I leave you now only to bring you back. Wait for me on the road; I will catch you up.”

She went afoot, alone, unarmed on the path, moving steadily by day and by night until she should come to the Blessed Isle. She met no one on the way, and strayed not a step from her goal. When at last she reached the shores of the Isle, she was almost astonished — the going had consumed all her thoughts, leaving none for arriving.

The altar gleamed in the fading light; it might have been mere moments from when she left Mordred’s slain body. She walked to it, around it, trembling, before going to her knees before it as tears overcame her again. In the midst of her storm of grief, a presence made itself known before her, and she looked up.

The Cailleach smiled, a shadowed smile of knowledge and wisdom and the cost of those things. “I know what you will here, and I tell you, it may not be.” The words were gentle, so gentle against the harshness of their truth.

Summer shook her head wildly. “Please. This is not how it was meant to be! Surely not how. I loved him, do you not see, I love him so, he loved me. Is that not a thing that matters?” More words spilled from her, words born of grief and pain and love, yet the Cailleach made no reply, only looked with sorrow and regret.

At last Summer ran down, heartsore. “Did our love mean nothing? Nothing at all? If so, better we had never met.”

“Even the smallest thing has meaning, for so long as it lasts. Would you have this fate be on someone else?”

Unwillingly, “No. I — would have had it not be at all.”

“That too is a choice, but not always yours to make.”

“It was always going to be this, wasn’t it.”

The only answer was the wind.

Coming to her feet, bright hair rippling in the rising breeze, Summer saw that one thing, at least, was given to her: Mordred lay on the altarstone, not as she had left him, clad not in the darkness of Morgana’s madness, but in the red and silver of Camelot, whom he had loved. In his hands lay his sword that he had received from Arthur’s hands, and that broken blade with which he had worked Morgana’s will was nowhere to be seen. No sign of the battle of Camlann marked his skin.

And on the Isle’s deserted shores, she found a boat, and alone she filled it with flowers and laid him within. At his feet, she coiled a long braid of her own red hair, and on his finger she put that ring that had been the first cause of their coming together, and then she pushed the boat out into the waves.

When it had sailed seven lengths from shore, Summer lifted a hand, and called fire.